The Bush campaign called Kerry “a seasoned debater” who was once a debate champion. The Kerry campaign said Bush was “a great debater” who had never lost a debate in his political career.
In fact, the praises were part of the campaign strategies of both to win the first face-to-face debate between Bush and Kerry: lower expectations. Bush defied expectations and won his debates with former vice president Al Gore in the 2000 election.
Bush and Kerry will have a 90-minute nationally televised encounter Thursday in Coral Gables, Florida, the first of three debates which have the potential to tip the race for the White House.