Larry King Live
Milwaukee, WI, February 10, 2004
BYLINE: Larry King, Wolf Blitzer
Senator John Kerry wins primaries in Virginia and Tennessee.
KING: Thank you. Wolf will be with us throughout the hour as will Bob Dole and Bob Woodward. Let's check in now with Howard Dean standing by in Milwaukee. Governor, what's your read on the results tonight in the south?
HOWARD DEAN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I think John Kerry should be congratulated. He had a great night and the one thing I would disagree with John Kerry on, this is not a prescription for change. John has served in the United States Senate for 19 years, he's taken more special interest money according to the “Washington Post” than any other senator 15 of those years. We'll find out if Wisconsin voters think John Kerry is really about change or not. I think we need real change in this country and that means getting away from special interest politics.
KING: If you're not the candidate, will you heartily endorse the Democratic candidate? Will you campaign for...
DEAN: I see no reason not to. We need to beat George Bush. There's no question that we need to beat George Bush.
KING: Now what changed your mind? You said last week if you lose in Wisconsin you would drop out and then you said supporters came and said to you stay in until Super Tuesday, what?
DEAN: Well, first of all I'm not going to run a quixotic campaign to ruin the Democrats chances of beating George Bush. I'm in this to beat George Bush and if it's not me, certainly I'll support whoever it is. We need remove George Bush from office. He's been terribly destructive to both the economy and our foreign policy in this country.
Secondly, I believe, what my supporters want is a real choice. They, many of them believe that they don't have a real choice if Senator Kerry is the nominee, that Senator Kerry is certainly a big improvement on George Bush but that what they were hoping for is fundamental change, a change that would get ordinary Americans, middle class people, working class people some interest back in Washington D.C. They don't see that, and that's why they want know stay in.
KING: And it was they that changed your mind?
DEAN: They did. It's very powerful to have people come up to you speaking or, you know, hundreds of thousands of people literally on the Internet begging you not to quit. They feel like they really have a chance to take this country back, and obviously when it becomes mathematically impossible to win the race, I'm not in this to embarrass Senator Kerry though I think every day there are emerging more and more fundamental differences between myself and the senator.
I had the courage to stand up against the war when it was not popular to stand up. Now Senator Kerry is criticizing the administration. I stood up against “No Child Left Behind” when it was not popular to stand up. Now Senator Kerry criticizes “No Child Left Behind” so there are still some very fundamental differences between us and I think voters get to make the decision about who the Democratic nominee is. So far they very much prefer Senator Kerry.
I respect that, but Wisconsin is a state that often will vote for independent-minded candidates. It's also a state that's a great state for me because it more represents the general election, Independents and Republicans vote in the Democratic primary in this state and frequently that is an indicator of who is an attractive candidate in the general election.
KING: On March 2, we have a super, super Tuesday, ten states will be voting including the two biggest, New York and California. On March 26 -- February 26 there will be a major debate at Southern California University. I'm going to moderate that debate in cooperation with CNN and the “Los Angeles Times” you'll be on that debate since you're staying in the race. What can do you on Super Tuesday, the 2nd?
DEAN: Well, we have a strong organization in California, a very strong organization in New York. I think we're the only candidacy that has full delegate slates in every single district in New York. So again, I hope that organization will do well. So far, momentum has been a very big factor and Senator Kerry's done very well with that momentum. There are a lot of people who don't really know much about Senator Kerry and I think this will give us an opportunity so they'll know as much about him as they do about me.
KING: You think you'll win Wisconsin next week?
DEAN: I'm going to try as hard as I can. That's all I can tell you.
KING: Thanks, Governor.
DEAN: Thanks, Larry.
KING: Governor Howard Dean in Milwaukee. Bob Dole in Moscow. What are you doing in Moscow, Bob?
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