The CNN Truth Squad does some fact checking to separate myth from reality on some important issues in the 2008 presidential election. Below are a few tidbits that came up in last night’s debate.
- Fact Check: Did Obama vote to raise taxes for people making as little as $42,000?
- Fact Check: Did Obama vote against Supreme Court Justice Breyer?
- Fact Check: Would equal-pay bill waive the statute of limitations?
- Fact Check: Would McCain’s mortgage plan aid banks and cost taxpayers?
- Fact Check: Did McCain’s campaign say it needed to shift focus from the economy?
- Fact Check: Did Obama ‘all of a sudden’ alter energy stance?
We aren’t live-blogging tonight’s debate, but Mark Ambider over at the Atlantic dug up this vintage footage of a debate that is strikingly similar to what we may see tonight.
If that’s not enough, take a look at some of the live-blogging goodness that’s going on elsewhere on the blogosphere: Wonkette and Swampland are live-blogging. The Washington Post column, the Fix, is twittering the debate.
Even though most thought the most recent presidential debate was dull and boring, I was glued to my television the whole time. In my opinion, Barack Obama delivered a knock-out blow to McCain by deriding McCain for his horrible rendition of a Beach Boys classic song. Watch the clip below:
For those of you who don’t want to watch the whole clip, here’s the text:
OBAMA: I want to be very clear about what I said. Nobody called for the invasion of Pakistan. Sen. McCain continues to repeat this. What I said was the same thing that the audience here today heard me say, which is, if Pakistan is unable or unwilling to hunt down bin Laden and take him out, then we should. Now, that I think has to be our policy, because they are threatening to kill more Americans. Now, Sen. McCain suggests that somehow, you know, I’m green behind the ears and, you know, I’m just spouting off, and he’s somber and responsible. MCCAIN: Thank you very much. OBAMA: Sen. McCain, this is the guy who sang, “Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran,” who called for the annihilation of North Korea. That I don’t think is an example of “speaking softly.” This is the person who, after we had — we hadn’t even finished Afghanistan, where he said, “Next up, Baghdad.” So I agree that we have to speak responsibly and we have to act responsibly. And the reason Pakistan — the popular opinion of America had diminished in Pakistan was because we were supporting a dictator, Musharraf, had given him $10 billion over seven years, and he had suspended civil liberties. We were not promoting democracy. This is the kind of policies that ultimately end up undermining our ability to fight the war on terrorism, and it will change when I’m president.
We know what we think, but what do you think? Did Joe Biden or Sarah Palin win last night’s Vice Presidential debate?
- 8:48 pm– T-minus 11 minutes. We are sitting in the living room watching Countdown with Keith Olbermann.
- 8:53 pm– Now we are watching a commercial about some business that will help you get out of tax debt… how appropriate.
- 8:58 pm– The tension is mounting. I am filled with anticipation and a touch of fear. Here we go!
- 9:00 pm– Thanks, Keith, for reminding us that it is the 1,987th day since the announcement of Mission Accomplished.
- 9:03 pm– Can I call you Joe? And who did she blow the kiss to?
- 9:04 pm– That’s right, Joe. Tie everything to the last 8 years of the failed Bush administration. He comes right out of the gate doing his VP thing.
- 9:04 pm– Uh oh, Captain O’Biden says my typing is annoying.
- 9:05 pm– I feel odd concern and panic when Palin speaks. I want Joe to win but I feel anxiety at the anticipation of her failure.
- 9:08 pm– More attacks. Way to go, Joe. That’s right, it is all about attacking McCain. Palin is trying to defend McCain. That team of mavericks, blah, blah, blah. Oh, here comes an attack. Surprise surprise, Obama votes with the Ds.
- 9:10 pm– Gwen asks who is to blame for the economic crisis.
- 9:10 pm- Palin’s strategy is clear: she is trying to be a regular, as she says it, “Joe-6-pack”
- 9:11 pm– What is Palin looking at on her podium? Her blackberry? It doesn’t look like she is writing anything.
- 9:13 pm– Okay her second strategy is to say something so ridiculous that Joe has to laugh. She just said Obama voted for the largest tax raise in history. Nice rebuttal though on Joe’s part. Okay Joe try and keep a straight face.
- 9:15 pm– Let’s talk about health care. McCain’s plan taxes people for receiving employer-sponsored health care!
- 9:18 pm– McCain’s health care plan care, to comment Sarah? That plan sucks- my opinion not hers. It must be hard to defend that crap. Way to go Joe! He’s explaining the truth about the McCain health care plan AKA revenue raiser. The ultimate bridge to nowhere!
- 9:21 pm– I am still really wondering what she’s looking at. Are they allowed to have crib sheets with them? I don’t see anything on Joe’s podium.
- 9:23 pm– Palin just said something about how McCain doesn’t tell one thing to one group and another thing to another group… what specifically is she referencing because Joe was just talking about McCain? Not to mention this is probably the biggest audience they will have so who is he talking to the rest of the time? I’m confused.
- 9:24 pm– Palin just said, I’ve only been at this five weeks and I haven’t promised much of anything? Huh? You are supposed to be touting your running mate first of all, and second of all, did you just make the point we have been making that you are not qualified?
- 9:26 pm– I am pretty convinced now that she is not listening to Joe. She is just trying to recall her talking points when he is talking because she is totally not responsive. To her credit, she is making complete sentences.
- 9:29 pm– Gwen, you need to intervene. She is not answering the question. Energy is not the topic.
- 9:31 pm– Cyclical temperature changes? Wow. I am surprised that she went out on that limb. Doesn’t John McCain believe in global warming?
- 9:32 pm– Forgive me, but what is a hydracarbon? I don’t know, but thank God Joe knows that global warming is real. How can she really want to stop using oil when she doesn’t believe it causes negative impacts on the environment.
- 9:36 pm– Same sex couples get benefits in Alaska? That’s good I didn’t know that.
- 9:39 pm– They both have sons off to Iraq. Let’s talk about the surge. Sorry, Sarah, but they do not vote against funding the troops. They vote against putting troops in harms way forever and ever. Let her have it, Joe!
- 9:42 pm– Biden and Obama voted for the timeline and against a bill with no timeline. Why is this so harm for Palin to grasp? Ouch, I don’t like her white flag of surrender comment.
- 9:45 pm– Joe loves McCain but he’s dead wrong… great sound bite.
- 9:45 pm- I like how in general Biden is substantively answering Gwen’s questions. Sarah is giving brief answers and then running off on her talking points.
- 9:46 pm– Joe’s answer on handling unstable Iraq and/or nuclear Iran just now was so eloquent. He knows his stuff he understands the situation and wants democracy to survive in those countries.
- 9:50 pm– Regarding Palin’s untrue comment about Obama’s willingness to meet with the axis of evil guys. Way to defend your man, Joe. He is showing his loyalty. Joe Biden is showing what a wonderful choice he is as VP. Good dinger about McCain refusing a meeting with the President of Spain.
- 9:52 pm– I am getting tired of hearing her well-rehearsed talking points.
- 9:58 pm– Joe has really hit his stride. I am having trouble writing because I am so amazed by him. Yes! Once again he is tying Bush’s failures to McCain.
- 10:00 pm– She just mentioned her gratefulness for our NATO allies. I wonder if she knows that Spain is a NATO ally?
- 10:03 pm– The question about Darfur/ Sudan was beautifully answered by Biden. He wants to use our responsibility as a world leader to save lives. Palin begins her response by calling Biden and Obama hypocrites.
- 10:07 pm– Palin just said that McCain knows how to win a war…. uhhh, news flash, we lost Vietnam.
- 10:09 pm– I know she thinks this team of mavericks thing is a good slogan but I’m still convinced that mavericks are annoying loners who accomplish nothing because no one follows a maverick.
- 10:11 pm– Joe ties McCain to Bush saying there is no difference between the two. Joe is doing a great job at making the connection.
- 10:12 pm– Palin just gave a shout out to a third grade classroom. Uhhh, I don’t think that was a question.
- 10:13 pm– What does a Vice President do?
- 10:17 pm– When asked if she agrees with VP Cheney’s assertion that the VP is somewhat autonomous from the President because of legislative powers granted to the VP. Palin answers that she and McCain will do whatever is best for the American people. But she fails to say what is best for the American people, most likely because she doesn’t know.
- 10:18 pm– Ahhh, the ultimate job interview question, what is your weakness?
- 10:21 pm– That was so beautiful just now. Joe Biden just spoke how he understands what it is like to be a single parent and his voice caught just a bit. His personal story is so genuine and he is so real. Palin looks like ice next to him.
- 10:23 pm– Right back on that horse, Biden points out that McCain has not been a maverick because he just follows Bush on everything, the war, tax cuts, education, health care, energy costs. “Maverick he is not.”
- 10:27 pm– Question: how would you change the tone in Washington, DC? Joe would not question people’s motives only their judgment. Palin would appoint people to executive office despite party affiliation.
- 10:29 pm– Closing statements. Palin uses it as a chance to try and make the media look bad. And of course she’ll fight for America. What can I say about Joe? He knocked it out of the park.
As if you needed even more reasons to watch the Vice Presidential Debate, there’s a new game called Palin Bingo that promises to make the debate even more fun!
The rules are simple:
•Each player gets a card
•Whenever Sarah Palin says a word or phrase in one of your boxes, check it off.
•If you check 5 boxes in any straight or diagonal line, you win PALIN BINGO!
I think that neither won decisively even though the debate made me hate McCain more than ever. I mean who picked out his candy stripe tie? And he was hunched over the podium like a decaying monster with venom spewing out of his mouth – only to be followed by that forced, fake smile. John McCain shouldn’t smile. Rather than making him seem warm and cuddly, his smile reinforces what a mean guy he is.
However, while Obama certainly came across as the more statesman-like of the two, and he truly is lovely to behold, the guy has to learn to use some sound bites and pepper his answers with anecdotes. He should have wiped the floor with McCain on issues of the economy, but instead Obama was somewhat tepid. Rather than stress that the Republicans were against regulation, Obama should have said “In 8 years in Washington the Republicans let Wall Street run wild and now all taxpayers are paying the consequences. John McCain had a chance to impose rules on these major corporations and he chose to turn a blind eye and not do anything. Now John McCain says he’s going back to Washington to help broker a deal. When he caused the problem in the first place.”
Also, Obama has to give real examples of people he’s talked to suffering from loss of health care, pensions, 401(k)s and the like. And please, Obama, stop telling John McCain he’s “absolutely right.” He’s not.
Obama did a pretty good job, but at the next debate he really should deliver a knock-out punch.
We’ll all be waiting with bated breath.
When are those presidential debates, anyway?
According to the Commission on Presidential Debates:
First presidential debate:
Friday, September 26
University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS
Vice presidential debate:
Thursday, October 2
Washington University in St. Louis, MO
Second presidential debate:
Tuesday, October 7
Belmont University, Nashville, TN
Third presidential debate:
Wednesday, October 15
Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY