1. Archive

What the vice presidential candidates had to say

Published Oct. 12, 2005

Here are excerpts from what the vice presidential candidates said about various issues during Tuesday night's debates in Atlanta:

Role of the vice president

Quayle: "I've done the job. I've done many things for the president.

"But even as vice president, you never know exactly what your role is going to be from time to time. And let me just give you an example of where I was tested under fire and in a crisis.

"President Bush was flying to Malta in 1989 to meet with President Gorbachev. . . . A coup broke out in the Philippines.

"I had to go to the Situation Room. I had to assemble the President's advisers. I talked to President Aquino. I made the recommendation to the president. The president made the decision.

"The coup was suppressed. Democracy continued in the Philippines. The situation was ended."

Stockdale: "My association with Mr. Perot is a very personal one. And as I have stood in and finally taken his running mate position, he has granted me total autonomy. I don't take advantage of it, but I _ I am sure that he would make me a partner in making decisions about the way to handle health care, the way to get this economy back on its feet again in every _ in every way. . . ."

Gore: "Bill Clinton understands the meaning of the words "teamwork' and "partnership.' If we're successful in our efforts to gain your trust and lead this nation, we will work together to put our country back on the right track again. . . ."

Putting America back to work

Stockdale: "The life blood of our economy is investment and right now when we pay _ we borrow $350-billion a year, it saps the money markets and the private investors are not getting their share.

"What we do is work on that budget by an aggressive program, not a painful program, so that we can start borrowing less money and getting more investment money on the street. . . ."

Gore: "Bill Clinton's top priority is putting America back to work. Bill Clinton and I will create good, high-wage jobs for our people the same way he has done in his state.

"Bill Clinton has created high-wage manufacturing jobs at 10 times the national average. . . . By contrast, in the nation as a whole during the last four years, it is the first time since the presidency of Herbert Hoover that we have gone for a four year period with fewer jobs at the end of that four year period than we had at the beginning."

Quayle: "You know, you keep talking about trickle-down economics and all this stuff about the worst economy since Hoover. It is a bad economy. It's a tough economy.

"The question isn't who _ it's not who you're going to blame. What are you going to do about it? Your proposal is to raise $150-billion in taxes, to raise $220-billion in new spending. . . ."

Defense industry

Gore: "Bill Clinton and I support a strong national defense. He and I have both fought for change within the Democratic party as well as within the country. In the aftermath of the Cold War, the definition of strong national defense has obviously changed somewhat. . . ."

Quayle: "We won the Cold War because we invested in national security. We won the Cold War because we invested in our military. We won the Cold War because America had the political will and made the right decisions. . . .

"We would not have won the Cold War if we had listened to Senator Gore and his crowd and supported a nuclear freeze. If you would have supported that attitude _ if you would have supported that attitude, we would not have won the Cold War."

Stockdale: ". . . There's other differences between the Perot approach and what we see up here on either side of me, and that has to do with we want to focus our interests, economic and military, more to the Pacific."

The environment and jobs

Quayle: "You don't have to have a choice between the environment and jobs. You can have both. Look at the president's record. Clean air legislation passed the Democratic Congress because of the leadership of George Bush. It is the most comprehensive clean air act in our history.

"We are firmly behind preserving our environment and we have a good record on which to stand. The question comes about, what is going to be their position when it comes to the environment?"

Stockdale: "I read Sen. Gore's book (Earth in the Balance) about the environment. I don't see how he could possibly pay for his proposals in today's economic climate. . . .

"And also I'm told by some experts that the things that he fears most may not be all that dangerous, according to some scientists. You know, you can overdo, I am told, environmental cleaning up. If you purify the pond the water lilies die. . . ."

Gore: ". . . This is a value _ this is an issue that touches my basic values. I'm taught in my religious tradition that we are given dominion over the Earth, but we're required to be good stewards of the Earth.

"And that means to take care of it. We're not doing that now under the Bush-Quayle policies. They have gutted the Clean Air Act. They have broken his pledge to be the environmental president. Bill Clinton and I will change that."

Health care

Stockdale: ". . . The incentives that are in our current way of doing business are what are killing us. There is no incentive for a hypochondriac not to go to Medicare every day. There is no incentive for a doctor to curtail the expensive tests because he's under threat of malpractice lawyers. . . ."

Gore: "Bill Clinton and I believe that if a criminal has a right to a lawyer, every American family ought to have a right to see a doctor of their own choosing when they need to see a doctor. . . ."

Quayle: ". . . You talk about increasing costs, but the president has had on Capitol Hill medical malpractice reform legislation for several years. Defensive medicine and health care today cost $20.7-billion. Defensive medicine defined as testing and treatment that is only necessary in case of a lawsuit.

"Wouldn't that be nice to take $20.7-billion that we're putting into our legal system and put it into preventive health care or women's health care? . . ."


Gore: "Bill Clinton and I support the right of a woman to choose. That doesn't mean we're pro-abortion. In fact, we believe there are way too many abortions in this country. . . .

". . . We believe that during the early stages of a pregnancy the government has no business coming in and ordering a woman to do what the government thinks is best."

Quayle: "I happen to be pro-life. I have been pro-life _ for my 16 years in public life. My objective and the president's objective is to try to reduce abortions in this country. . . ."

Stockdale: "I believe that a woman owns here body and what she does with it is her own business. Period. . . ."