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Republican National Convention: Cindy McCain Discusses Her Husband's Role

Aired August 1, 2000 - 1:07 p.m. ET

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

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Well, during this Republican primary season, Cindy McCain was often at the side of her husband, Arizona Senator John McCain, and she has joined us now to talk about her husband's campaign and his role at this Republican convention and beyond.

Welcome to you, Cindy.

CINDY MCCAIN, WIFE OF SEN. MCCAIN: Thank you, Natalie.

ALLEN: We were talking earlier that you were able to, at least, step away from the spotlight and spend time with your family the past few months.

MCCAIN: It's been very nice to get back into the routine of a family life.

ALLEN: And here you are. So much for routine.

MCCAIN: Yes, so much for that, yes.

ALLEN: How does it feel to be back here in the thick of things of election 2000?

MCCAIN: Oh, it's a lot of fun and it's very exciting. We've enjoyed being here. We've enjoyed being a part of a process that we hope will bring dignity and honor and character back to the White House.

ALLEN: Let's talk about your husband's role in that process now. And, if we continue to look over our shoulder, it's because we expect to see him behind us at any moment, practicing for his...

MCCAIN: Yeah, practicing.

ALLEN: ... speech tonight. But, as you said, it's hard for him to make his way into the building. He does get stopped by a lot of people. What do you know about his speech and does he practice these things on you?

MCCAIN: Oh, yes. No. He practices. I've sat in on quite a few of the speech practice sessions that we've been working up. And, the speech is a wonderful talk and a wonderful discussion about what makes America great and why we are the -- not only the leader of the free world, but the leader of the world, and why American people, and particularly the process, our governmental process, is so special.

It's a wonderful speech and I'll be quite honest with you, I cried when I read it, but of course, I'm biased too.

ALLEN: Should be. He was heckled the other day at the Shadow Convention by those that, kind of, feel like he sold out now to the Bush camp. How does he, tonight, does he attempt in his speech, to look to the mainstream Republican Party, at the same time, still speak to his supporters who've been so loyal?

MCCAIN: Well his -- the people at that particular convention, we have met many, many times along the campaign trail. And my husband has always been one not necessarily to step into a room of people that he knew were friendly. He wants to go out and talk to people that are maybe not -- maybe -- might be against what he's saying or might not agree with him all the time. But, that's how you get your message out.

And the heckling was not against him. It was -- it was about an endorsement and about what they saw as a change and it -- and more importantly, what he's doing right now and what he will continue to do is just get out his message of reform.

And, as he campaigns, not only with Governor Bush, but for other candidates around the country that are running so that we can keep control of the House and the Senate, that same message will resonate everywhere.

ALLEN: We certainly haven't heard anything about campaign finance reform at this convention, but you are hearing the Republicans say over and over again: Look around, this is a different tone. We've seen the difference on the stage.

Do you think there is a real transformation somewhat here, of the Republican Party, and in its efforts to be inclusive of more people?

MCCAIN: Absolutely. I think Republicans have realized sometime back that if we were ever going to continue to be able to get our message out, we had to be more inclusive. And, what we've tried to say, certainly in our campaign, and I know what Governor Bush is doing is we are a party -- we want everybody in it. We have room for everybody, of all diverse opinions and discussions. We want everybody. There's room in our party. And I think you're seeing a good example of that on the floor.

ALLEN: You think George Bush is going to win in November?

MCCAIN: I think so. Yes, I do. I think he's got a very good shot at it.

ALLEN: Cindy McCain, thank you. We know you'll be in the hall tonight ...

MCCAIN: Thank you. Yes. ALLEN: ... cheering for your husband.

MCCAIN: Yes, I will.

ALLEN: Thanks a lot. Nice to see you.

MCCAIN: Thank you.

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