Thursday, October 30

The Presidential Forum

I attended a Presidential Forum last night that had representatives from Sen. Obama and Sen. McCain's camps debating. Here are some of the highlights from the night that was targeted at evangelicals.

Representing the Democrats: Don Miller- New York Times Bestselling Author, Blue Like Jazz; Shaun Casey- National Evangelical Coordinator, Obama Campaign; Paul Montiero- National Deputy Director of Religious Affairs, Obama Campaign

Representing the Republicans: Renee Amoore — Founder and President of The Amoore Group; Marlys Pompa — National Evangelical Director, McCain Campaign; David Barton- Founder and President, Wall Builders Organization

On Abortion

McCain's Camp
  • Before Roe vs. Wade, 36 states had laws that protected the unborn. With Roe vs. Wade, those state laws were overturned. Sen. McCain would like to see Roe vs. Wade overturned and put rule back closer to the people. He would appoint constructionists for judges; judges who interpret the law, not create it.
  • McCain would not use tax payer money for abortions.
  • In last 8 years, 4 federal laws have put restrictions on abortion, lowering the rate 24%. (Obama's people refuted the number and said it was only 8%) Obama did not vote for any of those restrictions.
Obama's Camp
  • If Roe vs. Wade hasn't been overturned by now, it's not going to happen. We can't put all our eggs in the judge basket. So what can we do instead to help the mom envision this child's life? Obama wants to give them an alternative plan. Provide health care.
  • Medicaid funding for impoverished women to get abortions.
  • Wants a pragmatic approach rather than a philosophical approach.

On Education

Obama's Camp
  • Expand Pell Grant, look at lengthening school day and year.
  • Opposes vouchers because it pulls resources out of public schools.
  • Supports Charter schools and merit pay for teachers.
  • $500m in grants to faith based organizations for reading tutoring for third graders and younger.
  • Receive a school grant if you do public service (i.e. military, peace corp, etc)
McCain's Camp
  • He is looking to implement meaningful reform, equality of choice, empower parents, bonuses for teachers, funding for tutoring.
  • $250B for online education for kids and adults.
  • 27 states have works.
  • Stated that with Obama's faith-based initiative for tutoring, organizations that take the money will have no protections for hiring. For example, a Baptist organization would have to hire a Mormon or a Catholic organization would have to hire an atheist, etc. (Obama people disputed this saying that those organizations already have protection under the Civil Rights Act of 1964).

On Marriage Amendment

McCain's Camp
  • McCain does not support a Federal Marriage Amendment. He believe the Federal government should protect the right of any states to pass a marriage amendment.
  • Does not support civil union.
Obama's Camp
  • He also supports the marriage amendment. He supports man and woman unions and civil unions.
On Health care

Obama's Camp
  • He believes that 1/3 of health care costs are administrative. He wants to fully computerize health care process.
  • Problem is also not dealing with treatable and preventative health care.
  • People who don't have health insurance use the emergency room as their primary care giver. We pay for that.
  • Wants universal access as he sees health care as a moral obligation and right.
  • You can keep your current coverage.
  • He does not oppose a single player health care system, but if he was starting the system from scratch he'd make it universal.
McCain's Camp
  • Reform tax credit to be $3,000 for singles and $5,000 for families.
  • Health insurance will follow you.
  • Tort reforms

Spreading the Wealth
The question was asked to the Obama people by the audience, "How is Marxism and Socialism different from "spreading the wealth?" The Obama people offered another explanation at their economic plan but never answered the above question directly.

The McCain people said that when the Pilgrims were settling here they had a "common pot" for all work, earning and resources. But after a couple of years, they discovered that their settlement was in shambles because not everyone was working, but everyone was living off the "pot" and it was draining their resources and causing discontent among the people. They ended up abandoning that way of living and had people take responsibility for their own needs. They began to flourish again. In fact, they began to flourish so much that the Virginia Colony took notice and implemented the same type of system.



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