Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Transcript of second McCain, Obama debate

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Presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama debated in Nashville, Tennessee, on Tuesday night. NBC's Tom Brokaw moderated the debate. Here is a transcript of that debate. Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain meet in Nashville for their second debate. Brokaw: Good evening from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. I'm Tom Brokaw of NBC News. And welcome to this second presidential debate, sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates. Tonight's debate is the only one with a town hall format. The Gallup Organization chose 80 uncommitted voters from the Nashville area to be here with us tonight. And earlier today, each of them gave me a copy of their question for the candidates. From all of these questions -- and from tens of thousands submitted online -- I have selected a long list of excellent questions on domestic and foreign policy. Neither the commission nor the candidates have seen the questions. And although we won't be able to get to all of them tonight, we should have a wide-ranging discussion one month before the election. Each candidate will have two minutes to respond to a common question, and there will be a one-minute follow-up. The audience here in the hall has agreed to be polite, and attentive, no cheering or outbursts. Those of you at home, of course, are not so constrained. The only exception in the hall is right now, as it is my privilege to introduce the candidates, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois and Sen. John McCain of Arizona. Gentlemen? Gentlemen, we want to get under way immediately, if we can. Since you last met at Ole Miss 12 days ago, the world has changed a great deal, and not for the better. We still don't know where the bottom is at this time. As you might expect, many of the questions that we have from here in the hall tonight and from online have to do with the American economy and, in fact, with global economic conditions. I understand that you flipped a coin. And, Sen. Obama, you will begin tonight. And we're going to have our first question from over here in Section A from Allen Shaffer. Allen? Shaffer: With the economy on the downturn and retired and older citizens and workers losing their incomes, what's the fastest, most positive solution to bail these people out of the economic ruin? Obama: Well, Alan (ph), thank you very much for the question. I want to first, obviously, thank Belmont University, Tom, thank you, and to all of you who are participating tonight and those of you who sent e-mail questions in. I think everybody knows now we are in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. And a lot of you I think are worried about your jobs, your pensions, your retirement accounts, your ability to send your child or your grandchild to college. And I believe this is a final verdict on the failed economic policies of the last eight years, strongly promoted by President Bush and supported by Sen. McCain, that essentially said that we should strip away regulations, consumer protections, let the market run wild, and prosperity would rain down on all of us. It hasn't worked out that way. And so now we've got to take some decisive action. Now, step one was a rescue package that was passed last week. We've got to make sure that works properly. And that means strong oversight, making sure that investors, taxpayers are getting their money back and treated as investors. It means that we are cracking down on CEOs and making sure that they're not getting bonuses or golden parachutes as a consequence of this package. And, in fact, we just found out that AIG, a company that got a bailout, just a week after they got help went on a $400,000 junket. And I'll tell you what, the Treasury should demand that money back and those executives should be fired. But that's only step one. The middle-class need a rescue package. And that means tax cuts for the middle-class. It means help for homeowners so that they can stay in their homes. It means that we are helping state and local governments set up road projects and bridge projects that keep people in their jobs.
Tom Brokaw of NBC, the moderator, screened their questions and also chose others that had been submitted online.
"The Straight Talk Express lost a wheel on that one," he said. He said his plan would only tax those making more than $250,000 a year, and most small businesses would not be affected. He also has a proposal for a tax cut that he said would cover 95 percent of Americans. Obama has solidified his national lead in polls ahead of the Nov. 4 election and gained an edge in crucial battleground states in recent weeks as the Wall Street crisis focused attention on the economy, an area where polls show voters prefer the Illinois senator's leadership. The economic turmoil continued on Tuesday, with stocks tumbling for the second consecutive day in a sign the $700 billion bailout of U.S. financial institutions did not ease market concerns about the economy. Asked about a possible Treasury secretary under their administrations, both candidates mentioned Omaha's legendary investor Warren Buffett, a supporter of Obama. The debate featured little of the anger and aggressive attacks that have been featured on the campaign trail in the last week. Polls judged Obama the winner of the first debate two weeks ago, but Tuesday's debate was conducted in a looser town hall format where questions were asked by the audience -- a favorite setting for McCain and a staple of his campaigns in the battle for the party nomination this year and in 2000. About 100 undecided Nashville voters identified by the Gallup polling company posed the questions. The candidates sat on stools and were free to roam the stage.
The number who say he's got the kind of experience it takes to serve effectively as president, while a majority for the first time, is only narrowly so, 52 percent.
Sen. Barack Obama is riding economic discontent to an advantage in Ohio, bolstered in part by financially stressed voters in the state's hard-hit industrial belt -- and following it up with a more extensive ground campaign in this key contest. McCain and Obama enter Tuesday night's second presidential debate at Belmont University with a real sense of a race that's slipping away from McCain -- and a growing realization in GOP circles that the Republican ticket has a dwindling number of chances to reclaim the narrative.
McCain gets the format he wants, but not the backdrop. If the debate follows the logical progression of the week, we will continue down the path of least subsistence into out-and-out, guilt-by-association name-calling -- led there, in all likelihood, by McCain, whose campaign is trying to thrust "character" into a campaign that may not welcome it. Does McCain want to go there? Will/should even nasty attacks register when compared to the psychological blows arriving in mailboxes these days, depicting shattered 401(k)s? And with Tuesday night's town-hall format, does a candidate want to throw bombs when there are civilians in range? It may be too late for those choices: It's on, and it's ugly. In the run-up to the debate No. 2, McCain and (particularly) Palin have gone personal -- and Team Obama responded by bringing up the Keating 5. "Who is the real Barack Obama?" McCain said Monday (with now-casual references to Obama's "lies"), per ABC's Jake Tapper and Bret Hovell. "Even at this late hour in the campaign there are things we don't know about Senator Obama or the record that he brings to this campaign." And -- going further, but still not as far as she wants to go -- Palin "invoked fear for the first time when discussing Sen. Barack Obama's connection to former 60's radical William Ayers," per ABC's Imtiyaz Delawala. "I am just so fearful that this is not a man who sees America the way that you and I see America -- as the greatest source for good in this world," said Palin, R-Alaska. Obama, she said, "launched his political career in the living room of a domestic terrorist." No turning back from here: "Mr. McCain made clear on Monday that he wanted to make the final month of the race a referendum on Mr. Obama's character, background and leadership -- a polite way of saying he intends to attack him on all fronts and create or reinforce doubts about him among as many voters as possible," Adam Nagourney writes in The New York Times. "And Mr. Obama's campaign signaled that it would respond in kind, setting up an end game dominated by an invocation of events and characters from the lives of both candidates." "Look, I'm not sitting here with my feet up," said senior Obama adviser David Axelrod. "The back-and-forth, coming on the eve of a presidential debate tonight, represented some of the strongest language yet in a race that has grown increasingly negative and signaled that the final four weeks of the campaign could grow even nastier,"
The moderator, Tom Brokaw of NBC News, is sifting through those millions of questions to find six or seven that he might pose. The other dozen or so questions will come from among an audience of about 80 likely voters from the Nashville area who will be on stage with the candidates. Mr. Brokaw will meet with audience members on Tuesday as he seeks a balance between foreign and domestic topics. The live audience was selected over the last week by the Gallup Organization, which made thousands of calls to find people who are truly uncommitted - that is, they may be leaning toward one candidate or the other but could still change their minds. “Only a small percentage of the population qualifies as uncommitted,” said Frank Newport, editor in chief of the Gallup Poll. The format allows about five minutes for each question: two minutes for each candidate and one minute for what the co-chairman of the Commission on Presidential Debates, Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr., described as “interplay” to be managed by Mr. Brokaw.

Transcript of presidential debate
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McCain, Obama Agree to Fall Debate Schedule - FOXNews.com Elections
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Transcript of second McCain, Obama debate
NASHVILLE, Tennessee (CNN) -- Presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama are debating in Nashville, Tennessee, on Tuesday night. NBC's Tom Brokaw moderated the debate. Here is a transcript of that debate, as it happens. Sen. Barack Obama ...
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Source: CNN
NewsDateTime: 3 hours ago

Q&A Transcript
Vice Presidential Debate: It appears that many people are having second thoughts about Palin's ... With the race appearing to solidify in Obama's favor, what might the next McCain ... Wokingham, U.K.: If there were a genuine debate between McCain and ...
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Source: Washington Post
NewsDateTime: 10/2/2008

Sarah Palin Holds Her Own at the VP Debate and Congress Passes a ...
This is a rush transcript from "The Beltway Boys", October 4, 2008, that ... KONDRACKE: The Republicans were in the doldrums going into the debate partly because John McCain ... As you said, the race is about McCain and Obama. Beside, I think the important ...
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Source: FOX News
NewsDateTime: 10/6/2008

Q&A Transcript: Slate Bloggers Preview the Debate
... Palin is agony for women (Slate, Oct. 2) ; How to Debate a Girl, and Win (Slate, Oct. 1) The transcript follows ... Seems to me that McCain's chomping away at Obama last week backfired, or at least ... on the question of legalization of abortion, on second ...
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Source: Washington Post
NewsDateTime: 10/2/2008

CNN’s Drew Griffin Does a Real Fact-Check on Obama/Ayers Connection
The full transcript of Drew Griffin’s ... Supporters of the McCain campaign say, look, this is all fair game. In a debate earlier this year, Barack Obama described ... Annenberg Challenge, Barack Obama and Bill Ayers also served together on a second ...
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Source: News Busters
NewsDateTime: 3 hours ago


The format allows about five minutes for each question: two minutes for each candidate and one minute for what the co-chairman of the Commission on Presidential Debates, Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr., described as “interplay” to be managed by Mr. Brokaw.
When the candidates meet tonight at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., for their second of three debates, the pressure will be on McCain, who is trailing in the polls, to convince people to reconsider their priorities as well as their votes. That means continuing his campaign's strategy of attacking Obama's judgment, analysts said. "He's got a very difficult task ahead of him," said Torie Clarke, a Republican strategist and ABC News political consultant. "He has to do something different. He has to say something that will change the game. He has to inject something into the system that will shake things up, because right now, it does not look good." Tonight's town hall style debate is moderated by Tom Brokaw of NBC News. Brokaw will ask six or seven of the more than 6 million questions submitted over the Internet.


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