October 14th, 2008
03:49 PM ET
5 years ago

McCain's last stand at final debate?

Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain sparred about domestic policy during their second presidential debate.
Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain sparred about domestic policy during their second presidential debate.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The third and final presidential debate is shaping up to be a make-or-break appearance for both Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama, one of the last chances to get their message out to undecided voters.

The debate, taking place at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, begins at 9 p.m. ET Wednesday and will be aired live on CNN and CNN.com.

The 90-minute face-off will undoubtedly focus on the economic crisis plaguing the country. And unlike at the other two debates, the candidates will sit at a table facing one another.

CBS News' Bob Schieffer, host of "Face the Nation," will moderate the debate and told The Associated Press on Sunday that he will be seeking more on what each will bring to the presidency.

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soundoff (201 Responses)
  1. aware

    I voted for McCain/Palin 08! they are America's only hope in this election! :)

    Obama learned to: get power any way you can, including lying, cheating and stealing. The ultimate rule is that the ends justify the means. :(

    Google the Alinsky Method

    October 14, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  2. Holly G

    Scott L......from your earlier post.................."I don't care about Terrorism, Homelessness, Immigration, Iraq, Abortion, Religion, Guns, anything else. DO NOT TAKE MY HARD EARNED MONEY!!!!!"

    This comment is so sickening on so many different levels I don't know where to begin. Spoken like a true republican. In other words..."to hell with everyone else, the only one that really matters is me."

    This country has been very good to me as well as the last two generations of my family and I have no problem paying my taxes, in fact, I think it is the very least I can do to repay some of my good fortune. It is high time that we get someone in the whitehouse that understands this way of thinking...............GIVE SOMETHING BACK!!!!!!!!! What a concept!

    October 14, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  3. John, Austin TX

    I have to agree with one of the comments below: I watch the debate to see if McCain is going to turn red and slam the table so I can laugh at him as I cast my vote for Obama!!

    McCain disgusts me.

    October 14, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  4. Andy - Atlanta, GA

    To Sandra who wrote:
    "If Obama wins it will be because all the black people voted for him just because he is black.",

    Do you think that number will be higher than all the white ppl who DONT vote for him because he's half black?

    October 14, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  5. Anne

    Sandra October 14th, 2008 4:33 pm ET

    If Obama wins it will be because all the black people voted for him just because he is black.

    And sandra to answer your rather strange take on this........If McCain wins he ill only have won because hes white and all white people voted for him

    October 14, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  6. Hope

    Sandra October 14th, 2008 4:33 pm ET

    If Obama wins it will be because all the black people voted for him just because he is black.

    ---------------–

    True that and most of smart white ppl will vote for him that excludes you !

    October 14, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  7. Catholic-mom-4-OBAMA

    ************PLEASE POST CNN THANKS*********************************

    I am relieved that this is the last debate! I can not stand another night of watching McCain be rude and see his obvious disdain for Sen. Obama!

    I believe that we, Americans, are fair-minded and decent!

    I believe that we, the People, will REJECT the politics of fear and hate, and division that the Republicans have been spewing for 8 long years!

    I believe, that the pundits and nay sayers will be shocked on Nov. 4th!
    We've had enough of the Republicans!

    October 14, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  8. Catholic-mom-4-OBAMA

    ************PLEASE POST CNN THANKS*********************************

    I am relieved that this is the last debate! I can not stand another night of watching McCain be rude and see his obvious disdain for Sen. Obama!

    I believe that we, Americans, are fair-minded and decent!

    I believe that we, the People, will REJECT the politics of fear and hate, and division that the Republicans have been spewing for 8 long years!

    I believe, that the pundits and nay sayers will be shocked on Nov. 4th!
    We've had enough of the Republicans!

    October 14, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  9. Ken in Dallas

    The way the American people react to these debates is a final verdict on the way we've screwed up the education system.

    These debates should be about the competing political philosophies, about striking the right balance somewhere between laissez-faire and a command economy, but the American public is too ill-educated to follow a discussion of the principles underlying the real-world issues we face as a nation.

    We should definitely start doing things differently than we have been.

    October 14, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  10. New Civil War has begun

    Senator McCain, how about "strapping on a pair" this time, eh?

    October 14, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  11. Alaska HockeyMoms for Obama

    Voted for her once....NEVER again! Gov. Palin needs to stay the puck outta Washington...and now Alaska is even questionable!

    Didn't she say it's a matter of public trust....?

    Obama/Biden ~ the only clear choice!

    October 14, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  12. Block

    To Sandra who wrote this nonsense.

    "If Obama wins it will be because all the black people voted for him just because he is black."

    If that were true, then Obama would not win. People have had enough of the Bush years. He failed us and so will McCain! All race's of People will back Obama SIMPLY because he will fix what has been broken for 8 years. The last time I looked, Blacks were still a small minority. Get it right! You sound like McCain and Palin, trying to divide the nation!

    October 14, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  13. Pepou

    Obama will whip that old fool's bony you know what ...

    October 14, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  14. Republican Voting OBAMA

    Obama will win the debate for showing up and sitting on the same stage as McCain.

    Obama has my vote.

    October 14, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  15. Scott in Atlanta

    Stop harping about how Capital Gains tax cuts will stimulate investments... You've had 8 years to run that krap and look at us now. All you really want to do is:

    Get all you Can
    Can all you get
    and sit on the Can.

    Well the hell with you all. Bring on the change this country needs!

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 14, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  16. Dan, TX

    God Bless America.
    God Bless Barack Obama and John McCain, two great Americans.

    Barack Obama is the centrist, common sense, calm leader that we need now.

    October 14, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  17. Suzanne

    I've always wondered how people can possibly know what they want, much less find it, when they start their shopping on Christmas Eve (or pick any other ethnic or religious holiday). So I wonder about the so-called "independent" or "undecided" voters. Is it really possible that they wait for "one perfect thing" to confirm their vote? In the last weeks of a campaign, things are surely at their worst... most negative, inflammatory, heated, etc. How can any American with his/her eyes open not know who and what Obama and McCain stand for by now? I think at this point you can take the undecideds and break down their voting pattern in proportion to the polled vote. They know in their hearts where they are. Maybe on the next election, the media can follow hundreds of independents by asking them at the outset who they would pick if the voting were today...and then checking in on the day after the election to see if they changed.

    October 14, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  18. Dream Embraced

    "FIRED UP....READY-TO-GO!"

    October 14, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  19. Andy - Atlanta, GA

    I like the face to face format. This debate is all about working camera angles.
    1. When attacking your opponent, look him straight in the eye.
    2. When explaining your policies/plans, look directly into the camera. 3. When getting attacked, look the oponent straight in the eye, with a slight smile.
    4. WHen rebutting an attack, go back and forth between opponent & camera (audience).

    My bet is on McCain getting agitated & blowing it this time.

    October 14, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  20. Rashawn

    William Timmons, the Washington lobbyist who John McCain has named to head his presidential transition team, aided an influence effort on behalf of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to ease international sanctions against his regime.

    Please report this

    October 14, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  21. chuck

    If it is determined that he lost this debate will he and the misfit, 6 packin, wolf killin, gun slingin, looney go home?

    October 14, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  22. voter

    this will be interesting. McCain can bring up ayers, but the huff post has reported that McCain's chair for his transition team lobbied in behalf of saddem hussein. this is worse than ayers. I will like to see McCain defend this one. check and mate.

    October 14, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  23. McErratic

    Odds are slim for McWar coming up with a game-changer.

    It was painfully obvious watching him in the last two debates as he struggled and failed to articulate any intelligent solutions – instead he rambles incoherently and concludes a string of mindless chatter with declarations such as "I know how to fix the economy, I know how to get Bin Laden, I know how to win wars".

    He is a legend in his own mind and can't get through two sentences without patting himself on the back for reaching across the isle, supporting the surge, being a maverick, a fighter, a POW, a loyal servant who puts country first.

    The reality is John McCain has been mediocre at everything he has done and the more you see of him the more you understand why.

    After spending the first 40 years of his life as the spoiled brat son of an Admiral always using Daddy's name to his own advantage, he brought the same arrogant "me first" attitude to Congress where he is almost universally disliked – just as he was in the Navy by people who had to earn their promotions and didnt have an admiral for a daddy. He tries to spin this as being a Maverick and someone who doesnt run with the herd but that directly contradicts his other argument of being bi-partisan and knowing how to reach out to people and work together to get things done.

    The "war hero and patriot" personna is a myth and it has become more obvious with the exposure of this campaign. When you read up on this guy you see what the people who really know him and dont work for his campaign or Fox News have to say. Self-centered spoiled brats do not make good leaders. John McCain is no leader and would be a worse president than W.

    October 14, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  24. McCain pals around with Lobbyists for Terrorists!

    Please, Bob, ask McCain about Timmons, his transition team chief who lobbied for Saddam Hussein and Fannie Mae! McLame will wish he'd only served on a board with Timmons by the time O gets through with him.

    October 14, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  25. Shari, NY

    I don't think there is much more to be said. This pre -climax is overkill more than anything else. Despite this I will still tune in hoping that it will be better than the town hall scenario with 1) Tom Brokaw who had to constantly remind the sparring partners to be brief; 2) McCain pacing up and down trying to get his point across, and 3) Obama defending himself while repeating what he already said for the benefit of those who still can't get it. Aye, aye, aye!

    October 14, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
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