by Holli Buck, Rusel DeMaria, Shoshana Hershkowitz, Nora McDonald, Gail Mellor, Ben Mishkin, Dan O'Donnell, Beth Palkovic, Eric Priebe, Richard Riehl, Paul Solyn, Jennifer Treuting, Ellen Emerson White, and "WiredMom"
McCain Campaign Press Conference Calls Information
July 9, 2008: McCain Camp Slams Obama as Weak on Iran
as reported by Rusel DeMaria:
1. David Jackson, USA Today. - "Okay. The Obama people say he sponsored this "Iran Counter-Proliferation Act," which would have designated the Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization, and they're also touting the fact that he sponsored a "Disinvestment" bill along with Senator Thune that would have encouraged disinvestment in Iran and that McCain didn't support it. How do you respond to those two points?"
2. Eli Lake, New York Sun - Would a President McCain tell the Israelis not to strike Iran or try to coordinate such an attack, and would a President McCain offer the Iranians security guarantees as an enticement to get them to get them to end uranium enrichment?
3. Laura Meckler, The Wall Street Journal - I just want to follow up on the first question, about the divestment bill. Just to be clear, does Senator McCain support or oppose that bill, and if he opposes it, why? I believe that Senator Thune supports that bill, and you're on the call here today, so clearly some of his closest allies are on it. What's the problem?
Senator Thune: Tell me exactly which bill you're referring to. Is this the one I'm co-sponsoring with Evan Bayh?
Follow-up: Yes I believe that is... I'll confess that I don't know the ins and outs of all these pieces of legislation as well as I should, but yes. Divestment from Iran.
Second follow-up: This is Senate Bill 1430.
Third follow-up: Maybe Randy can clarify exactly what Senator McCain's position is on these divestment bills.
July 8, 2008: McCain Camp Courts Latinos on Low Taxes and Free Trade
as reported by Beth Palkovic:
1. Kathy Kiely, USA Today - "Sen. Obama is accusing McCain of having walked away from that bill, and you talked about it being a three-legged stool, but it now seems like Sen. McCain is putting more of an emphasis on that first leg, border security, and saying that has to be done first. How are Hispanic voters going to feel about that and is this a change in position, in your opinion, on Sen. McCain's part?"
2. William March, Tampa Tribune - "I believe in a January debate Sen. McCain said he wouldn't vote for the bill that he sponsored. I'm wondering how that's a change in position and if McCain now opposes a bill that he sponsored, why would you be criticizing Obama for not supporting it strongly enough?"
3. Fin Gomez, FOX News - Quick question regarding the latest poll numbers - Sen. McCain scored I think a 29 in likely Hispanic voters (he thinks a Gallup poll last week) compared to Obama's, I think it's 60. Looking at 2004, President Bush got about 40% of the Hispanic vote - do you believe that this time around those numbers are likely, or in a realm of possibility, for Sen. McCain?"
July 7, 2008: McCain Camp Pushes Deficit Reduction and Lower Taxes
as reported by Rusel DeMaria and Gail Mellor:
1. David Jackson, USA Today - "The pledge to balance the budget in the first term, is that new or is that something he's talked about before? Is it more of a specific pledge now? What's the background on that?"
Follow-up: "Is that really doable given the rise in the deficit in recent years? I mean, is four years going to be enough to close that gap?"
2. Jim Pethokoukis, U.S. News and World Report - "Doug [Holtz-Eakin], another question on the balanced budget. Are you gonna at some point release some sort of breakdown saying, here's how we're going to get to a balanced budget. We're expect economic growth of this percent, we're gonna cut these programs, we're going to limit this discretionary spending to X percent over whatever years, other than more general goals?"
3. Michael Cooper, NY Times - "I was just wondering if you could walk me through a couple of things that might have changed since we talked in April. Can you explain the proposal right now for the AMT. Is it to abolish and eliminate it or is it to patch it to exempt the middle class, but to leave it on the upper income people, and on the expensing of the equipment, is that going to be phased out over a few years? How long would that last?"
4. Lorraine Woellert, Bloomberg - "Doug, you have said that he has pledged to balance the budget by 2013. I don't think we've heard McCain explicitly say those words - not in his 2013 speech and not today, he didn't explicitly say I'll balance the budget by date X. Why is that?"
July 7, 2008: McCain Camp Labels Obama "Tax-Raiser
as reported by Rusel DeMaria:
1. Jeff Mason, Reuters - "My question for either of you, Doug or Steve, is not only what Obama is going to be talking about this week on economy, but can you be more specific about what Senator McCain is going to be discussing, and could you shed any light on his plans to balance the budget by 2013?"
2. Christine Bellatoni, Washington Times - "Just a quick question for Mr. Forbes. Do you think that the Bush tax cuts are the best thing to extend, and what about the Democratic claims that Senator McCain has flip-flopped on this since he voted against them initially?"
3. Ed Morrissey, hotair.com - "There's a story in Politico today that Senator McCain is going to aggressively take on entitlement reform, Social Security and Medicare. First, that was tried in 2005 and failed. I'm curious to see what he's going to do that will produce different results. And secondly, what exactly are the plans on entitlement reform?"
July 2, 2008: Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Kori Schake on Iraq
as reported by Beth Palkovic and Gail Mellor:
1. Sean Higgins, Investors Business Daily - "The Service and Police International Union announced this week spending $75 million on electing pro-union democrats this election cycle. I was wondering if anyone at the McCain campaign had a response to that."
2. Tyler Whitely, Richmond Times-Dispatch - "If the war is going so well, doesn't it make sense now to start withdrawing some troops? Makes sense more now than a year ago when you first proposed it"
3. Ariel Sabar, Christian Science Monitor - "With the Taliban resurgence in Afghanistan and new reports about Al Qaeda regrouping in Northwest Pakistan, does Sen. McCain still see Iraq as the central front in the war on terror?"
July 1, 2008: Sen. Graham (R-SC) and Lt. Col. Swindle on Wesley Clark's Comments
as reported by Shoshana Hershkowitz:
1. Ed Morissey, hotair.com - "Can you explain
the significance of John McCain's experience in the Navy in terms of executive experience and leadership he's shown in the Senate, and can you address the reflexive point which is that Barack Obama doesn't have any executive experience?"
2. Matt Lewis, townhall.com: "In regards to Rockefeller's comment...there may be a subtle attempt to disparage pilots as being cowards who drop bombs from far away. I wanted to know if you think there is any hint of that in the comments from Clark. Also, do you believe that this is a concerted effort by the Obama campaign or can liberals simply not keep themselves from attacking the military?"
June 30, 2008: McCain Camp Launches Truth Squad
as reported by Dan O'Donnell:
1. Michael Shear, Washington Post: - "Do you think Wesley Clark's comments are part of a broader effort to undermine/question McCain's patriotism?"
Follow-up: "Wesley Clark said 'riding in fighter plane & getting shot down doesn't qualify one to be president.' McCain said something similar in TX, joking I was able to intercept a surface to air missile with my plane.' How is McCain's comment different?"
2. Major Garrett, Fox News: "Do you believe Sen McCain needs such a fullsome defense on his Natl Security Credentials or are you doing this to show that Obama campaign 'is less than advertised' on rising above partisan attacks?"
Follow-up: "Wesley Clark appeared to indicate that serving on the AS committee and dealing with this issues doesn't add anything to your resume for Commander in Chief..I know we have various people who've served on this committee and I'd like their input..."
3. Richard Greene, CNN: [Question for Adam Smith]: "You talked about BA174 and when McCain took over? Can you tell me more about BA174 and what makes McCain a better commander than the other commanders?
4. Carl Campanile, New York Post: What do you expect Sen Obama to do? Are you asking him to criticize WC's remarks? Sen Obama's giving a speech on patriotism today...in light of what you folks are complaining about, can you comment on that as well?"
5. Ben Smith, Politico: "Interested in whether Orson Swindle and others would compare these attacks to the attacks on Kerry from Swiftboat Veterans for Truth...specifically Col Day, since you were part of that group?"
June 27, Former Gov. Jane Swift (R-MA) on Partisanship
as reported by Eric Priebe:
1. Tommy Christopher, AOL News - " My question is this. You were talking about reaching across the aisle & reach across party lines. I'm wondering, since the Democrats took the majority in the House and Senate in 2006 the Republicans set a record for filibusters and I'm wondering why hasn't Sen McCain been able to lead his fellow Republicans in reaching across the aisle to the Democrats in bills like that?
Follow-up: "In those cases it was more the Democrats compromising though. Once the Republicans were in a minority they set a record for filibusters. So why was Senator McCain unable to lead them in things like that?"
2. William March, The Tampa Tribune - "[Bush said] he would be a person that would reach across the aisle and encourage bipartisanship. It is widely believed that hasn't occurred. He has been a devisive president. John Mc Cain, of course, endorsed him twice both in 200 and again in 2004. Can you point out a counter example of anything that Mc Cain has done before he started to run for president to encourage his party to be more bipartisan or to critisize those within it, including the president, who wasn't."
Follow-up: "I understand you are correct about the immigration reform movement. Mel Martinez, our Senator, was heavily involved in that. What I was wondering about whether he has taken any political stance against divisiveness itself. I know that he has taken stances that differed from many in his party but has he taken any stance against divisiveness itself that a lot of people attribute to President Bush and the Republican majority that existed before 06?"
June 26, 2008: Sen. Brownback on Supreme Court Gun Ban Ruling, Partisanship
as reported by WiredMom and Gabriel Beltrone:
1. Craig Dmitri, Election Night - "The question I have on the second Amendment decision is the reappearance of the gun issue as significant - won't that hurt Senator McCain's efforts in the suburbs lets say in Philadelphia, in Cleveland in Detroit in swing states?"
2. David Jackson, USA Today - "Kind of a different topic randy but I was curious what your reaction was to president Bush's announcement on North Korea?"
3. Ed Morrissey, hotair.com - "Sen. Brownback, thank you for being on the call with us today. Slightly different topic here, You and senator Pat Roberts sent a letter to the senate as a whole regarding the insufficiency of Ft. Leavenworth as a replacement facility for Guantanamo bay. Can you talk a little bit about that and what you're hoping to do with this initiative?"
4. Sean Higgins, Investor's Business - "This is the 5 -4 decision by the supreme court. Does the fact that the court has ruled on it sort of take away as an issue or does the narrowness of the decision keep the issue alive by keeping the issue forward of which supreme court justices the presidents pick."
Follow up: "Years ago John McCain supported legislation requiring background checks for buyers at gun shows. Is he at all vulnerable for charges of flip-flopping on this issue do you think?"
5. Joe Goldstein, New York Sun - "Hi there. The question has to do with what type of regulations on guns Sen McCain does support and I'd like an answer that address who ought to be able to own guns. Particularly whether folks under 21 should be able to purchase handguns, and whether non-violent felons or immigrants either legal or illegal do have second amendment rights."
6. Charlie Speering - "Hi Senator. You recieved an 'A' rating from the NRA but the organization has not endorsed mccain. Annd I believe the last time he recieved a grade from the organization it was a 'C+'. Won't Barack Obama highlight Mccains weakness on gun issues like you just did with Obama?"
June 25, 2008: Sen. Kyl (R-AZ) and Former CIA Director Jim Woolsey on Energy Policy
as reported by Rusel DeMaria:
1. Bob Drogan, LA Times - "Doug, it's a two-part. One, can you just tell us how you came up with the three hundred million figure? Why not a hundred million or four hundred million... how you came up with that? And the second one is, on the nuclear power proposal that he came up with as part of his energy package - the 45 planned by two thousand and thirty . By my math, that's more than two plants per year, not including the five years he says it takes to get the regulations through. How did you come up with the 45? Does that include additional federal subsidies? How do you actually get there?"
2. Frank Sesno, CNN - "I'd like to ask you if you could respond to Obama's shot yesterday about the psychology of offshore drilling and the Senator's position on that.
Follow-up: Can you point to other examples where areas have been opened or declared open for exploration, granted the oil flow itself some years down the line, where there has been a positive impact such as that - on futures markets and the rest?"
Second follow-up: "I'm well aware of that. I'm just wondering if there's anything on the flip side that you've seen in the past, or that you're citing - from past experience."
3. Gordon Trowbridge, Detroit News/Air Force Times - "Senator Kyl mentioned in his opening remarks the need to improve... increase energy production. Mr Woolsey and Mr. Holtz-Eakin are talking about efforts to boost efficiency. I wonder if you can talk a little bit about the apparent conflict between those two goals and answer the question, "If every time energy gets more expensive, as gasoline has in the last few months, if the government is going to step in with gas tax holiday or something else to ease that cost increase." Doesn't that work against your efforts to increase energy efficiency?"
June 24, 2008: Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) on Obama's Energy Policy
as reported by Beth Palkovic:
1. Dana Bash, CNN - "Barack Obama just had a speech where, among other things, he really kind of mocked McCain's idea of the 300 million dollar cash prize. And he said when JFK decided to put a man on the moon, he didn't put a bounty up for a rocket scientist; he put up the full resources of the US government behind the project. What do you make of that? Do you think combined with what he said about the psychological impact just shows a very different philosophy between the candidates?"
2. Beth Fouhy (**), Associated Press - "I'm just trying to understand a little bit better how Senator McCain's support for offshore drilling and how it squares with everything else he's been talking about - he's speaking out very forcefully for the development of alternative energies, the car battery challenge, and so forth. Hes acknowledged that the burning of fossil fuels affects climate and is contributing to global warming, and yet he is speaking out in favor of offshore drilling despite the fact that its opposed by many governors, including governor Schwarzenegger whom he's with today, and he's said at this point it's really a psychological benefit more than anything else for consumers, so what is the purpose in standing forsquare behind this when he's basically acknowledging that it's not the right kind of energy future for this country and won't address the problem that Americans are facing right now?"
3. William March, Tampa Tribune - "Hi if I could get two questions in, I believe I heard Senator Burr say something to the effect that if any governor or state decides that if this is not for them, then they can opt out of it - was that a reference to offshore drilling? I didn't realize, hadn't understood, that McCain's proposal was that states should be able opt into or out of increased drilling in the outercontinental shelf. And the second thing is, the Obama campaign questions Senator McCain's commitment to this based on votes in the past against increasing café standards, any response to that?"
June 23, 2008: Brian Rogers and Trevor Potter on Obama's Withdrawal from Public Financing
as reported by Shoshana Hershkowitz:
1. Russell Berman, New York Sun - "Hi, if Doug is on the line, I just wanted to see if you could elaborate on the prize proposal and how it would work and where the idea came from and how it would be implemented."
2. Noam Levy, LA Times - "Good afternoon gentlemen. A quick question about the cost of both the prize and tax credit that Senator McCain talked about today. I guess this is a question for Doug Holtz-Eakin. Senator McCain obviously has talked in the past about his concern about federal support for any number of sectors in the energy industry. What is different about federal tax credit here and where for the prize and where would the money come from?"
3. Justin Hyde, Detroit Free Press - "This is another question for Mr. Holtz-Eakin. Mr. McCain, Senator McCain made a reference today to batteries that are better than what's available to commercially available plug-in hybrids or electric cars. There are no commercially available plug in hybrids currently and electric cars range from one asset to lithium ion. Can you clarify what kind of technology Mr. McCain is envisioning for this $300 million prize? Secondly, he mentioned forcing auto makers to expand their commitments on E85 vehicles. What's the senator's position on the fueling infrastructure that would be necessary to provide E85 to this vehicles?"
4. Lorraine Woellert, Bloomberg News - "Hey guys, two questions, the first really quickly is nuclear. I'm still now getting the connection between building nuclear plants and weaning ourselves off of foreign oil. They seem to be two separate things. One is electrical utility and one is powering cars. But the second..." [Doug Holtz-Eakin cuts her off and addresses this question...Woellert continues]..OK so you aredirectly making this connection between nuclear and cutting off, lessening our dependence on foreign oil?"
Follow-up: "Okay, he was at a fundraiser the other night in Minneapolis where he almost got shouted down by one of his own donors about the oil drilling and having not gone far enough. I know you've been hearing a lot of this from maybe more...conservative members of your party. How are you responding to that? Are you getting pressure from them to push even more of the drilling?"
June 23, 2008: Rep. Wilson (R-NM) on Obama, Women Voters and Energy
as reported by Rusel DeMaria:
1. Andrea Bernstein, WNYC - "I was wondering if you could speak a little bit... You said that women are attracted to John McCain, but don't polls show the opposite. Don't polls show that Barack Obama is leading pretty comfortably among women?"
2. David Shepardson, Detroit News - "Doug [Holtz-Eakin], are you on the line? I just had another question about Senator McCain's battery proposal. So can any company worldwide qualify for the three hundred million dollars? Would it have to be a U.S. company, since most of the battery research is going on overseas? And what would you have to do in terms of demonstrating that you had attained this thirty percent cost of what today's batteries cost?
Follow-up: "Could more than one company get this? I mean, would there be a time frame when you'd have to have it done?"
Second follow-up: "And what about... The Detroit auto companies have been calling for more money for battery research. You know, the Bush administration just last week, you know, gave out another thirty million dollars in grants. So how would the prize spur people to spend more money to produce it?"
Third follow-up: "Just last thing. You mentioned [Jason] Furman, but he, today on his conference call said that Senator McCain in 1995 had called a fifteen million dollar government research grant on electric vehicle technology as "egregious," and said that Senator McCain was trying to walk away from that record."
3. Dan Boyd, Albuquerque Journal - "Congresswoman Wilson, just has a question about Senator Obama's comments and... in truth if you could explain a little bit more about kind of the patronizing reaction you had to his comments, and if you could explain a little bit more. I mean, some people might think that was just a call for party unity, but obviously you took it in a different way."
4. John Kerry, Business Week - "[missing voice] ...a lot about nuclear, and you mentioned a number of plants last week - 45 by 2030 and a hundred plants... Do we need more incentives to get there, or are the current incentives enough. Are you thinking about different policies?"
Follow-up: "And so there would be some new initiatives like [inaudible] adding on to the current loan guarantees?"
Second follow-up: "Are there any number figures on something like that? (referring to domestic manufacturing capacity and waste)."
5. Connie Bruck, New Yorker Magazine - "Yes, Representative Wilson, I just want to make sure I understand. You said that Barack Obama, Senator Obama saying, "Get over it," was something that "hit you in the gut." It wasn't an intellectual reaction. It hit you in the gut. And your reaction to that was "come hell or high water..." Were you a supporter of Hillary Clinton?"
June 19, 2008: Brian Rogers and Trevor Potter on Obama's Withdrawal from Public Financing
as reported by Nora McDonald:
1. Andrea Mitchell, NBC - "Hi. Thank you very much. The bottom line here though is that John McCain did give up the public funds during the primaries. And how do you counteract with what the Obama people are saying is that he himself waffled on that. And let me just also ask now that he's said to reporters on his bus that he does plan to live up to the commitment, um doesn't that mean that you're going to be completely overwhelmed by the money that Obama can raise online by going to back to his online list [interrupted, garbled... ] and finally, can I just ask you whether he is also making a commitment and I'm not clear on whether his finances are mingled or not because of the separate tax returns, is he making a commitment not to use any of his wife's money?"
2. David Saltonstall, New York Daily News - "I'm actually good. You guys just answered it."
3. Christina Bellatoni, Washington Times - "Hi. How are you doing. This question for Trevor. Today Bob Bauer said when you had your discussion you specifically said, 'We're not concerned. We think the Obama campaign can catch up to us by august.' Did you say that and how did this fall in line with your recollection of the conversation? And also can you talk about how long you talked about this because he claims it was 40 minutes and you claim the whole meeting lasted 40 minutes."
4. John Dickerson, Slate Magazine - "Hi. Thank you. Um, Trevor just a couple of quick ... Sorry to do this sort of who shot John on this meeting - but it is important as Brian just outlined to help us figure out how genuine was the aggressive pursuit of these negotiations. How did you leave it at the end of the meeting with this topic and would you characterized your experience in that meeting as a good faith effort to work these things out or was it kind of a show conversation? And finally, was the characterization, you know, can I get your assessment of whether or not for you this would constitute an aggressive pursuit of this matter - this one meeting conversation that you had?"
Follow-up: "So I imagine this decision today shocked you? At least you would have expected a phone call from them or something?"
June 19, 2008: Fred Thompson on Terrorism, Guantanamo
as reported by Holli Buck:
1. Erick Erickson, Confessions of a Political Junkie - "Senator Thompson, Thanks very much. It's good to hear your voice. On highlighting the issues with Barack Obama and habeas corpus -- just a scanning of the headlines from the past 48 hours actually shows very few news reports on his statements - let alone in the past week from the Supreme Court decision - very few news articles in major media outlets on his support of the Supreme Court decision. Just wondering what steps the McCain campaign needs to take because it seems like the public is much more focused on economic issues than the national security threat the Obama Administration would pose."
2. David Jackson, USA Today - "Thank you. This is more for Senator Thompson. I was wondering if he were to react to Obama's decision to forgo public financing today."
3. Ed Morrissey, hotair.com - "Good morning Senator Thompson and thank you for being with us... I have a question for you regarding the habeas corpus rights of American soldiers in the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice) system. Now, it's been discussed, but nobody's come up with a clear answer as to whether American soldiers have a habeas right to have their cases heard by American civil courts. Do they? And if not, doesn't the Supreme Court ... hasn't the Supreme Court basically given unlawful combatants more rights than American soldiers in uniform?"
4. Edwin Chen, Bloomberg News - "Good morning. I've a question for Randy, please. As we all know, Senator McCain promises almost every day to chase Osama bin Laden to the gates of Hell and we'd get him. How would he do that and what more would he do that the Bush Administration is not now doing?"
5. Thomas Troy, Toledo Blade - "Hi Senator. This is Tom Troy from the Toledo Blade..You mentioned in your opening remarks that the whole world believes the United States rounds people up - I think it was you that said this - rounds people up with little reason. You mentioned the..."
[Fred Thompson interjects]: "Well some of, excuse me, what I meant to say was that some of the defenders of this majority opinion seems [sic] to base their defense on leaving the impression that that's what we've been doing...it's just not correct."
Thomas Troy: "Right. And you mentioned that the detainees have more rights than they're entitled to under the Geneva Convention. But didn't the President and the Administration lay the groundwork for this themselves when they claimed that detainees were not even entitled to the rights of the Geneva Convention?"
June 18, 2008: Rudy Giuliani on Terrorism and Criminal Justice
as reported by Paul Solyn:
1. Jake Tapper, ABC News - "Hi guys, thank you so much for doing this and nice to talk to you again Mr. Mayor. Just a question: in 2003 uh Senator McCain uh visited Guantanamo Bay and then he wrote a letter to Secretary Rumsfeld and he expressed concern about detainees being held indefinitely. There was a story in the New York Times around that time that says 'Try the detainees or free them three senators urge' in a letter McCain, Lindsey Graham and Senator Maria Cantwell sent. How does that square with it seems like Senator Obama was saying roughly the same thing in the interview he did with me on Monday at least as he explained it again yesterday as he said on the plane which is he was merely saying that these people have a right not to be detained indefinitely. That seems similar to what Senator McCain is saying. My question is what's the difference between what Senator Obama was saying when he said you can't hold people indefinitely, there needs to be some hint of some sort of justice, and what Senator McCain said in his letter to Secretary Rumsfeld" [interrupted by Giuliani]
2. Beth Fouhy, Associated Press - "Hi, good morning. I have a couple of sort of a two-pronged question. One: you guys seem to be extrapolating from Senator Obama's comments about the 1993 prosecution that he thinks that's the only way to challenge terrorism where there's really no evidence of that in what he said. He talked about a number of things including as you know taking military incursion into Pakistan if there's evidence of terrorism or terrorists' being held there knowingly by the government. So I want to ask you why you feel like it's clear that he wants to limit uh his approach to terrorism to criminal justice prosecution, and the second question I have for you, Mr. Mayor, is you said there were times when a criminal justice approach is appropriate as part of the overall approach to terrorism and I want to know when it's more appropriate to use the tools of the criminal justice system than other means."
3. Ed Morrissey, Hot Air.com - "Thank you, and thank you, governor, for being on--mayor--maybe I'm ahead of myself but uh I have two questions. First off, Barack Obama keeps mentioning Nuremberg in relation to the Boumedienne decision and maybe you can help clarify this. There was no habeas corpus right uh back to American courts for the Nuremberg detainees that were in American custody as far as I can recall and the second thing is uh Dr. Susan Rice today on MSNBC called the Bush administration's policies or strategies on fighting the war stupid as opposed to Barack Obama's smart policies. Maybe you can comment on that having seen like you've been saying the results of our strategy from 1993 to 2001 and from 2001 forward, uh, you being on the front lines, as to which is smart and stupid about terrorist policies."
4. Dana Bash, CNN - "Hi, Mr. Mayor, good to talk to you." [Giuliani: "Hi, Dana, how are you?"] "I'm well, thank you. Um just one quick question. Back on what you were talking about in answer to Beth's question, you said if it's a domestic act then someone has to be tried in U.S. criminal courts. Isn't that what the1993 bombing was?"
Obama Campaign Press Conference Calls Information
July 9, 2008: Obama Camp Criticizes McCain's Energy Record
as reported by Rusel DeMaria:
1. Andrew Welch, (no affiliation mentioned) - "This question is, as you will tell, more for Governor Strickland. I just wondered if you could say why you think Senator McCain is coming to states like Ohio so often, and why isn't Senator Obama coming quite as often?"
2. Tommy Christopher, AOL News - "My question is this: Senator McCain rolled out his new economic plan this past Monday, and there was an interesting proposal in it. He's calling for a gas tax holiday to begin on Memorial Day and end on Labor Day. I wanted to know if the Obama campaign has a position on that."
Follow-up: "I guess I didn't phrase the question right. Why is Senator McCain including the gas tax holiday in his new economic plan if the plan was to go into effect on Memorial Day? It's July now. So...?"
3. Rodney Livingston, SPNN.net Solar Power News Network - A question for both governors: Under an Obama administration, how would the current G8 energy and food discussion affect your states, and the follow-up, because it may not be open, does the Christopher and the Baker document that was released yesterday - I believe the Congress got it on last last week - does that affect your states directly, relating to energy and the policies of Senator Obama?
4. Chuck Raasch, Gannett News Service - While we've been on this conference call, Boone Pickens has been on CNN with his new ad, and I'm wondering first of all what both governors think of his proposal, if you've looked at it. But more importantly, he says in his ad and on his website that neither candidate is adequately addressing the energy issue. And I might say, this morning we've spent an awful lot of time talking about votes from the past, and whatever, and I'm just wondering if there is a potential here that he is going to drive the debate on energy this fall, with the amount of advertising he's going to put on the air, and, frankly, the directions he's taking this issue on?
5. Mark Niquette, Columbus Dispatch - One of the things that Senator McCain's campaign has been saying is that Senator Obama supports a tax on coal, and I think the reference there is to comments he's made about taxing quote/unquote "dirty energy" to promote development of clean coal technologies and alternative energies, but... One, what is your understanding of his intent in terms of taxing coal and natural gas, and wouldn't that have a negative effect on a coal producing state like Ohio?
Follow-up - Does Senator Obama support a tax on coal? Is that something the governors would support as well?
6. Tommy Christopher, AOL News - My question is for the campaign. There's a report out in the New York Times today saying that the Obama campaign is having difficulty raising money for Hillary Clinton to pay down her campaign debt - that there's only been about $100,00 raised so far. What I wanted to know is, do you have a plan B, and if so, what's the next step in trying to pay that down, and is it having any effect on Senator Clinton's going to campaign for Senator Obama?
Follow-up: Is that a fundraising event? What's the per-plate on that?
7. Lawrence Messina, AP in West Virginia - I was hoping you could comment, maybe generally, on this ongoing effort by the McCain campaign to enlist small business owners - folks who are responsible for small businesses - and getting them to endorse the McCain campaigns plank in this area. In general terms, why should small business owners be listening to Senator Obama over Senator McCain on economic issues?
8. Rodney Livingston, SPNN.net Solar Power News Network - Question for Governor Vilsack and Governor Strickland, again. What can American do in their everyday life, other than the obvious, to improve the economy. What would be your thoughts on that? Stimulating the economy. It seems that there's a top-down approach, where a number of people are looking for the top to provide answers and solutions and leadership, but I'd like to get your thoughts on what you think all Americans can do, right now, today, to stimulate, to turn the downturn of the economy - maybe the recession's here, maybe it's not - but what can Americans do about that?
July 8, 2008: Obama Camp Calls out McCain on Deficit
as reported by Nora McDonald
1. Tommy Christopher, AOL News - Hi, this is Tommy Christopher from AOL news and my question is this: I was reading the McCain report and I want to see if I am reading this correctly and get your reaction to this. It says he's going to reserve all savings for victory in Iraq and Afghanistan to reduce the deficit and it's all going to cost [???] ... Setting aside the victory time-table there, it sounds to me what they're saying is that we're borrowing money to fight these wars, and when we stop fighting them we won't be borrowing anymore, but then we're going to use the money we're not borrowing to pay off the money we're not borrowing. Am I getting that right?
2. Andrea Mitchell, NBC - Hi it's Andrea Mitchell from NBC. Hi Jason, can we talk about the numbers and some criticism that the just numbers don't add up. I know the numbers for McCain don't add up - according to you and independent groups - but independents analysts also say that your numbers don't add, that not everything is paid for.
3. Jonathan Nicholson from ?? - Jonathan Nicholson [?MA?] One and half questions for Jason. The McCain plan mentioned yesterday a  dollar commission to take a look at spending that sounds somewhat similar to Cooper Wolfe and Conrad Gregg up there on the hill. Just curious about (A) your guys reaction to those plans, in light of this, and (B) how much are you guys conferring with the hill on a second stimulus package?
4. Tommy Christopher, AOL News - Hi this is Tommy Christopher from AOL news again. I kinda wanted to follow up on that first question because what my question is if we're financing the war by borrowing, then if we stop that where is the peace dividend going to come from because all we're doing is discontinuing the borrowing. There's not any real cash there, so what are we going to pay anything off with?
5. Brian Tumulty, Gannett News Service - Hello this is Brian Tumulty from Gannett News Service. I apologize if this question was asked earlier; I was a little late joining the conference. My question is about faster economic growth. That was sort of the [...?] card in the late 1980s that led to a balanced budget sooner than planned and what is your thought about McCain's reliance on that and policies that would help the economy grow faster?
6. Nick Juliano, from ?? - This is Nick Juliano from [???]. Just a real quick question, a little bit off topic ... I was just wondering if [???] or someone from the campaign is still on, I was just wonder if Senator Obama has any plans to head over the capital today and speak about during the debate about the FISA bill?
7. Margaret Taleff, McClatchy Newspapers - Hi it's Margaret Taleff with McClatchy Newspapers. I thought I had only one, but I'll slip in one and a half here. One could Jason talk about how much deficit spending you're willing to do on domestic stuff that wouldn't be spent on the war. I mean as we were just talking about it's not like there would be new revenue coming in, you'd just be over-spending at a slower rate. So, how much continued over-spending are you looking at replacing war spending with domestic? Also, could you talk a little bit more about your concerns about stagflation; what that would mean and what could be done by a president to deal with that?
July 7, 2008: Obama Camp's Bottom-Up Economic Strategy
1. Tommy Christopher, AOL News - "I had a quick question. My company pays about $12,000 for my health insurance, and my contribution is about $5,000 and my insurance company has a $2200 deductible. I want to know if you could contrast for me what would happen to me under John McCain's plan and Barack Obama's plan."
2. Kevin Hall, McClatchy Newspapers - "This morning, several of us had breakfast with Carly Fiorina and she said something that McCain repeated- that 23 million small business owners in America by individual rates and Sen. Obama is going to raise their taxes. And we asked her, well Obama said he's going to cap that at 250,000 and above, so what percentage of small business owners actually make more than that? And her answer was 'You'll have to ask Barack Obama,' so here I am asking you guys."
Follow-up: "Is your capital gains number 20 to 25 percent for those who make over 250? There's been some confusion as to whether it's the same $250,000 cap on capital gains."
3. Jim Mctague, Barrons - "Just wondering if Senator Obama is elected president would he raise taxes if the economic situation is the way it is today with corporations banks in deep trouble and corporate America earnings being down. Would he hesitate to raise taxes or would he still raise them?"
4. Renee Loth, Boston Globe - "I have a question about the Senator's 50 billion dollar stimulus plan. I'm wondering why he isn't investing that more directly in job creation, you know the green jobs or infrastructure jobs, as opposed to individual tax rebates to individual people?"
Follow-up: So how much would the 50 billion dollar plan amount to for each individual family?
5. Ed Tibbits, Quad-City Times - "The McCain folks in Iowa today were talking about this vote that Senator Obama had supposedly made on the budget resolution that would've made a tax increase for people making 32,000 or more. Can you address that? Did the budget resolution 409 include 3-point increases on rates that are now 25, 28, and 33?"
July 7, 2008: Gov. Granholm, Sen. Brown, Rep. Schwartz Respond to RNC Attack Ad
as reported by Paul Solyn
1. Gordon Trowbridge, Detroit News - "A question for Gov. Granholm and any of the others who wants to jump in. Strictly on the politics of this, how concerned are you about the financial advantage that the RNC currently has over the DNC that has allowed it to air this ad and others, one would assume over the rest of the cycle, and is there--are there specific steps that you would like to see the Obama campaign or other Democratic organizations take to try to counteract the RNC if it is and it looks like they're going to be continuing more of this?"
2. Susan Dimas, MERS Newsletter - "This question is specifically for Gov. Granholm. Um, I was wondering wouldn't John McCain's challenge to build a new battery benefit Michigan specifically, since we are the home of the automobile?"
3. Next caller did not realize he was on the line and after several more seconds began without identifying himself. - "Uh, yes I've uh. The former director of the Michigan Department of Economic--or the Department of Environmental Quality--under Governor Englert has proposed that the ban on slant angle or directional drilling in the Great Lakes be lifted I just um I assume Gov. Granholm is opposed to that. I just wondered about the about what attitude Ohio and Pennsylvania have about that."
4. Kirk Victor, National Journal - "Hi, it's Kirk Victor with National Journal and a couple of questions. Obvious all three of your states to varying degrees have economic problems, and I missed a little of the call, but could you tell me, any of you, is there anything in Sen. Obama's plan that would help consumers in the short term, and Sen. Brown for you, having said that Sen. McCain ought to be held responsible for this attack ad, should there be third-party attack ads against Sen. McCain, I assume that reporters should hold Sen. Obama responsible."
5. Rodney Livingston, SPNN.net - "Thank you for taking the call. Rodney Livingston at the SPNN.net TV network here in Washington, D.C. Question for the Governor, the Senator, for actually all three states. Uh, when you look at American people, at industry and business, they seem not to be taking the lead. I'm just wondering what your thoughts are, on, if the focus is on the executive, the next President to take the lead, what are the responsibilities for industry, the people, and government to take the lead? By example, you might look at the financial markets, they seem to manufacture and manifest all sorts of vehicles and instruments and devices to advance the ball in the direction that they want it to go in, whereas when compared with either the economy or energy, the people and business and industry seem not to be that um that aggressive in producing the desired results that they would like."
6. Susan Dimas, MERS (?) - "Hi, it's Susan Dimas again from Mers newsletter . The ads say that Sen. Obama is against nuclear power, and I was wondering what his position is on nuclea,r and I was also wondering if an increase in nuclear power could help, um, your states with providing jobs."
July 3, 2008: Obama Camp Calls for More Troops in Afghanistan
as reported by Nora McDonald
1. Steve Collinson, AFP - "Hi this is Steve Collison with AFP. Despite the fact that Mullin said he couldn't get enough troupes for Afghanistan is Senator Obama satisfied with the number of troupes that the US NATO partners are providing and would he perhaps on his forthcoming trip to Europe signal that if he was president that he would like more NATO trip form Europe to go with the troupes who would like to redeploy from Europe to Afghanistan?"
2. Mark Benjamin, Salon - "Hi this is Mark Benjamin at Salon. For those of us who have been covering this debate for a while, the basic argument from the campaigns that we get is, Senator McCain says, 'Obama didn't support the surge, and I did, and that was smart' and Obama comes back and says, "you wanted to invade Iraq in the first place and that was a really stupid idea.' Since we're on a conference call with Obama people, what is the basic response from the campaign to McCain's argument that we always get from his people, which is, 'look, you know, McCain went out there on a limb and supported the surge - meaning more troupes and a change towards counter insurgency strategy - and Obama did not and Obama was wrong about that.' I guess I haven't' heard Obama respond to that specifically. Is he saying, 'yes I was wrong on the surge and now I'm shifting troupes,' or what is the response from the campaign on that particular charge?"
3. Michael Cooper, New York Times - "Michael Cooper at the New York times. For Senator Obama to be able to send more troupes into Afghanistan he would probably have to draw down some troupes form Iraq. There's been a lot of talk this week about whether the reduction in violence on ground in Iraq is going to alter in any way his proposal to get troupes out at the rate of one or two a month and withdrawal al combat troupes within sixteen months. Where do you stand on that now, is that still your intention, and" [cut off, tape skips to Rice].
4. Richard Sisk, New York Daily News - "From either or both of you. What about the current decision to extend the [inaudible] for at least 36 days. Would the campaign agree with that?"
July 2, 2008: Ambassador Gelbard and Senior Advisor Restrepo on Obama's Latin American Policy
as reported by Beth Palkovic
1. Rodney Livingston, SPNN.net in Washington DC (Solar Power News Network) - "Ambassador, if oil were illegal it may be $1000 a barrel because of its illegality. With that being the set up, more people in the last month have been killed in Mexico than were killed in the US in 9/11. How can people be prevented from doing what they want to do within reason. And it's not just true in Colombia and South America and Central America, but it manifests itself around the globe of individuals trying to prevent other individuals from doing what they want to do within reason."
2. Andy Sullivan, Reuters - Both of you guys talked a lot about creating bottom-up economic growth in Colombia. Wouldn't the free trade agreement do that, and if so, wouldn't an Obama administration hurt Colombian economic growth by opposing this free trade agreement?
3. Sergio Davila, Brazilian newspaper Folha de São Paulo - "I actually have a three-in-one question for you. The first one is does Senator Obama support the inclusion Brazil at the UN Security Council when they next expand the G8. The second would be does Senator Obama support the elimination or suspension of the current tariff US charges on Brazilian ethanol. The third one would be does Senator Obama plan to visit the Western Hemisphere, Brazil included, sometime soon? Thank you."
4. Al Giordano, The Field - "Given the Merit Initiative, better known as Plan Mexico, as recently gutted of its human rights provisions after the Calderone regime balked, how do you really justify giving more money to a repressive government with a bad track record from Oaxaca to Atenco to Chiapas and throughout the Republic, why this enthusiasm about this blank check to strengthen repressive security forces that violate the human rights of peaceful political adversaries in Mexico?
5. Sunlen Miller, ABC, " You said that if/when Obama goes to the region, it will be a welcome break and welcome change rather than McCain's trip - does he have any plans to go to the region, and why or why not?"
6. Sergio Davila, Folha de São Paulo- "I have two last questions: The first one will be how different from the current one will be the policy of Senator Obama toward Hugo Chavez and Cuba. The second and last will be - the US may just relaunch its forth fleet to the region - is that something Obama will keep to pursue? A more let's say military approach to the region?"
July 1, 2008: Indiana House Majority Leader Russ Stilwelll and Former UAW Vice President Terry Thurman on Trade Policy
as reported by Holli Buck
1. Amy Chozik, Wall Street Journal - I'm curious... You mentioned that Indiana can tell the truth about NAFTA but there are plenty of communities along the Texas/Mexico border that have benefited from this so I just wanted to get your thoughts on that as well as on criticism from the McCain campaign and others that the kind of hard line approach Obama is taking to trade contradicts his more, kind of diplomatic engaging with leaders in rogue nations ... foreign policy. Thanks.
2. Gordon Trowbridge, Detroit News - Thanks, this is Gordon Trowbridge from the Detroit News. I wanted to ask both of you... You're obviously very close to the labor movement. Obviously, you're making an economic case for why workers should support Senator Obama. I wonder if you could talk a little bit about some of the issues that came up in the Primary campaign in terms of culture and Senator Obama's struggles at times to attract working-class voters - white voters, folks from union households and how you plan to counteract that in Indiana.
3. Tommy Christopher, AOL News - My question has to do with Senator Obama's statement about a week and a half ago that his rhetoric on NAFTA had become overheated during the Primary with regard to unilateral pull-out. And my question is, what incentive would these nations have to negotiate if there were no possibility of a pull-out?
4. Bill Ruther, Indianapolis Star - Representative Stillwell, I know you know the political of this state well and Hoosiers haven't voted for a Democratic for President since LBJ. I'm curious as to what you're seeing this time around particularly in the rural parts of the state that make you think that things might be different this time.
5. Tommy Christopher, AOL News - I've been hearing Evan Bayh's name on the short-list of VP possibilities and I'm wondering what you think. How helpful you think he would be in carrying Indiana and what you think he appeal would be nationally.
June 30, 2008: Dr. Susan Rice and Bruce Riedel Discuss Al Qaeda's Growth
as reported by Richard Riehl
1. Sydney Freedberg, National Journal - "I'm curious. You've talked about President Musharaff's regime, but now we have at least a partially democratically elected government. How does that change the issue?"
2. Michael Goodwin, New York Daily News - "Discussing Afghanistan I didn't hear you mention the role of the NATO countries, and that really is, it seems to me, key. How would Obama propose to get the NATO allies to fund, or do more of the fighting, to send more troops, to pay more of the cost of reconstruction?"
3. Nether Kahn, WRKS FM - "Susan Rice, I guess this would be directed more towards you, since you mentioned McCain's statements regarding Obama and Pakistan. Would Senator Obama, then, unequivocally denounc?e bombing Pakistan, or remove it altogether as an option?"
4. Jim McTague, Barron's - "Your last comment about actionable intelligence...Do you two feel that the New York Times article constitutes actionable intelligence? Is that the reason for this press conference?"