Presidential Hopefuls Talk Taxes, War in First Debate

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

OXFORD, Miss. -- John McCain and Barack Obama have jousted over the war and taxes in a debate held at the University of Mississippi.

McCain charged that Obama has "the most liberal voting record in the United States Senate." Obama shot back, "Mostly that's just me opposing George Bush's wrong-headed policies."

Obama repeatedly sought to link McCain to Bush. He charged that McCain had supported "eight years of failed policies."

The two also clashed over energy and the war in Iraq during their 90-minute debate.

McCain accused Obama of voting to cut off funds for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama responded that he had opposed funding in a bill that presented a "blank check" to the Pentagon, while, he said, McCain had opposed money for the troops in a bill that would have set a timetable for withdrawal.

Obama noted his opposition to the invasion of Iraq in 2002. McCain said that Obama has refused to acknowledge the success of the troop buildup in Iraq.

The two presidential hopefuls are scheduled to debate twice more.

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