Dems debate notes: Journalist questions

They ask Clinton about illegal immigration. The question cites other candidates saying that she doesn’t answer questions.

The American people know what I have been fighting for 35 years…. Fighting for issues for women and minorities, workers and families.

They ask Obama to whip Clinton:

Senator Clinton is a great politician. … Politics of parsing. … Straight answers to touch questions. Not what we have seen from Senator Clinton: drivers licences. Two weeks to get a clear answer. … Need a different kind of politics. … They don’t feel that Washington is listening to them…. Listening to the American people to get things done.

Clinton responds:

Taking strong positions. Obama’s plan would leave 15m people out of health care. Fighting this battle against the special interests for more than 15 years… We can have more a different kin of politics, but the special interests aren’t going away. The Republicans aren’t going to stop fighting.

Obama responds:

The only difference between Senator Clinton’s plan and mine is that no one has mandated. … People would love to have health care, … but they can’t afford it. … That’s what they are looking for. That’s what they deserve.

Clinton responds:

Senator Obama’s health care plan doesn’t come everyone … children’s health care plan. … He does not mandate the kind of coverage that I do. … There’s a big difference between Senator Obama and me.

They ask Edwards to way in:

The issue is whether we have a president who can restore trust in the American people. … Senator Clinton says she will end the war. She also says that she will keep combat troops in Iraq. … On Iran, she voted with Bush and the neo-cons. … …. …. She says that she will bring change to Washington, when she will not speak against a system that is corrupt….

Clinton responds:

I respect all of my colleagues on this stage. We are all Democrats. … What I believe is important is that we put forth what we stand for. I have been active for 35 years. … When Senator Edwards ran in 2004, he wasn’t for universal heatlh care. … We need to put forth a positive agenda for America. …

They ask Biden. Not an impressive dude:

The American people don’t give a darn about what we are talking about here tonight. They worry about their children are going to run into a drug dealer tomorrow. …. mortgages, Iraq… Who among us understands how to deal with Pakistan, … Georgia, … Passing the Violence Against Women Act, Passing the crime bill.,

Next question to John Edwards about changing positions:

It is different to say two contrary things at the same time to different people. In Washington, she said she would vote for the Peruvian trade deal. In Iowa, she told a bunch of union workers that she wanted a moratorium against trade deals. …

Dodd. Surprised at just how angry Edwards is:

There is a shrillness to this debate. The American people want results… They wonder if anyone in Washington is paying attention. … If we waste time on the shrillness of this debate we lose teh American people.

I am Bill Richardson, I am the governor of New Mexico. It seems that John wants to start a class war. Barack wants to start a generational war. It seems that Senator Clinton doesn’t want to stop the Iraq war. I just want to give peace a chance …. end the war … energy independence … Let’s stop going after each other on character and trust.

Support Dem nominee. Everyone is for that? Not that loon Kucinich. Now immigration. They ask Obama:

They are justified in feeling frustrated. … The reason that Americans are feeling concerned is that they feel like their jobs are slipping away. … Will make sure that we the kind of border security we need. … Employers have more of a chance of getting hit by lightening than being investigated. … Once again be a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.

"On the issue that apparently tripped up Senator Clinton … You apparently support illegal aliens getting drivers licenses." Who supports drivers licenses for illegals? "This is the kind of question that is available for a yes or no question." The question assumes comprehensive immigration reform is not possible. Obama ducks. Edwards: No. Dodd: No. Obama: Yes. Clinton: No. Richardson: Yes and I did it. Biden: No

Education. Performance pay in education. What’s wrong with that. Dodd:

Every other question depends on having the best educated generation ever.

Richardson wants a chicken in every pot. Clinton supports "school based merit pay."

They ask Biden about Pakistan:

I do not think that we should maintain the same aid we are giving. … Move from a Musharraf policy to a Pakistan policy. … Significantly increase our economic aid. …

Richardson:

I would condition the assistance to Musharraf. … Unless you restore the constitution, have elections in January, end the state of emergency, allow Bhutto to run, reinstate the supreme court, … fight the terrorists.. It is not about what Halliburton wants in Iraq. .. Our strength as a nation is about our values. …

Edwards says nothing (except nukes)

Human rights more important than national security. Richardson says yes. Obama says not incompatible. Dodd says national security. Clinton does too.

Kucinich is crazy. "Hello. Hello."

Is General Patreaus correct in talking about more security in Iraq: Richardson:

The surge is not working.  …  [can Richardson say the world "mental"]

Obama pledges to get combat troops out in 16 months.  [but 100k troops forever]

John Edwards:

We got something we don’t need. We got NAFTA. … replace corporate republicans with corporate democrats. …

Clinton:

NAFTA did not do what many had hoped. … NAFTA was a mistake to the extent that it did not deliver what was promised. That’s why I have called for trade time out.

Dodd:

We are in a global trade environment

Obama supports Peru. Opposes CAFTA and South Korea. "Why hasn’t the United States supported the same rules as Japan." "

If you are not behaving properly … If you are not looking out for American workers.

China is supposed to look out for American workers? That is their problem?

Richardson on energy:

The future is renewable. … Turn Yucca Mountain into a national laboratory. … 30% of our electricity renewable. … American people sacrificing a little bit. [applause line]

Clinton. Piling on line.

I am not playing the gender card. I am playing the winning card. … They are not attacking me because I am a women. They are attacking me because I am ahead. … It is clear from women’s experiences that from time to time there are impediments.

Edwards:

Senator Clinton defends the system, takes money from lobbyists, etc. … But every one of us should be held to the same standard.