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EXCERPTS FROM THE DEBATE

Comparing their quotes on the issues

September 27, 2008

On the financial bailout

McCAIN: " . . . have no doubt about the magnitude of this crisis. And we're not talking about failure of institutions on Wall Street. We're talking about failures on Main Street and people who will lose their jobs and their credits and their homes if we don't fix the greatest fiscal crisis probably in -- certainly in -- our time. . . . "

"This package has transparency in it. It has to have accountability and oversight. It has to have options for loans to failing businesses, rather than the government taking over those loans. . . . "

"But I want to emphasize one point to all Americans tonight: This isn't the beginning of the end of this crisis. This is the end of the beginning, if we come out with a package that will keep these institutions stable."

OBAMA: "No. 1, we've got to make sure that we've got oversight over this whole process. . . . No. 2, we've got to make sure that taxpayers, when they are putting their money at risk, have the possibility of getting that money back and gains, if the market -- and when the market -- returns. No. 3, we've got to make sure that none of that money is going to pad CEO bank accounts or to promote golden parachutes. And No. 4, we've got to make sure that we're helping homeowners, because the root problem here has to do with the foreclosures that are taking place all across the country."

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On earmarks

McCAIN: " . . . earmarking . . . [is] a gateway to out-of-control spending and corruption. . . . "

"As president of the United States, I want to assure you, . . . I've got a pen, and I'm going to veto every single spending bill that comes across my desk. . . . "

"Now, Sen. Obama . . . has asked for $932 million of earmark, pork-barrel spending, nearly a million dollars for every day that he's been in the United States Senate."

OBAMA: "Sen. McCain is absolutely right that the earmarks process has been abused, which is why I suspended any requests for my home state, whether it was for senior centers or what have you, until we cleaned it up. . . . "

"But let's be clear: Earmarks account for $18 billion in last year's budget. Sen. McCain is proposing . . . $300 billion in tax cuts to some of the wealthiest corporations and individuals in the country. . . . "

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On the Iraq war

McCAIN: "I think the lessons of Iraq are very clear that you cannot have a failed strategy that will then cause you to nearly lose a conflict. Our initial military success, we went into Baghdad, and everybody celebrated. And then the war was very badly mishandled. I went to Iraq in 2003 and came back and said, 'We've got to change this strategy. This strategy requires additional troops; it requires a fundamental change in strategy,' and I fought for it. And, finally, we came up with a great general and a strategy that has succeeded."

OBAMA: "Now six years ago, I stood up and opposed this war . . . because I said that not only did we not know how much it was going to cost, what our exit strategy might be, how it would affect our relationships around the world and whether our intelligence was sound, but also because we hadn't finished the job in Afghanistan. . . . "

"We've spent over $600 billion so far, soon to be $1 trillion. We have lost over 4,000 lives. We have seen 30,000 wounded, and, most importantly, from a strategic national security perspective, Al Qaeda is resurgent, stronger now than at any time since 2001."

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On Pakistan

McCAIN: "We've got to get the support of the people of -- of Pakistan. [Obama] said that he would launch military strikes into Pakistan.

"Now, you don't do that. You don't say that out loud. If you have to do things, you have to do things, and you work with the Pakistani government. . . . "

"And, yes, Sen. Obama calls for more troops, but what he doesn't understand, it's got to be a new strategy, the same strategy that he condemned in Iraq."

OBAMA: " . . . if the United States has Al Qaeda, Bin Laden, top-level lieutenants in our sights, and Pakistan is unable or unwilling to act, then we should take them out. . . . "

" . . . for 10 years, we coddled Musharraf. We alienated the Pakistani population because we were antidemocratic. . . . "

"And, as a consequence, we lost legitimacy in Pakistan. We spent $10 billion. And in the meantime, they weren't going after Al Qaeda, and they are more powerful now than at any time since we began the war in Afghanistan."

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On diplomacy

McCAIN: "Sen. Obama twice said in debates he would sit down with [dictators] without precondition. Without precondition. Here is . . . Ahmadinejad, who is now in New York, talking about the extermination of the state of Israel, of wiping Israel off the map, and we're going to sit down, without precondition, across the table, to legitimize and give a propaganda platform to a person that is espousing the extermination of the state of Israel, and, therefore, then giving them more credence in the world arena. . . . "

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