Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama battled over taxes and how best to help workers who are fighting on Tuesday at Nashville, Tennessee during a sometimes tense presidential debate that highlighted a large gap in their economic approaches. With Americans reeling under what Obama calls the worst crisis since the Great Depression, the rival in the November 4 presidential elections are different and often showed occasional flashes of the rancor that marked his recent rhetoric on the campaign.
“Americans are angry, they are annoying and are a little afraid,” said McCain in the second of three presidential debates, at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. “We do not have confidence in our institutions.”
The Arizona senator, criticized for not responding on economic issues, was under pressure to turn in a strong performance to halt its slide in the polls and stop the momentum that Obama has flourished during the economic crisis.
Two quick polls taken immediately after the debate, by CBS News and CNN, both Obama judged the winner.
McCain, 72, proposed a program to buy mortgages of homes facing financial problems and replace mortgages with new fixed rate mortgages. His campaign said it would cost about $ 300 million.
Obama said McCain and the Republicans have supported the liberalization of the financial sector that led to the crisis. He said the middle class, not only to Wall Street, needs a rescue package that would include tax cuts.
“We are in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, and many of you, in my opinion, are concerned about their jobs, their pensions, their retirement accounts,” he said.
The debate broke little new ground and issues that are relatives of both candidates. McCain Obama portrayed as an eager supporter of the tax increase that was not willing to Buck from his own party, Obama, but McCain said that the policies help the rich and workers in the chapter of the bottom of the ladder economy.
“Nailing Senator Obama various tax proposals is like nailing Jello to the wall,” said McCain.
Obama, 47, responded with a crack about McCain’s campaign bus. “I think straight Talk Express lost a wheel on that one,” he said, explaining his plan only to prosecutors that more than 250,000 dollars a year and most small businesses would not be affected.
Both candidates pledged to emphasize the United States energy independent. McCain said nuclear energy is a clean source of energy that would be key to fighting climate change and mocked Obama. “Senator Obama says he has to be safe or disposable or something,” he said. Obama said it approved of nuclear power as an element of a broader energy plan. Obama has solidified his lead in the polls and won a crucial advantage in the battleground states in recent weeks as the crisis on Wall Street turned its attention to the economy, an area in which polls show voters prefer Senator Leadership illinois.
The economic turmoil continued on Tuesday, with Tumbling stocks for the second consecutive day in a sign of the $ 700 billion rescue of the U.S. financial institutions is not concerned with the ease of market on the economy.
Asked about a possible Treasury secretary in their administrations, both candidates mentioned the legendary Omaha investor Warren Buffett, a supporter of Obama.
Foreign policy was the topic in the last third of the debate, and the two candidates clashed sharply over the war in Iraq. Obama was an early critic of the war, while McCain has been a staunch supporter and urged the “surge” of U.S. strategy to increase the troops.
“Senator Obama has been led our troops home in defeat. I will bring home the victory and honor,” said McCain. Obama said the focus on Iraq has distracted the United States from the threat in Afghanistan, and defended his readiness to strike against terrorists in Pakistan without the approval of Islamabad, despite the criticism of McCain.
“We have fundamental differences on the use of military force,” said McCain. McCain said Russia may be an “evil empire”, the term applies to the former Soviet Union by President Ronald Reagan, while Obama said he had participated in some and bad behavior “that has yet nationalist impulses that I think are very dangerous. ”
The debate was conducted in a looser town hall format where questions were raised by the public – a favorite for McCain and a core element of their campaigns in the battle for the party’s nomination this year and into 2000. About 100 Nashville undecided voters identified by the Gallup polling company posed the questions. The candidates spoke directly to the audience and are free to roam the stage. With only four weeks to go until the election, the two candidates will meet for a final debate on October 15.