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Lehrer Stacks Deck Against Bush
NewsMax ^ | 9/30/04 | Carl Limbacher

Posted on 09/30/2004 7:48:13 PM PDT by wagglebee

Presidential debate moderator Jim Lehrer showed once again Thursday night why top aides to President Clinton used to call him "our moderator" when presidential debate time rolled around in 1996.

The questions, which Lehrer announced at the outset had been authored exclusively by him, were supposed to help the American people determine which candidate would be a better steward of U.S. national security in a post-9/11 world.

But there were no queries to Sen. Kerry about his long Senate record of voting against defense appropriations; or his sponsorship of a bill to cut CIA funding by 6 billion dollars a year after terrorists struck the World Trade Center in 1993; or Kerry's support of the nuclear freeze movement during the height of the Cold War.

Kerry wasn't asked about why he teamed up with Jane Fonda to protest the Vietnam War while his band of brothers were still on the battlefield, or why he met with enemy leaders in Paris, or why he accused fellow soldiers of being "monsters" and "war criminals."

Most Americans would consider the answers to those questions extremely relevant to the selection of any U.S. commander-in-chief during a time of war.

But not Jim Lehrer. Instead, he focused on Iraq with question after question that suggested Bush had blown it.

Here's a sampling:

"You said there was a miscalculation in Iraq," Lehrer asked the president. "What was it and how did it happen?"

"What colossal misjudgments, in your opinion," Lehrer asked Kerry, "has President Bush made in these areas [Iraq]?"

To Bush: "Mr. President, has Iraq been worth the cost in American lives -10,052 - I mean 1,052 up to today?"

To Kerry: "You've repeatedly accused President Bush of lying to the American people on Iraq. Give us some examples of the president being untruthful on Iraq?"

Despite his focus on Iraq, however, Lehrer never asked why Kerry voted to authorize the war, then turned around and voted against the legislation to fund it. Or why he voted against authorization for the first Gulf War, even though President Bush's father had amassed just the kind of coalition Kerry says the U.S. needs now.

Likewise, the PBS host declined to ask Kerry about comments in recent days from French and German officials who announced they have no intention of sending troops to Iraq, even if Kerry is elected.

That's quite a stunning development, given that Kerry's Iraq policy rests almost solely on the promise that he'll persuade Old Europe to pitch in and take some of the load off U.S. forces.

But not stunning enough, apparently, to interest Mr. Lehrer.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2004; bush; debate; debates; defundpbs; firstdebate; jimlehrer; kerry; mediabias
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Lehrer knows that sKerry's hopes are dismal at best, he was giving him "softballs" in an attempt to make sKerry's election showing at least seem respectable.
1 posted on 09/30/2004 7:48:13 PM PDT by wagglebee
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To: wagglebee
Good post. Hits it right on the head. Lehrer has never been neutral, yet he continually is treated like an icon. Why the GOP agreed to allow him to moderate this debate, I don't know. It seemed as if Kerry had the questions in advance and already had canned answers.
2 posted on 09/30/2004 7:53:05 PM PDT by The Sons of Liberty (The Swiftboat Vets - Patriotic Americans STILL serving their country!)
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To: wagglebee

No way Kerry didn't have the questions ahead of time. Absolutely no way.


3 posted on 09/30/2004 7:55:54 PM PDT by craig_eddy
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To: wagglebee

No way Kerry didn't have the questions ahead of time. Absolutely no way.


4 posted on 09/30/2004 7:56:37 PM PDT by craig_eddy
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To: The Sons of Liberty
I posted this on another thread, but here it is again:

Here are my thoughts on this debate:

1. I don't think Bush can loose any support on the foreign policy debate, his base is firmly behind him in the war on terror.

2. I don't think any of the leftist peaceniks could ever be convinced to vote for Bush, they don't want us to defeat terrorism. However, they could begin to see Kerry as too militant and move more toward Nader.

3. Bush was wise to have the foreign policy debate first. In two weeks none of the undecideds will remember any of it. The undecided vote will make up their minds based on how homeland security and Iraq look right before the election.

4. The leftist media has done too good a job convincing people that Iraq is a quagmire, nothing Bush can say will change that. So it's better to deal with this issue now and let it fade.

5 posted on 09/30/2004 7:56:56 PM PDT by wagglebee (Benedict Arnold was for American independence before he was against it.)
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To: wagglebee

Carl GETS IT RIGHT!!!!


6 posted on 09/30/2004 7:57:00 PM PDT by ChinaGotTheGoodsOnClinton
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To: wagglebee

No way Kerry didn't have the questions ahead of time. Absolutely no way.


7 posted on 09/30/2004 7:57:06 PM PDT by craig_eddy
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To: wagglebee

No way Kerry didn't have the questions ahead of time. Absolutely no way.


8 posted on 09/30/2004 7:57:45 PM PDT by craig_eddy
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To: wagglebee

We should never have had Lehrer (PBS Leftist) be the moderator.

Lehrer carried Clinton's water in '96.

Why did the White House consent to him?


9 posted on 09/30/2004 7:58:29 PM PDT by tomahawk
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To: craig_eddy

Just so you know, there is a HUGE "lag" here tonight, probably due to so many people commenting on the debate. You only need hit post once.


10 posted on 09/30/2004 7:58:55 PM PDT by wagglebee (Benedict Arnold was for American independence before he was against it.)
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To: wagglebee

All week, Kerry sounded like Dean. In the debates he sounds more closer to GWB. Kerry will continue the war but accelerate training of Iraqi forces and use more diplomacy. Bottom line, the war in Iraq will go on. That will not sit well with his anti war supporters. Looks like Nader is the biggest gainer in this debate. GWB did not say anything that will hurt him, and Kerry has not score a knockout punch.


11 posted on 09/30/2004 8:00:18 PM PDT by Fee (Great powers never let minor allies dictate who, where and when they must fight.)
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To: wagglebee
Here's how it goes:

Lehrer: President Bush, do you still beat your wife?

Bush: No, sir.

Lehrer: Senator Kerry, do you think Bush still beats his wife?

Kerry: Yes, I do.

Lehrer: President Bush, your response to that?

Bush couldn't win; all the questions were ABOUT Bush.

12 posted on 09/30/2004 8:00:34 PM PDT by Howlin (What's the Font Spacing, Kenneth?)
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To: wagglebee; grunt

Thank you - totally agree and said so on the live thread. But it did not matter. The Underestimated one was brilliant. Yes he was irritated. The man has the patience and self control beyond human power because he did not reach over and slug Skerry a few times....out of sheer exasperation with someone who wants to be CIC yet who is daily giving aid and comfort to the enemies of our troops and of our nation.


13 posted on 09/30/2004 8:01:41 PM PDT by Freedom'sWorthIt
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To: wagglebee

Will not matter, Bush won hands down.


14 posted on 09/30/2004 8:02:13 PM PDT by teancumspirit (Like Teancum, (the warrior of old ) I am mad at the enemy, they are evil, they must be stopped.)
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To: wagglebee
The questions, which Lehrer announced at the outset had been authored exclusively by him

What? ONE PERSON gets to decide the questions for a US PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE?

And I did see Lehrer wink at Kerry and shake his hand when the debate was over. I didn't see Lehrer shake the President's hand. Did anyone?

15 posted on 09/30/2004 8:02:48 PM PDT by Lijahsbubbe ( Jammin' in my jammies)
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To: wagglebee
I would have liked to see Ric Ocasek moderate the debate tonight. For those who don't know Ric, he was the front man for The Cars and has produced many rock albums of note.
16 posted on 09/30/2004 8:03:32 PM PDT by SamAdams76 (The NHL is not playing - does anybody notice?)
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To: The Sons of Liberty
Why the GOP agreed to allow him to moderate this debate, I don't know.

A sound point and it just goes to show that there needs to be an end to the "mainstream media" monopoly over presidential debates.

In the future the GOP needs to say to the dems "look, we'll do two debates. You pick any one of your favorite left wing ABCCBSNBCPBS network anchors to do one and we'll pick Fox to do the other."

The alternative, which I know will never happen though I personally think it would be ideal and the fairest, is to bring them both on in a Hannity and Colmes type of a format. Hannity can rip Kerry and Colmes throws him softballs. Colmes can rip Bush and Hannity throws him softballs. But at the very minimum we know exactly where the questions are coming from and exactly how they're being answered. No more of this pretended "neutral moderator" BS because the moderators in this debate and I venture to predict the next two are all open Kerry partisans.

17 posted on 09/30/2004 8:03:47 PM PDT by GOPcapitalist
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Leher forgot to ask Bush "do you still beat your wife?"





NO I DONT THINK BUSH BEATS HIS WIFE. ITS AN EXAMPLE OF THE STACKED, UNASNWERWABLE QUESTION. GEEZ RELAX. GO FREEP A POLL OR SOMETHING.</FONT>


18 posted on 09/30/2004 8:03:51 PM PDT by KneelBeforeZod (Deus Lo Volt!)
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To: wagglebee

Either Kerry was very well prepared or he knew the questions beforehand. Either way he did well in managing to hide all the waffling inherent in his positions.
Between now and the next debate the "Pass the Global Test" will be Kerry's undoing as a candidate.


19 posted on 09/30/2004 8:03:51 PM PDT by UltraKonservativen (( YOU CAN'T FIX STUPID ))
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To: wagglebee

This is a good post. Too bad the people won't think about it.


20 posted on 09/30/2004 8:04:28 PM PDT by lawgirl (I like knowing where my President is every night- at home in bed with his wife!)
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To: wagglebee

I totally agree with this post, my first and lasting impressions were the questions were all attacks on Bush, not one tough question regarding Kerry's 20 years in the senate. Pathetic!


21 posted on 09/30/2004 8:04:38 PM PDT by JPJones ("We'll cross all our tee's and dot all our.....lower case j's")
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To: teancumspirit

FOX panel headed by Brit Hume unanimously gives win to Kerry and says race will tighten.

This was W's turf and he did NOT HIT A HOME RUN!!


22 posted on 09/30/2004 8:04:38 PM PDT by whadizit
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To: Freedom'sWorthIt

Kerry's ability to debate far exceeds that of Bush. Problem is, he didn't have the truth on his side (and he lied a few times). Toss up. Bush gained nothing but neither did Kerry and it was a must win for Kerry.


23 posted on 09/30/2004 8:05:13 PM PDT by groanup (Our kids sleep soundly because soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines stand ready to die for us.)
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To: Fee; Freedom'sWorthIt

See my comment #5


24 posted on 09/30/2004 8:05:27 PM PDT by wagglebee (Benedict Arnold was for American independence before he was against it.)
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To: wagglebee

Limbacher is spot on with this article. Can't wait for Rush and the rest of talk radio....to rip on Lehrer tomorrow.


25 posted on 09/30/2004 8:05:43 PM PDT by 1 spark
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To: wagglebee

It sounds to me like Lehrer let Kerry write the questions for tonights debate.


26 posted on 09/30/2004 8:06:17 PM PDT by Ditter
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To: Mrs. B.S. Roberts

Ping.


27 posted on 09/30/2004 8:07:06 PM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts (Which Star Trek Capt. would you want for President? Picard or Kirk? In wartime, the choice is easy.)
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To: wagglebee
Couldn't agree more.. It appeared to me that sh$#face was prepped and knew the questions in advance. As articulate as he may be, his responses to original querys was too rapid,smooth, and focussed. We've been had yet again !!!!!
On the other hand, as much as I like W. he wasn't up to the task and missed numerous opportunities to blow the phoney sailor out of the water. A sad night for our country.
28 posted on 09/30/2004 8:07:08 PM PDT by late bloomer ( Neglegere homo pone aulaeum)
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To: wagglebee
Damn good points!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Deserving of a Bttt.

29 posted on 09/30/2004 8:07:27 PM PDT by DoctorMichael (The Fourth Estate is a Fifth Column!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
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To: The Sons of Liberty

I think this may play well for the Pres. An awful lot of folks got a wake-up call with the black and white exposure of Rather and CBS. These are people who are usually not that political but pay a little more attention at election time. Just like everyone becomes a handicapper around Kentucky Derby time. NOW they are starting to notice the MSM bias. And here comes Jim (he must be good, he's on PBS) Lehrer and dumps that bucket of slop!
I think this may help.
Just my 2¢


30 posted on 09/30/2004 8:07:29 PM PDT by Roccus
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To: Howlin

Sorry Howlin re your post #12. Even if the questions were all about Bush (and they should be. We would want them to be about Gore's record had he had been in the WH the last 4)the Prez had plenty of help and time to be prepared. He wasn't. He did better toward the end. He appeared more genuine. But until the last 10 or 15 mins during the split screens had a "how dare you question my record" look on his face. He looked hunched at the podium. He fumbled for words often. He kept repeating the talking points. He was the Al Gore of this years debate with his sighs and glaring looks.


31 posted on 09/30/2004 8:07:38 PM PDT by joesbucks
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To: Lijahsbubbe

The president crossed the stage to greet his wife and children, and shook Lehrer's hand then.


32 posted on 09/30/2004 8:08:06 PM PDT by FoxInSocks
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To: Howlin
Kerry's debating style is to toss as much sh*t against the wall as possible knowing that not all of it can be responded to. The opponent has to decide on the fly which is the most outrageous and respond to it. From most Freeper reports it seemed that Bush pulled a draw. Best we could have hoped for.
33 posted on 09/30/2004 8:08:18 PM PDT by gov_bean_ counter
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To: wagglebee

cbs found about 200 undecided voters that (didnt like the way the country was heading) and they liked Kerry.
I bet they were shocked


34 posted on 09/30/2004 8:08:40 PM PDT by Ouch
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To: Howlin

LOL, good essessment!


35 posted on 09/30/2004 8:08:40 PM PDT by F16Fighter
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To: wagglebee; The Sons of Liberty

This debate reminds me of the third quarter of a football game where one side has a slim lead. Both teams are playing good defense keeping the score down, and the offenses are primarily concerned with keeping control of the ball and preventing turnovers.


36 posted on 09/30/2004 8:08:42 PM PDT by Paleo Conservative (Hey! Hey! Ho! Ho! Dan Rather's got to go!)
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To: wagglebee

I wonder how the Kerry gang would like it if Brit Hume were the moderator for the next "debate".

Or perhaps Hannity, or Tony Snow? Hmmmm?


37 posted on 09/30/2004 8:09:01 PM PDT by JudyinCanada
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Comment #38 Removed by Moderator

To: Howlin
Bush couldn't win; all the questions were ABOUT Bush.

You're so right. I cannot stand Jim Lehrer. A creepy little sneak of a man. The fix was in tonight, but also George was not on his game, IMO.

It was a very uncomfortable night for me watching that scene, and now I guess we have to possibly concede that this is going down to the wire. The media will see to it.

I have a sick feeling. I hope I feel better in the light of day.

I wonder what Karen Hughes is thinking right now!

39 posted on 09/30/2004 8:09:29 PM PDT by beyond the sea (ab9usa4uandme)
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To: wagglebee

I totally disagree.
I sat with some folks who are truly apolitical...
not partisan at all, and they all thought POTUS
clobbered Kerry... that Kerry was sour, dour and prissy.

I think Lehher was fair.
POTUS won this one big time.


40 posted on 09/30/2004 8:10:25 PM PDT by onyx (JohnKerry deserves to be the last casualty of the Vietnam War.)
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To: wagglebee

Even so, it was not Bush's best hour. He looked tired, distracted and on the defensive. This is how the voters will remember him going into the election. In the domestic policy debate Bush had better get his act together. Polls tomorrow will show the race tightening.


41 posted on 09/30/2004 8:10:38 PM PDT by pabianice
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To: Howlin

I know the deck was stacked against President Bush, but after a bit of reflection, and letting it settle in, I realized that most of us were frustrated the same way the President was, with Senator Kerry.

This shows me that President Bush has done a WONDERFUL job of setting the terms of the debate--and all the softball questions to Kerry couldn't make up for it.

It's clear who was the slick, practiced soundbite politician, and who is the man doing the tough job of keeping America safe. Of COURSE President Bush was frustrated and annoyed with the questions, and the extravagantly pandering botoxed voice of Kerry.

I trust the tired and frustrated man with the facts who is doing the actual work, and frankly, in my demographic (middle-aged, hard-working and frustrated at times ourselves) I think President Bush did extremely well.

Additionally, President Bush ended well. Very honest and heartfelt. I don't think we want another "slick" willy as president. Kerry has a visible veneer, but we've all seen it not so smooth, and he may THINK he looks good in the mirror, but he's still a phony.

I don't know what the polls will show, but I trust my judgement that my demographic will be a bit annoyed with Kerry's broad, sweeping statements that have little to do with the facts. I suspect the polls will agree with me.


42 posted on 09/30/2004 8:11:23 PM PDT by Judith Anne (First we were digital brownshirts then we were pajamahadeen, now we're the piranha of the internet)
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To: whadizit

I agree with your assessment regarding Fox pundits. Most are Bush supportes and they believe Kerry did better. Even Fred had a hard time staying in Bush's corner


43 posted on 09/30/2004 8:12:01 PM PDT by joesbucks
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To: JudyinCanada

I would love to see Rush and Sean be the moderators! Actually, they could have Alan Colmes too, he really doesn't seem to fond of sKerry.


44 posted on 09/30/2004 8:13:14 PM PDT by wagglebee (Benedict Arnold was for American independence before he was against it.)
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To: whadizit

Bush was poor tonight. I think his strategy was not to engage Kerry, that way Kerry couldn't score any hits. But the strategy was ineffective, and made Bush look ineffective too.

He missed a great opportunity when Kerry insisted that we should have bi-lateral talks with North Korea.

Bush should have jumped on the fact that Kerry wants a broad coalition in Iraq, but wants to dismantle the coalition we have exerting pressure on North Korea.

I have to say I was dissappointed tonight.


45 posted on 09/30/2004 8:13:30 PM PDT by Wil H
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To: whadizit
Thats okay, Bush did not once contradict himself from what he has been saying all along. Kerry did and will continue to do so, and that will make this a win for Bush!!!!
46 posted on 09/30/2004 8:14:10 PM PDT by teancumspirit (Like Teancum, (the warrior of old ) I am mad at the enemy, they are evil, they must be stopped.)
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To: beyond the sea
I wonder what Karen Hughes is thinking right now!

Oh shit, we're in for a fight.

47 posted on 09/30/2004 8:14:24 PM PDT by joesbucks
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To: beyond the sea
I wonder what Karen Hughes is thinking right now!

That James Baker is vastly overrated?

Bottom line, the President's performance was lacking, but why did they agree to 3 debates, when an incumbent traditionally only does 2, and Prsident Bush has never done exceptionally well in debates? Why agree to 4 lib moderators, 3 with questionable histories? Why allow JL alone to come up with questions?

48 posted on 09/30/2004 8:14:50 PM PDT by Diddle E. Squat
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To: wagglebee

Bush was definitely on the defensive about Iraq. As a Bush supporter and a Republican, one of the reasons I've opposed the Iraq invasion is because it's stupid policy that could put the Democrats back in the White House.


49 posted on 09/30/2004 8:15:06 PM PDT by churchillbuff
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To: craig_eddy

You're getting repetitious, just like Kerry.

Did you know that he was in Vietnam?


50 posted on 09/30/2004 8:16:12 PM PDT by Palladin (Proud to be a FReeper!)
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