This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto", January 16, 2004, that was edited for clarity.
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NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: A close race [in Iowa] change my next guest’s mind. Alan Patricof is a top Democratic fundraiser who is throwing his support behind General Wesley Clark. He’s chairman of Patricof & Company Ventures.
Alan, good to have you.
ALAN PATRICOF, CHAIRMAN, PATRICOF & COMPANY VENTURES: Nice to be here, Neil.
CAVUTO: Your guy isn’t in Iowa.
CAVUTO: Is that a wise move?
PATRICOF: He took that position early on, and it has proved to be absolutely the right strategy, because it would have taken $4 or $5 million. He came in late. It would have taken an awful lot of time in the field on the ground in Iowa. And instead, he has been focusing his attention in New Hampshire.
CAVUTO: And he is surging in New Hampshire. Why did you, with all your money and resources and contacts -- you looked at the whole presidential field, you went to him. Why?
PATRICOF: I spent a year, Neil, and I had breakfast or lunch for each one of the candidates, without raising money, just to have a meet and greet a lot of people. I sat and listened, I participated, and after it was all finished I said to myself, who has the best chance of beating George Bush? And that is really all that count.
CAVUTO: So Dean would be a mistake to you?
PATRICOF: I think that Howard Dean has done some very positive things about generating interest from some new sources. But he’s running an angry campaign.
CAVUTO: If he were the nominee, Alan, would you support him?
PATRICOF: I’ll support whoever the nominee is.
CAVUTO: So whoever the Democratic nominee is?
PATRICOF: Absolutely, yes.
CAVUTO: Now, what raised questions in my mind with you, Alan, is you are very connected to the Democratic Party, but what I call the old established party, the party that Bill Clinton...
CAVUTO: Well, I mean that in all due respect.
PATRICOF: Old is 12 years.
CAVUTO: Exactly. But, you know, the party that Bill Clinton pushed to bring it more to the mainstream and moderate side. You’re very close to the Clintons, both Hillary and Bill. And the rumor is that he is their stalking horse, that General Wesley Clark is their guy. Is that true?
PATRICOF: I think it is, Neil, been so overplayed. I think the Clintons have been doing exactly what they should be doing. They’re staying on the sidelines, and...
CAVUTO: But are they really? A lot of their key people, a lot of their key financial contributors, people like you, are behind General Clark.
PATRICOF: But they had nothing to do with these people. The fact that the people who have been attracted to Wesley Clark have been the same kind of people and, in many cases, the same people...
CAVUTO: Come on. They don’t flip over Dean getting the nomination.
PATRICOF: They have had absolutely nothing to do with any of the people...
CAVUTO: Do you talk to the Clintons?
PATRICOF: I talk to them occasionally, yes.
CAVUTO: Do they tell you that they worry that if Dean gets a nomination it is Dukakis?
PATRICOF: No, they do not talk about that. I think they are talking about right now getting a Democrat elected in the next election, period.
CAVUTO: Let me ask you this, do some of the people you come in contact with, maybe even some of your financial types, think that now if the race is so tight and there is no clear-cut winner coming out of Iowa, coming out of New Hampshire, coming out of the southern primaries, the big states, that it is a brokered convention and they turn to Hillary?
PATRICOF: I think it is highly unlikely, Neil. I know everyone would like to play that scenario out. It is very dramatic.
I don’t think those kinds of things happen. I think we’ve got -- after Iowa and we have New Hampshire, then we have got the February 3, which are very important, where Clark is leading in Arizona, right now, if the polls mean anything. He’s leading in Oklahoma, if the polls mean anything.
New Mexico is kind of a standoff; North Dakota is a standoff. You’ve got four or five very important states, then the week after that you have got Virginia and Tennessee, where Clark is going to be very strong, without question. And the week after that is Wisconsin, which is also...
CAVUTO: But you don’t argue that Clark is campaigning for the vice presidency.
PATRICOF: Absolutely not. He is totally focused on...
CAVUTO: The number one spot in Iowa.
PATRICOF: I was in New Hampshire last weekend with my wife, and we spent two days going around the campaign trail and watching. I have never seen crowds like that.
CAVUTO: You were in Iowa or New Hampshire?
PATRICOF: No, New Hampshire.
PATRICOF: And crowds of people, where you expected 200 or 300, 1,000 people, stood in the snow, standing outside of windows, asking questions, and shouting from the windows from the outside. It was that kind of excitement.
CAVUTO: You know, Alan, you are held in very high regard in the financial community. And I always wonder with you, do you ever want to be a treasury secretary, a commerce secretary? Or is that just not in your...
PATRICOF: You know, Neil, I went through the whole period. And perhaps I could have had plenty of those opportunities, not any specific position. But I could have done something.
CAVUTO: Absolutely. The rumor was that Bill Clinton would give you anything you wanted on a silver platter.
PATRICOF: Well, those are rumors, just like rumors that you just discussed a minute ago. I wouldn’t put much credence in that. But certainly, if I had spoken up and was interested, I’m sure I would have had an opportunity.
CAVUTO: Do you want to speak up now?
PATRICOF: I have no interest. That’s not what I’m really about.
CAVUTO: So you are not afraid that with Wesley Clark you are just putting up someone who is going to get massacred by the president?
PATRICOF: Oh, I don’t think there is a prayer of that.
CAVUTO: So you don’t buy this argument that it’s Bush’s to lose, then?
PATRICOF: He’s been a very -- you know, he didn’t go through all the things he’s done, he didn’t win in everything he has done in life, whether it was swimming -- you haven’t seen him swim. He’s swimming, he speaks Russian, he taught economics, he was first in this and first in that.
CAVUTO: You’re talking about Wesley Clark?
PATRICOF: Wesley Clark.
PATRICOF: But this guy didn’t get through the ranks -- and remember he is not a six-foot...
CAVUTO: There are a lot of smart guys who didn’t become president.
PATRICOF: He’s not 6’4", you know, with a big smile on his face. He worked it up the hard way and is determined to win.
CAVUTO: All right. Well, if you do become Treasury secretary, will you talk to us first?
PATRICOF: You know I’ll always talk to you first.
CAVUTO: OK. Alan Patricof, very good financial read on things, and political read as well.
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