The Campaign Spot

The Second Democratic Debate, Part Three

Biden: Don’t need 800 miles of fence. How many buses you gonna use? You’re gonna round up all these people, spend billions, with whole world watching rather than get background check for all of them, and permit earned citizenship.

Obama: Need better border patrol. Cites guy with TB being waved through by border guard because he looked okay. Need to balance country of immigrants and country of laws. We want to have situaiton those who here, playin’ by the rules, should have pathway to legalization. Need to have sense where the border is being secured.
(Uh, Senator, if they’re here illegally, they’re not “playing by the rules.”)
Only Mike Gravel says English should be the official language of the United States of America. (Some applause!)
Obama: This kind of question is designed to divide us. Everyone who lives in this country is going to . We do a disservice to the American people.
Hillary: We faced issue in Senate last year. If it becomes official instead of recognized as national, then place like New York City, you can’t have ballots in any other language. Can’t have translators in hospitals. (Riiight.)
Dodd: We need more people who can speak more languages. I’m proud of the fact that I speak two languages.
John Edwards: Are others being honest about true cost of univeral health care? Edwards says it’s a healthy thing to have other candidates coming out with plans; notes that he was the first. I raise taxes on people making more than $200k per year. Cites preventative care magic bullet.
Obama: You just identified disagreement with John – his plan has a lot of good points – John believes we have to have mandatory insurance to have universal health care. My emphasis is on cost, taking on health insurance companies, limit profits. Drug companies can’t hoard profits. Conservative estimate, we can save ordinary families with insurance $1,000 a year.
Hillary: I’m thrilled that universal health care is back on the agenda. I have the scars to show for that experience. The most importnat is not the plan. We’re all talking about essentially the same thing. You’ve got to have the political will, broad coalition everybody standing firm when the inevitable attacks come from insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies.
$120 billion in savings from improvements. We’re all going to let Bush tax cuts expire.
I miss Richardson and Dodd for a bathroom break… CNN, what were you thinking with two hours straight?
Edwards: New Republic said Obama’s plan would leave 15 million uninsured.
Obama: People are not going around trying to avoid buying health insurance. In California, auto insurance is mandatory, but 25 percent still don’t have it, because they can’t afford it.
Edwards: But not children.
Obama: I have mandatory coverage for children.
Kucinich jumps in to insist on single payer. Obama, Clinton, and Edwards are going to let the insurance companies stay in charge. (This gets applause!)
Q: Was don’t-ask, don’t tell a mistake?
Hillary: It was a transition policy. It was implemented in a discriminatory manner. We’re throwing out Arabic linguists… People would not be judged by who they are. Barry Goldwater said, “you don’t have to be straight to shoot straight.”
Wolf: Was husband’s policy a mistake?
Hillary: It was an important first step. We have a political process, and there is a constitutional policy. Congress was adamant.
Wolf: Still many who think keep current policy.
Biden: Peter Pace is flat wrong. Lemmee tell ya something. Nobody asked anybody else if they were gay. Brits, French, all our allies have gays serving. Our policy is not a rational policy.
All of them agree. Richardson starts going off on civil unions, hate crimes… Continues his record of answering 500 straight questions, “I would do what I did in New Mexico…”
Edwards is asked about civil unions vs. marriages: Edwards says I don’t think fed gov should tell states or churches what marriages they should bless or not bless. It is the job of the president to lead, not to legislate.
Q for Gravel: How would you use President Clinton?
Gravel: Use him as a roving ambassador. He can take his wife with him. He wimped out on gays in the military. I wish he was like President Truman opposing Omar Bradley on racial integration. Under supervision, he’ll do okay.
Richardson: Ideal job would be secretary general of United Nations. He is needed in the Middle East. This administration needs a Middle East envoy. We need a constant Middle East peace process.
Obama: Great capacity to build alliances around the world. What we’ve seen over last six years is bluster, saber-rattling. Senator Clinton may have something to say about how I use Bill Clinton.
Hillary: This is a fascinating question – they asked the Republicans, they asked the Democrats. I believe in using former presidents. I believe we need help to repair damage. Bill will be a roving ambassador. Try to make friends and allies, stop alienation around the world.
Jim: Wow, what a lame round of genuflecting to Bill Clinton’s popularity among primary voters.
Dodd: On gas prices, problems are profound, solutions are not easy, we need leadership. (Bla, bla bla. Pardon my cynicism, but honestly, this is a lot of rhetoric that doesn’t say much.) Alertnative technology. Need 50 mile per gallon standard on vehicles in future. Carbon tax. Solar. Wind.
Dodd: When oil hits $40 a gallon, require profits to go back to consumers, or put into investment and research on alternative.
Gravel: We Americans have to grow up. We have to own up to the problem. You’re paying more than $7, you just don’t know it.
Edwards: Ought to be investigation of oil and gas companies. Laws don’t deal with problem, change antitrust laws. Can we stop subsidizing oil and gas companies?
Richardson: They’re not price gouging. We need an Apollo program, and national conservation. League of Conservation Voters say I have the most aggressive plan.
Biden: Take away subsidy. It’s about $6 billion to the oil companies. Investigate this whole issue of price gouging. We have raise the mileage autos get, and mandate.
Arrrrgh. That was only an hour?

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