Notably absent from this post: My personal views on either candidate, their stances, or any other political discourse.
Present in this post: Quotes pulled from the transcript from the forum recently held at Saddleback Church, moderated by pastor Rick Warren, featuring Senators Obama and McCain.
These are the questions I found interesting and the answers I found even more interesting. What I enjoyed about this forum is that it was a fairly neutral platform for both candidates to speak candidly about a variety of issues. I only pulled a couple of questions for this post in the interest of keeping it short, but you can read the entire transcript here. (Also, sorry about the all caps. That's how it was transcribed. But for giggles, just imagine both candidates hollering their answers in a monotonous bellow. Carry on.)
Regarding taxes: DEFINE RICH. I MEAN, GIVE ME A NUMBER. IS IT 50,000, 100,000, 200,000? EVERYBODY KEEPS TALKING ABOUT WHO WE'RE GOING TO TAX. HOW DO YOU DEFINE THAT?McCain: I THINK THAT RICH IS -- SHOULD BE DEFINED BY A HOME, A GOOD JOB AND EDUCATION AND THE ABILITY TO HAND TO OUR CHILDREN A MORE PROSPEROUS AND SAFER WORLD THAN THE ONE THAT WE INHERITED. I DON'T WANT TO TAKE ANY MONEY FROM THE RICH. I WANT EVERYBODY TO GET RICH. I DON'T BELIEVE IN CLASS WARFARE OR REDISTRIBUTION OF THE WEALTH...I THINK IF YOU'RE JUST TALKING ABOUT INCOME, HOW ABOUT FIVE MILLION...AND MY FRIEND, IT WAS NOT TAXES THAT MATTERED IN AMERICA IN THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS. IT WAS SPENDING. SPENDING GOT COMPLETELY OUT OF CONTROL. WE SPENT MONEY IN A WAY THAT MORTGAGED OUR KIDS FUTURES. MY FRIENDS, WE SPENT $3 MILLION OF YOUR MONEY TO STUDY THE DNA OF BEARS IN MONTANA...IT DOESN'T MATTER REALLY WHAT MY DEFINITION OF RICH IS BECAUSE I DON'T WANT TO RAISE ANYBODY'S TAXES. I REALLY DON'T. IN FACT, I WANT TO GIVE WORKING AMERICANS A BETTER SHOT AT HAVING A BETTER LIFE.Obama: I WOULD ARGUE THAT IF YOU ARE MAKING MORE THAN $250,000 THEN ARE YOU IN THE TOP 3, 4 PERCENT OF THIS COUNTRY. ARE YOU DOING WELL. NOW THESE THINGS ARE ALL RELATIVE AND I'M NOT SUGGESTING THAT EVERYBODY THAT IS MAKING OVER $250,000 IS LIVING ON EASY STREET, BUT THE QUESTION THAT I THINK WE HAVE TO ASK OURSELVES IS IF WE BELIEVE IN GOOD SCHOOLS, IF WE BELIEVE IN GOOD ROADS, IF WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT KIDS CAN GO TO COLLEGE, IF WE DON'T WANT TO LEAVE A MOUNTAIN OF DEBT FOR THE NEXT GENERATION, THEN WE'VE GOT TO PAY FOR THESE THINGS. THEY DON'T COME FOR FREE...WHAT I'M TRYING TO DO IS CREATE A SENSE OF BALANCE AND FAIRNESS IN OUR TAX CODE. ONE THAT WE CAN ALL AGREE ON IT SHOULD BE SIMPLER SO YOU DON'T HAVE ALL THESE LOOPHOLES AND BIG STACKS OF STUFF THAT YOU'VE GOT TO COME THROUGH WHICH WASTE A HUGE AMOUNT OF MONEY AND ALLOWS SPECIAL INTEREST TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THINGS THAT ORDINARY PEOPLE CANNOT TAKE ADVANTAGE OF.
On the issue of evil: Does evil exist and if so, should we ignore it, negotiate with it, contain it or defeat it?McCain: DEFEAT IT. ...IF I'M PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, MY FRIENDS, IF I HAVE TO FOLLOW HIM TO THE GATES OF HELL, I WILL GET OSAMA BIN LADEN AND BRING HIM TO JUSTICE. I WILL DO THAT AND I KNOW HOW TO DO THAT...MY FRIENDS, WE ARE FACING THE TRANSCENDENT CHALLENGE OF THE 21-CENTURY, RADICAL ISLAMIC EXTREMISTS.Obama: EVIL DOES EXIST. I MEAN, WE SEE EVIL ALL THE TIME. WE SEE EVIL IN DARFUR. WE SEE EVIL SADLY ON THE STREETS OF OUR CITIES. WE SEE EVIL IN PARENTS WHO HAVE VICIOUSLY ABUSED THEIR CHILDREN AND I THINK IT HAS TO BE CONFRONTED. IT HAS TO BE CONFRONTED SQUARELY AND ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I STRONGLY BELIEVE IS THAT, YOU KNOW, WE ARE NOT GOING TO, AS INDIVIDUALS, BE ABLE TO ERASE EVIL FROM THE WORLD. THAT IS GOD'S TASK. BUT WE CAN BE SOLDERS IN THAT PROCESS AND WE CAN CONFRONT IT WHEN WE SEE IT. NOW, THE ONE THINK THAT I THINK IS VERY IMPORTANT IS FOR US TO HAVE SOME HUMILITY IN HOW WE APPROACH THE ISSUE OF CON FRONTING EVIL, BUT YOU KNOW A LOT OF EVIL HAS BEEN PERPETRATED BASED ON THE CLAIM THAT WE WERE TRYING TO CONFRONT EVIL...I THINK ONE THING THAT'S VERY IMPORTANT IS HAVING SOME HUMILITY IN RECOGNIZING THAT, YOU KNOW, JUST BECAUSE WE THINK OUR INTENTIONS ARE GOOD DOESN'T ALWAYS MEAN THAT WE'RE GOING TO BE DOING GOOD.
So there you have it. Interesting in reading more? Click the link above and hear what Senators McCain and Obama have to say. What I will say, in closing, is this: Obama, you sorta dodged the abortion question...not the smartest move you've ever made. And McCain: Enough with the war stories. We get it.