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McCain differences from President Bush

Prescription drugs could be imported from Canada to save seniors money if Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, were elected president, a senior aide told reporters on Monday.

President Bush has opposed reimportation of drugs from Canada, where government health programs purchase them for less cash than can individuals covered under Medicare or private prescription plans in the U.S.

But Carly Fiorina, may have been hard-pressed to point to many other major differences between the senator and the Republican president he would like to succeed.

Fiorina, a senior adviser to McCain on business and economic questions and a former executive in the computer business, spoke for an hour with national political writers.

The other big differences she cited were: 1) That McCain, unlike Bush, sees government policies on energy as influencing global warming, 2) McCain was an early critic of the Iraq War policies of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and promoted the '"surge" of increased military pressure in Iraq, which is working, and 3) McCain supports retraining and other benefits for workers who have been displaced as a result of foreign imports.

McCain sides with Bush on many more issues including passage of a free trade agreement with Colombia, and expansion of health savings accounts to provide insurance to the nearly 50 million Americans who have none.

Fiorina said controlling health care costs, which she said are increasing 20 to 30 percent a year, is a key to making health insurance more available. She said McCain would like to remove state regulations that make it virtually impossible to purchase health insurance out of state.

At the briefing, Fiorina, who formerly headed Hewlett-Packard, did nothing to downplay speculation that she might be selected as McCain's running mate. When asked if she might join McCain on the ticket, Fiorina said that business leaders have a lot in common with politicians, and often have to make tougher decisions, particularly on spending, than do politicians.

Fiorina also signaled she would be available to serve in a McCain cabinet.

Do you think that McCain's policies are sufficiently distinct from the president's to enable the senator to separate himself from the president's current unpopularity?

--- Douglas Turner 


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Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

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Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski |