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Special Event

Gary Bauer Endorses John McCain for President

Aired February 16, 2000 - 1:07 p.m. ET

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

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: We are going to switch now to Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina where the McCain campaign is about to get a boost from Gary Bauer who's speaking now. Let's listen.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

GARY BAUER (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We were ready to debate, so it's great to be here under other circumstances.

Look, I just have a few brief comments to make. I know why you're here. You're here because you love America. That's why John ran for president, is running for president, it's why I ran for president. Some of you may remember that, in my campaign, I talked about a central idea of America. It's in the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence. It says there, "we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights." It means rights that can't be taken away. Among these, the right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

That is the central idea of America. That's what makes us a shining city on a hill. It's why we're different than any other place. It's why those students in China 10 years ago, when they were trying to get the liberty that we've already got, waved copies of your Declaration of Independence just before the People's Liberation Army shot them down in the streets. Those words make us a shining city on a hill.

I know that when John was in that POW camp, he wasn't sitting around thinking about the wealth of America or the power of America. He was thinking about that moral idea of America, the reason that we are who we are.

Every time that we have asked men to go off to foreign battle fields, whether it was the beaches of Normandy or Kesan (ph) or Danang or Porkchop Hill, and those men went, blood of our blood, flesh of our flesh, and paid the ultimate price for liberty. It was because of that central, moral idea of America.

I know that John understands those words. I know that he agrees with me that because of those words, we must work to make sure that every child is welcomed into the world and protected by the law. I know that because he understands those words, he wants an America and a political system that's not moneybags democracy, but a system built on civility and decency and honor, a system that our children can be proud of again.

(APPLAUSE)

And I know with all my heart, because he agrees with me and with you about those words, that he is the best shot we have to end the era of Bill and Hillary and Al Gore.

And so, with great pride and without any hesitation, I am pleased to be here today to endorse John McCain in exchange...

(APPLAUSE)

Thank you -- in exchange for his promise that I'll have a front row seat at his inaugural.

Thank you very much. Thank you.

WATERS: Until last week, a Republican presidential candidate, Gary Bauer, who picked up one percent of the vote in New Hampshire, not enough to continue his campaign into South Carolina, now steps up onto the podium in South Carolina, at Greenville, at Furman University, to endorse John McCain for President of the United States.

We'll check in with our senior political analyst Bill Schneider in an hour or so to find out what, if anything, this could mean for the McCain candidacy.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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