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Rove: Bush Will Win by Four (More Years)

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," Nov. 1, 2004, that has been edited for clarity.

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SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: And joining us now, the chief political adviser for the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign. Karl Rove (search) is with us, just getting off a plane and now in New Mexico. How are you, Karl?

KARL ROVE, BUSH CAMPAIGN CHIEF POLITICAL ADVISER: Doing great. Nice and crisp and cool here in Albuquerque.

HANNITY: You're getting the same questions I'm getting. What do you think? What are your predictions? How do you feel the race is going now in these final hours?

ROVE: I feel very good about it. We've got momentum. Virtually every national poll shows us ahead. We've strong organization and good turnout in Florida and Ohio. And we're playing on their turf. We spent most of today in states that were carried by Al Gore (search) in 2000, but are very much up for grabs and looking to become part of Bush country in 2004.

HANNITY: What is the early voting in states like Florida mean to you right now? Some people saying there is some very heavily Democratic counties — Broward County, South Florida. Does that concern you?

ROVE: The Democrats are going to turn out, but so are the Republicans and the independents in Florida. We are doing quite well in the turnout. For every Broward, there's a Duval or a Collier or a Lee or a Pensacola, Escambia, Walton or Bay, and we're doing quite well in Florida. We're winning the absentee ballots by a wide margin and keeping their margin in the early vote slim enough so that if you combine the two, we're ahead.

HANNITY: There seems to be a fairly dramatic flip in the state of Ohio in the president's favor compared to last week. What do you think changed Ohio in your favor?

ROVE: I think as we get to the end, people in all states are thinking about who will be best to lead us in the War on Terror. Who is the person with vision and clarity and moral resolve to fight the enemy until the enemy is completely defeated? And people understand that's George W. Bush (search).

HANNITY: I think you follow the news very closely here. We just got a court decision where political workers, in spite of two earlier rulings, will, in fact, be able to observe the Ohio votes. This is something the Republicans on the ground in Ohio thought was necessary, because, for example, in Franklin County, there were more people registered than there were actual adults in the county. Republican officials brought challenges last week to 35,000 voters, and letters sent to them were undeliverable. So you have some real voting fraud concerns in Ohio and elsewhere.

Let's talk about Ohio first. What do you think of the ruling?

ROVE: The ruling is to be expected in a way, because the judges were ignoring a clear state law that says that political parties have a right to have challengers in the polling places in order to challenge people who are fictitious voters or felons, ineligible to vote or people who have registered multiple times. And there is a procedure so the challenged voters can cast a provisional ballot, but people shouldn't be allowed to violate the law with impunity. And we know particularly in Ohio, but in a lot of the other key battleground states, there has been a lot of voter registration fraud. We don't want that to turn into voter fraud on Election Day.

HANNITY: So you send out a mailing, and when it comes back undeliverable, that's obviously a questionable ballot, and you want to be able to look at that?

ROVE: Well, that's one of the things that the local party did in Ohio and elsewhere. But also, there are multiple registrations on the rolls. There are felons who are ineligible to vote who are registered on the rolls.

Remember, Ohio is the place where we had this example in Defiance County of the worker for the NAACP voter fraud project, who's alleged to have registered 100 illegitimate names, including himself 22 times on the voter roll. And he says that he was paid for his work in crack cocaine, allegedly, and his supervisor has said that she did pay him in crack cocaine.

This raises serious questions that need to be watched.

Look, we want everybody in America's vote to count, but we don't want people's vote to be diluted by illicit, illegal battles.

HANNITY: Yeah. There are two other issues involving prisoners in Florida — 925 felons in prison. It's believed they voted illegally. And I know that Curt Weldon was very upset, because Ed Rendell sent out a nine-page document to all the prison wardens across the state telling them that they had to post a document in every cellblock to allow their prisoners to vote by absentee ballot.

ROVE: Well, you remember, Congressman Weldon apparently was holding a news conference in front of a prison when a bunch of workers from ACORN emerged carrying absentee ballots. In the state of Pennsylvania, you cannot give your absentee ballot to someone else to deliver for you. You have to put it in the mail yourself, and here were a bunch of workers for a very highly partisan group carrying a bunch of prisoner ballots out of the prison illegally and attempting to vote them.

HANNITY: What do you think about this bin Laden tape? Did you view it as an endorsement of John Kerry and how is the president holding up in these final hours?

ROVE: I think we view the tape as what the president said the other day: an attempt by bin Laden to influence the outcome of the American election. I understand why bin Laden is angry with this president. This president refused to do what was done in the '90s, and that was when we were attacked, we responded with pinpricks.

This president said, “I'm going to remove their training bases, remove the regime, the Taliban in Afghanistan that sheltered bin Laden. I'm going to go after him and his people systematically.”

We've killed or captured three-quarters of his leadership. We're going to take away his money, we're going to destroy his ability to harm us by destroying him, and that's exactly what we're doing. And I can understand why Mr. bin Laden would be a little angry with this president.

HANNITY: And the president is holding up well in these final hours?

ROVE: Doing great. This is our sixth stop today. We've got one more in Dallas. You know, he's seen over 100,000 people today that have attended our rallies thus far. It's really been a great day. He draws energy from the crowds and he's a real warrior. He's had a great day.

HANNITY: All right. Your final prediction. Give me a number and we've got to go.

ROVE: Victory. Complete and total victory.

HANNITY: All right. Karl Rove.

ROVE: My number is four: four more years.

HANNITY: All right. Thank you, Karl. Good to see you.

ROVE: Thanks, Sean.

HANNITY: All the best. Appreciate it.

ROVE: Great to see you.

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