Terry McAuliffe, outgoing chairman of the Democratic National Committee, was the guest at a lunch on Thursday. Here are excerpts from his remarks:
On why John Kerry did not win Nov. 2:
"[Voters] thought that George Bush would keep them safer than John Kerry. We did not do an effective job of delinking Iraq from the war on terrorism. We have to do a better job on messaging."
On the Kerry campaign's decision not to attack George Bush at the Democratic National Convention:
"It was ridiculous. [When I saw the speech], I just threw it in the air and said, 'Why don't we just say George Bush is a great guy?'"
On how Roman Catholic Church leaders affected the 2004 election:
"I am a very strong Catholic and ... I was very dismayed at the Catholic Church in last year's election. The way they went into their pulpits and told people it was a sin to vote for John Kerry was nothing short of just outrageous."
On Election Day exit polls indicating, incorrectly, that Kerry had won:
"I had the greatest eight hours of my life. I was secretary of Commerce. I was ambassador to England. I had never felt better from the eight hours that I had."
On the task confronting Howard Dean as new Democratic Party chairman:
"He has two big challenges. He needs to get our state parties in excellent shape. They are not in excellent shape today. [And] we have to go into these red states and ... get our message out to people. We are not going to get voters if we are not talking to them."