October 15th, 2008
09:26 PM ET
14 years ago

Schneider: Is balancing the budget realistic?

HEMPSTEAD, New York (CNN) - The only way the the budget can be balanced - the only way it has ever been balanced - is with an economic boom.

It has never been balanced through spending cuts.

October 15th, 2008
09:21 PM ET
14 years ago

Schneider: Obama doesn't answer question

HEMPSTEAD, New York (CNN) - Obama is once again not answering the question about which programs he will cut.

He says that he will go through the budget line by line and eliminate the programs that don't work...but he won't specifically name any.

McCain is also avoiding specifics on this issue. Why can't they just acknowledge that if the economy is in a slump they will have to delay rolling out new projects and spending, and then they'll try and get them done when the economy picks up again?

October 15th, 2008
09:17 PM ET
14 years ago

Schneider: Obama starts crisp

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Hempstead, New York (CNN) - Obama's answers during this first line of questioning appear crisp and clear, while McCain's sound disconnected and rambling.

This whole discussion is about taxes, but what voters want to hear about is jobs. What are these two candidates going to do on jobs?

Filed under: Bill Schneider • Presidential Debate
October 15th, 2008
09:17 PM ET
14 years ago

The final presidential debate begins


Sen. McCain and Sen. Obama shake hands before their final presidential debate Wednesday night at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.(AP PHOTO)

October 15th, 2008
09:16 PM ET
14 years ago

McCain accuses Obama of being 'class warrior' in final debate

HEMPSTEAD, New York (CNN) - John McCain accused his rival Barack Obama of being a "class warrior" as they locked horns over the economy Wednesday at their third and final presidential debate.

McCain, the Arizona Republican, asked why Obama would raise taxes on anybody during an economic crisis.

Obama countered that both he and McCain want to cut taxes, but that his plan would cut taxes for "95 percent of American families," more than McCain's plan.

McCain insisted that the government needed to help keep people in their homes, "putting a floor" under falling home ownership in the face of the mortgage crisis.

Obama, an Illinois Democrat, countered that McCain's plan could end up being a giveaway to "the banks" rather than to homeowners.

October 15th, 2008
09:00 PM ET
14 years ago

Reporters ready


Reporters are watching the debate in a filing center a short walk from the debate hall. (Photo Credit: Mark Preston/CNN)

October 15th, 2008
08:30 PM ET
14 years ago

Martin: Obama is setting up McCain for the political rope-a-dope

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/15/art.bomac1015.gi.jpg caption="Martin: Obama is setting up McCain for a knockout blow."]
(CNN) - Muhammad Ali was not only a great boxer, but an awesome tactician.

Remember the fight against George Foreman in Zaire? My man damn near went to sleep on the ropes as Foreman flailed away, using his energy to pound away at Ali. And at the right time, the Greatest of All Time started blasting away, eventually knocking Foreman out.

That's exactly what Sen. Barack Obama is doing to Sen. John McCain.

At no time during the Democratic primary has Obama tried to pick a fight. So when he told ABC last week that when it came to bringing up 1960s radical Bill Ayers on the campaign trail, McCain "wasn't willing to say it to my face," I instantly saw it as Obama throwing down the gauntlet.

Knowing full well that the senior senator from Arizona has a hot temper, he couldn't resist the bait.

"He has probably ensured that it will come up this time," McCain told a Missouri radio station.

And by doing so tonight, Obama will be ready to pounce.

I debated conservative Michael Steele last night at Fayetteville State University in Fayetteville, N.C., and he said McCain should stay focused on the issues. I concur.

By bringing up an issue voters don't care about, McCain will alienate independents, and make it easier for Obama to appeal to them.

If it happens, just watch Obama pound away at McCain, just like Ali did to Foreman.

October 15th, 2008
07:22 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama takes heat for delaying World Series game


[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/15/art.baseball.ap.jpg caption="A 30-minute Obama ad will delay a game 6 of the World Series."](CNN) - The Republican National Committee took aim at Barack Obama Wednesday over the Illinois senator's half-hour ad buy that will delay the start of a World Series game by 18 minutes.

"It’s unfortunate that the World Series’ first pitch is being delayed for Obama’s political pitch," RNC spokesman Alex Conant said. "Not only is Obama putting politics before principle, he’s putting it before our national pastime.”

Major League Baseball has agreed to a request from Fox to delay the start time of Game 6 of the World Series (if a Game 6 is necessary) so the network can air the 30-minute Obama spot, a Fox spokesman confirms to CNN. The Illinois senator has also bought similar time on CBS and NBC, set to begin at 8 p.m.

“FOX will accommodate Senator Obama's desire to communicate with voters in this...format," Fox spokesman Scott Gorgin said. "We are pleased that Major League Baseball has agreed to delay the first pitch of World Series Game 6 for a few minutes in order for FOX to carry his program on October 29."

It's the first time a presidential candidate has bought that length of airtime on network television since Ross Perot purchased several 30 minute blocs in 1992.

"This is a big platform, this is a big megaphone, the interest level is clearly there and people will watch," Evan Tracey of Campaign Media Analysis Group, CNN's consultant on campaign advertising said.

The October 29 game will now start at 8:38 instead of 8:20.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
October 15th, 2008
07:21 PM ET
14 years ago

Cindy McCain requested, got cell coverage

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WASHINGTON (CNN) - John McCain’s campaign is blasting a Washington Post report that the Arizona senator’s Sedona ranch got cell phone coverage this summer after a request from staffers for his wife Cindy.

The paper also reported the Republican nominee’s wife offered Verizon land for a permanent cell phone tower, which would benefit few besides the McCains, and that the company had then begun the expensive process to meet that request. Verizon abandoned the effort after the Post filed a request for Arizona records in Auugust.

McCain is a senior member and former chair of the Commerce Committee, which oversees the telecommunications industry.

The McCain campaign defended the request. "Mrs. McCain, like many Americans in rural locations, was interested in receiving cell service, and there was none in the vicinity of their cabin," McCain spokesman Brian Rogers told the paper in the story, which appeared on its Web site Wednesday.

"Mrs. McCain's staff went through the Website as any member of the general public would - no string pulling, no phone calls, no involvement of Senate staff. because she is married to a senator doesn't mean she forfeits her right to ask for cell service as any other Verizon customer can.

"The McCains went through the process that is available to anybody who subscribes to one of these cell phone companies to inquire about getting service."

Filed under: Cindy McCain • John McCain
October 15th, 2008
07:20 PM ET
14 years ago

Rosen: Where is the room for John McCain to succeed?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/15/mccain1.jpg caption=" McCain hopes to win over undecided voters tonight."]
The CNN poll released today showed a dramatic decrease in undecided voters. In fact in the key battleground states of Florida, Colorado and Virginia, John McCain could get every undecided voter left and still not have enough to win the campaign.

This is the key turning point in the campaign.

It is much harder to change people's minds than to convince them to move from the undecided block.

That is what makes John McCain's task so difficult tonight. He has to use the issues that have brought people to the Obama camp – namely the economy – and convince them that the decision they have made about who helps them more in these troubled times, is the wrong decision.

All the talk about McCain "taking it to Obama" on Bill Ayers or his past associations, it seems pretty irrelevant to the real challenge at hand. Can John McCain convince people that they are wrong in their judgements?

What are his choices tonight?

-Personal character attacks?
-Social issues like abortion and same sex marriage – the so-called values retread?
-Create fear of a Democratic controlled Washington within Congress and the White House?
-Yet another economic plan?

Lots of choices, none of them sure winners particulalry when Barack Obama has shown a steady hand on all of these issues.

Filed under: John McCain • Presidential Debate
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