TRANSCRIPT: ABC News/Facebook/WMUR Democratic Debate



CLINTON: Can I just say, if you're going to mention President Clinton, I'm going to respond?

EDWARDS: Let Hillary talk. Let her talk.

CLINTON: President Clinton -- wait, President Clinton inherited a deficit, a debt that had been quadrupled in the previous 12 years.

Now, anybody who doesn't think taking on the special interests to raise taxes on corporations, raise taxes on the wealthy, begin to whittle away at the deficit, to be able to leave with a balanced budget and a surplus -- if that didn't take a lot of change that actually produced results, then I think we've got amnesia.

CLINTON: You know, change is hard, but change is possible...


EDWARDS: OK, can we speak to this? Can we speak to this?

CLINTON: ... if you're prepared to work hard and follow through.

EDWARDS: I want to say -- I just want to say a quick word about this.

You know, it is true that these entrenched interests -- whether you're talking about oil companies, drug companies, gas companies, whoever, these entrenched interests are literally stealing our children's future.

They have a stranglehold on this democracy. And they are having an incredibly destructive force on the middle class, on families being able to do what my family has done, and so many who are sitting here have been able to do.

And the problem is you can't be with those people, take their money and then challenge them. It doesn't work.

You have to be willing to actually stand up and say no, no to lobbyists' money, no to PAC money, no corporate lobbyists working for me in the White House.

EDWARDS: If you intend to take them on, and if it is personal for you -- and this is extraordinarily personal for me -- if it's personal for you, then you can be successful bringing about the change.

Teddy Roosevelt -- just one quick example -- Teddy Roosevelt -- Teddy Roosevelt, a great American president: He didn't make deals with the monopolies and the trusts. Teddy Roosevelt took them on, busted the monopolies, busted the trusts. That's what it's going to take.

We have a battle in front of us. We do.

I don't think we have a problem with politicians in Washington spending enough time with lobbyists and going to cocktail parties. They do it all the time. They do it every single day.

And I'll tell you who's paying the price for those cocktail parties: Ed and Nataline Sarkisyan, every single American who doesn't have health care coverage, everybody who's going to the gas pump and paying so much for their gas.

When are we going to have a president who actually takes these people on? That's what I'm going to do.


GIBSON: I'm going to go Senator Obama, and I'll come to you.

OBAMA: Look, I think it's easy to be cynical and just say, "You know what? It can't be done, because Washington is designed to resist change."

But in fact, there have been periods of time in our history where a president inspired the American people to do better.

OBAMA: And I think we're in one of those moments right now. I think the American people are hungry for something different and can be mobilized around big changes; not incremental changes, not small changes.

I actually give Bill Clinton enormous credit for having balanced those budgets during those years. It did take political courage for him to do that.

But we never built the majority and coalesced the American people around being able to get the other stuff done.

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