The Top 10 Excerpts From The Veep Debate

Here are what are in my opinion, the top 10 excerpts from last nights veep debate, in order.

10) Dick Cheney: “It’s important to look at all of our developments in Iraq within the broader context of the global war on terror. And, after 9/11, it became clear that we had to do several things to have a successful strategy to win the global war on terror, specifically that we had to go after the terrorists where ever we might find them, that we also had to go after state sponsors of terror, those who might provide sanctuary or safe harbor for terror. And we also then finally had to stand up democracies in their stead afterwards, because that was the only way to guarantee that these states would not again become safe harbors for terror or for the development of deadly weapons.”

9) Dick Cheney: “It’s awfully hard to convey a sense of credibility to allies when you voted for the war and then you declared: Wrong war, wrong place, wrong time. You voted for the war, and then you voted against supporting the troops when they needed the equipment, the fuel, the spare parts and the ammunition and the body armor. You’re not credible on Iraq because of the enormous inconsistencies that John Kerry and you have cited time after time after time during the course of the campaign. Whatever the political pressures of the moment requires, that’s where you’re at. But you’ve not been consistent, and there’s no indication at all that John Kerry has the conviction to successfully carry through on the war on terror.”

8) Dick Cheney: “They talk about the top bracket and going after only those people in the top bracket. Well, the fact of the matter is a great many of our small businesses pay taxes under the personal income taxes rather than the corporate rate. And about 900,000 small businesses will be hit if you do, in fact, do what they want to do with the top bracket. That’s not smart because seven out of 10 new jobs in America are created by small businesses. You do not want to tax them. It’s a bad idea to increase the burden on those folks. The senator himself said, during the course of the primaries, that the Kerry plan would drive us deeper into deficit. Those were the senator’s word about his running-mate.”

7) Dick Cheney: “We heard Senator Kerry say the other night that there ought to be some kind of global test before U.S. troops are deployed preemptively to protect the United States. That’s part of a track record that goes back to the 1970s when he ran for Congress the first time and said troops should not be deployed without U.N. approval. Then, in the mid-’80s, he ran on the basis of cutting most of our major defense programs. In 1991, he voted against Desert Storm. It’s a consistent pattern over time of always being on the wrong side of defense issues. A little tough talk in the midst of a campaign or as part of a presidential debate cannot obscure a record of 30 years of being on the wrong side of defense issues.”

6) John Edwards:…We are for more tax cuts for the middle class than they’re for, have been for the last four years. But we are not for more tax cuts for multimillionaires. They are. And it is a fundamental difference in what we think needs to be done in this country.

Gwen Ifill: You have 30 seconds, Mr. Vice President.

Dick Cheney: Yesterday, the president signed an extension of middle- class tax cuts, the 10 percent bracket, the marriage penalty relief and the increase in the child tax credit. Senators Kerry and Edwards weren’t even there to vote for it when it came to final passage.

5) This one makes it for being the lamest line of the night…

John Edwards: “Here’s the truth: I have grown up in the bright light of America. But that light is flickering today.”

There they go again…

4) Dick Cheney: “It’s hard, after John Kerry referred to our allies as a coalition of the coerced and the bribed, to go out and persuade people to send troops and to participate in this process. You end up with a situation in which — talk about demeaning. In effect, you demean the sacrifice of our allies when you say it’s the wrong war, wrong place, wrong time, and oh, by the way, send troops.”

3) John Edwards: And regardless of what the vice president says, we’re at $200 billion and counting. Not only that, 90 percent of the coalition casualties, Mr. Vice President, the coalition casualties, are American casualties. Ninety percent of the cost of this effort are being borne by American taxpayers. It is the direct result of the failures of this administration.

Gwen Ifill: Mr. Vice President?

Dick Cheney: Classic example. He won’t count the sacrifice and the contribution of Iraqi allies. It’s their country. They’re in the fight. They’re increasingly the ones out there putting their necks on the line to take back their country from the terrorists and the old regime elements that are still left. They’re doing a superb job. And for you to demean their sacrifices strikes me as…

John Edwards: Oh, I’m not…

Dick Cheney: … as beyond…

John Edwards: I’m not demeaning…

Dick Cheney: It is indeed. You suggested…

John Edwards: No, sir, I did not…

Dick Cheney: … somehow they shouldn’t count, because you want to be able to say that the Americans are taking 90 percent of the sacrifice. You cannot succeed in this effort if you’re not willing to recognize the enormous contribution the Iraqis are increasingly making to their own future.

2) Dick Cheney: The reason they keep trying to attack Halliburton is because they want to obscure their own record. And Senator, frankly, you have a record in the Senate that’s not very distinguished. You’ve missed 33 out of 36 meetings in the Judiciary Committee, almost 70 percent of the meetings of the Intelligence Committee. You’ve missed a lot of key votes: on tax policy, on energy, on Medicare reform. Your hometown newspaper has taken to calling you “Senator Gone.” You’ve got one of the worst attendance records in the United States Senate. Now, in my capacity as vice president, I am the president of Senate, the presiding officer. I’m up in the Senate most Tuesdays when they’re in session. The first time I ever met you was when you walked on the stage tonight.”

1) Dick Cheney: “And with respect to this particular operation, we’ve seen a situation in which, first, they voted to commit the troops, to send them to war, John Edwards and John Kerry, then they came back and when the question was whether or not you provide them with the resources they needed — body armor, spare parts, ammunition — they voted against it. I couldn’t figure out why that happened initially. And then I looked and figured out that what was happening was Howard Dean was making major progress in the Democratic primaries, running away with the primaries based on an anti-war record. So they, in effect, decided they would cast an anti-war vote and they voted against the troops. Now if they couldn’t stand up to the pressures that Howard Dean represented, how can we expect them to stand up to Al Qaida?”

*** Update #1 ***: Josh Boruff over at the humor site Something Awful lists some of his favorite ** wink, wink ** moments from the debate =D

— “Cheney, attempting to prove Edwards incapable of defending this country, shocked everyone with a startling revelation. “How do I know John Edwards can’t defend our country?” asked Cheney. “Because I abducted him from his home when he was a child and threw him down a flight of stairs, obviously causing permanent brain damage.”

Cheney cracked his knuckles and added, “and I could do it again.” Edwards was left in tears.”

— “Both candidates struggled with Gwen’s question, “if you could be any flavor of ice cream in the whole wide world, what flavor would you be?”

— “When told not to mention John Kerry’s name in his response, Edwards mentioned it twice. Legend has it that if you say John Kerry’s name three times, he will appear and kill you with his hook hand. Gwen scolded Edwards for trying to invoke evil spirits.”

— “Meanwhile, in a remote cabin, Peter Camejo declared himself the winner of a debate he had with two effigies he built in his garage.”

*** Update #1***: Apparently Cheney and Edwards have met together 3 times…

“On Feb. 1, 2001, the vice president thanked Edwards by name at a Senate prayer breakfast and sat beside him during the event.

On April 8, 2001, Cheney and Edwards shook hands when they met off-camera during a taping of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” moderator Tim Russert said Wednesday on “Today.”

On Jan. 8, 2003, the two met when the first-term North Carolina senator accompanied Elizabeth Dole to her swearing-in by Cheney as a North Carolina senator, Edwards aides also said.”

Cheney should have had that straight before he said it because it would have been just as effective if he closed by saying that he hadn’t seen Edwards on the Senate floor in 3 1/2 years.

In any case, Cheney should be chastised for not getting it right and Edwards attendance record in the Senate still absolutely stinks.

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