Round Two of the Presidential Debates: Who Really Won?

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," October 7, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Joining us live is McCain political director, Mike DuHaime.

Nice to see you, Mike.


VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Mike, you're still in the margin of error in all of these states, so -- and as we all just witnessed the debate. What's the plan for the next 28 days?

DUHAIME: I think you will be -- you'll continue to see a contrast on issues between Senator McCain and Senator Obama, hopefully like you saw tonight, some serious issues discussed; 28 days is long in politics. As you said, it's very close, going to be close right down to the end.

VAN SUSTEREN: But, it's just not enough to sort of like go as is, because going as is has not been, you know, has put you a little bit under this margin of error, Senator Obama's on top. It seems to me you have to do something, and from what I understand you're getting out-spent enormously in ads, at lease in the last couple of weeks, by Senator Obama. So, there's got to be a some plan because you can't just -- the status quo is not -- I mean, that's really rolling the dice.

DUHAIME: Well, Senator Obama certainly has a lot of money, I mean, he -- when it was -- when it behooved him politically to say that he was going to opt into public financing during the Democrat primary, he said he would do that. As soon as he realized that it would be better for him politically to opt out of public financing...

VAN SUSTEREN: Yeah, and he -- and it's technically it smarter.

DUHAIME: Yeah, but I don't know that it's technically smarter to go back on your word with folks. I don't ever regret -- you know, regret Senator McCain keeping his word. He gave his word. People don't think it's a big deal, it's not a big deal. But, it's part of -- it's part of, unfortunately, a pattern of him. He doesn't buck his party at all, ever, he does what he thinks is, you know, best politically.

VAN SUSTEREN: But, Mike, you got to get that out. And as much as I talk to voters on both sides, no one has been complaining, you know, that he went back on his word on financing. You know, it may reflect poorly on him, but people aren't going to vote, into the poll booth...

DUHAIME: I understand that.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, that's your problem. I mean, you got to figure out some way, it seems to me, if you want to win this race, you got to come up with something that really sparkles and dazzles in the next 28 days.

DUHAIME: Well, I think really, you know, Senator McCain is going to talk about -- about...


DUHAIME: Excused me?

VAN SUSTEREN: Sarah Palin.

DUHAIME: Governor Palin is a great -- she's a great draw. I know you had an interview with her, it will air tomorrow. Governor Palin is a great draw and a great asset. She governed exceedingly well, most popular governor in America. But, I think the thing is she governs just like the way Senator McCain, though. She's a maverick. She went against her party when she thought it was right, with her party when she thought it was right. That's what Senator McCain is. I think the more people see that and see the contrast with Senator Obama who's voted with his party 97 percent of the time and that has really never taken a stand against the political winds, ever, I think ultimately people are looking for leadership and somebody who does what he thinks is right and that's McCain.

Watch Greta's interviews

VAN SUSTEREN: But, the problem is, let's assume 100 percent, you're right, but unless, I mean, you know, with the amount of time that's left and with the amount of money you're up against, you know, that's just tactically, strategically you know, we got to do something more than that.

DUHAIME: Well, you tactically, strategically -- there are a number of Republican-leaning states that we have to win, the Ohios, the Floridas, the Missouris, Virginia. Those states, North Carolina -- those states get us to 270 electoral votes, and all you need is to is win out of Pennsylvania or Minnesota or Nevada and New Mexico or a combination of say and other small state and you're over 270, just like that. And we have plenty of paths to go.

VAN SUSTEREN: But, here's the problem, is it costs a lot of money for ads and if you can't -- if you don't have the money for ads, you got to be there, and if you're only two people and you got to be there in all those states, it's just -- and you only got 28 days, that's the problem.

DUHAIME: We have plenty of money, we're going to be outspent, we understand that. Senator Obama spent a lot of money and he's got a lot of manpower, just like he did against Hillary Clinton in the primary in Ohio and Pennsylvania and lost, and lost decidedly in a number of those states were he totally outspent her. So, I mean, really, I think We have enough money to get our message out. Senator Obama's going to outspend us, but he's not going to be so decidedly that we're not going to be able to get our -- get our message out. So, I have faith in the American people, they're going to took at the difference between the two candidates.

VAN SUSTEREN: And anyone who ever counts Senator McCain out is crazy because we've seen so many times before...

DUHAIME: I agree with that.

VAN SUSTEREN: That's nuts.

DUHAIME: Politically and otherwise.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, Election Day, we'll know. Mike, thank you.

DUHAIME: Thanks, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: So, Mike thinks that Senator McCain won the debate, I'm sure, and we have a feeling our next guest might have a different opinion. Joining us is Bill Burton, national spokesperson for Senator Obama's campaign. Bill, if the election were -- are you satisfied right now, because you are a little bit up on that margin of error -- are you 100 percent satisfied that you're there if the vote were tomorrow?

BILL BURTON, OBAMA CAMPAIGN NATIONAL SPOKESPERSON: Well, we feel like we are in a very strong position because Senator Obama has laid out in clear terms, throughout this campaign and especially tonight, winning the second debate in a row, his economic plan to make the middleclass stronger and to help move our economy forward...


VAN SUSTEREN: Let me talk about -- I'm sorry, go ahead.

BURTON: I was just going to say, and the contrast couldn't have been clearer between Barack Obama and John McCain, tonight. Barack Obama talked in clear terms about his plan, he talked about how John McCain offered more of the same of what we've had from George Bush. And from John McCain, frankly, we saw a pretty erratic performance. He whispered some attacks, he wouldn't say Senator Obama's name. I think that the American people didn't get a clear sense of what Senator McCain would do were he elected president, all he really did was attacked Barack Obama.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know what's so interesting, Bill, about this economic stuff -- we have two plans, and the fact is we're in a terrible economic mess. Would you agree?

BURTON: Yeah, I would say that we are in a pretty big economic crisis, yeah.

VAN SUSTEREN: OK, all right, here's what I do not get. If somebody really knew how to get us out of this mess, the so-called experts, we wouldn't be in this mess. And it seems to me, almost, is that we sort of get like, you know, everyone throws at us and plans at us, but I'm not satisfied that anyone really can get us out of this, I mean, because it almost seems like it, you know, that it's voodoo economics.

BURTON: Well, we're in a pretty big mess, that you know, the folks can point fingers at who's to blame for getting us here, the deregulatory principles and practices that got our financial institutions into the state they are in, but the question is who's got the plan to get us out of it. And you're right, there is no quick fix, there is no easy answer. What Senator Obama thinks that we can do is: A) put in a new framework to help shore -- to help fix the financial institutions and B) get the tax cut to the middleclass, get relief immediately to the folks who need it the most so that you will help grow the economy immediately. It's not going to get fixed overnight, there's no way that that's going to happen, but Senator Obama's got a plan that can help get it on the right track right away.

VAN SUSTEREN: But, that's the problem I have and Senator McCain has a problem, and his sounds good, too, and I believe him, too, but I just have no way of knowing, as a voter, like, you know, which one really is the good plan because if this were such a certain area where things could be solved we wouldn't be in this mess in the first place.

BURTON: Well, what we're doing, what Senator Obama did tonight, and what we've been doing as a campaign, is making sure that folks know the differences in what our plans are. Senator Obama thinks the middleclass ought to get a tax cut. Senator McCain thinks that tax cuts ought to go to corporations and the wealthiest Americans, and he leaves 101 million Americans behind. So, what we can do is provide the American people with the facts, they can make up their own minds. And it came to this debate, the American people have said Barack Obama won.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Bill, thank you and you know, we'll be continuing to follow this for the next 28 days. Thank you, Bill.

BURTON: Thank you, Greta.

Content and Programming Copyright 2008 FOX News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2008 ASC LLC (, which takes sole responsibility for the accuracy of the transcription. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material except for the user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon FOX News Network, LLC'S and ASC LLC's copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.