George W. Bush and Al Gore Debate "Housekeeping" (01:55)
Moderator Jim Lehrer introduces Vice President Al Gore and Governor George W. Bush, and describes the debate rules and format.
Presidential Agenda: Gore (02:23)
Gore outlines plans to balance the budget, decrease national debt, protect Medicare and Social Security, cut middle-class taxes, invest in education, and invest in healthcare.
Presidential Agenda: Bush (05:02)
Bush wants to invest 50% of the national surplus in Social Security, 25% in projects, and use 25% to cut tax rates. He criticizes Gore's plan to expand governmental programs. Gore argues that national debt, education, healthcare, and welfare reform should be prioritized over giving tax breaks to the wealthiest 1%.
Political Leadership: Bush (02:25)
Bush criticizes the Clinton Administration for failing to work across the aisle to reform Medicare and Social Security, and promotes his Immediate Helping Hand program for senior drug prescriptions.
Medicare Plan Controversy (07:37)
Gore says that seniors wouldn't get prescription drug help for four years under Bush's plan, and Bush would take money from Medicare for wealthy tax cuts. Bush accuses Gore of scare mongering and failing to reform Medicare during his vice presidency. They disagree over numbers in their respective plans.
Oil Supply: Gore (03:26)
Gore advocates developing domestic oil, gas, and renewable energy sources and promoting fuel efficient vehicles. He opposes Bush's Arctic drilling plan. Bush promotes domestic oil exploration and clean coal technology.
Oil Supply: Bush (03:28)
Gore wants to focus on both supply and consumption energy areas, and supports the LIHEAP program. Bush says Gore hasn't done enough towards energy independence and advocates Alaska exploration, clean coal technology, and a hemispheric energy policy.
Abortion Pill: Bush (02:04)
Bush disagrees with the FDA's approval of RU-486, and would promote a culture of life as president.
Abortion Pill: Gore (05:37)
Gore supports RU-486 and a woman's right to choose. He says Bush will appoint pro-life justices to the Supreme Court, and believes Roe v. Wade is in danger. Bush denies he would use appointments for a social agenda and says Gore's "liberal, activist judges" would subvert the legislature.
Milosevic Election (04:47)
Both Gore and Bush advocate using diplomatic alliances with NATO, rather than military force, to pressure Milosevic to relinquish power to Kostunica. Bush suggests getting Russia involved.
Using Force (04:49)
Bush advocates using military power when U.S. territory or defense alliances are threatened and advocates investing in the military. Gore says he'll maintain military superiority; Bush criticizes the Clinton Administration for stretching armed forces thin on nation building missions.
Military Leadership (03:40)
Gore outlines his service in Vietnam and experience on the National Security Council and during the Bosnian War. Bush says he's able to make sound decisions without relying on polls and can build bipartisan consensus.
Taxes and Surplus Budget: Gore (02:15)
Gore proposes spending on education, healthcare, welfare reform, decreasing national debt, and protecting Social Security and Medicare. He criticizes Bush's proposed tax cuts for the wealthy.
Taxes and Surplus Budget: Bush (05:17)
Bush criticizes Gore's plan to increase government and cut middle class taxes. He says the wealthy will pay a higher percentage than the poor, in his plan. Gore disputes his numbers and advocates tax deductible college tuition.
Education: Bush (02:42)
Bush outlines a plan using accountability, discipline, and testing to show federal funding results.
Education: Gore (06:19)
Gore proposes accountability, local control, smaller classes, and testing new teachers and students. Bush says Gore lacks new accountability measures. Gore says he requires mandatory testing and criticizes Bush's voucher plan that would transfer taxpayer money to private schools.
Managing the Unexpected (03:40)
Gore describes enlisting Russian and Finnish officials to negotiate a Serbian surrender in Kosovo and standing up to corporate lobbyists on behalf of middle class families. Bush describes responding to Texas fires and floods.
Crisis Response and Economic Policy (07:26)
Bush outlines how he would manage a stock market crash. Gore discusses building on the Clinton Administration's economic policy and implementing middle class tax cuts. Bush accuses him of planning government expansion; Gore says he decreased government size and opposes Bush's tax cuts to the wealthy.
Social Security Outlook: Gore (02:40)
Gore argues that economic prosperity can cover baby boomer retirement without raising taxes or reducing benefits, and criticizes Bush's proposal to divert Social Security funds to the stock market.
Social Security Outlook: Bush (04:48)
Bush advocates investing payroll taxes in the stock market; Gore says this would cut senior entitlement checks. Bush says he would use the surplus, and trust young workers to handle investments. They disagree over which policy would create future debt.
Character Issues (07:04)
Bush appreciates Gore's family values, but criticizes his hands off approach to Oval Office affairs and brings up a fundraising scandal. Gore refuses to attack Bush's credibility and says he'll pass campaign finance reform in office; Bush supports the idea but calls for a stronger attorney general.
Closing Statement: Bush (02:14)
Bush wants to empower Americans in their own lives, work across the aisle, reform Medicare and Social Security, build the military, and reform education.
Closing Statement: Gore (03:01)
Gore promises to continue fighting for middle class families and standing up to corporate interests; he will fight for a prescription drug benefit for seniors. Lehrer announces upcoming debates and thanks the candidates.
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