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Democratic National Convention: Clinton Set to Turn Over Party Banner to Gore in Michigan

Aired August 15, 2000 - 2:06 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: In Michigan, Air Force One has landed. President Clinton is about to step off the plane, these are live pictures. He's taking his final bows. It was his final address to a Democratic convention here last night. And Al Gore will take center stage today to assume the role as leader of the Democratic Party.

CNN's Jonathan Karl looks at what's next.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CLINTON: I made one of the very best decisions of my entire life, asking Al Gore to be my partner.

JONATHAN KARL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With Bill Clinton's last speech as the leader of the Democratic Party over, the torch passes today to Al Gore.

VICE PRES. AL GORE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And I really appreciated the generous and kind words that he had about me and about Tipper. And I thought he made a very strong, very strong case for the policies that have helped produce this progress and prosperity.

KARL: The vice president reacted to Clinton's speech after watching it with his running mate Joe Lieberman in a hotel room in St. Louis, the latest stop on Gore's pre-convention tour. The next and most important stop is Michigan, where Gore will take the stage with the president for the symbolic passing of the torch.

GORE: It's a hand off, a passing of the torch, and it's taking place in a key state and a state that turned around under the policies that we've pursued for the last eight years, a state that we hope will do even better in a Gore-Lieberman administration.

KARL: The last such passing was 12 years ago, when President Ronald Reagan turned over leadership of his party to Vice President George Bush. But unlike that handoff, which took place quickly on an airport tarmac in New Orleans, Gore and Clinton will take the stage together at a much-hyped campaign rally, where the president is expected to talk about Gore's contributions over the past eight years, and the vice president about his plans for the future.

From Michigan, Gore heads to Los Angeles and center stage at the Democratic convention. His boss for the last eight years goes to Washington and to vacation.

Gore aides dismiss talk of tension over the president's high- profile role at the convention so far, but with the attention now turning to Gore, they say the vice president must seize the spotlight and finally emerge from the shadow of the president he has served.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KARL: Here assembled for this handoff, we received an advance copy of the text of the remarks, of Gore's remarks here today. He will talk about the economy, saying quote, "Bill Clinton worked hard to get the economy right. I'm not going to let the other side wreck it." He's going to talk about the foundation built by the last eight years of the Clinton/Gore administration and say quote: "The question of this election is whether we erode that foundation or build on it."

Lou, back to you.

WATERS: OK, Jonathan Karl in Monroe, Michigan.

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