Eight Hard Leftists Seek Party's Nomination

Last Monday, the eight Democrats seeking their party’s nomination for President participated in a debate in Charleston, S.C., co-sponsored by CNN and YouTube.
In case you missed it, here are some of the more interesting quotes from these liberals who would be President:

Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.)
On being “black enough”: “You know, when I’m catching a cab in Manhattan — in the past — I think I’ve given my credentials.”

On Iraq: “I opposed this war from the start, because I anticipated that we would be creating the kind of sectarian violence that we’ve seen and that it would distract us from the War on Terror. We just heard a White House spokesman, Tony Snow, excuse the fact that the Iraqi legislature went on vacation for three weeks because it’s hot in Baghdad. Well, let me tell you: It is hot for American troops who are over there with 100 pounds worth of gear. So we have to begin a phased withdrawal, have our combat troops out by March 31 of next year.”

Would he be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of his administration, in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea? “I would. And the reason is this: The notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them—which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration—is ridiculous. And I think that it is a disgrace that we have not spoken to them.”

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (Ohio)
“[I am] the only one on the stage who actually voted against the war, and also the only one on the stage who voted against funding the war 100% of the time.”

“And so I say we achieve strength through peace. That’s the new doctrine that I’m going to promote throughout this campaign.”

“People can send a message to Congress right now. They can text P-E-A-C-E, text 73223, text P-E-A-C-E. Send a message to Congress right now, you want out.”
On slavery reparations: “Yes, I am for repairing the breach. Yes, I am for reparations.”
On whether lesbian couple, Jen and Mary, should be able to marry: “Mary and Jen, the answer to your question is ‘yes.’ Yes, I support you. And welcome to a better and a new America under a President Kucinich Administration.”

“You notice what CNN did. They didn’t put anybody to the left of me. Think about it.”

Sen. Hillary Clinton (N.Y.)
Would she define herself as a “liberal”? “You know, it is a word that originally meant that you were for freedom, that you were for the freedom to achieve, that you were willing to stand against big power and on behalf of the individual. Unfortunately, in the last 30, 40 years, it has been turned up on its head, and it’s been made to seem as though it is a word that describes big government, totally contrary to what its meaning was in the 19th and early 20th Century.”

On sending American troops to Darfur: “American ground troops I don’t think belong in Darfur at this time. I think we need to focus on the United Nations peacekeeping troops and the African Union troops.”

In response to Obama’s comment on meeting with hostile foreign leaders: “Well, I will not promise to meet with the leaders of these countries during my first year. I don’t want to be used for propaganda purposes. I don’t want to make a situation even worse.”
On the 2000 election: “I actually thought somebody else was elected in that election, but. . .”

Former Sen. Mike Gravel (Alaska)
“Our soldiers died in Vietnam in vain. You can now, John, go to Hanoi and get a Baskin-Robbins ice cream cone. That’s what you can do. And now we have most favored nation trade. What did all these people die for? What are they dying for right now in Iraq every single day? There’s only one thing worse than a soldier dying in vain: It’s more soldiers dying in vain.”

“Well, of course I want to take credit and admit that I’m the guy that filibustered for five months, all by myself, in the Senate to end the draft in the United States of America. And I’m very proud that because of that George Bush does not have the boots on the ground to invade Iran.”

“George Bush’s oil war was a mistake. We need to stop killing Americans and Iraqis.”
On the state of the Democratic Party: “The Democratic Party used to stand for the ordinary working man. But the Clintons and the DLC sold out the Democratic Party to Wall Street. Look at where all the money is being raised right now, for Hillary, Obama and Edwards. It’s the hedge funds. It’s Wall Street bankers. It’s the people who brought you what you have today.”

Sen. Joe Biden (Del.)
Which Republican would he choose as a running mate? “At the risk of hurting his reputation—and it will hurt him—but I would pick [Nebraska Sen.] Chuck Hagel, and I’d consider asking [Indiana Sen.] Dick Lugar to be secretary of State.”

On sending American troops to Darfur: “Absolutely, positively. Look, I’m so tired of this. Let’s get right to it. I heard the same arguments after I came back from meeting with Milosevic: We can’t act. We can’t send troops there. Here we can—America must. Why Darfur? Because we can.”

On withdrawing from Iraq: “It’s time to start to tell the truth. The truth of the matter is: If we started today, it would take one year — one year — to get 160,000 troops physically out of Iraq. Logistically, you cannot pull out of Iraq without the follow-on that’s been projected here, unless you have a political solution. There’s not one person in here that can say we’re going to eliminate all troops … unless you’re going to eliminate every physical person who’s an American in Iraq. Tell the truth for a change. There is not a single military man in this audience who will tell this senator he can get those troops out in six months if the order goes today.”

On working for the minimum wage: “I don’t have Barack Obama’s money either. My net worth is $70,000 to $150,000. That’s what happens when you get elected at 29. I couldn’t afford to stay in the Congress for the minimum wage. But if I get a second job, I’d do it.”

In response to a man who called his gun “his baby”: “I’ll tell you what, if that is his baby, he needs help. I think he just made an admission against self-interest. I don’t know that he is mentally qualified to own that gun. I’m being serious.”

Former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.)
Which Republican would he choose as a running mate? “Actually, I think Chuck Hagel is a good choice.”

On bringing “real change” to Washington:  “I have been standing up to these people my entire life. I have been fighting them my entire life in court rooms — and beating them. If you want real change, you need somebody who’s taking these people on and beating them.”

“Anybody who’s considering not voting for Sen. Obama because he’s black or for Sen. Clinton because she’s a woman, I don’t want their vote. I don’t want them voting for me.”
“I would challenge every Democrat on this stage today to commit to raising the minimum wage to $9.50 an hour by the year 2012.”

“The only way to provide universal coverage is to mandate that everyone be covered.”

Sen. Chris Dodd (Conn.)
On hurricane Katrina: “It, obviously, points to one of the most dark and shameful moments in recent history in our country. The American President had almost no response whatsoever to the people of that city, New Orleans. I believe that had this occurred in a place with mainly a white population, we would have seen a much more rapid response and a consistent response to that issue.”

On same-sex marriage: “I don’t go so far as to call for marriage. I believe marriage is between a man and a woman.’”

On working for the minimum wage: “I have two young daughters who I’m trying to educate. I don’t think I could live on the minimum wage, but I’m a strong advocate to seeing to it that we increase it at least to $9 or $10 to give people a chance out there to be able to provide for their families.”

Gov. Bill Richardson (N.M.)
“I would eliminate ‘don’t ask-don’t tell’ in the military.”

“The diplomatic work cannot begin to heal Iraq, to protect our interests, without troops out.”

Would his universal healthcare plan cover undocumented workers? “Yes, it would. It should cover everybody.”