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McCain on the economy and other issues

The New York Times has done a couple of issue pieces on John McCain this week that are worth a read.

In Wednesday's paper, The Times examines discrepancies between the senator's claims on the campaign trails and the details of his policy proposals.

"So far, Mr. McCain is having it both ways. On the campaign trail, he has sounded like a bold tax cutter. To budget wonks, though, his campaign has gingerly inched away from those plans, saying details will be forthcoming. In the meantime, the most-cited analysis of his proposed budget doesn’t square with what he is saying on the stump."

On Tuesday, The Times did an insightful piece and accompanying chart showing how McCain's position on the issues compares with President Bush. The conclusion -- they're more alike than different, but McCain does part ways with George W. in some key areas.

"A look at Mr. McCain’s 25-year record in the House and Senate, his 2008 campaign positions and his major speeches over the last three months indicates that on big-ticket issues — the economy, support for continuing the Iraq war, health care — his stances are indeed similar to Mr. Bush’s brand of conservatism. Mr. McCain’s positions are nearly identical to the president’s on abortion and the types of judges he says he would appoint to the courts.

"On the environment, American diplomacy and nuclear proliferation, Mr. McCain has strikingly different views from Mr. Bush, and while he shares the president’s goals in Iraq, he was at times an outspoken critic of the way the war was managed."

The story serves as a good reality check, which might come in handy in the coming months as Democrats try to persuade voters that a McCain presidency would mean four more years of Dubya.

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