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 King

    I feel McCain did more during this debate than any before, and I am going to say he won the debate. He is correct with his education reform. I am a democrat, but I plan to vote for Mr. McCain, for what his platform stands. I am not voting against Obama because of race. I have talked to several people who are democrats, but they also plan to vote for McCain, especially educators. I do not see how anyone could come up with the lifestyle Obama has in such a short period of time, no matter how or where he attended college. America may want change, but I feel Obama may give it a change that may hurt America forever. Obama cannot have a platform to give as much as he says he can give without raising the deficit even more.

    October 15, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  2. Stacey

    It only took months for McCain"s party to come up with that line, that lets me know how slow they will be to fix the economy. McCain spent too much time on throwing jabs at Obama then talking about the issues. Tell me page by page and line by line what you will do for me. If you are not President Bush than you will need to change your policies because from where I stand, look like a Bush, sounds like a Bush, got to be a Bush.

    October 15, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  3. The Lady

    That line did nothing for McCain, it was just another one of his cheap shots.

    October 15, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  4. albert

    I watched alot of the undecided voters on the different shows and most of them said Mccain is worth another look. I have changed my mind alot in the past at the last minute for better or for worse and I don't think this is over for Mccain

    October 15, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  5. Childers

    It is about time he said this! Sen.Obama has attacked Sen MsCain 100% in his ads! This was confirmed by the "Fact Check", and if you watched? He squirmed several times (rightly so). I would also if I was caught up in a LIE! Sen McCain IS NOT BUSH! You voters who think so are way out of touch, and if you really think that Sen Obama's plan will work? Then you are in "Dream Land"!

    October 15, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  6. james in s.c.

    pffft, so wrong mccain you are a bush, voted with bush 90% of the time and look where we at!
    once again ladies and gentlemen, mcbush looked way to erratic tonight. obama look very presidential, calm and excellent answear about sarah palin, " let the american people decide"!!!

    OBAMA-BIDEN 08 by LANDSLIDE!!!!!!

    peace y'all

    October 15, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  7. Morgan

    Here's the thing saying you are clear or know how to do something and lack the specific it doesn't distinguish you from Bush. Adopting Bush policies makes you like Bush.

    October 15, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  8. ramon

    What a zinger! And it only took him this long to figure out to use that retort. At this point, it's too little, too late... and not as impressive as the aides would like to think. I'm voting for President Obama.

    October 15, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  9. Justin

    Sorry John. You wouldn`t have to remind everyone you`re not Bush if you weren`t so much like him.

    McCain`s policy proposals and campaign have been straight out of the Bush/Rove playbook – avoid the issues, go negative whenever possible.

    McCain just isn`t credible when he claims he`ll bring change to Washington. On taxes, on energy, on healthcare, on eduction, he`s Bush right down the line.

    October 15, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  10. Ed

    mc Cain only made "Joe the plumber " a popular guy. If I were Joe, I will go write a book by the title "JOE THE PLUMBER"

    McCain, it is time to GO HOME AND REST! You looked so attackful and unpresidential.....with all those gestures and surprises on your face. learn to stay cool and smile like Obama.

    Obama/Biden is the FINAL VERDICT!

    October 15, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  11. changefor08

    OK, I'm a unicorn.....

    Now that I said it, does it make it true? No

    Just because you say something doesn't mean that its true. When John McCain has voted with Bush 90% of the time the history speaks for itself. I hope the American people take John McCain up on his challenge and check out his voting record.

    October 15, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  12. God Bless America

    McCain will take this country to the same "GATES of HELL" that he will be going to catch Bin Laden! NO THANKS McCain!!!

    October 15, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  13. Dee

    Typical Republicans...I'm not surprised that "One liners & slogans" spice them up.
    But the average American & especially the Independents do not like this.

    THE FACT IS HE (McCain) IS A VIGOROUS SUPPORTER OF GEORGE W BUSHS' POLICIES & NO ONE LINER CAN TAKE THAT AWAY!!!

    October 15, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  14. Republican for Obama/Biden

    McCain acts like Bush and has policies just like Bush. Palin is not qualified. McCain will have to live with his choice of Palin for VP the rest of his life. If he had chosen someone qualified he would have a chance. Palin, Bridge to Nowhere, Alaska Independence Party, Abuse of Power, Ethics violations and the list goes on. Bad choice.

    October 15, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  15. Bob

    I have been an Obama supporter for many months but have always held a great deal of respect for Senator McCain. However, tonight, on several issues, John McCain offended me. As a teacher, when Senator McCain suggested that our servicemen and women, as wonderful people as they are, should be allowed to automatically become teachers without certification or tests, was a complete slap in the face. Why not allow them to be doctors and lawyers without proper certification? It just proved to me once again that Senator McCain does not understand education and the profession of teaching and will do nothing to improve public education in the United States.

    October 15, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  16. I TOLDYOUSO

    A one-liner is not enough for the IDIOT clone to pull off an election victory. Sedona, here we come.

    October 15, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  17. Smooch

    That was the best line that he had all night. He should have checked his attacks and Joe the Plumber at the door and talk directly to the people of America. OBAMA/BIDEN ticket ROCKS in 2008.

    October 15, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  18. Joe Plummer

    Vote Obama! McCain dosent know me so stop using me in failed attempt to use me as a talking point.

    October 15, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  19. obama is pres

    One last chance and John just proved hes an afterthought in this election with his anger, lipstick vp choice ,and his lack of ability to think ,and not just ponder what he can say bad about BARACK. CONGRATS BARACK You will be the next president of the USA

    October 15, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  20. McCain/Palin = Shameful, hateful behaviour

    Yeah, not exactly sure why McCain kept going on about autism and Palin when her kid hasn't got autism. Must be another senior moment.

    October 15, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  21. veteran for obam

    FUNDAMENTALLY you are bush. and thanks for ruining my carpet, i spit up my drink when you talked about being around in the depression! man you are so old and obsolete

    October 15, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  22. Ons

    One line that said nothing Why he 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 he did not elaborate WHY he’s not Bush so one line does not solve the Crisis that was engineered by the failed policies of the last 8 years

    October 15, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  23. mike

    McCain and Bush what is the difference...?
    Mccain is just a little older....every other things is just the same.

    October 15, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  24. Carl

    Obama sounded just like Bush on the economy.

    McCain did well there.

    Obama won on everything else only because he seemed more knowledgeable.

    Just because you sound that way doesn't mean you have a clue as to what to do.

    Deep down, we all know Obama and McCain are HORRIBLE choices for our country.

    October 15, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  25. Robert Gouthro

    How many times did the moderator cut off McCain tonight? Why is it he was afraid to let McCain finish his sentence without interrupting, especially when it was clear that McCain was making a closing comment. He did it even though Obama controlled the clock, and even in cases where the established 9 minutes per question had not expired. In general the moderator was more curt with McCain than to Obama.

    October 15, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
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