The following is a transcribed excerpt from 'FOX News Sunday,' August 29, 2004:
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS: This week here in New York, a rare political double play will be completed. Georgia Senator Zell Miller will deliver his second keynote speech to a national convention. In 1992, Miller spoke to the Democrats here at Madison Square Garden. Now, although he's still a Democrat, he'll deliver the keynote to the Republican Convention.
Senator Miller joins us now.
And welcome. Good to have you with us.
U.S. SENATOR ZELL MILLER, D-GA: Thank you, Chris. Good to be here.
WALLACE: Senator, let me start with the old line, "What's a nice Democrat like you doing in a place like this?"
MILLER: That's a good question because I have voted for every Democratic presidential candidate since 1952, 13 of them. I've never voted for a Republican. But I'm going to this time.
WALLACE: And why?
MILLER: Because of the time that we live in, is one reason. In this dangerous time, we need a strong commander in chief, and I think that George Bush is one of the strongest that you could possibly have. I have admired and respected the way that he has grabbed terrorism by the throat. And I think he's the commander in chief that we need these next four years.
WALLACE: The Democrats are noting that 12 years ago, you were the keynote speaker at Bill Clinton's first convention here at Madison Square Garden. Let's take a look at a clip from that speech.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MILLER: For 12 dark years, the Republicans have dealt in cynicism and skepticism. They've mastered the art of division and diversion. And they have robbed of us of our hope.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Senator, Democrats say you were right then and you're right (sic) now.
MILLER: No, that was then and this is now.
We're at war. 9/11 changed everything, as far as I'm concerned. It changed the way that we have got to look at how we do things.
I am very, very disturbed at the lack of bipartisanship that I saw in Washington over the last four years that I've served in the Senate. And I think it's very dangerous for this country in a time of war. We can't afford it.
WALLACE: All right. Let's look at another clip from your 19 — I'm guessing you're going to get used to hearing these over the course of this week.
MILLER: I figured that.
WALLACE: Another clip from your 1992 keynote speech. Here it is.
MILLER: Americans have seen plants close down, jobs shipped overseas, and our hopes fade away.
George Bush does not get it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Senator, you were talking about a different George Bush then, George Bush, Sr. But Democrats would say again, you were right then and you're right now.
MILLER: In 1992, I was smitten with Bill Clinton. I thought that this was the moderate Democrat that I had been looking for that would take the party back to the center, where I wanted it to go.
I can remember the mantra just perfectly: going to change welfare as we knew it; going to punish criminals, not explain away their behavior; the era of big government is over; going down and taking on Sister Souljah in front of Jesse Jackson at the Rainbow Push convention.
I thought that was the Democrat that we were getting at that time. Unfortunately, that's how he campaigned, but that's not the way he governed.
WALLACE: But when you talk about plants closed, jobs shipped overseas, that's still a problem today.
MILLER: It's still a problem today, but I think that the times have changed and that we need new leadership, as far as the way that we do things. And we cannot continue to let the Democrats in the Senate continue to obstruct what this president wants to do.
I think he has a vision for this country. And I think he'll lay out that vision on Thursday night. I think he knows where he wants to take this country, and I think that we've got to get behind him and let him lead us to where he wants us to go.
WALLACE: Let's talk about John Kerry. You introduced the senator at a big dinner in Georgia in 2001, and let's take a look at some of what you said there.
"My job is an easy one: to present to you one of the nation's authentic heroes."
Question: Anything that you've heard over the last few weeks in the Swift Boat controversy make you change your mind about whether John Kerry is an authentic hero?
MILLER: No, I think he's a hero. This is a man who volunteered, who volunteered for combat, who volunteered to go to Vietnam. I think anyone who did that is a hero.
I think that these Swift Boat people on both sides are heroes. And I think that they both have the right to be heard. I think that the American people will listen to them and will sort it out. They'll make the right decision.
WALLACE: But when Republicans went after another Vietnam veteran, Max Cleland, two years ago, you were very upset. You said that the Republicans were slandering Max Cleland.
Are Republicans or are some people slandering John Kerry now?
MILLER: No, I don't think so.
And as far as what defeated Max Cleland, it wasn't those ads that you're talking about. What defeated Max Cleland was that he had voted — and by the way, he's a wonderful friend of more than 30 years. I love him, and I campaigned for him in 2002.
But those ads didn't defeat him. What defeated him was his voting record in the United States Senate. He voted 80 percent or more with the Daschle Democrats. And you just simply can't vote with the Daschle Democrats in the United States Senate that big a percentage and hope to be elected in Georgia.
WALLACE: Well, let's talk about the voting record, because the Kerry camp notes that since you came into the Senate, that you and Senator Kerry have exactly the same record in terms of voting for intelligence funding and that you both voted for a huge increase in defense spending.
MILLER: Well, you've got to look at the 20 years that Kerry has been in the Senate compared to the four years that I've been in the Senate. Look at those other 16 years of what Senator Kerry has done.
I don't think that there has been any senator in recent times, except maybe Ted Kennedy and a few others, who has had such a liberal voting record and has had such a record where he has voted against most of the increases in the weapons systems that we used to win the Cold War and the weapons system that we're using right now to win the war on terrorism.
WALLACE: A group called "Zellout," a very clever play on words, says you haven't been a Democrat for years, and let Zell just switch parties.
MILLER: Oh, no, I've been a Democrat all of my life, and I'm going to die a Democrat. And I hope to be around after all this is over, and maybe help pick up some of the pieces of the Democratic Party when this is over.
I'm voting for George Bush. I'm voting for a commander in chief who has the strength to lead this country in a time of war.
And I cannot support Senator Kerry, because I think he's weak on defense. And I think that his liberal voting record in the Senate is so far to the left that it's off the charts. He's not in the mainstream of this country. He's way to the left of this country.
WALLACE: Let me ask you, you say you're going to live and die a Democrat. Can you name a couple of areas where you think right now the national Democratic Party is right and the national Republican Party is wrong?
MILLER: Well, I can't right now, because the — I can of the Democratic Party of a few years ago. I went to the 1972 convention as a Scoop Jackson Democrat in 1972. I was a John Kennedy Democrat. I was a Democrat back when the Democrats would stand up and fight for freedom and against tyranny and wanted to do tax cuts. Those are the kind of Democrats that I remember.
WALLACE: But the Democrats point out, you were the first Democrat to endorse John Ashcroft to be attorney general, you sponsored the Bush tax cuts, you support drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
You're saying that you can't think of a single area now today where the national Democrats are right and the Republicans are wrong?
MILLER: No, because this Democratic Party today has veered so far to the left that it's not even recognized as far as the Democratic Party that I grew up in and came of age in. But I hope that we can go back to the center.
I can remember, Chris, that we had two parties and both parties had liberals, moderates and conservatives in it. We're just right at the Jacob Javits Center. Well, Jacob Javits was a liberal Republican. Right now, there's no room in the Democratic Party for moderates or for conservatives.
I'm a conservative. It's not so much that I voted for the Republican Party so much. I voted for the conservative positions. If the Democrats were espousing some of those conservative positions, I'd be voting with them.
WALLACE: And finally, sir, what's the message in your keynote speech, your second keynote speech, that you will be delivering to this convention and to the nation on Wednesday night?
MILLER: Why a Democrat is supporting George Bush. And the reason that I'll tell them that I'm supporting George Bush is because I know the man. We served as governors together. I know he's the right man at the right place at the right time.
WALLACE: Senator Miller, thank you. Thanks for talking with us, and good luck on Wednesday night.
MILLER: Thank you a lot.