Photos and Transcript of the Debate – Part 2

Here’s part two of the transcript and another photo (the candidates and the President of UT). I’ll have photos from the media room later tonight.


XXX  Texas and America.
 CLINTON:  Now, in addition, there are three ways we need to jump
start the economy.
 Clean green jobs; I’ve been promoting this.  I wanted it to be part
of the stimulus package.  I thought a $5 billion investment in clean
green jobs would put hundreds of thousands of Americans to work helping
to create our future.
 We also need to invest in our infrastructure.  We don’t have enough
roads to take care of the congestion, we have crumbling bridges and
tunnels.  We need to rebuild America, and that will also put people to work.
 And, finally, we need to end George Bush’s war on science, which has
been waged against scientists and researchers…
 BROWN:  Thank you, Senator.  And we’ve got a lot of ground to cover…
 CLINTON:  This is about how we fund the future.  We’ve got to get
back to being the innovation nation.  Think of everything that goes on
at this great university to create the new economy…
 BROWN:  All right.  Senator Clinton, thank you very much.
 BROWN:  And, as I was saying, we’ve got a lot to get through.  So I
do want to shift gears and go on to another topic especially important
here in Texas, which is immigration.
 And, Jorge, you have a question.
 RAMOS:  (SPEAKING IN SPANISH)  Federal raids by immigration
enforcement officials on homes and businesses have generated a great
deal of fear and anxiety in the Hispanic community and have divided the
family of some of the 3 million U.S.-born children who have at least one
undocumented parent.
 Would you consider stopping these raids once you take office until
comprehensive immigration reform can be passed?
 CLINTON:  I would consider that, except in egregious situations
where it would be appropriate to take the actions you’re referring to.
 But when we see what’s been happening, with literally babies being
left with no one to take care of them, children coming home from school,
no responsible adult left, that is not the America that I know.
 CLINTON:  That is against American values.  And it is…
 And it is a stark admission of failure by the federal government. We
need comprehensive immigration reform.  I have been for this.  I signed
onto the first comprehensive bill back in 2004.  I’ve been advocating
for it:  tougher, more secure borders, of course, but let’s do it the
right way, cracking down on employers, especially once we get to
comprehensive immigration reform, who exploit undocumented workers and
drive down wages for everyone else.
 I’d like to see more federal help for communities like Austin and
others like Laredo, where I was this morning, that absorb the health
care, education, and law enforcement costs.
 And I personally, as president, would work with our neighbors to the
south, to help them create more jobs for their own people.
 Finally, we need a path to legalization, to bring the immigrants out
of the shadows, give them the conditions that we expect them to meet,
paying a fine for coming here illegally, trying to pay back taxes, over
time, and learning English.
 If they had a committed a crime in our country or the country they
came from, then they should be deported.  But for everyone else, there
must be a path to legalization.  I would introduce that in the first 100
days of my presidency.
 BROWN:  Senator Obama, is your position the same as Hillary Clinton’s?
 OBAMA:  There are a couple of things I would add.  Comprehensive
immigration reform is something that I have worked on extensively.
 Two years ago, we were able to get a bill out of the Senate.  I was
one of the group of senators that helped to move it through, but it died
in the House this year.  Because it was used as a political football
instead of a way of solving a problem, nothing happened.
 And so there are a couple of things that I would just add to what
Senator Clinton said.
 Number one, it is absolutely critical that we tone down the rhetoric
when it comes to the immigration debate, because there has been an
undertone that has been ugly.
 Oftentimes, it has been directed at the Hispanic community.  We have
seen hate crimes skyrocket in the wake of the immigration debate as it
has been conducted in Washington, and that is unacceptable.
 We are a nation of laws and we are a nation of immigrants, and we
can reconcile those two things.  So we need comprehensive reform…
 … we need comprehensive reform, and that means stronger border
security.  It means that we are cracking down on employers that are
taking advantage of undocumented workers because they can’t complain if
they’re not paid a minimum wage.
 OBAMA:  They can’t complain if they’re not getting overtime. Worker
safety laws are not being observed.
 We have to crack down on those employers, although we also have to
make sure that we do it in a way that doesn’t lead to people with
Spanish surnames being discriminated against, so there’s got to be a
safeguard there.
 We have to require that undocumented workers, who are provided a
pathway to citizenship, not only learn English, pay back taxes and pay a
significant fine, but also that they’re going to the back of the line,
so that they are not getting citizenship before those who have applied
legally, which raises two last points.
 Number one, it is important that we fix the legal immigration
system, because right now we’ve got a backlog that means years for
people to apply legally.
 And what’s worse is, we keep on increasing the fees, so that if
you’ve got a hard working immigrant family, they’ve got to hire a
lawyer; they’ve got to pay thousands of dollars in fees.  They just
can’t afford it.  And it’s discriminatory against people who have good
character, we should want in this country, but don’t have the money. So
we’ve got to fix that.
 OBAMA:  So we’ve got to fix that.
 The second thing is, we have to improve our relationship with Mexico
and work with the Mexican government so that their economy is producing
jobs on that side of the border.
 And the problem that we have…
 The problem that we have is that we have had an administration that
came in promising all sorts of leadership on creating a U.S.- Mexican
relationship.  And, frankly, President Bush dropped the ball. He has
been so obsessed with Iraq that we have not seen the kinds of outreach
and cooperative work that would ensure that the Mexican economy is
working not just for the very wealthy in Mexico, but for all people.
And that’s as policy that I’m going to change when I’m president of the
United States.
 BROWN:  All right, Senator Obama.
 We’re going to stay with this topic.  I want to have John King ask
another question.
 Go ahead, John.
 KING:  I want to stay on the issue, but move to a controversial item
that was not held up when the immigration debate collapsed in
Washington, and that is the border fence.
 KING:  To many Americans, it is a simple question of sovereignty and
security.  America should be able to keep people out that it doesn’t
want in.
 But, as you know in this state, especially if you go to the south of
here, along the border, and in other border states, to many people it’s
a much more personal question.  It could be a question of their
livelihood.  It could be a question of cross-border trade.  It might be
an issue to a rancher of property rights.  It might be a simple question
of whether someone can take a walk or a short drive to see their family
 Senator, back in 2006, you voted for the construction of that
fence.  As you know, progress has been slow.
 As president of the United States, would you commit tonight that you
would finish the fence and speed up the construction, or do you think
it’s time for a president of the United States to raise his or her hand
and say, “You know what?  Wait a minute.  Let’s think about this again.
Do we really want to do this?”
 CLINTON:  Well, I think both Senator Obama and I voted for that as
part of the immigration debate.
 CLINTON:  And having been along the border for the last week or so
— in fact, last night I was at the University of Texas at Brownsville
— and this is how absurd this has become under the Bush
administration.  Because, you know, there is a smart way to protect our
borders, and there is a dumb way to protect our borders.
 And what I learned last night when I was there with Congressman
Ortiz is that the University of Texas at Brownsville would have part of
its campus cut off.
 This is the kind of absurdity that we’re getting from this
administration.  I know it because I’ve been fighting with them about
the northern border.  Their imposition of passports and other kinds of
burdens are separating people from families, interfering with business
and commerce, the movement of goods and people.
 So what I’ve said is that I would say, wait a minute, we need to
review this.  There may be places where a physical barrier is appropriate.
 I think when both of us voted for this, we were voting for the
possibility that where it was appropriate and made sense, it would be
considered.  But as with so much, the Bush administration has gone off
the deep end, and they are unfortunately coming up with a plan that I
think is counterproductive.
 CLINTON:  So I would have a review.  I would listen to the people
who live along the border, who understand…
 … what it is we need to be doing to protect our country.
 BROWN:  Let me go on, again — John?
 KING:  Does that mean that you think your vote was wrong, or the
implementation of it was wrong?
 Because, as you know, when they first built the fence in the San
Diego area, it only went so far.  And what it did was it sopped the
people coming straight up the path of where that was built, and they
simply moved.  And California’s problem became Arizona’s problem.
 CLINTON:  But, you know, John, there is — there’s a lot we’ve
learned about technology and smart fencing.  You know, there is
technology that can be used instead of a physical barrier.
 CLINTON:  It requires us having enough personnel along the border so
that people can be supervising a certain limited amount of space and
will be able to be responsive in the event of people attempting to cross
 I think that the way that the Bush administration is going about
this, filing eminent domain actions against landowners and
municipalities, makes no sense.
 So what I have said is, yes, there are places when after a careful
review, again listening to the people who live along the border, there
may be limited places where it would work.  But let’s deploy more
technology and personnel, instead of the physical barrier.
 I frankly think that will work better and it will give us an
opportunity to secure our borders without interfering with family
relations, business relations, recreation and so much else that makes
living along the border, you know, wonderful.
 BROWN:  All right.
 CLINTON:  And the people who live there need to have a president who
understands it, will listen to them and be responsive.
 BROWN:  All right, Senator Clinton.
 Senator Obama, go ahead please.
 OBAMA:  Well, this is an area where Senator Clinton and I almost
entirely agree.  I think that the key is to consult with local
communities, whether it’s on the commercial interests or the
environmental stakes of creating any kind of barrier.
 And the Bush administration is not real good at listening. That’s
not what they do well.
 And so I will reverse that policy.  As Senator Clinton indicated,
there may be areas where it makes sense to have some fencing.  But for
the most part, having border patrolled, surveillance, deploying
effective technology, that’s going to be the better approach.
 The one thing I do have to say, though, about this issue is, it is
very important for us, I think, to deal with this problem in terms of
thousands of — hundreds of thousands of people coming over the borders
on a regular basis if we want to also provide opportunity for the 12
million undocumented workers who are here.
 OBAMA:  Senator Clinton and I have both campaigned in places like
Iowa and Ohio and my home state of Illinois, and I think that the
American people want fairness, want justice.  I think they recognize
that the idea that you’re going to deport 12 million people is
ridiculous, that we’re not going to be devoting all our law enforcement
 … to sending people back.
 But what they do also want is some order to the process.  And so,
we’re not going to be able to do these things in isolation.  We’re not
going to be able to deal with the 12 million people who are living in
the shadows and give them a way of getting out of the shadows if we
don’t also deal with the problem of this constant influx of undocumented
 And that’s why I think comprehensive reform is so important. That’s
the kind of leadership that I’ve shown in the past; that’s the kind of
leadership that I’ll show in the future.
 One last point I want to make on the immigration issue because we
may be moving to different topics:  Something that we can do immediately
that I think is very important is to pass the Dream Act, which allows
children who through no fault of their own are here but have essentially
grown up as Americans, allow them the opportunity for higher education.
 OBAMA:  I do not want two classes of citizens in this country.
 I want everybody to prosper.  That’s going to be a top priority.
 BROWN:  OK, we’ve got one last question on immigration.
 Jorge, go ahead.
 RAMOS:  (SPEAKING SPANISH)  Right now, there are more than 30
million people in this country who speak Spanish.
 Many of them are right here.  By the year 2050, there will be 120
million Hispanics in the United States.  Now, is there any downside,
Senator Clinton, to the United States becoming (SPEAKING SPANISH)
becoming a bilingual nation?  Is there a limit?
 CLINTON:  Well, I think it’s important for as many Americans as
possible to do what I have never been able to do, and that is learn
another language and try to be bilingual because that connects us to the
rest of the world.
 I think it is important, though, that English remain our common
unifying language because that brings our country together in a way that
we have seen generations of immigrants coming to our shores be able to
be part of the American experience and pursue the American dream.
 You know, I have been adamantly against the efforts by some to make
English the official language.  That I do not believe is appropriate,
and I have voted against it and spoken against it.
 CLINTON:  I represent New York.  We have 170 languages in New York
City alone.  And I do not think that we should be, in any way,
discriminating against people who do not speak English, who use
facilities like hospitals or have to go to court to enforce their rights.
 But I do think that English does remain an important part of the
American experience.  So I encourage people to become bilingual.  But I
also want to see English remain the common, unifying language of our
 RAMOS:  Senator Obama, is there any down side to the United States
becoming a bilingual nation?
 OBAMA:  Well, I think it is important that everyone learns English
and that we have that process of binding ourselves together as a
country.  I think that’s very important.
 I also think that every student should be learning a second
language, because…
 … you know, so, when you start getting into a debate about
bilingual education, for example, now, I want to make sure that children
who are coming out of Spanish-speaking households had the opportunity to
learn and are not falling behind.
 OBAMA:  If bilingual education helps them do that, I want to give
them the opportunity.
 But I also want to make sure that English-speaking children are
getting foreign languages because this world is becoming more
interdependent and part of the process of America’s continued leadership
in the world is going to be our capacity to communicate across
boundaries, across borders, and that’s something frankly where we’ve
fallen behind.
 One of the failures of No Child Left Behind, a law that I think a
lot of local and state officials have been troubled by, is that it is so
narrowly focused on standardized tests that it has pushed out a lot of
important learning that needs to take place.
 And foreign languages is one of those areas that I think has been
neglected.  I want to put more resources into it.
 BROWN:  All right.
 We’re going to take a quick break.  We’ve got to go to a
commercial.  We’ll be back with a lot more.  There is also a debate we
should mention raging online right now.  Go to our Web site,, and join in.  The debate here at the University of
Texas in Austin continues right after this.
 BROWN:  And we are back.  We’re here in Austin, Texas, the capital
city.  Welcome back to the Texas Democratic debate at the University of
Texas, Austin.
 The first question now goes to John King.
 KING:  Senator, as I’m sitting here, we’re about 45 minutes into the
discussion tonight, and I’m having what I like to call one of those
parallel universe moments.
 I’ve been watching each of you give speeches in arenas not unlike
this one individually.  And the tone is often quite different than the
very polite, substantive discourse we’ve had tonight.
 And so, I want to ask you about that.  There are times when each of
you seems to call into question the other one’s credibility or truthfulness.
 And, Senator Clinton, I want to talk specifically about some words
you’ve spoken here in the state of Texas over the past couple of days.
 You’ve said, quote, “My opponent gives speeches; I offer solutions.”
 You said the choice for Democrats in this campaign is, quote, “talk
versus action.”
 Now, in a campaign that some of us are old enough to remember, maybe
not many of the students here, this would be called the “Where’s the
beef?” question.
 But, since we’re in Texas, I’d like to borrow a phrase that they
often use here and you’ve used yourself in the context of President
Bush.  Are you saying that your opponent is all hat and no cattle, and
can you say that after the last 45 minutes?
 CLINTON:  Well, I have said that about President Bush, and I think
our next president needs to be a lot less hat and a lot more cattle.
 You know, I think you can tell from the first 45 minutes, you know,
Senator Obama and I have a lot in common.  We both care passionately
about our country.  We are devoted to public service.  We care deeply
about the future, and we have run a very vigorous and contested primary
campaign, which has been by most standards, I think, very positive and
extremely civil.
 CLINTON:  But there are differences between us.  And I think, in our
efforts to draw those contrasts and comparisons, we obviously try to let
voters know how we see the world differently.
 And I do offer solutions.  That’s what I believe in and what I have
done.  And it’s what I offer to voters because it’s part of my life,
over the last 35 years, working to get kids health care, working to
expand legal services for the poor, working to register voters, working
to make a difference.  Because I think that this country has given me so
 And there are differences between our records and our
accomplishments.  I have to confess, I was somewhat amused, the other
night, when, on one of the TV shows, one of Senator Obama’s supporters
was asked to name one accomplishment of Senator Obama, and he couldn’t.
 So I know that there are comparisons and contrasts to be drawn
between us.  And it’s important that voters get that information.  So,
yes, I do think that words are important and words matter, but actions
speak louder than words.  And I offer…
 BROWN:  Senator Obama, go ahead.
 BROWN:  Senator Obama, do you want to respond?
 OBAMA:  Well, I think actions do speak louder than words, which is
why over the 20 years of my public service I have acted a lot to provide
health care to people who didn’t have it, to provide tax breaks to
families that needed it, to reform a criminal justice system that had
resulted in wrongful convictions, to open up our government and to pass
the toughest ethics reform legislation since Watergate, to make sure
that we create transparency…
 … to make sure that we create transparency in our government so
that we know where federal spending is going and it’s not going to a
bunch of boondoggles and earmarks that are wasting taxpayer money that
could be spent on things like early childhood education.
 You know, I think if you talk to those wounded warriors at Walter
Reed who, prior to me getting to the Senate, were having to pay for
their meals and have to pay for their phone calls to their family while
they’re recovering from amputations, I think they’ve said that I’ve
engaged not just in talk, but in action.
 OBAMA:  Now, I think that Senator Clinton has a fine record and I
don’t want to denigrate that record.  I do think there is a fundamental
difference between us in terms of how change comes about. Senator
Clinton of late has said:  Let’s get real.  The implication is that the
people who’ve been voting for me or involved in my campaign are somehow
 And that, you know, the 20 million people who’ve been paying
attention to 19 debates and the editorial boards all across the country
at newspapers who have given me endorsements, includng every major
newspaper here in the state of Texas.
 OBAMA:  You know, the thinking is that somehow, they’re being duped,
and eventually they’re going to see the reality of things.
 Well, I think they perceive reality of what’s going on in Washington
very clearly.  What they see is that if we don’t bring the country
together, stop the endless bickering, actually focus on solutions and
reduce the special interests that have dominated Washington, then we
will not get anything done.  And the reason that this campaign has done
so well…
 The reason that this campaign has done so well is because people
understand that it is not just a matter of putting forward policy positions.
 OBAMA:  Senator Clinton and I share a lot of policy positions. But
if we can’t inspire the American people to get involved in their
government and if we can’t inspire them to go beyond the racial
divisions and the religious divisions and the regional divisions that
have plagued our politics for so long, then we will continue to see the
kind of gridlock and nonperformance in Washington that is resulting in
families suffering in very real ways.
 I’m running for president to start doing something about that
suffering, and so are the people who are behind my campaign.
 BROWN:  I think one of the points — I think one of the points that
John King was alluding to in talking about some of Senator Clinton’s
comments is there has been a lot of attention lately on some of your
speeches, that they are very similar to some of the speeches by your
friend and supporter Deval Patrick, the governor of Massachusetts, and
Senator Clinton’s campaign has made a big issue of this.  To be blunt,
they’ve accused you of plagiarism.
 OBAMA:  Right.
 BROWN:  How do you respond?
 OBAMA:  Well, look, the — first of all, it’s not a lot of
speeches.  There are two lines in speeches that I’ve been giving over
the last couple of weeks.
 I’ve been campaigning now for the last two years.  Deval is a
national co-chairman of my campaign, and suggested an argument that I
share, that words are important.  Words matter.  And the implication
that they don’t I think diminishes how important it is to speak to the
American people directly about making America as good as its promise.
Barbara Jordan understood this as well as anybody.
 OBAMA:  And the notion that I had plagiarized from somebody who was
one of my national co-chairs…
 … who gave me the line and suggested that I use it, I think, is
silly, and…
 … you know, this is where we start getting into silly season, in
politics, and I think people start getting discouraged about it…
 … and they don’t want…
 What they want is, how are we going to create good jobs and good wages?
 How are we going to provide health care to the American people?
 How are we going to make sure that college is affordable?
 So what I’ve been talking about, in this speeches — and I’ve got to
admit, some of them are pretty good.
 What I’ve been talking about is not just hope and not just
inspiration.  It’s a $4,000 tuition credit for every student, every
year, in exchange for national service…
 … so that college becomes more affordable.
 OBAMA:  I’ve been talking about making sure that we change our tax
code so that working families actually get relief.  I have been talking
about making sure that we bring an end to this war in Iraq so that we
can start bringing our troops home and invest money here in the United
 So just to finish up, these are very specific, concrete, detailed
proposals, many of them which I have been working on for years now.
Senator Clinton has a fine record.  So do I.  I’m happy to have a debate
on the issues, but what we shouldn’t be spending time doing is tearing
each other down.  We should be spending time lifting the country up.

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