Democratic Primary Debate at The Citadel, sponsored by YouTube and CNN: on Principles & Values


Barack Obama: People have an urgent desire for change in Washington

Q: How are you going to be any different than the other candidates?

A: As I travel around the country, people have an urgent desire for change in Washington. We are not going to fix anything unless we change how business is done in Washington. Part of that is bringing people together. But part of it is also overcoming special interests & lobbyists who are writing legislation thatís critical to the American people. And one of the things I bring is a perspective that says: Washington has to change.

Source: 2007 YouTube Democratic Primary debate, Charleston SC Jul 23, 2007

Barack Obama: Catching a cab, no one questions heís ďauthentically blackĒ

Q: Editorials about you never fail to mention the issue of race, that youíre not authentically black enough. How will you address these critics?

A: You know, when Iím catching a cab in Manhattan--in the past, I think Iíve given my credentials. But let me go to the broader issue here. And that is that race permeates our society. It is still a critical problem. But I do believe in the core decency of the American people, and I think they want to get beyond some of our racial divisions. Unfortunately, weíve had a White House that hasnít invested in the kinds of steps that have to be done to overcome the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow in this country. And as president, my commitment on issues like education, my commitment on issues like health care is to close the disparities and the gaps, because thatís whatís really going to solve the race problem in this country.

Source: 2007 YouTube Democratic Primary debate, Charleston SC Jul 23, 2007

Hillary Clinton: After 35 years of experience, ready to lead on day one

Q: [to Kucinich] What do you have that Sen. Clinton and Sen. Obama do not have?

KUCINICH: The new doctrine that Iím going to promote throughout this campaign is that weíll use the science of human relations and diplomacy to settle your differences without committing the young men and women to war, unless itís absolutely necessary.

CLINTON: We are united for change. We cannot take another four or eight years of Republican leadership that has been so disastrous for our country. The issue is: Which of us is ready to lead on day one? I have 35 years of being an instrument and agent of change, before I was ever a public official. And during the time that Iíve been privileged to serve as first lady and now as senator, Iíve worked to bring people together, to find common ground where we can, and then to stand our ground where we canít.

OBAMA: We donít just need a change in political parties in Washington. Weíve got to have a change in attitudes of those who are representing the people.

Source: 2007 YouTube Democratic Primary debate, Charleston SC Jul 23, 2007

Hillary Clinton: I consider myself a modern American progressive

Q: How would you define the word ďliberal?Ē And would you use this word to describe yourself?

A: You know, it is a word that originally meant that you were for freedom, for the freedom to achieve, that you were willing to stand against big power and on behalf of the individual. Unfortunately, in the last 30, 40 years, it has been turned up on its head & itís been made to seem as though it is a word that describes big government, totally contrary to what its meaning was in the 19th & early 20th century. I prefer the word ďprogressive,Ē which has a real American meaning, going back to the progressive era at the beginning of the 20th century. I consider myself a modern American progressive, someone who believes strongly in individual rights and freedoms, who believes that we are better as a society when weíre working together and when we find ways to help those who may not have all the advantages in life get the tools they need to lead a more productive life for themselves and their family.

Source: 2007 YouTube Democratic Primary debate, Charleston SC Jul 23, 2007

Hillary Clinton: Maybe, finally, break that hardest of all glass ceilings

Q: Editorials about you never fail to mention the issue of gender, that youíre not satisfactorily feminine. How will you address these critics?

A: Well, I couldnít run as anything other than a woman. I am proud to be running as a woman. And Iím excited that I may be able, finally, to break that hardest of all glass ceilings. But, obviously, Iím not running because Iím a woman. Iím running because I think Iím the most qualified and experienced person to hit the ground running in January 2009. And I trust the American people to make a decision that is not about me or my gender, or about Barack or his race or about Bill & his ethnicity, but about what is best for you & your family. We have big challenges and big needs in our country. Weíre going to need experienced and strong leadership in order to start handling all of the problems that we have here at home and around the world. And when Iím inaugurated, I think itís going to send a great message to a lot of little girls and boys around the world.

Source: 2007 YouTube Democratic Primary debate, Charleston SC Jul 23, 2007

Hillary Clinton: Judge me on my merits, not as Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton

Q: With Bush, Clinton, and Bush again serving as the last three presidents, how would electing you, a Clinton, constitute the type of change your campaign has been talking about?

CLINTON: Well, I think it is a problem that Bush was elected in 2000. I actually thought somebody else was elected in that election, but... Obviously, I am running on my own merits, but I am very proud of my husbandís record as president. You know what is great about this is look at this stage and look at the diversity you have here in the Democratic Party. Any one of us would be a better president than our current president or the future Republican nominee. So Iím looking forward to making my case to the people of this country, & I hope they will judge me on my merits.

GRAVEL: The Democratic Party used to stand for the ordinary working man. But the Clintons and the DLC sold out the Democratic Party to Wall Street. Look at where all the money is being raised right now. Itís the hedge funds, itís Wall Street bankers.

Source: 2007 YouTube Democratic Primary debate, Charleston SC Jul 23, 2007

Joe Biden: Religion informs my values; my reason dictates outcomes

Religion informs my values. My reason dictates outcomes. My religion taught me about abuse of power. Thatís why I moved to write the Violence Against Women Act. Thatís why I take the position I take on Darfur. It came about as a consequence of the reasoning that weíre able to do it. I donít find anything inconsistent about my deep, religious beliefs and my ability to use reason.
Source: 2007 YouTube Democratic Primary debate, Charleston SC Jul 23, 2007

John Edwards: Doesnít want your vote if you wonít vote for blacks or women

Q: Editorials about Clinton and Obama never fail to mention the issue of gender and race, respectively. How will you address these critics?

OBAMA: You know, when Iím catching a cab in Manhattan--in the past, I think Iíve given my credentials But let me go to the broader issue here. And that is that race permeates our society. It is still a critical problem.

CLINTON: Well, I couldnít run as anything other than a woman. I am proud to be running as a woman. And Iím excited that I may be able, finally, to break that hardest of all glass ceilings.

EDWARDS: Anybody whoís considering not voting for Senator Obama because heís black or for Senator Clinton because sheís a woman, I donít want their vote. I donít want them voting for me.

Source: 2007 YouTube Democratic Primary debate, Charleston SC Jul 23, 2007

Mike Gravel: Clintons & DLC sold out the Democratic Party to Wall Street

Q: With Bush, Clinton, and Bush again serving as the last three presidents, how would electing you, a Clinton, constitute the type of change your campaign has been talking about?

CLINTON: Obviously, I am running on my own merits, but I am very proud of my husbandís record as president. Look at the diversity you have here in the Democratic Party. Any one of us would be a better president than our current president or the future Republican nominee. I hope the people of this country will judge me on my merits.

Q: Do you have a problem with that?

GRAVEL: Well, yes, I do, a serious problem. The Democratic Party used to stand for the ordinary working man. But the Clintons and the DLC sold out the Democratic Party to Wall Street. Look at where all the money is being raised right now, for Hillary, Obama and Edwards. Itís the hedge funds, itís Wall Street bankers, itís the people who brought you what you have today. And theyíre lock, stock and barrel in their pocket.

Source: 2007 YouTube Democratic Primary debate, Charleston SC Jul 23, 2007

  • The above quotations are from 2007 Democratic Primary Debate at The Citadel, in Charleston, South Carolina, July 23, 2007, sponsored by YouTube and CNN.
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Candidates and political leaders on Principles & Values:
Incoming Obama Administration:
Pres.:Sen.Barack Obama
V.P.:Sen.Joe Biden
State:Hillary Clinton
Staff:Rahm Emanuel
Treas.:Tim Geithner
DoD:Robert Gates
A.G.:Eric Holder
DHS:Janet Napolitano
DoC:Bill Richardson
Outgoing Bush Administration:
Pres.:George Bush
V.P.:Dick Cheney
A.G.:John Ashcroft(2005)
DEA:Asa Hutchinson(2005)
USDA:Mike Johanns(2007)
EPA:Mike Leavitt
HUD:Mel Martinez(2003)
State:Colin Powell(2005)
State:Condoleezza Rice
HHS:Tommy Thompson(2005)
2008 Presidential contenders:
AIP: Frank McEnulty
Constitution: Chuck Baldwin
GOP: Sen.John McCain
GOP VP: Gov.Sarah Palin
Green: Rep.Cynthia McKinney
Independent: Ralph Nader
Liberation: Gloria La Riva
Libertarian: Rep.Bob Barr
NAIP: Amb.Alan Keyes
Socialist: Brian Moore
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