Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Presidental Debate #2: Open Thread/Live Blogging

Open Thread/Live Blogging.

Looking forward to your comments below.

The Townhall format is claimed to be Sen. McCain's best. We will see.

Obama: The AIG executives who just went out and spent a bunch of money on a resort should have to give the money back to the treasury, and be fired. This is all McCain's people.

McCain: We need to have home mortgages bought back by the treasury.

McCain: The financial crisis is because of Fanny and Freddy. For two years some of us have been trying to stop this. Sen. Obama and his cronies have been taking campaign contribution for keeping this system in place.

Obama: The root cause of all of this is deregulation. Sen. McCain has been bragging about being a deregulator. The regulation bill is something that Sen. McCain jumped on a year after the bill had been in process a year after it was introduced. But you're not interested in politicians pointing fingers. You're interested in how this impacts you. What is needed now is regulation that makes sense. We need 21st century financial systems instead of the current 20th century markets. We need to work to bring

McCain: This economy may go up or down. It depends on what we do. The key will depend on if we stabilize the financial markets.

Question: How can we trust either of you with our money?

Obama: I understand both your cynicism and your skepticism. It's important to remember some history here. We had a surpless when George Bush came to office. Now we have a $10 billion dollar deficit, and Sen. McCain voted for 4 out of 5 of those.

We need to vote for healthcare, education, and other key policies. I intend to cut more than I'm spending. Key is priorities that are working for you.

McCain: I can see what you feel cynicism and mistrust. The system is broken. I have worked in a bipartisan way with Sen. Leiberman. Sen. Obama has never taken on the leaders of his own party.

Brokaw: What are your priorities?

McCain: We can do all three at once. We are not going to be able to pay for the people retiring in the future at the same level as the people currently retiring. (Ed note: MCCAIN IS SAYING, HE IS GOING TO CUT SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS.)

Obama: Our goal should be in ten years time we are free of our dependence on foreign oil. That would be priority number 1. Healthcare is number 2, because it makes our businesses more competitive. Number 3 is education. Because it makes our children more competitive in a global economy.

Ed note: This is happening against this background economically today:


Bank of America skidded 26.2 percent to $23.77 the day after it said it would cut its dividend and raise $10 billion to help staunch rising loan losses.

"The market can't seem to find a footing, no matter what the government or the Fed tells them. We're in uncharted territory and we don't know how that is going to end," said Linda Duessel, market strategist at Federated Investors in Pittsburgh.

"We've all been shellshocked by the momentum on the downside in this market, and now people are talking about a long and deep recession -- just a month ago, many thought a recession could be averted."

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 508.39 points, or 5.11 percent, to 9,447.11. The blue-chip Dow has lost more than 1,400 points over the past five sessions, or nearly 13 percent of its value, according to Reuters data.

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index dropped 60.66 points, or 5.74 percent, to 996.23 -- the first time the benchmark index has closed below the 1,000 level in more than five years. The drop was the S&P 500's biggest five-day percentage decline since the 1987 crash.

The Nasdaq Composite Index slid 108.08 points, or 5.80 percent, to 1,754.88.
Question: What kind of sacrifice are you going to call the America people to?

McCain: People need to understand we can't do everything. We need to set priorities.

Obama: After 9/11 the entire country was ready to sacrifice. President Bush made some good choices, but also, he asked people to shop. I think that was a missed opportunity. People want to be called to service. This is why I'm proposing to double the Peace Corp for our young people. This is why... (gives several examples) ... where all of us are going to contribute, all of us are going to make sacrifices. Although I disagree with Sen. McCain about an across the board freeze. I think that hurts everyone. I think we need a scalpel.

McCain: Nailing jello to the wall. Last President to raise taxes during tough economic times was Herbert Hoover and he practice protectionism which I'm sure we'll get to. Sen. Obama's plan will raise taxes on over half a million small businesses. Let me be clear, I am not in favor of tax cuts for the wealthy. I am in favor of tax cuts for the middle class. Let's not raise anybody's taxes.

McCain: What's the best way to handle green issues? Nuclear power. I was on Navy ships. We can reprocess the fuel. Other countries do this. It creates jobs. We're the best innovators in the world.

Obama: This is one of the biggest challenges of our times. Not just a challenge but an opportunity. Can be an engine that drives us into the future like computers did. This will require a sustained effort from the next President. We have 3% of the world's oil reserves and we use 25% of the world's oil. This means we can not simply drill our way out of the crisis. We can then export this to companies like China which need energy.

Obama: Healthcare through your employeer. The rest are are covered through a plan which is the same is as good as the one the Sen. and I have. Sen. McCain's plan would be a tax credit, and result for the first time ever, in health care being taxed.

McCain: Deregulation. States.

Obama: I think Health Care should be a right. In a country as wealthy as ours, everyone should have health care. No one in my plan has to change plans, or has to change doctors. If you have a small business, you get a 50% credit to help. Everyone has to insure children, because all children should be insured.

McCain: Before we leave that, can we hear the size of the fine?

Obama: We've spent $700 billion so far. We're spending $10 billion a MONTH. That money needs to come home.

Brokaw: What is the doctrine for intervening in horrible situations, which are not U.S. wars?

Obama: I believe we need to consider intervening when a genocide is occuring. We need to work in concert with our allies.

McCain: The United States is the greatest force for good in the history of the world. That requires a cool hand at the tiller. We need to temper our decision making, and I've been doing this all my life. I will put the lives of our brave young people before anything except national security, knowing that I may have to make these hard calls.

Question: Should the U.S. peruse Bin Ladin in Pakistan?

Obama: If Pakistan is unable or unwilling to hunt down Bin Ladin, then we should.

McCain: "Speak softly and carry a big stick." Obama keeps talking big. We need to keep getting allies, to get the support of the people. Not to threaten to attack the people.

Obama: Sen. McCain is the same guy who sang "Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran" and called for the invasion of Iran. This is not what I call speaking softly.

McCain: I hate to even get into this; I was joking with an old friend about the Iran thing. Sen. Obama and I have fundamental differences about this. I am unwilling to telegraph my plans. I know how to get Bin Ladin and I will.

McCain: We want to bring international pressures on Russia in the hopes it will modify their recent behavior. It will not restart the cold war.

Obama: In addition to financial assistance to the territories, we need to see around the corners. We need to anticipate what is going to happen before it happens. We need to be much more strategic. Energy is going to be key in dealing with Russia. If we can reduce the amount of oil we use, that reduces the amount of money they have to make mischief.

McCain: Of course we would defend Israel. The big issue is iran's committment to gaining nuclear weapons.

Obama: We can not allow Iran to gain a nuclear weapon. It would be a game changer. It is unacceptable. I will do everything that is required to change it. It is important however, that we do everything possible to work with other countries, to tighten sanctons on Iran, if we keep putting the squeeze on Iran, that helps. I do believe that we should have direct talks not just with our friends but with our enemies, so we can deliver a message that says

Question: What don't you know, and how do you learn it?

Obama: It's never the challenges that you expect. It's the ones you don't that end up consuming most of your time. I wouldn't be standing here if it wasn't for that this country gave me the opportunity. The question in this election is, are we going to pass on that American Dream to the next generation, or see it vanish, as we've seen it go away over the last eight years. We need FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE in this election. That's what is at stake, but we need the nerve and courage to make the jump.

McCain: What I don't know is what is going to happen both at home and abroad. What I don't know is what the unexpected will be. I grew up in a family where my father was gone most of the time doing our countries business. My mother raised us. I know what it like to rely on your comrades. I'm asking the American people to give me that chance.

Brokaw: Next debate, October 15.


Being Presidential: Obama
Being on the Attack: McCain
Character: Tie
Lying: Tie
Trust: Obama
Smart ass/arrogance: None --> Obama
Knowing what he was doing: Obama
National Security: McCain, by a nose. (And I hate to say it.)

Bottom line: Obama Wins

Overall, McCain did a LOT better than Debate #1. The Townhall format is by far his best format.

Problem is, it isn't enough to stop the bleeding.

McCain hit hard on national security. In the world of undecideds, I'm guessing on tonight only, McCain went up slightly over Obama slightly. But Obama clearly won the debate, probably 2:1.

Okay... MSNBC has the first set of dial groups coming in. They are precisely what I predicted. 60/40 for Obama overall, and 2:1 in independents. Neither independents or dems like it when McCain goes negative. Also not even Republicans in the dial group think the McCain's mortgage plan is worth anything; they want a full economic plan.

We will see how the snap polls are when they come in.

The other two big issues for me are, Obama said health care is a right, McCain said it is a responsibility. And McCain said he wants to alter social security.

This was not a game changer. Obama is ahead. He is going to stay ahead. Obama will win, I predict, by at least 100 electoral votes, and probably at 400 EV.

It's been FUN. Thanks for being here. Coming up as soon as we have it, SNAP POLLS.

LIVE, this is the GNB News Desk, covering the 2008 Presidential Debate #2. I'm Jesse Wendel. Goodnight.