The Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, played host to President Bush and his Democratic opponent, Senator John Kerry for their second debate of this year's presidential election season Friday.
Although the questions posed by citizens in the town hall-style setting covered a broad range of topics, both foreign and domestic, Iraq dominated much of the first half. President Bush questioned Senator Kerry's ability to carry on in Iraq and in the war on terrorism.
He said, "I don't think he can succeed in Iraq, and if Iraq were to fail, it would be a haven for terrorists, and there would be money, and the world would be more dangerous."
Senator Kerry, however, said the president had rushed into the war in Iraq, and failed to build a strong international coalition.
He said, "If Missouri, just given the number of people from Missouri who are in the military over there today, were a country, it would be the third largest country in the coalition, behind Great Britain and the United States. That is not a grand coalition."
The two candidates also sparred over the deficit, tax cuts, health care and the environment. The next and final debate of this presidential election year is scheduled for next Wednesday in Tempe, Arizona.