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Ask CNN: Why is the Presidential Term Limited to Eight Years?

Aired January 15, 2001 - 4:52 p.m. ET

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

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN PRICE, AUSTRALIA RESIDENT: Hello. My name is John Price. I am from Melbourne, Australia. And my question is: Why is the presidential term limited to eight years?

BOB FRANKEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Until Franklin D. Roosevelt, there was no limitation on the number of terms that a president could serve. But Roosevelt was elected four times. There are any number of people who were not enamored of Roosevelt who felt that that should be changed. And they were successful. Now there can only be two terms.

And every time a president who's been successful and gotten reelected to that second term comes to the end of his term, you hear some wistful comments about: Why couldn't this person serve another? Since FDR, there have been some presidents who have made it clear that they believe they could have won had they tried, most notably Ronald Reagan and now Bill Clinton.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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