President Bush, Sarah Palin Weigh on McCain as Campaign Reaches Final Weekend

Can McCain provide the "clean break" with Bush policies that he's promised?

ByABC News
October 31, 2008, 9:19 AM

Oct. 31, 2008— -- Sen. John McCain's White House hopes are being hobbled by his two most prominent Republican allies, President Bush and vice presidential running mate Gov. Sarah Palin, according to recent polls.

In an effort to buoy up his chances with just four days to go before Election Day, McCain today criticized Bush's economic plans and vigorously defended Palin.

McCain has struggled to distance himself from Bush and his ankle-high approval ratings.

Bush's economic legacy and his policies for dealing with the current fiscal crisis have been a particular drag on McCain's poll numbers.

The Republican presidential candidate told "Good Morning America" today that for the final four days of the campaign, "We're going to fight it out on the economic grounds."

Moments later, he tore into the Bush administration for spending billions of dollars to rescue large banks but balking at aid for homeowners.

"I'm terribly disappointed with this administration that they seem to be interested in bailing out the banks and not taking care of homeowners," McCain told "GMA."

The Republican president has been coming under increasing fire from the Republican presidential campaign.

Earlier this week, McCain called for a "clean break" with the Bush administration on its energy policy, charging that Bush was too reliant on foreign oil.

The latest ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll found that 50 percent of the voters believe McCain would mainly continue Bush's policies.

That's a severe handicap when more than seven in 10 Americans disapprove of Bush's job performance.

While Bush has helped raise money for the election, he has not appeared on the campaign trail for McCain.

McCain has been relying instead on the endorsement of Samuel Joe Wurzelbacher, better known as Joe the Plumber, to drive home his economic message that Sen. Barack Obama's tax policies are more intent on "spreading the wealth" rather than rewarding hard work.