Campus debate to clarify McCain, Obama opinions


The UNF Pre-Law Society organized a debate on the Green Sept. 17 to inform students of Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama’s opinions on seven issues in the 2008 election.

Two speakers debated: Robbie Foster, president of the UNF College Republicans, representing John McCain and Brian Mills, a Jacksonville attorney and co-chairman of Generation Obama Jacksonville, representing Barack Obama.

Gathering the two representatives was a challenging process, said Brandon Eady, a member of the Pre-Law Society and mediator of the debate.

“The people who ended up debating weren’t the people we thought initially,” Eady said.

When the Pre-Law Society decided to hold the event, they contacted the Republican and Democratic campaigns of Duval County about sending someone to speak. The Democrats were first going to send a student but then said they could send someone of higher caliber. The Republicans were then notified they could also send someone of equal caliber but chose not to. Mills was eventually sent on behalf of the

Democrats, and Foster, who Eady said, “really stuck his neck out for us,” volunteered.

The two spoke one at a time and were asked the same seven questions in the same order.

UNF College Republicans president
bRian Mills
Co-chair of Generation Obama Jacksonville
The economy is in a recession; how are they going to address this?
We are in an economic slowdown, need to lower housing prices, give tax cuts and get our budget practices in order. We will give back tax dollars, prevent job loss and provide tax relief all over the board.
How are they going to address the war in Iraq and the completion of it?
We will send more troops in because the surge in Iraq has worked, so we will continue with this strategy. The plan is to slowly withdraw all American troops by 2010.
How do they define success in the war?
Victory! Pulling out of the war safely.
The U.S. has been Israel’s finest ally; do they plan to continue this relationship?
Yes. Israel is the only other completely democratic region and they believe in the same things we do – peace and prosperity among other things. Yes the U.S. and Israel will continue to have strong partnership and support the foreign assistance of their country.
The national debt is around $9 trillion or about $31,000 a person; how will they fix this?
A national debt has been around since the beginning and we will always have one. We just need a responsible plan with the control of spending. We need to restore fiscal discipline by cutting pork barrel spending and ending wasteful government spending.
The U.S is ranked 37th in the world when it comes to health care. What are they going to do about costs?
We need a competitive health care system and to restore control back to the people. The plan is to reform health care so it is easier to obtain insurance and more choices are offered. Affordable insurance will be provided to all despite economic status, with children insured it as well. Lower costs will result from modernizing the health care system and increasing competition.
What is their plan for education?
Accountability and choice is the plan. We need higher standards and to offer the essential right to choose despite income level. There is no equal opportunity without equal access to excellent education. We need to reform the No Child Left Behind law, support high-quality schools, and recruit, prepare and reward our teachers.

Compiled by Sarah Gojekian.