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Senate Democrats Go After McCain

Wading into presidential politics for the first time in a systematic way, Senate Democrats are planning a series of events highlighting the alleged problems with Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) issue stances.

Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) held the first in a series of events Thursday that will “analyze Sen. McCain’s proposals.” The purpose of such events is to draw attention to McCain’s public policies and link them to those of the very unpopular President Bush.

Ever since he clinched the Democratic presidential nod over Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has been arguing that McCain as president would mean a third Bush term.

The lead Congressional sponsor of Obama’s candidacy, Durbin spearheaded the first event, along with Sens. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), both of whom also supported Obama in the contentious primary. The trio sharply criticized McCain’s tax policy.

“Sen. McCain’s tax plan is George Bush’s fiscal policy on steroids. It makes an already grim economic situation worse,” Durbin said.

For weeks, Democratic leaders have been trying to shore up Congressional support for Obama as a way to heal wounds after the heated nomination battle with Clinton. They believe there may be no better way to generate support for Obama than to show the stark differences between the Illinois Democrat and McCain.

However, when asked about Obama’s own tax policy — Obama has said he may be willing to cut some corporate tax rates — Durbin indicated that this event is not a “comparative thing.”

Throughout the event, the Democratic lawmakers mentioned McCain by name several times, while avoiding altogether naming Obama or analyzing his issue stances.

“This is to just analyze Sen. McCain’s proposal. He wants more failed economic policies and we intend to show that,” Durbin said.

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