TRANSCRIPT: ABC News/Facebook/WMUR Democratic Debate

RICHARDSON: And there's nothing wrong with having experience.

So, you know, I love change. We all are for change. But the question is, examine the record of those that, in the past, have produced change and that has taken responsibilities. We need somebody that has been tested.

GIBSON: I'm going to go to Senator Edwards and then Senator Obama, then we'll move on.

EDWARDS: Thank you very much.

What I would say in response to the discussion that just took place is we have to understand what's at stake. Nobody cares about hearing a bunch of politicians fight. They're not the slightest bit interested in that, and they shouldn't be interested in it.

What's at stake here is a fight for the future of the middle class. And we do have different perspectives on how we fight for the middle class, how we fight for jobs, how we fight for health care.

And I believe, and I believe it very strongly, that there are entrenched special interests very well-financed -- some examples are drug companies, insurance companies, oil companies, et cetera -- that stand between America and the change that we need.

EDWARDS: And I think if you defend the way the system works, it's very hard to take those people on.

I believe -- and it's -- I've fought these people. I'm 54 years old. I've been fighting these people, these irresponsible corporations -- and there are good corporations in America, Charlie, and I want to point that out, good corporations, good employers. Costco. AT&T, for example, is now working to help unionize some of their offices and to bring jobs back...


GIBSON: We'll get -- we'll get to the commercials later.

EDWARDS: Let me finish this, though. I want to finish this.

The point is this: I think there are differences between us about how we fight for the future of the middle class. And I believe you have to be willing to take on these entrenched special interests. And I think if you're not willing to do it, it is impossible to bring about the change that the country needs.

GIBSON: Final words, Senator.

OBAMA: And just to wrap up, part of the change that's desperately needed is to enlist the American people in the process of self-government.

And one of the areas that I have constantly worked on is not only pushing aside the special interests -- this past year, passing the toughest ethics reform legislation since Watergate -- but also making sure that the government is transparent and accountable.

OBAMA: And that's what I think people were responding to in Iowa. We saw it here in New Hampshire today. They want somebody who's talking straight to them about the choices that are ahead.

And they want to make sure that government is responding to them directly, because folks out there feel the American dream is slipping away. They are working harder for less. They are paying more for health care, for college, for gas at the pump. And they are having a tougher time saving and retiring.

And what they don't feel is that the government is listening to them and responding to them. That's the kind of change that I think we need.

GIBSON: I'm going to move on to our third subject before I run out of time. And I want to turn to Iraq.

We started the surge early this year. You all opposed it. But there are real signs it has worked. So from background, our man in Baghdad for ABC, Terry McCarthy.


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