What Would You Ask Barack Obama During a Nationally Televised Interview?

So, if you were a reporter for say, the Washington Post or the New York Times, or better yet for NBC, ABC, CBS or CNN, what would you ask Barack Obama on one of his campaign stops?

Peter Kirsanow asks some of those question over at National Review Online. How I would love to be able to hear Obama answer each one of these question:

1. You’ve stated that as president you’d transcend the sharp partisanship that pervades Washington, but you favor a rapid pullout from Iraq, plan significant tax increases, oppose any and all restrictions on abortions, and favor Supreme Court justices in the mold of Stephen Breyer — positions strongly opposed by most Republicans. Accordingly, on which of these issues would you be willing to compromise, and to what extent? Which Democrats do you think would give a little, and how would you convince them? How would you get interest groups and donors to go along?

6. Stephen Moore calculates that your tax increases would result in a 52.2 percent income and payroll tax. Moore also states that your estate tax would be 55 percent, the dividends tax 39.6 percent, and the capital gains rate 28 percent. Do you dispute these numbers? If so, please provide your respective rates.

7. You admit that you won’t extend the Bush tax cuts. What’s the highest personal-income-tax rate you’d support?

11. You advocate a rapid pullout from Iraq, voted against FISA reauthorization, support unconditional negotiations with state sponsors of terrorism, oppose offering lawsuit protection to telecommunications companies that help the government monitor communications by suspected terrorists, and demand that Guantanamo be closed. Given our enemies’ mindset, isn’t it likely that they’d interpret your record as a sign of weakness — thereby strengthening their resolve and/or increasing the probability of attack?

15. During the February 21 Democratic debate, you stated that “Washington, D.C., is where good ideas go to die” due to the influence of special interests and lobbyists. Please recite three instances in which you, as senator, stood up to left-leaning special interest groups. Please include only significant substantive concerns of such groups, not, for example, whether you should appear on Fox News.

18. You maintain that the surge is a “complete failure” and that it hasn’t produced stability or political reconciliation. Yet for several months now, most objective accounts have shown that the surge has produced a dramatic reduction in violence, Iraq is becoming stable (albeit tentatively so), and significant political progress is occurring. Why do you refuse to acknowledge these facts, and why do you insist on pulling out of Iraq on the verge of what could be a significant and historic victory? Why shouldn’t voters infer that winning the war may be less important to you than scoring political points?

19. You support giving driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants and letting them participate in the Social Security system. Why won’t this encourage more illegal immigrants to come to the U.S.?

These are only a few of the question that Kirsanow would like to have asked. I’m certain there are other questions people would want answered as well. Perhaps we should begin a mass email campaign to the major newspapers and networks demanding that these questions be asked and that Barack Obama not be allowed to side-step them.

You can access the complete column on-line here:

Ask Obama
Peter Kirsanow
National Review Online
March 3, 2008

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