Transcript: Obama and Clinton Debate

And Vice President Cheney, who you know is a fourth, special branch of government all unto himself, has actually filed a brief, saying, "Oh, no, we have to -- you know, he have to prevent D.C. from doing this."

STEPHANOPOULOS: But what do you think? Do you support it or not?

CLINTON: What I support is sensible regulation that is consistent with the constitutional right to own and bear arms.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Is the D.C. ban consistent with that right?

CLINTON: Well, I think a total ban with no exceptions under any circumstances might be found by the court not to be, but I don't know the facts.

But I don't think that should blow open a hole that says that D.C. or Philadelphia or anybody else cannot come up with sensible regulations to protect their people and keep, you know, machine guns and assault weapons out of the hands of folks who shouldn't have them.

GIBSON: Well, with all due respect, I'm not sure I got an answer from Senator Obama, but do you still favor licensing and registration of handguns?

CLINTON: What I favor is what works in New York. You know, we have a set of rules in New York City, and we have a totally different set of rules in the rest of the state. What might work in New York City is certainly not going to work in Montana.

So for the federal government to be having any kind of, you know, blanket rules that they're going to try to impose I think doesn't make sense.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But, Senator, you were for that when you ran for Senate in New York.

CLINTON: I was for the New York rules; that's right. I was for the New York rules, because they have worked over time. And there isn't a lot uproar in New York about changing them, because I go to upstate New York, where we have a lot of hunters and people who are collectors and people who are sport shooters. They have every reason to believe that their rights are being respected.

You walk down the street with a police officer in Manhattan, he wants to be sure that there is some way of protecting him and protecting the people that are in his charge.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Obama, last May we talked about affirmative action, and you said at the time that affluent African- Americans, like your daughters, should probably be treated as pretty advantaged when they apply to college and that poor, white children, kids, should get special consideration, affirmative action.

So as president, how specifically would you recommend changing affirmative action policies so that affluent African-Americans are not given advantages and poor, less affluent whites are?

OBAMA: Well, I think that the basic principle that should guide discussions not just of affirmative action, but how we are admitting young people to college generally, is how do we make sure that we're providing ladders of opportunity for people? How do we make sure that every child in America has a decent shot in pursuing their dreams?

And race is still a factor in our society. And I think that for universities and other institutions to say, "You know, we're going to take into account the hardships that somebody has experienced because they're black or Latino or because they're a woman"...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Even if they're wealthy?

OBAMA: ... I think that's something that they can take into account, but it can only be in the context of looking at the whole situation of the young person.

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