Interjected question: how will the administration go after Osama in a second term? Cheney completely refuses to answer the question, slipping in hits on the Kerry/Edwards defense record as he does so. Edwards redirects to the Veep’s distortion on the “global test” question. Cheney makes an interesting comparison between El Salvador in the 80s and Afghanistan today. Edwards brings up Cheney’s support for lifting sanctions on Iran and North Korea.
The moderator gives Edwards an opportunity to clarify the “global test” remark from the last debate. He says, “For America to lead…it is critical that we be credible. It is critical that when America takes action, they [our allies] can believe…that the word of the President of the United States is always good.” Right on, John.
Next question: “Will the US be in greater danger from terror attacks if John Kerry is elected?” Cheney claims that Kerry and Edwards were swayed by Dean’s anti-war platform. Edwards hits Cheney for hypocrisy on the weapons systems issues. Halliburton enters the fray, but Cheney reiterates on the flip-flop point—and to be fair, Edwards didn’t hit it well.
Edwards is doing a pretty good job of pointing out places where the US could internationalize. Cheney hits weakly on the “wrong war, wrong place, wrong time” point, and makes an interesting point about the casualties of the Iraqi allies.