Interview with "Larry King"/"Decision 2006"

November 6, 2006

LARRY KING, HOST: Our panel will rejoin us momentarily.

But let's check in, in Burlington, Vermont, with Howard Dean, the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee and the former governor of Vermont. How's it look? The polls say it's tightening.

HOWARD DEAN, CHAIRMAN, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE: Well it looks tight. I think we're going to do well tomorrow. I'm not going to make predictions but this is about getting out the vote. We've talked or knocked on the doors of 30 million people in the last few weeks and we think we're in good shape.

KING: Any particular races that looked good to you that you're now worried about?

DEAN: Well, we worry about everything but, you know, in order -- the House I think we're in very good shape. If people want change and they get out and vote tomorrow, we're going to win the House but they got to get out and vote.

There's a lot of funny games going on right now of people making robocalls and annoying people and mostly Democrats trying to get them not to vote and all that kind of stuff. Just go vote. Just go vote and do the right thing and we'll win.

The Senate is closer. The math is tough. You got to win I think there's eight competitive races that we're playing offense in. We got to win six of the eight. That's tougher. But, I think we can do it.

KING: Senator Joe Biden has predicted a 50/50 split in the Senate, is that possible?

DEAN: Sure it is. If we win both New Jersey and Maryland we only take five out of the eight remaining competitive seats that's certainly possible.

KING: What about this campaign, if any, has surprised you?

DEAN: What surprised me I think is the incredible desire of the American people to have a new direction in the country. It's the biggest number I've ever seen. It's somewhere between 65 and 70 percent. People really do want change and they can do something about it.

KING: Is Iraq the key?

DEAN: Iraq is just part of it. It's Iraq. It's Katrina. It's the huge deficits. It's the economy that helps people who donate to the president but not 80 percent of the rest of us. The average wage has gone down $1,000 since George Bush is in office.

You know nothing is working in this country. We need a new direction, not just in Iraq but we need a new direction for our defense. You know the truth is the Republicans don't know how to defend America. It's not that they don't want to. It's just that they are all tied up in this right-wing ideology and they don't do the things that matter.

They got us into a civil war in Iraq instead of focusing on North Korea and Iran, which are about to get nuclear weapons. It's doesn't make -- or do have nuclear weapons in the case of North Korea.

KING: Governor, Wolf Blitzer said earlier that he's particularly concerned about voting irregularities, are you?

DEAN: Yes. We already know there have been some. We have a hotline, 1-888-DEM-VOTE. Anybody can call that if they feel like there are voting irregularities and we'll send some folks over to the polling place within a matter of minutes.

But we are worried. We've seen these irregularities already in some of the early voting states. And we're worried about voter suppression. We have a huge group of folks out there trying to make sure that every vote counts.

The one thing I would say to your viewers is, first, you got to vote because we're not going to have a change in this country unless you do. And, secondly, don't leave the polling place. If you get there and somebody tries to tell you, you can't vote, don't leave the polling place. Call 888-DEM-VOTE and we'll send somebody over there right away to preserve your right to vote.

KING: One of the members of our panel here is David Gergen, Governor Dean.

DEAN: Hi, David.

KING: Are you as concerned about this?


KING: Are you concerned about this?

GERGEN: About the voting irregularities? Look, I'm very concerned that if it's an extremely close night and we come out of this with almost a 50/50 nation then there are going to be a lot of people who are going to say, conspiracy because the -- if the Democrats don't do as well as they think they will.

In other words, if they don't get 25 to 30 seats now, they come up around 15 to 20, I think you're going to hear a lot of people say there's a reason we didn't get there.

If you go into Ohio right now there's an enormous amount of cynicism about the voting process in Ohio among Democrats because of what happened out there in 2004. There's cynicism in Florida because of 2000.

There are a lot of Democrats who feel they got robbed. So, if the Democrats win big tomorrow night, I don't think we're going to hear very much about it. But, if it's much closer, then I think we're going to hear a lot of complaints and I think we're going to possibly see lawsuits. And we may have some very late counts because of this.

KING: Do you expect a long night, governor?

DEAN: I do. I think we'll all be up watching you at midnight.

KING: Jim, are you or James Carville are you worried about the voting procedures?

JAMES CARVILLE, POLITICAL CONSULTANT: Yes, you can't go anywhere in the country where people don't bring it up. I mean (INAUDIBLE).

KING: Is it always against the Democrats?

CARVILLE: Yes, because we've lost elections. I mean people that win elections generally don't complain about the vote count.

GERGEN: Bingo, exactly.

CARVILLE: But, you know, it's real and I can tell you right now I wouldn't trust one of these electronic voting machines that don't have a record any further than I can throw the thing.

And they had two professors at Princeton could make the thing play music if they wanted to. I mean you can take it and fix that thing like, you know, a NASCAR mechanic can fix a race car.

KING: Governor, thank you very much. We'll be talking to you tomorrow night.

DEAN: Thanks for having me on, Larry.

KING: That's Howard Dean, the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

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Original transcript from CNN.



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