Members of the Cornell Democrats convened on the second floor of Robert Purcell Community Center to watch the presidential debate between Vice President Al Gore and Governor George W. Bush of Texas, yesterday evening. Major issues covered were health care, education, Social Security, national defense and foreign relations.
Mike Moschella ’02, president of Cornell Democrats, claimed victory for Al Gore, stating that Gore displayed “experience and knowledge, especially in the areas of Social Security, Medicare, education and foreign affairs.”
He stated that two strengths of Gore’s campaign are his efforts to hire new teachers and to gain prescription drug benefits for all elderly people. In reference to Gore’s opponent, Moschella found that Bush did not respond directly to Gore’s statements on policy.
“He [Bush] repeatedly used phrases like ‘fuzzy numbers’,” Moschella stated, explaining Bush’s defense against Gore’s accusations that Bush will spend too much money on tax cuts for the wealthiest one percent of the country.
Joseph G. Sabia grad, member of the Board of Directors of the Cornell Republicans, said that these accusations are untrue.
“Bush’s plan will in fact give the largest tax reduction to those in the lower tax bracket and the higher income brackets will be paying a higher percentage than they did before,” he said.
Sabia called Bush’s Social Security plan a “brave proposal.”
“Bush made his case that he is a candidate who trusts the individual over government, especially with regard to the Social Security privatization plan,” he said. “He will allow college students like ourselves to take a portion of our income and invest it as we see fit.”
Ryan Horn ’02, chairman of the Cornell Republicans was disappointed with the debate.
“I believe this is a very important election year and I think a lot of important issues were not addressed, such as those that Republicans are traditionally strong on, like world trade, affirmative action, immigration and religion,” he said. “We need to start hitting these issues which American people traditionally agree with us [on] to see a favorable outcome at the elections.”
Jason Roth ’03, publicity director for Cornell Democrats urged that it was important to note how many people had come to the Cornell Democrats meeting to watch the debate, considering high volumes of prelims and papers this week.
“Despite talk about apathy, Gore got people excited about making a difference. The Cornell Democrats have over 200 members this year, versus twenty to forty in the past.”
Jason Conn ’03, director of Cornell Students for Gore said that Gore really gave students something to be excited about.
“Gore’s plan to give tax deductions for college tuition relates well to students at Cornell, since it’s very expensive. I hope Cornell students were listening.”
Chris Kercher ’01 said, “I’m a registered Republican, but I’m a little embarrassed to be in the same party as Bush. Gore really took a strong stance on issues that matter to all Americans, while Bush got too heavily weighted in Partisan rhetoric.”
Sharon Ellis ’01, member of Cornell Democrats supports Gore because “he worked hard to get where he is. I think he’s an honest person and family is important to him.”
She also supported his running mate, Joseph Lieberman.
“I’m Jewish and I think it’s amazing that America has come so far to put a Jewish candidate on the platform.”
Archived article by Olga Byrne