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Cheney and Lieberman Debates

Republican Dick Cheney and Democrat Joseph Lieberman confronted each other Thursday night in their only vice presidential debate, disagreeing pointedly but politely over taxes, energy and military readiness

The vice presidential debate took place on October 06,2000 at at Centre College in Danville, Ky. The moderator is Bernad Shaw.

They covered the positions discussed in the presidential debate and introduced new ones as well — the rights of homosexuals, racial profiling and so on — but it’s quite clear this campaign centers around four or five issues: what’s going to happen with a surplus, how large is it, what’s going to happen with Social Security and public education.

Both men promised to remain positive as the debate opened, referring to each other as “Dick” and “Joe.” When Cheney joked, “I promise not to bring up your singing,” Both candidates are very good at debates.

As Bush and Gore did Tuesday night, the vice presidential candidates sparred in detail over weighty economic questions.

TAXES

ABORTION First up was taxes. Cheney said Gore’s tax cut plan was targeted at too narrow a slice of the public. Although Cheney said the Republican plan would provide “relief” to all taxpayers, he did not respond specifically to Lieberman’s charge that Bush’s plan was weighted toward the richest 1 percent of American taxpayers. Lieberman restated one of the Gore campaign’s key policy positions: that not just Social Security but also the surplus in the Medicare trust fund would be protected in a “lock box” separate from the rest of the federal budget. Playing off Gore’s description of his own plan as “Social Security plus,” Lieberman labeled the Republican proposal “Social Security minus.” The candidates’ discussion of abortion illustrated the extent to which they preferred to avoid sharp partisan attacks. Until this campaign, abortion has been a highly divisive wedge issue, but Thursday the faced it. Asked whether he would support seeking to overturn the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the abortion drug RU-486, Cheney declined the opportunity to expand on Bush’s response to the same question Tuesday night, when he appeared to conclude that as president his hands would be tied and he could do nothing to reverse it. Cheney said the FDA had already acted and that the only issue was whether the drug was safe. He said instead that he and Bush are “pro-life” and that Bush would look for ways to “reach across the divide to reduce abortion.” Lieberman reiterated the Democrats’ traditional support for abortion rights: “Al Gore and I respect and will protect a woman’s right to choose, and our opponents will not.”

ENERGY POLICY

Lieberman was able to go on the offensive when Shaw asked about energy policy, a topic of particular interest to Cheney, who until accepting Bush’s invitation to join the Republican ticket was chief executive of a Houston oil services company. Cheney called directly for opening up the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, a position the Clinton administration and the Democratic ticket have rejected out of hand as environmentally irresponsible. Lieberman called Bush and Cheney’s policy “one-sided, and it is essentially to develop the resources within the United States almost regardless of where.” Lieberman said the Alaska refuge should be protected as “one of the most beautiful, pristine places that the good Lord has created on Earth,” not exploited “for six months’ worth of oil seven to 12 years from now.” Lieberman said the Clinton administration had increased domestic drilling for natural gas “60 percent ... in an environmentally protective way.”

Cheney and Lieberman Debates

Republican Dick Cheney and Democrat Joseph Lieberman confronted each other Thursday night in their only vice presidential debate, disagreeing pointedly but politely over taxes, energy and military readiness

The vice presidential debate took place on October 06,2000 at at Centre College in Danville, Ky. The moderator is Bernad Shaw.

They covered the positions discussed in the presidential debate and introduced new ones as well — the rights of homosexuals, racial profiling and so on — but it’s quite clear this campaign centers around four or five issues: what’s going to happen with a surplus, how large is it, what’s going to happen with Social Security and public education.

Both men promised to remain positive as the debate opened, referring to each other as “Dick” and “Joe.” When Cheney joked, “I promise not to bring up your singing,” Both candidates are very good at debates.

As Bush and Gore did Tuesday night, the vice presidential candidates sparred in detail over weighty economic questions.

TAXES

ABORTION First up was taxes. Cheney said Gore’s tax cut plan was targeted at too narrow a slice of the public. Although Cheney said the Republican plan would provide “relief” to all taxpayers, he did not respond specifically to Lieberman’s charge that Bush’s plan was weighted toward the richest 1 percent of American taxpayers. Lieberman restated one of the Gore campaign’s key policy positions: that not just Social Security but also the surplus in the Medicare trust fund would be protected in a “lock box” separate from the rest of the federal budget. Playing off Gore’s description of his own plan as “Social Security plus,” Lieberman labeled the Republican proposal “Social Security minus.” The candidates’ discussion of abortion illustrated the extent to which they preferred to avoid sharp partisan attacks. Until this campaign, abortion has been a highly divisive wedge issue, but Thursday the faced it. Asked whether he would support seeking to overturn the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the abortion drug RU-486, Cheney declined the opportunity to expand on Bush’s response to the same question Tuesday night, when he appeared to conclude that as president his hands would be tied and he could do nothing to reverse it. Cheney said the FDA had already acted and that the only issue was whether the drug was safe. He said instead that he and Bush are “pro-life” and that Bush would look for ways to “reach across the divide to reduce abortion.” Lieberman reiterated the Democrats’ traditional support for abortion rights: “Al Gore and I respect and will protect a woman’s right to choose, and our opponents will not.”

ENERGY POLICY

Lieberman was able to go on the offensive when Shaw asked about energy policy, a topic of particular interest to Cheney, who until accepting Bush’s invitation to join the Republican ticket was chief executive of a Houston oil services company. Cheney called directly for opening up the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, a position the Clinton administration and the Democratic ticket have rejected out of hand as environmentally irresponsible. Lieberman called Bush and Cheney’s policy “one-sided, and it is essentially to develop the resources within the United States almost regardless of where.” Lieberman said the Alaska refuge should be protected as “one of the most beautiful, pristine places that the good Lord has created on Earth,” not exploited “for six months’ worth of oil seven to 12 years from now.” Lieberman said the Clinton administration had increased domestic drilling for natural gas “60 percent ... in an environmentally protective way.”

Word Count: 1182

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