Senator McCain: Republicans in search of message to woo angry voters

October 21, 2009

The Republican Party is in search of a message to attract voters who are angry with just about everything — healthcare, the U.S. deficit, Wall Street bonuses, increased unemployment and home foreclosures to mention a few.

“There’s a lot of anger out there and there’s a lot of frustration,” said Republican Senator John McCain, who was defeated by Democrat Barack Obama for president last year.

Thousands of people are turning up at townhall meetings and “tea party” protests against government policies, he noted.

“So there’s something going on out there. And I’d love to sit here and tell you that we Republicans are attracting all of those unhappy people but we’re not, we’re not,” McCain said at a Reuters Washington Summit.

“They’re out there kind of in the middle and they haven’t found a home. And in fact they haven’t even channeled their anger yet,” he said.

Many have swung into the Independent category — “They’re leaving the Democrats but they’re not coming home to Republicans” — because of the deficit increases during the previous 8 years of a Republican (George W. Bush) White House, McCain said.

“So they are not finding a message from the Republican Party that resonates with them, and so I think we’re in one of the most interesting times politically in Amercia,” he said.

One possible answer would be a return to a formula that worked when Republicans took control of the House and Senate for the first time in 40 years — “Something like the Contract with America that we gave them in 1994, portray a far more positive agenda for America,” McCain said.

Photo credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst (Senator McCain at Reuters Washington Summit)

27 comments

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Republicans need to sever their ties with the religious conservative right wing. You can’t take a political party seriously when they take their foreign and domestic policy straight from obscure passages in the Bible.

Posted by Norris Hall | Report as abusive

I got news for Senator McCain. People are leaving the Republican party in droves, thanks to allowing the Sarah Palin Fan Club and the Glenn Beck Teabag Nation to become the face of the party.
What few people who are leaving the Democratic party are doing so because they feel that their representatives have sold out to corporate lobbyists and are not representing their constituents. Republicans have always known their elected representatives served corporate interests first, but were always willing to put themselves second.
The Washington Post/ABC News poll released a few days ago illustrates the relative size of the parties: “Only 20 percent of adults identify themselves as Republicans, little changed in recent months, but still the lowest single number in Post-ABC polls since 1983.”
The latest CBS News poll found 22% identify themselves as Republicans. The latest AP poll found 21%. Ipsos/McClatchy put the number at 19%. Gallup had the highest total for the GOP, at 27%, but the Pew Forum study had it at 23%, while NBC/WSJ found 18%.
Average those together, and about 21% of the public are self-identified Republicans. Republcans are on the verge of finding themselves in the permanent minority they dreamed of putting the Democrats in just eight short years ago. Heckva job, Karl.

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive

SEN.MCCAIN HAS LOST HIS MOJO AND EVERYTHING HE HAS DONE IS AGAINST REPUBLICAN PARTY INCLUDING AS A CANDIDATE..HE IS WORTHLESS AS LONG AS REPUBLICAN PARTY IS CONCERNED..ALL HE HAS DONE IS HELP PRES.OBAMA AND DEMRATS..SEN.JOHN MCCAIN IS POISON FOR REPUBLICAN CAUSE WHAT IS NEEDED IS HIS HEAD HAS TO BE EXAMINED AND PLEASE ASK HIM TO SHUT HIS ANTI REPUBLICAN ANTI CONSERVATIVFE OLD MANS DOGGY MOUTH…

Posted by Robertsmith | Report as abusive

Norris,traditionally the democrats self destruct look at the disarray already,after only is it ten months?and i am sure the republicans will be thankful for your advice,but you should exchange talking points with another star gazer mr getplaning,because the obama glory is starting to fade.I wonder if the polls came out of the hush ,secret meeting obama had with the leaders of Obama tv stations which i am sure you guys don,t want to know anything about it,who remarkably conducted these Obama polls.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

Hey, brian, the Wall Street Journal is owned by your hero Rupert Murdoch and reports only 18% of respondents willing to admit they still consider themselves Republicans. That was a lower number than any of the “obama tv stations.” Keep hoping for bad news, it’s all you have left.

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive

Norris Hall needs to park his bigotry at the door.

Posted by Nathan Bedford | Report as abusive

Norris Hall should moderate his views of christians

Posted by Nathan Bedford | Report as abusive

The fact that Amnesty McCain does not understand what is happening shows that he is very much a part of the problem.
With the “liar” self destructing as we watch the Republicans have a great chance to regain power, however, their insistance on promoting RINO candidates like McCain are limiting the response of independents to third party candidates. They have become experts at dragging defeat from the jaws of victory.

Posted by jmac | Report as abusive

Because of the republican party getting into bed with the religious right and their bible based policies, the republican party lost the core of its real support. The religious right wing came to the Republician party with a specific agenda and the republican party was unable to fulfill that agenda (no big surprise there). Now the only republican left are those who insist that the governmnt stay small and unobstrusive, but given current social and economic conditions, such gov’t is not possible.

Posted by Hermotimus | Report as abusive

The republican party, in my opinion, is so out of touch with the times. I have such a hard time even listening to their same old “put the breaks on” everything, mentality. They have some good ideas that would help the nation to move closer to “center”. But not when all they can utter is no, no, no. I am a liberal but recognize the importance of our government staying close to center. I am sure everything will work out for our Great Nation, but I still wish that the right would become more involved by sharing their good ideas in these discussions.

Posted by Jim O | Report as abusive

I don’t know if it is possible to separate the religious right from the Republican party, however I do think that it is possible to make them leave their Bible at the door. That does not mean an atheist govt, but it does mean separation of church and state.

Posted by Andrew | Report as abusive

I do think that the unhappy Republicans will cry until they decide to start a new party. The Republican Party is a burned out hull. There is a shell, but no motor, no wheels and no gas. The new party will be a grass roots group as I don’t think they will want the taint of money from the special interest groups. I do hope the new party can pull together and attract the mainstream of the United States. We have, for too long, been controlled by the money people.

Posted by f belz | Report as abusive

As 44 year old person who has lived long enough to see both these parties cycle through power, its apparent that the winner isn’t the American people. These self rightious, greedy, corrupt, sell out politicians on both sides, have done nothing short of destroying our country. Its not about making the American Worker the best and American the strongest, it’s about smoke and mirros…straight up lies…win at any cost… win to line their own pockets and those of their contributors. Just keep the gravey train rolling brother!! As long as you can before the house of cards falls.

I’m sure these people go to Washington with genuine
thoughts and ideas to better our county, but quickly learn, you better go along to get along or your own party will cut your throat…Kind of like a Drug Cartel, but the drugs they are selling is influence.

so boys and girls until you cut out the cancerous
lobbyist in our country, your so called “Representatives”
will never have a unpaid thought…So quite drinking the Kool Aide because your getting Punked.

Posted by Robert | Report as abusive

If you read on this blog, you can tell who the Republican writing in this blog is; they are full of rage that it is even scarier. I heard a Big time Republican and he told me that he wish all the Democrat politician get cancer and die so the republican can take their sit. That it scary as it can be. I see on TV on the FOX TV and I see those people wasting their live just being angry. That is not worthy. Peace and Peace people.

Posted by Tony | Report as abusive

The republican party’s zeal to go ever more right wing and conservative is putting them in opposition to the Center, not to the Left. The rabble-rousing and invective chases those people away, and its these people who see a President trying to do the best job he can, while the Political parties fail, obstruct, and interfere with getting anything accomplished. It’s not a good day for the GOP when they are in opposition to mr Moderate American…who, after all, outnumber them, and are truly the ones to decide elections.

==bob D

Posted by Bob D | Report as abusive

JOHN MCCAIN WHO????????????THIS GUY IS A CLOWN AND HE SHOWS AMERICA THAT, WHAT HAS HE DONE AT ALL??HE CAN never ANSWER A QUESTION WITHOUT CHEWING SOMEBODY ELSE. I ASK ANY AMERICAN IF YOU HAVE 8 YRS. TO RUN AMERICA WITH A CONSCIOUS CAN YOU DO IT OF COURSE NOT BUT WHAT BUSCH AND CHENNEY DID IS NOT ACCEPTABLE AND FOR A GUY WHO GOES HUNTING AND SHOOTS HIS “BUDDY
‘ ON ACCIDENT
SHOULD BE IN JAIL NEVER MIND HAVE A CHANCE TO RUN THE U.S.

Posted by lifeintheobx | Report as abusive

WHY DO REPORTERS NOT KNOW WHAT TO ASK I AM JUST A CHEF BUT I WOULD ASK MCCAIN DO YOU THINK YOU ARE ANY DIFFERENT FROM WORKING AMERICANS HIS STATE IS IN A MESS HIS WIFE IS A MESS HIS DAUGHTER IS A MESS HIS MEETING W/ BUSCH AND OBOMA WAS A SCAM AND HE IS A WASHED UP PD FOR LIFE BY TAXPAYERS LYAR OH WELL AMERICA THESE TYPE OF PEOPLE WILL GET AWAY WITH WHATEVER THEY WANT AND WE HAVE A SAY BUT IT DON’T MEAN anything!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by LIFEINTHEOBX | Report as abusive

The republican party is grasping for a new identity. Look at their new gop.gov website! It’s like giving a facelift to a 90 year old woman.

The religious right wing has alienated most of America with their constant attempts to limit personal freedom using biblical logic.

Republicans want to control your personal life. Democrats want to control your professional life.

It’s time for a party to emerge that is dedicated solely to upholding personal AND economic freedoms.

We need to stress accountability, individual responsibility and the fundamental right of every person to persue their own happiness- regardless of whether or not the Bible finds it offensive.

Keep government out of business. Keep your personal business out of government.

Thanks

Posted by Rand_Fan | Report as abusive

McCain leaving Palin out to get crucified post election was the nail in the coffin for me. Now he’s constantly popping up in the press to give his input on political affairs. He must really think he has a chance to run again in 2012. The input, by the way, is total garbage. That is what’s making the GOP look like a bunch of losers. McCain needs to drop into the backstage and let someone else have a swing.

Posted by carrot | Report as abusive

thanks for the endorsement getplaning,”Obama TV stations”what about the latest attachment the” Obama Enemy List”are these not exciting times!Such an encouragement for me to see the socialist”troll”hiding in the tall grass waiting to try to suppress free speech,happens all the time.It is the difference between the north and south pole,SOCIALISM and FREE SPEECH you cannot have one when you have the other!

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

The GOP will have a hard time taking advantage of the situation because they are as much to blame as the Democrats for our nation’s problems. They were just as willing to burn taxpayer money for pork as the Democrats ever were.

Remember the first-ever $200 billion highway bill? That was pure GOP pork-guzzling under the Republican congress under Bush. Power corrupts. The GOP was only the party of small government all those years because they didn’t have the power to be the party of big government. Once they got the power they were all too willing to use it.

Independents need to band together and push through strong fusion voting laws across the country. We won’t have change until marginalized political elements like the Constitution Party, the Taxpayer Party, and the Libertarian Party are able to start wielding the kind of power nationwide that the Working Famlies Party wields in NY.

I say we need a “Declaration of Independents” for independent candidates to rally around so that voters know what they stand for. Not just fusion voting but also strongly independent-supported “60%” issues. Basically, an independent version of the Contract with America.

Posted by Jeff_F_F | Report as abusive

Who the Hell cares what McCain thinks? Just another example of the fat and corrupt beltway media eschewing real journalism for easy access.

BTW – Why did McCain but the kibosh on investigations into missing POW’s in Nam?

EE

Posted by Ed Encho | Report as abusive

There is no message from the Republican Party. It is the party of big business, and how can they attract the unhappy toads. Those unhappy toads need to start a third party and see what it takes to get their ideas into print and into laws. McCain is still as much out of touch as he was when he was running for president.

Posted by f belz | Report as abusive

Mc Cain don’t know loser, besides he critices the Obama administration in international policies

Posted by Eduardo Gómez | Report as abusive

I think the Republicans have a very consistent message:

Does this help big businesses make more money?

If it does, then: YES! If it doesn’t, then: NO!

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive

People bash the religious right but most people don’t want to be raped, lied to, stolen from, and at this time the ten commandments serve as a basic moral standard our society which depends on for civility and acceptable behaviour. Its not the religious right or religious left but the biblical teachings of right and wrong and court houses seem a proper place for their posting as they serve as a basic enforcer of our laws which center around them!

Posted by Kipw | Report as abusive

Republicans have been the party of “No” to everything that makes Democrates look like they have a good idea.

The USA is the only country in the world where health insurance companies can make a profit on primary healthcare. The staggering rate of profit insurance companies make in the USA dwarfs any other county. The USA ranks 25th in healthcare in the world. Insurance companies do not add any value to healthcare, they do not even sell band-aids.

Posted by Dave | Report as abusive