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Fox News Network On the Record with Greta Van Susteren Transcript

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January 19, 2004 Monday

HEADLINE: Senator Kerry the Winner in Iowa

GUESTS: Bill Kristol, Walther Shapiro, Matt Bennett

BYLINE: Greta Van Susteren, John Kerry

BODY:
SUSTEREN: This is a Fox News Alert. A stunner in Iowa. Senator John Kerry is the winner. We're going to hear from Senator Kerry in just a moment. But first, we're joined by Bill Kristol and Walter Shapiro in Des Moines, Iowa.

Bill, big issue's got to be money. Who can survive in this campaign in terms of money?

BILL KRISTOL, WEEKLY STANDARD: Well, John Dean - Howard Dean can presumably survive. He raised a ton of money and he's free of the spending caps. John Kerry has his own money and now should be able to raise an awful lot of money, having won here in Iowa.

John Edwards doesn't have that much money in the bank, but I think his impressive showing here should allow him certainly to have enough money to compete energetically in New Hampshire and then in the February 3rd primaries.

And Wesley Clark is sitting on a pretty good stash of cash. So the four candidates who I think Joe Lieberman will probably turn out not to be viable next week in New Hampshire. But these four can go on.

Walter and I were discussing this in the break. I mean, this race will not be over in a week or two, I don't think. And it may not even be narrowed down to two candidates in two or three weeks. You could have three or four of them go on through the February 3rd and February 10th primaries.

COLMES: Welcome back. I'm Alan Colmes. As we poll the results of these caucuses, we go to Howard Dean headquarters. Fox News correspondent major gar ret, what's it like there, major?

SUSTEREN: Walter, you know, in watching Governor Dean tonight after he came out to speak, I mean, I was struck by how jubilant, how happy he was and nearly got 18 percent. John Kerry beat him by 20 percent. Senator Edwards beat him. Is that an act? Or is that Governor Dean? Or is he truly happy?

WALTER SHAPIRO, USA TODAY: Well, to some extent, it is, of course, an act because no one who is aloft in the polls likes the idea of finishing third. That said, you can really make the argument, Greta, that Iowa did what it needed to do for Howard Dean. In the first of 2003, when then Iowa Democrats were flocking to Dean's fervent opposition against the war in Iraq, this gave him credibility. This gave him the initial balance.

SUSTEREN: Walter, I've got to cut you off for just one second, because Senator John Kerry now joins us live from Des Moines.

Congratulations, senator.

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you, Greta. Glad to be with you.

SUSTEREN: And of course, senator, I've got to do what I always do, and that's disclose the fact that my husband's an early supporter and raised money for you. Having gotten that out of the way, let me ask you. Now why are you a better candidate on national security than General Clark?

KERRY: Because I think that the breadth of my experience is very different. I'm not here to compare myself with him right now, Greta. But I think that - let me tell you what I've done and why I think so.

Since 1969, when I returned from Vietnam, I've taken on tough fights in foreign policy. I stood up against Richard Nixon and his war at that time in Vietnam. I stood up after that against Ronald Reagan's illegal war in Central America. I personally led the fight to try to hold Oliver North accountable for what I believe were unconstitutional activities.

I'm the person who focused on a general dictator in Panama, who was conniving with the CIA, at the same as he was involved in drug smuggling and money laundering. John McCain and I led the fight to open up Vietnam, to renew our relationship, get answers from POW families who are desperate to get them.

I led the fight to create a change in the Philippines. And I can go through a long list. I'm not going to spend all the time on it, but I think that that breadth of experience provides me the ability to provide the kind of steady hand and the experienced hand that Americans want in the conduct of our foreign policy today.

It is a dangerous world. America has broken its relationships around the planet. And we need a president who can repair and restore those relationships and lead us to a safer place.

SUSTEREN: All right, healthcare. Big important issue to American people. Governor Dean is a doctor. He's been in healthcare. Why - what do you say to the voters who say that he's in a better position on that issue than you are? KERRY: I actually have a better healthcare plan than the governor does. "TIME" magazine said that part of my plan was the best new big idea of this whole campaign, because only my plan lowers the cost of healthcare for all Americans who get their healthcare in the work place today. And that's a problem across all of America. People can't afford healthcare anymore. The premiums are going up, the co-pays and deductibles. Only my plan lowers their premiums by about $1,000 a person, makes healthcare more affordable for companies, and actually makes it more affordable for the people who don't have it today.

SUSTEREN: All right, in terms of tonight, obviously a big victory for you tonight. I know that you called.

KERRY: Thank you.

SUSTEREN: .Congressman Gephardt. Who called you? And who did you call besides the Gephardt exchange? And what was said?

KERRY: Well, we talked to other candidates - I talked to all the other major candidates. And I appreciate - I can't remember who called whom and how - I do know that Governor Dean called. I'm very appreciative of that.

We had a series of conversations. Look, I go into New Hampshire still the underdog. I'm behind. I'm going to go in and fight as hard as I know how for every vote that I can, just the way I did here in Iowa.

But I do know, and I think New Hampshire knows, that I am a fighter. And I'm not going to stop until the votes are being cast next week. And I will bring exactly the same message that I was talking about here, about how we make America fair, put people back to work, how we can make our country stronger in the world, provide healthcare to all Americans, and make our schools function for kids, and finally live up to our promises.

The special interests are running away with the store today. And I think most people in this country are tired of it.

SUSTEREN: All right, Senator Kerry, thank you very much for joining us. And we'll see you in New Hampshire.

KERRY: Thank you.

Content and Programming Copyright 2004 Fox News Network, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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