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2008-01-09

In Upset Victories, Clinton and McCain Win New Hampshire Primaries

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Defying the pundits and the polls, Senator Senator Hillary Clinton narrowly beat Senator Barack Obama in New Hampshire’s Democratic primary. Meanwhile, Senator John McCain’s faltering campaign was given new life with a win over second-place finisher Mitt Romney. We play excerpts of the post-vote speeches. [includes rush transcript]

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: We turn now to the New Hampshire primaries, where Senator Hillary Clinton pulled off an unexpected victory last night, narrowly beating Senator Barack Obama. Clinton won despite being behind in every major public opinion poll taken since her third-place finish in the Iowa Caucus last week. The race between Clinton and Obama was so close, it took the network’s two-and-a-half hours after the polls closed to call.

This is part of the former First Lady and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s victory speech.

    SEN. HILLARY CLINTON: The oil companies, the drug companies, the health insurance companies, the predatory student loan companies have had seven years of a president who stands up for them. It’s time we had a president who stands up for all of you. I intend to be that president, to be a president who puts you first, your lives, your families, your children, your futures.

    I believe deeply in America, in our can-do spirit, in our ability to meet any challenge and solve any problem. I believe in what we can do together. In the future, we will build together. There will be no more invisible Americans. So we’re going to take what we’ve learned here in New Hampshire, and we’re going to rally on and make our case. We are in it for the long run. And that is because we are in it for the American people.

    This victory will serve notice that people across our country know what’s really at stake, that we will all be called upon to deliver on the promise of America. We’ll be called upon to deliver on the promise that the middle class will grow and prosper again; to deliver on the promise that government will be of the people, by the people and for the people, not just the privileged few; to deliver on the promise that every generation will have their shot at the American dream; to deliver on the promise that we’ll have the will and the wisdom to end the war in Iraq the right way; to deliver on the promise to take care of our brave veterans and restore America’s standing, respect and credibility around the world.

    We know that for the promise of America to be real, we are called upon to deliver on that promise. And if you join in this call to greatness, we will together answer. So, tomorrow, we’re going to get up, roll up our sleeves and keep going.

AMY GOODMAN: Senator Hillary Clinton beat Barack Obama by a 39% to 37% margin. Despite Obama’s defeat in New Hampshire, he’s expected to soon pick up two major union endorsements in Nevada: the Culinary Workers Union and the state chapter of the Service Employees International Union. Together, the two unions represent over 75,000 workers in Nevada, which holds its caucus on January 19th. Last night, Barack Obama vowed the race to the White House is just beginning.

    SEN. BARACK OBAMA: For when we have faced down impossible odds, when we’ve been told we’re not ready or that we shouldn’t try or that we can’t, generations of Americans have responded with a simple creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can. Yes, we can. Yes, we can.

    It was a creed written into the founding documents that declared the destiny of a nation. Yes, we can. It was whispered by slaves and abolitionists as they blazed a trail towards freedom through the darkest of nights. Yes, we can. It was sung by immigrants as they struck out from distant shores and pioneers who pushed westward against an unforgiving wilderness. Yes, we can.

    It was the call of workers who organized, women who reached for the ballot, a president who chose the moon as our new frontier, and a King who took us to the mountaintop and pointed the way to the promised land. Yes, we can to justice and equality. Yes, we can to opportunity and prosperity. Yes, we can heal this nation. Yes, we can repair this world. Yes, we can.

    And so, tomorrow, as we take the campaign south and west, as we learn that the struggles of the textile workers in Spartanburg are not so different than the plight of the dishwasher in Las Vegas, that the hopes of the little girl who goes to the crumbling school in Dillon are the same as the dreams of the boy who learns on the streets of LA, we will remember that there is something happening in America, that we are not as divided as our politics suggest, that we are one people, we are one nation, and together we will begin the next great chapter in the American story with three words that will ring from coast to coast, from sea to shining sea: Yes, we can.

    Thank you, New Hampshire.

AMY GOODMAN: On the Republican front, chants of “Mac is back” filled John McCain’s headquarters after the Arizona senator won the Republican primary. McCain won 37% of the vote, beating Romney by a five-point margin.

    SEN. JOHN McCAIN: Tonight, we have taken a step, but only the first step toward repairing the broken politics of the past and restoring the trust of the American people in their government.

    The people of New Hampshire have told us again that they do not send us to Washington to serve our self-interest, but to serve theirs. They don’t send us to fight each other for our own political ambitions, but to fight together our real enemies. They don’t send us to Washington to stroke our egos, to keep this beautiful, bountiful, blessed country safe, prosperous and proud.

    They don’t send us to Washington to take more of their money and waste it on things that add not an ounce to America’s strength and prosperity. They don’t help a single family realize the dreams we all dream for our children, that don’t help a single displaced worker find a new job, and the security and dignity it assures them, that won’t keep the promise we make to young workers that the retirement they have begun to invest in will be there for them when they need it. They don’t send us to Washington to do their job, but to do ours.

    My friends, I didn’t go to Washington to go along to get along or to play it safe to serve my own interests. I went there to serve my country. And that, my friends, is just what I intend to do if I am so privileged to be elected your president.

AMY GOODMAN: Mike Huckabee placed third among Republicans with 11% of the vote. And there was a close race for fourth between former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and the Texas Congressman Ron Paul. Paul nearly beat Giuliani, even though he was barred from dissipating in Sunday night’s debate on Fox News. Giuliani won only 9% of the vote, despite visiting New Hampshire 126 times, second only to Mitt Romney.

    RUDY GIULIANI: What I can tell you is this race is a wide-open race. It is a wide-open race. There’s going to be a lot more ups and downs to it. And one thing we can handle is ups and downs. We’re very good at that. That’s what it means to handle crisis. That’s what it means to handle problems. And maybe we’ve lulled our opponents into a false sense of confidence now, right?

AMY GOODMAN: Ron Paul was met by loud applause when he addressed supporters at his headquarters last night.

    REP. RON PAUL: Every country throughout all of history has abused the monetary system in order to finance wars that are unpopular. You know, old people declare the wars, and the young people have to fight them. That’s why we don’t need any more of those wars. We need to get our troops home and get back to a sensible foreign policy.

    You know, it really frightens me about what is happening, and, you know, a lot of times they will use sort of an incident to stir the people up, build up the war fever, get the people to accept this notion we have to go to war and we have to draft young people and all this. But, you know, this week we had a scary event. Monday morning, I believe it was, there was an announcement. There were a couple of speedboats, you know, thirty-foot long, and the American government said, “Oh, they’re threatening us! We better do something about it.” Speedboats with, you know, submachine guns on it. But, you know, this whole idea that there could be a precipitating event like that scares the living daylights out of me, because some in Congress in Washington today want to spread this war. We want to end this war! We don’t want the war to spread in the Middle East.

AMY GOODMAN: When we come back from break, we go to New Hampshire for analysis.

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