George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Ross Perot Debate "Housekeeping" (01:26)
Moderator Jim Lehrer introduces the debate participants and explains the format of the debate. The panel consists of Ross Perot, Bill Clinton and George Bush
Important Separating Issues (03:04)
Perot's states his position as a candidate is important because the people put him there, he was not nominated by a political party. Clinton states he represents moving away from the taxes and "spend economics" of the previous regime. Bush stands on his experience at creating positive change.
Political Experience (04:10)
Clinton cites the desirable rankings of his state due to his focus on jobs and education and highlights economic issues under Bush's administration. Bush debates the claims that the economy is in trouble and claims the new Congress will create positive change. Perot highlights his inexperience at creating debt and not taking action.
Candidate Character Issues (04:43)
Bush believes that protesting against the United States on foreign soil is an egregious act. Perot believes that mistakes made as an adult running the country are less forgivable than those made in one's formative years. Clinton responds directly to Bush's accusation that Clinton is unpatriotic because of protests he attended in Russia.
Taxes and Spending (04:16)
Clinton will increase taxes only for families with income over $200,000; he highlights tax decreases for middle-income families under $60,000. Bush plans to control spending rather than change tax rates. Perot plans to increase the country's job base to create revenue.
Military Support in Europe (05:12)
Bush claims that as the sole remaining superpower, it is necessary for the U.S. to keep the peace in Europe, though he plans to decrease troops to 100,000. Perot believes that Europe should assume more of the responsibility now that they can afford their own defense. Clinton agrees that the number of troops should decrease to 100,000.
Deficit and Gas Prices (04:41)
Perot explains impact his tax plan will have on the Middle East. Clinton states that Perot's plan will pay the deficit off too quickly; investing in the economy should come first. Bush outlines his plan to reduce taxes and decrease spending.
Defense-Oriented Jobs (04:45)
reduction in spending. Perot believes that US defense industries need to convert to civilian industries to keep up with the international marketplace. Clinton proposes taking all the money saved on defense and pouring it using it to retrain the American people in high-tech jobs.
Creating Jobs (04:44)
Perot outlines his plan to create multiple task forces in the 90 days between election and inauguration. Clinton shares his success in job creation in Arkansas and his plan to implement a nationwide jobs program. Bush outlines his Agenda for American Renewal plan that is ready for implementation.
Federal Reserve Board (04:14)
Clinton does not see making the Federal Reserve Board chairman more accountable as necessary. He plans to focus on keeping interest rates down. Bush will focus on decreasing taxes and spending. Perot also agrees that the Federal Reserve should be kept independent but thinks that interest rates need to be reevaluated.
US National Interests (05:04)
Perot stresses the importance of financial strength, domestic manufacturing, removing nuclear threats, and assisting Russia in democratic freedom. Clinton believes the key areas are national security, economic strength, and assisting the creation of democracy around the world. Bush highlights the current strength of the military and economy, as well as his roles in facilitating those strengths.
Affairs in China (04:31)
Clinton believes the US needs to be firm with China and demand they treat their people fairly in order to continue doing business with the US. The Bush Administration imposed sanctions on China to guarantee there are no human rights violations in US products. He believes the progress is steady and that Clinton's suggestions would isolate China. Perot believes China is heading in the right direction and conditions will continue to improve
Foreign Aid: Bosnia and Somalia (04:30)
Bush is sending humanitarian aid to Bosnia and Somalia but is cautious about using military force without a complete plan of action with a foreseeable conclusion. Perot thinks it is appropriate to send aid but not military force; he sees the issues as a European community. Clinton agrees that ground forces should not be sent, but that the U.S. should support efforts in other ways.
Family Values (04:45)
Clinton defines family as at least one adult and child, whether natural, adopted, or fostered. He criticizes Bush for vetoing the family and medical leave act. Bush believes the American family needs to be strengthened and supported, including enforcing child support for single parents. Perot believes a strong family is crucial and that children need to be shown love and support from infancy.
Legalizing Drugs (05:15)
Bush opposes drug legalization and supports drug awareness education. Perot is also against legalizing drugs. Clinton is adamantly opposed to legalizing drugs and plans to implement a crime bill to help deal with the issue.
Racial Division (04:33)
Perot plans to make the White House a bully pulpit to show citizens that racial hatred will not be tolerated. Clinton made a point of going to multiple ethnic groups and giving the same speeches to show equality. Bush passed two civil rights bills to help stop discrimination.
AIDS Crisis (05:07)
Bush reports that he has increased funding for AIDS. Perot believes that AIDS treatments should be expedited through the FDA procedures to reach people more quickly. Clinton believes the key is to have one person in charge of the AIDS Crisis, fully fund research, and expedite the approval process for medications.
Unpopular Changes in Washington (04:43)
If Perot wins, he will remove lobbyists so Congress can listen to the American people. Clinton warns Perot that his solution is not that simple. Clinton proposes changes in health insurance to lower costs. Bush responds to accusations that he will cut Social Security; a cap needs to be put on its growth.
Health Care Reform (05:20)
Clinton believes healthcare costs cannot be managed by simply cutting Medicare; insurance companies must be regulated. Bush suggests that Clinton take on those who file malpractice suits to keep healthcare costs down. Perot promises to take action, potentially modeling a country that has much lower healthcare costs.
Closing Statements: Perot (02:35)
Perot envisions changing the way that the political system works. The people go through a cycle of voting for a new President every four years but business in Washington returns to normal with no visible changes. He wants to rebuild the American dream for future generations.
Closing Statements: Clinton (02:17)
Clinton thanks the people involved with his campaign. He points out that Bush took three years to implement changes and promises to invest in American jobs and education, control health care costs, and unite the people.
Closing Statements: Bush (02:12)
Bush highlights changes he made during his four-year presidency and the peace created by lessening the threat of nuclear war. Domestically he plans to empower people, strengthen the American family, expand exports, and support education and job retraining.
ABC News Wrap-up (03:54)
Peter Jennings describes how the crowd was chosen and points out family members of the candidates. Jeff Greenfield explains that the presidential race would be very different if Perot was not in the running.
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