President George W. Bush shakes hands with Senator John McCain at a Victory 2004 rally at the Jackson County Fairgrounds in Central Point, Oregon. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
John McCain is a "true conservative"... so says President Bush.
However, the president acknowledges that the likely Republican presidential nominee may have to work harder to convince other conservatives that he's one of them.
In an interview over the weekend, Mr. Bush ticked through McCain's conservative credentials, saying he's strong on national defense, tough fiscally, believes in making the tax cuts permanent, and he's "pro-life."
When asked about criticism coming from conservative commentators like Rush Limbaugh, President Bush said McCain "has got some convincing to do", and added he'd be glad to help him if the Arizona senator is the nominee.
The president's comments were as close to an endorsement as McCain will get at this stage because there are still other Republicans in the race. It was also something new for Mr. Bush, who up until this point has refused to be drawn into commenting on the race.
Many conservatives still don't trust McCain and his aides are hoping that the head of the party, President Bush, could help bring the fractured groups together.
Of course, it's worth noting that Mr. Bush remains largely unpopular, hovering around some of the worst approval ratings of his presidency. A poll out last week showed even Mr. Bush's support among Republicans is at an all-time low.
Here’s my question to you: How will President Bush's support affect John McCain’s candidacy?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Benjamin from Atlanta writes:
Support from Mr. Bush can only hurt McCain. The main Republican base has tired of his leadership, and his approval ratings show it. Likewise, independents are not looking for another Bush, and by accepting support from Mr. Bush, McCain, in their eyes, aligns himself with the current president. Dangerous ground.
Jim from Los Angeles writes:
Jack, Bush should hop right into the fray. We have McCain and Huckabee "old and pious" being supported by Bush the "nucular". It is proof of intelligent design and that some people didn't evolve. Glory Hallelujah! Let the campaign begin.
Jon from Ashburn, Virginia writes:
Every photo op involving Bush and McCain will turn into footage for the Democrats to use this fall. The more, the merrier.
President Bush's endorsement will help John McCain solidify his stance as a "true conservative" and help him secure the Republican nomination. However, President Bush will also cost McCain valuable support from independents during the general election.
Tom from Avon, Maine writes:
The time for George Bush to support Senator McCain was when Republican dirty tricksters swift boated the senator 8 years ago. It is mind-boggling what moronic garbage some idiots will believe at campaign time.
Dave from Moorhead, Minnesota writes:
Right now an endorsement from George Bush would be the equivalent to the kiss of death from the mafia.
Rex from Portland, Oregon writes:
How could any support by Bush possibly help anyone, anywhere? Jack, get a grip. Would you want Bush to put in a good word for you at CNN?