George W. Bush Looking for Victory in Virginia PrimaryAired February 25, 2000 - 5:25 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm looking for a one-vote victory these days.
Yes, I believe I am going to win here in the great commonwealth.
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JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: George W. Bush campaigns in Virginia where he is counting on a needed primary win next week, but the GOP presidential contender has less cash to count on. We'll try to answer the question: Where did all the money go?
ANNOUNCER: From Washington, this is INSIDE POLITICS, with Judy Woodruff and Bernard Shaw.
WOODRUFF: Thank you for joining us. Bernie is on assignment.
Just quickly, updating our top story at this hour: Four New York City police officers have been found not guilty -- not guilty of all murder and manslaughter charges in the death last year of an African immigrant named Amadou Diallo. At this hour, we are waiting for comments from the mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani. As soon as Mayor Giuliani begins, we will go to him live.
Meanwhile, back to INSIDE POLITICS. In the topsy-turvy Republican presidential race, having a state political machine behind you doesn't guarantee a primary victory. Just ask George W. Bush and Michigan Governor John Engler.
Nevertheless, in Virginia today, Bush appeared confident that his supporters in the state will deliver for him on Tuesday, as CNN's Patty Davis reports.
PATTY DAVIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): George W. Bush headed to Virginia hoping for happier days and a comeback from his double loss earlier this week in Arizona and Michigan.
BUSH: This Tuesday, it's time for you all to get out and work and join the rest of us in turning out the vote -- this Tuesday.
DAVIS: That's when Virginia will hold its first open GOP primary. Anyone from any party can vote, but must first sign a pledge not to participate in another party's contest. South Carolina's open primary boosted Bush to victory, but the open contest in Michigan hurt him badly this week.
BUSH: We the Republicans and like-minded Independents are going to determine the outcome of this election, and it's the Republican Party who's going to nominate who the next Republican nominee for president is of the United States.
DAVIS: Bush crisscrossed the economically and culturally diverse state Friday trying to shore up status here. In the naval stronghold of Newport News, Bush tried to contest John McCain's military support.
BUSH: Morale in today's military is dangerously low. It's dangerously low. A dangerous world requires a sharpened sword, so I will rebuild the military power of the United States of America.
DAVIS: He turned to high-tech matters in Dulles, Virginia where he chatted in cyberspace at the headquarters of Internet giant America Online.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have not said that you are the father of the Internet, but we understand you like it very much.
DAVIS: The high-tech community is a thriving part of northern Virginia's economy. So here, Bush criticized McCain's record on his high-tech issues.
BUSH: Senator McCain believes we ought to tax advertising dollars, which will hurt AOL and the high-tech growth industry.
DAVIS: It's a claim McCain's campaign contests. Mindful that the onslaught of primaries over the next two weeks will be crucial, both candidates are going after the Reagan mantle. Bush is running this new ad in Virginia, California, New York, Ohio and Washington State.
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ANNOUNCER: He's the candidate with a tax cut called Reaganesque and worthy of a new president.
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DAVIS: A mantle, he says, to which John McCain has no claim.
(on camera): Governor Bush is so confident he'll win Virginia, he's canceled campaign events here next week and will head to Washington State where Senator McCain is posing a serious challenge.
Patty Davis, CNN, Dulles, Virginia.
(END VIDEOTAPE) WOODRUFF: As George W. Bush campaigns in Virginia today, a new Mason-Dixon poll shows that he is leading McCain by 11 points among likely GOP primary voters in the Old Dominion State. Looking farther ahead to the March 14 contest in Florida, Bush leads McCain by 18 points in a new Mason-Dixon survey of Republicans likely to vote in Florida's closed GOP primary.
For the record, John McCain spent part of this day off the campaign trail relaxing at his ranch in Cottonwood, Arizona. He has a campaign appearance scheduled in San Diego, California this evening.
And when we come back, an interview with a leading conservative who says McCain will be the stronger presidential candidate for the Republicans in the fall.
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