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Gary Coleman Sizes Up the Race for California Governor

This is a partial transcript from On the Record with Greta Van Susteren,  August 8, 2003. Click here to order the entire transcript of the show.

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GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST :Joining us right now from Los Angeles is actor and now candidate Gary Coleman (search).

Welcome, Gary.

GARY COLEMAN, CANDIDATE FOR CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR: Oh, thank you very much. Thank you.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Gary. I've got to start with a quote I read from you. First of all, tell me if this is your quote. And then I've got to ask you why you said it. You said, "I am probably the most unqualified person to run for governor, but I'm willing to do it as a goof, if you are."

Does that mean you're unqualified?

COLEMAN: Well, let's just say that at least seven to 10 people that are probably running are probably unqualified, but I have to qualify that by saying we all have the ability to pick a cabinet of advisers and really smart people to help us administer to the state of California.

VAN SUSTEREN: Are you going to vote for yourself, Gary, based on that?

COLEMAN: Of course I'd vote for myself. And, you know, I'm a big Arnold Schwarzenegger fan, if you will, and I also believe that because of the abilities and the connections that he has to politics, he's going to make a great governor. So I'd vote for him, too.

VAN SUSTEREN: Oh, I think you only get one vote on this. You should only get one vote.

All right, Gary. Let's back up a second. You are officially in. You've paid the $3,500 and you've gotten all of the signatures, right?

COLEMAN: That's right. A little paper up in San Francisco wanted me to run for fun. So they took care of getting 87 independent voter registrations, and they paid the $3,500.

VAN SUSTEREN: So what are you going to do? Like tomorrow your campaign starts. What are you doing?

COLEMAN: Well, unfortunately, I'm sure you would love to hear what I'm doing, but I'm not really campaigning. I'm just fielding questions, talking to reporters, and letting them know how I feel and what I think about things.

VAN SUSTEREN: What do you think about the whole concept of a recall?

COLEMAN: I kind of wish there was some kind of system for president, so you could recall the president. I mean, you know, we have impeachment, but that's only if other politicians decide to impeach the president. I don't see anything wrong with it.

I mean I'm sure, you know, one of my duties if I was actually to win would be to update all of California's rules and regulations from whenever they started to -- up to date, and I -- I would update the recall regulation, but I don't see anything wrong with it at all.

VAN SUSTEREN: Are you doing this sort of as a lark, sort of for fun, and you're not taking it all seriously? I mean at least that's the impression I have from talking to you.

COLEMAN: You have an excellent impression. You're the first to get it right. However, I do take the issues here seriously.

I would love to be able to do something about California's power crises. I would love to be able to do something about their water crises. I would love to be able to bring California back its $38 billion.

But that's only if people believe that I can put together a panel of people to help me do that.

VAN SUSTEREN: Got any ideas on how to fix those crises that you've laid out, the power, the water?

COLEMAN: Absolutely. One of my favorite issues -- and it's one that I've really been wondering -- is why doesn't California have a desalination plant that can also generate power? I understand Florida has them. Why doesn't California? And that would be a pet project of mine.

VAN SUSTEREN: In terms of this election, when did you first think that maybe you would do this?

COLEMAN: I didn't think about doing this at all. It was the furthest thing from my mind. But when I have 80,000 of my fans that want me to do something for them that's fun and interesting because they believe in me, I usually do that.

I don't always do that, but I usually do that, and that's why I'm in, and I do have a lot to say, and I have a lot I believe in, and, given the opportunity, if I end up in the Capitol building, I'm going to do my damndest to make people proud of me and proud of the State of California.

VAN SUSTEREN: What do you think of Governor Davis?

COLEMAN: You don't really want me to say anything about Governor Davis, do you? I take it very, very, very personal that he is allowed my tax money to be squandered, and that's all I could really say about it. And I certainly believe he does need to be recalled because he has squandered our money, our feelings, our emotions, and all of our time.

VAN SUSTEREN: What is your party? What are you running as?

COLEMAN: I am running as an independent. I've been registered as an independent voter for years now.

VAN SUSTEREN: What do you usually vote as? As an independent, or do you vote Republican or Democrat?

COLEMAN: I vote in the person I believe will be the best for the country, if it's the president, and, unfortunately, there wasn't anybody I could vote on for governor for the State of California.

VAN SUSTEREN: Who did you vote for for president in 2000?

COLEMAN: I did not vote in 2000. The last time I voted for president was when Perot ran. I'm a little chagrined to say that, but I actually believed in him.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did you vote for governor last time around in California?

COLEMAN: No, I didn't. I didn't believe in any of the candidates, unfortunately.

VAN SUSTEREN: What do you think of Arianna Huffington as a candidate?

COLEMAN: I love her to death. I think she has great humor, and I think she has the political clout, if you will, to run this state. I think she has as much of an opportunity to turn California around as Arnold Schwarzenegger.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. And one last question. Also someone who's filled out the papers, paid the fee is Larry Flynt. Your thought on Larry Flynt?

COLEMAN: Oh, well, let's see. The last time I checked, California was the entertainment capital of the world, not the porn capital of the world.

But, you know, everybody has a right to run. Everybody has a right to their views and their opinions, and, because I'm doing this for fun and to get myself a little education and let people know how I think and feel about things, I don't really want to slam any of the other candidates.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Gary. Well, we'll be watching, and I assume if there are some big debates, you will be part of it.

Thank you, Gary.

COLEMAN: I would love to. Thank you.

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