UPDATE: (from the comments) “When that lowlife Russert mugged her, and it was a mugging and unfair by not mentioning the hypothetical was supposedly from Bill Clinton, Hillary still stood strong.
Russert did a slimy “gotcha” moment. The slimiest moment of any debate. Disgusting.
Hillary still beat Russert – Russert was her real opponent in this debate.”
Debate tonight. Politico has this about the role of the media (and echo of Tucker Carlson and Chris Matthews earlier today):
I know this is incredibly simplistic, and assumes that voters are sort of sexist, but:
Has a male candidate ever benefited from attacking a woman on stage? Ever?
It’s a consideration that has to put a damper on the gunning-for-the-frontrunner scenario that the dynamics of the race suggest, and for which the media is rooting so wholeheartedly.
Russert: As President what would you do on Iraq?
Obama: I opposed the war. No more funding. No military solution.
Russert: Will there be troops after 4 years of your presidency?
Obama: Can’t tell. Don’t know the situation 4 years from now.
Russert: Senator Clinton you won’t pledge to have all troops out after 4 years of your presidency.
Hillary: I agree with Barack. We don’t know what will happen in 4 years. Democrats have tried after 2006 elections to end the war. I want the troops out but cannot promise. The Republicans won’t vote with Democrats to end the war. President is irresponsible to have over 100,000 troops in Iraq.
Russert: Will you agree to have no troops after first 4 years of your presidency?
Edwards: No, for the same reasons. We will have an embassy in Iraq that needs protection. I will pull out 50,000 troops immediately. We have differences in our position. Senator Clinton still wants combat troops in Iraq.
Hillary: Let me clarify, I did say that there has to be a counter-terrorism component and we would need some troops.
Edwards: I will not have combat operations in Iraq.
Russert: Will you send troops back in if there is genocide?
Edwards: We need to prepare with the international community for that and I might.
Russert: Governor Richardson how can you bring all the troops home in 1 year?
Richardson: I would end the war. I disagree with Obama, Edwards, Clinton.
Russert: How would you do this in 1 year?
Richardson: I would bring them out through Turkey if they let us. This is also tied to the entire region.
Russert: Senator Dodd where are you on this?
Dodd: Our policy is counterproductive. We need to redeploy. Diplomacy. A brigade a month is not unreasonable. The congress has the power of the purse. Terminate the funding.
Russert: Will you pledge all troops out in 4 years?
Biden: We need to pass my proposal on federation. The Biden plan got 75 votes today. If there is no political solution in 4 years I would pull all the troops out in 4 years.
Kucinich: I am the only one here who voted against the war. I am astonished that Democrats say we cannot get out in 4 years. I will get them all out in 3 months. Reconciliation not partition.
Russert: So in 4 years all out?
Kucinich: By April.
Russert: What advice Gravel would you give to Democrats to stop the war.
Gravel: Vote every day to override Bush’s veto. Get the votes by the scruff of the neck.
Russert: So you suggest they stop their campaigns and vote every day on the war?
Gravel: Today they started the Iran war. I congratulate Biden for voting against the resolution. Hillary should be ashamed. Obama was not even there.
Hillary: We voted to designate the Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization. We need to make up for lost time to put pressure on Iran.
Russert: Dodd, should you do what Gravel suggests?
Dodd: We will be voting again on the war. We can stop the funding. Stand up and lead on this war.
Biden: We got 75 votes and 26 Republican votes and it is not partition.
Russert: Is Israel justified in attacking Iran if it has nuclear weapons?
Hillary: Let’s talk about the Syrian case. I support that attack. I cannot answer on the Iran question because we don’t have the secret information on that attack.
Russert: Was Israel justified attacking Iran?
Hillary: I am not going to answer that Tim, we don’t have the secret information on that attack.
Russert: Will you promise to use any means to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power?
Hillary: We need a concerted comprehensive strategy and diplomacy on Iran.
Russert: Senator Obama would you stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
Obama: We need information before we make that judgment. We don’t have enough information on the Syrian attack either. We need to put the squeeze on Iran financially.
Russert: So unlike Giuliani you will not promise to prevent Iran from having nuclear weapons.
Obama: We disagree on personal diplomacy. We need to talk to our enemies.
Russert: same question?
Edwards: Ahmahdinejad is unpopular in Iran. We need to put pressure on him. There was an important vote on Iran today. Senator Biden and Dodd voted against the amendment today. Senator Clinton learned the wrong lesson from the Iraq vote by voting for the Iran vote today.
Russert: same question to Richardson?
Richardson: Yes. No nuclear weapons for Iran and Israel is our friend. I’ve talked to the bad guys already so I have a head start. Iran is susceptible to economic pressure, they import much of their food and oil. We need diplomacy and negotiation.
Russert: But would you support Israel if they attack Iran?
Richardson: Israel is our friend. We need diplomacy.
Russert: (viewer question) Communities which provide sanctuary to undocumented immigrants, what would you do?
Richardson: We need to fix the immigration system. Security at the border. Not the wall. Punish employers. Talk to Mexico. Earned legalization. Increase immigration quotas. Cities and communities are being victimized.
Biden: Cities and communities need help from the federal government. Rudy Giuliani does not know what he is talking about. I would not allow them to violate federal law.
Dodd: The federal government has to give locals some leeway. This has been a failure of leadership. I endorse what Bill said. We are a nation of immigrants. We can’t tolerate half a million people to cross the border without control. We need national leadership.
Russert: Anyone who would close down these sanctuary cities?
Kucinich: The moral law is being violated.
Obama: I would pass comprehensive immigration reform.
Clinton: In addition to the points made, local law enforcement cannot handle such a big job. It would threaten local safety because immigrants would not talk to police because they would fear deportation.
Gravel: The whole nation should be a sanctuary.
Russert: Bush predicted Hillary would get the nomination. Dodd you said that you understood why Bush would want that?
Dodd: Bush also said “mission accomplished” and “heck of a job, Brownie”.
Russert: But why did you say what you did?
Dodd: I know the outcome you want Tim. I want to talk about my record.
Russert: You failed on healthcare why should you be president?
Clinton: I am proud I tried. My health care plan provides choice and is something that can pass. Times have also changed. I will be the health care president.
Russert: You refused to compromise 15 years ago on the Chafee plan and failed?
Clinton: I had many conversations with Senator Chafee but republicans wanted to stop the health care plan.
Russert: Biden you said Hillary cannot get 15 republican votes?
Biden: It’s not Hillary’s fault that Republicans don’t like her and can’t get things passed. There is a lot of old policy stuff from the Clinton years what will hurt her.
Russert: Edwards you said the same thing?
Edwards: Washington thinks that health care will be solved there. I will get rid of health care for politicians in Washington.
Russert: But you said when you were a Senator that we could not afford health care?
Edwards: Times have changed. I changed my position. I will never give up. We did not get health care, we got NAFTA.
Russert: Obama you have been a senator for 13 months. You have passed no big bills. You said running for higher office did not make sense?
Obama: Things have changed. I bought people together in the state house. I passed ethics legislation. I opposed the war when it could hurt me when I was running for senate. Hillary and Edwards deserve credit for their health care plans. Who can inspire people? Hillary you kept the door close to a lot of people on health care.
Russert: You could not manage your own personal finances when you declared bankruptcy, how can you manage the countries finances.
Gravel: I used the bankruptcy money for better purposes?
Russert: You were thrown out of office in Cleveland, why would you be a good president?
Kucinich: I would not let the public utilities to be sold in Cleveland, the municipal electric system. I took a stand.
Russert: Richardson, security breaches in Los Alamos, New Mexico is 48 in children below the poverty line, you said being gay is a choice?
Richardson: I am not the perfect consultant blow dried candidate. But I deliver. I’ve bought back hostages and other accomplishments. I will make mistakes. I bring change and experience. I deliver. To bring change you need the experience.
Russert: (viewer question) Gay issues. Would you be comfortable with a story of 2 princes marrying read to your children in second grade?
Edwards: Yes. I want my children even in second grade to be exposed to different views. Get rid of DOMA and DADT.
Obama: My children are already aware that there are same sex couples. There were times that I was considered different. Stop fanning people’s fears.
Hillary: I respect what Obama and Edwards have said. We oppose discrimination. With respect to children I think it is best to know about different people but this is a matter that varies with families. We will vote on the hate crimes bill tomorrow.
Russert: If nothing is done would you consider things such as raising the retirement age or tax all income to save Social Security.
Biden: Yes. I was there when we made a deal to save it with Reagan. Raise the cap.
Russert: Raise the retirement age?
Biden: You can solve the problem just by raising the cap.
Hillary: I do think it is important to talk about fiscal responsiblity. Bill Clinton had Social Security solvent until 2055. We need the White House to be dedicated to Social Security. When I am president I will do everything to preserve and protect Social Security. Fiscal responsibility comes first.
Russert: So you don’t take this off the table.
Hillary: I take everything off the table until we move to fiscal responsibility.
Russert: But don’t you need to make changes?
Hillary: I take everything off the table until we move to fiscal responsibility.
Obama: I put everything on the table. Young people don’t think they will get Social Security. I oppose privatization.
Dodd: Pension security is also important. Prescription drugs are important too.
Richardson: No. You need fiscal responsibility. If we balance the budget and invest in education and have a pro growth economy a green economy we can save Social Security.
Russert: So you are saying it can be done just by growing the economy?
Richardson: I am for a balanced budget amendment. We can grow our way out.
Edwards: We need to speak the truth. We need to make hard choices. I disagree with Dodd. Why shouldn’t all income be taxed for Social Security? I would create a protective zone around $100,000 but higher than that we should raise the cap.
Kucinich: Wall Street wants privatization. Raise the caps and lower the retirement age to 65.
Dodd: You can do this by readjusting the tax. But you need to raise the caps. No one political party can do this.
Hillary: In the interest of facts: in the words of Alan Greenspan we were on the way to eliminate debt. You cannot give away what you need to negotiate. Democrats need to make the case that we are better at handling the economy.
Russert: But we need changes?
Russert: Are you in favor of banning smoking in all public places?
Hillary: We did it in New York. It was resisted but things turned out well. We need to turn smoking over to the FDA. But locals are doing well.
Obama: Local communities are doing well but if not then a federal law would be good.
Russert: Biden, Dodd, Richardson, Gravel Richardson, in favor of a national law.
Russert: (viewer question) Return the drinking age back to the states and lower than 21?
Biden: No. This is a gigantic problem. It is counterproductive.
Dodd: The evidence is overwhelming. Smoking is related. The health care issue is also associated with smoking.
Richardson: No. We need a dual approach. Local enforcement and substance abuse treatment. The federal government has to assist.
Russert: Anyone here think we should lower the drinking age?
Gravel: If you can die for your country you should be able to drink.
Kucinich: Yes and vote at 16.
Russert: Is ‘turn the page’ about the bush administration or the clinton administration?
Obama: the special interest politics.
Russert: Is it healthy for a democracy to have 2 families keep switching the presidency?
Hillary: I think Bill was a good president. I am running on my record.
Russert: Has move-on been a positive good?
Biden: I don’t think they are that important. They are part of the party, not the party.
Russert: Would you be in favor of $3.00 gasoline tax.
Kucinich: Greenspan also said the Iraq war is about oil.
Russert: Anyone in favor of that?
Gravel: We need a carbon tax.
Russert: A temporary ban on all toys from China?
Dodd: Yes. They are using excessive lead paint.
Russert: Should you have gone to Jena?
Obama: I was in Washington trying to stop the war in Iraq. I spoke early on Jena. This is not a black and white issue.
Russert: As president would you accept being the head of the boy scouts even though they disciminate against gays?
Richardson: No. I am for habeau corpus and will not evesdrop – I respect the constitution. We disagree on getting troops out of Iraq.
Obama: You can get troops out 1-2 brigades a month safely only.
Russert: Nuclear power.
Obama: Don’t take it off the table. Store it safely. There is no magic bullet on energy.
Kucinich: I stopped a nuclear dump in Ohio. It is expensive. You need to factor in storage costs. No more resource wars.
Gravel: The solution is wind power.
Hillary: It would not be an option I favor but I would not rule it out. I voted and spoke out against Yucca mountain. Lots of difficult questions. I will look at everything but there are tough questions on nuclear.
Obama: America cannot sanction torture.
Biden: I met with 17 four star generals. They oppose torture. It does not work.
Hillary: I agree with Joe and Barack. It cannot be an American policy. I too met with those generals. We need better intelligence and world wide respect. These hypotheticals are dangerous.
Russert: the person who made that hypothetical was Bill Clinton
Hillary: Well I am the one standing here. (laughs)
Russert: Who would you listen to?
Hillary: I will listen to all my advisors.
Dodd: this is a dreadful way to get information.
Richardson: We need to respect human rights.
Edwards: I agree with what has been said.
Biden: (after confusion) No.
Kucinich: After 9/11 there has been a politicising of terror.
Russert: Campaign finance. Do you believe the Clinton foundation and Clinton library should publish donor lists?
Hillary: I pushed for just this type of legislation.
Russert: Will Bill Clinton do it?
Hillary: I’ll talk to him about it.
Obama: We also need to talk about bundling. From and too.
Russert: You spoke of candor. $400 haircuts, hedgefunds, Murdoch money?
Edwards: I am not perfect. But I was born into nothing. I am proud of what I have done with my life. I do not apologize.
Russert: but the hedgefund and New Orleans subprime loans?
Edwards: I worked with ACORN to help those families. I have made poverty central to my campaign.
Russert: Faith and values. Favorite Bible verse?
Obama: Sermon on the mount. We have lost empathy for others.
Hillary: The Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Edwards: what you do to the least of these
Dodd: Good Samaritan
Biden: Christ’s warning on the Pharisees.
Viewer question: Baseball – Red Sox or Yankees
Richardson: Red Sox
Kucinich: Cleveland Indians
Russert: what about Yankees vs. Cubs
Hillary: the Apocalypse