Transcript Part 2: Ensuring Americans' safety
ST. LOUIS, Missouri (CNN) -- The following is a transcript of the debate between President George W. Bush and Sen. John Kerry held Friday night at Washington University. The second debate between the two took a town hall style format.
The questions are from undecided voters and the debate was moderated by Charles Gibson of ABC News.
All answers are linked to the questions in the box to the right.
Question 7: Sen. Kerry, why haven't we been attacked since September 11 and how do you propose to assure our safety?
GIBSON: The next question, Sen. Kerry, is for you, and it comes from Ann Bronsing, who I believe is over in this area.
QUESTIONER: Sen. Kerry, we have been fortunate that there have been no further terrorist attacks on American soil since 9/11. Why do you think this is? And if elected, what will you do to assure our safety?
KERRY: Thank you very much, Ann. I've asked in my security briefings why that is, and I can't go into all the answers, et cetera, but let me say this to you. This president and his administration have told you and all of us it's not a question of when, it's a question of -- excuse me -- not a question of if, it's a question of when.
We've been told that. The when I can't tell you. Between the World Trade Center bombing in, what was it, 1993 or so, and the next time was five years, seven years. These people wait. They'll plan. They plot. I agree with the president that we have to go after them and get them wherever they are. I just think I can do that far more effectively, because the most important weapon in doing that is intelligence.
You've got to have the best intelligence in the world. And in order to have the best intelligence in the world to know who the terrorists are and where they are and what they're plotting, you've got to have the best cooperation you've ever had in the world.
Now, to go back to your question, Nikki, we're not getting the best cooperation in the world today. We've got a whole bunch of countries that pay a price for dealing with the United States of America now. I'm going to change that. And I'm going to put in place a better homeland security effort. Look, 95 percent of our containers coming into this country are not inspected today.
When you get on an airplane, your bag is X- rayed, but the cargo hold isn't X-rayed. Do you feel safer? This president in the last debate said, "Well, that would be a big tax gap if we did that." Ladies and gentlemen, it's his tax plan.
He chose a tax cut for the wealthiest Americans over getting that equipment out into the homeland as fast as possible. We have bridges and tunnels that aren't being secured, chemical plants, nuclear plants that aren't secured, hospitals that are overcrowded with their emergency rooms. If we had a disaster today, could they handle it? This president chose a tax cut over homeland security. Wrong choice.
GIBSON: Mr. President?
BUSH: That's an odd thing to say, since we've tripled the homeland security budget from $10 billion to $30 billion. Listen, we'll do everything we can to protect the homeland. My opponent's right, we need good intelligence. It's also a curious thing for him to say since right after 1993 he voted to cut the intelligence budget by $7.5 billion.
The best way to defend America in this world we live in is to stay on the offense. We got to be right 100 percent of the time here at home, and they got to be right once. And that's the reality. And there's a lot of good people working hard. We're doing the best we possibly can to share information. That's why the Patriot Act was important. The Patriot Act is vital, by the way. It's a tool that law enforcement now uses to be able to talk between each other.
My opponent says he hadn't changed his position on it. No, but he's for weakening it. I don't think my opponent has got the right view about the world to make us safe; I really don't. First of all, I don't think he can succeed in Iraq. And if Iraq were to fail, it'd be a haven for terrorists, and there would be money and the world would be much more dangerous.
I don't see how you can win in Iraq if you don't believe we should be there in the first place. I don't see how you can lead troops if you say it's the wrong war at the wrong place at the wrong time. I don't see how the Iraqis are going to have confidence in the American president if all they hear is that it was a mistake to be there in the first place.
This war is a long, long war, and it requires steadfast determination and it requires a complete understanding that we not only chase down al Qaeda but we disrupt terrorist safe havens as well as people who could provide the terrorists with support.
GIBSON: I want to extend for a minute, Senator. And I'm curious about something you said. You said, "It's not when, but if." You think it's inevitable because the sense of security is a very basic thing with everybody in this country worried about their kids.
KERRY: Well, the president and his experts have told America that it's not a question of if; it's a question of when. And I accept what the president has said. These terrorists are serious, they're deadly, and they know nothing except trying to kill. I understand that. That's why I will never stop at anything to hunt down and kill the terrorists. But you heard the president just say to you that we've added money.
Folks, the test is not if you've added money; the test is that you've done everything possible to make America secure. He chose a tax cut for wealthy Americans over the things that I listed to you.
GIBSON: Mr. President?
BUSH: Well, we'll talk about the tax cut for middle class here in a minute. But yes, I'm worried. I'm worried. I'm worried about our country. And all I can tell you is every day I know that there's people working overtime, doing the very best they can. And the reason I'm worried is because there's a vicious enemy that has an ideology of hate. And the way to defeat them long-term, by the way, is to spread freedom. Liberty can change habits. And that's what's happening in Afghanistan and Iraq.
(Back to top)
Question 8: President Bush, why did you block the importation of drugs from Canada?
GIBSON: Mr. President, we're going to turn to questions now on domestic policy. And we're going to start with health issues.
And the first question is for President Bush and it's from John Horstman.
QUESTIONER: Mr. President, why did you block the reimportation of safer and inexpensive drugs from Canada which would have cut 40 to 60 percent off of the cost?
BUSH: I haven't yet. Just want to make sure they're safe. When a drug comes in from Canada, I want to make sure it cures you and doesn't kill you.
And that's why the FDA and that's why the surgeon general are looking very carefully to make sure it can be done in a safe way. I've got an obligation to make sure our government does everything we can to protect you.
And what my worry is is that, you know, it looks like it's from Canada, and it might be from a third world. And we've just got to make sure, before somebody thinks they're buying a product, that it works. And that's why we're doing what we're doing.
Now, it may very well be here in December you'll hear me say, I think there's a safe way to do it.
There are other ways to make sure drugs are cheaper. One is to speed up generic drugs to the marketplace, quicker. Pharmaceuticals were using loopholes to keep brand -- brand drugs in place, and generics are much less expensive than brand drugs. And we're doing just that.
Another is to pass -- to get our seniors to sign up to these drug discount cards, and they're working.
Wanda Blackmore I met here from Missouri, the first time she bought drugs with her drug discount card, she paid $1.14, I think it was, for about $10 worth of drugs.
These cards make sense. And, you know, in 2006 seniors are going to get prescription drug coverage for the first time in Medicare. Because I went to Washington to fix problems.
Medicare -- the issue of Medicare used to be called "Mediscare." People didn't want to touch it for fear of getting hurt politically.
I wanted to get something done. I think our seniors deserve a modern medical system. And in 2006, our seniors will get prescription drug coverage.
Thank you for asking.
GIBSON: Senator, a minute and a half.
KERRY: John, you heard the president just say that he thought he might try to be for it.
Four years ago, right here in this forum, he was asked the same question: Can't people be able to import drugs from Canada? You know what he said? "I think that makes sense. I think that's a good idea" -- four years ago.
Now, the president said, "I'm not blocking that." Ladies and gentlemen, the president just didn't level with you right now again. He did block it, because we passed it in the United States Senate. We sent it over to the House, that you could import drugs. We took care of the safety issues.
We're not talking about third-world drugs. We're talking about drugs made right here in the United States of America that have American brand names on them and American bottles. And we're asking to be able to allow you to get them.
The president blocked it. The president also took Medicare, which belongs to you. And he could have lowered the cost of Medicare and lowered your taxes and lowered the costs to seniors.
You know what he did? He made it illegal, illegal for Medicare to do what the V.A. does, which is bulk purchase drugs so that you can lower the price and get them out to you lower.
He put $139 billion of windfall profit into the pockets of the drug companies right out of your pockets. That's the difference between us. The president sides with the power companies, the oil companies, the drug companies. And I'm fighting to let you get those drugs from Canada, and I'm fighting to let Medicare survive.
I'm fighting for the middle class. That is the difference.
BUSH: If they're safe, they're coming. I want to remind you that it wasn't just my administration that made the decision on safety. President Clinton did the same thing, because we have an obligation to protect you.
Now, he talks about Medicare. He's been in the United States Senate 20 years. Show me one accomplishment toward Medicare that he accomplished.
I've been in Washington, D.C., three and a half years and led the Congress to reform Medicare so our seniors have got a modern health care system. That's what leadership is all about.
KERRY: Actually, Mr. President, in 1997 we fixed Medicare, and I was one of the people involved in it.
We not only fixed Medicare and took it way out into the future, we did something that you don't know how to do: We balanced the budget. And we paid down the debt of our nation for two years in a row, and we created 23 million new jobs at the same time.
And it's the president's fiscal policies that have driven up the biggest deficits in American history. He's added more debt to the debt of the United States in four years than all the way from George Washington to Ronald Reagan put together. Go figure.
(Back to top)
Question 9: Sen. Kerry, you're concerned about the rising cost of health care -- why did you chose a running mater who has made millions suing medical professionals?
GIBSON: The next question is for Senator Kerry. And this comes from Norma-Jean Laurent.
QUESTIONER: Sen. Kerry, you've stated your concern for the rising cost of health care, yet you chose a vice presidential candidate who has made millions of dollars successfully suing medical professionals. How do you reconcile this with the voters?
KERRY: Very easily. John Edwards is the author of the Patients' Bill of Rights. He wanted to give people rights. John Edwards and I support tort reform. We both believe that, as lawyers -- I'm a lawyer, too. And I believe that we will be able to get a fix that has alluded everybody else because we know how to do it.
It's in my health-care proposal. Go to johnkerry.com. You can pull it off of the Internet. And you'll find a tort reform plan.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, important to understand, the president and his friends try to make a big deal out of it. Is it a problem? Yes, it's a problem. Do we need to fix it, particularly for OGBYNs and for brain surgeons and others? Yes.
But it's less than 1 percent of the total cost of health care.
Your premiums are going up. You've gone up, in Missouri, about $3,500. You've gone up 64 percent. You've seen co-pays go up, deductibles go up. Everything's gone up.
Five million people have lost their health insurance under this president. He's done nothing about it.
I have a plan. I have a plan to lower the cost of health care for you. I have a plan to cover all children. I have a plan to let you buy into the same health care senators and congressmen give themselves.
I have a plan that's going to allow people 55 to 64 to buy into Medicare early.
And I have a plan that will take the catastrophic cases out of the system, off your backs, pay for it out of a federal fund, which lowers the premiums for everybody in America, makes American business more competitive and makes health care more affordable.
Now, all of that can happen, but I have to ask you to do one thing: Join me in rolling back the president's unaffordable tax cut for people earning more than $200,000 a year. That's all.
Ninety-eight percent of America, I'm giving you a tax cut and I'm giving you health care.
GIBSON: Mr. President, a minute and a half.
BUSH: Let me see where to start here.
First, the National Journal named Sen. Kennedy [sic] the most liberal senator of all. And that's saying something in that bunch. You might say that took a lot of hard work.
The reason I bring that up is because he's proposed $2.2 trillion in new spending, and he says he going to tax the rich to close the tax gap.
He can't. He's going to tax everybody here to fund his programs. That's just reality.
And what are his health programs? First, he says he's for medical liability reform, particularly for OB/GYNs. There's a bill on the floor of the United States Senate that he could have showed up and voted for if he's so much for it.
Secondly, he says that medical liability costs only cause a 1 percent increase. That shows a lack of understanding. Doctors practice defensive medicine because of all the frivolous lawsuits that cost our government $28 billion a year.
And finally, he said he's going to have a novel health care plan. You know what it is? The federal government is going to run it.
It's the largest increase in federal government health care ever. And it fits with his philosophy. That's why I told you about the award he won from the National Journal.
That's what liberals do. They create government-sponsored health care. Maybe you think that makes sense. I don't.
Government-sponsored health care would lead to rationing. It would ruin the quality of health care in America.
GIBSON: Sen. Kerry, we got several questions along this line, and I'm just curious if you'd go further on what you talked about with tort reform. Would you be favoring capping awards on pain and suffering? Would you limit attorney's fees?
KERRY: A follow-up...
GIBSON: Yes. A follow-up on this for...
KERRY: Yes, I think we should look at the punitive and we should have some limitations.
But look, what's really important, Charlie, is the president is just trying to scare everybody here with throwing labels around. I mean, "compassionate conservative," what does that mean? Cutting 500,000 kids from after-school programs, cutting 365,000 kids from health care, running up the biggest deficits in American history.
Mr. President, you're batting 0 for 2.
I mean, seriously -- labels don't mean anything. What means something is: Do you have a plan? And I want to talk about my plan some more -- I hope we can.
GIBSON: We'll get to that in just a minute.
Thirty seconds, President Bush.
BUSH: You're right, what does matter is a plan. He said he's for -- you're now for capping punitive damages? That's odd. You should have shown up on the floor in the Senate and voted for it then.
Medical liability issues are a problem, a significant problem. He's been in the United States Senate for 20 years and he hasn't addressed it.
We passed it out of the House of Representatives. Guess where it's stuck? It's stuck in the Senate, because the trial lawyers won't act on it. And he put a trial lawyer on the ticket.
(Back to top)
Question 10: President Bush, please explain why your spending plans are superior to Sen. Kerry's.
GIBSON: The next question is for President Bush, and it comes from Matthew O'Brien.
QUESTIONER: Mr. President, you have enjoyed a Republican majority in the House and Senate for most of your presidency. In that time, you've not vetoed a single spending bill. Excluding $120 billion spent in Iran and -- I'm sorry, Iraq and Afghanistan, there has been $700 billion spent and not paid for by taxes.
Please explain how the spending you have approved and not paid for is better for the American people than the spending proposed by your opponent.
BUSH: Right, thank you for that.
We have a deficit. We have a deficit because this country went into a recession. You might remember the stock market started to decline dramatically six months before I came to office, and then the bubble of the 1990s popped. And that cost us revenue. That cost us revenue.
Secondly, we're at war. And I'm going to spend what it takes to win the war, more than just $120 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan. We've got to pay our troops more. We have. We've increased money for ammunition and weapons and pay and homeland security.
I just told this lady over here we spent -- went from $10 billion to $30 billion to protect the homeland. I think we have an obligation to spend that kind of money.
And plus, we cut taxes for everybody. Everybody got tax relief, so that they get out of the recession.
I think if you raise taxes during a recession, you head to depression. I come from the school of thought that says when people have more money in their pocket during economic times, it increases demand or investment. Small businesses begin to grow, and jobs are added.
We found out today that over the past 13 months, we've added 1.9 million new jobs in the last 13 months.
I proposed a plan, detailed budget, that shows us cutting the deficit in half by five years.
And you're right, I haven't vetoed any spending bills, because we work together.
Non-homeland, non-defense discretionary spending was raising at 15 percent a year when I got into office. And today it's less than 1 percent, because we're working together to try to bring this deficit under control.
Like you, I'm concerned about the deficit. But I am not going to shortchange our troops in harm's way. And I'm not going to run up taxes, which will cost this economy jobs.
Thank you for your question.
GIBSON: Sen. Kerry, a minute and a half.
KERRY: Let me begin by saying that my health-care plan is not what the president described. It is not a government takeover.
You have choice. Choose your doctor, choose your plan. The government has nothing to do with it.
In fact, it doesn't ask you to do anything -- if you don't want to take it, you don't have to. If you like your high premiums, you keep them. That's the way we leave it.
Now with respect to the deficit, the president was handed a $5.6 trillion surplus, ladies and gentlemen. That's where he was when he came into office.
We now have a $2.6 trillion deficit. This is the biggest turnaround in the history of the country. He's the first president in 72 years to lose jobs.
He talked about war. This is the first time the United States of America has ever had a tax cut when we're at war.
Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, others, knew how to lead. They knew how to ask the American people for the right things.
One percent of America, the highest 1 percent of income earners in America, got $89 billion of tax cut last year. One percent of America got more than the 80 percent of America that earned from $100,000 down.
The president thinks it's more important to fight for that top 1 percent than to fight for fiscal responsibility and to fight for you.
I want to put money in your pocket. I am -- I have a proposal for a tax cut for all people earning less than the $200,000. The only people affected by my plan are the top income earners of America.
GIBSON: I both -- I heard you both say -- I have heard you both say during the campaign, I just heard you say it, that you're going to cut the deficit by a half in four years. But I didn't hear one thing in the last three and a half minutes that would indicate how either one of you do that.
BUSH: Well, look at the budget. One is make sure Congress doesn't overspend.
But let me talk back about where we've been. The stock market was declining six months prior to my arrival.
It was the largest stock market correction -- one of the largest in history, which foretold a recession.
Because we cut taxes on everybody -- remember, we ran up the child credit by $1,000, we reduced the marriage penalty, we created a 10 percent bracket, everybody who pays taxes got relief -- the recession was one of the shortest in our nation's history.
GIBSON: Sen. Kerry, 30 seconds.
KERRY: After 9/11, after the recession had ended, the president asked for another tax cut and promised 5.6 million jobs would be created. He lost 1.6 million, ladies and gentlemen. And most of that tax cut went to the wealthiest people in the country.
He came and asked for a tax cut -- we wanted a tax cut to kick the economy into gear. Do you know what he presented us with? A $25 billion giveaway to the biggest corporations in America, including a $254 million refund check to Enron.
Wrong priorities. You are my priority.
(Back to top)
Question 11: Sen. Kerry, will you pledge not to raise taxes on families making less than $200,000 during your first term?
GIBSON: Sen. Kerry, the next question will be for you, and it comes from James Varner, who I believe is in this section.
Mr. Varner? You need a microphone.
QUESTIONER: Thank you.
Sen. Kerry, would you be willing to look directly into the camera and, using simple and unequivocal language, give the American people your solemn pledge not to sign any legislation that will increase the tax burden on families earning less than $200,000 a year during your first term?
KERRY: Absolutely. Yes. Right into the camera. Yes. I am not going to raise taxes.
I have a tax cut. And here's my tax cut.
I raise the child-care credit by $1,000 for families to help them be able to take care of their kids.
I have a $4,000 tuition tax credit that goes to parents -- and kids, if they're earning for themselves -- to be able to pay for college.
And I lower the cost of health care in the way that I described to you.
Every part of my program I've shown how I'm going to pay for it.
And I've gotten good people, like former Secretary of the Treasury Bob Rubin, for instance, who showed how to balance budgets and give you a good economy, to help me crunch these numbers and make them work. I've even scaled back some of my favorite programs already, like the child-care program I wanted to fund and the national service program, because the president's deficit keeps growing and I've said as a pledge, "I'm going to cut the deficit in half in four years."
Now, I'm going to restore what we did in the 1990s, ladies and gentlemen: pay as you go. We're going to do it like you do it. The president broke the pay-as-you-go rule.
Somebody here asked the question about, "Why haven't you vetoed something?" It's a good question. If you care about it, why don't you veto it?
I think John McCain called the energy bill the "No Lobbyist Left Behind" bill.
I mean, you've got to stand up and fight somewhere, folks.
I'm pledging I will not raise taxes; I'm giving a tax cut to the people earning less than $200,000 a year.
Now, for the people earning more than $200,000 a year, you're going to see a rollback to the level we were at with Bill Clinton, when people made a lot of money. And looking around here, at this group here, I suspect there are only three people here who are going to be affected: the president, me, and, Charlie, I'm sorry, you too.
GIBSON: Mr. President, 90 seconds.
BUSH: He's just not credible when he talks about being fiscally conservative. He's just not credible. If you look at his record in the Senate, he voted to break the caps -- the spending caps -- over 200 times.
And here he says he's going to be a fiscal conservative, all of a sudden. It's just not credible. You cannot believe it.
And of course he's going to raise your taxes. You see, he's proposed $2.2 trillion of new spending. And you say: Well, how are you going to pay for it? He says, well, he's going to raise the taxes on the rich -- that's what he said -- the top two brackets. That raises, he says $800 billion; we say $600 billion. We've got battling green eye shades.
Somewhere in between those numbers -- and so there's a difference, what he's promised and what he can raise.
Now, either he's going to break all these wonderful promises he's told you about or he's going to raise taxes. And I suspect, given his record, he's going to raise taxes.
Is my time up yet?
GIBSON: No, you can keep going.
BUSH: Good. You looked at me like my clock was up.
I think that the way to grow this economy is to keep taxes low, is have an energy plan, is to have litigation reform. As I told you, we've just got a report that said over the past 13 months, we've created 1.9 million new jobs.
And so the fundamental question of this campaign is: Who's going to keep the economy growing so people can work? That's the fundamental question.
GIBSON: I'm going to come back one more time to how these numbers add up and how you can cut that deficit in half in four years, given what you've both said.
KERRY: Well, first of all, the president's figures of $2.2 trillion just aren't accurate. Those are the fuzzy math figures put together by some group that works for the campaign. That's not the number.
Number two, John McCain and I have a proposal, jointly, for a commission that closes corporate giveaway loopholes. We've got $40 billion going to Bermuda. We've got all kinds of giveaways. We ought to be shutting those down.
And third, credible: Ladies and gentlemen, in 1985, I was one of the first Democrats to move to balance the budget. I voted for the balanced budget in '93 and '97. We did it. We did it. And I was there.
GIBSON: Thirty seconds. I'm sorry, thirty seconds, Mr. President.
BUSH: Yes, I mean, he's got a record. It's been there for 20 years. You can run, but you can't hide. He voted 98 times to raise taxes. I mean, these aren't make-up figures.
And so people are going to have to look at the record. Look at the record of the man running for the president. They don't name him the most liberal in the United States Senate because he hasn't shown up to many meetings. They named him because of his votes. And it's reality.
It's just not credible to say he's going to keep taxes down and balance budgets.
(Back to top)
Question 12: President Bush, how would you rate yourself as an environmentalist?
GIBSON: Mr. President, the next question is for you, and it comes from James Hubb over here.
QUESTIONER: Mr. President, how would you rate yourself as an environmentalist? What specifically has your administration done to improve the condition of our nation's air and water supply?
BUSH: Off-road diesel engines -- we have reached an agreement to reduce pollution from off-road diesel engines by 90 percent.
I've got a plan to increase the wetlands by 3 million. We've got an aggressive brown field program to refurbish inner-city sore spots to useful pieces of property.
I proposed to the United States Congress a Clear Skies Initiative to reduce sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and mercury by 70 percent.
I have -- was fought for a very strong title in the farm bill for the conservation reserve program to set aside millions of acres of land to help improve wildlife and the habitat.
We proposed and passed a healthy forest bill which was essential to working with -- particularly in Western states -- to make sure that our forests were protected.
What happens in those forests, because of lousy federal policy, is they grow to be -- they are not -- they're not harvested. They're not taken care of. And as a result, they're like tinderboxes.
And over the last summers I've flown over there. And so, this is a reasonable policy to protect old stands of trees and at the same time make sure our forests aren't vulnerable to the forest fires that have destroyed acres after acres in the West.
We've got a good, common-sense policy.
Now, I'm going to tell you what I really think is going to happen over time is technology is going to change the way we live for the good for the environment.
That's why I proposed a hydrogen automobile -- hydrogen-generated automobile. We're spending $1 billion to come up with the technologies to do that.
That's why I'm a big proponent of clean coal technology, to make sure we can use coal but in a clean way.
I guess you'd say I'm a good steward of the land.
The quality of the air's cleaner since I've been the president. Fewer water complaints since I've been the president. More land being restored since I've been the president.
Thank you for your question.
GIBSON: Sen. Kerry, minute and a half.
KERRY: Boy, to listen to that -- the president, I don't think, is living in a world of reality with respect to the environment.
Now, if you're a Red Sox fan, that's OK. But if you're a president, it's not.
Let me just say to you, number one, don't throw the labels around. Labels don't mean anything.
I supported welfare reform. I led the fight to put 100,000 cops on the streets of America. I've been for faith-based initiatives helping to intervene in the lives of young children for years. I was -- broke with my party in 1985, one of the first three Democrats to fight for a balanced budget when it was heresy.
Labels don't fit, ladies and gentlemen.
Now, when it comes to the issue of the environment, this is one of the worst administrations in modern history.
The Clear Skies bill that he just talked about, it's one of those Orwellian names you pull out of the sky, slap it onto something, like "No Child Left Behind" but you leave millions of children behind. Here they're leaving the skies and the environment behind.
If they just left the Clean Air Act all alone the way it is today, no change, the air would be cleaner that it is if you pass the Clear Skies act. We're going backwards.
In fact, his environmental enforcement chief air-quality person at the EPA resigned in protest over what they're doing to what are calling the new source performance standards for air quality.
They're going backwards on the definition for wetlands. They're going backwards on the water quality.
They pulled out of the global warming, declared it dead, didn't even accept the science.
I'm going to be a president who believes in science.
GIBSON: Mr. President?
BUSH: Well, had we joined the Kyoto treaty, which I guess he's referring to, it would have cost America a lot of jobs.
It's one of these deals where, in order to be popular in the halls of Europe, you sign a treaty. But I thought it would cost a lot I think there's a better way to do it.
And I just told you the facts, sir. The quality of the air is cleaner since I've been the president of the United States. And we'll continue to spend money on research and development, because I truly believe that's the way to get from how we live today to being able to live a standard of living that we're accustomed to and being able to protect our environment better, the use of technologies.
GIBSON: Sen. Kerry, 30 seconds.
KERRY: The fact is that the Kyoto treaty was flawed. I was in Kyoto, and I was part of that. I know what happened. But this president didn't try to fix it. He just declared it dead, ladies and gentlemen, and we walked away from the work of 160 nations over 10 years.
You wonder, Nikki, why it is that people don't like us in some parts of the world. You just say: Hey, we don't agree with you. Goodbye.
The president's done nothing to try to fix it. I will.
Continued: Question 13 -- Sen. Kerry, how can the U.S. be competitive in manufacturing and still pay the wages Americans have come to expect?