Why isn't Bob looking into the camera?
Don't really like them seated.
Q: bad day on Wall St. New plans from both. Why is it better?
McCain: Americans hurting and angry. Innocent victims? Short-term fix. He's blaming Fannie and Freddie again. Didn't like this before. Put in floor. Buy home loan mortgages.
Obama: worst since Great Depression. Taxpayers get money back, no benefits for CEOs. No rescue for middle class. Fundamentals weak before. Focus on jobs. Tax cut for families. Access to IRAs without penalty (interesting). Get homeowners in position to renegotiate mortgages. Don't buy mortgages from banks. Obama is coming out really strong here on the economy. Fix energy, healthcare, and education.
McCain: no question. Talking about Obama's interaction with plumber. Interesting use of this tactic. Higher taxes for plumber. McCain help plumber start business. Strong tactic, super weak in details. How? Dropped the ball on this one.
Obama: responding with stump speach. Tired of it. Can't blame Obama though. Can't respond to McCain's complete lack of details on this.
McCain: spreading wealth around point. Wants Joe to spend wealth on his own. I'm into this conceptually, always have been. Don't raise taxes on anyone. McCain is on the attack. Like his energy, but he's off point for now.
Obama: Warren Buffet can pay more to give tax cuts on Joe. Good point on Exxon Mobile. That's familiar to people.
DID McCAIN just wink?
McCain: businesses in U.S. paying 2nd highest in the world.
Question: big deficit? both proposals will add to deficit.
Obama: $750 billion rescue package will mean taxpayers get money back. Been living beyond means. Net spending cut. Pay as you go. Propose cut for every new dollar spent. Back to line by line argument. More of the same. Invest now to save for the future. Like this point.
McCain: home ownership. Home Ownership Loan Corp. Government made money. Clinton made the proposal not too long ago. Energy. (Won't answer Bob.) Create millions of jobs. Spending freeze. Hatchett then scaple. All the same. More generics... Know how to save millions in defense. Cut subsidies for ethanol. Saved taxpayer $6.8 billion. Veto every pork barrell bill. Back to projector. Get over it. I'm for the projector. More of the same.
Obama: more hatchett and scaple. Earmarks are 1/2 of 1 percent of budget. Not going to solve the problem. McCain and Bush are the same...
Question: balance the budget?
McCain: he'll do it. Not President Bush. That was strong. Back to voting record. Doesn't work for me. Legislation is sooooo complicated. Blomberg proposed spending freeze. Obama should ask how McCain will do it specifically. That's the whole point of this debate. How did he stand up to leaders of party?
Obama: first major bill. Tort reform. Support charter schools. Performance for teachers. Clean coal. Good list. Fox News disputes McCain claim about Obama voting for tax increase on people making $42 billion. Back to tying McCain to Bush. Stronger than in the past. Show independence on torture, but not economic policies. Clearest I've heard so far.
McCain: disagreed with party and Bush. Climate change, blah, blah, blah. He's too focused on this little stuff.
Question: leadership in the campaign. High road? (Yay - so glad he asked!) OH YEAH! Highlight of all the debates!
McCain: town hall meetings would prevent this. Tone would be different. Regrets negativity. Many unacceptible turns. John Lewis allegations. Playing the blame game... McCain has refutiated claims by Republicans. Run truthful campaign. Obama spent more money on negative ads. Didn't keep word on public financing. Calling him out on it.
Obama: expect campaigns to be tough. CBS poll said more people think McCain is running negative campaign. 100% of McCain ads are negative. People don't want to hear about it; want to hear about issues. Called him out on town hall meetings assertion. Called out 527s. Doesn't mind being attacked. People can't afford failed economic policies. McCain campaign said if McCain keeps talking about economy, he loses. This is real debating.
McCain: watched Arizona beat Cowboys (yes!). McCain doesn't oppose stem cell research. Spending unprecedented money on negative ads. Positive plan of action is what campaign is all about (lie). Back to Lewis.
Obama: Lewis is American hero. Said he was troubled without Obama campaign knowing. Mentioned "Kill Him" screams at Palin rallys. Wow. Very emotional. Lewis said he'd probably gone over line. Americans want focus on big issues. McCain keeps trying to interrupt Obama.
McCain: proud of people at rallies. Not appropriate. What about Veterans? Military Moms? Confused.... McCain t-shirts at Obama rallies are not cool. This is very tense.
Obama: to solve problems, need to work together. Was hoping for better punchline. Can't categorize people as bad people.
McCain: need to know full extent of Obama's relationship with ACORN and terrorists. Like Clinton said.
Obama: Ayers has become centerpiece of McCain campaign. Obama needs to explain this clearly. School reform board, Reagan's friend. Ayers not involved in campaign, won't advise in White House. ACORN paid people to register voters. Had nothing to do with Obama. Not looking at camera right now. Looking down. Really shady! Starting to look up now as he talks about his associates. Says more about McCain campaign than it does about Obama.
McCain: launched campaign in Ayers living room; sent money to ACORN. Ayers said he wished he bombed more. McCain's campaign is about campaign. Terrible transition! So see-through.
Question: who will you bring to government? Running mates? Why would country be better off if your running mate became president?
Obama: Biden has great foreign policy experience. Never forgot where he came from. Fighting for working families; little guy. Crime bill. Violence against women act. Shares values. Energy, blah, blah, blah.
McCain: Palin is roll model for women. Reformer. Cut size of government. Faced off with oil companies. Breath of fresh air. Get rid of cronism. Understnads special needs families. This is a very strong point for women, who McCain needs.
Question: Palin qualified?
Obama: she's capable. Work she's done with special needs families. Needs additional funding. Soooooooooo glad he's talking about this. Spending freeze means it won't happen.
Question: Biden qualified?
McCain: yes; but has been wrong in many cases. Have transparency and reform. HE'S FINALLY GETTING TO THE POINT I'VE BEEN MAKING. It's not about more or less spending; just different. Just right. I wish he made it stronger and clearer.
Question: reduce dependence on foreign oil? Number of how much we can reduce foreign oil imports?
McCain: don't tell countries unilaterally renegotiate. Good point. Need to be safe. Navy ships sailed for 60 years with nuclear power. 7-10 years, eliminate dependence on oil from places that are national security threats.
Obama: said same thing. Obama looks very presidential now. Don't borrow from China to feed Saudia Arabia. Expand domestic drilling. Tell oil companies to drill (maybe even off-shore). Can't drill our way out of the crisis. Build hybrid cars. Fell too far behind. Trade: believe in free trade. Doesn't agree that any trade agreement is a good trade agreement. Enforce rules in trade agreements. Include environmental standards. Like this line of argument.
McCain: pay attention to words. Obama said look at off-shore drilling. Must do it now. McCain is free trader. Need education at community college for workers. Tried to make argument about Columbia. Very confusing. Obama was never south of US border. Something about drugs and free Americans. Trade with Columbia doesn't sound like a good idea to me.
Obama: trade leaders are being killed in Columbia. Need to stand for human rights. Supported Peruvian free trade agreement. President need to understand benefits of free trade agreement and enforce the rules. Auto makers are getting hammered right now. Need loan guarantees to auto makers. Could create 5 million new jobs.
McCain: doesn't want free trade with best ally in region, but will sit down with Chavez. Ok, starting to get his point... Hoover raised taxes and reduced trade - turned into Depression.
Obama: this is the issue that will break your heart over and over again. Two women laid off, no insurance. Need coverage. If you have it, don't do anything. Lower costs so that they are passed onto families by $2500 per year. If you don't have it, you can buy into federal pool. At lower cost because so many people are part of it. This is the best I've heard him explain it. More efficient system. More preventive care. (This is HUGE for me - I totally believe in it.)
McCain: terrible painful. Need to put healthcare records online to save money. Reduce obesity. Physical fitness and nutrition. Reward employees who practice fitness. $5k tax credit for anything you want to do. Joe the plumber - Obama will fine employers who don't provide healthcare. (They should be.)
Obama: no fine for Joe. McCain is surprised. Small businesses are exempt. Large businesses will have to pay. Very strong. 20 million will no longer have employer-based healthcare because unhealthy people won't be able to go elsewhere. McCain will tax healthcare benefits. Average policy costs $12k. Loss for you. Insurers are regulated by states. He's being less clear.
McCain: told Joe he's rich. Confused by this. Sarcasm is failing. Not sure what his message is. McCain's plan gives existing plans plus $5k. So what do you spend the $5k on? Out of pocket expenses? Is this like an HSA? I'm confused. Called Obama Senator Government. That's funny. McCain is losing this point... Can't grow government like past 8 years.
Obama: McCain's plan would make people lose their employer-based healthcare. Chamber agreed with Obama.
Question: FINALLY! An abortion question!
McCain: no litmus test. WHAT? That's going to upset the base. This is very upsetting. Gives abortion rights to states. This is a HUGE, HUGE issue for me. One that's kept with McCain. Obama voted against Roberts because he didn't meet ideological standards. Totally disagree with McCain. Someone should start spinning this now.
Obama: no litmus test. Judges should provide fairness and justice. Believes in Roe v. Wade. Have such a tough time with this. Women should make decision in privacy. What about popular vote? McCain and Obama disagreed when Supreme Court made it harder for women to get equal pay. Glad he's talking about this. About time. Both of them need women.
McCain: change culture of America. McCain is backtracking. Proud to be pro-life. Obama voted against law to provide medical care to child born from failed abortion. Voted against ban on partial borth abortion. Don't know how you vote present on that. TOTALLY AGREE. Real struggle for me.
Obama: life-saving treatment would undermine Roe v. Wade. Law already on the books. Voted against it. Illinois medical society voted against it. Supports ban on late-term abortions. As long as exception for mother's health. Ugh. Issue divides us. Common ground. We should try to prevent un-intended pregnancies. Options for adoption. Helping single mothers. In Democratic platform for first time.
McCain: health of mother can mean anything. Good call. Adoptive parents. Improve adoption options. Protect life of unborn. This is very emotional for me.
Question: education. US is behind and spends most? Soooooo glad he asked this.
Obama: never been nation on earth that saw economy decline and retained position as military power. Need more money and reform. Early childhood education. Recruit new teachers, especially in math and science. Accountability. College must be affordable. Students take on too much debt. Tuition credit for community service. LOVE THIS. Can't do it without parents.
McCain: civil rights issue of the 21st century. Choice and competition is key. Charter schools. HUGE for me. Send kids to school of choice. Seems like they're saying the same thing. Reward good teachers. Teach for America. Make student loans available.
Question: large federal government involvement?
Obama: federal government should help local school districts. Money needs to go with requirements. Same thing with special education. Charter schools. Doubled number in Illinois. Bad teachers need to go someplace else. Disagree on vouchers. I think vouchers can work. McCain advisor said can't give money to every special interest group that comes along. Ouch!
McCain: in DC, vouchers work. Parents want it. Want to choose school. No Child Left Behind is a good first step. Need to re-authorize it. But spending more money isn't answer. Head Start kinds aren't any better. Need to reform it. How? Will so reaserch on autism. Won't throw money at a problem. Vouchers work. Agree.
Obama: DC school system is in terrible shape. Vouchers data doesn't show they work. McCain plan is shallow.
McCain smug sarcastic laugh was bad.
McCain: difficult times. Need new direction. Reform and taking on parties and special interests. Careful steward of tax dollars. Healthcare. Stop spending. Can you trust us? Examine record and proposals. Served country. Closed the same way as last time. Poor.
Obama: tough times. Worst economic crisis. Stop accepting failed policies and politics. Need fundamental change. Invited in homes. Decency and generocity of American people. College. Businesses. Energy. Raise wages. Middle class. Bring policies to White House. Not easy, not quick. Must come together. Service, sacrifice. Work every day to work for people and future of children.
Analysis: Obama took that one. McCain just didn't do enough.
Loved Bob's closing statement.
McCain just told Obama good job.
Michelle in blue and Cindy in red is funny.