What were you smoking during the 2000 primaries? McCain was the running as moderate and attack Christian conservatives. McCain was the one trying to lure independents to vote for him because conservatives were backing Bush. Bush was viewed as the conservative in the 2000 primaries.
Essentially correct, but I would replace that label "moderate" with the more accurate, LIBERAL. Bush was also definitely out-flanked on the conservative side of the ledger badly by Alan Keyes who dramatically outed both the other two. But due to his failed efforts at fund-raising he could not compete.
Wish it weren't that way. But that was the way it went down.