New Hampshire Democratic Debate: Part 2, Live Thread

Wife of Iraq soldier is asking a question: The candidates are now seated. How do you plan on re-building the military after so many years of conflict?

Goes to Kucinich. Peace is the way we reflect our strength. Wants a strong peace-keeping force. Cut military spending 25%. There's a lot of waste. We need to encourage people to serve in it so it's a strong military.

Obama: Weapons system is outmoded relic of Cold war. When soldiers come home we must treat them with dignity and honor. This Administration tries to do it on the cheap. (He didn't answer the question.)


Must be prepared to use force but not as the first arrow in the quiver. Another non-answer.


Now a mother of a son serving in Iraq. Why veterans cannot receive care at the hospital of their choice? Obama again. They should go to VA hospitals unless it's a hardship, then they should go where they want.

Richardson disagrees. He would give her husband a hero's health card, so he could go wherever he wants. We need a well funded VA health system.

Gravell: He's satisfied with the VA, he gets his meds from them. Wants to know if Obama's committee knew about problems before Washington Post reported it. Wolf: What about it? Obama: No we didn't know about Walter Reed problems beforehand.

Next question: Force or diplomacy for Iran, and if diplomacy, what specifics? Goes to Clinton. She's always thought we should use diplomacy. (The top of Hillary's shirt is now straight. It was a little crooked during the first part.) Takes a great shot at Condi Rice and Dick Cheney.

Edwards: There is a long history of pro-American sentiment among the Irani people. They were on our side after 9/11. We'll make the nuclear fuel available to them but we'll control it. Put economic benefits on the table. We need to drive a wedge between the Irani people and their President.

Biden: He'd do away with the policy of regime change. Iran is weak, they are a decade away from putting a nuclear weapon together.

Question about Pakistan. How do you reconcile our support for Pakistan with the fact that it's not a democracy? Hillary. We need to be focused like the proverbial laser. She suggested a Presidential Envoy.

Wolf: If we knew where Osama was going to be for 20 minutes, should we take him out with a missile even though there would be loss of innocent life? Kucinich: We should not resort to assassination. Osama should be held accountable in an international court of law.

Obama: Double-talk. He doesn't believe in assassination politics but he'd take Osama out.

Wolf asks for a show of hands. All would (except Kucinich). Hillary though says it depends on how much collateral damage.

Question: Darfur. Biden. We should impose the no-fly zone and send up to 2,500 troops and take out the regime.

Raise hands if believe we should use military force in Darfur. Hillary objects to the question because it's an abstract hypothetical. It jumps over the no-fly zone issue. She gets a little angry, people applaud.

Richardson gives his Darfur suggestions.Boycott Chinese summer olympics if China doesn't try to stop Sudan. Dodd says that's going too far.

Edwards. We should use whatever tools available to us. This is a piece of a bigger puzzle. America has lost its moral authority and leadership position.

Obama: brings Guantanamo into it? Huh? It's an example of how we don't have no moral authority. This wasn't the question.

Biden screaming now. We have the moral authority to impose a no-fly zone, we should exercise it.

Richardson would shut down Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib (it's been closed) and secret prisons.

High schoool student asks about one year mandatory service and how would they do it?

Wolf asks Dodd if we should bring back the draft. Answers "no."

Next question: What is the definition of "rich" in terms of income level? Obama: With respect to his health care plan, it's more than $250 k a year. Then he gives a lot of ideals everyone agrees upon but doesn't say how he'll effectuate them.

Edwards: roll back tax cuts for over $200k. Edwards: college for everyone.

Question: Federal deficits, what policies would they enact? From a spending or deficit side? Richardson: Take $100 million from war in Iraq and spend it on domestic needs. Get rid of earmarks in Congress and corporate welfare that costs us $70 million. Cost controls for insurance companies. Grow economy. He's a pro-growth Democrat.

Kucinich. End the war. Stop borrowing from China to fund the war. Create new wealth. Change trade policy.

Question: Would you veto all bills with earmarks which are bribes? Dodd. We should discourage it but he wouldn't have a blanket prohibition.

Hillary: We have to deal withthe burden on middle class. We've done it before and can do it again once we have a Demoratic President.

I'm logging off now to watch the Sopranos. Hope you will keep the thread going with your reactions and anything I've missed.

I don't think Iraq was front and center in this debate as people predicted. It was a small part. There was more on health care and the economy.

It was a good and lively debate that let the candidates' personalities come through. No one flubbed, they all seem far better than anything the Republicans are offering.

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    Hillary's strongest tonight...best comment... (none / 0) (#1)
    by NewDemYork on Sun Jun 03, 2007 at 07:44:40 PM EST
    ...slamming Condi and Cheney...but I think Biden is doing well too.  Richardson has good answers but needs to improve his delivery and presence.