This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," Oct. 13, 2004, that has been edited for clarity.
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GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: We’re back live from Tempe, Arizona, with a special edition of ON THE RECORD. Joining us now is Reverend Jesse Jackson, founder and president of the Rainbow-PUSH Coalition, former colleague with me, with the vice president’s wife, Mrs. Cheney, we all worked together at a network, a piece of trivia.
But anyway, your thought about the Wednesday night debate, Sir?
JESSE JACKSON, FOUNDER, PRES., RAINBOW-PUSH COALITION: I thought Kerry kept broadening his base. On affirmative action he says it is not just blacks or browns, and women, and people of color, that is the major issue, it is the correct position. He says working poor need to have the minimum wage hike. Many have no health insurance. Most of them work everyday at fast- food restaurants, they work in hotels and hospitals.
Mr. Bush wouldn’t answer the question. He said it is about education. Problem of losing jobs, he said lack of education. We’re not losing steel workers jobs and coal miners jobs because are not educated enough. We do not have a policy to reinvest in America.
So, I thought Kerry did well tonight and keeps his momentum.
VAN SUSTEREN: You know what I’ve noticed, Reverend, recently I’ve met a lot of young African-American men with Bush paraphernalia, Bush supporters. That seems, it seems that there are some — which, typically you didn’t see a lot of African-American men, young ones, in the Republican Party. Is that changing?
JACKSON: Well, the reach out is gestures. If it was sincere it probably could penetrate. For example, you put a picture of Dr. King up in the White House one day, and it was a great gesture. But the next day, sent a lawyer to the Supreme Court to undermine affirmative action. And the next day he went to Dr. King’s gravesite, a great gesture. The next day he put Pickering on the Court, Trent Lott’s recommendation.
So, it is kind of like wolves in sheep’s clothing. It is not genuine. For the last three years we wanted to meet with President Bush and discuss a range of issues. He would not meet with organized labor. He and Ashcroft would not meet with the Congressional Black Caucus.
VAN SUSTEREN: He said tonight that he met with them at the White House.
JACKSON: Let me tell you the context of that. Because of the Haiti crisis, a bus load of caucus members went to the White House to meet with him. And Condoleezza Rice met with them. They said, we want to meet President Bush. She said he’s not available. They said we are not going to leave unless he meets with us. It is going to be a protest lead by Jon Conyers.
So, Karl Rove went and got President Bush, he came to the meeting for about five minutes, but then he left. It was not a meeting by appointment. It was not meant to be. There should be rhythmic, often meetings that occur. That never happens. That really was a protest meeting.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. And let’s talk about election 2000, what we expect in November in the state of Florida. I was down there. I saw you there in Palm Beach, back in 2000. A lot of African-Americans complained their voting machines didn’t work. They were stopped from going to the polls. Has that been fixed?
JACKSON: It is worse now. In 2000, 2.1 million votes, 2.1 million were disenfranchised, 1 million African-Americans. That sounds like targeting to me. In Florida, two months ago, 49,000 were taken, all but seven were black. The judge overruled it, it was race targeting.
In Michigan, an official says, unless we can keep the African-American vote down, we cannot win. We see in Ohio, they’ve had to sue the secretary of state because he would not improve it. They have the American Vote Act, they have Americans in provisional voting. So we see more evidence of schemes undermine the integrity of the vote.
We should meet with Mr. Ashcroft on this, but we cannot. We really want to have — I want the winner to win, and the loser — whoever the winner is, I can accept that. But we cannot accept another stolen election.
VAN SUSTEREN: Can we fix it by election, the problems that many of foresee? There was even — I know in Colorado there is a report that some woman registered 35 times, or some horrible irregularity.
JACKSON: There are two issues that can’t be fixed. One, is that we have 50 state elections, with separate and unequal elections, and the richer people have better machinery. The poor people have the older machinery. So, we can’t fix that. We should have fixed that.
The second issue, this time around, the electoral college might elect a president, but against the popular will. That is a constitutional crisis. You know, it is not commonly known we do not have the constitutional right to vote for president. We only have the states’ right to vote for president. And each state submits, and the electoral college determines the winner. And they may go against the popular will.
That’s a constitutional crisis that should be rectified. We speak of a constitutional amendment, let’s end the electoral college.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Reverend Jackson, always nice to see you, Sir.
JACKSON: Good to see you.
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