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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Presidential Candidate Howard Dean Tells California Voters To Vote No On Recall

Aired September 6, 2003 - 14:17   ET

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

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: One Democratic hand washes another in California today. Presidential candidate Howard Dean is giving the state's embattled governor, Gray Davis. a show of support and grabbing some attention for his own campaign.
CNN's Miguel Marquez is covering the event in Los Angeles, where it is just about to get under way -- Miguel.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is in fact about to get under way. Howard Dean is going where no presidential candidate has gone before. Let's take a listen to what they're going to say here in just a few minutes.

HOWARD DEAN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you all very much for coming. And I want to thank Governor Davis.

Iam here to ask the people of California to vote "no" on the recall. And the reason for that is really not about Gray's record. The reason for that is because I think this is the fourth attempt to undermine democracy in this country by the right wing of the Republican Party since the 2000 elections.

If you go back and look at what's happened in this country since the Supreme Court decided that George Bush had won the presidential election, you will find the following things. First, the conservative-dominated United States Supreme Court opted not to recount the votes in the state of Florida, overruling the state court. Secondly, this spring in Colorado, the conservative legislature and conservative governor broke all precedents by redistricting the Colorado Congressional Delegation, and thus making it likely that the Democrats would lose seats.

Recently, I met with the 10 senators from Texas who are in New Mexico because they have changed the rules in the Texas State Senate and allowed a majority, a small majority, instead of two-thirds vote, to bring up yet another redistricting plan, unprecedented in the history of Texas. After only two years later, after doing the previous redistricting plan, which would, by all accounts, take away additional Democratic congressional seats. And finally, we now have in California a financed -- self-financed initiative to be put on the ballot by one of the most right wing conservative members of the Congress who paid for this largely out of his own money to undo an election that has been held less than a year ago.

Ibelieve the right wing of the Republican Party is deliberately undermining the Democratic underpinnings of this country. I believe that they do not care what Americans think, and they do not accept the legitimacy of our elections, and have now for the fourth time in the fourth state attempted to do what they can to remove democracy from America.

Democracy is what's made this country the greatest country on earth, the most stable democracy in the history of the world, over 200 years. What's going on in California, in the nation's biggest state, is nothing less than an attempt by the right wing to undo what this country is all about.

That's what the 2004 presidential election's going to be about, is democracy, our ideals, and who shall govern, and how we shall govern, with the consent of the people. This president, this right wing of the Republican Party, evidently holds the consent of the people in low regard.

Idon't think that's good for America. I don't think that's good for California. And I ask Californians to vote "no" on the recall of Governor Davis for that reason.

GOV. GRAY DAVIS (D), CALIFORNIA: Thank you, Governor.

DEAN: Thank you.

DAVIS: I want to thank Governor Dean very much for coming in here to, among many other things, to oppose the recall. I told him I'm pleased to see how well he's doing. I always had a good relationship with Governor Dean when we were both members of the National Governors Association. And I'm honored to have his support and his strong opposition to the recall.

Today, I gave the Democratic response to President Bush's radio address. And I noted that, for the seventh straight month, the American economy hemorrhaged jobs. We have been losing jobs at an alarming rate since President Bush took office, 3.3 million jobs.

That works out to be 3,500 jobs a day that America is losing. And jobs and business activity are the wellspring of a strong economy. And without them, people can't grow, can't have upward mobility, revenues are not paid to local and state governments, and that's why 46 governors, Democrat and Republican, are struggling with a difficult national economy.

Governor Dean...

WHITFIELD: Well, you're watching a unique union live here on CNN. A Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and California Governor Gray Davis teaming up, so to speak. Both opposing the scheduled recall, now just about a month away. All this taking place in Los Angeles this afternoon. As one tries to get a top job, the other one tries to hold on to it.

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