Bush Campaign Spokesman Terry Holt
Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees, August 4, 2004
COOPER: The Bush administration has adamantly maintained politics had nothing do with any part of homeland security.
Joining us to respond to some of the accusations made by Howard Dean is Terry Holt, the national spokesman for the Bush/Cheney campaign. Terry, thanks very much for being with us.
You heard the interview. Why didn't Tom Ridge on Sunday highlight the fact that a lot of this information was several years old and why now over the last several days are we seeing administration officials, unnamed, leaking stuff, more details?
TERRY HOLT, NATIONAL SPOKESMAN BUSH/CHENEY CAMPAIGN: Anderson, I was sitting here trying to figure out why you put this guy on the air. What he's saying is shameful and irresponsible.
Dodge the question, fling mud.COOPER: A lot of people believe it, I got to tell you, Terry.
"a lot of people believe it" -- Translation: "our email servers have been bombarded since Sunday with emails saying 'RIGHT ON! GO DEAN!!!' and we sure as heck know a hot property when we see it."HOLT: Let me finish. You let this guy go on and on, this bizarre conspiracy theorist that also a senior adviser to the Kerry campaign. That's why you have him on here. Because he is a leader in the Kerry campaign, a senior adviser and he is saying things that are irresponsible that are shameful.
"bizarre conspiracy theorist"?? Oh, so now Dean is 'wierd?' Watch him care.
"this grand group of people in the Democratic party" -- as opposed to the "grand group of people in the Republican party that won't let anything be above politics." 9/11 Bush ad with firefighters, anyone??We're warning people and adding security measures, because we know that the terrorist threat is real. Remember, John Kerry himself said that we had exaggerated the terror threat on the same day that Osama bin Laden issued another threat. These people fundamentally don't understand the threat we face and Howard Dean by his own words he's making things up. He doesn't understand how these people work.
"Howard Dean by his own words he's making things up" -- where? Well, I guess if you say it, Terry, it must be true. ...or not.COOPER: Well, Terry, do you understand why -- there are many people who believe what he's saying and cite basically -- don't feel that President Bush has much credibility given misinformation that he has received in the past and has put forward regarding WMD in Iraq and regarding other things? What you to say to those people?
HOLT: But empty conspiracy theories do not help us solve the problem, do not help us win the war on terror. It is the first responders, people that are guarding these buildings tonight. It is the people that are staying up overnight to analyze intelligence data as it comes. It's the people that are on the front lines, the CIA people, the friends and allies we have around the world, that are collecting this information and bringing it to our attention, to allow us to know about these threats.
Dodge, dodge, dodge. Still didn't answer the question.COOPER: Why -- a lot of people point to Tom Ridge's press conference and Tom Ridge has said, look, politics, we don't play that. But at a press conference he did say that the intelligence behind the alert was, quote, the result of the president's leadership in the war against terror. That sounds political, no?
Wow, look at Cooper echo Dean. I haven't seen a CNN reporter stick to a right-winger this tenaciously in... I don't know how long.HOLT: It is also a factual statement. The president created the Department of Homeland Security. He went after the terrorists abroad. He assembled a group of nations to help us win this war on terror. We have hunted them down every day since September 11. You don't do that passively, you do that with strong leadership from a president.
COOPER: But you were just citing all those front-line responders and all those people, those are the people who are prosecuting this war in many of the same ways, just as much as the president is, Tom Ridge only talked about President Bush, his leadership.
Zing! Go Coop!HOLT: But the president's leadership is what put -- has put us all on a different footing. We have taken people off the table, Pakistan, Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, all used to harbor, support terrorists, all over the world. The president's leadership have taken those threats...
COOPER: But is it appropriate for Tom Ridge to say that kind of thing at a press conference where he's announcing raising of the terror alert. It is a political statement, or it would be interpreted as such whether or not he meant it as such.
Cooper's been taking pit bull lessons from Dean...HOLT: I understand the interpretation. Everybody respects the job Tom Ridge is doing. And don't forget, we have a chorus of people that have discredited and repudiated the Dean statements. The only person who stands by Dean and kept him as a senior adviser is John Kerry.
COOPER: Well, that's actually not true. John Kerry on CNN in an interview with Bill Hemmer says he does not agree with what Howard Dean said. And has distanced himself.
HOLT: However -- however, he said that 'I value his opinions, I value his input into his campaign, and he remains a senior adviser'.
My only point is, Anderson, we have Joe Lieberman* and Democratic leaders all over this country that understand the threat. The mayor of New York himself was adamant about this.
* D.I.N.O. (Democrat In Name Only). Like he counts???And, again, this is a fundamental element that should be above politics. We're talking about the war on terror. And this shameful display of angry partisanship from Howard Dean is more of the angry face of the Democratic Party and it is not helping us win the war on terror.
Oo! Oo! Look! The "angry" meme is back!COOPER: Terry, we wanted to give you a chance to respond and we did. Terry Holt, thanks very much. Good to have you on the program.
Translation: "We'd love to get both you and Dean together on Crossfire and watch you rip each other to shreds. Whee this is as much fun as 'The Scream'!"
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