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CNN Today

Election 2000: Gore's Speech Fizzes for Rootbeer Patrons in Missouri

Aired August 18, 2000 - 1:09 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: In his nomination acceptance speech just a few hours earlier. Gore sought to turn want some consider a liability, his own personality, into an asset.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VICE PRES. AL GORE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I know my own imperfection, for example, I know, that sometimes people say I'm too serious that I talk too much substance and policy, maybe I've done that tonight.

But the presidency -- but the presidency is more than a popularity contest, it is a day by day fight for people. Sometimes you have to choose to do what's difficult, or unpopular; sometimes you have to be willing to spend your popularity in order to pick the hard right over the easy wrong.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: So did the Gore speech have enough fizz or was it flat? Was it all foam and no soda or did it go down easily with voters with voters?

There's a reason I'm talking like this. CNN's Gary Tuchman finds the answers to those and other questions at a root beer microbrewery in Kansas City, Missouri.

Hello, Gary.

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello there, Natalie. We've all heard of beer microbreweries, but like you have said, we are in a root beer microbrewery. This is Fitz's. It is a Missouri institutions. Here they bottle their own root beer, their own colas, their own cream sodas.

If Missourians could bottle political intuition, they might because the state of Missouri has only picked one presidential loser during the 20th century. These people know what they are talking about, when it comes to presidential elections.

With me right now, three generations of the same family here drinking root beer, as we speak. And also, eating lunch, and also talking about presidential politics. They all saw the speech. The grandma is Vdonna Dinsmore (ph) right over here, the mother is Judy Belt (ph), the daughter is Shannon Shumate (ph). You saw the speech.

What's interesting about this family, we have a Republican, a Democrat, and an independent.

Let me go to the independent, the daughter, what did you think about the speech last night?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I loved it, I thought it was very nice, I liked the way he addressed the middle-class working family, and the issues of prescription drugs because that effect my family as well. And one drug that my husband takes is $300 a month. And I can imagine that with both of us working full-time, how expensive that it for us versus a retired person trying to...

TUCHMAN: Have you made a decision who you are going to vote for?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Al Gore definitely.

TUCHMAN: Gore definitely.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh yeah.

TUCHMAN: Let me talked to your mom, you're a Democrat, you probably like the speech also?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I did see some of the speech, I didn't see all of it. But I understand that he did say he would help diabetics, and diabetic research, and we do have a lot of diabetics in our family, a cousin of mine just lost a leg to diabetes and has had a kidney transplant. So I would like to see more research in diabetics.

TUCHMAN: OK, now, let me go to the grandma, you're the Republican. How do you feel about your daughter and your granddaughter being in the Gore camp right now?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I just can't help it, cause they don't see right. Bush will get it, he's going to be our next president, so I'll kill one of their votes anyhow.

TUCHMAN: You going to cancel one of their votes? What did you think of Al Gore's speech that night?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He made a good speech, I have to agree to that, but so did Bush.

TUCHMAN: You were telling me before that there are other members of your family who wouldn't be happy to know that you have offspring that's going to vote Democratic.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My family would turn over in their graves, if they knew we had Democrats in a family. I came from North Missouri, from Bethany, Missouri and Harrison County where they all Republicans out that way. TUCHMAN: As we are speaking to you, ladies, the bottling process has begun here at the microbrewery. It's amazing, you like the root beer here grandma?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I love root beer.

TUCHMAN: You like root beer better or George W. Bush better?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now that's not fair, really.

TUCHMAN: I put you on the spot, didn't I.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, you sure did.

TUCHMAN: Are you angry you are talking to me now?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I'm not angry, I don't never get angry, I'm Irish.

TUCHMAN: You're Irish, OK. Ladies, thank you very much for talking with us, we appreciated it. And we can make it clear, these ladies are and example of many families across the United States divided, but they still love each other.

Natalie, back to you.

ALLEN: Good luck for us all, thanks so much, Gary Tuchman.

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