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Election 2000: Gore Senior Adviser Discusses Strategy for Campaign's Final Hours

Aired November 6, 2000 - 1:05 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: The vice president says he, too, feels great about his own chances for victory, claiming momentum is on his side.

The weather is another story, and superstitious candidates might have avoided a town named Waterloo on the final day of the campaign. Still, Gore found a warm welcome at the Democratic headquarters in Waterloo, Iowa, where he challenged the party faithful to get him one more vote than Bush gets in every precinct in the state.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: After last night and this morning, and what you're about to do, I think that I'll end with a saying that's never been more appropriate: "Early to bed, early to rise, work like hell, and organize."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Is that really the secret? One man who's had a lot to say about the Gore team's direction and strategy is Ron Klain, the vice president's chief of staff and a senior adviser to his campaign.

Mr. Klain joins us. He's out of the rain, he's at the cozy campaign headquarters in Nashville. Thanks for being with us.

RON KLAIN, GORE SENIOR ADVISER: Thanks for having me, Natalie.

ALLEN: Well, is there anything that Al Gore can say or do in rain or shine today that might get some people to vote for him who aren't planning to tomorrow?

KLAIN: Well, I hope so. He's going to be campaigning all over the country today, as is Senator Lieberman. We have supporters all over the country reaching out to undecided voters and reminding our supporters to get to the polls tomorrow.

It is going to be a very close election, but we're excited. We're coming into the home stretch with momentum. I saw just a moment ago, you moved two more states in our direction on your map. We think this is breaking our way at the end. And we're going to win tomorrow night.

ALLEN: What do you think is doing here at the end if you think it's breaking your way?

KLAIN: Well, I think that the choice of a president's a very serious choice, and I think as voters get to the end, they're focused on the question of which of these two people is ready to be president of the United States. Who has the record? Who has the plans, the programs, to do the job as the next president? And I think the answer to that question clearly is Al Gore. He has a plan to preserve our prosperity, to extend it to all, to protect Social Security, to protect Medicare, to really reform education and health care. These ideas, this program, this plans, I think, are what the voters are looking at the very end.

The undecided voters, they're making a tough choice. And when they get right down to the nub of it, they're going to decide to vote for Al Gore.

ALLEN: How key is voter turnout for the Gore side tomorrow?

KLAIN: Well, I think it's very important, obviously, in any election to get your voters to the polls, but in a very close election, it's all the more important. We have an unprecedented effort of getting out the vote with grassroots volunteers and supporters all over the country who've been working hard to get ready for tomorrow, working hard to get all of our voters to the polls.

As Al Gore himself said the other day, it really can come down to one vote per precinct, and we're going our best to make sure we get that one more vote per precinct to the polls.

ALLEN: Many seem to think, and the polls seems to reflect this, that Bush is likely to win the popular vote, and Gore may be more preoccupied with trying to win the electoral college. Is that any kind of strategy that you have here in the last days?

KLAIN: No. I think that people want to talk about hypotheticals. The reality is that if you look at all the polls, the movement in the popular vote is our way, the movement in battleground states is our way, the CNN poll is closing our way. all the other major tracking polls are moving our way.

We expect we will win both the popular vote and the electoral college tomorrow night because I really think that these late deciding voters, they tend to be people who look at the choice very hard, and when you look at the choice very hard, there is a big difference between Al Gore and George Bush in terms of their readiness to be president, their experience, and what they'd like to do to help America's families.

ALLEN: Ron Klain, thanks for talking with us.

KLAIN: Thanks, Natalie.

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