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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Talk With Spokesman for Governor Gray Davis

Aired September 15, 2003 - 14:07   ET

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

KELLY WALLACE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I do have Peter Ragone, who is the spokesman for this effort by the Davis team to repeal the recall.
Peter Ragone, your joining me now, live on CNN.

First your reaction to the ruling by the 9th Circuit.

PETER RAGONE, GOV. DAVIS SPOKESMAN: Well, anything that would lead to more people participating in this election is good for the state of California, it's good for the governor, it's good for Democrats, it's good for Republicans. This thing has been a roller coaster ride, and we don't know if it's over yet. There still some legal maneuvering that's going to go on. We're going to monitor it, but we're going to move forward, and we're going to keep campaigning. The governor is going to be here with President Clinton today, Reverend Jackson tomorrow. Vice President Gore on Friday. So all systems go for us still.

WALLACE: Do you any -- did you talk to governor himself, his reaction when learned about this ruling?

RAGONE: He was at home. We haven't had a chance to talk yet, because I walked in here and started talking to you guys.

WALLACE: So as far as you -- full-steam ahead, no change in campaign strategy with this ruling?

RAGONE: You know, you can't. I mean, there's been one ruling after another over the past few months. It's been a total roller- coaster ride. We're going to stay on it until they tell us to get off. And it looks like right now only Supreme Court can do that.

WALLACE: And you all have been pushing for a long time to have this recall postponed. Why exactly do you feel that it should be postponed?

RAGONE: Well, we've been saying all along that an election in March would lead to more people participating in the recall election. We don't think the recall is a good idea, we think it's going to cost taxpayers $70 million, but we also respect the right of the people of California to have the election. And if we're going to have the election, they should be able to vote, that's what moving this election to March 7 would do.

WALLACE: You know, campaigns are all about momentum. You have been saying the momentum has been on your side the past few weeks. The polls show a very evenly divided electorate about what to happen. Are you worried that if it's postponed, you know, this momentum will change and you'll have to sort of start all over again?

RAGONE: No, absolutely not. I mean, momentum has clearly been on our side, but we still have a lot of hills to climb. If we were to have it in October, I think we would win. If we have it in March, I think we're going to win.

WALLACE: And what will we hear from the governor here about this ruler and the former president today?

RAGONE: Well, you know, we didn't actually have a speaking role in the program, and we were going to do a press avail. So when he gets here, I think he'll come over and talk to the folks about why we believe having more people vote in an election is a good thing.

WALLACE: OK, Peter Ragone, thank you very much for joining us.

RAGONE: Thank you.

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