John McCain Rides of Wave of Support From Independents, Democrats to Victory in Michigan and Arizona PrimariesAired February 22, 2000 - 9:59 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: A live picture of John McCain, Phoenix, Arizona. He has won his home state. He has won the state of Michigan. Let's listen.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We took on -- we took on the iron triangle of big money, lobbyists and legislation and we won another battle.
So America won today and our children won.
We've scored a great victory here in the place that has always mattered most to me, my beautiful Arizona. To my...
To my neighbors, to those who really know me best, thank you, thank you so much. As always -- as always, I am honored by your support and more determined than ever to never let you down.
But your mission isn't over yet, my friends, we need you to help carry our winning message to our friends in California, OK?
Today -- today Michigan sent a powerful message across America, a message -- a message that our party wants real reform from the real reformer.
Many said that the establishment would carry the day. Instead, you the people did.
Let me say directly tonight to my many friends in Michigan, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart for standing with me. Now...
Now we move ahead.
MCCAIN: Our crusade is spreading from state after state, attracting new people to our great party. I'm going to give you your government back.
We will break that iron triangle. And in November, I will beat Al Gore like a drum.
I want to make a special plea tonight to my fellow Republicans. There are those who rule the establishment, who want more than anything to defend Washington's big-money, big-spending status quo. They want to fool you about me. Well, here's some more straight talk: I am a proud Reagan conservative. I love the Republican Party. It is my home. I want to tear up the 44,000-page tax code, so full of special deals for big corporations and special interests.
I want to end Washington's outrageous pork-barrel spending that I've been fighting for years. I want to rebuild our military, strengthen our families, protect the unborn and cut your taxes.
I want to use the surplus the right way, by keeping our obligation to shore up Social Security, fix Medicare and pay down the debt.
My friends, we must pay down the debt. We must pay down the debt. Let's act like responsible adults today, so we can cut our children's taxes tomorrow.
We are reformers. We are reformers -- Republican reformers, who can make our party bigger, and change politics in this country for generations. Don't fear this campaign, my fellow Republicans, join it. Join it.
This is where you belong, in the spirit of Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan.
This is where you belong, the Republicans who practice the politics of addition over the politics of division. We are creating a new majority my friends, a McCain majority. (APPLAUSE)
AUDIENCE MEMBERS: John McCain, John McCain, John McCain, John McCain...
MCCAIN: Thank you -- and we are Al Gore's worst nightmare.
We are patriots on a noble mission -- a noble mission, my friends, to make this new century America's best century. And we are going to win.
Thank you. Thank you again. Thank you again, my friends. I will never, never forget this special night.
Now, on to California, on to New York, on to Virginia, on to Washington, and on to victory my friends.
On to victory, on to victory.
WOODRUFF: Bernie, this is a winner who is already addressing the problem that so many people seem to be identifying with his campaign, and that is he's winning only a quarter of the of the Republican vote, and he's reaching out to them with these remarks we just listened to.
BERNARD SHAW, CNN ANCHOR: Indeed he's done that. Here is a man, a very happy Republican, a double-barrel victory tonight in Michigan and Arizona. He had a lot to say. He's saying to his fellow party members. We are Republican reformers. Don't fear this campaign, my fellow Republicans, John McCain just said, join it, join it, and also very pointedly throwing down the gauntlet to Vice President at Al Gore: "We are Al Gore's worst nightmare."
WOODRUFF: Yes, those I think are two lines that we're going to hear over and over again, and Bernie, before we bring in our esteemed colleague Jeff Greenfield in Washington, I would just note that all that colored confetti we're seeing is something that I read today that the Bush campaign has been trying to copy, but it was the McCain campaign that apparently came up with the idea of colored confetti, colored streamers, making better pictures in the newspaper the next day.
SHAW: I was just going to remark, what an upset in Michigan tonight. We expected him to take his home state of Arizona.
WOODRUFF: Absolutely. SHAW: And this is quite a victory for this man who just last week had suffered that trouncing in South Carolina. He's smiling tonight, he's upbeat, he's looking to the future, and he is full of all the kinds of things you would expect a winner of this magnitude tonight to be full of.
Jeff Greenfield, quite a different picture tonight from Phoenix compared to Columbia, South Carolina just a short time ago.
JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: Yes, it will change the song to "What a difference 72 hours makes."
Interesting point about this, I think part of the visual image that you're seeing, the colored confetti, is designed to remind people of a victorious nominating convention, when the nominee comes out to the adulation of the crowd, but I think what you guys have mentioned is very telling. You've heard the two themes that we talked about even before this Michigan result being woven together in a single speech. One is, I can win -- "I'm Al Gore's worst nightmare. Onto victory." And I think you're going to hear from the McCain campaign those poll numbers from CNN that he runs 24 points ahead of Gore, Bush only runs 5.
But the other point was when he deliberate said, "I'm talking to you my fellow Republicans." Before he left here, Senator Hagel mentioned that he had spoken to John McCain, and said to him, you know, Senator, from now on, you are a Republican, enough with the appeal to independents and Democrats. So the lines of come with me not just because I can win but because I can fulfill Republican desires: to cut the tax code, to cut taxes tomorrow, to pay down the debt, to rebuild our military. All of these Republican themes the senator was arguing tonight are the reasons why he's invite his Republicans to come with him to win for the reasons they are Republicans. I think this is going to be over the next couple weeks the central debate in the Republican Party contest. And on that debate is going to rest the outcome of this nomination.
SHAW: And unabashedly, he calls what he's doing a crusade. He claims that it's spreading from state to state.
WOODRUFF: It is interesting that these themes that Jeff just underlined seem to have gotten lost in the McCain campaign in the last few contests. Now, if you asked Senator McCain right now, he would say, well, I've been talking about these things, but that's not what has been getting most of the attention in his effort.
GREENFIELD: I think particularly in South Carolina, where he would stand up at those rallies and say, I'm talking to independents, Democrats, vegetarians, Trotskyites. I think some Republicans heard that as a kind of threat, and tonight, the message was completely different. It was aimed at Republicans. He's saying this is my home, this is my party, I want all of us to join together for a Republican cause. And I think he's look down the road as any smart campaigner would be at those closed Republican primaries, where only Republicans will determine the delegates from New York and California, Florida, so many other states. And if he doesn't cut those Republicans, he's dead.
SHAW: You know what struck me most about what Senator McCain said tonight in these just-concluded remarks? He's aware that Governor Bush stole -- stole his playbook in South Carolina. McCain tonight saying our party wants real reform from the real reformer.
GREENFIELD: Can I just make one quick point? Look at what our picture is showing with those laser rays. Remember how John McCain keeps calling himself "Luke Skywalker"? I think that may be one of symbols emerging of the McCain campaign, those laser lights.
WOODRUFF: CNN's John King has been covering the McCain campaign. John, I know you're listening to what the senator said, and it is a bit of a high wire act that he's proposing to walk here, is it not, going back and appealing to the right, to the heart of the Republican Party? At the same time, he's mindful of November?
JOHN KING, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well certainly, it is a high wire act, but he realizes as the calendar moves on, there will be fewer and fewer open primaries, primaries in which independents and Democrats can vote. The senator has complained for weeks that his record is being distorted. Tonight, you heard him call himself a Reagan conservative, talk about protecting the unborn and cutting taxes, so very a conservative message, but again, the McCain camp thinks that Governor Bush's advantage all along has been this air of inevitability, that he was going to be the Republican nominee no matter what. They hope to pierce that by the other half of Senator McCain's message tonight, that he is the candidate who not only by attracting Republicans, but by attracting Democrats and independents, can beat Al Gore in the fall? You heard him say, we are Al Gore's worst nightmare.
What they're hoping is that Republicans in the state still to come on the primary calendar, perhaps that message will settle in, and perhaps you'll see defections from Governor Bush.
SHAW: And, John, this politician here, he's going to need some awfully wildly big bucks when it comes to advertising in the not-so- retail state of California. Millions and millions of dollars of TV advertising. Any indication from the McCain people what they expected were they to win tonight in Michigan, in terms of a bounce contributions?
KING: Well they certain think the expectation was that Governor Bush would win Michigan. Senator McCain has raised $5 million over the Internet alone as of yesterday since his win the New Hampshire primary. He has two more fund-raisers scheduled later this week, Thursday and Friday I believe. They say they're actually not in that bad a position as compared to Governor Bush. Governor Bush has raised a lot more money, but he has spent a lot more money. Senator McCain has about $10 million on hand now. By the McCain camp's calculation, Governor Bush has only perhaps $14 or $15 million. Certainly, California, the most expensive state coming up, but they don't think Governor Bush can outspend them by much, especially now that McCain has some wins and there's the prospect in the Bush campaign of this thing dragging on for weeks and weeks more. SHAW: OK. Let's take a look, let's step back and see how the senator brought off this double barrel victory. First, in the state of Michigan, with 45 percent of the of the precincts in, John McCain winning, by our estimates, based on exit polls and a sampling of votes from the precincts, a certain sample of precincts, Senator McCain 50 percent to George Bush's 44 percent. You can see the margin there. We expect it to change a little bit. Alan Keyes with 4 percent.
WOODRUFF: In the state of Arizona, Senator McCain's home state, again, just 7 percent of the precincts reporting. These polls just closed about an hour and 15 minutes ago. You see Senator McCain has more than a two-to-one lead. We don't expect that percentage, perhaps, to hold, but we do believe it will be a double-digit lead, at the least, that Senator McCain will have over Governor Bush in Arizona.
SHAW: Who won how many delegates tonight? This is our estimate: Senator McCain: 73, Governor Bush: 6.
WOODRUFF: And to date in the delegate tally, George Bush ahead despite his two losses this evening, 105 to John McCain's 86, and two for Steve Forbes who of course has dropped out of this race.
And of course you can bet all Republican officeholders and party followers are watching this upset in Michigan. None other than New York's Republican Governor George Pataki -- we're going to talking to him later on in this hour, along with the California Secretary of State Bill Jones, who supports Senator McCain. Also coming up when we return, columnist Robert Novak of the "Chicago Sun-Times" and David Broder of "The Washington Post," as CNN continues covering this primary night.
We'll be back in a moment.
WOODRUFF: February 22, in the year 2000, two primaries, two victories tonight for John McCain in Michigan and in his home state of Arizona. Joining us now to talk some more about all these happenings in the Republican Party, David Broder, columnist for "The Washington Post." He joins us from Phoenix, Arizona, where we just heard Senator McCain, and Bob Novak, joining us from Detroit.
David Broder, to you first. Does this mean now that this race is a toss-up, or what would you call it?
DAVID BRODER, "WASHINGTON POST": I don't know whether it's a toss-up, but it certainly means that we've got an exciting race on our hands.
Judy, I think there were two significant things that we learned tonight. First of all, the McCain people are now prepared to acknowledge how much they needed that victory in Michigan tonight. Jim Colby, the congressman from Tucson who put on a great rally for McCain last night, told me, if we had lost Michigan, the wind would have gone out of our sails. And I think the second thing we learned tonight, Judy, is that John McCain understands that from this point on, he has to fight on George Bush's turf. He is going after hardcore conservative Republican votes, just as Bush has been doing. So far, Bush has been winning that battle. McCain now has a chance to try to take him on, on his home turf.
SHAW: Bob Novak, are Republican Party members in Michigan committing the political version of hari-kari?
ROBERT NOVAK, "CHICAGO SUN-TIMES": Well, I don't know what you mean by that, Bernie.
SHAW: In other words, are they ready to say, my goodness, what have we done?
NOVAK: Well, they didn't do it. The Republicans voted for Bush. What happened was nobody expected that 51 percent of the people voting in Michigan would be independents and Democrats. Believe me, that was not expected by anybody, including the McCain people, who only a couple days ago were pretty gloomy about Michigan. And of course, as David said, a loss in Michigan would have been devastating.
This was a -- the word has been used, a hostile takeover of the Republican Party primary in Michigan, but that's the fact. There were Democrats who came in here -- and 30 percent of the vote in this primary, according to the exit polls, were labor union members. Twenty-five percent of the voters had never voted in a Republican primary. That just is not the way the system is supposed to work.
What Senator McCain made clear he's going to do -- he said he's a Reagan Republican, but there's a lot of backpedaling he has to do now.
Is he going to say now that he did not believe that tax cuts for the rich are bad? Is he going to say now that he doesn't believe that the abortion plank and the platform has to be reopened? I think it's easier said than done to make that switch.
WOODRUFF: David Broder, how receptive are Republicans going to be to this appeal from John McCain? "Don't fear this campaign, fellow Republicans. Join it."
BRODER: The answer is we don't know yet. The appeal worked very well in Arizona, where they know his record over 17 years has been as being a pretty much down-the-line conservative, reliable Republican vote on most issues, except for campaign finance reform and tobacco, but the voters in other states don't know that record, and John McCain is going to have to persuade them that he is one of them, not a maverick, not an interloper, not a part of a hostile takeover.
SHAW: Dave, in your assessment, what is going on on the Republican ground? Senator McCain calls it a crusade. Some people have used the word "revolution." What do you sense is happening as we report on this upset tonight in Michigan?
BRODER: Well, Bob and I are old enough to remember that there was a Republican candidate named Dwight Eisenhower who also called his campaign a crusade and who was opposed as long as it was possible by the old guard in the Republican Party. I think we may be seeing a little bit of a revival of that old Eisenhower-Taft feud, but of course John McCain, though he had a distinguished military record, never liberated Europe.
WOODRUFF: Bob Novak -- a point well-made and well-taken, David Broder. Bob Novak, in the gut of many Republicans, how difficult is it going to be for them to accept this McCain message?
NOVAK: Extraordinarily difficult, particularly his colleagues in the Senate who don't trust him, don't like him, if I can be blunt. There is a reason why there are only four senators who are supporting him for the nomination. And the fact is that, as this goes through the party ranks, it isn't just matter of his voting for campaign finance reform and against the tobacco interests. They've never considered him reliable, and I think the moment when Senator McCain had an opportunity to say, well, I am going to be somebody who appeals to the base of the party past, when he said he could not go along with an across-the-board tax cut, which is the heart of Reaganism.
See, I really don't see this, in all due respect to my friend David, as a renewal of the Eisenhower-Taft split, because there isn't a really faction as such in the Republican Party today that is a McCain faction.
Surely, there are McCain supporters here and there, but he was very fortunate to have two very unusual primary states, New Hampshire and Michigan, where he is able to have -- to come out of on obscurity and to make, granted, a real challenge against Governor Bush. What he has to do now, is in these big statements of New York, Ohio and California is get Republican votes, surely, some moderate Republican votes, but he's got to do much better than he did with Michigan Republicans, who aren't far right wingers by any means.
WOODRUFF: Bob Novak, David Broder, thank you both. I don't know whether it's the Eisenhower-Taft split or something else, but as Bernie suggested, there's clearly something going on.
SHAW: Right. And regardless of the ideology propelling the voters to the polls, a win is a win.
WOODRUFF: That's exactly right. All right, we are going take a break. When we come book, we have much more for you.
Bill Schneider is going to show you some secret exit polls that he's been studying and looking at. And we're going talk with...
SHAW: ... Jeff Greenfield, with of his pungent observations.
WOODRUFF: And New York Governor George Pataki, and Bill Jones, secretary of state from California. We'll be back.
WOODRUFF: We have quite a story on our hands tonight, this Tuesday, in the month of February, George Bush has won the party faithful in the state of Michigan, but the victory goes to John McCain, who brought in independents and Democrats with 51 percent of the vote counted of the precincts reporting, I should say. McCain 50 percent to Bush's 44 percent.
SHAW: And in his home state of Arizona, a sweet victory tonight. With 8 percent of the precincts in, we project that McCain will handedly win over George Bush, 67 percent to 30 percent. Alan Keyes with 3 percent.
WOODRUFF: And Bill Schneider, our esteemed analyst, has been taking a look at some exits, interviews done with voters as they left the polls.
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: And I can tell you what was the key to McCain's victory in Michigan. It was Democratic and independent crossover voters. Clearly, they were the key. Only about half the voters in the Michigan Republican primary called themselves Republicans. That's the lowest percentage of Republicans we've ever seen in a Republican primary. Now those who described themselves as Republicans voted two-thirds for George Bush, just as they did in South Carolina. But the half of the voters in Michigan who are not Republicans voted very solidly for John McCain, and they were the key to his victory, but there was more to it than crossover.
This time, McCain carried his fellow veterans, who are almost a quarter of the voters in Michigan. Among non-veterans, the vote was much closer. Thank you, veterans.
And here's a surprise: 30 percent of the voters were union voters -- in a Republican primary. But these union voters were more Republican than Democratic. Union voters went solidly for McCain today, 60 percent. Thank you proletarian brothers, and finally, new voters, people who said this is the first time they have ever voted in a Republican primary in Michigan -- a quarter of the vote was new. Were they Democrats? No. A majority of those new voters said they were Republicans, but they were McCain Republicans, by better than two to one. The old guard Republicans voted for Bush. McCain might say, welcome my new friends.
Something big clearly is happening out there. Look what the turnout figures showed. In Iowa, turnout was actually down. McCain didn't compete in Iowa. In New Hampshire, turnout was up slightly. That's McCain's first big breakthrough victory, but in South Carolina, turnout went from 275,000 in 1996 to over half a million, almost 600, 000 in the year 2000.
In Michigan today, turnout went from half a million four years ago to an estimated one in a quarter million voters today. In Macomb County, the famous homeland of the Reagan Democrats, the estimates are that turnout was up 90 percent, virtually double what it was four years ago.
But when you get a turnout explosion like that, post New Hampshire, what it means is, there is a McCain phenomenon going on. Something big is happening in the country. The man is a sensation, and he's bringing in huge numbers of voters. They don't just want wander in casually to another party's primary.
SHAW: But what happens when you go to March 7, especially when no longer are most of these primaries open, but rather are closed?
SCHNEIDER: Well, then we'll see if he has the same kind of appeal to Republicans. He talked about being a conservative reformer. Conservative: that's for Republicans; Reformer: that's for those for non-Republicans. They're not going to be as big a factor in the future as they were before. And remember, with Democratic races, some of those Democrats and independents, might say well, I like John McCain and I would vote for him, but I like Al Gore and Bill Bradley, and they are really my first choice. So we'll see if he continues to get crossover votes in open primaries and a significantly expanded appeal to Republicans.
WOODRUFF: Let's bring our colleague, Jeff Greenfield, in to it. Jeff, you know, you're listening to Bill make the point about so many people outside the Republican Party came out to vote for McCain. But in South Carolina, you had a lot of Republicans turning out to vote for Bush against McCain. Couldn't that same South Carolina phenomenon, if you want to call it that, take place in future Republican contests.
GREENFIELD: Sure, and that's what make this one of the most interesting presidential campaigns in a long time. It is possible that we will be going to in Virginia, a week from tonight, talking about the explosive turnout of the conservative base in Virginia, and then we will -- a few hours later be in Washington State, and talk about the explosive turnout of independents out there.
There is one point to keep in mind in all of this, and it goes back to something Governor Engler told us just a few hours ago, that remember, when he told us that even if Governor Bush lost the popular vote, Engler expected him to get the lion's share of the delegates? Well, if our estimate is right, John McCain not only won the popular vote in Michigan, but he won almost all of the delegates. We'll see how that bears. The reason that's so critical -- and we will be talking about this because it is so important. Imagine in two weeks on March 7, all of these McCain voters turn out in California, where they can vote in the beauty contest, which is open to everybody, and then they look up the next morning and find out, as is the rules, that only the votes of registered Republicans will count for the delegates. This is emblematic of what's coming in the next couple of weeks and why all of us are going to be trying to inform the public about the complex series of rules that may wind up determining who actually gets the most delegates and wind up as the Republican nominee. It is an incredibly interesting story, if I might say so.
SHAW: And there's an awful lot to ask Governor Bush's man in New York, Republican Governor George Pataki, and Senator McCain's guy in Los Angeles, California Secretary of State Bill Jones. When we come back, we will ask them a lot.
WOODRUFF: The question we're all asking right now is, all right, Michigan and Arizona are out of the way. We've seen Iowa, New Hampshire, Delaware, South Carolina. Where do we go from here?
Our own correspondent Bill Delaney has been taking a look at what's in store between now and March 7. Let's watch.
BILL DELANEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In just the next two weeks or so, driving at likely wild, unprecedented speeds, George W. Bush and John McCain will careen down an interstate of primaries. Expect no downshifting until March 7, a blur of state's and territories in which the Bush campaign and the campaign of McCain pretty much agree they expect close battles, primarily in four states, where most money, advertising and presence will be for a rich harvest of delegates.
Washington State next Tuesday, February 29, where independents and Democrats can vote in the Republican primary. Then the 800-pound gorilla of primary days. Tuesday, March 7. It includes California, with its mother lode delegates. New York, competitive now that Bush campaign efforts to keep McCain off many ballots failed. And Ohio, another open primary in which any voter can take part.
McCain's strategy still rooted in the sort of Republicans, moderates and independents who helped him win in New Hampshire, while the Bush campaign relies on what a staffer calls it's its basic advantages: money, still there, though the campaign is spending millions a week, and the organization to compete everywhere.
McCain, well, can't compete with that. On February 29, for example, in Virginia, with its strong conservative base, McCain plans some advertising, but otherwise, not much of a presence. The McCain camp placing all its emphasis that day in a week on Washington, which is seen as something of a West Coast version of New Hampshire, with many of that states high-tech based suburban Republicans and independents.
McCain aides say they're very optimistic about some March 7 primaries, expecting to win all the New England states so close New Hampshire. The Bush campaign concedes McCain will do well there, while the McCain camp admits on March 7, they have almost no presence in Georgia, for example, and will barely compete there.
What's it boil down to? With some 22 primaries and caucuses between now and March 7, four battlegrounds: Washington, New York, Ohio, and above all, California, where what will be tangible will be delegate counts toward the 1034 needed to nominate; intangible, shifts of momentum, with a big here, a big loss there in the battleground states. It should be one heck of a ride.
Bill Delaney, CNN, Tuscon, Arizona.
SHAW: New York Republican Governor George Pataki, a Bush supporter, joins us now.
And California Secretary of State Bill Jones, a McCain supporter. Welcome, gentlemen.
GOV. GEORGE PATAKI (R), NEW YORK: Nice being with you.
SHAW: Good to have you, especially given the results tonight, in not only Arizona, but moreover, in Michigan.
Governor Pataki, I to ask you, by Senator McCain battling his way on to the ballots in New York State, does this make New York up for grabs?
PATAKI: I don't think up for grabs is the right word. This is a very interesting election, and obviously, Senator McCain has been helped by Michigan tonight. But I also think if you take a look at those numbers, more than half the voters were non-Republicans, and Governor Bush, since New Hampshire, has continually increased his support among Republican voters. I guess almost two-thirds of the Republicans tonight supported Governor Bush.
In New York's primary, Republicans will decide who the Republican delegates and candidate will be, and I'm very, very confident that we'll be able to get the support for Governor Bush because of his message, because of his record and ideas for the future of America.
WOODRUFF: To California now to secretary of state Bill Jones. Mr. Jones, you are, we -- I believe, is it the highest ranking Republican elected official in California...
BILL JONES (R-CA), SECY. OF STATE, MCCAIN SUPPORTER: That's correct.
WOODRUFF: ... supporting John McCain. Let me just put that question to you, the point raised by Governor Pataki. John McCain is winning when he's winning by reaching out to non-Republicans. Is he going to be able to appeal to members of his own party?
JONES: Well, I think absolutely so. The fact of the matter is he won the majority of the Republicans in New Hampshire. Millions of dollars were spent to try and define John McCain as a Democrat in South Carolina by Governor Bush and third party groups, and the truth is, is if you listen to the numbers in Michigan you see 25 percent new voters that say they're Republican coming out to vote for John McCain, millions of new voters.
This is what we want in California and John McCain's message certainly strikes to the heart of something that's out there that people want to participate. And finally, I would just say that as a conservative reformer, John McCain has a record and obviously the people of Arizona, Republicans and Democrats, but primarily Republicans who know him well know that he is a conservative and they voted strongly for him tonight.
SHAW: Governor Pataki, tonight in Phoenix, in his victory statement, Senator McCain said to his fellow party members, we are Republican reformers, don't fear this campaign, my fellow Republicans; join it, join it. Don't you think that message might have some resonance among the party faithful in New York State?
PATAKI: Well, Bernie, let me say, I don't fear the campaign nor do I intend to join it.
I think when you look at the candidates, Governor Bush is the one with the record, an outstanding record of leadership not just in traditional Republican areas like cutting taxes and reforming welfare, but Governor Bush truly has brought together a coalition in Texas, a non-traditional Republican coalition, including an enormous support from Hispanic voters and African-American voters and new voters, and I think given a chance to see the governor's record and his vision for America, New York Republicans are going to be very excited about it.
And as was mentioned earlier, one of the interesting things of this primary season is the tremendous large turnouts all across the country, in South Carolina and in Michigan, and I hope that's the case in New York. I think there is excitement, I think Governor Bush can benefit from that excitement.
SHAW: But, what I'm asking you is, what do you do about this Republican stalwart who tonight started sounding the themes that appeal to the Republican Party base?
PATAKI: Well, Bernie, I think you just hit it on the head, tonight started sounding the themes. He's not talking about appealing to Trotskyites tonight, he's talking about tax cuts, but he's opposed to the across the board tax cut and his tax-cut program is nothing compared to Governor Bush's nor is his record.
SHAW: I'm simply asking you, what if Senator McCain's message starts catching on among party Republican regulars? What will you do?
PATAKI: You know what, Bernie? They are going to vote for him, but I think that people are going to also hear Governor Bush's message and be very excited about it, because he has been a true leader, a true executive, and a reformer.
So, I think campaigns are wonderful things. You're going to hear two different sides of the issues, but I think when Republicans listen to the messages of the candidates, when they look at the tax-cut programs, when they look at their records, they're going to say Governor Bush truly is the Republican with the record of leading on the issues that are important to us.
WOODRUFF: And, Bill Jones, just final question for you out in California, what is going to be the reaction of Republicans in your state when the Bush campaign comes out there and says, don't let people from other parties have so much control over who are our nominees are going to be, in effect, we Republicans have to stick together and go with somebody we know and trust?
JONES: Well, the fact of the matter is, in South Carolina and in Michigan the party designed the open process to bring new people in. In the South for years the open process has allowed Republicans to grow and expand the party. In California, the message is every vote counts. We are early for the first time. I worked very hard to move us to March 7.
For the first time in 30 years we have a choice and I would encourage Republicans to step back and look at a gentleman who has an 18 year voting record in the Senate, who is a conservative Republican reformer, and I would strongly suggest that he's going to be well received in California, as you know, independent minded.
Don't be fooled by the negative advertising, look at the candidates, and I think people will find that John McCain will go the distance with his personal record, his personal sacrifice on the part of the country. I think he can deliver a message to young people, service above self, which they're looking for the today, and I want him out there delivering it in my state.
SHAW: California secretary of state Bill Jones, New York Republican Governor George Pataki, gentlemen, thank you very much.
PATAKI: Thank you.
JONES: Thank you.
SHAW: Our analyses don't end there, because when we come back we're going to hear from two top campaign strategists: for Governor Bush, Karl Rove; and Mike Murphy, a man from Michigan who once helped Governor Engler get elected, he pulled a lot of strings and was very strongly responsible for part of that victory tonight in Michigan.
WOODRUFF: For John McCain.
SHAW: Yes, all that and more when we come back.
SHAW: Arizona Senator John McCain with two victories tonight, one of them very, very crucial. First, in the state of Michigan, CNN projected sometime ago, with 59 percent of the precincts now reporting, Senator McCain wins this one over Governor Bush, 50 percent, 44 percent, that's our margin now, Alan Keyes showing 4 percent. And a cake walk you might call it in his home state of Arizona, with 14 percent of the precincts at his hour, the senator 64 percent, the governor 33 percent, Keyes 2 percent.
WOODRUFF: All right, Bernie, and before we go this important interview coming up, we want to tell all of our viewers that you want to stick around at midnight, because John McCain will be interviewed on the midnight portion of "LARRY KING LIVE" tonight. Jeff Greenfield will be hosting that and I know we'll all want to stay up and stick around and watch that.
SHAW: Yes, I'll watch that from my hotel room.
Well, joining us right now, two people we very much want to hear from: Karl Rove, senior strategist in the Bush campaign; and Michael Murphy, senior strategist in the John McCain campaign.
First question is to you, Karl Rove, clearly looking at tonight's tonight's results in Michigan based in tonight earlier primaries, caucuses, John McCain is bringing millions of new voters into the Republican Party. How is George Bush going to counter that?
KARL ROVE, BUSH CHIEF STRATEGIST: Well, look, Governor Bush did very well among new younger voters in South Carolina and again tonight in Michigan. He's winning the younger voters in both this state as he did in South Carolina, and Governor Bush is also increasing his numbers among independents in New Hampshire, he got 19 percent of the independents in a crowded race; today in a three man race in Michigan he got 31 percent. On the other hand, Senator McCain is dropping among Republicans among Republicans. In New Hampshire, in a crowded race, he got 35 percent of the Republicans. Tonight he's getting one out of every four Republicans in the state of Michigan, a three-man race.
So while we've been improving among independents, he's been dropping among Republicans.
SHAW: Is it your belief, Mr. Rove, that the campaign calendar, as front-loaded as it is, will be friendly to you and to Governor Bush in that ultimately you will prevail in this battle?
ROVE: You bet. Look, this is a very short season. We've prepared for it. There are a lot of primaries coming up in which there are -- in which Republicans or Republicans and independents are allowed to vote, not Democrats. And we feel very comfortable about the governor's choices -- chances in those states.
We also have a lot of states with Republican governors, and Governor Engler did a wonderful job here in Michigan and nearly won it despite the fact that a lot of Democrats came into this primary to vote for Senator McCain.
WOODRUFF: Karl Rove, Governor Bush has been suggesting, more than suggesting that John McCain is not sufficiently conservative to be the nominee of the party. Tonight, however, we hear John McCain saying, I want to end the Washington outrageous pork-barrel spending, we want to rebuild the military, we want to protect the unborn, cut taxes. These are conservative themes, are they not?
ROVE: Well, it's the first time he's begun to talk about them. And look, he's been there for 18 years, he's had a chance to do these things. He's failed. He is a person who talks about reform but has very little in the way of results.
Governor Bush, on the other hand, is somebody who comes from outside the system, successful governor of a big state with a record of results in changing and reforming education, taxes, education, welfare, juvenile justice, and tort laws. And this is what America wants, is somebody outside the system, not somebody who's been part and parcel of the problems in Washington.
We don't need more gridlock. We don't need the same old status quo in Washington. We need somebody who can bring real change from the outside.
SHAW: Karl Rove, I ask this next question -- I'm not trying to be nasty; I'm trying to understand...
ROVE: Mr. Shaw, you've never been nasty, they say.
SHAW: Thank you. Give that to me. But how can you claim that Governor Engler did a good job when he, the Republican governor with his campaign apparatus, political apparatus, did not deliver Michigan for you, and when he and you apparently did not anticipate in an open primary that you would get this influx of independents and Democrats? How could there have been a good job done in Michigan tonight?
ROVE: Look, we had a record turnout of Republicans in this state. Governor Bush won them by a margin approaching four to one. We had a lot of independents coming into the primary, and Governor Bush increased his performance among the independents from 19 percent in New Hampshire to 31 percent tonight. But there were a lot of Democrats, and they voted against Governor Bush by about an 8-to-1 margin. I don't think a lot of them will be voting Republican in the fall, as your expert analyst earlier tonight, Bill Schneider, said. These are not Reagan Democrats who came into the Michigan primary.
Now, look, it would be -- all things being equal we would have rather won in Michigan. I mean, I'm not trying to make light of tonight. We would have rather won. But there's some -- there's some -- there's some good news there and some bad news for Senator McCain. You cannot win the nomination of the Republican Party if you only get one out of every four Republicans, and you cannot claim to be the candidate of reform if younger voters are flocking to your opponent, as they did tonight here in the state of -- in the state of Michigan.
SHAW: Senior strategist Karl Rove, thanks so much for joining us tonight.
ROVE: Thank you, Mr. Shaw.
SHAW: You're quite welcome.
WOODRUFF: Thank you.
SHAW: Mike Murphy, you heard every word just uttered by Mr. Rove: What about his last point, that being that you cannot win the Grand Old Party's nomination by getting only one out of every four votes?
MIKE MURPHY, MCCAIN CHIEF STRATEGIST: Well, I'm not sure that's correct. I think the Bush excuse machine was working hard tonight. What I saw in John McCain's victory was the kind of strong coalition of Republicans, independents and Democrats that'll beat Al Gore, win states like Michigan in the fall.
You know, it's interesting: The bush campaign argued a year ago when Governor Bush started this campaign that he could attract Republicans and independents and be a big winner. It turns out now they want to padlock the primaries and only hold them in the Republican country club. That's not accurate and that's not how you're going to win.
So I think what you're going to see in the next week is more and more Republicans moving to Senator McCain's campaign, joining independents there, because they know he's the candidate of conservative reform, a message sent strongly by Michigan tonight.
WOODRUFF: But you know, you say he's the conservative candidate, but we just heard again -- we heard Karl Rove say people -- John McCain has been in Washington for 18 years. He hasn't done some of the -- he's had an opportunity. Again, I'm quoting Mr. Rove. "He's had an opportunity to do these things. He's failed to do it," in his words. We don't need more of this, we don't need Washington gridlock.
MURPHY: Well, but that's not accurate: The Bush campaign has run essentially an attack campaign against McCain saying that he's part of the Washington establishment. But we know that Senator McCain is the maverick in Washington. He's fighting for campaign finance reform. He's passed 243 bills and amendments into law, which is a near record. He's one of the most effective senators in Washington, but he does stand up and fight the party establishment on big pork-barrel spending, on defense reform and on campaign finance.
On the other hand, Governor Bush, frankly, is supported by the entire Republican establishment. They've got everybody. What they don't have is a winning message.
Michigan was the jury: After South Carolina, the Bush campaign came into Michigan with a lot of steam and a lot of power at the top and unlimited money. The voters of Michigan took a look at the Bush campaign, they heard no message from Governor Bush that made them think he was a winner, that made them think he ought to be president, and they overwhelmingly in 48 hours went to John McCain for this smashing victory.
So the Bush campaign may have all the money, they may have all the insiders; they don't have a message you can build a winning Reagan coalition on. McCain does, and that's why had this terrific victory tonight in both states.
SHAW: So tactically you would say that you ate Governor Bush's lunch in Michigan tonight?
MURPHY: Oh, I won't say that. I have a lot of friends in the Michigan Republican establishment and I think they worked hard for him. But when your candidate doesn't have a message, you're in big trouble.
I mean, John McCain in Michigan tonight got more votes in total than all the votes Governor Bush has yet to get in the other primaries. Michigan is the first big important swing state from the general election that Republicans need to win. And anybody looking a little at these results can see that Al Gore would beat George W. Bush in Michigan while John McCain is Al Gore's worst nightmare.
WOODRUFF: All right, spoken like a true McCain aficionado here. Mike Murphy, strategist with the McCain campaign... MURPHY: Thank you.
WOODRUFF: ... we want to thank you, Mike, and also thank Karl Rove with the George Bush campaign. And before we go away, Bernie...
SHAW: I was just going to say, Murphy is talking about his home state, Michigan.
WOODRUFF: He sure is. That's right.
Before we go away, we want to get a chance to get a word in edgewise with our colleague Jeff Greenfield in Washington. Jeff, I think we're already seeing the outlines of what we can expect over the next few days.
GREENFIELD: Instead of a word in edgewise, how about a couple of numbers? The biggest date -- the most dangerous number tonight for John McCain, the small percentage of Republican votes he got in Michigan. He has got to do better than that and substantially better. The worst numbers for Bush are actually in our CNN/"USA Today" poll that shows that Bush runs only five points ahead of Gore, McCain now runs 24 points ahead of Gore, a radical shift from six months ago.
If Republican voters do decide to vote based on who can best beat Al Gore, that is a message that might begin to change those numbers that still show most Republicans for Bush. And I believe that the next two weeks are going to be one of the of the most fascinated two- week periods we have heard.
We heard Dave Broder and Bob Novak argue about what year it was: You know, is it Taft-Eisenhower? Is it Goldwater, you know, Scranton? Is it Reagan-Ford in '76?
I don't know what year it is, but I know these next two weeks are going to be really worth watching.
WOODRUFF: I'll tell you what year it is. It's 2000.
GREENFIELD: Oh yes.
SHAW: Well, of course...
WOODRUFF: Jeff -- Jeff Greenfield.
SHAW: ... we can talk about the next few weeks, but fascinating will be Jeff's live interview with Senator John McCain at midnight Eastern Time on a one-hour special edition of LARRY KING LIVE. And then at 1 a.m. Eastern Time, Jim Moret will have a one-hour special wrapping up the story, the political story tonight: McCain the victor in Arizona and Michigan.
For our analysts who looked at all the exit polling tonight and gave us insight into why people voted the way they did in Arizona and especially in Michigan, for Bill Schneider, I'm Bernard Shaw.
WOODRUFF: And I'm Judy Woodruff. Thanks for joining us. And if it's primary night, we'll be here.
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