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ABC Good Morning Transcript

By:
Date:
Location: Manchester, NH


January 20, 2004 Tuesday

HEADLINE: JOHN KERRY POST-IOWA INTERVIEW

BODY:
CHARLES GIBSON, ABC NEWS

(Off Camera) All right. Senator John Kerry, the big winner, as we mentioned in Iowa, now standing by in Manchester, New Hampshire. Senator Kerry, congratulations. When we spoke yesterday morning, I had the temerity to suggest that your campaign was dead in the water two weeks ago. It was an extraordinary turnaround. Even surprise you a little bit?

SENATOR JOHN KERRY,

DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE

No, it didn't, to be honest with you, because we've been working, one foot in front of the other, steadily from the -I mean, I felt this, frankly, as early as late summer. I felt it growing through the fall. I've been telling people for months, we're going to do well in Iowa. Watch Iowa. And it's because we went out there with a, with a clarity, with a conviction. People listened. They checked me and my gut. They checked my character. They looked in my eyes. And now I think in New Hampshire, Independent voters and, and Democrats are going to stop and really take a look and measure my 35 years of experience. The values that I bring to this race. The accomplishments that I've achieved, not because, they shouldn't elect me because of that, but those show that the risks I will take to defend their interests. The fights I will fight on behalf of people who are really being set behind in our economy today. And I think people want a champion and they want a fighter. I'm here in New Hampshire as an underdog to win every vote I can. That's exactly what I'm going to do.

graphics: vote 2004

CHARLES GIBSON

(Off Camera) Let me ask you how Iowa may have changed the landscape in terms of, and I hate to use the expression, but it's the correct one, in this horse race?

SENATOR JOHN KERRY

You know, I can't tell you the answer to that. Voters in New Hampshire are now going to decide who can lead America. This is a very dangerous time. We're at war in the world. We need somebody who is not just the president of the United States, but who has the ability to be leader of the free world and convince America that, as the Democratic nominee, that person can keep America safer. But we also need somebody who has experience on domestic issues, in fighting for health care, knows how to move the Congress, who has the ability to fight to put people back to work and a proven record in doing so. I think that my record is different from anyone else in this field on that -score and I look forward to talking with New Hampshire voters about it this week.

CHARLES GIBSON

(Off Camera) But, let me suggest, that the debate will be different in New Hampshire. That you'll now have Wesley Clark there challenging you on national security, saying he's stronger in this area. And John Edwards, now very much a factor, saying he's more electable with his base in the South.

SENATOR JOHN KERRY

(Off Camera) Well, that, you know, that's just not actually true if you look at the facts. And over the course of the next week, that will be seen. The fact is, Al Gore could have been elected president as everybody knows, if he had just won New Hampshire. Or West Virginia. Or Ohio, or other states. So, I think that's not a real argument. I think the real argument is, who's ready to be President of the United States? Who has the experience in the domestic affairs? Who really knows and has the proven record of taking on special interests? I've done that for 35 years with proven success. I fought back against Newt Gingrich's attempt to undo clean air, clean water. I led the fight to stop them drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge. I was part of the fight to stop them from stripping Medicare to give another tax cut to the wealthy. These are the fights that define our party. Giving children health care. Fighting to be able to guarantee that every American has affordable health care today. I have a plan, I think, that is different from every other presidential candidate because it's the only plan that actually lowers costs for all Americans who have health care today. And that's important to making companies more competitive and to making individuals less burdened by increased, increased premiums and co-pays and deductibles. I think over the next week, New Hampshire will see and hear that plan and I believe we're going to continue to climb.

CHARLES GIBSON

(Off Camera) All right, Senator, thanks very much. I know you've been, you're wound up and you've been up all night, and you're still on message from Iowa ...

SENATOR JOHN KERRY

Well, we've been up all night and we're on the move and we're happy to be here.

CHARLES GIBSON

(Off Camera) But you got to be smiling just a little bit. All right. There you go. Senator, thanks very much.

SENATOR JOHN KERRY

Ah, big ...

CHARLES GIBSON

(Off Camera) Appreciate it. You take care. All right.

Copyright 2004 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.

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