From an email from Working Families e-Activist Network, AFL-CIO
August 8, 2007
The Democratic Candidates Forum
The following is the transcript of the A.F.L.-C.I.O. candidates forum, as provided by Federal News Service.
MODERATOR: KEITH OLBERMANN: These formalities out of the way, the lucky recipient of our first question has been determined by lottery. Senator Dodd, that would be you.
Obviously, in the light of what happened in Minnesota last week, maintaining infrastructure requires spending, and how tax dollars are spent is a matter of priorities. What should we not build, what should we not be funding to see to it that our highways and our bridges and our tunnels and our mines are all properly maintained?
SEN. DODD: Well, thank you, first of all. And thank you for the warm welcome this evening. I’m a union guy — (cheers) — proudly a union man, and thank you for inviting us to be here tonight.
Let me first of all say that all of us here on the stage at this very moment are thinking about those six mine workers in Utah that are struggling, and their families, this evening. I can’t begin without mentioning them and what they’re going through this evening.
I happen to believe that putting our country back to work begins by cutting the funding for the war in Iraq. (Cheers, applause.) Spending $12 billion every month, spending $2 billion every week has got to stop if we’re going to have a different set of priorities in our country.
I happen to believe that we need to look at our defense systems and decide which defense systems we need in order to face the threats that we face in the 21st century. Looking at some of these programs out there, such as the Star Wars program, the defense — missile defense system, I think, frankly, we need a different set of priorities.
We ought to be investing in the bridges and the highways and the water systems, the safe drinking systems in our country here.
In fact, just five or six days ago, after working a year and a half on this issue, Keith, I introduced legislation to do exactly that. For every $1 billion we spend in that area, 40,000 jobs can be created in the United States of America. Those are the things I’ll do as president of the United States if elected by my party, and I’m confident a Democrat is going to be elected president of the United States in November of 2008. (Cheers, applause.)
MR. OLBERMANN: Senator Dodd, thank you.