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McCain Says He Is No Bush in Final Debate with Obama
    2008-10-16 09:58:23     Xinhua
U.S. Republican presidential candidate John McCain shot back Wednesday as his Democratic opponent Obama tried to liken him to the current president, telling his rival "I am not President Bush."

"If you want to run against President Bush, you should have run four years ago. I'm going to give a new direction to this economy and this country," McCain said at the start of the third presidential debate at Hofstra University, Hempstead, N.Y.

McCain's remarks came after Obama charged that McCain is pursuing the same kind of policies as Bush.

Obama promised he would "go through the federal budget page by page, line by line, and cut programs that don't work" as president, echoing a vow his rival has made repeatedly.

McCain in turn promised an "across the board spending freeze," saying that he would balance the federal budget in four years and go on to name specific programs including subsidies for ethanol when moderator Bob Schieffer pressed both candidates to identify specific budget cuts they would make.

The candidates also butted heads over tax policy at the start of the debate. Obama said that "nobody likes taxes ... but we've got to pay for the core investments that make this economy strong."

McCain accused Obama of being a "class warrior" and asked why Obama would raise taxes on anybody during an economic crisis. Obama countered that both he and McCain want to cut taxes, but that his plan would cut taxes for "95 percent of American families," more than McCain's plan.

McCain insisted the government needed to help keep people in their homes, "putting a floor" under falling home ownership in the face of the mortgage crisis.

Obama charged that McCain's plan could end up being a giveaway to "the banks" rather than to homeowners.

The debate, comes as Obama, a Democrat from Illinois, continues to make gains in the polls. Obama currently leads McCain, a Republican from Arizona, by 8 percentage points, according to CNN's average of national surveys.

Obama on Wednesday also made some gains in key battleground states, according to CNN's Electoral Map. It's the pair's final face-off before the Nov. 4 Election.
 
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