problems with this plan including employees being taxed on healthcare.
Americans to make sacrifices – 9:28 – McCain proposes to stick to making government smaller and eliminate wasteful spending. McCain pushes his spending freeze again, which would not include defense and veteran affairs. McCain takes a another dig at Obama, “we can attack healthcare and energy spending at the same time,” he says.
Obama says he will explore new ways to get more oil. Oil companies have 68 million acres of land for off shore drilling Obama says. This is an issue Biden has been passionate about as Senator Lindsey Graham and other Republicans push for more leases for off-shore drilling. Biden says the companies aren’t using a majority of the leases they have now.
Priorities of the candidates – 9:25 – Suddenly, McCain can do multiple things at once. He says healthcare and energy can all be managed at once -just a week ago he couldn’t campaign and deal with the bailout at the same time. Obama says energy is a top priority, followed by healthcare. Obama pledges to go line by line in the federal budget to eliminate wasteful spending.
And the “maverick” strikes back – 9:21 – McCain touts his record of fighting to reduce pork barrel spending.
Questions on the bailout – 9:11 – Congress calls it a bailout, McCain calls it a “rescue.” Ding! McCain finally mentions that he suspended his campaign to make sure Americans were included in the bailout package – and the gloves come off. McCain blames Obama and other Democrats for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pushing subprime loans that led to this mess of an economy. “Fannie and Freddie were the catalyst, the match that started this forest fire,” McCain says.
Obama disputes it. He brings up McCain’s antiregulation stance. “A year ago I went to Wall Street and said we have to regulate and nothing happened,” Obama says. Score one for Obama. He finally brings up McCain’s campaign manager lobbying for Freddie Mac.
Obama, McCain and the economy – 9:08 – Obama says a week after the bailout AIG went on a $400,000 junket and they should give the money back. Obama heads straight for appealing to the middle class.
McCain says energy independence will fix the dismal economy, he’d also like to cut government spending and add a package of reforms. McCain wants to buy up soured mortgages and renegotiate them at the new value of the home.
He also says he supports appointing Meg Whitman, ex-Ebay CEO, as a replacement for Treasury secretary Hank Paulson.
Intro by Brokaw — 9:04 — Veteran newscaster Tom Brokaw explains the format of tonight’s town hall debate to the 80 uncommitted voters in the audience and us viewers at home. Each audience member wrote questions for the candidates and Tom Brokaw selected the questions. Brokaw starts off with the economy. Audience member Alan asks a