Debate Between the Presidential Candidates:
Al Gore and George W. Bush
St. Louis, Missouri, October 17, 2000
Part One | Part Two |
Part Three | Analysis
Read the transcript:
Mr. LEHRER: New issue--new issue, and the question will be asked by Joyce
Klemer of Governor Bush. Joyce Klemer? There you are.
Gov. BUSH: Hi, Joyce.
Ms. JOYCE KLEMER: Yes. Hi, governor. I'm very concerned about the morality
of our country now. TV, movies, the music that our children are--are, you
know, barraged with every day, and I want to know if there's anything that can
be worked out with the--Hollywood or whoever...
Gov. BUSH: Sure.
Ms. KLEMER: ...to help get rid of some of this bad language and
the--whatever. You know, it's just bringing the country down and our children
are very important to us and we're concerned about their education at school,
we should be concerned about their education at home also. Thank you.
Gov. BUSH: Yeah. Appreciate that question. Laura and I are proud parents of
teen-aged girls, twin daughters, and I know what you're saying. Government
ought to stand on the side of parents. Parents are teaching their children
right from wrong and the message oft--oftentimes gets undermined by the
pop--popular culture. You bet there's things that government can do. We can
work with the entertainment industry to provide family hour. We can have
filters on Internets where public money is spent. There ought to be filters
in public libraries and filters in public schools so if kids get on the
Internet, there's not going to be pornography or violence coming in.
I think we ought to have character education in our schools. I know that
doesn't directly talk about Hollywood, but it does reinforce the values you're
teaching. I'd greatly expand character education funding so that public
schools will teach children values--values which have stood the test of time.
There's after-school money available. I think that after-school money ought
to be available for faith-based programs and charitable programs that exist
because somebody has heard the call to love a neighbor like you'd like to be
loved yourself. That will help reinforce the values that parents teach at
home as well.
This--ours is a great land and one of the reasons why it is is because we're
free, and so I don't support censorship, but I do believe that we ought to
talk plainly to the Hollywood moguls and people who produce this stuff and
explain the consequences. I think we need to have rating systems that are
clear, and I happen to like the idea of having technology for the TV, easy for
parents to use, so you can tune out these programs that you don't want in your
house. But I'm going to remind mothers and dads, the best weapon is the
off/on button and paying attention to your children and eating dinner with
them and--and--and--and being a--I'm sorry.
Mr. LEHRER: That's all right.
Gov. BUSH: I was on my peroration.
Mr. LEHRER: Vice Pres...
Vice Pres. GORE: My turn.
Mr. LEHRER: Vice president Gore.
Vice Pres. GORE: I care a lot about this. It's 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, and God bless
them, every one of them decided on their own to come here this evening. I
don't want to embarrass our oldest daughter. She and her husband made us
grandparents almost a year and a half ago, and--and--and yet, if she'll
forgive me, when she was little, she brought a record home that had some awful
lyrics in it, and--and Tipper hit the ceiling, and that launched a campaign to
try to get the record companies to put ratings that--warning labels for--for
parents, and I'm so proud of what she accomplished in getting them on there.
I've been involved myself in negotiating and--and helping to move along the
negotiations with the Internet service providers to get a parents' protection
page every time 95 percent of the pages come up, and a--a feature that allows
parents to automatically check with one click what sites your kids have
visited lately. You know, some parents are worried about those filters that
you'll have to ask your kids how to put them on there. But if you can check
up on them, then you--you--you--that's real power.
And recently the Federal Trade Commission pointed out that some of these
entertainment companies have warned parents that the material is inappropriate
for children and then they turned around behind the backs of the parents and
advertised that same adult material directly to children. That is an outrage.
Joe Lieberman and I gave them six months to clean up their act, and if they
don't do it, we're going to ask for tougher authority on--in the hands of the
FTC, on the false and deceptive advertising. I'll tell you this: I want to
do something about this, respect the First Amendment...
Mr. LEHRER: OK.
Vice. Pres. GORE: ...but I will do something to help you raise your kids
without that garbage.
Mr. LEHRER: Vice Pres--all right. Vice President Gore, the next question is
for you, and it will be asked by Steve Kuzman.
Mr. Kuzman, where are you, sir? Right behind me as well. There we go.
Vice Pres. GORE: Right next to the last one.
Mr. LEHRER: Yeah. Got it. Good planning.
Professor STEVE KUZMAN: It seems that when we hear about issues of this
campaign, it's usually Medicare, Social Security or prescription drugs. As a
college professor, I hear a lot of apathy amongst young people who feel that
there are no issues directed to them...
Vice Pres. GORE: Yeah.
Prof. KUZMAN: ...and they don't plan to vote. How do you address that?
Vice Pres. GORE: Yeah. We've got to change it. I spend a good deal of time
talking to young people, and in my standard speech out there on the stump,
I--I usually end my--my speech by saying, `I want to ask you for something and
I want to direct it 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 going to 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--and we--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--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--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--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--the HMOs are against the
patients' rights bill, the Dingell-Norwood bill, that I support and that
Governor Bush does not support. The big oil companies are against the--the
measures to get more energy independence and renewable fuels. 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.
Mr. LEHRER: Governor Bush, two minutes.
Gov. BUSH: I'll tell you what I hear. A lot of people are sick and tired of
the bitterness in Washington, DC, 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--is--is relevant for all of us, young and old alike. We'd 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
Before I cid--decided to run, I--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. And the other was, could an
administration change the tone in Washington, DC? 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's a man here in this audience named Ugo
Belanga. He's 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 was could we
work together? That's what Washington, DC, needs.
And finally, sir, to answer your question, you need somebody in office who'll
tell the truth. That's the best way to get people back in the system.
Mr. LEHRER: Governor Bush, Norma Kirby has the next question, and it's for
Gov. BUSH: OK.
Mr. LEHRER: Norma Kirby, where are you?
Gov. BUSH: Hi, Norma.
Ms. NORMA KIRBY: Hi. How will your administration address diversity,
inclusiveness, and what role will affirmative action play in your overall
Gov. 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--that give people a helping hand
so they can help themselves; for example, in our state of Texas, I have worked
with the Legislature, both Republicans and Democrats, to pass a law that said
if you come in the top 10 percent of your high school class, you automatically
are admitted to one of our--one of our higher institutions, higher
institutions of learning--college. And as a result, our co--our universities
are now more diverse. It was a smart thing to do. It was--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--you know, 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--that represents what America is all about, which is equal
opportunity and--and an opportunity for people to realize their potential.
So, to answer your question, I--I--I support--I guess the way to put it is
affirmative access, and I'll have an administration that will make you proud.
Mr. LEHRER: Vice President Gore.
Vice Pres. GORE: I believe in this goal and this 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 of the population to say, `Oh, we're just all--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--and
incidentally, an excellent--I--I mean, I think our success over the last eight
years has not been in spite of diversity but because of it, because we're able
to draw on the wisdom and experience from--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 of any governor in the
entire history of the state of Missouri, and I want to honor that among his
other achievements here.
Now I--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 benefiting.
Mr. LEHRER: Governor, what is your--are you opposed to affirmative action?
Gov. BUSH: No. 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.
Mr. LEHRER: What about--Mr. Vice President, you heard what he said.
Vice Pres. GORE: He said if affirmative action means quotas he's against it.
Affirmative action doesn't mean quotas.
Gov. BUSH: Good.
Vice Pres. GORE: Are you for it without quotas?
Gov. BUSH: I may not be for your version, Mr. Vice President, but I'm just
for what I described to the lady. She heard my answer.
Vice Pres. GORE: Are you for what the Supreme Court says is a constitutional
way of having affirmative action?
Gov. BUSH: Jim, just...
Mr. LEHRER: Let's go on to another--another--and this que--the question...
Vice Pres. GORE: I think that speaks for itself.
Gov. 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 agreed to but
evidently rules don't mean anything.
Mr. LEHRER: The question is for you, Vice President Gore, and Lisa Key will
Lisa Key, where are you? There we go. Sorry.
Ms. LISA KEY: How will your tax proposals affect me as a middle-class,
34-year-old single person with no dependents?
Vice Pres. 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 $1,500. If you make more
than $60,000, up to $100,000, you'll still get a match but not as generous.
You will get a--an access to life-long learning and education, help with
tuition if you want to get a new skill or--or training, if you--if you want to
purchase health insurance, you will get help with that. I--if you want to
participate in some of the dynamic changes that are going on in--in our
country, you will get specific help in doing that. If you are part of the--of
the bottom 20 percent 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
Mr. LEHRER: Governor Bush?
Gov. BUSH: Right. Let me just say the first--this--this business about the
entitlement he tried to describe about savings, you know, matching savings
here and matching savings there, fully funded is going to cost a whole lot of
money, a lot more than we have. You're going to get tax relief under my plan.
You're not to be targeted in or targeted out. Everybody who 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--I hope people understand that Medicare today is--is--is important, but it
doesn't keep up with the new medicines. If you're a Medicare person, on--on
Medicare, you don't get the new--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 clearer--clearer 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 be in a world, hopefully, that's 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, you know, the harder work--the harder you work, the more
you can keep. It's the American way. Government shouldn't be a heavy
hand--that's what the federal government does to you--it should be a helping
hand, and tax relief and proposals I just described should be a good helping
Mr. LEHRER: Governor, next question is for you, and Leo Anderson will ask
it. Mr. Anderson.
Gov. BUSH: Hi, Leo.
Mr. LEO ANDERSON: How you doing, Governor?
Gov. BUSH: You want a mike?
Mr. ANDERSON: In one of the last debates held, the subject of capital
punishment came up, and in your response to the question, you seemed to overly
enjoy, as a matter of fact, proud that Texas leads the na--led the nation in
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?
Gov. BUSH: No, I'm not proud of that. The death penalty is very serious
business, Leo. It's--it's an issue that good people obviously disagree on. I
take my job seriously, and I--if you think I was proud of it, I--I think you
misread me, I do. I--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 I--if administered fairly and justly, because I
believe it saves lives, Leo. I do. I think 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--that--that we hold people
accountable, but I'm not proud of any record, sir. I'm not.
Mr. LEHRER: Vice President Gore.
Vice Pres. 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--if, for example, somebody confesses to the crime and somebody's
waiting on death row, there has to be alertness to--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
Mr. LEHRER: Do both of you believe that the death penalty actually deters
Gov. BUSH: I do. That's the only reason to be for it. I don't--let--let me
Mr. LEHRER: Sure.
Gov. BUSH: I--I--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. LEHRER: Vice President Gore.
Vice Pres. GORE: I think it is a deterrence. I know it's a controversial
view but I do believe it's a deterrence.
Mr. LEHRER: All right. The next question is for you, Vice President Gore,
and Thomas Fisher will ask it. Mr. Fisher.
Mr. THOMAS FISHER: Yes. My sixth-grade class at St. Claire 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?
Vice Pres. GORE: Yes. I am a person who keeps promises. And do you know,
we've heard a lot about--from the governor--about not much being done in the
last eight years, as if the promises that I--I made eight years ago have not
been kept. I think the record shows otherwise. We have gone from the biggest
deficit eight years ago to the biggest surpluses in history today. Instead of
high unemployment, we now have the--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 dollars
to them, so this is the `Show Me' state; reminds the line from the movie,
`Show me the money.' Which one of those promises will you keep and which will
you break, Governor?
Mr. LEHRER: Governor Bush.
Vice Pres. GORE: Thank you for your question. I--I--there's an old high
school debating trick which is to answer something and then attack your
opponent at the end. Now 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 know this--I'm sure your sixth-grade kids are listening to this and
saying, `That these guys will say anything to get elected.'
But there's a record, and that's what I hope people will look at that, and one
of my promises will be Social Security reform. And you bet we need to take a
trillion dollar--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 going to be
faced with huge payroll taxes or reduced benefits. And you bet we're going
to 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
percent that the federal government gets for you today. That's one of my
promises, but it's going to 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. There was bipartisan r--bipartisan approach, but
it's been rejected. I'm going to bring them together.
Mr. LEHRER: Both of you, to 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?
Vice Pres. GORE: Well, fir--first of all, Jim, I'd like to--I'd like to
respond to what the governor just said, because the--the trillion dollars 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-40s, 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 percent.
You know, it's not a--a bank account. It al--that--that just pays back money
that's invested. It's also used to give your mothers and fathers the Social
Security checks that they live on. If you take $1 trillion 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--let me come directly to your
Mr. LEHRER: No. I think we're--we're--we have to go to the closing
Gov. BUSH: Well--well, can I answer that?
Mr. LEHRER: Sure.
Gov. BUSH: One fear--one reason people are skeptical is because people don't
answer the questions they've been asked. The trillion dollars 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.
Mr. LEHRER: All right. Now we're going to go to closing statements.
Vice Pres. GORE: Right.
Mr. LEHRER: Vice President Gore, you're first.
Vice Pres. GORE: Thank--thank you very much, Jim, and I'll begin by answering
your questions. I--I--your last question. I believe that a lot of people are
skeptical about people in politics today because we have seen a time of--of
great challenge for our country since the assassination of our best leaders in
the '60s, since the Vietnam War, since Watergate, and because we need campaign
finance reform. I'd like to tell you something about me. I keep my word. I
have kept the faith. I--I kept the faith with my country.
Unidentified Person: Yes, you did.
Vice Pres. GORE: I--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-a-half-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 eight years. We have
seen the strongest economy in the history of the United States, lower crime
rates for the--for eight 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.
Mr. LEHRER: Governor Bush, two minutes.
Gov. BUSH: Well, Jim, I want to thank you and thank the folks here at
Washington University and the vice president. I appreciate the chance to have
a good, honest dialogue about our differences of opinion. And I think after
the three debates, the good people of this country understand there is a
difference of opinion. It's the 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 going to 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 rebuild the military to keep the peace. I want to
make sure that the public school system in America fulfills its promise so
that no child, not one child, is left behind.
And after setting priorities, I want to give some of--some of your money back.
See, 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'd like to conclude by
this promise. Should I be fortunate 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've been elected, so help me God. Thank you very much.
Mr. LEHRER: A closing piece of business before we go. The debate commission
wants reaction to the three kinds of formats used in the debates this year.
And you may register an opinion at their Web site: www.debates.org. Thank
you, Vice President Gore, Governor Bush.
From St. Louis, I'm Jim Lehrer. Thank you and good night.
Gov. BUSH: Good luck. Good luck.
Vice Pres. GORE: And to you.
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