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Quotes from the first Democratic debate

Quotes from the first Democratic debate, in Orangeburg, S.C.:

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JOE BIDEN

He said he does not support the Supreme Court's recent decision to uphold a ban so-called partial-birth abortion. "This decision was intellectually dishonest. I think it is a rare procedure that should only be available when the woman's life and health is at stake. But, what this court did is it took that decision and ... through dishonest reasoning, laid the groundwork for undoing Roe v. Wade."

"The president has a fundamentally flawed (Iraq) policy. It's based upon the notion of being able to set a strong, central government in Baghdad that will be democratic. And the real question is: Are we going to be able to leave Iraq, get our troops out, and leave behind something other than chaos?"

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HILLARY CLINTON

She stood behind her vote on the Senate floor earlier Thursday to force a troop withdrawal. "The American people have spoken. The Congress has voted, as of today, to end this war. And now we can only hope that the president will listen. I'm very proud of the Congress ... for putting together a piece of legislation which says we will fund our troops and protect them, we will limit the number of days that they can be deployed, and we will start to bring them home."

She wouldn't create a brand-new health care system right away. "We can save money within the existing system. I am not ready to put new money into a system that doesn't work until we've tried to figure out how to get the best outcomes from the money we already have."

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CHRIS DODD

"Stateless terrorism is a multinational problem. It's a tactic. It requires a multinational response. This administration has walked away from that. The very institutions we need to build to have us effectively engage and fight back against terrorism, this administration seems to take the other track and move in another direction."

"I believe that civil unions are appropriate and proper. I don't support same-sex marriage. And the distinction there I think is one of more of what's available, what the traditions are, and the -- over the years. But, basically, that's a distinction I make. Strongly support those civil unions."

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JOHN EDWARDS

"On the issue of climate change, we ought to cap carbon emissions in the United States. We ought to invest in clean alternative sources of energy. We ought to invest in carbon sequestration technology, in coal technology. A billion dollars, at least, into making sure we build the most fuel-efficient vehicles on the planet. We ought to ask Americans to be patriotic about something other than war. To be willing to conserve."

"I was wrong to vote for this war. Unfortunately, I'll have to live with that forever. And the lesson I learned from it is to put more faith in my own judgment."

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MIKE GRAVEL

Gravel didn't list any enemies of the U.S. "We have no important enemies. What we need to do is to begin to deal with the rest of the world as equals. And we don't do that. We spend more as a nation on defense than all the rest of the world put together. Who are we afraid of?"

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DENNIS KUCINICH

"The global war on terror has been a pretext for aggressive war. As president of the United States, I intend to take America in a different direction, rejecting war as an instrument of policy, reconnecting with the nations of the world, so that we can address the real issues that affect security all over the globe and affect our security at home."

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BARACK OBAMA

"Nobody has suffered more than the Palestinian people from the failure of the Palestinian leadership to recognize Israel, to renounce violence, and to get serious about negotiating peace and security for the region. Israel has been one of our most important allies around the world. It's the only established democracy in the Middle East. It's the linchpin of much of our efforts in the Middle East."

"We have genuine enemies out there that have to be hunted down, networks have to be dismantled. There is no contradiction between us intelligently using our military and, in some cases, lethal force to take out terrorists and, at the same time, building the sort of alliances and trust around the world that has been so lacking over the last six years."

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BILL RICHARDSON

"I'm a Westerner. I'm a governor of New Mexico. The Second Amendment is precious in the West. But I want to just state for the record, a vast, vast majority of gun owners are law-abiding."

"Being stubborn isn't a foreign policy. And power without diplomacy is blank. I would focus my presidency on dealing with the real threats to America: international terrorism, nuclear proliferation. I've dealt directly with North Korea. I think we've made the situation better. ... I would deal with issues like Darfur. Why is it that America does not care about Africa, about genocide, about issues relating to enormous amount of deaths that are brought forth by international poverty?"

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