(CNN) - John McCain lashed out at President Bush's record on a host of issues Wednesday, perhaps the Arizona senator's harshest criticism to date of his party's standard-bearer for the last eight years.
"Spending, the conduct of the war in Iraq for years, growth in the size of government, larger than any time since the Great Society, laying a $10 trillion debt on future generations of America, owing $500 billion to China, obviously, failure to both enforce and modernize the [financial] regulatory agencies that were designed for the 1930s and certainly not for the 21st century, failure to address the issue of climate change seriously," McCain told the Washington Times when asked to name his criticisms of the current president.
"Those are just some of them," McCain said, laughing.
The comments are the latest in the Arizona senator's efforts to distance himself from the unpopular president as Election Day inches closer and opinion surveys repeatedly suggest Bush is a heavy drag on the GOP ticket. A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll showed the president's approval rating mired in the mid-20s while nearly 60 percent of voters felt McCain would continue the president's policies.
In the interview, McCain also took swipes at the president for supporting a massive Medicare program, the administration's repeated invocation of executive privilege to sidestep oversight, and Dick Cheney's powerful role as vice president.
"I don't agree with [Vice President] Dick Cheney's allegation that he's part of both the legislative and the executive branch," McCain said.