Obama Twists McCain on Economy

Who says Barack Obama doesn't know how to "twist the knife"?

The Democratic frontrunner maligned Hillary Clinton this week for being all-too-comfortable with the word twisting that goes on in Washington.

"The problem that we have in our politics," Obama said at Wednesday's ABC News debate, ". . . is that you take one person's statement, if it's not properly phrased, and you just beat it to death."

Obama's above-the-fray pose led Tom Fitzgerald to write in the next day's Philadelphia Inquirer that the debate crystallized the choice for Democrats: "At its core," wrote Fitzgerald, "the debate boiled down to this familiar argument: Obama saying that politics itself was broken, its games not worth playing, and Clinton saying that skill at the game was crucial."

Although Obama gets substantial mileage out of running against politics as usual, he provided a reminder on Friday that he knows how to twist with the best of them.

Speaking in Erie, Pa., Obama charged: "John McCain went on television and said that there has 'been great progress economically' over the last seven and a half years."

Obama did not tell his audience, however, that McCain's Thursday reference to economic progress was quickly followed by him adding that such progress is "no comfort" to struggling families.

"I think if you look at the overall record and millions of jobs have been created, et cetera, et cetera, you could make an argument that there's been great progress economically over that period of time," McCain told Bloomberg Television. "But that's no comfort.  That's no comfort to families now that are facing these tremendous economic challenges."

Watch McCain and Obama side-by-side here.

During a Friday interview with Bloomberg's Al Hunt, McCain went even further in distancing himself from economic conditions under President Bush.

"I think Americans are not better off than they were eight years ago when you look at what has happened to middle-income Americans," said McCain.

While it seems like McCain takes new steps every day to separate himself from economic conditions under President Bush, there remains substantial policy overlap between the two Republicans such as the Arizona senator's support for making the Bush tax cuts permanent.

So how does McCain square the circle?

As Grover Norquist quipped on Tax Day at the National Press Club, McCain does it by being in favor of the Bush tax cuts -- so long as you don't call them the Bush tax cuts.

TiVo alert:

You can see more of John McCain on Sunday when he appears on the Newseum debut of "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."

The kicker:

"I thank you for presumptive. I always love that phrase."

--John McCain to Bloomberg's Al Hunt after being introduced as "the presumptive Republican nominee for president"

Saturday, April 19, 2008

On the campaign front. . .

BARACK OBAMA

-- 11:30 am ET: Attends event with voters, Wynnewood, PA

-- 2:00 pm ET: Attends event with voters, Paoli, PA

-- 3:45 pm ET: Attends event with voters, Downingtown, PA

-- 6:00 pm ET: Attends event with voters, Lancaster, PA

-- 8:45 pm ET: Attends rally with voters, Harrisburg, PA

HILLARY CLINTON

-- 7:00 pm ET: Attends rally with voters, California, PA

-- 9:00 pm ET: Attends event with voters, McKeesport, PA

BILL CLINTON

-- 9:45 am ET: Attends event with Congressman Paul Kanjorski, Wilkes-Barre, PA

-- 1:15 pm ET: Attends event with voters, Meadville, PA

-- Attends event with voters, Hermitage, PA

-- 5:15 pm ET: Attends event with voters, Beaver Falls, PA

-- 7:45 pm ET: Attends event with voters, Waynesburg, PA

At the White House and Beyond. . .

PRESIDENT BUSH

-- 11:25 am ET: Participates in a press conference with the President of the Republic of Korea, Camp David, MD

SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT LEE MYUNG-BAK

-- 11:25 am ET: Holds news conference with President Bush, Camp David, MD

-- 4:45 pm ET: Participates in photo opportunity with Senators Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell, Washington, DC

Sunday, April 20, 2008

On the campaign front. . .

BARACK OBAMA

-- Attends events in Pennsylvania

As for the Republicans. . .

JOHN MCCAIN

-- Appears on This Week with George Stephanopoulos

At the White House and Beyond. . .

VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY

-- 7:30 pm ET: Arrives at John F. Kennedy International Airport with Mrs. Cheney, New York, NY

-- 8:10 pm ET: Delivers remarks at the farewell ceremony for Pope Benedict XVI, New York, NY

Monday, April 21, 2008

On the campaign front. . .

BARACK OBAMA

-- Attends events in Pennsylvania

-- Appears on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

As for the Republicans. . .

JOHN MCCAIN

-- 7:00 pm ET: Attends fundraiser with supporters, Birmingham, AL

-- 8:00 pm ET: Attends fundraiser with supporters, Birmingham, AL

At the White House and Beyond. . .

PRESIDENT BUSH

-- 2:55 pm ET: Meets with the President of Mexico, New Orleans, LA

-- 4:10 pm ET: Meets with the Prime Minister of Canada, New Orleans, LA

-- 7:30 pm ET: Delivers Remarks at a United States Chamber of Commerce Reception, New Orleans, LA

-- 8:30 pm ET: Participates in a dinner with the President of Mexico and the Prime Minister of Canada, New Orleans, LA

VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY

-- 10:35 am ET: Delivers remarks to the Manhattan Institute, New York, NY

-- 11:25 am ET: Delivers remarks at a reception for Congressman Vito Fossella, New York, NY

-- 1:15 pm ET: Departs John F. Kennedy International Airport with Mrs. Cheney, New York, NY

FIRST LADY LAURA BUSH

-- 10:30 am ET: Participates in a First Bloom activity and delivers remarks at Castle Clinton National Monument, New York, NY

POLITICAL NEWS STORIES ON ABCNEWS.COM

ABC News' Jake Tapper: Who Made an Issue Out of the Flag Lapel Pin? LINK

ABC News' Bret Hovell: John McCain Releases Tax Returns LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper: McCain's Financial Non-Disclosure LINK

ABC News' Eloise Harper: Hillary Clinton: No Wimps in the White House LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper: Complainin' Clintons Fault Obama for Complaining LINK

ABC News' Kate Snow: Dems Set Sights on Pennsylvania Primary LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper: An Impatient Dr. Dean Demands Delegate Decisions LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper: Former Senators Nunn, Boren Endorse Obama LINK

ABC News' Kate Snow and Eloise Harper: Clinton: Women Know How to 'Clean House' LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper: Another Witness to 'Screw 'em' - Gate LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper: That Woman Who Cares About Flag Lapel Pins LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper: BARACKY: The Movie LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper: Full of Gas or Lots of Energy? LINK

POLITICAL VIDEO ON ABCNEWS.COM

Debate Fallout
Dem candidates on the stump in PA with limited time before Tuesday's primary.
ABC News Now's "Politics Live" with Rick Klein and Teddy Davis LINK

Poehler Answers Clinton Questions
Cynthia McFadden interviews SNL comic, as if she is Senator Clinton LINK

Clinton to Obama: Can't Stand the Heat? Get out!
Sen. Clinton knocks her rival for "complaining about the hard" debate questions. LINK

'The Note' Rewinds the Week's Best Moments
ABC News' Senior Political Reporter Rick Klein on the weekly political roundup. LINK

Preparing for the Primary
Sens. Obama and Clinton are busy trying to rally some last-minute votes. LINK

Democratic Roughhousing
While Obama brushed off debate antics, Clintons call race a 'contact sport.' LINK