Saturday Night Live Transcripts


  Season 13: Episode 10











87j: Carl Weathers / Robbie Robertson

Democratic Debate '88

Pat Schroeder.....Nora Dunn
Gary Hart.....Dennis Miller
Michael Dukakis.....Jon Lovitz
Al Gore.....Kevin Nealon
Jesse Jackson.....Carl Weathers
Paul Simon.....Al Franken
Bruce Babbitt.....Phil Hartman
Richard Gephardt.....Dana Carvey

Announcer: From the Failing Farmer Auditorium in Des Moines, Iowa, it's the.. [ sigh ] ..43rd debate of the 1988 Democratic candidates for president, brought to you by the 6th grade class of Counsel Bluff Elementary School. And here's tonight's moderator, Colorado congresswoman Pat Schroeder.

Pat Schroeder: Thank you! I'm Pat Schroeder.. as you know, I was almost a candidate for President myself, and when I withdrew from the race, I cried. I would like to apolgize, and I would like to say, as a woman and a Democrat, I no longer respond to stressful situations that way. [ suddenly laughs hysterically ] Let's meet our candidates, and please hold your applause until the end for Al Gore and Gary Hart, who are unpopular here in Iowa. [ pan to Michael Dukakis ] ..Massachusetts Governor, Michael Dukakis.. [ pan to Paul Simon ] ..Senator Paul Simon.. [ pan to Bruce Babbitt ] ..former Arizona Governor Bruce Babbitt.. [ pan to Richard Gephardt ] ..Missouri Congressman Richard Gephardt.. [ pan to Al Gore ] ..Senator Albert Gore, Jr., of Tennessee.. [ pan to Jesse Jackson ] ..the Reverand Jesse Jackson.. [ pan to Gary Hart ] ..and former Colorado Senator Gary Hart. We'll begin with you, Senator Hart. Now, I'm not going to ask you about.. you know what.

Gary Hart: No. What?

Pat Schroeder: Well.. you know..

Gary Hart: You mean my new ideas?

Pat Schroeder: No.

Gary Hart: You mean my plan to revitalize the economy?

Pat Schroeder: No.

Gary Hart: Well, then, I.. I.. I don't know what you're talking about.

Pat Schroeder: I'm talking about your dalliances with a Miami model, and your implausible response to the exposure, and your subsequent withdrawal from the race, and your recent re-entry.

Gary Hart: I cannot believe you brought that up! I admitted I made a mistake, and I'm not going to answer that question!

Pat Schroeder: Well.. [ starts to cry, but then breaks out into hysterical laughter ] Okay! Alright.. Now.. Governor Dukakis, your critics are doubting your ability to translate the Massachusetts Miracle to the rest of the nation. When you first came to Iowa, you suggested that the farmers try growing a different crop.. and you cited as your example, Belgian endive. Do you still feel that Belgian endive still is the answer to Iowa's economy?

Michael Dukakis: Pat, each of us here tonight is asking for America's leadership and trust, allowing us to lead the country. And I don't think you can lead without a vision.. and I have a vision for America. I see purple mountains over Decchio; I see wooden valleys over Rugala; I see Escarol from sea to shining.. [ timer sounds ] ..sea. I know I'm running out of time, so let me conclude that with direction, purpose, a little oil and vinegar, and maybe some feta cheese, there is nothing we cannot do. Thank you.

Pat Schroeder: Now, Senator Gore, your wife Tipper has led the fight to censor offensive rock and roll lyrics and videos. At the same time, you have admitted that while you and Tipper were in college, you smoked pot. My question to you is: What on Earth were you listening to when you were smoking the marijuana?

Al Gore: [ tongue hanging out ] Uh.. Pink Floyd. I was wondering if I could use the rest of my time to express my views on arms control and stronger defense.

Pat Schroeder: I'm sorry, you will have to use your time to answer the question which is posed.

Al Gore: Okay. [ paused ] It was "Dark Side of the Moon". And I've admitted to smoking pot, and a lot of people have made the same mistake, and will never, ever do it again.

Pat Schroeder: Uh.. Reverand Jackson..

Jesse Jackson: Yes, Pat.

Pat Schroeder: You've advocated huge cuts in defense spending - I admire that. But won't that weaken us militarily?

Jesse Jackson: Well, Pat, we have a strong military defense. We have guided missiles, but misguided policies. We have minesweepers in the Persian Gulf, but there's a great need for drugsweepers in the Gulf of Mexico. Economically, we must stop the process of merging, purging and submerging - merging corporations, purging works, submerging our economy. We have in this country welfare and tailcare, when we should have workfare and childcare. From the poorhouse to the courthouse, from the state house to the White House; if not now, when? If not me, who? If not.. I'm sorry, Pat, what was that question?

Pat Schroeder: Senator Simon.. why the bow tie?

Paul Simon: Pat.. my advisorrrs.. have been begging me for yearrrs.. to get rid of the bow tieee. But with Paul Simon, what you seeee is what you get.. and I'm not about to chage my bow tieee to please some media advisorrr. And sooo.. I wearrr.. the bow tieee. And I think the American people want a president who's not afraid to say, "I am who I ammm.. bow tieee and all." [ timer sounds ] Uh.. may I finish? [ Pat nods ] So that's why I wearrr.. the bow tieee. Thank you.

Pat Schroeder: Thank you. Governor Babbitt, you have said that you would raise taxes in order to save the deficit. Isn't that what we heard from Walter Mondale in 1984?

Bruce Babbitt: [ speedtalks ] Well, Pat, I think America's ready for some honest talk! [ stands ] Now who else on this platform will say they're willing to increase taxes to save this deficit! [ no one stands ] Okay, who here will stand up in favor of universal daycare! [ Simon and Jackson stand ] Alright, how about for the rights of homosexuals in the workplace, including the military! [ most of the candidates begin to stand, but then quickly take their seat as the question continues ] Alright, a manned mission to Mars, who'll stand up for a manned mission to Mars! [ timer sounds ]

Pat Schroeder: Thank you, Governor. Now, on the Congressman Richard Gephardt. Your critics have called your trade bill "protectionist". How do you respond to that?

Richard Gephardt: Well, Pat, I believe in fair trade, but I also believe in fair trade. The bill I sponsored in Congress will..

[ as Gephardt speaks, the other candidates express their inner thoughts to themselves ]

Jesse Jackson's Thoughts: Boy, he's not funky at all.

Al Gore's Thoughts: I wonder if my hair's out of place. It's hanging right over my forehead. [ moves his hair ] There! Got it!

Gary Hart's Thoughts: [ staring into the audience ] Oh, yeah! Third row, she's a fox! Yeah.. you baby.. uh-huh..

Michael Dukakis' Thoughts: Maybe I shouldn't be President.. nah! Yeah, I should!

Paul Simon's Thoughts: I think I scored biggg.. on the bow tieee..

Bruce Babbitt's Thoughts: I wonder if I'm still in that room at the Holiday Inn, or if they switched me to the Ramada..

Pat Schroeders Thoughts: You're doing great, if you can just keep from crying..

Richard Gephardt's Thoughts: [ as he continues to speak ] Uh-oh.. I'm losing my concentrating, and I'm.. heading to the ceiling..

Richard Gephardt: ..and really, in closing, that's what I think that you seserve.

Pat Schroeder: Thank you, gentlemen. I'm sorry that we're all out of time, because you all have to go to Davenport for the next Democratic debate. I'm Pat Schroeder, I'm honored to be here. I thank all of you for sharing your views. Goodnight!

Announcer: Now stay tuned for the 28th debate of the Republican candidates, from Cap's Oil Well Arena in Houston, Texas.


SNL Transcripts