This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," Oct. 25, 2004, that has been edited for clarity.
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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN "P. DIDDY" COMBS, CITIZEN CHANGE FOUNDER: On November 2, we're facing a matter of life or death. Is that that serious? Hell, yes, that serious. When you vote a president into office, you're literally putting your life and the lives of your families in somebody else's hands. Now, that's serious. On November 2, vote or die.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Rapper, actor and music video performer Sean "P. Diddy" Combs is taking his "Vote or Die!" campaign to the swing states. The hip-hop (search) king, who's also founder of Citizen Change, a nonpartisan group aimed at motivating millions of young people in urban areas to vote, kicks off his six-city swing state tour tomorrow.
Earlier, I sat down with P. Diddy and asked him how excited he is about this election.
COMBS: Extremely excited.
VAN SUSTEREN: What makes you excited?
COMBS: Because, No. 1, history is going to be made. For the first time in history, young men and women and also minorities are going to come out in I think droves of millions, probably one of the biggest youth voter turnout and minority turnouts in history. This is a group of voters that have a bigger voting block than senior citizens, than veterans, than NASCAR dads (search), but nobody speaks directly to this group of people. We call them the forgotten ones. And this is a community that needs the most help, you know? Young men and women need jobs. They need an education.
VAN SUSTEREN: But they always have. I mean, what makes you think they're going to come out and vote this time?
COMBS: One of the reasons is Citizen Change, the organization which I started. We devised a plan to talk directly to the hearts of this community, to speak directly to them, when nobody was ever speaking to them to let them know the power that they have and the importance of them voting to protect and preserve their communities and also to make changes in their communities, if they wanted it. We couldn't just sit on the sidelines and complain. We had to be a part of the change.
So it's not going to happen overnight. We've been lucky to be rewarded with the benefits from the Civil Rights movement, but sometimes we don't fully appreciate it. And we owe it to ourselves, our families, our kids and also to that movement to stand up and start fighting back. We can't just let politicians ignore us, public figures ignore us, let our kids go to schools without the proper computers, the proper tools they need to be able to have a future. We can't just have backs turned on us, where we could have stadiums and coliseums built in our communities, but we can't uplift our inner city communities as far as housing, you know?
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, there's an incredible need. I mean, and typically, you know, there are a lot of people who are disenfranchised and don't get to vote.
VAN SUSTEREN: But what makes you think that these people are actually on Tuesday going to get up and vote? Have they made a promise to you? I mean, what makes you think it's going to happen?
COMBS: I mean, No. 1 is the plan that we set out. I basically utilized my talents as a marketer and also a person of the community to speak directly to this voting bloc. First of all, I started Citizen Change. It's a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that was put into place to educate, motivate and empower them. And I've been, you know, going into where Bush and Kerry aren't going, from the barber shops to the nightclubs to the college campuses, hitting with street teams, and invading their airwaves from MTV to BET to Radio One, the Clear Channel. And I'm not just telling them to go vote, but educating them on the process and how they really can hold the key on who's the next president of the United States.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. But OK, if you do that in New York, it's not going to make much difference in some other states, like California, because already, those states have pretty much decided. Let's talk about the swing states.
VAN SUSTEREN: Wisconsin — you're going there tomorrow. My state.
COMBS: Yes, I'm going to your state. Besides getting me some cheese...
COMBS: ... I'm definitely going there to, you know, rile things up, you know? One of the things that we've been trying to do is hit young men and women on the hustle of politics, and it's definitely a hustle, it's definitely a game. And you can't play the game unless you're voting and you understand the overall structure of it. And we understand how important the swing states are, and it's important for them to flex their power in these states.
Everything's so neck-and-neck, the only thing that could be the deciding factor are the votes that aren't counted. And nobody's polling young men and women. Nobody is really, truly polling minorities. You know, if the candidates go into their community, they're basically going to the churches, you know, and people go to church for God, you know?
If they really want to see what's going on, they need to be in the projects or in the inner cities and see what's really going on over there.
VAN SUSTEREN: The slogan "Vote or Die"...
VAN SUSTEREN: Did you come up with that?
COMBS: Yes, I did.
VAN SUSTEREN: OK. Why "Vote or Die"?
COMBS: Because I feel it's that serious. People are dying out there today, and people need to realize that. People are dying in the war overseas. People are also dying right here at home because of poverty, because of lack of health care. Like, if you're in a certain financial bracket and you get sick and you don't have no health insurance and you have an ailing disease, you're going to die. It's that serious.
When you vote a president into office, you're putting your life and the lives of your families in somebody else's hands, and the future of your children. So if you don't vote, you're basically relinquishing your future. And I wanted to send out a wake-up call to this group of disenfranchised voters. And we have woken up a sleeping giant, and that's what is about to happen on November 2. The revolution will be televised.
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