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What should be asked at tonight’s presidential debate?

What should be asked at tonight’s presidential debate?

ThinkProgress ponders “5 Questions that should be asked at the Presidential debate but probably won’t be“, along with their analysis of each question. Here is their list:

How will you reconcile the federal government’s War on Drugs with state-level legalization efforts?

In what cases is it acceptable to conduct warrantless surveillance of citizens?

What specific measures would you support to reduce national gun violence?

What would you do to reduce child poverty in your first 100 days?

How will you combat America’s obesity epidemic?

What are some of the questions that you think should be asked tonight, perhaps informed by our Episcopal context?


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Oh, and if you don’t believe there is such a thing as “society,” what is a just approach to problems that affect large numbers of persons across lines of community, economic status, etc?

Marshall Scott


For both candidates:

Margaret Thatcher wrote of those who sought support from their government, “They’re casting their problem on society. And you know, there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families” (From Statecraft by Margaret Thatcher).Do you believe there is such a thing as society? If so, what in general are the obligations of society to individuals and of individuals to society?

Marshall Scott


Governor Romney – Since you believe abortion is murder, do you think the penalty for a woman performing her own abortion should be execution or life in prison as is the case for other murderers? If not, why not?

President Obama – In your first term you completely abandoned your call for letting the Bush tax cuts expire for those making greater than $250,000. Will you give in on this issue again or will you at least require a compromise from the Republicans?

Governor Romney – You said you plan to cut tax rates by 20% but that this will be revenue neutral due to closing loopholes. Specifically which loopholes will you close and how much revenue will be gained as a result? And just to clarify, are you saying that everyone will pay the same dollar amount of taxes under your administration as they do under President Obama – in other words no real tax cuts?

Robert Button

John B. Chilton

(As long as we’re all being partisan.)

President Obama, Bob Woodward was given extensive access to your White House. In his new book he concludes there are gaps in your leadership style and these contributed to the failure of achieving a grand budget bargain. How do you respond to the criticism that you are aloof, even among friends, and only talk-the-talk when it comes to building relationships with members of the opposition party?

Governor Romney,

Should your party share in the blame to come to a budget deal? There have been several commission, included the president’s own, who have proposed solutions to the country’s long run budget problem. Would you endorse any of them? If not, how do you propose to reign in the growth in health care costs?

President Obama, David Leonhardt of the New York Times concludes you and your economic team claim to have “done as well as could reasonably have been expected — to have avoided major mistakes — is hard to accept. They considered the possibility of a long, slow recovery and rejected it.” How do you respond to the charge that you misjudged the depth of the problem and failed to all that could have been done to stimulate the economy?

Governor Romney, you have said stimulus didn’t work. Does that mean that you agree the president should not have done more?

President Obama and Governor Romney, many pundits say both of you are running campaigns bereft of substance, ideas and specifics. Can you respond to this criticism of your campaign? Not the other man’s campaign, your campaign.


I’d love to see a question about climate change, which hasn’t been talked about at all in this campaign.

I’m also wondering if they will mention torture.

Laura Toepfer

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