CNN Paula Zahn Now

Boston, MA, November 4, 2003

HEADLINE: Analysis of "Rock The Vote" Debate; Interviews with Democratic Presidential Candidates

GUESTS: Joe Klein, Gideon Yago, John Edwards, Wesley Clark, Joseph Lieberman, Howard Dean, John Kerry

BYLINE: Paula Zahn, Candy Crowley

Analysis of "Rock the Vote" debate. Comments from the Democratic Presidential candidates about the debate.


ZAHN: Back to our post-"Rock The Vote" wrap-up.

Joining us right now, Governor Howard Dean, fresh off the stage there. Thank you very much for being with us, sir.

DEAN: Thanks for having me on.

ZAHN: One of our analysts suggested that it must have been a bit of a nightmare to spend the first six minutes of this forum defending what you said about going after the Confederate flag-waving white vote in the South. You did not back off that position at all. Is there anything that you didn't get to say tonight that would better clarify for our audience exactly what the intent of your original comments were?

DEAN: Well, my -- what I said originally, which got a standing ovation from an audience that was one-third African-Americans, was that white voters need to vote their economic interests, because their kids don't have health insurance either, and they shouldn't be voting for George Bush, white voters in the South.

Now, I understand the Confederate flag is a racist symbol, but I also understand that a lot of people who fly that Confederate flag are not necessarily racist, they're just fearful, or they don't understand what that -- the pain that causes to African-Americans in this country who suffered under slavery.

I believe, however, that my job as a presidential candidate, and hopefully as president, is to heal this country. We can't win without having white voters and black voters vote together, because none of those voters are entitled to -- are getting the jobs they ought to have. None of them have the kind of health insurance that they ought to have in this country under George Bush.

And I think we can improve this situation. I was very disappointed...


DEAN: ... with -- particularly Senator Edwards tonight. I thought that that strayed over the line of personal attack that was unnecessary.

ZAHN: And what was it that you objected to the most? He didn't...


ZAHN: He didn't, he didn't call you -- out and outright call you a racist.

DEAN: No, he called me arrogant, I thought that was unnecessary. Look, it's very clear to me that the next Democratic president is going have to win all over this country. And Martin Luther King said that he wanted one day to see the son of a slaveholder and the son of a slave sit down around a table and find a common purpose.

And we got to address that in this country. Jesse Jackson, Reverend Jesse Jackson has addressed it, Martin Luther King addressed it, Bobby Kennedy addressed it. We -- FDR addressed it.

We need to go back to that time when white people, black people, and brown people vote together. Because that's when we make economic progress in this country.

ZAHN: All right. And Governor Howard, Dean, we need to move along, or we're going to miss the start of Larry King's show tonight. Thank you very much for joining us. The governor saying, The reason I knew I was a front-runner is because I keep picking buckshot in my rear end.

That is it for all of us here tonight. We'll be back same time, same place tomorrow night.

"LARRY KING LIVE" is next. Thanks for joining us.

Content and programming Copyright 2003 Cable News Network Transcribed under license by FDCH e-Media, Inc.

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