I'm already sick of hearing about Joe the Plumber. McCain did this same crap with the $3 million projector. He's making it sound like Joe is a poor dude in overalls, but he's got enough money to buy his own company.
Schieffer asks what programs they're going to cut. Is Obama gonna use the "we need to use a scalpel not a hatchet line"? Not yet...he did use the word "profligate" though.
McCain isn't answering the question, but talking about energy independence. Yawn. Across the board spending freeze. Hah, McCain said first he would get out his hatchet, then his scalpel. McCain is sounding more and more like Michael Myers (the serial killer one from the movies). There he goes with the fucking overhead projector bit again. Shut up about the goddamn overhead projector! It was an entire projection system for a planetarium, you dumbass.
Now Obama talks about using a scalpel. These dudes need to get some new material. I don't know why Obama doesn't defend the projector charge. I guess he thinks it's beneath even addressing.
McCain tells Obama that he's not Bush, and if Obama wanted to run against Bush he needed to run four years ago. Not a bad line.
Now McCain wants to take a hatchet and a scalpel to the budget. How about a hacksaw? A laser beam? A nail file?
McCain asks Obama when he ever stood up against his own party.
Obama says he supported tort reform, charter schools, and clean coal, all against his party. Obama says that he lumps McCain in with Bush's economic policies because the core policies are the same. Good answer.
McCain says he's got the scars to prove he's gone against his own party. Is he going to say he's not going to win any congeniality contests? Nope.
Schieffer asks about the negative campaigning. Asks if they're willing to say face-to-face what their surrogates have said on the campaign trail.
McCain is saying he wanted more town hall meetings. That doesn't address the question. Says he regrets some of the "turns" that this "tough" campaign has taken. Now he's playing the victim. Now he's going on about public campaign financing.
Obama says that 100% of McCain's ads are negative. Is that true? Obama says it's not about hurt feelings, but about issues.
Joe the Plumber raises his ass crack again!
McCain says that anytime you have a large crowd at a rally, there will be some "fringe peoples", but he won't stand for anybody calling the moms and veterans anything but patriotic. Okay.
I'm sick of this exchange. Move on, Bob.
Now we're on Ayers, and McCain brings up ACORN. MOVE ON, BOB!
Obama says that since McCain has made Ayers and ACORN the centerpiece of his campaign, it says more about McCain than it says about him.
Yay, Bob has moved on. He's asking about running mates. This looks bad for McCain.
Obama could say something snarky about Palin, but he's taking the high road, saying good things about Joe Biden. Hm, will McCain seriously try to make the argument that Palin would be a better President than Biden? Or will he ignore the question and answer a different one? Obama is just repeating some of his talking points about job creation and so on.
Here's McCain. He says Palin is a role model, a reformer. Calls her a breath of fresh air. He talks about how she'll be his partner. Now he's talking about the rise of autism. Huh? Why would she make a good President?
Schieffer asks Obama if she'll make a good President. He says that's up to the American people to decide. Now Obama wants to spend more money on the causes of autism. He's on with the scalpel again.
McCain says that Biden is qualified for the Presidency but that he's wrong a lot. Says he voted against the first Gulf War. McCain says that Obama always wants to spend more. Apparently McCain will research the causes of autism himself.
Energy and climate change. Asks how much we can reduce our oil dependency by the end of their first term. McCain says we're going to be free of dependency of Middle Eastern and Venezuelan oil. Really? He says we'll do this by building 45 nuclear power plants and moving to clean coal.
Obama says we can also be completely free of Middle Eastern and Venezuelan oil, in 10 years. McCain said 7, 8, or 10 years. So basically, neither of them will reduce dependency at all in their first term. Obama's talking about investing in alternative fuels.
McCain points out that Obama said we will "look into" offshore drilling, and that we can do it now. He should probably do that more, point to the vagueness of things that Obama says. Now they're arguing about free trade.
Now McCain brings up the whole bit about how Obama wants to sit down with dictators without preconditions. Blech. He says that Obama wants to raise taxes and restrict trade.
Health care. Given the current economic situation, would either of you consider controlling health care costs rather than expanding coverage?
Obama says we need to do both. Kind of a softball question. He's laying out his plan, which we've heard about in the previous debates.
McCain says we should have physical fitness programs in schools. Huh? Since when did they do away with PE? HOLY FUCK, Joe the Plumber is back! McCain is talking directly to Joe the Plumber. He says that Joe is going to pay a fine under Obama if he doesn't give his employees health care.
Obama says that Joe will pay zero fines because small businesses will be exempt. He starting talking about McCain's plan, which McCain didn't really want to talk about. Says under McCain we get a $5000 credit, but the benefits will be taxed.
McCain is still spending most of his time attacking Obama's plan instead of describing his own.
Oh boy...abortion. Would you ever appoint someone to the Supreme Court who disagreed with your position on Roe v. Wade?
McCain says he wouldn't apply a litmus test. Says he would find the best candidates based on their qualifications. Says he wouldn't apply a litmus test, but also says he doesn't think anybody who supported Roe v. Wade is qualified. Okay.
Obama says it should be a Federal issue. Says he will look for qualified candidates.
McCain is saying that Obama is for partial-birth abortion and voted against a bill that would provide emergency care for infants that are the result of a failed abortion. Don't know if this is true or not.
Obama says it's crap. Says a law was already on the books providing emergency care for infants that are a result of a failed abortion. Obama is trying to appeal for common ground on the issue. That's not going to work with the hard-core pro-lifers. Might work with independents.
At least this was an interesting exchange. The first time abortion (or really any hotbutton issue) has come up in the three debates.
Education. We spend more than any other nation per capita on education, but we trail many other countries. Basically, what is your education policy?
Obama wants more money spent on early childhood education. Wants to recruit a new "army" of teachers and pay them more. Wants to make college more affordable. I'm guessing McCain will jump on Obama for wanting to spend more. Obama says that parents have to take more responsibility.
McCain says education is "the civil rights issue of the 21st century". He wants to privatize schools. Says that throwing money at the problem doesn't help. Great, McCain wants ex-soldiers to go straight into the classroom without teacher certification. That sounds like a swell idea...not.
Obama says we need to fund No Child Left Behind. Says he supports charter schools too.
McCain says he's for vouchers. Brings up vouchers in Washington. Chides Obama for not bringing up that example. Huh? Now he's saying he's a fan of NCLB too. McCain's going on about the cause of autism again. They must have found that talking about finding the cause of autism does well in focus groups.
Time for closing remarks.
McCain uses "my friends"...maybe for the first time. I didn't notice before, which is good. He's giving the same bit about taking on his own party and reforming. Says he's going to be a good steward of our tax money. Says he comes from a long line of servants, and says he wants to serve again.
Obama says we can't afford to have the same policies from the last 8 years...same thing McCain said. He talks about the future. This is the interesting contrast between the two. Obama talks more about the future, and McCain talks more about the past. Asks people for their vote.
Overall I thought this was a little more interesting than the previous two. I liked the format and the moderation. No crazy moments, but another solid debate.