Bush’s immigrant-bashing base is deserting him over the new immigration bill:
Fewer than half of Republicans, 45 percent in this ABC News/Washington Post poll, now approve of how Bush is handling immigration, down from 61 percent in April — that’s a 16-point drop in six weeks. Just 35 percent of conservatives approve, down from 48 percent.
This marks one of the few times in his presidency Bush has received less than 50 percent approval from members of his own party on any issue in an ABC/Post poll. On handling the Iraq War, for comparison, he’s never gone below 62 percent approval from Republicans.
Meanwhile, there’s a major Republican cat fight brewing among the GOP presidential candidates over immigration. John McCain is picking a fight with the “pandering” W. Mitt Romney over the issue:
Senator John McCain, facing increasing anger from fellow Republicans over his support of the immigration bill in Congress, is ramping up his counterattack against a main rival in the presidential campaign, Mitt Romney, by accusing him of “pandering for votes” in opposing the measure.
The attack, in a speech Mr. McCain is to give today, marks a sharp escalation in the war of words between two of the leading Republican presidential contenders. It also represents a risky gambit by Mr. McCain to right the course of a presidential campaign that has been consumed by attacks on his immigration stance, with Mr. Romney among his most vocal critics.
Bush and his crew spent years villifying and demonizing others, whether it was immigrants, foreigners or gays. Now, it’s coming back to bite them. Good. Let the games begin.