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Special Event

John Ashcroft Supporters Hold Rally in Washington, D.C.

Aired January 16, 2001 - 10:48 a.m. ET

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

LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: We want to show you now some live pictures that we're getting in of a pro-John Ashcroft rally that is under way now in Washington. That was Barbara Olsen (ph), who is a former D.C. prosecutor. Let's take a listen now. This is Mary Ellen Bork, I'm being told.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

MARY ELLEN BORK, CATHOLIC ACTIVIST: ... say a few words on behalf of Sen. John Ashcroft. John Ashcroft is certainly a man of integrity and a conservative, and therefore his existence bothers the extreme left. They would like to "Bork" him so as either to deny him this post of attorney general or to weaken him in that office. And I'm here to ask Americans to look at the record of a man who has honorably served his country as governor for two terms, attorney general of the state of Missouri, and a United States senator. The honest debate should not be sidetracked by lies, distortions and personal attacks.

Ashcroft has been called anti-Catholic because he spoke at Bob Jones University. Many people of different religions have spoken at Bob Jones. Giving a speech at an institution does not make one anti- Catholic or bigoted. If you speak at Notre Dame, that does not make one a Catholic. And Ashcroft has never exhibited any action that could be called anti-Catholic. He's a man for whom faith is very important and who's demonstrated that he knows the proper role of religion in a life of public service.

I think that those who would smear him with the charge of bigotry are those extreme groups for whom religion interferes with their public agenda.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Amen!

BORK: So let's see John Ashcroft as our attorney general.

(CHEERING)

HARRIS: We just caught the comments of Mary Ellen Bork, who was speaking there in Washington at a rally. We don't know who that is at the podium there. But this rally has been called to show support for John Ashcroft as George W. Bush's nominee for attorney general. We'll be hearing comments like that throughout the morning here on CNN, so stay with us. 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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