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Bush/Kerry Debate Reaction

I think the media is expecting the people to make their choice based on this first debate. There is a lot more to hear for those who are undecided. I think it was obvious that the President repeated many answers to the questions asked and Kerry did well stating his plans for presidency.

-Diana, 20
Union City, NJ

Like many Americans dissatisfied with President Bush's performance, I have had reservations about Senator Kerry, but his performance and demeanor last night have made me feel much more comfortable with - and even eager for - the prospect of a Kerry Presidency.

-Orez, 25
Los Angeles, CA

I don't think either candidate effectively convinced anyone to change their vote. I think if you were republican or democrat going into this debate when it was over your vote remained the same. I dont think a 90 min. debate changed anything. I look forward to the next two debates.

-Judith, 20
Miami, FL

I don't see how anyone thought Kerry won the debate. He never gave a clear answer. I especially hated his last answer. The question was about Russia and he wanted to talk about China. Talk about being unprepared!

-Candess, 19
Plainview, TX

They both were never 100% sure of what they were talking about and all I have to say is that the fact that we have these two choose from scares me.

-Elliot, 18
Binghamton, NJ

Kerry's views on nuclear non-proliferation and diplomacy were right on. He also corrected George W. Bush when Bush suggested that Saddam was involved in the 9/11 attacks. I think Kerry came across as calm and collected while Bush was irritated and impatient.

-Neal, 22
Normal, IL

I was offended when Kerry didn't even give Poland credit for their help in the war. The Polish Intelligence has played a vital role in the hunt for top terrorist leaders, of which we've caught more than 75%. How does Kerry plan to get allies when he doesn't even give credit to the many allies we already have?

-Joe, 18
Bowling Green, KY

I was glad Bush mentioned an all volunteer military. I have been annoyed to find out that it was Democrats, not the present administration, as reported, who have initiated legislation to restart the draft.

-Nancy, 30
Southaven, MS

I think that the debate was good for me to see what both candidates had to say when they were there to accuse each other and defend themselves. I thought is was interesting though that the questions didn't come from the public, but from one man. I thought they should get the questions and opinions from the people of the general public.

-Sarah, 15
Easton, MD

Kerry might have looked better, but while he was at the spa getting ready, Bush was visiting victims of the Florida hurricane.

-Jake, 18
Orlando, FL


Have Bush and Kerry made a serious effort toward speaking to our generation? No. And those are the people who are going to fight for our country, just as Kerry did in his youth. Bush is sending this demographic to die for our freedom. Where is our voice? We have been forgotten. Not only is our generation not voting, we are being ignored. Where is the MTV debate? Candidates, answer our questions. What about jobs? What about the draft? What about education? What about social security (you know, the money we've been paying that our parents' generation will use up, not to mention the deficit)? What about choice? What about gay marriage? Our country should be focused on getting out of Iraq, and making a better U.S for generations to come.

-Jacquie, 31
Boston, MA

Senator Kerry clearly won Thursday night's debate. He spoke intelligently and proved himself to be the wiser of the two. Bush had to repeat himself several times because he had nothing new to say in response to several different questions. Bush has made too many mistakes to be allowed four more years to make any more.

-Janelle, 23
Denver, CO

I think that Bush is right when he states that we need to think about America first. If we are not strong, we will be fighting the terrorists here instead of overseas.

-Sarah, 23
McAlester, OK

Wow. I was shocked to see that Bush kept going back to the same cheap shot at Kerry, the "wrong war, wrong time, wrong place" comment. He clearly had nothing to say, and was just trying to dodge the questions because he didn't know how to respond. That is not a leader I want.

-Somi, 19
Hampton, VA

Mr. Kerry hasn't voted for a stronger defense for as long as he has served America. Why is he suddenly ready now?

-Rob, 40
Fort Myers, FL

After watching the debate, I am no more convinced that Kerry can do any better than Bush. Avoiding answering many of the questions by saying what Bush did wrong didn't make Kerry look any better. I'm not saying that I want Bush either, but Bush answered questions realistically. Kerry revealed some unrealistic hopes. Getting troops out of Iraq in six months won't help out Iraq. It will just give them weapons that they can use against us. Training them, preparing them and helping them is the way to go. We are already involved in this war, and we need to finish it the right way - not just get the hell out. I think Kerry's plan is a little off in that aspect.

-Jaime, 20
Evergreen, CO

Why should we lose as many men and women in war as we did in the World Trade Center attacks? Isn't that letting them win twice? Kerry is right: we need to fight smarter, not harder.

-Lisa, 35
Polk City, FL

I want to know why we are working so hard in third-world countries, yet we have so many problems here in our own backyard with homelessness, loss of jobs, debt, etc. I don't get it. We try so hard for those we don't know, but we turn our backs on our neighbors, as if there are more important things to fix. Why?

-Amber, 27
Waterville, ME

Why are Bush and Kerry battling over war and money issues? Why isn't either of these men trying to make a difference? All the money they are wasting could go towards AIDS research or cancer research. One of these men needs to step up to the plate.

-Marie, 16
Bismarck, ND

President Bush is doing a wonderful job. I feel I am safe with him as my president. John Kerry is a flip-flopper who I would not trust with anything, let alone this country.

-Lindsay, 21
Palm Coast, FL

I'm tired of our country being overly prideful and not respectful. Bush claims to be such a Christian, but all I hear is "God Bless America, the greatest country in the world!" I say, "God bless every country." We need to be humble and quit thinking we can solve everyone else's problems when we can't even manage our issues at home.

-Andrea, 23
Ann Arbor, MI

I was very upset by how President Bush tried to say that Iraq was a threat. I was in New York on September 11, 2001 and I was told it was bin Laden who attacked us.

-Dinley, 21
New York, NY

I was on the fence, but now I'm definitely going with Kerry. Our country can't thrive with four more years of Bush. He can't see his mistakes and can't admit to them; he all but said that. You can't correct your path if you don't know you're headed in the wrong direction. You can't correct your path if you refuse to listen to the world telling you that you're off course. I was always told that I can't be right and the whole world wrong.

-Kevin, 41
Marion, OH

Although neither of the candidates for president are top notch in my opinion, I believe that Kerry is the better choice. He proved that in Thursday's debate. Bush had a hard time defending himself and directly answering the questions. Kerry did a great job in this first debate, and I am just incapable of believing that anyone would still give their vote to Bush. Your vote counts. Don't make the mistake of putting him in office again.

-Anna, 15
Buffalo, NY

I think I'm going to go with President Bush after seeing the debate. It will be my first time voting! Thanks for getting me off my ass.

-Christine, 29
Washington, DC

I think that last night's debate was crucial in this year's election. It was amazing to see Bush's orating skills i.e. "um ... umm ..." I would think that someone fighting to keep his position as our nation's president could do better than "umms" and dead air. He seemed slow to think of comeback arguments and always resorted to the same few statements. I also loved the fact that one of his main arguments against Kerry was that he was inconsistent, when through the debate Bush went from stating that it was bin Laden's involvement with 9-11 but then said several times that a free Iraq means a safer America. Shouldn't he have said something more about Afghanistan and not Iraq? I just don't get it. Also, to Jaime from CO: I don't think you understood the debate if you think that Kerry is promising false hope about the troops. He is trying to get our troops out and have others (like the U.N.) in there to help with the job. He is saying it shouldn't be all on us. I can't wait to see what the next debate entails.

-Veronica, 21
Lafayette, IN

Senator Kerry can make some unbelievable promises, but he hasn't been the president for the last four years. Talk is cheap. Bush knows what it's like to lead a country during a time of war.

-Tyler, 24
Murfreesboro, TN

The way Bush and Kerry are talking I am starting to think the people of Iraq should be voting for our president this year. What about us? When will we see our hard-earned tax dollars help rebuild our communities? No disrespect to the terrorists of the world, but I have some issues in my neighborhood that need to be attended to just as much as those attention-starved extremists trying to get under our skin. I also want to thank Xtina Aguilera and President Bush's stance on teenage sex is. The reality is that kids are going to do it. We need to be spending millions on teaching them how to protect themselves so that our AIDS rate will go down, instead of dreaming of a world where kids wait until they are married.

-Erik, 22
Baltimore, MD

After watching the debates, the only conclusion that I have come to is neither candidate is fit to lead this nation.

-Herb, 34
New York, NY

Remember that we're being ignored because we're not voting. The candidates are not going to waste time and money campaigning toward a demographic that will not vote. We must get out there this year and vote. Be accountable for getting your friends out there to vote. We have to turn this around. And yesterday's debate was intended to focus on only foreign policy. The upcoming debates will focus on domestic issues like jobs and social security. So keep watching! While I agree (as do both candidates) that we need to exit Iraq, we must first finish what we started. And we must do it right. Whether or not it was a mistake to go in there when we did, we owe it to the Iraqi people to help them stand on their own.

-Niki, 28
Atlanta, GA

The first presidential debate has shown, quite obviously, that America needs a stronger, more focused, more logical man serving as our commander-in-chief -- John Kerry. Despite their attempts to prove otherwise, the conservative right has absolutely no ground to stand on after last night's performance. Senator Kerry was calm, forthright and precise. Our sitting president was impatient, disorganized and had nothing relevant or different to say. Americans simply cannot afford another four years with George Bush. John Kerry is the man to lead America back on the path of liberty, security and success for all involved.

-Jennifer, 29
Akron, OH

I'm a native Texan and I have never approved of Bush's "cowboy politics" of "shoot first and ask questions later." We live in a very small world today and this country has to think and act globally, but still keep our best interests first. I believe it is possible for a strong leader to bring other countries together with the U.S. and form a commitment to common goals. Our current president has had four years to do that and has squandered them, especially post 9-11. Bush's administration has been reactive rather than proactive since that disaster and has only preached fear and hate. I'm ready for a change and I hope that the majority of Americans are too.

-Janice, 46
Dallas, TX

I am voting for Senator Kerry. People seem to believe that foreign policy can be reduced to a sound bite; why don't you try solving a global problem with a one-liner. Kerry, on the other hand, has the ability to adapt and overcome in regards to current affairs. Rarely does a situation get resolved without the comprehension to be flexible. In order to achieve victory, we have to be able to evolve in our tactics, and I'm not so sure Bush believes in evolution.

-Christopher, 21
Springfield, MA

Last night's presidential debates proved to me that neither candidate is fit to be president. However, Bush has had his turn to help this country and in my opinion he has failed. Now let's see what Kerry can do because he's our only other option.

-Amrita, 19
Orlando, FL

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