By Editor-in-chief
updated 11/16/2006 10:26:45 AM ET 2006-11-16T15:26:45

“Is John McCain still your guy?” That’s the question long-time admirers of the Republican senator from Arizona are asking each other now that McCain is on the brink of another presidential bid.

“It’s my feeling McCain, in pursuing his presidential ambitions, basically dishonored himself and his family. Could my opinion possibly be too harsh? What do you think?” wrote a voter who backed McCain in 2000. The remark, posted by an anonymous voter who calls himself “Oldie” at, sparked a heated debate inside a political forum titled, “Is John McCain still your guy?” Those who replied “no” cited several reasons including:

  • His support of the Iraq war. “Send in more troops? You’ve got to be kidding,” wrote “werndog.”
  • His speech at conservative Liberty University. “He’ll probably drop into Bob Jones University before long,” wrote “lstomsl.”
  • His strong support of President Bush during the 2004 campaign.

“Anyone else get the impression that most of these posts are by people who once supported John McCain even if they didn't agree totally with all his positions?” wrote Russ. “And since his actions and position changes after the 2004 election, they've turned away from him?”

Actually, McCain has his defenders in the forum. One said he admired the senator for seeking more U.S. troops for the Iraq war despite the lack of public support. Though he disagrees with the position, the voter said it showed “political courage.” Another said, “The idea that McCain is a sell out because he spoke at Liberty is just a tad bit bananas. Reaching out to speak respectfully with your fellow citizens is apparently statesmanship if you are a Democrat. But if you dare to treat conservative Christians with respect it is pandering.”

The forum, or “Loop,” will likely heat up Thursday after McCain delivers what his office calls a major speech on the state of the Republican Party. The address is viewed as his first step toward seeking the 2008 GOP presidential nomination. Join the conversation.

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