Second Presidential Debate-KE04 Spin
Washington University in St. Louis - St. Louis, MO - October 8, 2004
Steve Elmendorf, Deputy Campaign Manager:
"Kerry did a
terrific job. Bush was weak, angry, defensive. I though on
Iraq in particular he didn't have anything new to say from what he said
last week. And you know you think he would have had-- Kerry
took the questions to him hard and he didn't really have anything new
to say. I mean he can't defend his position. So I thought
it was a great performance."
Tad Devine, Senior Advisor and
"I thought John Kerry had a
sensational night tonight. I think he
was the clear winner. I think he demonstrated again to the
American people he's got the capacity, he's got the character, he has
the strength to be our next president. I think he dealt with some
very important issues tonight. He pointed out the differences he
has with the president in respect to Iraq, profound differences in
terms of the president's policy there and what John Kerry would
do. He pointed out to the American people that John Kerry has a
plan for health care, a very detailed plan. The president does
not. I think he spoke powerfully to issues that people care
deeply about like stem cell research for example, where there are very
legitimate and important differences of opinion, but where John Kerry
stood up and I think very powerfully connected with people on the basis
of his beliefs and his values and I think that was an important
Mike McCurry, Senior Advisor:
was up to the task of being commander in chief. He
went toe to toe with the president on foreign policy and beat him
decisively. Tonight's debate will be remembered for the domestic
portion, the things about jobs, health care, energy independence
[reporter "environment"], environment. He went toe to toe with
the president again and beat him decisively again on those. I
think when you look at again, coming back to who's going to decide this
election, when you look at the independents and the swing voters, these
are people who by and large have said okay, we've heard enough about
Iraq, we know where you both stand. What we really want is we
want to know where you are on getting good jobs and keeping good jobs;
how are you going to get health care under control. They got
nothing from the president."
General Tony McPeak
Ret.), Former US Air Force Chief of Staff:
Question: "Is there anything from your
military career that's prepared you for the experience of spinning?"
"Zero. And I don't enjoy it much. I'm not good at it and I
hope this is my last night of having to do it. I'm only involved
in this because I feel so strongly that this administration has taken
us down the wrong path, has ruined our position in the world.
This administration has been a disaster for us internationally.
We simply have to replace them and we're lucky that we got a guy as
good as John Kerry who has bubbled up through the system and is going
to be the guy to move him back to Crawford, Texas."
Question: How did you come to be so involved in the campaign?
"I started writing op-ed pieces and giving speeches against the
impending war in Iraq before the intervention. And that's about
the time I changed my political registration. I was a registered
Republican in Oregon; I'm now a registered Independent. But I
actually was reached out for by the Kerry people after-- I was
active in John Dean's campaign [reporter: "Howard Dean"], Howard Dean's
campaign and then Kerry beat his brains out in Iowa so I went back to
Oregon and the Kerry people called and said would you like to come
aboard. I met with Kerry, talked to him, got to know him a little
better, decided he was the real thing, and that's when I plunged into
this thing here, but you know it's not a natural thing for me and I'll
be delighted when it's over."
Question: Are you getting better?
"No. I don't want to get better. It's not my line of work."