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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Ueberroth Confirms Withdrawl

Aired September 9, 2003 - 16:01   ET

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

KELLY WALLACE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I believe Mr. Ueberroth is now in. Let's listen to what he has to say.
PETER UEBERROTH (R), FRM. CALIF. GOV. CANDIDATE: I'm lucky to have a very special family and I thought they should join me today and so afterward I can identify them all. But everybody's been working hard, working full time including our daughter Heidi who is in New York right now. She's been working full time. I think you have all seen her on the campaign trail.

Thirty days ago I entered this race. I entered it because there's a budget crisis and we're driving jobs out of the state. It was very clear to me, it's clearer to me now, much clearer to me now.

Many people have accused me of being a one-note candidate, and that's jobs. Well I make no apologies because I am a one-note candidate. Jobs are what's important to California. You know Californians are going to get it sooner or later that their jobs pay all the bills in Sacramento. They pay for schools, they pay for health care and they pay for the legislators salaries who are representing them in Sacramento.

But something's happened over the last, seven, eight, nine, ten years. The legislators who get their pay from Californians who have honest jobs are driving jobs out of the state. Now that doesn't make sense to most people. It certainly doesn't make sense to me. And it's got to stop.

Everybody listening and everybody watching knows for sure somebody they have watched lose their job in the last year or about to lose their job. And they watched the devastation, the devastation on that individual when they go back to their family and say, We don't have a paycheck. So it's not working. The system is not working.

I will continue to work hard. I'm going to work very hard, very hard to keep jobs in the state and to create jobs in this state but not as a candidate for governor. I love this state, my family loves this state, our children and grandchildren are all native Californians, I came here when I was 4 years old. And we have all gotten great benefit from the state, more than probably any candidate. We've been more -- had more good fortune, gifts from the state of California, than anybody else.

So I am going to offer my services to the next Democrat or Republican governor if he wants or she wants to be part of a bipartisan group to work on the budget and keep jobs in the state and create new jobs for the state. I intend to meet, I intend to meet with the major candidates over the next few days. And I'm going to ask them my single-note question: are you going to keep jobs in this state? How are you going to create more jobs in this state? And you all don't have to duck. I've don't know what that electrical thing was in there.

(LAUGHTER)

UEBERROTH: But then I'll endorse a candidate after we have had that discussion and Only at that time.

You know, I respect anybody, I've said this and have taken no shots at any candidate in any place, that I respect everybody. I respect every single person who runs for public office and serves in public office. I feel this calling. I really have a calling. I feel the calling to enter public service. But I'm going to have to find another way.

So with that I'm happy to answer your questions.

QUESTION: Why did you decide to not continue as a candidate?

UEBERROTH: I think that the past -- the past is -- I'm going to have Dan answer those questions -- the candidacy, what went right, what went wrong, all those kinds of things.

(CROSSTALK)

UEBERROTH: Other questions?

QUESTION: Mr. Ueberroth, did you face any pressure from any one, from Republican Party circles to get out of the race to avoid swaying the Republican vote?

UEBERROTH: Honestly, absolutely not other than a call the first day from one Congressman. And it just hasn't happened. You can all speculate. And Dan would be better to speculate for you. But I have not had a single call.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) congressman?

UEBERROTH: Congressman -- you got to help me. Dreier? Dreier.

(LAUGHTER)

UEBERROTH: The first day he said that, you know, that the Republicans should kind of get together and work it out. But I have not heard from him since or anybody in that candidacy.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: ... the results of the Field Poll that came out today. Did that play a roll in your decision?

UEBERROTH: No, no. We're hearing that we're starting to move up. We're hearing we're starting to move up. But frankly we can't not see how the numbers work for this candidacy to get across the goal line.

And so to be practical, I'm a businessman, I've taken a look at what we are doing. And I said, If I can't win, win all the way, that I'm going to step out at this time.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: ... the other candidates talk about job creation on the campaign trail...

UEBERROTH: Pardon me?

QUESTION: When you listen to Mr. Schwarzenegger and Mr. McClintock about what they have said so far about job creation (OFF- MIKE) are you satisfied at all in any way with what you have heard from either man?

UEBERROTH: I'll tell you what, I haven't gotten anywhere near a television set that I can watch anything.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

UEBERROTH: I'm going to meet with people. I look people in the eye and I want to find out what they really think. I'm not going to read what some handlers had to say. And I think people are sincere.

But I'm going to meet with them and I'm going to decide after I meet with them and talk to them and know if they're going to really commit to jobs because I watched the people who -- who leave in tears and go home. So I'm going to be very serious about it. And I'm not going to the polls or anything else.

QUESTION: You suggested job creation with tax incentives to business. Well somebody's got to pay for that. It's got to be ordinary taxpayers. How...

UEBERROTH: You've got it wrong. The taxpayers -- our job creation does not impact the taxpayer except there'll be more tax revenue to spend on schools and all the rest. We're talking about creating new jobs that aren't here.

If you get a new job and the taxpayer -- if you get a new job and you move into this state, and hopefully a good paying job, your paycheck -- in fact we'll negotiate that.

(LAUGHTER)

UEBERROTH: Your paycheck, a portion of it goes to Sacramento. If we just say to employers if they'll create ten new good paying jobs with benefits, with benefits, great. We're going to take half of what you pay and keep encouraging that company to keep growing.

So it's not -- we're not paying out money. We're creating new revenue for the state.

QUESTION: You're not talking about bringing back any of these $1 an hour jobs or whatever in India or China?

UEBERROTH: No, no.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

UEBERROTH: Well I sure hope to endorse some one. But unless I get some one who feels as passionate as I do and ready to take some risks to do the right thing, no, I won't endorse anybody. And who that's going to be and how that's going to happen we'll see.

QUESTION: have any of the candidates reach out to you today with phone calls?

UEBERROTH: Not today. There's been phone calls that have not been returned. I think some of you may have experienced phone calls that haven't been returned today so.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: ... on the air several times discussing your program, closing the doors, getting everybody together and work the problem out. Jobs, jobs, jobs. And why hasn't this caught on with voters? (OFF-MIKE)

UEBERROTH: Well I think it has caught on. And it just hasn't caught on -- we've got four weeks. And I think it's going to catch on more and more, and hopefully other candidates will start to talk about serious things. But in the four weeks, where we are and where we have to get we just can't get to it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Ueberroth ...

UEBERROTH: Hi there. How are you? I know.

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Peter Ueberroth saying he's a practical businessman, saying he's looked at the numbers and he doesn't see how he can get across the goal line as he puts it, saying he's going to drop out of the race and move on to continue to push for jobs.

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