September 21, 2004
NEW YORK - Democrat John Kerry joked on "The Late Show with David Letterman" about changes under President Bush's tax plan, including that Vice President Dick Cheney can claim the president as a dependent.
Besides reading his "Top 10" list, Kerry also poked fun at the tedious debate negotiations between the rival campaigns that ended in agreement Monday. Kerry said he wanted running mate John Edwards to stand in the vice presidential debate, but Cheney wanted to sit. "We compromised and now George Bush is going to sit on Dick Cheney's lap," he said.
Both Bush and Democratic rival Al Gore appeared on "The Late Show" in 2000. Bush has not appeared on any late-night comedy shows in this campaign. Kerry also has appeared on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" on NBC.
Kerry's interview with Letterman wasn't all jokes. The Massachusetts senator spent much of his appearance discussing serious topics ranging from global warming to the beheading of an American hostage in Iraq. He talked about where he thinks the president has gone wrong in Iraq and what changes he would make as commander in chief.
Kerry appeared on the CBS show on the same day the network apologized for broadcasting a story questioning Bush's National Guard service. He joked about CBS' credibility when Letterman asked if poll numbers can be believed. "Depending on which network it is, we can," Kerry said with a chuckle.
Kerry's "Top 10 Bush Tax Proposals" are:
10. No estate tax for families with at least two U.S. presidents.
9. W-2 Form is now Dubya-2 Form.
8. Under the simplified tax code, your refund check goes directly to Halliburton.
7. The reduced earned income tax credit is so unfair, it just makes me want to tear out my lustrous, finely groomed hair.
6. Attorney General (John) Ashcroft gets to write off the entire U.S. Constitution.
5. Texas Rangers can take a business loss for trading Sammy Sosa.
4. Eliminate all income taxes; just ask Teresa (Heinz Kerry) to cover the whole damn thing.
3. Cheney can claim Bush as a dependent.
2. Hundred-dollar penalty if you pronounce it "nuclear" instead of "nucular."
1. George W. Bush gets a deduction for mortgaging our entire future.
During Kerry's trip to New York, he also delivered a speech laying out his vision for Iraq and raised $4 million at reception and dinner benefiting the Democratic National Committee.