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Last Updated: Monday, 4 October, 2004, 10:44 GMT 11:44 UK
Voters' views: Laura Stietz
In the run up to the American presidential elections we will be asking a panel of voters to share their views on the key issues. Here they give their opinion on Thursday's debate between US President George W Bush and his Democratic challenger John Kerry.

Linda Alston:
Madison, Wisconsin

Jim Hill:
Sudbury, Mass.

Laura Stietz:
Sidney, New York
Jorge Caspary:
Tallahassee, Florida

Shankar Iyer:
Fairfax, Virginia

Gary Webb
Gary Webb:
Sacramento, C'fornia

Laura Stietz

Laura Stietz
Name: Laura Stietz
Age: 31
Lives: Sidney, New York
Works: Law student
Current voting intention: Republican
In 10 words or less:
"Definite Republican, mother, George Bush supporter, politics and law enthusiast"
The debate was great and my vote has not changed for Bush - he is an amazing man and president and the US should feel proud to have a commander and chief that loves this country as much as he does.

Bush looked great tonight and he defended his decision for war with passion.

He is right - we are winning and we will win because we are fighting the enemy there and not at home.

People have to remember that John Kerry voted for the war and then against the war, for the 87 billion then against the 87 billion. How can you be a Commander in Chief and vote against funding our troops?

Our panel - Where they live

Bush is someone who says what he means and means what he says. He does not waffle or flip flop like his opponent.

Senator Kerry says he has this great plan for Iraq, but what plan?

He still has not told the American people his plan because he does not have one! He says fight a sensitive war - how can you fight a sensitive war when the enemy does not care about us?

Bush will not fold under pressure - he said so and that is the kind of man that I want to protect our country.

Send us your comments on Laura's views using the form below.

Bush has made no new argument about Kerry's viewpoint on the Iraq war, no matter how much Kerry has tried to be clear and concise about his viewpoint on the Iraq war. Time and time again, Kerry has said that he voted to give the president authority; he never approved the rush to war, and he has never approved the way the president handled the war. Kerry has said the reason he voted for authorisation was that he thinks it is the job of the president to make the final decision, but that the president should exhaust all other choices before declaring war. The fact that Bush makes the same argument over and over again just shows that he really has no argument, and this is the same mentality that has gotten us into this pointless war in the first place.
Rooz, San Francisco, CA, USA

I'm delighted that in last night's debate John Kerry went on the offensive and deeply concerned that people like Laura still regard a buffoon like Bush as a credible candidate. With a foreign policy which has no foundation in any concrete analysis, he is responsible for the greatest decline in US prestige since World War Two. He has turned his back on the considered approach to diplomacy developed since the Roosevelt years, and practised with insight by the two key Republican foreign policy presidents, Eisenhower and Nixon, as well as the great Democrats, Roosevelt, Truman, Johnson, Carter and Clinton.
John Erskine, Leeds, England

I must wonder if Ms Stietz and I viewed the same event. Asserting that "Bush will not fold under pressure" is simply not true. During the debate he became visibly flustered, stuttering, and hesitant. There was even a moment where he stared at the camera in silence for nearly five seconds, seemingly not able to figure out what to say. It seems quite obvious that when faced with a situation not completely in the control of his handlers, Mr. Bush is unable to adapt.
Jon Williams, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

I am still confused as to why people continue to say that Kerry flip flops on the war on terror. In my opinion, Kerry had every right to change his position once it came to light that the facts, as originally presented were blatant misrepresentations. I find it difficult, if not ridiculous, for someone to actually believe that the current administration did not purposefully deceive the American people when it presented the case for war. Anyone who refutes this is in denial - especially after the numerous reports that have surfaced recently about the administrations dealings prior to the invasion. Another point raised by Bush (and Mrs. Stietz) is that the war on terror is being fought on other lands and not in the US. I take this as a racist comment - it gives the impression that an American life is worth more than an Iraqi or Afghani life. The sacrifice for American security is borne by innocent civilians elsewhere... I don't see this as fair - can you?
Patrick, Toronto, Canada

Laura has, like many voters, fallen victim to campaign rhetoric.
Ned, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Laura must not have been watching the same debate that the rest of the country was watching. Her comments are nothing but a rendition of the political adds running for the past several months. Unfortunately, this kind of masterful brainwashing works with many people. That is why this man got into the White House in the first place.
Frank Erk, Pickerington, Ohio

Bush will not fold under pressure? What about his folding under the pressure of the chemical and nuclear industry lobbies, leaving those facilities open to terrorist acts? What about his folding under the pressure of wealthy contributors who wanted a tax cut, instead of putting the money into protecting our ports and airplanes? This man folds under the pressure of money and power. That's not the kind of president that is looking out for America.
Jessica Rollins, Santa Fe, NM

I am not sure that repeating the Bush-Cheney mantra from the stomach constitutes a thoughtful approach to what happened in the debate. I think that a responsible politician is willing to be critical of himself and not simply assume that he is right on account of the fact that he is a "leader". Who do you want for a president? One who is will admit their wrong-doing and reflect upon their mistakes so as to learn from them or one who will merely perpetuate their failures by remaining oblivious to them?
Neal Miller, Oregon, USA

Once again, Karl Rove generates the spin, George Bush recite the lines, and the Republicans all sing a chorus from a predetermined script. Americans can cast their vote for the clear thinking John Kerry or they can give four more years to the puppet controlled by the far-right and oil interests.
Sarah, Auckland, New Zealand

People should open their eyes and see that the only person who can truly save the United States, God willing, is Bush. I fully support Laura's opinion and I think the Silent Majority also does and will vote for Bush on December 7th.
Marcus Marcussini, Paris, Texas

I am so tired of hearing this 'flip-flopper' charge levelled at Kerry. He ,like most Americans, was misled by Bush and voted in good conscience. However, Bush flip flopped like a gasping fish all the way through the 9/11 commission process and on a range of other issues too (e.g. Homeland Security).
Dean, Tokyo, Japan


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