Kevin DeYoung|5:22 am CT

Unlikely Debate Lines

In anticipation of tonight’s Vice-Presidential debate, and the two Presidential debates to come, I’ve been thinking of some lines I’d like to hear, but probably won’t:

  • “I’m glad you brought that up, because I shouldn’t have said what I did. It was a mistake and here’s why.”
  • “There’s a simple explanation for the inconsistency: I changed my mind. I think a good leader changes his mind sometimes. Let me tell you why I’ve changed mine.”
  • “I’m not going to promise that because, frankly, there are a lot of things I can’t control. But I’ll do my best.”
  • “I know this is an unpopular position, but let me explain why I hold it.”
  • “There are many problems government can’t fix and many problems politicians shouldn’t try to fix. That doesn’t mean we don’t care. It means we’re not gods and you shouldn’t expect us to be.”
  • “You raise a really tough issue. There’s no clear cut answer. I can see why my opponent thinks the way he does, but let me try to explain the tradeoffs and why my position makes more sense.”
  • “It’s possible for me to disagree with their decisions, their ideas, and even their religion without despising them. Just because I don’t think everyone is doing what is best doesn’t mean I don’t want what is best for everyone.”
  • “I’m not smart enough or virtuous enough to figure out everyone’s fair share.”
  • “I don’t pretend to understand the needs of every American or feel every hurt.”
  • “I may not be able to find a job for everyone, but I will do my best to defend this country, defend the constitution, defend your liberty, and defend the rights granted to us by God.”
  • “There is no reason a President needs to give his opinion on that or even have an opinion on that.”
  • “I don’t know.”

The irony is, despite all the potential “gaffes” in these statements, I think most voters would find this candor refreshing and appealing.

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