New Hampshire Democratic Debate Transcript
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Forty five seconds for a rebuttal or a response as directed by one of the moderators. Candidates will each see green and yellow lights indicating how much time they have remaining and when time is up. The light will turn red. So here now, the New Hampshire Democratic debate candidates welcome. Vice President Biden and the first question is for you. In the last few days, you've been saying that Democrats will be taking too big a risk if they nominate Senator Sanders or Mayor Buddah judge.

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But they came out on top in Iowa. What risk did the Iowa Democrats miss? Well, they did miss anything. All right. This along the long race. I took a hit in Iowa and I'll probably take it here. Traditionally, Bernie won by 20 points last time. And usually it's the neighboring senators who do well. But I'm I'm. No matter what. I'm stone. Is this for the same reason? I'm going to. We have to restore the soul of this country.

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Bring back the middle class and make sure we bring people together. And so it's a simple proposition. It doesn't matter whether it's this one or the next. I've always viewed the first four encounters, two primaries and two caucuses as the starting point. And so that's why Senator Sanders and mayor booed a judge too big a risk for Democrats. Well, you know, you know that with regard to Senator Sanders, the president wants very much to stick a label on every candidate.

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We're going to not only have to win this time, we have to bring along United States Senate and Bernie's label himself, not me, a democratic socialist. I think that's the label that the president's going to lay on. Everyone running with Bernie if he's the nominee. And Buddha Jaja is a great guy and a real patriot. He's a he's a mayor of a small city who has done some good things but has not demonstrated his ability to. And we'll soon find out to get a broad scope of support across the spectrum, including African-Americans and Latinos.

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Senator Sanders, let me give you the chance to respond first. President Trump certainly thinks this label, socialism will work at the State of the Union. He said socialism destroys nations. He's never going to let socialism destroy American health care. And before the Super Bowl, he joked with Sean HANNITY about your honeymoon in Moscow. Those tickets are going to keep coming. If you're the nominee, why shouldn't Democrats be worried? Because Donald Trump lies all the time.

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Donald Trump. It's a sad state of affairs. It really isn't. People say terrible things about Joey, disgusting things about Elizabeth and Amy, about anybody else who is up here. But I think, George, that at the end of the day, the way we defeat Donald Trump and everybody up here, by the way, is united, no matter who wins this damn thing, we're all going to stand together to defeat. I believe that the way we beat Trump is by having the largest voter turnout in the history of this country, and that is appealing to working class people who have given up on the political process because they don't believe that anybody is hearing their pain, perceiving their pain, feeling their pain.

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And we've got to bring young people into the political process. I'm very proud that in Iowa, we won the popular vote by six thousand votes. What was most significant, most significant is we increased voter turnout for young people under twenty nine by over 30 percent. We do that naturally. We're going to do. Let me follow up here and then we'll move on. But, you know, back in Iowa, the turnout this year was about the same as it was in 2016, far below what it was in 2008 when President Obama won gusto.

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And that's a disappointment. And I think all of us probably could have done a better job in bringing out our supporters. But if there is a good spot, a good aspect about that campaign is that young people came out in higher numbers than they did during Obama's historic 2008 campaign. And if that happens nationally, we're going to win and defeat Trump. Before I move on to mayor, but a judge, let me just ask, is anyone else on the stage concerned about having a democratic socialist at the top of the Democratic ticket?

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I'm no Senator Klobuchar. Bernie and I work together all the time, but I think we are not going to be able to divide the divider in chief. And I think we need someone to head up this ticket that actually brings people with her instead of shutting them out. And when I look at a state like New Hampshire that had a very, very close election last time in 2016, I see a state that. Yes. Has a high voter turnout.

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Fired up Democrats just like my state, which, by the way, Bernie, when I led the ticket, had the highest voter turnout of any state in the country. But I add to that being able to bring in independents like you have in this state, as well as moderate Republicans, because there are so many of them out there that are looking for a candidate. And truthfully, Donald Trump's worst nightmare is a candidate that will bring people in from the middle.

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The people that are tired of the noise and the nonsense and they are tired of the tweets and the mean stuff and they are looking for someone else. And I would submit that that is me, Mr. Just Socialism. I don't think there's any question, George, that after this week there's a real threat that Donald Trump can get re-elected. And I don't think there's any question but that the only way that we're going to beat him actually is the way that Bernie Sanders said, which is to get turnout across the spectrum of Democratic voters.

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And that means we're gonna have to appeal across the spectrum, moderates, progressives and every group. So unless you can appeal to the diverse parts of the Democratic Party, including specifically the black community, including specifically Latinos, if you can't do that, then we can't beat Donald Trump in November. And we can't choose a candidate who can't do that. And I am doing that right now with 24 percent of blacks down in South Carolina with high numbers in Nevada.

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That's what it's going to take. Is turnout but turnout across the spectrum of Democratic voters. Someone who can poll, as Amy said, I bring together in every single way we're divided. Andrew Yang and Senator Warren, then they're going to judge. First, let me say America is great to be back on the debate stage. I'm so excited. I want to give every American $1000 a month. George, the entire capitalism socialism dichotomy is completely out of date.

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And the fact is, when people were talking about these economic models, they did not foresee technology getting stronger, more powerful and capable of doing the work of thousands of humans in the blink of an eye. We have record high corporate profits in this country right now, but people in New Hampshire know what else are at record highs, mental illness, stress, debt, substance abuse, overdoses, suicides. What we have to do is actually get the markets working to improve our family's way of life instead of following GDP and corporate profits off a cliff.

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We should be measuring our own health and well and wellness, life expectancy, mental health and freedom from substance abuse, clean air and clean water. How our kids are doing the way forward is a new human centered version of capitalism that actually uses the markets to improve our family's lives.

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Senator Warren, you reportedly said back in 2018, I'm a capitalist to my bones.

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Senator Sanders says I'm not. Is that your biggest difference with Senator Sanders? Oh, Bernie and I have been friends for a long time. We have a lot of things in common. We have a lot of things that we differ on the fundamental question about how we bring our party together. We have to think about it in new ways. People across this country, whether they're Democrats, independents or Republicans, understand that we've got a government right now that works great for those at the top, works great for giant drug companies, just not for people trying to get a prescription filled, works great for oil companies that want to drill everywhere, just not for the rest of us who see climate change bearing down upon us.

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When you see a government that works great to those who can hire armies of lobbyists and lawyers and make big campaign donations, and it's not working so great for everyone else, that is corruption, pure and simple. And we need to call it out for what it is, corruption. And that's what we can run on. We bring our party together. It's an issue we can all agree on and cite to end the corruption where the Democrats. We should be the party on the side of hard working people.

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And we can bring in independents and Republicans on that. They hate the corruption as well. My anti-corruption plan, good for Republicans and Democrats. That's not only how we bring our party together. That's how we're going to win in November. But a judge early in the campaign, you said that the word socialism has lost its power. It's mostly lost its meaning. Do you believe that or worry it can be a potent weapon in a general election?

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I'm not interested in labels. I'm not interested in what Republicans are going to say. I'm interested in the style of politics that we need to put forward to actually finally turn the page in order to win. Yes. But also in order to govern. This is a moment where the next president is going to face challenges, the likes of which we hadn't even thought of a few years or decades ago. And politically, we're facing a fundamentally new problem with President Donald Trump.

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So the biggest risk we could take at a time like this would be to go up against that fundamentally new challenge by trying to fall back on the familiar or trying to unite this country at a moment when we need that kind of unification, when our nominee is dividing people with a politics that says if you don't go all the way to the edge, it doesn't count politics. It says it's my way or the highway. Are you talking about Senator Sanders?

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Yes. Because we've got to bring as many people as we can into this process. Look, all of us have been saying that we can build the majority that it's going to take in order to win. But the process of actually proving it is now underway. And now it comes to New Hampshire, a state that thinks for itself is not going to be told what to do by anyone. And that has a very independent streak that is going to respond to those who are reaching out in a politics of addition and inclusion and belonging, not one that beats people over the head and says they shouldn't even be on her side if we don't agree 100 percent of the Senator Sanders, her response is to say, I've never said that.

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But let me tell you what I do. So. The way you bring people together is by presenting an agenda that works for the working people of this country, not for the billionaire class.

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The way you bring people together, Republicans, independents, Democrats, progressives, conservatives, you raise the minimum wage to fifteen bucks an hour. The way you bring people together is to make it clear that we're not going to give tax breaks to billionaires and large corporations, take it to start paying their fair share of taxes. That's what the American people want. And I'll tell you something else. The way you bring people together is by ending the international disgrace of this country being the only major nation on earth not to guarantee health care to all people.

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That's a human right. And you bring people together by telling the pharmaceutical industry they're not going to charge us ten times more for the same prescription drugs. It's the people in Canada that borders on the Hampshire. That's how you bring people together and you defeat Donald Trump. Buddha judges heard Senator Sanders make health care the center of his case. Do you think his health care plan can bring people together?

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I think there's a better way. It's true. The American people are ready. There's a historic majority right now, even broader than what was available to President Obama a decade ago. There is now a majority ready to act to make sure there is no such thing as an uninsured American. And no such thing as an unaffordable prescription. Just so long as we don't command people to accept a public plan if they don't want to. That's the idea of Medicare for all who want it.

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My point is what I am offering is campaigning for all of these things that America wants. Yes, higher wages, doubling the rate of unionization in this country, making corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share. Delivering health care and college affordability, but also offering a way to do these game changing transformations that will actually galvanize and energize, not polarize the American people. That is not only what we need in order to win. It's what we need in order to govern and actually get these things done.

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Vice President Biden, how do you unify the country? Look, Bernie says that you have to bring people together and we have to have Medicare for all. But Bernie says and he says he wrote the damn thing, but he's unwilling to sell us with the damn thing is going to cost the fact that we're in New Hampshire, very level headed group of people. Look at the numbers. How much is it going to cost? Who's going to pay for it?

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It will cost more than the entire the entire federal budget. We spend now more than the entire budget. The idea middle class taxes aren't going to go up. Is just crazy. When they did it in Vermont, what happened? They double the state income tax and then had a 14 percent tax on withholding and they finally did away with it. So how much is it going to cost? When Bernie asked Bernie that. I'll ask him again tonight sometime.

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If you asked Bernie God, he says go figure. I don't know. We'll find out. I think that was on CBS. He said we'll find out or something to that effect. I imagine you're going to unite the country walking into the Congress. I got this bill. It's going to be fired. Medicare for everybody. I can't tell you how much is going to cost. We'll find out later. It's likely to be double whatever they do, everything we spend the federal government who you think is going to get that passed.

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I busted my neck, getting Obamacare passed, getting every Democratic vote. I know how hard it is.

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Senator Sanders. Well, for a start. Well, for a start.

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But the studies show if we do what Joe wants, we'll be spending some 50 trillion dollars on health care over the next 10 years. That's the status quo, Joe. That's what Health and Human Services says. And what we have to do, Joe. But we have got to do is understand. Simple question, Joe. We are spending twice as much per capita on health care as do the people of any other country. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the health care industry last year made one hundred billion dollars in profit.

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Maybe it has something to do with the fact that we are wasting five hundred billion dollars a year trying to administer thousands and thousands of different plants. What Medicare for all will do is save the average American. Substantial sums of money, substantial b much less expensive than your plan. And we will expand Medicare to include dental glass, eyeglasses, hearing aids and home health care as well.

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Vice President Biden, 30 second response, then Senator Klobuchar after that 30 seconds here. Yeah, 30 seconds for response. My proposal gives you a choice. You're gonna cut you off Medicare if you want it. You've turned out we're going to restore all the cuts that they made in Obamacare. We're going to reduce drug prices, reduce prescription prices, reduce co-pays, etc. And it cost a lot of money. It costs seven hundred and fifty billion dollars over.

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Ten years. I tell you, I'm going to pay for it. I'm going to raise the capital gains rates. You pay capital gains and what your tax rate is. That'll pay for eight hundred billion dollars. But here's the deal. The fact is that it's going to cost Burnie's plant costs double, double what the taxpayers are paying for every single program we spend on in the United States of America. Senator Kohl, the chart I keep listening to this same debate and it is not real.

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It is not real, Bernie, because two thirds of the Democrats in the Senate are not on your bill. And because it would kick one hundred forty nine million Americans off their current health insurance in four years. And let me say what else? Elizabeth wants to do it in two years. And Pete, while you have a different plan now, you sent out a tweet just a few years ago that said henceforth for with indubitably affirmatively, you are for Medicare for all, for the ages.

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And so I would like to point out that leadership is about is taking a position, looking at things and sticking with them. I have long believed that the way that we expand health care to more people and bring down premiums is by building on the Affordable Care Act with a nonprofit public option. That is the best way to do it. And practically, look at this. The Affordable Care Act is now nearly 10 points more popular than the president of the United States.

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So why would we talk about slowing it up? What we need to do is build on it. Mental health care, addiction, long term care. Those are the things that would make it more and more. But a judge, you're both invoked. I want you each to respond and then go back to Senator Sanders.

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So I think we need to think about health care a little differently. And that is 36 million Americans last year couldn't afford to have a prescription filled, and that includes people with health insurance. I want everyone in here to think about what that means. They were worried enough for sick enough that they went to a doctor. A doctor looks at it and says that's serious enough to write a prescription. They walked out and then said, it's either that or groceries and satyr pay the rent on time.

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We have got to change our health care system the way.

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Help to the most people as quickly as we can. How about we start with what a president can do? I love saying this all by herself on day one.

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I will defund the Affordable Care Act and I will use Martin orders to reduce the cost of commonly used prescription drugs like insulin and HIV AIDS drugs and epi pens. We can start making health care better for Americans from the beginning, but we have to agree to do that. We are the Democrats. We are on the side of expanding health care. When we come up against Donald Trump, the team that has been trying to take away health care for millions of people.

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What's going to matter most is we are the people on the side of those who need health care across this country. That's who Democrats are. But I want you to respond to that. But also take on the arguments beginning from the vice president. You don't have the right experience to be president.

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Sure. Well, first of all, just to be clear, the truth is that I have been consistent throughout in my position on delivering health care for every American and asked to experience. I just bring a different perspective. Look, I freely admit that if you're looking for the person with the most years of Washington establishment experience under their belt, you've got your candidate. And of course, it's not me. The perspective I'm bringing is that of somebody whose life has been shaped by the decisions that are made in those big white buildings in Washington, D.C.

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, somebody who has guided a community written off as dying just a decade ago through a historic transformation. Somebody who knows what it means to be sent to war on orders that come out of THE SITUATION ROOM. We need a perspective right now that will finally allow us to leave the politics of the past in the past. Turn the page and bring change to Washington before it's too late.

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Vice President Biden, here's his answer. The politics of the past, I think we're not all that bad. I wrote the Violence Against Women Act. I manage the nine hundred billion dollar Recovery Act, which in fact, put millions and millions of dollars into his city before he came and helped save his city. I was able to do it. I was able to pass the chemical weapons ban, arms control. And I was the first major leader holding public office to call for same sex marriage.

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So I don't know. What about the past? A, Barack Obama and Joe Biden was so bad. What happened? What is it that he wants to do away with? We were just beginning. It was just the beginning of what will be the future of moving this country beyond where it is now in significant ways. And there's ways to do that. And one of the ways to do that is to make sure you have someone who knows how to get things done and can lead the free world at the same time.

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But a judge responded then Senator Sanders. To those achievements were phenomenally important because they met the moment. But now we have to meet this moment and this moment is different. The next president is going to face challenges from global health security. Like what we're seeing coming out of China to cyber security and election security challenges that we're barely thought of a few years ago. And here at home, we're seeing things like gig, work, transform what it means to be a worker in America in ways that were barely conceived of not that long ago.

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We cannot solve the problems before us by looking back. We have to be ready to turn the page and change our politics before it's too late. And I'm seeing everywhere I go. Not just fellow Democrats, but a striking number of independents. And what I like to call future former Republicans, ready to join in that historic American majority to turn the page. Senator Klobuchar?

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I am. I am I am listening to this about meeting the moment. And my first thought is I'm a fresh face up here for a presidential debate. And I figure, Pete, that fifty nine my age is the new 38 up here. The second thing I think about is this, and that is 50. OK. There you go. Meeting the moment. Meeting the moment. We had a moment the last few weeks, Mayor, and that moment with these impeachment hearings.

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And there was a lot of courage that you saw from only a few people. There was courage from Doug Jones, our friend of Alabama, who took that tough vote. There was courage. There was courage from Mitt Romney, who took a very, very difficult. There was courage, as I read today, about Lieutenant Colonel Vinda Mitton being escorted out of the White House when he ducked, took current. But like you said, Pete, as you were campaigning through Iowa and three of us were jurors in that impeachment hearing, you said it was exhausting to watch and that you wanted to turn the channel and watch cartoons.

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It is easy to go after Washington because that's a popular thing to do. It is much harder, as I see Senator Sheheen in the front row, such a leader. It is much harder to lead and much harder to take those difficult positions, because I think this going after every single thing that people do, because it's popular to say and makes you look like a cool new comer. I just I don't think that's what people want right now. We have a newcomer in the White House.

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And look where it got us. I think having some experience is a good thing. Senator Sanders then about to judge. You're going to end of the day.

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We've got to ask ourselves a very simple question, whether it's health care, in fact, or anything else. Why are we the only major country on earth that doesn't guarantee health care to all people, pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs, have 87 million people uninsured or underinsured. Thirty thousand die because they don't get to a doctor on time. And five hundred thousand people going bankrupt. For what reason? Because they have cancer or heart disease or Alzheimer's.

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We got to ask that question. Why is it why we've been talking about health care in this country for a hundred years. And here is the answer. If you want real change in health care, at the end of the day, you're going to have to take on the insurance companies and tell them the function of health care is health care for all. Not huge profits, but the insurance companies. You're gonna have to take on the drug companies and their corruption and their price fixing and tell them, sorry, we're not going to pay ten times more for prescription drugs than do the people about the country.

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But at the end of the day, there's no way around it. You may want to nibble around the edges, but ultimately we need to rally the American people to tell the drug companies, to tell Wall Street, to tell the insurance companies, to tell the fossil fuel industry. This country belongs to all of us. Not a handful here, but a Judge Grassley. I have heard this conversation on this debate stage from these people now every single debate and they're all right, everybody on this stage is better on economic justice and health care than anybody in the Republican Party.

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And a million times better than Donald Trump. That is not the question in front of us today. The question in front of us today is how are we going to beat Donald Trump? You were in the Clinton campaign in 1992 and the mantra was, it's the economy, stupid. Well, if you look at what Mr. Trump is saying, he's saying those words. It's the economy, stupid. I trust every one of these people a million times more.

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But we're going to have to take Mr. Trump down on the economy, because if you listen to him, he's crowing about it every single day. And he's going to beat us unless we can take him down on the economy, stupid. And that's the issue here, is not about who has the best health care plan. All the health care plans are better. A million times better. The question is, who can go toe to toe with Mr. Trump?

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Who can take down Mr. Trump because he's the real threat to the country? And let me say, you have to have experience to take him down. This is not a question of he's a nice guy who's going to listen. We need people with experience. That's why I'm worried about Mayor Pete. You need to be able to go toe to toe with this guy and take him down on the debate stage or we're going lose. And that's actually the issue in front of Democratic voters.

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I have heard this debate so many darn times and I love all these people and they're all right. We can if we win, we can get the right thing. Bernie. I am with you. If we win, we can get the right thing. Pete and Amy. But we got a win or we are in deep trouble and we keep not talking about the facts. Mayor Pete. Here's how we're gonna win. Going to force this president to stand on that debate stage next to somebody who actually lives in a middle class neighborhood in the industrial Midwest, in the exact kind of community that he pretends to speak for but turns his back on.

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We're going to put up somebody who's not afraid to call out things like his disgraceful behavior at the National Prayer Breakfast and remind Americans that God does not belong to a political party. We're going to win by having somebody up there who can call him to account for his refusal to serve. When it was his turn and remind him what's serving this country is really about, if we want to beat this president, we've got to be ready to move on from the playbook that we have relied on in the past and unify this country around a new and better vision.

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That's how we're going to win. And when I talk about exhaustion, this is important, because I got to tell you, the American people from outside of Washington, we feel a sense of exhaustion watching the division and the dysfunction there. And that is not to take anything away from the very good work that you and our other Democratic members of Congress in the Senate are doing. It's not. But the reason I raise that sense of exhaustion as I see it, I see that temptation to walk away from it all amongst so many people that I've spoken to in communities from Claremont to to Manchester and in the other states that we're in.

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And the important thing for the American people to remember is this is 20-20. It's an election year. And if the Senate was the jury before you are the jury now, the American people are the jury that will have the final verdict on this president and on the senators in the GOP who protected him. Fundamentally, you are missing the lesson of Donald Trump's victory. Donald Trump is not the cause of all of our problems. And we are making a mistake when we act like he is.

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That's why he is he is a symptom of a disease that has been building up in our communities for years and decades. And it is our job to get to the harder work of actually curing the disease. Most Americans feel like the political parties have been playing. You lose, I lose. You lose. I lose four years. And you know who's been losing this entire time? We have our communities, have our communities. Way of life is disintegrating beneath our feet.

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That's why Iowa, traditional swing state went to Trump by almost 10 points. That's why Ohio, a traditional swing state, is now so red that I'm told we're not even going to campaign there. So these communities are seeing their way of life get blasted into smithereens. We've automated away four million manufacturing jobs and counting. We're closing 30 percent of New Hampshire stores and malls and Amazon. The force behind that is literally paying zero in taxes. These are the changes that Americans are seeing and feeling around us every day.

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And if we get to the hard work of curing those problems, we will not just a feat. Donald Trump in the fall, but will actually be able to move our communities forward.

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I know we're gonna hear a lot more on this. Thank you, George. Evening, candidates.

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We come to you, of course, just 48 hours after the acquittal of President Trump, a process that certainly crystallized the divide in our country. Senator Warren, I want to start with you. You've said that on day one of your presidency, one of your first orders of business will be to order your Justice Department to launch new investigations into the Trump administration. After a grueling impeachment and what is likely to be a polarizing election is investigating President Trump the best way to try to unify the country.

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Look, I think no one is above the law, and that includes the president of the United States.

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We watched on Wednesday as Republicans, all the one locked arms to protect him from impeachment. But we need to reestablish the rule of law in this country. I believe in an independent commission and our Justice Department that investigates crimes committed by our own government. It is an important part of accountability. It is an important part for every administration that we hold ourselves accountable to the American people. Look, people around this country are losing faith in our government. They are losing faith that government works for them.

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They see a government that just works great. If you're rich, it works great if you're a lobbyist. It works great if you're a corporate executive. But they see themselves and their children with less and less and less. And we could do something about it. It's not enough simply to talk about the future. We have to be willing to stand up to those who now control our government and make that government instead work for us. We can do child care in this country for every baby.

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We can invest in our public schools. We can cancel student loan debt for 43 million Americans, but only if we are willing to take control of our government away from the. Giant corporations and billionaires return it to the people. This is about our government. This is about our democracy. This is about our future.

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Mr. Yang, you said that the notion of a leader, quote, throwing the president before them in jail is not the way things are done here in the United States and would make it, quote, very hard for any party to govern sustainably moving forward. Does that mean that any alleged misconduct by the president or his administration should not be investigated? There are, of course, limits, and you have to see what the facts are on the ground. After you assume office.

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But the fact is, if you look around the world, the countries that have thrown past presidents into jail have generally been developing countries. And unfortunately, that's a pattern that once you establish is very, very hard to break. What's a more American tradition? We move the country forward. We don't focus on the mistakes of the leaders that are leaving office. Most Americans do not care about what a particular individual did so much as they care about their family's well-being, their community, their town.

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That's where Americans focus wants. They want the American president. They want the, of course, the American president time.I that they want the president to be focused on that. And that's where our attention should be. We should not fall into a pattern that has been disastrous in other countries.

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Senator Sanders, along with Elizabeth and Amy. We sat for two weeks listening to the impeachment process. And here's what I think. The horror and the danger of what happened was not only the acquittal of Trump, who in fact committed beachball offenses and obstructed Congress. It is the precedent that has set the precedent that it set. And what that precedent is about now is in the future.

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You're going to have presidents who say, hey, governor, you want highway money, you better support me. Well, you're not going to get it because I am the president. I can do anything I want. Hey, Congress, you want to investigate? Don't be ridiculous. Who cares about the Congress? Who cares about the separation of powers? Who cares about the constitution of the president? The president of the United States? I have all of the power and I'm able to intimidate members of my own party.

[00:34:37.08]
Saddest aspect of this whole thing is you have Republicans in the Senate who knew better. They know that Donald Trump is a crook. They knew that Donald Trump is a cheat, but they didn't have the guts. With the exception of Romney to vote against. I did start the need to impeach movement in October of twenty seventeen. And my father my father was one of the people who prosecuted the Nazi war criminals after World War 2. And that's part of the reason I started.

[00:35:13.08]
Because when you see something really wrong in the United States, you're supposed to stand up against it and fight against it. And that's what I was doing. But he's been. The Republicans have rolled over. They've had a sham trial. They've refused to have witnesses. They've covered up the truth for the American people. And it doesn't matter anymore that he's a crook and he's always been a crook and always will be a crook. Right now, what we have to do is we have to beat him in November and we have to beat him because he's incompetent and bad for the American people.

[00:35:43.00]
And that's the case we have to make now. Is he a crook? I knew that two years ago. Is he going to be more of a crook now that he believes he can get away with anything? Of course he is. But the job of the people on this stage is to beat him in November. And that's gonna be based on what we can deliver for the American people. The fact that he's incompetent as a president, his economy isn't delivering for working people.

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The jobs aren't don't pay enough for people to live on. We've got to take him down on the economy and get him out of the White House as soon as possible. Thank you, Mr. Stier.

[00:36:15.02]
Impeachment is, of course, over, but Republicans in Congress have already started investigating Vice President Biden's son, Hunter.

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Mayor Boobage Edge, do you think that there's a danger for the Democratic Party to nominate a candidate who is still under the threat of investigation? No. And we're not going to let them change the subject. This is not about Hunter Biden or Vice President Biden or anybody. This is about an abuse of power by the president. The vice president and I and all of us are competing, but we've got to draw a line here and to be the kind of president, to be the kind of human being who would seek to turn someone against his own son, who would seek to weaponize a son against his own father is an unbelievably just honorable thing.

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That is just one more example of why we as a party have to be completely united in doing whatever it takes. At the end of the day, to make sure that this president does not get a second term.

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Vice President Biden. Well, I thank my colleague for saying that it is a diversion, but here's the deal. Whoever the nominee is, the president can make up lies about he thinks he has free reign right now. One of the things that I think is really important is we have to be authentic with the American people about what we're going to do and how we're going to do it. And by the way, Karl Veblen got thrown out of the White House.

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They walked out. I think we should at the same time, he should be pinning a medal on Venkman and not on Rush Limbaugh. And I think we should be doing now. I think we should all stand and get Colonel Dimitar as a show of how much we supported him. Stand up and clap for vitamin. That's who we are. We are not what's happening. The Democratic Party's last presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, has criticized Senator Bernie Sanders track record in the Senate.

[00:38:23.05]
We were able to hear that quite OK. Sure. The Democratic Party's last presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, has criticized Senator Bernie Sanders record in the Senate, saying nobody likes him. Nobody wants to work with him. He got nothing done. Senator Klobuchar, you served with Senator Sanders in the Senate. Is he going to be able to get the support? Not if you got if you like it. But is he going to be able to get the support that he needs from Republicans?

[00:38:48.05]
OK, I like Bernie just fine. We actually have worked together on a number of things, including pharmaceuticals. We actually had a vote late at night, one time club ish or Sanders amendment to bring in less. That's cool now. No. Not to bring in less expensive drugs from other countries. Since in this great state of New Hampshire, like in Minnesota and Vermont, we can see Canada from our porch. And we ended up getting, I think, 14 Republican votes and they might not notice what was happening late at night, but we got those.

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And I think that it is just an example of what we need to do here, because I've been listening to this discussion. I agree with my colleagues. We must unite. But the way that we unite is by having an optimistic economic agenda for America. That is what we must do. And that means taking on a president. If you want to talk about being tough enough to take him on taking on a president that literally went down to Mar a Lago after he signed that Republican tax bill and looked at all his friends and said, you just got a lot richer.

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That is Exhibit A for those carpenters in Pennsylvania and those dairy farmers in Wisconsin and those dockworkers that I met with in Michigan. That is an Exhibit A, and we have to be able to make the case to the working people of this country, some of whom voted for Donald Trump, that we have something better to offer, that we are going to take those incredibly regressive parts of that tax bill and put that money into their child care. Senator.

[00:40:25.05]
Yes or no? Do you think that misters and rep Senator Sanders will be able to get Republican support in order to pass his bills?

[00:40:32.01]
That I don't know. I know we did on that bill. But the point is, I think we're better off with someone that has the receipts, someone that has actually won big time with Republicans and independents. And I'm the only one up on this stage. You can check it out. That has consistently won in red congressional districts, not once, not twice, but three times. And when I did that, I didn't just do it for me.

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I let a ticket. I flip the state house every single time because I have a way of working with people that I think should be valued here as we look at these candidates. And it's one of the reasons that I got The New York Times endorsement along with Elizabeth, and that I got the endorsements of the three major papers here in New Hampshire, which is the Union Leader, the Seacoast Papers and the Keene Sentinel. I think that matters. Read those editorials and you will get a sense of what I'm about.

[00:41:22.09]
Thank you, Senator. Senator Sanders. I must confess, I don't get too many newspaper editorials support, but it's best Conway endorsed me. I did. Very proud of that. There you go. But let me just say this. I think the question started off with Secretary Clinton's critique. I think quite honestly, as we face one of the great political crises facing America, our job is to look forward and not back to start 2016. And I hope that Secretary Clinton and all of us can come together and move in that direction.

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Now, second of all, in terms of Republicans, let me say that in my own great state of Vermont, my memory is correct, Amy. I got 25 percent of the Republican vote.

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And in fact, there were periods when I was in the House of Representatives, a number of years where I passed more amendments on the floor of the House in a bipartisan way than any other member of the House. And that is when you when you bring people together on an issue. There are many conservative Republicans, for example, who are concerned about civil liberties. At least they used to be concerned about civil liberties. They are all Republicans, as you know.

[00:42:45.07]
We're concerned about the high cost of prescription drugs. There are ways that we can work with Republicans on issues where we have a common basis. Let's do that. David Lindsay, thank you. Good evening, all. I want to turn to America's role in the world and readiness to be commander in chief on day one. Just this week, you saw it during the State of the Union. President Trump offered an indication of what he'll tell on the campaign trail.

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He celebrated the U.S. airstrike that killed top Iranian General Kassam Suleimani saying Suleimani was the Iranian regime's most ruthless butcher, a monster who murdered or wounded thousands of American service members in Iraq. Mayor, but a judge, you're the only veteran standing on this stage. And while there's still debate about whether or not there was an imminent threat, there is no debate about whether or not Suleimani was a bad actor who was responsible for the deaths of many Americans. Given what you know about Suleimani, if your national security team came to you with an opportunity to strike, would Suleimani have been dead or would he still be alive under your presidency in this situation that we saw with President Trump's decision?

[00:43:49.06]
There is no evidence that that made our country safer. Look, I feel very strongly about the campaign of murder and mayhem that General Suleimani and his units have perpetrated. It's also the case that if we learned nothing else from the war in Iraq is that taking out a bad guy is not a good idea. If you do not know what you were doing, this president has moved us this much closer to the brink of war. But it didn't start with the Soleimani strike.

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It started with withdrawing us from the Iran nuclear deal that his own administration certified was working. And it's time for us to recognize that every time a step is taken that moves us to the brink of war, that has incredibly serious consequences for those who serve by chance. Just because I was traveling for the campaign not long ago, I ran into somebody that I hadn't seen since we were both serving, hadn't seen since she was injured in an insider attack.

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And I saw it coming down the concourse in the airport wearing a Wounded Warrior Project T-shirt that said some assembly required. And when I asked her how she was doing, she she lifted up her knee and tapped on the part of her leg that they couldn't save, tapped on the prosthetic and said the Navy, it fixed her up just fine. And then let me know that she was looking forward to an upcoming deployment. People in our uniform will do whatever the United States requires of them, what they deserve in return.

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Is a president who will actually read the intelligence. Pay attention to the international security situation. Consult with our allies, keep U.S. politics out of it, and never commit our troops to a situation where they would have to go into harm's way if there is an alternative. But to just.

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Let me just press. Let me just put further on this, though, because President Trump has signaled in a general election campaign he will celebrate his willingness to order that strike. I'm asking if your national security team came to you and presented you with the opportunity. Would you take the strike? It depends on the circumstances. It depends if there is an alternative. And it depends what the different effects would be. That's my point. This is not an episode of 24.

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This is a situation that requires that you actually evaluate the entire intelligence picture. This president has insulted the intelligence community, but they put their lives on the line to gather the information that will help a decision maker evaluate whether or not something like that is justified. And I don't think he even reads it. And here we have a situation where the world, one of the most volatile places in the world, has just become more dangerous at the hands of a president who has no regard for the military, not only punishing a war hero today with what he did to Colonel Venkman, but pardoning war criminals in a way that undermines the entire sense of good order and discipline and military honor.

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We deserve a better commander in chief judge. Thank you. I do want to take this to Vice President Biden next, because we know that the Obama administration was aware of the threat that Suleimani posed. So was the Bush administration before it? I'm asking tonight as commander in chief, though, would you have ordered the strike? No. In the region, I wouldn't have ordered the strike. There's no evidence yet of imminent threat that was gonna come from him.

[00:47:05.06]
Look what happened. His America First policy has made America alone. You cannot think of a time, David, and long as you've been alive, when NATO has said to the United States of America and to Iran, made a moral equivalence. Both of you stand down. We are alone now, alone in that region of the world without friends, without support, without allies. And secondly, you saw what happened when that air raid, when those missiles were fired from Iran into Iraq at al Assad Air Base.

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Sixty four of our heroes were wounded. I don't know what I would have done if my son were still there. I would have been so damn angry. I don't know what I would have done. But here's what happened to you had you ever received traumatic brain injury. What the president say. He said headaches. Not bad headaches. That's all they are. This guy doesn't deserve to be commander in chief for one more day. Mr. Vice President, thank you.

[00:48:04.05]
Senator Sanders, you have called this assassinating a government official. You would not have ordered the strike, right?

[00:48:11.01]
Look, here is the danger. They're all very bad leaders all over the world. Kim Jong un in North Korea is probably responsible for the death of hundreds of thousands of his people threatening all of Asia with nuclear weapons. You've got Mohammed bin SOLMAN in Saudi Arabia, who is a terrible murderer, who murdered Kosugi in cold blood, then dismembered his body. You have Putin in Russia who has been involved in political assassinations of his enemies. You've got Xi in China who's put a million Muslims into concentration camps.

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You cannot go around saying you're a bad guy. We're going to assassinate you. And then you're going to have if that happens, you're opening the door to international anarchy that every government in the world will then be subjected to attacks and assassination. What we have got to do, which Trump does not understand, is strengthen the State Department and our diplomatic capabilities, not just the military. What we have got to do is bring countries around the world together with our power and our wealth.

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And you know what? Let us sit down and work out our differences through debate and discussion at the U.N., not through more and more war. And the expenditures of trillions of dollars and the loss of God knows how many lives. Senator Sanders, thank you. This does take me to Afghanistan and to America's longest war. Senator Warren, you recently said, quote, We have one general after another in Afghanistan who comes in and says we've just turned the corner.

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And then what happens? It's all the same. Someone new comes in and says, we've just turned the corner. You said, so many say it. We're going in circles. We were on the ground in Afghanistan and Iraq in recent months. And the generals told us that the U.S. needs some U.S. presence on the ground, U.S. special forces, some presence to go after ISIS and the terrorists. If their commander in chief. Would you listen to the generals or do they fall into the category, the generals you mentioned before?

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No. Look, I sit on the Senate Armed Services Committee, so I get to the briefings from the generals on a regular basis. I've been to Afghanistan, to Iraq. I've been to Jordan. I've been throughout the region. I've been there with John McCain, have been there with Lindsey Graham to ask the hard questions about what's happening, to ask our generals to. Ask their generals to ask people who are on the ground. And the bottom line is nobody sees a solution to this war.

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Nobody can describe what winning looks like. All they can describe is endless war. And I realize there are people on this debate stage who are willing to say, yeah, we'll leave our troops there for five more years, for 10 more years. Lindsey Graham has said he's willing to leave troops for a hundred more years. And yet, what has all these years of war brought us? Right now, the Afghan government controls less than 60 percent of the land.

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People don't have faith and it's a corrupt government. The opium trade is higher than ever. Look, we sent our troops in and they did their best. They were there for us. But we need to be there for them. And that means not send our troops to do work that cannot be solved militarily. It is time to bring our combat troops home. It is time to stop this endless war in Afghanistan.

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Senator Warren, I want to press you on this. You just said combat troops. Yes. So if the generals came to you and said we need U.S. special forces, some footprint in Iraq and Afghanistan, would you listen? Would you leave them? So I want to hear the plan, not just stay. We need it now. We need it for the next day. We need it for the six months. And I want to know where our allies are.

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We all have an interest in dealing with terrorism and controlling terrorism. But that means it can't just be the United States waging endless war. That does not make us safer. It does not make the region safer. It does not make the world safer. We should work with our allies in managing terrorism, but we need to end this war in Afghanistan. We cannot wait five more years or 10 more years or until we turn the corner 10 more times.

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We need to bring our combat troops home.

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Senator Warren, thank you. I want to take this to the vice president, because you have said of Senator Warren's comments before that the United States should get out of the Middle East. You have said I, quite frankly, was surprised that I have never heard anyone say with any serious background in foreign policy that we should pull all troops out of the Middle East. Senator Warren, wrong on this. I don't I'm not sure where she is. She wants to pull all troops out of the Middle East.

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But if she does want to put all troops out of the Middle East, we saw what happens when that happened. I helped put together a Sixty One Nation group to take out ISIS by putting fewer than 5000 forces along the Turkish border to see to it that they and they lost 10, found the Kurds, lost 10000 lives. They defeated ISIS. They ended the caliphate. And then the president on a whim dealing with a man I know very well.

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They've now the guy running Turkey who's more of an autocrat now than a Democrat. And what happened? We pulled out and you saw what happened. You saw the end of the effort to be able to continue to contain contain ISIS. Number one. Number two, close your eyes, everybody. Remember what you saw on television. You saw a woman standing up there holding up her baby. Courage said, please don't leave us and our military women and men standing, going out in their hot armored Humvees with their heads down, ashamed of what they did.

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It didn't take a lot of men or women and women to do what needed to be done. And with regard to Afghanistan, as I can say it, because we've made public. I was totally against the whole notion of notion of no nation building in Afghanistan. The only thing we should be doing is dealing with terrorism in that region. And the fact that we I've been to every part of Afghanistan, not in combat like my friend has, but a helicopter and or honor on a vehicle in every part of it is a senator and vice president.

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Here's what I saw. There's no possibility of uniting that country. No, possibly at all making it a whole country. But it is possible to see to it that do not able to launch more attacks from the region on the United States of America. That's a small footprint that we needed after that in the beginning. You mentioned bigger boots. And I do want to take this to you next. Mayor, given your finish in Iowa, you've come under increasing scrutiny, attacks from opponents on experience.

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We've heard that theme even right here tonight. You have said on the Iraq war, for example, I just don't believe there is any justification for that vote. You said it's the difference between tenure and judgment, that it's the judgment that matters, not the time in Washington. Vice President Biden, as you know, voted yes as commander in chief. Do you believe your judgment would be better than the vice president's? I believe that I have the judgment to help us get through these situations where obviously the vice president made the wrong decision when it came to such an important moment in our foreign policy.

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And looking forward, we got to recognize just how much is going to be on the plate of the next president that is different in kind from what we have faced before. It's not just about dealing with the aftermath of the war in Iraq. It's about preventing a war with Iran. And not only do we have to undertake. The military and counterterrorism activities that we've been doing throughout the next president's going to have to restore the credibility of this country among our allies and among the international community at a moment when we are facing fundamentally different challenges from asymmetric warfare to cyber security threats.

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President Trump's imagination of a national security strategy is a big wall and a moat full of alligators. It's a 17th century approach to keeping a place safe. Well, we have to do is be ready for the future. And that means insisting not only on shoring up our relationships, but defining a strategy to keep the American people safe from fundamentally new challenges. Mr. Vice President, let you respond to his argument on judgment. I made a mistake. I said 14 years ago I trusted George Bush to keep his word.

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He said he was not going to go into Iraq. He said he was only using this to unite the United Nations, to insist we get inspectors in to see what Saddam was doing when we got elected. The president turned to me with the entire security apparatus. And Joe, I want you to organize getting one hundred fifty six thousand troops out of Iraq. I did that. I did that. The other thing I want to point out, too, is that NATO is, in fact, going to crumble if we don't beat Trump.

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NATO is in real trouble. We need NATO for more reason, just physical security. We need NATO to make sure that we do not allow Russia to continue to have its influence in Eastern Europe in ways that it had before. It wasn't just to stop the Soviet Union from coming into the United States or coming into Europe. It was to make sure that we did not have a kleptocracy taking over that part of the world, unite Europe in our behalf.

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I know how to deal with them. I know every one of these world leaders by their first names, they call me, I talk to them, and I believe I can get it done. Mr. Vice President. Thank you. Mr. Stier, I do want to bring you in on this, because I know in the last 24 hours you've been attack ad running here in New Hampshire. Well, with images of Mayor Bhuta Judge, and you say over those images, an untested newcomer.

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But I wanted to ask you tonight on this readiness to be commander in chief. You share the stage with a veteran from Afghanistan, a vice president who is in THE SITUATION ROOM. What makes you most qualified of all candidates on this stage to be commander in chief? Well, let me say this. I agree with Pete Bhuta Judge, that it's about judgment, not tenure. What we're hearing here is a very long dissertation about exactly how America should be the world's policeman.

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And what we've actually seen in the Middle East is that Barack Obama used diplomacy to get Iran to give up its nuclear ambitions in return for our releasing economic sanctions along with our partners around the world. So when we're talking about our role in the world and commander in chief, we have abandoned diplomacy. We don't have a strategy and we don't have allies. And actually, this view of the world that our response should be military is driven by our gigantic military complex and ignores the biggest problem that we face internationally in the world, which is climate change.

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And that cannot be solved with guns and tanks and planes. It can only be solved with diplomacy and allies and interaction with other countries. So, in fact, what we are listening to right here is a discussion of 20 years of failed military action and how we should continue it and how we should continue spending seven hundred billion dollars a year on defense when we spend $70 billion a year at the federal level on education. So I'd like to talk about tax cuts.

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I didn't have a lot to say.

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We're going to keep military force. At least that's true. I'll give you 30 seconds to assess that what I said. I was part of the reason putting that deal together with Iran. I was there. I was involved in that. I was also part of the deal putting together the Paris climate accord. I brought in the Chinese. I was part of that. I've a part of every major initiative we've had relative to diplomacy. I have not argued for the placement of the make major numbers of U.S.

[00:59:45.02]
combat troops. I have said, along with the present United States, Barack Obama as his partner, I have said we have to strengthen NATO to make it clear that we keep our commitments when we make them like we don't keep our commitment to the Kurds. We must keep our commitments when we make them. Otherwise, we have no power whatsoever. And it's not about making sure we're pleased with the world on the way not to become the face of the world has to have allies that will join us in dealing with failed states and terrorism.

[01:00:14.06]
And that has to be done jointly by a whole lot of people. And it doesn't require a large number of U.S. troops. And I've never said that. OK, can I ask Senator Sanders, Senator Sanders? I think if I might like Joe and others, I also heard the arguments in terms of the war in Iraq from Bush, from Cheney, from John Bolton, from the whole administration. I listened very carefully and I concluded that they were lying through their teeth.

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And I not only voted against that war, but I helped lead the opposition. And it saddens me so much appeal. You know what I said? It's on YouTube. My fears about all the destabilisation that would take place by the US invading Iraq. It said to me that that is what happened. But let me just pick up on a point that Tom made, which is absolutely right. Trump wants to build a wall around America. Problem is, if we are going to deal with issues like climate change.

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Not only do we in America have to take on the greed of the fossil fuel industry. We have to lead the entire world. This is not an American issue. It's a global issue. We've got to bring China and Russia and Brazil and Pakistan and India. Every major country on earth into the fight against climate change. And here is my dream. Maybe it's a radical dream. But maybe, just maybe, given the crises of climate change, the world can understand that instead of spending one point eight trillion dollars a year collectively on weapons of destruction designed to kill each other, maybe we pool our resources and fight our common enemy, which is climate change.

[01:02:02.06]
David, talk back to up. But we have got to take a break. We'll be right back.