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Michael Moore: 'We're going to have the best chance with Clark'

Moore is the author of a book critical of President Bush titled,
Moore is the author of a book critical of President Bush titled, "Dude, Where's my Country?"

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(CNN) -- Filmmaker and author Michael Moore, one of America's most outspoken liberals, has announced his choice for the Democratic presidential nomination: retired Gen. Wesley Clark.

Clark has been accused of being a Republican in disguise. So what gets Moore excited about Clark? He discussed it with CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer.

BLITZER: I've got to tell you, Michael, I was pretty surprised. Why do you like Wesley Clark?

MOORE: First of all, I like him as a human being. I think he's a very decent and honorable person. I trust him. He seems very down to earth. And I like where he comes from. And, most of all, I think, as "The New York Times" pointed out last week, he's actually slightly to the left of Dean.

And this is something I think a lot of people don't realize, especially probably a lot of young people. Women, African-Americans, labor people, should really take a close look at this guy, because I did and I really liked what I saw.

BLITZER: I read the article that you posted on your Web site. I got the sense, though, that, for practical political reasons, the main reason you like Wesley Clark is that you think he can beat George W. Bush more than the other Democratic candidates.

MOORE: Well, that is a very good reason. I think certainly you have the best chance with him.

As you know, and you've pointed out many times, Wolf, this election is going to really come down to 15 states and a few percentage points [in] those states. And you have to ask yourself, who has the best chance of winning these states, Florida, West Virginia, Arizona, Nevada, Ohio, Missouri? When you put it like that, I think he definitely has the best chance.

But it's not just a matter of strategy for me, because, honestly, I think, you know, other candidates could also beat Bush. I think Bush is beatable. That's my main position. And I'll support whoever the candidate is.

MOORE: But I think we're going to have the best chance with Clark.

But my reasons for supporting him are the things that he stands for. He's going to end this war. He's going to change the tax rate, so that families of four who make under $50,000 a year are not going to have to pay federal income tax. And the rich are going to have to pay an extra 5 percent.

BLITZER: I also noticed in the article that you wrote, you -- explaining why you like Wesley Clark so much, you said this, "He is clearly not from Park Avenue." Well, we all know Howard Dean was born on Park Avenue. Was that a swipe at Howard Dean? What do you have against Howard Dean?

MOORE: Nothing.

It was more what I have against Park Avenue. It was not meant to be a swipe at Dean. Look, I think Dean's a good guy. What's really been decent about Wesley Clark is that he's not participated in this kind of mud-slinging that the other candidates have.

And I think I'd like to participate in that tone and not throw mud at Dean and not bring up things that I think -- look, you could say so many things about any of the candidates, how -- positions they've taken that I don't like or haven't liked in the past, how they've changed their minds, things they've been involved in.

When I hear Dean say that he won't cut a dime out of the Pentagon budget, that's inexcusable. But I also believe he's the kind of person you could possibly move along some day to a better position. So...

BLITZER: I want you to clarify another thing you said that was intriguing to me in the piece. You said, "I will work enthusiastically for any of the non-Lieberman eight who might get the nomination."


BLITZER: Now, what exactly does that mean?

MOORE: Well, for a long time, I've been in the "anyone-but-Lieberman" camp. And I think a lot of people are in that same camp.

The point being is that the other candidates -- of course, now with Moseley Braun out, it's now the non-Lieberman seven -- all the Democrats running, you could say something good about all of them. They all have good position on many of the issues. We're very fortunate this year to have this crop of candidates.

I just happen to think Clark is the best among them, best on the issues, best for the working people of this country, best to end this war, and the best to communicate this message to where I come from, in middle America.

This is a gift that the Democratic Party has been given. We have a four-star general, top of his class at West Point, a Rhodes scholar. And he's going to go out there and tell middle America what we need to do in terms of cutting the Pentagon budget, of standing up for the rights of working people, affirmative action, nondiscrimination against gays and lesbians.

MOORE: Go down the whole list, he's extremely strong on these issues.

BLITZER: I assume if Lieberman for some reason were to get the nomination, you would support him, though, over Bush, is that right?

MOORE: It would take a lot of medication, Wolf.

BLITZER: What do you have against Joe Lieberman?

MOORE: Well, he's running in the wrong party. Lieberman is kind of like a liberal to moderate Republican. You know, he's Bush-light. And God bless him, but he just doesn't really belong in this party.

BLITZER: All right, Michael Moore explaining why he likes Wesley Clark so much. Thanks for joining us.

MOORE: Thank you for having me on.

BLITZER: You and Madonna now are in the same camp.

MOORE: Hey, just to hear those two names in the same sentence, you've made my day, Wolf.

BLITZER: Michael Moore and Madonna both support Wesley Clark.

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