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MSNBC "Decision 08'" - Transcript

Interview

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MSNBC "Decision 08'"

MR. OLBERMANN: We're joined now by Senator John Kerry, former Democratic nominee for president in 2004 and current supporter of Senator Obama here in 2008.

Senator Kerry, good evening.

SEN. KERRY: Good evening to you. I'm sort of laughing. I'm listening to Terry McAuliffe. He is always upbeat, and he's better to have spinning for you than against you. But I'll tell you, he's dead wrong about what's happening.

Barack Obama has a 141-delegate lead today. After tonight, let's say she does the best she can do and she gained 12 or 15 delegates. She's going to have to win over 60 percent of every contest afterwards. She has never done that.

So it just -- you know, the fact that Rush Limbaugh is urging people in Indiana to go out and vote for Hillary Clinton tells you the whole story, that Republicans believe Hillary Clinton is the best shot they've got and Barack Obama is -- they're scared of him. They don't know how to campaign against him. And I believe he'll be the nominee.

MR. OLBERMANN: So you're not buying that explanation that the support from people like Richard Mellon Scaife and Fox News and --

SEN. KERRY: (Laughs.)

MR. OLBERMANN: -- and Rush Limbaugh is simply, as Senator Clinton told me in an interview about 10 days ago, simply her ability to bridge gaps and bring people together?

SEN. KERRY: I'm not buying that and I'm not buying Terry McAuliffe's wonderful argument tonight. You know, look, the fact is that Barack Obama has won 31 states' caucuses and primaries to her 15.

The voters who are deciding between Barack and Hillary, you know, are deciding between two good candidates. But once that decision has been made and we have a nominee, those voters are not going to rush over and pick somebody who's going to give them four more years of George Bush's policies in Iraq, who's going to give them more of the economic policies that's brought them pain, who doesn't have a health care plan, who's for the Bush tax cut. I mean, let's run the list.

So Barack Obama is going to win Ohio and Pennsylvania and these other states, and I hope he's going to do it with Hillary Clinton's support.

MR. OLBERMANN: So how does and when does this get resolved?

SEN. KERRY: I think it's going to be resolved in the next weeks, certainly by the early part of June. You may have to run through -- depending on what happens tonight, you have to run through these next primaries. But there's nothing wrong with that. I think it's great. You know, let's go out to Oregon and Montana and Puerto Rico and South Dakota and so forth. Give them a chance. Let everybody be active. The Democratic Party will be stronger for it.

And I believe then the super-delegates will see that Barack Obama is ahead in the pledged delegates, that he has won more states and primaries and caucuses. And in the end, they're going to decide he's the strongest candidate for a number of different reasons, and I believe the nomination will be decided.

MR. MATTHEWS: Let me ask you, Senator Kerry -- this is a very tricky question, but it goes to the heart of what you do. You're in the cloakroom with Senator Clinton. Is she the shot-and-beer- swigging, dropping G's, regular gal from the bowling league, or is she a Seven Sisters girl? What is she?

SEN. KERRY: (Laughs.)

MR. MATTHEWS: I'd like to know who she really is, the woman with all the degrees, or is she this person who got the GED from somewhere in Scranton? Who is she?

SEN. KERRY: Chris, that's not where I want to focus.

MR. MATTHEWS: (Laughs.)

SEN. KERRY: And that's not -- you know, that's not what this is about. Hillary --

MR. MATTHEWS: But it seems to be about portraying yourself as the regular Joe or Jane, and that was about your campaign. You were hit with that for being elitist. And I just wonder, is it all going to be a masquerade now --

SEN. KERRY: No.

MR. MATTHEWS: -- to show how regular you can make yourself in public?

SEN. KERRY: No, I think what people want to see is authenticity. And I think, on the gas issue, for instance, people see a gimmick versus somebody who has a real vision and a presidential position, which is to say no to something that doesn't make sense and isn't good policy. That's what they want.

People want to turn the page of American politics, Chris. They want something new. They want to move to the future. And again, you know, the fact that Rush Limbaugh is urging people to go out and vote for Hillary Clinton just tells you the whole story here.

I think, in the end, Barack, as people get to know him better, will feel the authenticity that has won him the support of governors in red states, senators in red states, voters in a patchwork of red states across the country, which is why he has won 31 primaries and caucuses to her 15. That's the making of a new coalition in American politics.

And what we're trying to do here, Chris, is not just elect a president and have a transitional, you know, shift to another president. We want a transformation in American politics. And that only comes when you can inspire a kind of grassroots movement that comes together across party lines and holds this city, Washington, D.C., accountable. This city is out of control. Our politics are broken. Barack Obama can help to fix it. And I think he's showing a coalition that can do that.

MR. OLBERMANN: Senator Kerry, his voice echoing through the halls of the Capitol tonight, thank you again, sir.

SEN. KERRY: Sorry about that.

MR. OLBERMANN: No problem at all.


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