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FACTBOX-Key Campaign Positions of Bush and Kerry

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posted on Sep, 5 2004 @ 03:34 PM
should make for some interesting debates....

Key Campaign Positions of Bush and Kerry


While the candidates criticize each other over Iraq, critics say their positions are quite similar. In recent months, Bush has sought an increased role for the United Nations and other international partners, while Kerry has said he would seek to draw NATO into the rebuilding of Iraq. Bush has said he needs more troops in Iraq due to unrest, while Kerry would like to increase the role of international forces and cut back on U.S. troops within six months of taking office. Bush has cited Saddam Hussein's history of using weapons of mass destruction as justification for the war. Kerry has said he would have voted for the congressional resolution authorizing the use of force in Iraq even if he had known there were no weapons of mass destruction, but he accuses Bush of misusing the authority to use force if necessary.


With the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks as a backdrop, both candidates have said military action is needed to fight terrorism and supported creating the Homeland Security Department. Kerry has said he would like to increase the number of active troops temporarily by 40,000 to deal with terrorism threats. Both candidates support creating a new national director of intelligence, but while Kerry has endorsed the recommendations of the 9/11 commission, Bush has not said how much power and authority the position should hold.


With the U.S. economic recovery under way but new job creation falling short of expectations, both candidates say they are focused on spurring growth. Bush has called on Congress to make permanent the tax cuts approved in 2001 and 2003, saying they will help create jobs. Kerry wants to repeal the Bush tax cuts for Americans earning more than $200,000 a year to help pay for health care but retain the cuts for the middle class. He says letting those cuts expire will restore fiscal health and lead to growth.


Health care costs have soared in the United States in the past few years and the number of uninsured Americans has increased. Bush seeks to reduce that number by about 4 million and backs health savings accounts to help people purchase insurance on their own. Kerry aims to reduce the number of uninsured people by 27 million, in part by expanding the federal employee health plan to all Americans. Both seek to limit medical malpractice lawsuits, which some analysts have said is one of the causes of soaring health care costs.


With consumers paying near record prices for gasoline and still stinging from an electricity crisis, both candidates support efforts to mandate increased automobile fuel efficiency, to build a natural gas pipeline to Alaska and to raise the use of alternative fuels. But they differ on fossil fuel development. Bush, a former oil executive, favors oil exploration in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, while Kerry opposes such drilling. Bush also supports the construction of new nuclear plants and the storage of nuclear waste in Nevada's Yucca Mountain, both of which Kerry opposes. Kerry supports the continued use of existing nuclear plants.


Same-sex marriage erupted as a controversial issue this year as certain states began allowing unions performed by court officials. Both Bush and Kerry say they oppose same-sex marriage while tolerating different degrees of civil unions among gay and lesbian couples. Bush supports a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as being between a man and a woman, while Kerry opposes the amendment.


The candidates have polarized views on the issue, with Bush opposing abortion in most cases and Kerry supporting rights across the board. Bush opposes the use of federal funds for abortion and has sought to double to $273 million funding for education programs that advocate abstinence. Kerry supports government funding for abortion and domestic family planning services. He voted against the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 that Bush signed into law. Bush and Kerry have also said they would seek to appoint judges who share their views.


Bush, who has the backing of the powerful National Rifle Association gun industry lobby, opposes most limits on gun ownership although he has expressed support for renewing the assault weapons ban. Kerry, who says he is an avid hunter, supports some limits on gun ownership and measures that would hold gun makers liable for gun crimes. Bush has made millions of child-safety locks available for free to gun owners, while Kerry supports mandating such locks.

© Reuters 2004. All Rights Reserved.

[edit on 5-9-2004 by Creepy]

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