Supporters of presidential candidate Barack Obama and John McCain will be out in force claiming their candidate won last night's debate in Tennessee. It was a discussion largely about the policy differences the two have been touting for weeks on the economic troubles, energy policy and the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. But it was a different format, with a small group of voters asking questions and sitting quietly as the candidates spoke.
Andrea Bernstein, "The Takeaway's" Political Director says the town hall format seemed to ground the candidates, and both had surprising moments of role reversal.
McCain came out of the gate with a new policy proposal to bail out homeowners by buying back their bad loans from the bank with $300 million dollars of Federal money: "Is it expensive -- yes. But we all know my friends, until we stabilize home values in America, we're never going to start turning around and creating jobs and fixing our economy. We've got to give some trust and confidence back to America. I know how to do that my friends. And it's my proposal; it's not Senator Obama's proposal; it's not President Bush's proposal."
In his argument around healthcare, Obama talked about his mother dying in the hospital, which got off-the-chart reactions from listeners, especially women: "For my mother who died of cancer at the age of 53 ... to have to spend the last months of her life in a hospital room arguing with insurance companies because they're saying that this may be a preexisting condition and they don't have to pay for her treatment, there's something fundamentally wrong with that."
According to Bernstein, both candidates gave much more detail about their policies in this debate than they have in the past.
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