NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch likes John Kerry (search). As a Democrat himself, he admires John Kerry, agrees on all economic issues with John Kerry. But get this: he is not supporting John Kerry. Ed Koch safely ensconced in our New York studios to tell us why.
ED KOCH, FMR. NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: Well, as you point out, I don’t agree with George Bush (search) on a single major domestic issue. But there is one issue that trumps them all, and that is the fight against international terrorism. He has demonstrated that he will take them on. He has in Afghanistan. He has in Iraq.
The Bush doctrine will go after the terrorists and the countries that harbor them. And I don’t believe the Democrats have the stomach for it.
For example, the delegates up in Boston, they don’t agree with John Kerry, who has said that we ought not to withdraw troops from Iraq. If you poll those delegates, they would get out tomorrow. And he can’t withstand that pressure. That is the Democratic Party, regrettably, today, in charge, so to speak, of the radical left wing of the Democratic Party.
CAVUTO: But Mayor, as you know better than many, it is always the case in the Democratic nominee’s case, before he becomes the nominee, he runs to the left, runs back to the middle once the general election is ensuing. Will he be helped by that if Kerry runs back to the middle, galvanizes support among those who are unsure about him?
KOCH: I don’t think so. I don’t think that the middle will believe him. And that is what the statistics show, that George Bush is like 11 or 12 points ahead on the issue of security.
And while you are the maven, the expert on the economy, I believe the economy is surging. And I believe that on the two issues, the economy and national security, that the people will look to George Bush and not to John Kerry.
And with respect to John Edwards, I don’t believe the business of his being a trial lawyer means anything at all.
KOCH: I mean he was the plaintiffs’ lawyer in cases that are meritorious, and that is to his credit. But I don’t believe that people vote for a vice president. And, therefore, while I think he is doing a good job and I like both of those guys...
CAVUTO: So let me ask you, if the Republicans make a big deal, Mayor, of the fact that John Edwards is this big trial lawyer and all that, you think it would be a mistake for them to waste the campaign dollars doing that?
KOCH: Yes, I do on the merits. Now, whether or not they poll and find that people just hate lawyers, which Shakespeare indicated by giving Falstaff some line that went something like, "Let’s kill all the lawyers," if the Republican Party has polled and that is what people want, it will be helpful.
CAVUTO: Yes. Yes. That was before they came up with journalists, too, Mayor. So maybe lawyers just beat them to the punch.
Mayor, it’s always a pleasure.
KOCH: Thank you.
CAVUTO: Thank you very much.
KOCH: Thank you.
CAVUTO: Mayor Ed Koch, who ruled the city of New York for 12 years.
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