TRANSCRIPT: ABC News/Facebook/WMUR Democratic Debate

RICHARDSON: Relative youth? No. You know, John F. Kennedy was 42 years old when he was elected president. He's my hero, and I think he was one of our greatest presidents because -- because he inspired, because he said he'd go to the moon in 10 years, because he said that we all collectively have to do something for the common good.

GIBSON: Senator Edwards?

EDWARDS: What's my question?

(LAUGHTER)

No, I'm glad that people like me, Hillary. I'm glad they like...

(CROSSTALK)

GIBSON: The prior executive experience. And is relative youth a detriment?

EDWARDS: No, I think what matters -- we've had a lot of conversation about the first day in the White House. I think we ought to picture what that first day in the White House would be for each of us.

EDWARDS: I'll just speak for myself. You know, I'm the candidate up here who's never taken a dime from a Washington lobbyist in my entire time in public life or a dime from a special interest PAC.

The first day that I'm president of the United States, there will be no corporate lobbyists working in my White House. There will be no lobbyist who's lobbied for foreign governments.

And this is a very personal cause for me, because I come from a family -- my father is in the audience tonight -- where my father worked for 37 years in the mills. He didn't get a chance, like I did, to have a college education.

And this is a fight for the middle class and families just like the one I grew up with. My grandmother, who helped raise me, had a fifth or sixth grade education, came from a family of share-croppers, she worked in the mill every day so that I could have the chances that I've had.

And this -- I spent 20 years fighting irresponsible corporations in courtrooms.

EDWARDS: I know what it takes to fight these people and win.

But here's what I would want people to know. What I want people to know is, this battle is deep inside me and it is personal.

And it matters whether it's personal or not, because is if it's either academic or political, when the tough fight comes, you'll walk away from it. You'll do what's political.

This fight is deeply personal to me. I've been engaged in it my whole life, to fight for the middle class, to fight against powerful special interests. And it is a fight I will wage on behalf of the American people as president of the United States and win, as I have for 54 years.

SPRADLING: Senator, I'd like to follow that up then.

EDWARDS: Sure.

SPRADLING: You served six years in the U.S. Senate.

EDWARDS: Yes.

SPRADLING: And on the campaign trail, it seems like you don't talk a lot about the six years. The people of New Hampshire probably remember you talking about your war vote and explaining later on why you weren't happy about that.

EDWARDS: Yes.

SPRADLING: Can you give New Hampshire voters a guide of something significant that you accomplished in your six years as a U.S. senator...

EDWARDS: Absolutely.

SPRADLING: ... that would give us some guide as to what kind of president you're going to be?

EDWARDS: Absolutely. I could tell you exactly one -- I'll give you one very specific example, a big example.

When the Democrats finally took over the United States Senate, the first issue that was brought to the table was the so-called patient's bill of rights, so that patients and families could make their own health care decisions.

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