Yago: I think that a lot of people are wondering whether you would be the kind of president who is going to get involved in our entertainment. We have heard politicians before, from even the floor of the Senate, campaign against video games, movies, records. Would you do that as president?

Kerry: I think that there is a line you draw between government intervention and the right of speech and the right for people to express themselves, but do I think there are standards of decency in that? Yes, I do. Do I think that sometimes some lyrics in some songs have stepped over what I consider to be a reasonable line? Yeah, I do. I think when you start talking about killing cops or something like that, it bothers me. I understand, I'm still listening because I know that it's a reflection of the street and it's a reflection of life, and I understand all that. I'm not for the government censoring or stepping in. But I don't think it's inappropriate occasionally to talk about what you think is a standard or what you think is a value that is worth trying to live up to.

Page 1

 Kerry explains how his Vietnam experience colors his view of the war in Iraq ...

Page 2

 Hip-hop, heavy metal and hockey. John Kerry really enjoys one of the three ...

Page 3

 Kerry lays out his plan to help people pay for college via community service ...

Page 4

 From global warming to AIDS — Kerry explains what he would do differently ...

Page 5

 Foreign policy may be the most effective weapon in the war on terror, Kerry says ...

Q&A With Vanessa Kerry

 John Kerry's daughter is a medical student, but this year she's learning firsthand about life on the campaign trail...

Yago: Our next question for you is about college education.

[Tape plays.] Senator Kerry, I'd like to know how you intend on helping college students like myself pay off our college debts.

Kerry: Well, first of all I want you to have less debt, and I want college students not to go into debt as deeply as they are, and I have a very real plan, several things I'm going to do. Number one, I have a $4,000 per student tuition tax credit, to help either the parents or the individual, if they are paying themselves, to reduce the burden of going to college.

Number two, I have a plan to help students pay down loans if they would be willing to come and do things that we think are of great value to us but which they can't afford to do because of the loans, like go teach in the inner city or teach in a rural community or go do child care, help children, which is really the most important task in America. But we don't pay very much for it. So we are going to help people pay off student loans to do things of value.

Number three, I have a national service plan for America. I want high school graduates who are willing to go into their communities and serve to be able to do so, and they can help mentor young kids who are having trouble in school, or who don't have parents at home in the afternoon, or they could go work with seniors who are shut in. There is so much work to be done in communities that any high school student who does that for two years, we are going to pay for their full in-state four-year public-college education. We are going to make national service again something of value to our country. And I think those are the most important things. The final thing I'm going to do, George Bush has cut the Pell Grants, he has cut the Perkins Loans, he has cut the Stafford [Loans]. I'm going to raise those loans back up to where they were, and then we are going to grow them with inflation so that students are able to keep up. There is nothing more important in America, nothing more important to us as a country, in terms of our economy, in terms of our democracy, than to have people be able to go to college and have ongoing adult education.

Yago: Our next question for you is about jobs.

[Tape plays.] I'm from a blue-collar town, and the jobs that we used to have we don't even have anymore. Unemployment has risen, and the economy has gone down, and I want to know what you will do about this.

Kerry: I have a job-creation plan that is real for America. It begins by rolling back George Bush's unaffordable, inexcusable tax cut for the wealthiest Americans at the expense of investing in our communities and in education and in health care. I'm going to create jobs, number one, by investing in those communities. For $1 billion invested in our communities in America you could put almost 50,000 people to work. That's one quarter of what we spend every month in Iraq today. We need to invest in America.

Number two, I'm going to provide a fair playing field for the competition of the American worker with other countries. Today this administration doesn't stand up and fight for the American worker, so we are seeing jobs go overseas while Americans are not seeing their administration fight for a fair playing field in trade relationships. I will.

Number three, I'm going to close the tax loopholes that actually encourage companies to take jobs overseas and reward them for doing so at the expense of the American taxpayer. That's not just nonsense, it's indefensible — it's an insult to the American worker. I'm also going to fight to guarantee that we raise wages in America by having a fair distribution in our tax code. And we are going to have to reform the tax code to the United States in order to make it fair again.

And finally, I'm going to commit our country to science and technology, to alternative and renewable energy, to an energy-independence program that will create 500,000 new jobs in the course of my first term so that we make America energy-responsible, we create jobs doing it, and no young person ever has to be asked to go and fight and die in the Middle East because of our dependency on Mideast oil.

From global warming to AIDS — Kerry explains what he would do differently ...
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