'Clash of the Titans' Debate America's Two Visions

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Americans head to the polls in one week, and even the presidential candidates say they won't be voting only for a political party.

They'll be choosing between two visions for the future of the country.That was the focus of Regent University's 10th annual "Clash of the Titans" debate.

"We have a tremendous debate for you today," CBN founder Dr. Pat Robertson told the audience in his introductory remarks.

The political heavyweights at this year's debate presenting the Democrats' vision were former Clinton White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers and former Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell.

**Like George Thomas on Facebook and view behind-the-scenes photos from the "Clash of the Titans" debate.

On the Republican side were 2012 presidential contender Rick Santorum and former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour.

CBS "60 Minutes" correspondent Steve Kroft moderated the debate, which began by tackling the economy.

"It's the biggest national security issue," Barbour said. "You can't be a world power. You can't be the leader of the world if your economy is in the tank and you are broke."

Two Visions

The debaters also talked about abortion, foreign policy, and taxes. But the bottom line is two parties and two competing visions for America.

Santorum articulated the Republican vision.

"It's our founder's vision. It's the vision of a country that believes that rights come to people from God. And the role of the government is limited to protecting those rights," Santorum said.

Former Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell said the Democrats see government's role as "motivating and instigating a change."

"Government does have a role in motivating and instigating a change," Rendell said. "That it can through targeted investments create opportunities for people who don't have any."

The sharply divided visions for America are perhaps clearest in poll numbers. With just days until voters cast their ballots, the polls are tight.

The latest Rasmussen Survey has Republican nominee Mitt Romney at 50 percent to President Barack Obama's 47 percent.

Gov. Rendell has even warned Democrats of a possible upset in Pennsylvania, which hasn't backed a Republican presidential candidate since 1988.

"It's close," Rendell said. "Anytime there's movement and the movement closes the gap, we have to be wary."

A Call for Unity

But despite all the talk of division, the "Clash of the Titans" audience made it clear they want to see more unity.

Namie Bimba is a new American citizen voting for the first time.

"From the top down, Democrats and Republicans need to get away from the parties and get together for America, and I think, hearing that tonight, how refreshing is that is the critical issue," Bimba, an independent voter, told CBN News.

That issue motivated Justin Cooke to hear from these two political heavyweights before he decides how to vote.

"I was an independent coming in and unfortunately, going out, I am still an independent. So I guess I have another week to make up my mind," Cooke said.

Polls show the pool of undecided voters is quickly shrinking. A University of Connecticut study has it down to just 6 percent.

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CBN News
Efrem Graham

Efrem Graham

News Anchor & Reporter

Efrem Graham is an award-winning journalist, who comes to CBN News from the ABC owned and operated station in Toledo, Ohio.  He received his master's degree from the Columbia University Journalism School. He also holds a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.  Follow Efrem on Twitter @EfremGraham and "like" him at Facebook.com/EfremGrahamCBN.