MOMocrats-- punditry from a motherly perspective dedicated to putting a Democrat in the White House-- today unveiled their exclusive interview with Barack Obama on issues close to the hearts and minds of American families.
The 23 contributors to MOMocrats, including myself, an OffTheBus member, hail from across the U.S. and weigh in daily on the candidates and issues of election 2008. Most recently, following the ABC debate that angered bloggers and received poor reviews from the press, MOMocrats decided to draft a list of questions they wish had been asked of the candidates. They then sent these questions to the Obama campaign. Of the questions, Obama responded to 5, submitted by both readers and MOMocrats contributors and ranging from foreign policy to family leave.
First off, the senator was grilled on poverty and affordable housing and responded:
"I believe that inserting simplistic tag lines or one-dimensional goals are
unlikely to be helpful in meeting this challenge."
He elaborated further by describing his plan to tackle the problem of affordable housing with his Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
In addition, Obama wrote that he would
"The Affordable Housing Trust Fund would use a small
percentage of the profits of two government-sponsored housing agencies,
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to create thousands of new units of affordable
housing every year."
"ensure that all Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) programs are restored to their original purpose."
Obama was asked in another question, what he would do as President to address the mortgage crisis and crushing debt burden so many U.S. families now face. His response:
"Six months ago, I announced my plan to put a middle-class tax cut worth $500
per person or $1000 per family into the pockets of workers who deserve it.
I also proposed eliminating income taxes for seniors making under $50,000
and creating a universal mortgage credit for homeowners who do not itemize,
which will provide an average of $500 to 10 million homeowners.
"And because this kind of relief can't wait until the next President takes
office, I proposed a plan in January to provide an immediate tax cut of $250
for workers and their families and a temporary $250 bonus to seniors in
their Social Security checks. These tax cuts will help to stimulate the
economy by immediately putting money into the pockets of working Americans
who need it and will spend it. And if the economy continued to worsen, I
called for an additional $250 to workers and seniors to help them get by."
He further detailed a Foreclosure Prevention Fund, and a Credit Card Bill of Rights that would ban
"unilateral changes to credit card agreements, applies interest rates
increases only to future debts, and prohibits interest on transaction
Most significant of Obama's answers on domestic family issues was his response to expanding Family Leave for workers and supporting state paid leave programs.
"As a state legislator and a U.S. Senator, I have always supported family
friendly policies. As president, I will initiate a 50 state strategy to
encourage all of the states to adopt paid-leave systems, and I will provide
a $1.5 billion fund to assist states with start-up costs and to help states
offset the costs for employees and employers."
You can read more of Obama's answers on raising the federal minimum wage, his view on torture, and Child Care and Dependent tax credits along with the full text of the interview here.
MOMocrats has also issued an open invitation to the Clinton campaign for their response to the questions.