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America's New War: New York Mayor Primary Today

Aired September 25, 2001 - 06:32   ET

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


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: Political observers say they don't expect a large turnout for the New York mayor primary today. The current mayor, Rudy Giuliani, says he has not had time to think about what his future holds.

He told viewers on "Late Night with David Letterman" that he has made no moves to stay in office after his terms end in December.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR RUDOLPH GIULIANI, NEW YORK: It can be done, but I mean, it's really a question of whether it should be. You know, I have to really think about that, and other people have to really decide that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LIN: Lots of laws need to be changed there. The state legislature and Governor Pataki would have to overturn the state's term limits for Giuliani to stay in office or the City Council would also have to act as well.

LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Now, the strike that happened on September 11 happened well after polls in New York had opened. And actually there had been voters who did go the ballots that morning, but it looks they will also have to go back to the polls today with everyone else there in New York.

CNN's Jason Carroll has been monitoring the primary vote for us. He joins us now with a preview -- good morning, Jason.

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And good morning to you, Leon.

I'm here at a polling place on the upper east side here in Manhattan. If you take a look behind me, you can see that it's pretty empty right now, but we have seen some people come in this morning.

It opened just about a half an hour ago. Now, the people who are showing up here have six candidates to choose from: four Democrats and two Republicans. But, of course, the polls show that the most popular candidate is the current mayor, who is not a candidate at all -- Mayor Rudy Giuliani. You heard what he had to say last night on "David Letterman."

Yesterday during his regular press briefing, he gave us a sense of what he thinks voters should do today during the primary -- take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GIULIANI: If they want to vote, then they should choose between and among the candidates that are there on the different lines. It would make no sense to write my name in. First of all, the last time I checked, I'm not a Democrat, so it wouldn't -- you know, it would be totally confusing to do that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARROLL: Now, during a recent Maris (ph) College poll, voters were asked: Do they think it's a good idea or a bad idea for the mayor to try and seek another term; 55 percent said they thought it was a good idea; 39 percent said it was a bad idea.

I'm going to bring in a voter right now, who's name is Daniel. He is a nurse here in Manhattan.

Daniel, you just voted. What do you think of the Giuliani factor? Should he, if the law could be overturned -- the term limit law could be overturned, could he or should he try and seek a third consecutive term?

DANIEL SPLITGERBER, VOTER: I am probably not a big Giuliani fan in the past, but certainly he's done a wonderful job over the last week and a half. It really looks good for us -- New York City. I don't think that he should run again. It's not good for the Democrat Party. It's not good -- excuse me -- not good for the democratic process. But I would like to see him hired on in some kind of capacity for the next mayor and oversee what's going on in New York City right now.

CARROLL: I spoke to another voter this morning, who sort of echoed what you had to say. Both of you are in agreement that the mayor did do a good job during this crisis.

What do you see him doing in terms of another role and sort of continuing his role through this crisis here in the city?

SPLITGERBER: I think just the leadership that he's shown. I think he could still do that in another position. He doesn't need to be the mayor. I think that he could give the next mayor some guidance on what kind of policies and how to act really. He's just a done a wonderful job in that sense, but just hire him for a year or something. That's sort of if he's willing and we would love to see him around still for a bit.

CARROLL: All right. Daniel, thanks very much -- appreciate you stopping by early this morning.

This morning, voter turnout is expected to be very low. Polls show that most people are not happy with the current field of candidates that are out there. The weather is bad. That will certainly be a factor in today's primary as well. During the final days leading up the primary, the candidates were really out there, Leon, pushing for people to get out there and vote, saying it is their patriotic duty to do so -- Leon.

HARRIS: Yes, but we know how rain works on patriotism, and we see that the effect there in New York. As a matter of fact, we couldn't get a live shot of where the towers were this morning, because of the rain there.

But let me ask you something, Jason. Have you heard whether or not all the polling stations in lower Manhattan are going to be open and available there? Or have they had to shut many of them down or whatever?

CARROLL: It's somewhat confusing for some people. They have had to shut down some of the polling places that were open two weeks ago. What they've done is they have reopened other polling places for those people who are in downtown Manhattan -- lower Manhattan. But what they've been doing is throughout the past couple of days, they've been publicizing where those new polling places will be.

Now, whether or not those people who live in those -- in that area are getting that information, that remains to be seen.

HARRIS: Yes. OK, good deal. Jason Carroll, reporting live from New York -- good to see you again. All right -- take care, we'll talk with you again.

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