Transcript: Obama and Clinton Debate

And, certainly, the weeks that I have spent crisscrossing Pennsylvania, from Erie to Lancaster County, and meeting a lot of wonderful people, says to me that, despite whatever frustration anyone has with our government, people are resilient, they are positive, and they're ready for leadership again that will summon them to something greater than themselves and that we will deliver on that, if given a chance.

GIBSON: We're going to have some other questions on the same theme, so you'll be able to get back to that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me pick up on this. When these comments from Senator Obama broke on Friday, Senator McCain's campaign immediately said that it was going to be a killer issue in November.

Senator Clinton, when Bill Richardson called you to say he was endorsing Barack Obama, you told him that Senator Obama can't win. I'm not going to ask you about that conversation; I know you don't want to talk about it. But a simple yes or no question: Do you think Senator Obama can beat John McCain or not?

CLINTON: Well, I think we have to beat John McCain, and I have every reason to believe we're going to have a Democratic president and it's going to be either Barack or me. And we're going to make that happen.

And what is important is that we understand exactly the challenges facing us in order to defeat Senator McCain.

He will be a formidable candidate; there isn't any doubt about that. He has a great American story to tell. He's a man who has served our country with distinction over many years, but he has the wrong ideas about America, and those ideas will be tested in the caldron of this campaign.

But I also know, having now gone through 16 years of being on the receiving end of what the Republican Party dishes out, how important it is that we try to go after every single vote, everywhere we possibly can, to get to those electoral votes that we're going to need to have the next president elected.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But the question is: Do you think Senator Obama can do that? Can he win?

CLINTON: Yes, yes, yes. Now, I think that I can do a better job.


I mean, obviously, that's why I'm here. I think I am better able and better prepared, in large measure, because of what I've been through, and the work that I've done, and the results that I've produced for people, and the coalition that I have put together in this campaign, that Charlie referred to earlier.

Obviously, I believe I would be the best president or I would not still be here standing on this stage, and I believe I'm the better and stronger candidate against Senator McCain, to go toe-to-toe with him on national security and on how we turn the economy around.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Obama, do you think Senator Clinton can win?

OBAMA: Absolutely, and I've said so before. But I, too, think that I'm the better candidate.


And I don't think that surprises anybody.

Let me just pick up on a couple of things that Senator Clinton said, though, because during the course of the last few days, you know, she's said I'm elitist, out of touch, condescending.

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