Election 2004

A look at the policies of Republican President George W. Bush and
Democratic challenger Sen. John F. Kerry.

Kerry Profile

Bush Profile

Education: bachelor’s degree, Yale University, 1966;
law degree, Boston College, 1976

Military Service: Navy, 1966-1970; Naval Reserves,

Career: Assistant district attorney, Middlesex County,
1977- 1979; attorney, 1979-1982; Massachusetts lieutenant governor,
1982-84; U.S. senator

Gay marriage: Against same-sex marriage, backs
benefits, rights for same-sex couples

Increase size of Army: Recruit more service members;
start Community Defense Service.

Energy policy: Set goals, incentives to reduce
dependence on fossil fuels

Prescription drugs benefit: Tighten rules on drug
companies; focus on seniors, vets

Suing HMOs: Allow patients to sue HMOs, collect money
for damages

Patriot Act: Backs letting act expire without
congressional approval

Immigration: Speed immigration process; unite
families; patrol borders

War in Iraq: Supported the war; later said Bush misled

Iraqi reconstruction: Involve other nations more in
Iraqi rebuilding, security

Pre-emption policy: Denounces threat of pre-emption;
would seek global consensus

Afghanistan: Boost international efforts to secure
peace, beat al Qaeda

Middle East: Improve social, economic, political
conditions in region

Abortion: Supports a woman’s right to an abortion;
planning resources

Death penalty: Opposes death penalty

Drug policy: More police; aggressively target
traffickers; fund treatment

Gun control: Close gun show loophole; require child
safety locks

Education reform: Bar vouchers; fully fund NCLB,
special ed., school building

Supreme Court: Appoint judges committed to law, civil
and abortion rights

State fiscal crisis: Give priority to giving states
fiscal aid to resolve crises

Tax cuts: Repeal tax cuts for wealthy; increase child
tax credit

Budget deficits: Undo deficit trend with eye on
corporate loopholes, spending

Job creation: Assist small businesses; train workers;
infrastructure jobs

bachelor’s degree, Yale University, 1968; master’s degree, Harvard
University, 1975

Military Service: Air National Guard, 1968-1973

Career: Founder/CEO of oil and gas company, 1975-1987;
managing general partner, Texas Rangers baseball team, 1989- 1998; Texas
governor, 1994-2000; U.S. president

Gay marriage: Backs constitutional amendment banning
same-sex marriage

Increase size of army: Has not proposed increasing the
Army’s size

Energy policy: Supports market-based solution to
improve air quality

Prescription drugs benefit: Supports adding drug
benefit to

Medicare Drug costs: Supports reducing drug costs for
low-income patients

Suing HMOs: Would place limits on patient lawsuits
against HMOs

Patriot Act: Supports Patriot

Act Immigration: Proposed increasing budget to enforce
immigration laws

War in Iraq: Authorized war to oust Saddam Hussein

Iraqi reconstruction: Initially opposed U.N.
involvement; now warming to idea

Pre-emption policy: Announced new policy of
pre-emption in June 2002

Afghanistan: More than $1 billion proposed for

Middle East: Co-sponsored “Road map” plan for peace

Abortion: Opposes except cases of rape, incest or to
save woman’s life

Death penalty: Supports death penalty

Drug policy: Reduce illegal drug usage by 10 percent
over two years

Gun control: Protect gunmakers from lawsuits

Education reform: Signed No Child Left Behind Act;
federal budget has not fully funded legislation

Supreme Court: Has cited Clarence Thomas, Antonin
Scalia as model justices

Social Security: Supports investing some Social
Security taxes in stocks

State fiscal crisis: Allocated funds to help states
pay increased security costs

Budget deficits: Reduce deficit by holding spending
increases to 4 percent

Job creation: Says 2001, 2003 tax cuts have helped
keep economy going

Tax cuts: Signed two tax cut bills so far; more tax
cuts unlikely