VICE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATEOctober 9, 1996
JIM LEHRER: Mr. Vice President, is the war in Bosnia really over, or is it going to break out again once the U.S. and the NATO troops leave?
VICE PRESIDENT GORE: The fighting has stopped in Bosnia. President Bill Clinton showed tremendous courage, vision, wisdom and leadership in having our country take the lead in rallying our allies, bringing the warring factions together in Dayton, Ohio, in hammering out a peace agreement that has ended the war in Bosnia. We hope that it will stay over with. Elections have just been held.
There is great progress toward peace and reconciliation in Bosnia. We ought to be very proud of our soldiers who have played such a critical role in bringing about this peace in Bosnia.
It's not the only case where Bill Clinton has provided such leadership. We have restored democracy to Haiti with scarcely a shot being fired. We have seen movement toward reconciliation in Northern Ireland and in the Middle East. The Bible says there will always be wars and rumors of wars. As the president said the other night, there will always be troubles in this ol' world, but the United States of America can be counted to provide the vision that the world looks for from the United States of America. Bill Clinton, as president, has provided that kind of leadership. We are more secure and stronger today because of Bill Clinton's handling of foreign policy.
MR. KEMP: Bob Dole supported the deployment of troops in Bosnia, but the problem with the foreign policy of this administration - there is none. It's ambiguous, it's contradictory, it is precipitous to go into Iraq with bombing before we had even consulted with our allies, to think that Sam Nunn of Georgia or Colin Powell, who helped put together the coalition in the Persian Gulf were not even consulted.
It was not only precipitous, it was a sign not of strength, but of weakness.
What's worse, they declared victory. The declared victory in every deployment. We've had more deployments in four years than in any previous four years that I can think of, and I'm 61 years of age. It's unbelievable that ambiguity can be called a foreign policy.
Let me say what a friend of mine told me, and I've believed for my whole career: Weakness is provocative. And our message should be clear, and that's what our message would be to the world under Bob Dole as commander in chief of the United States of America.
VICE PRESIDENT GORE: We did, of course, consult with our allies before we bombed Saddam Hussein. But sometimes the United States has to take unilateral action when our interests at stake.
General Schwarzkopf is in the audience tonight. We're awfully proud of the way he led our coalition organized under former President Bush when the United States led toward the repulsing of Saddam Hussein from Kuwait. Three times as he's tried to get out of that box, Saddam Hussein has felt the sting of a swift, certain response from the United States of America under President Bill Clinton.