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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Clinton Speaks After Cuomo Withdrawal

Aired September 3, 2002 - 13:56   ET

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


KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Back to New York, now. Breaking news we have been following, and that is Andrew Cuomo pulling out of the New York race for governor. He has confirmed it. Right now, speaking, one of his staunch supporters, former President Bill Clinton.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: ... is something that I don't think any of the rest of us will ever forget, and I thank you very much.

Now, I would like to say to Kerry and Mario and Matilda, to Maria, and Kenneth, and Chris, and Rory, and all the other family members who are here, I know that in many ways, this is a sad day. I have probably run for office more times than anybody in this room. I used to have to run every two years. I suffered two searing defeats in my life, but I can tell you that today is a day you should be very, very proud of Andrew, your husband, son, and brother. He has been great today.

You know, there are some great virtues of being term limited out, one of which is that you can commit candor. So I will make you a prediction. I am the only person standing on this stage whose political career is over.

I also want to say one other thing. Usually in politics, elections are determined by ideas and ability, and energy and passion, but sometimes time and circumstance play a greater role than at others. I think we all understand how Andrew described this time and these circumstances in his fine remarks, but we have a chance now, if we unite, and if we embrace a campaign of ideas, like the one he ran, to help Carl McCall make history in New York. He has devoted his life to public service. He is a good and decent man. He is an able man.

I have never been more proud to be a Democrat. We had this ticket, we had McCall, and Dennis Mehiel, his running mate, an old- time friend of mine. In Texas, we have a Hispanic running for governor, and the first African-American candidate for the Senate and...

PHILLIPS: Former president Bill Clinton just offering his words of support to Andrew Cuomo, saying a very sad day as Cuomo does pull out of the New York race for governor. We are told that Cuomo's departure marks pretty much a dramatic turnabout for a man once considered the favorite in the nomination. We are told that aides met this morning to discuss a possible endorsement of state comptroller Carl McCall. We will talk more about McCall, who would be the first African-American to win a major party nod for governor of New York.

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