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CNN "State of the Union with Candy Crowley" - Transcript


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CROWLEY: I have noticed, Governor Allen, as I'm sure everybody has, that you have run some ads about how Governor Kaine will be President Obama's senator and not Virginia's senator.

And I wonder, it got me thinking about your relationship with Governor Romney. What major policy differences do you anticipate that you'd be willing to break with Governor Romney?

ALLEN: Well, first, let me answer the other aspects of it. Yes, we are in two different parties, two different philosophies. We, I think, Republicans, generally speaking, trust free people and free enterprise. I don't like limits or restrictions on people unless they are harming someone else. And I like the decisions being made closest to the people if possible.

Now on Mitt Romney, there will be times where I don't agree with my fellow Republicans. I didn't agree with them when they had the "bridge to nowhere." I was one of the 15 who voted against that.

My first priority is not going to be agreements or disagreements with anyone. My first priority is going to be the hard-working taxpayers of Virginia.

CROWLEY: Governor Allen, the question -- I'm sorry, Governor Kaine, the question was about bipartisanship...

KAINE: Too many governors up here.

CROWLEY: Two governors, I thought it would be easier if I called you both governor...


CROWLEY: ... but it doesn't turn out that way. Bipartisanship and breaking with the party line.

KAINE: Sure, sure. I think many in the room who have been in Virginia politics for a while remember his famous quote when he was governor, my job is to knock Democrats' soft teeth down their whining throats.

George, as a governor, called General Assembly members "dinosaurs, monarchical elitists," frequently name-called John Kerry and Hillary Clinton, when he served with them in the Senate. During this campaign he continues it.

KAINE: He calls federal employees sanctimonious social engineers and he has got a billboard up that says Tim Kaine, Obama's senator, not Virginia's, as if somehow I am not a real Virginian, because I support the President of the United States.

That is yesterday's politics. We're not going to solve our problems if we continue down the path of smash mouth, consider the other side rather than the opponent. We got to compete against the world to win.

CROWLEY: We should say, Governor Allen, that your smashing teeth remark, you did say, was not literal, but go ahead and --


ALLEN: Thank you. It is an example of where sports analogies are not appropriate, and that was a mistake on my part for it. The -- working with the other party, Tim, you were able to bring Republicans and Democrats together as governor, each and every one of them, even the one who sponsored your tax increase voted against it. It was, I think, a 97-0 vote.

In the U.S. Senate, you mentioned Hillary, Senator Clinton at the time, now secretary of state. We actually went together on what is called the Shine Act. And this is screening for infants to make sure that we are screening for maladies or diseases so there is better treatment.

John Kerry and I really don't agree on many issues, but we did agree on wi-fi. There are other senators who we rarely agree, but we worked together to keep taxes off Internet access on the national nanotechnology initiative, of which I was a leader, as well as cyber- security.

The reality is, is what campaigns are about, I think, are not running down the others, there's contrasts. There's -- and that is what we have in competitive representative democracy, contrasting or competing ideas.

KAINE: George, you may say that campaigns are not about running other people down, but that is just always what you do and you continue to do it to the day. You talked --


KAINE: You talked about working with Hillary Clinton. Here is what you said about Hillary Clinton when you were a colleague of hers, "She is so contrary to all of our values, our principles and our ideals."

You said repeatedly, "I'd rather be with George Bush drinking beer than nibbling cheese and wine with Hillary Clinton at her mansion."

You called George -- John Kerry "an elite Massachusetts liberal who does not embrace the values we hold dear in Virginia."

I mean, and these are just senators you served with. Wow, I would hate to hear what you said about you weren't serving with.

And you are the one with the billboards up in Virginia, Tim Kaine, Obama's senator, not Virginia's. I just say this, I'll make this pledge to all of you, I am going to be a partner with whoever is the President of the United States.

CROWLEY: Governor Allen, let me turn you to health care. You've said frequently on the campaign trail that you want to be that last vote --

ALLEN: The deciding vote.


ALLEN: If you're going to have my quote, get it right.


CROWLEY: -- to undo ObamaCare in any case. And replace it with what? Is there anything in ObamaCare that you think ought to, the day it comes undone, be put back in place?

ALLEN: Yes. Tim has been -- was the hand-picked chairman of the Democratic National Committee by President Obama, and he's, in effect, the hand-picked senator and recruited to run for the Senate.

KAINE: That -- I am highly offended at that.

ALLEN: Well --

KAINE: I am campaigning --

ALLEN: Well, we don't have time, you can rebut --

KAINE: -- full-time --

ALLEN: I didn't interrupt you.

KAINE: -- 19 months on my own with the support of my family. For you to say that I am hand picked by somebody else rather than doing it myself is completely out of line and it proves the point that I just made.

He cannot help himself. He cannot help himself. CROWLEY: Watch it, you guys.

ALLEN: -- reclaiming my time with it.

Tim, you spent the whole quarter, last quarter of your term, last term as governor, rather than giving your full attention to the responsibilities, you were giving political speeches all over the country. You were raising tons of money for the Democratic National Committee. This is the most partisan job in the country.


CROWLEY: A follow-up conversation with both candidates next.


CROWLEY: After yesterday's debate I had the chance to sit down with both candidates at the Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, Virginia. First my conversation with George Allen: I began by asking him how he pushes back against the imagery that Kaine is trying to project on him.


ALLEN: Tim is one, though -- he's the one who has taken the most partisan job in America while he was governor as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, raising money for them, speaking all over the country while trying to raise taxes on Virginians. And so your bottom line comparison is whose ideas work best.

While I was governor, over 300,000 net new jobs were created. While Tim Kaine was trying to raise taxes as governor, over 100,000 jobs were lost in Virginia.

CROWLEY: Let me ask you about the split ticket idea here, that Governor Kaine can somehow get people determined to vote for Romney and pull them away from you, but that the idea that someone determined to vote for President Obama would vote for you, the reverse does not work.

Can he siphon off some of the Romney voters?

ALLEN: I don't think so. The Romney voters, Republican voters, what we've found so far in all the polls -- you can look at them yourself -- is our neck -- our campaign, Tim Kaine's versus George Allen, has been neck in neck throughout.

Romney's right now generally running behind, but I think he's going to catch up in Virginia because he was tied up in a primary fight and President Obama's been running ads for, gosh, at least six months here in Virginia. So I think it's going to be pretty close because what people care about are jobs and the economy. CROWLEY: As a final question I want to ask you --

ALLEN: And I do run into folks who are probably going to vote for President Obama and they like President Obama for whatever reasons they like President Obama. They also like my ideas. And it ends up being not so much a political or issue-based approach as, well, I like you; I like what you've done and so forth. And so you know, you'll probably get some of that. But for the most part --

CROWLEY: From people who like you and will vote for you regardless of the fact that you and the president --


CROWLEY: -- nothing much in common?

ALLEN: Well, we agree that 26-year-olds ought to stay on their family policies --

CROWLEY: Let me --

ALLEN: -- because they can't find jobs with this economy.

CROWLEY: Right. Let me ask you, as you know, Governor Romney has taken quite a hit, first over Bain Capital, but also over his refusal to release anything other than one year of tax releases, and we're going to expect this year's when they get done, he says.

Do you think that this has become such a distraction to him he ought to just do it so you can move on?

ALLEN: I'm not going to run Mitt Romney's campaign. It's all I can do to run our own campaign.

CROWLEY: But you can see how it's a distraction. I mean...

ALLEN: Well, I think it's a distraction from what most people care about. What are you going to do in the future? What are you going to do to get this economy turned around?

CROWLEY: So just yes or no, purely as a political analyst, if you were Mitt Romney, would you release the tax releases -- tax returns?

ALLEN: Candy, you're not going to get me into being a campaign manager for anybody else other...

CROWLEY: Come on.

ALLEN: ... than myself.

CROWLEY: All right, all right. Governor Allen, thank you so much for being here. Thanks for doing the debate. It was really good to see you.

(END VIDEOTAPE) CROWLEY: Next up, Governor Kaine. I began by asking him about Allen's charge that Kaine was handpicked by President Obama to run the Democratic National Committee and now has been handpicked by the president to run for the Senate.


KAINE: I have had a career of serving people. I was a missionary in Honduras. I was a civil rights lawyer for 17 years. I was a city councilman, mayor, lieutenant governor, governor.

His suggestion that I'm running for office just because somebody else asked me to, I've not lived my life that way. I live my entire life to serve other people. And so his notion, oh, you're just handpicked to run the Senate race, come on. I had to give up a job and a salary and health care benefits to run for the U.S. Senate.

And I'm doing it because the nation needs people who know how to find common ground moving forward. I know the experience now of going out and buying health care on the open market, you know, with no employer covering me, which a lot of Americans have to go through.

And so the notion that I'm just doing this because somebody encouraged me to, I -- that one stunned me. And I did get a little bit mad.

CROWLEY: Seems to me you worked pretty hard to define Governor Allen as a mean-spirited guy. What difference does that make? I hate to tell you, but as you know, there are a lot of mean-spirited people up on Capitol Hill. Big deal, if he has got ideas and he is willing to work, why does it matter to a voter what his personality is, as you suggest?

KAINE: Because what Virginians tell me, Candy, is, again and again, before they even talk about issues, we've got to have people who can work together. We can have the best ideas. And I think we've got really good ideas about how to get the economy going.

But if the two camps just get in their corners and they won't work together, that's why we're having such significant problems. The whole inability to reach any deal on our fiscal responsibility going forward is not because of an absence of ideas, it's because people won't work together.

And so when my opponent says I'm going to knock Democrats' soft teeth down their whiny throats, when he name-calls federal employees who live in Virginia, by the hundreds of thousands, when he suggests that, you know, I'm anti-Virginian because I happen to support the president, these are the kind of things that happen in politics that pull people apart and tear people down.

We've got to have folks in politics who build folks up and pull us together.

CROWLEY: This is a dead-even race for the presidency and for this particular Senate seat. Pretty much people have made up their minds -- you know, the faithful...

KAINE: Small, small numbers of undecideds, yes.

CROWLEY: You're talking to this amount of people. What is the game-changer in this race?

KAINE: I think that the undecided voters are largely independents. They are largely people who don't want to put a letter after their name. And what do they look for in a candidate? They look for a candidate who -- they don't care about the letter, they look for a candidate who can produce results.

And being able to work together is going to lead to more results than, you know, casually knocking around the other side.

CROWLEY: Governor Kaine, happy trails.

KAINE: Yes, Candy, and thanks for doing this today.

CROWLEY: Oh, absolutely. It was fun. It was fun.

KAINE: Great.


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