|Editions | myCNN | Video | Audio | Headline News Brief | Feedback||
Election 2000: Gore and Bush Prepare for Debate Number TwoAired October 11, 2000 - 1:03 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: The top two presidential contenders are taking their perspectives to the airwaves again tonight for the second presidential debate. Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Al Gore are scheduled to square off in a more informal setting at North Carolina's Wake Forest University. The latest CNN/"USA Today"/Gallup poll shows the race tight: Bush ahead, slightly, 47 percent, Gore with 44 percent, but with a three-point sampling error. To say Bush is in the lead would be misleading.
CNN senior political correspondent Candy Crowley is in Winston- Salem, North Carolina.
Tell us about what's going to happen tonight, Candy?
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Lou, as you said, it is the second debate between these two. I can tell you that the temperature is a lot warmer but the stakes this evening are just as high as they were in Boston last week.
Al Gore has been studying up in Florida, where he has just taken off and is headed here to North Carolina. Of course, in Florida, Gore can not only study up but he can grab some local headlines in a state that is now very hotly contested. For Gore, the task tonight is to show himself as likable. He got a lot of heat after the last debate for seeming to be condescending, for sighing and seeming exasperated as George Bush gave his answers. So, they have been working very hard on toning down that side of Al Gore. They, of course, would like to again focus on issues, saying, the Gore camp, that that is where Gore shines.
Now, George Bush is already here in North Carolina. In fact, he arrived here yesterday. He is en route right now to the campus of Wake Forest where he will go over the evening's set, which will be a sit-down, where, presumably, the two will find it harder to go at each other. This is very similar to the vice presidential debate last week. It is a cozier setting.
And, certainly a setting that the Bush people think will favor their candidate, who they say is more comfortable in this sit-down arrangement. For Bush, the task is to show, again, as he did last week, that he has a grasp of the issues. The hits he took from last week's debate were that Gore seemed to be more prepared and have more of a grasp of many of the facts, both domestically and as far as foreign policy goes. So, debate number two, tonight, Lou, this evening at Wake Forest in Winston-Salem.
WATERS: Candy, as we all know, Gore took a bunch of criticism for his debate appearance, that he didn't appear likable enough, as you mentioned. He's been going through this coaching exercise. Can someone really, in a matter of a week, go on television and appear to be more likable without appearing to be acting that they're more likable? I just don't get this whole exercise we're going through here.
CROWLEY: Well, you know, part of -- part of what this is about is that basically viewers take away not just the substance of what is said in the debate. In fact, many people thought that most voters would be lost in sort of the flying statistics of last week. But they also take away from this, sort of, a feel for the man.
Now, can Al Gore turn that around? Certainly they've been working on it. They, in fact, his advisers showed him a skit from "Saturday Night Live," both as a humorous thing to show him, but also to make the point that you need to, kind of, rein in that part of your personality that people find offensive.
So, can he do it and not look like he's acting? I would suspect that after the debate you will hear from the Bush camp that he was acting and you will hear from the Gore camp that this was the real Al Gore. So, you know, the proof is going to be in, as we saw in the last debate, in the next couple of days after this debate and how he came in, both of them, came into voters' living rooms and whether they feel comfortable with either one of these men for the next four years.
WATERS: Isn't that what we're watching for? what America is really watching for is the style over the substance? Since, as Bob Woodward pointed out last night, neither of the plans that these men are debating are going to make it past the election anyway.
CROWLEY: Right, I mean, I think it's -- it is larger. You make a good point. It's larger than the specifics of their plans, but I think it also is about direction. I mean, these are two men with very different views of the role of government. George Bush, and I expect you will hear him make much of this tonight, believes that Al Gore is going to inflate the government and that people mostly want a federal government that stays out of their lives but is there for the safety net and that can move in when needed.
So, they're looking for more philosophy than specifics. But, yes, they're also looking at things that don't come across as: Gee, I didn't like his body language. But for viewers comes across as: There was something about that I didn't like, or this person seemed that way. So, it's a compilation of both the direction of philosophy as well as who they are as people.
WATERS: It'll be interesting to watch and interesting as well to watch what folks like you and other pundits have to say afterwards.
CROWLEY: Reporters, reporters. WATERS: Reporters, I mean, you reporters and the pundits, what they say after the debate. We are going to play portions of that "Saturday Night Live" tape that you mentioned in the next hour here.
CNN senior political correspondent Candy Crowley in Winston-Salem for the debate tonight.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com
|Back to the top||
© 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.|
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.