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Bushes Holds Rally in Dayton, OhioAired July 31, 2000 - 11:25 a.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: The man who will accept the Republican convention's nomination for president on Thursday night working his way to the convention city, moving through a number of Midwestern battleground states. Right now he's in the state of Ohio, in Dayton. Let's listen for a moment.
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GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I picked my running mate. I picked a good man to become the next vice president of the United States! You know, oftentimes, talking about what's the selection process going to be like, and I said, "I'm going to pick somebody who can be the president, if he needs to." I found that man in Dick Cheney.
I told the American people I was going to pick somebody who, should we become fortunate enough to become the president and vice president, somebody who would bring added value to the administration, somebody who would be my partner and work by my side for a better America. I found that man in Dick Cheney.
I picked a good man, a solid man, a decent man, a man of integrity, a man I call friend, and a man you'll call a great vice president of the United States in Dick Cheney!
Plus, you might have noticed -- you might have noticed somebody else walked up on the stage with me this morning. She's on her way to the convention. This is her last stop before she goes to Philadelphia to give the kick-off speech! And I can't wait for America to see this good woman, this great lady, the next first lady of the United States!
I told Laura when I -- so there I was on bended knee -- I think I was on bended knee -- in Midland, Texas, years ago. See, we were both raised in Midland, Texas. It's a town out in the desert in west Texas. I said, "Would you marry me?" She said, "Yes, so long as I don't ever have to give any speeches." Well, I'm glad she didn't hold me to that promise. She's going to talk about our priorities tonight. Our priorities are our faith. Our priorities are our family, and our priorities are this great land we call America!
We've had a great experience traveling to the convention in Philadelphia. We started in our home state of Texas and we went to Arkansas, then we went to Kentucky, now we're in the great state of -- and then to Missouri -- and then the great state of Ohio. And guess what we saw? We've seen huge crowds. These are states that Republicans have not done well lately in, but that's going to change come November. We're going to carry the state of Ohio.
BERNARD SHAW, CNN ANCHOR: Texas Governor George Bush addressing this group of followers and supporters in Dayton, Ohio, one of the key battleground states.
As you point out, Judy, obviously we're going to hear some of those lines in this hall Thursday night when he gives his acceptance speech. But moreover, he's responding directly to the criticisms we've heard over the past few days from the Democrats who've zeroed in on Dick Cheney's House voting record.
JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: A few things are going on here, I think, Bernie. One is, as you say, the steady effort which we'll hear throughout this convention, to raise the issue of negativity, to inoculate the Bush-Cheney ticket against whatever charges may come by getting people to focus not on the substance of them, but on the fact that the Democrats are going negative.
The other thing, as Judy mentioned, is that Bush is moving through states -- Arkansas, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania -- key states, all of which President Clinton carried both times. And Dayton, Ohio has some special significance. It was more than 30 years ago that two political thinkers, Ben Wattenberg and Dick Scammon, wrote a book called "The Real Majority" where they described the Democrats' distance from the working-class that had brought them votes. And where do they describe the typical American voter? A resident of Dayton, Ohio. Ohio is a state that if Republicans do not carry, they don't win the White House.
SHAW: And tomorrow he goes to West Virginia.
WOODRUFF: That's right. We heard him say what we're going to here again. In fact, the people around George W. Bush are saying he's starting to drop some of the lines out there that we're going to hear in his acceptance speech.
But speaking about Dick Cheney, he said I told you I was going to pick someone who would be ready to be president from day one. That's what I've done. And he used an interesting term. He said he brings "added value" to the vice presidency. Clearly, you know, you have to say that's the truth because Dick Cheney has spent years as a member of Congress, as the secretary of defense, as a White House chief of staff under President Ford. Here's somebody who's served in two branches of government and, you know, he's going to be a -- we're going to hear from him this week.
GREENFIELD: The danger of that, as Andrew Bergman said on a show we did Friday night, the screenwriter/director who sees things through a somewhat unusual eye, said the problem is it almost sounds like George said to his father: Dad, can I borrow your secretary of defense for the weekend?
WOODRUFF: That's right, he was defense secretary for his father. That's right.
GREENFIELD: So it does -- so there's a little bit on either side of that.
SHAW: Well, two other words substantiate the phrase "added value": "gravitas" and "heft." People are saying the same thing.
GREENFIELD: One in English, one in Latin.
WOODRUFF: That's right, that's right.
And Laura Bush, we're going to, of course, hear from her tonight. He did say -- he said, she's going to talk about our priorities, she's going to talk about faith, about family and, in his words, "this great land," the United States of America.
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