Asked by Katie Couric Tuesday night why having Republicans dominate the Michigan GOP primary, as opposed to independents and Democrats, is bad for John McCain, CBS's Bob Schieffer didn't cite any of McCain's views -- such as on immigration, tax cuts and freedom of speech -- where he's out of sync with most Republicans. Instead of realizing how McCain is too liberal for many conservatives who are the majority in the GOP, Schieffer contended Republicans just don't like him because he's “willing to challenge the authority,” insisting:
John McCain has always been sort of a maverick. He's always been willing to challenge the authority and a lot of Republicans just have not forgiven him for that.
During the 6:30 PM EST feed of the CBS Evening News, Schieffer, CBS's chief Washington correspondent, and Jeff Greenfield, the network's chief political correspondent, discussed the Michigan exit polls with anchor Katie Couric. After Greenfield noted how in 2000 the majority of voters in the Michigan Republican primary were independents or Democrats, but this year most are Republicans (68 percent Republicans, 25 percent independent and 7 percent Democrats), this exchange occurred:
KATIE COURIC: John McCain can't be all that jazzed about the breakdowns so far.
BOB SCHIEFFER: No, I think not, because you contrast it with what happened the last time. These are Republicans, but they're not necessarily John McCain's voters.
COURIC: Why is that?
SCHIEFFER: Well, you know, John McCain has always been sort of a maverick. He's always been willing to challenge the authority and a lot of Republicans just have not forgiven him for that. This is not shaping up as the kind of vote that would be good for John McCain.