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02 October 2004

The Bush Kerry Debate


QUOTE OF THE DAY:
President Bush: :
"In Iraq, no doubt about it, it's tough. It's hard work. It's incredibly hard. It's - and it's hard work. I understand how hard it is. I get the casualty reports every day. I see on the TV screens how hard it is. But it's necessary work. We're making progress. It is hard work. You know my hardest, the hardest part of the job is to know that I committed the troops in harm's way and then do the best I can to provide comfort for the loves ones who lost a son or a daughter or husband and wife." - president George W. Bush. Reassured that he's on top of things in Iraq? Me neither.

President Bush:
I believe I'm going to win, because the American people know I know how to lead. I've shown the American people I know how to lead. I understand everybody in this country doesn't agree with the decisions I've made. And I made some tough decisions. But people know where I stand.

Senator Kerry:
I believe in being strong and resolute and determined. And I will hunt down and kill the terrorists, wherever they are. But we also have to be smart. And smart means not diverting your attention from the real war on terror in Afghanistan against Osama bin Laden and taking if off to Iraq.

President Bush:
We're making progress. But the front on this war is more than just one place... The biggest disaster that could happen is that we not succeed in Iraq. We will succeed. We've got a plan to do so. And the main reason we'll succeed is because the Iraqis want to be free.

Senator Kerry:
This president has made, I regret to say, a colossal error of judgement. And judgement is what we look for in the president of the United States of America.

President Bush: :
The only thing consistent about my opponent's position is that he's been inconsistent. He changes positions. And you cannot change positions in this war on terror if you expect to win.

Senator Kerry:
I've had one position, one consistent position [on Iraq]: That Saddam Hussein was a threat, there was a right way to disarm him and the wrong way, and the president chose the wrong way.

President Bush:
My opponent says help is on the way, but what kind of message does it say to our troops in harm's way - wrong war, wrong place, wrong time? Not a message a commander in chief gives, or this is a great diversion.

Senator Kerry:
When I talked about the $87bn [extra money to provide equipment for US troops], I made a mistake in how I talk about the war. But the president made a mistake in invading Iraq. Which is worse? I believe that when you know something's going wrong, you make it right. That's what I learned in Vietnam.

President Bush:
Of course we're doing everything we can to protect America. I wake up every day thinking about how best to protect America. That's my job.

Senator Kerry:
Unfortunately, [Osama Bin Laden] escaped in the mountains of Tora Bora. We had him surrounded. But we didn't use American forces, the best-trained in the world, to go kill him. The president relied on Afghan warlords, and he outsourced that job too. That's wrong.

President Bush:
But to say that there’s only one focus on the war on terror doesn’t really understand the nature of the war of terror. Of course we’re after Saddam Hussein - I mean bin Laden. He’s isolated. Seventy-five percent of his people have been brought to justice. The killer in, the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, is in prison. We’re making progress.

CORAL GABLES, Florida (CNN) -- The following is a transcript of the first section of the debate between President Bush and Sen. John Kerry held Thursday night at the University of Miami. The topic of the debate was foreign affairs and, and the moderator was Jim Lehrer of PBS.

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