Obama, McCain differ on abortion rights
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In several cases, Obama gave a Christian interpretation to his generally liberal political views. He said he is redeemed by Jesus, who died for his sins.Skip to next paragraph
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McCain tended to give shorter, less complex answers, winning somewhat more applause than Obama from the large, evangelical church's audience. On domestic matters, he restated his call to "drill now" in U.S. lands and waters for oil and natural gas.
McCain, asked the toughest decision in his life, cited his refusal to be released ahead of fellow U.S. prisoners of war in North Vietnam. "It took a lot of prayer," he said.
He retold his story of a Christmas Day celebration outside his cell, when a prison guard etched a cross into the dirt. "For a moment, we were just two Christians worshipping there," McCain said.
When Warren asked Obama to define the word "rich," the Illinois senator teased the pastor about the mammoth sales of his book, "The Purpose Driven Life." Obama noted his plan to add a new Social Security payroll tax to incomes above $250,000 a year.
McCain said, "some of the richest people I've ever known in my life are the most unhappy."
He said being rich should be defined by having a home and a prosperous and safe world. Without mentioning Obama, he said some want to increase taxes.
"I don't want to take any money from the rich. I want everybody to get rich," McCain said.
When pushed on an exact number, he joked: "If you're just talking about income, how about five million?" He added, "I'm sure that comment will be distorted."
Asked to name three wise people they would listen to, Obama named his wife, Michelle; his maternal grandmother, who lives in Hawaii; and, not limiting himself to only a third, named several Democratic and Republican lawmakers.
He lauded Whitman for turning a five-person business into a billion-dollar piece of the economy. "It's one of these great economic success stories," McCain said.
Obama, asked his most significant policy shift in the last 10 years, cited welfare reform. As an Illinois state senator, he worked to mitigate what he thought could be "disastrous" effects of President Clinton's welfare reform effort. But over time he said he came to embrace Clinton's approach.
"We have to have work as a centerpiece of any social policy," Obama said.
Asked why they want to be president, Obama said the United States should be an empathetic power for good in the world, a mission he fears is slipping away.
McCain said, "I want to inspire a generation of Americans to serve a cause greater than its self interest. . But I also believe we face enormous challenges, both of national security and domestic."