Wednesday May 7, 2008 08:39 EDT
Is there any executive power the Bush administration has claimed or exercised that you think is unconstitutional? Anything you think is simply a bad idea?
McCain declined to answer this question.
By contrast, Obama answered the same question at length, and said:
I also reject the view, suggested in memoranda by the Department of Justice, that the President may do whatever he deems necessary to protect national security, and that he may torture people in defiance of congressional enactments . . .
I believe the Administration's use of executive authority to over-classify information is a bad idea. We need to restore the balance between the necessarily secret and the necessity of openness in our democracy – which is why I have called for a National Declassification Center.
Obama then went on specifically to identify numerous issues — torture, detention of Americans as "enemy combatants" without due process, warrantless surveillance, violations of international treaties, the lawless creation of military commissions — which he said were unconstitutional or otherwise objectionable expressions of excessive Presidential power. By contrast, McCain refused to identify even a single Bush assertion of power he rejects.