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Wednesday, December 10, 2003

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  • Democratic Presidential Candidates Debate in New Hampshire on Iraq, Domestic Policy Issues and Gore’s Endorsement of Dean


    The final democratic presidential debate of the year drew all nine candidates in New Hampshire last night where the first primary takes place on Jan. 27, 2004.

    The debate got underway just hours after former vice president Al Gore announced his endorsement of former Vermont governor Howard Dean for president in a move that surprised many campaign observers. Gore, who ran for president in 2000 and won the popular vote, made his announcement in Harlem alongside Dean who is already seen as the frontrunner in the campaign. For Dean, the endorsement gives him the backing of one of the best-known establishment Democrats.

    The debate, broadcast live on C-SPAN, turned immediately to Gore’s move. Noting that Dean had had an "extraordinary day," moderator Ted Koppel of ABC News asked the nine candidates to raise a hand if they thought Dean could beat President Bush.

    Dean was the only one to raise his hand.

    Koppel began the debate by asking the other eight candidates why they did not raise their hands and went on to discuss U.S. policy in Iraq as well as domestic policy issues. We hear extended excerpts of the debate and speak with former Green Party California gubernatorial candidate Peter Camejo and journalist John Nichols of The Nation.