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Reporters Saw Bush as Debate Winner, But Swayed by Media Line
Media Research Center ^ | October 6, 2004

Posted on 10/06/2004 11:18:49 PM PDT by kingattax

The power of the media's spin: Newsweek's Evan Thomas and NBC's David Gregory conceded on Imus in the Morning this week that they thought George W. Bush won the debate last week, but changed their mind in the face of the media line. "I was quickly informed I was wrong and that Kerry had won," Thomas quipped Monday morning. Thomas said that while "Kerry did well," he "didn't think that Bush was as terrible as everybody else did." Gregory stated that he "initially" saw Bush as the winner, but then "there was kind of a debate in the press corps, those of us who were watching in the main filing center where we were watching the pool feeds, as opposed to watching some of the other networks that had the reaction shots and the split screens."

The MRC's Jessica Anderson noticed the comments made by phone on the Imus in the Morning radio show simulcast on MSNBC.

On Monday morning, October 4, Thomas, Newsweek's Assistant Managing Editor, revealed: "I thought it was a good debate. I initially thought that it was pretty much of a tie, but I was quickly informed I was wrong and that Kerry had won. You know, maybe I'm used to Bush's peevish side, but it sort of didn't surprise me. You know, I thought Kerry did well, I thought he did himself a lot of good, but I didn't think that Bush was as terrible as everybody else did."

On Tuesday morning, October 5, Imus observed: "I thought he won the debate, by the way -- President Bush." David Gregory, NBC's White House reporter: "I did, initially." Imus, talking over Gregory: "I'm the only person on the planet apparently who did, and my wife." Gregory: "Well, you know, I must say, there was kind of a debate in the press corps, those of us who were watching in the main filing center where we were watching the pool feeds, as opposed to watching some of the other networks that had the reaction shots and the split screens. You know, I saw it as a much, as a much closer debate and then I went back and read the transcript and saw where Bush missed opportunities, which they admit now. You know, I mean, they've sort of come out of denial since last Friday and recognized, after they'd taken quite a bit of flak from Republicans here in town and elsewhere about his performance, that he missed opportunities. It's as if he wasn't listening or had too much information in his head, that he was trying to deploy certain lines at different times, that he missed certain things that Kerry said that he's, you know, now tried to pounce on in the days since."


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: firstdebate; gwb2004; mediabias; mrc; presidentbush; presidentialdebates
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Rats of a feather flock together
1 posted on 10/06/2004 11:18:49 PM PDT by kingattax
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To: kingattax

Something about lemmings comes to mind.


2 posted on 10/06/2004 11:20:05 PM PDT by Andy from Beaverton (I only vote Republican to stop the Democrats)
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To: kingattax

To be honest with you, I thought Bush got his arse whipped in that debate, and I am definitely on his side. I can't imagine which debate these guys thought they were watching if they thought he won.


3 posted on 10/06/2004 11:21:47 PM PDT by The Old Hoosier (Right makes might.)
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To: kingattax

It's sad that grown men can't have their own opinion..


4 posted on 10/06/2004 11:23:05 PM PDT by DSBull (Truth is the light of the World, shine it everywhere)
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To: DSBull

Ditto. I am so glad I do not need to take a vote and reach a consensus before I make up my mind! Sheesh


5 posted on 10/06/2004 11:24:09 PM PDT by camboianchristmas (when two or more or gathered in His name...great things happen)
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To: kingattax

So now they'll be forced to declare Bush the loser again Friday regardless if he does well or not.


6 posted on 10/06/2004 11:24:36 PM PDT by dc-zoo
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To: Andy from Beaverton

A friend of mine wrote a satirical book for children called, "The Lemming Who Wouldn't Go."

Of course, these guys can't think for themselves...they'd no longer be employed!


7 posted on 10/06/2004 11:25:24 PM PDT by andie74 (W stands for Women)
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To: kingattax

I seem to recall the MSM rather strongly denying that the fact that they allow their collective leftism to influence their "reporting".

Yet here we have a couple of MSM heavyweights admitting that their brethern's views influenced, and even overrode, their own...


8 posted on 10/06/2004 11:25:42 PM PDT by swilhelm73 (The road to heaven on earth always seems to detour to hell on earth. --Daniel J. Flynn)
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To: The Old Hoosier
They were probably watching the same debate that I was. The one where the President was asked all the hard questions, and John Kerry contradicted himself 3 times in the same sentence. President Bush did miss a lot of opportunities, but he did reasonably well for the first half of the debate. He then got frustrated in the second half and fell back on the same lines too often instead of attacking the obvious gaffes Kerry made (other than the "global test").
9 posted on 10/06/2004 11:28:24 PM PDT by Stonedog (Mr. Blather... tear down this STONEWALL!!)
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To: dc-zoo

Frankly, I couldn't give a rat's rear what the "press corp" thinks. They aren't going to sway my vote one way or the other. I guess they think we are too stupid to figure out for ourselves who won when, in fact, they can't without a little "help" from their "friends".

It's a group think mentality. Isn't that what they say about "conservatives"?


10 posted on 10/06/2004 11:29:13 PM PDT by kcvl
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To: The Old Hoosier

I wouldn't word it the way you did, but I basicly agree with some reservations. Let me explain.

To get your arse handed to you, you have to be doing your best and get whupped anyway. Nobody can tell me Bush was giving it his best. Nope. I've got a rope-a-dope theory a brewing and I'm going to post it on the forum.

We'll see how folks like or hate it.

Even on this forum only 52% of the participants said Bush won. Look and the numbers for Cheney. Cheney won by 92% according to Freepers.

Bush lost the debate. That's okay. He won't lose the next two, and I'll explain why in my short comments...

Bush's Rope a Dope Moment?

Look for it in a few minutes.


11 posted on 10/06/2004 11:32:40 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (US socialist liberalism would be dead without the help of politicians who claim to be conservatives)
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To: The Old Hoosier
When I was a deputy sheriff in New Mexico I had a number of calls where I got to observe the local noooooze man David Gregory in action. He's a spineless little twit IMO. Purest form of presstitute there is. I fully expect him to replace Rather or Brokaw some day.............He's too much of a professional nuthugger to stand on his own merit. A pure metrosexual poodle that preys on all things panache. That screams pivot "anchor" man these days !
12 posted on 10/06/2004 11:37:43 PM PDT by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet. )
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To: The Old Hoosier

No way mon. Kerry gave the RNC the "Global Test" ticking bomb which will come back over and over to haunt him.

Bush gave Kerry and the DNC....what??. Nothin, nada.

Kerry never laid a glove on Bush. How could he? If you listened closely and followed his arguments....they made no sense.

All this talk of style vs substance is intellectual parlour games, IMHO.


13 posted on 10/06/2004 11:40:46 PM PDT by Dat Mon (clever tagline under construction)
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To: kingattax

Too little - too late. Thomas Evans and David Gregory lost an opportunity to distinguish themselves from the rat pack aka the media.

John Kerry won style points on the ability to be a well-dressed pain in the a@@ (pita).

Bush won substance points.

It could be me but I prefer substance over style. Were there missed opportunities to slay the pita? I think so...but then Bush would have be characterized as "mean."


14 posted on 10/06/2004 11:41:17 PM PDT by xtinct (I was the kid next door's imaginary friend. Doing my best to piss the liberal heathen off.)
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To: Andy from Beaverton
Something about lemmings comes to mind.

Something vulgar comes to my mind. But I'd be banned...

15 posted on 10/06/2004 11:41:55 PM PDT by Howlin (What's the Font Spacing, Kenneth?)
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To: DoughtyOne
I watched the debate 3 times. The split screen shots killed GW. He MUST do something about that wide eyed pursed lipped look when he is listening. It was terrible. As to substance GW did a good job and he did it with a lot of strength. It was obvious to me that the moderator constructed the questions in a way that put GW on the defensive. In other words, the questions were actually accusations. In Kerry's case his questions were invitations to continue the attack without having to defend his own record. Life is not fair and GW must not let himself be interrogated in the next debates. He has to find a way to change the subject to Kerry.
16 posted on 10/06/2004 11:44:14 PM PDT by Texasforever (Mainstream Media Has Been Outsourced.)
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To: kcvl

I personally thought it was a tie. For many of the President's supporters, because he did not take the opportunities to blow Kerry out of his swift boat that seems to translate into a loss, for me it translates into not being a win and they are not the same thing. Look at the polls had it truly been a loss, rather than not a win, so many of those polls where President Bush was up by 3 to 5 points would have reversed, most did not.


17 posted on 10/06/2004 11:44:38 PM PDT by Ruth C (learn to analyze rationally and extrapolate consequences..they don't teach that in school now)
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To: Howlin

LOL...howlin....always on the edge..


18 posted on 10/06/2004 11:46:14 PM PDT by kingattax (FreeRepublic leads...others follow)
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To: kingattax; nicollo; Common Tator; Miss Marple; Utah Girl; Neets; lysie; Bitwhacker; Dog; ...

Gee, no wonder they like sKerry ... they're followers, too.


19 posted on 10/06/2004 11:46:41 PM PDT by kayak (Have you prayed for your President today?)
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To: kingattax

Do I sense that IMUS really has turned on sKerry? I know he told the Presidents' Father he didn't like what Kerry did when he returned from Vietnam.

As to David Gregory etal... are they Stepford reporters? Didn't God give them a brain to THINK with? Why are these people in the news business if they can't think for themselves?


20 posted on 10/06/2004 11:48:43 PM PDT by Arizona Carolyn
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To: kingattax

When you are a liberal reporter, you are TOLD what to think. NO individual thinking allowed!


21 posted on 10/06/2004 11:51:04 PM PDT by teletech (Friends don't let friends vote DemocRAT)
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To: Texasforever

I still don't understand what people are saying about how bad Bush's expressions were. I really didn't see anything that bothersome going on. I thought Kerry did indeed do pretty well on style, but I didn't think Bush was nearly as bad as some seem to think he was. On substance, Bush was the clear winner IMHO, but I definitely agree with you that he needs to get on offense this time.


22 posted on 10/06/2004 11:51:14 PM PDT by Tom_Busch (Vote Bush/Cheney in 2004)
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To: Texasforever

Tonight on Jay Leno, Laura Bush said that in the actual debate, from the front row, she didn't see it the way we saw it; must be something about TV.

She and Leno even joked about it, she saying that Bush mentioned something about it in his speech today and Leno saying "Well, when we don't have botox, we actually can move our faces!" or something close to that.


23 posted on 10/06/2004 11:51:33 PM PDT by Howlin (What's the Font Spacing, Kenneth?)
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To: Ruth C
For many of the President's supporters, because he did not take the opportunities to blow Kerry out of his swift boat that seems to translate into a loss...

Ah, the Slash and Burn group.

24 posted on 10/06/2004 11:52:27 PM PDT by Howlin (What's the Font Spacing, Kenneth?)
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To: kingattax
So Bush looked peeved. Where does it say how you have to look in order to win a debate ? Bush lost on facial gestures ? Even if Bush didn't respond to all of Kerry's gaffes (although he did respond well to the worst one about the "Global Test") where do the debating rules indicate that Kerry should win if he contradicts himself three times in the same answer, or if during the entire debate he truly took both sides on each question concerning the war in Iraq and the War on Terror. It doesn't matter if his arguments don't have internal consistency as long as Bush doesn't capitalize on it ?

From what I've observed, you have a very strong and influential spin machine starting up directly after the debates fueled by well trained Democratic operatives and the power of the MSM. In reality, a Republican would probably have to win a debate by an objective 75% versus 25% in order to have the spin machine grant him a draw. That's what happened in the Cheney-Edwards debate.
25 posted on 10/06/2004 11:53:09 PM PDT by Cycle watcher
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To: The Old Hoosier
To be honest with you, I thought Bush got his arse whipped in that debate, and I am definitely on his side. I can't imagine which debate these guys thought they were watching if they thought he won.

It really depends on your "grading criteria". Evidently you are more impressed by style than content. You should keep in mind it's more important what a candidate says then how he expresses it. You may recall the eight years of "symbolism" over "substance" during the clintoon admin. Unless I'm mistaken, Kerry also received the questions ahead of time from Jim Lehrer...something the sponsoring networks always do in prez debates to help their cvandidate score points.

26 posted on 10/06/2004 11:55:35 PM PDT by kimosabe31
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To: Tom_Busch
On substance, Bush was the clear winner IMHO, but I definitely agree with you that he needs to get on offense this time.

That is the main issue. Bush is in the position of incumbent defending every decision he has made BUT Kerry is also a known quantity and he cannot be allowed another free pass on his own record. I am not sure how it can happen in this "town-hall" environment of so-called undecided voters. From what I have seen of the undecideds so far in the media is only how many times they plan to try to vote for Kerry.

27 posted on 10/06/2004 11:55:50 PM PDT by Texasforever (Mainstream Media Has Been Outsourced.)
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To: camboianchristmas
I am so glad I do not need to take a vote and reach a consensus before I make up my mind! Sheesh

Kinda reminds me of what Kerry wants to do with our national security.

28 posted on 10/07/2004 12:04:28 AM PDT by OldGuardChampion
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To: kingattax

I think I've been wrong about journalists, I think they do know the truth when it bites them in the butt. I was under the Bernie Goldberg assumption that their liberalism was so ingrained that they didn't know they were biased, but this report makes me rethink that.

When Gregory admits that he saw missed opportunities for Bush, he's admitting Kerry lied, otherwise there wouldn't have been any opportunities for Bush to miss. These reporters know softball questions when they hear them, they throw them out themselves everyday to democrats. And what they saw last thursday was softballs to Kerry and "what did you do wrong?" questions to Bush. Bush won just by the fact that he didn't go over and slap the crap out of the moderater.

So, I think journalists know the truth, but they're so convinced that liberalism is the right way that they ignore it in order to push their own agenda.

That's my theory and I'm sticking to it. :)


29 posted on 10/07/2004 12:06:08 AM PDT by DancingMyRainbow
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To: Texasforever

Yes the split screen did kill him. I'm not so sure he was looking to bag Kerry in the first debate though. I've posted some thoughts on that under Bush/Kerry Debate One, Rope a Dope?

Check it out.

Look, Bush may not have been a clear loser. He did come off flat and even on FR he only drew 52% of our participants saying he wone. Cheney pulled in a 92%.

I do think Bush will mop the floor with Kerry in Debate 2.

Your points about the questions are something I need to review. I was tired on the debate night and I didn't pick up on what you noticed. I have heard others address it. You may be right on target.


30 posted on 10/07/2004 1:26:17 AM PDT by DoughtyOne (US socialist liberalism would be dead without the help of politicians who claim to be conservatives)
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To: DoughtyOne

I think the split screen wasn't that bad. For goodness sakes, is this a screen test,,well I guess it is. But I thought Bush won as I was looking at content rather than style. Kerry struck me as using the same technique Edwards did, that of lobbing fifteen criticisms each time he got camera time. It is hard to respond to that and Cheney noted it, twice Cheney said there wasn't enough time to respond or there was too much to respond to. This is throwing everything but the kitchen sink at the opponent then criticizing the opponent for not responding. I dislike that in a debate but others may be wowed by it thus the criticixm of Bush for not answering every charge, for having missed opportunities to zing Kerry. Kerry was just slinging so much crap per minute of debate, it was impossible to answer even a small amount of it.


31 posted on 10/07/2004 4:48:42 AM PDT by cajungirl (Jammies Up!!)
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To: kayak; kingattax
Amazing! Not that they DID it, but that they ADMIT it!

btw, when I watched the debate (that is, when I was actually in the room and not upstairs screaming.....), I thought that the President was too mild under the attack even though he responded to many of the bombs being thrown at him, but I KNEW that the media would claim a Kerry victory because he was slicker and quicker, and said absolutely nothing at all of substance.

They not only like him because he's a follower, but they like him because they're ALL about an inch deep.......

32 posted on 10/07/2004 5:29:55 AM PDT by ohioWfan (BUSH 2004 -Leadership, Integrity, Morality)
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To: Stonedog

I think you're exactly right!!! I Tivoed the debate and watched it again yesterday. My initial reaction on debate night was that Bush didn't do well, but I was very surprised when I re-watched it at how strong he was in the first half of the debate. I guess everyone remembered what they last saw, which was the end of the debate where the Pres repeated things and looked frustrated. My husband, on the other hand, thought Bush was the winner all along.


33 posted on 10/07/2004 5:38:21 AM PDT by Niks
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To: Dat Mon
No way mon. Kerry gave the RNC the "Global Test" ticking bomb which will come back over and over to haunt him. Bush gave Kerry and the DNC....what??. Nothin, nada.

I'll take one "global test" for 1,000 shots of Bush cringing and a thousand other "missed opportunities." Kerry, the MSM, and the collected poodles have had nothing to use except a claim to a "win" and some screen shots that won't change any minds, and that reflect just as much on the object of those expressions as the man who made them.

The Little Senator tried his best to trip up the President. Look for more of the same, plus a little, but not much, more aggression from the President.

34 posted on 10/07/2004 6:26:18 AM PDT by nicollo
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To: nicollo

Guess you missed the President's speech yesterday.


35 posted on 10/07/2004 7:01:45 AM PDT by ohioWfan (BUSH 2004 -Leadership, Integrity, Morality)
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To: kimosabe31

Look, Kerry was dead wrong about everything, but you know you're in trouble when he starts talking about trusting the North Koreans and is able to make it sound good to the unlearned. You know you're in even more trouble when your guy cant even refute such a stupid position.


36 posted on 10/07/2004 8:33:23 AM PDT by The Old Hoosier (Right makes might.)
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To: Dat Mon

You're right--Bush didn't say anything phenomenally stupid like Kerry did. Yet he looked and sounded so dumb...

In any case, he appears to have survived. In my own personal reckoning, I'm taking Florida off the board today, as we have perhaps the fifth poll out of sixth showing him up by three or more.

As far as I'm concerned, anyone who is still voting for Bush after last week's performance will be voting for him no matter how badly he does or how stupid he looks in the future.


37 posted on 10/07/2004 8:36:23 AM PDT by The Old Hoosier (Right makes might.)
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To: DoughtyOne

"Rope A Dope?"

I think we are looking at pure genius at work. I think that the plan was for President Bush to appear flat and tired at the last debate. They knew the media and Dems would freak out with excitement with his poor performance. The bar has now been lowered for President Bush for the upcoming debates. He will come out swinging and will WOW everyone. The focus will NOW be on Kerry's record. He will also use his poor prior debate performance in a humorous, self depracating way which the public always loves. Kerry will be seen as negative, dour and stiff and President Bush will be seen as strong, optimistic and human. The polls will put President Bush way ahead and he will win by a landslide. IMHO


38 posted on 10/07/2004 8:55:10 AM PDT by toomanygrasshoppers ("Hold on to your hats.....it's going to be a bumpy night")
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To: kingattax

Well hell, this is what I thought all along. Even here on FR, folks were disappointed in Bush, but the idea that he "lost" took some time to grow and spead. I think that, contrary to the media mantra, he held his own, drew blood with some jabs, and elicited sympathy with his occasional pissed-off expressions.


39 posted on 10/07/2004 8:57:23 AM PDT by Puddleglum (If O'Neill worked for Nixon, who was Kerry working for? Ho Chi Min?)
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To: The Old Hoosier

I thought and still think that Bush won. I guess I don't change my mind based on the most recent polls. Tho Bush did miss opportunities to counteract--but you wonder if everyone seemed to know what opportunities Bush could have given Kerry some zingers then I wonder how many people actually knew the obvious.


40 posted on 10/07/2004 12:39:23 PM PDT by olliemb
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To: The Old Hoosier

I thought the President was whipped by style but not by substance. He abounded in that. I find it surprising that Gregory had the eyes to see it. Evan Thomas doesn't surprise me because he's more open-minded.


41 posted on 10/07/2004 12:43:48 PM PDT by twigs
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To: kingattax

We are voting on our Cammander-in-chief........not the best debater........heck, even I can out talk that "kept man" Kerry!


42 posted on 10/07/2004 12:53:06 PM PDT by Doctor Don
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To: kayak

Lemmings off a cliff. Talk about peer pressure, they're like a group of teenagers, someone might say something that is out of line, and wow, like, no more dinner invitations to Sally Quinn's house. Argh.


43 posted on 10/07/2004 9:31:55 PM PDT by Utah Girl
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To: kingattax
If substance meant anything then W won going away. Yaaawn flapped his lips and said nothing. When W gives a decent presentation and good command of the subject than the Mediots will look like fools. They will flex their weakened muscles again though.

Pray for W and Our Troops

44 posted on 10/07/2004 9:34:49 PM PDT by bray (Hey Dingbat, how do you say Tax-Evasion in Portugese???)
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To: kingattax

Bush won hands down on substance. Unfortunetly, the mindless masses cannot think for themselves and a great number actually believe the BS spewed by the DNC shills, aka journalists.


45 posted on 10/07/2004 9:38:38 PM PDT by dougherty (I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free. - Michelangelo)
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To: dougherty

unfortunetly = unfortunately


46 posted on 10/07/2004 9:40:31 PM PDT by dougherty (I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free. - Michelangelo)
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To: kingattax

Not just RATS. Good Republicans gave in to worry and handwringing and did real damage by their wailing and gnashing needlessly.

The focus should have been, and hopefully from this point forward will be, to support our man completely and focus on the content of what was said.

Bush did indeed win.


47 posted on 10/07/2004 9:42:33 PM PDT by cyncooper (Have I mentioned lately that I despise the media?)
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To: cyncooper

the RATS are always in lock step..... they are NEVER

inconvenienced by the truth.


48 posted on 10/07/2004 9:58:09 PM PDT by kingattax (FreeRepublic leads...others follow)
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To: nutmeg

bttt


49 posted on 10/07/2004 9:59:07 PM PDT by nutmeg ("The DemocRATic party...has been hijacked by a confederacy of gangsters..." - Pat Caddell, 11/27/00)
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To: kingattax

Who won the debate? Well, any of you see any DNC ads exploiting something Dubya said? On the other hand, do the words Global Test mean anything to you?


50 posted on 10/07/2004 10:07:25 PM PDT by McGavin999 (If Kerry can't deal with the "Republican Attack Machine" how is he going to deal with Al Qaeda)
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