TRANSCRIPT: ABC News/Facebook/WMUR Democratic Debate

I mean, you know, the energy costs for the typical family in New Hampshire since George Bush has been president have tripled. And that's far beyond what the costs of the tax cut that they got from George Bush.

So, what we've got to do is use energy as an opportunity to actually jump-start economic recovery. We need to quickly move toward energy efficiency. We should require the utilities to begin to work for energy efficiency and conservation, costs that will be shared and decrease the pressure on families.

We need a weatherization and low-income heating emergency program that is out there now helping families in New Hampshire and elsewhere to cover their costs.

And we need to look at how doing what is right about energy is not only good for our security and good for the fight against global warming, but it will be essential in dealing with the economic challenges that we face.

GIBSON: Senator Edwards, I will take this question to you.

But you raised the issue of the economy right now. And we have a housing crisis in this country.

CLINTON: Yes, we do.

GIBSON: We have an energy problem -- in the cost of energy. And we now have a jobs problem.

We have, when we are -- and you raised "R word," recession -- when we are approaching recession, it is consumers who have spent us out of recession in most cases.

You're all talking about letting some of the Bush tax cuts lapse. And yet...

CLINTON: Yes, but, Charlie, the tax cuts on the wealthiest of Americans; not the middle-class tax cuts. One of the problems with George Bush's tax policy has been the way he has tilted it for the wealthy and the well-connected.

GIBSON: If you take a family of two professors, here at Saint Anselm, they're going to be in the $200,000 category that you're talking about lifting the taxes on.

(LAUGHTER)

GIBSON: And...

(CROSSTALK)

(LAUGHTER)

CLINTON: That may be NYU, Charlie. I don't think it's St. Anselm.

GIBSON: Two public school teachers in New York?

(LAUGHTER)

But that is -- you're in a situation where you're taking money out of the economy, is what I'm saying.

CLINTON: Look, if we set the cap where I'm saying, at $250,000 and above, that's a very small percentage.

And what I want to do is fix the alternative minimum tax, create these new job opportunities primarily through clean renewable energy, but also get back to where middle class families get the kind of tax relief that they deserve, which they really haven't been getting under George Bush.

(CROSSTALK)

GIBSON: Go ahead.

EDWARDS: Thank you.

What you see happening in America today, if you're president of the United States and as you are looking at this from altitude, is you see a very few Americans getting wealthier and wealthier; you see the biggest corporations in America's profits through the roof. ExxonMobil just made $40 billion -- record profits.

All of that happening at the same time that we have 47 million people with no health care; 37 million who will wake up in this country tomorrow worried about feeding and clothing their children. Tonight, 200,000 men and women who wore the uniform of the United States of America and served this country honorably will go to sleep under bridges and on grates.

EDWARDS: It's time for us to say -- and it's time for the president to say -- enough is enough.

This is a battle for the future of our children. This is a battle for the middle class.

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