The following is a transcribed excerpt from 'FOX News Sunday,' August 1, 2004:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: We heard a lot of clever speeches and some big promises. My opponent has good intentions, but intentions do not always translate to results.
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WALLACE: That was President Bush out on the campaign trail early Friday, just hours after the Democratic Convention. How will Republicans counter the Democrats' message?
For answers, we turned to Matthew Dowd, chief strategist of the Bush-Cheney campaign, and former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who joins us from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
And, gentlemen, welcome.
Matt, as we said, Newsweek has a poll out that now shows Kerry and Edwards seven points up on the president. And in the polling done after the Kerry speech, they're up 10.
Do your polls have that same kind of bounce, that same kind of lead?
MATTHEW DOWD, BUSH CHIEF POLITICAL STRATEGIST: As we've said that we expected them to get a bounce out of this convention, though it looks like it's not near as what historically you need in order to win an election as a challenger. It's not even near what Terry McAuliffe, the chairman of the party, has said it was going to be, which was 10 or 12 points. So I'm encouraged by it.
They'll probably continue to get a slight lift. We'll go into our convention, and then it will come out basically tied on Labor Day is my expectation. But it doesn't look like the bounce is near as what they needed.
WALLACE: All right. There are some other numbers in the Newsweek poll — because, as you say, the horse race may go back and forth — other numbers that may spell more trouble for the president. Let's take a look at those, if we can.
On Mr. Bush's job approval, 45 percent approve while 49 percent disapprove. And when asked, would you like to see Mr. Bush re- elected, 43 percent say yes, 53 percent say no?
Forget about Kerry. Are voters turning away from this president?
DOWD: No, actually the president's job approval over the last four or five weeks has risen on average by four or five points. During opposition conventions, you have a slight drop and then it goes back to where it is. I'm confident that by the time our convention is over, our job approval will be in a place that will be — the race will be competitive. So we'll be fine.
I think as soon as the president, which he's started to do this weekend, lays out his vision for the future and what he wants to do in the next term on the big issues like economy and health care, taxes and the war on terror, the American public will respond to that.
But, you know, we have some time to go. It's a tight race. And we're looking forward to it.
WALLACE: And what did you think of what you heard from Senator Kerry and Edwards today?
DOWD: Well, it's the same stuff that I've heard for the past four or five months, and it's the same thing I saw in Boston. There's nothing new that they're offering. And just because you say you're positive doesn't mean you're positive, as you brought up in this speech.
He said he was going to run a positive campaign on a high plane. And in the course of it, he talked about Enron. He talked about polluters. He talked about misleading. He talked about the Saudi government. He talked about a number of things in the same speech he said he was going to be positive. So no longer is he just flip- flopping from day to day. He's flip-flopping in a 52-minute speech.
The other thing I noticed about it is nobody's talking about Senator Kerry's Senate record. It's like the lost years that he doesn't want to talk about. He'll talk about something 33 years ago — his Vietnam experience, which he should be lauded for — but he won't talk about what he's done for the last 20 years. And I know it's probably something he doesn't want to defend: raising taxes and cutting defense, voting against parental notification for families. There's a reason why he won't talk about his Senate record.
WALLACE: Speaker Gingrich, let me ask you about this and what Mr. Dowd just said, because it raises the question, is the Republican strategy at this point more about selling President Bush or tearing down John Kerry?
NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Well, Chris, I just want to disagree with the idea that telling the truth about Senator Kerry's record is tearing him down.
I mean, what Senator Kerry wants to do is have amnesia about the years he was lieutenant governor to Mike Dukakis, have amnesia about being a volunteer for George McGovern, have amnesia about 20 years in the Senate, and then claim the right to make any claim he wants.
Your interview just now — what he said about uranium from Niger is factually false. Now, is it tearing Senator Kerry down to say that the Butler Commission said what he just said was false? The Senate Intelligence Committee, on a bipartisan basis, said what he said was false? That three European intelligence agencies — Britain, France and Italy — have all said that what he just said was false? Is that tearing him down, or is that putting facts into the race?
The reason the president's numbers were down is we just had five days of a fantasy land of Michael Moore, Spielberg and Kerry inventing Kerry World. And if that world were real, then frankly Kerry should win.
GINGRICH: But the world's not real, and telling the truth about his record, it strikes me, is a legitimate part of the campaign. It's not illegitimate.
Now, the president's going to do two things. He's going to lay out his agenda for the future, and he's going to explain the differences between his record of achievement and Senator Kerry's record of extraordinarily left-wing voting. I think that's a legitimate campaign, that's not a personal attack.
WALLACE: But don't you face a problem — and, you know, I do notice that in the course of that conversation, there's been a lot more talk anti-Kerry than pro-Bush.
You've got an unstable situation in Iraq, you have an economic recovery that's at least slowed down in the second quarter, the last three months. I mean, you cannot sell this president the way Ronald Reagan did his first term as morning again in America. There are problems.
GINGRICH: Of course you can't, because this president is much more like Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1942 or like Harry Truman in 1948. We're in the middle of tremendous changes. And the question is, which of these two leaders do you think is going to carry you through the changes?
This is not a standard peace and prosperity re-election, but let me suggest to you, President Bush's record is pretty remarkable of having moved this country — you know, you have to ask yourself, is the world safer with no more training camps for Al Qaida in Afghanistan? The answer is yes.
When President Putin told President Bush the Iraqis under Saddam were planning terrorist attacks in the United States, should the president of the United States have listened to the Russian president, or as senator Kerry applies, should he have thought, no, I'm not going to listen to the Russian president warn us about Iraq? I think these are legitimate debates.
On the economy, the president inherited a recession, that's now clear, it started in 2000. Then he had 9/11 and all the economic difficulties coming out of that attack. We have now recovered. We're moving forward. President Kerry said — President Bush clearly is going to continue to fight for lower taxes. Senator Kerry is going to have higher taxes.
Notice what Senator Kerry just did. He promised — Senator Edwards promised no big tax increase, and then Senator Kerry began to explain all the different things they would spend more money on.
Now, at some point, somebody's going to say to Senator Kerry, show us your budget and explain how he can do all these. President Bush has had to show a budget for four straight years. And President Bush in New York, I think, will outline his achievements. He'll outline his vision, and he will draw a clearer and, I think, legitimate contrast.
WALLACE: Let me bring in Matt Dowd, because that raises another question, looking toward the future. Why has this president waited so long to lay out his second-term agenda?
DOWD: The campaigns are eight months long, and the American public has an appetite only as you go forward.
The first thing you do is say what challenges the country has been through. The next thing you do is you say, "Here's Senator Kerry's record in the Senate. Here's our record of reform as president." And then the next thing you do is you lay out what you want to do in the new term.
And then finally in the latter stages of the campaign, you compare our vision for the future versus where Kerry wants to take the country. And if you want the status quo, old Democratic politics, or you want fundamental reform — the president passed the most fundamental reform of education of any president in history.
The president passed the most fundamental reform of homeland security since any president since the 1940s. The president passed fundamental tax reform.
If you want status quo and the out-of-the-mainstream way to do things, Senator Kerry's your man, and you ought to vote for him. But if you want change in this country, you ought to vote for President Bush.
WALLACE: Given the huge budget deficits, Mr. Dowd, can you propose big new programs for a second Bush term?
DOWD: Well, you can propose a lot of things. And the president's beginning to lay it out. We're going to talk about, what we need to do to continue the war on terror? What we need to do to continue tax relief for small businesses and families? What do we need to do — what are the next step in education reform that the president will lay out? How do we make sure people haven't been buried a hole and kept their retirement savings, that he'll lay out.
So there's a lot of things you do that don't necessarily have to have huge price tags to make sure government adapts to the changing economy and the changing world that we live in, which is scary to a lot of people, but this president is doing it and is going to do all the things necessary to keep us safe.
WALLACE: Speaker Gingrich, as Ross Perot used to say, put it on a bumper sticker. What's going to decide this race?
GINGRICH: I think what decides this race in the end is, do you think America can go forward better with President Bush continuing to lead, or do you really want the most liberal member of the Senate and the fourth most liberal member of the Senate, people to the left of Teddy Kennedy, people to the left of Hillary Clinton? And I think that choice is going to be so wide and so clear by mid-September.
GINGRICH: The record that Senator Kerry created in the Senate, voting four times against protecting the American flag while lecturing us last Thursday might about the American flag — I mean, the gaps between Senator Kerry, the real person, and Senator Kerry, the candidate, are among the most startling in American history. And I think that's a very important part of this.
If he were telling the truth, this would be, I think, a very different campaign. But if he were telling the truth about his record, he would be defeated decisively. He knows that, and he knows his record. He just doesn't want the American people to know it.
So you're going to have — if it came down to a bumper sticker, it's pretty straightforward: Don't you want a president who had led you in war, who had led you in economic recovery, who is being straight with you and when times are tough tells you times are tough? Or do you really want a senator who can't even describe being lieutenant governor under Dukakis, can't even describe 20 years in the Senate and can't even remember campaigning for George McGovern?
I think that's a lot of amnesia for somebody who wants to lead the United States.
WALLACE: I've got to say, Speaker Gingrich, that's the biggest bumper sticker I ever heard, but it was a good answer.
Thanks so much.
GINGRICH: Thank you.
WALLACE: And, Matt Dowd, thank you also.
DOWD: Glad to be here.
WALLACE: See you both down the campaign trail.
DOWD: Thank you.