Weighing Key Issues in Campaign 2004

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Listen: Part 1: Iraq

James Rubin, left, and Dan Senor

James Rubin, left, and Dan Senor discuss differences in Iraq policy between Sen. John Kerry and President Bush. hide caption

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Marianne Horinko, left, and Carol Browner

Marianne Horinko, left, and Carol Browner weigh the campaigns' stances on environmental policy. hide caption

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As President Bush and Sen. John Kerry prepare for their debates, Morning Edition, in a week-long series, examines the candidates' positions on some of the key issues of the fall campaign.

Part 1: Iraq

One of the hottest issues has been the war in Iraq. NPR's Steve Inskeep talks to Dan Senor, who recently returned from Iraq after serving as spokesman for the former Coalition Provisional Authority, and James Rubin, who is national security adviser to Kerry and a former State Department spokesman.

Part 2: Taxes

President Bush's tax cuts and the burgeoning federal budget deficit have been at the center of debate over economic policy. NPR's Renee Montagne talks to David Wessel, deputy Washington bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal.

Part 3: The War on Terrorism

A cornerstone of President Bush's campaign has been his handling of the war on terrorism in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks. Montagne discusses the issue with Dr. Susan Rice, senior adviser for national security affairs for the Kerry campaign, and Dr. Kiron Skinner, foreign policy adviser for the Bush-Cheney campaign.

Part 4: The Environment

The president has proposed a controlled expansion of the nation's wetlands, but critics have accused his administration of reversing decades of environmental progress. Inkseep talks with Marianne Horinko, a Bush adviser and former acting administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency, and Carol Browner, a Kerry adviser and former EPA chief under President Clinton.

Part 5: Health Care

Kerry promises retirees that he would do more than President Bush to help the more than 45 million Americans who lack health insurance. Montagne talks with NPR's Julie Rovner about the candidates' plans for the uninsured.



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