Terry McAuliffe

Excerpts from a Monitor breakfast on the 2004 presidential election.

Terry McAuliffe was elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee in February 2001. He grew up in Syracuse, New York, graduated from Catholic University of America, and earned a law degree from Georgetown University. He and his wife have five young children, two of whom you could spot standing by his side at the end of the "Meet the Press" program last Sunday.

On last week's "Meet the Press," McAuliffe explained his duties at the DNC saying, "My job is the chief cheerleader of the party. We are going to win everything. That's my job. My other job is also to raise an awful lot of money."

Here is some of what he said at this morning's Monitor breakfast:

On economic and national security issues in the 2004 election:

"I think this election is going to be fought on the economy, it is going to be fought on jobs [and on ] ...other issues that relate [to] the economy - the deficit, education, healthcare. But clearly when voters go to the polls in 2004 they have got to feel confident that whom they are voting for president is going to keep them safe at home. So you absolutely have to make sure that box is checked before you get into a full debate on the economic issues absolutely."

On the possibility that Army General Wesley Clark will run for President:

"I think it would be very good for the democratic party to have a four star general traveling around the country talking about the democratic party, talking about the differences and failures with the Bush administration. I think he is going to make a decision very shortly. If he is in, I would like to see him in obviously by September 25, I would like to see him in our next debate...."

On how the democratic base feels about George Bush:

"The democrats disliked Ronald Reagan ... but I can tell you the visceral dislike that they have for George Bush and his policies is something I have never seen before. And that is why I am confident we are going to be unified as a party come early spring of next year. They are against this guy. They are against his policies. And he is wrong for America. And now they are actually coming out to support the party."

On the Bush political team:

"This administration and this political team will do anything to win. It is about power for them."

On Bush use of flight suit image:

"I said day one, George Bush is going to rue the day ... that he did that stunt on the aircraft carrier. I think for a lot of reasons. For him to say mission accomplished - I'd like him to go tell [that to] the families of the victims who have died since he stood on that aircraft carrier with that banner saying mission accomplished - I'd like him to go talk to those parents. Mission was not accomplished. ...I do not think he will be using the video of that aircraft carrier as part of the Bush re-elect campaign."

On how a democratic president would handle Iraq differently:

"Obviously we want burden sharing in Iraq, we want more international troops on the ground in Iraq, we've got to make sure we fully support our troops...I think the one thing you would see with a democratic president is that you would see much more international support over there supporting our troops. ..."

On tone of democratic debates changing:

"I think as we move forward, I think the aggressiveness level is going to go up as we move through these debates. Let's be honest. Every one of these nine wants to be the nominee of the democratic party. I am trying to do the best I can to make sure our candidates stay focused on George Bush."

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