Dems Strike Friendly Chord at CA Debate

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LOS ANGELES - In a much more conciliatory tone, Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama faced off in the last debate before Super Tuesday.

Instead of throwing daggers at one another, the two began the debate by emphasizing that they have the same goals as Democrats.

"The differences between Barack and I pale in comparison to the differences that we have with Republicans," said Clinton.

This is the first debate where Obama and Clinton faced off without any other presidential candidates on stage. Former Senator John Edwards dropped out of the race Wednesday.

Edwards "is going to be a voice for this party and for this country for many years to come," said Obama.

The two spent the first half of the debate talking about their universal health care plans and the mortgage crisis, nodding in agreement as the other spoke.

And as they showed a friendlier, gentler tone, they also managed to throw a few punches.

Tension could be felt during a discussion about illegal immigration -a topic that has rarely been discussed during previous Democratic debates.

When asked about giving undocumented workers driver's licenses, Obama said "Senator Clinton gave a number of different answers over the course of six weeks on this…initially; you said you were for it, then you said you were against it."

Clinton said the whole issue was a diversion tactic.

"I co-sponsored comprehensive immigration reform in 2004 before Barack came to the Senate," she said. "So I've been on record on behalf of this for quite some time."

Throughout the evening, Clinton and Obama threw daggers at the Republican Party, especially when a question was posed about Democrats having a reputation as "tax-and-spend liberal Democrats."

"I don't think the Republicans are going to be in a real strong position to argue fiscal responsibility when they have added $4 trillion or $5 trillion worth of national debt," Obama said.

And when asked about the fact that there has either been a Bush or Clinton in the White house for the past several decades, Clinton responded, "It did take a Clinton to clean after the first Bush and I think it might take another one to clean up after the second Bush."

The event was held at the famed Kodak Theater, home of the Academy Awards. Stars present included America Ferrera, Diane Keaton, Stevie Wonder and Alfre Woodard. 

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