September 27th, 2007 by jpeters
Senator Mike Gravel, appearing in the Democratic presidential debate on Sept. 27 in Hanover, N.H., wasted no time laying out his plan to force an end to the Iraq War.
When asked by moderator Tim Russert how Senator Gravel would overcome the deadlock on passing legislation to end the war, he responded: “You stop the debate [over ending the war] by voting every single day on cloture. Twenty days, and you’ll overcome cloture. The president vetoes the law. It comes back to the Congress. And in the House at noon every single day you vote to override the president’s veto. You tell me that the votes aren’t there-you go get them by the scruff of the neck, that’s what you do. You make them vote.”
Questioned by Russert if he was suggesting that the candidates suspend their campaigns to end the war, Senator Gravel responded: “If it stops the killing-my God, yes-do it.”
The Senator then turned his attention to a vote that New York Senator Hillary Clinton had cast earlier in the day on a nonbinding resolution, known as the Kyl-Lieberman amendment, which sanctions a U.S. attack on Iran.
“We’re just starting a war right today,” said Senator Gravel. “There was a vote in the Senate today. Joe Lieberman, who authored the Iraq resolution, has offered another resolution, and it is essentially a fig leaf to let George Bush go to war with Iran. I want to congratulate Biden for voting against it, Dodd for voting against it. And I am ashamed of you, Hillary, for voting for it.”
The topic turned to immigration and whether the candidates would allow safe havens or “sanctuary cities” for undocumented aliens.
“We’re scapegoating the Latinos of our society because we as a society are failing in education, we’re failing in healthcare, we’re failing in our crumbling infrastructure, and we’re failing by invading countries and spending our treasure,” said Senaotr Gravel. “That’s what’s wrong. And so I’m ashamed as an American to be building a fence on our southern border. That’s not the America that I fought for.”
Gravel was the only candidate to respond affirmatively to Russert’s question concerning lowering the drinking age to 18.
“I think we should lower it so anybody that could go fight and die for this country should be able to drink,” answered Senator Gravel.
Later, Senator Gravel pushed his plan for a carbon tax to wean America off its addiction to oil.
“We can get off the gasoline in five years, and we can get off of carbon in 10 years. All we have to do is want to do it,” said Senator Gravel. “[If] we put a tax on gasoline, [this] permits politicians and bureaucrats to play favorites. You do it right at the lump of coal, and you do it at the gas, and you do it at the oil, and then that filters through the system properly.”
When asked if he supported nuclear power, Senator Gravel responded emphatically: “Not at all. The solution, obviously, is wind power. If we manufactured 5 million of these 2.5 meg windmills across the country, we could electrify the entire nation-the entire nation.”
Russert closed the debate by questioning the candidates on their favorite Bible verse. The Senator responded: “The most important thing in life is love. That’s what empowers courage, and courage implements the rest of our virtues.”
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