Iowa Caucuses: Heath Condition Will Have No Impact, Says BradleyAired January 21, 2000 - 2:06 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: At his first event, today, no one in the audience asked Bill Bradley to talk about his heart condition, and the candidate didn't volunteer. Yesterday, he confirmed he's experienced an irregular heartbeat four times in the last three weeks. He says none of the episodes required treatment.
CNN's Bob Franken is following this story. He joins us now live from Muscatine, on Iowa's eastern border -- Bob.
BOB FRANKEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, at the second event, which just finished about five, 10 minutes ago, Bradley was asked by somebody in the audience about his health condition. First, he had to go past the skrum (ph) of reporters. We're told that he has never done this before, gone past the gaggle of cameras and reporters throwing him questions about the concerns about his irregular heartbeat. He did not give, really, much of an answer to reporters other than quietly saying, I'm OK, I'm OK.
But when he got into the meeting, one of the people in the crowd, somebody he had come to try and convince to go to the caucus and vote for him on Monday night, did ask the question. His response: no problem.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL BRADLEY (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: ... condition, and it has absolutely no impact on your ability to campaign. I mean, people have been traveling me throughout all these so-called moments, and I've been out campaigning. It's -- and I will continue to campaign, and it has absolutely no affect on my ability to dispose of the responsibilities of the job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FRANKEN: The responsibilities of the job, he said, that he hopes that he gets. He went on to say, it's a nuisance for me, but it shouldn't be a concern for you.
Now, there was a response also from Vice President Gore, who was campaigning in Des Moines, saying it is nothing serious, it's a routine matter, he -- referring to Bill Bradley -- is out there campaigning, that's the good news. And Bill Bradley, of course, is now trying to put this behind him, but it is coming up repeatedly as he goes around his campaign day -- Wolf.
BLITZER: And it doesn't look, Bob, like it's going to go away, at least as a question. Is there -- has there been a response from the Bradley campaign about whether all the activity, all the heightened nervousness in advance of these -- the caucuses here and the election, the primary election in New Hampshire, that that could be the source of some of the irregular heartbeat?
FRANKEN: Well, they're say, as a matter of fact, that the campaign does not have anything to do with the recurrence of this, although, it must be pointed out, that he has had four episodes this year -- five, actually, and he not had one since 1997. So, some people are wondering whether or not the stress of the campaign is causing it. They deny that that's the case. Of course, they're all focused on Monday night. Now, he told this audience it looks like we have an uphill battle, but sometimes this is as mysterious, he said, as the college of cardinals.
BLITZER: OK, Bob Franken, reporting from Muscatine, here in Iowa. Thanks for joining us.
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