Basically, I thought these questions were incredibly hard, and the answers incredibly revealing, and the gaffes incredibly hilarious.
B: "You gotta be consistent when you're the president -- there's a lot of pressures!"
"I wasn't happy when we found out there wadn't weapons." He organized an intelligence review to find out why.
G: (to Bush) "Well, I was going to let you do a rebuttal, but you go ahead."
K: "The goal of the sanctions was not to remove Saddam Hussein. It was to remove the weapons. They worked."
B: "I know how these people think! I work with them every day." IE I'm a world leader! Really! "They won't follow someone who says wrong war wrong place wrong time." IE if you made a mistake, the least you can do is stand by it! "It's working." Um.
But he insisted on the connection between Iraq and the war on terror more this time -- that Saddam could have given away his weapons... So if there were no weapons, doesn't that make it the wrong war?
He said some stuff I think he believes about unpopular decisions. See the comments to my last debate post...
He looked incredibly uncomfortable when Kerry was talking.
He asked the generals, "Do you have what you need for the war?" You shouldn't patronize generals.
K: "Didn't close the borders, didn't guard the ammunition dumps." And I love that he's campaigning on cutting our nuclear weapons.
"I hear there's rumours on the internets, that we're going to have to another draft." The all volunteer army works, "especially when we pay them well and provide housing." Too bad he's cut those things.
And he is scaling back troops, in North Korea... Which a minute ago was a huge threat.
"We need to be more facile"?
K: (looks interested when Bush is talking. No Gore head-shakes.)
Has a long list of generals for Kerry.
B: talking over the moderator! "Tell Tony Blair we don't have a coalition!"
K: Missouri would be the third largest country...
K: "Out into the homelands"?
B: "The best way to defend America is to stay on the offence." He believes that.
B: "If Iraq were to fail, it would be a haven for terrorists." That's what his critics say.
"This war is a long, long war..." Ditto.
B: Why block drug importation. "I haven't yet." Yet? "It might be from a third world."
K: Four years ago Bush was in favor of importation. Made it illegal for Medicare to bulk buy, like the VA does.
B: "He has been in the U-nit-ed States senate 20 years."
B: "...named Senator Kennedy (sic) the most liberal senator..." "That's what Liberals do! They create government health care." Oh, that's what liberals do.
Why don't you have a better fiscal record? "We have a deficit!"
(On cutting taxes.) "It increases demand, or investment." Or something?
K: The first time we've had a tax cut when we're at awar.
Question: "How will you improve the economy?"
B: "It was going down before I got into office."
K: "I'm pledging I will not raise taxes. I will cut taxes on families earning less that two hundred thousand dollars."
B: "We got battling green eyeshades." (This confused my friends.)
"He looked at me like my time was up." Um?
"I got a plan to increase the wetlands by three million." This reminds me of a boot-up error I got once. "Windows needs 7". Next time someone leaves units off on a lab report, I'm writing "Two point five what? Two point five wetlands?"
K: "I was broke[,] with my party."
"I'm gonna be a president who believes in science.
Question: "How can the U.S. be competitive given the wage gap?"
K: Make American companies hire Amerians.
B: "I want to incent" companies to keep jobs here.
My absolute favorite--
B: "I own a timber company?(??) Nobody told me. Anybody need some wood?"
(boggle) Why would you deny that? Did he seriously think Kerry might have made up such a specific factoid? And such a checkable one? Who would make up a thing like that?
K: "The Wall Street Journal says my tax plan doesn't affect 96% of small businesses."
B: "It just does!"
B: (on the Patriot Act) "I really don't think your rights are being watered down. As a matter of fact, I wouldn't support it if I did." He says that like, "it might surprise you to know..."
B: Stem cell research is wrong, and I'm the first president ever to fund it.
Question: "Who would you nominate the the Supreme Court?"
B: "I'm not tellin'."
"Strict constructionist." No Dred Scott cases -- but strictly, the Constitution allowed slaves to be treated as property.
Wouldn't it be great if there were really a litmus test (like a strip on the tongue) and you only got the job if it wasn't acidic?
K: Dodged gay marriage, on the Supreme Court question.
Catholic, but for funding abortion.
B: Reasonable ways to decrease abortion. (I agree.)
K: Not so simple. (I agree.)
B: "Yuu can run, but you can't hide. Reality." --- What?
B: (on mistakes he's made -- great question! But he was coached.) "Appointments to a board you've never heard of..." "I don't want to hurt anyone's feeling on national TV."
B: "Saddam would still be in power, and the world would be much better off."
Closing statements --
G: "Kerry will go first as agreed."
B: "Well actually."
K: "You wanna go first."
B: "Either way."
K: "We won't cede authority to any nation, any country, any institution..." Are there any countries that aren't nations? Maybe Wales? We won't cede authority to Wales?
B: (listing his achievements?) "We've been through a lot together recession, corporate scandals, war..."
And finally, was it just my TV, or did Bush's hair look green? And what's with the moderator's teleprompter showing up at the end?