CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
President Bush Ends His Travels in Texas
Aired November 4, 2002 - 09:59 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Why don't we go to a live event? President Bush this morning continuing there to beat the bushes for candidates, GOP candidates, across the country. He's in Iowa this morning.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Doug Gross is the right man to be your governor.
Greg Ganske is the right man to represent you in the United States Senate.
We've got two other candidates -- three other candidates here today running for Congress -- a good man named Jim Nussle.
Tom Latham and Stan Thompson, they're all running, and they're good folks.
... good, honorable folks.
So I want to thank you all for coming. I particularly want to say thanks to the senior senator from Iowa, Mr. Chuck Grassley. He's...
I remember traveling in the state with Chuck. He knows everybody.
We're driving along. He says, "That's where the old Jones house is." He said, "I shook their hand 10 years ago."
He not only does a great job here in Iowa. He does a fantastic job in Washington, D.C., and it makes sense to send another senator up there, with whom he can work and with whom I can work, and that senator is Greg Ganske. (APPLAUSE)
BUSH: Ganske's leading a lot of issues. He's leading on these medical issues that are going to make a big difference in people's lives. He's for patients' bill of rights. He's for modernizing Medicare. He wants to make sure the Iowa seniors are treated fairly. He's a doctor. He's a compassionate soul. He's the kind of person with whom I can work. And there's a lot of issues I need to work on in the United States Senate. Perhaps one of the most crucial issues is the judiciary.
It's a defining issue, as far as I'm concerned. It's a fundamental issue. And we got a problem because the leadership in the Senate has done a lousy job with my nominees.
And the problem is, there's a vacancy gap in America. There's a problem on the bench. We can't get our nominees through the Senate. They're playing needless politics with them. And in some cases, they're distorting their records. They don't like my nominees because I'm putting good, honorable people up there who will not use the bench from which to legislate, who will use the bench to strictly interpret the United States Constitution.
I know I can count on Greg, just like I've been counting on Chuck Grassley's support. I hope you send him to the Senate. It's in the best interest of this state. It's in the best interest of our country that Greg Ganske represent us in Washington, D.C.
Congressional District 1 (ph) is represented by Jim Nussle. He's the chairman of the Budget Committee. I can't imagine anybody in their right mind getting rid of a chairman. It doesn't make any sense. Maybe I'm missing something when some of Iowa's citizens say, "It makes sense to get rid of powerful chairmen." That's not the politics I remember. It seems like to me that when you got somebody in an important position that can help their district and help their state, you want to keep them there, particularly somebody who's...
BUSH: ... particularly somebody like Nussle, who's doing a fantastic job.
See, Jim and I understand this: We're not spending the government's money in Washington, D.C.; as the chairman of the Budget Committee, it's important to have somebody who understands it's the people's money we spend, and we better have people watch the people's money.
Nussle is a good man who deserves to be re-elected to the United States Congress.
And then, there's Tom Latham out of the Fourth Congressional District. I know him well. I've worked closely with him on a lot of key issues related to the citizens of Iowa. He's been strong about making sure our communities are drug-free and are safe.
He understands that, like the other members up here, we got to work together to keep the commitments of Social Security. He's the right man from Congressional District Four. He's done a fantastic job in the past. There's no doubt in my mind he will continue that tradition of excellence. Tom Latham deserves to be re-elected to the United States Congress.
Stan Thompson's running from the Third. He's with us today. Stan's a good, young, bright star of the Republican Party. He's got him an uphill climb. He's got a tough race.
I walked on the stage. He looked me right in the eye and he said, "Mr. President, if we turn out the vote, I'm going to the United States Congress."
And I appreciate your being here, Stan. I'm honored that you're here. I appreciate the fact that you're running. And I'm going to take you for -- your word for it. I look forward to working with you.
And then from the Fifth Congressional District is Steve King, state senator Steve King. Nothing you can't take anything for granted in politics. But I'll bet -- well, I shouldn't bet anything.
I'm looking forward -- let me put it to you this way: I'm looking forward to working with the man in the United States Congress. He's running a great campaign. I appreciate him coming.
One thing I certainly know something about is what it takes to be a good governor. I understand the role of governor in a state. The governor must set some priorities. You can't try to be all things to all people. You can't try to, you know, promise everybody everything with the people's money, otherwise you can't control your budget. You got to have the courage to set priority.
Doug Gross knows how to do that. He understands how to set clear priorities so that your money isn't wasted, so that your money's focused, so you don't have this kind of endless budget crises that you try to blame on somebody else. You need somebody that can manage the budget as your governor.
You also got to have somebody who will set education as the number one priority.
HARRIS: We have been listening to President Bush here beginning a day of stumping. He'll be traveling around the country to quite a few spots, where things are tightening up with the election only a matter of hours away. He's been, this morning, talking up the candidates -- the GOP candidates in Iowa.
Let's go to our Kelly Wallace, who is traveling with the president right now. She joins us now from Cedar Rapids -- Kelly.
KELLY WALLACE, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Leon, you could hear the president, he is very fired up. This, the final blitz, four states we will be visiting today. His main focus: Trying to help Republicans win back control of the Senate.
He will be traveling to three states, where the races are very close: Missouri, Arkansas and Texas.
Yesterday, we were in Minnesota and South Dakota. On Saturday, we were in Georgia.
This president is trying to energize Republicans to get out to the polls to vote for these Republican candidates, because, Leon, as you know, stakes are very high. If he gets a Republican Senate and has a Republican House, he will have a better chance getting his domestic agenda passed, and will have a pretty good foundation for re- election in 2004 -- Leon.
HARRIS: Yes, and we can't forget the fact, Kelly, that it would be something of a snub to President Bush to lose a Republican senator coming from Texas, would it not?
WALLACE: It certainly would. Of course, it's very important, No. 1, to keep that Senate seat. You have John Cornyn going against Ron Kirk, the Democrat. And also, because this was his state; this is where he served as governor -- very important, indeed.
The president will be campaigning later today for John Cornyn. Laura Bush has been in the state. The White House has put a lot of time and energy into that race.
So, clearly, this will be a personal victory if John Cornyn wins, but also important again for Republican control of the Senate -- Leon.
HARRIS: You got it. And of course, that's where the day will end. We'll let you get back to it, Kelly -- Kelly Wallace on the road with President Bush this morning in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
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