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Special Event

Election 2000: The New Hampshire Primary

Aired February 2, 2000 - 10:00 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

BERNARD SHAW, CNN ANCHOR: The political record shows that Vice President Al Gore is two for two in campaign 2000: CNN declaring that the vice president will defeat former New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley when all is said and done tonight.

Here now the look at the latest vote totals with 73 percent of precincts reporting: Al Gore 53 percent, Bill Bradley 47 percent.

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: And on the Republican side, you heard it here, two, three hours ago, John McCain the winner on the Republican side, and here are some raw numbers we have with 72 percent of the precincts reporting: 49 percent for the Arizona senator, 18 percentage points ahead of Texas Governor George W. Bush followed pretty far back by Steve Forbes, then Alan Keyes, and finally, Gary Bauer.

And speaking of the senator from Arizona, he joins us now. And Senator McCain, we want to thank you for joining us. First of all, congratulations.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you, Judy, Bernie. Thanks for having me on, and, Judy, thanks for joining me on our bus.

WOODRUFF: It was quite an experience. Senator, my first question has -- goes right to what Governor Bush said when he spoke to his assembled troops earlier tonight. Namely he said you -- you were -- had the luxury, he suggested, of running in one state, whereas he's running a 50-state strategy, something he suggested you're not trying to do and he suggested you're not going to have the luxury of what you did here in New Hampshire in the future.

MCCAIN; Judy, we've been in South Carolina a lot, we've been in Michigan, we've been in California, we've been all over the country. But really what won this race and was such -- I guess from your figures -- is now up to 18 percent, which surprises all of us, is the message, not the time here but the message: and that is of reform, of getting the country out of the hands of the special interests back to the people, telling the truth, giving them a vision and hope for the future. And that's really the message, but the fundamental (UNINTELLIGIBLE) is reform of government and getting the special interests and their big money out of Washington and getting the people back. We had people by the thousands today who showed up to register to vote for the first time so that they could vote for me. I can't tell you how humbling that is.

SHAW: Senator McCain, looking ahead to the Palmetto State, the Bush people are saying: "Well, he won here, but we have organization, we have money." And consider this other fact: Traditionally, South Carolina Republicans have not gone with insurgents. They have gone with the establishment candidate. What say you to that?

MCCAIN: Well, traditionally New Hampshire has, too, with a couple of glaring exceptions, but the fact is we've got a message and we have got people like Congressman Lindsey Graham and Mark Sanford and the young leadership in the state of South Carolina there behind us.

It's going to be a very interesting race. I think it's going to be close. I think it's going to be tough. We're moving up dramatically in the polls in the last few weeks and I'm very happy with where we are.

And again, we've got a message and that's what really resonates.

And look, I'm very optimistic. I know it's going to be tough. I know it's going to be intense. But it isn't being vague (ph).

WOODRUFF: Senator, another point Governor Bush is making is that you won here in New Hampshire on the basis of support from independents, his point being that you're not going to have that situation in South Carolina or in most other states you're going to be running in. You're going to have to go toe-to-toe with him among Republicans. And what he's saying, basically, is that's going to be a whole lot tougher for you.

MCCAIN: Well, first of all, in South Carolina they don't have party registration, so independents will be voting. But more importantly, we won Republicans, we won seniors, we won young people, we won everybody here in New Hampshire, including Republicans, including independents. And they vote in South Carolina, too,

But again, I'd like to say, the reason why we won was because that I could convince people of New Hampshire that I could lead them in the next century and that I'm fully prepared to be president of the United States: both from my life experiences, my legislative experiences, but my vision and the message. And that's really why I'm optimistic about our chances, and I do not underestimate Governor Bush in any way.

By the way, I'd like to point out I think he was very gracious tonight.

SHAW: Talk to us please on these two points: The polls show that the governor has consistently led you in South Carolina. You appeal very strongly to veterans. We know that South Carolina is laced with many, many hundreds of thousands of veterans. Talk to us about that and also take us into your campaign checkbook. What is this bounce out of New Hampshire going to do for campaign coffers?

MCCAIN: Well, first of all, you're right, there is more veterans per capita than any other state in America in South Carolina. We already have organizations, veterans organizations in every town in the state of South Carolina and every county, and we're proud of that.

We're moving up in the polls in South Carolina. We've seen about a 20-some percent closure in the last few weeks. And we are -- we are doing fine in raising money.

We'll never have as much money as Governor Bush. By the way, it's McCain2000.com. But the fact is that we're raising enough so we're competitive, where you've got enough for television in South Carolina, Michigan. We're about to come up in California.

So we're doing just fine. But we never, ever expected to win the battle of bucks. We thought we could win the battle of ideas. And I think the margin of victory here tonight -- we were badly outspent here in New Hampshire. I mean, they saturated the television.

So I think we can do the same thing in South Carolina, but if we stay on message, we're not diverted and we conduct the kind of campaign that people here in New Hampshire were pleased with, they'll be pleased in South Carolina, too.

GREENFIELD: Senator, it's Jeff Greenfield.

You keep saying that you won because of message, but you tell stories on that Straight-Talk Express of yours that people who don't like your positions but vote for you because they think you tell the truth. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) you sustain a national campaign by appealing to Republicans, many of whom may not agree with you on policy?

MCCAIN: They -- the reason -- they may not agree with me on a number issues, such as in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, which I just carried, where I said we had to have a base closing commission where they've got a naval station. But they really agree with me, Jeff, that it's time to get their government back.

Young people who voted in the lowest numbers in the last election ever, young people have become cynical and even alienated. They see this as a chance to be back again and have a government that they -- that they feel represents them. That message has resonated.

SHAW: South Carolina -- Arizona Republican Senator John McCain. I'm thinking of the next primary ahead.

MCCAIN: Call me South Carolina, it's OK.

SHAW: OK, South Carolina, we'll see you so in the Palmetto State.

MCCAIN; Great to be with you.

SHAW: Always a pleasure to have you indeed.

Now, looking back on Senator McCain's victory, upset victory over Texas Governor George Bush, Candy Crowley is at Bush headquarters.

CROWLEY: Bernie, they were surprised here by the gap between John McCain and George Bush when the numbers finally came in. They had sort of resigned themselves to losing. They really didn't think they would lose by this much.

The pundits will call this what they wanted. The politicos will as -- will as well. Here's what George Bush calls it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH, (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: New Hampshire has long been known as a bump in the road for front-runners, and this year is no exception.

(APPLAUSE)

The road to the Republican nomination and the White House is a long road. Mine will go through all 50 states, and I intend it to end at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CROWLEY: Bush says he is a better candidate for this race hear in New Hampshire; he will be a more aggressive candidate as well. Aides say that Bush will be more aggressive in explaining his tax cut plan. They feel that John McCain, because he was here so much more, was able to define the tax cut plan of Bush as being irresponsible, as not taking care of Social Security. Bush will address those issues more aggressively in South Carolina.

He will also take on the notion that John McCain is the only one ready to be president, that Bush somehow is not ready for primetime. Bush will point out that 35 senators, all of whom have had a chance to see John McCain in action, support the Bush campaign.

As you heard, the 50-state strategy is still the strategy of the Bush campaign. That begins tomorrow, South Carolina, Thursday Delaware, Friday Michigan.

Bernie and Judy.

SHAW: OK, thank you, Candy Crowley.

Bill Schneider, take us into the confidence of your exit polling.

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Bernie Shaw, I'll do that. Why did John McCain win so handedly here in New Hampshire? Well, for one thing, moderate voters, they're not supposed to count so much in the Republican Party, but half of the Republican voters here in New Hampshire call themselves moderates or liberals, and McCain had them almost all to himself, better than two-to-one margin over George Bush.

What about that Republican base, the establishment, that was supposed to deliver for Governor Bush? Look at registered Republicans. If this were a closed primary, only they would have voted. McCain edged out Bush among registered Republicans, but among these voters, 20 percent that we're not seeing here voted for Steve Forbes and Alan Keyes. That was a lot of voters going to those other candidates who might have gone to George Bush.

Now what we're seeing in other cases: conservative voters. There, McCain and Bush were tied. Why? Because 27 percent of conservatives voted Forbes and Keyes and Bauer.

People who said taxes were the most important issue, that was supposed to be George Bush's issue. Forbes edged out Bush among voters who were anti-tax.

Among anti-abortion voters, again, McCain and Bush were tied because about a third of the anti-abortion voters went to Forbes and Keyes and Bauer.

Bush has one great hope: that conservatives will get behind him in the coming primaries and start a stop McCain movement. They're going to see John McCain as some sort of alien -- quote -- "moderate invader," who's going take over their party and they're going to gather behind George Bush, he hopes, in order to stop John McCain, just the way they did behind Bob Dole to stop Pat Buchanan four years ago.

WOODRUFF: But Bill, just one point, you still have those polls of Republicans saying that they would like to see the surplus spent not for these huge tax cuts -- excuse me -- that Governor Bush is proposing, but to take care of the debt, to pay down the debt and to secure Social Security.

SCHNEIDER: That's right.

WOODRUFF: Which is what McCain is talking about.

SCHNEIDER: McCain is talking about Social Security and the debt, and he's making some headway on that certainly here in New Hampshire, where you had a lot of moderates, you had a lot of independents voting in the Republican primary. In other states, particularly South Carolina, that issue may not cut as well for McCain. Actually, Republicans were split.

When you ask them which should have the higher priority, tax cuts or saving Social Security? They were split down the middle and as you would guess, people who gave the tax cuts higher priority voted for Bush; Social Security voted for McCain. In the southern states like South Carolina, that may split may be much more one sided.

SHAW: But I'm still mindful of what McCain told his supporters earlier tonight. He said, this is the beginning of the end for the truth-twisting problems of Bill Clinton and Al Gore.

SCHNEIDER: Well, that's where he is trying to argue he is the more electable candidate, and actually, when we ask Republican voters who do you think has the best chance to win in November, they were split between Bush and McCain. So it's not clear that Bush has the edge on the electability issue either. His one hope is a stop McCain crusade. We've seen it happen before, but then the winner of the New Hampshire primary was Pat Buchanan and Republicans said, oh my God, we can't nominate Pat Buchanan. Are conservative Republicans now going to say, oh my God, we can't nominate John McCain? He is a conservative.

SHAW: Well, we're not split in our coverage of the New Hampshire primary. Democrats, Republicans, all the results and this kind of analysis from this gentleman, that gentleman, this lady. We will continue our live coverage from Manchester, New Hampshire. And coming up once again, Mark Shields with all of the "CAPITAL GANG."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Tonight in New England, in the beautiful state of New Hampshire, the voters have spoken. The story is on the Republican side, John McCain the winner. He told his supporters just a little while ago, Bernie, we have sent a powerful message to Washington that change is coming.

Here's what the numbers look like just quickly on the Republican side. John McCain out front 49 percent of the vote, at this point, 19 percentage points -- now this is with the raw vote, 76 percent of the precincts reporting -- 49 percent to 30 percent for George W. Bush, and behind them, Steve Forbes, Alan Keyes, and bringing up the rear, Gary Bauer.

SHAW: Bill Clinton, the president is smiling in the White House tonight because his vice president, Al Gore, has turned back quite a challenge from former New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley. That's with 76 percent of the precincts reporting.

And, Judy, looking at the campaign calendar, next Tuesday February 8 in Delaware, 12 Republican delegates at stake, and on Saturday February 19, 37 South Carolina Republican delegates at stake.

Mark Shields and the "CAPITAL GANG," what do you think about that?

MARK SHIELDS, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Thank you, Bernie.

I am Mark Shields with the full "CAPITAL GANG,": Al Hunt, Robert Novak, Kate O'Beirne, and Margaret Carlson.

Tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts, that's been the holy grail of the Republicans. How many times are the Republicans going to rerun Jack Kemp's 1988 campaign and lose? George Bush bet the entire farm on tax cuts, he lost badly tonight. Is his inevitability pierced? -- Margaret Carlson.

MARGARET CARLSON, "TIME" MAGAZINE: Nine percent of people thought it was important. It was way below the other issues, Social Security for one, which McCain is emphasizing, paying the debt. It just doesn't have the resonance it used to have. Now, congressional Republicans have learned that. It doesn't sell. Even in New Hampshire it doesn't sell, and you know, we're in -- you know, it's not live free or die anymore. It's New Hampshire.com. It is a new New Hampshire and they don't feel the way they used to feet. It's not as conservative a state. It is a state that cares about issues that independents, moderate Republican issues.

SHIELDS: Is Bush wounded?

KATE O'BEIRNE, "THE NATIONAL REVIEW": It seemed to me no issues compared to the attention to this Republican electorate. In fact, campaign finance reform, which is John McCain's signature issue, finished, among what voters expressed interest in, finished behind world affairs and we know how little the world is interested in world affairs. It was, it seems to me, a personality and character campaign.

These voters like John McCain. They saw a lot of him and what they saw they liked, and it also seems to me, and Warren Rudman told me this earlier tonight, he thinks that John McCain reaped the benefit of what Washington has been obsessed with for the past three years, the Clinton scandals. He ran as a man of character, he ran based on his war record. He ran as a guy who could be trusted and these voters responded and it was far more that than any issues.

SHIELDS: Bill Bradley has complained about entrenched power against him, but the reality is the entire entrenched power of the Republican Party here in New Hampshire, the Republican National Committee, the Republican governors all lined up behind George Bush. What do they think tonight, Bob? They have to be a little shaken.

ROBERT NOVAK, "CHICAGO SUN-TIMES": They are scared to death. Both sides say that this was -- confirming what Kate says -- this was an election about biographies, who had the best biography, and there's no question that McCain did. Now, how do you change that? I have had several people in various levels of the Bush campaign tell me they are going to for South Carolina lay on comparison ads. What are comparison ads? Well, small-minded people would call it negative advertising.

SHIELDS: Yes. But not the Bush people.

NOVAK: Not the Bush people, and what is they are going to say, he is hypocritical, that is McCain is hypocritical and that he is not a good Republican, and indeed, those wonderful speeches were not Republican speeches. There's very little Republican doctrine in them. Now, whether that works or not, I don't know, but I guarantee you they are going into South Carolina in a different mode than they went into New Hampshire where they lost.

SHIELDS: Allan.

AL HUNT, "WALL STREET JOURNAL": I spent a long time last night in the freezing election eve rally of John McCain out in Bedford talking to Lindsey Graham, who is not exactly accustomed to this weather up here. He's a South Carolina congressman. And he made a couple points we mentioned. He said, you give McCain a 5 or 7 point victory here -- that's what he was hoping for last night -- and he says, I'll tell you what it will do in South Carolina. It really will pierce that sense that George W. Bush is inevitable. He said, that's the great strength he has down there. He says, if we can't shake that and the Republican hierarchy -- it is a hierarchal state -- but don't forget Lindsey Graham and Mark Sanford, two of the most popular figures in that state, don't have any governor now...

(CROSSTALK)

HUNT: And the third point I would make on those comparative ads, the CNN poll, the CNN poll, so we know it's reliable, asked the question, big tax cut or use a smaller tax cut and pay down the debt? Three to one the debt won in South Carolina.

SHIELDS: In South Carolina. So where does it leave the race? Is John McCain a serious challenger coming out of this?

NOVAK: Not yet. But if he wins -- this is a single-elimination tournament, and that means there's no losers (UNINTELLIGIBLE). It's a single-elimination tournament for John McCain. If he had lost here tonight, he's out of it. If he loses in South Carolina, he's out. He must win that. And man, if he wins South Carolina, watch out. This is a real...

SHIELDS: Anxiety, anxiety in the Republican establishment ranks. I think it's there tonight. They thought -- George Bush came out of this race, don't forget, with 70 percent favorable. I mean, those voters liked him; they just didn't buy that dog food.

O'BEIRNE: It does question the inevitability.

HUNT: McCain did?

O'BEIRNE: And it was such a big win. I think it also shakes some confidence in the Bush team.

NOVAK: Right.

O'BEIRNE: They were not predicting anything like this. As recently as this weekend, Al, they were saying, you know, we could still put it off. Well, the same people who were shocked by this McCain finish were the ones reassuring everybody about South Carolina.

SHIELDS: Margaret Carlson, I have to ask you...

M. CARLSON: I wanted to tell you, last night, they were saying, oh, McCain broke the spending caps, and oh, it doesn't matter so much if we, you know, we don't get a victory here, because we've got the 50-state strategy. And the other thing they're going to do in South Carolina, is suddenly, John McCain is going to be chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee. He's going to be the Washington zip code. He's going to be the insider. And so all of that that he gets from is over.

SHIELDS: All right, let's ask, if Al Gore became the first non- incumbent candidate to the White House in 25 years to win Iowa and New Hampshire back to back. Jimmy Carter did in 1976 and won be the White House as well.

Is Gore the inevitable nominee as of tonight?

NOVAK: Probable. He's the probable nominee, but he is very unpopular. I went to a focus group two nights ago of independent voters, and the two most unpopular voters, in order, were -- candidates were Gore and Bush. And he is not a popular candidate. Now the question is, can Bill Bradley in the next five weeks win in New York, in Connecticut, in -- what is it? -- Rhode Island, in those kind of states? It's possible. Gore is probable, but not inevitable. And I thought this was a very weak showing, considering he had the whole machinery in the Democratic party in this state tonight.

M. CARLSON: Mark, the good news for Gore is that he won in two places that reward insurgents. He got a victory, though, but without the energy. And people -- Bob is right -- people don't really like him, and he's going to have to come back and get people to like him, stop the whining, stop calling himself the underdog, stop saying things that you just know aren't right.

KING: All right, but do people like Bill Bradley?

HUNT: Mark, a couple of points I'd make. First of all, it appears in looking at these figures, there was a much larger Republican turnout than Democratic turnout. This is a state that's roughly even evenly divided. I think that says something. And we talked about the Republican establishment being worried; I think the Democratic establishment is very worried. Tom Daschle and Dick Gephardt put just a silly statement, making fools of themselves, over the weekend, about Bill Bradley is initiating negative campaigns.

Second point I make about the Bradley people, is they're convinced if this election had been held a week earlier, they would have loss by 15 points opinions. I don't know if they're right or wrong, but they're convinced of that, and that tells you a little bit about what will go on in the future.

Thirdly, Bradley won on the health care -- people cared about health care in this. He won the health care debate in New Hampshire.

SHIELDS: Kate, Al Gore, whatever you say about him, is winning ugly. It's not a pretty victory. It's not a really good-feeling victory.

O'BEIRNE: It's not pretty, but I wonder whether or not when Bill Bradley finally started stated the rationale for his candidacy, which was, Al Gore can't be trusted to tell the truth. How can we trust him as president? Thereby reminding a lot of voters of what Republicans are going to saying about Al Gore. I wonder whether or not that drove Democrats -- and he won big among Democrats, Al Gore -- whether it drove them home. They want a candidate like Al Gore going after a Republican in the fall like he went after Bill Bradley.

NOVAK: One swipe from Bill Bradley and Gore started bleeding.

O'BEIRNE: That's true. NOVAK: I think that was very important.

O'BEIRNE: Having said that, Gore, will probably slip ahead of George Bush in the national polls next week, and that's another problem.

HUNT: But also, the education issue up here big.

SHIELDS: OK, listener's have been lucky enough to listen to distilled wisdom, the essence of judgment of "THE CAPITAL GANG."

Now back to Judy and Bernie.

WOODRUFF: All right, Mark, we always learn a whole lot when we listen to the four of -- the five of you when we have the rare chance that all five of you are together.

Bernie, when we come back, much more ahead in our coverage. We're going to be talking, going back to some of the headquarters, and we expect to have an interview with Vice President Gore.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: There is still excitement in the state of New Hampshire tonight. Yes, we have called a winner on the Republican side, and we've called a winner on the Democratic side.

But Bill Schneider, we need to look hard at what the voters were saying when they cast their vote for Vice President Gore over Bill Bradley.

SCHNEIDER: And let's do that right now. We be find three reasons why Gore edged out Bradley in today's primary. One of them is, among men, the vote was tied, but among women, they delivered for Gore 52 -- as we see -- to 46. Women like Bill Clinton and they like his vice president Al Gore. A second reason, non-union voted by a narrow margin for Bill Bradley. Union voters -- there weren't many of them. Only a quarter of the voters here in New Hampshire. But look at this -- they really delivered for Al Gore. That AFL-CIO endorsement that John Sweeney gave Al Gore back in the fall, it paid a off in New Hampshire. They pulled his iron out of the fire, and they saved their man Al Gore.

Third reason -- we mentioned that earlier -- the economy, a very good economy, and voters here in New Hampshire have said, things are going well and their family situation has gotten better. That was two thirds of Democrats voted pretty heavily for Al Gore, and that could be a sign going into the fall campaign, especially if Gore wins the nomination.

We heard earlier, a lot of voters don't really care for Al Gore, they don't like him, they don't like the way he campaigns, but people are doing very well in this country, and that has paid for at Al Gore here in New Hampshire, and it could pay for Al Gore if he's the Democratic nominee. GREENFIELD: Bill, doesn't this suggest that as we get into more typically Democratic states, like New and California, more unions -- certainly more minorities -- there are barely any here, that that's a good sign for Gore and a dangerous sign for Bradley, if he doesn't start connecting with Democrats, he's in real trouble in those states.

SCHNEIDER: Democrats, unlike Republicans, who voted for McCain, the insurgent Democrats voted for Gore, the establishment candidate, and that's helped Gore win. As I say, women, who are strong Clinton supporters, no minorities, but union members, really carried this state through.

SHAW: Well, we're going go find out what's on the vice president's mind when we come back with more of our live coverage from Manchester, New Hampshire, including an interview with Al Gore, winner of the Democratic primary in New Hampshire.

Back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: A recap of the results tonight before we get to Vice President Gore on the Republican side. A big win for Arizona Senator John McCain, as you can see, with, what, 80 percent of the -- 82 percent of the precincts reporting,a 49 percent lead for Senator McCain to 31 percent for Governor George W. Bush.

SHAW: And on the Democratic side, take a quick snapshot of the victory by the vice president of the United States, 52 percent to Bill Bradley's challenging 48 percent.

Joining us now from his campaign headquarters, flush with victory, the vice president of the United States.

Mr. Vice President, you, throughout this campaign, have described yourself as a fighter. I want to quote for you some words that were said tonight from the other side of the aisle. These are the words of John McCain following his victory tonight over Governor Bush. Quote: "This is the beginning of the end for the truth twisting policies of the Bill Clinton and Al Gore."

Your reaction.

ALBERT GORE. VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Oh, look, this campaign is about the future. It's not about what the Republican candidates want to talk about in the past. This is about how we can keep our prosperity going, not a risky tax scheme that all the Republicans want to use to squander the surplus. This is about how we can bring revolutionary improvements to our public schools, Bernie, not divert money from public schools.

It's about how we can expand access to high-quality health care to all Americans, step by step. How we can clean up the environment, how we can protect a women's right to chose.

Listen, we've just begun to fight. I'm so thankful to the people of New Hampshire for this tremendous victory here tonight. I said earlier, some people today thought it was going to be like the Super Bowl, with us coming up a yard short, but this Tennessean is in the end zone and it feels great.

WOODRUFF: Mr. Vice President, it's Judy Woodruff. I heard you say tonight to your supporters that this has been a very enjoyable campaign, and yet it was also a campaign in which Senator Bradley suggested time and again that -- asked voters how could they trust someone as president if they couldn't trust them as a candidate.

Is this the kind of rhetoric that's going to continue, and if it is, how do you respond?

GORE: Well, you will have to ask him that, Judy. And the voters rejected that this evening. And what has been most enjoyable to me has been the open meetings that I've had with the people of New Hampshire.

And let me tell you I've had them all over this state. When I was behind -- I was behind in the polls for 14 weeks here. I was outspent here by a good big margin. I was conserving for this national primary that's coming up just in five weeks. And in spite of all of that we came from behind, and the main reason is the open meetings that I had all over the state, where we had, like, an 80- percent conversion rate of undecided voters coming in and participating in a meaningful dialogue about our country's future. Last night the meeting went for three hours and 35 minutes in Amherst. And I'm going to have one of those tomorrow night in Los Angles.

I'm going to be meeting in a few hours in New York City and again tomorrow morning, and at mid-day in Columbus, Ohio on the way to the West Coast.

SHAW: Al Gore, a lot of people are saying that you transformed yourself into a much better candidate. But you obviously didn't do it by yourself; there's a guy named Bill Bradley. Are you glad that Bradley has given you a political kick in the butt?

(LAUGHTER)

GORE: Well, I wouldn't put it quite that way, Bernie, but you know the competition has been good for me. And I said that in my speech tonight. Competition is healthy in our country. And I think the total immersion and discussion with the voters of New Hampshire and the voters of Iowa, had as much or more to do with it, but the competition put wind in my sails, allowed me to dig my keel deeper into the water, connect with voters. I think I am a stronger and better candidate today. I know the campaign is better and more effective.

But the fight is not really between me and Senator Bradley. It's for the future of our country. And that's why I'm talking about how we can keep our prosperity going. Today we broke the all-time record for the longest economic expansion in history -- 107 months.

How do we use that as the foundation as we keep it going for revolutionary improvements in our public schools, for expanding health care step by step to all children, for creating new jobs in the way that we protect the environment?

These are the kinds of things that I have in my mind when I say I've only just begun to fight.

WOODRUFF: Well, Mr. Gore, just on that very point, Senator Bradley said tonight, he said this is not just a choice between the two of your, it's a choice, he said, between two philosophies of leadership.

He said those who are content with the current prosperity, and those who want to use that prosperity to take care of the poor, to provide universal health care and so on. Do you accept his description of the difference between the two of you?

GORE: Well, of course not. And in the last few years we've had the sharpest drop in child poverty in history, but we've (AUDIO GAP) as I was just saying a few moments ago, Judy, to use this prosperity to expand health care to everyone step by step, starting with all children; how we can use it to bring revolutionary improvements to our public schools; how we can make sure nobody is left behind.

I've been the head of this group that's been bringing community empowerment to cities and towns across our country. I think that we have got to make sure that everybody is participating. And I think that the voters of New Hampshire this evening have made a clear choice in favor of that message and that vision of the future and I'm very grateful to them.

GREENFIELD: Mr. Vice President, it's Jeff Greenfield. How are you? Congratulations.

GORE: Thank you.

GREENFIELD: It's one thing when your opponent raises an issue of trust. I mean, voters tend to discount that. But in the last week alone "The Boston Globe," "The Washington Post," "Fortune" magazine have all put on the table some fairly tough statements about how straight you've been with people about past positions from campaign finance to abortions. How worried about you are you that other people saying this is going to give Senator Bradley ammunition in the days and weeks ahead?

GORE: I was having a little trouble hearing you, Jeff, but I think that I got the gist of it. I think that the dialogue that I've had with the voters has resulted in a very positive affirmation of what I'm saying.

And I have said in every speech that I've made in this campaign that I'm for a woman's right to choose and I will never back down from that. I've seen too many situations where woman are in circumstances where it's just outrageous for the federal government to try to order them to do what it thinks is the right thing when the woman should make that decision. On campaign finance reform, I supported and co-sponsored the public financing of federal elections 20 years ago. I've sponsored or co-sponsored more than a dozen such proposals. And I've challenged Senator Bradley to get rid of the 30-second, 60-second TV and radio commercials that account for more than half of all the campaign finance and just focus on twice weekly debates on specific issues and elevate our democracy.

SHAW: We know you've got to go, but quick question related to the last point you just made.

You want two debates a week, Senator Bradley wants one a week. What say you?

GORE: Well, let's get rid of the TV and radio commercials, also. We've already been averaging one a week, of course we'll debate. I've accepted 40 debates. I've only been able to convince him to accept eight of them so far. I've challenged him to get rid of those TV- radio ads and debate twice a week on specific issues. He's taken a half step with what he said and he's just endorsed the status quo. I hope that he'll go the rest of the way.

But this fight is for our future, Bernie...

SHAW: So you...

GORE: ... and I've very happy to take this step forward here this evening.

SHAW: OK. But to be clear, you will not accept his offer of one debate a week?

GORE: We've been having one debate a week. Of course I am going to debate more and I'm looking forward to that. But I hope that he'll go the rest of the way, debate twice a week, and get rid of the TV and radio ads that turn so many people off and really don't elevate our democracy the way we should all be striving to do.

SHAW: OK. Your point is very, very clear. We thank you for...

GORE: Thank you.

SHAW: ... your graciousness and your time.

WOODRUFF: Thank you, Mr. Vice President.

GORE: Thank you all very much. I appreciate it.

SHAW: You're quite welcome. Our pleasure.

And CNN's live coverage from Manchester, New Hampshire, the Republicans and the Democrat, Gore the winner over Bradley, and McCain winning over Bush, we have so much more to come, and "LARRY KING LIVE" returns at 12:00 midnight Eastern Time. We'll be back in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: That is one more look at how the voters of New Hampshire spoke today and tonight. You saw the numbers there with a little more than 80 percent of the precincts reporting.

We are going to move very quickly now to our own Wolf Blitzer for a look at the campaign after New Hampshire -- Wolf.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Well, Judy, for the candidates there are a lot of different posturing that's going to be going on. In fact, though there are two political road maps out of New Hampshire.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER (voice-over): For the Republicans, it continues in one week with the February 8 Delaware primary, but that's largely a two- man contest, Bush versus Forbes. McCain is not campaigning there. For the maverick senator, the real challenge will be on February 19 in South Carolina, where he's invested a great deal of time and money.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has a two-state strategy and if you have only a two-state strategy you have to win both states, and right now, here in South Carolina history is on Bush's side.

BLITZER: Three days later on February 22, McCain will be on home turf in Arizona, but polls show a close contest there. Governor Jane Hull has endorsed Bush. Also that day, the Michigan primary. Governor John Engler has assured Bush a big win there. On February 29 it's onto Washington State, North Dakota and Virginia.

The next big test is March 7, with the Republican and Democratic primaries in California, Missouri, Ohio, Georgia Maryland, New York and the rest of New England as well as a handful of caucus states.

It's the single largest delegate selection day of the season for the Republicans, nearly 30 percent at stake. After a five-week hiatus in voting among Democrats, 30 percent of the delegates will be at stake on the so-called Yankee Primary Day.

BILL BRADLEY (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: After Iowa and New Hampshire, we have the first national primary, which is a totally different terrain and requires a totally different kind of campaigning.

BLITZER: Al Gore has a big advantage in organization, while the key for Bill Bradley will be California, where he's raised big sums of money, especially in Silicon Valley, and in New York, where he starred as an NBA basketball player.

LEE MIRINGOFF, MARIST INSTITUTE FOR PUBLIC OPINION: New York provides for Bradley a little bit of a home-court advantage. Clearly he's better known there, but Bradley needs to break the pattern that we've seen in Iowa, we see in New Hampshire, where the thing starts, it's fairly close and then as the primary or caucus approaches, things don't seem to be breaking his way enough. BLITZER: If there's still a race it almost certainly will be over my March 14, so-called Super Tuesday, with primaries in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Florida. The Southern roots of both Bush and Gore give them a strong edge there.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: By mid-March, more than half of the Democratic delegates and two thirds of the Republican delegates will have been chosen. That means six weeks from now we almost certainly will know the two presidential nominees -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Wolf, just a quick question, clearly money has mattered everyday of this campaign up until now. How much will money matter more from now on?

BLITZER: It probably will matter much more, because the media -- the markets in New York and California on the Democratic side, for example, are very expensive, and by all accounts both Bush and McCain are going to spend a lot of money in South Carolina and Michigan looking down the road. So money is going to be critical at this point.

SHAW: Wolf Blitzer, fellow anchor, fellow reporter, and this man will be back with you in exactly 130 minutes. At 1 a.m. Eastern Time, Wolf will anchor a complete one hour wrap up on all the important political things that have happened here in the Granite State.

Now to Tony Blankley, Mike McCurry. Gentlemen, what kind of advice, suggestions will Governor Bush get from Republican leaders as he moves onto South Carolina?

TONY BLANKLEY, FORMER GINGRICH PRESS SECRETARY: Well, look, Bernie, I tell you, it's going to be interesting. I've been talking with members and other leaders in Washington the last few hours, and the interesting thing is that McCain is so disliked by the fellow Republicans that the -- there's no problem with a lack of support from the leadership.

What's -- the problem is going to be he is going to get so much advice and a lot of it is going to be bad. I know that when my old boss, Newt Gingrich, had a stumble or two as the national political party leader, he got advice from all over the place, and discerning what advice to take and what not to take was very important.

Some examples of what Gore is going to -- of what Bush is going to be getting in the next day or two, some issues, I believe the congressional Republicans are going to start advising Bush to drop the tax issue and embrace the debt reduction issue, they're going to suggest that he go into education more strongly than he has. Although, he's already made that an issue. They think he should make it stronger.

On the other hand, there are some consultant and big-time players who are going to suggest that he go almost viciously negative. He may have to resist those kind of advices. What I'd be interested in is what your boss is going to be saying to Gore, what advice he may have.

MIKE MCCURRY, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, I will tell you the good news for the Democrats is that Bush is going to get conflicting advice. It sounds like all of those party leaders are in shock and I think that the worst thing that Governor Bush could do right now is to listen to all that conflicting advice.

He has to go out and make a case why he should be president of the United States, and I think that the problem right now, people are wondering whether or not he's really up to this job and only having McCain there as that alternative looking as strong as he's been looking to them I think is going to be a real problem for him.

Now, President Clinton, you know, still has that bully pulpit and he had the speaker of the House, Denny Hastert, Trent Lott, the majority leader, down there today talking about ritually as they always do, what can we do going ahead and I'll bet that the president tries to define the environment for these candidates going ahead and so that they can make -- so that Al Gore can make a little bit of headway.

BLANKLEY: Mike, we have to go back to the anchor desk.

MCCURRY: Back to you.

WOODRUFF: All right, Tony and Mike.

Joining us now, a gentleman who came in very close tonight, Senator Bill Bradley, the former New Jersey senator. Senator, we -- first of all, we thank you for joining us. Congratulations on your strong show tonight. You did more than respectably well.

The question on the minds of a number of people, however, Senator, is did you wait too long to fight back?

BILL BRADLEY (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well I don't think so, Judy. I think what we did was, in the last week of the campaign, I made corrections in the record. I clearly drew differences. And that's what I'm going to continue to do as we move forward.

SHAW: What happens now? What do you see getting you a major win to put you back in this race?

BRADLEY: Well, what happens now is that we leave tonight. We'll be in Hartford tomorrow, in New York, and end up in San Francisco tomorrow night. The national campaign is on. We have to take off on March 7, which is the first national primary.

And over the course of this month, I've challenged Al to one debate a week. And also, we'll lay out a number of policy differences in this period of time. And I think by March 7, people will clearly see that there is a choice here in this race. And it is a significant choice for the party and the country.

And I'm looking forward to doing that over the next five weeks. SHAW: Bill Bradley, let's clear up one point. Less than 10 minutes ago, Vice President Al Gore repeated that he had challenged you to two debates a week. I've mentioned that you have counter- challenged, offering one debate a week. The vice president tonight said on CNN that you're meeting him halfway now. When I asked him whether he would accept your offer, it was clear that he would not.

BRADLEY: You know, I think the worst thing that candidates can do is negotiate debate formats and numbers over the air. There are more important issues to talk about in this country. I mean, you know, not the least of which is health care, gun control, education. And I think that that's what you leave for staff to negotiate.

WOODRUFF: Senator, you have done well in a state that rewards insurgents but you have yet to win, and you are now moving into states where the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party establishment, labor unions and all the rest of it will count for a great deal. How will you go up against the juggernaut that the vice president is surely going to be employing?

BRADLEY: I think the only way you can do it, Judy, is on the issues and by drawing distinguished differences and by getting new people into the process. That's why I said if you're doing a different kind of politics it takes time, because you're essentially building and bringing new people into the process. That's what has to happen in California, New York and Ohio and Missouri. And each of those states are states where, you know, I do have a good background and I have a good organization in a lot of those places.

And so this will be a different kind of race than the one that was waged in Iowa and New Hampshire, because it's much more based upon bigger ideas, it'll be based upon very clear differences, and it'll be based on specific policies, and it will be based on asking the Democratic Party to decide which one of us does the party think has a better chance to beat the Republicans in the fall, because after all that's what this is all about.

GREENFIELD: Senator -- Senator, it's Jeff Greenfield, and I want to follow up on that. In New Hampshire tonight you lost Democrats 59- 41. You are going into states where only Democrats can vote; independents can't.

I know you abhor tactical questions, but doesn't this suggest that you are not connecting with core Democratic voters so far?

BRADLEY: Well it suggests that we haven't touched them where I believe I can touch them. For example, Jeffrey, in this debate about health care, I was the only person that has a $25 billion tax cut for families making under $30,000 a year. Now those are core Democratic voters. And I'm the only one that's offering health insurance for all people. And the people who need it the most are core Democratic voters.

So the real question here is whether we can get that message through to people, that I'll be fighting for their interests in specific areas that are important to their lives. If we can do that, I think we have a good chance of rallying the Democratic base.

SHAW: Bill Bradley, I want to ask you a simple question, but I want to give it a backdrop, a pro basketball backdrop. Essentially my question is, where is Bill Bradley in this campaign? The analogy is when you played for the New York Knicks. When they had you playing guard, you were lousy. You were out of position. When they put you in the forward position, you sparkled. You shone. You took your team to its first championship.

Where are you in this campaign now? Essentially, will you -- will you throw elbows when you need to with Al Gore?

BRADLEY: Well, I think I was moved to forward about a week ago.

SHAW: Explain. Explain, sir.

BRADLEY: I think that last week, after the debate and during the debate, I think that we found a way to go forward, and I think that as a result of that, the whole organization is now better focused, and we clearly have a way that I think we can be stronger as we proceed. I think we'd be better prepared for having this experience in New Hampshire.

WOODRUFF: Senator, are you going to say of Al Gore that if people can't trust him as a candidate, how can they trust him as president?

BRADLEY: Well, I think that's true, I think that's true, and I will continue to say what I think is true.

WOODRUFF: In other words, you expect to hit hard?

BRADLEY: We're going to do a campaign that's going to try to be positive, but it's also going to not hesitate at all to go after the differences.

GREENFIELD: Senator, right behind you, there's a sign that says "Honesty Counts. Vote Bradley." That would suggest logically that -- you're suggesting something, that the vice president is perhaps a little less than honest.

BRADLEY: I'm sorry, I didn't get your question.

GREENFIELD: I say, right behind you, there's a sign that says "Honesty Counts." Does that imply your campaign is going to say something about the vice president's honesty?

BRADLEY: No, I think that's probably a supporters feeling about me, and I'm particularly gratified that he feels that way or she feels that way. I haven't seen the sign.

But I think that there were a number of people who were my supporters in this campaign who felt very intensely about it and who committed a lot of time and effort to it, and they did so because they thought I'd bring something different to the presidency, and that's of course the premise of the campaign. WOODRUFF: Senator Bill Bradley, former senator from the state of New Jersey, who came in close second here in New Hampshire, once again, congratulations on your showing, and we thank you for being with us.

BRADLEY: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: And we'll see you in the states to come.

BRADLEY: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: Thank you.

So we've talked to...

SHAW: ... everybody.

WOODRUFF: We've talked to everybody tonight, and the only thing I don't like about this story is that it's over.

GREENFIELD: Oh, Bernie, it's only just begun.

WOODRUFF: But only in New Hampshire. It's only over in New Hampshire.

SHAW: And the fat lady is gargling. She's about to sing, metaphorically, in the sense that, how could we end this part of our coverage without hearing from our wordsmith.

Bruce Morton now on the iconoclastic New Hampshire voter.

Thanks for joining us.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but there is more to this old place than that. Look at the mills, a century and more of history; water-powered textiles mills when Charles Dickens lived. Textiles went to the non- Union South. Sneakers went to Asia. High-techs here now, fastest per capita high-tech growth of any state. And the people, these folks are sledding in affluent Amos.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A good education, you know, we want the best for our children, and the future, and I think that we are looking for that, and I hope everybody else is, too. Tomorrow is important, today is important, and you know, the kids, it's for the kids, what we leave for them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We Yankees, we're not open. If you want openness, you go to the Midwest or you go to the South, where there's a lot of hospitality. I think people here are generally a little bit cooler. It takes longer to warm up to.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would say we're just plain, simple people that just want good family values. MORTON: Fond a dogs -- you can tell that. Fond of kids -- "family values" is a phrase they use.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Folks in New Hampshire really care about the state. They really care about what's going on in the state. They're really very, very family-oriented in this area. You know, that's probably the biggest thing I've seen, is the commitment to family. I really love it here.

MORTON: Are they aware of their special role in picking presidents? They are, of course.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People are all out taking advantage of all the meetings, the town meetings, the debates, and a lot of our friends have been very involved with it, and we've been able to go see some of the candidates, and it's a lot of fun.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The candidates come, they come to your house, you know, you shake at least four of their hands in the election time. It's pretty special, and I think that we're fortunate to live here, and I think most of the people feel the same way.

MORTON: So the candidates come early and often. It's a chance to try your voice, one activist says. Some will falter here. Some will cruise happily along these snowy hills. New Hampshire is about low taxes, and snow and high-tech; it's about winning and losing, too.

Bruce Morton, CNN, Manchester, New Hampshire.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: Indeed, it is about winning and losing. And just one quick word about this state, since 1952 it has held the first-in-the- nation primary. And Bernie and Jeff, once again history was made, biggest turnout ever in a contested Republican primary. And second of all, Al Gore made some history by being the first nominee -- or first candidate to win both Iowa and New Hampshire.

GREENFIELD: And as one who has sometimes questioned New Hampshire's right to be first, they gave us two fascinating races. They gave us up close interactions between candidates and votes. They may have earned their shot for a while longer.

SHAW: And I have no doubt that the best hardworking women in men in all of television news are the people at CNN. We thank all of you.

Coming up at midnight, "LARRY KING LIVE," with a slew of guests, and at 1:00 a.m. Eastern time, Wolf Blitzer right here, with a complete one-hour wrap-up the New Hampshire primary.

Thanks so much. Please stay tuned.

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