3rd Presidential DEBATE NOTES: second half hour

Kerry says he is a Catholic, he grew up respecting their views, but he disagrees with his Church. He does not want to impose his religious beliefs. He was an altar boy. He cites Kennedy: "I’m running as a President who happens to be Catholic." "Faith without works is dead." That's why he fights for equality and justice. (He is the caped crusader!)

The President called partial-birth abortion a "brutal practice." Alternatives to abortion.

Schieffer is doing health care insurance again. Who's responsible for the high costs? The President said it is so high because, "The user is not involved in the process." The market cannot work on it because the consumers aren't involved in the "decision-making process." Health care doesn't use information technology. "It's like the buggy and horse days." (The snide left will love that one!)

Kerry said that health care costs are so high because the Administration blocks legislation to import Canadian drugs and made it illegal for Medicare to bargain for lower prices. The President is smiling.

Kerry just said that his name is often not on the bills he introduces, so the President is wrong that he hasn't introduced them. That opens the door for him to claim having introduced just about anything. He said that two major network news organizations have called the Presidents characterization of his health care plan "fiction" or "untrue." (CBS and CNN?)

Bush: "With all due respect, I'm not sure it's credible to quote 'leading news organizations' about… oh, nevermind." But he thinks government run health care is a journey to poor quality.

Kerry said that maybe this is why the President doesn't pay the VA. The President said he has increased funding for the VA more than did his predecessor.

Schieffer wants to know where the President will get the money to fund Social Security while his private accounts are being set up. The President promised all seniors that "you will get your checks." But he called for "a different strategy" for our children and grandchildren. What's a Presidential debate without mention of them?

Kerry says that putting money in private accounts is "an invitation to disaster," since it will have people paying less money into the pool that will go to those receiving now. He "has a record of fighting for fiscal responsibility." He will not privatize Social Security, he will not cut the benefits.

They're arguing tax cuts. He's going to roll back the President tax cuts on the very wealthy, pay for his programs, and balance the budget. While he starts "creating jobs in America." He has "a plan to put America back to work."

The President said that Kerry voted to tax Social Security more than twice, and that he didn't hear a plan. And that most of the beneficiaries of his tax relief went to those taxpayers with lower incomes.

Schieffer asks about Illegal Immigration. "How do you see it, and what are you going to do about it?" He was a border governor, he reminds, and he knows the problem. He wants a "temporary worker card," so long as there is not an American willing to do the job.

Kerry is smirking.

The President said that the President supported amnesty for illegals.

Kerry's scoring points by saying that the increased cost of living has wiped out the tax cuts. Take home income is the lowest since… 1929, did he say? He said that the borders are not as protected as they were before September 11.

The President called this an "outrageous claim." Kerry doesn't understand borders, he posited. More people, more equipment, protecting the borders.

Kerry said we could fingerprint people crossing the border. They're not safer, he continues to insist.

Kerry says its "long overdue" that we raise the minimum wage. He promised to raise the minimum wage to $7.00 over two years, giving low income women $3,800 a year. The President, he insisted, is denying those women that $3,800 year.

The President repeats that education is important to jobs. "You can't solve a problem 'til you diagnose the problem." No Child Left Behind, he said, could be called the Jobs Act.



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