October 12, 2004

I'm Live Blogging Debate No. 3





1. Will our children live in a world as safe as the one we grew up in?We can be safe if we stay on offense and spread freedom and liberty. 75% of Al Qaeda brought to justice. Held to account a terrorist regime We have a comprehensive plan. Goes to Kerry nuisance thing. Rebuttal-exaggeration. Use every asset at our disposal.Yes. We must be. Pres. rushed us into war, pushed away allies. US bearing burden. Host of options like inspecting ports, cargo hold not xrayed, not enough fire and police. I can be smarter and more effective, hunt and kill terrorists. Do it like FDR, Reagan, Kennedy, with allies and better intelligence. Rebut. Outsorced Osama hunting to Afghan warlords. Bush- not concerned about Osama. Bush could've had him. Weak answer.
2. Flu vaccine?Relied on an English co., contaminated. Working with Canada in hope they'll help produce vaccine needed. Don't get flu shot if you're healthy and young. Goes to litigation ans deterrent to vaccine production. Rebut: plan not a litany of complaints. Have to pay for it. Cost would be $5 trillion over 10 years. Bait and switch--empty promise.Underscores problems of health care system. Not working for family. 5 million lost health insurance. Statistics. I HAVE A PLAN to let all Americans buy in to insurance. Rebut: Bush did this on seniors. No response to Bush. Bush got him.
3. Kerry-- you promised not to raise taxes on people with incomes below $200K. Won't this screw up debt.Rhetoric doesn't match record. Colleague of Kennedy. You pay, he goes ahead and spends. 2 trillion in new spending, new tax raises 600-800M. Middle class will pay. We need progrowth policies and fiscal sanity.I can do it. Pay as you go system. Have to show how to pay for programs. Roll back Bush tax cuts. Use McCain Kerry Comm. plan. Favors to oil and importers. Fight for American worker. I show how. Pres. never vetoed a bill.Kerry weak and wishy washy. Bush strong and got in some left jabs.
4. How grow economy?Support education. Best way to keep jobs here is to make sure education system works. I saw problem in education. Shuffling kids through system. Let's raise standards now. Reward teachers in school districts that work. Pell grants.Notice how Bush shifted from jobs to education. Let's talk about fiscal responsibilty. Like Tony Soprano talking about law and order. We have deficits all over. Prices up, etc. Wages going down. New jobs are less well-paying. Cut Pell grants, cut college loans, didn't extend unemployment and health care. I'm going to help workers to transition.Kerry gets him. Bush evaded question.
5. Is it fair to blame admin for job loss?Whoof! Litany of misstatements. Pell grants increased by 1 M students. More money in pocket due to tax cuts. Child credit, reduced marriage penalty, 10% bracket. Your money. We're spending your money. Gov't should not tell citizens how to live. Record of Kerry in Senate does not match rhetoric. 277 budget busters, 98 raisers. Bush -- no one is playing with vote. Mainstream in US politics -- you sit on far left bank.Not entirely. Outsourcing is going to happen. I've told union stewards I can't stop outsourcing. Make playing field fair. Don't subsidize going overseas through tax deferral. Shut loophole in nanosecond and lower all corp. taxes, manufacturing jobs credit. Fair trade playing field: Boeing vs. Airbus, (Bush grinning). We have to fight for fair trade for US worker. Fiscal discipline. Can play with votes, 600 votes for tax cuts. Pell grants go up in numbers because they have less money.Bush effective. Kerry too detailed
6. Is homosexuality a choice?Dunno. Be tolerant and let adults live as they choose. But don't change basic views on sanctity of marriage. Worried that activist judges redefining marriage. Amendment will protect. People will participate: judges not citizens are deciding. Kerry against Defense of Marraige Act. Concerned judges will overturn it.Cheney's daughter is being who she was. Not a choice. I know people who struggle with this for years. Respect that. We share belief marriage is bet. a man and a woman. Also believe because we are US and have rights, can't discriminate in workplace and rights. States can manage.Each shored up base. Each tried to look tolerant.
7. What about bishops on stem cell and abortion?Society should be one where everyone matters, every child is protected. Differences on the issue, but reasonable people can get law to reduce abortions in place. Partial birth abortion ban. Overwhelming vote of both parties, but Kerry out of mainstream, voted against law. Culture of life. Work together to reduce abortions, promote adoptions, fund maternity homes.Disagrees with bishops. Can't legislate my own articles of faith. Choice is a woman's choice -- woman, God, and MD. Won't allow change in Roe v. Wade. Bush wants to do that. I was an altar boy. Quotes JFK -- I happen to be Catholic. Faith without works is dead. Everything guided by faith, but don't transfer to others. Poverty, Equality, Environment. Kerry wishy washy. Bush shored up base again but didn't sound like bigot. Good point on partial birth abortion.
8. Health care costs and litigation.Consumers not involved. No market forces invovled. I like health savings accounts. Make sure people make their own health decisions. Lawsuits causing costs to rise. Defensive practice of medicine. Need more high tech in health care to reduce costs. Generic drugs. Kerry has no record on reform of health care. No leadership. Passed only 5 bills. I led on prescription drugs.H.C. costs higher because administration stood in way. Drug importation from Canada. Pres. blocked. Medicare should negotiate bulk purchase. $138 million windfall to drug cos. Gotta have health care for all. Has passed 56 bills, but more importantly, helped write early childhood health care.Bush got him on record. Details are MEGO (My Eyes Glazed Over).
9. Kerry -- you can pay for health care how?Not so sure it credible to quote leading news organizations. Lewin report says Kerry plan costs 1.2 trillion bucks. 20 million more in government controlled health care. Medicaid increase reduces incentive to business to provide insurance. Fundamental difference. Govt. health will be poor, lead to rationing, more controls. Look at other countries with govt. health care. Very poor systems. Rebuttal-- we've increased VA funding. Meeting obligations to veterans. My health care plan, America, doesn't require you to do anything. You're free to keep what you have. No compulsion. Take over Medicaid children from states, and states can cover individuals up to 300 p.c of poverty. Broader competition to buy into congressional type plan. Allow buy in to medicare early. Give small business a tax credit to cover employees. Same money by early diagnosis. Rebuttal: VA not funded, medicare not adequately funded, but I'm not proposing a government program.Bush did pretty well. Kerry full of details.
10. Social Security -- cost of private accounts. Where get money? Increase deficit?Reassure seniors -- you won't lose your checks. A real problem for the young. Will cost trillions. Need a different strategy. Studied issue by commission. Came up with a bunch of ideas. Young workers should be able to invest some of their own money. This will increase solvency. Vital issue. Willing to take on--unite both parties. Cost of doing nothing is more than cost of reform.Private accounts is invitation to disaster. 2 trillion dollar hole in SS, because today's workers pay for today's retirees. Would lead to 25-40% cuts in benefits. Nothing he's done is paid for. I fought for fiscal responsibility. Balanced budget. Paid down debt. Protect SS. Won't cut benefits.Advantage Bush, I think, but could scare pensioners.
11. Greenspan says no way we can pay retirees what we've promised them. If we have no change, will this be a problem for our children?Kerry voted to tax benefits. I didn't hear a plan. Tax cuts went to low and middle income Americans. Taxes are fair. All opposed by Kerry. Idea to spur consumption and investment to get us out of recession. Stock decline before I took office, then a recession, and an attack. We acted. Passed tax relief. Economy's growing. More work to do. Increasing govt and taxes is not way to grow economy.We solved problem in past. Onto tax cut for rich. We're going to grow to cut deficit. Later on, we'll pull together experts, and make adjustment. First, create jobs. No one lost jobs the way Bush does. I HAVE A PLANBush was good and strong. Kerry obscure.
12. Finally! What about immigration. Lots of email on this.Security, economic, and human rights issue. We increased Border Patrol and equipment, and we'll continue to do. I was a border governor. Economic issue. Should be a temporary worker card, if American not there to to the job. Period of time attached to card. Won't have to sneak. Focus on BP doing job. No amnesty. No reward for illegal behavior. Kerry supported amnesty for illegals. We ARE protecting borders.Back to middle class family not making it -- another nonresponse. More statistics on inequality. tBorders not protected as they should be. We need to be tougher. Crack down on illegal hiring. Earned legalization program -- out of the shadows. 4000 a day cross border, including people from Middle East. Not enough technology. Borders not secure and I'll make them secure.Both poor answers. Bush did OK.
13. Minimum wage. I supported McConnell's bill. Education=jobs. Back to no child left behind. Measure -- show if child is learning. Close minority achievement gap. Don't quit on children. Need to raise minimum. Hold on to equal pay. Bush doesn't value families. We will raise women's pay. GOP doesn't enforce this stuff. Raising minimum would increase consumption. Fight tooth and nail to raise min. wage.Bush segues to education instead of jobs. Doesn't critique concept of min. wage as job killer. Second time he did it.
14. Overturn Roe?No litmus test. Very short answer. Kerry has litmus test -- liberal Sen. from Mass. would attack us for not spending enough.Won't appoint a judge who will undo constitutional right. Racial inequality segue. Bush wouldn't fund programs. 500K kids lost afterschool programs on budget, so wealthiest could get tax cut. Neither hits the judge issue. Embarassing. Bush could have hit him on judges. Missed opportunity.
15. Back door draft of guard? What would you do?Way to relieve pressure is to succeed in Iraq. I met guard. They were serving their country and they knew it. Back to "global test." I work with allies, will do so, but never turn over our national security to leaders of other countries. Kerry voted against use of force in 1991 when we had an alliance.Expand forces. Bush mismanaged war. Didn't choose war as last resort. We're spending too much. Took eye off Osama. Rebut--never said I'd turn security over to other nations. But we ought to pass a "truth standard" to gain legitimacy with countrymen and the world. Bush got it--vote on Gulf War--he's b.s.ing. That was the zinger.
16. Assault weapons ban.I supported it but both parties opposed it. Thing to do is prosecute gun crime.Law enforcement was for ban. Bush didn't fight for it. I'd have gone out to the country.Each plays to base. Kerry more eloquent.
17. Affirmative action.Has met with Black Cong. Caucus. Don't agree about quotas. Aggressive effort to make sure people are educated, Pell Grants, 10 million families. Best way to help businesses is through loans and unbundule government contracts. Minority owned businesses are up. Ownership society. More minorities own homes than ever before.Long way to go. Affirmative action not just for blacks -- women and so on. Oppose quotas. Mend it, don't end it. Distance to travel on racism. This president wouldn't meet with NAACP or black congressional caucus. Doesn't reach out. Bush started weak on Black Caucus, finished strong on ownership.
18. What place does religion play in your policy?I pray a lot. But we're free to do it or not. This is a free country. Faith sustains me. My decisions based upon principle. Faith based initiative. God wants everyone to be free. Afghan freedom is gft from Almighty. Religion a party of me.Respect what President has said. Everything is a gift from the Almighty. Cites all kinds of scriptures. Two greatest commandments --love God and neighbor-- have more loving of neighbor to do here and abroad. Unequal school systems. Difference of opinion on how we live out faith. More work to do. Respect religious freedoms.Kerry hits multicultural note. Bush cements base again, yet emphasizes freedom.
19. How bring people together? Biggest disappointment was not bringing folks together. We did at the start. Lots of special interests. I'm going to keep trying. We've been divided for a long time. McCain is for me for President, because of Iraq.Bush did good job after 9/11. I've worked with both sides. No secret meetings. Genuine efffort to bring people together. More campaign finance reform.
20. What did you learn from wives?Listen. Don't scowl. Very personal talk about her. Love a first sight.Lucky people who married up. Some would say me more than others. I can take it. Talks about his late Mother. Integrity, integrity, integritWeird segue away from wife. Didn't say he loved wife or she's special. People could see that
Close.Painting of a Mt. scene. Live on sunrise side, to see day that's coming. Love optimism. That's how I feel about America. Been through a lot, recession, attack, etc. Reformed schools. Achievement gap closing. Work on health care, compassion, optimistic about War on Terror; requires resolve and clear purpose. Never waver, and as we pursue, spread freedom and liberty. Faith in ability of liberty to transform societies. Look for America as prosperous and safer. Ask for vote. God bless.No veto over security. Faith in God. We can do better. Greatest dreams and possibilities are ahead. Embark with me. Ask for help and trust. Most of all, be safer. God Bless.

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