TRANSCRIPT: The Democratic Debate

But we don't know how deep this problem is. But I think it's much deeper. It's almost as deep in terms of dollars, not liability, as the savings and loan crisis.

OBAMA: We do need more liquidity, but we're going to have to not only help home owners who are going to be losing their homes as a consequence of this; we're going to have to go forward and make sure that we've got the kinds of tough regulation when it comes to financial instruments to make sure that people who have saved and are trying to get their own home for the first time are not hoodwinked out of it.

OBAMA: And, unfortunately, the reason that we haven't had tougher regulation in part goes back to the issue of lobbying. This is where special interests have been driving the agenda. We have not had the kinds of consumer protections that are in place.

And that's why, when we have this debate about lobbying, we have to remind ourselves it has very real consequences for the people of Iowa and the people around the country.

(APPLAUSE)

KUCINICH: The answer is no. The Fed is actually looking at bailing out the creditors. And what we're looking at is a continuation of the problem and a postponement of the day of reckoning.

We need to have a government take strong action where we'll loan money to those who are in trouble. But we need to do that in exchange for having the power, the money-lending power that the banks have right now, come back to the government; government spends money into circulation; and then government can maintain control over the economy.

KUCINICH: Unless we take this action, we're looking at a situation of the collapse of our economy, and we're looking at a situation where these hedge funds will try to get a bail-out while millions of Americans lose their homes. Save the American homeowners.

(APPLAUSE)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Final round, final question, about 30 seconds each, please.

You know, presidential biographers are always looking at the turning point in a life, the moment where an ordinary person went on the path to the presidency, the decisive moment.

Congressman Kucinich, what's the decisive moment in your life?

KUCINICH: I would say the decisive moment in my life was when my family was living in a car in the inner city and I thought about all the dreams that I could have as a child. And I decided, at an early age, that I was going to be someone.

And I've had a lot of help along the way to get to this stage, but I can tell you, as president, the American people will have someone who remembers where he came from and has the compassion in his heart to lift up everyone to make sure everyone has a chance.

Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: A decisive moment in my life was the transition from high school to college, because I had gone through a difficult time, not knowing my father, and was, at times, an angry young man.

OBAMA: And partly because of the values my mother had instilled in me, those were reawakened in college.

And it made me serious about, not just what I could do for myself, but what I could do for other people. It's what led me to become a community organizer. It's what led me to go into public service. And ultimately, it's what led me to this stage.

(APPLAUSE)

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