Contesting the Issues

As the Election Day nears, NPR examines the candidates' claims on key issues of the 2004 presidential campaign.

Fact-Checking the Candidates' Stump Speeches

Oct. 26, 2004 · NPR's Steve Inskeep examines recent stump speeches by President George Bush and Sen. John Kerry. He checks their facts with experts -- and points out what the candidates aren't saying.


Candidates Debate Iraq, But Offer Similar Plans

Sept. 23, 2004 · Despite heated campaign rhetoric, proposals on Iraq from the presidential candidates are similar and unlikely to change things soon. President Bush says the United States will exit when the Iraqis can secure their own country. Sen. John Kerry proposes returning troops within four years. NPR's Eric Westervelt reports.


Military Force vs. Intelligence in Terrorism Battle

Sept. 10, 2004 · One issue is whether the war in Iraq has bred more terrorism, or whether terrorism would have expanded anyway. And is conventional military force an effective weapon against terrorism, or should the United States and its allies rely more heavily on intelligence aimed at breaking up terrorist networks? NPR's Tom Gjelten reports.

Station SpotlightFrom WNYC in New York

30 Issues in 30 Days: Brian Lehrer and his guests debate 30 key issues facing America today, many largely unexamined in the horse race of the presidential campaign.

Candidates Wrestle with Health Care Fix

Oct. 22, 2004 · President Bush and Sen. John Kerry focus on health care -- and the small percentage of undecided voters who say the issue could affect how they cast their ballot. Some experts believe neither candidate's plan will bring down medical costs. NPR's Julie Rovner reports.


Bush, Kerry Debate Medicare Price Hike

Sept. 13, 2004 · An increase in Medicare premiums is raising the issue's profile on the 2004 campaign trail. NPR's Julie Rovner assesses both major party presidential candidates' claims about Medicare.


Kerry's Plan to Pay for 'Catastrophic' Illness

Sept. 29, 2004 · John Kerry's health plan would have the federal government take over the costs of patients with "catastrophic" illnesses. Kerry and some analysts say it would reduce premiums and help shore up the employer insurance system. Critics say it would just get the government even more involved in health care. NPR's Julie Rovner reports.


Bush's Health Plan, Quietly Controversial

Sept. 22, 2004 · President Bush often gets a big round of applause when he says small businesses should be able to band together to buy insurance. But fewer people realize his plan to let them do that is opposed by the nation's governors, the insurance industry, and half the Senate's Republicans. NPR's Julie Rovner reports.


Doubts About Pledges to Cut Budget Deficit

Sept. 23, 2004 · As Congress extends President Bush's tax cuts, both the president and his Democratic opponent, Sen. John Kerry, pledge to cut the deficit in half, but many budget analysts insist that's unlikely. NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.


Candidates Offer Plans for Social Security

Sept. 23, 2004 · Both President Bush and his Democratic rival, Sen. John Kerry, offer their visions for securing the future of Social Security. But experts say neither plan would do all the politicians promise. NPR's Scott Horsley reports.


Discussing Key Issues in Campaign 2004

Sept. 20-24, 2004 · In a week-long series, Morning Edition holds a series of conversations on some of the key issues of the fall campaign, including health care, the environment and the war on terrorism.




In Their Own Words

American flag

Compare President Bush and Sen. John Kerry on the issues.


Vote by Issue Quiz

Do you really know where the presidential candidates stand? Take a quiz and help choose a candidate.

From PBS's Online NewsHour, WBUR


Fact-Checking the Debates

The First Debate

Kerry, Bush debate

Both candidates stretch, muddle, and sometimes even mangle the truth. Sort through the rhetoric.


The Town-Hall Debate


The Final Debate


The VP Debate


Analyzing the Stump Speeches


President Bush

President Bush

The president's campaign appearances feature a polished speech delivered in a conversational style.


Sen. John Kerry

Sen. John Kerry

Key elements of Kerry's speech remain constant: the opening joke and overarching campaign message.


2004 Conventions

The Republicans

Republican National Convention Speeches, coverage and analysis of the Republican Convention in New York City.

The Democrats

Democratic National Convention Highlights, speeches and analysis of the Democratic Convention in Boston.

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