Republican presidential nominee John McCain has been far more bipartisan in the Senate than his Democratic opponent Barack Obama, according to an analysis of legislative records by The Washington Times.
McCain has actually been more likely to team up with Democrats than with members of the GOP. Since 2005, he has been chief sponsor of 82 bills, and has had 120 Democratic co-sponsors out of 220 total, meaning Democrats made up 55 percent of his political partners.
Obama sponsored 120 bills, and Republicans co-sponsored only 26 of them. He had 522 Democratic co-sponsors and 75 Republicans, for an average of 13 percent of his co-sponsors.
And Obama had his biggest bipartisan success on “noncontroversial measures, such as issuing a postage stamp in honor of civil rights icon Rosa Parks,” The Times observed.
The analysis examined the bills each senator introduced as chief sponsor and at bills sponsored by other senators that each signed onto. The study excluded resolutions and amendments.
McCain told the audience at last month’s forum at Saddleback Church in California that he had crossed the aisle to join Democrats on “climate control, out-of-control spending, torture.” According to The Times, he could have added “campaign-finance overhaul, immigration, a patients’ bill of rights, gun control, and tax cuts.”
McCain has made his bipartisan record a fixture of his campaign. He told an audience as long ago as May that he has often taken a bipartisan approach to fixing the country's ills while suggesting that Obama simply offers empty promises of working across party lines.
At the Saddleback forum, Obama noted that he’d broken with Democrats on congressional ethics, sponsoring a bill to curb meals and gifts from lobbyists.
Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn asserted that Obama hasn’t bucked the Democratic leadership when it mattered, saying: “Where have you seen him challenging the status quo?”
The Times analysis did not look at the two senators’ voting records. But according to Congressional Quarterly, McCain has voted with the majority of Senate Republicans about 85 percent of the time over his career, while Obama has voted with the majority of Democrats 97 percent of the time.
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