McCain to Obama: 'I'm Not President Bush'

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2008 8:41 PM CDT
John McCain and Barack Obama shake hands before their debate at Hofstra.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – John McCain and Barack Obama met tonight in the final presidential debate, their testiest meeting so far on a range of issues from the economy to negative campaigning, NBC reports. McCain pushed back against Obama's attempts to link him to the Bush administration. “Senator Obama, I’m not President Bush. If you want to run against President Bush, you should have run four years ago.” Obama kept it up, though, saying America doesn't need the "same failed policies."


  • The two sparred often over the fate of "Joe the plumber," a real Ohio resident, but couldn't agree on which of their plans would help or hurt him the most.
  • McCain called on Obama to repudiate the comments of John Lewis, who accused the GOP of inciting hatred. Obama said Lewis made a reasonable point but added that the comparison to George Wallace was not apt.
  • Obama had to defend his ties to Bill Ayers, and he rapped McCain for making the issue a focus of his campaign. He also had to distance himself from the voter group ACORN, which McCain accused of massive fraud.
  • On abortion, McCain said he would not support a Roe v. Wade litmus test for a Supreme Court nominee.