October 5, 2004: Debate Excerpts (AP)

  • “We went into Afghanistan and very quickly the administration made a decision to divert attention from that and instead began to plan for the invasion of Iraq. And these connections — I want the American people to hear this very clearly. Listen carefully to what the vice president is saying. Because there is no connection between Saddam Hussein and the attacks of September 11th — period. The 9/11 Commission has said that’s true. (Secretary of State) Colin Powell has said it’s true. But the vice president keeps suggesting that there is. There is not. And, in fact, any connection with al-Qaida is tenuous at best.”
  • “What John Kerry said — and it’s just as clear as day to anybody who was listening — he said: ‘We will find terrorists where they are and kill them before they ever do harm to the American people, first.’ We will keep this country safe. He defended this country as a young man, he will defend this country as president of the United States. He also said very clearly that he will never give any country veto power over the security of the United States of America. Now, I know the vice president would like to pretend that wasn’t said, and the president would too. But the reality is it was said.”
  • “The Kerry record on taxes is one basically of voting for a large number of tax increases — 98 times in the United States Senate. There’s a fundamental philosophical difference here between the president and myself, who believe that we ought to let the American people keep more of what they earn and we ought to empower them to have more control over their own lives — I think the Kerry-Edwards approach basically is to raise taxes and to give government more control over the lives of individual citizens. We think that’s the wrong way to go.”