John McCain: I was against the president

before I fellated him (and since then too. Really!)

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McCain ad pushes independence, distance from Bush

By GLEN JOHNSON
Associated Press Writer

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — John McCain conceded in a new television commercial on Tuesday that “we’re worse off than we were four years ago,” and said he is the candidate best positioned to usher in an era of change.

“Washington’s broken. John McCain knows it,” says the commercial, which is implicitly critical of both President Bush and Barack Obama.

It is unusual for a presidential candidate to part company with an administration of the same party, but McCain has little choice, with public opinion polls showing the public is eager for change after eight years of the Bush administration.

Just seven months ago, McCain said in a debate that “Americans overall are better off” than eight years ago “because we have had a pretty good prosperous time with low unemployment and low inflation.” Even so, he added that “things are tough right now.”

Set to run in battleground states, the new commercial does not mention Obama but it suggests the first-term Illinois senator is unprepared to be president by saying McCain is the one “ready to lead.” It also tries to seize Obama’s message of change and cast McCain, a four-term Arizona senator, as a change agent.

“Only McCain has taken on big tobacco, drug companies, fought corruption in both parties,” the ad says. “He’ll reform Wall Street, battle big oil, make America prosper again.”

It does not mention areas where McCain and Bush agree, like tax cuts, the Iraq war and free-market economics, a point the Obama campaign highlighted in its response to the ad.

“Being a maverick isn’t practicing the same kind of politics we have seen from Washington for decades,” said Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton, “it isn’t having a campaign run by Washington lobbyists, and it’s certainly not promoting the same policies that have led America down the wrong path these past eight years.”

McCain’s own voting record on energy issues has been questioned as well.

In 2007, McCain missed all 11 energy-related Senate votes considered key by the League of Conservation Voters, including votes related to automobile fuel economy, offshore Virginia drilling, refinery construction, renewable electricity mandates, energy efficiency, liquefied coal and support for biofuels. The absences prompted the League to give McCain a “zero” rating for the year.

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