MSNBC September 2, 2004 Thursday
SECTION: NEWS; DOMESTIC
BYLINE: Chris Matthews; Tim Russert; Tom Brokaw; Campbell Brown; David Gregory; David Shuster; Andrea Mitchell; Joe Scarborough; Douglas Brinkley
GUESTS: Liz Rozier; Sen. John Ensign; Rick Perry; Jon Meacham; J.C. Watts
Coverage of the Republican National Convention.
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CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Welcome back to HARDBALL's live coverage of the Republican National Convention here in New York.
This Democratic group behind me has held fast tonight. I don't know what it is about tonight.
In just a few minutes, Governor George Pataki of New York will take to the podium to introduce the president. And then, of course, following that, President George W. Bush is going to give the speech of the night.
NBC's David Gregory is on the floor with the governor of Texas, Rick Perry-David.
DAVID GREGORY, NBC WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Chris, thanks a lot.
And pretty close quarters here in the Texas delegation.
Governor Perry, thanks a lot for talking to us.
GOV. RICK PERRY ®, TEXAS: You're welcome.
GREGORY: You know your former governor very well, now the president of the United States. What does he need to do tonight?
PERRY: Well, he will lay out a very clear agenda for the next four years. He will talk about the successes that we have had over the last three and a half years. He'll talk about how many jobs have been created, the tax cuts that have turned this economy around.
He will talk about how the world has changed in the last three and a half years, whether it's the war on terrorism or whether it's how people live their lives and whether it's a mom and a dad having to do a couple of jobs and making those ends meet.
GREGORY: Who is he reaching tonight? Who is he trying to reach? Looking beyond this hall, who does he have to talk to?
PERRY: Well, I think he is going to be talking to all of the Americans out there, but, obviously, he is going to be talking to those undecideds out there. And, frankly, I think there's a lot more undecideds than maybe what the polls show.
It's the people out there who are trying to make ends meet, the people that realize that the government is taking too much of their money. It's the person maybe in a rural county that doesn't have access to a doctor, an obstetrician that's not there to take care of a wife that is expecting a baby because of the frivolous lawsuits that are overwhelming us.
GREGORY: There is anxiety about aspects of this president's leadership, whether it's in the war on terror, the war in Iraq, the economy. How does he speak to that anxiety among those undecideds tonight?
PERRY: There's anxiety in the world all over. And I think those people who are anxious about what's happening in the world are looking for stable leadership, someone who clearly says, we are going to fight these people on their soil, not let them come and attack us on ours.
He is going to be the man who says to those individuals who need more money that government is not going to take more of it away from you. He is the president that is going to say, I am going to push through a major national tort reform plan, so that you have access to appropriate health care. That's what you will hear George Bush say.
GREGORY: Governor Perry, thanks very much.
PERRY: You're welcome.
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