FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
John McCain is about to make history, but not in a way he would like. Assuming McCain is the Republican nominee – and that's a pretty safe bet at this point – it will be the first time in
three decades that Republicans nominate a candidate who lost the conservative and evangelical votes in the primaries.
McCain knows this. He's reaching out to the conservative base as we saw with that speech yesterday. The criticism has been loud because in the past, John McCain has infuriated conservatives with his work on things like campaign finance reform, climate change, immigration, and his opposition to President Bush's tax cuts.
Now President Bush has entered the debate. He's urging the conservative wing, without naming McCain, to back the party's nominee. The president told the Conservative Political Action conference, "Soon we will have a nominee who will carry the conservative banner into this election and beyond."
One way McCain could reach out to religious conservatives is by picking Mike Huckabee as his running mate, although economic conservatives complain about Huckabee's liberal policies as governor of Arkansas.
Meanwhile, despite the complaints about McCain from many conservatives, maybe this is a sign of things to come:
Earlier this week in the Cafferty File, we told you about some Republican senators who were worried about a McCain presidency because of his temperament. At the time, Senator Thad Cochran had this to say: "The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me."
Guess who Cochran is supporting now that Mitt Romney is out of the race? That's right, John McCain. Another mealy-mouthed politician who was against McCain before he was for him. How do these people look themselves in the mirror in the morning?
Here’s my question to you: Will conservatives rally around John McCain?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
They will have to if they hope to keep the White House in the general election. For too long, the extreme conservative wing of the party has ignored the party's moderate center. McCain's brand of conservatism is more representative of the moderate center wing of the party (the moderate center is also where the majority of Americans politically reside – look at the closeness of the last presidential election as proof). The Republican Party needs to heed these words "United we stand, divided we fall to either Hillary or Obama".
Nick from Atlanta writes:
We are witnessing the beginning of a conservative insurgency here as theocrats like James Dobson rally around Reverend Mike Huckabee. Expect a small but vocal insurgency to be a thorn in McCain's side for at least a few weeks, and after McCain finally locks down the delegates he needs, a lot of those folks won't be there to support him in November.
Sarah from Maryland writes:
Yes, of course they will rally behind John McCain. Have you ever known Republicans not to do what is in the best interest of their party? It will be a guarantee that they will come together if Hillary Clinton is the nominee. She is so hated by the Republicans that they will become a truly unified force, and will take over the White House again. The Democrats’ only chance at regaining the White House is to elect Barack Obama for their nominee.
Kareem from Hartford, Connecticut writes:
It appears that in both parties, the political elites are losing power and influence. That’s the true story of these campaigns. Even Ron Paul support surprised people.
L. from Houston writes:
Jack, It's simple: The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Of course they will all line up behind McCain and by November, the good ole boys will not even remember that they were ever against him. Mark my words!