Why is you economic plan better?
McCain: 52 billion dollars. Buy bad mortages. Tax breaks to corporations. Taxes are bad. Don't tax small businesses. Obama is bad for "Joe" the plumber. Exxon would get additional 4 billion in tax breaks. Obama's plan is class-warfare. ("Spread the wealth around"). Joe will create jobs unless you raise his taxes. Taxation according to what's good for business is better.
Obama: 60 Billion dollars. Added clauses to bailout that CEOs don't enrich themselves while they're walking away. End tax breaks for businesses shipping jobs. Tax cuts for families making less than $250,000. Help homeowners. Let them re-neg. on their mortgages. Still lots of work to do. But have to act quickly. Fix energy policy that gives our wealth away. Fix education system. Trickle down isn't working. Ground up is better. Only if you make more than 250k will your taxes increase. 98% of small businesses make less than 250k. 95% of Americans will have their taxes lowered. Nobody likes taxes but, Exxon/Mobil doesn't need any breaks. The middle-class and poor need a break.
This year's deficit is 455 billion dollars. Won't some of the programs you proposed need to be trimmed?
Obama: The 750 bill, if structured right, taxpayers will get their money back. We've been living beyond our means. Strong proponent of pay as you go. We need to eliminate current programs from our budget if they're not working. Wants to invest in America. Invest in preventing diseases. Invest in education. Invest in energy and technology. We're going to have to embrace a culture of living within our means and being responsible. Spending freeze won't work. We need a scalpel. Some good programs are underfunded. Some bad programs just need to be cut. Earmarks account for .5% of total spending budget. National deficit has doubled while Bush has been in office. McCain voted for 4 out of 5 of Bush's budgets. On the core economic issues, McCain has been a vigorous supporter of Bush.
McCain: Energy independence. "Countries that don't like us very much." Across the board spending freeze. And then I'll use a scalpel. Government spending is way out of control. We owe China a half billion. Veto every earmarked, pork-barrel bill. I can balance the budget. Job creation through energy independence. I have disagreed with Bush and my party. (Climate change, torture, patient bill of rights, Iraq War?)
Are you willing to say the things your campaigns have said about each other?
McCain: If Obama would've done townhall meetings, it would've been different. It's been tough. I regret some of the negative of both campaigns. Some things have been unacceptable. I hope Obama will repudiate remarks made about me and Palin having to do with the worst chapter in U.S. history. Obama didn't keep his word about public financing. Obama's ads are wrong about McCain on stem-cell research. McCain acting like a martyr, as if he's been the bigger man. Obama started his campaign in Bill Ayers living room.
Obama: We expect campaigns to be tough. 2/3 of people think McCain ran a neg. campaign. 100% of McCain's ads have been negative. Nothing wrong with debate about the issues. Not having townhall mtgs. doesn't justify accusations and very negative ads. People deserve to hear talk about what's most important to them. (Economy). Politics as usual isn't solving the big problems in America. Americans are tired of tit for tat. They want to focus on the big challenges they have right now. Obama acting like McCain is just in the way of him being able to take on the big challenges we face: 2 wars, the worst financial crisis. Mr. Ayers has been center-piece of McCain's campaign. He's a professor. He engaged in despicable acts. He's not involved in my campaign. He will not advise me in the White House. Acorn has been illegally registering voters. It had nothing to do with me. I'll be surrounding myself with democrats and republicans in the white house.
People you'll bring into the government. Why did you pick your VP?
Obama: Joe Biden is a fine public servant. Has some of the best foreign policy credentials. Has never forgotten where he comes from. Has been through hard times. Comes from middle-America. Fights for the little guy. Will help working families. Passed violence against women act. Shares Obama's core values. We agree that we have to reprioritize--help families. Stop focussing everything on corporations and business. Make sure kids get to go to college. Palin is capable. She's excited base. It's commendable that she works on special needs. Autism and other special needs will require additional research. (Spending freeze won't be good).
McCain: She's a role model to women. Is a reformer. Was head of energy and nat. resources board. Gives money back to tax payers. Faced down oil companies. She understands special-needs families. She takes on the "ol boys club." That's YOU McCain. Joe Biden is qualified in many respects. But he voted against first Gulf War. He wanted to divide Iraq into 3. McCain thinks that's not going to work.
Energy and Climate change. End dependence on foreign oil. Give a number of how much we can reduce our foreign oil imports?
McCain: We can eliminate Middle-Eastern and Venezuelan oil. Build 45 new nuclear plants. We can store and reprocess. Nuclear, wind, tide, solar, flex-fuel, clean-coal--all necessary. Within 7 to 10 years we can get off the bad people oil.
Obama: In 10 years, we can reduce our dependence---no oil from Mid East and Venezuelan. Right now, we're mortgaging our children's futures. We need to expand domestic production. The oil companies will need to use it or lose it with the 68,000 acres of leases. We need to look at off-shore. Need to develop high fuel-efficient car in America. We've fallen behind. I believe in free-trade. But for far too long, we've taken any trade agreement. We need to start enforcing the rules. The president has to advocate for American products. We have to stand for human rights when we look at trade agreements as well. We need to help the auto makers but we have to make them accountable for energy consumption. We can make 5 million jobs in America just buy investing and researching in clean energy.
Would you favor controlling health care costs?
Obama: People are being laid off and are losing health care. If you have health insurance and you like it, keep it. We'll try to cut costs by $2500 per year. If you don't have insurance, you'll be provided the chance to choose the same health care plan as the federal employees at a lower cost. We'll make the whole system more efficient/electronic. We'll work on preventative health care. Small businesses will be exempted from the fine for not providing health care. Large businesses won't be exempted--they can afford it. If businesses don't take care of their employees, someone has to. McCain's plan would allow insurances to exclude.
McCain: We need to put health care records online. Obesity is an alarming statistic. We should have physical fitness programs in schools and work. $5000 refundable tax credit to buy whatever plan you want. We've already got too much government. Obama's plan is too much government control. It will take away choice.
Would you nominate a judge who disagrees with you on Roe v Wade?
McCain: Should be left up to the states. I don't use a litmus test on an appointee. Thinks Roe v Wade was a bad decision. Obama voted against 2 good judges based on idealogical differences. I'll find the best, who have the strictest adherence to the Constitution. We have to change the culture of America. Courage and compassion. Attacking Obama's record on abortion/late term abortion. Proud to be pro-life. McCain is an adoptive parent. Thinks Obama's language "health of the mother" is misleading.
Obama: Shouldn't apply a litmus test. Fairness, justice to American people is most important. Believes Roe v Wade was correct. It's a moral issue. Ultimately, women are in the best position to make this decision. Has to do with Constitutional right to privacy. Judges will be an important issue. Thinks judges should have a view about what real world folks are going through. Obama defends his abortion vote by saying there was already a law on the books which protected the unborn and the born. Voted against banning late term because there wasn't an exception for the life of the mother. This is a divisive issue. But there surely is some common ground----try to prevent unplanned/unwanted pregnancy through education and adoption. NO ONE is pro-abortion.
U.S. tests lower than most of the countries of the world though we spend the most on education?
Obama: This has to do with our secure future. Debate is more money? Or more reform? Thinks we need both. Every dollar invested gets huge gains in the end. Need to spend more to recruit better, more qualified educators. Need to make college more affordable. Proposes $4000 tuition credit every year, in exchange for some form of community/national service. Parents need to show responsibility. No child left behind went underfunded so it didn't work. No follow-through on funding. Focus on early childhood education. Thinks charter school competition is a good thing. Doubled the number of charter schools in Illinois. Kids aren't an interest group. They are America's future. Vouchers aren't the way to go. The center-piece of McCain's policy is to increase the DC voucher program. That doesn't help the rest of America.
McCain: It's the new civil rights issue. Choice and competition among schools is what's needed. Charter schools. Reward good teachers. Find poor teachers another line of work. Charter schools provide competition. Throwing money at the problem isn't the solution. Some of the most failing schools are getting the most money. Doesn't make sense. We must improve education in this country. Need to make student loans available and more easily payable. No Child left behind was a great idea to get us started. We need to fix it and reauthorize it. Head start is a great program. We should reform it and then refund it. It needs accountability and transparency. The fact that American education is the most expensive and the least effective cries out for reform.
McCain: "My friends." These are difficult times. Need new direction. I have a record of reform and taking on other party and own party. I've been a careful steward. We'll make healthcare available and affordable. WE have to stop the spending. You'll have to decide if you trust me or Obama. Look at my record. I've been proud to serve.
Obama: Going through tough times. Administration plus Washington's refusual to tackle problems have led us here. We need fundamental change. Americans are fudamentally decent. That's what's going to get us better. That's why our best days lie ahead. It's not going to be easy. It's going to require ALL of us. It's going to require sacrifice. I will work everyday tirelessly for you and your children.