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Jack E. Robinson Staying in Bruising Massachusetts Senate Race

Aired July 7, 2000 - 2:40 p.m. ET

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

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: Jack Robinson is a multimillionaire businessman who wants Ted Kennedy's Senate seat, but as Boston bureau chief Bill Delaney reports, Robinson's campaign may be in big trouble.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BILL DELANEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Amid allegations of everything from roughing up two girlfriends to once carrying a concealed kung fu weapon, you could understand Republican Jack E. Robinson saying at this point the heck with trying to unseat long- enthroned Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy this fall. Well, forget it.

JACK E. ROBINSON, MASSACHUSETTS SENATE CANDIDATE: It's the Kennedy machine at work. But I'm a tough person. So it hasn't been fun, these attacks, but we got over them and we'll get over this hurdle, and we will be on the ballot, hook or by crook, I guarantee you that.

DELANEY: The hurdle right now, though: Robinson's off the Massachusetts ballot for allegedly forging 90 signatures of 10,000 on his nomination papers. Robinson is contesting the ballot commission's decision in state Supreme Court saying overzealous supporters may be responsible. But he needs an injection of good luck. Earlier this year, conducting a live radio interview, he even got in a car accident.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, WBUR RADIO)

ROBINSON: ... just because the governor doesn't think that there could be...

I just got in an accident.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DELANEY: As for allegations against him besides those forged petitions, he admits he did once fail to pay a speeding ticket -- nothing else.

ROBINSON: Let's just say that I'll put my driving record against Senator Kennedy's any day.

DELANEY (on camera): A former girlfriend took out a restraining order on you, claiming you forced sex on her one night. ROBINSON: It was a lie. And I answered these allegations in court, and the judge threw them out.

DELANEY: The dangerous weapon, a star-shaped kung fu gizmo -- what was that all about?

ROBINSON: Well, unfortunately, I'd been a dinner -- I'd been at a dinner at a restaurant, and it ended up in my coat pocket somehow. I'd never seen one before, haven't seen one since, but the case was dismissed.

DELANEY: Robinson does plan to attend the Republican convention, an awkward presence, most likely, with his court cases by then unlikely to be resolved. Still, being a Republican in traditionally Democratic Massachusetts has often been a bit like showing up here at Fenway Park in a Yankees cap. It can get awkward.

Bill Delaney, CNN, Boston.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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