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Video: No guarantees for Quayle in Ariz. race

  1. Transcript of: No guarantees for Quayle in Ariz. race

    LESTER HOLT, anchor: A familiar name in American politics is back in the news these days; the name is Quayle , but this time the candidate is not Dan Quayle , it's his 33-year-old son Ben , who's got a big test coming up at the polls on Tuesday, and he's taking direct aim at the president. Here's NBC's Kelly O'Donnell.

    KELLY O'DONNELL reporting: Take a political name like Quayle ...

    Unidentified Man: I'm just wondering if Ben Quayle can count on your support for Congress .

    O'DONNELL: ...and a provocative, some say outrageous, judgment about the president...

    Mr. BEN QUAYLE: Barack Obama is the worst president in history.

    O'DONNELL: ...and you have campaign dynamite. But Ben Quayle is unapologetic.

    Mr. QUAYLE: I think that he has fundamentally changed our country for the worse in a very short amount of time. But it was not a statement I took lightly, but it was a statement that I believe in.

    O'DONNELL: A conservative like his famous father, Dan , who helped him raise more than a million dollars, Quayle is a lawyer and small businessman who wants to represent Arizona in Congress .

    Mr. DAN QUAYLE: He's a smart, honest, hardworking individual.

    O'DONNELL: But can he win? Quayle is one of 10 Republicans fighting for the nomination. The others have their own strengths, including a wealthy businessman and several local officials. But Quayle is far ahead in campaign cash.

    Mr. E.J. MONTINI (The Arizona Republic Columnist): It's a very crowded field, and I'm sure it'll be wildly helpful to him only because he has way more money than everybody else.

    O'DONNELL: Despite those advantages, this is a tough race. Opponents have accused Quayle of misleading voters by, quote, "renting a family" for this campaign brochure. Those girls are actually his nieces. And they pounced on Quayle 's tie to a racy Web site called The Dirty Scottsdale . In 2007 , Quayle wrote postings he called satire.

    O'DONNELL: Critics say it harms his family values image.

    Mr. MONTINI: This site you're talking about, you know, trying to find the hottest girls in Scottsdale and what tremendous prowess you have, it doesn't seem to mesh very well.

    Mr. QUAYLE: You know, it's something that is in the past, and we're going to focus on the issues going forward.

    O'DONNELL: He's not new to bare-knuckle tactics and intense scrutiny.

    Mr. QUAYLE: I saw the bad side of politics. I saw what they did to my father and what my family had to go through, and I didn't know if I wanted to put my own family through that.

    O'DONNELL: With no experience in any kind of local politics , Quayle says being the son of a former vice president is actually one qualification to run for Congress because he says he has seen how Washington works up close. Ben Quayle was a teenager when his dad left office, and Washington is the target this year. With 10 Republican candidates in this winner-take-all primary, there's no guarantee a big name and big money can lock in a win. Kelly O'Donnell, NBC News, Scottsdale .


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