Transcript: Sen. Zell Miller Interview

MILLER: I think it's two things. I think it's the anti-war crowd. The anti-military crowd, really. That has caused the division. I also think it's the obstructionism that you find in the United States Senate especially today. I mean, I had a good friend named Bob Bullock, who was lieutenant governor of Texas (from 1991-1999). He and I had been lieutenant governors together for years, and then when he became the lieutenant governor to George Bush, I remember talking with him. And he said, you know, you can work with this man. You can depend on what he says. And Bob Bullock, the Democratic lieutenant governor of Texas did that with George Bush. I think George Bush came up to Washington expecting to be able to greet, be able to find some Bob Bullocks up here that he could work with. But instead, what you find, is Tom Daschle and Ted Kennedy. And the liberal Democrats are more interested not in working with the chief executive, but in changing the Senate back to a Democratic majority.

‘Kerry Is a Hero’

JENNINGS: You've described Sen. Kerry as one of the nation's great authentic heroes. One of the party's best known, and greatest leaders, and a friend.

MILLER: That's right. I think he is a hero. And I hope we'll still be friends after this is over. But I don't agree with his voting record. I don't agree with it at all.

JENNINGS: Is he qualified to be president?

MILLER: I don't think he would make a very good president.

JENNINGS: Why not?

MILLER: Well, because I think that there's an uncertainty and tentativeness about him. I don't think he will make a decision and stick with it. I mean look at where he's been. He's been all over the map on every issue.

JENNINGS: Do you think the Swift Boat ads against Kerry are accurate?

MILLER: I don't know, because I'm hearing two different sides. But I think that John Kerry volunteered for service. He volunteered for combat. I respect that, and I thank him for that.

JENNINGS: You're deeply under the skin at the moment of the Democratic Party, and all sorts of people that try to figure out why you're doing what you're doing. So let me ask you the obvious question. If you feel so strongly about the Republicans, why not leave the party? Or does it make any difference what label you have?

MILLER: Well, because I was here before most of those critics were ... I was a Democrat when I was born, I'll be a Democrat when I leave this earth. I would like to be around to help put the Democratic Party back together ... I have worked longer and harder in the Democratic party than most all of those critics. And as far as the controversy, Peter, this is nothing compared to what I ran into when I tried to change the Georgia flag. This controversy is nothing compared to that, nor is it even near as severe as whenever I put in a state lottery and ran on that in Georgia. I couldn't even hardly go to my church. My family members were even mad at me about that.

JENNINGS: One of the criticisms about you is that if you change to be a Republican, you'll just be one more voice. Is that unkind?

MILLER: I don't know that's unkind, but I'm not going to change to the Republican, and I certainly don't ask for any attention. I'd much rather be back in Georgia right now, with my two yellow labs, and my great-grandchildren and grandchildren around me.

JENNINGS: You mean you're not enjoying all this attention here in what some Republicans regard as enemy territory?

MILLER: An old country music song says, "I've enjoyed as much of this as I can stand." That's kind of how I feel.

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