Saturday Night Live Transcripts
Season 29: Episode 14
Meet The Press
Tim Russert…..Darrell Hammond
Sen. John Edwards…..Will Forte
Announcer: For NBC News in Washington, this is “Meet The Press” with Tim Russert.[ show images of John Edwards posing – tossing his hair back, blow-drying his hair, etc. ]
Tim Russert V/O: Our issue this week: Sen. John Edwards. Until his withdrawal three days ago, his centrist positions, positive campaign style, and youthful good looks made him a serious to John Kerry for the Demmocratic nomination. Now, he’s a solid bet for the Vice-Presidential slot. But was that his plan all along?[ dissolve to Meet The Press studio ]
Tim Russert: And here in our studio now, the senior senator from North Carolina – John Edwards. Senator, welcome.
John Edwards: Thank you, Tim. It’s mah pleasure!
Tim Russert: Senator, yes or no – has Sen. Kerry asked you to be his running-mate?
John Edwards: [ chuckles ] Tim.. I think it’s awfully soon to be talking about that. Three days ago, Sen. Kerry and I were in a bitter contest for the nomination.
Tim Russert: And yet, Senator, to most observers, one of the msot striking things about your campaign against John Kerry.. was your apparent relunctancy to criticize him – even slightly. With the vice-presidency at stake.. were you afraid.. to offend Sen. Kerry?
John Edwards: [ chuckles ] Tim.. if anyone thinks ah was pulling my punches against John Kerry because ah wanted to be his running-mate, well.. [ chuckles ] ..they were watching a different campaign than ah was. Ah was plenty critical of John.
Tim Russert: Alright. Here’s the most negative ad you ran against Sen. Kerry, during the campaign. Let’s take a look.
Voiceover: John Kerry likes to talk about his plan to save social security.
He likes to talk about how he will reduce the deficit.
He likes totalk about restoring American prestige around the world.
But it seems there’s one thing John Kerry doesn’t like to talk about – his heroic military service in Vietnam. Where he won a silver star. A bronze star. And three.. purple hearts. Which makes you ownder: why is John Kerry so modest? And can America really afford.. a President.. this self-effacing?[ dissolve to a pool, as John Edwards steps up and wraps a towel around his semi-naked body ]
John Edwards: Ah’m John Edwards. And ah approved this ad.[ dissolve back to the Meet The Press studio ]
Tim Russert: Sen. Edwards, is it not fair to say that, by the standards of most negative ads, this is not a particularly stinging attack?
John Edwards: Perhaps in Washington, that’s not considered rough. But, uh.. out in the country, Tim, let me tell ya – they call that a zinger!
Tim Russert: Now.. is excessive modesty the only flaw you pointed out in Sen. Kerry’s character, or is there something else?
John Edwards: Well.. ah think even admirers of John Kerry will concede that.. he has a tendancy to talk candidly to the American people, uh.. avoiding the kind of Washington double-talk they get from most politicians. And ah afraid to say so during the campaign.
Tim Russert: Again, Senator, not particularly “biting”!
John Edwards: Uh.. also.. ah went after him for the fact that he pushes himself too hard! That he doesn’t take enough time off to relax. In one debate, ah flat-out called him a “workaholic”! To his face!
Tim Russert: Okay.
John Edwards: Yeah! Now, does that sound to you like ah was trying to go easy on him?
Tim Russert: [ sighs ] We have one more clip. A so-called negative ad you plan to run against Sen. Kerry next week in Louisiana. Let’s take a look.[ campaign ad plays, accompanied by photo of Sen. John Kerry ]
Voiceover: If you’re thinking of voting for John Kerry, there’s some facts you need to know.
Fact: John Kerry was the first member of Congress to recognize the threat of global terrorism.
Fact: John Kerry was a tough prosecuting attorney.
Fact: John Kerry speaks four languages.
Fact: At 6’5″ and 185 pounds, John Kerry would be the tallest, leanest President in U.S. history.
When you know all the facts.. the choice is clear.
Edwards for President. Or Vice-President.
Tim Russert: You call that a negative ad?!
John Edwards: Ah stand by the charges ah made in that ad, if that’s what you mean!
Tim Russert: How in God’s name do you call that a negative ad?! It’s simply a list of flattering statements about John Kerry, some of which, by the way, aren’t even accurate! Ending with an illogical “Vote for Edwards!”
John Edwards: Well, ah know the Kerry camp was pretty upset about it.
Tim Russert: I somehow doubt that!
John Edwards: Well.. they were.
Tim Russert: Sen. Edwards, would it be fair to call you a toadie?
John Edwards: No.
Tim Russert: A brown nose?
John Edwards: No!
Tim Russert: A kiss ass?
John Edwards: Ah don’t think so, Tim!
Tim Russert: A goo-goo-make-nice-goodie-two-shoes?
John Edwards: Perhaps, in the sense —
Tim Russert: Senator, isn’t it fair to say that you were never really running for President, but, instead, auditioning for the Vice-Presidency, and, therefore, unwilling to offer even the mildest criticism of any other candidate, lest they not consider you for the second spot?
John Edwards: Tim.. much as it pains me to say so.. you’re absolutely right! Uh.. Ah really have been simply running for Vice-President all along. Uh, uh.. I never would have admitted it, but your tough questioning forced it out of me. You’re one heck of an interviewer, Tim, and ah respect you enormously —
Tim Russert: Oh, knock it off! That’s all the time we have this week. Join us again next week, and, remember – if it’s Sunday.. it’s “Meet The Press.”[ fade ]