Transcript: Top Campaign Advisers on 'FOX News Sunday'

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS: Well, with just a handful of days until the election and just a handful of states still in play, where will each campaign make its final push?

We want to talk about these crucial, last-minute, tactical decisions with White House communications director Dan Bartlett, who's with the president in Crawford, Texas, and Tad Devine, senior adviser to the Kerry campaign, who's at campaign headquarters here in Washington.

And, gentlemen, welcome. Good to have you both with us today.



WALLACE: Let's start with the late decisions that both campaigns have to make. Tomorrow, Senator Kerry will be campaigning, big rally in Philadelphia, with former President Clinton making his first appearance since his heart surgery six weeks ago.

Tad Devine, no Democrat has been elected president without winning Pennsylvania since Harry Truman in 1948. Isn't it a bad sign that you're still working to lock up Pennsylvania?

DEVINE: Not at all, Chris. I think we all knew Pennsylvania would be a competitive state. It was close last time. We're working hard. We feel very confident. I think most of the public polls in Pennsylvania have shown John Kerry in the lead.

And I think it's really the president who — the president's been there 40 times since he was elected to office, and he can't really seem to get to where he needs to be, which is ahead in this race.

So we're confident about Pennsylvania. We're working hard for every single vote there and Ohio, Florida, a lot of other states. But we feel good about Pennsylvania.

WALLACE: Tad, talking nuts and bolts, specifically what voters he can help you with, what do you expect Bill Clinton to do for you? And where else will he campaign over the next nine days?

DEVINE: Well, I think two things. One is, President Clinton has enormous standing with the base of the Democratic Party. He will energize it. He has incredible numbers, almost unbelievable numbers with African-Americans for example. So I think he will bring enormous energy to the Democratic Party base.

Second, I think with other persuadable voters, President Clinton coming into this campaign reminds people of his tenure as president and what happened in terms of the economic performance of this country. Twenty-three million jobs, rising incomes, health-care costs under control relatively speaking, and also so many people moving ahead.

I think that contrast between a remarkable record of achievement, a country at peace and what's happened in the last four years helps voters to put in context the Bush presidency very much to John Kerry's advantage.

WALLACE: And where else is he going over the next nine days?

DEVINE: He's going to be in Florida, as well. I know he has an event there. Probably another state also. I mean, you know, his health is still a consideration. But we're looking forward to him campaigning across the country as much as he possibly can between now and Election Day.

WALLACE: Dan Bartlett, the president campaigned in Ohio on Friday for the first time in almost three weeks. Now, if I look back at my history, no Republican has ever been elected president without winning Ohio. Why has Mr. Bush spent so little time there? And how badly is he being hurt by the 230,000-plus jobs that have been lost in Ohio under his first term?

BARTLETT: Well, Chris, President Bush has spent a considerable amount of time in Ohio throughout his tenure as president as well as during this campaign. He was there just on Friday and will be there several more days before the election.

And what people in Ohio know is what people in the country know, and it's why President Bush is leading in all the polls nationally.

That is that President Bush is working to make our country safe. He's got this country, this economy back off its back after the recession and the attack of 9/11, in which a million jobs were lost. Just on Friday there was a new state employment report out of Ohio showing that jobs are being created.

We're headed on the right track, and what President Bush is arguing is that we don't need to go back to the policies of tax and spend. We need to let people in Ohio and throughout the country keep more of their own money, to have other pro-growth policies that'll keep this economy moving forward.

Now, going back to Pennsylvania, President Bush is going to campaign hard in Pennsylvania as well. This is a Democrat state in which he lost in 2000.

And I think it's kind of revealing to show that President Clinton — we all wish him well and hope that he's feeling better, but the fact that John Kerry's going to have to roll him off the surgery table and onto the campaign trail demonstrates a revealing aspect, that he's underperforming in key parts of his own constituency.

So I think that shows that President Bush is going to be competitive. Today we're headed to New Mexico, another state that President Bush lost in 2000 but think we can win this time around. It shows that we're playing on offense in the final days of this campaign.

WALLACE: Dan, can the president win without Ohio?

BARTLETT: We have many different paths to victory, but President Bush is confident that we're not only going to win Ohio, but we're going to win all the states that he won in 2000 and then pick up other key states that we lost to Al Gore in 2000.

WALLACE: All right. Both campaigns put out inventive TV commercials this past week. The Republicans, the Bush campaign put out an ad of wolves in the forest to represent the terrorist threat. The Democratic National Committee put out an ad comparing the president to an ostrich.

Let's take a brief look at clips of those two ads.


ANNOUNCER: Even after the first terrorist attack on America, John Kerry and the liberals in Congress voted to slash America's intelligence operations.



ANNOUNCER: The eagle knows when it's time to change course. The ostrich stands in one place.


WALLACE: Dan Bartlett, do you really think at this late date that that wolves ad can persuade voters?

BARTLETT: Well, what this ad does is help clarify and discuss in a very revealing way what's at stake in this election. This is the first presidential election in a post-9/11 world. We are a country at war. We're a country in which the American people want to know what leader has the superior strategy in winning the war on terror.

And what President Bush has demonstrated is that, through a comprehensive strategy to fight the terrorists on offense, we can win, not only going after the terrorists, but going after those who harbor them or want to provide weapons to them.

That's a critical difference, when you look at this election, because Senator Kerry has demonstrated both through his record and his positions that he has a far limited view of fighting the war on terror. It is not comprehensive, and it's one we think will make our country and our world more dangerous...

WALLACE: But, Dan...

BARTLETT: ... not safer. And that's a key issue in this campaign. And I think that ad rightfully points that out.

WALLACE: But, Dan, the man that the president just named to head the CIA, former Congressman Porter Goss, actually proposed even deeper cuts in intelligence after the end of the Cold War.

BARTLETT: I will compare Porter Goss's or anybody else's campaign record — or record, that is, to Senator Kerry's.

Senator Kerry has demonstrated over the course of his 20-year record that he's been on the wrong side of major national security issues, whether it be the Reagan build-up of the defense that helped win the Cold War, whether it be voting against the '91 Gulf War. We hear all this talk about a global test, but he voted against the '91 Gulf War, which had all the international support behind it.

He did have votes for deep cuts that went far beyond what Porter Goss had called for at that time. In fact, he called for a $1.5 billion cut, in which no Democrat — very few Democrats even supported him. So not only were Republicans not supporting him, his own party wasn't supporting him.

And I think that's revealing about how our opponent would run the war on terror, and that's why President Bush's record and views and strategy are far more superior.

WALLACE: Tad Devine, whether it's ads or photo-ops, Senator Kerry is still trying, at this late date, to persuade voters, especially men, that he is not some rich elitist.

Let's run the tape from this week. He had a photo-op in which he decided to go goose hunting in Ohio. And campaign spokesman Mike McCurry said, "We want people to have a better sense of John Kerry, the guy."

Tad, do you really think something as clearly staged as that sends a message? And if so, what?

DEVINE: Well, Chris, sure, we want people to know him. I mean, listen, the president has been in office for four years, they've seen George Bush. John Kerry is the newcomer to the national stage.

So, we want voters to know that some of the charges that are being made about him, for example, on the issue of gun ownership, are just false. John Kerry's been a hunter his whole life.

And, you know, I think what you see in this campaign right now, in those ads, the wolf ad and others, really express this best, is the huge difference in these campaigns.

Our campaign has three television ads on right now. Each of them feature John Kerry speaking directly to voters about his vision for where he wants to lead the nation.

The Bush campaign is relying on a pack of wolves. I mean, it is the campaign of fear, on the Bush side, versus the campaign of hope and possibility and the issues, on John Kerry's side.

And I think the American people are going to choose hope over fear. I think they want a president who has a real vision for this nation, who will take us in a new direction, who will give America a fresh start in Iraq and here at home.

So, that's the difference, and I think people are going to vote for a positive vision for the future and reject the negative politics of this president.

WALLACE: All right. Let's turn, gentlemen, if we can, to Election Day. Republicans are charging massive fraud in voter registration in Ohio and other swing states. The Democrats say that this is all an effort at voter intimidation.

Tad, let me start with you. Are we going to have a battle at the polls on Election Day about who is and isn't allowed to vote?

DEVINE: Chris, I hope not. I mean, on our side we're trying to get people to participate in the process. That's our goal. And we're going to fight real hard to make sure when people come out and try to participate in their democracy to vote that there's going to be voter protection. We have the most ambitious mechanism of voter protection in history.

And I think on the Republican side we can see in Ohio and elsewhere they're concerned about people voting, and they're going to do everything, they'll go to every courtroom in this country, they'll do everything to try to stop people from voting.

But we're going to have a huge operation there. People should know that if they want to participate, if they want to vote, we're going to be there to back them up and to make sure we can do everything possible to have their vote counted.

WALLACE: Tad, if I can, before I bring Dan in, I mean, weren't the Democrats doing the same thing when you had all those court fights to try to drive Ralph Nader off the ballot?

DEVINE: Well, no, Chris. Listen, I mean, Ralph Nader getting on the ballot was a product of Republicans throughout this country, in state after state, heavily financing petition schemes to put him on the ballot. I mean, they wanted him on the ballot for a simple reason: They believe he's going to draw votes away from John Kerry.

So, you know, we think that if you want to get on the ballot in this country, you should satisfy the legal process. He didn't do it in some states like Ohio; he did it in others. But what we're trying to do is to give people the knowledge that if they want to participate, if they want to vote, their vote will be counted. We're going to be there backing them up in precinct after precinct all across this country, because people want change. They want this country to go in a new direction.

Places like Ohio, I mean, I think the president has been to Ohio for 20 days for a simple reason: His treasury secretary went there a few weeks ago and said job loss was a myth, OK? That's why he hasn't been to Ohio. So, listen, he may be back there. He knows he's got to win it to win this election, and I don't think he will a week from Tuesday.

WALLACE: Dan Bartlett, I'm going to give you the last word. What about this question of all of the fights over who is and isn't going to be allowed to vote on Election Day? I mean, are we going to have battles in the polls all during that day?

BARTLETT: Well, I don't think it's going to — I think this is a little bit of pre-election drama. But what the bottom line is, we all want votes to count. Unfortunately the Democrats, in many cases we've found, want their votes to count once, twice and sometimes three times. We're finding people getting registered multiple times.

We have a situation where Senator Kerry's campaign, both in its advertising and its registration efforts, are relying upon these shadowy 527 groups. And in Defiance, Ohio, for example, it was learned that one of the people who were registering people to vote was being paid with crack cocaine. I mean, this is the type of environment we are working in now, in which we're seeing fraudulent efforts to try to rig this election. And that's not what we need.

We want a fair election. We want everybody to vote properly. And all these court cases that are happening throughout the country demonstrate and all these court cases that are happening throughout the country demonstrate every time almost to a T, the courts are siding with our claims in this because they see what's happening in these fraudulent registration efforts.

So we'll be there to protect the vote. We'll even make sure everybody gets to vote fairly. We just think it's important that everybody vote once.

WALLACE: That's a good principle: Everybody votes once.

Gentlemen, we'll leave it there. Thank you both so much for joining us today.

DEVINE: Thanks.

BARTLETT: Thank you.

WALLACE: Up next, the Senate is also up for grabs on Election Day. We'll find out which races will determine the balance of power. Stay tuned.