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The stark differences between the two came through the most on the question of whether there is evil in the world. Obama spoke of evil within America, "in parents who have viciously abused their children." According to the Democrat, we can't really erase evil in the world because "that is God's task." And we have to "have some humility in how we approach the issue of confronting evil."
For McCain, with a global war on terror raging, there was no equivocating: We must "defeat" evil. If al-Qaida's placing of suicide vests on mentally-disabled women and then blowing them up by remote control in a Baghdad market isn't evil, he asked: "You have to tell me what is."
Asked to name figures he would rely on for advice, Obama gave the stock answer of family members. McCain pointed to Gen. David Petraeus, Iraq's scourge of the surge; Democratic Rep. John Lewis, who "had his skull fractured" by white racists while protesting for civil rights in the 60s; plus Internet entrepreneur Meg Whitman, the innovative former CEO of eBay.
When Warren inquired into changes of mind on big issues, Obama fretted about welfare reform; McCain unashamedly said "drilling" — for reasons of national security and economic need.
On taxes, Obama waxed political: "What I'm trying to do is create a sense of balance and fairness in our tax code." McCain showed an understanding of what drives a free economy: "I don't want to take any money from the rich. I want everybody to get rich. I don't believe in class warfare or redistribution of the wealth."