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Special Event

Gore and Lieberman Kick Off Post-Convention Campaign Swing

Aired August 18, 2000 - 11:09 a.m. ET

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

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: We want to go live now to La Crosse, Wisconsin, this is where Al Gore and Joe Lieberman are kicking off their post-convention campaign swing. They'll be heading on a Mark Twain-style riverboat, and heading down the Mississippi.

Let's listen in to Joe Lieberman.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

SEN. JOE LIEBERMAN (D), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I want you to know, this is the second crowd of the morning. At the...

(APPLAUSE)

There they are. We came off the plane after flying overnight from Los Angeles at 6:15 this morning, and who greeted us? A hundred teachers.

(APPLAUSE)

And let me repeat what Al said last night: One thing that we're going to do that the Republicans will not do, the Bush ticket will not do, is give respect and treat teachers as the great professionals that they are.

(APPLAUSE)

Nobody does a more important job in America today than those who teach our children.

Ladies and gentlemen, it's a great thrill to be here with my colleague and friend from the Senate, Senator Russ Feingold.

Let me just repeat what Russ said -- a great leader, a great senator, along with Herb Kohl. The very first bill that President Al Gore will send to the Congress of the United States is the McCain- Feingold campaign finance reform bill.

And Al will sign it when it passes.

(APPLAUSE)

It is a great thrill to be here on the banks of the Mississippi as we begin a journey across America, but down this great American river, which has inspired the American imagination and American dreams.

And that's what this ticket is all about.

Al Gore and I want to help all the American people realize their dreams and all of the possibilities in the lives that the good Lord has given them.

Somebody was good enough, in Los Angeles, to say that maybe we should this the American Dream Team.

(APPLAUSE)

And let me tell you something about this team. We're here in Packer country and the home...

(APPLAUSE)

One of my great heroes growing up was Vinnie Lombardi, and I know what he said about winning.

And let me tell you this: This team didn't just come to play, we came to win. And with your help, we're going to win.

(APPLAUSE)

I'm so grateful to Al Gore for the chance of a lifetime he's given me. He's a dear friend, been a colleague. He's a man of vision and values, a man of family and faith, of courage and character, volunteered for service in Vietnam.

KAGAN: We've been listening to Senator Joe Lieberman, as he speaks at this rally at La Crosse, Wisconsin. This the first stop for Joe Lieberman and Al Gore as they head on their way down the Mississippi River.

Let's bring in our Kate Snow, who's been covering the convention here with us in Los Angeles.

Kate, I guess they left early here this morning from Los Angeles?

KATE SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, it was a red eye flight, Daryn. In fact, they're going to spend 20 hours, if you can believe that, campaigning on the campaign trail today. They left here early in the morning, just after midnight. They had gone to a party after the convention speech, a fund-raiser of sorts. Barbra Streisand was there, Whoopi Goldberg, some other Hollywood stars, Christopher Reeve in the audience, also Christie Brinkley showing up for that today.

They went to that party, they kicked everything off here, then they left, got on a plane, flew to Wisconsin, got up early -- got there early this morning. They're going to head down the Mississippi now, through four key states; they're headed through Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, and then down to Missouri, where they'll wrap things up in about four days from now.

A very visual way to kick off the campaign these days now after the convention, very crucial to both candidates; they're trying to build the support, trying to build on what might be a bump out of this convention, and trying to build their popularity in the wake of November -- Daryn.

KAGAN: Kate Snow with us here in Los Angeles. Thank you, Kate.

We want to go back to LaCrosse, Wisconsin, Vice President Al Gore, having his words with the crowd.

VICE PRES. AL GORE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: ... as we set out on the campaign journey.

Didn't we have a great convention in Los Angeles?

(APPLAUSE)

Don't I have a great running mate in Joe Lieberman?

(APPLAUSE)

Tipper and I have known Joe and Hadassah Lieberman for 15 years. I picked him for my running mate for one simple reasons, as I said last night, he is the best person for the job.

(APPLAUSE)

Our families are actually with us, and we're all going to get on this beautiful riverboat, in just a short time here, and head south. And we're looking forward to the journey.

But I want to say just a few words here this morning about what this whole struggle is all about.

One of the issues was already mentioned by Joe and by Russ Feingold, and that's campaign finance reform. And I want to tell you why that's going to be the first bill that Joe Lieberman and I send to the Congress in a Gore-Lieberman administration.

And, you know, Russ Feingold has been, along with John McCain, the preeminent leader in the United States Senate, in carrying this cause forward. And everybody here knows that our democracy must be reclaimed from special interests. We want to give it back to the people, and we have to get all of the special interest money out of it.

(APPLAUSE)

And that's why the McCain-Feingold bill is so important.

And Russ, I appreciate your leadership. Your a great champion for what needs to be done. And I thank you for that.

You know, I said in my speech last night, that this whole struggle is about the future of our country, and what happens for working families.

Don't ever lose sight of the fact that this is a struggle.

Getting the right kind of policies that unleash the potential of our country can only happen if we all join together to overcome the resistance that's out there. And the reason we've got to get this reform measure is in part because now the wealthy and powerful special interests have too much of an ability to stop good things.

For example, why hasn't the Congress already passed an increase in the minimum wage for those families that are having a hard time getting by? We're for an increase in the minimum wage.

KAGAN: We're listening to Vice President Al Gore, who makes his first campaign stop after the convention here in downtown Los Angeles.

Our Gary Tuchman is traveling with a vice president and Senator Joe Lieberman.

Gary, let's bring you in here.

I'm just...

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Daryn.

KAGAN: I was in Kansas City -- OK, well...

TUCHMAN: OK, go ahead.

KAGAN: Gary, as I understand it, they're going to head down the Mississippi River. But where they are right now, Wisconsin, is going to be a tough battleground state.

TUCHMAN: That's right, Daryn, we come to you right now from one of the greatest landmarks in Kansas City, this is Union Station. This train station was built in 1914, but it shutdown in 1985 due to disrepair and lack of use. However, last year they refurbished it. It is grander than ever. It is reopened, and Union Station is in the heart of the heartland, Missouri has picked every presidential election right over the last hundred years, except for 1956. This is truly a bellwether state. It's a great place to talk to voters.

Two ladies here with interesting stories to tell. They both lean Republican, but they learned a lot from the speech last night. This is Holly Spears (ph), Natalie McCarthy (ph).

What did you learn, Holly?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I went into the convention feeling pretty critical of the Democrats, but I'll say that afterwards I really -- I felt a lot stronger about Gore. I think he said it best himself, he may not have the greatest personality or be the most outgoing guy, but he wants to focus on the issues, and I think he did a great job of calling out his opinions on the issues and really presenting a personality for himself.

TUCHMAN: And Natalie, you were telling me, though, that you thought the video was a little cheesy. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A little bit, it seemed a little bit contrived, but I think those things usually are. I just thought he was going out of his way to make it look like he was not at like Gore -- or like Clinton, I'm sorry. And...

TUCHMAN: I think Gore's trying to say he is like Gore.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right. Gore is like Gore. No, he was trying to make it sound like he wasn't like Clinton, but at the same time I think he distanced himself so much from Clinton that he took away all the things and all the association he had with the good things that Clinton did, like making the economy so strong for as long as it has been.

TUCHMAN: What did you think of the speech?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I thought it was good, again. I thought, like, the video was a little bit contrived, but I think those things usually are.

TUCHMAN: Now, as two Republican women, would you consider voting for Al Gore based on this speech? Is that enough, or do you need here more, or are going to go for George W. Bush at this point? Do you know?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think we still have a while to decide on that, but I will tell you, I'm more in the middle than I was before. I think what Gore really brings to the table is that he can continue the economy where it is and the United States where it is right now.

Bush's disadvantage is his lack of experience, and I think that with Gore's experience that he can bring to the table, he has -- he has a lot to bring to the table. So we'll just have to see. I think there's still a long time to go.

TUCHMAN: These are two learned voters right here for their young ages. Thanks for joining us.

Missouri has a lot of them because they know how to pick the presidential elections.

Daryn, back to you.

KAGAN: Gary Tuchman, in Kansas City, thank you very much.

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