October 15th, 2008
11:03 PM ET
14 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. OBAMA 4 President

    Yes he said it, it was an effective one-liner for a moment, but Barack also effectively countered it by stating that McCain is same as Bush in their economic policy. Well, guess what? Its the economy stupid! If McCain is same as bush on economy, but differs with him on torture, climate change, and other insignificant issues, how can McCain say with a striaght face that he will not be a repeat of Bush's last eight years.

    Anyway, it all doesn't matter anymore, McCain has lied to many times to be credible. I cannot believe anything he says anymore. Lie to me once shame on me, lie to me twice shame on you.

    October 15, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  2. Jason

    Not President Bush? If that is true, Mr. McCain, then why do you vote with him over 90% of the time? Why are your policies 90% the same?

    You are President Bush. Even Palin, with her legal trouble and abuse of power, is an eerie (albeit more attractive) double of Cheney. It's actually pretty creepy.

    October 15, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  3. Debbie Bryant

    Did anyone else notice that McCain was't wearing an American Flag pin? And also, how insulting to me as a woman to say that Sarah Palin is a woman we should look up to! No way, No how!

    Obama/Biden 08!!!!!!!!

    October 15, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  4. Smart

    Personally, McCain is not Bush. But they both agree on the same policies and he has voted with Bush 90% of the time. So, technically, he will continue where Bush left off.

    Obama/Biden, Nov 4th!!

    October 15, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  5. shell

    I think its great he remembered what to say. Sadly , can he come up with some policies not made BY Pres. Bush or Hillary Clinton.

    October 15, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  6. Scoti

    As an undecided voter, Obama 08!

    October 15, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  7. Watching Closely

    Did it take your campaign a week to come up with that one? I bet you rehearsed that one over and over in front of different people in your office, didn't you? Did they tell you to go for it? Did they say things like, "OMG, John, that's a good one!" and "You've got him where you want him now?" Or did they say, "John you're the man", and "Barack won't know what him"???? Did you think that one-liner would change the course of your campaign? Well John, you were wrong again! Ha, LOL, OMG, are you kidding me? Stop making me laugh, my jaws are hurting! Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha, wooo! HeHe.

    October 15, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  8. Erik

    There is something that is missing in these analysis. Sen. McCain is an honorable man and its true that he fought for this country him and his ancestors. Unfortunately this isn't a qualification to be a president. In times when you have too many issues going on you don't need an erratic person in charge of the office. If he sticked to few points and constantly talk about them I'm sure Obama wouldn't be in his position now. I'm sorry but I don't see a chance for Sen.McCain to win this election. Sorry this is the fact.

    October 15, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  9. DEE

    Well yeah of course McCain is not Bush, because he is different in age, looks but not different on ideas. I wish we as Americans wake up from this nightmare and smears that McCain is trying to fool us. People Look at the records, search and see what John McCain have been doing It is just a copy and Paste of President Bush. We have to Change this country cycle. Republicans been around forever, what they been doing for us , Wars and almost collapse in our econmy. Where Are We Now? we are no where. China and India the countries we used to make fun of are mocking us now. We Need Change and Not any Change A Major Change. Obama is the right person to lead America in the next four years. Enough Enough Enough for Bush, McCain and Who yeah Sarah Palin

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

    Please America, don't take his "one" liner away from him... It's all he's got. Too bad that it doesn't have any ring of truth to it. I prefer his line that Palin is a good role model – now that is something we can all take to the streets – the best joke ever told!

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

    Notice to the REPUBLICAN PARTY....We the people happen to care about more than one line in a debate.

    October 15, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  12. Barry J

    too little, too late McCain.......

    Say hello to President-elect Obama....

    October 15, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  13. Gary

    No McCain is definitely not George W. Bush. His smirks are not up to par. It must be difficult to be a Republican after the worst 8 years in American history. This was McCain's best debate but his policies are wrong and his temperament is scary.

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

    ..yeah, you may not be George Bush, but your economic and foreign policy platform may as well have been written by the Bush administration, John. That is what Obama has been talking about, not that he thinks that YOU'RE George Bush. Some one-liner.

    October 15, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  15. Rich in NJ

    On October 15, the best thing McCain has to say is that he isn't Bush, the worst President we have ever had? A meaningful one-liner would say something positive about who you are or what you will do. So what if McCain isn't Bush? McCain isn't Hitler either. But here's one more thing McCain isn't: he isn't a future President.

    October 15, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  16. Rick

    McCain is right, he is not "President" Bush.... He is "Wanna-Be President" Bush. Other than that, I still don't see any difference between them..

    October 15, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  17. Jack

    Stop make John Mccain the Status quo, He is totally different than Bush.
    I believe he can clean up the corruptions on Washington cuz I clearly remember his Bipartisan Campain Reform Act.

    October 15, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  18. Pro

    One liners are not polices, details or steps as to how you will do things for the American people. McCain finally said it he will tax our Health care benefits! That is an awful one liner!

    October 15, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  19. A Voice from Texas - Lee

    even a blind man can it a traget once in a while. you are right you are much older..... still thinks like him.

    October 15, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  20. Amy

    I can't wait until Nov, 4th and we can finally shut up the liberal media and the democrats with a McCain/Palin victory. It is amazing to me how biased CNN is towards Obama and how they are so in the tank for Obama. It is so clear that McCain defeated Obama tonight but still the liberal media drinks more kool-aid and cheers on Obama. The American people are not ignortant like the media thinks we are, you cannot try to steer this election for Obama and not pay a price. Maybe that's why CNN gets beat every night in rating by the fair and balanced Fox network. Let's see if CNN will put my comment in tonight.
    VOTE MCCAIN/PALIN if you believe in America and what she stands for.

    October 15, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  21. What in the world?

    Obama was terrible, he was completely off his game.
    What is wrong with you voters? Obama was totally different than last week, everyone here is just biased.

    October 15, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  22. concerned coloradan

    He's not Bush but he might as well be. This time I want a smart president. That would be Obama.

    October 15, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  23. Dick M

    If the "I'm not Bush" line is the most memorable thing that McCain could say, then he has lost, and lost in a big way. He put his chances of winning the election down the drain. And this is a good thing because we need a complete makeover, from the top down. Get the Republicans out of there.

    October 15, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  24. Hilary B

    No, McCain you're not George Bush. You're George Bush's older brother.

    October 15, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  25. toni dean







    October 15, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
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