In a widely-ridiculed speech last Tuesday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) noted that “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. You will hear every policy of the President described as the Bush-McCain policy.” He added that he believes those comparisons are “false.”
But it seems that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), McCain’s chief surrogate and attack dog, disagrees. Today on ABC’s This Week, Graham stated unequivocally that McCain’s tax and health care policies were not only an extension of Bush’s polices but also an “enhancement”:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me bring Senator Graham back in on this because you brought up two. You said the tax policy and the health care policy were essentially, Senator Graham, John McCain is calling for an extension or maybe enhancement of the Bush policies.
GRAHAM: Yeah, absolutely.
McCain’s speech last week represented a feeble attempt to distance himself from Bush, something his top surrogate acknowledges is futile. Strangely enough, McCain economic adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin said recently that Obama’s economic polices, not McCain’s, would represent a third Bush term (a claim ultra-conservative Robert Novak even found absurd).
But the simple fact is that Graham is right. McCain is proposing massive tax cuts that primarily benefit higher-income households, ignore other priorities and drive up the national debt by trillions. And McCain’s health care policy would raise costs and abandon the uninsured. That sure sounds like an “extension” and “enhancement” of Bush’s policies.