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Presidential Debate 2012 (Complete) Romney
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First presidential debate bewteen Barack
Omama and Mitt Romney
in the run up to the general election in
First Presidential Debate:
Obama vs. Romney
(Complete HD - Quality Audio)
President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney discuss domestic polic
in the first debate
of the 2012 presidential election from Denver, Colorado.
3 October 2012
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3 October 2012
presidential election > presidential
debate > cartoons > Cagle 2008
The Third Presidential Debate
October 15, 2008
Transcript of the third presidential debate
between Senators John McCain and Barack Obama
in Hempstead, N.Y.,
as recorded by CQ Transcriptions
accusations on N
Election 2012 > Presidential Debate Fact-Check
The New York Times provided
comprehensive coverage and fact-checking
of the first presidential debate
between President Obama and Mitt Romney in
Get Tough, Personal in Final Debate
Filed at 1:14 a.m. ET
The New York Times
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
N.Y. (AP) -- John McCain repeatedly assailed Barack Obama's character and
campaign positions on taxes, abortion and more Wednesday night, hoping to
transform their final presidential debate into a launching pad for a political
comeback. ''You didn't tell the American people the truth,'' he charged.
Unruffled, and ahead in the polls, Obama parried each accusation, and leveled a
few of his own.
''One hundred percent, John, of your ads, 100 percent of them have been
negative,'' Obama shot back in an uncommonly personal debate less than three
weeks from Election Day.
''It's not true,'' McCain retorted.
''It absolutely is true,'' said Obama, seeking the last word.
McCain is currently running all negative ads, according to a study by the
University of Wisconsin-Madison. But he has run a number of positive ads during
The 90-minute encounter, seated at a round table at Hofstra University, was
their third debate, and marked the beginning of a 20-day sprint to Election Day.
Obama leads in the national polls and in surveys in many battleground states, an
advantage built in the weeks since the nation stumbled into the greatest
economic crisis since the Great Depression.
With few exceptions, the campaign is being waged in states that voted Republican
in 2004 -- Virginia, Colorado, Iowa -- and in many of them, Obama holds a lead
in the polls.
McCain played the aggressor from the opening moments of the debate, accusing
Obama of waging class warfare by seeking tax increases that would ''spread the
The Arizona senator also demanded to know the full extent of Obama's
relationship with William Ayers, a 1960s-era terrorist and the Democrat's ties
with ACORN, a liberal group accused of violating federal law as it seeks to
register voters. And he insisted Obama disavow last week's remarks by Rep. John
Lewis, a Democrat, who accused the Republican ticket of playing racial politics
along the same lines as segregationists of the past.
Struggling to escape the political drag of an unpopular Republican incumbent,
McCain also said, ''Sen. Obama, I am not President Bush. ... You wanted to run
against President Bush, you should have run four years ago.''
Obama returned each volley, and brushed aside McCain's claim to full political
''If I've occasionally mistaken your policies for George Bush's policies, it's
because on the core economic issues that matter to the American people -- on tax
policy, on energy policy, on spending priorities -- you have been a vigorous
supporter of President Bush,'' he said.
McCain's allegation that Obama had not leveled with the public involved the
Illinois senator's decision to forgo public financing for his campaign in favor
of raising his own funds. As a result, he has far outraised McCain, although the
difference has been somewhat neutralized by an advantage the Republican National
Committee holds over the Democratic Party.
''He signed a piece of paper'' earlier in the campaign pledging to accept
federal financing, McCain said. He added that Obama's campaign has spent more
money than any since Watergate, a reference to President Nixon's re-election, a
campaign that later became synonymous with scandal.
Obama made no immediate response to McCain's assertion about having signed a
pledge to accept federal campaign funds.
Asked about running mates, both presidential candidates said Democrat Joseph
Biden was qualified to become president, although McCain added this qualifier:
''in many respects.''
McCain passed up a chance to say his own running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin,
was qualified to sit in the Oval Office, though he praised her performance as
governor and noted her work on behalf of special needs children. The Palins have
a son born earlier this year with Down Syndrome.
Obama sidestepped when asked about Palin's qualifications to serve as president,
and he, too, praised her advocacy for special needs children.
But he quickly sought to turn the issue to his advantage by noting McCain favors
a spending freeze on government programs.
''I do want to just point out that autism, for example, or other special needs
will require some additional funding if we're going to get serious in terms of
research. ... And if we have an across-the-board spending freeze, we're not
going to be able to do it,'' he said.
In addition to differences on taxes and spending, McCain said Obama advocated
trade policies that recalled those of Herbert Hoover, who presided over the
start of the Great Depression.
Obama has called for tougher provisions in trade negotiations, arguing that is
necessary to avoid undercutting the wages paid American workers.
McCain also said Obama has aligned himself with ''the extreme aspect of the
pro-abortion movement in America'' and had voted present while in the Illinois
Legislature on a measure to ban one type of procedure late in a woman's
Obama said the bill would have undermined Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruling
that granted abortion rights, and had been opposed by the Illinois Medical
''I am completely supportive of a ban on late-term abortions, partial-birth or
otherwise, as long as there's an exception for the mother's health and life, and
this did not contain that exception,'' he added.
McCain sarcastically paid tribute to ''the eloquence of Senator Obama. He's
(for) health for the mother. You know, that's been stretched by the pro-abortion
movement in America to mean almost anything.''
McCain's allegation about class warfare stemmed from one of Obama's campaign
appearances last weekend.
In Ohio on Sunday, Obama was approached by a man who said, ''Your new tax plan's
going to tax me more.''
A video clip caught by Fox News shows Obama replying, ''It's not that I want to
punish your success. I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you,
that they've got a chance at success, too. And I think that when we spread the
wealth around, it's good for everybody.''
McCain referred repeatedly to that voter, Joe Wurzelbacher, a plumber from
Wurzelbacher watched Wednesday night's debate and said he still thinks Obama's
plan would keep him from buying the small business that employs him.
McCain's reference to Ayers reprised campaign commercials he has run to try and
raise doubts about Obama's fitness to serve.
Ayers, who was a member of the violent Weather Underground in the 1960s, hosted
a meet-the-candidate event for Obama in an Illinois race many years later.
''The fact that this has become such an important part of your campaign, Sen.
McCain, says more about your campaign than it says about me,'' Obama replied.
McCain, Obama Get Tough, Personal in Final Debate,
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