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« A commercial break | Main | Q10: Technology or Kyoto? »


Ed R

Great question. Definitely a clear thumbs up for Cameron on this one IMO.

I want to support Bush because of his party but his authoritarian attitudes, awful "Christian" dogma and -- frankly -- lack of inspiring or effective leadership makes me cringe. If that's what floats the boat of the American public, that's fair enough (though choosing between Bush and Kerry is like choosing from which side you'd like to be kicked in the groin), but I hope British politics steers well clear.

Selsdon Man

Research shows that US Federal spending grows slowest when you have a Republican-controlled Congress and a Democratic President. Strange but true.

James Maskell

That Cameron answer avoided the question altogether. Davis came out and said what he thought and in my mind won that round.

Daniel Vince-Archer

"Choosing between Bush and Kerry is like choosing from which side you'd like to be kicked in the groin."

Brilliant! Kudos to you if that's an original quote Ed R.

Cllr Iain Lindley

I have to say Tim, excellent as your site is, many of these questions were put as if you were grilling candidates to lead the College Republicans, not the Conservative Party.

As for this question, I don't think Cameron avoided it at all - a 2009 Conservative Government would have to work with whoever was elected President in 2008, Democrat or Republican. It is not the job of the leader of the Conservative Party to stick his nose into the domestic politics of other nations.

James Hellyer

Of course Cameron avoided the question. It "was who would you vote for? A or B?" He didn't answer.

Kate Castle

I don't think I'll lose too much sleep on which way the new leader would have voted in a US election. Smart move by Cameron, don't want to upset Hillary before your big summits in a few years time :-)

Cllr Iain Lindley

Of course Cameron avoided the question. It "was who would you vote for? A or B?" He didn't answer.

The truthful answer is "neither, I'm not an American citizen".

john Skinner

I agree with Cllr Iain. Cameron gave the mature, diplomatic answer. As Prime Minister he would have to work with whichever President happened to be elected. As with the tax question , Davis creates future problems for himself.

Martin Curtis

I am finding this a bit frustrating.

DC's position is absolutely right for a future leader - he should not, himself, be seen taking sides in an election. DC's response is the one worthy of a future leader and a future PM.


Pathetic, Cameron.


Why have an election contest at all, then, Martin? Why not just go back to the good old days where they emerged from the mists?

James Hellyer

"I agree with Cllr Iain. Cameron gave the mature, diplomatic answer."

But not to the question he was asked. Would it have been that hard to say Kerry? Or Bush?

Neither will be in the Oval Office by the time of the next election.

Cllr Iain Lindley

Neither will be in the Oval Office by the time of the next election

Their successor, or colleague, will be, though.

Cameron got this one spot-on.

James Maskell

James Hellyer has the point exactly. Bush wont be a President come 2009 since he cant stand for a third term and Kerry wont stand again, he'll be far too old.

Is it really that bad to just say "I would have voted for....... because...."?

Richard Allen

It would seem that cameron can't give a straight answer to even the most basic of questions.

Cllr Iain Lindley

The job of the Leader of the Opposition is to look like a credible alternative Prime Minister. This means being able to deal with whoever is in the Oval Office, at any given time. There's always the small possibility that the wheels really come off the Blair wagon and we have an election before (I think) January 2009 when the next President is sworn in. Bush is also looking more precarious than ever.

Tim has judged DD to be ahead on this question because he prefers Republicans himself, not because a preference for the Republicans is in the best interests of the Conservative Party.

Selsdon Man

Tim's question missed out the other parties' candidates (e.g. Ralph Nader) for President.

Martin Curtis


The reason we have a leadership election is so that we, the party members can decide who would be the best leader of the Party and the best future PM. DDs answer gave a blank cheque to the Republicans - dangerous given the Iraq war.

DC gave a non-committal answer to this question - absolutely right for a future Party Leader and PM (IMHO).

By the way, I am not a Bush fan - but it would also have been wrong to go against Bush with this answer.

From a personal perspective, there are a few policies of Cameron's that I disagree with (tuition fees and drugs) - but this election is not about picking a leader whose policy base matches mine, but picking one who can appeal to the wider electorate (as long as that appeal is based on core Conservative principles).


I think David Davis' answer was best, but David Cameron's answer wisest. I think what Cameron has realised is that the last thing you want to start doing to win power is to start making divisive statements, especially about who should or should not be in the power in USA.

As we know Bush is a pretty divisive character, especially in the UK - with many disliking him (personally I think he is superb); so declaring support for Bush when he isn't going to be in power in 2009 anyway achieves very little for the Conservatives and divides a great deal of our electorate.


This is in the same mould as the Woman's Hour question on blondes or brunettes. Whichever answer you give you will upset a few sensitive souls on the side you go against. A diplomatic answer is non-commital, but the natural instinct is to answer decisively. Let's be honest here, there's no big deal either way.


What an awful choice.Cameron gave the only answer a future Prime minister could.Remember an election here could happen before 2008 and we might even win it.
What DD thinks he's doing by backing someone who is patently unpopular with the British people and seems such a useless president God only knows!


Probably just telling the truth Malcolm, obviously not very wise nowadays just to give your own opinion.

They weren't asked Republican or Democrat they were asked to choose between two individuals.


The fact that DD was stupid enough to say, in public, that he would have voted for the most unpopular US President the British people have ever formed a view about, will be music to the ears of the Labour party.


Do you think that's what did for Dr Fox too Gareth?

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