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

By William L. Benoit; William T. Wells | Go to book overview

4
Persuasive Defense Bush on the Defensive

Governor Clinton . . . said that the country is coming apart at the seams. Now, I know that the only way he can win is to make everybody believe the economy is worse than it is. But this country's not coming apart at the seams, for heaven's sakes. We're the United States of America. We--in spite of the economic problems, we are the most respected economy around the world. Many would trade for it. We've been caught up in a global slowdown.--Bush, Debate 1

What about the honor of my state? We rank first in the country in job growth. We got the lowest spending state and local in the country and the second lowest tax burden, and the difference between Arkansas and the United States is that we're going in the right direction and this country is going in the wrong direction, and I have to defend the honor of my state. --Clinton, Debate 3

Well, they got a point. I don't have any experience in running up a $4 trillion debt. I don't have any experience in gridlock government, where nobody takes responsibility for anything and everybody blames everyone else. I don't have any experience in creating the worst public school system in the industrialized world. But I do have experience in getting things done.--Perot, Debate 1

As much time as the presidential candidates spent on attacking one another (chapter 3), they spent even more time defending themselves. Not surprisingly, a good deal of their time was spent bolstering their own image and proposing solutions to perceived problems (corrective

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