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CNN Transcript Excerpt

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  1. [Excerpt from http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/10/16/transcript-second-presidential-debate/?hpt=hp_t2]
  2.  
  3. CROWLEY: Governor Romney, the question is about assault weapons,
  4. AK-47s.
  5.  
  6. ROMNEY: Yeah, I'm not in favor of new pieces of legislation on
  7. – on guns and taking guns away or making certain guns illegal. We,
  8. of course, don't want to have automatic weapons, and that's already
  9. illegal in this country to have automatic weapons. What I believe is
  10. we have to do, as the president mentioned towards the end of his
  11. remarks there, which is to make enormous efforts to enforce the gun
  12. laws that we have, and to change the culture of violence that we have.
  13.  
  14. And you ask how - how are we going to do that? And there are a
  15. number of things. He mentioned good schools. I totally agree. We
  16. were able to drive our schools to be number one in the nation in my
  17. state. And I believe if we do a better job in education, we'll –
  18. we'll give people the - the hope and opportunity they deserve and
  19. perhaps less violence from that. But let me mention another thing.
  20. And that is parents. We need moms and dads, helping to raise kids.
  21. Wherever possible the - the benefit of having two parents in the
  22. home, and that's not always possible. A lot of great single moms,
  23. single dads. But gosh to tell our kids that before they have babies,
  24. they ought to think about getting married to someone, that's a great
  25. idea.
  26.  
  27. Because if there's a two parent family, the prospect of living in
  28. poverty goes down dramatically. The opportunities that the child will
  29. – will be able to achieve increase dramatically. So we can make
  30. changes in the way our culture works to help bring people away from
  31. violence and give them opportunity, and bring them in the American
  32. system. The - the greatest failure we've had with regards to - to
  33. gun violence in some respects is what - what is known as Fast and
  34. Furious. Which was a program under this administration, and how it
  35. worked exactly I think we don't know precisely, where thousands of
  36. automatic, and AK-47 type weapons were - were given to people that
  37. ultimately gave them to - to drug lords.
  38.  
  39. They used those weapons against - against their own citizens and
  40. killed Americans with them. And this was a - this was a program of
  41. the government. For what purpose it was put in place, I can't
  42. imagine. But it's one of the great tragedies related to violence in
  43. our society which has occurred during this administration. Which I
  44. think the American people would like to understand fully, it's been
  45. investigated to a degree, but - but the administration has carried
  46. out executive privilege to prevent all of the information from coming
  47. out.
  48.  
  49. I'd like to understand who it was that did this, what the idea
  50. was behind it, why it led to the violence, thousands of guns going to
  51. Mexican drug lords.
  52. OBAMA: Candy?
  53.  
  54. CROWLEY: Governor, Governor, if I could, the question was about
  55. these assault weapons that once were once banned and are no longer
  56. banned.
  57.  
  58. I know that you signed an assault weapons ban when you were in
  59. Massachusetts, obviously, with this question, you no longer do support
  60. that. Why is that, given the kind of violence that we see sometimes
  61. with these mass killings? Why is it that you have changed your mind?
  62.  
  63. ROMNEY: Well, Candy, actually, in my state, the pro-gun folks
  64. and the anti-gun folks came together and put together a piece of
  65. legislation. And it's referred to as an assault weapon ban, but it
  66. had, at the signing of the bill, both the pro-gun and the anti-gun
  67. people came together, because it provided opportunities for both that
  68. both wanted.
  69.  
  70. There were hunting opportunities, for instance, that haven't
  71. previously been available and so forth, so it was a mutually agreed-
  72. upon piece of legislation. That's what we need more of, Candy. What
  73. we have right now in Washington is a place that's gridlocked.
  74.  
  75. CROWLEY: So I could - if you could get people to agree to it,
  76. you would be for it?
  77.  
  78. ROMNEY: We have –
  79.  
  80. OBAMA: Candy?
  81.  
  82. ROMNEY: - we haven't had the leadership in Washington to work
  83. on a bipartisan basis. I was able to do that in my state and bring
  84. these two together.
  85.  
  86. CROWLEY: Quickly, Mr. President.
  87.  
  88. OBAMA: The - first of all, I think Governor Romney was for an
  89. assault weapons ban before he was against it. And he said that the
  90. reason he changed his mind was, in part, because he was seeking the
  91. endorsement of the National Rifle Association. So that's on the
  92. record.
  93.  
  94. But I think that one area we agree on is the important of parents
  95. and the importance of schools, because I do believe that if our young
  96. people have opportunity, then they are less likely to engage in these
  97. kinds of violent acts. We're not going to eliminate everybody who is
  98. mentally disturbed and we have got to make sure they don't get
  99. weapons.
  100.  
  101. (AUDIO GAP)
  102.  
  103. OBAMA: because I do believe that if our young people have
  104. opportunity, then they're less likely to engage in these kind of
  105. violent acts.