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Sneak Peek: Jon Stewart actually presses John McCain on a topic

May 7, 2008 |  6:14 pm

John McCain tipped his hand on his running-mate choice during his appearance tonight on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart."

Jon Stewart of the Comedy Central Network welcomes Republican presidential candidate John McCain of Arizona on his show where he asked him about President Bush  Pulling a white card from his jacket pocket, he announced it would be ... Dwight Schrute, the nerdy, insecure No. 2 to the Steve Carell character, Michael Scott, on NBC's "The Office." (No word on whether Rainn Wilson, Schrute's portrayer, has it in his range to play a different type of second banana).

McCain got his customary warm welcome during his 13th appearance on Stewart's Comedy Central show, which he’s often described as an avenue to young voters.

Stewart (often described as uncharacteristically in the tank for McCain) ribbed his guest -- who he says usually shows up with his “bookie and a couple of guys” -- about his new contingent of Secret Service agents. He suggested several code names for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee: “McDreamy? McSteamy? How about this –- Grumpelstiltskin?”

McCain got his biggest laughs with his response to the following Stewart tangent:

“Everybody knows Sen. Barack Obama has a problem with the Rev. (Jeremiah) Wright issue,” Stewart said. “You, sir, have your own person -- religious, I don’t want to say zealot, but religious person endorsing you -- that Americans have expressed greater concern" about.

Stewart continued, “Will you take the opportunity right now to repudiate and denounce President Bush?”

McCain swiveled his chair and ...

... pretended to walk off stage with a wave to the crowd.

“Sit down, sir!” Stewart shouted.

“What do you think of that, though?” Stewart said after McCain returned to his chair.

McCain pretended to have technical difficulties with his microphone.

“More Americans are concerned about your relationship with President Bush than with Obama and Rev. Wright. Don’t you find that fascinating?” Stewart pressed.

“I think that the president’s poll numbers are obvious,” McCain said (dismal, actually, is how they are generally characterized).

The Arizona senator then ticked off several issues where he differs with Bush.

McCain passed on picking which Democrat he'd rather take on in a game of bean bag: Obama or Hillary Clinton.

And asked for comment by Stewart about watching the Democrats "beating each other over the head,” he played it coy.

“I hate to watch,” McCain said wryly. “My heart goes out to them.”

-- Maeve Reston

Photo credit: Associated Press