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Breaking News

Broder: Cheney 'an Adult'

Aired July 25, 2000 - 8:43 a.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: You are looking there at what is ground zero for the news this morning, that is the governor's mansion in Austin, Texas. George W. Bush, we believe, is inside there. He has made his decision this morning, CNN is reporting, that he has called and asked former Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney to be his running mate on the ticket with the Republican Party, and we understand that Mr. Cheney has accepted.

Now, one of the other men who was out and then in, and then back out of contention from that position was John McCain. Here's what he had to say when he learned of the news this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: It's an excellent choice, and he brings a great deal of experience, talent and popularity to the office. I think he'll make an excellent running mate and somebody I am sure that the Republican Party will rally strongly behind.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARRIS: As the party is already doing in certain quarters. We are keeping our eye there on the governor's mansion to see if there will be nay activity there, and we will go there once there is any activity to report. And of course live coverage throughout the day as this story develops -- Carol.

CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: Governor George W. Bush picked a Washington insider, someone who is a close family friend of the Bush family. Joining us now is David Broder, of the "Washington Post," for his perspective.

David...

DAVID BRODER, "WASHINGTON POST": Good morning.

LIN: David, Governor Bush promised an eye-popping candidate. Was that your reaction this morning when you finally heard the news?

BRODER: No, I don't think Dick Cheney, even his friends would say is Mr. Excitement. But he is a highly competent professional. He's been in government for the better part of 30 years, except for this recent period when he was in the private sector. He started out in Washington as an aide to a Wisconsin Republican congressman, and he has performed beyond, I think, any kind of question of competence in every single job that he has been in in this city.

LIN: Well, perhaps it is just the nature of the news media to talk about whether something is in fact exciting, but maybe excitement isn't what this ticket needs. What do you think?

BRODER: I think what the choice says to me is that Governor Bush believes that he is going to be the second President Bush and was primarily looking for somebody who could be a partner in government. Obviously, a Wyoming conservative is not somebody who is going to bring a big state or a big new constituency to the ticket. But what Cheney does promise to bring, if the ticket succeeds in winning, is a lot of skill and a lot of experience. He's a grown up. And I think the proposition that Governor Bush must have had in mind is that people will welcome the fact that he has provided in a vice president somebody who is thoroughly capable of taking over the presidency, should that occasion arise.

LIN: Well, do you think Al Gore welcomes the fact that perhaps there might be an opportunity here to say that George W. Bush is just following in father's footsteps, picking from his father's cabinet, depending on his dad's advice?

BRODER: Vice President Gore has to be a little bit careful about putting down the role of fathers, since his own father was a significant Washington figure, a senator from Tennessee. So I don't know that that is going to be the play.

But I think there is some relief among the Democrats that Governor Bush did not choose one of the more exciting options that might have been available. They were worried that Colin Powell might, at the last moment, change his mind and accept the vice presidency. Many of them were worried that John McCain would be on the ticket. So I think there is some relief among Democrats that Governor Bush made a much more conventional kind of choice.

LIN: And some might even be worried that John McCain is not on the ticket. What happens to McCain's constituency. How do they see this GOP ticket now?

BRODER: I don't think we know yet. I mean, Cheney will play very well with the conservative base of the Republican Party. His reputation coming out of the Gulf War experience with the general public, including people who don't pay that much attention to politics, is probably, as your poll indicated, a good one.

But I don't know yet, whether he will really be able to bring in the McCain constituency, but McCain himself, as you have just heard, is fine with the choice. I don't think John McCain really believed in his heart of hearts that after their hard-fought primary contest that Governor Bush was going to pick him as his running made.

LIN: All right, thank you very much David Broder from the "Washington Post." But the possibility of that McCain ticket certainly made the news media quite excited.

HARRIS: We were, if no one else. But we will see how things play out from here on in. Throughout the day live coverage of this major announcement and what's to come in the fallout later on. Here now is a quick snapshot of the man in the spotlight.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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