July 2nd, 2008
07:27 PM ET

McCain campaign - shake-up needed

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/02/art.mccain.flags.jpg caption="Sen. John McCain, attends a joint lunch with the American Chamber of Commerce and the Council of American Companies in Cartagena, Colombia, Wednesday.]

Editor's note: John McCain shook up his top staff today, with a senior aide saying it would stop "errors in the campaign." On AC360° Tuesday night, Ed Rollins, former manager of Mike Huckabee's campaign, said McCain has made mistakes - and suggested the Republican change course. Here's what he said:

Ed Rollins
GOP Strategist and Former Huckabee National Campaign Chairman

John McCain has to basically have empathy for ordinary people. He's going to Colombia. He's going to Mexico. He's going to talk NAFTA. How does that relate to ordinary working people here? - that you're trying to basically make sure that Colombians and Mexicans have jobs, as opposed to Americans have jobs?

The next 19 weeks, 18-and-a-half weeks, that we have left here, every single day, if I was running his campaign, I would be talking about jobs: How do you rebuild the infrastructure? What people want to know is: do you understand how much I'm hurting, and do you care, and are you going to try and make my life a priority?

John McCain has hurt himself badly by saying, "I don't know anything about the economy," as opposed to saying, "I have been chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee."

He's been a Senate on the Armed Services Committee. He's been a chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee. Commerce relates to everyday business. That's what he ought to be talking about:

Here's what I am going to do as chairman of the Senate Committee. Here's what I'm going to do as president. I'm going to put people back to work. I'm going to have us rebuild our infrastructure. I'm going to help reset priorities of this country.

That is what is going to be very important - Americans going back to work by Americans spending their money, buying American goods, and the government basically saying, defense contracts, building fences, whatever, building bridges, we're going to do it with American dollars, will go a long way to stimulating this economy.

Filed under: Ed Rollins • John McCain • Raw Politics
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Oscar

    It just goes to show that McCain doesnt listen to anyone but himself. Who does that remind you of ? Bush maybe ? Because Bush sure doesnt listen to anyone but himself and god. You know god told Bush to go to war with Iraq.

    What the man said was true he should be here and not going to other countrys trying to show off he is contacts in other country so it makes him look more like a Pres. Dont be fooled in believe McCain just happen to go to Colombia on the very day they resuced the hostages. He was brief about the mission the day before.

    July 3, 2008 at 9:31 am |
  2. Mark

    John McCain's involvment in Congress is not a strong position to take ...thats probably why he's not mentioning it. As a voter, I'm less concerned with the committes he been on, but what have been the results. Based on the economy the results are poor. So John has a very had case to make either way you look at it, if the economy is the main issue. I look for Obmama to start making a case that McCain stated he knows very little to help the economy and if Obmam starts to focus on the poor results of John McCains involvement on the commerece committee its gets even harder for McCain.

    Thanks CNN

    July 3, 2008 at 6:31 am |
  3. J.V.hodgson

    It would be better if he loses so he should not bother to shake up his campaign structure. His policies are too similar to Bush especially in the Iinternational arena and wherever middle east, Iraq Iran, North Korea.
    if you wish America to remain a Major player in the International arena and fix your domestic economy and health care as well, get off the subjects of patriotism ( this is virtually Xenophobia) and the right to pre-emptive strikes. Military wars never ever really solved anything just created new problems... Israel/Palestine and Lebanon and worse still the Al Qaeda Jihad to defend its religion, not any particular state or country. But bringing serious pain to many other nations and damaging the American and global economies.


    July 3, 2008 at 4:52 am |
  4. Jarvais Goss

    It's strange that John McCain happened to be campaigning in Columbia on the same day this hostage release was announced.

    July 3, 2008 at 1:04 am |
  5. GH-SanFrancisco

    Senator McCain has supported every free trade agreement. I don't think running to Columbia to promise to agree to throw open our economy to benefit another country is of any help to his campaign for the White House. Our country is hurting. We need to know whoever we elect to be president will put America first. Not making it easier for other countries to take even more jobs from our strapped economy. Is the Senator from Arizona aware of how ridiculous this trip looks to the hard working people he is trying to lead?

    July 3, 2008 at 12:20 am |
  6. Annie Kate

    From the points on 360 last night that McCain had said he would do I thought his plan was better than Obama's. It accounted for long term and short term relief and had measurable goals so one could tell if it had been done or not and what to expect. Wasn't at all nebulous like so many politicians do.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    July 2, 2008 at 11:57 pm |
  7. JC- Los Angeles

    Personally, it's hard to even make the argument that McCain is running for President. If this were a race, which it is, he's not in the starting blocks because he hasn't even gotten out of bed. McCain should forget about the Republicans because they will never vote for Obama; he should shelf his wife because, like Michelle Obama, she is too polarizing. After eight years of a horrid President that failed to separate church and state, most people want someone who can fix our country rather than another religious zealot. This election will be decided by the middle who want someone to fix: $5 gas, rising unemployment, public schools, corporate malfeasance, healthcare, gang violenced, Wall Street, foreclosures, horrendous political leaders, the Federal Reserve and the war in Iraq.

    July 2, 2008 at 11:45 pm |
  8. Loretta from California

    Ed Rollins is right. The Republicans never get it.........it's the economy stupid!!!


    July 2, 2008 at 11:03 pm |
  9. Ricky Atlanta

    Even "IF" and I stress if, going to differnt countrys is that important...Americans dont want to see it from our canidates...Right now...But on a differnt note... If you hold a world vote...Obama would win hands down...because the world is tired of seeing old, white haired men in power...and just a differnt face on America goes a very long way in our troubled Planet...

    July 2, 2008 at 9:47 pm |
  10. camen

    Hi Ed. I have a lot of respect for your analysis as a regular contributor. McCain is so lost between the image he was able to portray of himself when he was an "outsider" and the self that is emerging in this campaign now that he is really under the spotlight. He has no clue about ordinary working people having been a politician and his very rich wife's husband for such a long time.

    July 2, 2008 at 9:06 pm |
  11. Susan


    He has to go back to being maverick that he has always been. He has to define himself and stop letting other people define him. He has to stop getting involved in those he/said he/said issues that do not mean a hill of beans. He has to take the high road.

    Take his issues back, define his message and stop changing his mind. He should explain how this visit to Columbia & Mexico may have a positive impact on the US economy. Not all trade deals are bad. He should wrap his arms around energy, environment, taxes
    and the housing issue.


    July 2, 2008 at 9:04 pm |
  12. Cynthia

    McCain's campaign has been in trouble for a while. He definitely needs to concentrate on domestic concerns. Those international people don't cast votes.

    July 2, 2008 at 8:55 pm |
  13. Heather

    John McCain at this stage in the race, he can't afford to have anyone talking on his behalf saying things that don't go with his views. There is too much at stake. Its a smart move.

    July 2, 2008 at 8:23 pm |
  14. Cindy

    I think that Ed Rollins was right on the money with everything that he said. McCain needs to focus on us here in the states and stop going to other countries doing speeches. They aren't going to get him elected. He needs to get down to our level and talk to us about the issues that we care about. Maybe he needs to hire Rollins to help him!


    July 2, 2008 at 8:05 pm |
  15. ngrajales

    How bad is for me, a Colombian, to hear how CNN stops the online transmission about the recued hostages when Ingrid Betancourt was asked to give a message to other countries about the real image of Colombia and how my Country is not in war. Was this an effort to hide any good advice to get to know Colombia and its beautiful people?
    Thank you

    July 2, 2008 at 8:01 pm |
  16. Lorie Ann, Buellton, California

    The President , whoever that is, will not do all the promised changes that candidates tell us they will. The economy has always been a mess, especially at election cycles. I doubt we will anytime soon, shut our country off from the world and make everything in America once more. Can we expect some leadership, to drive congress in the right direction, to make the best choices for America? Yes, we deserve that as a nation. But we don't live in a bubble. What goes on in America, doesn't stay in America. So I think John McCain is out of the country now and in a few months will probably do what you've suggested. Let's wait and see. I appreciate your work on CNN.

    July 2, 2008 at 7:50 pm |