Madeleine McCann's Father Goes 'On the Record'

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," July 24, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

JEANINE PIRRO, GUEST HOST: Little Madeleine McCann — she has been missing for more than two-and-a-half months. Police say the four-year-old British toddler was kidnapped in Portugal on May 3rd.

Her parents are waging an international campaign to find Madeleine and to stop child trafficking. Madeleine's father, Dr. Gerry McCann, is in the United States now. And yesterday he went On The Record with Greta Van Susteren.


GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Welcome to the United States. I wish you were coming under different circumstances.


VAN SUSTEREN: When did you arrive?

MCCANN: I just got in late last night. So it's a short visit. I will be here until Wednesday evening, and then flying back to Portugal.

VAN SUSTEREN: I suppose we should tell the viewers where we are.

MCCANN: Yes. We are at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children here in Alexandria, just in Virginia. The main reason for my visit was to come and see what is regarded as, I would say, the world leading center for missing and exploited children.

VAN SUSTEREN: It is not exactly what you did your study in cardiology for, is it?

MCCANN: No, no. But with what's happened to us, we are trying to make the most of it, and do everything possible to try to get our daughter back. And both for my wife and I, our lives are on hold, at the minute, until we find out and, hopefully, get her back.

VAN SUSTEREN: And obviously you are here at this organization. Anyone else you will be talking to in our government?

MCCANN: I'm very pleased to say that the Attorney General took time out of his incredibly busy schedule to meet with us today. And we had a 40 minute meeting, and we talked about these very issues, about how we can advance legislation.

And, I think importantly, Madeleine's disappearance has already created some discussion at the G-8 summit recently. So it's becoming more topical. At least the public will know consider the issues, and that's something that we need to capitalize. There is a window of opportunity here to affect change for the better.

And, of course, Kate and I are both hopeful that the publicity surrounding this and our tie-ins with the National Center and International Center for Missing and Exploited Children keep Madeleine's profile high and increases the chances of us finding her.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did the Attorney General Gonzales, did you get the sense that he knew about your daughter's disappearance before the meeting was set up?


VAN SUSTEREN: He knew about it.

MCCANN: He is, obviously, at the very least been briefed prior to the meeting, but he certainly gave the impression that he knew about Madeleine's disappearance.

And we know that the publicity around Madeleine really has been global. It has touched almost every parent who has seen it in the news. And Kate and I have had tremendous empathy from all over the world.

Everyone knows that feeling, that when you think your child is missing, even if it's for a few seconds, a few minutes.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you believe she is still alive, or is that just the survival mechanism in you, in a sense, that you want to believe she is?

MCCANN: Of course we want to believe it, but I will not accept that Madeleine is dead until I get concrete evidence that assures us that she is dead. There is no evidence of serious harm, and there has been a very extensive ground search from quite a large radius around Praia da Luz, from where she was abducted.

I'm not saying it's impossible, but, actually, I think she is probably more likely to be alive than dead. We truly believe that.

VAN SUSTEREN: Meeting with the Pope, did that help bring some sort of comfort to you?

MCCANN: Yes. I mean that meeting was incredibly important to Kate and I for two reasons. Spiritually, and that was the reason we were there, and it was organized through the Archbishop of Westminster.

Despite the publicity we have had, he has assured us that the would have organized a meeting like that for anyone in our situation. So, spiritually, it was very, very important. He blessed Madeleine. It was nice to know that many people in the Vatican and the world order are praying for Madeleine.

And, of course, it did generate a huge amount of awareness of Madeleine's disappearance, which has had an knock on effect. And I hope that we can use the goodwill that has come from thousands, and, probably, hundreds-of- thousands of people in response to one very bad act, and use that in a positive way to help other missing children and make the world a little bit safer for all kids if possible.

VAN SUSTEREN: Any theory why Madeleine's case got publicity? You are very unfortunate that your child is missing, but fortunate that at least some of the spotlight might help.

MCCANN: There has obviously been a mixture of circumstances for us. I don't doubt that Madeleine's image itself is playing a huge part in that.

VAN SUSTEREN: She is cute, very cute. But all these missing children are all adorable. We want to help them all.

MCCANN: The circumstances of having a foreign child abducted in another country when you are on holiday — I think most people want to go on holiday and relax, and that's created a lot of empathy as well.

We have had huge numbers of support, and the Media supported us. Everyone wants to find her. And we just want to continue now.

VAN SUSTEREN: We certainly hope we can find her. We hope we can find every child.

Good luck, sir. Thank you. Welcome to the United States.


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