Liveblogging the Democratic Debate Part I
The debate is set to begin, live from the campus of South Carolina State University.
Of the 8 candidates, Bill Richardson will be all the way to the left on your screen. Order was chosen at random (nice to see Hillary and Barack Obama standing next to each other).
Candidates are asked to refrain from asking questions of each other. Most questions come from the NBC News political unit. Audience is asked to refrain from clapping or cheering for their candidates. No opening statements or thank yous from candidates.
Senator Clinton gets the first question about Harry Reid's comments on Iraq ("The war is lost"), and asked if she agrees. Hillary says this "isn't America's war to win or lose." and dodges the question.
Senator Biden is up next and has the same question. Biden says PResident shouldn't veto the bill that set a timetable and work towards a political solution. Change the fundamental premise of this engagement: give Iraq control over their own police, troops, etc.
Obama is next and is asked why he continually supports appropriations. "I'm proud I opposed this war from the start". Gives the answer that he thinks troops need funding for the supplies to get the job done.
Edwards is asked about his high-profile statement apologizing for his vote, and did he take a shot at Clinton by the statements he made when apologizing? Edwards said no, it's up to each to search their conscience.
Clinton gets a rebuttal. Takes responsiblity for her vote, "a sincere vote based on the info available to me" and "if I knew then what I know now, I wouldn't have voted for it".
Kucinich is asked if one can b against the war and still fund it? He says no. Every time you vote to fund the war you're reauthorizing the war all over again. "We're under no obligation to give George W. Bush any money at all". Not sufficient to say if we had the info at the beginning, we'd vote another way. The info was there for everyone at the beginning.
Governor Richardson was asked if he was a Congressman from New Mexico would he vote to fund the troops. A very badly worded question that Richardson said no to. Governor Richardson is now laying out his New Realism for Iraq.
Dodd says Iraq needs to take on the responsibility of whether or not they want to come together as a people, and that we need to engage in diplomacy (taking a page out of Richardson's book).Gravel is up now, and says this war was "lost the day George Bush invaded Iraq on a fraudulent basis". Gravel would like to sit down with Speaker Pelosi and Leader Reid to pass legislation making it a felony to remain in Iraq. He's clearly out there on the left with regard to the war, making Kucinich look tame by comparison.