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Terry McAuliffe

Terry McAuliffe, outgoing chairman of the Democratic National Committee, was the guest at a lunch on Thursday. Here are excerpts from his remarks:

On why John Kerry did not win Nov. 2:

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"[Voters] thought that George Bush would keep them safer than John Kerry. We did not do an effective job of delinking Iraq from the war on terrorism. We have to do a better job on messaging."

On the Kerry campaign's decision not to attack George Bush at the Democratic National Convention:

"It was ridiculous. [When I saw the speech], I just threw it in the air and said, 'Why don't we just say George Bush is a great guy?'"

On how Roman Catholic Church leaders affected the 2004 election:

"I am a very strong Catholic and ... I was very dismayed at the Catholic Church in last year's election. The way they went into their pulpits and told people it was a sin to vote for John Kerry was nothing short of just outrageous."

On Election Day exit polls indicating, incorrectly, that Kerry had won:

"I had the greatest eight hours of my life. I was secretary of Commerce. I was ambassador to England. I had never felt better from the eight hours that I had."

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On the task confronting Howard Dean as new Democratic Party chairman:

"He has two big challenges. He needs to get our state parties in excellent shape. They are not in excellent shape today. [And] we have to go into these red states and ... get our message out to people. We are not going to get voters if we are not talking to them."