Democratic Presidential Candidates Discuss Terror Threats in the United States

The candidates remark on the most important issues at the ABC Democratic presidential debate.
5:24 | 12/20/15

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Transcript for Democratic Presidential Candidates Discuss Terror Threats in the United States
It is just six days before Christmas as we all know in this country it's typically a joyful time as it is this year as well but it's also an anxious time. President Obama has acknowledged that what we saw in San Bernardino was an act of terrorism. But we remember the president said right before Thanksgiving there is no known specific and credible intelligence indicating a plot on the homeland. We now know that this couple had assembled an arsenal they were not a law enforcement's radar they were completely undetected. So as we approach another holiday would the president against saying late this week no credible threat. Secretary Clinton how confident should the American people be that there are others like that couple right now in the US going undetected. And what would you do was president defined. Well versed than most important job of being president is obviously to keep our country safe and to keep the families of America safe. I have a plan that I've put forward to go after rice's. Not to contain them but to defeat them. And it has three parts first ought to go after them and deprive them of the territory they occupy now in both Syria and Iraq. Secondly. To go after and dismantled their global network of terrorism. And thirdly to do more to keep us safe. Under each of those three parts of my plan I have very specific recommendations about what to do. Obviously in the first week do have to have. Eight an American led air campaign we have to have Arab and Kurdish troops on the ground. Secondly we've got to go after everything from North Africa to South Asia and by god. And then most importantly here at home. I think there are three things that we have to get right now we have to do the best possible job of sharing intelligence and information. That now includes the Internet because we've seen that ice this is a very effective recruiter propagandist. And insider and celebrate her of violence. That means we have to work more closely with our great tech companies. They can't see the government as an adversary we can't see them as obstructionist we've got to figure out how we can do more. To understand who is saying what and what they're planning. And we must work more closely with Muslim American communities. Just like Martan I met with a group of Muslim Americans this past week to hear from them about what they're doing to try to stop radicalization. They will be our early warning signal. That's why we need to work with them not demonize them as the Republicans have been doing dated I have to varied friends. And the very first post 9/11 governor. I understand from the ground up the one attacks like San Bernardino happen when attacks like the attacks of 9/11 happened that when people call 911. The first people to show up are the local first responders. Many of the things Secretary Clinton said ducks are absolutely true. But they underscore a lack of thought investment that we have as a nation failed to make over these last fifteen years. In intelligence gathering intelligence analysis intelligence sharing. Not only in theaters in Syria and Iraq and other places where week. Involved ourselves and toppling dictators without having any idea what comes next but here in the homeland. As we protect people the from this threat of the loan pools and each changing. Tactics and strategies. I believe that's what's happened here is that the president had us on the right course but it's a lack of battle tempo we have to increase the battle tempo we have to bring a modern way of getting things done and forcing the sharing of information. And do a much better job of acting on it. In order to prevent these sorts of attacks in the future ever to break down these issues tonight but I do want to go to senator Sanders because the concern going into Christmas is significant as you know. A new ABC news poll shows 77%. Of Americans have little or no confidence in the government's ability to prevent a lone wolf attack. How would you specifically find would be terrorists who are going undetected. I'm one of the 77%. A law I think this is a very difficult issue let me agree with much of what the secretary in the gulf and up have set. Let me tell you what I think we have got a door advocates a two pronged issue. Number one problem goal is to crush and destroy crisis what is the best way to do it. Well I think there are some differences of opinion here perhaps between the secretary and myself. I voted against the war in Iraq. Because like fort unilateral military action. Would not produce the results that were necessary and would that would lead. To the kind of unraveling and instability that we saw in the Middle East I do not believe in you not or unilateral American action. I believe an action which three put together a strong coalition of forces major powers and the Muslim nations. I think one of the heroes and a real Plackemeier route there. In a dangerous and difficult world one of the heroes who we should recognize in the Middle East is king up dual the second of Jordan. This small country has welcomed in many refugees. And up till it said something recently very important. He said yes it's an actual terribly is by definition. An international issue but it is primarily an issue of the Muslim nations walked fighting for the soul of Islam we the Muslims should lead the effort on the ground. And I believe he is absolutely right. Senator thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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