Debate 1984, Vice President; George Bush And Geraldine Ferraro
Tonight a special edition of the MacNeil Lehrer News Hour on the vice presidential debate of 1984. From Philadelphia Pennsylvania. Good evening I'm Robert MacNeil and welcome to this special edition. In a few moments we'll take you live to Philadelphia for the 90 minute debate between Vice President George Bush and Geraldine Ferraro when it's over Jim Lehrer and I will be back with a half hour of analysis and comment. Jim this is the scene at the Philadelphia Civic Center. The panelists in the audience of 2000 invited guests are there already awaiting the arrival of the debaters Vice President Bush and Congresswoman Ferraro. There is Mrs. Bush. Awaiting the arrival of her husband. The first speaker after the vice president and Mrs. For out of there is the Johnson Karo Congresswoman. Ferraro's husband and their family. After the two debaters arrive the first speaker will be the president of the League of Women Voters she will make some introductory remarks and reduce the the panel and the panel of reporters who will
ask the questions of the moderator Sander Vanocur of ABC News. And here are the two debaters and the show is on. The civic center. Philadelphia Pennsylvania. I'm Dorothy ridings president of the League of Women Voters. The sponsor of tonight's vice presidential debate between Republican George Bush and Democrat Geraldine Ferraro. Our panelists for tonight's debate are John fashion national correspondent for U.S. News and World Report. Jack White correspondent for Time magazine. Norma Qualls correspondent for NBC News. And Robert Boyd Washington bureau chief for Knight Ridder Newspapers.
Sander Vanocur senior political correspondent first ABC News is our panel is our moderator tonight. Sandy Thank you Dorothy. A few words about the order of our format tonight. The order of questioning was determined by a toss of the coin. Congresswoman Ferraro won the toss. She elected to speak last. Therefore Vice President Bush will get the first question. The debate will be built upon a series of questions from the four reporters on the panel. A reporter will ask a candidate a question a follow up question and then the same to the other candidate then each candidate will get to rebut the other. The debate will be divided into two parts section. The first one on domestic affairs the second on foreign affairs. Now the manner of address was decided by the candidates. Therefore it will be Vice President Bush. Congresswoman Ferraro and we began our questioning with Mr. mashing John Adams our nation's first president once said today I am nothing. Tomorrow I may be everything. With that in mind I'd like to ask the following question
Vice President Bush four years ago you ran against Mr. Reagan for the Republican nomination. You disagreed with him on such issues as the Equal Rights Amendment abortion and you even labeled his economic policies as voodoo. Now you apparently agree with him on every issue. If you should be called upon to assume the presidency would you follow Mr Reagan's policies down the line. Or would you revert to some your own ideas. Well I don't think there's a great difference Mr. mastic between my ideas and President Reagan's. One of the reasons I think we're an effective team is that I believe firmly in his leadership. He's really turned this country around. We agree on the economic program. When we came into office why inflation was 21 12 and a half percent interest rates wiping out every single American we're 21 and a half percent if you can believe it. Productivity was down. Savings was down there was despair. In fact the leadership of the country told the people that there was a metal A's out there and this president turned it around and I've
been with him every step of the way. And of course I would continue those kinds of programs because it's brought America back. America's better off people are going back to work. And why Mr. Mondale can't understand that there's a new enthusiasm in this country that America is back there's a new strong leadership. I don't know he has one answer to the prop problem. Raise everybody's taxes he looked right into that lands and he said out there in San Francisco he said I'm going to raise your taxes. Well he's had a lot of experience in that and he's sure going to go ahead and do it. But I remember a statement of Lyndon Johnson's when he was looking around why his. Party people weren't supporting him and he said hey they painted their tails white and they ran with the antelopes. There's a lot of Democratic white tails running with the antelopes not one single Democrat has introduced the red Mondale tax bill into the Congress. Of course I support the president's economic program and I support him on everything else and I'm not
sure because of my concept of the vice presidency that if if I didn't I'd go doing what Mr. Mondale has done with Jimmy Carter jump away from it. I couldn't do that to Ronald Reagan. Now next year or any other time I have too much trust in him. I have too much friendship for him and I'd feel very uncomfortable doing that. Well some Republicans have criticized Mr. Mondale for now claiming he disagreed privately with Jimmy Carter's decision to impose the grain embargo. If you ever disagreed with any decision of the Reagan administration in its inner circles and following that up where in your judgment does loyalty end and principle begin. I owe my president my judgment and then I owe him loyalty. You can't have the president of the United States out there looking over his shoulder wondering whether his vice president is going to be supporting him. Mrs. Ferraro has quite a few differences with Vice President
Mondale and I understood it when she changed her position on tuition tax credits. They're different on bussing. She voted to extend the grain embargo he now says that he was against it. If they wait and hope they don't. But if they win she'll have to accommodate some views but she'll give him the same kind of loyalty that I'm giving President Reagan one we're not far apart on anything. Two I can walk into that oval office any time and give in my judgment you might agree or you might not. But he also knows I won't be talking about it to the press or I won't be knifing in the back by leaking to make me look good and complicate the problems of the president of United States. Congresswoman Ferraro. Your opponent has served in the House of Representatives he's been ambassador to the United Nations ambassador to China director of the Central Intelligence Agency and now he's been vice president for four years. How does your three terms in the House of Representatives stack up against experience like this. Well let me first say that I wasn't born at the age of 43 when I entered Congress so I did have
a life before that as well. I was a prosecutor for five years the district attorney's office in Queens County and I was a teacher is not only what is on your paper resume that makes you qualified to run for or to hold office. It's how you approach problems and what your values are. I think you want to take a look at my career and they'll see that I level with the people that I approach problems analytically that I am able to assess the various facts with reference to a problem. And I can make the hard decisions. I'm intrigued when I hear Vice President Bush talk about his support of the president's economic program and how everything is just going so beautifully. I too recall when Vice President Bush was running in the primary against President Reagan and he called the program voodoo economics and it was and it is we are facing absolutely massive deficits. This administration has chosen to ignore it. The president has failed to put forth a
plan to deal with those deficits and everything believes that everything is coming up roses. Perhaps the vice president should join me as I travel around the country and speak to people people in Johnstown Pennsylvania are not terribly thrilled with what's happening in the economy because they're standing in the light of a a closed plant because they've lost their jobs the people in Youngstown Ohio have stores that are boarded up because the economy is not doing well it's not only the old industries that are failing. It's also the new ones in San Jose California they're complaining because they can't export their high tech qualities goods to Japan and other countries. The people in the northwest in the state of Washington Oregon are complaining about what's happening to the timber industry and the agriculture industry so. So things are not as great as the administration is wanting us to believe in their television commercials. My feeling quite frankly is that I have enough experience to see the problems address them and make the tough decisions and level with people with reference
to those problems. Despite the historic aspects of your candidacy How do you account for the fact that a majority of women at least according to the polls favor the Reagan Bush ticket over the Mondale Ferraro ticket. I don't. Let me say that I'm not a believer in polls. And let me say further that what we are talking about are problems that are facing the entire nation. They're not just problems facing women. The issues in this campaign are the war peace issues the problems of deficits the problems of trade deficits we are now facing an hundred twenty and twenty billion dollar trade deficit in this country. We're facing problems in the environment. I think what we're going to be doing over the next several weeks and we're absolutely delighted that the league is sponsoring these debates and that we are we are able to now speak to the American public and address the issues in a way such as this I think you're going to see a change in those polls for Vice President Bush we have one minute to rebuttal.
Well. I was glad to get that vote of confidence from. This is for our in my economic judgment. So let me make a statement on the economy. The other day she was a plant in a plant and she said to the workers why are you all voting for why are so many of you voting for the Reagan Bush ticket. And there was a long deathly silence and she said come on we delivered. That's the problem. And I'm not blaming her except for the liberal voting record in the house. They delivered they delivered 21 and a half percent interest rates. They delivered what they called Malays. They delivered interest rates that were right off the charts. They delivered pay take home pay raise checks that were shrinking and we've delivered optimism. People are going back to work. Six million of them and three hundred thousand jobs a month being created. That's why there was that deathly silence out there in that plant. They delivered the wrong thing. Ronald Reagan is
delivering leadership. Congressman Ferraro one minute rebuttal. I I think what I'm going to have to do is I'm going to start correcting the vice presidency to sticks. There are six million more people have jobs and that's supposed to happen in a growing economy in fact in the prior administration with all their problems they created 10 million jobs. The housing interest rates during this administration for housing for middle class Americans were for it was fourteen point five percent under the prior administration with all their problems the average rate was ten point six percent. If you take a look at the number of people living in poverty as a result of this administration 6 million people 500000 people knocked off disability rolls. You know it's you can walk around saying things are great. And that's that's going to be hearing. We've been hearing that on those commercials for the past couple of months I expect they expect American people to believe that I'll become a one woman Truth Squad and we'll start tonight. Mr. white congressman Ferraro I'd like to ask you about civil rights.
You have in the past been a supporter of tuition tax credits for private parochial schools and also of constitutional amendment to ban bussing. Both these measures oppose not only by your running mate but by just about every educational and civil rights organization in the country. Now if you're Mr. Mondale running mate have you change your position on either of those. With reference to the busing vote I cast a nine hundred seventy nine. Both Fritz Mondale and I agree on the same goal and that is nondiscrimination. I just don't agree on the same direction he does on how to achieve it. But I don't find any problem with that I think that's been something that's been handled by the courts and not is being handled by Congress will not be handled by the White House but we both support nondiscrimination and has an integration of neighborhoods. The goals that we both set forth with reference to tuition tax credits I have represented a district in Queens which is 70 percent Catholic. I represented my district. Let me say as well that I have also been a great supporter of public school education and that is something that Fritz and I feel very very strongly about for the future of this
country. This administration over the past several years has gutted the educational programs available to our young people. It has attempted to knock out Pell Grants which are monies to individuals who are poor and who cannot afford to go to college. It has reduced by 25 percent the amount of monies going into college education and by a third of those going into secondary and primary schools. But Fritz Mondale I feel very strongly that if you educate your children that that effort in the way that you build up to make a stronger America with reference to civil rights I think you've got to go beyond that if you take a look also at my record in the Congress and Fritz Mondale's record both in the Senate as vice pres and we both have extremely strong civil rights records. This administration does not. It has come in in the Bob Jones case on the side of segregated academies. It came in in the Grove City case on the social side of discrimination against women the handicapped in the elderly.
As a matter of fact in the Congress we just passed overwhelmingly the Civil Rights Bill of 994 in this administration the Republican controlled Senate just killed in the last week or two in Congress. So there is a real difference between how the Mondale Ferraro administration will address the problems of civil rights and the failure of this administration specifically in that particular area. And the area of affirmative action what steps do you think government can take to increase the representation of minorities and women in the workforce and in colleges and universities and specifically would you support the use of quotas to achieve those goals. I do not support the use of quotas. Mr. Mondale and I feel very strongly about affirmative action to correct inequities. We believe that steps should be taken both through government and Francis the Small Business Administration. We have support set asides for minority and women's businesses. That's a positive thing we don't feel that you're in any way hurting
anybody else by reaching out with affirmative action to help those who've been disenfranchised. On the contrary if you have a growing economy if you create the jobs if you allow for small business the opportunity with lower interest rates to reach out and grow there will be more than enough space for everybody and affirmative action is a very positive way to deal with the problems of discrimination. VICE PRESIDENT BUSH Many critics of your administration say that it is the most hostile to minorities in recent memory. Have you inadvertently perhaps encouraged that view by supporting tuition tax credits the anti busing Amendment citing Bob Jones University case before the Supreme Court. The original opposition to the Voting Rights Act extension and so forth. Well no Mr. White I think our record on civil rights is a good record. You mention the Voting Rights Act extension that was extended for the longest period of time by President Reagan. But we have some problems in attracting the black
vote. And I think our record deserves better. We have done more for black colleges than any previous administration. We favor enterprise zones to give and it's been blocked by TEPCO Neal and that House of Representatives those liberals in that house blocked a new idea to bring jobs into the black communities across this country. And because it's not an old hand out special federal spending program. It's blocked they're a good idea and I'd like to see that tried. We've brought more civil rights civil rights cases and the Justice Department than the previous administration by far. We believe in trying something new to help these black teenage kids. The minimum wage differential it says look to an employer hire these guys. And yes they're willing to work for slightly less than the minimum wage. Give them a job training job in a private sector. We threw out that whole Sita that
didn't train people for jobs that existed simply ram them on to the government payroll and we put in a thing called the Job Training Partnership Act. Wonderful new legislation that's helping blacks more and more. We think of civil rights as something like crime in your neighborhoods. And for example when crime figures are going in the right direction that's good that's a civil right. Similarly we think of it in terms of its quality of life. And that means interest rates. You know it's funny the Mr. Mondale talks about. Real interest rate the real interest rate is what you pay when you get an try to buy a TV set or buy a car do whatever it is and rail at interest rates and we left office for 21 and a half percent inflation. Is that a civil right to have that going right off the charts so you're busting every of every American family those that can't afford it the last. Now we've got a good record. We've got it on civil rights legislation. Minority set asides more help for black colleges and we've got it in terms of an
economy that's offering people opportunity and hope instead of despair along those lines are many recent studies have indicated that the poor and minorities have not really shared in the new prosperity generated by the current economic recovery. Was it right for your administration pursue policies economic policies that require those at the bottom of the ladder to wait for prosperity to trickle down from people who are much better off than they are. Mr White it's not trickling down and I'm not suggesting there's no poverty but I am suggesting the way to work out of poverty is through real opportunity and in the mean time the needy are getting more help. Human resource spending is way way up. Aid for dependent children spending is up. Immunization programs are up. Almost every place you can point contrary to Mr. Mondale's. Well I gotta be careful. But contrary of how he goes around just saying everything bad if he sees
a somebody sees a silver lining he finds a big black cloud out there. Why no on a harvest moon. I mean there's a lot going on a lot of opportunity. Congresswoman Ferraro your rebuttal. The vice president the case that the president signed the Voting Rights Act that was after he was he did not support it while I was in the Congress in the Senate. It was passed despite his opposition and he did sign it because he was required to do so in the civil rights cases that he mentioned the great number of cases that they had in force the reason they enforced me because under the law they're required to do that and I'm delighted that the administration is following the law with reference. It's going to scuse me. This will be a lot of your my time not yours knowing and cherishing the people of this city and knowing their restraint and diffidence about emotion especially of athletic context of which this is not one I beseech you try to hold your applause please.
I'm sorry I just have to correct in my 30 seconds left the comment that the vice president made reference specifically to a program like. If you take if you take food stamps if you take down the line and poor people's programs those are the programs that suffered considerably under this administration's first budget. Cuts and those are the ones that end the second term. Second part of their term. We were able to restore some of those terribly terribly unfair cuts to the poor people in this country. PRESIDENT BUSH Well maybe we have a factual. Maybe we can ask the experts to go to the books they'll do it anyway spending for food stamps is way way up. Under the Reagan administration AFDC is up under the Reagan administration and I am not going to be found wrong on that. I am sure of my facts and we are trying to help and I think we're doing a
reasonable job but we are not going to rest until every single American that wants a job gets a job. And until this prosperity and this recovery it's benefiting many Americans benefits all Americans. The squirrel's Vice President Bush one of the most emotional issues in this campaign has been the question of the separation of church and state. What are your views on the separation of church and state specifically with regard to abortion. And do you believe it was right for the archbishop of Philadelphia to have a letter read in three hundred and five churches urging Catholics to fight of Borsch and with their votes. I do believe in pluralism. I do believe in separation of church and state. I don't consider abortion a religious issue. I consider it a moral issue. I believe the Archbishop has every right to do everything he wants in that direction just as I never faulted Jesse Jackson from taking his message to the black pulpits all across this country. Just as I never objected when the nuclear arms of the nuclear
freeze or the anti-nuclear people many of those movements were led by priests suddenly because a Catholic bishop or an evangelist feels strongly on a political issue. People are saying it's a merging of church and state. We favor and I speak confidently for the president we favor separation of church and state. We favor pluralism. Now somebody says well you want to. Restore prayer in schools you don't think it's right to prohibit a kid from praying in schools. For years kids were allowed to pray in schools. We don't think that's a merger of church and state to have a non mandatory voluntary non-government ordered prayer. And yet some are accusing us of injecting religion into politics. I have no problem with what the archbishop does and I have no problem what the evangelists on the right do and I have no problem what the priests on the left do. And it didn't bother me when during the Viet Nam war much of the opposition to the government democrat and republican
governments was led by priests encouraging people to break the law and the adage of you know the civil Devitt disobedience thing. So our position separation of church and state pluralism. So no little kid with a minority religion of some sort is going to feel offended or feel left out or feel uncomfortable. But yes prayer in school on a voluntary basis works for many many years until a Supreme Court ruled differently. And I am glad we got this question because I think there's been too much said about religion and politics we don't believe in denominate only moving in. It wasn't our side that raised the question about our president whether he was a good Christian or not. And so I prayed. And so that's our position. Separation of Church and State pluralism respect for all. If I was President Bush four years ago you would have allowed federal financing of abortions in
cases of rape and incest as well as when the mother's life was threatened. Does your position now agree with that of President Reagan who in Sunday's debate came very close to saying that abortion is murder. You know there has been I have to make a confession and evolution in my position. There's been 15 million abortions since 1973 and I don't take that lightly. There's been a million and a half this year. The president and I do favor a Human Rights Amendment. I favor one that would have an exception for for incest and rape and he doesn't. But only for the life of the mother. And I agree with him on that. So yes my positions evolve but I'd like to see the American who faced with 15 million abortions isn't rethinking his or her position. And. I'll just stand with the answer. I support the president's position and comfortably from a moral standpoint. So you believe it's akin to murder. I support the president's position.
Congresswoman Ferraro What are your views on the separation of church and state with regard to abortion. And do you believe it was right for the archbishop of Philadelphia to have those letters read in the pulpits in the city and urge the voters to fight abortion with their vote. Let me say first of all that I believe very very sincerely in the separation of church and state. I mean taking it from the historical viewpoint if you go back to the 600 people came here the reason they came to this country was to escape religious persecution. And that's the same reason why people are coming here today in the 1940s to escape Nazi ism and now in the 1980s in 1904 when they can get out of the country to escape communism so they can come here and practice their religion. Our country is founded on the principle that our government should be neutral as far as religion is concerned. Now what's happened over the past several years and quite frankly I'm not going to let you lay on me the intrusion of state politics into religion or religion into politics by my comments with reference to the president's policies
because it started in 1980 when this administration was running for office and the Reverend Jerry Falwell became very very involved in the campaign. What has happened over the past four years has been I think a real fudging of that law and with the separation of church and state the actions of the archbishops let me say to you I feel that they have not only a right but a responsibility to speak up. And even though I have been the person that the decision making up of that I feel that they do have the responsibility to do so and I have no problem with it no more than I did with the priest who watched him at the time of Vietnam and more than I did at the time when Morton Luther King marched the civil rights marches I have absolutely no problem with them speaking up I think they have an obligation as well as a right. But what I do have a problem with is when the present United States gets up in Dallas and addresses a group of individuals and said to them anybody who doesn't support his constitutional amendment for prayer in the schools is intolerant of religion. Now there are numerous groups who don't support that. That school numerous
religious groups. Are they intolerant of religion is that what the president's saying. I also object when I'm told that the Reverend Falwell has been told that he will pick two of our Supreme Court justices that a little bit far and that is just let me say to you it is more than a fudging of the law and it is a total intrusion. And I think that is in violation of our Constitution. Congresswoman Ferraro thank you. As a devout Catholic does it trouble you that so many of the leaders of your church disagree with you and do you think that you're being treated unfairly in any way by the Catholic Church. Let me tell you that I did not come to my position on abortion very lightly. I am a devout Catholic. When I was running for Congress in 1978 I sat net with a person I feel very close to a monsignor currently a bishop. I spoke to him about my personal feelings that I would never have an abortion but I was not quite sure if I were ever to become pregnant as a result of a rape if I would be that self-righteous. I then
spoke to me said Jerry that's not good enough. You know you can't support that position and I said OK. That's my religious view I will accept the teaching of the church but I cannot impose my religious views on someone else. I truly take an oath as a public official to represent all the people in my district not only the Catholics. If there comes a time where I cannot practice my religion and do my job properly I will resign my job as President Bush. I respect that statement. I really I really truly do. We have a difference on the moral question here on abortion. I noticed that Mr. Mondale keeps talking in a debate and now it's come up here about Mr. Falwell and I keep I don't know where this canard could have come from about Mr. Falwell picking the Supreme Court justices. Ronald Reagan has made one superb outstanding the only one he's made appointment to the Supreme Court. And that was Sandra Day O'Connor. And
Mr. Falwell opposed her nomination. We still have respect for him but he opposed it. And so I hope this lays to rest this slander against the president. We want justices who will who will interpret the Constitution not legislate. Congresswoman for your rebuttal. Yes I still find it very difficult to believe because in the platform which this the Republican Party plan passed in Dallas one of the things that they did was they said that the position on abortion would be a litmus test only for Supreme Court justices but for other federal justices that again seems to me a blurring of the lines of separation between church and state. The next questioning from Mr. Boyd like many Americans each of you has recently had an unhappy experience with the Internal Revenue Service. I'm going to prolong your ordeal Congresswoman Ferraro. You disagree with a rule that says that a candidate must report the income or assets of his or her
spouse. If you get any benefit from them your husband's tax returns show that you did benefit because he paid the mortgage and the property taxes on your homes. Now the House Ethics Committee is examining this question man but it won't report its findings until after the election. Would you be willing to ask that committee which is controlled by Democrats to hurry up its work and report before the election. Let me say that I already did that. I had wanted them to move ahead. I was if you recall I spent about an hour and 45 minutes speaking to 200 reporters on August 21st which is the day after I was required to file my my financial statement. And I sat for as long as they had questions on the issue and I believe that they were satisfied I filed more information than any other candidate for national office in the history of this country. Not only did I agree to file tax returns after a little bit of prodding my husband also agreed to file his with the.
None of the Ethics Committee but with the FEC. But the action that you're speaking about with the Ethics Committee was started by a right wing legal. Organization foundation knowing that I would have to say that there would be an automatic encourage. We have filed the necessary papers I have asked them along. Unfortunately the house I believe went to a session today. So I don't know if they will. But quite frankly I would like that to be taken care of anyway because I just want to clear it up since that famous August 21st press conference on your family finances you filed a new report with the Ethics Committee and the show that your previous reports were full of mistakes and omissions for example you failed to report about 12 trips that were paid for by special interest groups at least 18 cases your holdings were misstated. Do you think it showed good leadership or attention to duty to blame all this on sloppy work by your accountant. Well what it showed was that I did and it was truly that I hired an accountant who
had been with our family for well over 40 years. He was filling out those ethics forms. I did not spend the time with them. I just gave him my tax information and he did it. I have to tell you what we have done since I have hired a marvelous accountant. I've spent a lot of money having him go through all those ethics forms and he will be doing my taxes over the next eight years while we're in the White House says the American public can be sure it's all going to take. Thank you. President Bush last year you paid less than 13 percent of your income in federal taxes. According to the IRS someone in your bracket normally pays about 28 percent of his income. Now what you did was perfectly legal. But do you think it was fair. And is there something wrong with our tax laws that allow such large deductions for wealthy taxpayers. What that figure and the way I kind of like the way Mrs. Ferraro and Mr. Carro reported because they reported federal taxes state and local taxes gives people a clearer picture.
That year I happen to pay a lot of state and local taxes which as you know are deducted from the other and so I looked it up the other day and we have paid I think it's Forty two percent of our gross income in taxes. Now Mr. Mondale the other night to quote I I'll be honest I thought it was a cheap shot at me. And we did a little looking around to see about his. We can't find his 91 1981 tax return it may have been released maybe. Maybe my opponent knows whether Mr. Mondale released it but we did find estimates that his income for those three years is a million four hundred thousand dollars. And I think he paid about the same percentage as I did in total taxes. He also made a reference that troubled me very much. Mr. Boyd he's talked talking about my chauffeur. And you know. I'm driven to work by the Secret Service. So is Mrs. Ferraro. So is Mr. Mondale they protected his life for four or four years and now they've done a beautiful job for Barbour and why they saved the life of the president of the United
States. I thought that was a cheap shot. Telling the American people to try to divide class rich and poor. But the big question isn't whether Mrs. Ferraro is doing well. I think they're doing pretty well. And I know Barbara and I are doing well and it's darn sure that Mr. Mondale is doing well with a million for an income. But the question really is after we get through this disclosure is the tax cut fair. Are people getting a fair break and the answer is the rich are paying 6 percent more on taxes and the poor are getting a better break those lower and middle income people that have borne the burden for a long long time. So yes I favor disclosure. I've always disclose this year I had my taxes and and everything I own in a blind trust so blind blinded in the presidents where I didn't even sign my tax return but there seemed to be an interest in it so we went to the Government Ethics Committee. They agreed to change the trust. The trust has been been
revealed and I was sure glad to see that I had paid. Forty two percent of my gross income in taxes. MR. Will you please Mr Vice President how can you claim that your home is in Maine for tax purposes and at the same time claim that your home is in Texas for voting purposes. Are you really a Texan or a New Englander. I'm really a Texan but I got one house and under the law every taxpayer is allowed when he sells a house and buys another house to get the rollover. Everybody It turns out and I may I may hire I know the she said she has a new good accountant doc to get his name and phone number because I think I think I think I paid too much in the way of taxes and residence. Mr borde legal residence for voting is very different and the domiciled I call that very different than the house but they say you're living in the vice president's house therefore you don't get whatever. I got problems with what every other taxpayer get. I got problems with the IRS but so do a lot of people out there. I think I paid too much nothing ethical. I'd like
to get some money back. Congresswoman Ferraro your robotically is let me just say that be happy to give the vice president a name I can but I warn you he's expensive. I think the question is whether or not the tax cuts in the tax system that's currently in our government that our government uses is fair I think the tax system is unfair but it's not something we can address in the short term by the tax cuts that Vice President Bush and I got last time the last three years ago that this president gave out. No that's not fair. If you're earning $200000 a $25000 tax cut if you earn between 20 and 40 thousand you made it got about a thousand between 10 and 20 close to $100 and if you made less than $10000 with all the budget cuts that came down the line you suffered a loss of $400. That's not fair. That's basically unfair. And not only is it unfair but economically it has destroyed this country as a 750 billion dollar tax cut over a five year period of time. That's one of the reasons we're facing these enormous deficits
that we have today. Mr. Vice President. You know I think I've said all I want to say I do. I didn't fully address myself to Mr. Boyd's question on disclosure I led the fight I think in 1968 in the house I was in the House of Representatives for a couple of terms and I led the fight for disclosure. I believe in it before I went into this job. I disclosed everything we had. We didn't have any private corporations but I disclosed absolutely everything Arthur Anderson made out of assets and liabilities statement that I believe went further than any other one. And then to protect the public interest we went into this blind trust. I believe in a blind trust because I believe a public official in this kind of job ought not to know whether he's going to benefit directly or indirectly by some holding he might have or something of that nature. And I know I support full disclosure. Thank you that ends the part of this debate devoted to domestic affairs. We will now turn to foreign affairs we'll begin the questioning with Mr. Vice President Bush.
Since your administration came to power the president has threatened a stern response against terrorism yet murderous attacks have continued in Lebanon in the Middle East. Who's to blame. And you've been director of the Central Intelligence Agency what can be done to stop it. Terrorism is very very difficult to stop and I think everybody knows that. We had ambassadors killed in Sudan in the Lebanon some time ago a long time ago. When you see the Israeli building in Lebanon after the death of our Marines you see that hit by terrorism the Israelis with all their experience fighting terrorism. You know it's difficult when you see coming with his radical Islam resorting to government sponsored terrorists terrorism. It's very difficult. The intelligence business can do a good job and I'm always one that defends the Central
Intelligence Agency. I believe we ought to strengthen and I believe we still have the best foreign intelligence business in the world. But it is very difficult to get the source information that you need to go after something as shadowy as international terror. There was a different between Iran and what happened in Lebanon in Iran you had a government. Holding up a US embassy the government sanctioning the takeover of that embassy by those by those students. The government negotiating with the United States government for their release in Lebanon in the terror that happened at the embassy. You have the government there Mr. Gemayel that wants to help fight against terrorism that because of the melee in the Middle East it's there today and has been there yesterday and the day before that everyone has had experience in that area knows it is a very different thing. So what we've got to do is use absolutely the best security possible. I don't think you can go assigning blame the president of course
is the best I've ever seen of accepting that he's been wonderful about it in absolutely everything that happens but I think fair minded people that really understand international terror knows that it's very hard to guard against. And the answer then really lies in the Middle East and terrorism happening all happening all over the world is a solution to the Palestine question. The follow on to Camp David under the umbrella of the Reagan September of 1982 initiative that will reduce terror. It won't eliminate it. You mentioned Khomeini some Republicans charge the previous administration was being almost helpless against Khomeini and Libya's Qaddafi. Why hasn't your administration done something to take action against Arab states that foment this kind of terrorism. What we've done is to support Arab states that want to stand up against international terror. Quite different. We believe in supporting without jeopardizing the security of Israel in any way because they are our one strategic ally in the area. They are the one democracy in the area. And our relations with them has never been better.
But we do believe in reaching out to the what they call a GCC those gulf cooperative Council states those moderate Arab states in that world and helping them with defensive weapons to guard against international terror or radical Islam perpetuated by Khamenei. And because we've done that and because the Saudis chopped down a couple of those intruding airplanes a while back I think we have helped keep the peace in the Persian Gulf. Congresswoman Ferraro you and Vice President or Vice President Mondale have criticized the president over the bombings in Lebanon. What would you do to prevent such attacks. Let me first say that terrorism is a global problem. And let me say secondly that Mr. Bush has referred to the embassy that was held in Iran. Well I was at the White House in January I guess it was in 81 when those hostages all 52 of them came home alive. It was at that time that President
Reagan gave a speech. Welcome home. America did we were so excited to see them back. But what he said was the United States has been embarrassed for the last time. You're going to stand tall and it's hot this ever happens again. There is going to be swift and immediate steps taken to address the wrong that our country has fought it and suffered. In April of 1983 I was in there in Beirut and visited the ambassador at the embassy two weeks later that embassy was bombed. At that time. Take a look at the crazy activities of terrorists you can't blame anybody and they're going to do crazy things you just don't know what's going to happen. The following October there was another bombing and that bombing took place at the Marine barracks where there are two hundred forty two young men who were killed right after that bombing occurred. There was a commission set up called the Warren
Commission and that Commission did a study at the security arrangements around where the Marines were sleeping and found that there was negligence that they did not have proper Gates proper precautions to stop those trucks from coming in. And so the long Commission issue report and President Reagan got up and he said I'm commander in chief I take responsibility. And we all waited for something to be done when he took responsibility. Well last month we had our third bombing. The first time the first embassy there was no gate up the second time with our Marines the gate was open the third time the gate was there but it had not been installed. What was the Presidents reaction. Well. The security arrangements were not in. Our people were placed in that embassy in an unsecured time. And the Marines who are guarding it were left to go away. And there are other people held guarding the embassy. Again the president said I assume responsibility. I'd like to know what that means. Are we going to take proper precautions before we put Americans in situations where they're in danger
or are we just going to walk away throwing our arms of the air now quite a reversal from the first time and for the first time he said he's going to do something or is this president going to take some action. Some Democrats cringe at the word spine and covert activity. Do you believe both of them have a legitimate role in countering terrorist activity around the world. I think they have a legitimate role in gathering information of what happened was the CIA in the last bombing had given information to our administration with reference to the actual threats that that embassy was going to bomb so it wasn't the CIA was at fault. There's legitimate reason for the CIA to be existence and that's to gather intelligence as information for our security. But when I see the CIA doing things like they're doing down in Central America supporting a covert war. No I don't support that kind of activity. The CIA is there to meant to protect our government not there to subvert other governments. That's President Bush. I'm surprised. I think I just heard Mrs. Ferraro say that she would do away with covert
action. And if so that has very serious ramifications as the intelligence community knows this is serious business. And sometimes it's quiet support for a friend. And so I'll leave that one there but let me help you with the difference Ms Ferraro between Iran and the embassy in Lebanon. Iran we were held by a foreign government in it Lebanon. You had a wanton terrorist action where the government opposed it. We went to Lebanon to give peace a chance to stop the bombing of civilians in Beirut to remove 13000 terrorists from Lebanon we did. We saw the formation of a government of reconciliation. And for somebody to suggest as our two opponents have that these men died in shame they better not tell the parents of those young Marines. They gave peace a chance. And our allies were with us. The British the French and the Italians. Congresswoman for let me just say first of all that I almost resent Vice
President Bush your patronizing attitude that you have to teach me about farms. Say. I've been a member of Congress for six years I was there when the embassy was held hostage in Iran and I had been there and I have seen what has happened in the past several months 17 months with your administration. Secondly please don't categorize my answers either leave the interpretation of my answers to the American people who are watching this debate. And let me say further that no one has ever said that those young men who were killed through the negligence of this administration and others every day no one who has a child who is 19 or 20 years old the son whatever say that about the loss of anybody else's child. Mr. White. Congressman Ferraro you've repeatedly said that you would not want your son to die in an under cleared war for an uncertain cause. But recently your running mate Mr. Mondale has suggested that it may become necessary to erect a military
Corentin or blockade of Nicaragua under what circumstances would you advocate the use of military force American combat forces in Central America. I would advocate the use of force when it was necessary to protect the security of our country protect our security interest or protect our people or protect the interests of our friends and neighbors neighbors. When President and I'm jumping the gun a bit I want to when Mr. Mondale. Mr. Mondale referred to the quarantine. In Central America a country in Central America. What he's referring to was a last resort after all other means of attempting to set settle the situation down that region of the world had been exhausted. Quite frankly now what is being done by this administration is Americanizing of a regional conflict. They move in militarily instead of promoting the Contador process which as you know is a the process that is in place
with the support of Mexico and Colombia and Panama and Venezuela. Instead of supporting the process. Our administration has in Nicaragua been supporting covert activities to keep that revolution going in order to overthrow the Sandinista government in El Salvador was not pushing the head of the government to move toward correction of the civil rights human rights problems that existed there. And now this administration seems almost be fuddled by the fact that Nicaragua is moving to participate in the Contador process and El Salvador through its president Duarte is reaching out to the guerrillas in order to negotiate a peace. What Fritz Mondale and I feel about the situation down there is that what you do is you deal first through negotiation that full force is not a first resort but certainly a last resort in any instance. Fall of place many times in his history of the United States has
gone to war in order to defend freedom of other lands. Does your answer mean that you would be willing to forego the use of military force even if it meant the establishment of a Soviet backed dictatorships so close to our own borders. No I think we have to do is work with the government I assume you're speaking about the government of Nicaragua. Work with that government to achieve a pluralistic society. I mean they do have elections that are coming up on November 4th I think we we have to work with them to achieve a peaceful solution to bring about a pluralistic country. No I'm not willing to to live with a force that could be a danger to our country. Certainly I would see that our country would be there putting all kinds of pressure on the neighboring countries of Honduras of Kusturica of El Salvador to promote the kind of society that we can all live with and security in this country.
President Bush both Cuba and Nicaragua are reported to be making extensive preparations to defend themselves against an American invasion which they claim could come this fall. And even some of your Democratic opponents in Congress have suggested that the administration may be planning a December surprise invasion. Can you tell us under what circumstances a re-elected Reagan administration would consider use of force in Central America or the Caribbean. We don't think we're to be required to use force. Let me point out that there are 2000 Cuban military and seventy five hundred so-called Cuban advisers in Nicaragua. There are 55 American military in El Salvador. I went down in the instructions of the president to speak to the commandant case in El Salvador and. I told them that they had to move with Mr. McGowan here than the president of El Salvador to respect human rights. They have done that. They're moving
well. I'm not saying it's perfect. But the difference between El Salvador and Nicaragua is like the difference between night and day. El Salvador went to the polls Mr Durrant who was elected by 75 percent of the people in a 70 percent voting in a certifiably free election. In Nicaragua you have something very different. You have a Marxist Leninist group the Sandinistas that came into power talking democracy. They have aborted their democracy. They have humiliated the Holy Father. They have cracked down on the only press organ there La Prensa censoring the press something that should concern every American. They have not had any human rights at all. They will not permit free elections Mr. Cruz who was to be the only viable challenger to Nicaragua to the Sandinistas to the hunted to Mr. Ortega went down there and found that the ground rules. We're so unfair that he couldn't even wage a campaign. One country is devoid of human rights. The other is struggling to perfect their democracy. We don't like it frankly. When
Nicaragua exports its revolution our serves as a conduit for supplies coming in from such democracies as North Korea Bogue area the Soviet Union and Cuba to try to days at de-stabilize El Salvador. Yes we're concerned about that because we want to see this trend towards democracy continue. There have been something like 13 countries since we've come and moved towards the democratic route. And let me say that Grenada is not unrelated and I have a big difference with Ms Ferraro on that one. We gave those four tiny Caribbean countries a chance. We save the lives and most of those a thousand students said that they were in jeopardy. Grenada was a proud moment because we did stand up for democracy. But in terms of threat of these countries nuclear weapons no there's not that kind of a threat as Mr. Mondale that proposed a quarantine not Ronald Reagan. Thank you. Thank you. Considering this country's long respect for the rule of international law was it right for the
United States to be involved in mining the harbors in Nicaragua. A country we're not at war with and subsequently refused to allow the World Court to adjudicate that dispute the complaint from Nicaragua. I support what we're doing it was supported to the Congress under the law. I support it my only regret is that the aid for the concert for the Contras those people that are fighting we call them freedom fighters. They want to see the democracy perfected in the current Nicaragua. And I don't understand from this assault on covert action that no war in the world would we do something that was considered just off base by me when Mrs. Ferraro said she'd never support it which she never supported if there. Violation of human rights was so great and quiet support was necessary for freedom fighters. Yes we're for the Contras. And let me tell you another fact about the Contras. Every one of the. It's not for this everyone who wants to let that that the Sandinista government prevail just like that Castro did all of that.
The Contras are not so much less than 5 percent of the Contras supported so most of these were people that wanted a revolution. These are people that felt the revolution was betrayed. These are people that support human rights. Yes we should support him. Congresswoman Ferraro I spent a good deal of time in Central America in January and had an opportunity to speak to the Contras after being in Nicaragua and El Salvador let me just say that the situation as it exists now because of this administration's policies are not getting better and we're not moving toward a more secure area of the world as a matter of fact the number of troops that they Sandinistas have accumulated since the administration started its covert activities has risen from 12 to 50000. And of course the number of Silvan in Cuba the Cuban advisers has also increased. I did not support the mining of the harbors in Nicaragua it is a violation of international law. Congress did not support it as a matter of fact just this week the
Congress voted to cut off covert aid to Nicaragua unless and until a request is made and there is evidence of a need for it and the Congress approves it again in March so Congress doesn't get laid on the covert activities which I oppose in Nicaragua. Those CIA covert activities in that specific country are not supported by the Congress and believe it or not not supported by the majority of people throughout this country. President Bush. Well I would simply like to make the distinction again between those countries that are searching for democracy and the handful of countries that have totally violated human rights and are going the Marxist route. Ortega the Commandante who's head of the Nicaraguan Sandinistas isn't a valid Marxist. They don't believe in the church they don't believe in the free elections they don't believe in all the values that we believe in. So it is our policy to support the
democracies there. And when you have freedom fighters that want to perfect that revolution and go the democratic route we believe in giving them support. We are for democracy in the hemisphere. We are for negotiation $3 out of every four that we've sent down there has been for economic aid to support the people's chance to eat and live in and be happy and enjoy life. And one fourth only with military you wouldn't get that from listening to Mr. Mondale. Vice President Bush the last three Republican administrations. Eisenhower Nixon and Ford. None of them soft on communism. Met with the Soviets and got agreements on arms control. The Soviets haven't changed that much. Can you tell us why President Reagan has not met with the Soviet ministers at all and only met with Foreign Minister Gromyko less than a month ago. Yes I can. You mention the Gromyko meeting those were broken off and of the Carter Mondale days there had been three
separate Soviet leaders Mr. brash NAF Mr. and dropoff and now Chernenko during their That's three and a half three and a half years three separate leaders. The Soviets have not been willing to talk. We are the ones that went to the table and I and F We had a good proposal a moral proposal ban an entire generation of Internews intermediate nuclear force weapons. And if you won't do that don't leave your allies in Europe in a monopoly position the Soviets with twelve hundred of these things and the alliance with none. We didn't think that's the way you deter aggression and keep the peace. The president went the first thing he did when he came into office was make a proposal on the most destabilizing weapons of all start and when the so the strategic weapons and when the Soviets said well we don't like that proposal we said or it will be more flexible. I at the urging of the president went to Egypt went to Geneva and laid on the table a treaty to ban all chemical weapons we don't want them to have a monopoly but we said look let's come together.
You come over here and say what we're doing we'll go over there and see what you're doing but let's save the kids of this world from chemical weapons. A brilliant proposal to get rid of all of them. And the Soviets. And yet and yet and yet in the mutual balance force reduction to reduce conventional forces they're not even willing to tell us the base. Mrs. Ferraro knows that how many how many troops they have there's four sessions we have had an agreement with them on the hotline. But the Carter Mondale bit made an agreement the Sault to agreement but the Democratic Senate they were a Democratic administration. The Democratic Senate wouldn't even ratify that agreement. It was flawed. It was unverifiable and it was not good. Our president wants to reduce not just to stop. He wants to reduce dramatically nuclear weapons. And when the Soviets know they're going to have this strong president to deal with and when this new administration. Mr Cheney and Co's given more than a few months in office can solidify its position then they'll talk. But if they think the opposition
- Debate 1984, Vice President
- Producing Organization
- MacNeil/Lehrer Newshour
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- Iowa Public Television (Johnston, Iowa)
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- George W. Bush and Geraldine Ferraro, Philadelphia, PA, Credit: MacNeil/Lehrer, Reel 1, Rec. Engr. T8, VCR 8, Transfer date: 1-26-86, UCA-60
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Producing Organization: MacNeil/Lehrer Newshour
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Iowa Public Television
Identifier: 41-C-25 (Old Tape Number)
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- APA: Debate 1984, Vice President; George Bush And Geraldine Ferraro. Boston, MA: Iowa Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-37-72b8h3np