National Public Radio presidential debate

SEN. CLINTON: Well, you know, I think that, you know, when you are running for president, you do your very best to try to anticipate what the problems are going to be. I think we have such serious issues when it comes to the economy. I think we're heading into some very turbulent waters on the economy. How are we going to balance what we need to do to perhaps stimulate our way out of some very difficult economic conditions — which are certainly being predicted now — at the same time, getting back to making sure we don't put the burden on the middle class. And I intend to have an economic policy that will get us through what I'm afraid we're going to inherit from the Bush administration.

MR. INSKEEP: Okay. Senator Clinton, Senator Gravel, Senator Obama, Senator Dodd, Senator Biden, Senator Edwards, Congressman Kucinich, that's where we'll have to leave it. Thank you very much to all of you. It;'s been a great discussion.

(Cross talk.)

SEN. CLINTON: Thank you.

MR. EDWARDS: Thank you very much.

MR. INSKEEP: We've appreciated going a little bit deeper into the issues and hopefully given the voters of Iowa some things to think about as they prepare for their caucuses in just under a month.

MS. NORRIS: Our coverage will continue on NPR's "All Things Considered," also online, at npr.org. There you can hear more from these Democratic presidential candidates. Thanks to our host, Iowa Public Radio, and the State Historical Museum. And thanks also to the people of Iowa. They have been so good to us in the time that we've been here.

MR. SIEGEL: We are working with the Republican presidential candidates to reschedule their debate for later in the election season. So for now, from Des Moines, from my colleagues Michele Norris and Steve Inskeep — this is Robert Siegel — thank you for listening. This has been special coverage from Iowa Public Radio and NPR News.

(Announcements.)

MR. : I think we're just NPR News.

MR. SIEGEL: NPR?

MR. : Yeah.

MR. SIEGEL: This is a question for NPR online, one last question. Senator Clinton, you remarked that our situation with China is constricted by the fiscal condition the country is in right now. All of you, as you look ahead at the prospect of being president, possibility of a recession this year, how many years do you think it would take before the United States could set its fiscal house in order, stop running deficits, and get to a position where we don't have a mounting enormous debt that, in one instance, gives the Chinese such leverage over us in so many areas?

SEN. CLINTON: Well, I think our recent history shows that when it comes to cleaning up the deficits and debt that the Republicans leave us, it takes a Clinton to clean up after a Bush. And that's going to be very difficult because we've gone from a projected $5.6 trillion surplus to a $9 trillion debt. But it is among my highest priorities because I think the dangers we face from being so indebted to countries like China and so many others, including Mexico and everywhere else in the world, and the leverage they hold over us because of their ability to dump dollars, should they choose to do so, combined with how it has constricted our ability to invest in our future, is among the challenges we're going to have to address because I do believe that our next president — and I think that will be me — will inherit one of the most difficult domestic and global economic situations we've ever seen.

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