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A killer close to a killer debate:

Complete transcript below the fold.

8:08 AM PT: And meanwhile:

While Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney prepared for last night’s debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, 28 miles away, his top fundraisers dialed for dollars at New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel. [...]

There was plenty of leisure to balance their labors. Many stayed at the Waldorf, catching up over a $9 cup of coffee in its Peacock Alley Restaurant or lingering near the two-ton gold clock.

Barry, I think a lot of this campaign maybe over the last four years has been devoted to this notion that I think government creates jobs, that that somehow is the answer.  That’s not what I believe.  I believe that the free enterprise system is the greatest engine of prosperity the world has ever known.  I believe in self-reliance and individual initiative and risk takers being rewarded.  But I also believe that everybody should have a fair shot and everybody should do their fair share and everybody should play by the same rules.  Because that’s how our economy is grown.  That’s how we built the world’s greatest middle class.  And that is part of what’s at stake in this election.  There’s a fundamentally different vision about how we move our country forward.  I believe Governor Romney is a good man.  Loves his family, cares about his faith.  But I also believe that when he said behind closed doors that 47 percent of the country considered themselves victims, who refused personal responsibility, think about who he was talking about.  Folks on Social Security who have worked all their lives, veterans who have sacrificed for this country, students who are out there trying to hopefully advance their own dreams but also this country’s dreams, soldiers who are overseas fighting for us right now.  People who are working hard every day, paying payroll tax, gas taxes, but don’t make enough income, and I want to fight for them.  That’s what I’ve been doing for the last four years because if they succeed, I believe the country succeeds.  And when my grandfather fought in World War II and he came back and he got a GI bill and that allowed him to go to college, that wasn’t a handout.  That was something that advanced the entire country.  And I want to make sure that the next generation has those same opportunities.
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