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Clinton calls McCain 'more of the same'

Filling in for Joe Biden at a gay rights event, she says voters can move the U.S. toward equality, dignity for all.

October 05, 2008|From the Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton on Saturday called Republican presidential candidate John McCain "not a maverick" but "a mimic" of President Bush.

Clinton made the remarks at a Human Rights Campaign dinner, where she was filling in for Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, the Democratic vice presidential nominee. Biden canceled his weekend campaign events because his wife's mother is ill. The New York senator spoke by satellite from Los Angeles to a few thousand people who attended the national gay rights group event.

Clinton said Biden called and asked her to fill in for him because of the family emergency. Rather than sharing her thoughts, she said, "I want to share with you the eloquent remarks that Joe had prepared."

Clinton sought to tie McCain to Bush, saying the Arizona senator offered voters "more of the same":

"He's not a maverick. He's a mimic."

She said McCain doesn't support extending job discrimination and hate-crimes laws to cover sexual orientation and supports the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

Clinton and Barack Obama were rivals in a turbulent Democratic primary season as they sought their party's presidential nomination. She had argued that the Illinois senator lacked the experience to be president, a claim the McCain campaign highlighted in its response to her remarks at Saturday's dinner.

"Sen. Clinton would be more believable if she'd mimic her own statements that Barack Obama is too inexperienced and lacks the key readiness to lead," McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said.

Clinton has since declared her support for Obama's candidacy, has urged her backers to rally behind him and has been campaigning on his behalf.

She said Saturday that Americans can choose Nov. 4 whether the nation takes steps toward "securing equality and dignity for all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity."

"Or we can choose four more years of the same failed policies, four more years of the same small-minded governance, four more years that look just like the last eight," she added.

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