October 1, 2004: Stand by your man: Parties defend candidates after Bush-Kerry debate (AFP)

  • White House communications director Dan Bartlett suggested Bush delivered a knock-out blow when he "again renewed his pledge to the American people about doing everything he could in his power to protect them."
  • Bartlett told ABC television that Bush "felt he clearly articulated to the American people clearly that he has the strategy, the plan and the resolve, as commander in chief, to continue to fight this war on terror and protect the American people."
  • Kerry’s running mate, Senator John Edwards , told NBC television, "I think what the American people saw last night is what I have known all along: which is John Kerry has strength, he has conviction, he’s completely prepared to be commander in chief … The problem is the president.
  • "The president, even in the debate last night, still does not acknowledge what the American people see on their television screen everyday.