Well, McCain has decided to debate Obama tonight after all. I'd like to point out that while McCain said he was suspending his campaign, in fact it continued to barrel ahead on the ground all over the country. Also, it appeared to me that inserting himself into the negotiations in D.C. didn't help things. If anything, it came across as politicking and may have actually derailed it all. Then, this morning he actually accused Obama of using the meeting at the White House yesterday for political purposes. This from the man who manufactured the reason Obama had to be there in the first place. It all looked like political theater from my couch in Albuquerque, that's all I'm saying.
Anyhow, it seems we are to have a debate, instead of an Obama town hall. Check back here...we'll be having a good time hashing it out in real time.
(join the conversation in the comments)
7:00 First Question: Watch'ya gonna do about the economy
Obama: oversight, possibility of getting the money back and equity investment, CEO pay reigned in, helping homeowners
This is a final verdict on 8 failed years of George Bush...and John McCain
McCain: haven't been feeling so great lately, but feel better now because of the bi-partisanship to solve it. the magnitude of the crisis--the greatest fiscal crisis of our time. ok: oversight, loans to small business.
Obama: We've got to be accountable all the time not just during a crisis. The fundamentals of our economy...are not sound. We have to be concerned with the crisis of ordinary people week in and week out. Not just when wall street is in trouble.
McCain: We gotta fix. But I have a fundamental belief in the American worker.
7:10 ish: Are there fundamental differences in your approaches?
McCain: I would reign in spending. He wouldn't. He is the earmark guy.
Obama: Earmarks account for 18 billion dollars in last years budget. he's proposing 300 billion dollars in tax cuts to wealthy people. I think 95% of working families need tax cuts.
McCain is taking aim at pork barrel spending. Obama is taking aim at tax cuts for rich people instead of working people.
McCain....Hello! Look at Obama!
McCain, if you hadn't noticed, won't look at Obama.
McCain wants to have two tax brackets...is that what he said? He'd get rid of progressive taxation!
From the comment section:
I cannot believe McCain just spewed the lie - AGAIN - that folks making $40K will have higher taxes under Obama. It's been misproven, and here we need Lehrer to make that point, too. All news orgs discredited that McCain statement. -- Maggie
I love that Obama keeps calling McCain "John," but McCain avoids looking OR referring to Obama. Can he not pronounce "Barack"? Afraid he'll slip? -- Mjae
Obama: says some things will have to be delayed but some things can't be delayed...have to get on track to becoming energy independence. And we can't delay health care. Rock on!
McCain: we have to examine every department of government and cut spending.
ok...but what of your priorities will be delayed, John? Do you have proactive priorities?
Obama: John calls me liberal, but thats mostly been me just opposing Bushes wrongheaded policies.
McCain says we need a spending freeze on everything but defense and veterans.
Obama says that's like using a hatchet instead of a scalpel.
Lehrer isn't having any of their answers...how's the bailout going to affect the big picture of your presidency he wants to know.
Obama: no doubt its going to affect our budget. no doubt there will be tough decisions...in order to make those we have to know what our values and priorities are. if doing that is $300 billion in tax cuts for the wealthy and leaving out health care then he's your guy.
McCain: well I want to make sure we aren't turning over the health care system to the government. OH....the Socialist Bogeyman!
McCain: the problem is that spending is out of control.
Obama: John, its been your prez, who you've voted with 90% of the time, who presided over all this spending.
McCain: I'm a maverick!! I opposed the torture!!
7:39: What is the lesson of Iraq?
McCain: You can't have a failed strategy that causes you to nearly lose a conflict. (I don't think I accurately caught that--it was quite convoluted!) We're winning in Iraq.
Obama: Should we have gone into the war in the first place?
From the comments:
Thank you! Finally Obamam isnt being so nice anymore -- Kat
Note to McCain: You can't use cute catch phrases twice or they lose their luster. Haven't you learned anything from your esteemed VP pick? -- Maggie
Obama's first line about lessons in Iraq should be about not having gone there to begin with... -- Trevor
Back to the big boys...
McCain: It's no longer about whether or not we should have gone into Iraq. It's about the surge.
Obama: Yes, that's a tactic in 2007, a tactic in a war that started in 2003. You were wrong all the way through those years. The question is one of judgment.
McCain: But there's progress! and he defunded the troops!
Obama: He opposed funding for troops in a legislation that had a timetable. I had a problem with legislation with no timetable. The question is about wisdom. Afghanistan has deteriorated...McCain said there was no threat there...and most acknowledge now that the war on terror starts and ends there.
From the comments:
Obama doesn't know the difference between a tactic and a strategy? Obama should have responded that he does, and the difference is a Palin pick versus the Biden one. -- Yeva
This is good stuff....even if Obama loses this question 10-9, he's not backing down and he sounds strong and decisive -- Trevor
7:50: Afghanistan, Obama, do you think more U.S. troops should go there?
Obama: yes, as quickly as possible. Al Quaida is the threat, and the central front is there.
McCain: we have lessons to learn from Afghanistan, from history. he'd attack Pakistan.
Obama: coming from you...who threatened extinction of North Korea and bombing Iran...
McCain: I have a bracelet
Obama: I have a bracelet too
From the comments:
Did you love how he looked pointedly at McCain when he said the troop numbers in Iraq vs Afghanistan was a "strategic" mistake??? -- Mary Beth
What McCain just said "If you're gonna pull a gun on someone, you'd better be prepared to pull the trigger..." that was an exact quote for one of my soap opera's this morning. lol. -- Kat
Oh snap! "Sung songs about bombing Iran"!??!?! -- Saleem
It's interesting to note the difference between McCain speaking capably based on his own beliefs and knowledge base...and blatantly pandering to the right. -- Byzek
Text from one of Anne's colleagues "McCain is GI Joe!" -- Heather
I agree with that, Jeff... David Brooks' column today basically got to that point too. McCain as Senator as opposed to McCain as Presidential Candidate -- Maggie
8:03: What is your reading of the threat from Iran?
McCain: if they aquire nukes its an existential threat to Israel. we can affect Iranian behavior through a collaboration with our allies...a league of democracies.
Obama: if Iran gets nukes, its a real threat and could set off an arms race. we have to do this through tough diplomacy and collaboration with all countries.
McCain: he'd talk to the bad guys!!
Obama: I reserve the right as Potus to meet with anyone of my choosing if I think it'll keep Americans safe. Kissinger, one of his own advisers, said we should meet without pre-conditions. This does not involve inviting them over for tea. And he doesn't even want to meet with Spain!
McCain: I've known Kissinger for 35 years!!
From the comments:
Ok, but why are we acting like North Korea has anything to do with "talking to them" instead of "giving them lots of money"? -- Byzek
8:16: And Russia? What's up there?
Obama: a resurgent Russia is a threat to peace and stability
McCain: I looked into Putin's eyes and saw three letters: the K the G and the B
From the comments:
It always baffles me how candidates in debates will talk about other regimes as if they're not going to hear what was said. -- Byzek
why doesn't McCain bring up how Palin is neighbors with Russia, ya know? -- Mary Beth
McCain's opening line on Russia should have been, "I can't see Russia from my house but..." Heather
McCain says Obama doesn't have enough experience, in a nutshell. (palin anyone?)
Obama says national security is about economic security at home.
McCain: Oh...and by the way, I served in Vietnam!!