This morning on NBC’s Today Show, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) attempted to distance himself from President Bush on the economy. When host Meredith Viera asked McCain whether Americans are “better off, by any means, than we were eight years ago,” McCain replied, “Oh, no. No.” Watch it:
McCain made a similar comment on Bloomberg TV on April 18, stating, “In fact, I think Americans are not better off than they were eight years ago, when you look at what’s happened to middle-income Americans.”
As ThinkProgress has previously noted, these comments contradict a claim McCain made last week, where he lauded the “great progress economically” during the past seven years of the Bush administration:
MR. COOK: You think if Americans were asked, are you better off today than you were before George Bush took office more than seven years ago, what answer would they give? […]
SEN. MCCAIN: I think if you look at the overall record and millions of jobs have been created, et cetera, et cetera, you could make an argument that there’s been great progress economically over that period of time. But that’s no comfort. That’s no comfort to families now that are facing these tremendous economic challenges.
So therefore, despite all this “great progress,” Americans are still not “better off.” In order to explain this logical inconsistency, McCain has resorted to blaming it on the American public. On January, he said that economic problems were just “psychological.”
Despite the admitted lack of economic progress over the past seven years, McCain wants to continue Bush’s failed policies — double Bush’s tax cuts, cut anti-poverty programs, and rehash a hands-off approach to solving the housing crisis.
VIERA: We’re hearing that the same week that gas prices are inching up to $4 a gallon, food prices through the roof. We’re seeing rice now being rationed. So, how is the average American to believe that we are better off?
MCCAIN: Well, I’ve said repeatedly American families are hurting in America. We’re in a recession. I have plan of action and change. And it’s not increases in taxes, which is — which Senator Obama and Senator Clinton want.
VIERA: So, Senator, you do not believe we are better off, by any means, than we were eight years ago?
MCCAIN: Oh, no. No.
Ronald Brownstein has more at National Journal.
,During a January debate at the Reagan Library, McCain said Americans were better off:
COOPER: Senator McCain, are Americans better off than they were eight years ago?
MCCAIN: I think you could argue that Americans overall are better off, because we have had a pretty good prosperous time, with low unemployment and low inflation and a lot of good things have happened. A lot of jobs have been created.