Skip to comments.The Kerry’s Debate I: Senator Kerry vs. Candidate Kerry
Posted on 03/05/2004 6:47:44 AM PST by Always Right
Moderator: Welcome everyone. Today will be our first debate between Senator John Forbes Kerry (D-MA) and the Democratic Presidential nominee John F. Kerry. Senator Kerry, the first question is for you. What was your position on the 1991 Gulf War?
Senator Kerry: As you know, I voted against the war in Iraq in 1991. Instead I supported a resolution which would have continued economic sanctions against Iraq. I stated on the floor of the Senate that there is no consensus in America for war and, therefore, the Congress should not vote to authorize war. I rejected the rush to so much death and destruction when it did not have to happen.
I have long been a critic of such wars, protesting against what we did in Vietnam and testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee concerning the atrocities committed by US soldiers including myself against innocent Vietnamese. I was ashamed of my involvement in Vietnam and participated in an event where Vietnam vets threw our war metals away.
Moderator: Thank you Senator. Candidate Kerry how do you respond?
Candidate Kerry: A month after Senator Kerry voted against the war, I wrote a letter to one of my supporters in which I said, From the outset of the invasion, I have strongly and unequivocally supported President Bush's response to the crisis and the policy goals he has established with our military deployment in the Persian Gulf." My experience as decorated soldier in Vietnam proves that I am strong on defense.
Moderator: Since the first Gulf War, both of your positions have seemed to changed over time. Could you explain your position on the current war in Iraq? Candidate Kerry, you go first please.
Candidate Kerry: As you know from my campaign, I have taken a strong position against Bushs unilateral war in which he mislead the American people. In fact, a month prior to Senator Kerry voting for the resolution authorizing war, I wrote an op ed in the New York Times against such a resolution, as war should have been the absolute last resort. Continuing the inspection process offered the best hope for a peaceful solution and I stated, those who think that the inspection process is merely a waste of time should be reminded that legitimacy in the conduct of war, among our people and our allies, is not a waste, but an essential foundation of success. President Bush rushed America into war. The war was poorly planned and has proven too costly in terms of American lives and money.
I also opposed the additional $78 billion for the reconstruction of Iraq. President Bush should be opening and internationalizing the contracting process instead of non-competitively awarding the lions share contracts to Halliburton and other select American companies.
This administrations brazen, go-it-alone policy has placed our soldiers at unnecessary risk and our hopes for success in jeopardy. It has turned American liberators into occupiers in the eyes of many Iraqis. It has created a terrorist presence in Iraq where none previously existed and made Iraq a recruiting poster for terrorists of the future. It has undermined the legitimacy of our efforts at home, abroad, and in Iraq. And it has left Iraqis wondering when they will get their country back. We cannot continue on this course. The stakes are too high for our troops, for the Iraqi people, for the region, and for American security.
Moderator: Thank you Candidate Kerry, and Senator your response?
Senator Kerry: I must strongly disagree with Candidate Kerry here. I voted for the Iraqi War Resolution. We are facing a very different world today than we have ever faced before. September 11 changed a lot .(Saddam was) a brutal, oppressive dictator, guilty of personally murdering and condoning murder and torture, grotesque violence against women, execution of political opponents, a war criminal who used chemical weapons against another nation and, of course, as we know, against his own people, the Kurds. He has diverted funds from the Oil-for-Food program, intended by the international community to go to his own people. He has supported and harbored terrorist groups, particularly radical Palestinian groups such as Abu Nidal, and he has given money to families of suicide murderers in Israel.
The Senate worked to urge action in early 1998. I joined with Senator McCain, Senator Hagel, and other Senators, in a resolution urging the President (Clinton) to take all necessary and appropriate actions to respond to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end his weapons of mass destruction program. That was 1998 that we thought we needed a more serious response.
By standing (now) with the President (Bush), Congress demonstrate(d) our Nation (was) united in its determination to take away that arsenal, and we affirm(ed) the President's right and responsibility to keep the American people safe So I believe the Senate made it clear, and the country will make it clear, that we will not be blackmailed or extorted and we (could) not permit the United Nations--an institution we have worked hard to nurture and create--to simply be ignored by this dictator.
Moderator: Thank you Senator. I must say this is exciting, after all the Democratic debates between the candidates, where everyone was agreeing, to have such a debate with completely opposite positions. Now lets switch gears and discuss a hot topic that has been in the news lately, gay marriage. Candidate Kerry, what is your position on gay marriage?
Candidate Kerry: I have taken the same stance as President Bush and Vice President Cheney in opposing gay marriage. I personally oppose gay marriage. Whether I would support a constitutional amendment depends entirely on the language of whether it permits civil unions and partnership or not .I believe the right answer is civil unions. I oppose gay marriage and disagree with the Massachusetts Court's decision
Moderator: And Senator Kerry
Senator Kerry: Unlike Candidate Kerry, my record in the Senate establishes me as one of the leading defenders of gay marriage. I was one of only 14 Senators who voted against the unconstitutional, unprecedented, unnecessary and mean-spirited bill Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, which was signed by President Clinton. I considered the Defense of Marriage bill the equivalent of banning interracial marriages and thought it was gay-bashing on the floor of the United States Senate. And just back in July of 2002, I signed a joint congressional letter which stated, "we believe it would be a grave error for Massachusetts to enshrine in our Constitution a provision which would have such a negative effect on so many of our fellow residents." So I have strongly opposed legislation on the state and federal level which would ban gay marriage.
Moderator: So thank you Candidate Kerry and Senator Kerry for participating tonight in our first Kerry debate. In future debates we will discuss jobs, trade, security, and taxes. Thank you for joining us and good night.
Yeah, it would be effective if the right clips could be found.
I agree, especially if a series of ads was produced and a new ad was released every few days.
That would create a sense of anticipation and also have a dripping water effect.
Candidate Kerry: "It (the war) has created a terrorist presence in Iraq where none previously existed and made Iraq a recruiting poster for terrorists of the future.
Senator Kerry: "He (Saddam) has supported and harbored terrorist groups, particularly radical Palestinian groups such as Abu Nidal, and he has given money to families of suicide murderers in Israel.
Your thought of letting them scream unanswered for a week and then
just hit them again, and again, and again puts it nicely. Thanks.
Kerry provides so much material, and he argues with such strong rhetoric on both sides of each debate. He basically calls himself a bigot for opposing gay marriage. And I actually wish Bush laid out the case for war as strong as Kerry did, which Kerry now opposes. We will see how long Mr. Two-face gets away with it.
I've got a better idea. Just let Kerry do Point/Counter Point on 60 Minutes every Sunday. Think of the money CBS can saving having one guy to do the job.