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Special Event

McCain: Negative Campaigning 'Depresses Voter Turnout'

Aired February 18, 2000 - 7:39 a.m. ET

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

CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: We take you now live to Hilton Head, South Carolina where John McCain is addressing some of his supporters one day before the South Carolina primary, talking about George W. Bush's campaign tactics.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And that's what you want, that's what you deserve.

You know, negative -- what negative campaigning does? It depresses voter turnout. And the fact, what we tomorrow is a big voter turnout. We want every eligible voter out. We believe that the reason why Ronald Reagan was able to govern with such great effect is the preservation of his core conservative principles; he had a vision for America that attracted Democrats, Independents, Libertarians, vegetarians, whoever they are. That's what we want. We want to build a party. We want to build a party that includes everyone. Come to our banner, come to our view and our vision of America. That's what -- that's what governing is all about.

And this foolishness about not wanting people who are of other persuasion or Independents in our party would doom us to a permanent minority status. So we want everybody out. We want you out and we want everybody out, and it's all going to depend on voter turnout tomorrow, I guarantee you that, my friends. If the voter turnout is big, we win; it's that simple.

I'd like to introduce to you Congressman John Shadegg of the state of Arizona right here, and I'd also like to introduce...

(APPLAUSE)

LIN: John McCain, trying to rally his supporters to get the vote out for tomorrow's South Carolina primary.

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