October 13, 2004 Bush and Kerry Debate "Housekeeping" (03:18)
Peter Jennings shows that Bush and Kerry are tied in the polls. Bob Schieffer of CBS introduces the candidates and explains debate rules.
National Security (04:52)
Kerry criticizes Bush for rushing into war and shifting focus from Osama bin Laden. He advocates building strong alliances and increasing intelligence. Bush outlines a plan to pursue Al-Qaeda and points out that Afghanistan has held elections.
Flu Vaccine Shortage (04:47)
Bush says an English company provided contaminated vaccines, and asks healthy Americans to relinquish their vaccines. Kerry cites numbers of citizens that have lost health insurance, and promises universal healthcare. Bush says Kerry’s plan is too expensive.
Fiscal Responsibility (04:03)
Kerry advocates a pay-as-you-go rule to ensure Congress can afford new legislation and rolling back Bush's wealthy tax cut. Bush says Kerry has voted to increase taxes 98 times, and taxing the wealthy won’t raise enough revenue to cover his spending plans.
Overseas Manufacturing (03:40)
Bush says his policies will grow the economy, create jobs, provide job training, and reform education. Kerry says Bush has turned a $5.6 trillion surplus into a deficit and ignored income loss while costs increase. He’ll extend unemployment health benefits and reinstate college loans.
Leveling the Economic Playing Field (04:54)
Kerry acknowledges that outsourcing will happen, and promises to shut loopholes sending companies overseas and provide manufacturing jobs credits. Bush cites tax relief measures helping American workers and criticizes Kerry’s fiscal record. Kerry says he’s voted for tax cuts too.
Gay Marriage (03:36)
Bush is tolerant of homosexuality, but wants to amend the Constitution to protect traditional marriage from being changed legally. Kerry supports legal same-sex partnerships as interpreted under state law.
Abortion and Stem Cell Research (03:46)
Kerry explains why he supports a woman's right to choose and doesn't impose his beliefs on others. Bush advocates a culture of life and promotes adoption and abstinence programs.
Reducing Healthcare Costs (04:59)
Bush thinks consumers should purchase health insurance directly and advocates health savings accounts, medical liability reform, and technology investment. Kerry calls for bulk prescription drug purchasing in Medicare. Bush questions Kerry’s Senate record; Kerry says he wrote an early child bill that passed in the ‘90s.
Kerry's Healthcare Plan (05:14)
Kerry says extending child and catastrophic health care coverage won't affect consumer choice. The government would take over Medicaid children and offer an early Medicare buy-in. Bush says it would lower healthcare quality. Kerry argues low quality government programs aren’t fully funded.
Bush's Social Security Plan (03:46)
Bush argues for young people investing in savings accounts to save the system. Kerry argues that would take money from current beneficiaries and increase the deficit.
Kerry's Social Security Plan (04:04)
Alan Greenspan says Social Security must be reformed to be able to pay retirees. Kerry says rolling back Bush's tax cut to the wealthy would grow the economy, reduce deficit, and retain Social Security benefits. Bush says tax cuts were necessary to overcome the recession.
Bush says he's increased border security and proposes a temporary worker card, but opposes amnesty. Kerry says middle class income is lowest it's been since 1929, argues for cracking down on illegal hiring, and supports an earned-legalization program. They disagree on improved security measures.
Minimum Wage (03:48)
Kerry promises to raise the federal minimum wage to $7 and argues for equal pay for women. Bush advocates focusing on education to increase job opportunities and close the achievement gap.
Roe v. Wade and No Child Left Behind (03:19)
Bush and Kerry both say they’ll appoint unbiased Supreme Court justices to uphold Constitutional rights. Kerry criticizes Bush for not fully funding education reform and for cutting after-school programs. Bush says the system has been reformed.
Back-Door Draft (04:58)
Reservists are being held beyond enlistment due to an overextended military. Kerry proposes adding active duty divisions and increasing Middle East alliances. Bush argues for succeeding in Iraq and opposes getting international approval to defend America. Kerry clarifies that no nation would have veto power over the U.S.
Gun Control (02:47)
Bush argues for prosecuting individuals that commit crimes with guns. Kerry says most law enforcement agencies supported the assault weapons ban and criticizes Bush's failure to reauthorize it. He points out that terrorists can easily access guns in America.
Affirmative Action (03:48)
Kerry argues that the Bush Administration has regressed on equal opportunity. Bush advocates focusing on education reform to level the playing field, and says minority business ownership has increased.
Faith and Policy Decisions (03:59)
Bush prays for guidance, and sees freedom as a gift from God—a view shaping his Afghanistan policy. Kerry also follows Christian principles but sees school inequality as a sign that America lacks in "love thy neighbor.”
National Unity (04:00)
Kerry commends Bush's post-9/11 leadership, but says ideological divisions have since hindered Congress. He pledges transparency in government and campaign finance reform. Bush cites bipartisan successes and says America has been divided since the ‘90s.
Strong Women (03:15)
Bush and Kerry share wisdom and support from their wives and daughters.
Closing Statement: Senator John Kerry (01:59)
Kerry says he'll work with Republicans and Democrats to make America safer and stronger, improve public education and healthcare, keep jobs in America, and further equality. He promises not to let another country have veto power over the U.S.
Closing Statement: President George W. Bush (02:28)
Bush promises to continue growing the economy, closing the achievement gap, working towards affordable healthcare, and spreading freedom. Bob Schieffer thanks the candidates and concludes the debate.
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