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Aired February 9, 2008 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Look at the sweep of the Democratic victory before we move on. Right now, 87 percent of the vote in. Senator Clinton carrying this county, right up here, in the central part of the state. That's Douglas County. Very small, rural county only 0.6 percent of the population. And Senator Obama, so far, sweeping across the state. That matters.
Senator Clinton will get delegates under the Democratic rules. Again, they're based on proportion. As long as she gets 15 percent, she gets some delegates but he will win the bulk of the delegates because he is winning all the congressional districts as you sweep across the state.
Take off the tallies here and switch over to the Republican side. Very early here. 16 percent in, so far, Wolf, in the Republican count. Senator McCain winning a small county over here. Stevens County in the northeast corner, right along the Canadian border, but obviously we're still waiting for the sweep of the Republican results to come in. Senator McCain waited very early. Only 800 votes here I think. On the 800, those are the representative votes but way out here in the western part of the state. But a lot of county to do on the Republican side obviously.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: On the Democratic side -- let's go back to the Democratic side for a second. Our experts are estimating the delegates that have been won so far in Washington State. Remember, we're projecting that Obama will win there. Right now, we estimate 14 delegates in Washington State going to Barack Obama. 5 going to Hillary Clinton but a lot more on the delegates still to be awarded in Washington State as we watch this unfold. There's Seattle and...
KING: Show you a little bit of our new technology, Wolf. You're interested in this really. Google, we can boom down our Google map here. They're moving on downtown Seattle and you can come on in. You can get right down to the very point if you want. You can come right in here and you can see the Space Needle. Remember, you had Jessica Yellin on earlier who might up in this area. If she tries to sneak away from work, we can zoom in and catch her.
BLITZER: It's amazing what's going on. In fact, let's talk to Jessica Yellin. She's over there right near the Space Needle.
Jessica, I don't know if you can see what we're doing but we got you -- we're watching you from space right now, Jessica. There you are.
JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, no. BLITZER: You can run but you can't hide. The big eye in the sky has got Jessica Yellin covered over at that Space Needle. Let's talk a little bit about turnout in Washington State, Jessica. On the Democratic and Republican side, what are you seeing?
YELLIN: I'm seeing an enormous turnout on the Democratic side, Wolf. I can tell you the State Democratic Party thinks that they saw double the turnout they saw in 2004. And at one site that I visited, a district, they saw 150 percent increase over the last time and I'll tell you -- there was almost a festival-like feeling at that caucus site. There was somebody -- it was in a school, in an elementary school and someone was overhead on the P.A. announcing this is Democracy in action.
There were kids selling brownies and cookies to the side and families bringing their children. They said many of this people had never caucused before. More than half of them hadn't. And they said they came out this time for two reasons. One is because there is so much rage within the Democratic community here in this bluest part of a blue state over the Bush/Cheney administration, they say.
And also, there's a sense for the first time that the Washington state caucuses can actually help decide the nominee. They said, you know, it hasn't really been the case in the past and people didn't feel their caucus going mattered quite as much. So there was a real open spirit of excitement and enthusiasm there. And, you know, we saw Obama do well. The Obama folks predicted all along that they would do well because caucusing tends to favor him just because he's organized and in that way and because his folks tend to be more affluent.
The better healed, better educated and they have time to come out in the middle of the day for a caucus. But it was an enormously sort of spirited display and something that's very nice to see just from an outsider's perspective. How enthusiastic people were about just taking part of this process.
BLITZER: All right, thanks. Jessica Yellin is out in Washington State. I was trying to point out to our viewers who are waiting to hear from Barack Obama. He's speaking in Richmond, Virginia, at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner there. Earlier, we heard from Hillary Clinton. Once Barack Obama starts speaking, we'll bring you his remarks live here from the CNN Election Center.
Let's update what we know right now. Barack Obama, we've projected will be the winner in Washington State. 87 percent of the vote in Washington State is now in. We still have not been able to project a winner on the Republican side in Washington State. It's a close contest -- Huckabee, McCain, Ron Paul. 16 percent of the precincts in Washington State have reported and Mike Huckabee, slightly ahead in Washington State. Kansas, Mike Huckabee, won decisively earlier in the day in that Republican caucus in Kansas. A big win. He had some 60 percent of the vote in Kansas. We're still waiting and Nebraska, Barack Obama, earlier in the day, won in Nebraska as well.
All right, we've got a lot more coverage coming up from the CNN Election Center. Once again cnnpolitics.com. You can see the numbers coming in live. County by county, state by state. I think you will want to go there for some additional information as well. And we're also standing by to hear from Senator Barack Obama. He's going to be delivering his speech shortly, but more of our coverage right after this.
BLITZER: Welcome back to the CNN Election Center. We're watching the State of Louisiana very closely right now. Louisiana, in fact, is a state that Barack Obama is doing very well in right now. And in fact, we're getting new information.
We can now project that. In the State of Louisiana, Barack Obama -- Barack Obama will carry Louisiana and emerge as the winner in that state. Right now, with 32 percent of the vote in. He's got 53 percent to Hillary Clinton's 39 percent but based on those numbers, a third of the actual vote in as well as the exit polls we've been monitoring throughout the day. Another win we could project for Barack Obama.
In fact, it's been a clean sweep for Barack Obama on this Saturday night. Earlier, he carried the Virgin Islands. He carried Washington State. He carried Nebraska and now we can mark down Louisiana for Barack Obama. A very, very good night for the Democratic Senator from Illinois. Not a very good night for Hillary Clinton in these states. In fact, those are all the primaries and caucuses on this day and Barack Obama carries them all on this evening.
We're standing by to hear from Barack Obama. He's going to be speaking in Richmond, Virginia shortly. Once he does, we'll bring you his remarks. Let's walk over and take a look and see the actual numbers that had been coming in from Louisiana right now. So far, 60,276 for Obama, 42,752 for Hillary Clinton. A decisive win for Barack Obama with a third of the vote in, but we are -- projection is Barack Obama carries Louisiana.
On the Republican side, we have not been able to make a projection yet. It looks competitive on the Republican side. We'll update you on those numbers shortly, but let's take a look. Let's go to Suzanne Malveaux. She's out in New Orleans watching this, even covering the Obama camp for some time.
Suzanne, a clean sweep for the Obama campaign on this night.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And, Wolf, I want to show you actually what it looks like here in the Ninth Ward. How the voters and how tallies actually happened. It was just 60 minutes ago. The polls closed. The sheriff's office came in. They had the cartridges. They took them out of the machines and then they printed them up here on this wall and they basically tape them to the wall so voters can come and see how they actually voted.
So if you take a look here. It's precinct ward 9, precinct 31D. So just go down to the Democratic side. You see Hillary Clinton, 16, to Barack Obama, 102. You go over to the next one here. Just another tally gives you a sense. Ward 9, precinct 28, you have Hillary Clinton, 11 to Barack Obama's 75. And you just take a look across the wall here.
There are 17 precincts that are actually represented. Voters can just come up to this polling place and take a look at the breakdowns of how they voted here throughout the day. Wolf, there are 4,000 precincts that we're told in, in the state of Louisiana. But this just gives you a little idea, a smidgen of what the people did here in the Ninth Ward.
The Ninth ward, as you know, lower 9th particularly devastated by Hurricane Katrina. A lot of people frustrated with the Federal Government looking for answers, looking for new solutions. Clearly looking at these numbers, they turn to Barack Obama.
BLITZER: Suzanne, thanks very much. Obama winning Louisiana, Nebraska and Washington State. Three very different states, but three impressive wins for Barack Obama. Let's go to Donna Brazile. She's our analyst, our Democratic strategist watching this in Washington.
What do you make of this, Donna?
DONNA BRAZILE, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: No questions and impressive night for Senator Obama. Remember, he had an uphill climb and not just in winning some of these states but winning the black vote.
Just a few months ago, Senator Clinton was in the lead with black voters because African-Americans regarded the Clintons as being -- not just being champions for Civil Rights but of course they remember following Clinton-Gore years where there was a great deal of activity to reduce African-American unemployment and poverty.
So if Barack is capturing my home state of Louisiana, 3,966 precincts. I've run a couple of campaigns in that state. This is extremely a good victory for Obama. He's capturing votes in the south. He's capturing votes all across the country but Senator Clinton still has a strong organization. Her campaign now is on a conference call explaining what they hope to do in the next 72 hours to sort of reverse and stop Obama's momentum. So this campaign going forward is by no way over on the Democratic side.
BLITZER: And what's impressive, Donna, is that these three state, Washington State, Nebraska and Louisiana, very different states, but one thing they all have in common right now, they're all in Barack Obama's column.
BRAZILE: Different political terrain, different sorts of politics that Senator Obama had to put together. He was able to capture the early support of Senator Ben Nelson in Nebraska. I think that was very helpful. Senator Clinton had Former Senator Bob Kerrey.
But in Washington State where Senator Clinton had both Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, two of the United States senators -- Barack Obama, the other day, was able to capture the Governor, Christine Gregoire. So this was a very interesting contest. Clearly, Obama will have momentum going on to Tuesday, where he faced voters in the Chesapeake region including, right here in the District of Columbia. But, again, Senator Clinton has strong institutional support. Women are still with Senator Clinton -- senior citizens. This is going to be a race for a couple more weeks.
BLITZER: Thanks, Donna. Stand by. We're going to be getting back to you. So let's take a look at the states that Barack Obama has won tonight. In Louisiana, we've projected that. In Nebraska, as well as in Washington State, Barack Obama doing very, very well on this night.
Let's go over to Campbell and talk a little bit about this. Barack Obama -- there was a lot of speculation, Campbell, that he would come in tonight and he would do this. Stand by for a moment, Campbell. We're going to talk about this with our analyst, Best Political Team on Television. But let's take a quick break. Much more of our coverage coming up right after this.
BLITZER: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. We're here at the CNN Election Center. I'm Wolf Blitzer reporting. We're watching the Democratic and Republican race for the White House. A very, very good night for Barack Obama tonight. The winner in Washington State. 94 percent of the precincts now reporting but in Washington State, Barack Obama wins.
He also wins in Louisiana. The precincts reporting there so far about 40 percent, but we've projected Barack Obama, the winner in Louisiana. Also, a third win for Barack Obama tonight, in Nebraska, the caucuses there. 99 percent of the vote is in Nebraska and Barack Obama wins. It's a clean sweep. All three of the major contests tonight for Barack Obama. Hillary Clinton not winning any of those states.
On the Republican side, an impressive win for Mike Huckabee. The Former Arkansas Governor in Kansas, 100 percent of the vote now in. And Mike Huckabee doing extremely well there. We're still waiting for two other states on the Republican side to come in. In Washington state as well as in Louisiana. We're watching those races very, very closely. In Washington State as well as in Louisiana.
Let's take a look at right now what we know in terms of the delegate count. 2,025 delegates are needed in order to be the Democratic presidential nominee to win that nomination at the Democratic Convention in Denver.
Right now, we estimate that Hillary Clinton has 1,080. Barack Obama has 962. Those numbers, though, will grow for Barack Obama as this night goes on after the delegates are officially allocated as a result of his impressive wins in those three states, but that's what we're seeing right now.
As far as the Republican race for the White House is concerned, John McCain maintains his very impressive lead -- 714 delegates. 1,191 needed for the nomination. 217 for Mike Huckabee. So far, Ron Paul with only 16 delegates.
Mathematically, it's almost impossible for Mike Huckabee to get to that 1,191 mark, although it is technically, technically possible if he runs the field and does extremely well. He might be able to prevent John McCain from getting 1,191 at the Republican Convention in St. Paul at the end of the summer. But that's a long shot as I think everyone acknowledges right now.
Let's go back to Campbell. She's got our analysts standing by with some analysis of what has happened. So far tonight, the night is not over with by any means, Campbell. We've got two states that the Republicans still are considering. We don't know the answer. We're still waiting to hear from Barack Obama, as well. He's about to deliver a speech in Richmond, Virginia.
CAMPBELL BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: A big night, though, as you said for Barack Obama. And let me reintroduce our panel. We've got John King, Gloria Borger and Jeffrey Toobin. And one of the arguments that the Obama campaign has been making a lot lately is his red state appeal. The electability argument. They even released a memo, I think earlier this week, where they showed that in most polls he's doing better against McCain than Hillary Clinton. Is that a strong case for him to make?
KING: It is a good case for him to make, if you consider at the beginning of the race that was Hillary Clinton's big argument. I'm the one who Republicans have been after forever. I'm the most electable. I do better in the national poll match. I was just looking at six different national polls released in the course of the past two weeks and in every single one of them, Barack Obama is tougher against McCain than Senator Clinton.
It's a marginal difference right now. It's not a huge difference. Mostly, even was in the margin error. He runs two or three points stronger than Senator Clinton against Senator McCain. But if that continues, then it's a great case for him to make to Democrats because George W. Bush has been in the White House for eight years. Democrats want more than anything to get the White House back and if Barack Obama can make the case while he move on to the bigger states, Ohio and Texas, look -- no disrespect to Senator Clinton, I'm your strongest candidate in November is not a bad argument.
I'm sorry. Go ahead, Gloria.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: No. I mean, Hillary Clinton won California, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, but Barack Obama won some large places too. He won Georgia, Illinois, and Missouri. So neither one, you know, can say -- I'm the more electable candidate at this point. And if you look at Obama's organization and how he's winning caucus after caucus, when you talk about is he tough enough -- well, he's organized his way. Look at tonight. This is all about organization and how you spend your resource, right?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: In those polls that say, you know, he's the stronger candidate against McCain. But anyone who believes that a poll in February is going to dictate what the actual results are in November -- I mean, I just think those are really -- I mean, they're interesting, but they're basically pretty silly. You know, Mike Dukakis in 1988 had a 16-point lead at one point. You know, he didn't turn out to do so well. I mean, these polls month out don't really tell us very much. I don't think.
BROWN: Let me ask you about Republicans, but sort of in this context, because we've been talking also a lot about voter turnout tonight. You heard Jessica Yellin in Washington State saying voters kind of huge for Democrats though. And Newt Gingrich, the gathering of conservatives, just this week in Washington said -- on Super Tuesday there were 14.6 million Democrats who thought the presidential nomination was worth voting for and there were 8.3 million Republicans who felt the same.
That is a warning of a catastrophic election. What does this mean for Republicans right now? What do they do given the vast disparity?
KING: It means they're still dispirited from the 2006 elections. They're still down in the dumps. They're not in love with their field of candidates. I think we're seeing that again tonight. Huckabee's big win could be a case of buyer's remorse and the sense that we say. And the numbers prove it. It's not just us saying it.
If the numbers prove McCain is on a path to the nomination unless he has a catastrophic stumble. And yet, you might have little buyer's remorse around Republicans that they had. They're in the dumps to begin with. And so if they're not so happy with McCain, it is trouble for the Republicans. It's early. Still early to Jeff's -- back to Jeff's point, February is not November. But the Republicans are down right now.
BORGER: You know, it's been that way this whole primary season. You know, even at the beginning of the election season, every poll showed that Republican voters were unenthusiastic about their field of candidates and God knows, it was a large field and the Democrats were enthusiastic. And you see an exit poll after exit poll. The Democrats are going to the polls happily. The Republicans, not so much.
TOOBIN: And if -- the news on turnout is bad for Republicans, the news on money is even worse. The Democratic Party is almost by definition the party with less money than the Republicans. The Democrats are hugely out raising the Republicans and that's never happened before and it's very important.
BROWN: All right. We're going to take a quick break. When we come back, we will go to our back row for analysis. We're not leaving you guys out, I promise.
And also, we're waiting for Barack Obama who is scheduled to speak shortly. We'll have all that and a lot more numbers still coming in. We'll be back right after this.
BLITZER: Big night for Barack Obama tonight. He swept all of the states where there were contests on this night. Barack Obama, winning in Louisiana, in Washington State, winning in Nebraska. He's also won in the Virgin Islands, as well. Mike Huckabee, so far, has won in Kansas. Two contests still up for grabs on the Republican side. Much more on that coming up.
Here's what we know on the delegates to date right now. Remember the magic number for the Democrats at their convention in Denver this summer. 2,025, that's what they need to be the nominee of the Democratic Party.
Right now, Hillary Clinton by our estimate and these numbers are going to change as we get more of the count coming in tonight. 1,083 for Hillary Clinton, 1,009 for Barack Obama. Barack Obama is the darker blue. Hillary Clinton is the lighter blue. This is very, very close contest on the Democratic side right now.
As far as the Republican side is concerned, 1,191 is the magic number for the Republicans. Right now, McCain with 714. Romney with 286. He's no longer in this contest as you know. 217 for Mike Huckabee. That's what we know right now. So far, Huckabee picking up some 36 delegates in Kansas tonight.
Let me go to Candy Crowley. She's in Richmond, Virginia, over at Barack Obama. It's not Barack Obama headquarters. This is the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Richmond. He's going to be speaking shortly.
Earlier, we heard Hillary Clinton address this same forum, Candy. Set the stage for us, what we're about to see and hear.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm not sure how much I have to set the scene for you, Wolf, because you can probably hear it. This is a very definitely pro-Obama crowd as you said. Hillary Clinton was here earlier. She got a nice reception, but they are raising the roof here right now for Barack Obama.
He was introduced by Virginia Governor Kaine who endorsed Barack Obama about a year ago and he gave them all of the election results from tonight. So he really has revved up this crowd. I suspect we will probably hear something from Obama himself about tonight's results. I don't know again if you can hear this, but this is a huge arena on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University. They have packed it to the gills, and as you can hear, very pro-Obama.
BLITZER: It doesn't get much better on this one night for Barack Obama. He won in Louisiana. He won in Nebraska. He won in Washington State. And he won in the Virgin Islands. He's going to be speaking to this group, so let's listen in.
BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you so much. It's good to be back. It's good to be back in Virginia. To my great friend and one of my national co-chairs, Tim Kaine. You are the one of the finest governors and one of the finest people in public office right here. Give a big round of applause to Tim Kaine. To one of the best governors of the past, who will soon be one of the best United States senators of the future, give it up for Mark Warner. We are so proud of the work he's done. I'm looking forward to being on the ticket with Mark Warner. I want to just hang on to his coat tails here in Virginia. He is outstanding.
I want to thank my great friend and great supporter, not only a wonderful governor but now the mayor of this great city, Doug Wilder. Give Doug Wilder a big round of applause.
To somebody who has already shown himself to be an outstanding senator, but also somebody with a conscience, somebody with convictions and somebody who has the courage of his convictions, he's not here tonight, but I want you to know I am so proud to be serving with United States Senator Jim Webb. Give Jim Webb a big round of applause.
I want to thank the congressmen of this district, a great friend, Bobby Scott, a great supporter.
I want to thank Jim Moran from Northern Virginia, a wonderful congressman and a great friend. Rick Baucher, who is not here, I commend him for all the outstanding work he's doing.
To Dick Cranwell, the Democratic Party Chairman, and Amy Rieger, congratulations, Amy, on all the great work you have been doing. I know you will all going to be missed, but we appreciate your service to the great commonwealth of Virginia.
Now, it is -- it has been -- it has been one year since we began this campaign for the presidency on the steps of the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois, just me and about 15,000 of my closest friends. At the time, there weren't too many who imagined we'd be standing where we are today. I knew -- I knew I wouldn't necessarily be Washington's favorite candidate. I knew we wouldn't get all the big donors or all the endorsements right off the bat. I knew that I'd be the underdog in every contest from January to June. I knew it wouldn't be easy. But then something started to happen.
As we met people in their living rooms and on their farms and churches and town hall meetings and VFW halls, they all started to tell a similar story about the state of our politics today. Whether they're young or old, black or white, Latino or Asian, Democrat, independent or Republican, the message is the same.
We are tired of being disappointed by our politics. We are tired of being let down. We're tired of hearing promises made and 10-point plans proposed in the heat of a campaign only to have nothing change when everyone goes back to Washington, because the lobbyists write another check or because politicians start worrying about how to win the next election instead of why they should win the next election. Or because they focus on who's up and who's down instead of who matters, whether we're lifting our children up, whether we're supporting our seniors, whether we're doing right by our veterans.
While Washington is consumed with the same drama and divisions and distraction, another family puts up a For Sale sign in their front yard. Another factory shuts its doors forever. Another mother declares bankruptcy because she couldn't pay her child's medical bills. And another soldier waves goodbye as he leaves on another tour of duty in a war that should have never been authorized and should have never been waged. And it goes on and on and on and on and we become cynical.
We conclude this is the best we can do. We turn away from politics. Our standards become lower. But in this election, at this moment, Americans are standing up all across the country to say -- not this time, not this year, the stakes are too high and the challenges are too great to play the same old Washington games with the same old Washington players and expect a different result. People want to turn the page. They want to write a new chapter in American history.
CROWD: Yes, we can! Yes, we can!
OBAMA: And today -- and today the voters from the West Coast to the Gulf Coast to the heart of America stood up to say, "Yes, we can." We won in Louisiana. We won in Nebraska. We won in Washington State. We won north. We won south. We won in between. And I believe that we can win Virginia on Tuesday if you're ready to stand for change.
CROWD: Yes, we can! Yes, we can!
OBAMA: Each -- now, I understand that some of the excitement doesn't have to do with me. I know that whatever else happens, whatever twists and turns this campaign may take, when you go into that polling place next November, the name George Bush won't be on the ballot and that makes everybody pretty cheerful. Everybody is happy about that. The name of my cousin Dick Cheney won't be on the ballot. That was embarrassing when that news came out. Yes, when they do these genealogical surveys, you want to be related to somebody cool. So -- but his name won't be on the ballot.
So each of us running for the Democratic nomination agrees on one thing that the other party does not -- that the next president must end the disastrous policies of George W. Bush. No more Scooter Libby justice, no more "Brownie" incompetence, no more Karl Rove politics. We are going to have a different kind of politics here in America. We all agree on that.
Both Senator Clinton and I have put forth detailed plans and good ideas that would do just that. And I've said before and I say again, Senator Clinton was my friend before this race started. She will be my friend after this race started. We are going to be unified as Democrat whoever the nominee to make sure that we bring an end to the failed policies of George W. Bush. That we can guarantee.
But I am running for president because I believe that to actually make that happen, to make this time different from all the rest, we need a leader who can finally move beyond the divisive politics of Washington, and bring Democrats, independents and, yes, Republicans, who are disillusioned with our current course, together to get things done. That's how we are going to win this election. That's how we will win in Virginia and that's how we will change this country when I'm president of the United States of America. This week -- this week, we found out that the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party will be Senator John McCain. Now, I believe John McCain is a good man and he is a genuine American hero. And we honor his half century of service to this nation.
But understand that in this campaign, this year, he has made the decision to embrace the failed policies of George Bush's Washington. He speaks of a hundred-year war in Iraq. He sees another on the horizon with Iran. He once opposed George Bush's tax cuts for the wealthiest few, who don't need them and they didn't even ask for them. He said they were too expensive and unwise, that we should never cut taxes for the wealthy at a time of war and he was absolutely right then. But somewhere along the line, the wheels came off, the straight talk express, because he now supports the very same tax cuts he voted against.
That's what happens when you spend too long in Washington. Politicians end up not saying what they mean and they don't mean what they say. And that is why in this election, our party can't stand for business-as-usual in Washington. The Democratic Party must stand for change, not change as a slogan, not change as a bumper sticker, but change we can believe in. That's what this campaign is all about.
This fall -- this fall we owe the American people a real choice. It's a choice between debating John McCain, about who has the most experience in Washington, or debating him about who is most likely to change Washington, because that's a debate that we can win. It's a choice between debating John McCain about lobbying reform with a nominee who has taken more money from lobbyists than he has or doing it with a campaign that hasn't taken a dime of their money because we've been funded by you, the American people.
It's a choice between taking on John McCain with Republicans and independents, who are already united against us or running against him with a campaign that's uniting Americans of all parties around a common purpose. There is a reason why the last six polls in a row show that I'm the strongest candidate against John McCain, because I've done better among independents in almost every single contest we've had. That's why we won more red states and swing states that the next Democratic nominee needs to win in November.
We need to win. America needs us to win. Virginia Democrats know how important this is. That's how Mark Warner won this state. That's how Tim Kaine won this state. That is how Jim Webb won this state. And if I'm your nominee, that's how I will win this state.
CROWD: Go, Obama! Go, Obama! Go, Obama! Go, Obama!
OBAMA: We are here -- we are here to make clear that this election is not between regions or religions or genders. It's not about rich versus poor or young versus old. It's not about black versus white. It's about the past versus the future. The Republicans in Washington are already running on the politics of yesterday, which is why our party must be the party of tomorrow. And that is the party I intend to lead as president of the United States of America. I know -- I know what it takes to pass health care reform because I've done it. Not by demonizing anyone who disagrees with me, but by bringing Democrats and Republicans together to provide health insurance to 150,000 children and parents in Illinois. And when I am president of the United States, we are going to pass universal health care, not in 20 years, not in 10 years but by the end of my first term as president of the United States of America.
You don't have to take my word for it. You don't have to take my word for it. Senator Ted Kennedy recently said that he wouldn't have endorsed me if he didn't believe passionately that I will fight for universal health care as president and he knows a little something about health care.
My plan would bring premiums down for the typical family by $2,500 per year. We'd ban insurance companies from excluding people from coverage because of preexisting conditions. We'd allow every American to get the same health care I have as a member of Congress.
And I know -- and I know that Senator Clinton likes to point out the difference between our health care plans. There is a real difference here because Senator Clinton has said that the only way to provide universal health care is to say that we will go after your wages if you don't buy health care.
Well, I believe the reason people don't have health care isn't because they can't afford -- it isn't because they don't want to buy it. It's because they can't afford it. And that is why my plan does more to reduce cost than any other plan out there. That's how we're going to make sure that every single American has the health care that they need and we're going to do it by the end of my first term.
It's also -- it's also time to bring the cost of living down for working families who are struggling in this economy like never before. They're facing rising costs and falling wages. And we owe it to them to end the Bush-McCain tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent and put a tax cut them into the pockets of families who really need them. That's what I did in Illinois when I brought Democrats and Republicans together to provide millions of dollars in tax relief for working families and the working poor. That's the kind of tax relief I intend to provide when I'm president of the United States of America.
I will end the tax breaks for companies who ship jobs overseas and give middle class tax breaks to 95 percent of working Americans and homeowners who are struggling and seniors who deserve to retire with dignity and respect. And I won't wait another 10 years to raise the minimum wage in this country. I will raise it to keep pace with inflation every year, because I believe that if you work in this country, you should not be poor. That is a basic principle of fairness in the United States of America and I will uphold it when I am president.
It's time to give every child everywhere a world-class education, from the day they are born until the day they graduate from college. I'm only here today because somebody somewhere gave my father a ticket to come study in America. Because somebody gave my mother the opportunity to go to graduate school. Because even though we didn't have much growing up, I got scholarships to go to some of the best schools in this country. That's the chance I believe that every child in America should have.
And when I am president, we are going to give every child the best education we have to offer. We're going to invest in early childhood education to close the achievement gap. We're not going to just talk about how great teachers are. We will reward them for their greatness by giving them higher salaries and giving them more support.
We will maintain the highest standards for our kids because our children have to be able to compete in that global economy that Mark Warner talked about. But we also have to make sure we are not having teachers teach to the tests because I want our students learning art and music and science and poetry and all the things that make an education worthwhile.
And I don't know about you, but I think it's time we made college affordable. I'm going to have a $4,000 tuition credit for every student -- $4,000 for every student every year. So they're not loaded up with debt before they graduate, but it won't come for free. Students, young people, you will have to give back in national service. You'll have to work in a homeless shelter for a few hours or veterans home or join the Peace Corps, join the Foreign Service. We will invest in you, you will invest in America. Together we will march forward and go into the 21st century when I'm president of the United States.
CROWD: Yes, we can! Yes, we can!
OBAMA: When I am president, this party will be the party that finally makes sure our sons and daughters don't grow up in a century where our economy is weighed down by our addiction to oil. Our foreign policy is held hostage to a whim of dictators. And our planet passes the moment of no return.
When I called for higher fuel efficiency standards, I didn't do it in front of some environmental group in California. I did it in front of the automakers in Detroit. And I have to admit, I have to admit the room was really quiet. Nobody clapped. But we need -- that's OK because we need leadership that will tell the American people not just what they want to hear, but what they need to hear. We'll tell the American people the truth. We'll be honest with them and that's the kind of president I intend to be.
I will set the goal of 80 percent reductions in carbon emissions by 2050. And we will mean it with higher fuel standards and new investments in renewable fuels that will create millions of new jobs and entire new industries right here in the United States of America.
And finally, it is time to turn the page on eight years of a foreign policy that has made us less safe and less respected in the world. I am looking forward to having a debate with John McCain about foreign policy, because if I'm the nominee, the American people will have a clear choice. John McCain will not be able to say that I supported the war in Iraq. He won't be able to say that I supported giving George Bush the benefit of the doubt on Iran. He won't be able to say that I followed the Bush-Cheney doctrine of not talking to leaders that we don't like, not talking to countries we don't like.
Because I recall what John F. Kennedy said. He said, "We should never negotiate out of fear but we should never fear to negotiate." Strong countries and strong presidents talk to their adversaries and tell them where America stands. And that's what I intend to do as president of the United States of America.
I will end this war in Iraq. I will bring our troops home, but I will also end the mindset that got us into war. We have been engulfed by a politics of fear for too long, where 9/11 is used as a way to scare up votes instead of a way to bring us together around a common purpose to defeat a common enemy. That will change when I am president.
So Democrats, this is our moment. This is our time for change. Our party, the Democratic Party, has always been at its best when we led not by polls but by principles, not by calculation but by conviction, when we summon the entire nation around a higher purpose, a common purpose.
We are the party of Jefferson, who wrote the words that we're still trying to heed, that all of us are created equal, that all of us deserve the chance to pursue our happiness. We're the party of Jackson, who took back the White House for the people of this country.
We're a party of a man, who overcame his own disability to tell us that the only thing we had to fear was fear itself, who faced down fascism and liberated a continent from tyranny. We are the party of a young president, who asked us what we could do for our country and challenged us to do it. That is who we are. That is who we are.
And I know sometimes when I talk like this people say, "Ah, he's so idealistic, he's so naive, he's a hope monger." I've heard this criticism lately that I'm peddling false hopes, that I need a reality check. The notion is that somehow if you're realistic, then you set your sights lower. But if you talk about hope, then somehow you must be passive and have your head in the clouds and just wait for things to happen to you.
I have to remind people that's not what hope is. It's true I talk about hope a lot. I have to. The odds of me being here aren't very high. I was born to a mother -- I was born to a teen mom. My dad left me when I was 2. I was raised by my single mom and my grandparents. And they didn't have a lot of money then. They didn't have a lot of status. They could give me love and education and hope. And so I do. I put hope on my signs.
I put -- I spoke about hope at the Democratic convention. I wrote a book called "The Audacity of Hope." But I need -- I need to explain, people, hope is not blind optimism. Hope is not ignorance of the challenges that lie before us. I know how hard it will be to provide health care to everybody. Insurance and drug companies are not going to give up their profits easily.
I know how hard it will be to change our energy policy. Exxon Mobil made $11 billion this past quarter. I know how hard it is to alleviate poverty that is built up over generations. I know how hard it is to make sure that we're lifting up our schools because it's not just going to involve teachers, not just going to involve administrators, it will involve parents and communities changing our mindset about our children.
I know these things because I fought on the streets as a community organizer. I have fought in the courts as a Civil Rights attorney. I have fought in the legislature. And I've won some fights, but I've lost some too. I've seen good legislation die because good intentions were not enough because they weren't fortified with political will or political power.
I've seen how this country's judgment has been clouded, sometimes by fear and division. How we've been made to be afraid of each other, afraid of immigrants, afraid of gays, afraid of people who don't look like us. I know how hard change is, but I also know this. That nothing worthwhile in this country has ever happened except somebody somewhere was willing to hope.
That's how this country was founded, by a group of patriots declaring independence against the mighty British Empire. Nobody gave them a chance. That's how slaves and abolitionists resisted a wicked system. How a president was able to chart a course to ensure we would not remain half slave and half free. That is how the greatest generation defeated fascism and lifted itself up out of a great depression.
That is how pioneers struck west. That's how immigrants arrived from distant shores. That's how women won the right to vote. That's how workers won the right to organize. That's how young people traveled South to march and sit in and some died for freedom's cause. That's what hope is. That's what hope is. Virginia, that is what hope is. Imagining -- imagining and then fighting for. Working for what did not seem possible before. And this is our moment. This is our chance.
There is a moment -- there is a moment in the life of every generation where that spirit of hopefulness has to come through, where we cast aside the fear and the doubt and the cynicism. The cynicism that so often passes for wisdom, but is actually just being afraid to reach for something higher, where we shed that and arm in arm, we decide we are going to remake this country, block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood, county by county, state by state.
Virginia, this is our moment, this is our time, and if you will stand with me on Tuesday, if you will vote for me on Tuesday, then we will not just win the primary in Virginia, we will win this nomination. And we will win the general election, and you and I, together, we will transform this country and we will transform the world.
Thank you. God bless you.
BLITZER: Barack Obama speaking in Richmond, Virginia, which holds its own primary on Tuesday together with Maryland and the District of Columbia. But on this night, he's the big winner on the Democratic side. A clean sweep -- Barack Obama, carrying Washington State, carrying Nebraska, carrying Louisiana, earlier carrying the Virgin Islands as well.
We're still waiting to see what happens on the Republican side. So far, Mike Huckabee carried decisively Kansas. It's a close contest emerging still in Washington State and Louisiana. What will be fascinating, and this is still up in the air, if Mike Huckabee wins both of those states gets a clean sweep himself against John McCain. That would be interesting.
Let's go over to John King. He's watching all of these. And it's just hypothetical right now, because we don't know in Washington State and Louisiana if John McCain can do it. But it should be -- if Mike Huckabee can do it, that is. But it's still fascinating to take a look at the numbers and theoretically to see is there any way he could capture the 1,191 delegates needed to get the Republican nomination.
JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's a virtual impossibility, Wolf. And let's play out a scenario and show you just why.
Let's assume for the sake of argument Mike Huckabee wins the rest. Not just tonight, wins the rest, any state that is white has not yet voted. Louisiana, of course, and Washington, we're still waiting for results there. But let's give Mike Huckabee. We're going to touch him here, we're going to make him the winner. And before we go anywhere else, let's look at this. John McCain is sitting right around here. Governor Huckabee is back here. This is the finish line.
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