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Clinton Says McCain No Better Than Bush

Updated 10:44 p.m.
By Anne E. Kornblut
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. -- Keeping up her end of their long-distance dialogue, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton criticized Sen. Barack Obama on Sunday for praising Sen. John McCain on the campaign trail.

"Senator Obama said today that John McCain would be better for the country than George Bush," Clinton said. "We need a nominee who will take on John McCain, not cheer on John McCain."

The Clinton-Obama-McCain triangle has been a source of intrigue throughout the three senators' run for the presidency, with Clinton and McCain once enjoying a friendship and McCain at times seeming to root for Clinton to get the nomination. Clinton has been careful to praise McCain as an "American patriot," but she and Obama began to take him on once he emerged as the Republican nominee.

Clinton was referring in Johnstown to a speech Obama gave in Reading, Pa. The Associated Press reported that he said, "You have a real choice in this election. Either Democrat would be better than John McCain. And all three of us would be better than George Bush."

Clinton said that McCain would be no better than President Bush. "Senator McCain would follow the same failed policies that have been so wrong for our country the last seven years," she said.

McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said Clinton's line of attack has "been repudiated by nonpartisan" which "says more about Senator Clinton than anyone else."

Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor objected for different reasons. "For someone who agreed with John McCain on voting for war in Iraq, agreed with him on supporting trade agreements like NAFTA and special trade privileges for China, and agrees with him on taking money from Washington lobbyists, Hillary Clinton's latest attack is ridiculous even for her standards, and we're confident the people of Pennsylvania will see right through it," Vietor said.

The Democratic National Committee is airing an ad against McCain entitled "Better Off?", questioning a claim the Arizona senator made that people are generally better off now than they were at the start of the Bush administration.

By Post Editor  |  April 20, 2008; 6:17 PM ET
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