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Congressional Black Caucus Democratic Presidential Candidates Debate - Part 3

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Date:
Location: Baltimore, MD

HUME: The fourth round of questions now begin with Juan Williams.

Juan?

WILLIAMS: Senator Edwards, you recently said you'd prohibit drug advertisements and allow for re-importation of drugs from abroad. Looking at this from the perspective of the American drug companies, will this act as a disincentive for the development and innovation of the best drugs the world has ever seen?

EDWARDS: No, they're entitled to that, they're entitled to a period of time after they originally do their work to keep the patent. But they're abusing the system in keeping generics out of the market.

You know, this president has actually dismantled—he's in the process of dismantling the public health system. He is cutting funding every single day for programs like prescription drug benefit. This is a president who says we can't do anything about the health care crisis in America. This is a president who blocked the Patient's Bill of Rights.

Here's what we ought to do, we ought to go over to the White House and hang a big warning sign on the door of the White House that says, "This president is hazardous to your health." That's what we ought to do.

(APPLAUSE)

No, we can in fact bring down the cost of prescription drugs if and when we have a president that has the courage and backbone to stand up to big drug companies, stand up to big HMOs, stand up to big insurance companies. I've been doing this my entire life. We can't just deal with the coverage question. We can't just deal with helping Americans pay the cost of premiums. If we don't solve the cost of health care problems in America, we will never address this health care crisis in a serious way.

(APPLAUSE)

WILLIAMS: Thank you.

Reverend Sharpton, Ed Gillespie, who is the Republican Party chairman, recently said that the way that the Democratic candidates are talking about President Bush and this administration amounts to hate language.

And I wonder if you would agree that this is hateful, demagogic talk about the president of the United States.

SHARPTON: Absolutely not. I think that we have a responsibility to talk about a president's effect on the American people.

Here's a man that just asked for billions of dollars on Sunday night while we have record state deficits. I just left St. Louis, where they closed 16 schools. They laid off 1,400 workers on the day after he asked for billions of dollars to get health care and education for people abroad when we're not getting it for the people right here at home. That's not hate.

(APPLAUSE)

He talks about loving the troops. He loves them when they're on the battlefield. But when they come home, he doesn't love them. They're coming home to no housing.

(APPLAUSE)

They're coming home to no jobs. They're coming home to no education.

That is not hate. And I challenged it in my own party. We're fighting cases from Florida with a man hanging. We're fighting this guy, Erhue (ph), Ihue (ph), state attorney in Louisiana, a man shot in the back eight times.

It doesn't matter if it is Republican or Democrat. If they're wrong, we can call them out, not out of hate but out of love for justice and what's good for the American people.

(APPLAUSE)

WILLIAMS: Ambassador Braun, we have heard much talk about the PATRIOT Act, about Attorney General Ashcroft's effort to try to win American support for it.

According to a Gallup poll that's out today, 69 percent of Americans think that the PATRIOT Act is right or that is doesn't go far enough. And yet, from the candidates on this stage, we hear that the PATRIOT Act is really an abuse of civil liberties in America.

How do you explain this divergence of view?

MOSELEY BRAUN: Well, you know, a generation ago, the president of the United States told the American people that all we had to fear was fear itself. This administration, on the other hand, has pandered to fear and frightened the American people at every turn.

And the PATRIOT Act is just part of that.

We would do a disservice to our people and to our generation if we were to stand by and allow our generation to give the next generation less liberty, less opportunity, less hope than we inherited from the last.

And with this legislation, the PATRIOT Act, in place, we will give to the next generation a country that none of us will recognize, a country in which librarians are forced to turn you in for taking the wrong books out of the library, in which your e-mails and your phones can be tapped, in which you can be secretly arrested and held without charges, in which you're not entitled to counsel when you have a trial.

This is not the America that my ancestors fought and died for. My grandfather fought for this country in World War I in France. And he came back, he couldn't sit in the front of the bus or even vote. But he did so because he believed in the promise of America. I am running for president because I want to protect and preserve it.

(APPLAUSE)

WILLIAMS: Thank you.

HUME: Ed Gordon is next.

Ed?

GORDON: Thank you, Brit.

Senator Kerry, let me ask you, $87 billion is a lot of money. Notwithstanding the money directly for the troops, can you tonight tell the president that that is simply too much money to put forth for this military action, for this war, and as Reverend Sharpton has suggested, perhaps utilizing some of that money here?

KERRY: Well, I'm glad the president finally found an economic development program. I'm just sad that it's only in Baghdad.

(LAUGHTER)

I think that $87 billion should not be granted as just a rubber check to this president without several things.

Number one, we need to know that this president is going to do what is necessary to truly protect our troops and to truly advance our ability to be successful, which means internationalizing our effort. It means properly going to the United Nations and ceding a measure of authority for two of the three parts of this mission.

There is a humanitarian component, there is the governance- infrastructure component, both of which could be put within the U.N. as we did in East Timor, in Kosovo and Bosnia.

KERRY: And then there's the security component, where we can keep American command over the critical pieces, but shared with the United Nations.

Unless we do that, this president runs the risk of turning this into a quagmire potential of Vietnam.

The second thing we need to do is guarantee that we are fiscally responsible here at home. We cannot authorize or appropriate $87 billion without pulling back some of the unfair Bush tax cut for the wealthiest Americans and investing in the United States of America. If we can open firehouses in Baghdad, we can keep them open in the United States of America.

(APPLAUSE)

GORDON: Governor Dean, employment continues to be a problem in this country. The national unemployment rate is just over 6 percent on a whole, 10.9 percent for African Americans and much, much higher for young African Americans, particularly African American males.

Northwestern University recently issued a study that suggested a percentage of job applicants who got called back after initial interviews for low-wage, entry-level jobs, whites with non-criminal records were called back 17 percent of the time, blacks with no criminal record were only called back 14 percent of the time.

When you look at these disparities, what can you do specifically to close these gaps?

DEAN: There are two things you can do. The first is do the things you're going to do for every community, invest in small businesses. Small businesses create more jobs than large businesses do, and they don't move their jobs offshore.

Now, why does that specifically help in the African American and the Latino community? Because there's a disproportionate number of people who create small businesses and who work for small businesses in minority communities. That's the first thing.

Secondly, in my health insurance plan, which covers all Americans for about the same price the president plans to spend in Iraq over the next year, there's $9 billion of subsidy to small businesses to help health insurance.

Finally, the issue here with people not being called back is race. And that's why we need affirmative action in this country.

There is a built-in bias...

(APPLAUSE)

... there is a built-in bias of people who do hiring, they automatically assume people who look like them are more qualified than people that don't look like them.

That's why you need affirmative action. That's why the president of the United States essentially played the race card when he used the word quota to describe the University of Michigan affirmative action program.

And for that reason alone, he deserves a one-way bus ticket back to Crawford, Texas.

(APPLAUSE)

GORDON: Senator Lieberman, it's probably fair to say we've heard a lot of talk about race this evening. But quite frankly, whether it be in our homes, whether it be at bus stops or whether it be here, America is still very uncomfortable talking about race.

Could you promise that you would put it on the front burner? And what would you speak to specifically that has not been talked about in other administrations, Democratic or Republican?

LIEBERMAN: Ed, I appreciate the question.

Look, I said when I declared my candidacy for president that I was running to keep the American dream alive, the dream that has been compromised by George W. Bush so badly and that I've been privileged to live in my life time.

No people have been more outrageously denied an equal opportunity to live out the American dream than African-Americans, from the brutal stain of slavery to racial segregation by law to the two-tier society we still live in.

Ed, before I got into politics, my first act of public service was in the civil rights movement. I marched with Dr. King 40 years ago, a few weeks ago, I went to Mississippi to fight in 1963 for the right of African Americans to vote.

It pains me to look back to 2000 and realize that though we eliminated the laws that stopped African-Americans from voting, they all were not allowed to vote in the state of Florida.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: (OFF-MIKE)

LIEBERMAN: I'm going to talk about race and keep marching with Dr. King and his spirit for jobs and freedom and equality until the dream that Dr. King enunciated 40 years ago is fully realized. This is from my heart. This will define my presidency.

(APPLAUSE)

HUME: Thank you, Senator.

And the last set of questions in this particular round is from Farai Chediya.

Farai?

CHEDIYA: Thank you.

Within 50 years America will be a majority of people of color. Congressman Gephardt, how will this affect your campaign? How will this affect American democracy, for example? Will you consider choosing a running mate of color?

GEPHARDT: We have to look at every possible person to win this election. I will look at everybody. I'll look at women, I'll look at minorities, I'll look at everybody.

We need to beat George Bush.

You know, I have a saying these days: Like father, like son, four years and he's done. We're going to get rid of George Bush.

(APPLAUSE)

CHIDEYA: Thank you.

GEPHARDT: Let me answer your question very directly. I have a friend, a great friend, in St. Louis I served in the Congress with. His name is Bill Clay. His son, Lacy (ph) Clay, is a chairman—one of the deputy chairs of my campaign. Bill Clay wrote a book called "Permanent Interest." He said African-Americans don't have permanent friends, they just have permanent interest. I think he's right.

This party has to earn the vote of African-Americans. This party can't assume anything. We've got to bring ideas and programs for civil rights, for equal rights, for economic rights, for health care rights—that's the way we're going to win the election, and that's the way we keep faith with the African-American community in this country.

(APPLAUSE)

CHIDEYA: Thank you.

Congressman Kucinich, most of the people who use drugs are white. Most of the people who are sentenced for drug possession and sales, particularly drug possession, are black. What will you do to reverse this unfair trend?

KUCINICH: Well, first of all, we have to acknowledge what you just said in our national discussions, that drug sentencing ends up being discriminatory, that our drug laws are harsh in that they emphasize not just criminalization but they emphasize incarceration.

We need different thinking today. And a new president—and my presidency will mean that we will begin to emphasize the rehabilitation of people who are afflicted with drug use. And we will begin to emphasize giving people an opportunity to fully recover.

This is one of the reasons why we need a not-for-profit health care system which includes treatment of substance abusers. This is why we need to make sure we focus this country on a cause which takes us away from this punitive approach that we use for people who are trapped in drug use.

We need to make sure that those who are trafficking in it and making a big profit are brought to justice. But we need to get rid of mandatory minimums. We need to stop this harsh and punitive approach. And the only approach that I think will work is an approach which emphasizes rehabilitation over incarceration.

(APPLAUSE)

CHIDEYA: Thank you.

Senator Graham, this has been in the news quite a bit recently, but do you believe in altering the U.S. Constitution so that naturalized citizens could run for the presidency?

GRAHAM: Yes, I think that was a provision which was put into the Constitution by our founding fathers when there was concern that people of different lands might not carry forward the values upon which this nation was founded.

I think it is a provision which has run its time. For instance, there is an excellent governor of Michigan who would be an outstanding candidate for president of the United States. She is denied that opportunity because she happened to have been born in Canada. I believe that disserves America and unnecessarily restricts the pool of people who can be president of the United States.

I happen to come from a state that is very diverse. In fact, the Miami community has the highest percentage of persons who were born outside the United States of any community in this nation. I understand, by having served and lived in a diverse society, what is required to build the one America that we all seek.

HUME: Senator Graham, thank you very much.

We now begin a final round of questions, which we're kind of calling our dealer's choice round in which each correspondent at the table will ask one question of any candidate he chooses about any subject he or she chooses. And we start with Ed Gordon and we'll move across. As many rounds as we can get in.

GORDON: Reverend Sharpton, you've made the analogy about going to the dance with who brung you. I'm wondering if you truly believe the Democratic Party, and frankly those who share the stage with you tonight, are ready, in fact, to—as a number of your colleagues have suggested—earn the black vote.

SHARPTON: I think that they must. I think that if we do not, we cannot win in 2004.

If Michael Dukakis had gotten the same black vote that Walter Mondale got in '84, he would have been president.

What people don't understand is, before you can turn people out, you have to turn people on. And the only way you're going to turn people on is you must address their interests and address their issues.

We have to deal in these primaries and in the convention with those of us that feel that segments of the party has turned on labor and turned on minorities and turned on women.

We've got to deal with the fact that when this Congressional Black Caucus went to the Senate about the vote in Florida, we couldn't get a Democratic Senator to allow them to be heard.

We need to correct the party so then we can beat Bush as one expanded party.

(APPLAUSE)

HUME: Farai, you're next.

CHIDEYA: Lady and gentlemen, I have one question to ask all of you, and I don't want to mess up the format of this debate, so please answer very quickly. This is for the Gen X crowd, and it's very personal. What's your favorite song?

(LAUGHTER)

MOSELEY BRAUN: What's my favorite song? "You Gotta Be."

CHIDEYA: Excellent.

SHARPTON: My favorite song is James Brown's song on the Republican Party, "Talking Loud, Saying Nothing."

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

CHIDEYA: Senator, we're waiting for you. Senator, pass?

EDWARDS: I've got to follow that?

(LAUGHTER)

CHIDEYA: Yes you do, or pass.

EDWARDS: John Cougar Mellencamp, "Small Town."

CHIDEYA: All right.

KERRY: Bruce Springsteen, "No Surrender."

(APPLAUSE)

DEAN: One you've never heard of, Wycliff Jean (ph), "Jaspera (ph)."

(APPLAUSE)

LIEBERMAN: Well, you know, like a good politician, I'm going to take two. "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow," remember that one?

(APPLAUSE)

And the old—the classic Frank Sinatra, "My Way." We're going to do it our way in 2004.

(APPLAUSE)

KUCINICH: John Lennon, "Imagine," as in imagine a new America.

(APPLAUSE)

CHIDEYA: Congressman?

GEPHARDT: Bruce Springsteen, "Born In The USA."

(APPLAUSE)

CHIDEYA: Senator?

GRAHAM: Jimmy Buffet, "Changes In Attitude, Changes In Latitudes."

(APPLAUSE)

We're going to change some attitudes and latitudes.

(APPLAUSE)

CHIDEYA: Thank you all very much.

HUME: Juan Williams is next.

Juan?

WILLIAMS: Let me ask everyone who is in the Congress here today how they would vote on the president's request for $87 billion to continue the effort in Iraq.

Would you vote yes or no?

Senator Edwards?

EDWARDS: Well, I'm going to do what has to be done to make sure our troops get what they need, but not without the president telling us how much this is going to cost over the long term, how long we're going to be there and who is going to share the cost with us.

WILLIAMS: Senator Kerry?

KERRY: I will do what we need to do to protect troops. But I am not going to vote for an open-ended $87 billion without the questions answered that I proposed earlier and without an adequate effort with respect to the international community.

WILLIAMS: Senator Lieberman?

LIEBERMAN: Well, I'm going to vote for whatever it takes to protect our troops. But I've got to say to John Edwards, John Kerry, Howard Dean and George Bush: You can't say that you want to protect the troops unless you're willing to send more American troops to protect the ones that are there and help some of those that are there come home to their families in peace.

WILLIAMS: Representative Kucinich?

KUCINICH: I am going to vote no because I believe the best way to protect our troops is to bring them home.

(APPLAUSE)

The U.N. in and the U.S. out.

WILLIAMS: Congressman Gephardt?

GEPHARDT: I am going to vote to support the troops. But for the rebuilding of Iraq, I want to see international help, which he should have gotten a long, long time ago.

And I also want an appropriation for homeland security and for the states that have not gotten the money they needed a long time ago.

(APPLAUSE)

WILLIAMS: Senator Graham?

GRAHAM: Well, I will vote to do whatever is necessary to protect our troops. I will not vote in order to avoid the economic and political internationalization of the occupation of Iraq and therefore to protect the profits of those friends of the president who have been getting no bid, no competitive contracts to rebuild Iraq.

HUME: That leaves us time for one more question before we begin the closing statements. And it comes from Ed Gordon.

Ed?

GORDON: Let me see if I can follow up with what Juan suggested. We all know we want to protect the troops. So if you don't hear what you are suggesting from the president, you are indeed willing to say no.

GRAHAM: I am not willing to say no for the amount of money that's necessary to protect our troops.

I am ready to say, "No, hell, no," to providing money that is designed to protect profits, not our uniformed men and women.

GORDON: What about you, Congressman?

GEPHARDT: I agree. I think we've got to protect the troops. But we can split the question and we can ask lots of questions about the rebuilding money...

GORDON: So if the president says, "I need $87 billion to protect the troops," you're ready to say yes to that?

GEPHARDT: We've got to break it down. We've got to get the rebuilding help that we need and we've got to get appropriations for homeland security.

GORDON: All right.

KUCINICH: We'll be there forever unless we challenge this thinking where the administration cynically uses our troops to pursue a war that was unjust. And I say that what we need to do is vote no, bring the U.N. in and get the U.S. out.

(APPLAUSE)

GORDON: Congressman Lieberman?

KUCINICH: End the war.

LIEBERMAN: Ed, the American people have a right to expect that their president will make a judgment, tough judgments, and then have the courage to stick with it.

I know it's more popular to say you don't want to send more troops. Of course I want international troops in there. But we may have to wait six months until they get there and before then, we may have to send troops to protect the 140,000 Americans who are there now.

I'm never, as president, going to leave American troops in harm's way without giving them the support and protection they need.

GORDON: Very quickly, Senator Kerry, indeed, would you be willing to say no?

KERRY: Give me the question after that (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

GORDON: Well, the question, you all said we're going to do what is needed to be done for our troops. We all understand that. But if you don't get the answers from the president that you're looking for?

KERRY: If I don't get the answers and if the president doesn't set out the way in which he is going to internationalize this, I would be prepared to vote no.

(APPLAUSE)

GORDON: Senator Edwards?

EDWARDS: It would be irresponsible not to do what needs to be done to protect our troops. But having said that, it would also be irresponsible not to do something to stop this president from giving billions of dollars in American taxpayer money to companies like Halliburton in unbid contracts.

(APPLAUSE)

HUME: I'm sorry. We have to go to closing statements now. Time presses on us. And we begin closing statements. We hope to confine them to 45 seconds if possible.

With Carol Moseley Braun, please.

MOSELEY BRAUN: My late mother used to say it doesn't matter if you came to this country on the Mayflower or a slave ship, through Ellis Island or across the Rio Grande, we're all in the same boat now.

In my time in public life, I have been a doer, not so much a talker but a doer, delivering for people in the fight for social and economic justice. I have a record. I have been tested. I have stood up in the Senate and fought for many of the values that my colleagues have discussed here today.

I am determined to try to rebuild and renew this country in ways that will build community and level the playing field in ways that will keep the American dream of opportunity and hope alive for the next generation. To me, that means making certain that the fight to preserve our civil liberties is waged, making certain the fight against discrimination is waged, making certain that women have opportunity in this country.

I am determined to take the "men only" sign off the White House door and, with the support of the people of this country, I believe it can happen in 2004.

Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

HUME: Reverend Sharpton, you're next.

SHARPTON: I'm running for president because we not only need a new director, we need a new direction. And this party must go back to representing the interests of people, working people.

I've been an activist and a person of action all my life. I intend to talk to this college about the union, AFSCME, that is trying to organize right here.

(APPLAUSE)

I think it is important that we have a return to the principles that made us a party.

I'm also running because a lot is at stake. We are witnessing a nonmilitary civil war. It started with the recount in Florida, it went to the redistricting in Texas, now it's the recount in California.

From the recounting of the votes to the redistricting to the recall, it's a rejection of the American people. We need to fight back. I'm a man of action. And unlike Schwarzenegger, I never had a stunt man do my hard work.

(APPLAUSE)

HUME: Senator, it was just the way the order was. Senator Edwards, you're next.

EDWARDS: Thank you, thank you.

(LAUGHTER)

We knew when President Bush came to office that we were going to see big giveaways to his friends and Halliburton.

Here's what we didn't know. We didn't know he was going to take away after-school for hundreds of thousands of kids. We didn't know he was going to take away help for college kids.

This election is about a lot of issues, but it's about something much bigger than that. It's about what kind of America we are. It's about what kind of America we want to be. It's about taking the power in our democracy out of the hands of that handful of insiders that are running our country today and giving it back to you, giving it back to the American people.

I believe in an America where the family you're born into and the color of your skin should never control your destiny. I believe in an America where the son of a mill worker could actually beat the son of a president for the White House.

That's the America I will fight for as president of the United States.

(APPLAUSE)

HUME: Thank you.

Senator Kerry?

KERRY: Well, you know, I look out at this audience, and there are people from every background, every creed, every color, every belief, every religion.

This is, indeed, John Ashcroft's worse nightmare here.

(LAUGHTER)

My friends, we are living in an extraordinary moment in American history. This is the biggest say-one-thing-do-another administration in all time. The president says one thing about children, does another, one thing about taxes, does another, about housing, about the war, about—goes to Goree Island, spends a few minutes, behaves like Abraham Lincoln, goes to South Carolina, behaves like Jefferson Davis on the Confederate flag.

We deserve a president of the United States who will write laws for all Americans, not for campaign contributors. And I intend to be a president for all Americans who takes back the flag of our country because it doesn't belong to any party, doesn't belong to any president. It belongs to all of us as Americans. And we deserve a president who stands up for patriotism and its real definition, which is doing what makes our country stronger and safer and more secure.

(APPLAUSE)

HUME: Governor Dean?

DEAN: This election is going to be about jobs. But in order to talk about jobs, we're going to have to talk about defense first. And I think this president doesn't understand defense.

Over a decade ago, the Soviet Union collapsed and the Berlin Wall came down without America firing a shot. And that was for two reasons. The first was that we had a strong military, and that's important. But the second is that on the other side of the Iron Curtain most people wanted to be like America and they wanted to be like Americans.

And in the two and a half years into this presidency, you would be hard-pressed to find a majority in any country in the world where people wanted to be like Americans again.

What I want to do more than anything as president of the United States is to restore the honor and dignity and respect that this country is owed around the world.

(APPLAUSE)

HUME: Senator Lieberman?

LIEBERMAN: Thank you, Brit.

In 2000, Al Gore and I went all around this country and warned the American people about George W. Bush. We said he would squander our surplus. We said he would compromise civil rights, he would abandon the middle class and he would turn his back on the poor. Let's be honest about this, the presidency of Bush has been a worse nightmare than even Al and I warned America about.

Joblessness, 3.5 million people have lost their jobs, 2.5 million have fallen out of the middle class into poverty, our schools have been underfunded. So many of our capable lower-income kids are going to have trouble going to college. Civil rights have been eroded. The environment has been plundered today. At home and abroad, America is weaker.

When I think of the promises George Bush made in 2000 and has broken since, it makes me sick. When I think of the radical right direction in which he's taken America, it makes me sick.

We need a fresh start. We need a president who will unite America around our shared values and restore security and prosperity to our country and fairness and integrity to the White House. With your help and God's help, I intend to be that president.

Thank you very, very much.

(APPLAUSE)

HUME: Congressman Kucinich?

KUCINICH: When I was growing up in the city of Cleveland, the oldest of seven children, my parents never owned a home. We lived in 21 different places by the time I was 17, including a couple cars, and sometimes we were the only Caucasian family in neighborhoods of color.

And because of that experience in growing up in the inner city, I learned to become attuned to the concerns that people have about jobs, about health care, about education, about housing, about health in the community.

And so, when I became mayor of Cleveland, I was determined to unite the community, to unite whites and blacks and all people of color, and to create conditions where we truly address the social and economic needs of the people.

Because of my life experience and because of my public life experience, I have the ability to lead this nation and to bring all people together and to lift up the cause of this nation so that we once again become a nation that comes from the heart and reconnect with our optimism to really create a nation that we can all be proud of. Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

HUME: Congressman Gephardt?

GEPHARDT: I'd like to end tonight with my philosophy of life and how it's different than George Bush's.

I think we're all tied together. If somebody doesn't have health insurance they still get sick, they go to the emergency room, they have worse problems than they should. Then that bill gets put on your bill if you have insurance, whether you know it or not, whether you like it or not.

Somebody's child doesn't get educated, winds up in prison, we all pay the bills every day, and the bills are mounting by the day.

If somebody doesn't get their civil rights and their equal rights and can't succeed, then everybody pays the bills.

My own life is the best example. I started poor. My dad was a Teamster. It was the best job he ever had. I had church help, government help, community help, I got a great education. I'm here tonight because of all that help. I haven't done it on my own.

I will be a president every day in that Oval Office who's trying to figure out how every person in this country fulfills their God- given potential, nobody left out, nobody left behind. We can make America a better place than it's ever, ever been. Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

HUME: Senator Graham?

GRAHAM: Tonight in America, 9 million of our fellow citizens are out of work.

Tonight in America, our young uniformed men and women are in the quagmire of Iraq losing one comrade a day. Tonight in...

AUDIENCE MEMBER: (OFF-MIKE)

GRAHAM: Let me...

AUDIENCE MEMBER: (OFF-MIKE)

HUME: Sorry, Senator. Please proceed.

GRAHAM: Tonight in America, our people are being asked to rebuild a foreign land.

We need new and tested leadership. As governor of Florida, I created 1.4 million new jobs. The number of African American-owned businesses doubled to over 25,000 while I was governor of Florida. I know how to make this economy work again.

I know that if we can rebuild the schools, the roads, the bridges, the electric grid of Iraq that we can do it here at home. That's why I have published an economic plan, "Opportunity For All." This is how we can rebuild America.

I believe in one America. Together we can create a prosperous America, we can create a respected America, we can create a safe America, we can create our America.

With Bob Graham as president, we will have one America.

Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

HUME: Thank you, Senator.

And that concludes our debate. We would like to thank the candidates for their time, the staff of Morgan State University, the Congressional Black Caucus Institute, and of course, our audience here in Baltimore and at home. Our next debate will be Sunday, October 26th in Detroit.

Stay tuned in the meantime for more debate coverage on Fox News Channel.

I'm Brit Hume. For our panel of journalists and for all of us at Fox News, good night.

Content and Programming Copyright 2003 Fox News Network, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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