Now that we have presumptive candidates from both major political parties it’s time to compare their positions on the issues without the daily distraction of pundits and speeches.
I’ve taken these position statements from MSNBC’ great Candidate and Issue Matrix where they documented the positions on these five issues for all the candidates that have run in this amazingly long campaign.
|John McCain||Barack Obama|
|Economy||McCain has called for the line-item veto and promised to veto any bills laden with pork-barrel appropriations. He is a leading Republican supporter of the North American Free Trade Agreement and favors permanent trade relations with China.||Obama proposes spending $250 million a year on public-private business "incubators" to help entrepreneurs create start-up companies. He supports raising the minimum wage and indexing it to inflation, and promises to spend $1 billion on career pathways programs for low-income workers.|
|Energy||McCain supports reinvesting oil profits in nuclear and alternative energy sources. He says continued high gasoline prices justify investment in ethanol, a position he previously opposed. He has voted to ban drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.||Obama proposes a "cap-and-trade" system to cut carbon emissions and raise money for new energy programs. He calls for an annual 4 percent rise in fuel standards and increased research into nuclear power. He says 20 percent of U.S. energy needs should be met by renewable resources by 2020.|
|Health care||McCain has not made health care a major issue in his campaign. He opposes mandated universal health coverage and instead favors incremental steps like expanding community health centers and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, creating tax incentives for low-income Americans and promoting health savings accounts.||Obama promises to reform the private insurance market to promote competition in pricing and quality. He proposes a national health plan to cover people without private or workplace access to insurance and would require that all children have health insurance.|
|Immigration||McCain supported President Bush’s immigration reform program. He backs a temporary worker program and voted to allow illegal immigrants to participate in Social Security. He promises to secure the borders but says the issue should not overshadow the U.S. alliance with Mexico.||Obama says he would secure U.S. borders by deploying more border agents and more advanced technology, requiring employers to verify worker’ immigration status, lowering immigration fees to encourage legal entry and providing a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.|
|Iraq war||McCain supports President Bush’s troop “surge” and says setting a date for a troop withdrawal would be “setting a date for surrender.” He calls for committing more troops to Iraq to counter the insurgency and stabilize the country.||Obama, who spoke against the war as early as 2002, calls for a phased-in redeployment of U.S. troops to other parts of the Middle East outside Iraq to conduct counterterrorism operations|