Transcript: Obama and Clinton Debate

Let me be absolutely clear: It would be pretty hard for me to be condescending towards people of faith since I'm a person of faith and have done more than most other campaigns in reaching out specifically to people of faith, and have written about how Democrats make an error when they don't show up and speak directly to people's faith, because I think we can get those votes, and I have in the past.

The same is true with respect to gun-owners. I have large numbers of sportsmen and gun-owners in my home state, and they have supported me precisely because I have listened to them and I know them well.

So the problem that we have in our politics, which is fairly typical, is that you take one person's statement, if it's not properly phrased, and you just beat it to death. And that's what Senator Clinton's been doing over the last four days.

And I understand that. That's politics. And I expect to have to go through this process.

But I do think it's important to recognize that it's not helping that person who's sitting at the kitchen table who is trying to figure out how to pay the bills at the end of the month.

And Senator Clinton's right: She has gone through this. You know, I recall when, back in 1992, when she made a statement about how, what do you expect, should I be at home baking cookies? And people attacked her for being elitist and this and that.

CLINTON: And I remember watching that on TV and saying, well, that's not who she is. That's not what she believes. That's not what she meant.

And I'm sure that that's how she felt, as well. But the problem is that that's the kind of politics that we've been accustomed to. And I think Senator Clinton learned the wrong lesson from it because she's adopting the same tactics.

What the American people want are not distractions. They want to figure out, how are we going to actually deliver on health care? How are we going to deliver better jobs for people? How are we going to improve their incomes? How are we going to send them to college? That's what we have to focus on. And, yes, they are, in part, frustrated and angry, because this is what passes for our politics instead of figuring out how do we build coalitions to actually move things forward.

CLINTON: Well, could I...

GIBSON: Senator Clinton, before I move on, do you want to do a brief response?

CLINTON: I do. First of all, I want to be very clear. My comments were about your remarks. And I think that's important because it wasn't just me responding to them, it was people who heard them, people who felt as though they were aimed at their values, their quality of life, the decisions that they have made.

Now, obviously, what we have to do as Democrats, is make sure we get enough votes to win in November. And as George just said, the Republicans, who are pretty shrewd about what it takes to win, certainly did jump on the comments.

But what's important here is what we each stand for and what our records are, and what we have done over the course of our lives, to try to improve the circumstances of those who deserve to live up to their own potential, to make the decisions that are right for them and their families.

And I think year after year, for, now, 35 years, I have a proven record of results. And what I'm taking into this campaign is my passion for empowering people, for giving people the feeling that they can make a better future for themselves.

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