Debate Breakdown

Vice President Dick Cheney vs. Sen. John Edwards

Election 2004

The debates



QUESTION: When the president says that Senator Kerry is emboldening enemies and you say that we could get hit again if voters make the wrong choice in November, are you saying that it would be a dangerous thing to have John Kerry as president?

CHENEY: M-tIM-Fm saying specifically that I donM-Ft believe he has the qualities we need in a commander in chief because I donM-Ft think, based on his record, that he would pursue the kind of aggressive policies that need to be pursued if weM-Fre going to defeat these terrorists. ... In 1984, when he ran for the Senate, he opposed, or called for the elimination of, a great many major weapons systems that were crucial to winning the Cold War and are important today to our overall forces. When Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and occupied it in 1990 and M-F91, he stood up on the floor of the Senate and voted against going in to liberate Kuwait and push Saddam Hussein back to Iraq. The problem we have is that, if you look at his record, he doesnM-Ft display the qualities of somebody who has conviction.M-v

EDWARDS: M-tOne thing thatM-Fs very clear is that a long resume does not equal good judgment. I mean, weM-Fve seen over and over and over the misjudgments made by this administration. ... John Kerry has voted for the biggest military appropriations bill in the countryM-Fs history. John Kerry has voted for the biggest intelligence appropriations in the countryM-Fs history. This vice president, when he was secretary of defense, cut over 80 weapons systems, including the very ones heM-Fs criticizing John Kerry for voting against.M-v

QUESTION: Part of what you have said and Senator Kerry has said that you are going to do in order to get us out of the problems in Iraq is to internationalize the effort. Yet French and German officials have both said they have no intention even if John Kerry is elected of sending any troops into Iraq for any peacekeeping effort. Does that make your effort or your plan to internationalize this effort seem kind of naive?

EDWARDS: M-tWe have a plan for success. And that plan includes speeding up the training of the military. We have less than half of the staff that we need there to complete that training. Second, make sure that the reconstruction is sped up in a way that the Iraqis see some tangible benefit for whatM-Fs happening. And by the way, if we need to, we can take Iraqis out of Iraq to train them. It is not secure enough. ... That works in conjunction with making sure the elections take place on time.M-v

CHENEY: M-tThe fact of the matter is the troops wouldnM-Ft have what they have today if you guys had had your way. You talk about internationalizing the effort. They donM-Ft have a plan. Basically, itM-Fs an echo. You made the comment that the Gulf War coalition in M-F91 was far stronger than this. No. We had 34 countries then; weM-Fve got 30 today. WeM-Fve got troops beside us. ItM-Fs hard, after John Kerry referred to our allies as a coalition of the coerced and the bribed, to go out and persuade people to send troops and to participate in this process."



CheneyM-Fs comparison between upcoming elections in Afghanistan to those he monitored in El Salvador 20 years ago, where voters returned to the polls after terrorists attacked.


Edwards said CheneyM-Fs old company, Halliburton, has paid M-tmillions of dollars in fines for providing false information on their company, just like Enron and Ken Lay.M-v


M-tThe first time I ever met you was when you walked on the stage tonight,M-v

M-y Cheney to Edwards, whom he accused of missing 33 of 36 committee meetings in the Senate, where the vice president acts as president.

M-tHe voted against Head Start. ... Against funding for Meals on Wheels for seniors. He voted against a holiday for Martin Luther King. He voted against a resolution calling for the release of Nelson Mandela in South Africa.M-v

M-y Edwards on Cheney


10 - Halliburton references. (The company was mentioned six times before the vice president uttered the name himself.)

7 - References to KerryM-Fs Massachusetts, where the stateM-Fs highest court has ordered gay marriage legalized.

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