TRANSCRIPT: The Democratic Debate

OBAMA: I believe in the power of prayer. And part of what I believe in is that, through prayer, not only can we strengthen ourselves in adversity, but that we can also find the empathy and the compassion and the will to deal with the problems that we do control.

OBAMA: Most of the issues that we're debating here today are ones that we have the power to change.

We don't have the power to prevent illness in all cases, but we do have the power to make sure that every child gets a regular checkup and isn't going to the emergency room for treatable illnesses like asthma.

We may not have the power to prevent a hurricane, but we do have the power to make sure that the levees are properly reinforced and we've got a sound emergency plan.

And so, part of what I pray for is the strength and the wisdom to be able to act on those things that I can control. And that's what I think has been lacking sometimes in our government.

OBAMA: We've got to express those values through our government, not just through our religious institutions.


KUCINICH: George, I've been standing here for the last 45 minutes praying to God you were going to call on me. And my...



And I come from a spiritual insight which says that...

STEPHANOPOULOS: You have a direct pipeline, Congressman.


KUCINICH: I come from a spiritual insight which says that we have to have faith but also have good works.

KUCINICH: So when we think of the scriptures, Isaiah making justice the measuring line; Matthew 25, "whatever you do for the least of our brethren"; where the biblical injunction, "make peace with your brother" -- all of these things relate to my philosophy.

Now, the founders meant to have separation of church and state, but they never meant America to be separate from spiritual values. As president, I'll bring strong spiritual values into the White House, and I'll bring values that value peace, social and economic justice, values that remember where I came from.

Thank you.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Thank you, Congressman.

Let's turn to another question from here in Iowa. It's on the subject of agriculture, close to a lot of Iowans' hearts. And it comes from Mr. Blaine Baincon (ph).


QUESTION: I'm Blaine Baincon (ph), a farmer from Massena, Iowa. I was wondering how you plan to help small farms as the large companies take over more farms.



DODD: Well, George, listen, one of the areas we've got to have is a Justice Department that starts dealing with some of the antitrust issues in our country. It just doesn't cover agriculture, but also a variety of other things, including media concentration here.

The ability today of just concentrating power, allowing so much to be accumulated, is making it very difficult for the kind of independents and smaller interests, including small business and small farmers, to be able to grow and to have the kind of economic success they'd like to have.

DODD: Rural America needs additional attention, as well, here. I'm a great believer that we need to extend the broadband access to our rural communities.

Opportunity shouldn't require that you leave rural America to come to opportunity, but opportunity ought to be able to come to rural America, by taking advantage of the technologies we have today, so that people can stay on these farms and stay in rural parts of our country, including Iowa.

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