In the run up to the American presidential elections we will be asking a panel of BBC News Online users to share their views. Here, we asked them for their thoughts on the second presidential debate between George W Bush and his Democrat challenger, John Kerry.
I think we had a good and substantive debate. Both men did fine.
With the help of Cheney and his own performance on Friday, I think President Bush is back in the race.
MEET THE PANEL
Name: Jorge Caspary
Lives: Tallahassee, Florida
Works: Civil engineer
Current voting intention: Republican
In 10 words or less:
"Bolivian immigrant, geologist, father-of-three, moderate Republican"
Both candidates were strong performers in front of the public and perfected their deliveries, although Kerry gave confusing answers.
I applaud the audience for turning the debate towards domestic policy which, after all, is what wins elections and what interests me.
There were different approaches to addressing domestic issues ranging from Social Security, abortion, tort reform, health insurance to taxes.
On health care access, there are fundamental differences. Kerry advocates government intervention at all levels while Bush advocates a solution based on a combination of government and market forces.
The US is a capitalist country so I believe the solution lies in the latter.
On the issue of access to medicines, which are very expensive here, there are also fundamental differences showcased by the debate.
Kerry believes in importation from Canada right now, while the administration favours a slow-approach formerly favoured by Clinton.
Importing medicines is against the law in the US and a president, as cruel as it sounds, has to stand by the law until it is changed.
On Iraq, more of the same from both -we're there for the long run.
Bush certainly redeemed himself. In general, this debate had to have an effect on the undecided voter.
The third debate will be definitive for both candidates, but I left the debate with the impression that Bush, right or wrong, crafts his policies based on principle while Kerry, as result of being in the Senate for 20 years, will leave his principles open for negotiation.
Send us your comments on Jorge's views using the form below.
I can't possibly believe that anyone would believe that Bush crafts his policies on principle. What basis has he given for invading Iraq? Before the invasion his administration claimed that Saddam possessed WMD and was a threat to the US and the rest of the world. Now that that argument has been disproved, Bush has shifted his case to the potential threat that he posed. Bush has also continued to indirectly link the attacks on 9/11 to Saddam. It's amazing how so many Americans and the American media have allowed this president continue to do this.
Enrique, Chicago, USA
I disagree with your assessment that Kerry gave confusing answers. What did Bush mentioning the Dred Scott decision have to do with anything? How is that not a confusing answer? I also disagree with your assessment that Bush needs to "stand by the law until it is changed". What you don't say is that Bush supports not changing the law. Abortion is clearly legal and I haven't seen Bush 'standing' by that law.
Carl, Oxford, USA
I thought both candidates did a good job, but Kerry was the better of the two. I like his plan. Bush has done little for me and the middle class. Down with corporate greed and up with resolutions to health care, prescriptions, taxes that benefit and support a true healthy government by the people and for the people. I believe that is the Kerry plan. I want fiscal responsibility, safety, health care and more jobs.
Sharon, Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Didn't it make any difference to you (Jorge) that George, when asked to name three mistakes he has made, couldn't even acknowledge one? I somehow doubt that this was the perfect presidency.
Stephen, Dublin, Ireland
Well Jorge, you really revealed the cards there in your last paragraph. A country with the power of the USA needs a president ready to negotiate and make deals. That's the idea of a democracy, to find a consensus. Whatever principles Bush has (and I haven't seen many) he will stick to right or wrong. And that's the point: The war in Iraq is wrong, wrong-headed and a complete disaster in global terms. But Bush is sticking to the principle of it while flipping and flopping on why we are actually there. I don't understand how you cannot see that.
Marton, Munich, Germany
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