October 14th, 2008
08:30 AM ET

Obama and Bush are not so far apart

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Editor's note: Tara Wall, deputy editorial page editor and columnist for The Washington Times, serves as a political contributor to CNN. Before joining the newspaper, she was a senior adviser for the Republican National Committee and was appointed a public affairs director in the Department of Health and Human Services by President Bush. Read her columns here.

Tara Wall
CNN Contributor

Since Barack Obama incessantly makes the case that a John McCain administration would equate to another Bush term, it's worth looking at just how much Sen. Obama himself is in agreement with the unpopular president.

Does that mean that he, too, would be a repeat of President Bush? If one were to apply his logic, maybe so.

Here are 20 reasons why:

1. Abstinence: Bush expanded community-based abstinence education during his term, including a $28 million budget increase for 2009 in an effort to "Teach both abstinence and contraception to teens." Obama concurred in April when he said: "We want to make sure that, even as we are teaching responsible sexuality and we are teaching abstinence to children, that we are also making sure that they've got enough understanding about contraception."

2. Affirmative action: Bush said of the 2003 University of Michigan affirmative action case: "I strongly support diversity of all kinds, including racial diversity in higher education. But the method used by the University of Michigan to achieve this important goal is fundamentally flawed" - because it depended solely on race. Bush has said other factors, such as socioeconomic status, should be considered, which would include poor white students.


soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Larry

    I used to think that Grant had the worst administration.

    October 14, 2008 at 1:34 pm |
  2. Chris - Hemet, Ca.

    Bush & Obama do have something in common......two books. Obama wrote two and Bush read two, and one of those was "My Pet Goat."

    October 14, 2008 at 1:22 pm |
  3. David Auslander

    The article raises some interesting similarities.that Bush and Obama may share on some issues. But, for the most part, I think that the author stretched the truth (or glossed over the facts) in order to support her own premise.

    For example, #12 Health Care: The only similarity between Bush & Obama that the author mentions is that they both consider this issue to be important. If that qualifies as "being in agreement" then just about any subject that matters would also qualify.

    Another example: The Iraq War. Up until the financial crisis occured, Iraq was the top item of contention in this country, and it is not even mentioned in this article. Why? Because Bush and Obama's position on on the US role in Iraq have no similarities whatsoever. How can any argument for similarity be taken seriously when such a major national, international, and moral issue, is totally ignored in the analysis?

    October 14, 2008 at 12:22 pm |
  4. Arachnae

    This is one of the shallowest, most intellectually dishonest pieces I've ever seen on CNN. You might as well ask two people if they agree 'murder is wrong' and then when they do, say 'see? just the same'.

    Where's Iraq? The Bush policies of rewarding cronies and party faithful with lucrative government business? the complete inattention to environmental issues? There has never been clearer differences between the parties than this year.

    Pathetic attempt to tie a popular candidate with the most reviled president ever.

    October 14, 2008 at 11:48 am |
  5. Annie Kate

    If Obama is like Bush on 20 things that Tara could name in her article, just how many more are there that the two men agree on in principal? Are we voting for someone with new positions or just the same positions packaged and implemented differently? There is nothing wrong with that but we should be honest about it or there will be a lot of disillusioned voters.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    October 14, 2008 at 11:41 am |
  6. Larry

    What does it matter whether or not they have agreements? Obama can just change his mind once the democrats are in charge of the House, Senate and white house.

    October 14, 2008 at 11:16 am |
  7. Pat

    My problem with Bush is because of the lack of integrity and honesty when leading us into a war which resulted in the loss of lives, capital and which squandered American integrity across the world. I don't believe Pres. Bush is a bad person and there are some things he's done for which he should be applauded. Having said all that most of the similiarities you've listed would not persuade me that Obama is EVEN MORE SO like Bush than McCain. And then there's the McCain campaign of late. A man who, in my opinion, has cast dispersions on his legacy; where it could've been said, "he united," can now be said, "he divided."

    On another note, I may not agree with all you say but I'm proud that you stand by what you say.



    October 14, 2008 at 10:58 am |
  8. Cindy

    Obama has no room to talk it seems. He keeps comparing McCain to Bush but we can see here that Obama himself is very much in line with Bush also. I'd say he is even more in line with Bush than McCain is!

    In reality there isn't much room to go on any issue. You are either for or against it and then you have to figure out how to deal with it. So even arch enemies will have some things in common.


    October 14, 2008 at 9:43 am |

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