Transcript: Russia Today. Elections. US-Russian and US-world relations. Oct 13th 2008

"Russia Today spoke to American radio host Thom Hartmann, who believes the U.S. presidential elections vote won't be fair and that it's time for America to start behaving more responsibly in its relationship with the rest of the world."

Thom Hartmann was interviewed by Russia Today, 13 October 2008.


[Announcer]: Barack Obama or John McCain? Who will be the next US president? A decision affecting not only Americans, but the whole world, not least US-Russia relations. Our chief correspondent Anastasia Churkina met up with American radio host Thom Hartmann who has some controversial view on what lies ahead.

[Thom Hartmann]: [on air] Is this the end of capitalism? Is this the destruction of America? We need to get involved. We need to get active.

[Anastasia Churkina]: RT's in Portland catching up with Thom Hartmann, author and progressive radio talk show host. His program airs throughout the United States and attracts over 3 million listeners every week. Thom, thanks for meeting with us today.

The presidential election is just around the corner. What do you expect to come out of it?

[Thom Hartmann]: This is going to be a wild election and if Obama wins, the expectations are already being established on the Republican side that he stole the election. On the other hand, if McCain wins the election, the meme will be, everybody will be saying, well, you know, he stole the election.

[Anastasia Churkina]: By and large, do you expect this to be a fair election?

[Thom Hartmann]: No, no, not at all. It's already been, you know, there have already been massive purges of voting rolls. No, it's not going to be a fair election. Around 2 or 3 million votes were stolen in the 2000 election, 4 or 5 million were stolen in the 2004 election. They're probably going to steal 6 or 7 million in this election.

[Anastasia Churkina]: It seems that quite a lot of people in the United States are suspicious of exactly how fair this election is going to be. Why isn't the main stream media speaking out about this?

[Thom Hartmann]: The Democratic Party made a decision back in 2000 to not discuss voter fraud, because they were afraid that if people thought that their vote wouldn't be counted or that the vote was rigged, or that the voting machines were unreliable, that they wouldn't bother to show up to vote.

[Anastasia Churkina]: What should be the biggest concern of the United States right now?

[Thom Hartmann]: Well, right now the economy's in the tank. We're looking down the throat of a great depression. It's 1929 all over again and it's going to get worse. It's going to get a lot worse.

[Anastasia Churkina]: The United States seems to like to be critical of other nations. Do you think that at this point it is really in a position to criticize other countries and to lecture them?

[Thom Hartmann]: I don't think we've been in a position where we can afford to lecture other nations for a long, long time.

[Anastasia Churkina]: How would you describe the relationship between the United States and Russia right now?

[Thom Hartmann]: The relationship between the Russia and the U.S. has been deteriorating and I think that that's because the McCain camp in large part has been playing political football with it, you know, the whole thing in Georgia. It wasn't even reported in the United States that Saakashvili started bombing Tskhinvali before the Russians came into South Ossetia. It just basically, most Americans, 90%, 95% of Americans have no idea.

[Anastasia Churkina]: What has been the biggest mistake made by the American administration in the last eight years?

[Thom Hartmann]: There have been so many. I think the biggest mistake that this administration has made has been to take a posture of 'it's us against the world, it's my way or the highway' with regard to almost everything, whether it's economic, whether it's geopolitical, whether it has to do with Iraq or Iran or North Korea, whether it has to do with Russia or Europe. There's been the ugly American on steroids.

[Anastasia Churkina]: What does the United States need to do to fix the situation both at home and abroad?

[Thom Hartmann]: It's time for America to start behaving like we're part of the world and not like we own the world.

Transcribed by Sue Nethercott.

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