But the truth is that McCain was actually more of a pure Reagan conservative in 2000 -- he just didn't sound like it.--Jonathan Chait
The difference is all in tone. On the campaign trail then, McCain declared that Bill Gates didn't need a tax cut, observed that both sides in the abortion wars "have turned a cause into a business" and famously called Falwell and the Rev. Pat Robertson "agents of intolerance."
Now, having voted for the extension of the Bush tax cuts, McCain defends them and pledges never to repeal them. He also calls for Roe v. Wade to be overturned and -- horror of horrors -- has reconciled with Falwell.