Brought to you by your friends Sricki and Ragekage, we’ve got the offical liveblog thread for the evening.
NEW OPEN THREAD POSTED, MOVE OVER THERE!
9:53 PM– McCain talking about how Obama wants to “attack Pakistan”. Talking about attaining the trust of the people in Pakistan; again, mentions General Petreus- he really likes that guy.
9:50 PM– Obama is noting how he wanted to send more troops to Afghanistan; we have four times the number of troops in Iraq, which had nothing to do with 9/11, no Al Qaeda before we went there. Talking about how even Secretary Gates noted the central front against Al Qaeda is in Afghanistan. McCain is talking about him making a mistake, a la Charlie Wilson’s War, leaving Afghanistan to be after the Soviets left.
More below the fold
9:48 PM– Obama is talking about how we need to deal with Afghanistan; McCain claims Admiral Mike Mullen and General Petreus oppose Obama’s plans. Petreus and bin Laden have one thing in common- “They both think the central ground for terrorism is in Iraq.” Accusing Senator Obama of being a defeatist. Question moves to Afghanistan.
9:43 PM– McCain says the only thing the next President has to worry about is how we leave Iraq, not why we went in. McCain is talking about Senator Obama’s not supporting the surge; talking about how Obama didn’t go to Iraq where “NATO” troops were stationed. Obama: “That [the surge] was a tactic designed to contain the damage of the previous four years of mismanagement of this war. John, you like to pretend like the war started in 2007. The war started in 2003. You said it would be quick and easy. You were wrong. You said you knew where the WMDs were. You were wrong…” Great line. Hammers back the point “you were wrong” about four times total. Brings it back to judgment. McCain fire back at Obama, doesn’t know the different between tactics and strategy? Talking about how Obama refuses to “admit we’re winning”, and Obama shakes his head and says “That’s not true.” McCain tries to slam Obama for not wanting to “fund the troops”.
9:39 PM– What are the lessons from Iraq? McCain talks about how he didn’t like how things were going in Iraq. Talking about how the surge in Iraq worked. Says we’ll win. Obama notes a better question is, should we have actually gone to war? We hadn’t finished our war in Afghanistan or caught Bin Laden. Noted Bush and McCain supported the war; talking about the expense (soon to be a trillion dollars) of Iraq, war dead, and spending money in Iraq when they have a budget surplus.
9:37 PM– McCain goes on and on about cutting spending; Obama: What about the fact that it’s Bush, the leader of McCain’s party (who McCain says he’s agreed with 95% of the time) who created this “orgy of spending”? McCain has no answer. John McCain talks about disagreeing with Bush- on TORTURE?!?- he said MAVERICK, and says he’s got a good “partner who is a Mavrick (TM)”.
9:35 PM– Talking about what happens with the bailout. “We have to know where our values are.” Talking about shortchanging our long-term plans. McCain is saying Obama would hand healthcare over to the Federal Government; hits Obama again for $800 billion in “new spending.” Some needs to start counting how many times he says “cut spending”, and make a new drinking game.
9:33 PM– Wow, McCain wants to call for a spending freeze on everything but defense spending, veteran affairs. Obama responds, use a scalpel, not a hatchet. Talking about spending money in Iraq when they’ve got a budget surplus. McCain responds that we send $700 billion a year sending money to countries that “don’t like us very much.” Talking about Obama’s opposition to building new nuclear powerplants.
9:31 PM– “Scrub every agency of government.” McCain wants to examine each agency to see which are doing their jobs. He hasn’t properly explained how this will help. Lehrer presses both candidates on what would be killed with this bailout pacakge. Obama is talking about private insurers in the medicare system. “Mostly that’s just me opposing George Bush’s wrongheaded policies since I’ve been in Congress.” Obama has reached across the aisle to help set up “Google for Government”, a list of every dollar of federal spending so the American public can see who’s promoting the spending McCain is so distressed about
9:29 PM– Obama running off plans for alternative energy, ticking off ways to get the country back on track. McCain’s response? Says we need to cut spending. Oh yeah, and that Obama has the most liberal voting record — can’t reach across the aisle if you’re that far to the left, apparently. McCain actually talking about killing ethanol (well, he wasn’t gonna win Iowa, anyway) and some defense spending.
9:26 PM– What are you going to have to give up with this bailout? Obama says not sure at this point, have to see. Admits we can’t be sure, but not everything will be done, but some things will have to be done, like energy dependence, aternative energies. Healthcare, premiums have gone up 30%. Invest in the future, in science, college funding, broadband internet access for rural communities. Eliminate programs that don’t work, and make sure spending is efficient.
9:23 PM– Obama is talking about McCain taxing health benefits, and explaining the implications of that, and “the notion the market can solve everything.” McCain: “This is a classic example of walking the walk and talking the talk.” He’s trying to use Obama’s vote for the Bush/Cheney energy bill against him. Trying to turn Obama into the candidate of rhetoric. Talking about how Obama voted for the energy package, and claiming Obama voted to raise taxes on people making as little as $42,000 a year. A little verbal tussle back and forth.
9:21 PM– McCain again mentions the $932 million dollars in earmarks Obama requested, claiming he didn’t care about earmark spending until he started running for office. Once again, McCain tries to claim that Obama will raise our taxes. Misleading. Obama responds: ‘95% of you will get a tax cut, and if you make less than a quarter million dollars a year, you will not see one dime’s worth of tax increases.
Sricki notes that if any of you are watching CNN, there’s a bar at the bottom of the screen showing the reactions of a group of viewers, who are turning a dial as the candidates talk. Red is Republican, Blue is Democrat, Green is Independent. A line moving up means the viewers in that category like what the candidate is saying; the line moving down indicates that they disapprove. Interesting to note.
9:20 PM– Earmark reform is important, but it doesn’t address the middle class. Sricki says, McCain trying to say he wants to cut spending whereas Obama wants to increase it. He’s clearly forgetting about the massive spending cut we’d get out of ending the war. Good point.
9:18 PM– Senator McCain hits Obama again on the $932 million in earmarks, “Maybe that’s not a lot of money to Senator Obama.” Cute. Talking about how Senator Obama wants to have eight hundred billion in new spending- Obama stops him and wonders where he’s getting his figures. Obama talking about killing shipping jobs overseas.
9:14 PM– Next question is, how do the candidates differ on fixing the financial crisis? McCain is talking about the need to kill spending and earmarks. Talking about killing earmarks; slams Obama for asking for 932 million dollars in earmark spending (“a million dollars a day he’s been in Washington”). Obama responds, agreeing with earmark reform. Talking about McCain cutting taxes on the ultra-rich, “leaving a hundred million Americans out.” Calls for a tax-cut for 95% of working families, and fixing the economy from the bottom up.
9:13 PM– “Main Street is paying for the excesses of Wall Street.” Says McCain. And now he’s talking about the need for regulation; how great American workers are. “I believe, under the right leadership, our best days are ahead of us.”
9:11 PM McCain is saying someone needs to be held “accountable” for things like the financial crisis. Senator Obama says that’s right, but we need it not just for the crisis.
9:08 PM– Floor is open for talk on this issue. Obama says neither he nor McCain have truly seen the language of the bailout. Talking about needing to fix things in the short term, but we have to look towards how the future and fixing things. Obama is talking about how he warned us things were coming to a head; now McCain is joining that chorus.
9:06 PM– McCain opens by talking about Senator Kennedy’s trip to the hospital. “This is the greatest fiscal crisis I’ve seen in my life, and I’ve been around for awhile.” Talking about his trip back to Washington, how the house Republicans weren’t “involved”. Ends with how we have to end our dependency on foreign oil.
9:03 PM– The question is, where do you stand on the financial issue? Senator Obama is first; talking about how serious the issue is, about how normal Americans wonder how it’ll affect them. “We have to move swiftly, but move wisely.” Talks about the importance of making sure regulation gets passed and enforced, slams the Bush administration. “Fundamentals of the economy have to be determined by the middle class.
9:02 PM– Debate suddenly moved to CSPAN 2; Jim is explaining the format. Applause as both candidates take the stage.
8:59 PM– Debate starts in another minute; CSPAN is still focusing on the House.