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CNN "The Situation Room" - Transcript


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PAM BONDI, FLORIDA ATTORNEY GENERAL: Oh, thanks for having me. Thank you.

BLITZER: Let's talk a little bit about women voters.

You have been very important to Mitt Romney in Florida, trying to get women to support the Republican candidate.

In our latest CNN/ORC poll, we asked women across the country, who would you be more likely to vote for, for president of the United States? Obama, 54 percent, Romney, 42 percent, a 10-point gap.

Why does Romney have such a problem across the country getting as much support among women as he has -- as the president has?

BONDI: Now, the poll that I saw showed that that was unmarried women.

BLITZER: No, this was all women. This is all women.

BONDI: If you factor in married women...


BLITZER: This is all women. Unmarried is even bigger.


BONDI: Yes, I thought it was only a percentage point apart if you factored in all women.

BLITZER: No, this is likely women voters.

BONDI: Likely women voters.

BLITZER: All women voters.

And, you know, a lot of folks believe it's because of the abortion rights issue for women. The Republican Party platform, I'll put it up on the screen.

We assert the sanctity of human life and affirm the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make sure the Fourteenth Amendment's protections apply to unborn children.

Is that the problem that he has, that Romney and Republicans for that matter have with women?

BONDI: You know, I can tell you, Wolf, I've been traveling all over the state of Florida with Governor Romney. I have been traveling to New Hampshire for him. I've been in Virginia for him. And what I have seen, I've really -- that issue really has not come up. What women care about are jobs, the economy, the unemployment rate. You know, 401,000 women have lost jobs under President Obama's reign.

BLITZER: So why does he have a problem with women?

BONDI: I think he's coming around. I think within the last two months he started the Women for Mitt coalition. I'm chair of Florida. I'm one of the co-chairs nationally. Nikki Haley, Kelly Ayotte and I have been traveling all over the country for Governor Romney.

BLITZER: I know you're going to be speaking here.

BONDI: I'm speaking Wednesday evening, yes.

BLITZER: Should the platform have put in the exceptions -- because Romney does support exceptions for women who have been raped, life of the mother --

BONDI: I do, too.

BLITZER: You do, too.

BONDI: I absolutely do.

BLITZER: You would have preferred those exceptions be included in the platform?

BONDI: I can tell you I have an 8-year-old Down's syndrome niece and I am extremely pro-life. But I was also a prosecutor for 20 years. Personally I believe in the case of rape, incest or when the life of the mother is in jeopardy, that that should be an exception.

BLITZER: So, what advice -- when you speak privately with Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan for that matter, what do you tell them they need to do here in Florida to get women onboard?

BONDI: You know, I think women need to get to know the real Mitt Romney. He has always supported women. His lieutenant governor, who I was just talking to today, was a woman. His chief of staff was a woman. He's always put women in high positions.

And, you know, I've spent so much time with him. And he totally, absolutely respects women. And I think -- again, Wolf, when I'm around the country, women care about the same issues as men. That's getting jobs. You know, keeping jobs. We have 5.9 million people unemployed right now.

BLITZER: Did you see our new CNN poll for Florida? Just came out this afternoon. Likely voters choice for president in Florida, Obama 50 percent, Romney 46 percent. That's likely voters in Florida. So he's got a problem. He needs to really carry Florida if he's going to be elected president of the United States.

BONDI: He does and actually those aren't bad numbers, because Barack Obama's been in office almost four years now. And really his numbers as an incumbent should be much higher. And I think after the convention and I think they're going to hear a lot of great speeches this week, and I think people are going to support Mitt Romney. And I certainly want Florida to endorse and support Mitt Romney. And I want him to be our candidate and take Florida.

BLITZER: What do you think of your former governor, Charlie Crist? Used to be a Republican, now having endorsed President Obama? Will speak, in fact, at the Democratic convention.

BONDI: You know, I've known Charlie a long time.

BLITZER: You worked with him, right?

BONDI: No. I was a prosecutor. I knew him when I was a prosecutor. He's from St. Pete. I'm from Tampa. I've known him for a very long time.

I know he calls himself a Reagan Republican. I know he says he's pro-life. I know he says he's pro-guns.

He says he's pro-family. He was one of the strongest advocates against Obamacare. And he says he's pro-business.

So this makes no sense to me. Frankly, I think it's a distraction. I don't think we should waste time talking about him at the Republican National Convention. And in the fact of the severe storm about to hit Louisiana.

BLITZER: He's not going to be happy with what you're saying about him.

BONDI: No. I've known Charlie a long time. That's his platform that I've always heard him say.

BLITZER: But he is supporting the president of the United States for re-election right now.

BONDI: Then they have nothing in common according to everything he's said in the past.

BLITZER: We'll continue this conversation. You've got a big speech planned. When are you speaking?

BONDI: I'm speaking Wednesday evening sometime after 8:30 or 9:00.

BLITZER: Have you finished your remarks?

BONDI: Oh, they'd been finished. I wouldn't be sitting here. I'd be nervous if they weren't finis finished.

BLITZER: How long is that speech?

BONDI: Eight minutes.

BLITZER: You've rehearsing?

BONDI: We're rehearsing, it's written.

BLITZER: You've got the teleprompter, the whole nine yards.

BONDI: That's what I'm working with now. It's going to be interesting. I'm looking forward to it.

BLITZER: Attorney General, thanks very much for coming in.

BONDI: Thank you. Thank you so much.


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