Ladies and Gentlemen, the Next President of the United States

Mi nombre es Róger Calero and yes, I will tax the rich by 100 percent!

It's really two shades of the same color.

What's the number-one issue that neither candidate discussed?

We need to address illegal immigration. Our country is being invaded. We have 140,000 troops in an undeclared war in Iraq, and we're not protecting our own southern borders.

David Cobb, Green Party presidential candidate
David Cobb, Green Party presidential candidate
Michael Badnarik, Libertarian Party presidential candidate
Michael Badnarik, Libertarian Party presidential candidate

So you'd redeploy those soldiers along the Rio Grande?

Yes, and I believe the president has the authority and the duty to do exactly that. Also I would've talked about abortion, the premier moral issue of the day, which will not be discussed by those two gentlemen.

Are you pro-life?

Absolutely 100 percent pro-life. From the standpoint of principle, there is no difference between Mr. Bush and Mr. Kerry on abortion. They both agree that abortion is okay in some circumstances. But when you say there are exceptions to being pro-life, you're really advocating a pro-death position.

So as president, you'd outlaw abortion?

I'd do everything in my constitutional power to end abortion immediately.

No exceptions?

No exceptions.

Even in cases of rape or incest?

We do not punish the child for the sins of others.

Should I even ask about gay marriage?

Marriage has already been defined by God as the union between a man and a woman. I'm actually against the Defense of Marriage amendment because I don't think it's within the purview of the federal government to define or redefine marriage. But that doesn't mean I'm in favor of sodomy.

How about using federal funds for stem-cell research?

No, sir.... It's part of the unholy triangle. Sex education in schools creates the pregnancy problem, abortion kills the baby, and then stem-cell research harvests the embryo.

Many in the medical community believe sex education in the school system is crucial in fighting sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies.

That's a canard. That's a smokescreen so this unholy triangle can exist.

David Cobb, Green Party presidential candidate

2000 Green Party Florida votes: 97,488

2000 national total: 2,882,955

"Ecological wisdom, grassroots democracy, social justice, peace and nonviolence."

Your thoughts on the presidential debates so far?

George W. Bush is a genuine threat to the planet, no doubt about it.

So you're telling all of Florida's Greens they'd better vote for Kerry?

I'm not going to vote for John Kerry -- someone who's talking about waging the war in Iraq more fiercely, sending more troops to Fallujah! And that's just foreign policy issues. Let's talk about NAFTA, or Kerry's opposition to universal health care.

Wait a minute, David. I followed the debate within the Green Party over running Nader again this year. You were the candidate all the anti-Nader folks rallied around, the folks who thought backing Nader was political suicide. You said you'd avoid campaigning in battleground states.

Ralph Nader did not seek our party's nomination. He was not willing to work with and build the Green Party.

C'mon David, we both know Nader wanted the nomination.

[Laughs] I was saying that I wanted to run a strategically smart campaign that would advance the goals of the Green Party, register more people. I want to help get more local Greens elected.

So your message is: If you're in New York, vote for me. If you're in Florida, vote for Kerry?

If somebody says to me: I voted for the Green Party for president before, but I just can't do it this time, it's too important -- my message is: I respect your decision. If you cannot vote for me because of where you lay your head, then I urge you to vote for the Green Party downballot, and to register as a Green Party member. You see, I'm trying to reach people where they are. I'm genuinely respecting people who feel utterly trapped by a voting system where they feel they have to vote against what they hate, rather than for what they want.

Do folks here in Miami scream at you a lot?

[Sighs] Yeah, I get some of that.

Michael Badnarik, Libertarian Party presidential candidate

2000 Libertarian Party Florida votes: 16,415

2000 national total: 384,431

"Individual liberty and personal responsibility, with a free-market economy of abundance and prosperity."

What did you think of the first presidential debate?

I don't know that they said anything relevant. I did note that in his closing statement, George Bush insisted he would maintain an all-volunteer army. Which contradicts what I believe -- that the Democrats and the Republicans intend to restore the draft.

Are you at least a fan of Bush's tax cuts?

We want to go far beyond the Bush tax cuts by repealing the IRS, dramatically reducing the size of the federal government, and pushing billions of dollars into the hands of ordinary Americans who will then spend that money, causing small businesses to spring up like dandelions.

Where does the embargo on Cuba fit into this?

We should lift the embargo. We should follow the advice of George Washington, who recommended we have economic ties with all countries and entangling alliances with none.

P.J. O'Rourke once joked that Libertarians are basically Republicans who like to smoke dope.

[Not amused] Libertarians want to drastically reduce the size of government. Republicans may say that, but they don't do it. George Bush is supposed to be from the small-government Republican Party and he increased the size of the federal government by 7.5 percent every year he was in office, which far outstrips the 2.5 percent increases Bill Clinton gave us.

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