Why the Bush’s Third Term Message Works

Yesterday I posted on the Democrats attack that John McCain will just be serving out George Bush’s third term. Today, via MyDD, House Minority Whip Roy Blunt makes my point for me.

WOLF BLITZER: You just heard Congressman Van Hollen say that he represents a third Bush term. You know how unpopular the job approval numbers are right now.

HOUSE GOP WHIP ROY BLUNT: I don’t think anybody believes that. I think everybody does believe from his record that here is somebody who has always been willing to complain about the way business was done in Washington. And, frankly, people want to see that…

BLITZER: When it comes to domestic economic issues, what is the major difference between President Bush’s policies, what he wants to do, and what John McCain would do if he were president?

BLUNT: Well, I think what John McCain wants to do is continue these pro-growth tax policies that our friends on the other side have been talking…


BLITZER: But that’s what President Bush wants to do too.

BLUNT: And there is nothing wrong with that. There is nothing wrong with that.

BLITZER: So it would be in effect a third Bush term when it came to pro-growth tax policies?

BLUNT: It would be. I think it would be. And I think that’s a good thing. You can’t go out in the country anywhere and find people who believe that doubling the capital gains rate is a good thing, that raising the highest rate on every small business in America is a good thing, that eliminating those bottom brackets, that mean that people at the lower levels of tax pay less taxes than they would otherwise. In fact, I think one of the reasons that the economy has slowed down the way it has is the fact that there’s great uncertainty about how those tax policies move forward.

Blunt’s initial response is to straight out deny it. “I don’t think anybody believes that.” That’s the GOP’s first line of defense. But once he gets pushed he doesn’t have an answer. When asked to elaborate the difference between Bush and McCain on the economy, all he has is “I think what John McCain wants to do is continue these pro-growth tax policies.”

Basically, McCain wants more of the same. He’s running to be a cuddlier, war hero version of Bush. That’s the GOP’s problem.


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