CNN.com users react to the debate
Here is a sampling of CNN.com user reactions to Wednesday's debate:
(CNN) -- CNN.com asked its users whether they thought President Bush or Sen. John Kerry made a stronger case on domestic issues during the final presidential debate.
Here is a sampling from thousands of responses, some of which have been edited.
Frank from Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey:
Once again Sen. Kerry demonstrated that there is a huge gap between what he believes and what he believes we want to hear. Sen. Kerry continues to answer questions with skewed statistical data and vague references to his nonspecific plans. Furthermore, at one time Sen. Kerry stated that he was going to stop the outsourcing of jobs to foreign countries, but now Sen. Kerry's plan for lowering health care cost is to outsource pharmaceutical jobs to Canada.
Diane Kaplan from College Station, Texas:
Sen. Kerry articulated well-thought-through plans for making health care accessible for all, holding back the outsourcing of jobs, increasing the minimum wage, and generally improving the lives of all Americans. President Bush just kept saying that these benefits for most Americans could not be accomplished. I guess that's true for him, since in his economic plan he keeps insisting on making excessive tax cuts permanent for the wealthiest Americans, who obviously need them the least.
Stephanie Snodgrass from Austin, Texas:
Tonight George Bush's denials further damaged his credibility. He denied we have problems with immigration, No Child Left Behind, equal pay for women and the minimum wage. Bush pretends our problems don't exist, and he won't level with the American people. The bottom line is, when it comes to the concerns of the middle class, George Bush just doesn't get it -- doesn't know how to talk about it -- and has no way to fix it. While he offered nothing but more of the same tired rhetoric -- John Kerry presented real solutions to real problems.
Russell Sigley from Glen Burnie, Maryland:
I believe President Bush has won the debate. We as a nation need to separate rhetoric from reality. Actions do speak louder than words. It is nice for a candidate to get in front of the cameras and say all the right things. The real test is, will this candidate put action behind those words. Sen. Kerry has had 20 years in the Senate to form his opinions on many core issues. Now do we believe what we see on television, or do we believe 20 years of his voting record? President Bush is not the most popular man in America, but he does not back down from his fundamental values. It is possible to be eloquent and still be wrong.
Karen Kincaid from Raleigh, North Carolina:
John Kerry won the debate. George Bush could not even answer the questions, and kept repeating that education alone was the answer to loss of jobs, loss of health insurance, rise in poverty, and low minimum wage. It is frightening that he is in charge of the country.
Natalie Norris from Roanoke, Virginia:
Landslide victory for Bush!! Once again Kerry said, "I have a plan," but could not explain any plan's implementation or financing.
Ian Russell from Whitefield, New Hampshire:
John Kerry had real answers, and George Bush had misrepresentations, platitudes, and an obsession with Ted Kennedy. Overall though, a poor debate with a poor selection of questions. The American public had learned from the first two debates that John Kerry should be our next president, and nothing changed tonight.
Bill Connelly from Lexington, Virginia:
Once again the media has "misunderestimated" President Bush. Former Gov. Bush proved himself fully conversant on domestic issues tonight. He came out strong, knocked Sen. Kerry off his game. By the end, Kerry was beginning to look like Walter Mondale losing a debate to the Gipper.
Jean Kelley from Irving, Texas:
President Bush seemed much more personable and passionate about key issues related to America's security and economy. John Kerry sounded like a true politician ... tell "every" group what they want to hear.
Richard Niedzwiecki from Brunswick, Ohio:
John Kerry is desperately needed as our next president. He offers inspiration, hope and relief for our devastated economy, disfranchised nation, polarized "class (wealth)" distinctions, lack of worldwide allies and a plan for winning the peace in Iraq. President Bush appears lost in these debates and does not even seem aware of the deteriorating situations.
Jason Corley from Franklin, Tennessee:
Bush stated his policies very clearly. His tax cuts have helped all Americans paying taxes by putting monies back in their pockets to spend and invest while strengthening education, the military and health care with HSA accounts. Kerry can't possibly fund all of his initiatives with $800 billion from the 1 percent that are creating jobs and strengthening the economy. He can't pay for Social Security, health care, military, and homeland security without raising taxes on everyone. Bush was terrific on domestic policy, and it is working.
Mark Williams from Miami, Florida:
Kerry won the debate by outlining ways to create more jobs, slow outsourcing, provide lower costs for health care, distribute more fairly the tax burden, and increase our safety by banning assault weapons. Bush quite often either didn't understand the question or had no answer with which to stay on message regarding affirmative action and job creation. Bush's answer to the jobs question was to talk about the importance of testing and diagnosis in education!