Transcript: Obama and Clinton Debate

You know, I am here, as is Senator Obama. Neither of us were included in those original documents. But in a very real sense, we demonstrate that that promise of America is alive and well.

But it is at risk. There is a lot of concern across Pennsylvania and America. People do feel as though their government is not solving problems, that it is not standing up for them, that we've got to do more to actually provide the good jobs that will support families; deal once and for all with health care for every American; make our education system the true passport to opportunity; restore our standing in the world.

I am running for president because I know we can meet the challenges of today, that we can continue to fulfill that promise that was offered to successive generations of Americans, starting here, so long ago.

CLINTON: And I hope that, this evening, voters in Pennsylvania and others across the country will listen carefully to what we have to say, will look at our records, will look at the plans we have. And I offer those on my Web site,, for more detail.

Because I believe with all my heart that we, the people, can have the kind of future that our children and grandchildren so richly deserve.

GIBSON: Thank you, both.

GIBSON: We'll begin each of the segments of this debate with short quotes from the Constitution that are apropos to what we're going to talk about. And it is good to be back here at the National Constitution Center.

So let's start. And I'm going to give a general question before we get to the issues to both of you on politics.

There have already been many votes in many states. And you have each, as you analyze the vote, appealed disproportionately to different constituencies in the party. And that dismays many in the party.

Governor Cuomo, on elder statesman in your party, has come forward with a suggestion. He has said, "Look, fight it to the end. Let every vote be counted. You can test every delegate. Go at each other right till the end. Don't give an inch to one another. But pledge now that whichever one of you wins this contest, you'll take the other as your running mate, and that the other one will agree, if they lose, to take second place on the ticket."

So I put the question to both of you: Why not?


Don't all speak at once.


OBAMA: Well, I'm happy to start with a response. Look, this has been an extraordinary journey that both Senator Clinton and I have been on and a number of other able candidates. And I think very highly of Senator Clinton's record.

But as I've said before, I think it's premature at this point for us to talk about who vice presidential candidates will be, because we're still trying to determine who the nominee will be.

But one thing I'm absolutely certain of is that, come August, when we're in Denver, the Democratic Party will come together, because we have no choice if we want to deliver on the promises that not only we've made but the Founders made.

We are seeing people's economic status slipping further and further behind. We've seen people who have not only lost their jobs but now are at risk of losing their homes. We have a sharp contrast in terms of economic policies. John McCain wants to continue four more year of George Bush policies and, on the foreign policy front, wants to continue George Bush's foreign policy.

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