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Bush, Gore Square Off In Second Round Of Presidential Debates

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WINSTON-SALEM — It was billed as a kinder, gentler debate. George W. Bush and Al Gore packed away the podiums and sat down to talk about issues in Winston-Salem. Much like the debate in Boston, the gloves never really came off, and the issues got a full airing.

Students watched history happen onWake Forest University'scampus Wednesday evening as many camped out on the quad to watch the second round of debates between Bush and Gore.

"I'm really excited about it. I think that it's definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," says WFU student Millie Kerr.

Many students wanted the candidates to speak directly to them.

"I really would like to hear them talk some about women's issues. I'm not a feminist, per se, but that is probably going to be the deciding factor for me," says WFU student Katie Collins. "I'm not crazy about either of the candidates so really that is what is going to help me make my decision."

In Raleigh, WRAL invited six voters -- a mix of Republicans, Democrats and Independents -- to watch the debate. One voter, Lori Christian, says she was disappointed because she believed that she never heard a straight answer from Bush during the debate.

"I thought politicians can throw out numbers and can be very confusing to the public, but I believe that George W. Bush did not give an answer to the question, 'why is your state ranked 49th out of 50 in health care for both children and women?'" she says. "I found it very disappointing that he did not answer the question."

Another voter, Don Carrington, said he had a different read on hearing the exact same words.

"I think Gore just used the statistic, and it is pretty hard to pin it down in a debate situation like that," he says. "There are a lot of ways to look at it. You can't take one area or ranking and just pounding somebody with it. It's much more complexing."

Police in riot gear were on alert Wednesday evening outside of the debate at Wait Hall to watch over supporters of Green Party candidate Ralph Nader, who were protesting at the debate.

The final presidential debate will be held Tuesday, October 17 at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.


Greg Clark, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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