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Is McCain Really Bush the III? Find Out Where They Differ

While some are figuring out which ditty is going to be the big summer song, Republicans are gearing up to hear months of a Democratic refrain on endless repeat. The tune? John McCain is George W. Bush in older sheep's clothing.

To find out whether they're twinsies more like Lindsay Lohan in The Parent Trap or Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny Devito in Twins, consider where they differ:

  • Arms Control: McCain wants a new arms control accord with Russia, nuclear talks with China, and a complete disarmament of North Korea's nuclear program.
  • Interrogation Tactics: He considers waterboarding illegal and impermissible.
  • Federal Spending: McCain's a stronger opponent of wasteful spending.
  • Energy and Oil: He's called for a "great national campaign to put us on a course to energy independence," saying th next president must be willing to "break completely" with the previous energy policies.
  • Climate Change: He supports cap and trade and wants a global accord that includes China and India.

The two agree on issues like education, immigration, Iraq, and health care. Check out the whole list to see how.

Not content just to compare McCain to Bush? To see how McCain and Obama's voting records stack up,


Obama's camp has made much of McCain's voting allegiance with Bush. According to records, in 2007 McCain did vote in conjunction with the president's position 95 percent of the time – up from 77 percent in 2005 and 67 percent in 2001. He voted with his party 90 percent of the time.

By contrast, Obama's votes were in line with the president's position a not-too-slim 40 percent of the time in 2007. In 2006 he voted alongside the George W Bush in almost 50 percent of votes cast.

Obama also appears more partisan than McCain according to these numbers: Obama voted in line with fellow Senate Democrats 97 percent of the time in 2007 and 2005, and 96 percent of the time in 2006.

Do you think McCain is an extension of Bush? Or should the endless refrain be that he marches to his own drummer?


Join The Conversation
Jillness Jillness 9 years
She looks so fresh and beautiful! I have always liked that little sparkle in her eye.
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 9 years
lil...I read that article. It was wonderful. Thank you for telling me about it. Here is the link if anyone is interested. It's her last official campaign interview
Jillness Jillness 9 years
Thank you, that does add a bit more perspective. :) I was surprised when I learned that contracted employees (like Blackwater) were doing interogation at Abu Ghraib, and I wonder how they fit in to all of this. Thanks for the link! (And other people randomly call me Jillybean, I am used to it!) ;)
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
Jillybean (Jill, I dunno just came to me right now :)) - Here's what I found from the Washington Post: Randy Scheunemann, McCain's top national security adviser, said McCain was concerned about the Senate legislation's requirement that the CIA abide by Army rules. "It's not a vote for torture," Scheunemann said. "This wasn't a vote on waterboarding. This was a vote on applying the standards of the field manual to CIA personnel." A McCain Senate aide said that his vote does not mean the senator endorses any of these tactics. Instead, the aide said, there are noncoercive interrogation techniques not used by the Army that could be useful to the CIA. The aide declined to provide an example, but said it made sense for the CIA to use tactics that are not widely known through the field manual, which is a public document. Honestly thats the first thing that jumped out at me so thats what I assumed he voted against it for.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
" would say to the Obama campaign that it is a bit misleading to suggest that Sen. McCain agreed with the President 95%" I believe the 95% came from the Congressional Quarterly which only tracks votes when the President has had an explicit, stated opinion on a bill, and it does not include votes that legislators miss (and McCain supposedly was the most absent Senator in 2008, but I cut him slack because of the campaign).
Jillness Jillness 9 years
One nuance that I am a bit confused about...(I would sincerely like to hear another opinion on this). I read that in 2005 McCain sponsored an amendment to limit interrogation techniques to what was listed in the Army Field Manual (excludes tourture). Cheney at this time opposed those rules applying to groups like the CIA and contractors, and vocalized it. However, earlier this year McCain voted against another effort to make the CIA and other groups follow the Army Field Manual. Does anyone know what his reasoning was for the change of heart? And are you really "against torture" if you allow these techniques to be used by CIA and contractors?
True-Song True-Song 9 years
I agree, it's more important what they agree on than what the percentages are. Also, am I reading this right, we're seeing voting with your party as a bad thing? When did partisan become a bad word? I get so nettled by people who go on about not voting for someone based on their party or not supporting something just because it's proposed by a certain party. I'm not a democrat because my favorite color is blue; I'm a democrat because of the values of the party, so it makes sense that most of the time I'd support the party's propositions and its candidates. Does that mean if all the democrats jumped off a bridge I'd do it, too? Of course not, but party is a significant and relevant factor.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
I think if McCain would have been president in 2001 then we'd be in a very different situation now. That alone tells me he's different enough from Bush to make significant changes for the better.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
I don't put a ton of stock in this because it ignores the "nuances"... Jill tells me all about nuances and dagnabit, I beleive her! :)
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
Off Topic But doesnt that picture above look like those old Obsession commercials?
stephley stephley 9 years
Ask the leadership - IMO they always go with the candidate that seems most middle of the road, pleasing no one. I'm frankly surprised that Obama is the nominee, I thought in the end they'd find a way to make it Clinton To you guys our candidates seem liberal or worse; as someone who's liberal or worse, they seem like quaint Democrats from 1964.
syako syako 9 years
So this is way off topic, but my whole office was just watching the LSU basesball game, and we were down by three in the last inning and we just WON! :woohoo: THAT MEANS WERE STILL IN THE COLLEGE WORLD SERIES :an egyptian: Geaux Tigers! :dance: Oh my gosh, what a great game. :P ok, back on topic...
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
steph, I will never understand how the Dems got Kerry as a candidate. I mean did they want to lose? :ponder:
stephley stephley 9 years
Liberals anyway are used to holding their noses and punching the chad.
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
"I'm so sad for you that you just have to vote for someone you don't like." or "I'm glad Democrats have a candidate they can actually get behind, unlike Republicans." I hear and read that ALL the time.
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
Jill, there are very very few who are ;)
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
Anyway, if I leave in the next few minutes, I can get out of work early! I have a small window! Yay!
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
I see what you're saying, Stephley. I didn't mean to really direct the second part of that comment at yy. It's just that I have heard many, many times (and a lot of them were on this site) comments to the effect of, "I'm so sad for you that you just have to vote for someone you don't like." or "I'm glad Democrats have a candidate they can actually get behind, unlike Republicans." And I know that these comments are often said in an insulting manner. (Not always, but at times.)
mymellowman mymellowman 9 years
I wish would could get McCain to trade in Cap and Trade for some Cap'n Crunch (with Crunch Berries, of course..)
stephley stephley 9 years
Lil, I think the reference to voting for someone you like is more of an issue we've had as liberals (I think this is what YY meant). Kerry wasn't my first or second choice and is a bit of an a$$ so I was voting for someone I didn't like. I liked Edwards coming in to this, so Obama is my second choice, but I still like him. People felt passionate about Hillary Clinton and Obama... That's a luxury liberals haven't had in some time.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
"Does not mean I don't like him, he is just not as Conservative as I am." Is anyone as conservative as you are? ;) Tee hee!
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
No I do not like McCain because I hate Obama more. It just makes it easier for me vote for someone who was not my first choice. Just making a little joke, because a lot of us on this site McCain was not our first choice. Does not mean I don't like him, he is just not as Conservative as I am. Tiff I am with you. Cap and Trade is one thing I very much so do not agree with McCain on.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
I'm glad for you, too, yy, but I don't think voting for someone who would not have been your first choice necessarily means you are voting for someone you don't like. It is also no less honorable than voting for someone you really like. In either case, you are voting for the viable candidate who you believe will best lead the country.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
the irony that is SmartBoy.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
Steph, I'm saying that the arguments the linked article is making are unclear. They are making stronger connections than actually exist.
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