Theresa Finch: How can we trust either of you when both parties got us into this crisis?
BO: I understand your cynicism... with your family budget, you cut back when you can't make it, but that's not what happens in DC. When GWB came into office we had a surplus, now we run a deficit every year and have an 11 trillion dollar deficit. JM voted for 4/5 of GWB budgets. I am going to reform health care, "deal with" energy, college affordability. "Investments" but also spending cuts. He says he has spending cuts on the table (where were these cuts in the first debate).
JM: I have been a consistent reformer. I reach across the aisle. CFR, GW, etc. BO has taken on his party leaders on nothing. Look at watchdogs like Citizens Against Govt Waste, etc. What will you find? BO is the biggest spending liberal in the Senate. $860 B in new spending. Voted for every increase in spending that came through the Senate. All sorts of earmarks - $3M for an overhead projector for a planetarium in Chicago. Need to make the kind of reforms that help - energy independence (drilling off-shore, nuclear energy), stop spending $700B overseas.
TB: Healthcare, energy, entitlement reform - order them in priority
JM: Look at all 3 at once. Starts on entitlement reform - can't give the same benefit in the future that we do today. Reach across the aisle as I have with Lieberman, Feingold, Kennedy. Need all forms of energy - clean coal, drilling, nuclear. $700B ends up in the hands of terrorists. We have to do all 3 at once.
BO: We have to prioritize. I've listed things at the top of the list. Energy - I've called for an "investment" of $15B per year for 10 years to achieve energy independence. Healthcare is priority #2. Education is #3 (it wasn't on the list!). JM likes to talk about earmarks - I will go line-by-line, eliminate programs that don't work, make good ones work better. JM wants to continue GWB tax cuts and cut some more taxes on corporations.
TB: Continues griping about the minute followup going too long