Bush: 'I Think I've Got a Good Chance of Winning'Aired February 16, 2000 - 10:43 a.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: George W. Bush now talking, taking questions in South Carolina.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Did you? What happened?
BUSH: I rest your case.
HEMMER: We'll listen here for a quick question-and-answer session here. The news of the day coming in the last hour. Gary Bauer, who dropped out of the race for the Republican nomination a week and a half ago. Now we will listen.
BUSH: ... drive this campaign home. We have got a couple more days to go, impressed by the size of the crowds and the enthusiastic response I'm getting. And I believe I have got a good chance of winning.
QUESTION: Is your campaign down to $20 million.
BUSH: Well, somebody mentioned the article to me. I don't spend -- of course I read the "New York Times," excuse me. We've got a plan in place that is going to enable me to stay in this race for the long run. We have been fighting in every primary state. We are on plan and I think I've got a good chance of winning, not only here -- excuse me. Go ahead.
QUESTION: Why do you think you have had to spend so much...
BUSH: Because I'm in every state. We are pre-paying a lot of buys in big expensive states, and we are on plan.
QUESTION: Are you alarmed at all, governor, that you have gone from $70 million down to $20 million?
BUSH: No, I am not. We have had a plan. We pre-paid a lot of buys in states. We are up in Michigan, Virginia. I think we are in Virginia on TV, we are on plan. I like my chances.
QUESTION: Your track of Senator McCain's spending in this state estimates that he spent about $2.8 million, which would be over the federal cap in this state.
QUESTION: can you comment on that?
BUSH: I can. I think if you receive taxpayers' money, in return for taxpayers' money, candidates ought to conform to the rules. No candidate should be above the rules. And Senator McCain needs to explain, if in fact he has busted the spending cap in South Carolina.
How, on the one hand, you can be a campaign funding reformer, on the other hand not live within the spending caps.
HEMMER: Live in Hilton Head, South Carolina, George Bush, the second issue there, quite obvious, questioning the spending of Senator John McCain in South Carolina, leading up to Saturday's primary. Before that, question about money and time and spent in the George Bush campaign, an article in the "New York Times" this morning saying that the coffer of George W. Bush, one-time very fat and very large, going from $70 million down to $20 million. Asked if he was concerned about those expenditures, George W. Bush saying: No, not worried, right now we have a plan in place, and in his words, we are on plan at this time.
Quickly the news of the day thus far, Gary Bauer, who dropped out a week and a half ago, says he will endorse John McCain at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, coming up later this morning. Again, John McCain picking up the backing of Gary Bauer. We will have it live for you when it happens. Again, that's at noon Eastern, 9:00 a.m. on the West Coast.
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