TRANSCRIPT: ABC News/Facebook/WMUR Democratic Debate

This man is the mastermind of a mass murder in the United States of America. He is public enemy number one, as Al Qaida is.

But I would add, this has to be put into a bigger context of what should America be doing over the long term to deal with this whole issue of nuclear proliferation? Because if you look at Pakistan, it's a perfect vehicle for actually thinking about this issue.

Here's an unstable leader, Musharraf, in a country with a serious radical -- violently radical element that could, under some circumstances, take over the government.

If they did, they would have control of a nuclear weapon. They could either use it, or they could turn it over to a terrorist organization to be used against America or some of our allies.

I think the bigger picture on this is, what do we do over the long term?

Because what we're doing now is essentially an ad hoc, nation-by- nation, case-by-case basis of trying to control the spread of this nuclear technology.

EDWARDS: In the short term, that is exactly what we should do and what I would do as president of the United States. But A.Q. Khan, who developed the nuclear weapon for Pakistan, we know has already spread some of this technology to other places.

And I think this ad hoc policy does not work over the long term. And what I believe we should be doing over the long term and what I will do as president of the United States, besides dealing with these short-term threats -- which are very serious and should be taken seriously -- I, as president of the United States, want to do what some Republicans and some Democrats have said, which is to lead a long-term initiative -- international initiative -- to actually rid the world of nuclear weapons, because that is the only way to make the world safer and secure and to keep America safe.

GIBSON: Well, you led me right up to the point of what you'd do if the Islamic radicals actually took control of the Pakistani government and, therefore, were in control of nuclear weapons, and then you went away from that. But I'll come back to that in a moment.

Governor Richardson?

RICHARDSON: In any foreign policy decision, I would use diplomacy first, in response to your question.

RICHARDSON: And that basically means that the last thing we need in the Muslim world is another action like Iraq, which is going to inflame the Muslim world in a horrendous way.

Now, here's what I would do.

First, with Pakistan, here is an example of a country, a potentially failed nation-state with nuclear weapons. What a president must do is have a foreign policy of principles and realism.

And the Bush foreign policy, with Musharraf, we get the worst of all worlds. We had a situation where he has not gone after Al Qaida in his own country, despite the fact that we've given him $11 billion. And he's also severely damaged the constitution. He's basically said that he is the supreme dictator. So we have the worst of all worlds.

What I would specifically do as president is I would ask Musharraf to step aside. There is a provision in the Pakistani constitution...

GIBSON: Ask him to step aside?

RICHARDSON: Yes. For a caretaker...

(CROSSTALK)

RICHARDSON: Because we have the leverage to do that.

RICHARDSON: We have the leverage to do that.

(CROSSTALK)

RICHARDSON: And I would send a high-level envoy to ask him to step aside.

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