DENVER—Talking to the New Jersey delegation this morning at its daily breakfast, Governor Paterson weighed in on issues from Iraq to Social Security in a speech that took a strong line of attack on both President Bush and Sen. John McCain.
Going with a running astronomical theme (New Jersey’s Representative Rush Holt, who has a Ph.D. in physics, spoke earlier), Paterson sought not only to link McCain with the policies of Bush, but to paint him as more conservative than the president.
On Bush: “He is very far away from us,” Paterson said. “Let’s say he is as far away from us as the planet Pluto, which if you’ve read in the last few years, the astronomers have now declassified … and I think historians will one day declassify George Bush as a president because he was never really elected.”
McCain has taken a more extreme line than Bush on policies such as such as Social Security, health care and taxes, Paterson said.
“Just comparing him to President Bush, you know that John McCain is not even in our solar system,” he said, “he’s far off in a distant galaxy.”
He also expanded his scope to the international arena, taking a dig at Bush’s handling of the Iraq war.
“It’s not about the surge, Mr. President, it’s about establishing stability,” he said. “When we first went in Iraq, he said that we’re going over there to stabilize the Middle East. The Middle East hasn’t been stabilized in 5,000 years. Did he think he was the answer?”