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Special Event

Gore-Lieberman Campaign Rally in Carthage, Tenn.

Aired August 9, 2000 - 11:50 a.m. ET


BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: We just heard a rousing edition of "Rocky Top Tennessee," and if you have ever been to the Volunteer State, you know that song is played ad nauseum, especially at Volunteer football games, the University of Tennessee.

The two candidates in the room now: Joseph Lieberman, the senator from Connecticut, and Al Gore, the vice -- the presidential nominee for the Democratic Party. He will head out to L.A. first part of next week. We expect comments shortly here. Patty Davis is there. From what we are told anyway, a number of people who grew up with Al Gore will take their turns to have a bit of a minor roast to the life and times of the vice president.

Let's listen quickly here, Carthage, Tennessee live.


JERRY FUTRELL, GORE FAMILY FRIEND: ... but in presenting our neighbor and our friend, Al Gore, I just want to remind all of you, who have known him for years and who care about him and who know him as our neighbor and our friend.

You know, when he was elected to Congress in '76, he said, I am going to be the representative of the people and he hit the ground running, and went to the crossroads, and he went to the courthouse, and he went to the yards, and he went to the little corner grocers, and he said: Tell me about thing. That's the kind of man he is and that is the kind of man he will be as president of the United States.

And I can say a lot more, but he wants to have the show today, and I think he deserves it. So I want to the present to you our friend, our neighbor, who happens to be the vice president of the United States, and the next president of the United States, Al Gore.


VICE PRES. AL GORE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you so much.

You know, everything important in my life, it seems, has started right here in Carthage. And I wanted the first formal event after the announcement of Joe Lieberman as my running mate to be here in Carthage. And I'm so delighted to see so many close friends. And, you know, if I had the time, I could stay here all day long talking about old stories and catching up on mutual friends. And I just thank you so much for being here.

And I'm so glad that my mother and Joe Lieberman's mother are here, and I want to ask you to especially welcome them. They had a great visit up at my mother's house and met each other yesterday.

And I want to say a special word of welcome to Hadassah Lieberman and ask her and my bride Tipper to both stand.


And there are quite a few family members here, and forgive me for not introducing everybody, but we've got a lot of friends that have come from all over Smith County and from some other counties to come here and participate in this meeting.

This is, Joe, this is really a little bit different from the open meetings that I've told you about that I had. I had thousands of them. I had an average of five a week. And for 16 years, eight in the House and eight in the Senate, I traveled all over Smith County and the other 25 counties in my district, and then all over the 95 counties in the state, meeting with people and asking them to give me their ideas and suggestions and comments and respond to their questions.

And if there was some kind of problem that was related to the federal government, I wanted to know about that.

These folks are my teachers. They taught me what I needed to know to make democracy work the way it's suppose to, and I threw my whole heart into it.

In the car on the way out here, I was telling Joe about a saying that somebody from Tennessee put on an embroidery and framed for me because he heard me say it so many times in ending speeches, and the saying is from Scripture, "Whatsoever you find at thy hand to do, do it with all they might." Well, when I got the job of representing you in the House of Representatives, that's kind of the approach that I tried to take. Just to do it with everything I had. And the same thing as vice president. And I want to ask you to support me for president, so I can do exactly that as president of the United States.


Now, let me introduce Carthage to you. I said before that Carthage is the kind of place that knows about it when you're born and cares about it when you die. Every adult in the community, when we're at our best, takes responsibility for every child in the community. Family ties are known going back many, many generations. Your daughter-in-law, April, who we talked about the other day, knows that, because she's like a lot of the folks here.

Do you know where that name, Tennessee, came from? Joe's daughter-in-law went to investigate her family tree because in Gleason, Tennessee, her high school teacher gave her that assignment.

And so she went to her grandmother. And her grandmother said, Now listen here, if you're going to do this, we're going to do it right. And so they went to graveyards and rubbed the stones and got the records from the courthouse. And they ended up spending six months reconstructing the entire family tree. She found Cherokees, she found out all of the information.

And she found out that six generations back and seven generations back, there were two women in her family that moved away from Tennessee with their husbands. And they were so homesick that both of them named their first-born daughters Tennessee.

And so when she was spirited away from this beautiful state, the home of the Tennessee Lady Volunteers...


... and taken way north to the home of the University of Connecticut ladies basketball team...

SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN (D-CT), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This could be the first breach in a great friendship.


GORE: You can readily understand that when their first daughter was born, she, too, was going to name that daughter Tennessee.


Well, thank you all for coming. Joe and I are anxious to get on with the fight for working families, the struggle on behalf of the people and not the powerful. This is the new guard. Joe and Hadassah represent in many ways the American dream when you know their stories. And Joe said on the podium in Nashville at War Memorial, he said he'd like us to be known as the American Dream Team. And that's pretty good.


We like to think of ourselves as the new guard and that other bunch as the old guard. We don't want to go back.

We want to go forward.


I will not say a single unkind word about Governor Bush or Dick Cheney. I will not have a single negative personal attack on either one of them. We want to elevate this campaign. We want to elevate it.


We want to invite them to debate the issues. We want to invite them to come to town hall meetings kind of like this one and just take questions from folks and go around the country that way. We want regular debates. But they will have to decide on that. In any case, we are going to run a campaign that honors the American people and asks a lot of the American people, but asks the best of the American people. And one way to do that is to listen carefully and then respond effectively. And that's a little bit about what we're going to do here today.

And before we open, though, I'd like to -- I've introduced Carthage to you, Joe. I want to introduce my friend Joe Lieberman to you, ladies and gentlemen, the next vice president of the United States of America.


LIEBERMAN: Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you so very much for that warm welcome, which has been typical of what my family and I have felt over the last two miraculous days that we have experienced.

What day is it today? It just -- it seems like about five years ago, Monday morning, when our world began to change. And we have been here in Tennessee since Monday afternoon. You get caught up in a whirlwind when something like this happens. And yet, it is not only exciting, it's challenging. And what has made it wonderful is the warm and open-hearted welcome that we have received form the dear people of this great state of Tennessee. Thank you so very much.


Now once again my cousin Carthage could not be here today. But I tell you something, I have a feeling as I came into this room and had the chance to say hello to a few of you, and as Al and Tipper were good enough to take us to their home and then to give us the opportunity to go visit Ms. Pauline's beautiful home, and to drive through town, that we were in a town full of our cousins, we were in a town that makes us feel very much at home.

Hadassah grew up -- and let me just say a word about my wife. She's done so well in the last couple of days and I'm worried that Al is beginning to think he chose the wrong Lieberman to run as his running mate.


Let me just also briefly, I'll mention my mother Marcia who's here. We're going to start calling her Miss Marcia.


Our youngest child Hana, who's 12, and the Gore children have been just wonderful to in the last couple of days.

GORE: And let me interject, I want to introduce our daughter, born here in Tennessee, Karenna.


LIEBERMAN: The now most famous member of our family, the first daughter of Tennessee, April Lieberman from Weakley County.


And that, incidentally, as you may know, is the very same county that Al's grandmother, mother and Tipper's grandmother are from. So there's something preordained about this ticket.


Let me finally introduce my son Matt, who feels right at home in this building because he's a teacher of English to students in New Haven, Connecticut. We're real proud of him.


And I bet you agree with me that nobody in our country does more important work today than a good teacher of our children.

HEMMER: Joe Lieberman, Al Gore kicking things off in Carthage, Tennessee. Next stop, the state of Connecticut. Al Gore saying one thing, he will, quote, "not issue a single personal attack" against Texas Governor George W. Bush or his running mate, Dick Cheney; not a negative word about them personally. We will see how far that goes in election 2000.



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