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Quotes from the Democratic debate

Quotes from the Democrats' debate Thursday night:



"For the first time in our history, we're in a position where those who are the wage earners are paying a bigger chunk than they should. It's got to shift back."



--On the number of black teenagers diagnosed with HIV/AIDS: "This is a multiple-dimension problem. But if we don't begin to take it seriously and address it the way we did back in the '90s when it was primarily a gay men's disease, we will never get the services and the public education that we need."

--On dealing with outsourcing of U.S. jobs: "We have to do several things: End the tax breaks that still exist in the tax code for outsourcing jobs; have trade agreements with enforceable labor and environmental standards; help Americans compete, which is something we haven't taken seriously, which goes back to the very first question about education and skills."



"We today reward industries that leave America by giving them tax breaks. I would like to see us reward companies that stay in our inner cities, go to places where jobs ought to be created. That ought to be a part of our tax policy as well."



--"We know that race plays an enormous role in the problems that African-Americans face and the problems that African-Americans face with health care every single day. There are huge health care disparities, which is why we need universal health care in this country."

--"If you're African-American, you're more likely to be charged with a crime. If you're charged with a crime, you're more likely to be convicted of a crime. If you're convicted of a crime, you're more likely to get a severe sentence. There is no question that our justice system is not colorblind."



"The scourge of our present society, particularly the African-American community, is the war on drugs. ... There is no reason to continue it in the slightest. All it does is create criminals out of people who are not criminals."



"One of my first acts in office will be to cancel NAFTA and the WTO and go back to trade conditioned on workers rights, human rights and environmental quality principles. That is what we must do. A Democratic administration started NAFTA. A Democratic administration will end it."



--"It is absolutely critical for us to recognize that there are going to be responsibilities on the part of African-Americans and other groups to take personal responsibility to rise up out of the problems that we face, but there's also got to be a social responsibility."

--On guaranteeing the right of displaced residents to return to New Orleans: "I think that what's most important, though, that we have a president who is in touch with the needs of New Orleans before the hurricane hits, because part of the reason that we had such a tragedy was the assumption that everybody could jump in their SUVs, load up with some sparkling water, and check into the nearest hotel."



"I believe very strongly that the next president is not just going to have to pass laws and take the steps necessary to reaffirm affirmative action and take steps to make sure our schools are integrated. But, also, the next president is going to have to lead and speak passionately about a dialogue among all peoples."