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Last Updated: Sunday, 31 October, 2004, 00:31 GMT 01:31 UK
Moore admires the Republican machine
Michael Moore
Michael Moore - back at the "scene of the crime"

US activist Michael Moore has admitted that he secretly admires the Republican Party - because of its well oiled election machine.

The controversial documentary maker and author spoke to the BBC's Panorama programme in Florida as the battle for the US election entered its final stages.

But despite vowing to do everything he can to oust George W Bush from power, he also had a few critical words to say about some of the Democrat tactics in the election.

Asked if he secretly admired the Republicans, the controversial author and documentary maker told the programme: "Oh absolutely.

"They are disciplined, they are committed and they are relentless in their dedication.

Personal crusade

"Our side [the Democrats] just doesn't work as hard even though we've got the majority with us,

That's what I'm out here in Florida trying to do, get people fired up, get them off the sofa, get them out the door."

Michael Moore - described by George Bush Snr as a "slimeball" - was in Florida on his national 'Slacker Uprising Tour'.

The tour of university campuses is something of a personal crusade to rally America's students to the anti-war cause in the hope that they will vote for John Kerry.

He was invited to Orlando by the Democrat congresswoman Corrine Brown.

Moore, who has caused uproar with two controversial books and a film attacking the Bush administration, said he was in Florida because of the voting controversy which dogged the 2000 election.

He told the programme: "This is the scene of the crime, you know. I mean this is where they stole the election last time, and damned if I was going to let them do it again. I mean, what is more basic than our right to vote?

Reasons to vote

Mr Kerry is a nice man, he's an officer and a gentleman, he is in a war with a bunch of thugs
Orlando congresswoman Corrine Brown

"We need to get everyone registered - this time we're gonna make sure all the votes in Florida get counted."

However, Michael Moore is keen that the election is kept clean, even if it means criticising the tactics of the party he wants to see in power.

He is unhappy that the Democrats tried to get independent candidate Ralph Nader - who some believe cost Al Gore 90,000 votes by standing in the 2000 election - struck off from the Florida ballot.

Only a decision by the Florida Supreme Court has kept Mr Nader on the ballot papers.

Moore told Panorama: "I don't like that, I don't think that's really the way to go.

"I think what Kerry needs to do is give the Nader voters a reason to vote for Kerry. Kerry is not Gore in 2000."

Fight dirty

Moore's friend Corrine Brown disagrees. She thinks that attempting to oust Mr Nader from the race was a necessary move.

She said: "You are in a battle with a person that has all the money, has the power of the media, his brother is the governor, we need to make sure that we kill a mosquito with an axe.

"This election is too crucial, I mean we've got to win, what happens when failure is not an option?"

The congresswoman also had some stirring words of advice for John Kerry, and urged him to fight dirty in the remaining days before the election.

She said: "Mr Kerry is a nice man, he's an officer and a gentleman, he is in a war with a bunch of thugs...

"I want him to cut [Bush's] heart out if he has to!"

Panorama: The Chosen One was broadcast in the UK at 2215 GMT on Sunday, 31 October on BBC One

The chosen one
25 Oct 04 |  Panorama

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