Republican John McCain, buoyed by Super Tuesday wins that pushed him closer to the nomination, told his conservative critics Wednesday to dial back the animosity and focus on issues where they agree.
”I do hope that at some point we would just calm down a little bit and see if there’s areas we can agree on,” McCain said at a news conference in a Phoenix airport hangar. [emphasis added]
Not exactly a great start. In fact, it sounds a lot like the same old patronizing bit conservatives are used to hearing from Sen. McCain. Magnanimous as I seek to be, however, I’m willing to give him a second chance, and he has that opportunity today when he speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
At Townhall, Ohio’s Ken Blackwell writes that McCain can make some progress with the right kind of speech at CPAC:
So what Mr. McCain needs to do is simple. He needs to stick to four basic themes. If he manages to convince GOP voters he means what he says, he could unify the Republican Party.
For Mr. McCain, the four themes he needs to beat constantly to unite and energize the GOP are: Cut government. Secure our borders. Win the war. Redeem our culture.
The key for each of those themes is not the policy. Each is rather a policy goal that reflects a principle at the heart of the Republican philosophy. Embracing those principles will win over a critical mass of conservative Republican base voters.
Will the Republican front-runner take heed to the advice of Blackwell and many others like him?