Saturday Night Live Transcripts
Season 26: Episode 3
Third Presidential Debate
Jim Lehrer…..Chris Parnell
George W. Bush…..Will Ferrell
Al Gore…..Darrell Hammond
Leslie Dawes…..Ana Gasteyer
Dan McGrath…..Chris Kattan
George Bush…..Dana Carvey
Roger Clyman…..Jimmy Fallon
Announcer: Live, from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, the third and final Presidential Debate. Here is moderator, Jim Lehrer.
Jim Lehrer: Good evening. I’m Jim Lehrer. Welcome to the third and final presidential debate of the 2000 campaign, between Vice-President Al Gore and Texas Governor George W. Bush. Tonight’s debate will follow a Town Hall format. The candidates will answer questions put to them by nearly two dozen voters from the St. Louis area, voters who remain undecided. First question comes from Leslie Dawes, and it’s for Governor Bush. Miss Dawes?
Leslie Dawes: Governor Bush, I’ve been following the campaign very closely, but I need to know more about where the candidates stand on the issues I really care about: protecting a woman’s right to choose; dealing with global warming; and fighting the big oil companies; and HMOs. Do you and the Vice-President have any differences on these issues, which would help me decide which one to support? Right now, I have no idea.
George W. Bush: Well, Leslie, that’s a very good question.. and uh.. thee are differences between the Vice-President and myself on those issues.
Leslie Dawes: I did not realize that.
George W. Bush: Yes, and on these issues you seem to be more tuned with him than with me. I’m kind of surprised you’re still undecided!
Jim Lehrer: Mr. Vice-President, response?
Al Gore: Jim, I agree with the governor on this. Uh.. on each of these issues, Leslie strongly agrees with me and disagrees with my opponent.
George W. Bush: That’s right. That’s right.
Leslie Dawes: I’m sorry, but you’re not telling me anything thathelps me decide.
George W. Bush: I think you should vote for Mr. Gore, and not for me.
Al Gore: I’m gonna agree.
Leslie Dawes: I still can’t decide.
Jim Lehrer: [ sighs ] The next question is from Mr. Dan McGrath,and it’s for Vice-President Gore. Mr. McGrath.
Dan McGrath: Mr. Vice-President, I’ve been following this campaign, I’ve seen both debates.. but I still haven’t made up my mind. To be frank, if you or Governor Bush want my vote, I have some questions that have to be answered.
Al Gore: Go ahead, Dan, I’m gonna do my best.
Dan McGrath: [ reading from card ] “Have either you or Governor Bush held elective office? Have you reached the age of 35 years, as required by the Constitution? And, are you an American citizen?” I’ll step back and listen to your response.
Al Gore: [ stunned by the question ] Well, Dan, those are all..excellent questions.. and while I can’t speak for Governor Bush, let me say I served in both the Congress and the Senate, and as Vice-President for the last eight years. I’m 53, and I was born in this country. The United States.
Dan McGrath: Thank you. Thank you, that helped me.
Jim Lehrer: Governor Bush?
George W. Bush: Well, Dan.. I admire your skepticism, and to bequite honest, I think you’re the perfect profile of a Bush supporter. [ returns to his seat having not actually answered the question ]
Jim Lehrer: Undecided voter Dan McGrath. Our next question is for the Vice-President, and it comes from Mr. George H.W.B. George?
George Bush: Well, Mr. Vice-President there.. As anundecided voter, I watched those first two debates trying to make up mymind there. My question is, why’d you look so agitated up there? Kind of spooky!
Jim Lehrer: President Bush, I’m afraid this is in violation of the rules. Questions in tonight’s debate may only come from undecided voters.
George Bush: Well, I’ll be honest with you, Jim – haven’t fullymade up my mind. I love my son – I love all my sons. Jeb, Governor of Florida down there; Neil, had that problem with the Savings & Loan; then there’s George W. – wanna vote for him, wanna support him.. have those reservations about character. As a young man, he was bad! Bad! A lotta wild oats, lotta hoochie-coochie, surfing, kinda wild, a lot of that stuff going on! But he was a young man.. So, to sum up: love my son, but still on the fence!
Jim Lehrer: Mr. President, you are not an undecided voter!
George Bush: Well, I’m leaning. I’m leaning towards W. Look atthat lean.. [ leans ] ..I’m leaning, but still unsure. W. has not closed the deal.
Jim Lehrer: Mr. President, please don’t make this any harder than it is.
George Bush: Alright, Jim, I understand. I’ll just be quiet.
Jim Lehrer: Our next question is for Vice-President Gore, and comes from Mr. Roger Clyman. Mr. Clyman?
Roger Clyman: [ obviously a decoy ] Mr. Vice-President, as an undecided neutral voter, not committed to either candidate, trying to make up my mind – I’m wondering about Governor Bush’s risky tax scheme to steal the trillion dollar surplus from Social Security and Medicare, wasting it on a tax cut for the rich, and taking us back to those awful times when his father nearly brought our economy to its knees, and caused AIDS and homelessness. Tell me, how would your plan differ, so I can decide which one of you to vote for?
Al Gore: That’s an excellent question, Roger, and I thank you for it. [ winks ] Let me begin by saying that under my plan, the surplus would not be wasted, but protected in what I call a “lock-box”.
Roger Clyman: A “lock-box”! That’s a fantastic idea! Ilove that idea!
Al Gore: Oh, thank you.
Jim Lehrer: Next, a question for Governor Bush, from Mr. JorgeH.W.B.
George Bush: [ disguised in Mexican garb with his Secret ServiceAgents ] Well.. as an undecided Latino voter – mi English unbiquito here – but I’d like to ask Governor Bush here, didn’t that last question seem a little biased? A little skewed? Not totally on the level? That last fellow – possible shill.. possible Democratic operative over there..
Jim Lehrer: President Bush, please.
George Bush: [ takes off his hat ] Alright, Jim. Just trying toeven things up, level that playing field. Won’t happen again.
Jim Lehrer: [ sighs ] We have time for one more question. It’s for Governor Bush, it concerns Social Security, and it comes from Barbara B.
George Bush: [ dressed as as old lady with his Secret Service Agents ] Now, Governor Bush, as a retired person living on Social Security, I think you’re a terribly bright, charming young fellow – definitely not moronic. One other thing – “Live, from New York, it’s Saturday Night!“