This is a partial transcript of The Big Story With John Gibson, June 14, 2004, that has been edited for clarity.


SENATOR JOHN EDWARDS (D-NC) FMR. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think people want George Bush gone. The Democrats are united to make that happen.


JOHN GIBSON, HOST: Remember that guy? John Edwards (search), he could end up on the Democratic presidential ticket after all. He's at the top of a new poll where voters weighed in on their pick for John Kerry's (search) potential running mate.

My next guest was on the ballot with Walter Mondale (search) 20 years ago. I'm here with former vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro (search). Twenty years ago or not, the big question is, fill in the blank, Kerry and who in 2004? What do you think?

GERALDINE FERRARO, FMR. VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I've been saying for long it didn't make any difference to me whether it was Kerry, or Gephardt or Wesley Clark (search) or I don't know, Governor Vilsack, but I do know Bill Richardson (search) and a whole host of others who have been considered or been talked about, Graham. The one thing I'm happy, John, is that whether or not it's John McCain who said no to the interest or it's perhaps people inside the Democratic campaign — Kerry's Democratic campaign who are considering the issue — I'm glad that John McCain is not the choice. I really like John McCain (search). He is a friend of mine. I served in the House with him. We don't agree on some issues, and on some issues we totally agree. I'm just glad that we're now looking at a Democrat because we do have a lot of talent in this party.

GIBSON: If it's going to be a Democratic ticket, might as well be a Democrat?

FERRARO: That's exactly right.

GIBSON: OK. Look at this poll about what people think, what Americans think, and Edwards gets 36 percent, Gephardt 19 percent — and you can read the rest. Governor Vilsack is down there at 4 percent. You know how it works on the inside. Does a poll like that make any difference to the candidate and the candidate's team?

FERRARO: I think it's one piece. I think that if you look back to 1984, Fritz Mondale was behind 16 or 18 points, at this stage right before the Democratic election, about a month before. I think he probably tested the names in the polls, but I think that's only one piece. It has to be a candidate, obviously, who he believes is qualified to be president of the United States. It has to be somebody the Democratic nominee, John Kerry, in this instance, is comfortable with. And I think he is comfortable with John Edwards. And I think people can agree on the issues. There has to be a person who can go out and do the job, first of all, of a vice presidential candidate and do it without distracting anything from the campaign. If you go back to 1984 that was a problem in my case, because I had not been vetted like John Edwards, or like Dick Gephardt or like Wesley Clark who have already run for president. I mean, any of these people would be just fine.

GIBSON: But what difference does it make? Is this a big deal for the Kerry campaign now to gin up interest again in his campaign, preparation of going to Boston for the convention? Is that what it's all about is the right now, or are they really looking down the road?

FERRARO: No, I think — as I said, I think they're looking down the road not only on Edwards or whomever's participation of the campaign from now until November, but they're also looking participation in the transition and the participation for the next eight years in the White House, you know, doing the job of vice president and helping to get the policies that Kerry cares about through.

GIBSON: What do you think is going on in the Kerry campaign? I've heard some pros say what's happening is they're letting the president sink in the polls and just Kerry being a viable alternative come election day.

FERRARO: They're letting the president sink.

GIBSON: Kerry is not aggressively out doing ...

FERRARO: He will be. This past week he was kind of overshadowed by the news.

GIBSON: Sure, but ...

FERRARO: Not only the news, but the G-7 conference, which I was surprised that Bush didn't get much more ...

GIBSON: The G-8 conference.

FERRARO: The G-8 conference. I was surprised that he did not get much more press, the president. Plus, I was surprised that he didn't get even more press out of the celebration of the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the storming of Normandy, and that was just amazing.

GIBSON: He had to do it with Jacques Chirac sitting by his side.

FERRARO: That's hard enough to take. But I think the more interesting thing about this poll is if you take a look at it, Kerry now is ahead of Bush independently 47-44. And of all the candidates, he remains ahead of Bush and Cheney with Edwards on the ticket, whereas — and there's very little difference. Bush-Cheney do beat the other match-ups by two points. Not enough. That's all within the margin of error. It's interesting to see as well that you don't have Bill Richardson matched up as the vice presidential candidate who is being talked about or Bob Graham, the senator from Florida also who is being talked about as a potential candidate. He is not matched up either in that poll.

GIBSON: I know you like the fact that they're Democrats. Were you picking Edwards?

FERRARO: I think he would be an exceptional candidate. But I can't, Dick Gephardt and I were colleagues in the House. He is a good friend. I know him extremely well. I don't have — and Bill Richardson I know extremely well as well. But he's — I think he would be a fabulous candidate. I think he would be able to every time, you know, Vice President Cheney attacks Kerry. He will be able to respond to those attacks so that Kerry can go out and talk to the people about who he is and stop letting Cheney divide.

GIBSON: Geraldine Ferraro on the VP race. Thanks a lot. It's good to see you again.

FERRARO: It's good seeing you, John.

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