[Don’t forget to track the great photos from Iowa we posted in the previous article – the great last elected president with Iowa students and other Hillary Clinton supporters. We need to support and thank all the volunteers working in snow, sleet and cold for Hillary. As Hillary said after the hostage situation in New Hampshire, all the volunteers who work so hard deserve praise for their hard work – even the ones we happen to disagree with at the moment. Someday we’ll be together – when Hillary secures the nomination.]
The last Democratic presidential debate of the year will be held today at 2:00 p.m. (EST).
The debate will be televised on C-SPAN, CNN, MSNBC, and Fix News. The debate can be heard on XM Radio POTUS Channel 150, C-SPAN Radio and Fix News Radio.
The debate will also be streamed live on the internet HERE.
Six Democratic candidates for president will take the stage at 1 p.m. Thursday in the Des Moines Register’s second presidential debate.
The candidates who will take part are Senator Joe Biden, Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator Chris Dodd, Senator John Edwards, Senator Barack Obama and Governor Bill Richardson.
The criteria to establish which participants were invited to the Register’s debates:
1. Candidates must have filed an FEC Form F-2 “Statement of Candidacy” with the Federal Election Commission, and
2. Candidates must have publicly announced an intention to run for the nomination of the Republican or the Democratic Party for President of the United States, and
3. Candidates must have had a campaign office inside the State of Iowa as of October 1, 2007, and
4. Candidates must have employed at least one paid campaign staff representative to perform full-time campaign duties in the State of Iowa on behalf of the candidate since at least October 1, 2007, and
5. Candidates must have had at least a 1% support showing in the Des Moines Register’s October, 2007 Iowa Poll.
This is what happened at the last Democratic debate before the Iowa caucuses in the 2004 election cycle:
Democratic presidential candidates tried to slow the momentum of party front-runner Howard Dean with a litany of criticisms. Dean, the former Vermont governor, remained unruffled. In the first debate since U.S. forces captured Saddam Hussein, Dean defended his claim that the United States was not safer with the former Iraqi leader in custody and said the Iraq war had set back the fight against terrorism. Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry kept a focus on Dean’s lack of foreign policy experience. “We can’t beat (Bush) by being Bush-light, but we also can’t beat him by being light on national security, or light on fairness for working Americans,” Kerry said. Kerry went on to win the Democratic nomination; he lost to President Bush in the general election.
Here we go:
Carolyn Washburn moderating.
Financial situation facing the country.
Washburn: Is balancing the budget a priority, how?
Obama: Economy out of balance. Bush and Republicans to blame. Costs of education and gas up. Long term fundamentals must be done right. End war in Iraq apply money to domestic needs. Fight special interests.
Washburn: Priority or not?
Obama: We can’t do it in a few years.
Richardson: As a governor I have to balance budgets. It would be a priority. Constitutional amendment to balance budget. Pay as you go policies. Most importantly a balanced budget brings economic growth.
Biden: This is not and/or. It’s about priorities. Eliminating the war and top 1% tax cuts, and special military programs you can save $350 billion and bring down deficit by $150 billion.
Dodd: Federal government is different that state governments. We need to grow the economy. Deal with underlying problems of higher costs. Create jobs, the best social program. End waste and war in Iraq.
Edwards: Get rid of structural deficiencies in economy. The reason for this is corporate power and greed. Favor the middle class.
Clinton: In the 1990s we used fiscally responsible policies. I will do the same. The economy will grow when we do this. The results will take a while.
Washburn: When are tax increases necessary? Which of your priorities would you raise taxes for?
Richardson: Tax cuts for top 1% should be cut. Improve education. Fiscally responsible budgets are crucial. Invest in companies of the future.
Edwards: Tax policies have been established by big corporations. Get rid of tax breaks for wealthiest Americans and corporations. Help middle class families. College and child care. Universal health care.
Clinton: Important to know how people feel. A trapdoor. Raise taxes on corporations and weathly individuals. During the 90s familiy income rose by $6,000.
Washburn: Military spending, how to use money from cuts?
Biden: Ripublicans to blame. They wanted to starve the government with wasteful spending.
Obama: Tax code. End tax scams. Restore fairness. Requires leadership.
Richardson: Need to improve our readiness militarily.
Dodd: What’s fair? What’s pro-growth? Expand child credit. Lift people up. Grow the economy.
Washburn: China as U.S. banker, how to manage China relations?
Richardson: Recognize China is a strategic competitor. Get tough on human rights, worker protection. Ban some toys and food. But China is a major power. Stop playing around with our currency.
Dodd: China does not compete under the same rules. China is more a strategic opponent. Don’t get bellicose. Americans are tired of business as usual. China has restrictive trade policies. Get tough.
Washburn: Too much money spent on entitlements?
Clinton: Its a problem with Medicare, not Social Security. Costs of Medicare are going up. Reign in excess payments to HMOs. A health care reform to bring down costs. Social Security needs a commission to fix the problems.
Biden: Hillary touched on Medicare. The combination of drug costs and modernizing the system is a problem, we can save a lot of money. This is about action.
Obama: Prevention in cost savings. Obesity rates must be brought down. We need to change the way business is made in Washington.
Richardson: Universal health care is a right. Get rid of administrative costs. Prevention is the key. Lower junk food to bring down diabetes. Stem cell research.
Washburn: 30 second open statement:
Obama: Dr. King said “fierce urgency of now”. We can meet the challenges. We need courage to change. Push back against special interests. Caucus for me.
Edwards: What makes America America is at stake. Corporate power must be fought. I have been fighting these people all my life. Start here in Iowa.
Washburn: Human rights violations. Trading policies.
Biden: Hold them accountable. Trade agreements must have human rights in them.
Richardson: Human rights is fundamental tenet of foreign policy. Impose trade sanctions when countries violate human rights.
Dodd: Human rights are fundamental important. Restore our moral authority.
Edwards: Human rights should be central. Big corporations make big money in China.
Washburn: Should NAFTA be scrapped/changed?
Clinton: Should be changed. There are winners and losers in trade. I will review all trade agreements. I will go to international communtiy on labor. We won’t be trade patsies.
Obama: NAFTA needs to be amended. Enforceable agreements. Guantanamo takes away our moral high ground.
Dodd: Last evening I authored sanctions on Darfur and it passed.
Biden: This is about action. That is what I have been about all my career. I will start by ending the war in Iraq. Trust the American people.
Richardson: I want to thank the people of Iowa for putting us through this process. In the last debate the Iraq war was not discussed. We need to discuss it because that is how we get our priorities done. Our VA system is not responding.
Washburn: Energy independence has costs. What would you do to turn it to a net benefit?
Biden: Won’t take long. Increase mileage requirements. Make it a fundamental priority.
Richardson: Renewable energy. Fuel efficiency standards must be increased. Reduce consumption of foreign oil. Reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Dodd: We are borrowing a billion dollars a day to buy foreign oil. I’m the only one who proposes a corporate carbon tax.
Clinton: Imperative we address this issue. This will affect average American. Auction pollution permits to cushion the costs to the American consumer. We’ve got to enlist the American people like we did with the Apollo program. This calls for a new form of American patriotism. We cannot sustain the current energy profile. Lift us up, reach for the stars here on earth.
Obama: A moral imperative. I want my daughters to have a good planet. You can make money with green technologies. Wind turbines. The next president has to tell the American people what they need to hear.
Edwards: The obstacles are the oil companies. Ask Americans to be patriotic about something other than war. It’s a moral crisis. A responsibility to future generations.
Clinton: We believe in it and is a real problem.
Washburn: Senate voted to replace subsidies from crops – how would you have voted if you would have been there?
Dodd: I would have voted for it. Encourage conservation.
Obama: I made a centerpiece of my policy to lower subsidies. Family farms are being squeezed. Have to overcome agribusiness influence.
Washburn: voted yes or no?
Obama: for it
Biden: There are very few farmers. How do you preserve family farmers.
Clinton: The Lugar/Lautenberg bill. Like Harkin I would have voted against. There is much to do for family farms. Open up markets. Rural development. Harkin keeps getting beaten back. Our family farms are an endangered species.
Clinton: I am touched by Iowa’s stories. Some believe you demand change, some that you hope for it. I will not rest until every child lives up to their potential. Stand up for me and I will stand up for you.
Dodd: I tried talking about positive ideas. I’ve achieved my ideas for 26 years.
Edwards: Change no child left behind. Start early. We have 2 education systems. Wealthy schools and poor schools. One school system.
Richardson: Top priority. Start early. Full day kindergarten. 100,000 new science teachers.
Obama: A lot of good ideas mentioned. Give teachers more money and support. Re-engage parents.
Dodd: Single most important issue. Education is who we are. Our system of governance depends on good education. I agree with Barack, engage the parents.
Clinton: I worked on behalf of education for a long time. The president has a bully pulpit. The federal government only funds 10% of education. Federal government has to fully fund. Classrooms today need to be bought into the 21st century.
Edwards: The period post secondary education. Pay for college and books. Think in a visionary way. Create an infrastructure.
Biden: My wife is a teacher. Start school earlier, smaller classes, 100,000 more teachers, pay access to college.
Washburn: Needs vs. reality. What can be accomplished first year?
Obama: End the war in Iraq. Diplomacy. #2 Review every executive order signed by George Bush. Cover all Americans on health care.
Biden: I would tell the Joint Chiefs to implement the Biden plan. Announce to the world we are abandoning Bush policies. Take on interest groups. Catastrophic child care in first year.
Richardson: End the war in first year. Announce energy revolution. Follow the constitution. Restore the nation.
Dodd: Change the discourse. Stop the shrillness. Healthcare.
Edwards: A lot of promises are being made. We have huge challenges. End the war, close Guantanamo etc. But nothing will happen if we don’t take our Democracy back. Corporate power and corporate greed.
Clinton: I will be busy. Start quickly. End war. Declare the era of cowboy diplomacy is over. End Bush executive orders. Pass everything Bush vetoed. Quickly.
Washburn: Character and leadership? Clinton are you too secretive?
Clinton: I learned a lot from the healthcare experience. A strong communications strategy. I helped create the SCHIP. An open and transparent government. Put things on the internet. Work with the congress. Also must end the revolving door of lobbyists. Open and transparent government.
Washburn: Biden you make verbal gaffes, are you uncomfortable talking about race?
Biden: I got in politics because of the civil rights movement. The point I was making is that minorities start off with a disadvantage. I speak bluntly. No one doubts my committment to civil liberties.
Obama: I do not doubt Joe Biden. I’ll provide testimony.
Washburn: Edwards you attack the same groups that get things done. How will you work with these groups you’ve attacked?
Edwards: We have an epic battle ahead of us. Everything depends on winning this battle. I have fought big corporations in courtrooms and in public life all my life – and winning.
Washburn: Dodd, you still struggle with your father’s censure in the Senate?
Dodd: My father would do it all again.
Washburn: As energy secretary there were some problems such as Wen Ho Lee?
Richardson: In 25 years I have made mistakes. The issue was to protect nuclear secrets. I did not work hard enough. I’ll stand behind my record. Compensation for workers, portfolio standards, air conditioning 30% more efficient.
Washburn: Obama, you have several Clinton advisors, how will you rely on so many Clinton advisors and still bring change?
Obama: I’ve talked about changing the mindset that got us into war. There are a lot of good people. Our military power is only one part of our power. My advisors understand that.
Washburn: Would you use signing statements?
Clinton: I would use them the way presidents before this president used them – to clarify the law. Bush uses them as a form of veto. Bush did this to my FEMA legislation. Stop the constituional perversions.
Edwards: As the way they used to be used. We don’t have a king. The White House belongs to the American people.
Washburn: New Year’s resolution?
Clinton: Multipart. Personal sides, spending time with my family, exercise. Resolved to do the best I can in this campaign. Run a campaign all can support. Ready to serve.
Edwards: To remember the glorification of the presidency that somewhere in America, fathers will lose their jobs, children will go hungry. Will America be fine?
Dodd: Regain our stature in the world. Our best days are ahead of us. Iowans caucus correctly.
Richardson: Lose weight. Same every year. I wish the congress and the president would end their dysfunctional relationship.
Biden: Same every year: remember where I came from.
Obama: A better father and husband. Remind myself this is not about me. I bought a Christmas tree yesterday.
Washburn: What are the lessons of Iowa?
Clinton: I’ve eaten my way across the state. Relationship building. I will never forget the people of Iowa.
Edwards: Iowa caucuses is crucial because they see us close up. Someone who is honest, sincere, who can be trusted.
Dodd: Enjoyed everything on a stick. Love the independence of Iowans. They make up their own minds.
Richardson: You like underdogs. You like to shake things up. I’ve been enriched.
Biden: Iowa deserves to be first because they take things seriously. You treat us with respect. You deserve to be first.
Obama: The core decency of the American people. Generousity of spirt.