Gore and Bradley Face Off in Harlem; Republicans Prepare for Tomorrow's Battles in Michigan and ArizonaAired February 21, 2000 - 5:00 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Everybody's against me: Governor Engler, Governor Bush, all the senators, all the governors. But we're going to kill them, right? We're going to get them.
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JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: John McCain keeps striking back on the eve of the Michigan primary.
George W. Bush is all smiles on this Presidents' Day, while holding his fire for Al Gore.
The vice president...
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GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: ... Gore loves to do is the typical Washington politics of calling people names.
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WOODRUFF: The vice president presses the flesh in Harlem, where he will debate Bill Bradley tonight. Will it be a defining moment on a stage where stars have been born and legends have been made?
ANNOUNCER: From Washington this is INSIDE POLITICS, with Bernard Shaw and Judy Woodruff.
WOODRUFF: Thank you for joining us. Bernie is on assignment in New York, where he will moderate tonight's Democratic presidential debate. We will preview that face-off in a moment.
But first, the Republicans and their battle in Michigan. On this day before the primary, John McCain has his dukes up, and to some degree, his gloves off.
CNN's John King reports on the senator's comeback bid after his weekend loss to George W. Bush in South Carolina.
JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You can't judge a big state by just one stop, but John McCain sure liked what he saw in Traverse City.
MCCAIN: I'm telling you we're coming back and we're coming back strong and we're going to win Michigan and we're going to win Arizona.
KING: Tuesday's results in Michigan could determine the fate of the McCain campaign, but there was an accusatory edge to the usual final-day appeal for voter turnout.
MCCAIN: My friends, reject this negative campaign. Reject this character assassination. Reject the low road to the presidency and support those who want to take the high road.
KING: It was a day to pick an issue and draw a sharp contrast. Taxes and surplus spending...
MCCAIN: There's a clear difference. Governor Bush's tax plan puts all of the money into tax cuts, not a new penny into Social Security trust fund, not a penny into Medicare, not a penny into paying down the debt.
KING: ... education...
MCCAIN: Governor Bush wants to take money from public education and test vouchers. I want to do away with ethanol, gas and oil and sugar subsidies, and start a test voucher program in the poorest school districts in every state in America.
KING: Campaign finance reform is McCain's signature issue, and he told his audience Bush is not only a "Johnny come lately" but a fraud. It's an important, McCain says, because big contributions from special interests are holding up passage of popular legislation, like an HMO Patients' Bill of Rights.
MCCAIN: Who loses?
AUDIENCE: We do.
MCCAIN: And that's why when I talk about campaign finance reform, my friends, it's not a theoretical issue. It impacts you every single day.
KING: There were reasons to smile.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Will you accept the vote of a lifelong Democrat, a cousin of Bess Truman, also connected to the William Jennings Bryan family?
KING: And more than one tribute from a fellow veteran.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I never saluted the officers when I was in. I didn't have respect for them. But for you, sir, I would like to say thank you. KING: School stops tend to be less partisan. This one in Saginaw no exception. But McCain did try to define the stakes.
MCCAIN: If I win tomorrow in Michigan, there is no stopping me and I'm going right on to the White House.
KING: But if McCain loses Michigan, his campaign is in serious trouble.
KING: Top McCain advisers say there's enough money to go on to the March 7th contest in California and a dozen other states, but a loss here in Michigan on the heels of defeat in South Carolina would, in the words of one top campaign aide, make the senator's chances of winning the Republican nomination "turn from difficult to improbable" -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: John, how is the McCain campaign going to compete against what is clearly an advantage on the Bush side in terms of organization? They've got the governor on their side, much of the state's Republican establishment on their side.
KING: Well, they say the only way to compete with that institutional establishment organization is through the candidate's message. And that's why they're very worried here they're only having two days to campaign in Michigan. The senator has crisscrossed the state. He's done a number of public events.
One way they try to supplement that to get Senator McCain directly to the people of Michigan was by doing an extra round of local television interviews today. But certainly, they feel they have not had enough time here, and history would tell you in a close race, the candidate with the organization tends to win: the McCain camp very worried about that here in Michigan.
WOODRUFF: All right, John King, traveling with Senator John McCain.
Now to Governor Bush in Michigan, rallying his supporters and acting like the front-runner again. Here's our senior political correspondent, Candy Crowley.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Getting out the vote in southern Michigan, George Bush found a vote that had already gotten out.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This lady is 91 years old.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Came out just for you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's already voted for you. BUSH: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
BUSH: Do they let you go in there again?
CROWLEY: In an eclectic but energetic rally-the-vote day, George Bush worked the morning shift at an auto parts plant...
BUSH: George Bush.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Hey!
CROWLEY: ... the breakfast group at the prestigious Detroit Economic Club, lunch-bunchers at Big Boy's...
BUSH: And I hope to count on your vote tomorrow.
CROWLEY: ... school children celebrating Presidents' Day, and a rally at Michigan State University.
The mood ranged from confident to playful to raucous, except at the news conference. That's when Bush grew steely when told that Al Gore had accused him and John McCain of being morally blind to racism for refusing to take sides in South Carolina's Confederate flag controversy.
BUSH: Yes, shame on him. Shame on him. Listen, what Vice President Gore loves to do is the typical Washington politics of calling people names. That's what he likes to do. He likes the politics of personal destruction, and America is sick of it.
CROWLEY: But when pressed on another barrage of incoming from John McCain, Bush wouldn't bite.
BUSH: You need to ask Senator McCain why he's running the kind of campaign he's running.
CROWLEY: Bush has had little to say about McCain since arriving in Michigan. Exuding confidence, he keeps his sights on Clinton-Gore.
Then, too, conventional political wisdom holds that just before an election, you show your sunny side. Too much of that negative stuff tends to turn off voters. But Bush went beyond sunny. He was downright supportive of McCain when asked about a Bush-McCain ticket.
BUSH: John McCain does not want me talking about him in terms of the vice presidency, and that is also an old trick in politics. And that is to start talking about an opponent in terms of an office that he is not even seeking.
He's running for president. He's running for president. And so long as he's a viable presidential candidate, he deserves the respect and not to be talked about in terms of the vice presidency.
(END VIDEOTAPE) CROWLEY: Despite all the talk about how Michigan is not South Carolina, George Bush's three-day effort here is very similar to his final three days in South Carolina. He provides the excitement before the crowds, and a very well-organized set of ground troops makes that excitement turn into votes -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: Candy, I just asked John King about how McCain hopes to counter some of that ground troop advantage. Tell us just a little bit more about what George Bush has going for him on the ground in Michigan.
CROWLEY: Well, you know, I guess two words, John Engler, which we've talked about quite a lot, the Republican governor here. As you know, he's been a drawback as well, because there are some Democrats out saying, look, send a message to John Engler and go on out and vote in the campaign.
But beyond that, I'm told by the men who headed up the Bush effort that they have put out over half a million phone calls between Thursday and Tomorrow. They will have had volunteer phone calls of over half a million. They made 10,000 Macomb County -- that, you know, famous Reagan Democrat area -- just yesterday.
So there's a huge effort. There's leaflets. Tomorrow, they will continue on, finding out if people have a ride to the polls, if they have in fact voted, that sort of thing.
So it is -- if you thought it was good in South Carolina, it appears to be even better here.
WOODRUFF: All right, Candy Crowley, in Michigan, thanks.
After weeks of intense media coverage of the Republican race, the Democratic presidential candidates have an opportunity tonight to grab the attention of the voters again, particularly those in New York, which holds its primary on March 7th.
CNN's Chris Black begins our debate preview by looking at the stakes for Al Gore and for his strategy.
AL GORE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hey, how are you all doing? Howdy. Howdy. Howdy.
CHRIS BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Vice President Al Gore is on a roll.
GORE: I'd like to have your vote and support.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right, you have it. Nice to meet you.
GORE: Thank you.
BLACK: A minute later on Harlem's Martin Luther King Boulevard, another pledge of support. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have mine.
GORE: Thank you, sir.
BLACK: Heading into a debate at the historic Apollo Theater, polls show Gore leads Bill Bradley among traditional Democrats, including African-American voters.
Tonight, Gore aides say the vice president intends to deny Bradley any opportunity to sow doubts among this or any other Democratic constituency. The goal: keep the good times rolling for the Gore campaign.
CHARLES COOK, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think Vice President Gore needs to do two things: One, don't make any mistakes; and two, don't do anything that would complicate the general election. He pretty much has the nomination all but wrapped up. Unless he makes some horrible mistake I can't imagine him losing it.
BLACK: Congressman Charles Rangel escorted Gore down a Harlem street revitalized with the help of federal dollars from the Clinton- Gore administration.
GORE: You know, this place is coming back strong.
BLACK: Tonight, Gore has to keep Bradley from making a comeback, pointing out home ownership among black Americans is at a record high and unemployment at a record low, and promising to do more.
GORE: It is time to get rid of the practice of racial profiling. It is a stain on the fabric of the American democratic garment. It is time to pass a hate crimes law in the United States of America.
BLACK: Gore campaign advisers say the vice president will focus his attention on issues like health care and education, issues of concern to voters. He will respond aggressively to any attacks from Bradley, but not respond in kind.
The Gore camp says criticism of the Clinton-Gore record will backfire with Democratic voters. Gore says he's taking nothing for granted.
BLACK: The greatest -- the greatest fear among Gore advisers is the unexpected, the unpredictable lightning strike that will cause Bradley to gain some momentum and the vice president to stumble. So as much as possible, tonight the vice president will try to keep that from happening -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: Chris, there have been some suggestions that Bradley is going to try to raise what they're calling trustworthiness character questions about the vice president tonight. Are his people prepared for that? Is he prepared for that?
BLACK: Absolutely, Judy. The vice president's people say that the vice president will not let -- will not take anything, will not let Bradley get away with anything, and he will defend himself very, very strongly. And they also say, Judy, that they think it's a mistake for Bradley to criticize the vice president too much, because implicitly it is criticism of President Clinton and the Clinton-Gore record. And they say that doesn't work too well these days among Democratic voters.
WOODRUFF: All right, Chris Black in New York, thanks.
By most observers' accounts, Bill Bradley has a lot more riding on tonight's debate.
As CNN's Jeanne Meserve reports, Bradley is looking for ways to peel support away from Gore in New York and nationwide.
JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Bill Bradley may have looked like Mr. Rogers in his casual sweater today, but don't expect sugar and sweetness from him tonight. Monday morning he went to a school in a Latino part of Brooklyn to talk about the centerpiece of his campaign: health care.
BRADLEY: There are 44 million Americans without any health insurance. Eleven million of them in this country are Latinos. Thirty percent of Latino children don't have health insurance.
MESERVE: Bradley drew a contrast between his proposal for universal coverage and Al Gore's health-care plan. Expect such comparisons to be drawn boldly in tonight's debate.
ERIC HAUSER, BRADLEY CAMPAIGN SPOKESMAN: Bill Bradley covers everyone with health care, Al Gore does not. Bill Bradley gets 65 million guns off the street that the vice president leaves there. Bill Bradley has pledged to eliminate child poverty. Al Gore hasn't.
MESERVE: Bradley will also underline inconsistencies in Al Gore's record, as he did in New Hampshire on abortion.
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NARRATOR: Of the five men running for president, only one candidate has been pro-choice for all women everyone all the time -- Bill Bradley.
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MESERVE: When Bill Bradley has struck out at Al Gore in the past, he has been criticized for violating his own pledge to conduct a positive campaign.
MESERVE: But his aides promise a forceful performance in the duel tonight with the vice president. They know Bill Bradley has to land some punches in this round or he's at even greater risk of losing the entire boxing match -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: Jeanne, just to underline that point, how much do Bradley and the people around him think they have at stake tonight?
MESERVE: I think they know they have a great deal at stake. They lost their momentum after losses in Iowa and New Hampshire. They're feeling that the campaign is sputtering out. Here they are finally back in the national spotlight after having surrendered it for weeks to the Republicans, and they're looking beyond this debate.
The Bradley campaign told us today that he's going to be going to Washington state on Wednesday, and in a very unusual move, he's going to stay there until Monday or Tuesday, when Washington has a beauty contest primary. They know that he has to show he's a viable candidate against Al Gore. He has to gain some momentum before those vital March 7th primaries, and so he's putting all of his eggs in that one basket, Washington state -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: All right, Jeanne Meserve reporting from New York, thanks.
Still ahead, more on the Democratic match-up and what the candidates hope to accomplish. We'll talk to two of their supporters when we return.
WOODRUFF: Joining us now from the Apollo Theater in New York, former New York mayor and Gore supporter David Dinkins. And from the Bradley campaign, his issues director, Mark Alexander.
Gentlemen, thank you both for being with us.
Mark Alexander, to you first. I think it's safe to say that more and more people are assuming that this Democratic contest is going through the motions, that unless something truly unexpected happens, Vice President Gore has this nomination sewed up. What can you do to disabuse people of that assumption.
MARK ALEXANDER, BRADLEY ISSUES DIRECTOR: Well, what we're doing is every day we're getting out to same message about Bill Bradley being a leader for the country. He's got a vision about where he's going to take the country. He's established a trust with the American people. And what we're doing now is we're entering the last couple of weeks. And it's a very exciting time, starting with this debate tonight in which we're going to get out to the people a strong message about Bill Bradley's leadership on race issues. It's been a central part of the campaign, and we're pushing that every single day. It's not something about only one day, one event, it's something he does every single day. And I think we're at the point now where we're going to make it happen these last couple of weeks.
WOODRUFF: Well, David Dinkins, I'm going to quote someone who's very well-known in New York City, New York state, Al Sharpton. He was quoted last week as saying, "Yes the vice president has a good record of working with blacks in Washington, but he hasn't addressed race issues in the campaign." How do you respond to that?
DAVID DINKINS, FORMER NEW YORK MAYOR: Well, I'm not going to spend my time, Judy -- you will forgive me -- just responding to my friend Al Sharpton. I would much prefer to tell you some of the -- in a very positive fashion that I think that as this campaign winds down, gets closer to March 7th, you're going to find that African-Americans not only in New York but around the country care about the same basic issues as everyone else, education and housing and health care, and it's a function of who can best persuade the people of their ability to do this.
And I would remind everyone that what's ultimately important is who can defeat whatever Republican nominee we face. Because the next president of the United States is going to have the capacity to appoint maybe four or five members of the Supreme Court of the United States, and we know what would happen if a Republican is the next president.
WOODRUFF: And, Mark Alexander, doesn't that get to an important point? Literally every poll that's been done shows that most Americans believe that up against a Republican Al Gore would be the stronger of the two?
ALEXANDER: Well, actually, I don't agree with that. Obviously, the polls are snapshots in time. They tell us different things. But what we know right now is the vice president is having a bit of a credibility crisis. He says one thing about his record the way it used to be and doesn't admit to the full truth, he shifts around his position perhaps on matters of choice, on gun control and various issues. And I think that right now we have got a candidate in Bill Bradley who has consistently said the same thing, has a strong message that people do resonate with.
The polls tell us once thing one day, another thing the next day. We're ready to go forward with the same message that we've got consistently, and I think we've got the trust that will get us to the White House.
WOODRUFF: David Dinkins, the vice president has a credibility problem here?
DINKINS: No, I don't think so. I note with great interest that my friend Mark suggests that the president is less than forthcoming -- the president-to-be is less than forthcoming. And it's unfortunate that Bill Bradley and the campaign feel the need to go negative. There's a fellow who tried that in another party. It didn't work too well. So I would recommend they stick hard to the issues as we're doing.
ALEXANDER: Well, the...
ALEXANDER: Obviously we have a difference in who we want as the next president of the United States, but what we're simply doing is pointing out that there are ways in which the vice president has not been forthcoming with his record. It's not about being negative. What we've seen over and over again is that the vice president, for instance, did not admit to his 84 percent right-to-life rating. He wouldn't admit to that. It's a simple truth. And we're simply exposing the truth. And we'd like him to admit things like that. We're glad he's pro-choice now, but things like that are important to establish a trust with the people, just say, here's the truth: I've changed my mind. And I think that's what the vice president needs to do.
DINKINS: The question is who has the endorsement of a major organization for pro-life in -- in -- in our country.
ALEXANDER: That's about, I think, the inside politics are being played in Washington. And I understand that's how it happens. But the state chapter's been talking to us and telling us that they don't agree with that endorsement from the national.
The inside politics on this are such that we're the insurgent candidacy. We're running up against the entrenched power. We're pushing every day, and we're going to keep doing that.
WOODRUFF: You mentioned...
DINKINS: You're up against power, that's for sure.
WOODRUFF: You mentioned, David Dinkins, pro-life, national pro- life. I know you meant to say pro-choice, the national abortions rights...
DINKINS: Pro-choice, thank you.
WOODRUFF: ... Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League.
But, David Dinkins, what about this point? I mean, Bradley is hammering away day after day at Al Gore on credibility -- not just on abortion, but on gun issues...
DINKINS: Well, you know that my friend Mark is a law professor. And he will tell you that if you're strong on the facts, you hammer on the facts. If you're strong on the law, you hammer on the law. And if you've got neither, you just pound on table. And I think that that's where my friend Bill Bradley -- incidentally, Bill Bradley is a friend of mine. I like him a lot. I prefer Gore as president of the United States.
WOODRUFF: Mark Alexander...
ALEXANDER: And we pound -- go ahead, I'm sorry.
WOODRUFF: Mark Alexander, let me ask you about a comment from former New York Governor Mario Cuomo. He has said, you know, there's really no rationale for Bill Bradley's candidacy, because the Clinton- Gore administration has compiled such a strong record, there's really not much for him to run on. How do you counter that?
ALEXANDER: I think we can counter that quite simply. The reality is that we have experienced economic growth. But the reality's still that we've got 44 million uninsured. And that has not changed. We've got to take bold steps. Bill Bradley is talking about how we're going to make sure that every American has access to quality, affordable health insurance.
We still don't have meaningful gun control, 65 million handguns out there. We need meaningful gun control. The people want it, but it has not happened. We still have 13 million children living in poverty. Under a Democratic administration, that should change. So there are things that we need to do better. And what Bill Bradley says is, I've got the vision, I've got the leadership, I've got commitment. And I'm going to make these things happen. He sets a goal in the future, and he says, this is what we're going to do and we're going to get there.
WOODRUFF: David Dinkins, another thing that Senator Bradley is saying is he's now calling for a special prosecutor to look some more into the alleged campaign finance abuses of the Clinton-Gore campaign in 1996. He says there clearly were laws broken.
DINKINS: Well, I don't know whether there were. I certainly don't accept that because Senator Bradley says that there were that that happened. I think the issue in this campaign relate to housing and education and health care and all the basic issues right here in the heart of Harlem. And incidentally, Harlem is not just a geographic location, it's, as we say, a state of mind. And so whole country is going to be looking at how the audience here in Harlem reacts to what these two men have to say. And I suggest most respectfully that that which pleases this community will by and large please the nation.
WOODRUFF: Finally, Mark Alexander, Mr. Bradley keeps saying over and over again that race relations are important to him...
WOODRUFF: ... but virtually every prominent African-American -- well, many prominent African-Americans in the country, including Mayor Dinkins, are on Al Gore's side. How do you explain that?
ALEXANDER: What we have done is we have run a campaign where we have a strong message, a central message about race. We know that there are people who are politicians in Washington who have supported the vice president, but we bring people into the campaign. We have strong support from African-Americans around the country.
You know, Mayor Dinkins is correct. My family roots are up here in Harlem also. Harlem is a state of mind. That's why Bill Bradley has been here several times. This is not about coming here one day, one time. And I think people resonate. the African-American community here in Harlem, across the country. People resonate with the message. Race is central in this campaign. I think people know that, and they know Bill Bradley is the leader we need for the country.
WOODRUFF: All right, gentlemen, we're going to leave it there. Mark Alexander with the Bradley campaign, David Dinkins supporting Vice President Gore, we thank you both.
DINKINS: Thank you.
ALEXANDER: Thank you.
WOODRUFF: And I know you both will be there tonight.
Tonight's 90-minute debate between Al Gore and Bill Bradley, sponsored by CNN and "Time" magazine and moderated by our own Bernard Shaw, will air live here on CNN starting at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.
And when we return, more on tonight's Democratic debate. We'll talk with Jeff Greenfield.
And another candidate throws his hat into the presidential ring.
WOODRUFF: The famous Apollo Theater in New York's Harlem.
And joining us now from inside that theater, the site of tonight's Democratic presidential debate, CNN senior analyst Jeff Greenfield.
Jeff, we keep saying that these -- the Democrats have been all but drowned out these last few weeks since New Hampshire but by the Republican contest. What is it that Bradley and Gore should be trying to do tonight from your perspective?
JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: Well, I think I can tell you what the Bradley campaign hopes to do. They now think that, at least for tonight, the spotlight is on them. They have two weeks, roughly, until March 7th, they have the money to compete. What they haven't yet found is the message to say to Democrats, don't go with the sitting vice president, come with us. And here's why. And by all indications, as you indicated earlier, what they are going to do tonight -- not just for this audience, not just for the African- American community, but to speak to the Democrats at large -- is to lay down a marker about the trustworthiness and character of Vice President Gore. It's a high-risk strategy, it's one the Gore campaign is expecting, but I think the Bradley campaign feels that unless they make that case Gore will just run out the clock in two weeks, win the lion's share if not all the primaries on March 7th, and this race will be over.
WOODRUFF: Jeff, how can they do that without running the risk of coming across as needlessly negative, something we just heard David Dinkins point out was a problem for John McCain over on the Republican side?
GREENFIELD: Well fortunately, since I retired from politics 25 years ago, I don't have to answer that question for the Bradley campaign. You're quite right. It's a tightrope act. They have to raise the issue of trust. My guess is, based on what we've heard in the past in that New Hampshire debate that you moderated, Judy, it's raising in two contexts: one, Al Gore's weakness will weaken the Democratic Party in the fall. And second, you as voters can't put your trust in someone who will not level with you and do it on policy issues. But the line between that argument and what is seen as a personal attack in this day and age is about as narrow as they come.
WOODRUFF: What is it -- we talked to the -- Chris Black, our correspondent covering Bill Bradley, earlier about what Bradley needed to do. We also talked to Jeanne Meserve about -- I'm sorry -- we talked to Chris about Vice President Gore and we talked to Jeanne Meserve about Bradley. But my question is what does Gore have to do? I mean, is it just not make a mistake?
GREENFIELD: You know, I think that one of the things that people have not read correctly about the vice president until this campaign started, although they should if they think back to the last campaigns and his debate with Ross Perot with Larry King, is the idea that Al Gore is going to sit there kind of like Yoda and smile beatifically and let Bradley beat up on him is just wildly misplaced.
Al Gore campaigns very, very aggressively. And whether he has an eight-point lead in one state or a 30-point lead in another is irrelevant. By almost genetic makeup, the vice president is not going to just sit there and take it. He's the one who first raised tough questions about Bill Bradley leaving the Senate, his health care plan, you're going to hear, I would bet a fair amount of money, if it were legal. You'll hear those themes again as well as the positive message that he and the Clinton administration have made great progress for African-Americans and they want to do more. But the idea of going into a shell is just not part of Al Gore's makeup.
WOODRUFF: All right, Jeff Greenfield, and you are going to be one of the questioners tonight at the debate.
GREENFIELD: Most of the -- yes, most will come from the community, but Karen Tumulty, Tav (ph) Edwards, and myself will be there for a couple of questions, and then we have a 10:30 post-debate analysis with the candidates at -- right after.
WOODRUFF: Great. Jeff Greenfield, and you know we will all be watching, thanks.
WOODRUFF: Good luck, and we'll be watching you tonight, too.
WOODRUFF: OK. Consumer activist Ralph Nader launched a bid today for the Green Party presidential nomination, saying corporate wealth is corrupting American democracy. Nader announced his candidacy here in Washington, and he said this campaign will be more serious than his previous two bids. He said he hopes to get the party on the ballot in at least 45 states. One of his goals: to earn more than 5 percent of the vote nationwide in order to qualify the Green Party for federal matching funds in 2004.
And there is much more ahead on this edition of INSIDE POLITICS. Still to come...
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BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These volunteers are zeroing in on voters who have not been called yet, a measure of how hard retail politics is in a state with almost 7 million voters.
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WOODRUFF: Our Bruce Morton on the rush to reach Michigan voters.
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BILL DELANEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On rather tenuous turf, George W. Bush's campaign for president, spreading the word stubbornly in the heart of Senator John McCain's home state.
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WOODRUFF: Bill Delaney on the uphill battle facing George W. Bush in Arizona.
And later: Barbie as first lady? A doll-sized look at inaugural ball gowns.
WOODRUFF: We'll have more of the day's political news coming up, but now a look at some other top stories.
NATO peacekeepers clashed with ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. Tens of thousands of ethnic Albanians flooded into Mitrovica. They are opposed to sharing the once-Albanian majority city with the Serbs. Peacekeepers used tear gas and batons to keep the crowd from crossing a bridge into the Serb sector, and a Danish tank convinced rioters to turn back.
Northern Ireland leader David Trimble says -- tells CNN that he expects the Irish Republican Army will disarm eventually. Trimble has been meeting with national security adviser Sandy Berger this afternoon. Before the session, Trimble said, Sinn Fein seems to be indicating that it might be ready to get the peace process moving again. Martin McGuinness, of Sinn Fein, and Britain's Northern Ireland secretary, Peter Mandelson, are expected to meet at the White House later this week.
A new judge will be chosen at random to preside over the Elian Gonzalez case. Judge William Hoeveler was set to hear arguments tomorrow about whether the U.S. government's decision to return the boy to his father in Cuba should be upheld, but Hoeveler is in a hospital recovering from a mild stroke. Elian was rescued off the Florida coast last November. He has been staying with relatives in Miami ever since. His father wants him back in Cuba. Astronauts aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour are set to come home tomorrow. They've finished their Earth-mapping mission, and after several attempts, they latched down and locked the canister holding the radar-mapping mast. Weather permitting, the shuttle is scheduled to land at 4:52 p.m. Eastern Time. We'll have live coverage of the event here on CNN.
Cartoonists, friends, family and fans braved stormy weather to pay homage to "Peanuts" creator Charles Schulz. Thousands gathered for a memorial service in Schulz's adopted hometown of Santa Rosa, California. The choir sang, "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown." And among those delivering eulogies, the creator of the comic strip, "Cathy."
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CATHY GUISEWITE, "CATHY" CARTOONIST: Everyone in the world, characters, who knew exactly how all of us felt, who made us feel we were never alone, and then he gave the cartoonist himself and he made us feel that we were never alone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: Charles Schulz died on February 12 of colon cancer.
And when INSIDE POLITICS returns, a comparison of the primary results in South Carolina and New Hampshire. Is one of those states more typical than the other?
WOODRUFF: Turnout is often key to the outcome of a presidential primary and that is likely to prove true again in tomorrow's Republican contest in Michigan. To that end, George W. Bush and John McCain are locked in a fierce but not necessarily equal battle to get their supporters to the polls.
CNN's Bruce Morton has been watching some of the primary-eve action.
DIANE DELISI (ph) (R-TX), STATE REPRESENTATIVE: I want to thank you very much, from Governor Bush and his wife Laura. They are going to make us proud when they are in the White House, and thank you, sir, for your vote tomorrow.
MORTON (voice-over): Texas state representative Diane Delisi, working a Bush phone bank canvassing Oakland County, just outside Detroit, an area that leans Republican. About half the volunteers making calls here are from Texas.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was just calling to remind you that tomorrow is primary election day.
MORTON: Bush has the big battalions. His campaign says that between last Thursday and tomorrow's vote, volunteers will make a half million phone calls statewide: 10,000 calls Sunday just in Macomb County, a battleground where many former Reagan Democrats live.
BUSH: I'm going to be the one to carry Macomb County.
ED SARPOLUS, MICHIGAN POLLSTER: It's crucial because the non- traditional voter, the sons and daughters of the Reagan Democrats, the blue collar worker, those who are willing to look for a straight- shooting talker like John McCain, the person looking to the average Joe, the veteran, is where John McCain (UNINTELLIGIBLE) help.
MORTON: These volunteers are zeroing in on voters who have not been called yet, a measure of how hard retail politics is in a state with almost 7 million voters.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Presidents' Day: Now it's a -- I think it's a good sign for tomorrow.
SARPOLUS: John McCain does not have a turnout machine, a get- out-the-vote drive. George Bush has that and not John McCain. John McCain has to depend on the like of him, which is much higher than even Governor Engler is state right now, to motivate those voters. "I'm going to vote for you, not because you told me to go out and vote."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the piece that we're going to pass out door to door today.
MORTON: Still, McCain has volunteers too. They are spreading the word by phoning and by leafletting.
Angie Debrincat (ph) and Pat Birgy (ph) are canvassing in Sterling Heights, part of important Macomb County.
Lots of dogs.
Some clerks are reporting absentee voting is higher than four years ago, which could mean a big turnout.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've already voted.
MORTON: Angie and Pat press on.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. I'm a volunteer with McCain 2000. I'd just like to give you some literature and remind you that the primary is tomorrow.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And the senator would appreciate your vote.
MORTON: Mr. Sarpolus thinks most here are ready to vote, have made up their minds.
SARPOLUS: Because of South Carolina, New Hampshire and Iowa, these people have heard as much as they want to hear from the candidates at this stage.
MORTON: Phone banks will work this evening. People will be leafletting at police places tomorrow, as they always do. But we are approaching that magical moment when the pundits, the reporters, the volunteers, even the candidates have to stop and the voters take over -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: Bruce, what parts of the state are the -- are McCain and Bush targeting right now, or are they both targeting the exact same place? We've heard a lot about Macomb County. What about the rest of the state?
MORTON: Well, the Bush people will tell you they have phone banks in every single county in the state. They have the horses. They have a lot of people.
The McCain effort is much more haphazard. If you contact the McCain campaign on its Web site, on the Internet, they'll send you a list of phone numbers and you can make phone calls. But they say we don't really know how many of those calls are being made.
WOODRUFF: All right, Bruce Morton in Michigan, thanks.
Well, Michigan is the first primary season battleground that is relatively representative of the nation, especially when compared to, for instance, New Hampshire or South Carolina. Whether the Granite or Palmetto states are reflective of America at large, as you can imagine, is a source of head-butting between John McCain and George W. Bush.
Our Bill Schneider joins us now from Atlanta.
All right, Bill, which state is more typical: New Hampshire or South Carolina?
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Judy, that is a big issue right now. Bush called New Hampshire "a bump in the road" after he lost it. McCain called South Carolina an anomaly, an untypical state, after he lost it.
Well,they both have a point. New Hampshire is a small state with no big cities and very few minority voters. It has a lot of, well, overeducated yuppies and a quirky Yankee tradition.
South Carolina typical? Get out of here! It started a war in the Union, and the Confederate flag is still a hot issue there.
Too Southern, too conservative, too many religious-right voters to be called typical.
WOODRUFF: So is there evidence, real evidence to back up either McCain or Bush's claims?
SCHNEIDER: Yes, there is, and we have it. Let's take a look at conservatives. Conservatives make up 58 percent of registered Republicans nationwide. New Hampshire Republican primary voters this year were 50 percent conservative, kind of low. South Carolina GOP primary voters were 61 percent conservative. Slightly high, but closer to the rest of the party.
Now, what about the religious right? They constitute about a third of registered Republicans nationwide, but only 16 percent of GOP primary voters in New Hampshire. Is South Carolina way high? Thirty- four percent of South Carolina primary voters on Saturday identified with the religious right, just about the same as Republicans nationwide.
Now, finally, what about all those independent voters John McCain is appealing to? Are they way out of line either in New Hampshire or South Carolina?
Well, 27 percent of registered Republicans nationwide think of themselves as independents. Among New Hampshire primary voters, the number was 42 percent. That is way out of line, and it was the key to McCain's New Hampshire landslide.
Now, what about South Carolina? Thirty percent of the primary voters there called themselves independents. That's more like it.
WOODRUFF: And the prize goes to...
SCHNEIDER: South Carolina, clearly. South Carolina primary voters look a lot more like Republicans nationwide than New Hampshire primary voters do. Remember, the South has become the heartland of the national Republican Party. New England Republicans are now on the periphery of their party.
Bottom line? Bush's victory in South Carolina is far more representative of where the Republican Party is than McCain's victory in New Hampshire.
WOODRUFF: All right. Then finally, Bill, look ahead. What about this big contest tomorrow in Michigan?
SCHNEIDER: Well, Judy, by comparison, Michigan looks a lot more like America. Look, Michigan is where they make cars and they grow cherries.
Hey, you know what? It's Washington's birthday tomorrow. How about a nice cherry pie? Hint, hint.
WOODRUFF: You're on. I'm coming to Atlanta tomorrow, you're going to bake me one, right?
SCHNEIDER: Ah, absolutely.
WOODRUFF: Bill Schneider, I'll see you in the kitchen.
WOODRUFF: Up next, the other Tuesday primary: a look at the match-up in John McCain's home state, Arizona.
WOODRUFF: Tomorrow, voters in Arizona will take their turn at a Republican presidential primary. John McCain will return to his home state to cast a vote and reach out to supporters. But George W. Bush is focusing on Michigan, and that means he is relying on his campaign organization to get out the vote in Arizona.
Our Bill Delaney reports.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We wish that you would consider voting for George W. Bush.
DELANEY (voice-over): On rather turf, George W. Bush's campaign for president, spreading the word stubbornly in the heart of Senator John McCain's home state from an office in the state capital, Phoenix.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please get out and vote, and consider voting for Governor Bush.
DELANEY: With just four paid staffers in Arizona, thousands of volunteers taking up the slack, with hang-ups, they say, few and far between.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On this list of a page of, oh, 35, 40 names, I basically had only two or three people decide for McCain and I had about 10 or 15 decide for Bush.
DELANEY: Still, what the Bush campaign in Arizona's mostly been about has been considerably more high tech: television. Bush campaign headquarters in Texas wouldn't release figures. A Bush staffer in Arizona said the campaign spent more than $2 million there, most of it on TV...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've a volunteer for John McCain, and we're just...
DELANEY: ... in contrast to favorite son McCain's zero expenditure in Arizona, on advertising, on anything else.
Arizona Secretary of State Betsey Bayless strongly supports Senator McCain.
BETSEY BAYLESS, ARIZONA SECRETARY OF STATE: George Bush spent an inordinate amount of money in Arizona.
Yesterday, it was a computer call, but I had his voice on my telephone. I've received all kinds of information, either over the television or in the mail.
DELANEY: The secretary of state was not persuaded. Others have been.
(on camera): For some Arizonans, it's as if they're seeing the Senator McCain they know in a fun-house mirror with his conservative image now distorted, they say, on the national stage, to that of a moderate.
(voice-over): Nick Hagen supports Bush as the true-blue conservative in the race. He sees McCain these days as too many shades of gray.
NICK HAGEN, BUSH SUPPORTER: Campaign finance reform. Acknowledged waffling on abortion. When he's campaigning in New Hampshire, I say, is this the person that we hear down here? It's like there's two different persons, it's a schizophrenic thing.
DELANEY: Bush forces are spinning that any win less than 30 points for McCain will constitute a defeat. McCain loyalists scoff back that what matters is that in their winner-take-all-state is that the senator is expected to easily win all 30 delegates, while many continue to marvel how far their hometown boy has come.
BAYLESS: I had no idea that he would resonate so well nationally, as he has, or that he would be able to put his campaign together the way he has.
DELANEY: Most in Arizona, especially since McCain's New Hampshire victory, and despite his loss in South Carolina, very much proud parents when it comes to the favorite son.
Bill Delaney, CNN, Phoenix, Arizona.
WOODRUFF: Here in Washington, Federal Election Commission reports confirm George W. Bush has been spending money at a record pace in his presidential campaign, shelling out more than $50 million by January 31 just prior to the New Hampshire primary. On that date, he had $20 million left, some of which he has spent since on South Carolina, Michigan and Arizona. John McCain had spent $21 million, leaving him just under $5 million at the end of January. McCain too has been spending freely since then, but he's also been raising money at a slightly faster rate.
So where did all the money go? In Bush's case, the biggest budget item was "overhead," a category that includes salaries and travel. Next, advertising, and then fund raising. McCain's top category reflects his priority -- fund raising. Next came advertising, and both were followed by overhead.
INSIDE POLITICS will be right back.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) WOODRUFF: The Nixon Library in California has opened an exhibit of the inaugural gowns worn by first ladies over the years. But at this exhibit, the gowns are all modeled by dolls, most of them Barbies. The dolls are decked out in tiny replicas of the dresses worn to inaugural balls by every first lady from Martha Washington to Hillary Rodham Clinton. It all started when someone -- and by the way, that wasn't an inaugural gown there. It all started when someone sent the library a Barbie wearing Pat Nixon's gown, and collectors and seamstresses from around the country then added to the collection.
That's all for this edition of INSIDE POLITICS. We'll see you again tomorrow, when we will have live reports on the voting in the Republican primaries in Michigan and Arizona.
And a reminder, my colleague Bernard Shaw will be the moderator tonight of the "Time"/CNN Democratic debate in New York. That's at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. And Jeff Greenfield will be hosting a post-debate election 2000 special at 10:30 p.m. Eastern.
I'm Judy Woodruff. "WORLDVIEW" coming up next.
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