National Public Radio presidential debate

Senator Chris Dodd, are all options on the table, should they be on the table?

SEN. DODD: Well, certainly under — what circumstances we're talking about here. I think the vote in September was very important. We're all seeking to be the nominee of our party, seeking the presidency.

SIEGEL: You're talking about the vote on the Kyl-Lieberman resolution — amendment.

SEN. DODD: I am. That's very important, because it was a — there are only about 20 of us here — Senator Biden and myself are the only two on this table here when confronted with that vote that voted against it, along with Senator Lugar, I might point, Senator Chuck Hagel and others, Jim Webb, who felt that this was — the language of the Resolved clause in that resolution, that non-binding resolution, specifically eliminated any option except a military one. And that kind of framework is exactly the thing you're going to hear back again, in my view. And the danger involved — those critical moments come periodically, but it demonstrates leadership on a critical issue such as this one —

SIEGEL: Thank you, Senator Dodd.

SEN. DODD: — where there's enough information to reach a different conclusion.

SIEGEL: Senator Clinton — you voted for it, Senator Clinton.

SEN. CLINTON: Oh, I did, along with many others, including strong opponents of the Iraq war and the use of military force, like Senator Dick Durbin and Senator Carl Levin. And all of us have said that if we thought that anything in that resolution gave even a pretense of legitimacy to President Bush taking any action, we wouldn't have voted that way. In fact, a number of the Democrats worked furiously to clarify the meaning of that resolution.

The specifics about designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization, I believe, fits into a broader diplomatic effort. I believe in aggressive diplomacy when it comes to Iran, and when you engage in aggressive diplomacy, you need both carrots and sticks. And I think the designation provides one of those sticks that will give us a chance to make progress to where we could have a resolution.

SIEGEL: I want you to hear what one of the sponsors of that resolution, Senator Joseph Lieberman, said about Iran and about the Revolutionary Guard, explaining that resolution, when he spoke one month ago on "All Things Considered."

SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN (I-CT): (From tape.) Iran has crossed a red line. I mean, they are responsible for the killing of hundreds of American soldiers. And right now, all that we, the United States, has done is to tell them — show them the evidence that we have that they're doing it and tell them they got to stop; and they haven't. So now we have economic sanctions. If that doesn't work, we really have to consider military action to stop them from doing it, perhaps by striking the bases around Tehran, where we know they are training these Iraqi terrorists who go back to kill Americans.

SIEGEL: Senator Edwards, why not?

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