Third party U.S. presidential candidates hold debate

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Sunday, November 2, 2008

This past Thursday, the leading third party U.S. presidential candidates held a debate at the Cleveland City Center in Cleveland, Ohio. In attendance were Independent Ralph Nader, Constitution Party nominee Chuck Baldwin and Libertarian Party nominee former Congressman Bob Barr. This is the first, and presumably last, debate between the three before the election is held on Tuesday.

Both major parties are very clever. They don't like competition.

Ralph Nader

Despite their radically different political beliefs, all of the candidates' opinions on one issue were similar: outrage at being shunned from the debates between Republican Party nominee John McCain and Democratic Party nominee Barack Obama over the past months. "Both major parties are very clever," Nader said. "They don't like competition. If they were businesses in the marketplace, they would be indicted for violation of the antitrust laws."

Baldwin voiced his concerns about the growth of the federal government as well as the troubled global economy. He said that the "two major parties will do nothing to thwart or diminish what is currently happening...I believe with all my heart that our sovereignty and our national independence are hanging by a very precarious thread."

I believe with all my heart that our sovereignty and our national independence are hanging by a very precarious thread.

Chuck Baldwin

Barr stated his opinion that both McCain and Obama are indistinguishable on policy positions and accused them of "sound-bite politics" as well as showing "no leadership whatsoever." He also found it odd that the Department of Justice was absent during this autumn's financial crisis. "There have been no prosecutions, not even apparently a significant investigation of what appears to be historic fraud," he said.

At this time, it is unknown how many tuned in to see the debate when it was broadcast nationally on C-SPAN both Friday and Saturday. As of Sunday, any other media coverage has been minimal, a far cry from last week's debate between Nader and Baldwin in Washington, DC.

Third party candidates