Useful Debate Transcript

All eyes were on Coral Gables, Florida this week as President George W Bush faced off against Senator John F Kerry, his challenger in the upcoming presidential election. In case you missed it, here is what happened. The debate is introduced by Jim Lehrer, of the PBS show “The Newshour”

Jim Lehrer-
Good evening America. I’m Jim Lehrer. From PBS. I’m Jim Lehrer from PBS. Good evening. Would you please put your hands together and join me, Jim Lehrer, in welcoming our debaters tonight: my president and yours, George Bush, and, from the steep, lofty, ivory towers of Massachusetts, Senator John Kerry.

The candidates approach each other from opposite sides of the stage, warmly shaking hands when they meet. For a brief moment it looks as though they will share an affectionate kiss, but they pull back. They advance to their respective podiums, both men looking strong, resolute and lightly medicated.

Jim Lehrer-
First question to you Senator Kerry. Do you believe you could do a better job in preventing another 911-style attack? You have two minutes.

John Kerry-
First I want to say thank you to you, Jim, and to the fine people at the University of Miami for hosting us here this evening. I learned how important hospitality was back in Vietnam when I was defending this country as a young man, and that lesson stays with me to this day.
Now, to answer your question, Jim, I believe America is strongest when it is not being attacked by radical Islamic Muslims. That has always been my position. It will remain my position. Until I am elected president.

Jim Lehrer-
I am Jim Lehrer. Mr. President, you have a ninety second rebuttal.

George W Bush-
Thank you Jim, and I also want to pass on my thanks to you, to the people of Coral Gables, and to God too. Our prayers are with God tonight, wherever he- or she- may be.
My opponent wishes us to believe that we as Americans do not love freedom. That is not true. The events of the past year show that not to be true. Ten million people in Afghanistan have now registered to vote. Forty per cent of those ten million are women. These women are the enemy. They are not the enemy. But they are women.
Saddam Hussein now sits in a prison cell. I have seen him in that prison cell. He had a beard. Then he did not have a beard. It is precisely the freedom that America and her allies have brought to Iraq that allowed him to shave that beard.
Most of all it is clear to me that we are pursuing a strategy of freedom. And strength. Freedom too. God bless America.

Jim Lehrer-
New question, Mr. President. Do you believe if Mr. Kerry was elected there would be a greater chance of an attack on America?

George Bush-
First of all I want to make it clear that I do not believe in the existence of Mr. Kerry.
These killers, these killers, they will kill children, they will kill women, they will even kill other killers. That is what separates them from us. You see we need to stay on the offensive and at the same time spread liberty. Freedom too. Forty per cent of those ten million were women. God bless America.

Jim Lehrer-
Mr. Kerry, ninety seconds.

John Kerry-
I believe in being strong, resolute and assertive. Were I to be elected president, I would kill Osama Bin Laden. I will do it myself. If there is one thing I learned defending this country as a young man it is how to hunt down and destroy terrorists in the mountains of Afghanistan. I will kill him with my bare hands. If necessary with my bare hands and a gun. I have never changed my mind about that.
The president said he would kill Osama Bin Laden. He didn’t. He is weak. I am strong.

George W Bush-
Can I…

Jim Lehrer-
Yes Mr. President you have thirty seconds.

George W Bush-
That is absurd. Of course we’re after Osama Bin Laden. He’s isolated. He’s lonely. He’s not American. He is in Afghanistan. Or Pakistan.
We are making progress! The Phillipines! Iraq! Iran! Did you know the capital of Libya is Tripoli? I didn’t. Now I do.
My opponent calls the Iraq war a mistake. It wasn’t a mistake. He says wrong war, wrong time, wrong place. What kind of message is that to send to our brave troops that are fighting it out over there? It is a maxed missage. Mossage. I am strong. He is weak. You cannot lead the world if you are him and not me.

Jim Lehrer-
Thirty seconds, Mr. Kerry.

John Kerry-
I served in Vietnam. I served in Vietnam. I served in Vietnam. How many seconds do I have left?

Jim Lehrer-
Mr. Kerry, can you give specifics, and by specifics I mean that I am Jim Lehrer- as to when major US involvement in Iraq would finish under your presidency?

John Kerry-
It is very difficult, Jim, to commit to specifics in a situation which is constantly changing. We have to stay there until the job is done. So to answer your question I would say five, maybe six days. That is what John F Kennedy would have wanted. John Kennedy, Jim. He was a great man.

Jim Lehrer-
Mr. President?

George W Bush-
We’re getting the job done. Recently Prime Minister Allawi was here. He’s the leader of that country. A brave, brave man. He does not have a beard, but if he wanted one he could grow one. That is what separates us from the terrorists. And, by the way, we are chasing these terrorists down. Now I have seen how difficult this war is. I watch TV every day. It is hard work. But I am a strong, courageous leader.
Mr. Kerry believes wrong war, right time, wrong war. Those are not the words of an effective commander-in-chief. Unless it is me saying them pretending to be someone else. Like Senator Kerry. He is not me.

Jim Lehrer-
New question Mr. President. Do you believe there are underlying character flaws in Mr. Kerry which would affect his work if he were to be president?

George W Bush-
Mr. Kerry is a noble man, an honest man, a tall man. I have looked on at him for many years and loved him. I have also loved his wife, Teresa, and his daughters too. I have loved them all. I have nothing personal against him. He is a great senator. He is also a weakling and I hear he masturbates almost hourly.

Jim Lehrer-
Mr. Kerry?

John Kerry-
Thank you Mr. President for those kind words. I have not masturbated in over forty years. I have never changed my mind over that.

Jim Lehrer-
So, just to be clear on this- because it is important- am I Jim Lehrer?

John Kerry-
Yes, Jim.

George W Bush-
You’re doing a difficult job, Jim, in difficult circumstances.

Jim Lehrer-
It is now time for your closing statements. You each have two minutes. A coin toss earlier decided that Mr. Kerry would go first. Senator…

John Kerry-
Thank you Jim. And thank you Mr. President…

At this point President Bush emits a low growl and overturns his podium. It is difficult to see at first what he has produced from the back of his belt but gradually it becomes clear it is a knife with a five inch serrated blade. Senator Kerry’s face does not change. He turns slowly to face his opponent, his hand still on his podium.

George W Bush-
Kerry! You’re good for the cuttin’!

The senator pulls off his tie with his right hand and wraps it around his head. Suddenly he screams a war chant not heard for thirty-five years.

George W Bush-
Let’s roll!

What do you think, did we get it right? Comment here...