Bob Novak's Debate Blog: Round 3
Editor's Note: Nationally syndicated columnist Robert Novak is providing a view from the right on the second presidential debate through this CNN.com blog. Follow along as he shares his observations and send us your own by typing them in the "Share Your Comments" box to the right.
Struggle over mistakes
Posted: 10:33 p.m. ET
Bush is struggling with the question about wrong decisions he has made.
Bush defends pro-life
Posted: 10:30 p.m. ET
Bush's answer was a good defense of the pro-life position. Now as Kerry answers, he is answering to Bush again instead of the audience.
Kerry's pro-choice argument
Posted: 10:29 p.m. ET
Kerry's answer about abortion is the best pro-choice argument he has made.
Bush misses opportunity
Posted: 10:26 p.m. ET
I didn't hear Bush mention Thomas or Scalia in his answer about the Supreme Court. The president also missed a chance to attack the senator on holding up judges in the Senate. Kerry's nose will grow if he says he won't name a liberal.
Who would Bush choose?
Posted: 10:21 p.m. ET
That was a good question on who Bush would choose to fill a Supreme Court vacancy.
Stem cell response
Posted: 10:19 p.m. ET
This is a pretty good answer by Bush on the stem cell question.
Posted: 10:17 p.m. ET
Uh-oh. John Kerry is off-balance with this stem cell question. I knew he was going to bring up Nancy Reagan immediately and Michael J. Fox next.
Which side is Kerry on?
Posted: 10:16 p.m. ET
Kerry wants it both ways on the Patriot Act. Kerry is doing the left wing criticism while at the same time saying he supports it.
Posted: 10:08 p.m. ET
It sounds like both candidates have pretty much depleted their material with almost half an hour left to go in the debate.
Posted: 10:05 p.m. ET
Kerry's answer on the environment was a straight liberal answer.
Posted: 10:04 p.m. ET
Bush's answer on the environment seems like a memorized answer.
Three shouts for McCain
Posted: 10:03 p.m. ET
This is the third time Kerry has mentioned Sen. John McCain, who supports President Bush.
Posted: 10:01 p.m. ET
When Kerry talks about who gets Bush's tax cuts he says himself, Bush and Gibson but what about Teresa?
Posted: 9:59 p.m. ET
The pledge on taxes by Kerry was good but the details he is now offering are boring.
Answer the question
Posted: 9:58 p.m. ET
Bush should have answered Gibson's question on how he would cut the deficit in half and he didn't.
The heart of it
Posted: 9:57 p.m. ET
This is the heart of Kerry's economic attack.
Posted: 9:55 p.m. ET
That was a pretty good answer by Bush.
Posted: 9:53 p.m. ET
That was a very good and tough question from the audience regarding spending.
Posted: 9:52 p.m. ET
Bush is addressing Kerry directly for the first time. Now he is repeating himself again.
Posted: 9:51 p.m. ET
Is Bush getting too rough?
Can Bush handle it?
Post: 9:49 p.m. ET
This is a key attack by Bush. It will be interesting to see Bush handle it.
Posted: 9:48 p.m. ET
Kerry is delivering the standard defense of trial lawyers.
Posted: 9:47 p.m. ET
This is a terrible senatorial answer by Sen. Kerry.
Posted: 9:45 p.m. ET
Kerry is calling Bush a liar again.
Posted: 9:44 p.m. ET
Bush is trying to take the offense on an issue where he is supposed to be very weak.
Posted: 9:42 p.m. ET
Bush didn't answer Gibson's question, either.
Tough question, no answer
Posted: 9:41 p.m. ET
Kerry didn't answer Gibson's question about whether a terrorist attack is inevitable, which is a tough one.
Posted: 9:40 p.m. ET
Kerry is nodding, which is not one of his most attractive features.
Are we there yet?
Posted: 9:37 p.m. ET
This is a key Kerry theme that they are cheating security to give tax cuts to the rich and it took him 35 minutes to get there.
Not a good start
Posted: 9:36 p.m. ET
Not a good start by Kerry on that answer regarding why no terrorist attacks.
Posted: 9:33 p.m. ET
Bush is much better prepared unquestionably than he was for the Florida debate. Bush was really ready to take the draft question and run with it. Kerry is addressing Bush again and it is a very interesting tactic because I think he is trying to get him to smirk or look dumb again.
Posted: 9:30 p.m. ET
Just when he is talking about Iran I don't have any idea.
Posted: 9:27 p.m. ET
Bush is not smirking.
Posted: 9:24 p.m. ET
That is an urban myth about Gen. Shinseki. It was repeated in Florida and Bush didn't challenge him on it.
Again, no response
Posted: 9:21 p.m. ET
Once again Bush did not respond to the claim they could have gotten Osama bin Laden at Tora Bora, a claim which is dubious.
Front and center
Posted: 9:20 p.m. ET
Notice Bush addresses the audience instead of Kerry.
Who are you looking at?
Posted: 9:18 p.m. ET
It looks like Kerry is facing Bush instead of the audience which is not what you are supposed to do in a town hall format but it might work.
Posted: 9:17 p.m. ET
Kerry did not respond to the global test question.
Posted: 9:16 p.m. ET
I wondered how long it would take before he brought up the global test. That is his best issue.
Posted: 9:15 p.m. ET
Bush has got Kerry on the defensive.
Posted: 9:14 p.m. ET
Bush had one of those little brain blocks there.
Posted: 9:13 p.m. ET
The antiterrorist argument is Bush's strongest suit and he is playing it well.
Posted: 9:11 p.m. ET
Bush is off to a better start than his performance in Florida.
Posted: 9:10 p.m. ET
Bush is trying not to make faces.
First answer: Not good for Kerry
Posted: 9:08 p.m. ET
This is a real senatorial answer and that is not good for Kerry.
Town hall limitations
Posted: 9:06 p.m. ET
Don't expect the spin that Bush is a master of the town hall and Kerry is a master at it. They both have their limitations in this forum.
An author and former newspaper writer, nationally syndicated columnist Bob Novak participates in two of CNN's political public affairs programs, giving a perspective from the right: "Crossfire" and "The Capital Gang." He also helms CNN's "The Novak Zone," a weekly interview feature.