AllPolitics - Debates '96

All The Questions

The audience in this town hall debate asked all the questions. The candidate asked the question had 90 seconds to answer, followed by 60 seconds by the other candidate for rebuttal, then 30 seconds by the first candidate to make a final response. Dole and Clinton each began and ended with two-minute statements. (Dole opening, Clinton opening, Dole closing, Clinton closing)

Clicking on the underlined links will take you to that part of the full transcript.

QUESTION: My name is Shannon McAfee. I'm a beginning educator in this country. And I really think it's important what children have to say. They're still very idealistic. And everything they say comes from the heart.

I have a quote for you from "If I Were President," compiled by Peggy Gavin. A sixth-grader says, "If I were president I would think about Abraham Lincoln and George Washington and what they did to make our country great. We should unite the White and Black people and people of all cultures. Democrats and Republicans should unite also. We should all come together and think of the best ways to solve the economic problems of our country."

I believe that when we are able to come together and stop fighting amongst ourselves, we will get along a lot better. These are the ideals and morals that we are trying to teach our children in these days. Yet, we don't seem to be practicing them in our government, in anything. If you are president, how will you begin to practice what we are preaching to our children, the future of our nation?

QUESTION: Dr. Robert Berkeley. I'm a cardiologist from Fallbrook, California. Mr. President, I'd like to know if you'd please explain your plans for -- in a substantive fashion -- for addressing the problems with the health care system in our country.

QUESTION: Senator Dole. Active duty military and small business owner. And my question is, what is your position on closing the gap between military and civilian pay scales?

QUESTION: President Clinton, my name is Cecily Kelly. Yesterday, Yasser Arafat said in Palestine that he thinks the key to success in the Middle East is the commitment of Americans. Would you, as president, send American troops to Israel or the West Bank as peace keepers?

QUESTION: Senator Dole, Oscar Delgado... an ex-smoker for 30 years. About 30 years ago, I was a pack-plus a day man, OK? You mentioned in a statement you said some time ago that you didn't think nicotine was addictive. Would you care to -- are you still -- hold to that statement, or do you wish to recant, or explain yourself?

QUESTION: President Clinton, my name's Jack Flack. I'm a retired Air Force pilot. Sir, it's officially forecast that our annual Medicare and Social Security deficits are measured in the trillions of dollars next century.

Depending upon who you listen to, Social Security will be bankrupt in the year 2025 or 2030. I feel this is grossly unfair, especially to our younger generations who are losing faith in the system.

My question is this: assuming you agree that our entitlement programs are on an unsustainable course, what specific reforms do you propose?

QUESTION: Senator Dole, my name is Suzanne Gonzalez and I would like to know what you are -- what would be your first step in reforming welfare?

QUESTION: Mr. President, my name is Pamela Johnson, and I'm a landlord. My question is, does your party have any future plans to reduce the capital gains tax, especially for retired Americans?

QUESTION: My name is Melissa Lydeana. I'm a third-year student at UC San Diego. And I just want to say that it's a great honor representing the voices of America. And my voice -- my question is concerning you, Mr. Dole. All the controversy regarding your age, how do you feel you can respond to the young voices of America today, and tomorrow?

QUESTION: Hello. My name is Tracy Sanders and my question is, do you feel that America has grown enough and has educated itself enough to totally cut out affirmative action?

QUESTION: I'm a mechanical engineer. Senator Dole, how do you reduce taxes and balance the budget?

QUESTION: My name is Dwayne Burns, I'm a martial arts instructor and a father. Mr. President, could you outline any plans you have to expand the Family Leave Act?

QUESTION: Hi, I'm a wife and mother of two sons from Carlsbad. And my question for you, Senator Dole, is as the wife of a San Diego business owner, I see one of our biggest problems in the U.S. does not manufacture enough of our own products. How would you help this problem out?

QUESTION: I'm a travel agent. Can you please explain your policy on the employment non-discrimination act that would have prohibited discrimination, would have prohibited people from being fired from their jobs simply for being gay or lesbian.

QUESTION: Senator Dole, I am Verda Strategus, and I work in health care. And it's truly an honor to be here tonight to address both of you. Being in health care -- we have talked a little bit about health care tonight -- but mainly MediCal and Medicare have been mentioned. But, the private sector is a problem.

Managed care is taking over, especially, in California. And because of that, the quality of care is going downhill. There are many, many people who cannot get the tests that they need, when they need them. And because of that, they are dying needlessly.

There are many, many more lawsuits being presented against the managed-care industry because of this and I think it's a real problem that needs to be addressed. What would you do if you were president?

QUESTION: I'd sort of like to -- Colleen O'Connor. I teach history and political science at San Diego Mesa College right up the road here. And I'd like to T-off from the original question by another teacher and speak for those people that aren't here tonight.

Sixty-three percent of the American people are not participating, that are eligible to vote, not even participating in the process. Several parties can't even get into the debate.

The Green party, the Reform party, the Natural Law party, all of these people have basically opted out of what we're still participating in. And if we, in fact, are going to bring the country back together and be all faces around the table, the new American family, what do you see as something the president can do to begin that process to bring them back in?

QUESTION: I'm Iris Seifert and I'm unemployed... Senator Dole, we talked about Social Security for us baby boomers but shouldn't we be saving and investing for our own retirement as well? Are you planning any incentives to encourage us to take care of ourselves rather to rely on the government and on Social Security when we retire?

QUESTION: Good evening, I'm Michael Smith. I'm a electronics technician in the navy. My question was how you plan to deal with the trade deficit with Japan?

QUESTION: This great nation has been established by the founding fathers who possessed a very strong Christian beliefs and godly principles. If elected president of the United States, what could you do to return this nation to these basic principles. And also, do you feel that the president, the office of the president, has the responsibility to set the role example to inspire our young people?

QUESTION: My name is Eyvette Dubbie and I, too, am a minister. I'm with the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches. President Clinton perhaps you could help me with something tonight. I've heard Mr. Dole say several times, all of us together. And when he was asked if he would support equal rights in employment for gay and lesbian people, you said that you favored that. And he said that he did not believe in special rights. And I thought the question was equal rights for all people.

And I don't understand why people are using the term "special rights" when the question is equal rights. Could you help me in understanding that?

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