Rep. Harold Ford, Jr., D-Tenn.

This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, November 7, 2002, that was edited for clarity. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.

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NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. throwing his hat into the ring today for the leadership position in the House Democratic side. He joins me now from Capitol Hill.

Congressman, good to have you.

REP. HAROLD FORD, JR., D-TENN.: Good to see you, Neil. Thanks for having me.

CAVUTO: You're a young guy. This is a pretty big move. What made you do it?

FORD: Well, when they gave you that show on Fox, I thought it was time that maybe some of us younger guys stepped up.

CAVUTO: You wanted to do something big?

FORD: No, not really. I think what happened on November 5 demonstrated in big, big ways that a change was needed in the leadership here in the House, that the way we have done business in the past is just not working. Not only are we not serving Democrats in the House well, but those constituents all across the country we have who are interested in Democrats engaging in constructive opposition here in the House now that we've found ourselves in the minority, are looking for I think a different kind of leadership and a new era and a new generation of leadership and vision I think is needed on our side. Dick Gephardt.

CAVUTO: But didn't you already get that, Congressman, with Nancy Pelosi indicating that she wants that job? What does she offer that you are not impressed with?

FORD: Well, I think Nancy's style and brand of politics is a lot different than mine. She comes from San Francisco, has a little more to the left politics than me. I think a lot of what she stands for probably wouldn't be accepted in a lot of congressional districts, Democratic congressional districts. And she's talked a lot about the base, the base, the base and only the base. I think whomever is our leader has got to be - will not only speak to the center or to the left, one has got to be able to speak to the entire base, and for that matter, the entire country. The only way Democrats are going to regain the trust and support of the American people to the point that they put us back in charge, is that we show that indeed we can govern and we can lead and that we have an ideology that is welcoming and tolerant. And I don't believe, as much as I respect and like and know Nancy, and I say that, it's the wave of the past, because she's been part of the leadership effectively for the last several years.

CAVUTO: So you say new blood is in order. And that's what the Democrats have to do now. All the inside guys, though, Congressman, with all due respect, say you don't have a snowball's chance in you-know-what.  So are you hurting yourself with this bid?

FORD: No. I don't think. I think that the American people want to hear something a little different. They are interested in something new.  If someone in business, Neil, and you cover business, if you had team like we've had in the leadership here in the Democratic side that was zero for four, meaning they lost in '96, '98, 2000, 2002, the board would have probably fired them or relieved them of their duties or moved them somewhere else. In sports, when the manager can't deliver in the big games, he's moved on. I think at some point you have to say it, no matter how beloved you are and how much we like you, and that's Nancy, that it's time for something different and it's time for something new. I think the American people have come to associate Democrats with gridlock and obstructionism. And I don't believe Nancy can change a lot of that.  Naturally, I'll live with the outcome of the vote. But I say to my colleagues if you want a real change and want to do things differently here in the House, if you want to engage in constructive opposition, in the kind of opposition that can lead us to the majority in two years, I say give someone else chance and give my candidacy a chance.

CAVUTO: Congressman Ford, good seeing you again.

FORD: Good seeing you, too, thank you.

CAVUTO: All right, Harold Ford, Jr.

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