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Democratic National Committee Debate - Part 3

Location: Des Moines, IA

BROKAW: My question was do you think that Ariel Sharon is a man of peace?

And to add on to that, the president made the effort with the road to peace, so-called, and attempting to get new leadership out of the PLO. Do you think that that was not an honest effort on the president's part?

GEPHARDT: Tom, I think the people in Israel, the great majority want peace. They're willing to trade land for real peace. The people in Palestine, the great majority want peace and they're willing to give security for the land that they want for their state.

What's lacking in this equation is not the-you know, not the right leaders on either side, it's not having an American president who, like Bill Clinton and other American presidents, have gone out of their way to lead these other places to peace. He did it in Ireland. He tried to do it in the Middle East. Bosnia, Kosovo, we made great progress.

We need to be engaged in the world, and we need a president who will work with every country in this world to solve tough international problems.

BROKAW: Madam Ambassador, of all these candidates on the stage, who would you name as your secretary of state?


MOSELEY BRAUN: Mr. Brokaw, I think the first question is, who's going to be the next president? And I think the women have an answer for this country and the world to give us domestic security.

And that is why I am running hard to make the point that we have a vision that will put a practical spin on putting America in good stead with the rest of the world, rebuilding the international relationships that are so vital in fighting a real war on terrorism.

I'm reminded of the true story of my parent's worst argument. The toilet broke and there was water going every where. My mother sent my father to the hardware store, he came back with a new lawnmower.


That's really what's happened to us in this country. We were chasing bin Laden and they gave it up. They gave up a war on terrorism. They gave up a fight to protect the American people in behalf of a misadventure in Iraq.

And I think that it takes a different approach, that we'll work well with others, that would bring to bear all of the talent that we have available to us in this country, in order to make certain that the American people are safe, that we are secure, that we protect our country by working with the rest of the international community to get the real criminals who came after our country on September 11th.

BROKAW: Governor Dean, in all of this, do you think Saudi Arabia is our friend, or do you think it's our enemy, or do you think it's something in between?

DEAN: Let me use the first five minutes to correct an important thing that Dick Gephardt just misinformed us about.

The Biden-Lugar amendment is what should have passed in Congress, because the key and critical difference was that it required the president to come back to Congress for permission. And that is where the congressmen who supported that resolution made their mistake was not supporting Biden-Lugar instead of giving the president a blank check.

And I did not support the $87 billion. That's a matter of record.

Now, what was the question?


BROKAW: The question was about, in this wider war against terrorism and instability in the Middle East, is Saudi Arabia a friend or...

DEAN: Seventy-five years ago, the Saudis made a deal with the devil. They decided that in return for leaving the royal family unchallenged by the very fanatical Wahhabis sect, that they would essentially fund the export of radical Islam to the Islamic world.

Unfortunately, because the Saudis have an enormous amount of money, coming from us, principally, they have been very successful. Moderate Muslim nations such as Indonesia have begun to see the problems of radicalization. As long as the Saudis continue to fund the export of radical Islam around the world, they cannot be considered friends.

BROKAW: Senator Kerry, what about the French? Are they friends, are they enemies, or something in between at this point?

KERRY: The French are the French. I think there's a...


BROKAW: Very profound, Senator.


KERRY: Well, trust me. It has a meaning. And I think most people know exactly what I mean.

Look, can I just correct something Howard Dean said, because this is very important?


The Biden-Lugar amendment that Howard Dean said he supported, at the time he said he supported it, had a certification by the president and the president only had to certify he had the authority to go. It's no different from fundamentally what we voted on.

And at the same time, Howard Dean said he believed that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, but he offered no way to try to deal with it.

The fact is that President Clinton went to Kosovo without Congress' authority. President Clinton went to Haiti without Congress' authority, because the president has that inherent authority.

So I think Howard Dean is wrong, and I think we did what was necessary and the president, unfortunately, completely broke his promises to America.

And I will reach out to the French and to other countries and rebuild our alliances around the world.

BROKAW: Congressman Kucinich?

KUCINICH: Look, we have troops over there right now. I mean, I'm waiting for someone here to say they'll join me with a plan to end the occupation.

I mean, the question is, when the next president takes office, will those troops still be here? And if they're there, we must have a plan to get out of Iraq. And I'm offering it right now.

Tom, this is critical, because right now it's not just the fact that there are troops losing their lives and innocent civilians are getting killed, it's the fact that we see hundreds of billions, soon, of U.S. tax dollars being wasted, which is destroying our domestic agenda.

So we can talk all we want about who said what in the lead up to the war, but we're there now. And what's your plan? Are you ready to end the occupation?

And I have a plan to do that, to get the U.N. in and the U.S. out. We have to turn over to the U.N. that handling, on a temporary basis, of the oil assets, of the contracts, of the cause of governance until the Iraqi people can be self-governing.

We need to get out of there and the sooner the better. End the occupation.

BROKAW: General Clark, what happened when the U.N...


... when the U.N. went in to Bosnia? And what would happen in Iraq if we got out in 90 days, given the current circumstances?

CLARK: Tom, the U.N. is not willing or able to go into Iraq right now.

We do need to take the American face off this operation and form an international organization, as we did in Bosnia, to give economic and political assistance to the Iraqis. The Iraqis have to be put back in charge. We should not wait until July.

That July 1st date has more to do with American politics than it does with what's going on, on the ground in Iraq and I think we ought to recognize that.

What's going on in Iraq is a struggle by the Iraqi people to maintain control of their own country.

We need to change a little bit what we're doing in the military over there. We need to have lots of people in our armed forces studying Arabic. We need to put people who can speak Arabic in there and communicate with the Iraqi people. We are not doing that.

And when we stand up those police stations and we leave them alone and they're attacked, we need people there who can call in the kind of U.S. support that's necessary to beat down this insurgency.

We can have a successful policy, but only if the Iraqis are in charge of their own country, and only if we have the right military plans to succeed.

BROKAW: General Clark, thank you very much.

Madam Ambassador, I know you're eager to get in here. You'll be first up, right after we go to a break. We're going to come back and talk about terrorism and these important issues.



BROKAW: Welcome back to Des Moines, Iowa, a debate among Democratic presidential candidates, and the issue is Iraq and the war on terror.

Madam Ambassador, Vice President Al Gore recently said that he believes the Patriot Act, which was passed by the United States Senate 98 to 1, should now be repealed, that it is no longer an instrument in the war on terror, that in fact it's an infringement on the civil liberties of Americans.

Do you agree with him?

MOSELEY BRAUN: I absolutely agree. Section 215 of that legislation requires librarians to report people for taking the wrong books out of the library. It is just an outrage.

Now, I'm told that that has not been enforced. But since we can't examine the Justice Department's records, we have no idea whether they are telling the truth about that either.

BROKAW: But do you know of any librarians from around the country who are saying...

MOSELEY BRAUN: No. I do not. But again, we don't really have the facts on that.

The secret detentions, what's happening in Guantanamo, it's been a nightmare.

But I want to respond. Dennis talked about a plan to bring our troops home. I want to bring them home too. But I think we have to bring them home with honor. They've done their duty by responding to the direction of their government, by serving there.

And in fact, if anything, we are not really even supporting the troops like we should. We cut off the combat pay. They don't have the equipment they need.

We need to really support our troops while they're there and try to internalize this sufficient that they can come home with honor.

We blew the place up. We have a responsibility to fix it. It's going to cost the American people a ton of money, but I think that bill ought to be delivered to George Bush and all the interests that he was representing in making those decision.


BROKAW: But if you had been in the United States Senate, would you have voted...

MOSELEY BRAUN: I would have voted against the Patriot Act. Absolutely. I think...

BROKAW: No. No. But would you have voted for the $87 billion dollars to continue operations...

MOSELEY BRAUN: Yes. I would have voted for that part required to help protect our troops and give them the support they need in the field, because many of them are even sitting ducks right now without what they need to protect themselves to fight an insurgency kind of action for which they were not prepared.

So, you know, it's a misadventure, it's a mistake. But we have to do what we have to do, until we can bring the blue helmets from the United Nations. I suggested even expanding NATO's role from Afghanistan all to Iraq. We've got to get some help with this.

BROKAW: Thank you, Madam Ambassador.

Would you have voted for the $87 billion, Reverend Sharpton?

SHARPTON: Absolutely not. I think that we cannot continue to allow this president to put money and more and more and more unlimited money in a situation that clearly there is no exit strategy, clearly that we shouldn't have gone in in the first place.

You cannot plant one seed and grow another crop. I said it before, I'll say it again, you can't plant watermelon seeds, expect oranges.

We were wrong when we went in. We can't make it right. We need to submit to an international body. We need to bring these young people home.

As a far as the Patriot Act, not only the Patriot Act, I was at the hearings and opposed it from the beginning in the Senate Judiciary Committee. I attended those hearings. We now hear reports that the Justice Department is looking into anti-war leaders. I spoke at every major anti-war demonstration.

This administration is against dissent, which is against democracy. Any of us that question them, they will use the whole blanket of anti-terrorism to try and Red bait Americans and we need to stop them before this gets out of hand.


BROKAW: Quick follow-up: Were you surprised then when General Clark came out for a constitutional amendment against burning the American flag, which many people see as an important form of dissent?

SHARPTON: I think, again, General Clark and I may disagree on that. I think that the present president, though, is the one that has made the American flag look less than a liberating force in the world.

I think when we stand up and hold up a flag that says to parts of the world we don't care about them, we don't empathize with them, with no big contracts, come in and take over lands where private business makes money; where we're not concerned about our troops, our veterans-we cut the budget-and the people there, I think that's what desecrates the flag, and I think that this president should be held accountable for that.

BROKAW: Senator Edwards in Washington, D.C., let me ask you a question.

Do you think that President Clinton made a mistake-going back to the earlier experiences that we had had with terrorism-by pulling the American fleet out of the Arabian Sea after the USS Cole was attacked, by getting out of Somalia after "Black Hawk Down," after not doing more, maybe even putting boots on the ground in Afghanistan, after Tanzania and Kenya, which our embassies were attacked? Did he make a mistake, and thereby encourage terrorists to be more bold in their strikes against the United States?

EDWARDS: No. As a matter of fact, I think that President Clinton was very focused on the war on terrorism, very concerned about Osama bin Laden and Al Qaida; focused on taking the steps necessary.

I met with Sandy Berger, who was the national security adviser, immediately after Clinton left office, and his first statement to me was, "The most serious threat we face is the war on terrorism."

And there was a great deal of concern in the transition about the absence of any serious-an inadequate level of concern in the Bush administration about terrorism.

I want to get back, for just a minute, though, to this whole discussion about our liberties and about what we see happening in America today, because I think it is so fundamental.

First, I want to say that this idea that the FBI is increasing surveillance of anti-war protesters, which Reverend Sharpton just made a reference to, is outrageous. What kind of McCarthyism is that?

And on top of that-on top of that they have a policy that allows them to arrest an American citizen on American soil, label them an enemy combatant, put them in prison, keep them there indefinitely. They never see a lawyer, never see a judge, never get a hearing. These things violate the very heart and soul of this country.

These folks will change the fabric of America if we let them, and we have got to stand up and speak out.

BROKAW: But, Senator Edwards, as I remember, your colleague Russ Feingold was the only senator who said just that when this bill was before your chamber. And you voted for the Patriot Act as a lawyer. You knew what was in it.

EDWARDS: Well, here's the reality about the Patriot Act. There are provisions in the Patriot Act which never get any attention which do good things. Al Gore recognized those. A lot of the commentators since then have.

For example, information sharing among government agencies, being able to go after money laundering, bringing our laws up to date with the technologies that exist today.

But what we now know that it is in the hands of this attorney general the ability to go into bookstores and libraries, find out what books are being bought, what books are being checked out; the ability to do what they call sneak-and-peek searches, which means going into people's homes without notice, without adequate procedural safeguards in place.

We cannot give John Ashcroft this kind of authority, which is the reason we need to change the Patriot Act.

BROKAW: General Clark, would you have put troops on the ground in Afghanistan after the attacks on Tanzania and Kenya, our embassies there, and the USS Cole? These were very serious attacks, after all.

CLARK: Well, I wasn't in on the planning of this, so I don't know all of the details inside the Pentagon. But I will tell you this: that it's important to take strong, direct action against terrorists.

And I think the real failure occurred after the change of administrations. It took a few weeks after the Cole was attacked to really definitively pin it on Al Qaida. By that time, the Clinton administration was on the way out.

As I'm told, as John Edwards said, the Bush administration was told the greatest threat to the United States is Osama bin Laden.

And I think the American people deserve to hear exactly what happened during that period.

You know, there's a-two investigations. There's an intelligence investigation. There's a commission. But our great President Harry Truman said this. He said, "When you're president of the United States, the buck stops here."

Now, we know who did 9/11 and we know who is directly responsible for it, and that's Osama bin Laden. But the president of the United States is responsible for U.S. security. And I think that's an issue in this election. And the question is, is he doing and did he do everything he could to protect the people of the United States?

That's what we want to be asking. And that's what we want answers to.

BROKAW: There's another threat out there, Congressman Gephardt, that's not getting as much attention in the last couple of months, and it was really on the radar screen about a year ago, and it has not gone away, and that's North Korea.

The North Koreans now are saying, through diplomats and through back channels, that they would be willing to dismantle their nuclear capability if the United States would sign a non-aggression pact, if it would compensate the North Koreans for what they've lost and what they've invested in their nuclear capability and if they could do economic programs with China and with Japan.

Would you buy that package from the North Koreans?

GEPHARDT: I think this president has gotten us backed into a very dangerous place with North Korea.

BROKAW: You don't think it began in the Clinton administration?

GEPHARDT: No, the Clinton administration was a few days away from bombing the reactors in 1994. He instead sent Bill Perry. They got an agreement, which was better than attacking the reactors.

It was holding. It wasn't perfect...

BROKAW: But they continued to build.

GEPHARDT: But you got a very unreliable regime in North Korea you got to deal with.

And understand if we attack the reactors, they got a million people under arms. They'll come at our 30,000 people and the only way we can stop them is with tactical nuclear weapons. So this is a dangerous situation.

When Bush came in office, he called the agreement that Clinton had appeasement. He then put them in the axis of evil without explaining to anybody what in the world that was. And then he called the leader in North Korea the most evil leader in the world. Now this guy's half nuts anyway.

So now you've got a very dangerous situation. And the president of the United States has backed us into this situation.

He should go and get a negotiation going and get to the bottom of this. You don't lose anything by negotiating with somebody. He doesn't have to have the shape of the table exactly as he wants it. But he needs to get back to an enforceable agreement because I am more worried tonight that the A bomb will wind up in the hands of terrorists from the North Koreans than the Iraqis. That is a failure.

BROKAW: I think that it's fair to say, historically, Congressman Kucinich, the chances of having a successful negotiation with Kim Jong Il are remote or slim at best.

If he continues to develop his nuclear capability and develop weapons as well, will the time come and what is that threshold when the United States may be forced to do what Congressman Gephardt said the Clinton administration was prepared to do: make a unilateral strike against North Korea?

KUCINICH: Well, let's take this in context, Tom. The context now is that President Bush launched an attack on Iraq which did not attack the United States. He mentioned Iraq, Iran and North Korea in the same breath as an axis of evil.

If you're sitting there in North Korea, and you see one of those countries checked off, you think you're going to be next.

So what I believe, as president, what I will do is I will go and meet with Kim. I will set forth a whole new doctrine for this United States, taking us away from unilateralism and preemption and toward cooperation.

Tom, we've lost our credibility.

BROKAW: Non-aggression?

KUCINICH: I'm saying that we must believe that peace is inevitable. When you work from a premise that war is inevitable, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

And what I'm saying is that, as president, I would work with the community of nations, but go to these people who are afraid. Look what we've done to North Korea: We've made them so afraid that they think that we're going to attack them.

We have to get out of that posture. And that's why, as the next president, I'm prepared to take America in a totally different direction on foreign policy where people will not fear us.

Everyone knows we have the strength. But people need to have confidence in our word and that we're not going to go and attack them.

And finally, Tom, we need to get rid of these nuclear weapons. Our credibility is on the line. We should not be building nuclear weapons. We should be enforcing the Non-Proliferation Treaty which calls on all nations to get rid of nuclear weapons.


BROKAW: Governor Dean, is there a threshold for the North Koreans if they go beyond it, that you would be forced, as commander in chief, to order a strike?

DEAN: There's always a threshold. And no president ever rules out any options at any time.

BROKAW: Are offers non-aggression?

DEAN: Well, that's-I disagree with that.

I think the offer that the president of North Korea has on the table has real promise. It depends how the non-aggression treaty must be structured. We can sign such a treaty if it does not preclude us from coming to the defense of our allies, particularly South Korea.

I have long believed-and George Bush has pooh-poohed this and he was wrong and his own experience showed he was wrong-I have long believed that constructive engagement works.

And I'll give you an example: George Bush pooh-poohed this during the 2000 campaign with Al Gore, principally because he didn't think of it first.

Now, the truth is, a short time after President Bush came into office, a Chinese fighter plane ran into our spy plane off the international air space. Our spy plane came down, our crew came down, and all were returned within 10 days.

Why? Because the Chinese didn't want to lose several hundred billions dollars worth of trade with the United States.

Constructive engagement works. In the long run, we will have more leverage over the behavior of North Korea if they are inside the international tent than if they are outside.

So I think we ought to enter into bilateral negotiations with the North Koreans. I think this president is making a big mistake in refusing to do this. Hopefully he has not missed the opportunity to disarm them through negotiations.

BROKAW: We're getting down to one minute before you have your closing statements.

Let me ask you, Senator Kerry, in Massachusetts. Robert Kennedy Jr., has written a long article in the current edition of Rolling Stone saying this is the worst environmental president in the country's history. And he talks about the Clean Air Act and about clean water and about the national forest and so on.

If you were the president of the United States, which two of the moves that the president has made in the environmental arena in the last two years would you reverse by presidential fiat?


KERRY: You can't do it by fiat, but I can do one of them, and that is immediately re-engage in the global warming discussion and bring the less developed nations to the table.

Secondly, I would set America on the course for energy independence. We can grow our economy and do an enormous amount there.

But, Tom, let me just say something quickly if I can.

The president is approaching the war on terror in the wrong way. I wrote a book six years ago called, "The New War," and I laid out the way in which we could, in fact, create greater cooperation with North Korea-I'm, incidentally, proud to have the support of former Secretary of Defense Bill Perry and Robert Kennedy, both of them are supporting me for president.

And I think that we could do a better job of reaching out to the world with a better environmental policy and a legitimate war on terror that's not based on military action alone.

BROKAW: Thank you very much, Senator Kerry.

And now we're going to get to the closing statements. We're going to begin with Senator Kerry and work our way around. You have 45 seconds.

Senator Kerry, we're going to hold you to the clock on this one.

And that goes for the rest of you as well.

If you'll begin, please.

KERRY: Well, George Bush is running ads about the war and we don't need commercials, what we need is a commander in chief. He's trying to silence debate in America, and we're not going to be silenced.

We need a president who has the ability to wage a legitimate war on terror and win us allies and friends.

We also need a president who is prepared to make America more fair, to take on the special interests and to stand up and fight for a real deal in America where we have an economy that's based on products and people, not perks and privileges.

I want America to be a land of hope again for all of our citizens. And I want us to come together and move toward and stand up and fight with confidence in our values and the willingness to defeat the Bush-Cheney-Ashcroft cynicism; give back hope, give back truth, give back the soul to our country.

BROKAW: Thank you very much, Senator.

Congressman Kucinich?

KUCINICH: We have to recognize that the war in Iraq is depriving the United States of the lifeblood of our nation, of our ability to fund the domestic agenda, of our reputation around the world.

As the next president of the United States, I will lead this nation in a new direction, a direction where we get away from unilateralism and get away from preemption.

That new direction will strike a responsive chord in the world community. That's why the U.N. will follow the plan that I have, which will enable the U.N. troops to come in and the U.S. troops to come home.

I want to see our domestic agenda focused on here, so that we can have the money that we need for education, tuition-free college, for health care-universal, single-parent health care-for pre- kindergarten-universal pre-kindergarten-child care for all of our children age 3, 4 and 5.

As president of the United States, I'll help to provide peace and prosperity for this country.

BROKAW: Thank you very much, Congressman.

Governor Dean?

DEAN: Thank you.

On January 19th we have the day commemorating Martin Luther King's birthday. We also, on January 19th, have the Iowa caucuses. Both are important because Martin Luther King was the soul of empowerment in this country. And you have the power to decide who the next president of the United States will be.

If you believe all of us up here, we are all-I can assure you that I agree with Reverend Sharpton that any of us would be better than what we have now in this White House.

But the biggest lie that people like me tell people like you at election time is, "If you vote for me, I'll solve all your problems."

The truth is that you have the power to change this party so that we can have jobs again in America and health care and stand up for what we believe in. You have the power to take back this country so the flag of the United States doesn't belong to John Ashcroft and Rush Limbaugh and Jerry Falwell any more, it belongs to all of us. And you have the power on January 19th to take back the White House, which is exactly what we're going to do.

Thank you.

BROKAW: Thank you, Governor.


Madam Ambassador?

MOSELEY BRAUN: Well, I want to take the men only sign off the White House door. And I want to do so...


... to expand our democracy so that we can tap all of the talent that's available to us. I want to put the American people first, not only in our international relations, but here at home, to see to it that we provide for the domestic security and the harmony of the whole community. That means an economy that works for all Americans, that creates good paying jobs that people can support a family on, so that women who work sole households make-have pay equity in the work force.

I want to make certain that our children have a quality education and a federal contribution that truly leaves no child behind. I want to make certain that we have universal health care, which we can do and give our economy a boost and the kind of stimulus that it needs to make our economy robust again.

In short, I want to be a president to make certain that this generation-talk about the greatest generation-that this generation does no less for the next generation than the last one did for us.

BROKAW: Thank you.


BROKAW: Congressman?

GEPHARDT: I think we're all tied together. Martin Luther King once said, "We're all woven into a single garment of destiny." He said, "What affects one directly affects all the rest of us indirectly."

He also said, "I can't be what I ought to be until you can be what you ought to be." And that's what I really believe.

I grew up in a poor household. I had Baptist church scholarships, government loans, whatever my parents could save-I got a great education.

I've been leader in the House for 13 years. I'm running for president of the United States. And I didn't do it on my own. I had a lot of help.

So I just want you all to know that when I'm president, every day on every issue I'm going to be 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 been.

Thank you.

BROKAW: Thank you, Congressman.



CLARK: Well, Tom, tonight we're in Iowa. But the real debate is not here. It's going to be a year from now with George W. Bush and we can already see the outlines of this debate.

It's going to be about the war on terror, foreign policy and who can keep America safe. And we see the ads trying to strip us of our patriotism and our ability to hold our president accountable for the mistakes he's made.

Now, we know that we're not safer today and we know he's made mistakes. But we also see those ads.

And so I think the real question is before this party: Who is the person best able to answer the questions America will ask? Who can stand toe to toe with George Bush and argue foreign policy and security policy and the values that we, as Americans, believe in?

I'm the only person on the stage who's led major forces in an alliance in war. And I'm the only person here who's negotiated or helped to negotiate an agreement to end a war.

I am the candidate who can stand with George W. Bush and win this election.

BROKAW: Thank you, General.

CLARK: Thank you.


BROKAW: Reverend Sharpton?

SHARPTON: As stated, the Iowa caucus will meet on Dr. King's birthday.

I don't just quote Dr. King, I started my career as a young organizer in a movement he started. I marched for that birthday to happen. Everything that movement fought for, everything Americans have believed, whether it's civil rights, whether it's equal pay for women, whether it's gender rights, is threatened by this present administration.

This is not about an election, this is about a direction for the country. We must save our country next year. We must do it by expanding the electorate. We must bring in young voters. We must not continue to act like Republicans. We must stop the disenfranchisement of this nation's capitol, Washington, D.C.

Bush believes more in the voting rights of people in Baghdad than he does in D.C.

We need to win by not imitating the opposition, but by standing up, being real Democrats. And I'm the one that can mobilize and energize that kind of movement.

BROKAW: Reverend Sharpton, thank you very much.

SHARPTON: Thank you.

BROKAW: Senator Edwards?

EDWARDS: When people see politicians yelling at each other, as they have in Iowa this week, they know their voices are not being heard. They spend so much time talking about what they're against, they've forgotten what they're for.

We should be angry at George Bush, but we can't just be a party of anger. We stand on the edge of greatness-we do.

FDR saw it, and we got Social Security as a result. John Kennedy saw it, and we got civil rights as a result.

This is about more than ending the Bush presidency. It's about a new beginning for America.

We are the party that believes in lifting people up, not looking down on them. We're the party that believes in bringing people together, not tearing them apart. We are the party that believes that the family you're born into and the color of your skin should never control your destiny.

And we are the party that still believes that the son of a millworker can beat the son of a president for the White House.

BROKAW: Thank you very much. Thank you very much, Senator John Edwards.

And thank all of you in this room and in our audience. You know, I often say on occasions like this, however much you may agree or disagree with these candidates or the candidates of the other party, it does take a lot of courage to run for president of the United States.

It is the essence of who we are, and it's how we'll be remembered by future historians, how these people conduct themselves and how we respond to all of this.

So I thank you for your attention here today, but we do hope that you'll continue to be vigilant about these issues that define our times.

This is a challenging new century that we all live in. And how we leave this century for the succeeding generations will depend on how you play your role as citizen as well and how I play my role as journalist.

Thank you all very much. Thank you.

Content and programming copyright 2003 MSNBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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