Gaining Momentum

This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," October 1, 2004, that was edited for clarity.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: One debate down, two to go, but who's got the momentum now that the candidates are back on the stump?

President Bush left Florida for Pennsylvania and New Hampshire Friday. He's speaking in New Hampshire as we speak. John Kerry continued campaigning today in Florida.

Does Senator Kerry get a sense of momentum that he can take the embattled state? Let's ask Representative Clay Shaw, Republican congressman from Florida.

Congressman, thanks for joining us.

REP. CLAY SHAW, R-FLA.: Glad to be with you, Neil.

CAVUTO: Does this give Senator Kerry momentum?

SHAW: I don't think so. I've been listening all day. I was listening to your early morning shows and listening to all the pundits scoring this person or that person, who won the debate. That seems to be the big question.

But I think it's a question if you have a category for sincerity, if you have a category for truthfulness and you had a category for straightforward talking, I think President Bush clearly won. And on substance, I think everyone can more or less say that the president won the debate.

CAVUTO: Well, Congressman, you know — these polls, you're right, are in the eye of the beholder. But I mean, we have to go by what we have to go by, and most of them that were knee-jerk quick reads of this give the advantage to Senator Kerry.

I'm just wondering whether at the very least you guys are concerned that he's got momentum just when you thought the president had momentum.

SHAW: Well, I do have to say that Senator Kerry, he was slick and smooth, but when you start listening to what he said, a lot of it didn't make any sense.

The question is, he's for the war, he's against the war. It's the wrong war at the wrong time. And he's going to bring the rest of the world into it. That's ridiculous.

CAVUTO: But Congressman, I think you might be right, there might be people that agree with you. But when they're asked on this question over who presented the case better, they say Senator Kerry.

And I'm just wondering whether now it might prompt the president or Republicans in general to change the last five weeks of state visiting strategies here.

SHAW: Well, I think both candidates are going to be changing in the last weeks. I don't see Florida as a battleground state anymore. I think Bush has clearly pulled ahead in Florida.

CAVUTO: Really? So, you don't see Florida is up for grabs?

SHAW: I don't think it is right now. I think that Kerry's going to be switching his assets into some of the states where it's a one or two point difference, not to where it's anywhere from a six to nine point difference. It's just pure politics and just a smarter way to campaign.

CAVUTO: All right. Congressman Shaw, thank you very much for being with us.

SHAW: Neil, nice to be with you.

CAVUTO: All right. Claw Shaw in Florida.

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