Matt Towery

So here's a test for all the "real Republicans" -- and for McCain: President Bush is determined to force the Senate to vote on a "free trade" agreement with Colombia. Both Clinton and Obama plan to vote against it; not just because key Democratic constituencies support it, but also because polling shows that with the price of consumer items going up, many Republicans and conservatives aren't wild about "globalism" either.

McCain already has taken the party line on the trade pact, and will undoubtedly support Bush with a vote for it in the Senate. In my opinion, that would endanger his chances of winning the presidential election in November, if for no other reason than he's on the same side as Bush.

So here's my question: If McCain sticks with Bush and appears an economic "globalist," will that make him a RINO or a hero?

I am not allowed to support anyone for president and don't. But that does not mean I have amnesia. If you are a Republican and don't believe that John McCain is "Republican" enough for you, then take note of the GOP bullet he will be taking for you when he casts this upcoming vote.

I suspect that McCain takes being called a RINO the same way I would were I still active in the GOP. Like him, I would think of all the parades I rode in, hands I shook, interviews I gave, bills I supported, stupid political gatherings I attended, and candidates I raised money for so many times in the building of the modern GOP, and I would ask my doubters -- where were you then?

I would also ask those purist Republicans if they've ever heard of the value of a veto pen. While President Bush has hardly touched the thing, you can bet the Democrats, if they ever get to the White House, will use it in a New York (or Illinois) minute.

Matt Towery

Matt Towery is a pollster, attorney, businessman and former elected official. He served as campaign strategist for Congressional, Senate, and gubernatorial campaigns. His latest book is Newsvesting: Use News and Opinion to Grow Your Personal Wealth. Follow him on Twitter @MattTowery