October 15th, 2008
11:03 PM ET
6 years ago

Relieved McCain aides thrilled over Bush one-liner

(CNN) – McCain aides expressed relief Wednesday night that the Arizona senator “finally” used a line that took on one of Obama’s central campaign themes.

Watch: I'm not Bush, McCain says

“Sen. Obama, I am not President Bush,” he said. “If you wanted to run against President Bush you should have run four years ago. I will take this country in a new direction."

McCain advisors – who said they had been pushing him to stress that distinction more explicitly than he had in the past - immediately uploaded the quote to YouTube, and circulated it to reporters.


Filed under: John McCain • Presidential Debate
soundoff (349 Responses)
  1. Mark S.

    That one-liner isn't so stunning, and it certainly isn't enough to put McCain ahead in this race. Obama was brilliant this evening, appealing to clear reason every time McCain went on some puppy-dog-eyed rant aimed at tweaking voters' emotional centers.

    I'm really, really, really tired of Republicans for the last 8 years trying to make me feel like I should be afraid, and that they're the only ones with a holy shield to throw up in front of danger. It's insulting.

    October 15, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  2. S. Boatman

    You Are Bush!

    October 15, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  3. deborah, WV

    One characteristic of a liar is blinking. Studies have shown that liars actually blink less while telling the lie and afterward, they blink 8 times faster than normal.

    McCain was blinking like crazy tonight!!!

    October 15, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  4. Denise OKC

    The same way that Sen Clinton said in her debate with Obama that she is not her husband.....Sen Obama should have come back with something like "Your policies are the same so I nor the American People can tell you apart". That would have shut him down.

    October 15, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  5. Achille Salesh

    He voted 99.99 times for the Bush policies.
    So, what else ?
    Oh Mc cain !!!

    October 15, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  6. JJ

    MCcain has shown the American People that he has a anger problem. And thats not good, when you want to become President. One liners will not get him into Washigton. He would have been better off tonight, if he were Bush. At lease he would have an excuse.

    October 15, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  7. kathryn blakemore

    How can anyone vote for John McCain?? He was obviously uncomfortable during the debate...all that blinking and odd facial expressions while Obama was talking...totally scary and disrespectful. As for all that stupid Joe the Plumber–we know you couldn't possible care LESS about the average Joe or Jane, Senator McCain.

    Obama has EXCELLED at everything he has ever done. He knows what it is like to be poor and to struggle. He has overcome many obstacles and is a self made man. He will be a great president. I cannot WAIT to go vote for Obama. He is gracious and maintains great self-control and dignity. You can't say the same for Senator Blinksalot. McCain is not a leader!!

    October 15, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  8. Kevin

    And Obama has vote 94 times to raise taxes...good one!

    October 15, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  9. Michael in Seattle

    McCain had a good line.

    Obama had a good debate.

    October 15, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  10. Tom

    MCCAIN WAS TOO ANGRY IN THE DEBATE. HE LOOKED SCARY. I COULD HEAR HIS DEEP BREATHS DURING PERIODS OF THE DEBATE. HE LOST IT BEING ANGRY AND WITH HIS FACIAL EXPRESSIONS.

    October 15, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  11. Shirley Thiele

    cnn YOU ARE SO PRO OBAMA THAT IT MAKES NO SENSE TO WATCH YOU UNLESS YOU ARE FOR OBAMA. AND SHOULD HE WIN I KNOW WE ARE IN DEEP, DEEP FINANCIAL PROBLEM. WHERE DOES OBAMA THINK THE MONEY TO SUPPORT HIS PROGRAMS ARE COMING FROM–OUR POCKETS ARE EMPTY. THE GOVERNMENT MUST STOP SPENDING IMMEDIATELY.

    October 15, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  12. Lyndon

    Too bad all polling showed that McCain got worked like a speedbag by Obama throughout the night.

    McCain's right, he's not Bush. He just represents everything that a Bush administration has inflicted upon this country in the last 8 years.

    October 15, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  13. Kathy C

    Even Campbell Brown, who is so obviously liberal (either that or she bends over way backwards to make herself seem unbiased) temepered your "poll" results. Even she could see that they had no
    basis in reality!!! I will give you the first two debates – but this one...ummmmm no!! It just goes to show you what can happen when the media controls the minds of the American people!!!

    October 15, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  14. John Buchanan

    Senator McCain's One punch does not win a debate. YOU never answered the question on what you thought about Gov. Palin and if she is Qualified to be President if something happened to him while in office.

    This is like watching Muhammad Ali vs. Jerry Quarry!

    October 15, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  15. Dustin

    But, um, John McCain has sided with George Bush a large majority of the time. He's not George Bush, but he would be just as bad.

    October 15, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  16. bula bula

    He is george bush, in 2000 he realized if you can't beat em' join em'. And that's what he did for his own survival, because he's not a conservative at heart and he sold his soul for 2008 only to lose again because he ran a campaign he would have publicly condemned in 2000!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 15, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  17. Phil Newton in Murphy, Oregon

    "I'm not George Bush - But I do play him on TV."

    Pretty sad.

    October 15, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  18. Dan

    Indeed, McCain is not Bush. He ran against Bush (the only one among the four guys on the tickets). His policies will be different if elected. Both of the candidates voted for Bush budgets.....

    Obama is coherent and know all, since this is a script! McCain really struggles with what to do, not with what needs to be said to voters!
    Thus, on performance Obama won! On honesty maybe McCain...

    October 15, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  19. Tiesha from Franklin, Louisiaba

    McCain could have fooled me. I thought I was listening and watching Bush's much older brother.

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 15, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  20. wakeupamerica

    Big whoop. McCain proved tonight that he's an angry, old, agitated and bitter man. Just looking at him tonight sickened me. It's fine to debate and disagree, but his mannerisms and expressions were atrocious (thanks CNN for the split screen which allowed us to see everything!). This is not who I want representing me as President with world leaders. It also seemed he didn't have much to say about his VP choice of mincemeat Barbie. Obama won this debate hands down and he had glowing things to say about Biden which shows he made a conscientious choice. I think Johnny boy its safe to say you need to focus on issues from here on out – the dead horse of Ayers is really over and done as of tonight. Let it go.

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 15, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  21. Jay

    ok, so we have bush now, and he's what? bush select, bush dry, or bush lite?

    October 15, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  22. Kevin

    Could of fooled me... Same direction, different name. I-95, Interstate 95. Boy did McCain look angry tonight that he didn't have any ground to stand on.

    October 15, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  23. Barbara

    John Mccain's one liner was cute but his actions speak much louder then 1 glib gotcha comment. 90% of the time he voted with Bush he may not be Bush but he obviously shares a majority of his views and values.

    October 15, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  24. Sleep Well

    weird since he voted with Bush 94% of the time taking into account all issues.

    McBush 08'

    Hurts me to even type that....

    October 15, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  25. Sadanie

    Yes, John McCain finally said the words to differentiate himself from W. Bush!
    But these few words are meaningless and do not negate or erase all his past and present comments regarding his plans, policies, and voting records. If it smells like a rose (or a bush. . .), it probably is!

    October 15, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14