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CBS The Early Show Transcript

Location: Unknown

February 4, 2004 Wednesday

HEADLINE: Senator John Kerry discusses his wins in five Democratic primary states last night


HARRY SMITH, co-host:

With victories in five of the seven states up for grabs Tuesday, Senator John Kerry solidified his standing as the Democrat to beat. He told CBS News anchorman Dan Rather he was already looking forward to the next battleground states that come just this weekend.

Senator JOHN KERRY (Democratic Presidential Candidate): ...straight ahead. We're concentrating now on Washington and Michigan, the next states, and on to Tennessee and Virginia and Maine and other states.

DAN RATHER (Anchor, "CBS Evening News): Senator, you have a long list of issues that you think are cutting for you, but if you had to pick one that is doing the best for you, what would that be?

Sen. KERRY: Leadership, real leadership to deal with America's problems; tell the American people the truth, offer common sense and try to move our country in a real direction, not this sort of sloganeering, divisive politics.

RATHER: And, Senator, to those who say, 'Listen, I like Senator Kerry, but he's the most liberal of the Democratic candidates. He's going to be cast that way with the White House. He's the most tied to the Democratic establishment.' So give us, quickly, the argument not to go with a John Edwards-younger, proven he can connect with the voters.

Sen. KERRY: Well, I think it's very impor-first of all, I've connected. I won Iowa. I won New Hampshire. I've won the five states tonight. So I-I think I'm connecting just fine with the American people. And secondly, I think that the American people want experience. I think they want somebody who can actually show a 35-year record of fighting against powerful interests. Look, I'm the only Democrat who today, in four separate polls on a national level, is beating George Bush today. And I think that's why people are-are uniting around my candidacy and that's why I think in the next days I will continue to move towards the nomination.

Copyright 2004 CBS Worldwide Inc.

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