Turns out the socialist site was accurate, I didn't disbelieve the article but the sources were few so I just went out and double checked it so here is the full transcript with the damning words to show to the Obamaniancs.
THIS IS THE KIND OF CHANGE HE IS FOR! Transcript: ServiceNation Presidential Forum at Columbia University
(Source: CNN) (Deleted CNN Intro)
JUDY WOODRUFF, PBS: Good evening, and welcome to the ServiceNation presidential forum at Columbia University in New York City. I’m Judy Woodruff, with PBS’ “Newshour With Jim Lehrer.” ServiceNation is a network of groups reaching 100 million Americans and working to solve our challenges through national service and civic engagement. And we are delighted to have the Republican and Democratic presidential nominees with us tonight for a conversation on service.
We’d like to thank the presenting sponsors of the event — AARP, Target and Time magazine, as well as the Carnegie Corporation of New York for their support.
Our co-moderator is Rick Stengel, the editor of Time magazine magazine, whose 2007 cover story, “The Case for National Service,” ignited this movement. And Time’s leadership on the issue continues this week, with a new cover story on national service.
RICHARD STENGEL, TIME MAGAZINE: Thank you so much, Judy.
Welcome again, everybody. Today is the seventh anniversary of the tragic events of 9/11. And we chose this day for a reason, because we believe it can be a day not only of national mourning and memory, but a day of national service. Whether that’s tutoring kids after school, serving in the military, or volunteering for a faith- based organization, national service can help us solve national challenges.
Service is not red or blue. It’s beyond party and partisanship.
John McCain served in the military for 26 years, nearly making the ultimate sacrifice for his country. After college, Barack Obama chose to work in the streets of Chicago to improve the lives of everyday people. Both of these men that we will hear from tonight are deeply committed to national service. We are honored to have them with us, together for the first time as their party’s nominees.
The order of their appearance tonight was chosen by coin toss.
I am very pleased to welcome Senator John McCain, the Republican nominee for president of the United States.
WOODRUFF: Senator, welcome. Thank you very much.
Senator McCain. Senator McCain, thank you again for being with us.
You were at ground zero today with Senator Obama.
WOODRUFF: That day, 9/11, is still very fresh in the minds of people here in New York City and Washington and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. But there’s evidence that it’s receding in the memory of many, many Americans. What are one or two of the most important things that you two you think should be done to keep this an enduring memory for America?
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Well, I think commemoration on days like today are very important. I must say that both in Pennsylvania and I understand in Washington D.C., but I was in Pennsylvania earlier today, and the ceremonies that went on today, I think, serve to remind all Americans. But I think the best way to commemorate and the best way to show our appreciation for — and love and sympathy for their families, for those who have sacrificed, is to serve our country. That’s what this — that’s what this forum is all about, serving our country. That way, we can assure their families it will never happen again. That way, I think we can honor their service and sacrifice to our nation and remarkable acts of courage and compassion and love. And that’s probably the best way to not only prevent a reoccurrence but keep their memory alive by protecting the lives of those fellow citizens who were unable to experience this first hand, but are in danger.
STENGEL: Senator, as recently as this past Sunday, you talked very openly about the fact that Americans should have been asked to do more than go shopping or traveling. What would you have done as president in those circumstances, to make people aware of what they should do as Americans, after 9/11?
MCCAIN: Well, first of all, I would have called them to serve. I would have created organizations ranging from neighborhood block watch to making sure that our nuclear power plants are secure, to immediately proposing to Congress legislation, such as Senator Evan Bayh and I proposed, service to country, to create additional organizations, to expand AmeriCorps, expand the Peace Corps, expand the military.
Obviously, we were facing a new threat. Obviously, we needed to, at that time, take advantage of the unity in the United States of America. We weren’t Republicans on September 11th, we weren’t Democrats, we were Americans. And I think that if we had asked for a concrete plan of action, both on the part of federal, state and local governments as well as by the Congress of the United States as well as, frankly, talking directly to the American people, on the need for us all to serve this nation, I think perhaps we — but, you know, I have to tell you something, Rick. When I travel around this country, that spirit is still there in America. Today, we’ve seen Americans respond in a way that only Americans do. And I don’t say that with any sense of superiority over any other group of people. I do believe we’re a unique nation, and blessed with certain in alienable rights that we want to extend to the rest of the world. But I think that we probably still have that opportunity.
And when I say this, I don’t want you to take it the wrong way. But Americans are so frustrated now with our government — 84 percent of the American people think the country’s headed in the wrong direction. The approval rating of Congress is down to 9 percent, I believe, down to blood relatives and paid staffers.
MCCAIN: And this is an opportunity, this is an opportunity to lead the nation and talk to the American people and reform our government and ask for more service.
WOODRUFF: Senator, do you — what are there — what are the obligations of citizenship, other than paying taxes? Should there be — do you see service connected to what you’re talking about in Washington and should there be something compulsory?
MCCAIN: I don’t think so, Judy. I don’t think — because I think when you compel someone to do something, then you basically are in contradictions to the fundamental principle of having people wanting to serve and willing and eager to serve.
Americans are still eager to serve. Americans, when we look at all of the programs that we made available, almost all of them, in fact, all of them are oversubscribed by people who are volunteering. What’s the most — probably one of the lead organizations in America today?
MCCAIN: It’s Teach for America. Where vastly — thousands more are seeking to be part of that program, to go in the inner cities of America and teach children.
We’re doing well in our military recruitment, could do better. We’ve got to do better on retention. But we have to expand the military.
So I believe Americans at this point, if you’re digging for the pony, as I clearly am, are ready now to be inspired, they’re ready to go. They understand the challenges that we have in this world. They see the Russian invasion of the little country called Georgia. They see the problems in Afghanistan growing larger.
They see a whole lot of things happening in the world that’s going to require us to serve, and that opportunity has to be provided to them.
STENGEL: I want to touch on something you said in an earlier answer, that Americans have a very low self-regard for Washington right now. How is it though that we can try to inspire people into public service and even go to Washington at the same time candidates are running against Washington and dissing Washington at every opportunity?
MCCAIN: Because we have to reform government. We have to reform the way we’re doing business. Look at Congress’s activities since they came off their five-week vacation. They never miss a pay raise or a vacation or a recess.
And the point is that they see this gridlock, they want it reformed and they want it changed and they’re ready for change. And I think they’re ready to turn a page at the beginning of January. I think they’re ready to say, OK.
And one thing we politicians crave, it’s approval. And I think that if they saw us working together, the way that we did for a period of time after 9/11. Look, we presided over the biggest reorganization of government since the creation of the Defense Department, in the creation of the Department of Homeland Security.
We did do a lot of things right after 9/11. But it gradually eroded and now I think the American people are ready. They’re ready to rally behind — frankly, a new page to be turned in America’s history. WOODRUFF: Senator, we have less than a minute in this block. But do you think the length of your service in Washington gives you a unique understanding of the changes that need to be made? Help us understand how that is.
MCCAIN: Well, first of all, I wasn’t elected “Miss Congeniality” again this year.
And the fact is, I fought them and fought them and fought them. And we have achieved some reforms. With Russ Feingold we achieved a landmark campaign finance reform bill. We did a number of things.
We enacted ethics and lobbying reform that wasn’t nearly enough. I have fought against them. And there are allies there. We’re not all the go-along-to-get-along crowd. And I know how it works and I know how to fix it and I know where the problems are. And so I’m confident we can fix it.
WOODRUFF: Thank you, Senator.
We’ll be right back after this short break.
STENGEL: Senator, even as we sit here tonight, Hurricane Ike is bearing down on the Texas coast. What are the lessons that we learn from Hurricane Katrina, where we had the largest voluntary outpouring in American history? Aren’t emergencies and disasters like this exactly why government needs to exist? What is the role of the private sector and what is the role of government?
MCCAIN: The role of government obviously is the primary role, and to protect our citizens and help them in times of emergency and distress. But also, I think there’s a great role for faith-based organizations, volunteer organizations and the private sector.
I think we’ve got to involve more businesses and industries that routinely provide goods and services rather than rely on the federal government to do it. I don’t think, frankly, if FedEx or Target or one of these organizations had been in charge, we wouldn’t have had a truck full of ice ending up in Maine. They know where everything is. So we need to have — we need to have that partnership.
But I also want to point out that faith-based organizations, as well as other volunteer organizations, did a magnificent job. There’s a place called the Resurrection Baptist Church down in New Orleans. Thousands of volunteers from churches all over the country came and are still working in New Orleans, as we speak.
So the primary role is government, but we also need to have citizen involvement in a way which, as — and to say the least, we all know, you need a better level of cooperation between federal, state and local government.
We saw that. We saw a dramatic improvement in this last threat we had. And our thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Texas and the area that’s threatened now. We pray God that it’s minimal and we’re ready to help. That’s the primary responsibility of government.
WOODRUFF: Senator, it’s been pointed out that for many people, to be able to do volunteer work, they are often people of some means, that can take a leave from their job or they may not need to work. Often, volunteer work, service is left to those who are more comfortable, whereas other people, especially young people, who want to do service, may graduate from college with a huge education debt. How do you balance it? MCCAIN: First of all, my experience has not been that the wealthiest people do the most volunteering. In fact, I think it is average citizens that do the most, in all due respect to rich people.
But the point — it seems to me it’s the average citizen that’s the first to respond.
But I agree with you. We should provide, especially from a business standpoint — if someone graduates from a fine institution or university, then we hope that the people that hire them would give them additional time to maybe go down and volunteer in a Habitat for Humanity or some other worthwhile cause.
But honestly, you know what I found? The busiest people are the busiest, and the busier they get, the busier they get, and the more time they find to help their neighborhood, their community and their fellow citizens.
WOODRUFF: So there’s no need…
MCCAIN: … I’m very pleased at the volunteer effort in America. I’m very pleased at what we’ve seen around this country, particularly as we’re in difficult times. I think we can be proud of Americans.
And obviously, if we need to take some steps to encourage that or make it easier for them, I’m all for it.
STENGEL: Would you encourage corporations to give paid leave for service, which some companies are doing, like Timberland?
MCCAIN: If they want to, but I wouldn’t force them to. If they want to do that, I would praise them, I would cite them as an example, but I don’t think we can force that kind of thing.
STENGEL: Let’s go to a different subject, a subject that’s close to your heart. In “Faith of my Fathers,” you write about how there has been a McCain who has fought in pretty much every American conflict going back 200 years. That’s a huge legacy that was thrust on you. You talk about it being a little bit intimidating. What I wonder is, if you can talk personally about how that was conveyed to you as a boy and then how you conveyed that to your own children.
MCCAIN: Well, you know, a lot of times I don’t talk too much publicly because I’m not a hero. I had the great honor of serving in the company of heroes. And in Hanoi I observed a thousand acts of courage compassion and love.
But I’d like to tell you that one day as a child, I said, gee, I’m going to be in military service. But it was just sort of something that was part of our tradition. And I rebelled against it.
I chronicled that, perhaps in too much detail. But it sort of was something that evolved. But then it was like a lot of young Americans, a lot of that glory was all about me. And it wasn’t until I had the experience that I had that I realized that I belonged to my country and that my country saved me.
And I owed my country a great deal. And that change made me appreciate the fact that it’s not about the individual, it’s about the cause we serve. WOODRUFF: Senator, still on the subject of military, in the wake of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we know that recruiting has gotten harder. The qualifications for joining the Army have been lowered today. Thirty percent of new enlistees don’t have high school diplomas. That’s the highest percentage ever.
The percentage of young people who are either black, Hispanic, or who come from a lower income household is disproportionately high in the military. All this, while the sons and daughters of privilege, for the most part, your sons excluded, don’t have to consider military service.
We have the greatest fighting army in the world, I think everyone would agree. But is there something about this picture that you think needs to change, this social imbalance?
MCCAIN: Well, I would remind you in the days of the draft that it was then most unfair because the lowest income Americans served and the wealthiest found ways of avoiding draft. I think the all- volunteer force is having difficulties recruiting and retaining because we’re too small and we need to expand the size of our military and we need to do it as rapidly as possible.
And there are — we have got to perhaps offer additional incentives. For a long time, years ago, the Navy and Air Force were losing pilots. So we paid them more and we had more of them stay in. Their first reason for serving is patriotism, but also, you have got to offer them incentives in order to do so.
And frankly, we’re here in a wonderful institution. I’m proud that my daughter graduated from this school. But do you know that this school will not allow ROTC on this campus? I don’t think that’s right. Shouldn’t the students here be exposed to the attractiveness of serving in the military, particularly as an officer?
So maybe — maybe the — I would hope that these universities…
MCCAIN: … would re-examine — I would hope that these universities would re-examine that policy of not even allowing people who come here to represent the military and other Ivy League schools and then maybe they will be able to attract some more.
Now that’s not the heart of the problem. But I believe that we have the best-trained, most professional, best-equipped, bravest military we’ve ever had in our history today.
WOODRUFF: And we’ll come back to this. We’ll be right back after this break.
STENGEL: Let’s stay on the subject of military. You authorized a really interesting military policy, and it was started out as a bill that you mentioned you and Evan Bayh co-sponsored and then you inserted in the Defense Appropriations Act that blends military and civilian service, the 18-24-18 policy, which I won’t explain. But it’s leading me to a larger question. Why wouldn’t we have compulsory military service in America that has a civilian component? That if someone wants to opt out of military service, they can do their civilian service, like in your bill, and that it would become a unifying thing for America?
MCCAIN: Rick, first of all, I think that as much as I treasure our military service, there’s lots of ways to serve our country, too. And I want to emphasize that. I know we’re talking a lot about the military. But there’s so many ways to serve this country and there’s so many ways that are noble and wonderful, both at home and abroad. So I want to make that perfectly clear.
I think that it’s very clear AmeriCorps has been one of the astonishing successes. Peace Corps, we’ve seen the success for a long time, because Jack Kennedy obviously originated it.
But we have seen these volunteer organizations succeed. And if we need to, whether it’s connected to the military or not, provide them with sufficient reward and sufficient recognition.
You know, a lot of these young people are more proud of the fact that we recognize the ones walking around with the red jacket that say “City Year” than they are about the money.
MCCAIN: You know? I mean, that’s what they’re all about.
So I’d be glad to reward them as much as possible. But you want to be careful that the reason is not the reward of financial or other reasons, but the reward is the satisfaction of serving a cause greater than yourself. That would be fine with me. Finding new ways to serve. That’s what this next few years should be all about.
WOODRUFF: Senator McCain, Senator Obama has put forward a national service plan to do some of the things you talked about, the two of you agree. But his has a price tag of around $3.5 billion. Is that an amount of money you’d be willing to spend? More, less? I mean, is that in the ballpark?
MCCAIN: I’d be glad to spend money. I don’t think that should be the first priority in the kinds of benefits that are reaped from the kind of thing we’re trying to seek.
I haven’t agreed with all of what Senator Obama has proposed, but I think they’re very good proposals there. Some of them are new, some of them are obviously not.
But I also want to emphasize there, it doesn’t always have to be run by the government. That’s why we also ought to understand that faith-based organizations, other volunteer organizations that are completely separate from the government, have nothing to do with the government, are amongst the most successful.
So let’s not get entrapped by the idea that the government has to run these voluntary organizations and volunteer kinds of programs, because a lot of times the job can be done better with our encouragement.
WOODRUFF: So you’re not in favor necessarily of a distinct government role?
MCCAIN: Oh, we have a distinct government role — the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, all of these other organizations. But I want to be careful about expanding it when — my philosophy is let’s not have government do things that the private sector can do, or other organizations can do. That’s just my theory of government.
So, look, I applaud Senator Obama’s commitment to national service. And he makes a very strong case. And I look forward to joining him no matter what happens in November. This is a cause a lot bigger than anything to do with partisanship. STENGEL: Actually, speaking of that, I was going to ask an Internet question. We’ll get back to that.
Governor Schwarzenegger in California has made service, the service czar in California a Cabinet-level appointment. If you were president, would you do the same and make service a Cabinet-level appointment, and would you perhaps ask Senator Obama to be a member of your Cabinet for national service?
Right now, as you know, there’s an office in the White House, Freedom Corps Office. That office coordinates all these different organizations, which, rightly or wrongly, fall many times under different departments. I think if you have that person right down the hall from the Oval Office and you’re working with that person on a daily basis, that’s probably the most effective way to do it.
You know, every time we see a problem, we sort of let’s create another Cabinet post. Now we have got so many members of the Cabinet that the Cabinet never meets, as you well know. So I’d rather see a powerful, influential, outstanding person sitting in that office who I could literally deal with every day.
WOODRUFF: Senator, at the Republican convention, a couple of speakers, most notably your running mate, vice presidential nominee, Sarah Palin, made somewhat derisive comments about Senator Obama’s experience as a community organizer. I’ve heard you say you haven’t taken that tone. So I guess my question is, are you saying to others in your campaign and your supporters that that’s not the kind of language you want to hear?
MCCAIN: Well …
WOODRUFF: How do you — how are you approaching that?
MCCAIN: First of all, this is a tough business. Second of all, I think the tone of this whole campaign would have been very different if Senator Obama had accepted my request for us to appear in town hall meetings all over America, the same way Jack Kennedy and Barry Goldwater had agreed to do so. I know that, because I’ve been in enough campaigns.
Look, Governor Palin was responding to the criticism of her inexperience and her job as a mayor in a small town. That’s what she was responding to.
Of course I respect community organizers. Of course I respect people who serve their community. And Senator Obama’s record there is outstanding. And so I praise anyone who serves this nation in capacities that, frankly, we all know that could have been far more financially rewarding to individuals, rather than doing what they did.
WOODRUFF: Less significant than the work of a small-town mayor?
MCCAIN: I think a small-town mayor has very great responsibilities. They have a responsibility for the budget. They have hiring and firing of people. They have great responsibilities. They have to stand for election. I admire mayors.
I’m — listen, mayors have the toughest job, I think, in America. It’s easy for me to go to Washington and, frankly, be somewhat divorced from the day-to-day challenges people have.
MCCAIN: So I admire mayors. I admire anyone who is willing to serve their community and their country. And that’s what this is all about. And this is what today’s all about. And we should set aside this partisanship, at least for this day, praise one another for our dedication to this country. That’s what I do to Senator Obama.
(APPLAUSE) STENGEL: We have a less than a minute left in this segment. Here’s a specific question about setting aside partisanship. Senator Kennedy and Senator Hatch, two old friends in the Senate, have sponsored a bipartisan bill on national service that I think among other things would triple the size of AmeriCorps and really put a lot of the strength of the federal government behind national service. As president, would you sign that bill?
MCCAIN: Of course. Our prayers are always with Ted Kennedy. I understand he’s coming back in January. I greet that with mixed emotions. I love him.
I’m so happy, seriously, that Senator Kennedy is on the road to recovery. He’s a lion of the Senate.
Look, I would sign that legislation. But I also want to caution again, government can’t do it all. The essence of volunteerism starts at the grassroots level, does not start necessarily at the federal government level. So let’s make sure we maintain the balance between federal involvement and encouragement of volunteerism and service to the nation, but also, let’s not in any way stifle what already is going on and is very, very successful in America. And that’s organizations that have no dependence whatsoever on our federal government and do such a great job for all of our citizens.
WOODRUFF: All right, Senator, we’re going to take another break. We’ll be right back.
WOODRUFF: Senator McCain, there’s so much emphasis, of course, today on the younger generation giving. What about Baby Boomers and older folks? What should we be doing?
MCCAIN: Well, I think there are obviously organizations that we have in place for ability to serve, but we ought to really probably do a more and more effective job of utilizing the talents and experience of people who have had very successful lives and careers, and continue to motivate them to serve.
I think that’s part of the proposals that have been made. And we do have the Senior Corps and other organizations. But the fact is that people are living longer and they’re more active and vigorous. And I’m here to tell you that’s a fact. And…
(MAKES SNORING NOISE) (LAUGHTER)
And so I — Judy, I really believe that that is one of the under- utilized aspects of community service in America. And I think that would be one of the areas of emphasis really.
WOODRUFF: If I could just quickly follow-up. I asked partly because we got a number of online questions, and a woman named Giselle (ph) from Brooklyn, New York, she says: “With the staggering economy, how can people commit time to community service and still make ends meet?”
I know you said earlier, people of all income brackets, but what about those people who really do have to work to make…
MCCAIN: Our economy is broken. People are sitting around not worrying about volunteering but staying in their homes, keeping their job, affording to fill up their gas tank, we know that. Americans are hurting very badly. We have got to reform government. We’ve got to fix the economy. We have got to create jobs. But right now, we have to restore trust and confidence in government. If people don’t trust the government, then they’re not going to be as eager and willing to frankly be part of these programs that we are proposing and that we are hoping that people will volunteer and serve in.
So obviously, we have to fix our economy and get it going again and create jobs for Americans. But I think honestly that there are also Americans who are willing to volunteer their services no matter what.
But when people have a reasonable income and a reasonable future, obviously, they’re going to volunteer more.
STENGEL: Let’s talk about some folks who don’t trust us. And that’s a lot of countries overseas. You’ve talked about expanding the Peace Corps. You’ve also said, we shouldn’t be sending money to countries that don’t like us.
But should we be sending people, sending members of the Peace Corps to countries that don’t like us, to help our esteem in the world, which of course has suffered since 9/11?
MCCAIN: Yes. And that’s the best thing we can do…
… is expose the people in these countries to things we value, the things we stand for, the things we believe in. And there’s no better representative of all that than Americans.
But also, I want to add, let’s also have more people come here and be educated and trained and be exposed to the United States of America. We have found throughout the world, people that come and get educated here and return to the countries they came from as leaders, it’s amazing.
And it establishes a base relationship that I think can also change the policies of a number of these countries that don’t like us very much.
STENGEL: Would you give a green card to everybody, every foreign national who graduates with a Ph.D. in the sciences to stay in America?
MCCAIN: I certainly would do everything I can to keep those people in this country. I don’t know if it would be an automatic green card, but I guarantee you that we’d love to have so many of these highly trained people stay in this country and ask any corporate executive in America, particularly those in the information technology business.
WOODRUFF: Senator, I want to come back to something you said earlier, I think you used the word exceptional and unique about being an American. On this 9/11, this special day, what — help us understand what you think it means to be an American. And I don’t mean that in the obvious way.
I mean, people who live in Canada, who live in Mexico, around the world feel special about their country, so what is it that’s different about being in America? Are Americans better than people in some of these other countries? We hear the term “exceptionalism” about the United States.
MCCAIN: I do believe in American exceptionalism.
MCCAIN: And I think it was best articulated by our founding fathers. But I also think that my hero, Teddy Roosevelt, expressed it very well, and other leaders throughout our history.
We’re the only nation I know in the world that really is deeply concerned about adhering to the principle that all of us are created equal and endowed by our creators with certain rights. And those we have tried to bring to the world. And we have not so much militarily, but through example, through leadership, through economic assistance.
Look at what we did for Europe after World War II, look at the continuous efforts we make throughout the world. Look at the efforts we’re making to combat HIV/AIDS in Africa. There’s a lot more America can do.
And I love these other countries, and I’m not trying to denigrate them. But I know of no other country in the world with the generosity of spirit and the concern for fellow human beings than the United States of America, and I think that goes back to our very beginnings.
WOODRUFF: Does that make America better than these other…?
MCCAIN: I think it makes us exceptional. I think it makes us exceptional in the kind of citizenry we have and the kind of service and sacrifice that we are capable of.
And I mean that in no disrespect to any other nation, our close and unique relationship with the British. I have — I’m not trying to in any way denigrate any other nation, but it doesn’t in any way diminish my pride in the history of this nation, which has literally shed our blood in all four corners of the earth many times in defense of someone else’s freedom and have tried to further the principles of freedom and democracy everywhere in the world. I think we’re dedicated to that proposition. And, frankly, I think we’ve done a pretty good job.
STENGEL: Now, let’s talk about the framers for a second, because one of the things that they distrusted and disliked — they called it faction, which they meant political parties. The framers didn’t want to have political parties. George Washington hated the idea of political parties.
But now, we’re in the midst of a campaign between two parties. And the tone of the campaign has gotten pretty ugly. You’ve talked from the beginning about running a different kind of campaign. So has Senator Obama. You both talked about a high-minded campaign.
What does this do to people who are interested in public service? I mean, there are lots of people who think, man, I can’t run for office when this kind of thing is happening. What does that do? If we’re here for service and what does that campaign tell us about that?
MCCAIN: First of all, I have said repeatedly, I think Senator Obama has inspired millions of Americans who otherwise wouldn’t have been involved in the political process. That’s just a fact.
And I believe that my record of service and my vision for the future has attracted people. I think you are going to see the biggest voter turnout in history in this election.
Has it been rough? Of course. And again, it isn’t the final recipe or the only answer. I think Americans would be helped enormously if we stood on the stage together tonight and talked about national service, all four of us, rather than three and one going on and then the other.
And again, I hope that Senator Obama will accept my request. Let’s go around America. Let’s listen to hopes and dreams and aspirations of the American people and respond to them. I think that’s the best and most effective way of getting everybody involved in this campaign.
WOODRUFF: Do you think it’s naive of people to expect that politics could be a little less rough and tumble and even nasty?
MCCAIN: The people make the final judgment with their votes. They make the final judgment about campaigns and how we present ourselves to the American people. And I think that that will be the ultimate test of what kind of campaigns do we run.
I, again, think that it’s very important that we focus on issues, we focus on challenges that America faces today, both domestically and national security wise. And I intend to do that. And there’s 54 more days left. Who’s counting?
STENGEL: By 2042, the United States of America will no longer be a majority white nation.
STENGEL: Robert Putnam, the sociologist, has written about how in communities that are diverse, there’s actually less social capital, less trust. What can national service do to knit up America? And I’m sorry, we only have one minute left for such a complicated question.
MCCAIN: National service can do a great deal. National service can unite us, just as the military unite us, as we meet people and interface with people from all over the world.
But also let me say, look, the greatest thing that makes America exceptional is we have had wave after wave of people come to this country for the same reason — they want to build a better life, they wanted freedom and they want to be part of America. So I don’t accept that premise that somehow — some of the most patriotic Americans that I’ve ever seen and the hardest working and most ready to serve this country and go in harm’s way are those who just came here.
MCCAIN: I’ll never forget being at a ceremony in Baghdad last Fourth of July, where 160 some people who were green card holders got their citizenship, and they had been willing to serve in the military for an accelerated path to citizenship. That’s how much they wanted to be part of this country. That was an exhilarating experience.
WOODRUFF: Senator John McCain, thank you very, very much.
MCCAIN: Thank you.
STENGEL: Thank you.
MCCAIN: Thank you.
WOODRUFF: As we — as we thank — as we thank Senator McCain very much for his participation, we want to welcome now the Democratic nominee for president of the United States, Senator Barack Obama.
MCCAIN: Good being with you today.
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), ILLINOIS: Thank you.
WOODRUFF: Senator, thank you very much.
(APPLAUSE) WOODRUFF: We’ll be right back after a short break.
STENGEL: Senator Obama, welcome again. You must have some affiliation here.
OBAMA: Yes, I’ve got a slight home-court advantage here. This is my alma mater. And I want to thank…
I was saying, though, the neighborhood has changed. When I came here in 1980, you know, some of the apartments around here didn’t look quite what they look like now. And I could afford them then. I don’t think I can now.
STENGEL: Faculty housing is still great.
Today is 9/11. You were down at Ground Zero with Senator McCain. And we’re going to ask a lot of the same similar questions that we asked of Senator McCain. And the first one we asked was, what does 9/11 mean to you? What’s the significance of it? Where were you when it happened, for example?