America witnessed the first debate of this presidential election. Well, calling it a debate is a bit of a stretch. It was really just an extended campaign speech cut into really small segments. It should have included Ralph Nader. His inclusion would have brought real issues to the forefront and forced real answers – not the prerehearsed, canned responses that both candidates spewed.
So who won? Despite the clearly liberal slant to pundits on network television, George W. Bush won the debate. Even with his trademark long pauses, mumbling and often-confused looks, his answers destroyed those of Kerry.
John Kerry attempted to dispel the flip-flop issue, but only succeeded in proving it is justified. He said that the President did not give enough equipment to our troops, but was zinged by Bush when it was pointed out that Kerry voted “against” that very funding.
Kerry was for and against a preemptive attack policy. He stated that “as long as we remain a country that will conduct a preemptive war, we’re inviting people to do the very thing that we don’t want them to do.” But a few minutes later when asked directly if he would support preemptive action, he stated “The President always has the right, and always has had the right for preemptive strike.