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Candidate Obama criticized McCain’s spending freeze idea as ‘hatchet’

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WASHINGTON — President Obama, who plans to implement a three-year spending freeze on most domestic programs, criticized his Republican opponent John McCain in the 2008 presidential campaign for suggesting a similar plan during the debates.

According to the New York Times, Obama’s intended freeze will “exempt security-related budgets for the Pentagon, foreign aid, the Veterans Administration and homeland security,” along with Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

In the first presidential debate, McCain advocated the idea as a way of trimming the budget. “How about a spending freeze on everything but defense, veterans affairs and entitlements,” he said.

Obama criticized that idea as a “hatchet” and alleged a “scalpel” was necessary.

“The problem with a spending freeze is you’re using a hatchet where you need a scalpel,” then-Senator Obama said in his first presidential debate against McCain. “There are some programs that are very important that are underfunded.”

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In the second debate, Obama said, “We may have to cut some spending, although I disagree with Senator McCain about an across-the-board freeze. That’s an example of an unfair burden share. That’s using a hatchet to cut the federal budget, I want to use a scalpel, so that people who need help are getting help.”

“We do have a disagreement about across-the-board spending freeze,” Obama said in the third debate. “It sounds good, it’s proposed periodically. It doesn’t happen.”

“And in fact an across-the-board spending freeze is a hatchet and we do need a scalpel because there are some programs that don’t work at all. There are some programs that are underfunded and I want to make sure that we are focused on those programs that work,” he said.

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The following video was uploaded to YouTube by user ObamaLovesCupcakes on Jan. 25, 2010.

Download video via RawReplay.com


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