New Hampshire Democratic Debate. Full transcript.

SHARE New Hampshire Democratic Debate. Full transcript.

MANCHESTER, N.H.–From CNN, a complete transcript of the second Democratic debate. Republican White House hopefuls debate for the third time on Tuesday here.

BLITZER: Governor, would you use force to save people in Darfur?

RICHARDSON: No, what I would do — and I was there. I got a

very fragile cease-fire put together there, three months ago.

And we made things a little better. I want with the Save Darfur


This is what I would do. Number one, more U.N. peacekeepers.

The government is refusing to make this happen.

Secondly, economic sanctions. We’ve imposed them, but they’re

weak. We need European countries to make them happen.

RICHARDSON: Third, we need China, to lean on China, which has

enormous leverage over Darfur. And if the Chinese don’t want to do

this, we say to them, maybe we won’t go to the Olympics. And lastly,

what we need is a country, a foreign policy that cares about Africa,

that cares that 300,000 human beings have died, have been massacred,

that over 2 million have lost their homes.

BLITZER: All right.

RICHARDSON: Gender-based violence, rape. America should care

about Africa, and we don’t.



BLITZER: Hold on one second. What about that idea, Senator

Dodd, about possibly boycotting the Beijing Summer Olympic games if

China doesn’t use its influence to stop the genocide in Sudan?

DODD: I think that goes too far, Wolf. Here, look. This is a

major issue.

DODD: There are ways of dealing with this. We’re not only going

to elect a president in November of 2008. We’re going to elect,

arguably, the most important, if not the most important, leader in the


And it’s going to be critically important that we use the tools

available to us to exercise the influence we’d like on China, on

Russia and other nations to be more cooperative and participate in

solving some of these problems here.

That’s going to require real leadership based on experience that

knows how to bring people together — certainly, reminding the Chinese

of the importance of this issue — utilizing those tools that are

available to us.

But the idea that you go in and stop the Olympics from happening

I don’t think gets you there. I think that’s more likely to delay the

kind of influence and support China ought to be providing.

BLITZER: Senator Edwards?

EDWARDS: Actually, I disagree with my friend, Chris Dodd, about

that. I think that we should use whatever tools available to us.

And I have to say to Senator Biden, Governor Richardson, I

applaud their being so vocal and out there on this issue. It’s

enormously important.

But I think all of us recognize that this is a piece of a bigger

puzzle, which is America no longer has the moral authority to lead in

the world.

EDWARDS: Watching a genocide continue has contributed to that,

but it is not the only thing. The spread of HIV/AIDS, I think America

ought to actually lead an effort to make primary school education

available to 100 million children in the world who desperately need

it, including in Africa…

BLITZER: We’re going to go back to Jennifer.

But go ahead, Senator Obama, very quickly.

OBAMA: Two things — one, we are going to continue to see some

of these problems in ungoverned spaces. We’ve got a security interest

and a humanitarian interest in dealing with this. We’ve got to work

internationally to figure out how we can get forces to stop genocides

like this.

Second point, our legitimacy is reduced when we’ve got a

Guantanamo that is open, when we suspend habeas corpus. Those kinds

of things erode our moral claims that we are acting on behalf of

broader universal principles, and that’s one of the reasons why those

kinds of issues are so important.


DODD: … cancel the Olympics.

DODD: That’s not a bad question. You asked the question.


DODD: I’d like to know how my colleagues would feel about it.

BLITZER: If you agree that the U.S. should consider boycotting

Asian Olympics…


BLITZER: Senator Dodd says he doesn’t think that’s a good idea.

If you agree that it might be a good idea, raise your hand — if


BIDEN: Wolf, the reason we have no moral authority is we’re not

acting. I heard the same argument with Milosevic. I went over there,

found out there was genocide going on, came to your husband. I said,

“We must act.”

Now, look, we acted. Not an American was killed. We saved

hundreds of thousands of lives.

By the time all these guys talk, 50,000 more people are going to

be dead. They’re going to be dead. And I tell you, I guarantee you,

we have the capacity by setting up a no-fly zone to shut down the

Janjaweed. That’s our moral authority. Exercise it.


OBAMA: Nobody disagrees with the no-fly zone…

BLITZER: I want to go back to Jennifer, but I have to ask

Governor Richardson, you’re a former ambassador at the United Nations,

and what I hear you saying, what you’re saying is that you would

consider the United States boycotting the Summer Olympic Games in

China unless China starts getting tough with the government in Sudan.

RICHARDSON: Yes, I would. Because China purchases a lot of

their oil — most of it, a good part of it — from Sudan.

And my view is that they are a leverage point. And they have not

been strong on the Sudan.

We don’t need, Joe — with all due respect — another military

involvement. Iraq is enough. And we must get out of Iraq.

What we need to do is move forward with the toughest options. Am

I for a no-fly zone? Yes. I think we need strong economic sanctions.

And we lack the moral authority to build international coalitions, to

fight genocide in Darfur. We should shut down — I would as first day

as president, I would shut down Guantanamo. I would shut down Abu

Ghraib and secret prisons. That is the moral authority that we don’t


BLITZER: Hold on one second.

The audience is anxious for another question from out here.


VAUGHN: Tim O’Connor is anxious.

VAUGHN: You’re about to graduate from high school.


VAUGHN: Are you eligible, now, to vote, for the first time, in

the New Hampshire primary?

QUESTION: I am. I’m 18 now.

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