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2010 Senate debates

AK: Miller(R)
AR: Lincoln(D)
AZ: McCain(R)
CA: Boxer(D)
CO: Bennet(D)
CT: Blumenthal(D)
DE: O`Donnell(R)
FL: Crist(I)
IA: Grassley(R)
IL: Kirk(R)
IN: Ellsworth(D)
KY: Paul(R)
LA: Vitter(R)
MO: Carnahan(D)
NC: Burr(R)
ND: Hoeven(R)
NH: Hodes(D)
NV: Reid(D)
NY: Gillibrand(D)
OH: Portman(R)
OR: Wyden(D)
PA: Sestak(D)
UT: Lee(R)
WA: Murray(D)
WI: Feingold(D)
WV: Manchin(D)

Meet the Press: Meet the Candidates 2008 series, individual interviews with Tim Russert, throughout 2008

 OnTheIssues.org excerpts:  (click on issues for details)
    Mike Huckabee: Life question reflects nation’s nature & equality of humans.
    Mitt Romney: Supreme Court had said feds should stay out of abortion.
    Mitt Romney: I took action as governor to preserve the sanctity of life.
    Mitt Romney: No punishment for women who have partial birth abortions.
    Mitt Romney: Outlaw embryo farming, but allow using surplus embryos.
    Fred Thompson: Heart swayed by sonogram of his unborn child.
    Fred Thompson: No human Life Amendment; let states decide individually.
    Fred Thompson: Life begins at conception, but allow early abortions.
    Fred Thompson: Opposes partial birth ban; but no parental notification.
    Bill Richardson: Supreme Court model cannot be justice who dissented on Roe.
    John McCain: Concerned if women undergo illegal dangerous operations.
    Joe Biden: No public funding for abortion; it imposes a view.
    Joe Biden: Supports partial-birth abortion ban, but not undoing Roe.
    Joe Biden: Accepts Catholic church view that life begins at conception.
    Mike Huckabee: Pro-life includes improving life after birth.
    Mike Huckabee: Outlaw all abortions; err on the side of life.
Budget & Economy
    Hillary Clinton: Freeze mortgage interest rates for five years.
    Rudy Giuliani: Goal of balancing budget, but no pledge.
    Chris Dodd: Chairs Banking Committee; hedge fund managers donated $727K.
    Joe Biden: Invest in new programs by ending war & eliminating tax cuts.
Civil Rights
    Hillary Clinton: MLK recognized that working within the system was necessary.
    Ron Paul: Civil Rights Act was more about property than race relations.
    Mitt Romney: Supports Employment Nondiscrimination Act at state level.
    Barack Obama: Being gay or lesbian is not a choice.
    Fred Thompson: Dislikes gay marriage, but states allowed to do it.
    Joe Biden: Civil unions ok; gay marriage is probably inevitable.
    John Edwards: Let gays serve in the military.
    John Edwards: No gay marriage, but no discrimination & civil unions.
    Mike Huckabee: Respect gay couples but no gay adoptions.
    Mike Huckabee: USA has gone from Barney Fife to Barney Frank.
    Ralph Nader: Washington DC is corporate-occupied territory.
    Ralph Nader: Obama & McCain differ, but neither takes on corporations.
    Rudy Giuliani: Will not sever consulting firm ties unless legally required.
    John Edwards: Worked for hedge fund in 2006, but close hedge fund loophole.
    Mike Huckabee: 1999: doubled methamphetamine sentences.
    Ron Paul: War on drugs is out of control; revert control to states.
    Mike Huckabee: Increased school taxes, by court order, and schools improved.
    Ron Paul: Close Dept. of Education, but don’t dismantle public schools.
Energy & Oil
    Barack Obama: Gas tax holiday is a classic Washington gimmick.
    Barack Obama: Voted for failed IL gas tax holiday & learned from mistake.
    Barack Obama: $150B investment over 10 years to reduce oil usage by 35%.
    Barack Obama: Figure out how to sequester carbon and burn clean coal.
    Rudy Giuliani: Opposes mandated 35mpg by 2020; develop alternatives instead.
    Bill Clinton: Adopt GHG cap-and-trade system including India & China.
    Bill Richardson: Claimed too early that secrets were safe at nuclear labs.
    Bill Richardson: Supports nuclear energy, but not waste storage at Yucca Mt.
    Bill Richardson: Cap-and-trade CO2 emissions, including 50-mpg cars by 2020.
    John McCain: Ethanol made no sense in ‘05 but with $60/bbl it makes sense.
    John Edwards: Store nuclear waste near nuclear plants, not in Yucca Mt.
    Barack Obama: Willing to suspend ethanol subsidy to keep food prices down.
Foreign Policy
    Mike Huckabee: Urged ending Cuban embargo as governor; now supports embargo.
    Barack Obama: Ok to postpone Pakistani elections, but not indefinitely.
    Ron Paul: Cut off all foreign aid to Israel & to Arabs.
    Ron Paul: Get out of South Korea and let two Koreas unify.
    Ron Paul: Bush humble foreign policy was hijacked into nation-building.
    Barack Obama: Willing to meet with Fidel Castro, Kim Jung Il & Hugo Chavez.
    Fred Thompson: Play hardball with Musharraf, but don’t cut off US aid.
    Chris Dodd: Iran: focus on sanctions & diplomacy, not military.
    Newt Gingrich: We need a dramatically expanded use of statecraft.
Free Trade
    Rudy Giuliani: More trade with Qatar & emirates is good against terrorism.
Government Reform
    Ralph Nader: No PAC money, no commercial donations; only individuals.
    Ralph Nader: Government become unresponsive to citizen groups in 1979.
    Hillary Clinton: Transparent government includes federal agency blogs.
    Ron Paul: Dismantle agencies that have no Constitutional role.
    Ron Paul: Put 65 projects into 2006 bills, worth $4B to his district.
    Ron Paul: No on all earmarks, even those he proposes for his district.
    Ron Paul: Supports compulsory term limits, not voluntary for himself.
    Barack Obama: Money is the original sin in politics and I am not sinless.
    Hillary Clinton: Public financing would fix campaign donor problems.
    John McCain: Supported then opposed transparency in grassroots reporting.
Gun Control
    Mitt Romney: I support the work of the NRA, but disagree sometimes.
    Mitt Romney: Ok to ban lethal weapons that threaten police.
    Fred Thompson: Allow colleges to make their own rules about guns on campus.
    Bill Richardson: Assault weapons ban did not work; despite his vote for ban.
    Bill Richardson: Endorsed by NRA for governor; would accept endorsement again.
Health Care
    Ralph Nader: For single-payer; all major candidates oppose it.
    Mike Huckabee: Ok to ban smoking from workplaces, but not to ban smoking.
    Hillary Clinton: Since 1993, new consensus developed on need for healthcare.
    John Edwards: Expand Medicaid & create health markets to cover uninsured.
    John Edwards: Increase taxes to pay for universal insurance.
    John Edwards: Medicare: invest in preventive care & better chronic care.
Homeland Security
    Ralph Nader: A wasteful defense is a weak defense.
    John McCain: Improve human intelligence to get Osama bin Laden.
    Ron Paul: We don’t need any troops abroad--they don’t help our defense.
    Ron Paul: Stop policing the world and we can get rid of income tax.
    Ron Paul: Bring all troops home from abroad & save $100B’s every year.
    Ron Paul: 9/11 resulted from blasphemy of our bases in Saudi Arabia.
    Ron Paul: Suicide terrorism stops when we stop intervening abroad.
    Ron Paul: In wartime, people willing to sacrifice liberty for security.
    Rudy Giuliani: Was aware of al-Qaeda before 9/11, but not its enormity.
    Rudy Giuliani: Quit Iraq Study Group to avoid politicizing it.
    Rudy Giuliani: Did business with Qatar, a US ally which protects al-Qaeda.
    Rudy Giuliani: Didn’t vet Bernard Kerik sufficiently for DHS recommendation.
    Fred Thompson: Waterboarding ok if national security were at stake.
    Fred Thompson: Supports pre-emption policy to prevent nuclear proliferation.
    Bill Clinton: Torture must only be hypothetical exception, not US policy.
    Newt Gingrich: Military tribunals to lock people up the way Lincoln did.
    John Edwards: Concerned about Iran, but alternatives over military strike.
    Mike Huckabee: Guard & Reserve did their duty; it’s beginning to wear.
    John McCain: Certify border is secure; only then allow guest workers.
    John McCain: 2003 “amnesty” didn’t mean rewarding illegal behavior.
    John McCain: Round up and deport two million aliens who committed crimes.
    Ron Paul: If economy were good, there’d be no immigration problem.
    Ron Paul: Amend Constitution to remove aliens’ birthright citizenship.
    Mitt Romney: Illegal immigrants should go home eventually.
    Mitt Romney: No mandatory prison term for employers who hire illegals.
    Bill Richardson: Opposes compromise immigration bill: it tears apart families.
    Bill Richardson: Border fence hasn’t worked; border patrols & tech have.
    Bill Richardson: Driver’s licenses & scholarships for illegals; not amnesty.
    John McCain: Bipartisanship shows preparedness for presidency.
    Ralph Nader: Taft-Hartley keeps workers defenseless against globalization.
Principles & Values
    Barack Obama: I joined church to commit to Christ, not to Rev. Wright.
    Ralph Nader: Organize to give the president some backbone.
    Ralph Nader: Running because 61% think both major parties are failing.
    Ralph Nader: Gore responsible for 2000 election; Bush responsible since.
    Ralph Nader: The two parties steal elections & can’t even count the votes.
    Ralph Nader: Democrats should landslide Republicans in 2008.
    Ralph Nader: The only true aging is the erosion of one’s ideals.
    Mike Huckabee: Competition breeds excellence, including in the GOP race.
    Mike Huckabee: Kenneth Copeland is a friend, innocent until proven guilty.
    Mike Huckabee: Hunted and ate fried squirrel in college days.
    John McCain: People want the truth, even if they disagree.
    Ron Paul: Reagan ran on limited government, but increased its size.
    Ron Paul: Called Bush 41 a “bum”; didn’t vote for Bush 43.
    Ron Paul: 99% no intention to run as independent if he loses GOP race.
    Mitt Romney: Freedom requires religion in society, not in individuals.
    Mitt Romney: Ok to appoint atheists or agnostics--no litmus test of faith.
    Mitt Romney: Endorsed by Bob Jones, despite calling Mormonism a “cult”.
    Rudy Giuliani: Criticized for tax-funded police security for his girlfriend.
    Fred Thompson: 100% free & clear of cancer; will release all health records.
    John Edwards: I’m the same as in 2004; America & world have changed.
    Bill Clinton: Role as “First Laddy”: advise Hillary & promote her agenda.
    Bill Clinton: Don’t eliminate Hillary over “dynasty”; vote on her merits.
    Chuck Hagel: No plans to change party; no current plans to run for prez.
    Chuck Hagel: Presidential race started absurdly early; need issues focus.
    Bill Richardson: Running on resume & record, to be president of middle class.
    Bill Richardson: Offered MLB contract, but mistakenly called that drafted.
    Newt Gingrich: Thinking about thinking about running; decision by October.
    John McCain: Not youngest candidate, but certainly the most prepared.
    Joe Biden: Apologized for saying Barack Obama was clean and articulate.
    Joe Biden: Embellishment forced withdrawal from 1988 presidential race.
    Mike Huckabee: America needs optimistic leadership to revive national soul.
    Mike Huckabee: We are a nation of faith, and we are stewards of God’s world.
    Mike Huckabee: Plays bass guitar in rock band “Capitol Offense”.
    Mike Huckabee: George W. Bush has done a magnificent job.
    Mike Huckabee: Vertical lift-up politics rather than horizontal left-right.
    Mike Huckabee: Ordained Baptist minister; I make no apology for my faith.
    Mike Huckabee: People of faith feel responsible for God’s world.
    Chris Dodd: We’ve squandered years of building world alliances.
Social Security
    Ron Paul: Never voted to spend one penny of Social Security money.
    Barack Obama: Cutting benefits & raising retirement age are wrong answers.
    John McCain: Willing to compromise on raising cap above $90K.
    John Edwards: Maybe raise the cap from $90,000, or eliminate the cap.
    John Edwards: We have social contract to not raise retirement age.
Tax Reform
    Ralph Nader: End perverse incentives that reward Wall Street speculators.
    Mike Huckabee: Signed tax pledge to not raise marginal tax rates.
    John McCain: Voting against Bush cuts then for them: not a mistake.
    Mike Huckabee: Raised some taxes based on court orders and voter approval.
    Ron Paul: Doesn’t want flat tax or consumption tax.
    Ron Paul: Get rid of IRS; get rid of income tax; get rid of spending.
    John McCain: Opposed Bush tax cuts, but must extend them now.
    Mike Huckabee: First governor in Arkansas history to ever lower taxes.
    Mike Huckabee: Wouldn’t propose new taxes, but won’t pledge against taxes.
    Mike Huckabee: Raised Arkansas taxes 5 times, but lowered taxes 94 times.
    Mike Huckabee: Improved AR roads, via voter-approved tax increase.
War & Peace
    Barack Obama: Iran is biggest strategic beneficiary of invasion of Iraq.
    Barack Obama: Military surge in Afghanistan to eliminate the Taliban.
    John McCain: Timetable for withdrawal is a white flag of surrender.
    John McCain: Staying for 100 years OK, if US casualties are low.
    Barack Obama: 2002: Iraq will require US occupation of undetermined length.
    Hillary Clinton: No extension on surge; deadline is why Iraq is progressing.
    Hillary Clinton: Bush’s classified withdrawal plan is cursory; out in 60 days.
    Hillary Clinton: Voted against Levin Amendment: it gave UN veto over US.
    John McCain: Ok with American presence in Iraq for 100 years.
    Ron Paul: If Iran invaded Israel, it’s up to Congress to declare war.
    Ron Paul: Israeli government & the neocons want US to bomb Iran.
    Ron Paul: Every country ended slavery without civil war; US could have.
    Rudy Giuliani: Iran: Keep military option on table, even if no nukes now.
    Rudy Giuliani: Keep pressure on Iran, because pressure works.
    Rudy Giuliani: Disagrees with neocon adviser on immediate need to bomb Iran.
    Rudy Giuliani: No time limit in Iraq; stay until we achieve stability.
    Barack Obama: Voted to fund war until 2006; now wants no blank check.
    Barack Obama: Meet directly for diplomacy with the leadership in Iran.
    Fred Thompson: Stay the course and take opportunity to succeed.
    Fred Thompson: Osama bin Laden is more symbolism than anything else.
    Fred Thompson: Pledges to do everything possible to prevent Iranian nukes.
    John Edwards: Keep troops at embassy & border, but out of civil war.
    Hillary Clinton: Defunding war is the only way to force Bush to change course.
    John Kerry: Bush-McCain stategy in Iraq is policy to stay, not to win.
    John Kerry: No al-Qaeda in Iraq in 2002; we invaded under false pretense.
    John Kerry: Democrats proposing success in Iraq by political solution.
    John Kerry: Reduce US military presence in Iraq; and bring in neighbors.
    John McCain: Stategy in Iraq: defeat al-Qaeda; limit Iran’s influence.
    John McCain: Iraq is now the central front in the war against al-Qaeda.
    John McCain: Americans want to win; bin Laden thinks he’s winning now.
    John McCain: Democrats proposing failure in Iraq by withdrawing.
    John McCain: Reducing military presence has never in history won a war.
    Joe Biden: Changed mind on Iraq pullout, not about political solution.
    Joe Biden: Worth losing election to protect our troops.
    Chuck Hagel: Our current Iraq policy is not worthy of soldiers’ sacrifice.
    Chuck Hagel: Engage with Iran & Syria; follow Baker-Hamilton.
    Chuck Hagel: Internationalize Iraq or we’ll be seen as occupiers.
    Chuck Hagel: Open to withdrawal timelines, but look at other issues too.
    Chuck Hagel: Bush administration wanted to go to war with Saddam.
    Chuck Hagel: No Iraq military solution; focus on political accommodation.
    Chuck Hagel: Outcome in Iraq will be determined by the Iraqis.
    Chuck Hagel: Iraq was a war of choice, like Vietnam.
    Chuck Hagel: Congress should oppose Bush’s actions, but not impeachable.
    Bill Richardson: Deauthorize the war; original resolution no longer operative.
    Bill Richardson: Iraq now in civil war, & US troops are nothing but a target.
    Bill Richardson: Time for Iraqis to take over their own security.
    Bill Richardson: Supporting war initially was a mistake.
    Chris Dodd: Help Iraqi government, but exit Iraq by April 1 2008.
    Chris Dodd: 80% of Iraqi people & 50% of parliament want US out of Iraq.
    Chris Dodd: We need willingness to consider different mission in Iraq.
    Chris Dodd: Military solution in Iraq has been disproven and discredited.
    Newt Gingrich: Deadline for Iraqi withdrawal is legislating defeat.
    Newt Gingrich: Even if Iraq IS a civil war, people have won civil wars.
    Newt Gingrich: Pressure Iran to cut off Iraq, including blockading Iran.
    Newt Gingrich: Iraq & Syria are enemies--ok to talk if we understand that.
    Newt Gingrich: French didn’t abandon colonies in 1776; even when losing.
    Newt Gingrich: Iraqi Army risk their lives & take more casualties than US.
    Newt Gingrich: Date for withdrawal means terrorists exalt & follow us home.
    John McCain: Consequences of failure: regional chaos & we must come back.
    John McCain: In hindsight, Iraq invasion was still justified.
    John McCain: Timetable would be catastrophe, even if Iraq wants it.
    John McCain: Advocated leaving Somalia, but no comparison to Iraq.
    Joe Biden: Start moving combat troops out of harm’s way now.
    Joe Biden: Not micromanaging war to authorize & define mission.
    Joe Biden: Target date ok; deadline not ok; changing failed mission ok.
    Joe Biden: Think about the decade after Iraq, not just the day after.
    Joe Biden: There will be a residual force left in Iraq.
    Joe Biden: In 2002 Saddam posed a threat of purchasing a nuclear bomb.
    Joe Biden: Regrets his war vote because Bush misused war authority.
    Joe Biden: Vote for war allowed war only after all else failed.
    Joe Biden: US worse off than before Saddam because US lost credibility.
    Joe Biden: Partitioning Iraq is inevitable, as shown by history.
    John Edwards: Got war vote wrong based on bad intel & Bush incompetence.
    John Edwards: I accept responsibility for the huge price of war on America.
    John Edwards: Not naive to think that Iraq can become a democracy.
    John Edwards: No funding for the surge, but continue funding the troops.
    Mike Huckabee: Iraq war has made us overlook domestic agenda.
    Mike Huckabee: Opposing Bush’s troop surge is a dangerous position.
    Hillary Clinton: Cut off funds for Iraqi use, but not for troops.
    John McCain: Prefers more troops for surge, but 20,000 is sufficient.
    John McCain: Bush now has the right strategy, and it’s our last chance.
    John McCain: Prefers not to take troops out of Afghanistan.
    John McCain: Generals advising “no more troops” was a failed policy.
    John McCain: McCain Principle: Committing troops means completing mission.
    John McCain: Congress has no authority to cut off funds for Iraqi use.
    John McCain: If we leave Iraq, terrorists will follow us home.
    Chris Dodd: Switch to diplomacy; don’t inject 17,000 more soldiers.
    Chris Dodd: Withdraw troops; more troops do not bring more security.
Welfare & Poverty
    Bill Clinton: Clinton Global Initiative: partnering donors with problems.
    Bill Richardson: New Mexico ranked 48th worst in poverty, but moving forward.

The above quotations are from Meet the Press: Meet the Candidates 2008 series, individual interviews with Tim Russert, throughout 2008.

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