Gephardt Says He'll Win in Iowa

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:30 PM EDT

( - The single most important issue facing the American public is jobs/health care, said Democratic presidential hopeful Richard Gephardt on Friday.

The congressman from Missouri said everywhere he goes, those are the issues people talk about. "People are worried about losing insurance, not being able to pay for it - that's a big concern," he told Fox News in an interview Friday morning.

Gephardt also said he really believes he's going to win in Iowa, and he thinks he'll "get a good result" in N.H., then carry the momentum into South Carolina.

Gephardt said he believes he has the best chance to defeat President Bush, "because you've got to beat him in the Midwest. That's where I'm from, that's where I'm strong," he added.

"If you look at that electoral map, we're going to win California and New York," Gephardt continued. "The key to the victory is Missouri and Illinois and Pennsylvania and Ohio..."

Gephardt said he makes the best connection with "blue-collar, Reagan Democrat" voters. "That's the person we've got to bring our way - I think I can do that better than any of the candidates."

He said it's "way too early" to predict that George W. Bush will win re-election in 2004.

Invited to criticize former Vice President Al Gore, Gephardt declined. "It's okay that Al Gore decided to endorse Howard Dean...he has every right in the world to endorse anyone he wants," Gephardt said.

"In the end, the people make the decision, and they don't really listen that much to endorsements."