The final section of the debate is on domestic issues – but the first question is on support of the military at college and universities and whether ROTC should be offered and military recruiters should be allowed on campus.
Clinton says “Yes, they should allow recruiters and not do anything to disrespect the military.”
Obama, “The poor people of this country is carrying the burden of the military. We have to increase the core structure of the military so our people will not have to go on multiple tours in a combat zone… but there are other forms of government service…”
Edwards, “Yes, I support the military. But the support continues after the verterans return from combat and leave the military… everyone of them should qualify for medical care and job training… We need a guaranteed stream of funding for the veterans administration…”
Questions on Yuca Mountain and the storage of nuclear waste – Obama, Clinton, and Edwards are in agreement that something needs to be done. Edwards is adamant that he is against building Nuclear Power Plants.
The 2005 energy bill was described as a big winner for Nuclear Power. Obama voted for this bill. Obama, “I voted for it because it was the single largest investment in alternative energy. With respect to Nuclear Energy if we can figure out a safer process than we should pursue it… I want to create a menu of energy options…”
Senator Clinton voted against the 2005 energy bill, “It had enormous giveaways to oil companies. It was not going to move us on the path we need. I think we have to break the lock on energy companies… This is not going to happen by hoping for it.”
A good discussion ensues on energy policy and the impact on the environment. Each of the candidates is on board with the ideology of better use of renewable energy and protection of the environment.
What is the problem with English as a required language.
Edwards, “We need comprehensive immigration reform. We are a country of laws. If you want to be an American citizen you should learn to speak English.”
Will Hispanics vote for a black man? Obama, “They do in my state, they voted for me.” Then he elaborated on why.
The leading cause of death for young black men is gun death.
Clinton, “I am against illegal guns… I am also a political realist… I don’t want the Federal Government preempting State laws that work… We need to crack down on illegal gun dealers… we need to enforce the laws we have… I believe in the second Amendment.”
Obama, “We can provide some common sense enforcement of laws… That ability to trace back guns that are used in crimes… We have two realitites – the tradition of gun ownership and it is important to be able to hunt and fish, then there is the reality of kids shot down in high school by guns – we can reconcile those issues…”
Edward, “We need to protect second amendment rights but we need to understand the rights of people to own guns…”
This was the best of the debates – probably because of only having three candidates and the expanded time opportunities for candidates to address issues. Another segment is coming up – I’ll see if I have the energy to pursue it.