A viewer asked this question on 7/24/2000:
I would appreciate a calm, objective and intelligent discussion/comparison of the relative strengths and weaknesses of both Bush and Gore. Only serious responses need apply as smart-aleck answers and rude replies will automatically rate one star from me. Thank you.
JesseGordon gave this response on 7/25/2000:
I'll present an issues-based comparison, since my colleagues have covered most of the politics. Here's a comparison of the two on the hot issues:
GORE STRENGTHS / BUSH WEAKNESSES:
GORE WEAKNESSES / BUSH STRENGTHS:
GORE: Pro-choice. Voted against abortion funding in Congress; has "evolved" since then. I.e., not an ideologue.
BUSH: Pro-life, but also by no means an ideologue. Will likely maintain the status quo (Roe v. Wade); won't commit to pro-life Supreme Court justices.
COMPARISON: Bush is having a tough time with this because it splits the GOP, and can only hurt him, either by losing the Christian right if he's too "soft" or the centrist independents if he's too strict.
BUSH & GORE: They agree on Permanent Normal Trade Relations for China. To see some differences, check our Nader & Buchanan.
COMPARISON: Only an issue for Gore, with regards to security breaches, donations, etc. It COULD be a weakness for both of them, if China behaves badly in the next couple of months, or if Nader or Buchanan get into the debates.
GORE: Supports gays in military; and gay "domestic partnerships".
BUSH: Opposes gay adoption & gay marriage; would keep gays out of the Boy Scouts and out of "hate crime" legislation.
COMPARISON: Gays wouldn't vote for Bush anyway, so he hasn't got much to lose, but this is definitely a strength for Gore. Gays claim to be 10% of the population; if so, this is a MAJOR strength.
CRIME & DEATH PENALTY
GORE & BUSH: They both support the death penalty, "Three Strikes," and more cops on the street. Bush is clearly "tougher" on crime, since Texas under his governorship is in the far lead in capital punishment.
COMPARISON: I feel this is a major weakness for Bush. Texas is simply too aggressive in administering the death penalty, and Bush is too arrogant (he said, "There have been no mistakes in 130 executions.") I think someone will find a DNA-based case of actual innocence and Bush will look awful on this issue, sometime in September.
GORE & BUSH: Both support SDI; the only difference is degree. Gore wants SDI against "rogue states", Bush wants a full-scale SDI.
COMPARISON: I'd have said this is a Gore strength last week, since he's an arms expert. But now Bush has Cheney, so they've evened up.
GORE: For gun safety rules and "taking on the NRA."
BUSH: For 2nd amendment rights, with some restrictions.
COMPARISON: Bush is perceived as pro-gun, but his actual stances are pretty moderate. In the sense that moderation gets the centrist vote, this is a Bush strength. Also, the gun-carrying crowd (which is huge) will favor Bush because of the perception.
GORE: Keep schools public.
COMPARISON: It seems to me that the public has accepted that vouchers are indeed something to experiment with. Bush proposes more than that, but Gore comes out looking rigid on this issue. He does so because he wants the NEA (teacher's union) vote. I think the NEA is also viewed as rigid, and the gain in NEA support will not counteract the loss of parents irate over failing schools, so this is a Gore weakness.
GORE: Some tax cuts
BUSH: More tax cuts
COMPARISON: This is a major strength for Bush, which is ironic because a strong economy is supposed to be a strength for the incumbent. The essence of this issue is that Gore says "Let's be prudent and spend on internal debt" while Bush says "Give the taxpayers back their money while the giving is good." It's a strength for Bush because every couple of months the new budget surplus figures get higher. Then Gore's calls for prudence -- and his attacks that Bush is irresponsible -- seem less and less convincing. Gore's weakness is that, despite trillions in surplus, it's STILL not enough for him to say "the government has enough."
Chrobo42 rated this answer:
WOW. Thanks for the lowdown. Good analysis.
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