This is a rush transcript from "The Journal Editorial Report," March 8, 2008.
PAUL GIGOT, FOX HOST: This week on the "Journal Editorial Report," Hillary Clinton comes back from the brink and exposes some of Barack Obama's weaknesses along the way. What Tuesday taught both Democratic candidates. And how the party is preparing for the brawl ahead.
Plus, he clinched the Republican nomination, now comes the hard part. How strong of a general election candidate will John McCain be? Our panel weighs the pros and cons.
But first, these headlines.
GIGOT: Welcome to the "Journal Editorial Report." I'm Paul Gigot.
She is back from the abyss, again. While Hillary Clinton's big victories in Texas and Ohio Tuesday night weren't enough for her to pull even with Barack Obama in the delegate count, she did manage to break his 11-state winning streak and cast doubts on his experience and toughness heading into next month's Pennsylvania primary.
But contrary to conventional wisdom, my guest this week says it doesn't come down to the keystone state.
Former White House advisor and FOX news analyst, Karl Rove, joins me from Washington.
Karl, good to have you here.
KARL ROVE, FORMER WHITE HOUSE ADVISOR & FOX NEWS ANALYST: Great to be here Paul, thanks.
GIGOT: John McCain went to the White House this week, got the endorsement of your former boss, President Bush. Most Republicans say if John McCain is going to win in November he can't run as a candidate of continuity but the candidate of change, much as Nicolas Sarkozy did in France. Do you agree with that?
ROVE: Sure. Every presidential election is about change. No more than the election — none more than the election at the end of an eight- year term of a party in the White House. You bet. He needs to run as his own man, his man, his character, his values his vision for the next four years.
GIGOT: What does that leave for a role for President Bush? Does he have to distance himself from President Bush?
ROVE: No. Al Gore distanced himself, deliberately went out of his way to find places where he differed with Bill Clinton, and it didn't help him. What McCain needs to focus on is himself and what his values and vision and talk about those and articulate those, and do so with passion and conviction. and if sometimes he is in agreement with the president, fine. If sometimes he is in disagreement sometimes too, that's fine. But he needs to be himself in all of this process.
GIGOT: Does that mean picking two or three big issues, health care, tax reform, or something, make them his signature domestic reform issues and campaign on these — define himself by position on those issues?
ROVE: That's right, Paul. He needs to find out what he thinks is important and articulate that other candidates have picked something close to their heart and talked about it. absolutely. He will — Iraq will be a big component of this election. But there needs to be a domestic issue or two that people talk about around the kitchen table, that John McCain says this is something I care about. And people hear it and say that makes sense to me.
GIGOT: One thing you wrote in the article for the "Journal," you said McCain has to talk about Iraq and war on terror in a way that gets Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to attack him.
GIGOT: I would think he would attack them. What do you mean by getting them to attack him?