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Sunday, October 08, 2006

Missouri Democratic Challenger McCaskill Hits a Home Run on Meet the Press Debate with Sen. Jim Talent


With less than a month to go before the critical midterm elections, the battle for control of the U.S. Senate is heating up intensely, as poll after poll shows Democrats gaining momentum in their bid to capture the six seats needed to gain a majority. One of the hottest contested races is between Missouri Sen. Jim Talent and his challenger, State Auditor and former prosecutor Claire McCaskill. They met Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press as part of the program's ongoing debate series. McCaskill hit it out of the park.

Talent came across as evasive and in denial, and made false claims about McCaskill's record. Like most Republicans who supported the Iraq war, he said he'd vote for it again even after knowing that WMD did not exist. Despite headlines Sunday in the Washington Post and other papers that the violence is spiraling out of control, Talent stood by his earlier claim this year that things "were going well" in the civil war-torn country. On the war, McCaskill said "You know, Iraq is a mess. We can either stay the course or we can change course. And obviously, even the leader of the Armed Services Committee, Senator Warner, probably the most respected Republican on the Iraq war in Washington, has now come back from Iraq and said, 'You know what? This is a mess and we need to re-examine what we’re doing here.'" She supports setting a timetable of approximately two years at which time our troops would be deployed to other key locations such as Afghanistan, Kuwait and Qatar.

Talent accused McCaskill of opposing a ban on partial-birth abortions, yet was shot down as the Democratic hopeful directly answered host Tim Russert with a firm "yes" when asked if she opposed the controversial procedure. Talent also accused McCaskill of not supporting the administration's surveillance efforts in the war on terror, a claim which yet again was refuted. "You know, playing politics with this issue is not making us safer," McCaskill said. "I absolutely support surveillance. As somebody who has handled very tough criminal cases, I understand the importance of aggressive surveillance within the framework of laws. And frankly, if they were more concerned about tough surveillance and not about election year politics, they would have gotten a bill through that would have allowed us to have the tools we need to go after terrorists around the globe."

Russert also put Talent on the spot over his flip-flopping on stem-cell research, an issue for which he's changed his position several times in the face of changing political climates, while McCaskill voiced her complete support. "My faith directs me to heal the sick," she said. "God gave us the miracle of human intelligence to find cures. Our country has never turned its back on medical research and we shouldn’t in Missouri... I come down on the side of hope, hope for cures and supporting science. And I think it’s very important that someone be principled, strong and not muddled, but very clear and straightforward about their position on this issue."

When asked by Russert whether he thought Bush was a "great president," Talent, who voted with the president 94% of the time, waffled and could not say yes. His best answer was that "history judges presidents." Yet when asked whether she thought Bill Clinton was a great president, McCaskill emphatically replied "yes."

All in all, Talent appeared the product of a scared, desperate, scrambling party whose back is to the wall with very few, if any, options. The mounting problems from the war; the recent NIE which reported that Iraq is fueling terrorism; the explosive, damaging revelations in the new Bob Woodward book; the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan; the sagging economy; high gas prices; and corruption and scandal will likely make for a very, very difficult November for Republicans.

11 Comments:

  • At 1:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Interesting analysis - see more at www.debatescoop.org

     
  • At 1:14 PM, Blogger Dicky Neely said…

    I wholeheartedly agree with your take on this morning's show. Talent was, frankly, an idiot. McKaskill is clearly the superior mind and is much more articulate.
    What really bothers me is the lame argument put forth from Talent and others "If we don't fight them in Iraq we'll have to fight them here at home." What ridicuous bull shit!
    These people are either the biggest liars of all time or the biggest fools and in either case they shouldn't be involved in governemnt!

     
  • At 8:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Let's hope the drag on the Republicans continues.

    Also I hope all the polls show a Democratic win so if the Republicans cheat is will be obvious. And if they do in such a way that even their spin and Fox can't explain, I hope American voters take to the streets just like in Mexico.

     
  • At 8:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I saw it too and Talent looked very uncomfortable. He should. How can you defend this horrible president and congress?

    I think many of Republcans that came in in 1994 are tools of the Republcians that bought into the lies.

    I can't imagine any person of faith that bought into the Republican spin of morals and the party picked by God lies, feeling too good right now. If they don't see how they are being used by the Republicans, then they really are brain washed.

     
  • At 4:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The New York Times said today that the Evangelicals say they will continue to support and vote for the Republicans. I just can't comprehend their thinking. Is it possible that "morality" and "values" are not what motivates them to support the Republicans? They're not all rich so what could it be? How could so many have been brain washed? Could it simply be because they believe the Republicans will be the party to destroy the separation between church and state? Well, they're probably right about that.

     
  • At 7:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think you are on to something with the idea that religious Republicans believe there will be a destruction of the constitutional protection between church and state. If they were Islamic, they would be all for "Sharia".
    Republicans, for years, have been calling for the destruction of government. In their minds, government is the problem. That means the Constitution.
    Religious Republicans will stick with their party no matter what. They will not accept facts. They are faith-based and the more "facts" are brought to bear on their beliefs, the more they will stick to their guns, and I DO mean GUNs.

     
  • At 9:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Evangelicals are getting billions of dollars from the FAITH BASED INITIATIVE. These people want a theocracy, they know the Democrats won't put up with it. They're like the totalitarians, but it's not the secular state they push, it's a christian state. All they really care about is spreading their religion. Think about it. They don't care if Bush shreds the Constitution. They don't care about a just, humane, equal society. They don't support policies that protect people, they support policies that pay lip service to their religion or actually push their religion. They're brainwashed and they're mostly people who could never be important if they had to compete outside the framework of the evangelical church.

     
  • At 11:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I liked warching that little Bushit Punk squirm trying too fond more pathectic excuses for His loyalities too a treasonious President, BUT i wan't too make clear Too Claire, Legal oversite Is the key too the surveillance you spoke of, and We have had it working Fine before bush tried too dodge it use of FISA courts because he was Trampling on our oversite rights, Not too mention he even refused too give private courts the Verifacation of the Intentions he Claimed were terrorist related, Fact is Claire , if its Just a bit fishy it probly is as many times as Bush has lyed , with more lyes too cover a even worse case lye, than well its obvious, And 9 out of how many hyjacker from 9/11 are still alive??? and no one but people questioning the official story of 9/11 got anthrax letters??? which is still a unheard story, how Come the FBI does not have Bin Laden on the Most wanted list for the crimes of 9/11?? go check he is wanted for something but not 9/11 according too The FBI and also CIA refuzed too give a compleate detail of there Bin Laden reports, TOO CONGRESS, I dunno mabe you can ask dumsh*T Tanent were bin Laden Is??

     
  • At 11:58 PM, Anonymous L in St Louis said…

    Thanks for what I believe is the truth. Talent is a weak Bush follower and McCaskill a principled breath of fresh air.
    Umm, sorry to be a bit picky, but did you have to show such a negative picture of McCaskill, of all the pics that are out there? Image is a huge thing these days! (Mind you, Talent doesn't look a lot better.)

     
  • At 8:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The only problem is that these folks vote and many who disagree with the current Republican agenda do not vote.

    So who wins? Not us.

     
  • At 10:02 AM, Anonymous luigi said…

    I grew up in Independence, Missouri, now live in Illinois. What you CAN DO, if you live there, is get off your bum and talk to people! I have been calling all friends & family and talking about these issues. Anyone who is really an American, religious or not, Democrat or even Republican, should make sure to get out there on Nov. 7th and HELP TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK! Seriously, folks, never in HISTORY has there been such an important election. Another thing Ms. McCaskill brought up on the same show is the fact that THIS IS HARRY TRUMAN'S OLD SENATE SEAT. Think about THAT little factiod before you cast your vote.

     

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