The Presidential Debates Between Bill Clinton and Dole

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The Presidential Debates Between Bill Clinton and Dole

Philip Rubacha
October 22, 1996

The presidential debates between democratic President William Clinton and Republican Senator Robert Dole proved to be a game of "dodge-ball". Bob Dole fired criticism and attacks while Clinton tried to "dodge" them. Dole attacked him on most of his ideas, and his tendency to exaggerate. Clinton avoided the lies he made since the 1992 presidential campaign (brought up by Dole, of course) by revealing all that he accomplished for the good of the people. Clinton focused on politics at a federal level at home, and tried to avoid foreign affairs. Dole based his debate on a state or local level. They both had separate ideas on different topics such as education, taxes, etc. They used these opposite ideas to attack each other.

The debates went smoothly through the first minutes without a lot of conflict but shortly into the debate Clinton makes his claim that "The United States is better off now than it was four years ago". Dole attacks by saying "He's (Clinton) better off than he was four years ago". Although it cracked a few laughs, it showed how little respect he has for Clinton and how desperate he is getting to resort to such cheesy remarks. The first several minutes of the debate had Clinton summarizing all that he has done in the past four years such as 10.5 million more jobs, the Brady Bill, and Family, Medical, and educational bills. In turn Dole complains that the United States has stagnant wages, and that 40% of wages are spent on taxes. On the topic of drug use in the United States Clinton claimed that cocaine use decreased 30% and crime decreased as well. Dole soon reacted by saying, rather sarcastically that drug abuse has doubled and for so much money that has been spent on crime little has changed. Throughout the debates Clinton claims he has done so much good for the country such as cutting the size of government, and stimulating...
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