September 11th, 2008
08:20 PM ET
6 years ago

Live-blogging with The Best Political Team

Weigh in with CNN's analysts and contributors.
Weigh in with CNN's analysts and contributors.

(CNN) –On the anniversary of the September 11 attacks, presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama each take the stage to discuss service and civic engagement in a forum at Columbia University.

What do you think of their ideas? How does the role of service determine what kind of nation we live in? What does national service mean to you?

Along with CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley, CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider, CNN Political Analyst Roland Martin, and Republican strategist Bay Buchanan, thousands of you weighed in.

Click "comments" below for a look at the entire conversation.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (4,056 Responses)
  1. Doug-Pawling

    Roland God bless you man, keep up the good work!

    September 11, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  2. Bill Schneider

    Clearly McCain has been told to make light of his age whenever he can. It's among his biggest vulnerabilities - if he appears at ease with it, voters may too.

    September 11, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  3. Lindsay

    How can McCain claim that there are many organizations who function without any dependency on the government? The truth is that a large majority of these organizations would be unable to function without grants from the government.

    September 11, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  4. Girlpower

    You know, it wasn't the fact that Obama was serving the community that the Republicans were laughing about-serving the community and being a community organizer is a great thing. It was Obama using it as his credentials to become President because he lacks in any kind of leadership experience. He has not had to balance a budget, make tough decisions-oh wait- even voting just "YES" or "NO" was too tough for him that he had to vote "PRESENT" 130x. Even Joe Biden said that Hillary was more qualified than he to be VP which makes Obama....you know, less qualified. Although all this service to our country is great, we really don't need a noob leading our country, we need someone with experience. What's he going to do? Defer questions or decision making to Joe Biden all the time?

    September 11, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  5. dave R

    i think Roland is the man he makes pretty good points.

    September 11, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  6. Frederick

    Washington, DC: i would like to ask Senator McCain why he can't give a straight answer when the questions are directly to him?

    September 11, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  7. Greg FL.

    McCain is not comfortable talking about the economy. He stuttered through that answer.

    September 11, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  8. vote4Obama

    This is scary when you count on the media to bring you the news with no bias and then, it happens CNN brings the story the way they want America to view it. Obama is right, at least for this American the media and the McCain campaign are trying to distract the American public, but I don't go though life with blinders on and I'm not going to start NOW!

    McCain can glorify his years in the service all he wants but that man scares me! Please note that my husband is a vet and serverd his country for over 10 years but not every problem in life warrants WAR!

    We have real issues out there, the economy, HEALTHCARE, education and one of the biggest fears I have is if McCain wins, he could cause World War III – he strikes me as a War Monger and just wants to prove that he knows something about War but in all he would most likely create the biggest crisis for this country we ever been confronted with.

    September 11, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  9. Matthew Purtill

    It's very interesting that McCain talks about the private sector and community-type of service. I guess those who organize this would be called "community organizers", those same people that the Republicans blasted - the PTA organizations, Little League presidents, etc. This just seems like a hypocritical topic for the Republicans. However, I will give McCain his due for his military service.

    September 11, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  10. CSpann

    I want to see talk of college for service, loan forgiveness for service. The reason that the military is a big choice for lower income families in the US is that it gives them a chance to improve their lives. It occurs to me service to our country is done on the backs of the ones it serves the least–the poor.

    September 11, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  11. In Pursuit of Facts About The Candidates, No Sound Bites

    Bill, Roland you are right on. I too am shocked by some of McCain's answers.

    September 11, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  12. Sarah- ARIZONA

    Im telling u...all he believes in is military service...

    trusting the government. we dont trust the rebublican government bc he along with bush have taken us down this horrible path.

    September 11, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  13. Terri

    As a City Year Alumni, I agree that the year of service that we commit ourselves to is far more important thatn the monetary gain however, living off of such a modest stipend is quite difficult and an increase in funding could eliminate that issue.

    September 11, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  14. EJ (USA)

    When is McCain going to discuss the current President's role in the economy being broken?

    September 11, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  15. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Community service is great, but nothing about it qualifies someone to be commander-in-chief.

    September 11, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  16. Shannon

    I fins it so interesting that McCain blamed Obama for the negativity of the campaign. That Obama's response to McCain's town hall requests caused McCain to act in this sleazy way (latest ad). Is McCain not responsible for his own actions?

    September 11, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  17. Darin in Dallas

    McCain did very well, good for him. It doesn't change the fact that he is nothing more than another 4 years of the last 8 years. Regardless of the change lines, he is very much a typical member of his party. We have had 8 years of that party in the white house. Do you really think that he will be that different? He just said our economy is broken, people don't trust the government. Hello? He is just the same as what we have had.

    September 11, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  18. LC

    McCain can run against congress which he is a part of, he can run against Bush who is in his party, he can even run against Washington which he has been a part of for 30+ years, but he cannot run from his poor stand on the issues.

    I only hope that CNN covers the issues, and that the American people are smart enough to not be fooled again.

    September 11, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  19. Ruth

    The Republicans have broken the economy over the last 8 years! Why should we vote Repub today???

    September 11, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  20. Sam

    I would like to ask the following:

    1. Why is it that mainstream candidates can't be moderates (Dr Paul, I think you got screwed over)

    2. New legislation?..how about this..ANY federal judge may order into arrest the President or Vice President at any time given reasonable suspicion that they have committed a felony or misdemeanor. The protective detail of the Secret Service SHALL affect said arrest, (there DO have to be SOME controls to avoid legal decapitation of the government).

    3. The second amendment is NOT about hunting (Democrats take note). It is about the right of the people to resist oppression from ANY angle, so how about this?...It shall be illegal for any government or governmental supported entity to order or direct the confiscation of firearms from law abiding private citizens except in cases where the citizens in question have committed criminal acts. This does NOT include refusal to surrender their weapons on the basis of unconstitutional or illegal gun legislation. Further, the use of deadly force to retain possession of those firearms may be used by the general population without fear of legal retribution. In addition, the Constitution shall be amended to define arms, as used in the second amendment, to mean military style semi-automatic small arms.

    For this I will be branded a fringe radical by the Democratic party, a person to be feared. Why is it, Mr Biden and Mr. Obama, that you would fear me? Because I possess "evil" black guns?...Well here's the reason...I possess them because I DON'T TRUST YOU (or anyone else in government) TO RESPECT MY CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS.

    September 11, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  21. Taylor

    Having just seen a snip of Palin being interview by "Charlie", I have to wonder what McCain was thinking when he chose her? Notice her hesitation when asked about the Bush Doctrine, and how she finally said "in what way, Charlie?", and then tried to bluff her way through a nonsense answer. Good Lord. He had to explain to her what the Bush doctrine was. Heaven help us.

    September 11, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  22. Enochius

    Bay, he is a maverick by voting with George Bush 90% of the time? Please explain

    September 11, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  23. AD

    He does not have answer to fix the economy

    September 11, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  24. jps

    Why would they trust a government and volunteer, if the second in command thinks they are lame?

    September 11, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  25. T-MAC

    IF PALIN IS ANY KIND OF A PIT-BULL, SHE SHOULD BE ABLE TO TAKE A LITTLE CRITICISM. McCain SEEMS LOST WITH-OUT HER. YESTERDAY HIS WIFE HAD A REAL SMILE ON HER FACE FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE PALIN SHOW STARTED. IT HAS TO BE HARD STANDING ON STAGE NEXT TO THE MAN YOU LOVE AND SEEING HIM PLAYING SECOND FIDDLE TO A PERSON WHO CAN'T SHINE HIS SHOES WHEN IT COMES TO POLITICS. DURING EACH SEARCH HE STANDS THERE AND LOOK DOWN AT HER SPEECH TO MAKE SURE SHE IS STICKING TO THE SCRIPT. IF McCAIN WINDS THIS ELECTION, WE WILL NOT SEE PALIN UNTIL THE NEXT ELECTION, SHE WOULD HAVE SERVED HER PURPOSE. YOU CAN'T HAVE THE VICE PRESIDENT OVERSHADOWING THE PRESIDENT WHICH IS WHAT WILL HAPPEN. THIS COUNTRY HAS ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT LOOKS, LETS FACE IT, SHE'S A VERY GOOD LOOKING WOMAN....JUST ASK THE POLAR BEARS AND THE ICE TRUCKERS.....THIS IS HOW THIS ELECTION WILL PLAY OUT....THE PRESS WILL BRING OUT DAMAGING FACTS ABOUT PALIN CAUSING THE NUMBERS TO SLIP IN FAVOR OF OBAMA, THEN JUST AS IT GETS CLOSE TO THE ELECTION, THE REPUBLICANS WILL ROLL-OUT BIN-LADIN (HOPEFULLY IN A BODY BAG), BOMB IRAQ OR CREATE SOME KIND OF FEAR IN THE COUNTRY TO GET THE VOTES NEEDED TO WIN IT ALL.....LETS NOT FORGET THAT EVERY TIME BUSH WAS SLIPPING IN THE POLES TO KERRY THE THREAT LEVEL WAS RAISE.....REPUBLICANS, THE KNOW HOW TO PLAY THE GAME..

    September 11, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
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