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 McCainJohn Sidney McCainTrump stokes new unlikely feud Meghan McCain: Living without father like 'some awful parallel universe' Leon Panetta’s nightmare is today's national security crisis MORE 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.”