More questions for Gore and Bush

Salon readers pose 10 brain teasers for the presidential candidates.

Topics: George W. Bush, Al Gore,

After Salon published 10 questions it would like to see asked in Tuesday night’s debates, Salon readers chimed in with many more of their own. In all, we received more than 200 queries that our readers would like to see Al Gore and George W. Bush answer.

In addition to those below, we received numerous questions touching on the exclusion of Pat Buchanan and Ralph Nader. The Cuba embargo, the environment, campaign finance reform, the candidates’ drug policies and their personal pasts and energy policy also registered often on our readers’ radar screens. Here are more questions for Bush and Gore, courtesy of Salon readers:

No. 1: The peace process in the Middle East has utterly broken down, and it looks unlikely that President Clinton — who has worked closely with Arafat, Barak and previous Israeli administrations — will be able to influence the process during the remainder of his term. The U.S. always had a vital role in Israeli affairs. How can you help to get the process back on track? What will you do to gain the confidence of the Israeli and Palestinian leaders? What plans can you suggest for resolution of the age-old conflict? If the conflict turns into a war, as it now threatens to do, are you prepared to commit American military to the conflict? On whose behalf?
–Joshua Okrent

No. 2: Saddam Hussein is still in power after nine years of sanctions which have caused more death than Iraq is likely to ever cause. Given that the sanctions have caused so much loss of life and suffering without any reduction in Saddam’s political power, how can we justify their continuation? What does Gov. Bush mean when he says he wants to be tougher on Iraq?
–Michael John Sanregret

No. 3: If China’s leaders launched an attack on one of Taiwan’s small outlying islands, what would be the appropriate American response?
–Bret Taylor, Tainan, Taiwan

No. 4: Gov. Bush, your interracial kiss of Oprah wouldn’t have been allowed on the Bob Jones University campus. How can you resolve your “compassionate conservatism” and the support you’re getting from those whose conservatism isn’t very compassionate?
–David E. Romm



No. 5: Mr. Gore, why did you meet with the Rev. Al Sharpton, a man found responsible for viciously libeling an innocent man for rape and given to race-baiting statements? As a follow-up, sir, why did your running mate, Sen. Lieberman, say that he would be willing to meet with Louis Farrakhan? If it is “OK” for your ticket to meet with such individuals, would it be “OK” for Gov. Bush to have similar sit-downs with Pat Buchanan and David Duke?
–Nick Eckert

No. 6: Mr. Gore, could you be a bit more specific in your charges that Big Oil and Big Medicine are taking advantage of American consumers? In other words, can you identify the three most notable oil companies and medicine companies that are not treating Americans fairly?
–Todd Trubey

No. 7: With the Federal Reserve raising interest rates to slow down economic growth, why do both of you propose cutting taxes, which would do just the opposite? Isn’t that just like driving with one foot on the gas pedal and the other on the brake?
–Seth Chandler

No. 8: Are there any government programs that are no longer appropriate and should be cut?
–Keith Gardner

No. 9: Where were you when President Kennedy was shot?
–Victoria Jayne Joyce, San Francisco, Calif.

No. 10: What is 13 times 9?
–Jason Flahardy, Bowling Green, Ky.

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