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Democrats Seeking Presidential Nomination Hold Debate in South Carolina

The seven Democratic Party candidates for President debated domestic and foreign policy issues Thursday night in the U.S. state of South Carolina, six days before democratic voters cast ballot in the South's first primaries. Instead of criticizing each other as they have done in the past, the seven Democratic candidates spent much of their time criticizing the foreign and domestic policies of the Bush administration.

John Kerry, Joseph Lieberman, Al Sharpton, Dennis Kucinich, Wesley Clark, John Edwards and Howard Dean all said the Bush administration had failed the American public on foreign and domestic issues.

All except Senator Joseph Lieberman had harsh words for President Bush's policies in Iraq and on foreign trade. Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, this year's Democratic front-runner, says if elected, he will rebuild what he described as America's broken alliances.

"I will renew our alliances. I will rejoin the community of nations, I will build the kind of cooperative effort that we need," he said.

Much of the debate focused on the loss of jobs to foreign competition and the high cost of health care.

According to the recent polls, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry and North Carolina Senator John Edwards are locked in a tight race for first place, with civil rights activist Al Sharpton trailing, a distant third.