Bush Dukakis Presidential Debates "Housekeeping" (01:31)
Moderator Bernard Shaw introduces panelists and the candidates, and explains the format.
Death Penalty (02:48)
Shaw asks Michael Dukakis if he would favor the death penalty in case of his wife's murder. Dukakis argues the death penalty does not deter, and pivots to hawkish arguments on the drug war. Bush advocates the death penalty.
Dan Quayle Nomination (03:33)
Shaw suggests Quayle is unqualified; Bush declares confidence in him and touts Qualye's record. Dukakis says the decision is revealing about Bush's judgment.
Deficits: Bush (03:18)
Ann Compton asks if George Bush can keep his "read my lips" promise. Bush says tax revenues are up; congressional spending is driving deficits. Dukakis says a President needs to lead, not blame Congress.
Deficits: Dukakis (04:00)
Dukakis says he will reduce the deficit by working with Congress and promises to collect unpaid taxes. Bush advocates a balanced budget amendment and line item veto.
Connection with Public (03:54)
Margaret Warner tells Dukakis he won the first debate on intellect but voters don't like him. Dukakis notes his record of winning elections. Bush says Dukakis is liberal and out of step with American political beliefs.
Is Dukakis Liberal? (03:35)
Warner criticizes Bush's 1988 campaign rhetoric. Bush says he defined Dukakis to the public because Dukakis ran to the left in the primary and shifted to "competence, not ideology" in the general. Dukakis says labels do not matter.
Defense Spending: Bush (04:01)
Andrea Mitchell asks Bush to name weapons systems he would cut. Bush rejects the premise that the Reagan-Bush administration wastefully spends on the military. He says arms control negotiations with the Soviets will allow cuts. Dukakis cites examples of unnecessary weapons systems.
Missile Systems (04:09)
Mitchell asks Dukakis to defend not supporting a modernized missile system. Dukakis says we have a strong deterrent and links military security to economic security. Bush says Dukakis supported nuclear freeze, while Reagan deployed missiles in Europe, launched military buildup, then negotiated arms control from a position of strength.
Modern American Heroes (03:48)
When asked for American heroes, Dukakis mentions Olympic athletes, Jonas Salk, and several professions. Bush mentions Jaime Escalante, an AIDS researcher, and a former Cuban political prisoner. He argues that Ronald Reagan is a hero, citing the arms control agreement.
Good Candidate Qualities (03:38)
When asked to say something good about Dukakis, Bush notes the importance Dukakis places on his family, and his political participation (he pivots briefly to the media's unfairness to Dan Quayle.) Dukakis says Bush's kind words show he is wrong to attack him as liberal.
Stance on Abortion (03:31)
Warner presents the case of a woman who learns her baby will die of Tay-Sachs disease. Bush discusses losing a baby and says abortion is a difficult, personal issue but he opposes it. Dukakis says the question is who decides.
Defense Spending: Dukakis (04:04)
Dukakis favors a stable defense budget, distancing himself from a peace group he is associated with. Bush says America is negotiating world peace, vindicating Reagan's policies, and should reject unilateral cuts.
Deficits and Economy (04:09)
Mitchell says Michael Dukakis's deficit reduction proposals won't work. Dukakis counters that there are billions in unpaid taxes to be collected. Bush accuses Dukakis of economic pessimism and says the boom can continue.
Social Security (03:36)
Bush rejects means testing social security;. Reagan made social security solvent and we should leave it alone. Dukakis counters that the Democrats' attacks are right; Republicans intend to raid social security.
Supreme Court (02:46)
Bush says he has no Supreme Court litmus test, but will not return the court to a liberal majority. Dukakis says his standards are ideologically neutral, supports Earl Warren, and criticizes the Bork nomination.
Entitlement Cuts (04:06)
Compton pushes Michael Dukakis to support entitlement cuts. Dukakis rejects this, saying we can cut weapons programs. Bush also rejects entitlement cuts and touts civil society against big government.
Social Security and Farm Subsidies (04:05)
Warner accuses Dukakis of Social Security demagoguery and disputes his claim that he never supported a COLA reduction. Dukakis defends his claim and calls for farm subsidy cuts; Bush targets Dukakis on agricultural policy.
Environmental Policy (03:57)
Warner challenges Bush's claim to be an environmentalist, criticizing his record. Bush defends his environmental record, attacking Dukakis's; Dukakis responds.
Quality of 1988 Campaign (04:14)
Mitchell scolds the candidates over the 1988 campaign. Bush says the candidates focus on the issues, but the media fuels campaign trivialization. Dukakis denounces Bush for calling him liberal.
Regional Conflict (04:04)
Dukakis advocates negotiating with the Soviets to end regional conflict in the Middle East and Central America. Bush says U.S. strength brings success in Angola and Afghanistan. The candidates clash over Central America.
Nuclear Arsenal (02:53)
Dukakis says Reagan and Bush focus on new weapons systems while neglecting the old, allowing shortages of nuclear materials. Bush pivots to nuclear power.
Compton points to ethics violations by Reagan Administration officials. Bush attacks Dukakis and Congress on ethics. Dukakis criticizes Bush for supporting controversial Reagan appointees and nominating Dan Quayle.
Dukakis Closing Statement (02:26)
Dukakis invokes JFK. He attacks the status quo and says George Bush is satisfied with it.
Bush Closing Statement (02:31)
Bush advocates tough-on-crime policies, including the death penalty. World peace is possible as we negotiate with the USSR; Bush's experience is a crucial asset.
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