TRANSCRIPT: The Democratic Debate

KUCINICH: ... and I'm ready to take that action. Thank you.


BIDEN: Tomorrow morning at 9 o'clock, my wife will walk into a classroom and teach for the 30th year in a row.

BIDEN: And the one thing any teacher can tell you is that the last person you want to base your performance on, judge your performance, is the administrator of the school. That's the first thing everybody figures out if you teach.

There needs to be performance-based pay. The way to do it is start at the front end. Pay those people who perform in undergraduate school. Give them the alternative to be able to go. They'd get the same pay as an engineer gets to go in and work in a math student -- as a math teacher, as a science teacher, et cetera.

So you start performance-based pay by, in fact, paying the best- performing students who want to teach and give them a chance. Every other major country in the world is starting their kids at the same salary they start -- these students, the same salary they start their engineers. We should be able to do that.

My father used to say, "Don't tell me what you value; show me your budget." If you, in fact, value education, then it should be equally as important as engineering or anything else.


STEPHANOPOULOS: We're running toward the end of the 90 minutes. I have a couple of quick questions, and then a final question.

This is -- this is basically a yes-no question. We've seem all this turmoil in the markets over the last couple of weeks, caused by the credit crunch and the crisis in the mortgage markets.

STEPHANOPOULOS: We saw, on Friday, the Federal Reserve lowered the discount rate for banks. Should they lower rates for everyone else, yes or no?

CLINTON: I'm glad they did what they did. But it can't be just left to a bail-out for the banks. We've got to figure out how we're going to figure out people facing foreclosures.

And I think a number of us have recommendations on that, that do not lend themselves to an easy yes or no.

DODD: Yes, I think it will happen in September. But we also need more liquidity. And they ought to be allowing Fannie and Freddie Mac to put more liquidity in the market.

It has seized up. You can't get a mortgage in America today.

EDWARDS: I agree with that. But we also need a home rescue fund for all the millions of Americans who are worried about losing their homes.

GRAVEL: All I would say is that there's no answer to that question. Just follow the money of the people on this dais and you'll see a response.


RICHARDSON: This is the Katrina of the mortgage-lending industry.

RICHARDSON: The answer to your question is yes, there has to be more liquidity, more funds in the market. What we need is more transparency between those that are making this business happen.

And what we also need to do is to not appoint officials that are in the industry to regulate that specific industry. The mortgage industry, they've become -- a lot of them -- a bunch of loan sharks.

BIDEN: The answer is yes. But we need, as the governor says, more transparency, particularly with regard to hedge funds and private equity funds. They are the ones that are causing this thing to go under. And there's no transparency, no accountability. We don't know how deep this problem is.

Chris will take care of it in the Banking Committee, and I mean that sincerely.

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