Obama not first to use ‘country first’ slogan

He may not be a fan of the vehicle the commander in chief’s using on the campaign trail — saying, “I’ve never seen an uglier bus than the Canadian one he’s traveling around on” — but Sen. John McCain certainly can’t find fault with the slogan that President Obama is trying out. That’s because the Arizona Republican used it first … nearly four years ago.

In an interview earlier this month with ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos, Obama said he hasn’t boiled what will define the 2012 election “down to a bumper sticker yet.”

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So it seems the president, who pushed for “Change we can believe in” in 2008, is instead testing out a few new mottos, including that of his former presidential opponent.

“You’ve got to send a message to Washington that it’s time for the games to stop. It’s time to put country first,” Obama said at an August town-hall event in Minnesota. “Country first” was McCain’s slogan from the 2008 election.

McCain acknowledged on Tuesday that Obama has been borrowing his campaign catchphrase “quite a bit.” But the veteran lawmaker seems happy to share, telling ITK with a laugh, “I think someone said imitation is the highest form of flattery.”