VEEP DEBATE NOTES: third half hour

  • Edwards just congratulated the vice president for loving his daughter. But Edwards opposes gay marriage but believes that there should be "benefits," hospital visitation, arranging funerals, etc. Edwards calls the Constitutional Amendment to ban gay marriage "totally unnecessary." It’s a "political ploy."

  • For rebuttal, Cheney thanked Edwards for his "kind words about my family and my daughter. It means a lot."

  • Cheney's talking about the "devastating impact" of skyrocketing insurance rates. Cap jury settlements and the amount the trial lawyers take. But Edwards is proud of the work he did for kids, orphans, the starving, bedridden, downtrodden, etc. And his plans to "keep the cases out of the system that don't belong in the system." And he's talking about the defective drain cover and the girl whose innards were sucked out.

  • Edwards says that what Cheney's talking about "doesn't have a whole lot to do" with insurance costs. And he said that what Bush and Cheney propose by reform would take care of one half of one percent of health care costs. And he talked about Kerry's health care plan which stands up to the bad guys.

  • Cheney mentioned a tax loophole, enacted in '97 and supported by Kerry, which saved him from paying taxes on $600,000 into Medicare.

    You know, this has been an actual debate.

  • Edwards came prepared to talk about AIDS in Africa and the genocide in the Sudan, admitted that he wouldn't have a chance to talk about it, then proceeded to talk about it. He tired it in with the health care problems in America. Smooth. Cheney's scribbling notes.

  • Ifill: Edwards had the least government experience of anyone nominated to be Vice President. What qualifies him? His answer? That he will tell the truth. "Killing counter-terrorists before they can kill us." "I don't claim to have the long political record that the Vice President has." He would stop the spread of nuclear weapons, stop terrorists, and spent lots and lots on the military.

  • Cheney: Smiled that he had to list his qualifications to be vice president. George Bush signed him for no other reason than to be part of a team. He has not other ambitions beyond where he is now. He is not concerned with little, political things.

  • Edwards said that the most important thing he's learned "is what I've learned about John Kerry." Vietnam, prosecutor, strength, resolve, backbone.

  • Cheney believes "George W. Bush would be a better Commander in Chief, he's already done it."

  • Cheney, why he's different than Edwards. Their personal stories are similar, though Cheney doesn't talk about it. He made a choice early-on for public services and have been doing it "except for those brief periods when we lost elections." Waiting for when we're attacked? "We've already been attacked."

  • Edwards on Cheney. We have been attacked, "but we were not attacked by Saddam Hussein." He mentioned John Kerry's name. AGAINST THE RULES. He mentioned Kerry's name again. VIOLATION #2. He's talking about screening cargo, Kerry's big item in his last anti-terror speech.

  • Gwen Ifill asked Edwards: "What's wrong with a little flip-flop now and again?" Edwards said that Kerry has been consistent, and Paul Bremer agrees with him. "They should know something about flip-flops." Against 9-11 Commission, for it. Against Department of Homeland Security, against it. He's venturing brazenly into the land of non sequitur.

  • Cheney: "Well, Gwen, I can think of a lot of words to describe Senator Kerry's position on Iraq. Consistent is not one of them." A brief outline of Kerry's many or several positions.

  • Edwards is talking about schools failing and African Americans dropping out.

  • Cheney: "No Child Left Behind? They were for it, now they're against it."

    Ifill accidentally gave Edwards an extra chance to rebut, and Edwards gracefully stopped and offered to give it to Cheney.

  • Cheney talked about the deteriorating relations between the two parties, how he used to talk to Tom Foley and Jack Murtha. He suggested that it might be the change in power in the House. He hopes for better in the second time.

  • Edwards accused the President of dividing the country and began ranting about health care. Expensive promises.

  • Cheney: Medicare reform.

  • Edwards again harps on importing Canadian drugs and the Administration siding with business over "the American people."


  • Edwards talks about his father learning math from the television so that he could get a better job. "I have grown up in the bright light of America, but that light is flickering." He accused the President and Cheney of not seeing it and offering "four more years of the same."

  • Cheney talked of the Administration's accomplishments. They "won't be happy until every American who wants to work can get a job." The gravity of the Presidency, especially now. The Presidential leadership needed to deal with that threat. The power of the United States to aggressively go after terrorists. Democratically elected governments. "This is the task of our generation, and I know the strength the President brings to it."



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