Spin Boston--Oct. 3, 2000
P R E  -  D E B A T E
"...get his message out to America that at this time of unprecedented prosperity we need to use the surplus to enrich all families, not just a few, that we need policies that strengthen families and protect them; that means investing in education, in a secure retirement, and in tax cuts targeted to the middle class."
--Tad Devine, senior strategist
"This is a great opportunity for him to share his vision of where he'll lead America, and his plans to improve education, to rebuild the military, give prescription drugs to our seniors; those are the issues the governor looks forward to talking about tonight.  Providing tax relief so people can keep more of the money they make..."
--Ari Fleischer, spokesman
G  O  R  E 
B  U  S  H 
"The Vice President is going to go on an issues offensive.  He's going to talk about the issues important to the American people.  We know that he's in the right place with the American people on the issues and that George W. Bush is in the wrong place, so his mission tonight is simply to go out and look the American people in the eye and tell them what he believes..."

"There are two competing visions of America that people will hopefullly have the opportunity to see tonight.  Al Gore, who wants to use our prosperity in a responsible way by paying down the debt and investing in real priorities: a middle class tax cut, education, health care, a secure retirement, and George W. Bush on the other hand, who wants to imperil our economic strength by giving away this historic surplus in a massive tax cut for the wealthy."
--Chris Lehane, spokesman

"I think that what you're going to see tonight is a real fellow, a personable man, a man that the people of the United States will be comfortable with, someone who's very knowledgable on the issues--strong beliefs on education, on tax cuts, on reforming Social Security--and I think that's going to demonstrate leadership, and that's what I think people care about and that's what they're going to see tonight with Governor Bush."

"There's no doubt about the fact that Al Gore has always been a shark as a debater, and has trained that way.  That's his instinct; he's a slasher, but I believe the people of the United States want a real leader that cares about them, not about...just jousting in a debate."
--Gov. Jim Gilmore (R-VA)


Pre-buttal Documents

Gore/Lieberman Inc. produced "Facts to Consider: A Debate-Watching Guide."  The eight pages were billed as "a guide to the misleading and false statements you can expect to hear from Governor Bush tonight." Bush/Cheney 2000 Inc. produced a 22-page, spiral-bound "Debate Survival Kit," billed as "A Debate Guide For Al Gore's Attacks and Distortions."
Instant Response
A one-page response to Bush's Debate Survival Guide noted that it contained "67 Defensive Bullets Explaining the Mess in Texas" and stated that there was "...no reason to read past the first page, where the Bush campaign STILL fails to explain why he spends more ona tax giveaway to the top one percent then [sic] he spends on education, health care, prescription drugs, and national defense combined."

During the course of the debate, the Gore debate response team sent out at least nine "Reality Checks."

Bush's debate response team sent out a number of "Setting the Record Straight" pages.

P O S T  -  D E B A T E
"...he wanted to talk issues and substance and specifics and explain his vision and his plans to the country and I think he did a very good job of that tonight..."

"I think he probably knows Governor Bush's plans better than Governor Bush does."
--Tad Devine, senior strategist

"The Vice President was able to remain steady and calm as he was attacked.  He was focused, and he got his issues out.  He talked about what matters most to Americans, and that is improving public schools, giving our seniors a prescription drug benefit and making sure that we have a tax cut that helps middle class people and not just the wealthy..."
--Donna Brazile, campaign manager

"From our point of view, Governor Bush did a very effective job.  I think he very successfully laid out his proposals and his agenda to the people of America.  I think the defining difference in the debate was that Governor Bush very persuasively made his case for a government that trusts people -- that trusts people to make their own decisions for their health care, trusts people to put some of their money in a personal account in the Social Security system, that trusts people to make decisions for their children in public schools, that trusts people to make decisions in their local communities versus Vice President Gore's proposals for a massive buildup of big government that would threaten our country's prosperity."
--Karen Hughes, spokesman
G  O  R  E 
B  U  S  H 
"I've never spun before; I've never done this.  This is ridiculous that I'm doing this..."

"At first I thought Bush was doing okay, and then as anything sort of scratched the surface I felt he had a little problem.  I think he had a real problem when he started talking about phony numbers and then couldn't actually refute the numbers.  And I think he had a hard time on the tax cut."
--Al Franken, comedian

"I think people were looking for a president and I think they saw one in George W. Bush.  I think a lot of people wondered whether or not Bush could share the state and I think he did more than that -- I think he filled his suit and looked presidential."

"I think the important thing was articulating a difference in governing philosophy, and that was our goal tonight and that's what we've done."
--Mark McKinnon, media advisor

O U T S I D E   T H E   P E R I M E T E R
"I'm here because it appears that free speech and open debate has been frozen out of this thing by money.  It's that simple."
--Ted Dooley, Alliance for Democracy, St. Paul, MN
"They're afraid to have open debates because it could open up democracy and have real issues discussed, which Ralph Nader and some of these other candidates want to bring out in the open, particularly the control that corporations have over our government..."
--Harold Stokes, Metro Detroit Alliance for Democracy