Here are the talking points about the debate that are making the rounds, we should take a look at these and at the debate itself.
Here they are:
The Bush campaign is confident and cocky. They are saying that they can end this campaign tonight. Their “Mission Accomplished” swagger is on full display. But the American people will have something to say about that. If Bush is bragging about ending the campaign after tonight’s debate, he’ll be in trouble when Senator Kerry wakes up fighting tomorrow.
FOREIGN POLICY DEBATE – HOME TURF FOR BUSH
George Bush pushed hard for an opening debate on foreign policy. He believes it is his strong suit. His campaign believes it gives them a tactical advantage headed into the home stretch.
George Bush may be a failed President, but he is a skilled debater. In fact, he’s never lost a debate in his political career.
John Kerry understands that these will be the toughest debates of his life.
A CLEAR CHOICE AND A FRESH START
John Kerry looks forward to the challenge of meeting the President head-on to discuss his plans for a new course in Iraq, for winning the war terror, and making America stronger at home and more respected in the world.
The American people will be presented with a real choice in this debate. President Bush will defend his go-it-alone, arrogant foreign policy. John Kerry will offer hope for a fresh start in Iraq so we can finish the job.
George Bush’s catastrophic choices in Iraq will be the central focus of this debate. Without the filter of his campaign attack machine, George Bush will finally be forced to face hard truths and grim reality.
Has the rush to war made America stronger or weaker; safer or less secure? Will he admit that we rushed to a $200 billion war with no plan to win the peace? Will he offer a plan to change our disastrous course? This first debate will be the moment when George Bush will have to stand up, face facts, and level with the troops and the American people about the chaos in Iraq.
George Bush can’t solve the problems in Iraq because he doesn’t see any problems in Iraq. He clings to a fantasy view of progress and stability, while even leaders in his own party recognize his stubborn incompetence.
Despite George Bush’s ever-shifting rationales for his rush to war, he accuses John Kerry of inconsistency on Iraq. George Bush has been consistent on Iraq – consistently wrong – and America has paid a terrible price.
KERRY – REAL HOPE, AND A REAL PLAN
John Kerry has a plan to get us back on track in Iraq – securing international support, training Iraqi security forces, implementing a coherent reconstruction plan that brings real benefits to the Iraqi people, and taking the essential steps to hold elections next year.
John Kerry offers the only real hope of uniting our country and rebuilding our alliances. He has the strength, conviction and command of the facts necessary to lead us in the war on terror, and to make the right decisions in Iraq.
BUSH’S CHALLENGE – SUBSTANCE, NOT STYLE
George Bush always wins debates on style. But this debate is one of substance – Bush’s own failed record.
The American people want to know that George Bush actually understands the reality in Iraq. In 2000, war andprosperity were not issues in the debates. All that has changed. Now, it’s not enough for George Bush to win on style or slide by without a gaffe.
George Bush must explain in detail his catastrophic decision to rush to war. He must finally tell the truth to the American people and admit his failures and offer a plan to end this quagmire. There is a great and honest debate to be had on the course ahead – and this is the place to have it.