Clinton says she’s proud of trying to solve health care. I’ve come back with a different plan that’s very reflective of what people want — you can keep what you have, or buy into federal employee plan. Also, it’s a different time — many more people now want to fix health care. I have a special insight into what we must do. I intend to be the health care president.
Russert: your bill today could have passed back then, but you refused to compromise.
Clinton: that’s not a fair reading. The debate has changed in 15 years. People now know that we can’t continue on the course we’re on.
Russert: asks Biden about his comments about Clinton, persuading Republicans, and health care.
Biden: it means that you need 15% of Republicans, and it’s harder for Hillary. Republicans feed on this Clinton-Bush thing. It’s not her fault, but it’s going to be harder for her. It’s a reality that it’s more difficult. There’s a lot of the old stuff that comes back. [Clinton just gave Biden the stoniest look I’ve ever seen. -ed.]
Russert: asks Edwards a similar question.
Edwards: so far, everyone is saying that everything has to be done in Washington, and all the DC insiders will decide what to do about health care. I will make DC insiders lose their health care by July, 2009 if we haven’t passed universal health care.
Russert to Obama — you have served in US Senate for 33 months, with no landmark legislation. In 2004, you said “it doesn’t make sense” for you to run for higher office. What changed?
The country has changed [since 2004? -ed.] The country needs three things: someone who can get everyone together; someone who can take on special interests and win, and I did that in Illinois legislature and with Feingold ethics reform in US Senate; and telling the truth to the American people even when it’s tough, such as telling the truth on the Iraq war. Those are the kinds of experiences that people are looking for. I think Hillary deserves credit for working on health care, and Edwards deserves credit for his plan. The issue is not who has the best plan, it’s who can make it happen. Hillary, you closed a lot of doors during the health care debate. [not sure what he’s referring to there. -ed.]
Russert is now asking Gravel about some condo business in his past. Not sure this is worth live-blogging…. although he just defended “sticking the credit card companies with $90,000 of debt, and they deserved it.” My goodness.
And now we’re on to Kucinich and Cleveland’s bankruptcy, whereupon he lost his next election.
On to Richardson — security breaches at Los Alamos, Justice White, being gay “is a choice.” Based on those comments and performance, how can you tell people you’ve got the goods?
Richardson: I make mistakes, and I admit them. The issue is, do I deliver? And now he’s on to accomplishments in NM and bringing home soldiers from North Korea and hostages from various places. Sure, I’ve made mistakes, and I’ll continue making them. But the issue is, can you deliver? With Richardson, you get change *and* experience. I have the best of both.
And now to Alison King of NECN: gay rights. The Lexington case about 2nd graders hearing about the prince marrying another prince. Are you comfortable with that?
Edwards: yes. I want my children to understand the difficulties and discriminations that gay people face. My 25-year old daughter can’t understand why her dad doesn’t favor gay marriage. I don’t want to impose my view on this. As president, I will lead an effort to make all federal benefits available, get rid of DOMA, and get rid of DADT.
Obama: very similar to Edwards. My kids (9 and 6) are already aware that there are same-sex couples. I want to communicate to them not to be afraid of people that are different, because once Richardson and I were considered different. Next president can try to bring us together, instead of fanning flames of division. My wife has talked with my daughters about same-sex marriage.
Clinton: I respect what John and Barack said. We’ve seen differences used for political purposes in the last several elections. Should try to educate your kids about people’s differences, including sexual orientation.
… and now, on the ad break, we’re hearing warnings about four-hour erections broadcast over the PA system.