Posted: June 3, 2008 10:05 PM
McCain Slams Obama, Distances Himself from President's Policies
On a night that Sen. Barack Obama was ready to declare himself victorious in the epic Democratic nomination battle, presumptive GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain set out to steal some of his thunder.
Speaking in suburban New Orleans, McCain took numerous swipes at Obama’s message of change, distanced himself from President Bush ideologically and praised Sen. Hillary Clinton’s historic run for the White House.
With the Democrats’ five-month campaign appearing to draw to a close, McCain set to outline the coming political debate from a candidate that has been sidelined by the ongoing Clinton-Obama battle.
“Tonight, we can say with confidence the primary season is over, and the general election campaign has begun,” he said.
“You will hear from my opponent’s campaign in every speech, every interview, every press release that I’m running for President Bush’s third term,” the Arizona senator said. “You will hear every policy of the president described as the Bush-McCain policy. Why does Senator Obama believe it’s so important to repeat that idea over and over again? Because he knows it’s very difficult to get Americans to believe something they know is false.”
McCain went back to his messages of country before self and tried to distance himself from Bush, whom he called on for help during a private fundraiser last week.
“I disagreed strongly with the Bush administration’s mismanagement of the war in Iraq,” McCain said. “I called for the change in strategy that is now, at last, succeeding where the previous strategy had failed miserably.”
McCain also tried to paint Obama as young, inexperienced and unknown to many voters.
He even referred to Obama’s message of “change” at least 30 times and punctuated several passages with the slight, “That’s not change we can believe in.”
McCain also described Clinton as a “friend,” saying, “The media often overlooked how compassionately she spoke to the concerns and dreams of millions of Americans, and she deserves a lot more appreciation than she sometimes received. As the father of three daughters, I owe her a debt for inspiring millions of women to believe there is no opportunity in this great country beyond their reach.”
Speaking for about 30 minutes, CNN and MSNBC broke away from McCain’s speech to announce that Sen. Barack Obama had apparently secured enough delegates to become the nation’s first black major-party nominee. C-SPAN 2 and Fox News stuck with McCain’s speech.