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Lady Liberty

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Monday, October 11, 2004

Meet the Hard Pressed for Credible Answers
posted by Tom

Below is a transcript of Tim Russert's interview with Vice-presidential nominee John Edwards on the October 10th edition of Meet The Press.

MR. RUSSERT: The race for the White House, 23 days to go. Our guest, the Democratic nominee for vice president, Senator John Edwards of North Carolina. Good morning, Senator.

SEN. EDWARDS: Good morning, Tim.

MR. RUSSERT: Senator, this morning millions of Afghans are lining up for the first time ever to vote for president of their country. Should that be considered a major foreign policy success for President Bush?

SEN. EDWARDS: Well, first of all, Tim, let me say that while it's a good thing that the election is taking place, we cannot lose sight of the fact that there are two Afghanistans: one for have nots, and one for the really have nots. And frankly, I don’t know how they can hold any type of an election over there without our DNC lawyers, or some Central Asian equivalent thereof, ready to file suit if and when a pro-American government headed by someone friendly with this failure of a President wins.

And … And … Just a minute, Tim, but I’m … I feel woozy, like I did when I was making closing arguments in malpractice cases ... I ... I ....

[His eyes roll back in his head. He begins rocking back and forth in his chair.]

“Wooooooo … Wooooooo … I am Islami Mufti al Rushda, an oppressed female in Afghanistan … Woooooo … Woooooo … There is no freedom here … Woooo … Wooooo… Bush lies … Karzi will be selected, not elected … Woooo ... Woooo … The narcotics … We grow 75% of the world’s opium, which accounts for 50% of our economy, not counting the markup … Woooooo … We were better off under the Taliban … Bush lies …"

MR. RUSSERT: Senator? Senator?

SEN. EDWARDS [awakens from trance]: I’m sorry, Tim. It just comes over me. You were saying?

MR. RUSSERT: Should there be more economic and military aid being directed towards Afghanistan?

SEN. EDWARDS: We should be doing more than we're doing. I mean, for example, in terms of counternarcotics, we ought to be joining with the British.

MR. RUSSERT: To do what?


[His eyes roll back in his head. He rocks back and forth in his chair.]

“Wooooooo … Wooooooo … There is no freedom here … Woooo … Wooooo… Bush lies … Afghan president will be selected, not elected … Woooo …"

MR. RUSSERT: More American troops if necessary?

SEN. EDWARDS: “Woooo … Quagmire … Woooo … [Awakens from trance] I’m sorry, Tim, you were saying?

MR. RUSSERT: I want to bring you back to Tuesday night when you were talking about the war in Iraq, as compared with the war against Osama bin Laden. And let's listen:

(Videotape, October 5, 2004):

SEN. EDWARDS: Our point in this is not complicated. We were attacked by al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. We went into Afghanistan and very quickly the administration made a decision to divert attention from that and instead to begin to plan for the invasion of Iraq.

(End videotape)

MR. RUSSERT: Your point being that the war in Iraq was a diversion from the war on terror against Osama bin Laden?

SEN. EDWARDS: Correct.

MR. RUSSERT: I want to bring you back to October of 2002 to something you said then.

SEN. EDWARDS: Yes, sir.

MR. RUSSERT: "Others argue that if even our allies support us, we should not support this resolution because confronting Iraq now would undermine the long-term fight against terrorist groups like Al Qaeda. Yet, I believe that this is not an either-or choice. Our national security requires us to do both, and we can." So you were urging the president in October of 2002 to fight the war against terror in Afghanistan and...

SEN. EDWARDS: Yes, sir.

MR. RUSSERT: ...embark on the war in Iraq.

SEN. EDWARDS: No, sir.

MR. RUSSERT: Now, you're saying it's a diversion.

SEN. EDWARDS [eyes roll back in his head; rocks back and forth in chair]: “Woooo ... Wooooo … I am Lance Corporal Steven Marshall with the First Marines in Iraq … Quagmire … No light at the end of the tunnel … Diversion from the War on Terror … Osama attacked us on 9/11, not Saddam …Woooo …”

[Awakens from trance.]

Sorry, Tim. Next question.

MR. RUSSERT: John Kerry has said about Iraq, "It's the wrong war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time." Do you agree with that?

SEN. EDWARDS [eyes roll back in his head; rocks back and forth in chair]: “Woooo … Woooo … I’m John Kerry, speaking through my running mate … Woooo ... Woooo … Quagmire … Like Viet Nam … I know what it’s like in combat … Woooo … Reminiscent of Genghis Khan, or however the hell you pronounce it … Cut off heads … Burned villages … Woooo …

[Awakens from trance.]

Does that answer your question, Tim?

MR. RUSSERT: But you urged the president to go to war, saying you could do both the war in Afghanistan and the war in Iraq.

SEN. EDWARDS [eyes roll back in his head; rocks back and forth in chair]: “Woooo … Wooo … I am Saddam Hussein … No WMD … No ties to terrorists … Not responsible for 9/11 … Quagmire … John Kerry knows … Listen to him …”

MR. RUSSERT: If you knew today--and you do know there are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq...

SEN. EDWARDS: “Woooo … Wooo … No WMD … No ties to terrorists … Not responsible for 9/11 …”

MR. RUSSERT: ...would you still vote to go to war with Iraq?

SEN. EDWARDS: “Woooo … Woooo … This is John Edwards of 2002 … Woooo … Wooo … Would have voted for the resolution knowing what I know today, because it was the right thing to do to give the president the authority to confront Saddam Hussein. Did not authorize to make the mess in Iraq. Woooo … Quagmire … Elect John Kerry … He served in combat … He knows ... Woooo …”

MR. RUSSERT: I think what confuses people, Senator, is that there seems to be a difference in rhetoric and emphasis. Back in October of 2002, you voted to authorize the country to go to war. In fact, you said this about Saddam: "I think Iraq is the most serious and imminent threat to our country." "The most serious and imminent threat to our country."

And you underscored it by saying this:

(Videotape, CNN "Late Edition," February 24, 2002):

SEN. EDWARDS: And I think Iraq and Saddam Hussein present the most serious and most imminent threat.

(End videotape)

MR. RUSSERT: "Most serious and imminent threat." Were you just dead wrong?

SEN. EDWARDS: “Woooo … Woooo … Saddam Hussein serious threat. But didn’t vote for quagmire … Didn’t vote for another Viet Nam … Ask John Kerry …. He served in Viet Nam … He knows … Woooo …"

MR. RUSSERT: But you will acknowledge that Saddam was not "the most imminent threat to America" when you said that?

SEN. EDWARDS: “Wooo … This is John Kerry again … Acknowledge nothing … Millions are without health care … Worst economy since Great Depression … Tax cuts for the rich …"

MR. RUSSERT: I want to ask you to clear something else up. In--back in September, you were in the presidential debate; you were asked about voting money to support our troops, and this is what you had to say:

(Videotape, Democratic Presidential Primary Debate, September 25, 2003):

SEN. EDWARDS: We have young men and women in a shooting gallery over there right now. It would be enormously irresponsible for any of us not to do what's necessary to support them. I will vote for what's necessary to support the troops.

(End videotape)

MR. RUSSERT: About three weeks later, there was a chance to vote for $87 billion to support the troops and you voted no. Why the inconsistency?

SEN. EDWARDS: “Woooo … This is Lance Corporal Steven Marshall again … No body armor because of Bush … Elect Kerry … He’s served in combat … He knows … Woooo …"

MR. RUSSERT: Do you regret not having voted for that?

SEN. EDWARDS: “Woooo … This is Teresa Heinz Kerry … Regret nothing … You say things I did not say, so shove it … Woooo ..."

MR. RUSSERT: They will counter, Senator, and this is the memorandum they sent along with support of that $87 billion, that the money in that bill that you voted against, $300 million was earmarked for life- saving body armor and $140 million to deliver the heavy armored Humvees to protect U.S. forces, and you voted against it.

SEN. EDWARDS: “Woooo … This is Lance Corporal Steven Marshall again … Woooo … Blood for oil ... Blood for Halliburton … Bush lied, kids died … Woooo …”

MR. RUSSERT: If John Kerry and John Edwards are elected, do you believe that the Germans and the French would increase military assistance to Iraq?

SEN. EDWARDS: “Woooo …. This is Jacques Chirac … Mon dieu, do not re-elect Bush … He has, how you say, alienated allies with his go it alone cowboy strategy … Woooo …France loves messy sewers Kerry and Edwards … Elect them ... Elect them … Iraq is, how you say, le quagmire … Woooo ..."

MR. RUSSERT: But as recently as last week, as you know, Senator, the French and the Germans said they're not in a giving mood. Here is what they told The Financial Times. "French and German government officials say they will not significantly increase military assistance in Iraq even if John elected. `I cannot imagine that there will be any change in our decision not to send troops, whoever becomes president.'" And the French foreign minister went on to say that "which has tense relations with" Prime Minister Allawi of Iraq, that the French "had no plans to send troops `either now or later.'"

So what would be the difference if--having a Kerry as president as opposed to a Bush in terms of the French or the Germans?

SEN. EDWARDS: “Woooo … This is John Kerry again … Because I will give France and Germany a vote in our Congress … Woooo ….”

MR. RUSSERT: Senator, in terms of economic policy, The Concord Coalition has issued a report, a detailed analysis of the Kerry-Edwards economic plan and the Bush-Cheney economic plan, and they say very bluntly neither plan is credible. Your plan would add over a trillion in debt over the next 10 years. The Bush plan would add a trillion dollars of debt. Everyone's talking about tax cuts for the middle class. Everyone's talking about more spending for education, more spending for the environment. But no one is talking about the deficit. And The Concord Coalition says your plan and the Bush plan simply don't add up.

SEN. EDWARDS: “Woooo … this is still John Kerry … Tax the rich … Tax the rich … Millions without health care … Tax the rich …”

MR. RUSSERT: Senator, before you go, do you think this race will stay nip and tuck right to the very end or that one candidate will begin to pull away?

SEN. EDWARDS: “Woooo … This is Chris Matthews ... If Rather, Jennings, Brokaw and I have anything to do with it, Kerry/Edwards will win in a walk … Woooo …"

MR. RUSSERT: Senator, we thank you for your views, and for the views of those whose spirits you commune with. And I hope you and your family are safe on the campaign trail.

SEN. EDWARDS: “Woooo … This is John Edwards’ family … We feel very unsafe … Bush has made us less secure … Woooo … Woooo …"

posted by Tom | 10/11/2004 01:19:00 PM
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Blogger lostingotham said...

SEN. EDWARDS: "Woooo....woo...I am lostingotham...Woooooo...I just read the Russert interview...Wooo...wooo...I am laughing my ass off..."

2:49 PM, October 11, 2004  
Blogger Cigarette Smoking Man from the X-Files said...

"I actually commented FOR this post, before I commented against it!" --John Kerry

8:21 PM, October 11, 2004  

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