McCain adviser Jill Hazelbacker was on TV and claimed, preposterously, that John McCain’s support of Bush’s strategy on Iraq somehow counts as McCain breaking with Bush on “the big issues”:
I don’t know what I can do other than quote John McCain “no one has supported President Bush on Iraq more than I have . . . let me emphasize that there are many national security issues that I have strongly supported the president and steadfastly so.” Right.
On climate change, McCain really did break with the Bush administration. But then when bipartisan climate legislation was working its way through the Senate, McCain opposed it! He acquiesced in the removal of a climate change plank from the Republican platform, he got in bed with the oil companies over drilling, and he’s a longstanding opponent of efforts to encourage clean energy sources. Operationally, he’s moved to Bush’s opinion.