Patterico's Pontifications


Your Debate Questions for McCain and Obama

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 1:45 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Post the questions you would ask Senators Obama and McCain in tonight’s debate at the University of Mississippi.

The topics for tonight’s debate are foreign policy and national security. So when you ask questions about the economy, frame them as foreign policy or national security questions. You know, the way the media will.

H/T Ropelight.


92 Responses to “Your Debate Questions for McCain and Obama”

  1. California is becoming dependent on liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipped from Russia. Can we trust the Russian government to be a reliable supplier of fuel for our homes, business, and electrical generators?

    Joseph Somsel (e5cbf5)

  2. Is there any specific part of the Federal government which you think has grown too large and wasteful? If so, what is it? What is it’s budget and how much would you reduce it?

    Cobb (68fd91)

  3. Oh. National security.

    Is there any specific part of the military establishment…

    Q2. Why are there only 6 Seal Teams? (Trick Question, I think there are 9, but that’s still too few).

    Cobb (68fd91)

  4. Can you please provide ballpark figures for how far indebted we are to foreign countries specifcially China and Russia? What are the plans for paying off this debt?

    Mom2 (d60561)

  5. What should be the extent of our presence in Iraq? Should we have troops at every population center with more than one thousand persons? Should we garrison our troops inside heavily-fortified bases away from the towns and cities, only coming out in case of emergency? Or should we withdraw entirely?

    Michael Ejercito (a757fd)

  6. To both candidates:

    Do you agree with the position that we should conquer Canada and teach them how to say the words ‘out’ and ‘about’? Should we extend the war effort to GB and Australia to teach them how to use the letter ‘Z’ in words like ‘rationalize’ or ‘organize’?

    Whichever answers yes to either of these questions has my vote.

    Kevin (5ac156)

  7. Under what circumstances would you, acting on your own authority or authority appropriately delegated by Congress, send members of the U.S. armed forces into combat?

    Does Iran represent a threat to the national security of the United States? If so, how do you propose to deal with the threat?

    Diffus (cb9f4f)

  8. Do you support eventual NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia and committing the US to respond militarily to a Russian invasion of either of these countries?

    Mark1971 (888585)

  9. In your Administration would the Monroe Doctrine remain the basis of American Foreign Policy in the Western Hemisphere, and if so, how do you intend to respond to the provocative and growing Russian presence in Venezuela?

    Ropelight (f4b89a)

  10. Since neither of you support drilling in the Arctic, do u care that Russia is asserting ownership of some of the lands there?

    If this does matter to you, why does it matter to you? What specific measures would you take to dissuade the Russians?

    Ed (385e88)

  11. Using the example of JFK and Kruschev, why should we not be concerned about foreign leaders taking advantage of a young and inexperienced President in advancing America’s interests overseas?

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  12. Senator Obama, do you have any Israel supporters on your staff of advisers or are they all pro-Palestinian?

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  13. You have been given intelligence that says the likelihood that a group with support from Iran will detonate a nuclear device in an American city in the next 48 hours is high, but not absolutely certain. How would you respond?

    Mark1971 (888585)

  14. Senator Obama, will you finally admit that you were wrong to oppose the Surge, since you’ve previously admitted that it’s an unqualified success at this point?

    Dmac (e639cc)

  15. The Federal Government has failed to secure our borders. Do you agree that building a fence, an effective physical barrier, should be our immediate objective and one of our highest national security priorities?

    If yes, what conclusive steps are you willing to take in the first 2 weeks following your inauguration to speed construction?

    If no, what in the hell makes you think you’re qualified to lead this nation?

    Ropelight (f4b89a)

  16. To Senator McCain: Will you waffle under the pressure of foreign leaders the way you waffled under the pressure of public opinion and came to this debate tonight?

    Leviticus (41975c)

  17. If we cut Iran a check for 700 billion dollars do you think they would be our friends?

    cts22 (837a16)

  18. #1 Why should we pay billions of dollars to educate illegal immigrants?

    #2 Why should we pay tens of billions of dollars for the health care of illegal immigrants?

    #3 Why has the government allowed Americans to be subjected to terrorism from gangs of illegal immigrants?

    #4 Why should “sanctuary cities” be entitled to receive any federal government dollars?

    #5 When will you finish the wall and how high will that wall be?

    Perfect Sense (9d1b08)

  19. Senator McCain, when impudent fools ask if you’ve stopped beating your wife, do you have the patience to ignore them, or will you diminish yourself by responding to their childish taunts?

    Ropelight (f4b89a)

  20. Heh heh heh.

    Leviticus (41975c)

  21. Senator Obama, when will you finally stop denying you are a secret muslim?

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  22. Assassinations of terror leaders, pre-emptive strikes, border checkpoints, bombing of terrorist hideouts, disruption of terror infrastructures — Which of these steps would you take in order to defend American citizens from terrorist attacks?

    Follow-up: Which of those steps should Israeli leaders be allowed to take to protect their citizens from terrorist attacks?

    aunursa (1b5bad)

  23. I would ask Baracky what his foundational core principles are that inform his political decsision making process. I would ask him what aspect(s) of said principles he has not thrown under the back of the bus, when politically expedient.

    JD (f7900a)

  24. Mr McCain, why do you insist on not listening to the American people concerning the Iraq War?

    Rob (495cdf)

  25. For Baracky – What is your position on Iraq, today? How does that compare to your position yesterday? Last week? Last month? Last year? Do you still think The Surge was a failure?

    JD (f7900a)

  26. Sen. McCain – Why is it that you seem to abandon conservative principles in exchange for media and Dem approval on issues? How does it feel when those that you previously sought approval from demonize you because of the R behind your name?

    JD (f7900a)

  27. The supreme court recently affirmed the right of the people to possess loaded handguns in their homes for self defense. Since most people spend a large amount of their day outside of their home, do you believe this right extends to their automobiles and/or their persons?

    boxty (e1fa4f)

  28. How has this economic crisis affected the policies you had in place and what ajustments would you now have to make.

    Dahl Kaiser (e57954)

  29. Senator Obama, why is your half – brother still living in poverty? Also – what exactly does a community organizer’s job entail, and how does that underline your claims of executive leadership during your political career? A follow – up question to that one, Senator – please name one piece of legislation that was passed during your political career in which you worked extensively with the leadership of the oppposing party?

    Dmac (e639cc)

  30. Sen. Obama Do you really think you’re qualified to be President of the U.S. Sorry I don’t think you are.

    Catlin (a15fdf)

  31. Senator Obama, can you actually do anything substantive other than give a rousing speech?

    Al (b624ac)

  32. Senator Obama, in some of your speeches you seem to indicate that your vision of prosperity is a zero sum game or that the economic pie is finite. For example, that for those in less fortunate circumstances to prosper, others in more fortunate sircumstances, such as the United States, must sacrifice. Many people take the position that this is a very pessimistic view of the world and that economic pie can grow for all, that it is not a zero sum game. How do you feel about such views?

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  33. A question for McCain: Are you having second thoughts about your choice for VP? If you had to do it all over again, would you still pick her?
    For Obama: What will be the first thing you do when you do win this race? What would be your first thought? :)

    love2008 (0c8c2c)

  34. I think the question to Obama is going to be “why cant you admit the surge worked”. This is how I hope Obama responds:







    Frankie (97517c)


    Dmac (e639cc)

  36. B. Hussein, will you name William Ayers to a position of authority in your adminsitration? How about Jeremiah Wright? Why do you believe it is in our best interests to dismantle our military.

    Zelsdorf Ragshaft III (e18128)

  37. I’d ask both, “Name at least two people who you would consider appointing Secretary of Defense, and two others for Secretary of State, and briefly explain why you would trust their experience and judgment.” Each would be lying if they say they hadn’t even considered that yet.

    I’d also want to hear what both think about recent clashes between US and Pakistan forces on the Afghanistan border, and what that means for Pakistan’s status as an ally in the war on terror generally and against the Taliban specifically.

    I’d like to hear both of them explain what they think the proper purpose and future of the NATO alliance is and should be, especially with regard to Russia.

    Finally, apart from their positions on the decision to invade Iraq or how long we need to stay there, I’d ask what lessons have we learned from the conflict in terms of how we allocate military spending. Where are we wasting money and where isn’t enough money being spent?

    Aplomb (b6fba6)

  38. Senator Obama, do you believe capitalism has produced America’s prosperity, or do you believe socialism would have been a better economic system for our country?

    Ropelight (f4b89a)

  39. #35
    Dmac when are you going to stop being a stupid, obnoxious, obtuse and rabid pain-in-the-ear and face your front. Make your own comment and stop picking on other people’s comments. You are becoming a McCain troll on this blog. And a nuisance. God!

    love2008 (0c8c2c)

  40. Obama

    1. You advocated conceding oil rich Iraq to al Qaeda even as it was clear to those of us following the war that significant progress was being made? Are you nuts?

    2. Do you have even the slightest idea of the devastating consequences to American interests of not winning in Iraq?

    3. Why didn’t you speak to Petraeus before you claimed the Surge would make things worse?

    4. Why did you choose Joe Biden as your foreign- policy-expert running mate whose solution to Iraq was to partitiion it against the will of the Iraqi people and thus turn low level sectarian violence into a full scale civil war?

    5 Do you agree with Joe Biden’s statement that you don’t have the experience to be POTUS? Do you agree with your own similar statement?

    6. Why did you suggest that we leave Iraq, where al Qaeda was instrumental in the insurgency, in order to fight them in Afganistan, where they haven’t been since 2001 when we drove them out?

    7. Do you know who Abdul Rahman Yasin is?


    Thank you for your service. May God bless you.

    Terry Gain (aab754)

  41. To both candidates:

    This question has been bothering me for years. How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood? I believe that woodchucks CAN chuck wood, but I need to know how much (per hr.) they can chuck before I hire one. They’re dirt cheap (like slave labor, really), but if their production numbers are too low, it would be fiscally irresponsible of me to hire them.

    Please answer in cords per hour.

    Kevin (5ac156)

  42. Senator Obama, why should the voters believe you have their best interest at heart when you do not have the brass and moral compunction to protect the most defenseless and vulnerable Americans? Convince us that although you permitted the heinous killing of innocent babies by scissors gouging the base of their skulls, you really do care about the American people.

    Start with that little troubling issue and work your way from there.

    Dana (4d3ea0)

  43. Lovey, do you think anyone here actually wants to continue to listen to your never – ending drivel, other than for pure ridicule and entertainment? If you don’t like it, there are no doubt plenty of other places where you can vent your ginormous spleen. You’re obviously having a difficult time dealing with the ridicule which is so frequently needed after your posts, as well as some others you’ve mentioned. I suggest you start checking those other sites out, sweetheart – or you can start making coherent and cogent posts for once in your life.

    Dmac (e639cc)

  44. How come I’m gonna be making mortgage payments for someone with a 2008 Cadillac Escalade, 52″ flat panel TV, and a Gucci bag?

    SteveG (71dc6f)

  45. Dmac when are you going to stop being a stupid, obnoxious, obtuse

    Projection, thy name is Lovey.

    Dmac (e639cc)

  46. Senator Obama, were Chris Dodd and Harry Reid telling the truth when they went on national TV and said there was already an agreement on the $700 billion bailout plan before you and Senator McCain arrived in Washington DC for the meeting at the White House?

    Ropelight (f4b89a)

  47. MSM Moderator:
    Senator Obama, please spell “dog”.
    Senator McCain, please spell “chrysanthemum”.

    huey (3990bf)

  48. Another question for McCain: Senator, do you think you possess the temperance and judgment needed to be CIC? Judging from reports of your short temper and tendency to fly off the handle under provocation. Not to mention certain comments you have made about “Bomb bomb, Iran!” and calling the last Georgia-Russia crisis as ” The first serious crisis since the cold war” And Again, “we are Georgians!”.
    Dont you think we have reason to worry about having a trigger-happy, war-mongering leader of the most powerful nation on earth? With his hands on the button? Especially in a post-Iraq period as this.

    love2008 (0c8c2c)

  49. Senator Obama. On the topic of terrorism, where and when did you first meet William Ayers?

    PC14 (ec0516)

  50. Do you actually think the american public believes the mainstream lies they have been told about September 11, 2001 — polls indicated otherwise?

    Follow up question: Do you think jews were complicit in the attacks on the U.S. on September 11, 2001?

    Able Dagger (b56000)

  51. When are we going to talk about personal responsibility as the root cause for almost all society’s ills?

    Charles Obscura (bb0fc2)

  52. Senator Obama. Does your campaign pay female trolls equally to men? Are they paid by the word or the hour? And does Love2008 get high school credits for his/her internship?

    PC14 (ec0516)

  53. How do you plan to limit the size of government and it’s ever increasing control over me and my family? When do you plan to quit taking so much of my hard earned money and giving it to people who are too lazy to work? When are you going to realize that the people of this country know better how to take care of their families than Washington bureaucrats?

    AG (59863e)

  54. love two thousand hate wrote: For Obama: What will be the first thing you do when you do win this race? What would be your first thought?

    I think I can take this one, Lovey.

    “Allahu Akbar!” 😉

    L.N. Smithee (d1de1b)

  55. #54
    LN, as a black man, how would you feel on the inside of you, if Obama wins and becomes the first black President of the USA? Would you be enraged and take to the streets, screaming, “we have been raped!..” Or would you smile and say ” Way to go, soul brother.”?

    love2008 (0c8c2c)

  56. love2008,

    As a woman, how would you feel on the inside of you if Palin wins and becomes the first female VP of the USA?

    My guess is you don’t care about Palin’s gender because what matters to you is that you don’t agree with her policies. My guess also is that LN feels the same way about Obama.

    DRJ (c953ab)

  57. No BAILOUT
    Lets let the market right itsself It will be painful yes but no nearly as painful as burdening every american with $7500 for the bailout Plus interest of course. And then on top of that we give the same people that got us into this mess the moey to had out to their fat cat friends I don’t think so. This bailout at just 7% has us over a TRILLION in debt while the fat cats walk awy with even more money.

    Doug Garber (9cfeaa)

  58. Senator Obama – how are you going to fund all those program you are proposing – and please be specific about exactly WHAT tax cuts the middle class are going to receive

    Senator McCain – what federal programs would you eliminate

    EricPWJohnson (d2733c)

  59. Mr. Obama:

    Do you agree with Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden that you’re not qualified to run as president? If not, please explain.

    Do you agree with Joe Biden’s statements that John McCain is ready to lead as CiC? If not, explain.

    Third: Do you plan to deconstruct the Constitution as you’re currently doing in your self-serving ‘win at all costs’ campaign?

    Last. Do you love America? Please explain why not — and how this will affect your future decisions as President.


    Vermont Neighbor (a066ed)

  60. Senator Obama: As the candidate of “hope and change”, what kind of hope to you have to offer conservatives that don’t believe in all your money-grabbing ideas?

    AG (59863e)

  61. I am a teacher. Over the last few years, I have watched the curriculum become more and more watered down because school districts are afraid to have too many failures. No Child Left Behind made it even more difficult to maintain high standards because in order to leave no child behind, we have had to bring everyone down to the lowest level because the lowest kid can’t always keep up. No one seems to realize that not every kid wants to or needs to go to a four-year college. I would like to know how the candidates would fix this problem.

    Donna (48841c)

  62. Specifically tell us how you would handle the escalating tensions on the Pakistan border. When US Servicemen are getting show, is it time to sit down and talk with Pakistan’s leaders or is it time to protect US Service members? (c1f9f9)

  63. Obama: Are the two district attorneys in MO who are threatening criminal charges against anyone who says anything untrue about you reflecting what you meant when you told your minions to “go out there and get into people’s faces? (c1f9f9)

  64. Both: What’s your take on elected representatives who do what they “think” is best for their constituents versus what these people ask them to do? (c1f9f9)

  65. To each candidate, should we allow illegal or undocumented woodchucks to do the work that native born American woodchucks will not do? Should we have amnesty for those woodchucks that are undocumented but have been performing the work that native born woodchucks have refused to do?
    Do you think the woodChuck Schumer, does the work that undocumented foreign woodchucks could do better?

    Obama, why have you not demanded that your advisors Raines, Johnson and Gorelick pay back all the tens of millions of dollars they defrauded from Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac and the US public, since you have demanded a cap on Wall Street CEO salaries?

    eaglewingz08 (98291e)

  66. love2008 wrote:

    LN, as a black man, how would you feel on the inside of you, if Obama wins and becomes the first black President of the USA?

    I have already gone on record as saying that regardless of who wins this election, I will puke Election night; One bagful if McCain wins, two for Hillary, and three for Obama. So to answer your question, some of “the inside of [me]” will eventually be outside of me — into the crapper.

    Would you be enraged and take to the streets, screaming, “we have been raped!..” Or would you smile and say ” Way to go, soul brother.”?

    I would never say anything as silly as “we have been raped.” I don’t even know what you mean by that. “Way to go, soul brother?” Those words have never crossed my lips except in the context of quoting someone else or being sarcastic.

    Minutes after Katherine Harris certified GWB as the winner of Florida and thus the next POTUS, he gave his acceptance speech to a joint meeting of the Texas Legislature. It then dawned on me — I’m going to have to listen to this guy stumble through speeches for FOUR years! Of course, that became seven and a half and counting, and I have endured it gladly considering the alternatives.

    However, the idea of Obama trying to mask a late sixties’ agenda with his speaking talent is going to be a greater challenge, especially in a time of war. We saw in 1976 what damage can be done to the world when a closet pacifist is in the White House. I fear Obama is another, and will make a colossal blunder like Carter’s flunkies’ miscalculation that Ayatollah Khomeini was “a Gandhi-like figure.” We’ve already seen that we may have lost ground while the supposedly bellicose Bush declared Putin “trustworthy” after looking in his eyes and “getting a sense of his soul.”

    L.N. Smithee (0931d2)

  67. DRJ wrote: My guess is you don’t care about Palin’s gender because what matters to you is that you don’t agree with her policies. My guess also is that LN feels the same way about Obama.

    Bingo! 😀

    L.N. Smithee (0931d2)

  68. To Both: What is your position on the UN and allowing the president of Iran a stage to ridicule the country that pays the lion’s share of UN bills? (c1f9f9)

  69. #55

    LN, as a black man, how would you feel on the inside of you, if Obama wins and becomes the first black President of the USA? Would you be enraged and take to the streets, screaming, “we have been raped!..” Or would you smile and say ” Way to go, soul brother.”?

    Nauseating. This isn’t a jazz club, sister.

    Vermont Neighbor (a066ed)

  70. Where is Nader. He should be debating with you!

    Sabra Bakir (5d3254)

  71. Of the two candidates, Barack Obama has received the largest share of campaign contributions from Wall Street. Would he comment on what degree of objectivity we might expect from him in dealing with the current crisis in the financial system?

    Michigan Voter (3d3db2)

  72. Or would you smile and say ” Way to go, soul brother.”?

    I was thinking how sad such a proud progressive Obama supporter felt the need to resort to such a pathetic stereotyping. I’m embarrassed for Love 2008.

    Dana (4d3ea0)

  73. To both: which ad did you run that you now wish you had not and do you want to take the time to apologize for it now? (c1f9f9)

  74. Keep guessing VN. I love watching you scratching your ears with your toes.

    love2008 (1b037c)

  75. Senator Obama, if your judgment is so good, why was it that you so screwed up the status of Jerusalem in front of AIPAC?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  76. Mr. Obama:

    Your admirers feel that the Republicans’ VP pick is not qualified to run. Why were you so shaken by the overwhelming and positive response to Governor Palin’s acceptance speech? Would you react to world leaders in a similar self-absorbed fashion? Do you have the balls to lead America or is this all about Barry ?

    Vermont Neighbor (a066ed)

  77. I love watching you scratching your ears with your toes.

    Right. And you love watching Barry put his hand over his heart. Not.

    Vermont Neighbor (a066ed)

  78. Senator Obama, just why did you think it was appropriate to be so closely associated with and mentored by a terrorist?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  79. What is your strategy for supporting entrepreneurs and small business owners to ensure 1) our economy rebounds, and 2) our country retains our competitive positioning in the global marketplace?

    Christine Janssen (72b994)

  80. Mr. Obama:

    Your limited management experience references one large-scale project: running the Chicago Annenberg Challenge with partner and convicted terrorist, William Ayers. With plans to improve inner-city conditions, you received a $150 million budget, allocated for your responsibility and oversight. What were the results of your efforts? Why have you sealed the papers and reports connected to this project? Under your supervision, what happened to the money?

    In advance Mr. Obama, thank you for assigning a police squad to my house.

    Vermont Neighbor (a066ed)

  81. To Obama:

    During your service in the Illinois Senate, you voted against SB 2165, allowing people who used handguns to defend against intruders to assert self-defense as a legal defense against violating local handgun bans. The bill was passed over the governor’s veto.

    Given that you did not trust people to defend their homes, how can you be trusted to defend America?

    Michael Ejercito (a757fd)

  82. I’m embarrassed for Love 2008.

    As usual, Dana nails the sentiments for everyone else here.

    Dmac (e639cc)

  83. ^Seriously. How would you feel is her first question? What is this, Tiger Beat??

    Vermont Neighbor (a066ed)

  84. Reading through some of the comments just gives me the creeps, dumb and arrogant. I am sick and tired of being brainwashed about the overestimation of terrorism. What is the real reason behind “wars on terrorism”? The fight over natural resources? or strategic reasons? democracy? All this blah blah about democracy – Maliki, Karzai protected by the US are not democrats.

    Maryvonne Maitrot (270df8)

  85. Now that Iraq is about to have it’s fourth free democratic election with some 250+ candidates running for office instead of 1 do you honestly believe that pulling out of Iraq instead of the surge would have been the right thing to do?

    Steve Davis (c149bc)

  86. Again, to both candidates:

    What really happens to Schrodinger’s cat in that experiment? Please provide proof, and show your work.

    Kevin (5ac156)

  87. I am concerned about voter fraud, particularly in this election, by such organizations as ACORN, which is the community activist group that Senator Obama helped to create. What would you do to stop voter fraud in future elections, and how is it constitutional to allow a loophole for foreign citizens to take part in our electoral process via the motor voter bill?

    Leland (13e2ad)

  88. McCain, why is US foreign economic policy geared to removing jobs from U.S. citizens and out sourcing them to foreign nations, thus leaving millions of Americans out of work. Yet, returning various products at higher rates for Americans to purchase, with little or no income to do so.

    Carl Ivy (f86253)

  89. McCain…a moment ago you stated that you would give families a $5000.00 credit to buy health care. Why did you not mention the fact that you intend to tax current employees who are in fact paying for thier health care to do so and how will this increase the national security of this country in the area of Health Care.

    Carl Ivy (f86253)

  90. To both candidates, in the interest of National Security whereby it preserves the rights of all Americans, which of you as president will sign legislation granting the citizens of Washington, DC full constitutional representation as granted to all other Americans? Why? and/or Why not?

    Carl Ivy (f86253)

  91. Sen. Obama – Would you give Carl Ivy a raise, please?

    JD (f7900a)

  92. Sen. Obama – How are your tax breaks going to affect the small business owners, please explain in detail as I fear with your plan we’re going to be run into the ground!?? Are we going to be taxed 30, 40, 50%?

    Clair (3556d3)

Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.4790 secs.