Democratic Spanish-language Univision debate September 9 transcript
The transcript contains some real valuable nuggets.
Here's John Edwards:
Just a few months ago, I was in Canton, Mississippi, as part of a poverty tour, and I met with poultry workers who worked in a poultry plant in Canton, Mississippi. And one of them was a man named Daniel who had been badly hurt on the job. And because of his injuries, he wasn't able to work. And when he asked about trying to get health care or workers' compensation, the first question they asked him was, "What's your immigration status?" This is a perfect example of what's wrong with Washington and why the government is not working for the American people, and not working for Latino families. (Applause.)
Kucinich would make Spanish the second official language of the U.S.
Here's Richardson on the same question:
You know, language is important, but you know, Latinos are always asked these questions. Latinos care about civil rights and immigration, but we care about all issues. We care about health care, about the war in Iraq. We're mainstream. And I do want to say at this point that I was under the impression that in this debate Spanish was going to be permitted because I've always supported Univision all my career, but I'm disappointed today that 43 million Latinos in this country, for them not to hear one of their own speak Spanish -- (applause) -- is unfortunate. In other words, Univision has promoted English only in this debate. (Applause.) (Speaks Spanish.)
Before promoting amnesty, Barack Obama gets "tough" in his response to the "why not a 'wall' on the Canadian border" question:
That is going to involve some elements of border security because we've got to make our borders more secure. We can't just have hundreds of thousands of people coming into the country without knowing who they are.
Before also promoting amnesty, Hillary Clinton gets slightly "tougher":
Well, actually, I do favor much more border patrolling and much more technology on both of our borders, and in certain areas, even a physical barrier, because I think we've got to secure our borders.
Then, John Edwards wants a giant infrared security beam across the borders, or something:
When you walk into a Blockbuster to -- to rent a movie, you don't see anybody, but you hear a voice saying, "Welcome to Blockbuster." We can figure out when somebody's walking into a Blockbuster. It seems to me we can figure out when somebody's coming into the United States of America, and especially if we use the technology that's available to us.
Then, not just name-dropping from Hillary but a promise to dramatically increase legal immigration through chain migration:
I am proud to work with my friend, Senator Menendez, on trying to make sure that in the process of doing immigration reform, we don't separate families, we try to have family unification as one of the goals. So in addition to giving people a path to legalization, we want to make sure their families can come along with them.
She also promises to propagandize a strawman version of the issue:
And finally, we have to educate the American people about why immigration, as important as it was when my family came through into Ellis Island, it is just as important today.
Obviously, by "American people" she means Americans who aren't Hispanic.
Obama gets in on the action:
One other thing, though, that I think has not been mentioned -- and I've been working with my dear friend and colleague Congressman Luis Gutierrez on this -- is we've got to fix a broken immigration system not just for the undocumented but for legal immigrants.
Then, Richardson does say he would stop the immigration raids (Question: "Governor Richardson, the same question. Would you stop the raids?"):
Yes, I would, because it shows that -- the fact that a dysfunctional relationship between the Congress and the president caused the breakdown of a potential compromise. Now we have to wait till 2008 and 2009, and these raids are ineffective, they're a symbol of what's wrong with a broken immigration policy.
Then, John Edwards supports serf labor (question from a viewer: "Do you believe Americans will work on a farm 10 hours in 105- degree weather for only 8.50 per hour? He would like to know if undocumented immigrants are necessary for the U.S. workforce?"):
And it is enormously important that we have comprehensive immigration reform so that those who in fact are working 10 hours a day in 105-degree heat have the same sort of worker rights that other Americans have.
Then, speaking at a event that excluded all Americans who don't speak Spanish, Hillary supports unity as a nation:
Well, I think this is a very serious problem, and as I said earlier, there are many in the political and frankly in the broadcast world today who take a particular aim at our Latino population. And I think it's very destructive. It undermines our unity as a country.
Then, she lies about HR 4437:
There was a particularly egregious example of that in the House- passed bill last year. When the House passed a bill, they tried to criminalize anyone who helped an illegal immigrant, anyone who gave them medical care, any church that opened up to give them food at a dinner or breakfast. And I said that I would have criminalized the Good Samaritan. It would have criminalized Jesus Christ.
And, Mike Gravel rounds the bend in his answer to "Do you consider Hugo Chavez a
dictator? Would you break relations with him?":
MR. GRAVEL: No, not at all. In fact, I would reach out to him. Do we forget that on a weekend our CIA tried to depose him? Do we forget that? And of course -- so, is he an enemy? No, he's not an enemy. We've created him as an enemy. We're doing the same thing with Iran. What's the difference if Chavez deals with Iran? We hope that a lot of countries begin to interchange their leadership and begin to think about the globe as one entity. There's nothing wrong... The same thing with Fidel Castro. Why can't we recognize Cuba?
Then, after both Dennis Kucinich and Obama promote massive educational spending, Obama remembers to pander, this time using the extremely anti-American DREAM Act:
I think that it is important for us to pass the DREAM Act -- (applause) -- something that my colleague Dick Durbin and I and others have been working on for a very long time, so that those children who may be undocumented because of decisions by their parents still have an opportunity to pursue a higher education.
Bill Richardson fully supports bilingual education, then rips a page from the Rob Reiner/Soviet Union playbook:
One, preschool for every child. You have to get the kids before they're 4.
He'd also "scrap" NCLB because it "hampers bilingual education". And:
What we also need to do is find universal education, a DREAM Act for college students. And I have a plan that deals with college loans: in exchange for partially paying off college loans, one year of national service for this country... ...[another question]... ...But we've got to start with kids. We've got to get rid of junk food in schools. We have to have healthy breakfasts for every child, mandatory physical education. We have to start early.
We must exert control over all aspects of their lives!
On healthcare, Chris Dodd says:
Well, it has to be here. This is again a matter of just basic rights in my view here. Not to provide health care for undocumented workers is not only wrong for them. It's dangerous for the country as well. And so my plans include the undocumented workers as part of health care.
Hillary panders by:
Well, I am very proud that we tried to provide universal health care to every American back in 1993 and 1994, and -- (applause). I learned a lot from that, and I'm going to be presenting a plan next week that will be universal. It will cover everyone, and it will make it clear that we as a rich nation with the values that should be the best in the world will once and for all make it absolutely positive that everyone will have health care.
The panderfest ended with the question: "what would each one of you consider to be the greatest contribution of Hispanics in the United States?"
Latinos are the heart, I believe, of American mainstream. The biggest contribution has been the political leadership of individuals like Henry Cisneros and Gloria Molina. Henry Cisneros I always thought would be the first Hispanic president... I am of the view that Latinos can make a difference in this presidential election. Forty-three million of us all around the country can decide not just what is best for Latinos but what is best for America, in crucial states like Florida, like California, like Nevada, like New Mexico. But we are growing as a community in states like Arkansas. The fastest-growing community there is Latino. So the greatest contributions we can make -- and I made that point about dehumanizing Latinos. The American military, today the most Congressional Medal of Honor members have been Latinos. And I say that because I hate the dehumanizing of our people. And we must recognize that Latinos today are such a key part of American commerce --... ...We should not be put in a box.
The other candidates offered up useless platitudes, with Gravel being especially incoherent.
In the whole transcript, there are two instances of "African" (Obama and Edwards) and two "black" (Obama, Richardson).