Friday, March 30, 2007
These are questions from an October 2003 Debate in Detroit sponsored by Fox News and the Congressional Black Caucus.
Each candidate was asked four questions --- I've selected the worst of these, to show you something about the kind of questions Fox News asks. (Be sure not to miss Lieberman's.)
All of the questions asked were not skewed, but this actually makes things worse. Instead of smearing all of the candidates equally, among the major candidates: Lieberman was favored, Kerry and Edwards each received two decent questions, Dean received one decent question, and Clark received no decent questions. Yet the talking heads took no notice of this, instead blaming the candidates, as Fox manipulated our primary.
I wonder if you could take a moment and explain to us why, at the end of your time as the supreme allied commander of NATO, you were not re-upped and why such folks as Retired General Hugh Shelton have suggested you were effectively fired for what he called character and integrity issues.
Senator Edwards, the rap on you, you're a one-term senator. You are a trial lawyer and, therefore, you're supposed to be compromised by that somehow. The expectations for you were so high in the beginning that you were on the cover of Newsweek magazine, yet in the latest Newsweek poll out today, you're in the bottom of the pack.
Congressman Kucinich, you have proposed changing the name of the Department of Defense to the Department of Peace, but in a world in which our enemies are willing to kill themselves to kill us, is it not better that we stand and fight? And is it not better that we wage that battle on foreign shores and not here in America?
We are attempting to imagine each of you in the White House in the Oval Office, and in that spirit, Governor Dean, I have this question for you.
You have been unstintingly critical of this war, yet, with all due respect, you have commanded nothing more than the Vermont National Guard. You did not serve in the military.
How would you, as president, be able to exert any credibility, any command over a post-war Pentagon?
Senator Kerry, I want to direct the next question to you, in part because you voted for the Iraq resolution but have also opposed the $87 billion. To many, that speaks to an inconsistency that your candidacy has been criticized by, for having a difficult to explain position on the Iraq war.
Is it inconsistent for you to support the resolution and not the reconstruction money?
Congressman Gephardt, here in metro Detroit, we have one of the largest concentrations of Arab-Americans in this country. By and large, they love America. They're willing to die for this country.
But at the same time, some of them will tell you they do not see the world as we see it. In fact, in the eyes of some, groups like Hamas and Hezbollah are not terrorist groups, they are freedom fighters or defenders.
My question to you, would you be willing to negotiate with groups now labeled as terrorists if such an effort would end the suicide bombings in Israel and also possibly resolve the Middle East crisis?
Reverend Sharpton, along the lines of budget politics, it's fairly evident that all of you up there would prefer to see the wealthiest Americans shoulder a greater part of the burden.
What sacrifice would you put upon averaging working families to carry their share of the burden in the coming Sharpton economy?
Ambassador Braun, you've urged the current administration repeatedly to negotiate peace and to deal with other nations, and an opportunity for you, perhaps, to go back and clear the record over something in the past.
It has been reported repeatedly that in 1996, as a senator, against the wishes of the U.S. government, you visited Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha, someone who, at the time, was recognized worldwide as a murderous dictator.
How does that association play to your ability to be a peace- minded commander in chief?
Senator Lieberman, you've certainly not called the positions that your rivals have taken on the war and on the funding unpatriotic, but you have called it inconsistent. You've suggested that it's weak and that it sends a duplicitous message to the world.
You've heard a variety of opinions expressed by your rivals. Why are they wrong?