McCain, Obama tussle over backing Bush’s policies
President George W. Bush is not running for office in November but he was a big topic of conversation in the final presidential debate between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain.
Obama often says that his rival would represent a continuation of the policies of the unpopular current president, and at the debate pointed to McCain’s support for four of the last five Bush budgets, which he argued have led to record deficits.
“Senator Obama, I am not President Bush. If you wanted to run against President Bush you should have run four years ago,” the Arizona lawmaker said. “I’m going to give a new direction to this economy in this country.”
Obama acknowledged that McCain had broken with Bush on some important issues but argued that on economic matters, McCain was closely allied with the unpopular president.
“If I occasionally have mistaken your policies for George Bush’s policies, it’s because on the core economic issues that matter to the American people, on tax policy, on energy policy, on spending policies, you have been a vigorous supporter of President Bush,” Obama said.
“Now you’ve shown independence, commendable independence on some key issues like torture for example, and I give you enormous credit for that, but when it comes to economic policies, essentially what you’re proposing eight more years of the same thing and it hasn’t worked,” Obama said.
- Photo credit: Reuters/Jason Reed