September 26, 2008 Barack Obama and John McCain Debate "Housekeeping" (01:43)
Jim Lehrer welcomes Senators Barack Obama and John McCain and explains the debate format and rules.
Financial Recovery Plan (05:05)
Obama advocates using oversight during the bank bailout to protect taxpayers and help homeowners. McCain lauds bipartisan collaboration, and calls for job creation and ending dependence on foreign oil.
Economic Reform (05:40)
Obama calls for financial regulation and for reversing the shrinking middle class. McCain calls for Washington accountability and to stop rewarding greed. They would both vote on a financial recovery plan.
Leading Financial Recovery (03:47)
McCain says federal spending is out of control, and criticizes Obama's $932 million ear-marked plan. Obama points out McCain's proposal of $300 billion in tax cuts to the wealthy and calls for cutting taxes for working families as a bottom-up economic growth measure.
Tax Cuts Debate (08:09)
McCain accuses Obama of planning to raise taxes and proposes a healthcare credit. Obama says he'll cut taxes to working families and close corporate tax loopholes. McCain says he’s fought wasteful spending and Obama has voted on an energy bill with oil company tax breaks.
Federal Budget Priorities (04:31)
While certain programs will be delayed for the $700 billion Wall Street bailout, Obama would focus on energy independence, affordable healthcare, education, and rebuilding infrastructure. McCain would eliminate ethanol subsidies, cut defense spending, and make government agencies more efficient.
Managing the Financial Bailout (08:21)
Obama advocates investing in energy independence and reforming Medicare. McCain proposes freezing all spending except for defense, veteran affairs and entitlements. Obama opposes a spending freeze and cites spending areas that can be shifted. McCain advocates increasing nuclear power and opposes a universal healthcare system.
Iraq Lessons (03:52)
McCain called for a new strategy in 2003, and says Petraeus is winning the war. Obama opposed the invasion, says Al-Qaeda has grown stronger in Afghanistan, and argues that the war is too costly.
Iraq Surge (07:25)
McCain says that Obama opposed the strategy but now commends it. Obama agrees it's working, but questions McCain's judgment for supporting the initial invasion. McCain says Obama's withdrawal plan is dangerous and unrealistic; Obama calls for a timetable and more troops in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan Strategy (05:13)
Obama advocates sending more troops to Afghanistan, addressing the poppy trade, and dealing with Al-Qaeda strongholds in Pakistan. McCain argues against launching military strikes in Pakistan, and advocates enlisting Pakistani forces to forge tribal allegiances against the Taliban.
Pakistan Strategy (07:28)
Obama argues for using force against Al-Qaeda in Pakistan, and says we've alienated the population by supporting Musharraf's regime. McCain outlines his record of sending troops to Somalia and Bosnia and argues he has more experience for making military decisions.
Iran Question (05:00)
McCain believes that Iran's acquisition of nuclear weapons will threaten Israel. He advocates forming a league of democracies to impose sanctions. Obama says Iran’s influence has grown during the Iraq war, argues that Russia and China are necessary for sanctions, and advocates direct diplomacy.
Diplomacy with Iran (08:00)
McCain opposes engaging in diplomacy with Iran while Iran threatens Israel. Obama says McCain's own advisers advocate meeting with Iran without preconditions, and cites North Korea’s nuclear armament as why we shouldn’t cut off talks completely.
Russia Question (05:41)
Obama advocates pressuring Russia to withdraw from South Ossetia and Abkhazia, strengthening ties to Eastern European nations, and working with Russia to prevent nuclear proliferation. McCain discusses Russia's power over energy sources and argues for bringing Georgia and Ukraine into NATO.
Alternative Energy (04:18)
Obama calls for anticipating Russian aggression in former Soviet territories, and for a strategy dealing with rogue oil producing states to protect U.S. energy interests. He criticizes McCain for voting against renewable energy legislation. McCain advocates offshore drilling.
Terrorist Attack Probability (04:31)
McCain cites post 9/11 legislation as helping national security, but says that intelligence, alliances, and borders need improvement. Obama advocates increasing spending on preventing nuclear proliferation, focusing on Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and improving U.S. global standing.
Final Thoughts on the Presidency (07:02)
McCain argues that an Iraq failure would strengthen Al-Qaeda. Obama says the war has increased national debt and harmed the economy. McCain believes Obama lacks experience to lead; Obama advocates improving America’s international status to bolster national security. McCain promises bipartisan leadership.
September 26, 2008 Debate Summary (02:39)
ABC News commentators discuss dynamics and stylistic differences between Senators Barack Obama and John McCain; both made strong points on foreign policy.
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