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Author Topic: 2004 CNN Election Night Transcript  (Read 5457 times)
yougo1000
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« Reply #25 on: May 20, 2010, 11:52:16 am »
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KING: And it was that early.

BLITZER: And the fact of the matter is that we promised, and we will not do that again. We will not make a projection in a state where polls are still open.

GREENFIELD: You know when you drive a car into your neighbor's garage, you don't forget that? That was what it felt like. I just remember thinking this is awfully early to call so important a state. But we don't make a mistake like that.

KING: And you wrote a book about it.

BLITZER: You know, Judy Woodruff, I want to bring Judy Woodruff in. She's at the CNN election analysis center, because Judy Woodruff knows a great deal about North Carolina.

I believe you went to school in North Carolina. So you know the place quite well, Judy. Give us your thoughts, if you can, on what this projection that Bush carrying North Carolina means for George W. Bush now.

WOODRUFF: Well, it means, as I think I heard Jeff just saying, because I was distracted here by something going on here at the election analysis center, it means that the Republicans' solid hold on most of -- on that -- the Southern swath of the United States persists.

North Carolina is a state that for many years had -- did have Democratic governors, governors like Jim Hunt, who were re-elected again and again. But in recent years, the Republicans, by virtue of people like Jesse Helms, who was reelected a number of times to the United States Senate, the Republicans have gotten a very strong foothold in that state.

BLITZER: All right. Judy Woodruff, thanks very much.

I want to go up here and bring in Ken Mehlman, the Bush/Cheney campaign manager, who's joining us from Arlington, Virginia. He's got a smile on his face. Is that because of North Carolina, Ken?

KEN MEHLMAN, BUSH/CHENEY CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I was happy about North Carolina.

I was enjoying your discussion of when you called Florida four years ago. I remember that well, Wolf. And one of the reasons you called it was because a county that was called a bellwether county was a place called Orange County. It's Orlando. Four years ago we lost it. We got 48 percent of the vote. Right now we're at 55 percent of the vote.

And one of the interesting things, if you look at actual returns in Florida is all along that I-4 corridor, places where last time we lost this time we're winning.

We're also seeing improvements in places where Democrats did better last time, Alachua County, which is Gainesville. Last time we got 39 percent of the vote; this time we're at 48 percent of the vote. If you look at the actual returns, we're in a stronger position in terms of the returns that have come in Florida today than we were four years ago.

BLITZER: What are you seeing in Ohio, for example?

MEHLMAN: Ohio returns are very early. What's interesting so far, what we're seeing again is consistent with the George W. Bush victory in the state.

In Cuyahoga County, which is Cleveland, which is the Democratic stronghold in the state, if you look at numbers in terms of absentee ballots that came in early this time, the Democrat numbers and the Republican numbers are almost exactly the same as the last time.

You also see a very strong Republican turnout in the southwest part of the state and a lot of the rural parts of the state and a lot of the other counties. When I look at the results of both Florida and of Ohio, I feel very good about what's going to happen tonight.

BLITZER: What about Pennsylvania?

MEHLMAN: Pennsylvania, obviously, is going to be a state that we always said we thought was going to be a close state and a tough state. We have a great organization in that state.

We have Lancaster County. Lancaster County is the No. 1 Republican vote producing place in the state in what's called the T, the central part of the state. And we're blowing off the doors of our numbers. We have an incredible organization there and great turnout, as well.

BLITZER: Were you disappointed -- did you ever expect that New Jersey would go for President Bush?

MEHLMAN: Well, we certainly hoped so. As you know, there were a lot of different polls that came out in New Jersey. Obviously, the other side felt so too since Senator Edwards visited there a number of times.

But look, we've got a great organization in New Jersey. The folks that work there that feel great about the effort they put in. And we're real proud of them.

KING: Since everything is great, Ken, are you forecasting a victory?

MEHLMAN: I am forecasting a victory, absolutely.

BLITZER: You want to tell us how many electoral votes you're going to get?

MEHLMAN: The number I give you is called four more years. I'm not forecasting electoral numbers, but I do think, based on what we have seen so far, we're going to win Ohio.

We're going to win Florida, and then some of those states that Al Gore won last time that -- in fact in the 2000 campaign, the Democrats have won three times in a row, states like Wisconsin, states like Iowa. Those are states I think we're in a strong position. I think we're in a strong position in New Mexico. I think we're in a strong position in a number of the states out west.

So we look forward to what we think is going to be a very good night. But if you look at the results from Florida, what you see is the Democrats' fortress areas are now swing, and some of swing areas were actually winning and doing very well.

KING: So you're not worried about anything now?

MEHLMAN: Well, obviously, we think this is going to be a very close election. We've always felt that. We planned for it. We expected the night to be like this.

My point is that this big grassroots organization that occurred, particularly in places like Florida and Ohio, are now producing. When you look at the fact that we're right now winning Orange County; we're right now winning Pasco County, places that we lost four years ago.

But because of this grassroots organization, because of all these people making the calls and knocking on the doors, we're doing well right now.

BLITZER: All right. Ken Mehlman, joining us from Arlington, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C., at Bush/Cheney campaign headquarters. He's the campaign manager.

Less than 12 minutes before the top of the hour. We'll be making some more projections at the top of the hour.

Anderson Cooper is joining us. He's following the Senate races. And you've got some projections, Anderson?

ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, "ANDERSON COOPER 360": Wolf, we have a number of projections we can make at this point. Let's look at the board here.

In Oklahoma, most notably, Dr. Tom Coburn is the projected winner in the state of Oklahoma. This a very closely watched race against Representative Brad Carson. Tom Coburn had been a representative two terms. He fulfilled his pledge to resign after -- after two terms serving his term limits.

Brad Carson had run against him, run a very tight campaign, very contentious at times, saying that Dr. Tom Coburn was too conservative for the state of Oklahoma, a very conservative state. Voters clearly not buying that line. They have, we can now project, elected Dr. Tom Coburn to the Senate from Oklahoma.

A number of other projections we can give to you now. None of them really big surprises.

Of course, in Missouri, Kit Bond. In New Hampshire, Judd Gregg. We have, of course, George Voinovich in Ohio. Barbara Mikulski in the state of Maryland, a very liberal Democratic Senator in Arkansas, Blanche Lincoln. That is, of course, a Democrat seat.

In Connecticut, powerhouse Democrat, powerhouse Christopher Dodd remains in his seat. And, of course, Richard Shelby remains in Alabama.

None of these really big surprises. These seats really expected to go this way. So it's not a big surprise. We're still watching that balance of power in the Senate very closely, though.

Democrats need to pick up two seats if George Bush is elected president. Need to pick up one seat to regain control of the Senate. At this point we have no change. Barak Obama in Illinois picked up a seat, but Johnny Isakson, a Republican, picked up Zell Miller's old seat. So at this point, there's no change in the balance of power in the Senate.

Also one governor projection we can make here. Mitch Daniels the winner in Indiana. This is a change. Joe Kernan had been the Democratic governor in this state. But Mitch Daniels running a very effective campaign over the last 16 months or so, really going all around to every small town in the state, making it a very long campaign and one that has paid off for him in Indiana -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right. We'll be watching all those races with Anderson Cooper. Thanks very much. Only less than ten minutes until 15 states plus the District of Columbia close their balloting. We'll take a quick break. Much more coverage from CNN election headquarters in Times Square when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)
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yougo1000
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« Reply #26 on: May 20, 2010, 11:52:45 am »
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BLITZER: Just before 9 p.m., actually. We have about seven minutes, less than seven minutes before 9 p.m. 15 states closing at the top of the hour. Plus the District of Columbia. We'll be able to make some projections coming up at the top of the hour.

In the meantime, let's go over to CNN's Paula Zahn. She's over at the Time Warner Center with the "CROSSFIRE" guys -- Paula.

PAULA ZAHN, HOST, "PAULA ZAHN NOW": Thanks, Wolf.

We've been talking an awful lot here about the importance of winning, we think, two of three states, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida to become president. Hundreds of ways I guess you could call it together otherwise.

But I guess I have been struck by what we've just heard of Bush campaign operative Ken Mehlman said when he came out and predicted that the Bush campaign would take Ohio, which is contrary to what you're learning from your contacts in the field.

How does it look in Ohio from those folks?

ROBERT NOVAK, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": I think it's an uphill climb in Ohio. It hasn't been lost yet. But I think the Republicans have got to count on possibly losing Ohio.

If they do, of course they have to win Florida. I think they're looking pretty good in Florida.

And then two states that are not on many people's radar screen, Wisconsin and Iowa, become crucial. And they're going to be very, very close, and we're going to be worrying perhaps on who's the next president of the United States on who wins Wisconsin and Iowa. Usually, we think of those as primary -- Democratic primary states.

ZAHN: Sure. Let's -- let's come back to the issue of what it's like at this stage of the night, when you're running a campaign and you've got to face the public. You've got your own internal exit polling going.

How many times did you lie when you were working for the Clinton campaign about a state that you know is not going to go for you? You know, we don't know that about Ohio yet, but...

PAUL BEGALA, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": But I have to spin. And my heart went out to Ken Mehlman, who's a decent guy, and an able operative. Because every state that they asked him about he said, "We have a good organization there, and we've got fine people." You know, first off, they do have good people working for them. But more importantly all across the country there are other Republicans still running where the polls are still open who are going to worry if the Bush campaign manager says, "Gee, you know what? Pennsylvania doesn't look like it's going our way," and it doesn't.

But if he were to say that -- you can't commit the sin of full candor. I don't think he lied. But that's what spin is. It's trying to sort of martial your arguments and put them in a light most favorable to your client. And I think Ken did a pretty good job of it. I mean, it's a mixed night for Ken so far. But I think he tried to do his best.

ZAHN: We're still trying to get a better understanding of turnout tonight. And I know the thing that's really ticking Tucker off at this point is because of the incredible lines in Pennsylvania, at least in one polling place, they're going extend the voting hours. And you think that's a disgrace.

TUCKER CARLSON, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": For an hour and a half. Well, I mean, no -- I think, you know, if there's a line out front...

ZAHN: Why is that such a big deal.

CARLSON: ... you ought to let people vote. But you know, I think people can show up at the polls on time. That's, you know, not too much to ask.

I think the outrage, however, is Florida where apparently, the Miami-Dade board of electors has called the Republican National Committee or their lawyers and said, "Look, we may not be able to count the absentee ballots fully until Thursday." That's just -- I mean, that's just third world.

I mean, look, for four years the country has been focused on voting in Florida. You know the election is coming. Kind of important. Not simply for procedural reasons, not simply for us, you know, watching to find out who wins, but also for people's confidence in the process itself, you know, that the votes can be counted on time accurately. And I think it shakes people's confidence in the process.

BEGALA: I called -- the only two words I need to know about Florida are Nick Boldic (ph). Not a guy most people know. He ran Florida for Al Gore. He's running Florida again for John Kerry.

I think he's greatest hits (ph). And I called him a moment ago. He said no, they're going to count the absentee votes tonight, that there is some sense that maybe some people are dragging their feet about releasing them. But they were all counted in 2000 when -- when it was too close to call.

CARLSON: Even if there -- even if there's a question right now on election night itself, I think shakes people's confidence. And that's that you don't want to do. You want people to believe when they cast a ballot, it will be counted.

NOVAK: Paula, can I -- can I raise one surprise or one mild surprise?

ZAHN: Sure.

NOVAK: My sources, my Republican sources tell me they think that Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky is gone, that he is -- he's going to lose. He ran a very bad campaign. He was erratic.

Jim Bunning was a Hall of Fame baseball pitcher for the Phillies. Six months ago he was one of the safest senators in the country. But I am told that there is great pessimism, and that would give the -- the Democrats one more seat up in trying to get the Senate.

But I have to say that Tom Coburn of -- we have called him as winner, Republican, Dr. Tom Coburn in Oklahoma. Talk about mixed emotions. Republicans are glad to have -- keep that seat Republican.

They hate the idea of Tom Coburn in the Senate, because he is a principled conservative. He's against pork barrel spending. He doesn't take orders from the leadership. He is going to give the leadership hell. I just can't wait to see Tom Coburn...

ZAHN: Jim Bunning, though. This shouldn't come as a great surprise when he actually, what, accused his opponent's son of looking like Saddam Hussein.

BEGALA: Looking like Saddam Hussein.

ZAHN: He had to go down with voters out there.

BEGALA: The first thing he did is he ran from a fight. His opponent, Daniel Mongiardo, who is also a medical doctor. So now we're going to have three doctors in the Senate if Bob's sources are right and Bunning loses. And Dan Mongiaro has a great story. And Democrats hope he gets to the Senate, because they believe he can take on Bill Frist, the Senate majority leader, a Republican, who is a doctor himself.

ZAHN: James, what is striking you in this stage of the evening?

JAMES CARVILLE, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": Nothing has struck me so far as unusual at this stage of the evening. And I think, look, of course, Kerry has to carry Pennsylvania. And if he doesn't, he's not going to be president.

If he carries Pennsylvania, you know, he needs a split in Ohio and Florida. In all probability, if he wins Ohio, it becomes very difficult for the president.

ZAHN: What are you hearing on the ground from Pennsylvania?

CARVILLE: The people, I could tell by Ken Mehlman that they're very worried about Pennsylvania. You've got to watch. I think they feel better about Florida, less well about Ohio and less well about Pennsylvania. I mean, even through the spin you could hear what the guy was saying.

NOVAK: But, James, Wisconsin and Iowa, if -- if those were blue states, if Bush can take those, that compensates for Ohio.

CARVILLE: They do. And New Hampshire -- yes, New Hampshire and Nevada come into play. Right. But it becomes -- the math becomes harder if the president loses Ohio.

ZAHN: All right, gentlemen. That wraps it up for us here at this hour. Let's go back to Wolf now and see you in the next hour.

BLITZER: Thanks very much, Paula.

Only a few seconds to go before the top of the hour, 9 p.m. on the East Coast. Fifteen states closing down at the top of the hour. We'll be able to make several projections coming up in only a few seconds. We're going to be watching very, very carefully and see if we can project any of those key battleground states closing at the top of the hour.

We know that we'll be able to project some of the obvious states for Bush or for Kerry.
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Derek
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« Reply #27 on: May 20, 2010, 11:57:18 pm »
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Ted Turner = Communist News Network

and it's been that way ever since.
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Senator Libertas
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« Reply #28 on: May 21, 2010, 12:33:57 am »
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Ted Turner = Communist News Network

and it's been that way ever since.

Have you reported Ted Turner to Joe McCarthy yet?
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Bo
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« Reply #29 on: May 21, 2010, 12:41:21 am »
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Ted Turner = Communist News Network

and it's been that way ever since.

Have you reported Ted Turner to Joe McCarthy yet?

McCarthy's dead. Turner needs to be reported to Nancy Reagan.
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Derek
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« Reply #30 on: May 21, 2010, 12:48:53 am »
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Yea McCarthy is no longer with us but in a way a part of him will always live inside us.
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