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Text: Richard B. Cheney on CNN
Wednesday, November 29, 2000

Following is the transcript Richard B. Cheney's interview with Bernard Shaw and Jeff Greenfield on CNN's "Inside Politics."

BERNARD SHAW: We're talking now with Republican vice presidential candidate Dick Cheney. He joins us from McLean, Virginia.

Good to have you on INSIDE POLITICS.

RICHARD B. CHENEY: Hello, Bernie.

SHAW: Hi there.

First question: What are your thoughts about the possibility that you could lose this election?

CHENEY: Well, this has been a--it's been a roller coaster ride for a long time now, but, of course, we think there have been major developments within the last week or so; the fact that we've been through the count and the recount and now the certification in Florida. We had an extra 12 days of counting; that we've now reached the point where the outcome of the election has been certified. It's important for us to move on.

We find ourselves in a unique circumstance, because the opposition now, Vice President Gore, has decided for the first time ever really to take a certified election, presidential election to court. And try to overturn it in the courts in Florida I think really is unprecedented. We've got no choice, though, but to press on with the transition, which has been my main assignment this week.

SHAW: You're traveling down to the governor's ranch with General Colin Powell tomorrow. What's the specific agenda?

CHENEY: Lunch and an opportunity to spend the afternoon together. We'll be talking about the transition itself, talking about the whole area of national security policy and how best to structure an organization that will be able to move forward in this administration.

We not yet prepared to announce any Cabinet members this week, but clearly General Powell has been a close friend for a long time, somebody who worked very closely with us during the campaign, and we welcome and value the opportunity to spend an afternoon talking to him about this very important part of the next administration.

SHAW: Is he a lead pipe cinch for secretary of state?

CHENEY: If I were to say that, Bernie, I'd be making an announcement, and I'm not authorized to make an announcement tonight. Clearly the governor's indicated on a number of occasions that he certainly would give very careful consideration to the possibility of trying to persuade General Powell to come out of retirement and to join the administration.

JEFF GREENFIELD: Mr. Secretary, it's Jeff Greenfield, good evening.

CHENEY: Yes, Jeff.

GREENFIELD: After your hospitalization and the new questions about the amount of information that was released back last July, you cited privacy as an explanation for not releasing the complete medical records. But the questions that were being asked back last July related very specifically to things like blood pressure, cholesterol level, the injection fraction of your heart--specific questions about a medical condition you'd already had. How does privacy--or how did privacy issues constrain you from releasing those specific pieces of information that were asked for by health professionals and others?

CHENEY: Well, Jeff, they were--frankly, they were asked for by a few people in the press. We've released an enormous amount of information. I would guess that my physical anatomy has been more thoroughly analyzed, and my health more thoroughly reviewed, than any other vice president in modern history.

We put out a lot of information last summer when I became a candidate. We did an extra heavy special review of my health situation before I agreed to serve as George Bush's running mate. This past week, again, we had--the day that I went in and had the stint procedure, we had two separate briefings at the hospital by the hospital physicians; the doctors themselves were made available to the press to answer those questions.

Now, we've, I think, been very forthcoming, put out another statement just today. I was in today for the weekly follow up, everything looked good. If you're curious, my blood pressure was 106 over 80, my pulse rate was 64, my cholesterol level, last time I checked, was 174. We did more blood work today and those results will be available in a day or two.

But, the doctor's been very forthcoming and very direct. But, I prefer, frankly, to have health professionals who know and understand all of these technical details, men of stature and integrity, review the technical aspects of my health, and then comment on them.

And that's exactly what we've done. They're far more qualified, I think, to evaluate my health situation than would be the run-of-the-mill reporter.

SHAW: Well, Dick Cheney, I want to ask you two direct questions about your health.

CHENEY: Yes, sir.

SHAW: Do you brood about your heart condition?

CHENEY: No. I've lived with this, Bernie, for over 20 years, since I was 37 years old. I've had, I think, a fairly successful career in government and in the private sector after the onset of coronary artery disease. I learned to live with it a long time ago.

SHAW: Last question: Do you fear another heart attack?

CHENEY: Bernie, I don't operate that way. I think the great benefit I've had is the technology today is really phenomenal; the things that our doctors are able to do by way of dealing with coronary artery disease are much improved over what they were even three or four years ago.

And I've been uniquely blessed to have nearly 60 wonderful years now of a fascinating life. Look forward to several more years.

SHAW: Well, add more to that. That's our wish for you, Dick Cheney.

CHENEY: Thank you.

SHAW: Thanks very much for joining us.


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