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What's Next for the New York Senate Race Without Rudy Giuliani?Aired May 19, 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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MAYOR RUDY GIULIANI, NEW YORK CITY: I've decided that what I should do is to put my health first. This is not the right time for me to run for office.
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JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Rudy Giuliani makes his decision. What's next for the New York Senate race, without him in it? We'll consider Hillary Rodham Clinton's game plan now, and profile the Republican most likely to be her new opponent.
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BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If he could have run forever for mayor of New York, New York, who could blame him. Who could blame him, he's a city guy.
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WOODRUFF: Bruce Morton on Giuliani, and the job and the city he loves.
ANNOUNCER: From Washington, this is INSIDE POLITICS with Bernard Shaw and Judy Woodruff.
WOODRUFF: Thank you for joining us. Bernie is on assignment.
People in New York State and around the nation have had three weeks to prepare for the possibility that now is a reality. Rudy Giuliani's bid for the U.S. Senate is indeed history, but his announcement a little more than an hour ago still packed considerable political punch, the way it reconfigures the second most watched contest of campaign 2000.
We begin our coverage with CNN's John King.
JOHN KING, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The clash of the titans, Hillary versus Rudy, is no more.
GIULIANI: This is not the right time for me to run for office.
KING: The New York mayor said he decided to bow out because his treatment for prostate cancer would leave too little time to mount a Senate race.
GIULIANI: I don't feel that if I take on the commitment to run that I have the kind of confidence that I should have that I'd be the candidate that I should be.
KING: Congressman Rick Lazio from Long Island immediately declared his intention to run, and state Republican leaders quickly rallied around his candidacy. Fellow GOP Congressman Peter King says he's interested too, but he acknowledged the long odds.
REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: The reality is Governor Pataki is going to control the state convention on May 30, and but right now, I believe he is leaning toward Congressman Lazio.
KING: Mrs. Clinton wished the mayor well.
HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE: I knew this was a difficult decision, and I certainly hope and pray, as I know all New Yorkers do, that he will have a full and speedy recovery, and I appreciated very much the chance to express those feelings an thoughts to him personally.
KING: The first lady's campaign team said a new opponent would not change the themes she highlighted in accepting the Democratic nomination earlier this week.
CLINTON: Together we must stand against a Republican leadership that insists on irresponsible fiscal policies that threaten to return us to the bad old days of skyrocketing deficits and recessions.
KING: The Clinton team had hoped to tie Giuliani to the Republican right, and says it would be easier to do that in a race with Congressman Lazio. He did support Newt Gingrich for speaker, opposed lifting the ban on gays serving openly in the military, voted against the president's first budget back in 1993, opposes federal funding for abortion in most cases, and voted to impeach the president in 1998.
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REP. RICK LAZIO (R), NEW YORK: Will we judge presidential perjury to be acceptable? Is it asking too much of the president that when he takes an oath he tell the truth?
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KING: But the congressman's overall record is fairly moderate, and he shares the same positions wit the first lady positions on several major issues. For example, he voted for the Brady Handgun Control Law, supported the assault weapons ban and backed the Federal Family Leave Law. Lazio wasting no time in issuing a statement saying -- quote -- "I will be a candidate for the United States Senate. As a former prosecutor and legislature and a U.S. Congressman, I believe I am the strongest Republican candidate, and the best able to unite the party and defeat Hillary Clinton in November. He's assembling a campaign staff, Judy, some people quite familiar, including Mike Murphy, who was the ad man for John McCain's presidential campaign.
WOODRUFF: All right, well, John, we are now joined by CNN's Frank Buckley, who's at city hall in New York City. He's been covering the New York Senate race.
Frank, how much pressure was there on Mayor Giuliani to go ahead and get out?
FRANK BUCKLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there was certainly a lot of pressure that was going on behind the scenes. While Rudy Giuliani has said he hasn't specifically felt pressure from Republicans, I can tell you just in the last several days in discussing this with Republicans around the state, they were getting increasingly anxious, even yesterday, as you recall, on INSIDE POLITICS, Jim Cavanaugh, the Westchester County Republican chairman, coming out and breaking this silence and actually saying that we need to know and we need to know now, which is a rather bold statement, considering that the mayor was still grappling with his decision of prostate cancer, but that was sort of the sense you get when you talk to Republicans around state -- they wanted to know.
We are now 11 days away from the Republican state nominating convention. They had already dispatched aides from the Republican state committee and also Giuliani aides were up in Buffalo. They had already purchased signs, and banners and were printing them up, had gone through this entire process of setting up a convention that would be based around Rudy Giuliani. Now 11 days away, they're going to have to switch gears suddenly.
So there was a certain amount of pressure. It wasn't exerted directly on Rudy Giuliani, but it was something that many Republicans in the state were feeling.
WOODRUFF: John King, how much of a disadvantage is -- are the Republicans at because of this late, last-minute switch in who their candidates are going to be?
KING: Well, in the short term, Republicans would concede a disadvantage in the sense that in a recent poll 72 percent of New Yorkers said they didn't know enough about the Congressman to form an opinion, so he is unknown. Mrs. Clinton, of course, very well known. She has millions and millions of dollars, and we can assume she will try to redefine her opponent.
There are contrarians who say, though, with the less controversial and combative candidate, the Republicans will make this race about Hillary Rodham Clinton. Some Republicans would argue that works in their favor. WOODRUFF: Frank Buckley, we really saw aside of Rudy Giuliani today that we haven't seen a great deal of.
BUCKLEY: It is a side of Rudy Giuliani, a softer side, if you will, of Rudy Giuliani that we hadn't seen for years, but that had emerged recently in the last few days. In fact last night, when asked about the Patrick Dorismond meeting in a televised town meeting he said "I made a mistake." First time he'd ever said anything like that, and really sort of to talk about the personal side of himself, so definitely a very different Rudy Giuliani that emerged in the last few days.
WOODRUFF: All right, Frank and John, thank you both.
If it does indeed become a race between Rick Lazio and Hillary Rodham Clinton, a Quinnipiac College Poll of New York State this week showed the first lady leading Lazio 50 percent to 31 percent, but 72 percent of those questioned said they didn't know about Lazio to have a favorable or unfavorable of him.
Jonathan Karl looks at the Congressman's credentials.
JONATHAN KARL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Rick Lazio has been in public life since he became an assistant DA on Long Island at just 25 years old, but it was in 1992 that a 34-year-old Lazio hit the fasttrack with an upset victory over Democratic Congressman Tom Downey. Downey spent $1.4 million on the race, but Lazio beat him with just $276,000.
Lazio may again need to beat the odds. Although he had already amassed a $3.5 million war chest by the end of the March, Hillary Clinton starts off with nearly twice as much money. Four months ago, Lazio warned that it would be difficult to jump into the race at such a late time.
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LAZIO: If he was to decide not to get into this race sometime after the middle of February, it would be virtually impossible for any other Republican to get into this race and win.
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KARL: New York Republicans say voters will quickly learn more about Lazio and like what they hear. He is a moderate from the suburbs, the critical battleground in New York statewide races. He is pro-abortion rights, but, unlike Rudy Giuliani, he is opposed to so- called partial-birth abortion, making him more acceptable to New York's Conservative Party, which had threatened to run a third-party candidate if Giuliani was the Republican nominee.
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LAZIO: No Republican in the last quarter century has won a statewide race without the conservative support.
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KARL: In the House, Lazio has concentrated on bringing federal dollars to his district, but as the chairman of a Housing Subcommittee, he has also tried to make his mark on housing policy. In 1998, he successfully pushed a controversial bill requiring able- bodied public housing residents to either go to work or do community service.
(on camera): Lazio had threatened to run against Giuliani for the Republican nomination, but under pressure from governor George Pataki, Lazio backed down.
LAZIO: Out of respect for him, I am going to honor his request and defer my announcement for the United States Senate.
KARL: Lazio now reaps the benefits of that as Pataki paves the way for him to run in the wake of Giuliani's withdrawal.
But Lazio's candidacy may complicate this man's job.
REP. DENNIS HASTERT (R-IL), HOUSE SPEAKER: I would like him to stay in Congress. He's a good member of Congress. I would love to have him stay here.
KARL: President Clinton carried Lazio's House district in 1996 by 20 points, and although Lazio himself would have easily won re- election, with his seat now open, Democrats are calling it one of their prime prospects for a Democratic pickup, potentially bringing them one vote closer, one seat closer to Democratic control of the House -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: Jonathan Karl.
And John King is rejoining us now.
John King, why has the Republican Party in New York apparently already coalesced around Congressman Lazio?
KING: Well, you should remember, as Jonathan Karl pointed out, he was going to run in the first place, and the chairman of the party, Bill Powers, the governor, George Pataki, talked him out of it. There's a sense of loyalty now that they owe him a chance. They also do view him as a young, energetic up-and-comer. The question was, was he ready for this race? Most Congressman in big states when they try to make the leap from the House of Representatives to the Senate lose. New York Republicans were very mindful of that when they rallied around the mayor, even though the governor and the state party chairman really don't have very good relationships with the mayor. They feel a sense of loyalty now. And they do believe he is a food fit. His record is relatively moderate. He's young and energetic. He will run a good race. The question was the gravitas issue, if you will, but now that the mayor's out, they believe this is their best shot, and they want this to be as clean as possible.
KARL: Judy, if I can add something to John's point, Governor Pataki knows something about being an obscure politician going up against a big name. In 1994, he was tapped as the Republican nominee to go against Mario Cuomo. He was simply a state senator from Peekskill, New York, virtually unknown in the rest of the state, but he had Al D'mato's support. There was no primary challenge, he went in as the unified Republican candidate, and he beat Mario Cuomo.
WOODRUFF: All right, John King joining us, and also and Jon Karl. Thank you both.
In his remarks today, Rudy Giuliani showed more of the emotion and the indecision that he has demonstrated since disclosing his cancer diagnosis. His recent demeanor has been a departure from his reputation as a tough-as-nails can-do mayor.
Our Bruce Morton looks at Giuliani, the man, the politician and the New Yorker.
MORTON (voice-over): He's a city guy. He marched in Buffalo's Saint Patrick's Day Parade, in Syracuse, but he was most at home in New York, his people, his cops, his tour. His ads show exotic landmarks in Buffalo and Syracuse, but he's city guy. And he's authoritarian. He;s the mayor who wanted to shut down the Brooklyn Museum, fire cabbies, arrest the jaywalkers -- whatever.
If he could have run forever for mayor of New York, New York, maybe he would have. This is a guy who canceled a whole day of upstate campaign events so he could go opening day at Yankees stadium. Who could blame him? He's a city guy.
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GIULIANI: If we're just talking about raising money, you can raise money anytime. Yankees don't open everyday.
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MORTON: The other thing is he's a doer. Arrest the homeless, you're on. Cops shoot an unarmed black man again, defend.
GIULIANI: Was he the cause of it, or was the police officer the cause of it? Did he lunge at the police officer? Did he start the altercation? Did he act in the way in which he acted on three or four other occasions.
MORTON: A doer, not a legislator offering an amendment to a bill.
So why run? Well, he couldn't be mayor forever: The job is term-limited, and he's in his last term. Maybe he really wanted to run for governor, but that job isn't term-limited, and fellow Republican George Pataki seems happy with it. And she was there. CLINTON: You know, poverty has gone down in the nation, but it has gone up in New York City. New York now has the second highest rate of poverty in the country and the biggest gap between the rich and the poor.
MORTON: She was there, she was special. Beating her would be fun, and the Senate, the actual Senate, well, if he had to be there, he could go as a maverick, like the other maverick, John McCain.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: We need the kind of talent and expertise in Washington D.C. that Rudy Giuliani will bring. I also think we need more mild-mannered, even-tempered individuals like Rudy and myself.
MORTON: He is a maverick of course -- abortion rights, gun control. Was his heart really in a Senate run? Some people who know him well think not. It was what was there, the job he could get, and a maverick could have some success in this place.
Bruce Morton, CNN, Washington.
WOODRUFF: Still ahead on INSIDE POLITICS, more on the mayor's new outlook on politics, and his job at city hall. We will talk with Bill Kristol and E.J. Dionne when we return.
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GIULIANI: It makes you figure out what you're really all about, and what's really important to you and what should be important to you, and what -- you know, where the core of you really exists, and I guess because I've been in public life so long and politics, I used to think the core of me was in politics probably. It isn't.
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WOODRUFF: Joining us now to talk about Mayor Giuliani's decision: Bill Kristol of "The Weekly Standard" and E.J. Dionne of "The Washington Post."
Gentlemen, does Rudy Giuliani leave a legacy in this New York Senate race, or does one just move on from here, E.J.?
E.J. DIONNE, "WEEKLY STANDARD": I think clearly we've already moved on. I was struck that Rick Lazio comes into the race, and Jonathan Karl -- very few people know him. Jonathan Karl had a long piece in the earlier segment. We will move on.
Rudy Giuliani leaves a kind of legacy for himself. I mean, there a couple of things when you watch that. One, is it was hard not to feel for a guy who had this cancer decision thrust upon him at that point, so many other things begin to go wrong in his life, and he talked in many points quite movingly about that. I was also struck when he said, what about people who don't have health insurance who confront this same kind of choice that I do?
The question is, does he use this to reinvent himself? I mean, this was a kind of touchy-feely Rudy Giuliani that one is not accustomed to. Now when you face this kind of choice, maybe that's what happens to you. But he seems to want to remake his whole public image.
WOODRUFF: And does any of that leave tracks in this race, Bill?
BILL KRISTOL, "WASHINGTON POST": I don't know, Rick and Hillary just doesn't seem the same as Rudy and Hillary. Newsrooms all across America are now in deep, deep depression now. This is now a normal race really. It's one famous celebrity in it. But basically, it's a referendum on Mrs. Clinton. Can Lazio make himself acceptable? Can the Democrats will try to redefine Lazio as Newt Gingrich Lazio and that all we will hear for the next five months is that he was a follower of Newt Gingrich, who voted for the Contract with America. The Republicans will say Mrs. Clinton is too liberal. And really what was a very entertaining and interesting race with really two very interesting personalities in it I think now becomes a lot less interesting race.
WOODRUFF: E.J., what about Congressman Lazio? What peculiar strengths and weakness does he bring into this campaign?
DIONNE: Well, I've always thought that in this race, whoever was the less-famous candidate would win, and that with Rudy Giuliani, Mrs. Clinton could count on mobilizing a very large African-American vote against him in New York City and other people who just didn't like Rudy Giuliani.
Now, with just Mrs. Clinton on the one side as the famous person, as Bill said, you've got Rick Lazio, who doesn't have any, you know, any set of enemies at all. And so as a result of that he's only at 31 percent in the polls right now.
On the other hand, most people don't know him, don't dislike him. And so I think the whole campaign now revolves around Mrs. Clinton. I also think we shouldn't forget Peter King, who is still out there, who is potentially a very formidable candidate if he could ever get into the primaries.
WOODRUFF: He still could run?
KRISTOL: He'd like to, and he might be formidable, but I think Pataki has rallied the entire party in New York. The New York Republican Party is an old-fashioned political party. Pataki says, I want Lazio, it's going to be Lazio. A lot of intelligent Republicans think, as E.J. suggested, that Lazio might be a better candidate because he doesn't have the negatives of Rudy Giuliani. I think he'll have a very smart strategist running his campaign, Mike Murphy, who almost took McCain over the top against Bush.
Here's the trouble, though. Gore is ahead of Bush by about 15 points in New York -- let's say 58-42 would be the final New York vote. That means, if you think about it for a minute, that 8 percent of Gore's 58 percent have to switch from Gore to the Republican Senate candidate if Mrs. Clinton is to be beaten.
Now Giuliani really had a history of attracting Democratic crossovers. I think you could have found people in New York City and in the suburbs who were for Gore and would have switched to Giuliani. Can Lazio win that, let's say, 8 percent, which is really about one of every seven or eight Gore voters need to switch to the Republican line at the Senate level. Can Lazio get suburban Gore voters to switch to him? Maybe he can, but it will be a task, I think.
WOODRUFF: Do you think he can, E.J.?
DIONNE: I think that there is a vote against Mrs. Clinton, and really it's by extension her husband, that may give her an opportunity to chip away votes from Al Gore. So I think it's possible...
WOODRUFF: But every Gore vote not is not necessarily Hillary Clinton's vote.
DIONNE: But every Gore vote not is not necessarily a Mrs. Clinton vote. On the other hand, given Gore's standing, I can also imagine that there are voters in New York who will voter for Mrs. Clinton and George Bush, so that I think there is a hurdle to be overcome because it is a very Democratic state. But I think what doesn't happen in this race now is that there was also an anti- Giuliani vote that might not come out. You were guaranteed a very high turnout, I think. in a Hillary Clinton-Giuliani race, and a lot of that turnout would have been anti-Giuliani. That's gone, and I think that helps the Republicans.
KRISTOL: I don't know.
WOODRUFF: You want...
DIONNE: None of us knows.
KRISTOL: Here's my view as a Republican. The gods will not permit both Al Gore and Hillary Clinton to win. That would be too much, too much of a vindication for Bill Clinton.
DIONNE: And on election night, we have to replay that sound bite.
WOODRUFF: Did you say the gods?
KRISTOL: The gods.
DIONNE: I thought you were a monotheist.
KRISTOL: Well, I am. I'm just speaking colloquially here as a follower of Zeus. You know, the gods will not permit both Vice President Gore and Mrs. Clinton to win, so if Bush beats Gore, which it looks -- you know, he's ahead right now -- then Mrs. Clinton has a chance. And I do think, actually, voters will hesitate before -- if they see that Mrs. Clinton's going to carry on the Clinton legacy. It makes it a little tougher for Vice President Gore and vice versa. There's something a little odd about both of them being on the ballot at the same time.
WOODRUFF: Very interesting.
All right, we're going to move on, away from the New York Senate race for a minute. The permanent trade relations vote with China coming up next week, what are the politics at this point behind this, E.J.?
DIONNE: Well, I think what you have is the administration allied with virtually all of big business. That's a very hard combination to beat. It was hard to beat on NAFTA, it's hard to beat here. But I think you're seeing a difference now, which is that human rights activists, religious rights advocates and labor have clearly made a lot of progress on the trade issue, because in order get this passed -- and my hunch, if I were to guess, it's going to pass -- they have to also pass this proposal by Congressman Levin and Congressman Bereuter which is trying to put a human rights piece and some trade protections in anyway, so that it's a very weak victory for free trade with China, for permanent trade with China, if indeed that's what happens.
KRISTOL: It's going to pass, yes. You know, business has the Republicans under control, Clinton can bring along enough Democrats. And look, in a certain -- I'm against it personally -- but in a way, let it pass. I mean, this is the culmination of the bipartisan policy of engagement with China that's been going on for 10 years. Some of us think it has not worked, but this is sort of the culmination.
Let's see if a year from now China's behaving better at home, behaving better abroad, not threatening Taiwan, not proliferating weapons of mass destruction. If they are behaving better, then the administration and the big business community will have been proven right. But if China isn't behaving better, no one can say that we haven't gone every conceivable mile to try to be nice to China.
WOODRUFF: Spillover in the Gore-Bush contest here?
DIONNE: I doubt it, because both of them supported this. Both of them allied with the business community, and labor seems ready to let this pass and go back to work for Gore because they don't like Social Security privatization.
WOODRUFF: Let me take you both -- well, speaking of -- that's exactly what I wanted to ask you. Where are we now? George Bush is out there saying some of the Social Security money, people ought to be able to invest it on their own. Has he persuasively made that case, Bill?
KRISTOL: I don't know if he's yet done so, but the clock is ticking on Al Gore in this sense. Bush has taken this risky position, Gore is attacking Bush on it. The longer there's no evidence that his attacks are denting Bush in the polls, the worst it is for Al Gore. This is a moment of vulnerability for Bush. If he turns out not to be vulnerable to Gore, I think it will tell us a lot about the race in the future. If Bush is still in good shape two weeks from now, Gore is in deep trouble. DIONNE: I think there are two issues here: Has Al Gore put enough positive, optimistic stuff on the table to help him in the campaign? The answer is no. Bush has stolen Rooseveltian optimism back from Clinton, who stole it back from Ronald Reagan. That's a problem.
On Social Security privatization, Bush seems to make a political gamble that people under about 35 so mistrust Social Security that they're going to go for these private accounts. What Bush hasn't done is answered a slew of questions, including just one: John McCain said you couldn't afford this and a big tax cut. How is he going to answer that question? I think that unless the Gore campaign is utterly incompetent, there are going to be a lot of questions that have to be put to Bush before the election, and I think that's where he is vulnerable on this issue.
WOODRUFF: All right, we're going to leave it there.
E.J. Dionne, Bill Kristol, great to have you both. Thanks very much.
KRISTOL: Thank you.
DIONNE: Thanks, Judy.
And much more ahead on this edition of INSIDE POLITICS.
Still to come:
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GIULIANI: The focus I'm going to have is going to be fighting -- fighting cancer, making a decision about my treatment.
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WOODRUFF: The choice Mayor Giuliani still faces: a look at the medical options in his battle with prostate cancer.
Plus, supportive words from George W. Bush, a look at his reaction, his day out on the campaign trail.
WOODRUFF: We'll have more of this day's political news coming up, but now a look at some other top stories.
The United Nations is beefing up its peacekeeping force in Sierra Leone. The U.N. Security Council today unanimously approved raising the number of troops policing the West African nation to almost 13,000. That's up from 11,000. Secretary-General Kofi Annan also is expected to call next week for several thousand more troops to protect the U.N.'s Sierra Leone mission. Rebels are holding some 350 U.N. peacekeepers hostage.
Here in the United States, several people are reported hurt, some of them seriously after a school bus accident in Maryland. It happened in Rockville, a northern suburb of Washington, where a Montgomery County school bus carrying elementary school children collided with a dump truck. Television reports say one person was killed. They say several children still are trapped inside the bus. At least one person was taken by emergency helicopter to an area hospital.
Philadelphia officials say they will leave no stone unturned in their investigation of last night's pier collapse in the Delaware River. Three people were killed, dozens more hurt, when the structure crashed into the water. As many as 50 people were on or near the deck of a recently opened nightclub when the 91-year-old pier gave way. Safety inspections have been ordered for all city piers.
The FBI is on the trail of another computer e-mail virus. Authorities say this one, called New Love, is not as widespread as the Love Bug virus that attacked systems worldwide. But they say New Love is potentially more damaging. Experts warn you to delete the infected e-mail attachment unopened. Early indications are that the virus originated in the U.S.
Space shuttle Atlantis and seven astronauts are due to reach the ailing International Space Station by Sunday. Atlantis blasted off flawlessly this morning from Florida. Bad weather and other problems have delayed the launch for months. The mission: to boost the space station's power supply and sagging orbit.
An Illinois couple stepped forward today to claim their half of last week's Big Game lottery jackpot. Joe Kainz and his wife, Sue, opted for a lump sum of $90 million before taxes. The couple married 40 years and has three grown boys. As for the family's microbrewery, it's still in the family.
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SUE KAINZ, BIG GAME WINNER: We are just going to proceed very slowly, very slowly. And we're all going to continue working, all -- all of us. All six of us have worked in the brewery. I mean, our boys built this brewery virtually from scratch, from the ground up. Our first tanks were used dairy equipment from Wisconsin, and we put this whole thing together, and blood, sweat and tears, and there's no way we're going to give that up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: But the couple plans at least two things: take a trip to Ireland and to fix their roof.
When INSIDE POLITICS returns, the battle Rudy Giuliani still is fighting: his options and his mindset as the ex-Senate hopeful deals with cancer.
WOODRUFF: New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani has made the political choice, but he said today he has not decided on a course of treatment for his prostate cancer.
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GIULIANI: What I thought at first was, OK, I'll take a week or two or three, whatever it take to figure out what the treatment is. I will then decide on the treatment. I'll then look at the treatment and I'll figure out, does that mean I can run or I can't run? You know, I thought -- I thought of it as a budget -- and this sounds silly, but I thought of it as a budget decision or a legal decision or -- and the reality is that I can't make the final decision about the treatment, and I'm not sure what the right approach is yet.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: Like many men who suffer from prostate cancer, the mayor has several medical options to consider when it comes to treatment.
CNN medical correspondent Dr. Steve Salvatore reports.
DR. STEVE SALVATORE, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Mayor Rudy Guiliani is one of more than 180,000 men who will learn they have prostate cancer this year, the second most common cancer in men. Men who have a family history of prostate cancer are at increased risk of the disease. Giuliani's father died of prostate cancer in 1981.
Today, newly diagnosed patients have many treatment choices. Recent studies suggest the decision should be based on the grade and stage of the cancer. If the tumor is slow-growing and localized within the prostate gland itself, radical surgery may be avoided, and a type of radiation called radioactive seed implantation or standard radiation may be used.
Hormone therapy is often used to slow the growth of the cancer, and in some men, especially the elderly, with lower-risk tumors, watchful waiting may be the best option, where doctors closely monitor the tumor's growth.
But for those with more aggressive type tumors, research shows surgical removal of the prostate, called radical prostatectomy, is more likely to cure the disease than other treatment options.
Dr. Steve Salvatore, CNN, New York.
WOODRUFF: Joining us now for more on all this, CNN medical correspondent Holly Firfer.
Holly, we've been hearing about a number of these choices. Can we assume that this is what Mayor Giuliani is looking at as his potential choices? HOLLY FIRFER, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, there are some obvious choices, like we said: surgery. If the cancer is confined within the organ, that is a very good choice, because once they remove the prostate gland there is a good chance if it hasn't spread that it will be cured and the cancer will be gone.
Radiation is also an option. If the cancer has spread outside of the prostate, you could do surgery plus a bit of radiation to make sure that it hasn't spread, or if it has gone to a little bit of tissue around the prostate, to kill it.
But basically, radiation, surgery, there are hormonal therapies. They do work, so one of those probably will be his best choice.
WOODRUFF: Holly, what about the length of time for recovery after these different courses of treatment?
FIRFER: Well, surgery, obviously, has -- it's invasive. It has the longest period of recovery, three to four days in the hospital, three to six weeks basically taking it easy, and it will be a good six weeks before you can really engage in anything strenuous.
Radiation, obviously a lot easier. There's not as much pain, not as much recovery time involved in that. So basically, within a couple of months after some kind of treatment, he should be up and going and OK if all goes well.
WOODRUFF: And finally, Holly, what about the psychological aspects that we've seen when people have to deal with something like this?
FIRFER: It's a tremendous strain. If you can imagine facing your own mortality and looking at a potentially deadly disease, there's a lot to think about, a lot to consider. Some of these treatments, like surgery, can change your lifestyle. There are side effects like impotence, incontinence, you have to weigh those options. But surprisingly, even though this cancer is the second deadliest cancer in men, it is also one of the slowest growing cancer. So doctors will say you have a little bit more time if it hasn't been too far down, too far along, to make some kind of a decision, so you don't have to make an emotional, rash decision right away.
WOODRUFF: All right, Holly Firfer, CNN's medical correspondent, thanks very much.
And just ahead, the reaction of Republican presidential hopeful George W. Bush and a look into his efforts to court the votes of seniors.
Plus, the National Rifle Association celebrates its success in courting new members.
WOODRUFF: Republican presidential hopeful George W. Bush learned of Mayor Giuliani's decision while out on the campaign trail. Bush, who was in Kentucky to promote his plan for Social Security reform, received a call from the mayor himself.
Our Candy Crowley reports.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): New York is as tough a state as it gets for George Bush, and a strong Senate race by Rudy Giuliani might have helped, but there is politics and there is life.
GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, it is hard for me to be disappointed when a friend is battling cancer, and what I am hopeful about is that he will have a speedy recovery, that his health will be strong.
CROWLEY: He brushed aside questions about a future role for Giuliani in the party or a Bush presidency, but the governor was happy to move the party along with a swipe at Hillary Clinton's tenuous ties to the Empire State.
BUSH: I'm confident the party will select a good capable New Yorker to take on Mrs. Clinton.
CROWLEY: Bush got a phone call from Giuliani as the governor campaigned through Kentucky, with emphasis on the senior vote. For the past decade, the courtship of seniors has ranged from difficult to disastrous for Republicans, who have been seen, they say unfairly, as a danger to Social Security. And current polls show the 65-and-over crowd is the only age group that favors Al Gore over George Bush.
In that context, Bush's proposal to let young Americans invest a small portion of their Social Security taxes in stocks and bonds is a sales challenge to the Texas governor. He has to sell change while assuring seniors it will stay the same.
BUSH: That when I become the president, nobody is going to mess with your benefits in Social Security, the Social Security system will be safe, will be strong, and will be secure, and in this campaign, I am not going to let any Washington, D.C. politician scare you into thinking otherwise.
CROWLEY: Having said what he won't do with Social Security, Bush offered up a couple of modest proposals aimed at tapping into the accumulated wisdom, leisure time and longevity of seniors in the year 2000.
Bush proposed a $290 million five-year plan to increase federal contributions to Senior Corps, a program that enables and encourages seniors to volunteer in their community; and establish something Bush calls "silver scholarships," a program that would allow low-income seniors to trade in volunteer hours for education scholarship money for any child.
About a quarter of Kentucky's population is 60 and over, it has voted Democratic for the past two presidential cycles, and the state's political hierarchy is solidly Democratic. Bush's visit here, which also gets play in the surrounding battleground states of Missouri and Illinois, is in the mode of a message to Al Gore: take no state for granted.
Candy Crowley, CNN, Washington.
WOODRUFF: In North Carolina today, a group that has been at the center of some of the most vigorous debate of the presidential campaign opened its annual meeting. Despite repeated criticism of the organization's positions on gun control, the NRA reports record growth.
Brian Cabell reports.
BRIAN CABELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Bigger, better and stronger than ever. That's how the NRA describes itself in its 129th year. The Charlotte, North Carolina convention is expected to attract about 40,000 members and 300 exhibitors, both record numbers. Most impressive, officials say, is total membership: 3.6 million, another record.
WAYNE LAPIERRE, NRA EXEC. VICE PRESIDENT: By Election Day, we're going to be 4 million. There's not another organization in America right now undergoing that type of growth spurt. And why is it happening? Because people don't like what they're hearing out of Al Gore, what they're hearing out of Bill Clinton on this issue, and they want their freedom protected and the NRA is going to do it.
CABELL: NRA officials claim in the last six weeks alone, 200,000 new members have signed up. At least one critic isn't buying the figures.
BRIAN MORTON, HANDGUN CONTROL: They love to throw out numbers like this, considering that they are basically the only people who can verify those numbers. So why not just come out and say, you've got 20 million, you know, 16 million, throw some dice?
CABELL: The NRA's apparent growth has come in spite of a national backlash that resulted from a spate of school shootings, most notably the Columbine High School shootings last year. Just last week, hundreds of thousands of gun-control advocates gathered in Washington for the Million Moms March. Still, NRA supporters point out, polls show that about 50 percent of Americans support gun rights, and there are actually 65 to 80 million gun owners nationwide -- gun owners who vote.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Matter of fact, the Second Amendment is the reason now that I vote for a candidate. If he's against the Second Amendment or tries to take it away from us, there's no way I'd vote for him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People are just getting a little fed up with all the violence and stuff and I think they realize they need some of the personal protection at home.
CABELL: I talked to an NRA official this afternoon, he said they are planning on spending about $7 or $8 million during this political campaign this fall, a lot of smaller races, he says, races in which they think their money might make a difference, races in which there is a clear distinction between the two candidates on the issue of gun control.
Finally, a non-political note, the NRA is going to be opening up a theme restaurant and store on Times Square, featuring virtual reality weapons games and also a wild game grill. In other words, fun and food for the entire family.
I'm Brian Cabell, CNN, in Charlotte, North Carolina.
WOODRUFF: All right, Brian, thank you very much.
And when we return, we will turn our attention back to the New York mayor with our senior political analyst Bill Schneider.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GIULIANI: I was diagnosed yesterday with a -- with prostate cancer.
She's a good friend, a very good friend, and beyond that, you can ask me questions and that's exactly what I'm going to say.
For quite some time I -- it's probably been apparent that Donna and I lead, in many ways, independent and separate lives.
Judith Nathan is a very, very fine person, she has been a very good friend to me. I rely on her and she helps me a great deal, and I'm going to need her more now than maybe I did before.
DONNA HANOVER, GIULIANI'S WIFE: I had hoped to keep this marriage together. Beginning last May, I made a major effort to bring us back together and Rudy and I re-established some of our personal intimacy through the fall. At that point, he chose another path. Rudy and I will now go forward to discuss the possibility of a legal separation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: Some moments from the past three weeks leading up to Rudy Giuliani's decision today to pull out of the U.S. Senate race.
With all the news about that race, we won't have time for Bill Schneider's political "Play of the Week," but Bill does join us now from CNN Center in Atlanta.
Bill, hello, and where else but in New York City would you watch the unfolding of a personal and political drama like this one?
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: This is a soap opera and it's gone on for quite some time. But the pressure was on Rudy Giuliani to make a decision. What we heard him say today was that he hasn't decided on his course of treatment for cancer, but he did decide he just has to make his political intentions known because the Republican Party is at its wit's end, they have to have a candidate, they've got to name one in 10 days, and they didn't know whether or not Rudy was running, so he just had to come to a decision or he'd have no political future.
WOODRUFF: What is the calculation now, do we assume, on the part of Mrs. Clinton and the people running her campaign?
SCHNEIDER: I think their calculation is they think it's good news for them, because they think that they're running against the candidate who doesn't have the stature of a Rudy Giuliani or potentially a George Pataki, someone who is a real giant in New York, and that compared to him she will look like a real senator.
But there is something interesting I noticed in the Quinnipiac Poll we showed at the beginning of the show, those figures show that when they tested Hillary Rodham Clinton versus Lazio, it was 50 percent for Clinton, 31 percent for Lazio. Now, that's a big difference, 20 points, almost 20 points.
But the key figure there is only 50 percent said that they would vote for Mrs. Clinton against someone who 70 some percent of the voters had never even heard of. Well, if she can only get 50 percent of the people to say they want to vote for her against someone they've never heard of, I think she is going to have a pretty tough race.
WOODRUFF: What -- how much do the people of New York know at this point about Rick Lazio?
SCHNEIDER: More than they did a few hours ago if they've been watching us or any other station. They're going to know more over the weekend and I think by Monday morning they're going to know pretty much about him. Look, this contest, as we see on our own air, gets an enormous amount of free coverage, it's going to be covered in the press in New York, they're going to be pretty familiar with Rick Lazio in the next few days.
WOODRUFF: How does someone like him who is a fairly new member of Congress, relatively young, how does he go about running a campaign against the first lady of the country?
SCHNEIDER: Well, he has an issue, "I'm a New Yorker," he can say, "I was born here, I went to school here, I grew up here, I'm one of you and she is not really one of you." You heard Rudy Giuliani, George Bush talk about, "I hope the party comes up with a real New Yorker." Well, that's gong to be one of the themes he uses.
And, you know, it -- when Bobby Kennedy was elected in 1964 it's the only time I know of when someone who has never lived or worked in the state has won a major statewide office, and there he had a big national tide in his favor, and Barry Goldwater was the Republican nominee. He turned it into a national race and won. That's what she's going to do.
The problem is, I don't think George Bush is Barry Goldwater, he is running to the left or more to the center of the Republican Party these days. So what he has to do is show, number one, he's a mainstream candidate, and number two, to use the New York issue as much as he can.
WOODRUFF: All right, Bill Schneider, our senior political analyst, thanks a lot.
WOODRUFF: And that is all for this edition of INSIDE POLITICS. Before we go we want to let you know we are expecting to hear any moment now from Congressman Rick Lazio, who will announce -- has announced that he's going to run for the U.S. Senate seat from New York now that Rudy Giuliani has pulled out, and when that happens we will bring it to you live.
So that's it for INSIDE POLITICS, but you can go online all the time at CNN's allpolitics.com.
And this programming note: Republican Governor George Pataki of New York will be discussing his state's Senate race on Sunday on "LATE EDITION WITH WOLF BLITZER." That's at noon Eastern.
I'm Judy Woodruff. "WORLDVIEW" coming up next.
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