February 4, 2004 Wednesday 12:00 AM Eastern Time
HEADLINE: Analysis of Democratic Primary Results
GUESTS: David Gergen, Dennis Kucinich, Wesley Clark, Al Sharpton, Mo Rocca, Bill Richardson
BYLINE: Larry King, Wolf Blitzer, William Schneider, Tucker Carlson
HIGHLIGHT: Analysis of the seven-state Democratic showdown.
KING: Before David Gergen joins us panel, let's check in for a few moments with Al Sharpton.
What encourages you about tonight?
REV. AL SHARPTON, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I'm very encouraged. We came in in double digits. No one expected that. We doubled Howard Dean's vote in South Carolina, tripled Joe Lieberman. I think, very clearly, for those that said that I would not be able to get votes in the South, we have absolutely shown we can. We've shown national currency tonight. We picked up a delegate in Delaware. We got votes in Missouri. So we are very emboldened by tonight. This is not my home turf, and we did better than the top two contenders. So I don't think we could have asked for much more in South Carolina.
KING: What's your overall goal in all of this, Al? Is it to make a point?
SHARPTON: Well, the overall goal is to win the nomination. And the secondary goal, if you can't win the nomination, is to pick up enough delegates to have impact. We began doing that tonight. We began showing a solid national following. A lot of people that was opposed to us had to eat words tonight because people have to explain how in South Carolina, with no commercials, no mailing, just visiting churches, I was able to beat some of the contenders that spent millions of dollars there. I beat Wesley Clark here.
I heard a commentator on CNN say earlier tonight, Didn't John Kerry do well to beat Wesley Clark? Al Sharpton beat Wesley Clark in South Carolina. That's a big deal to our grass-roots network around this country, as we move into more familiar parts of the terrain that we're familiar with.
KING: Are you surprised at how well Kerry has done?
SHARPTON: No. Kerry has, in my judgment, was able to get the support of the established, organized machinery. So I thought he would do well here. I thought he would do well around the country, and I think he will increase-increasingly do well. I think what will happen now is the field will narrow, and those that really can build an insurgent movement and Kerry will be running down the end of this.
I mean, you know, there's been a lot of talk about Reverend Jackson, Larry. In '84, it ended up Mondale, Hart and Jackson. Jackson came in three in most Southern primaries. I think we're going to start seeing a focus in this race. And as it goes north, it's going to be clearer and clearer that some of us are going to challenge on the issues and I think have a lot of influence on where this party is going.
KING: Where do you go next?
SHARPTON: Michigan, and then, clearly, to Virginia, and from Virginia on to Wisconsin. We are now in this and we're active, and we've proven tonight we can get votes all over the country. There were those, Larry, that said I could only get votes in New York. Well, guess what? We got double digits in South Carolina. We did not raise the money to go on TV, not a mailing. We did it grass roots, in the churches, and we came ahead of Wesley Clark, Howard Dean, Joe Lieberman. That's quite a feat for people that were told on the front page of the paper yesterday he couldn't do over 5 points. We did double digits tonight and came in third.
KING: Thank you, Reverend Al Sharpton...
SHARPTON: Thank you.
KING: ... onward as he goes to Michigan and then to-as he said, to Virginia.
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