Sunday, March 9, 2008

Meet The Press Transcript: Obama, Clinton Surrogates Debate

This was the next best thing to a debate between Obama and Clinton (read the entire transcript):

MR. RUSSERT: Should the candidate who has the most elected delegates be the nominee?

FMR. SEN. DASCHLE: Absolutely. I don't see how we could possibly do anything other than respect the will of the people who have voted in caucus and primary states all over the country. And what it would say to the world, to the country that we'd overturn the verdict of those, of those elections would be travesty for, for the party and for the country.

[...]MR. RUSSERT: Governor Rendell, if, in fact, Barack Obama goes to the convention in Colorado in August with the most elected delegates, having won more contests and a higher popular vote, the cumulative vote, could he be denied the nomination?

GOV. RENDELL: Well, sure, Tim, because, number one, Hillary Clinton has won states with about 260 electoral votes. Barack Obama has won states with about 190. And we decide the presidency not by a popular vote, we decide it by the electoral vote. And the traditional role of the superdelegates is to determine who's going to be our strongest candidate. Tim, you and I have been doing this for a long time, as Tom has, and we know the big four in any presidential election recently are Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida and Michigan. And in all four of those states--Pennsylvania hasn't voted yet, but I assume we're going to do real well--Hillary Clinton will have taken those states, if it--she takes Pennsylvania, and will have taken them by significant majorities. She's clearly the strongest candidate in the states that Democrats must win to have a chance. Look, it's great that Barack Obama is doing wonderfully well in Wyoming and Utah and, and places like that, but there's no chance we're going to carry those states. Whether he gets 44 percent as opposed to 39 percent doesn't matter, but we're not going to carry those states. We do have a chance to carry the big four. We've got to in three of the big four. Hillary Clinton's the strongest candidate to do that. That's been proven by the voters in the--those states and hopefully by Pennsylvania as well.

MR. RUSSERT: But, Governor, you're counting Florida when, in fact, the candidates did not campaign in Florida. So you--are you suggesting Hillary Clinton won?

GOV. RENDELL: Oh, there's no question. In an even playing field, nobody campaigned, 1.7 million Floridians voted, and she won by 17 percent. But I have a suggestion, if you don't like that, Tim, or if Tom doesn't like that, let's revote in Michigan and Florida. Let's end all the suspense. If our campaign is wrong and we are not going to be the strongest in those states, let the voters choose it. And Tom always talks about--the Obama folks talk about undemocratic. How can the Democratic Party go to Denver and deny the people of Michigan and Florida, two crucial states, a voice in this, in this nominating process? Makes no sense at all. Let's revote, and let's see how we do.

MR. RUSSERT: But in Michigan, you'll acknowledge that you have said repeatedly that the Clinton campaign cannot make the statement that they won Michigan.

GOV. RENDELL: Right. Which is why I'm calling for a revote.

Here's the shocker. This idiot has the nerve to talk about democracy. Part of democracy means playing by the rules, not making them as you go along:
MR. RUSSERT: Would you accept the caucus in Michigan?

GOV. RENDELL: No. Caucuses are undemocratic. That's another thing. We talk about the superdelegates being undemocratic. If you're a caucus, older people can't vote, older people who vote by absentee ballot. There's no absentee ballots in a caucus. Tim, if you're a shift worker and a lot of our workers, because they're low-income workers, are shift workers, you can't vote in a caucus. So we want primaries. That's the way we elect presidents. We don't have caucuses to elect presidents in the fall. Let's have a primary. Let's decide this. Let's hear from the Obama campaign about a revote in Florida and Michigan.

MR. RUSSERT: So the Iowa caucus, the Nevada caucus were undemocratic.

GOV. RENDELL: Undemocratic compared to primaries, yes.

MR. RUSSERT: Senator...

GOV. RENDELL: Absolutely.

MR. RUSSERT: Senator...

GOV. RENDELL: Tim, do you believe, do you believe older people should have the right to vote? They can't in a caucus because they can't get out of the house. So you're disenfranchising some of the most important voters in the fall election. How about that shift worker who works 4 to 12? He can't vote. He might really want to vote, but he can't.

[...]MR. RUSSERT: Senator Daschle, a proposal from the Clinton campaign to have new primaries in Florida, in Michigan, paid for by private donors.

FMR. SEN. DASCHLE: Well, Tim, first of all I think it'll come as a real shock to Iowa and to Nevada and to many other states that they don't have a democratic process. I think that it's very democratic, and we saw yesterday in Wyoming we had a lot of seniors and older people to participate. People from all walks. They were participating in unprecedented numbers, so I, I don't concede that point at all. But let me just say...

GOV. RENDELL: What about shift workers, Tom? What about shift workers and people who can't get out of their homes?

FMR. SEN. DASCHLE: Shift workers, too, Ed. Absolutely.

GOV. RENDELL: What about people who can't get out of their homes?

FMR. SEN. DASCHLE: No, I think--I think everybody--we'll accommodate. We'll accommodate them.

GOV. RENDELL: You can't. There's no absentee ballots in caucuses.

FMR. SEN. DASCHLE: Well, listen, let me--there are a lot of issues with primaries as well that you'd have to address. But, but the bottom line is, you got to play by the rules. We all agreed to the rules earlier in this campaign, Tim, and one campaign now has broken those rules, has decided not to abide by them; and our campaign has chosen to do that, to, to abide by the rules and to, and to work something out. We recognize that those are two very important states. We want to see this resolved. We want the parties to work with the states to come up with a resolution. We'll be competitive, whatever it is. Whatever fair approach that we can employ, we'll forward, we'll take it, we'll do it. But it has to be fair, and it has to be worked out in concert with the parties and, and abide as much as possible with the rules that everybody agreed to six months ago.

MR. RUSSERT: So you would be open to primaries in Michigan and Florida?

FMR. SEN. DASCHLE: Oh, of course. Absolutely. We would be.

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