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New John McCain ad takes on Barack Obama, Joe Biden and ... George W. Bush

October 16, 2008 |  2:49 pm

Fresh from delivering the best sound bite of his presidential campaign -- his retort to Barack Obama during their Wednesday night debate that "I am not President Bush. If you wanted to run against President Bush, you should have run four years ago" -- John McCain today again dissed the current White House occupant. Republican presidential candidate John McCain

He also took a couple of shots at Obama and Joe Biden.

And he did all this in a new 60-second ad that, as part of an attack on "Washington" in general, lumps together Bush, Obama and Biden without mentioning any of their names!

The ad (which can be viewed in full below) is simplicity itself from a production standpoint; a seated McCain speaks directly into the camera. The backdrop, though, evokes the White House. And in that setting, McCain immediately and unequivocally distances himself from Bush.

The ad's first line: "The last eight years haven't worked out very well, have they?"

Since a two-term cap was imposed on the presidency, three men have served in the office for a full eight years: Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. None of the nominees chosen by their parties to replace them -- Richard Nixon, George H.W. Bush and Al Gore, respectively -- ever came close to so explicitly trashing their predecessor's record.

After McCain's extraordinary critique of the current administration, he asserts that Washington is making this bad situation worse. "Telling us paying higher taxes is 'patriotic?' " he mockingly asks -- the Biden-related barb.

McCain follows with another rhetorical question: "And saying we need to 'spread the wealth around?' " That derives, of course, from the now-renowned impromptu policy debate in an Ohio neighborhood between Obama and "Joe the Plumber."

The ad goes on, but those first few seconds provide the likely playbook McCain and his camp will follow over the next 2 1/2: Stiff-arm Bush, decry Democratic tax policy and -- again and again and again -- spotlight that "spread the wealth" line.

-- Don Frederick

Photo credit: European Pressphoto Agency