Democrats Take Aim at Bush and McCain

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:25 PM EDT

( - Perhaps no one is watching the Republican primary race more closely than the Democrats are, as they formulate their plan of attack on whomever the GOP presidential nominee turns out to be.

A report in Friday's Washington Times says Gore will try to make George W. Bush look like "a dim-witted Dan Quayle," while he'll play up John McCain as a Barry Goldwater retread.

This week, Gore lumped both candidates together as right-wing extremists: "They both have the same right-wing record," Gore said on the campaign trail. "And in terms of their rhetoric, they're both going over to the dark side."

Thursday, Gore said either Republican would be a disaster for those who care about the environment. And while Bush and McCain battle each other, Gore is expected to blast away at both of them on different topics in the days ahead.

Expect Democrats to use Bush's appearance at Bob Jones University against him -- again and again. [By the same token, analysts note, both Bill Bradley and Al Gore have recently appeared with the Rev. Al Sharpton, the black leader accused of hate-mongering. However, the media hasn't spent much time examining or criticizing what some call the Democrats' pandering to black racists.]

As for John McCain, Democrats are expected to throw his conservative Senate voting record back at him, if McCain makes it to the general election.[The record of what Al Gore has actually done, and what he said he's done, may be used against him by Republicans.]

Democratic pollster Mark Mellman summed it up this way: "If he does win the nomination, the John McCain we see today will not be the same John McCain we see in November. The fact is, this guy has a treasure trove of votes that put him on the far right."

"Ultimately, George Bush is going to emerge as the bloodied, battered and broke nominee of a divided Republican Party," Mellman said.