(CNN) - Addressing concerns over tainted products entering the U.S. marketplace from China, Democratic candidates sounded off at the CNN debate in Las Vegas by either criticizing one another or the current administration.
With tainted Chinese toy imports in the news ahead of the holiday season, candidates were asked if those who voted to fully open trade relations with China should bear some of the responsibility for consumers' fears.
Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich said yes and scolded Sen. John Edwards for voting to open up trade relations with China, "understanding that workers were going to be hurt."
"Now, you're a trial lawyer, you knew better," Kucinich said to Edwards on stage at the debate.
The former North Carolina senator responded to the debate question, not Kucinich, saying he felt it was a mistake to allow "China to operate unfettered, to send dangerous products into this country, to not have the president of the United States hold them responsible for their trading obligations to the WTO."
Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd called the Bush administration response to dangerous Chinese imports outrageous and said that "if a U.S. corporation produced contaminated toys or food, they would have been shut down in 20 minutes."
"When those products were announced to be contaminated, it should have stopped right then and there," he added.
Illinois Sen. Barack Obama said the U.S. should send its own inspectors over to China to ensure import safety.
- CNN Political Assignment Editor Katy Byron