The Candidates Assess Each Other

In November, Americans decide whether Barack Obama or John McCain becomes the 44th President of the United States. In the series "Presidential Questions," CBS News anchor Katie Couric asks questions that move the candidates well beyond the usual sound-bites. Some questions concern policy. Others are more personal. All will give you a better sense of who these men are - and what has shaped them. What follows is Couric's question - and the candidates' full answers.



Katie Couric: What do you believe is your opponent's greatest strength and greatest weakness?

Barack Obama: Oh, I think Sen. McCain has a number of strengths. Obviously he has great inner resolve and determination. And you know, he himself, I think has indicated how that was forged in his experiences as a POW. And I have the utmost respect for that. He served gallantly and with great distinction. And we honor that.

With respect to Sen. McCain's weaknesses, I would, rather than talk about his personality, I would simply say that his policies seem to be just a carbon copy of the policies that we've seen over the last eight years. He hasn't paid a lot of attention ... to the difficulties and the hardships that ordinary Americans are feeling and the history of America shows that economic growth happens most when the pie is growing, but it's growing for everything.

John McCain: I think his greatest strength is that - and I admire and respect Barack Obama - is his ability to motivate Americans. He does that with eloquence. And he motivated millions of Americans and continues to do so.

I think probably his greatest weakness is his lack of experience and, therefore, judgment. And that's just what has led him, I think, to make certain judgments, which I don't think are best for this country.
  • Katie Couric

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