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. Hal, Redondo Beach, CA

    That's right he's only 90% like W.

    He certainly has more brains than Bush Jr.

    I would have said he had better judgement too, until he picked that puffball Sarah "I can see Russia so I knows foreign polilcy "Palin to be his running mate.

    I hoped that some of his honor and integrity had survived the Bush-whackinig he got in 2000 but sadly now he has sunk even lower than Rove and Bush.

    October 15, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  2. Victoria Ume

    Sen McCain has lost again! He lost not only on substance and unrelenting efforts to paint Obama 'red', his body language was
    horrible!. He giggled and grinned all through as if he was mucking anyone, but himself! Again, Obama showed the gentleman he is when he held back from criticizing Gov. Palin when asked if he thought she was qualified to be the republican VP. He instead complimented her, quite unlike Sen McCain who was out to destroy Sen Biden. John McCain is simply not prepared to be a stateman.
    He is too petty!

    October 15, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  3. No Hillary = No Obama

    Good for McCain, it was one of the few lines that shut Obama up. Obama ends the debate ambulance chasing the disaster known as the economy. Once a lawyer, always a lawyer. Soliciting our vote for a pay-off – this time it's the Presidency. There are alot of lawyer jokes out there and for good reason. How does a lawyer sleep. He lies on one side and then the other. Sort of like flip-flopping to pander. McCain is the real deal – he doesn't need to chase ambulances.

    October 15, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  4. Deborah, Cincinnati, OH

    McCain did that, but nothing else. Obama still tied him to Bush successfully. It was a win for Obama. Obama stuck to the issues that concern me and other citizens. Obama was much more presidential. He wasn't rattled by McCain's snide remarks.

    October 15, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  5. CAROLYN

    sen obama kicked his but, it shows that he graduated 5 from last from the naval academy 899 graduates. what's with the 10 town hall meeting? he seems to be fixated. the line im not bush advice from joe s. morning joe msnbc. this morning that man got to stop listening to the news.

    October 15, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  6. Joe Sixpack

    McCain/Palin – America's only clear choice.

    October 15, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  7. Latino Independents

    Obama is a two faced liar. He runs ads in Spanish and and courts the Latino Vote but has never been south of the border.

    Unreal, only in America.

    Latinos For McCain

    October 15, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  8. Kevin

    Even the middle eastern countries want Obama to win...what does that tell you? His company that he keeps is unsavory at best, Ayers?? Just to mention one!
    Don't you guys get it? McCain may not be the best but far better than Obama. The terrorists countires and individuals don't want McCain but know they can deal with Obama...Good Grief wake up

    October 15, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  9. Papasan in Arizona

    This is the McCain zinger of the evening, are you trying to tell me that all the Aides, Writers, insurmountable numbers of staff, and that's his ONE LINER. O.K. Then, you guys have got to stop drinking the kool aid! I sat here in Arizona with my friends and neighbors, we can't believe the utter incompetence of the failed McCain/Palin ticket, these two idiots actually think we buy the crap they are selling. PATHETIC!

    October 15, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  10. Ross in MD

    You're not George Bush, you're the guy who voted with him 95% of the time.

    October 15, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  11. Marna

    I know he is not George Bush, but he does support most of Bush's plans. What I want to know is who is Joe the plumber? Is he the same as Joe six pack? I want to know about the facts, not these sound bites.

    October 15, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  12. Ons

    One line that said nothing I embrace his tax cuts McCain did not prove that he’s not running for 4 more years of the failed policy he’s voted for Bush’s tax cuts which have failed terribly so that line makes no sense to me or to many Americans facing the financial crisis out there

    October 15, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  13. Obamanos!

    He is not Bush, however he is taking the same path. If we continue on the same path, with the same actions, we will never get different results. Come on! A one-liner about what you are not in no way shows who YOU ARE or how the future will be any different. Obama is the future!

    October 15, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  14. Tahera Bano

    We heard the accurate and fundamental solutions from Senator Obama.
    I am proud to vote for him and we love to hear about the debate.Thanks CNN

    October 15, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  15. Michele, Pittsburgh, PA

    The public knows he is.

    October 15, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  16. db

    "Thrilling" indeed. I am now counting my blessings to not have to scrape so far down the barrel- to find something to be exited about.
    The American people are speaking...

    OBAMA/ BIDEN '08-'12

    October 15, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  17. yeah right

    McCain is not Bush the person but will carry out the Bush Administration's REPUBLICAN policies for the next four years. If you are comfortable with the way we've been led for the past eight years, vote McCain. Can we risk that at this point? You decide.

    October 15, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  18. Kris

    McCain may say he is not Bush – but he sure makes mistakes like him. Who wants to be the one to tell him that Sarah Palin's son has Downs Syndrome – not Autism?

    October 15, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  19. J in CA

    He's too old to be W. Come on guys.

    October 15, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  20. Angelle Grace Wacker

    Senator McCain was absolutley awesome tonight. He was strong, elegant and firm on the issues Americans need. God bless him.

    October 15, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  21. Renee

    Did anyone see McCain wipe his hand after Obama shook it at the end of the debate? What was that all about? And before you McCain radicals start beating me up about being a Obamanator or whatever you guys call Obama supporters – I am an undecided voter well at least I was until after tonight's debate. .

    October 15, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  22. Chelle in Fla

    LOL it was a great one-line, but still doesn't change the fact that John is very much McBush!

    October 15, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  23. Pat_Pinehurst NC

    Didn't anyone notice that McCain kept briinging up autism and implying that's what Sarah's son has instead of downs syndrom?

    October 15, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  24. Eva

    The line was spoon-fed from his advisors. He put it in at an awkward time, and he can't say something like that without backing it up with evidence! If he's not Bush, he should give us examples that prove there are differences.

    October 15, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  25. Betty, Virginia

    Everytime John McCain got that quirky smirk on his face... all I could hear was beavis and butthead laughing. It felt like he was trying to make "gotcha moments" but they all short.

    He was so annoyed at some points he couldn't get his words out. How in the world would this man ever deal with leaders of the world he doesn't like when he can't even look Obama in his face when they debate?

    McCain looked pissed regularly
    Obama looked presidental

    McCain sounded angry
    Obama sounded in control

    Who have I voted for the last two elections? Bush
    Who will I vote for in November? Obama

    Eight was enough!

    October 15, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
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