Missed Lehrer's opening
McCain responds to Obama's energy claims and defends his record, calls Obama out on reprocessing.
Obama says he doesn't object to nuclear waste, gets sidetracked.
Lehrer asks if we are safer from a 9/11 attack today.
McCain - yes we are. I called for a commission and this is another area where I disagreed with the administration. Got most of the reforms written into law - bipartisan. Intelligence services need improvement (trained interrogators, better technology, work with our allies). Safer today than 9/11 but that doesn't mean we don't have a long way to go. Reorganized agencies, but still a long way to go. Do better along our borders as well.
Obama - In some ways better. Still much to do (ports, chemical sites). Suitcase nuke is biggest threat. I actually believe we need missile defense. Focus on Al Qaeda - in 60 countries - not just Iraq. Gives McCain kudos on torture issue.
McCain - In case of missile defense, Obama says it has to be proven. It wasn't proven when Reagan proposed it and used it to win the Cold War. Obama doesn't get it: loss in Iraq will weaken us everywhere. Hammers Obama on specific dates for withdrawal regardless of facts on the ground. Central issue of our time.
Lehrer asks if he accepts the connection that McCain claims.
Obama - yes, but we are focused solely (!) on Iraq. [Uh, no. Not having a standing military in a country does not mean that we are not paying attention to what's happening there.] Usual liberal bromides about money spent on the war is money not spent on domestic matters. [Yawn] Strategic vision has been missing last 8 years.
McCain - I have been involved in every major national security matter of the past 28 years. I don't think Obama gets it, and I have the experience, he doesn't. McCain says that the Bush admin "clings" (Obama laughs, amplifying the impact of the word) to outmoded ideas, and that is what Obama has done as well. Solemn about not needing OTJ training. I am ready.
Obama - My father is from Kenya, wrote lots of letters to come to US. Our standing now is not the same. [Puh-leeze]
McCain - When I came home from prison I saw veterans being mistreated. Worked on POW/MIA issues. I guarantee you as President of US, I know how to heal the wounds of war and work with allies.