On October 11, 2000, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Vice President Al Gore and Governor George W. Bush, Jr., participated in the second presidential debate for Decision 2000. These two men went head to head on public issues. The candidates answered questions for the sole purpose of showing the people of the United States who was the stronger leader. After reviewing the debates one can easily state Mr. Gore won by strongly and directly answering questions posed, of an avoidance of red herrings and a firm, correct use of facts.
Mr. Gore used a direct and strong approach when answering questions asked of him, while at times Mr. Bush failed to directly answer the questions. For example when Mr. Gore was asked to respond to the subject of young Americans without health insurance, he answered very clearly by saying he would like to see an expansion of the CHIP’s program through out the country. Mr. Bush was asked to respond to figures set forth by Mr. Gore regarding Texas’s failure to enroll children in the CHIP program. Instead of answering this question directly, he responded by stating Mr. Gore was for a government run health care system. Mr. Bush went on to give numbers reflecting what Texas had spent on heath care, but he still failed to answer whether or not Texas was ranked 49th in child health care. Mr. Lehrer asked the two candidates to express their differences concerning environmental concerns Mr. Gore answered by telling the people what his objectives were. Once again, Mr. Bush falls short of a direct answer by saying he is for local control and not big government. He failed to state his stance on environmental concerns. In both of these answers, Mr. Gore was able to answer in a sharp and frank manner, while Mr. Bush was unable to get the questions answered.
While Mr. Gore stuck to the topics, Mr. Bush used red herrings instead of addressing the issues. The candidates were asked to respond to civil right problems in the United State. Mr. Gore did an extremely good job of this by reinforcing his views on tougher civil right laws, and the need for affirmative action. Instead of responding to a problem area dealing with civil rights, Mr. Bush gives the people a confusing observation about discrimination in our schools. He fails to show any discrimination in the school system. People should ask if Mr. Bush has any views on civil rights in the United States, because his answer failed to express any. Mr. Bush again gives the people a distraction when asked if Mr. Gore presented statistical numbers regarding children’s health care in Texas correctly. Instead of answering with a yes or no, Mr. Bush explains that he is good hearted person, while this may be true Mr. Bush’s personal character was not in question the numbers in Texas were. Mr. Bush’s continual use of distraction greatly hurt his position in the debate.
Both candidates managed to use statistics and facts, however Mr. Gore’s usage of these facts were more reliable. Mr. Gore states, “There are 1.4, I believe there are 1.4 million children in Texas who do not have health insurance; 600,000 of whom, and maybe some of those have since gotten it, but as of a year age, 600,000 of them were actually eligible for it, but they couldn’t sign up for it because of the barriers that they had to surmount.,” this statement comes across strong and it is completely reinforced by a federal judge’s opinion. Mr. Bush states the three men who participated in the slaying of Mr. James Byrd were sentenced to death in Texas. This alleged fact is not completely true. Two of the men were sentenced to death while a third man received life in prison. Mr. Gore again uses sound numbers when he states Texas ranks 49th out of 50 states in health care. Texas does in fact rank second to last in health care. Mr. Bush attempts retaliation by saying “for comparable states our size, we’re signing them up fast as any other state.” While this may be true, when coming to a presidential debate should not the candidates be prepared with actual numbers instead of assumptions. Mr. Gore shows the people he cared enough