Politico.com reported With John McCain poised to win the Republican nomination, Democrats are already gathering ammunition to use against him in the general election.
Tel them to begin using it right away. That will help the conservatives rally around mCCainA case in point: As the economy was rising late last year as a major issue for voters, McCain in New Hampshire delivered this grenade, with its pin still in it: "The issue of economics is not something I've understood as well as I should," he said. "I've got Greenspan's book."
At least he is willing to read Greenspan's book. What military experience do Hillary or Obama have?Doug Schoen, a former adviser to President Bill Clinton, says the Democrats must act quickly. "The trick is to get him on the flip-flops and not let him get back to the center where he can be a real force," he said.
He is already at the center, and the more the Dems say he is not, the more conservatives will like him.One broad theme that will be used against him is that he's offering little more than an extension of the Bush economic policies that have exacerbated the nation's wealth gap and brought about a return of giant deficits.
That is not true. Bush's mistake was not to slow spending, except for the military. McCain wants to do that.Democrats could also take some sharper shots at his economic plan, which centers on two core messages: cutting taxes and cutting spending.
Shoot away. I like both.On taxes, McCain's votes against President Bush's 2003 tax cuts and his explanation for them are likely to become major talking points. "I just thought it was too tilted to the wealthy, and I still do," he said of those tax cuts. "I want to cut the taxes on the middle class." Democrats are sure to argue that if the Bush tax cuts were "too tilted" toward the rich in 2003, they are only more so now.
They may argue that, but they would be wrong.McCain will have to square his previous comments with his call today to make Bush's tax cuts permanent and add new cuts for the middle class. To recover the lost revenue from the tax cuts, McCain is promising to cut earmarks and wasteful spending — a line that plays well with his party's fiscal conservative wing.
AbsolutelyOn this point, the senator is on firmer footing since he's earned solid credentials on the issue by leading some major fights against pork barrel projects. But his opponent could note that McCain's campaign is being led by Tom Loeffler, whose lobbying firm has made millions inserting earmarks into spending bills.
That is Tom's problem.
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