Tuesday, October 7, 2008

2nd Presidential Debate: Transcript (10-7-08)

Barack Obama and John McCain have the second presidential debate in Nashville, Tennessee. This time it was a townhall-style format. Read the transcript (NY Times) (see the video).


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.

You know that home values of retirees continues to decline and people are no longer able to afford their mortgage payments. As president of the United States, Alan, I would order the secretary of the treasury to immediately buy up the bad home loan mortgages in America and renegotiate at the new value of those homes -- at the diminished value of those homes and let people be able to make those -- be able to make those payments and stay in their homes.

Well, Oliver, first, let me tell you what's in the rescue package for you. Right now, the credit markets are frozen up and what that means, as a practical matter, is that small businesses and some large businesses just can't get loans.

If they can't get a loan, that means that they can't make payroll. If they can't make payroll, then they may end up having to shut their doors and lay people off.

I left my campaign and suspended it to go back to Washington to make sure that there were additional protections for the taxpayer in the form of good oversight, in the form of taxpayers being the first to be paid back when our economy recovers -- and it will recover -- and a number of other measures.

But you know, one of the real catalysts, really the match that lit this fire was Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. I'll bet you, you may never even have heard of them before this crisis.

But you know, they're the ones that, with the encouragement of Sen. Obama and his cronies and his friends in Washington, that went out and made all these risky loans, gave them to people that could never afford to pay back.

And so while it's true that nobody's completely innocent here, we have had over the last eight years the biggest increases in deficit spending and national debt in our history. And Sen. McCain voted for four out of five of those George Bush budgets.

So here's what I would do. I'm going to spend some money on the key issues that we've got to work on.

You know, you may have seen your health care premiums go up. We've got to reform health care to help you and your budget.

We are going to have to deal with energy because we can't keep on borrowing from the Chinese and sending money to Saudi Arabia. We are mortgaging our children's future. We've got to have a different energy plan.

We've got to invest in college affordability. So we're going to have to make some investments, but we've also got to make spending cuts. And what I've proposed, you'll hear Sen. McCain say, well, he's proposing a whole bunch of new spending, but actually I'm cutting more than I'm spending so that it will be a net spending cut.

I first proposed a long time ago that we would have to examine every agency and every bureaucracy of government. And we're going to have to eliminate those that aren't working.

I know a lot of them that aren't working. One of them is in defense spending, because I've taken on some of the defense contractors. I saved the taxpayers $6.8 billion in a deal for an Air Force tanker that was done in a corrupt fashion.

I believe that we have to eliminate the earmarks. And sometimes those projects, not -- not the overhead projector that Sen. Obama asked for, but some of them that are really good projects, will have -- will have to be eliminated, as well.

And they'll have to undergo the same scrutiny that all projects should in competition with others.

So we're going to have to tell the American people that spending is going to have to be cut in America. And I recommend a spending freeze that -- except for defense, Veterans Affairs, and some other vital programs, we'll just have to have across-the-board freeze.

McCain Speech in New Mexico: Transcript, Video (10-6-08)

Read the Complete Transcript and see the video of McCain's speech in Albuquerque.

In 21 months, during hundreds of speeches, town halls and debates, I have kept my promise to level with you about my plans to reform Washington and get this country moving again. As a senator, I've seen the corrupt ways of Washington in wasteful spending and other abuses of power, and as president I'm going to end them -- whatever it takes. I will propose and sign into law reforms to bring tax relief to the middle class and help to businesses so they can create jobs. I will get the rising cost of food and gas under control. I will help families keep their home, and help students struggling to pay for college. I will make health care more accessible and affordable. I will impose a spending freeze on all but the most vital functions of government. I will review every agency of the federal government, improve those that need to be improved and eliminate those that aren't working for the American people. I will confront th e ten trillion-dollar debt that the federal government has run up, and balance the federal budget by the end of my term in office.

This is the agenda I have set before my fellow citizens. And the same standards of clarity and candor must now be applied to my opponent. Even at this late hour in the campaign, there are essential things we don't know about Senator Obama or the record that he brings to this campaign.

We have all heard what he has said, but it is less clear what he has done or what he will do. What Senator Obama says today and what he has done in the past are often two different things. He has often changed his positions in this campaign, and the best way to determine where he would really take this country is to examine where he has tried to take it in the past.

My opponent has invited serious questioning by announcing a few weeks ago that he would quote -- "take off the gloves." Since then, whenever I have questioned his policies or his record, he has called me a liar.

Rather than answer his critics, Senator Obama will try to distract you from noticing that he never answers the serious and legitimate questions he has been asked. But let me reply in the plainest terms I know. I don't need lessons about telling the truth to American people. And were I ever to need any improvement in that regard, I probably wouldn't seek advice from a Chicago politician.

My opponent's touchiness every time he is questioned about his record should make us only more concerned. For a guy who's already authored two memoirs, he's not exactly an open book. It's as if somehow the usual rules don't apply, and where other candidates have to explain themselves and their records, Senator Obama seems to think he is above all that. Whatever the question, whatever the issue, there's always a back story with Senator Obama. All people want to know is: What has this man ever actually accomplished in government? What does he plan for America? In short: Who is the real Barack Obama? But ask such questions and all you get in response is another barrage of angry insults.

Our current economic crisis is a good case in point. What was his actual record in the years before the great economic crisis of our lifetimes?

This crisis started in our housing market in the form of subprime loans that were pushed on people who could not afford them. Bad mortgages were being backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and it was only a matter of time before a contagion of unsustainable debt began to spread. This corruption was encouraged by Democrats in Congress, and abetted by Senator Obama.

Senator Obama has accused me of opposing regulation to avert this crisis. I guess he believes if a lie is big enough and repeated often enough it will be believed. But the truth is I was the one who called at the time for tighter restrictions on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that could have helped prevent this crisis from happening in the first place.

Senator Obama was silent on the regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and his Democratic allies in Congress opposed every effort to rein them in. As recently as September of last year he said that subprime loans had been, quote, "a good idea." Well, Senator Obama, that "good idea" has now plunged this country into the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Palin Florida Speech Transcript (10-6-08)

Sarah Palin made no mention of the government bailout, healthcare, Iraq, Wall St. greed, people losing their homes, or Bush. Read the complete transcript.

This is a moment when principles and political independence matter a lot more than just the party line, as Senator Lieberman just told you. It matters a lot more than just the party line. John McCain is his own man. He doesn't run with the Washington herd. And he and I don't just talk about change, we're the only candidates in this race with a track record of actually making change happen.


As mayor and as a governor, I reminded people that government is not always the answer. In fact, government too often is the problem. So we got back to basics and we put government back on the side of the people.

As mayor, I eliminated taxes on personal property and I eliminated taxes like small business inventory taxes. Those burdens on our small businesses, we got rid of them. Property taxes were too high. Every year that I was in office I reduced that (mill levy ?).

And as governor, I brought the same agenda of positive change on a state level. I came to office promising to control spending, by request if possible, but by veto if necessary. And today, our state budget is under control and we have a surplus. And I put the veto pen to nearly half a billion dollars in wasteful spending.


We suspended our state fuel tax and I'm returning a chunk of our surplus money right back to the people of Alaska. It's their money and they can spend it better than government can spend it for them.


Imagine that. Imagine that, having that principle. And that's what we're going to bring on a national level also. That principle of knowing that -- no, the people, our families, our businesses they know best so let them keep more of what they earn and produce and not have this government take trying to quote, "solve" all the problems for our families and our businesses. No, we're not going to do that.

I've always known that I was accountable to the people who hired me. There, it was the people of Alaska. And in a McCain-Palin administration I promise you that we will never forget that we'll be there in D.C. to work for you the people of America.


So one mission of a McCain-Palin administration will be to set this nation firmly on a course of energy independence.


Across Florida and all across America, high gas prices is making a full tank at the pump seem like a luxury. And the cost of living, of course, is going up. And the cost of groceries is going up. Everything is going up, but the value of your paycheck is going down. And that's because of high energy costs. So, to meet America's great energy challenge we're going to need an all of the above approach. And that, in a McCain-Palin administration, will mean developing new alternative energy sources. And it will mean requiring to build more nuclear power plants. And in Florida, it means alternative sources of energy like wind and solar. God has so richly blessed you here.


Look at these sources of energy here in Florida that are still sitting untapped. And we'll tap into them, along with environmentally friendly off shore production. We do need to drill here and drill now. Now you can chant the drill baby drill.


It's as simple as this, Florida. In a McCain-Palin administration we will achieve energy security for our country. It is a matter of national security and economic prosperity. That means American energy resources brought to you by American ingenuity and produced by American workers.


And we're also going to bring tax relief to every American and cut taxes for businesses so you business owners you can hire more people. That's how jobs are created.


Here again, John McCain is the real reformer. In this election, he is the real reformer and he can do this and he has a record to prove it. And so do I, as a mayor, as a governor who cut taxes for the people of Alaska. You know, in this campaign, in this election, I think the phoniest claim in a campaign that's been full of them, is that Barack Obama is going to cut your taxes?


I mean, think about it. He's built his whole career on doling out tax money, first as a Chicago politician, and then raising taxes as a senator. He's voted 94 times to raise taxes.


Even on middle class every day working Americans making $42,000 a year, he voted to raise those taxes. And he tried to waste a million dollars a day just on his requested earmarks. And now, he's committed to almost a trillion dollars in new government spending. And yet, he never bothers to explain where all that's going to come from to pay for all of that. And dog gone it, no one seems to be asking him how is he going to pay for the huge government growth that he wants. No one is asking him. So you all, just do the math. Either do the math or just go with your gut. In either way, you're going to come up with the same conclusion, Barack Obama is going to raise your taxes.