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Did McCain make a gaffe in 2nd debate?

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It is no secret that Republican presidential Senator John McCain needed to make a strong showing at last Tuesday’s debate in Nashville. During the town-hall style gathering, McCain worked hard to get his views across and to try to cast doubt on Senator Barack Obama’s ability to lead. In pursuit of those goals, did McCain trip himself up?

Yesterday, a reader left a comment on my post, “Who won the 2nd debate?” suggesting McCain did indeed make a blunder. The reader points to McCain’s response to a question from moderator Tom Brokaw about setting priorities in terms of health care, energy, and entitlement reform. In his answer McCain says, “My friends, some of this $700 billion ends up in the hands of terrorist organizations.”

I clicked over to the New York Times website and checked the transcript for the second debate. I found that strange comment about 20 minutes into the debate in the middle of McCain’s response about health care, energy, and entitlement reform. That strange comment comes out of nowhere and is never explained. However, it did sound familiar to me.  

Earlier in the second debate, about 17 minutes in, during one of his other responses McCain says,”… I know how to fix this economy, and eliminate our dependence on foreign oil, and stop sending $700 billion a year overseas.” 

Rewind to the first debate in Mississippi, about 30 minutes in McCain says, “Look, we are sending $700 billion a year overseas to countries that don’t like us very much. Some of that money ends up in the hands of terrorist organizations.”

So did McCain misspeak or have a memory lapse in the second debate? Only the Arizona senator can really answer that question, but it does make one wonder.

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