Obama, McCain, Townhall Debate, 10-7-2008
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Obama, McCain, Townhall Debate, 10-7-2008

Obama and McCain  will be facing off tonight in a Town hall style debate.  This is a format that McCain has favored.  During the primaries, when McCain was down in the polls and in money, he resurrected his campaign with a town hall format.  McCain is relaxed in smaller groups of people, talking freely with anecdotal mastery.   Obama is more cerebral (that means smart) and tends to over analyze.  The debate moderator will be NBC’s Tom Brokaw. This should be interesting.

The Fireside will be posting through the evening on our impression of effective discourse.

8:00 PM CST: Live in Nashville, Tennessee with Tom Brokaw.  The only debate with a town hall format. Brokaw has selected questions submitted by the audience and by email.

Economy bailout of elder citizens?

Obama: “Worst crisis since great depression and we know you are worried.  This is a final verdict of last eight year…. Step On a rescue package, it must work properly…  We are cracking down on CEO’s.  AIG Execs went on a 500,000 dollar junket.  The middle class need tax relief.  We need road and bridge projects to keep people working…”

McCain: “Economy is at the heart of American’s worries.  I have a plan. It has to do with energy independence… Stop the spending spree in Washington… We have to have a package of reforms… So severe we will have to do something about home values… As President I would order Sec  of Treasury to buy up homes and renegotiate terms for homeowners… We must stabilize home values… My friends… ”

Brokaw:  Who should be Sec of Treasury?

McCain: “That is a tough question.  First criteria is someone the people can trust.  I like Meg Whitman, was a CEO of a EBAY.  Someone who inspires trust and confidence…”

Obama: “Warren Buffet would be a good choice, the key is the next secretary must help the middle class.  SEnator McCain and I have fundamental disagreements on the economy… For many it is getting harder to retire… We need a middle class tax cut…  We must stop loss of jobs and income… ”

Brokaw: from Oliver: “What about this bailout is going to help people out?”

McCain: “I believe it is a rescue package… It is because of greed and corruption… I left my campaign to go to Washington… Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac started this whole mess at the encouragement of Obama and his cronies… I stood up tow years ago to stop this… The Democrats defended the mortgage companies…”

Blah blah blah – so far just campaign talking points by both candidates…..

Obama: “Right now the credit markets are frozen.  Small businesses cannot get loans and some will not be able to make payroll.  It could have an adverse affect on everybody… I have to correct some of McCain’s history… The biggest problem is in the deregulation of investment industry.  Two years ago I wrote to Sec Paulson… A year ago I went to wall street… Sen McCain continued to support deregulation… I never supported Fannie Mae… You are not interested in politicians… This is not the end of the process – it is the beginning…”

Is the economy going to get worse?

Obama: “I am confident about the American economy but we are going to have to have leadership in Washington… We must help ordinary families stay in their homes…”

McCain: “This depends on what we do.  If we get rid of cronyism and special interest in Washington… We can fix our economy.  American workers are the best…  blah blah blah… We gotta give them a chance…”

To Obama question: “CHow can we trust either of you when both parties got us into this mess?”

Obama: “While you have been responsible that is not what has happened in Washington.  Remember History – Bush came to office with a surplus, now we have a deficit.  The debt is over ten trillion – no one is completely innocent but Senator voted for four out of five of those George Bush Budgets…. We have to refor health care and refor energy… we must invest in college… We also have to have spending cuts…. We will have a net spending cut…”

McCain: “I can see why you feel cynicism, the system in Washington is broken, I have bbeen a reformer across the asile.. I ahve a clear record of bi-partisanship.  Senator Obama doe not… Go to some organizations that are watch dogs and you will find Obama is the most liberal.”  wacko nutcase loony ever… blah blah blah

Browkaw – there are new economic realities.  Highest priority

McCain: “Can work on all three at once, reform entitlement programs.  WE cannot privide the same benefits to our retirees.  I have worked across the asile.  Build a whole bunch of Nucular power plans and blow them with wind….  Health care – everyone is struggling, everyone must have health care… ”

Obama: “We have to prioritize, Energy today gas prices are too high and it is bad for our national security.  15 billion a year for ten years invested in energy independence.  Health care is number two… Bad health care is bad for families.  Number three is education.. the future is for the children… McCain like to talk about earmarks – I will go through every budget line by line.  And we have to look at where our taxes are going.  McCain wants 300 billion tax cuts for big oil. ”

To McCain from internet: “no sacrifice from world war two – what will you ask for?

McCain: ” I am going to ask the American people to understand that there are some programs we must eliminate.  One is in defense spending.” I saved a bunch of money on chewing gum. “These projects will have to undergo scrutiny.  I recommend a spending freeze for everything but defense… Establish prioities with transparency…”

Obama: “Many of you remember 911 and where you were.  All of the country was ready to come together.  And Bush did some smart things but he missed the opportunity to ask for sacrifice… So it is important for Americans to have leadership that will tackle these problems… Energy for instance, each of us will have to look at how we use energy… But each of us will have to think about how we can save energy… We need fuel efficient cars made right here in America… The young people are interested in how they can serve… ”

Brokaw: President Bush said Wall street got drunk – everybody did, how would you break bad habits?

Obama: “It starts with Washington, we must have good spending habits… It means not just looking at the spending side but also the revenue side… McCain’s proposal to give tax cuts to corporations is not about sharing the burdens… It is important for the President to set a tone… ”

McCain: “Nailing down Senator Obamas proposals is impossible… To raise taxes during hard times is like Herbert Hoover.  We have lost 700,000 jobs… Senator Obama’s taxes will be on Small businesses and they will cut jobs… My friends… I am not in favor of tax cuts for the wealthy… I want to cut taxes for everyone in the world” unless they claim terrorism as their political party.

Brokaw: question: Unfunded obligations for entitlement programs like social security.

Obama: “We are goihng to have take on entitlements.  We are not going to solve social security and medicare unless we understand our tax policy..  Let’s be clear – I wan to provide a tax cut for 95% of Americans, anyone less than 250,000 dolalrs a year will not have tax increase.  Only a few percent of small business make over 250,000 – so most small businesses would get a tax decrease.  McCain want to give a 300 billion tax cut to largest corporations with money going to CEO’s on Wall street… If we get tax policies right then we will be in a position to deal with social security and medicare…. ”

McCain: “It’s not that hard to fix social security.  We know the problems my friends.  We gotta sit across the table like Ronald Reagan.  I ahve tanke non my own party.  Medicare is tougher, we have to have a commission to come up with recommendations.  Then congress can vote up or down…”  McCain did not answer the question on social security.  “Senator Obama voted for tax increases …” blah blah blah attacks on Obama…”

question to McCain: Congress moved fast on economy, what do you do in first year to keep them moving fast on toher topics.

McCain: “I disagree stongly with Bush on Climate change… We kept the debate going… Nuclear power is the best way to fix it… I was on a navy ship that had good electricity… We was happy… Senator obama does not like electricity…  We need other forms of hybrid energy and create milliooons of jobs because we are the best …”

Obama: “This is a big challenge.  It is critical that this is also an opportunity.  We can create a new energy economy.  We can create 5 million new jobs.  We will have to make an investment… I have called for investments in solar, wind, and even nuclear power… McCain voted twenty three times against alternative fuel… One last point on energy, McCain talks about drilling, we have 3% and use 25%…”

Brokaw: Should we have a Manhatten like project or have 100,000 garages?

McCain: “Pure research and development by government is appropriate.  Then turn it over to private business.  And Obama voted with Bush and Cheney one time, so there…. I voted against them… Oil drilling off shore now is vital to bridge the gap… It will reduce the price of oil – it is fundamental economics…  Look at the record, Obama voted against nucular…”

to Obama: “Halth care coverage as marketable comodotiy..

Obama ” This is one of the single most frequently asked questions.  It is breaking family budgets… Most have seen premiums and co pays go up… I have said from the start that we have a moral committment to do something about the health care crisis.  I fyou have health care you can keep you plan and you doctors. We will work with your employer to reduce costs… McCain will tax your health care coverage.  That is the wrong way to go.  The U.S. Chamber of commerce is opposed to McCain’s plan…”

McCain: “This is a major problem with health care skyrocketing costs.  We need to do all of the things necessary.  Let’s put health records on line to improve efficiency.  The dif between me and Obama, Govment will do this and govment will do that.  Obama will fine you if you don’t behave yourself.  I will give everyone a 5,000 tax credit so you can buy your own health care insurance…. Tax the tax benefits, do the math, most people will…” really be screwed.  ” McCain did not answer the question – he is full of something….

Health care a right or responsibility.

McCain: “We should have health care for all people but not by government mandate.  Americans understand that… Obama will fine you for not being a good guy…”

Obama: “It shoulod be a right for every American.  People die because they cannot pay their medical bills… If you have a health care plan you like you can keep it… You wuill have to make sure your children have health care… McCain voted against extension of children’s health insurance…  It is absolutely true that I think government should crack down on insurance companies that are cheating their customers..  McCain wants to do this like he had done with banking… He believes in deregulation in every circumstance…”

Foreign Policy: “How will all the recent economic stress affect our ability to act as a peace maker.”

McCain: “A strong military must have a strong military.” McCain equates military with foreign policy – always his first choice. ” The challenge is to know when the US can affect the outcome of a crisis.  That question can only be answered by…” me because I was on a ship one time.

Obama: “McCain today again suggests that I don’t understand, like how did we invade a country that had nothing to do with 911, while Bin Laden is free.  McCain championed Iraq, I don’t understand that.  It has put enormous on our budget and on our troops.  If we continue as McCain suggest we will continue to waste money on the wrong wars… ”  Obama ate McCain’s lunch on foreign policy.

How about humanity crisis but not our national security?

Obama: “We have moral issues at stake.  If we could have stopped the holocaust surely we would have.  If we can make a difference we should help.  If we stand by, that diminishes us.  There is a lot of cruelty around the world and we cannot be everywhere all the time so we must work closely with our allies… ”

McCain: “My friends, If we had done what Obama wanted to do in Iraq… ” He continues to miss the point of Obama’s position. “The Us is the greatest force for good.  We must do whatever we can do to stop genecide.  but it requires a cool hand, it requires someone who understands what our capabilities are…”  McCain again thinks that he is a military general – misunderstanding the role of a citizen commander in chief…. ” I have been in those situations, I know how to fight. ”

Brokaw: “Should US respect Pakistanie sovereigenity ”

Obama: “We have a difficult in Pakistan.  WE made a bad judgement going into Iraq and got distracted and diverted resources and Bin Laden set up camp in Pakistan.  He is stronger now than ever.  That is the central front on terrorism.  So we must end the war in Iraq to put more resources in the war on terror.  But we cannot give billions of dollars to a dictator…”  Obama eats McCain’s lunch again.

McCain: “My hero is Teddy Roosevelt,” bullshit “Obama wants to talk loudly and announce that he would attack Pakistan.  “We drove the Russians out of Afghanistan and then we walked away.  Our relations with Pakistan are critical because there are bad guys in the mountains.  We should use the Patreaus strategy to get the support of the people.  We should not threaten to attack them.. ‘

Obama: “I want to be clear.  No one called for the invasion of Pakistan.  I said if Pakistan is unable or unwilling to hunt down Bin Laden then we should.  McCain suggests that I am green behind the ears and he is somber and responsible – he sand Bomb bomb bomb Iran and said we should aniliate North Korea… ”

McCain: “Not ture.  I have suppored efforts that US should go in militarily.  I was joking about Iran. I am not going to telegraph my punches like Obama.  I am going to act responsibly like I always have in my military career..”

Brokaw: ABout Afghanistan, generals say we are failing.

Obama: “We are going to have to make Iraqi government be more responsible so we can put more troops in Afghanistan where they are desperate for more help..  We will have to work with Karzai government for him to do better.  We have to have a government that is responsive…”

McCain: “General Patreaus will set the tone for the tactics to be used.  It is the same overall strategy as the surge.”  I love surges, it reminds me of swimming lessons in the third grade. ” Senator Obama willl not admit the surge worked. We should surge in Afghanistan.”

Brokaw – “How can we apply pressure on russia for humanitarian causes”

McCain: ” Russia has become wealth, I see a K G B in Putin’s eyes.  He has exhibited aggressive behavior.  Ukraine is in his sights.  We have got to show moral support and get them in NATO.  We have to make Russia understand that there are penalties…”  McCain scares this writer.

Obama: “The resurgence or Russia is one of the cnetral issues we will have to deal with.  We cant just provide moral support, we have also got to provide them financial concrete assistance to help rebuild their economy.  We have to see around the corner, anticipate these problems.  Back in April I put out a statement warning of the danger in Georgia…. ”  Obama east McCain’s lunch again.  McCain is going home hungry and more desperate than ever.

Borkaw: I Russia is an evil empire.

Obama: “They engage in evil behavior”

McCain: “Depends on how we respond to Russia. Energy is a big big factor.  We can deal with them if they understand that we are firm.”

Brokaw: “Support for Israel. If Iran attacks would you wait for the U. N Security Council?”

McCain: “We obviously would not wait for the UN Security council.  Our challenge is the Iranians continue on a path to acquire nucular weapons.  If Iran gets them all the other countries will too….” Senator Obama want to play monoply with Ohmydidhesayjidad.  “We need a league of democracies, my friend.”

Obama: “We cannot allow Iran to get nuclear weapons.  It would theaten Israel and create a possibility of nuclear weapons in the hands of others … We will not wait for the U. N. but it is important to use all of our tools to prevent those scenarios… We should have direct talks to deliver a direct message about their behavior.”

Brokaw: “What don’t you know and how will you learn it?”

Obama: “My wife could answer better.  The nature of the challenges of the Presidency is the challenges you don’t expect that consume your time.  I would not be here if not for this country.  I come from modest means.  I went to the best schools because of this country.  Are we going to pass on that same American dream to the next generation?  If we keep doing the same things we have  been doing we will continue to get the same things we have been getting.”

McCain: “What I don’t know is what all of us don’t knwo and that is what is going to happen here and abroad.  Americans are hurting like never before… What I don know is what the unexpected will be… I have spent my life giving to my country.  And I was a POW… ” and I like Sarah Palin because she has a nice …

See: McCain’s World View, Power and Control

Media predictions before the debate began:

There Are 3 Responses So Far. »

  1. Obama was good. McCain was annoying. Brokaw was NOT IMPARTIAL. And that last question – who wrote that? A relative of Donald Rumsfeld?

  2. This is a great recap – one of the, if not THE, funniest I have had the pleasure of reading. Great touch is the video of media predictions re McSame’s prowess at town halls. Honestly, the pundits have been so wrong so often about this campaign – mostly so completely underestimating Obama from the git-go – that if they had any sense of shame they’d wiggle away & hide & never show their faces in public again.

  3. @ Tess,
    Tom Brokaw is just as impartial as Gwen Ifill.

    McCain/Palin ’08

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