TRANSCRIPT: Sen. Hillary Clinton talks about the election.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Good morning, everyone. Only two days until Super Tuesday, and our brand-new ABC News poll shows voters following -- intensely following the race on both sides. For the Republicans, John McCain has opened up a two-to-one lead over Mitt Romney, 48-24, with Mike Huckabee third at 16 and Ron Paul fourth with 7 percent of the vote.

The Democratic race is approaching a dead heat. Hillary Clinton's at 47, Barack Obama at 43, just outside the polls' margin of error. The general election matchups are also basically tied. Clinton gets 46 to McCain's 49, but Obama gets 49 to McCain's 46.

With that, let's go to our first guest, Senator Hillary Clinton, who joins us this morning from one of the Super Tuesday battlegrounds, St. Louis, Missouri.

Good morning, Senator.

CLINTON: Good morning, George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That poll shows that Senator Obama may have an edge against Senator McCain in November, and he's been making the argument this weekend that he can get voters, independents and Republicans, that are just closed off to you.

How do you respond?

CLINTON: Well, I think that my record and the elections that I've been through demonstrate that I'm more likely, at the end of the day, to be able to attract voters who know how serious the issues are that we face, with a war to end in Iraq and a war to resolve in Afghanistan, an economy that is slipping into a recession and not working for most people.

And I think it's also clear that on issue after issue, I can draw a very stark contrast with Senator McCain, if he happens to be the nominee. Take health care. I intend to go into the general election standing for a core Democratic value and, frankly, a moral principle to me, and that is universal health care, everyone covered, no exceptions, no excuses.

And, finally, as you know, George, I've been taking the incoming fire from Republicans for about 16 years now, and I'm still here, because I have been vetted, I have been tested.

There's unlikely to be any new surprises. People understand who I am, where I'm from, what I do, what I believe in. And I think that I can go up against Senator McCain or any of the Republicans and be able to defend our positions, put them forward to the American people and make an affirmative case as to why I should be the president.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The implication there, of course, is there could surprises with Senator Obama. And your chief strategist, Mark Penn, put out a memo yesterday where he made that point. He said voters have very little information about Senator Obama, and once the Republican regime begins to methodically attack him, he will lose independent support.

What don't those voters know about Barack Obama right now?

CLINTON: Well, I think it's fair to say, George, that it's not so much about him as it is about me, that, you know, I have been through these Republican attacks over and over and over again, and I believe that I've demonstrated that, much to the dismay of the Republicans, I not only can survive, but thrive.

I think that's a very important difference to take into this election, because you know well, as I do, that the Republicans are not going to go quietly away. They want to win, obviously. They want to keep the White House. They'll run a very vigorous campaign. They will end up being united, as we will.

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...