Debate in Denver: Here's what some everyday folks would ask Obama and Romney

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney (AP photos)


Barack Obama and Mitt Romney (AP photos)

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— The public has a lot of questions for Barack Obama and Mitt Romney as the first debate tonight in Denver approaches.

From coast to coast, Americans told Scripps television stations and newspapers what they most would like the candidates to address as they joust over domestic issues.

Kellee Adams, 41, of Klamath Falls, Ore., wants to know if either candidate would be willing to "stand alongside your soldiers on the front line of war … with them in the trenches."

Others want to ask what the contenders would do about climate change, the cost of higher education, Iran, illegal immigration, gas prices, getting out of Afghanistan and ending partisan gridlock.

Several readers responding to Scripps websites' requests for debate questions want specific and credible answers to how either candidate would create more jobs in a still-struggling economy.

"I don't want a politician's answer. I don't want you to go around Jack's barn; just give me a straight answer," demanded Kathryne Pochop, 69, of Redding, Calif.

Some still question Obama's birth certificate and Romney's Mormonism, but others, frustrated at a dysfunctional Washington, would ask the candidates if they'd endorse specific policies.

"To solve our massive unemployment problems and put so many skilled and trained people back to work, would you push for a new form of (Depression-era Works Progress Administration, Civilian Conservation Corps) and (the 1973 Comprehensive Employment and Training Act) job opportunities?" asked Mike Evans of Anderson, Calif.

Self-described independent voter and Akron, Ohio, restaurant owner Scott Malensek, 43, had a more immediate concern and posted his question on the WEWS-TV Facebook page in Cleveland. He wants the candidates to say how they'll address the "fiscal cliff" of tax hikes and automatic spending cuts looming in January and avoid another Great Depression.

Pamela A. McIlhargey posted her question to Detroit TV station WXYZ's Facebook page: "What will you do to help the drought-stricken states (the wheat, corn and food belts of the U.S)?"

Some prospective questions appeared aimed directly at each candidate's perceived vulnerabilities. Mary Keck, of Houston, wants to know why Romney bumped up his income tax rate from 9 percent to 14 percent by not claiming the entire value of his charitable deductions last year.

"Is this an example of the integrity we can expect?" Keck asked.

Darin Bergstrom, 43, of Redding, wants Obama reminded of his prediction that, if he didn't end the financial crisis in three years, his presidency would be "a one-term proposition."

"Why are you running again?" Bergstrom asked.

Sports management professor Robin L. Hardin in Knoxville, Tenn., 42, wants to test whether the candidates have feet of clay and "to see how tuned (in) they are with America and the middle class: How much for a loaf of bread? How much for a gallon of milk? … What was the last movie that you saw?"

Walter Monk wrote on Tampa's WFTS-TV Facebook page that he wants both candidates asked if they're concerned about "the rising number of dogs shot by the police."

__ Contact Scripps Howard News Service Washington correspondent Bartholomew Sullivan at

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Comments » 7

August8 writes:

in response to GorchFock:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I know you are a hero, still can't figure out of what?
My quetion to Obama, why have the middle class been buried like Biden said for the last four years????
2nd quetion, why not just quit and take his bufoon vp with him, do us all a favor we need the money !!

RayNetherwood writes:

Everyone bring your airsickness bags ... idiot Klaus is back off his meds. Heil mein Fuhrer ODUMDUM!!

For a valid comment, see Bergstrom's in the article.

RayPray writes:

in response to GorchFock:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

"There is something indicative about his character"

Robot Romney is lower than a dog turd.

From now on all his speeches will be in pidgin since he decided to outsource his speech writing to Chinese Communist functionaries.

Tonight it will not be the great OBAMA vs Robot Romney, because he has outsourced his forensic duties to his Chinese laundryman.

In November, the sublime OBAMA will carry all 57 states!

After that it will be Food Stamps for everyone and extra stamps for their pets.

Unemployment will go to zero as the 8% will be drafted into the TSA to combat the dire threat of neighborhood terrorism.

WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot writes:

in response to GorchFock:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Klaus, You can do what ever you want with your vagina! Just like every single woman in America can now, and will be able to in the future.

Your pill can be found at the nearest asylum!

RayNetherwood writes:

Ray, at times I think you and Klaus are one and the same person. You've disproved that. I do wonder at times in which of the 57 states (or on what planet) Klaus lives. Cheers!

August8 writes:

Hey, Biden's plane at our expense was diverted emengency twice, " sure glad all is ok" Geese !!
I will sleep good tonight !!!

RayNetherwood writes:

Rolo, you've got to be kidding. Klaus not only rode the short bus, it's run him over repeatedly.

That's why we keep getting the Great Odumdum garbage. Maybe we can get him a Michelin tire man outfit so he can't hurt himself (or others).

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