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2000-08-03

Gov. George Ryan Meets Ralph Nader and Seems to Like Him

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Illinois Governor George Ryan speaking inside the media tent at the Republican National Convention. With Ralph Nader nearby in the media tent, we asked him to join the discussion. [includes rush transcript]

Tape:

  • Gov. George Ryan meets Ralph Nader.

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN:

You are listening to Pacifica Radio’s Democracy Now!, the Exception to the Rulers, broadcasting live from Philadelphia at the Independent Media Center on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention. I’m Amy Goodman, here with Juan Gonzalez, as we bring you now the brief dialogue between the conservative Republican Illinois Governor George Ryan and Ralph Nader, after Ralph Nader made that unprecedented appearance on the floor of the Republican National Convention.

    RALPH NADER:

    You did a great thing in —- for the moratorium -—

    GOV. GEORGE RYAN:

    We had our first public hearing today in Chicago, and I haven’t gotten a full report on it. I guess we had forty or some people came in and testify from — you know, it was the right thing to do.

    RALPH NADER:

    Absolutely. It’s a perfect example of a governor responding to the evidence, just the way you did.

    GOV. GEORGE RYAN:

    Well, we almost put some people to death that were innocent, which is the worst crime. That’s my worst nightmare.

    RALPH NADER:

    Yeah, exactly.

    AMY GOODMAN:

    Ralph Nader, let me ask you something. Governor Ryan just said that you’re going to be very good for George W. Bush, because you’re going to pull votes from Al Gore.

    RALPH NADER:

    Well, I think you’re going to see me pulling votes from George W. Bush and from non-voters and from Ross Perot voters. Actually, the polls show a pretty diverse sort of support. But that’s not my concern. My concern is building a new progressive party that brings more people who don’t vote into the system. In 1996, 90 million people didn’t vote.

    GOV. GEORGE RYAN:

    I know. There isn’t any question that needs to be done. And maybe this will be what it takes.

    RALPH NADER:

    Well, we’re having trouble with the Democrats trying to keep us off the ballot in Illinois, though.

    GOV. GEORGE RYAN:

    I can’t do much about that.

    AMY GOODMAN:

    So where do you guys differ, exactly? You’re both against — well, you’re for a moratorium on the death penalty, as you are. You’re for trade with Cuba, both of you. Where exactly do you differ?

    GOV. GEORGE RYAN:

    Well, I’m a Republican.

    AMY GOODMAN:

    Yes, and what does that mean?

    GOV. GEORGE RYAN:

    That means he’s not. But he’d like to be, maybe. Are you going to go to the Democrat Convention?

    RALPH NADER:

    Ah, I don’t think so.

    AMY GOODMAN:

    Are you concerned about Ralph Nader pulling votes from George Bush?

    GOV. GEORGE RYAN:

    He’s going to get votes from a lot of people.

    AMY GOODMAN:

    But what do you think is most appealing about Ralph Nader?

    GOV. GEORGE RYAN:

    Well, he’s been on the scene. He’s been a tireless advocate for consumers across America. He’s got that reputation, and he works very hard at it.

AMY GOODMAN:

Illinois Governor George Ryan and Ralph Nader speaking after the Republican National Convention last night after Dick Cheney spoke and George W. Bush was nominated to be the Republican presidential nominee.

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