tv 2000 Presidential Candidates Third Debate CSPAN August 7, 2016 6:27pm-8:01pm EDT
at washington university in st. louis. this was the third and final residential debate in the 2000 campaign. the candidate is taking questions from undecided voters on domestic issues and foreign policy. governor bush defeated vice president gore in the general election and one of the most highly contested races. the outcome was not decided until five weeks after voters went to the board and the supreme court stop the florida recount. it awarded the presidency to governor bush. this is just over 90 minutes. washington university in st. louis, i'm jim lehrer of the news hour on cbs. i welcome you to the third and final campaign 2000 debate between the democratic candidate vice president al gore and republican candidate governor george w. bush of texas. let's welcome the candidates now. he [applause]
a reminder as we continue now that these debates sponsored by the commission on presidential debates. the formats and role worked up by the commissions and campaign. tonight's questions will be asked by st. louis area voters who identified as being uncommitted by the gallup organization. earlier today, each of them read the question on a small card like this. the cards are collected and give it to me. my job under the rules of the evening was to decide the order of the question and to call on the questioners accordingly. i also have the option of asking follow-ups.
in order to get the more the panel's questions, for the record, i plan to do sparingly and mostly as a clarification. the audience participants are bound by the following rules, they shall not ask all of questions or otherwise participate in the extended discussion. it would questioners microphone will be turned off after he or finishes asking the question. as in winston-salem last week, no single answer a response from the candidate will exceed two minutes. it's an audience here and there promised to remain absolutely quiet after their predecessors , dental andoston winston-salem. before we begin, a correction from last week's debate, i was wrong and i said vice president gore's campaign commercial said -- calls governor bush a bumbler. that was made in a press statement. tv advertisement.
let's go to the first question. , wever the 130 questions will begin with one of the 19 on health issues and it goes to you mr. vice president and it will be asked by james hankins. how do you feel about hmos and insurance companies making the critical decisions that affect people's lives and seven medical professionals and wire the hmos and insurance coverage not held accountable for the decisions? vice pres. gore: i don't feel good about it. i think we ought to have a patient bill of rights to take a medical decisions away from the hmos. i want to come back and tell you why. if you will forgive me, i would now to say something right at the beginning of this debate following on the moment of , tipper and i were good
friends with mel and randy and i know that all of us here what extent are sympathy and condolences to the family. say that thiso debate and a way is a living becauseto mel carnahan he loved the biggest discussion of ideas in our democracy. he was a fantastic governor of missouri. the state became one of the top five in the nation for health care coverage for children under his leadership. one of the best in advancing all kinds of benefits for children to grow up healthy and strong. this debate also takes place at a time when the tragedy of the uss cole is on our minds and hearts. the memorial services tomorrow
and i would like to extend a sympathy to the families of those who have died and those who are still missing. hankins, i think that the situation that you described has gotten completely out of hand. doctors are giving prescriptions, recommending treatments and their recommendations are being overruled. that is unexceptional. i support a strong national patient bill of rights. it is actually disagreement between us, the national law that is pending on this, a bipartisan bill. when i support and the governor does not. gov. bush: i want to extend my prayers and blessings to the families whose lives were overturned yesterday. a tragic moment.
support atrue, i do national patient bill of rights. fact, i brought republicans and democrats together to do just that in the state of texas. it requires a different kind of leadership style to do it. in order to get something done on behalf of the people, he have to put partisanship aside. that is what we did at my state. we are one of the most advanced patient bill of rights. and woman does not have to go through a gatekeeper to go to a gynecologist. gag as that you can't doctor. allows patients to choose a doctor. their own doctor if they want to. we did something a thousand interesting, we are one of the first date that say you consider -- can sue an hmo for the 90
proper coverage. there's an independent review organization you to get there first. if you have a complaint with your insurance company, you can take your complaint to an objective body. the objective body rolls on your behalf, insurance companies follow the rules. however, the insurance company does not follow the findings of causeo, that becomes a of action in the courts of law. it is time for our nation'to come together and do what is right for the people and i think this is right for the people. i support a national patient bill of rights. i want all people covered. i don't want the law to supersede good law like we have in texas. >> time is up. vice pres. gore: we have a direct disagreement. >> i will decide whether we go
on. two minutes, two minutes each. automation we understand that before we go on to another question, would you agree that the --agree on a national patient bill of rights? vice pres. gore: i refer to the dingell norwood bill. it is the bipartisan bill that is pending in congress. the hmos and insurance companies support the other bill that is pending. the one that the republican majority has put forward. they like it because it does not accomplish what i think needs to theccomplished, give decisions back of the doctors and nurses and give you a right of appeal to so many other than the hmo or insurance company. to let you see a specialist if you need to. our partisan support. it is being blocked by the republican leadership in congress. i would like to know whether governor bush will support the
dingell norwood bill which is the main one. >> you may answer that if you would like and you see the difference? gov. bush: the difference is that i can get it done. i can get something positive that on behalf of the people. that is what the camp -- campaign is about. my philosophy or position on issues, but can you get things done? vice pres. gore: what about the dingell norwood bill? gov. bush: i talked about the principles and issues that i think are important. of watching to focus, the sponsor, if i'm the president we will have emergency people be gag orders, up to take her hmo comparing --
interest of these to court. that's what i done texas and that is the style i will bring to washington. >> on health issues. next question. goes to governor bush. are either be concerned -- either of you concerned with finding some feasible way to load the present pharmaceutical jugs -- drugs? and said it finding more money to pay for them? gov. bush: i think one of the problems we have it there is no prescription drug coverage in medicare and therefore they have to purchase drugs into so on their own. there is no collective bargaining, no power of purchasing amongst seniors.
, especially for seniors, those who rely upon drugs a lot, reform the medicare system. have prescription drugs as an integral part of medicare once and for all. is problem we have today , like the patient's bill of rights, people of health care, there's a lot of bickering in washington dc. kind of like a political issue as opposed to a people issue. what i want to do is call upon republicans and democrats to forget all the arguing and finger-pointing and come together and take care of our seniors in their drug program. we will help all seniors with prescription drugs in the meantime, i think it's important to have immediate helping hand which is direct money to states so that seniors don't have to
choose between food and medicine. that is part of the overall overhaul. the purchasing power is important. i'm against price controls. i think press controls would continueability to present research and develop in. drug therapies are replacing a lot of medicines. him one of the most important things is to convey the research and drug development component. allowing the new bill passed in the congress to allow for drugs sold overseas to come back and other countries to come back to the united states. that makes sense. the best thing to do is reform medicare. >> vice president gore. gov. bush: here we go again -- vice pres. gore: here we go again. if you want someone who was then a lot of words describing the whole convoluted process and then end up supporting
legislation supported by the big drug companies, this is your man. if you want someone who will fight for you and who will fight for the middle-class families and working men and women who are sick and tired of having their parents and grandparents pay higher prices for prescription drugs than anybody else that i want to fight these people. you ask a great question because it is not only seniors. years i have never been afraid to take on the big drug companies. they do some great things. occurs --ver brain great new cures and we want them tonue that. they are now spending more money on advertising and promotion than they are on research and development. they are trying to artificially extend the monopoly patents so they can keep charging you high prices. i was to streamline the approval of the competing generic drugs
in the new kind of treatment that can compete with them so we bring the price down for everyone. let me tell you how my works,ption drug plan the governor talked about medicare. i propose a real prescription drug benefit under medicare for all seniors. here's how it works, you pick your own doctors and nobody can that -- take that away from you. the doctor chooses the prescription you need and no one can overrule your doctor. if you are poor, they pray all it.t -- pay all of if you have high cost, they pay over $4000 out of pocket. i will bring your competition to bring the price down. question fromlth vicki french it is for you, vice president gore.
we spent most of dollars every year on taxes, would you be open for a national health care plan for everybody and if not, why, and if so, is it something you would try to implement? vice pres. gore: i think that we should move step-by-step towards universal health coverage. i'm not in favor of governor during it -- government doing it all. we spent 55 years now on the development of a hybrid system partly private, partly public. 85% of our people have health insurance. 50% to not. that as of the 44 million people. that is a national outrage. we have got to get health coverage for those who do not have it. it would have to prove the quality for those who do with the patient's bill of rights that israel and works. we have got to fill in the gaps in coverage by finally bringing parity to the treatment of mental illness because that has
been left out. we have to do with long term care. here are the steps i would take. makel take a commitment -- a commitment to bring health care coverage of high quality that is affordable to every single child in america within four years. then we will fill other gaps by covering the parents of those poor.en in the family of i would to give a tax credit for the purchase of individual health credit plans. i want to give small business employers a tax credit. 25% to encourage the providing of health insurance for the employees and small businesses. i want to give seniors who are -- the near elderly, i do like that term. -- not like that term. they should be able to buy into medicare that have lower premiums.
we have a big difference on this. you need to know the record here. under governor bush, texas has sunk to the 50th out of 50 in health care -- health insurance for their citizens. last week you said they were billion, $4.7 billion on this. i'm opposed to a national health care plan. i don't want the federal government making decisions for consumers or providers. i remember what the administration try to do in 1993. they try to have a national health care plan and fortunately, it failed. i trust people, not the federal government. that will be one of the things you here tonight. i don't want the federal government making decisions on behalf of everybody. there is an issue with the uninsured. there sure is.
we have uninsured in my state. a big state. we share a common border with another nation. we are providing health care for our people. , thating about insurance is a washington term, are people getting health care. that need to be a safety net in america. denise to be more communities and health clinics where the poor can get health care. we need a program for the uninsured. the number of uninsured has not gone up in the past seven years. we the $2000 credit rebate for people who don't have insurance to the can get into the marketplace. , when to allow small businesses to ride across traditional lines so small business can afford health care. small restaurants can afford health care. health care is to be a formal
and available. we have to trust people to make decisions with their lives. senior, you can stay medicare if you like it. that is fine. but we will give you other choices to choose if you want to do so. just like they do with federal employees. to do work in washington dc for the us congress organized state senate, get a variety of choices to make. ought to doe all -- for all people. education. questionss amended 18 on education and the first one that will be asked for your governor. governor, right there. aboute heard a lot education and the need to hold teachers and schools accountable.
i agree with that. as an individual with an educational background and also a parent, i have seen a lot of instances where the parents are unresponsive to the teachers or flat out in the child's education. how do you intend to not only hold the teachers and schools accountable but also hold parents accountable? it is hard to make people love one another. i was under the law, because i would sign it. i wish i did the law where we would all be parents. we must remind people that if we are going to have a responsive time in america, each of us must of our children with all our heart and soul. i haven't believe strongly cut ability encourages parental involvement. measure and you post results on the internet or the town newspapers, measure and
most fans get more involved. i recognize there are some who don't seem to care. there are a lot of parents who feel like everything is going well in the school and all of a sudden they wake up and realize that wait a minute, standards are not being met. that's why i'm so strong for accountability. i believe we ought to measure a , 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 great. we have started accountability. you can't cure unless you know. you can't solve a problem unless you diagnose it. i strongly believe that one of the best things to encourage parental involvement also is to know that the classrooms will be safe and secure. that is why support a teacher liability act of the federal level that says if a teacher or principal upholds reasonable standards of classroom discipline, they can be sued. they can't be seen.
i think parents will be more involved with education when they know the classroom is safe and secure as well. i also believe that we need to say to people that if you cannot meet standards, there has to be a consequence. instead of just the soft bigotry of low expectations. a consequence. we can't continue to shuffle children through school. allow parents of different choices. hugepres. gore: we have a rivers between us. i would like to start by tiny what my vision is. i see a day in the united states america were all of our public schools are considered excellent. world-class. where there are no failing schools. where the classrooms are enough in size, number of students, so the teacher can spend enough one-on-one time with each student. that means recruiting new teachers for the public schools.
it means hiring bonuses to get 100,000 teachers in the public schools within the next four years. schools helping local that sometimes find parents of school-age children abutted on bond issues to give them help with interest the -- free bonding. need to give teachers the training and professional development they need. including paid time off to visit the classroom of a master teacher to pick up new skills. our to give every middle-class family a $10,000 a year tactic action -- tax reduction for college tuition so that middle-class families will always be able to send their kids off to college. i want to work for universal preschool because we know from all the studies that the youngsters learn more the first two years of life anywhere else. i said there was a contrast.
governor bush is for vouchers. in his plan he proposes to bring more money out of the public schools than all the money that he proposes in its entire budget for public schools themselves. only one in 20 students would be eligible for the vouchers and they would not pay the full tuition at private school. i think that is a mistake. i don't think we should give up on the private schools and leave kids trapped, i think we should make it a number one priority to make our schools the best in the world, all of them. anytime we end with one of these attacks, it is appropriate to respond. here's what i think, vouchers are up to states. program,to do about a do it. i believe in local control of schools. the governor of a state and i don't like when the federal government tells us what to do. i believe in local control of schools. i said to the extent we send federal money on disadvantaged
children, we want the school to show us whether or not the children are learning. what is unreasonable about that? we expected to be standards met. if we find success we will present. when we find children trapped in schools that will not change and will not teach instead of saying this is ok in america, just to shuffle poor kids through school, there has to be a consequence. the consequence is that federal portion of money will go to the parent so the parent can go to a tutoring program or another public school or another private school. there has to be a consequence. if the society that says status quo is fine, we've been through. guess who suffers? gov. bush vice pres. gore: the program he is proposing is not described. state would be required to pay erstors to students -- vouch
to students to match the vouchers of a federal program. the way would happen is under his plan, if a school was designated as failing, the kids would be trapped there for another three years and then some of them would get federal vouchers in the state would be forced to match that money. under my plan, if a school is failing, we work with the state to give them the authority and resources they need to close down that fail -- school and reopen right away with a new visible and factory -- faculty in a turnaround team that know they're doing. it is placed on the -- based on the plan of the governor from hotel and it works great. if i thought there was no alternative, then i might feel differently. but i have an obligation to fight to make sure there are no failing schools. we have to turn around, most schools are excellent. we have to make sure all of them are.
>> as a related question. new york are. this is for vice president gore. in the school district where i work ann callis others across the nation, we face coupling school buildings, increased school violence, student apathy, overcrowding, lack of funding, lawsuits, the list goes on. i could mention low teacher pay but i want. -- won't. what can you tell me about our plan for the immediate future? what grade you: teach? >> high school.
vice pres. gore: i mentioned before that the local communities are having a harder .ime passing bond issues if you have been involved in a campaign like that, you know that the parents with kids in schools, and was a turnout and boat vote, it is ironic that there are now a small percentage of the voters made up of parents of children than ever in american history. because of the aging of our population. at the same time we have the largest generation of students in public schools ever. with a 90% of american children that the public schools. it is the largest number ever this year and it will break the number next year. we have to do something about this. it is not enough to leave it up to the local school district. they are not able to do it. our future depends upon it. we are in an information age. our economic future depends on whether or not our children are going to get the kind of education that lets them gone to college.
i would to make it possible for all middle-class families to send their kids to college and more telegram for those in the lower income group. i want to make sure we have job training on top of that. and lifelong learning. it all starts with the public school teachers. $10,000 for those teachers who get certified to teach in areas where their most needed. accountability, we basically agree on accountability. my plan requires testing of all students. it also requires something that governor bush's plan does not, testing of all new teachers. including the subject they teach. we have to start treating teachers like the professionals that they are and give them the respect and the kind of quality of life that will go more people into teaching. gov. bush: when you tell up on
federal spending he wants to, it is the largest increase in federal spending in years. there will not be enough money. i've been a governor of a big state. i've made education my number one priority. that's what governors ought to be. do. this is the most important thing we do in the state. the federal government puts about 6% of the money up. 60% of the strength we had to fill out paperwork. what i want to do is send selected building authority to the local folks and they can choose what to do with the money. one size does not fit all. i would worry about federal action with education if i were you. that the strongly federal government can help fund head start. .e need to have accountability
the vice president plan does not have annual accountability. we need to demand results. a patientstrongly in protection act. i hear from teachers all time about the lawsuits and threats, respect in the classroom. part of it is because you can't control the classroom. you can have a consequence for somebody. without. getting sued. will ask congress to pass a teacher protection act. i believe in the possibility international reading initiative for local districts to access diagnostic testing, curriculum that works. possibility for teacher training and teacher hiring. the federal government can be a part but don't fall prey to all the stuff that money here and money there because education is funded at the local level.
if the governor right when he says that your proposal is the largest federal spending years? vice pres. gore: absolutely not. i'm glad to have the chance to knock that down. the problem is that under bush's trillion tax cuts mostly to the wealthy under his own budget numbers, he proposes spending more money for a tax cut just for the wealthiest 1% than all the new money he budgets for education, health care and national defense combined. under my plan, we will balance the budget every year. .'m not just saying this i've held to balance the budget for the first time in 30 years. pay down the debt. and under my plan, and four years as a percentage of our growth domestic products, federal spending will be the smallest of has been in 50 years. one reason, the third-biggest spending item in our budget is
interest on the national debt. we did nothing for it. we keep the good faith and credit of the united states. i will pay down the debt every year until it is a limited. -- eliminated. that gets rid of the third-biggest intrusion and the federal government in our economy. because the governor has all this money for tax cuts mostly to the wealthy, there is no money left over so schools get testing and lawsuit reform in not much else. gov. bush: he's wrong. [laughter] add up all the numbers. in a three times bigger than what president clinton proposed. >> three times bigger than what president clinton proposed? vice pres. gore: that was an advertisement mark -- knockdown. gov. bush: my turn? >> yes, sir.
gov. bush: forget the journalist. he proposed more than walter mondale and michael dukakis combined. he should be proud of it. part of his record. let me talk about tax relief. if you pay taxes, you ought to get tax relief. get tax right people to really, i don't think that is the role of the president. i think if you have tactfully, everybody ought to get it. therefore wealthy people look at it. but the top 1% will end up playing one third of the taxes in america and they get 1/5 of the benefits. that is because we structure the plan so that 6 million additional american families pay no taxes. if you're a family of four making $50,000 in missouri you get a 50% cut. what i've done is set priority and this extra money and i believe the people who pay the
bills ought to get the money back. he want to grow the government and i trust you with your own money. >> what you say specifically to what the vice president said, that your tax cut benefits the top 1% of the wealthiest and i can -- americans? gov. bush: of course it does, if you pay taxes you will get a benefit. plan, the wealthy people pay 62% effective. afterwards they paid 64. this is a fair plan. because the tax code is unfair for people at the bottom end of the economic ladder pretty dressing him other $22,000 a year you are trying to raise children, you earn a higher rate
than someone making hundred thousand dollars. vice pres. gore: this isn't about governor bush and me, it is about you. i would to come back to something i said before, if you want somebody who believes that we were better off eight years ago then we are now and that we ought to go back to the policy that we had back then, emphasizing tax cuts for the wealthy, here is your man. if you want somebody who will fight for you and will fight to have middle-class tax cuts, and i'm your man. i doubt anybody here makes more than $330,000 a year, if you do, you are in the top 1%. if everyone here in this audience was dead on in the middle of the middle class and the tax cuts for every single
one of you all added up would be less than the tax cut his plan member of to just one that top wealthiest 1%. you judge for yourself whether or not that is fair. gov. bush: 59 people do not get tax rates under his plan. we have had enough fighting. it is time to unite. an eight-year span knock on anything done on medicare and social security. vice pres. gore: i cast the tie-breaking vote to add 26 years to the life of medicare. it was due to go bankrupt in 1999. that is the 50 million figure. journalists,et the but they are the keepers of the scorecard and whether or not you
are using facts that are right in that fact is just not right. we're going to move on. 12 questions on foreign and military matters. the first one is directed to governor bush. david norwood will ask it. make -- what you would make you the best candidate in office or the middle east crisis? gov. bush: i've been a leader. a person has to set a clear vision and convince people to follow. i have a strategy for the middle east. our nation now is to speak with one voice. i have all the president for working hard to defuse tensions.
our nation is to be credible and strong and when we say we are someone's friend, everybody has to believe it. israel is our friend and we will stand by israel. to reach out to modern arab nations as well and bill coalition to build the peace. the next leader need to be patient and can't but the middle east peace process on our timetable. that's to be on the timetable of the people that were try to bring to the peace table. you can't dictate the terms of peace. yet to be steady. -- you have to be steady. you have done a clear vision. understands that the united states must be strong to keep the peace. saddam hussein is still a threat in the middle east.
our coalition against saddam is unraveling, sanctions are loosened. the man who may be developing weapons of mass destruction, we don't know because inspectors are not in. to answer your question declares a clear vision. a credibility for people both friend and foe to understand our systems. vice pres. gore: i see a future when the world is at peace with united states of america. promoting the values of democracy and human rights and freedom all around the world. had -- they have have had an election that began to bring about change. we stand for those values and we have a willing to assert them. our military is the strongest in
the entire history of the world. i pledge to you i will do whatever is necessary to make sure it stays that way. what can i bring to that challenge? when i was a young man, my father was a senator opposed to the vietnam war. when i graduated from college there were plenty of fancy ways to get out of going out and being a part of that. i volunteered and i went to vietnam. are from do the most the greatest risks but i learned what it was like to be an enlisted man in the united states army. , house ofgress representatives i served on the house intelligence committee. i worked hard to learn the subject of nuclear arms control and how we can defuse the tensions and deal with nonproliferation and give with the problems of terrorism and his new weapons of mass destruction. we are going to face some
serious new challenges in the next four years. i've forked on that long and hard. when i would to the united states senate i asked for assignment to the armed services committee. while i was there i worked on a bipartisan basis, as they did in the house. i worked with former president reagan. in this analysis one of only 10 democrats to support governor bush's dad in the persian gulf war resolution. for the last eight years i served on the national security council. >> a related question. >> our military forces are stretched thinner and doing more than they are done before during peacetime. i would like to know what u.s.
president would do to ensure proper resourcing for the current mission and more selectively choosing the way our forces will be used around the world. vice pres. gore: i started to say that the blessed figures i've been on the national security council and last week i broke up senate campaigning for days to-- two participate in the meat that part of the summit meetings at the president just returned from today. our countries team over there did a great job in a difficult situation. the united states have to be strong in order to make sure we can help promote peace and security and stability. that means keeping our military strong. as an earlier that we are the strongest military. but we need to continue improving readiness and making sure that our military personnel are adequately paid and the
combination of their pay and benefits and retirement is comparable to the state competition that is coming in a strong economy from the private sector. longest -- the largest pay raise -- that support another one now. forso support modernization tactical weaponry. the governor has proposed skipping a generation of technology. i think they'll be a mistake. one of the ways you been able to is by havingful the technological edge. we won the conflict in kosovo without losing a single human life. readiness, the trends before i got my current job were on the decline. the number of divisions were reduced. i argued we should review said
trend -- reverse the trend. in my budget for the next 10 years i propose $100 billion for this purpose. the governor proposes 45 billion. i've proposed twice as much because i think it is needed. if this were spending contest i would come in second. unlike on to grow the size of the federal government like you. nationale the interests if we ever send troops. the mission must be clear. soldiers must understand why we're going. the force must be strong enough so that the mission can be accomplished. and the exit strategy needs to be well defined. i'm concerned that we are over deployed around the world. i think the mission has somewhat become fuzzy.
the mission of the united states military will be prepared and ready to fight and win war and therefore prevent war from happening in the first place. there may be some moments when we use our troops as peacekeepers but not often. president mentioned my view as the long-term of the military, i want to make of the agreement for military is the best it can possibly be. but we have an opportunity to use our research and developing militarys to make our lighter and more heavily defined. and if yourtunity have a strong vision, to make sure that we changed the terms of the battlefield in the future so we can keep peace. this is a peaceful nation.
spending money is one thing. spending money without a strategic plan can often be wasted. first thing i would do is ask to wecretary of defense are not wasting money on" project by project to measure our soldiers are well-paid and have the best equipment and the world. >> another kind of question. >> we would like to know what is your opposition to the brady ?andgun bill a recent tv ad show the national rifle association says that if you are elected, they would be working out your office. i don't think the
national rifle association ran that ad. amitai my position. -- let me tell you my position. >>'s policy when i see that advertisement. i think somebody doesn't want me to be president may have run that ad. that was not my advertisement. here is what i believe. i believe law-abiding citizens ought to be able to protect themselves and damaged. i believe that we are to keep guns out of the hands of people who should not happen. background checks at gun shows. trigger locks. trigger locks in the state of texas so people can get them and put them on the guns to make the guns marseille. i think we should raise the age at which juveniles can have a gun. i also believe that we need to enforce laws on the books, that the best way to make sure we keep our society safe and secure
is to hold people accountable for breaking the law. if we cap someone selling a gun illegally there should be a consequence. somebody using a gun illegally, there should be a consequence. the federal government can help. we focused federal taxpayer money and when after people who were illegally using guns. to me, that is how you make society the safest it can be. and agreei believe with his gifts in washington and sometimes that the. i'm a pretty independent thinker. one thing i'm for his essay society. i'm for enforcing laws on the books and that is what will happen. it was not one: of my ads either. i am familiar with the statement and it was made by one of the top ranking officials of that organization. let me tell you my position.
i think that some commonsense gun safety measures are certainly needed with the flood of cheap handguns that have sometimes been working their way into the hands of the wrong people. focusedy proposals are on that problem. and safety. none of my personal goals -- proposals would have any effect on hunters, sportsmen, or people who use a rifle, they are aimed at the real problem. let's make our school say. let's make our neighborhoods safe. let's have a three day waiting period so we can have a background check to make sure that criminals and people who should not have guns don't get them. i would like to use my remaining time on this exchange to respond to exchange that took place just a moment ago. a couple times the governor has said that i'm for a bigger government. i'm not.
let me tell you what the record shows, the last eight years i have had the challenge of running the free -- streamlining program called reinventing the government. any federal employees in this group, he know what that means. the federal government has been reduced in size by more than 300,000 people. it is not the smallest number we have had since john kennedy's administration. years,the last five texas is government has gone up in size. better government has gone down in texas government has gone up. my plan for the future, i say time when we have smaller government where you don't have to wait in the line because you can get services online. cheaper, better, faster. we can do that. >> steve has a question for vice president gore.
>> the family farms are disappearing and having a hard time. what steps would you or your administration on agriculture policy development to protect the family farms for the multi-functional service they perform? we have a gore: bumper crop this year. that is good news. the bad news, the prices are low. years, the several so-called freedom to farm law has been mostly a failure. i want to change many of the provisions. many here will -- who are not involved what i follow this so 2% of theve me, the country that is involved in farming is important because the rest of us would not eat except for them. you have been having a hard time and i want to fight for you.
provisionshange the and restore a meaningful safety net. he pointed the way in your comment. there are multiple things at college by farmers, you are including conservation, protection of confinement and yes, farmers on the first environment like. when they decide not to plough a field portable so soil erosion, that may cost them a little money at it helps the environment. i think we ought to have an expanded conservation reserve program and i think environment the benefits that come from sound management of the land ought to represent a new way for thatrs to get some income will enable them and they can use to make sensible choices in crop rotation and when you leave the land fallow. y will go beyond that and sa
we need more focus on rural economic development programs. i see a time when the internet-based access to these are more available than rural areas and extra sorts of incomes of farms are replaced by an actor source of income from working in the information economy. we need to do a lot of things but we ought to start with a better safety net. i would like our farmers feeding the world. we're the best producers in the world. pharmasset feeding the world -- farmers feeding the world. we need to open up the market. when the exports go down, it hurts the farmer. toant the next resident fast-track negotiating authority to open up markets around the world. where the most efficient farmers. we should not be using food as a diplomatic weapon.
i'm for value-added processing. more work on value-added processes. and the raw product converts it into value-added processing. for research and developing. our technological base new uses for farm products. i'm forgetting of the death tax -- for getting rid of the deck tax -- death tax. it is a bad tax. the president should not have because the bill. bill.oed the will open up markets. i also understand that farming is a part of our national security. i'm from a big farm state.
i hear from the farmers all the time. every's birthday if you own the land. if you own the land. i like the policy that encourages farmers to set aside land for conservation purposes. >> inheritance tax. there's a difference between the two of you on this. vice pres. gore: i am for a massive reform of the estate tax. i proposed,an that 80% of all family farms will be completely exempt from the estate tax. of all those,ity philly businesses, would be completely exempt in all the others would have sharply reduced. 80%. ith completely eliminating the is back to the wealthiest 1%. the amount of money phrase from taxes in the middle class families to make up for a limiting that on the very
wealthy, that would an extra heavy burden on middle-class families. most all, but not completely eliminate. gov. bush: eliminate the death tax completely. it is unfair for some and unfair for all. this is a different firm opinion if you're from washington, with the pick and choose winners. i don't think that is the role of the president. plan, a lot of fine print in your plan and i'm not so sure a percent of people get the death tax. hundred percent will get it from the president. i don't think it is fair to tax people's assets twice. it is a fairness issue. an issue of principle, not politics. new issue. for governor bush.
concerned about the reality of our country now. -- morality of our country. tvs, music, music our children are barraged with everyday and i want to know if there's anything that can be worked out with help get or whoever to rid of some of those bad language and whatever. it is bringing the country down in our children are very important and are concerned about the education at school and we should be concerned about the education at home also. gov. bush: we are proud parents of teenage girls and i know what you're saying. the government ought to stand on the side of parents.
parents are teaching their parents -- children from right and wrong. the message is often get undermined by popular culture. you bet there think the government can do. we can work with the entertainment industry to provide family our. -- hour. we can have filters on internetwork with money is sent. filters on public libraries in public schools so kids get on the internet and there will not be pornography or violence. i think we ought to have character education in schools. i know that does not talk about hollywood, but it does reinforce the values you are teaching. teach schools will children values that have stood the test of time. there's afterschool money available and i think that my ought to be available for faith-based programs internal
programs that exist because somebody has heard the call to love thy neighbor. that will help reinforce the values that parents teach at home. it is a great land in one of the reasons why we are free so i don't support censorship but i do believe we ought to talk moguls to the hollywood and explain the consequences. ivan made her radiant systems that are clear and i happen to like the idea of having technology for the tv sick and tune out the programs that you don't want in your house. i will remind mothers and dads that the best weapon is the off and on budget. and paid attention to your children and eating dinner with them and -- >> vice president gore. vice pres. gore: i care a lot about this.
not just movies. television, video games, music, the internet. parents now feel like you have to compete with the mass culture in order to raise your kids with the values that you want them to have. tipper and i have four children. god bless them. everyone decided on their own to come here this evening. i don't want to embarrass our oldest daughter, she and her husband made us great parents are mostly the year and a half ago. yet if she will forgive me, when she was little she brought a record home that had some awful lyrics in them. tipper hit the ceiling. that launched a campaign to try to get the record company to put foran's -- warning labels parents and i'm so proud of what
you call pushed in getting them on there. i've been involved myself with the negotiations to move along with the internet service providers to get a parents and a feature that allows parents to automatically check with one click one sites your kids have visited lately. some parents are worried about those filters. if you can check up on them, that is real power. recently, the federal trade commission pointed out that some of these entertainment companies have warned parents that they material is inappropriate for children, then they advertise that same material directly to children. joe lieberman and i gave them six months to clean up their act. if they don't do it, we're going to ask for tougher authority on the false and deceptive
advertising. i want to do something about this, respect the first amendment, but i will do something to help you raise your children without that garbage. moderator: vice president gore, the next question is for you. koosmann. mr. koosmann, where are you, sir? you're right behind me as well. there we go. >> as a college professor, i hear a lot of apathy amongst young people who feel that there are no issues directed to them and they don't plan to vote. how do you address that? mr. gore: we've got to change it. i usually end my speech by saying, i want to ask you for something, and i want to directed especially to the young people in the audience.
and i want to tell you what i tell them. sometimes people who are very idealistic and have great dreams, as young people do, are apt to stay at arm's length from the political process because they think their good hearts might be brittle, and if they invest their hopes and allow themselves to believe, then they're gonna be let down and disappointed. but thank goodness we've always had enough people who have been willing in every generation to push past the fear of a broken heart and become deeply involved in forming a more perfect union. we're america, and we believe in our future and we know we have the ability to shape our future. now, we've got to address one of the biggest threats to our democracy. and that is the current campaign financing system. and i know they say it doesn't rank anywhere on the polls. i don't believe that's a fair measure. i'm telling you, i will make it the, i will make the mccain-feingold campaign finance reform bill the very first
measure that i send to the congress as president. governor bush opposes it. i wish that he would consider changing his mind on that. because i think that the special interests have too much power, and we need to give our democracy back to the american people. let me tell you why. those issues you mentioned, social security, prescription drugs, the big drug companies are against the prescription drug proposal that i've made. the hmos are against the patient's rights bill, the dingle-norwood bill that i support, and that gov. bush does not support. the big oil companies are against the measures to get more energy independence and renewable fuel. they ought to have their voices heard, but they shouldn't have a big megaphone that drowns out the american people. we need campaign finance reform and we need to shoot straight with young and old alike and tell them what the real choices are. and we can renew and rekindle the american spirit and make our future what our founders dreamed it could be.
we can. moderator: governor bush, two minutes. mr. bush: tell you what i hear. a lot of people are sick and tired of the bitterness in washington, d.c. and therefore they don't want any part of politics. they look at washington and see people pointing fingers and casting blame and saying one thing and doing another. there's a lot of young folks saying, you know, why do i want to be involved with this mess? and what i think needs to happen in order to encourage the young to become involved is to shoot straight, is to set aside the partisan differences, and set an agenda that will make sense. medicare, i know you talked about it, but medicare is relevant for all of us, young and old alike. we better get it right now. tax reform is relevant for old and young alike. i don't think it's the issues that turn kids off.
i think it's the tone. i think it's the attitude. i think it's a cynicism in washington and it doesn't have to be that way. before i decided to run, i had to resolve two issues in my mind. one, could our family endure all this business. and i came to the conclusion that our love was strong enough to be able to do it. the other was could an administration change the tone in washington, d.c. and i believe the answer is yes, otherwise i wouldn't be asking for your vote. that's what happened in texas. we worked together. there is a man here in this audience named hugo berlanga. he is the chairman of the health committee. he came here for a reason, to tout our record on health in texas. he's a democrat. i didn't care whether he was a republican or democrat. what i cared about is could we work together. that's what washington, d.c. needs. and finally, sir, to answer your
question, you need somebody in office who will tell the truth. that's the best way to get people back in the system. moderator: governor bush, norma curby has the next question. and it's for you. norma curby, where are you? mr. bush: hi, norma. >> hi. how will your administration address diversity, inclusiveness, and what role will affirmative action play in your overall plan? mr. bush: i've had a record of bringing people from all walks of life into my administration, and my administration is better off for it in texas. i'm going to find people that want to serve their country. but i want a diverse administration, i think it's important. i've worked hard in the state of texas to make sure our institutions reflect the state with good, smart policy. policy that rejects quotas. i don't like quotas. quotas tend to pit one group of people against another. quotas are bad for america. it's not the way america is all about.
but policies that give people a helping hand so they can help themselves. for example, in our state of texas i worked with the legislature, both republicans and democrats, to pass a law that said if you come in the top 10% of your high school class, you're automatically admitted to one of our higher institutions of learning, college. and as a result, our universities are now more diverse. it was a smart thing to do. what i called it, i labeled it affirmative access. i think the contracting business in government can help. not with quotas, but help meet a goal of ownership of small businesses, for example. the contracts need to be smaller, the agencies need to be, need to recruit and to work hard to find people to bid on the state contracts.
i think we can do that in a way that represents what america is all about, which is equal opportunity and an opportunity for people to realize their potential. so to answer your question, i support, i guess the way to put it, is affirmative access. i'll have an administration that will make you proud. thank you. moderator: vice president gore? mr. gore: i believe in this goal and effort with all my heart. i believe that our future as a nation depends upon whether or not we can break down these barriers that have been used to pit group against group, and bring our people together. how do you do it? well, you establish respect for differences. you don't ignore differences. it's all too easy for somebody in the majority in the population to say oh, we're just all the same, without an understanding of the different life experience that you've had, that others have had. once you have that understanding and mutual respect, then we can transcend the differences and embrace the highest common
denominator of the american spirit. i don't know what affirmative access means. i do know what affirmative action means. i know the governor is against it, and i know that i'm for it. i know what a hate crime statute pending at the national level is all about in the aftermath of james byrd's death. i'm for that proposed law, the governor is against it. i know what it means to have a commitment to diversity. i am part of an administration that has the finest record on diversity. and incidentally, an excellent, i mean, i think our success over the last 8 years has not been in spite of diversity but because of it. because we're able to draw on the wisdom and experience from different parts of the society that hadn't been tapped in the same way before. and incidentally, mel carnahan in missouri had the finest record on diversity in any governor in the entire history of the state of missouri. and i want to honor that among his other achievements here. now, i just believe that what we have to do is enforce the civil rights laws. i'm against quotas.
this is, with all due respect, governor, that's a red herring. affirmative action isn't quotas. i'm against quotas, they're illegal. they're against the american way. affirmative action means that you take extra steps to acknowledge the history of discrimination and injustice and prejudice and bring all people into the american dream because it helps everybody, not just those who are directly benefitting. moderator: governor, what is your, are you opposed to affirmative action? mr. bush: if affirmative action means quotas, i'm against it. if affirmative action means what i just described what i'm for, then i'm for it. you heard what i was for. the vice president keeps saying i'm against things. you heard what i was for, and that's what i support. moderator: what about, mr. vice president, you heard what he said. mr. gore: he said if affirmative action means quotas, he's against it. affirmative action doesn't mean quotas. are you for it without quotas? mr. bush: i may not be for your version, mr. vice president, but i'm for what i just described to the lady.
mr. gore: are you for what the supreme court says is a constitutional way of having affirmative action? moderator: let's go on to another -- mr. gore: i think that speaks for itself. mr. bush: no, it doesn't speak for itself, mr. vice president, it speaks for the fact that there are certain rules in this that we all agree to, but evidently rules don't mean anything. moderator: the question is for you, vice president gore, and lisa kee will ask it. lisa kee, where are you? there we go, sorry. >> how will your tax proposals affect me as a middle-class, 34-year-old single person with no dependents? mr. gore: if you make less than $60,000 a year and you decide to invest $1,000 in a savings account, you'll get a tax credit, which means in essence that the federal government will match your $1,000 with another $1,000. if you make less than $30,000 a year and you put $500 in a savings account, the federal
government will match it with $1500. if you make more than $60,000 and up to 100 you'll still get a match, but not as generous. you'll get an access to life-long learning and education, help with tuition if you want to get a new skill or training. if you want to purchase health insurance, you will get help with that. if you want to participate in some of the dynamic changes that are going on in our country, you will get specific help in doing that. if you are part of the, of the bottom 20% or so of wage earners, then you will get an expanded earned income tax credit. now, the tax relief that i propose is directed specifically at middle-income individuals and families. and if you have a, if you have an elderly parent or grandparent who needs long-term care, then
you will get help with that. $3,000 tax credit to help your expenses in taking care of a loved one who needs long-term care. moderator: governor bush? mr. bush: let me just say the first, this business about the entitlement he tried to describe about savings, you know, matching savings here and matching savings there, fully-funded it's gonna cost a whole lot of money, a lot more than we have. you're going to get a tax relief in my plan. you're not going to be targeted in or targeted out. everybody that pays taxes is going to get tax relief. if you take care of an elderly in your home, you're going to get the personal exemption increased. i think also what you need to think about is not the immediate, but what about medicare? you get a plan that will include prescription drugs, a plan that will give you options.
now, i hope people understand that medicare today is important, but it doesn't keep up with the new medicines. if you're a medicare person, on medicare, you don't get the new procedures. you're stuck in a time warp in many ways. so it will be a modern medicare system that trusts you to make a variety of options for you. you're going to live in a peaceful world. it will be a world of peace because we're going to have a clear sight of foreign policy based upon a strong military and a mission that stands by our friends. a mission that doesn't try to be all things to all people. a judicious use of the military which will help keep the peace. you'll live in a world, hopefully, that is more educated so it's less likely you'll be harmed in your neighborhood. see, an educated child is one much more likely to be hopeful and optimistic. you'll be in a world in which fits into my philosophy. the harder you work, the more you can keep. it's the american way. government shouldn't be a heavy hand. it's what the federal government
does to you. it should be a helping hand, and tax relief and the proposals i just described should be a good helping hand. moderator: governor, next question is for you, and leo anderson will ask it. mr. anderson. you want a mike? >> in one of the last debates held, the subject of capital punishment came up, and in your response to the question, you seemed overly joyed and as a matter of fact proud that texas led the nation in the execution of prisoners. sir, did i misread your response and are you really, really proud of the fact that texas is number one in executions? mr. bush: no, i'm not proud of that. the death penalty is a very serious business, leo. it's an issue that good people obviously disagree on. i take my job seriously. and if you think i was proud of
it, i think you misread me, i do. i was sworn to uphold the laws of my state. during the course of the campaign in 1994 i was asked do you support the death penalty. i said i did if administered fairly and justly. because i believe it saves lives, leo, i do. if it's administered swiftly, justly and fairly, it saves lives. one of the things that happens when you're a governor, at least oftentimes you have to make tough decisions. you can't let public persuasion sway you, because the job is to enforce the law. and that's what i did, sir. there have been some tough cases come across my desk. some of the hardest moments since i've been the governor of the state of texas is to deal with those cases. but my job is to ask two questions, sir. is the person guilty of the crime? and did the person have full access to the courts of law? and i can tell you looking at
you right now, in all cases those answers were affirmative. i'm not proud of any record. i'm proud of the fact that violent crime is down in the state of texas. i'm proud of the fact that we hold people accountable. but i'm not proud of any record, sir, i'm not. moderator: vice president gore? mr. gore: i support the death penalty. i think that it has to be administered not only fairly with attention to things like dna evidence, which i think should be used in all capital cases, but also with very careful attention. if, for example, somebody confesses to the crime and somebody is waiting on death row, there has to be alertness to say wait a minute, have we got the wrong guy? if the wrong guy is put to death, then that's a double tragedy. not only has an innocent person been executed, but the real
perpetrator of the crime has not been held accountable for it. and in some cases may be still at large. but i support the death penalty in the most heinous cases. moderator: do both of you believe the death penalty actually deters crime? governor? mr. bush: i do. it's the only reason to be for it. let me finish, sir. i don't think you should support the death penalty to seek revenge. i don't think that's right. i think the reason to support the death penalty is because it saves other people's lives. mr. gore: i think it is a deterrent. i know that's a controversial view, but i do believe it's a deterrent. moderator: next question is for you, vice president gore and thomas fischer will ask it. mr. fischer? >> yes. my 6th grade class at st. claire's school wanted to ask of all these promises you guys are making and all the pledges, will you keep them when you're in office? mr. gore: yes.
i am a person who keeps promises. and, you know, we've heard a lot about, from the governor about not much being done in the last 8 years, as if the promises that i made 8 years ago have not been kept. i think the record shows otherwise. we have gone from the biggest deficits eight years ago to the biggest surpluses in history today. instead of high unemployment, we now have the lowest african-american unemployment, the lowest latino unemployment ever measured. 22 million new jobs, very low unemployment nationally. instead of ballooning the debt and multiplying it four times over, we have seen the debt actually begun to be paid down. here are some promises that i'll make to you now. i will balance the budget every year.
i will pay down the debt every year. i will give middle-class americans tax cuts, meaningful ones. and i will invest in education, health care, protecting the environment, and retirement security. we both made promises in this campaign. i promise you i will keep mine. let me tell you about one of the governor's. he has promised a trillion dollars out of the social security trust fund for young working adults to invest and save on their own. but he's promised seniors that their social security benefits will not be cut, and he's promised the same trillion to them. so this is a show me state. reminds me of the line from the movie, show me the money. which one of those promises will you keep and which will you break, governor? moderator: governor bush. mr. bush: thank you for your question.
i, there's an old high school debating trick, which is to answer something and then attack your opponent at the end. you asked about promises. you were promised that medicare would be reformed, and that social security would be reformed. you were promised a middle-class tax cut in 1992. it didn't happen. there's too much bitterness in washington. there's too much wrangling. it's time to have a fresh start. one of the reasons i was successful as the governor of texas is because i didn't try to be all things to all people. when i campaigned in a race, a lot of folks didn't think i could win including, by the way, my mother. i said i'd do four things -- tort reform, education reform, welfare reform and juvenile justice reform. and i won. and i had the will of the people
in my state behind me. and then i brought folks together to get it done. and that's what we need, i think, in this election. to me that's what it's all about. i'm sure your 6th grade kids are listening and saying, these guys will say anything to get elected. but there's a record, and that's what i hope people look at. one of my promises is going to be social security reform, and you bet, we need to take a trillion dollars out of that $2.4 trillion surplus. now remember, social security revenue exceeds expenses up until 2015. people are going to get paid. but if you're a younger worker, if you're younger, you better hope this country thinks differently, otherwise you're gonna be faced with huge payroll taxes or reduced benefits. and you bet we're gonna take a trillion dollars of your own money and let you invest it under safe guidelines so you get a better rate of return on the money than the paltry 2% that the federal government gets for you today. that's one of my promises. but it's gonna require people to bring both republicans and
democrats together to get it done. that's what it requires. there was a chance to get this done. it was a bipartisan approach, but it's been rejected. i'm going to bring them together. moderator: both of you, both of you on this subject. there are other questions that also go to this skepticism, not necessarily about you, but all people in politics. why is that? mr. gore: well, first of all, jim, i would like to respond to what the governor just said. because the trillion that has been promised to young people has also been promised to older people. and you cannot keep both promises. if you're in your mid-40's under the governor's plan, social security will be bankrupt by the time you retire, if he takes it out of the social security trust fund. under my plan it will be, its
solvency will be extended until you're 100. now that is the difference. and the governor may not want to answer that question, he may want to call it a high school debating trick, but let me tell you this. this election is not about debating tricks, it is about your future. the reason social security, he says it gets 2%. you know, it's not a bank account that just pays back money that's invested. it is also used to give your mothers and fathers the social security checks that they live on. if you take a trillion dollars out of that social security trust fund, how are the checks going to be, how are you going to keep faith with the seniors? now let me come directly to your question. moderator: we have to go to the closing statements. mr. bush: well, can i answer that? one reason people are skeptical is because people don't answer the questions they've been asked. the trillion comes out of the surplus so that you can invest some of your own money. there's just a difference of opinion. i want workers to have their own assets. it's who you trust, government or people. moderator: all right. now we're going to go to closing
statements. mr. gore: thank you very much, jim, and i'll begin by answering your questions, your last question. i believe that a lot of people are skeptical about people in politics today because we have seen a time of great challenge for our country. since the assassination of our best leaders in the '60's, since the vietnam war, since watergate, and because we need campaign finance reform. i would like to tell you something about me. i keep my word. i have kept the faith. i've kept the faith with my country. i volunteered for the army. i served in vietnam. i kept the faith with my family. tipper and i have been married for 30 years. we have devoted ourselves to our children and now our nearly one and 1/2-year-old grandson. i have kept the faith with our country. nine times i have raised my hand to take an oath to the constitution, and i have never violated that oath. i have not spent the last
quarter century in pursuit of personal wealth. i have spent the last quarter century fighting for middle-class working men and women in the united states of america. i believe very deeply that you have to be willing to stand up and fight no matter what powerful forces might be on the other side. if you want somebody who is willing to fight for you, i am asking for your support and your vote and, yes, your confidence and your willingness to believe that we can do the right thing in america, and be the better for it. we've made some progress during the last 8 years. we have seen the strongest economy in the history of the united states. lower crime rates for 8 years in a row. highest private home ownership ever, but i'll make you one promise here. you ain't seen nothing yet. and i will keep that promise.
moderator: governor bush, two minutes. mr. bush: well, jim, i want to thank you and thank the folks here at washington university and the vice president. appreciate the chance to have a good, honest dialogue about our differences of opinion. i think after three debates the good people of this country understand there is a difference of opinion. there is a difference between big federal government and somebody who is coming from outside of washington who will trust individuals. i've got an agenda that i want to get done for the country. it's an agenda that says we're going to reform medicare to make sure seniors have got prescription drugs and to give seniors different options from which they can choose. it's an agenda that says we're listen to the young voices in social security and say we're going to think differently about making sure we have a system, but also fulfill the promise to the seniors in america. a promise made will be a promise kept should i be fortunate enough to become your president. i want to have the military keeping the peace. i want to make sure the public school system in america keeps its promise so not one child is left behind.
after setting priorities, i want to give some of your money back. i don't think the surplus is the government's money. i think it's the people's money. i don't think the surplus exists because of the ingenuity and hard work of the federal government, i think it exists because of the ingenuity and hard work of the american people. and you ought to have some of this surplus so you can save and dream and build. i look forward to the final weeks of this campaign. i'm asking for your vote. for those of you for me, thanks for your help. for those of you for my opponent, please only vote once. but for those who have not made up their mind, i would like to conclude by this promise. should i be fortunate enough to become your president, when i put my hand on the bible, i will swear to not only uphold the laws of the land, but i will also swear to uphold the honor and the dignity of the office to which i have been elected, so help me god. thank you very much. moderator: a closing piece of business before we go. the debate commission wants
reaction to the 3 kinds of formats used in the debates this year, and you may register an opinion at their website at www.debates.org. thank you, vice president gore. governor bush. thank you. and good night from washington university in st. louis. goodnight. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]