Candidates in Conflict: Persuasive Attack and Defense in the 1992 Presidential Debates

By William L. Benoit; William T. Wells | Go to book overview
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Persuasive Attack Bush the Primary Target, Perot Relatively Unscathed

My argument with Governor Clinton--you can call it mud wrestling, but I think it's fair to put it in focus--is I am deeply troubled by someone who demonstrates and organizes demonstrations in a foreign land when his country's at war. Probably a lot of kids here disagree with me, but that's what I feel. That's what I feel passionately about. I'm thinking of Ross Perot's running mate, sitting in the jail; how would he feel about it? --Bush, Debate 2.

We have gone from first to thirteenth in the world in wages in the last twelve years, since Mr. Bush and Mr. Reagan have been in. Personal income has dropped while people have worked harder. In the last four years there have been twice as many bankruptcies as new jobs created. We need a new approach.--Clinton, Debate 1

I don't like to see the people in a deteriorating economy, in a deteriorating country, because our government has lost touch with the people. The people in Washington are good people. We just have a bad system. We've got to change the system. It's time to do it, because we have run up so much debt that time is no longer our friend. We've got to put our house in order.--Perot, Debate 1

Presidential candidates frequently engage in persuasive attack. Furthermore, as will become clear, they can and do attack both other candidates' character (personal invective) and other candidates' policies (issues). That some attacks concerned character while others ad

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