October 7th, 2008
09:45 PM ET
10 years ago

Martin: Can McCain outshine Obama tonight?

Roland Martin want's to know, 'Can McCain outshine Obama tonight?'.

Roland Martin want's to know, 'Can McCain outshine Obama tonight?'.

(CNN)–Sen. John McCain, you've got your wish. He has complained all summer about debating Sen. Barack Obama in a town hall setting, now he's got it.

And he must deliver.

His staff has maintained all that day that this is the forum that he likes, that he's good at, and that he should outshine Obama at every turn.

Folks, let's get it on and see who has mastered the economy and who can connect with the American people.

Game on!

soundoff (248 Responses)
  1. Kelly

    Did McCain think he would win by being rude? Unbelieveable how he acted. He talks like he's reading a script,...badly.

    Obama definately won.

    Also... Tom Brokaw was horrible as well as the format.

    October 7, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  2. Bhiii3

    I personally think McCain sounds senile. He keeps talking about Obama raising taxes when Obama has explained that over and over. He also keeps talking about Obama not admitting the surge worked in Iraq. Why doesn't Obama just tell him if he admits he was wrong on the invasion Obama will admit the surge worked. If you put 18 men on a football field against 12 my money is on the 18 every time but what happens when 9 of the 18 walk off? That's just common sense not anything to debate but McCain just can't move off that mark.

    October 7, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  3. Maria

    It seems to me that McCain has done almost everything, knows how to do almost everything yet still believes that just "sitting across the table from the democrats" and talking will fix al of our problems. It is also very interesting to me that the last 8 years have left Americans with such a bad taste in their mouth towards Republicans, that McCain wants to bring our memories back to his "hero" Reagan.
    McCain- you lost this one. Your jokes weren't funny and nearly all that you had to rely on are circular explanations.

    October 7, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  4. Charley

    Well given the fact that John McCain has been falling behind in the swing states, he certainly needed to perform tonight. However, I think he fell drastically short. Foreign policy is supposed to be McCain's pride and joy, yet he seemed quite dry and under-enthusiastic. What he lacks in his speaking abilities, he certainly makes up for in snide remarks. Don't get me wrong, both candidates exchanged "slams" but some of McCain's remarks were similar to those you would expect from small children on a playground. Referring to Obama as "that one," and sarcastically saying "thank you" when Obama said that McCain tries to portray himself as competent and responsible seemed like a desperate grab for success. In my opinion, he failed miserably.

    October 7, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  5. rita m yogananda

    Obama was smooth as usual..McCain still seemed a little agitated....but they both did far better then the first debate.....that was a flop

    October 7, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  6. Chris

    I don't know that it is or isn't Roland. I know I paid attention to it and I noticed McCain says we will move in without UN permission the bar is moderate, Obama says the same thing bar is at the top of the screen. It's easy for me to say to you hey i have these people they are not committed, but if they weren't then it just seems things would be a little different. Personally i don't think either one of them is a winner. Neither one of them really laid out a plan, they both played the Washington politics game. So who is the real winner in that scenario.

    October 7, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  7. cl

    Mr. McCain is a Statesman, where Mr. Obama is just a politican.

    October 7, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  8. April


    Were you watching the same debate I was because McCain didn't answer one question...............on fire yeah right.

    I really think it is people with opinion like yours that will bring down this country.

    McCain needs to just quit, and Palin well there is not much I can say about her but thanks allot for setting the progress of women back 100 years.

    October 7, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  9. Margaret in PA

    I think that tonight both were about equally good. But not good enough regarding how to fix this economic mess we're in. Why not a debate w/ Obama, McCain, and also the vp candidates. Why haven't we seen all four debate each other together?

    October 7, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  10. TB

    The more I listen to McCain, the more I respect Obama. I've been a tried & true Republican for years, but am amazed at McCain's barely controlled anger and condescending attitude. We can't afford 4 years of "my friend" and ""that one". Totally stunned.

    October 7, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  11. Charley

    I'm not saying that McCain had no strong points, but I would love to see some of the pro-McCain bloggers support their "go McCain" statements with something other than "he's the man."

    October 7, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  12. jay-mu

    Sen.McCain always speaks as though he is speaking to sub group of people that have no understanding of the english language, or he thinks that everyone is stupid. Just heard nothing new or different from Sen McCain. Just a reptation of the same information.

    October 7, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  13. Orlando

    McCain also called Obama, "That one". I can't believe he can't even hide his disrespect. I thought he acted very prompous during the last debate now I know... that man is either a racist or arrogant. McCain doesn't UNDERSTAND that Obama is his peer and equal. I wonder how he would treat me?

    October 7, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  14. Kee (Michigan)

    It's clear who the winner is tonight. I felt Obama actually spoke to me not only as a women, but as a person who has really faced some hard economic times. McCain just doesn't get it. I can understand why he picked Palin as a running mate; they both love to dance around questions.

    I respect McCain on how he served the question, but don't try to bring that up every time a tough question is asked. Let's get real. I still haven't heard what he plain is. He also needs to watch what he says when refering to Obama as "this".

    October 7, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  15. tickerroland

    I flipped over to ABC and saw Torie Clarke say she thought the candidates were going to show their outrage.

    Torie, that's the last thing we need! We don't need someone being pissed. We need strong, steady leadership. We've got enough anger.

    Now we need leadership.

    October 7, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  16. Angie

    I understand that McCain is a Vet. but come on......play to the average voter not just the Vets. We are just as important as the Vets.

    October 7, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  17. Ramona Q. McGowen

    I'm taking notes and following the Debate closely.
    I'm supporting Obama and depend upon him and his staff and supporters, to get America, after 8 years of uncertainty, to begin on the homefront, creating jobs for U.S. Citizens. Keep the economy moving. I agree with Obama's strategy...energy plan and healthcare plans. Foreign Policy? Lots of work to be done. Neither one will be able to accomplish these goals, by himself. I think Obama has the desire and confidence, to do his very best. He seems to have the ability to be tactful, sincere and willing to listen to the American citizens and experienced advisers, perhaps President Clinton and supporters, and diplomats in nations abroad.
    It is says, 'if it's not broke, don't fix it". Well, it (Our Government is BROKE.....so LET'S FIX IT! Ramona Q. McGowen
    P.S. I did not appreciate the condescending comments that Senator McCain used against Senator Obama; e.g. he referred to one of Obama's plans was "like trying to get jello to stick on the wall".

    October 7, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  18. Concerned Citizen

    Obama definitely had a big win tonight! It is a pleasure to hear someone who speaks with such clarity and understanding to the issues that we are all faced with today. I believe he will be a powerful leader and President of USA.

    October 7, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  19. John

    You have seen it and heared it.
    OBAMA WINS!!! Now go VOTE!

    October 7, 2008 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  20. Campbell

    McCain won over all in substance regarding the economy and foreign affairs, but I was disappointed as all Americans should be because what we really wanted to hear was who was directly responsible for this financial crisis. That is what was missing. Who were the players and what will be done to prevent that from happening again in the future, but overall in content and experience McCain won tonight's debate. Obama stumbled.

    October 7, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  21. E Harris

    I think it is a legitimate question to ask what effects the war may have on Sen McCain's overall behavioir. I live with a Vietnam wounded vet who has PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome), not always pretty! Irratic behavior and decision-making. Also his age and previous bouts with cancer are concerns I have that could put SARAH PALIN a medical mishap away from the presidency. SCARY!

    October 8, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  22. Kevin

    The reason why McCain was being a jerk by not shaking Obama's hand was because McPain lost at his own game. That's what you get for being an arrogant bigheaded jerk.

    October 8, 2008 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  23. tiff of atl

    Obama won this debate tonight just as he did at the last debate. Good job Barack!!!!!!!

    October 8, 2008 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
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