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Concorde Crash Near Paris Kills 113; Bush Officially Announces Cheney as His Running Mate; Gore Tries to Narrow His V.P ChoicesAired July 25, 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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GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So I'm proud to announce that Dick Cheney, a man of great integrity, sound judgment, and experience, is my choice to be the next vice president of the United States.
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BERNARD SHAW, CNN ANCHOR: The announcement and the story behind it: Why did George W. Bush choose Dick Cheney, and why did Cheney say yes?
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DICK CHENEY (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And in the end, I learned how persuasive he can be.
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JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: But how persuasive will Cheney be on the trail? We'll review his past performance on the stump and our new poll.
SHAW: Plus: Al Gore and the head of his vice presidential search work on a short list.
ANNOUNCER: From Washington, this is INSIDE POLITICS with Judy Woodruff and Bernard Shaw.
WOODRUFF: Thank you for joining us.
We'll focus on the day's big political story, the new Bush-Cheney ticket in just a moment.
SHAW: But first, the latest on that crash of the Air France Concorde jet that burst into flames moments after taking off from a Paris suburb today, and then slammed into a hotel complex. Officials say all 100 passengers and nine crew members aboard the New-York-bound charter flight were killed, along with four people inside the hotel. Most of the passengers were German tourists. Air France says engine trouble apparently caused the crash, and it has canceled all its Concorde flights, as has British Airways. We are going to have updates throughout this hour of INSIDE POLITICS, including a live report from the crash site.
And now to presidential politics and George W. Bush's new running mate.
Our Candy Crowley is in Austin, Texas, where Bush formally announced Dick Cheney as his vice presidential choice -- Candy.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they are no doubt making up the bumper stickers now: Bush-Cheney. It was all made official in a sports arena here in Austin. Right now, the governor and his selection for the vice presidential spot are behind me here in the Austin governor's mansion. As he confirmed the who in the sport arena, Bush also talked about the why.
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BUSH: I have to admit something. I didn't pick Dick Cheney because of Wyoming's three electoral votes, although -- although -- we're going to work hard to earn them. I picked him because he is, without a doubt, fully capable of being the president of the United States. And I picked him because he will be a valuable partner in a Bush administration.
(END VIDEO CLIP) CROWLEY: Originally, Cheney said he didn't want the job. Governor Bush asked him sometime after he clinched the nomination if he would be interested and Cheney said no. So, a couple weeks later, Cheney said that he would, in fact, lead the vice-presidential search. However, as Bush, who has known Cheney for some time, got to know him even better and watch him at work, he began to think about asking him again.
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BUSH: As we considered many different credentials, I benefited from his keen insight. I was impressed by the thoughtful and thorough way he approached his mission. And gradually, I realized that the person who was best qualified to be my vice presidential nominee was working by my side.
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CROWLEY: The way Bush aides describe it, the July-3rd meeting at Bush's Crawford ranch with Cheney was pivotal. That was when Bush asked again whether Cheney might change his mind and consider being on the vice-presidential list. Cheney said he'd go home and ask his family about it. There were internal discussions within the Bush campaign about what it would mean to have the point man become a part of the process.
Some of the vetting was done by others in the campaign, but Cheney soon called and said that he would be willing to be considered. As Bush pondered, Cheney prepared. He went to his doctor and got a clean bill of health. He also went and changed his voter registration to Wyoming to avoid a Constitutional problem. As well, he began to talk to business associates about the likelihood that he would be selected as the vice-presidential nominee.
Over the weekend, Bush settled on where he was really very early along in the process, that the man he most wanted was Dick Cheney. But even as he accepted Bush's offers, Cheney seemed a bit speechless.
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CHENEY: Three months ago, when Governor Bush asked me to head up his search team, I honestly did not expect that I would be standing here today. Governor, I'm honored and proud to join your team, and I enthusiastically accept the challenge.
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CROWLEY: The Bush campaign came prepared to its announcement with a number of documents: number one, showing many Democrats who had praised Cheney; and number two, with Cheney's health documents, all of which are trying to still some of the criticisms that they had heard about Cheney even before the selection was made -- Bernie.
SHAW: Thank you, Candy Crowley with the latest from Austin.
Dick Cheney may have won over George W. Bush, but what about the voters? Our Bill Schneider joins us now.
And Bill, are voters impressed by the Cheney choice?
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, they think it was a pretty good choice. Or, at least, that's exactly what they told us -- not an excellent choice, but not a poor choice either. Bush said he wanted to choose someone exciting. Are voters excited about Cheney? Um, no. Two-thirds say no. In fact, most Bush voters say they're not excited. A middle-aged white man -- Wow! -- even middle-aged white men -- my people -- say they don't find Bush's choice exciting.
SHAW: But how does Cheney compare with past vice-presidential choices?
SCHNEIDER: Well, Bernie, let's just see. The most positive response we've seen in recent years was to Bill Clinton's choice of Al Gore in 1992. One-third of the voters said that made them more likely to vote for Clinton. Just eight percent said it made them less likely to support Bill Clinton. Jack Kemp also drew a highly-positive response when Bob Dole named him in 1996. A quarter of voters said they would be more likely to support the ticket. That's about the same as for Michael Dukakis naming Lloyd Bentsen in 1988.
And then there was Dan Quayle. When George Bush picked Dan Quayle in 1988, the public's response was: Who? They didn't know what to think. Ten percent said they were more likely to vote for Bush, 10 percent less likely. But four years later, the Quayle factor had turned negative. There was pressure on Bush, you know, to drop him. And a quarter of the voters said having Quayle as vice president made them less likely to vote for Bush. And just six percent called Quayle a plus.
So, where does that leave Dick Cheney? Drum roll, please. Fourteen percent say Cheney makes them more likely to vote for Bush. And 10 percent say less likely. In other words: eh -- not a drag like Quayle, but not a clear plus either, like Gore and Bentsen and Jack Kemp.
SHAW: Would McCain have been a stronger choice?
SCHNEIDER: Well, let's look at where the race stands right now and we can see. With Cheney as his running mate, Bush leads Al Gore by eight points. With McCain as his running mate, Bush would be leading Gore by 13 points, a double-digit lead. John McCain has a lot more appeal to Democrats than Dick Cheney does. With McCain on the ticket, 10 percent of Gore voters would switch their votes to Bush. McCain may have been the stronger running mate, but Bush obviously believed that he could win without McCain on the ticket. And you know what, our poll shows he may be right.
SHAW: OK, thank you, Bill Schneider.
Al Gore's campaign tried to splash some cold water on Bush's selection of Cheney, even the Democratic presidential contender moved closer to naming his running mate.
That story from CNN's Chris Black.
CHRIS BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Now that he knows who is on the Republican ticket, Al Gore is preparing to make his own vice presidential pick, meeting with Warren Christopher, the man in charge of his selection process, to review possible running mates. Democratic officials say Bush's choice of former Defense Secretary Dick Cheney is a conventional one, freeing Gore from the need to make a dramatic selection.
For Gore, speculation continues to be centered on former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell and Senators Bob Graham, Joe Lieberman, Dick Durbin, and John Kerry. While Gore says his list of finalists is short...
AL GORE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yeah, it is.
BLACK: He is also keeping the names on the list to himself.
GORE: I've kept it private and I hope dignified out of respect for the individuals -- the men and women -- who are under consideration. BLACK: A spokesman for the Gore campaign called Cheney a blast from the past, saying -- quote -- "This is a retro pick, showing that Bush is ruled by the powerful special interests that dominate his party. he lacked the leadership to pick someone who represents a new generation of Republicans."
Democrats immediately zeroed in on Cheney's conservative Congressional record.
SEN. TOM DASCHLE (D-SD), MINORITY LEADER: Well, Dick Cheney is a man who clearly has a lot of experience. He's a man, I think, that generally is well liked, but I would say I disagree with a vast number of his votes. He is probably as far right as anybody in the Republican Party today.
BLACK: Democrats focused on three issues. They say Cheney is opposed to gun control, weak on environmental protection, and against abortion rights.
SEN. PATTY MURRAY (D), WASHINGTON: I find nothing compassionate about someone who cannot let a woman have their own choice, particularly in the case of incest or rape.
BLACK: Democrats say the selection of Cheney reinforces Bush's conservatism at a time Bush is trying to convince moderates to vote for him.
PETER HART, DEMOCRATIC POLLSTER: Dick Cheney only has one problem. He's an orthodox Republican. He has done everything by the Republican standard.
BLACK (on camera): Gore has the luxury of time, almost three more weeks, to measure the impact of the selection of Dick Cheney before he has to pick the person he wants sharing the Democratic ticket with him.
Chris Black, CNN, Washington.
WOODRUFF: Well, now, some political veterans weigh in on the vice- presidential selection process and Bush's choice of Cheney.
In a moment, we will talk with Mickey Kantor, chairman of the 1992 Clinton-Gore campaign.
But first, we turn to former Reagan White House Chief of Staff Ken Duberstein. He joins us.
KEN DUBERSTEIN, FMR. REAGAN CHIEF OF STAFF: Hi, Judy.
WOODRUFF: Hi, Ken. You're joining us from Philadelphia. Let me first ask you, was this the strongest choice George Bush could have made?
DUBERSTEIN: I think this is a very, very strong choice. I think it is a 10-strike. He is somebody who could be president not only tomorrow, but today. Dick is somebody with the experience. And if Bill Schneider doesn't mind, I don't think we are looking for excitement, we are looking for competence. We are looking for leadership. And Dick Cheney demonstrated it, whether he was chief of staff for Gerry Ford, or in the Republican leadership in the House, or as secretary of defense under President Bush.
Dick is a grown-up. And he's an adult. And frankly, what I think Al Gore now has to consider is that he needs to find a similar- type grown-up in the Democratic party to be his vice president.
WOODRUFF: Well, let me.
DUBERSTEIN: So I think the challenge is now to Al Gore.
WOODRUFF: Well, let me -- you point out, he's mature, he's experienced. But does he have the electricity, the excitement that this ticket is going to need out on the campaign trail?
DUBERSTEIN: I think he has not only the ability to campaign well, but even govern better. This is not a 100-yard dash. This is a marathon. And Dick Cheney is a marathon runner. He is somebody who is in it for the long haul. He has demonstrated it time in and time out. He doesn't flap in the wind. I think he will excite and unify not only the Republicans, but also those independents who really care about governing. Dick, while a Republican, is not somebody who is hard right -- you know, to use the expression -- he is somebody well- respected on both sides of the aisle.
WOODRUFF: And yet we heard...
DUBERSTEIN: I think...
WOODRUFF: Excuse me, we heard Senator Daschle say he is as far right as anyone in the Republican Party. And we heard his record on guns, on abortion, on the environment.
DUBERSTEIN: I think Tom Daschle -- it's a nice try. I think that's exactly what this politics of personal destruction on the Democratic side of the aisle is trying to do. Dick Cheney is competence through and through. He is one of the people of the governing class. He is somebody who knows, with his judgment and wisdom, how to get things done. I think this says an awful lot about Governor Bush, in his first major decision, going with the kind of quiet competence, the conciglieri of Dick Cheney.
WOODRUFF: At the same time, Ken Duberstein, does the selection of Dick Cheney remind voters of George Bush the father, the former president. In picking someone, does the son, the Governor Bush, does he really, bringing someone on with the experience that he himself didn't have?
DUBERSTEIN: No, I think what it does is just add to the heft and the gravitas and the seriousness. I don't think it reminds us of -- whether it is President Bush or Gerry Ford -- or even, frankly, President Reagan -- but I do think it unifies the Republican Party and says: We're about governing, not just campaign rhetoric.
WOODRUFF: What about the comment from the -- I believe it was spokesman for the Gore campaign -- who said, in so many words, this indicates that Governor Bush lacked the courage to pick a -- someone who represents a new generation of Republicans?
DUBERSTEIN: I think what this demonstrates is the quiet confidence of George W. Bush. And I think that says to the American people, he is ready to be president, and so is, frankly, his vice presidential selection.
WOODRUFF: All right, Ken Duberstein, thank you very much. We appreciate it.
DUBERSTEIN: Thanks, Judy. Take care.
WOODRUFF: You, too.
And now, as promised, we're joined by Mickey Kantor, chairman of the 1992 Clinton-Gore campaign.
Mickey Kantor, was this the strongest choice George W. Bush could have made?
MICKEY KANTOR, CHMN. '92 CLINTON/GORE CAMPAIGN: No, I agree with Bill Schneider -- excuse me, Judy -- and the American people. Clearly, this is a choice that speaks volumes about George Bush. I agree with Ken Duberstein on that. He voted against Headstart. He voted against the Clean Air Act. He voted against armor piercing bullets -- or against prohibition of armor piercing bullets. He even voted against a resolution in 1986 which called on the South African government to release Nelson Mandela.
That is not in the center. It's not even conservative. That's on the right.
WOODRUFF: But he is the running mate. He wouldn't be the president. He would be the vice president. And, as you heard Ken Duberstein say, he represents competence, government knowledge through and through. Doesn't this strengthen the Bush ticket?
KANTOR: Well, I don't think it does. I think it does the opposite. When you choose a vice president, as we did with Al Gore in 1992, as President Clinton did, it spoke to who Bill Clinton is and was. This is what George Bush did. He said: I am conservative. I'm out of the mainstream. You can have the middle. I'm going to play to the right. No one who votes -- who will not even support abortion in the case of rape incests or protecting the life of the mother is anywhere near the center of the American spectrum.
And, frankly, even though Dick Cheney is a very nice man -- I've known him for 30 years -- he is not the person the American people want as vice president. And it says who George Bush will be as president: a very, very conservative presidency.
WOODRUFF: Is this the tact that we can expect the Gore campaign to be making?
KANTOR: Oh, I don't know. I'm a has-been, as you said in the lead-in. The fact is that they'll say whatever they want to say.
WOODRUFF: You're not a has-been to us, Mickey.
KANTOR: Thank you. I'm really surprised and somewhat taken aback by this. As I said, Dick Cheney is competent. There's no doubt about that. But this is about values. It's about who you are and what you stand for, And what George Bush said, he stands what Dick Cheney stands for. I can't imagine anyone, anyone watching us, who says: I would vote against a resolution in 1986 calling upon the South African government to release Nelson Mandela. That is stunning.
WOODRUFF: Let me ask you about another Ken-Duberstein comment. He said this really puts pressure on Vice President Gore to go with someone mature, someone who is a grown-up. In other words, someone with maturity and experience. Would you agree that it puts that kind of pressure on him?
KANTOR: Oh, it's no pressure. What has happened is George Bush has pulled himself out of the middle. He's walked away from independents and moderates in America. Al Gore walks can walk in with a person of experience, maturity, someone who not only solidifies the Democratic base, but speaks to those independents and moderates, which of course spell the test of any American election.
WOODRUFF: What affect does it have, then, on Mr. Gore's selection -- are you saying none, whatsoever?
KANTOR: Oh, none. No. He had an even a wider choice than he might have had a few hours ago. I don't know what's he doing. Obviously, with Warren Christopher heading your search, as he did in 1992, you will never know what the choices are and we shouldn't. It's a dignified process, He'll pick a responsible, serious, sober, experienced person who can lead the country with Al Gore.
WOODRUFF: Is it your sense that the vice presidents will be active participants in this campaign; that we're going to see a very tough campaign on the part of the vice presidents, as well as on the part of the presidential campaigns -- candidates?
KANTOR: Oh, I would hope so. I would believe both Vice President Gore and Governor Bush expect they will treat their vice presidents as Bill Clinton has treated his vice president: as a member of the team, as a serious player in the administration. Therefore, what they do on the campaign trail, what they stood for in politics, what they voted for and against, will become a matter of some interest.
WOODRUFF: All Right, Mickey Kantor, we thank you very much.
KANTOR: Thanks, Judy.
WOODRUFF: We appreciate it. Good to see you.
KANTOR: Nice to see you, too.
And still ahead on INSIDE POLITICS: more on the politics of a Bush-Cheney ticket. But first, an update on the fatal crash of an Air France Concorde jetliner -- the latest from just outside Paris when we return.
SHAW: We will have more of this day's political news coming up. First, an update on the Air France Concorde crash near Paris. Air France has grounded its entire Concorde fleet after more than 100 people were killed this day in the first-ever crash of the supersonic transport jet. It happened just outside Paris.
Joining us on the telephone with the latest is CNN's Nic Robertson at the crash site -- Nic?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Bernie, we're in the small town of Gonesse, just very close to Charles de Gaulle airport, a few miles away on the flight path of all the aircraft taking off this evening. The police have close many roads in the area, blocking traffic from getting close to the sight. There are fire engines and police cars coming and going. There are onlookers cuing up to see what they can see and seven hours, almost seven hours on from when the plane crashed, there is still smoldering wreckage to be seen in the distance, although people are being held well back from going close to what will likely become evidence in the scene of this crash.
Now, it is known at this time, as you said, that all 100 passengers, all German tourists on board were killed in this crash. The nine air crew were killed -- and four people also killed in the hotel when the aircraft, just after it took off, its engine on fire, banked, rolled over, and plowed into this small hotel that apparently was (UNINTELLIGIBLE) had a fairly low occupancy when the plane came down. This is a fairly sprawling suburban area, although the plane came down right next to a wheat field.
But this is crisscrossed by highways. There is a large (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and car factory here. And there were many buildings in the area. It is an area that has a sort of a moderate population, not densely populated. But nevertheless, there are many people coming here to take a look and see just what they can see. As I speak, still the smoke piling off some of the burning debris here, Bernie.
SHAW: Nic, we have this extraordinary picture, a still shot of the plane struggling. And we see that the fire is coming out of the rear of the engines there. Are investigators focusing on the engines?
ROBERTSON: Well, so far, Bernie, we've had no official word from an investigation team yet, other than to say that the French Bureau of Investigation is investigating. They have also said -- Air France has said -- that, as your picture depicts -- when the aircraft was taking off, fire was seen coming out from the left-hand engine. They have also asked for the assistance of the NTSB, the National Transport and Safety Board, from the United States, to come in and help with the investigation. But, as yet, no official word here on the ground at the crash site of what may have caused the flame-out on the engine of the Concorde as it took off -- Bernie.
SHAW: Nic Robertson, with the very latest, reporting live by telephone from Gonesse, France, just outside Paris. Thank you very much.
And, when we return, closing the Middle East peace summit: a look at the end of the negotiations.
WOODRUFF: The Middle East peace summit at Camp David ended today with no agreement between the Israeli and Palestinian leaders. After 15 days of talks, President Clinton said the two sides could not bridge the gaps, calling the status of Jerusalem one of the most difficult issues. But the president remained optimistic, he said, about the chance for an agreement in the future.
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WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Israelis and Palestinians are destined to live side by side, destined to have a common future. They have to decide what kind of future it will be. Though the differences that remain are deep, they have come a long way in the last seven years. And, notwithstanding the failure to reach an agreement, they made real headway in the last two weeks.
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WOODRUFF: Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak says Israel is willing to try again. Both sides previously agreed to a September 12 deadline for a peace agreement.
And much more ahead on this edition of INSIDE POLITICS, including the latest on the Air France Concorde crash.
SHAW: Also ahead: more on the top political story of the day.
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SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: They had a lot of good people to choose from, but I think they probably have chosen the best.
COLIN POWELL, FMR. CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: He is loyal. He is smart. He's a good manager. He's a good leader.
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SHAW: Two prominent Republicans react to George W. Bush's running-mate choice.
WOODRUFF: ... a look at Dick Cheney's mate. Pat Neal on the politics of Lynne Cheney.
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CHENEY: It's a big step to take and not one to be taken lightly. And I am honestly and legitimately have not yet made that commitment to run.
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SHAW: A look back to the former defense secretary's brief flirtation with a White House bid.
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JOHN DANFORTH, FMR. MISSOURI SENATOR: I feel that I have been walking around for a couple of months with an anvil about ready to fall on my head and suddenly the anvil isn't there anymore.
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SHAW: Former Senator John Danforth of Missouri, apparently relieved that he was not chosen to be George W. Bush's running mate. Danforth today praised Bush's selection of Dick Cheney, a sentiment echoed by all the other candidates for the job, and by two men who insisted they were not interested: John McCain and Colin Powell.
POWELL: He is loyal, he is smart, he is a good manager, he is a good leader, he will respond to what the president wants done.
SHAW (voice-over): Powell was asked whether Cheney gives the ticket a depth that Bush lacks.
POWELL: Well, he has foreign policy depth, I'm not suggesting that Governor Bush lacks any. Governor Bush has been learning rapidly in the month that he is using to prepare himself for this campaign and for the presidency. But certainly, with Secretary Cheney you get someone who has great depth in foreign policy.
SHAW: Powell told reporters that he took his own name out of the running a long time ago, and he was scornful of news reports Monday suggesting that he was a candidate. Powell said they were based on...
POWELL: Imaginary conversations from imaginary sources. Tied up most of my afternoon beating down a story that I had beaten down repeatedly for years.
SHAW: As for his own future, Powell said he's preparing for his Monday night speech to the GOP convention in Philadelphia and that any decision about whether he would serve in a Bush cabinet, perhaps as secretary of state, would have to wait. POWELL: In due course, I'm sure we'll -- conversations may take place. But it would be presumptuous of me to start talking about that.
SHAW: Like Powell, Senator John McCain was also the subject of some late speculation that he might be chosen. McCain said he, too, had taken his name out of consideration long ago, and while some of his closest allies were passed over, McCain had nothing but praise for Cheney.
MCCAIN: Cheney's an excellent choice. I obviously am good friends with Senator Hagel and Senator Thompson as well. I thought they would have been fine. Governor Ridge -- they had a lot of good people to choose from, but I think they probably have chosen the best.
SHAW: Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge told reporters today that he actually took his name out of the running to be Bush's number two, three week ago. He is calling Bush's selection of Cheney -- quote -- "superb."
WOODRUFF: When Governor Bush announced his selection of Dick Cheney today, he made a point of praising Cheney's wife, Lynne. She is a political figure in her own right, which could prove to be an asset and a problem on the campaign trail.
More from CNN's Pat Neal.
PAT NEAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dick and Lynne Cheney made a smash on the political scene. Supporters say they will return as a Washington power couple.
BUSH: Lynne is an incredibly important member of this team.
LYNNE CHENEY, DICK CHENEY'S WIFE: We should never, ever let anyone persuade us otherwise.
NEAL: Lynne Cheney is an outspoken conservative, whether addressing the Republican National Convention, as an author, or co- host of CNN's "CROSSFIRE SUNDAY" for three years.
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ANNOUNCER: On the right, Lynne Cheney.
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NEAL: But Cheney made her biggest mark when she was chairman of the National Endowment For the Humanities from 1986 until 1993. She was appointed by both Presidents Reagan and Bush.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mrs. Cheney, you referred in your remarks, I believe, to the cultural elites.
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NEAL: Cheney felt liberals had taken political correctness too far. With her keen interest in history, she argued for teaching students a more Western centrist view. Cheney believed that would give Americans a more common bond.
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L. CHENEY: Fifth and sixth-graders would learn about the horrendous devastation of Hiroshima on children of their age without ever recommending books that would tell them about why it might well have been a rational decision to use atomic weapons to end the war.
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KARLYN BOWMAN, FMR. LYNN CHENEY COLLEAGUE: Positions like hers in Washington always have their critics, and you have a particularly powerful educational establishment, and I am sure that she ruffled some feathers by the things that she wanted to do.
NEAL: While at the NEH, Cheney supported grants for Ken Burn's epic on the Civil War, but vetoed money for a Christopher Columbus film that examined attacks on Native Americans. For years, she has advocated a back-to-basics curriculum for schools. She supports Governor George W. Bush's plan for vouchers, allowing federal money to pay for private school tuition.
L. CHENEY: They need to have some choice for parents so that the schools will have a reason to get better.
SEN. PATTY MURRAY (D), WASHINGTON: Lynne Cheney has been a very strong proponent of vouchers that would mean only a few kids get access to good education in this country.
NEAL: As for their personal lives, the Cheneys went to school together in Casper, Wyoming. He was co-captain of the football team; she was the homecoming queen. They have two daughters.
(on camera): Together, Cheney and her husband penned a book on congressional leaders. She has also written novels, one about a vice president who dies in office, but his aides pretend he's still alive.
(voice-over): With her resume, supporters say she will bring excitement to the campaign.
SEN. TRENT LOTT (R-MS), MAJORITY LEADER: This is more like three for the price of one, because she is double good.
NEAL: But Democrats say her positions may also provide ammunition against a Republican ticket.
Pat Neal, CNN, Washington.
(END VIDEOTAPE) SHAW: Still ahead, a look back at a time when Dick Cheney considered the top slot on the Republican ticket.
And an update on the crash of an Air France Concorde jet just outside Paris.
WOODRUFF: We will have more of this day's political news coming up.
But first, an update on the Air France Concorde crash near Paris. The latest on that crash, 113 people are confirmed dead; among them, 100 passengers, nine crew members and four people on the ground. The Concorde was carrying German tourists and at least one American on a charter flight to New York.
Joining us now, CNN's Nic Robertson in Gonesse, France -- Nic.
ROBERTSON: Well, Judy, Gonesse is just outside Charles de Gaulle airport. Aircraft are still flying over here, this is the flight route they have been using all day. The aircraft come over here at several hundred feet up, though it is still thick smoke blowing through this area, there is a steady breeze blowing it through this mixed industrial and housing area. There are many highways that crisscross this area.
The plane came down about a kilometer from where I am standing. The police have set up road blocks here, there are police cars going through the crowds that are gathering to see what -- see if they can see anything here at this crash site.
It's very difficult to observe the exact crash site, the police barricades have been set up sufficiently well back to -- so that onlookers cannot see what's going on. There are ambulances in the area still and there are many fire engines here that are parked, there are fire hydrants that are still filling some of these fire engines that are waiting close to the scene. The accident, as you said, happened about seven hours ago, almost to the minutes right now.
The plane on the trajectory taking off from Charles de Gaulle Airport, failed to (UNINTELLIGIBLE) the engine in the left wing, the plane banked, narrowly missed one building, rolled and nose-dived, we are told, into a small hotel where it killed four of the occupants in that hotel. There has been no word at the scene here yet of what caused the accident.
But there are many people gathering, local residents here gathering with their children to see what they can see. The planes, as I say, going overhead here about every 30 seconds, flying right over the debris of the crashed Concorde -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: CNN's Nic Robertson reporting from just outside of Paris. Terrible, terrible pictures. Thank you, Nic.
INSIDE POLITICS will be right back with Bill Press and Mary Matalin.
SHAW: CNN has learned that Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa has met for a second time with Warren Christopher, who is leading Vice President Al Gore's search for a running mate. One source familiar with the meetings says, Christopher and Harkin had a spirited and interactive discussion about the pros and the cons of a Gore-Harkin ticket. Sources also say this is one of Christopher's numerous meetings and it would be wrong to read too much into the news that Harkin and Christopher met for a second time.
WOODRUFF: As George W. Bush and his newly named running mate prepare for the party convention next week, our Bruce Morton reminds us that this is not the first time Dick Cheney has stepped into the realm of presidential politics.
BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dick Cheney got elected six times to the House of Representatives, but in normally Republican Wyoming that is not remarkable. His one short run at higher office was when he thought about running for president in 1996.
D. CHENEY: It's a big step to take and not one to be taken lightly, and I honestly and legitimately have not yet made that commitment to run.
MORTON: But he did explore, raised more than $1 million in 1994, campaigned for Republicans in 47 states, went to the traditional places.
D. CHENEY: I was happy to accept the invitation to come to New Hampshire and I will be seeing a number of other folks while I am here.
MORTON: He was moved by issues, especially in international policy.
D. CHENEY: What I see the Clintons advocating, I think is fundamentally wrong.
MORTON: He finished fourth in a straw poll in Iowa in the summer of 1994, behind eventual nominee Bob Dole, who won it, and ahead of Pat Buchanan and Dan Quayle.
D. CHENEY: I had not campaigned in the state previously, hadn't organized in the state, nor did I organize anything for this event. So I felt comfortable with the showing.
MORTON: Still, before Dole, for instance, had even formally announced, Cheney was out, withdrawing in the first week of January 1995. Some said he wanted to spare himself and his family the ordeal of a long campaign. Dan Quayle said money was a factor.
DAN QUAYLE, FMR. VICE PRESIDENT: Jack Kemp and Dick Cheney basically said that they didn't want to go through the demeaning money-raising process that you have to go through to be nominated, and there's something to that.
MORTON (on camera): What does Cheney's brief run tell us? He won't be the attack dog some number twos have been -- Richard Nixon for Dwight Eisenhower, say, or Spiro Agnew for Nixon. He won't make the red-meat speech. He prefers issues to passion. He probably will impress voters as a grown-up, somebody who could do the number one job if he had to.
Bruce Morton, CNN, Philadelphia.
SHAW: And joining us now, these two, Bill Press and Mary Matalin of CNN's "CROSSFIRE."
BILL PRESS, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": Thanks a lot for that profound introduction.
MARY MATALIN, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": These two need no introduction.
PRESS: These two bozos.
SHAW: Democrats have the carving knives out for this man, why?
PRESS: Well, because he is the opposition, I mean, this is politics 101. But I think everybody recognizes that Dick Cheney is a good, decent man. He served his country well in public life and in private life.
But the more you look at his views, the more you see how extreme his voting record is, a man who really is to the right of Newt Gingrich -- you know, right down the line, voting against the ERA, voting against funding for -- any federal funding for abortion without even allowing the three classic exceptions, voted against refunding the Clean Water Act, as Mickey Kantor said earlier on this show, voted in 1986 against a resolution asking the South African government to release Nelson Mandela, and I do think that those views are far -- far to the extreme of most -- right of most Americans.
SHAW: I love reading Mary's body as you were speaking.
MATALIN: I -- it's -- I don't even have to hear what he is saying because it's the same thing that the Gore campaign -- not that he represents the Gore campaign -- but the Democrats have tried to do with George W. Bush unsuccessfully, which is to paint him as some sort of extremist out of the mainstream.
The truth about Dick Cheney is that he is beloved on Capitol Hill. He knows how to -- the government works efficiently. He is famous for his bipartisan -- reaching across the alleys, worked with Sam Nunn. He has worked with Democratic leaders. He is cerebral. He is civil. He is a -- he comes from a period of governance in this town that wasn't just competent. It was civil, and that is what Bush promised to do. He says more -- it's not about's Cheney's past record. This is about Bush's future. And he is fulfilling Bush's promise to do away with the kind of politics we have had for the last eight years, which the country is sick of.
PRESS: Bernie, I just have to say, when Mary, or the Bush campaign, or the Cheney campaign show that these votes are inaccurate, I will stop quoting these votes. These are the votes that he casted in Congress for 12 years and they reflect where he is coming from. And today, George Bush said, I stand where Dick Cheney stands. I submit one choice on the Department of Education and on the environment, where Dick Cheney has an abysmal voting record.
Dick Cheney is far to the right of most Americans. What I find surprising is the choice, frankly, because, you know, Bush has the conservatives in his pocket, he didn't need someone more conservative than he is. He has Wyoming and Texas, he doesn't need someone from both states, and he had a lot of colorful alternatives to choose from. We talked about all of them, and instead, he chooses, I think, the dullest of the bunch.
MATALIN: Well, see, this is the way the Democrats think and the Gore campaign in particular, they put political expediency above everything. What George Bush is saying with the selection of Secretary Cheney, soon to be Vice President Cheney, is I want to govern, I want competence, I want a record of being able to work in a bipartisan way in accomplishing things, and I want to do it with civility. He has picked a quiet, cerebral guy, not an attack dog.
This is not about Dick Cheney's record. It is the president that sets policy. It's more -- if you want to look at anybody's record, let's go back and look at Al Gore's record in the Senate. He has flipped on abortion, he's flipped on guns, he has flipped on missile defense, he has no core, he is only about politics, and that is why Democrats continue to look at this selection through the myopia of politics as opposed to what the Americans are looking for, someone who can govern.
SHAW: In Judy's interview with Ken Duberstein, former White House chief of staff, Duberstein referred to Cheney as the conciglieri. Good description?
MATALIN: That is. And that's what George Bush wants, he wanted somebody who could help him -- again, help him govern, who could not just step up to the plate, in the unlikely event of it, a tragedy, but someone with whom he has -- within whom he has confidence and that is what conciglieri is.
PRESS: What about -- what I think is another factor, Bernie, is that I am sure George Bush wants to govern. But to me what he seems to be saying with this selection of Dick Cheney is, I can't govern by myself, I need somebody from my daddy's administration to help me govern, I have to go back and get a grown-up, I have to go back and get somebody with gravitas, because I don't have any.
I think it belies two things about George Bush's message. Number one, that he wants a forward looking campaign, because I think this goes backward. And number two, that he wants to reach out to independents, or reach out to the middle, because he didn't. Every time he acts he reaches back into the conservative bag and he pulls out somebody like Dick Cheney.
I think the message is very clear. And I also have to say, I think it gives Al Gore a huge opportunity to pick someone who is very exciting, who is dynamic, who is forward looking. I think it puts a priority up on someone like a John Kerrey, or put a state in play, like a Bob Graham, or like a George Mitchell, who's actively out there in the peace process. Gore has an opportunity, I hope he takes advantage of it.
MATALIN: What he is suggesting in this attack is that experience and breadth and depth of accomplishment.
MATALIN: Who is to say that it's a retro choice, if you have experience, you have a breadth and a depth of accomplishment, that that's a disqualifier for office? The reason he -- he has served many administrations and many presidents. That should be something that everyone should applaud, that these kinds of people with this breadth and depth want to come back out of the private sector, where he has been comfortable and happy, and give all that -- leave all that behind to serve.
PRESS: Well, I think...
SHAW: What about...
PRESS: If I may. I just think you have a problem there, too, because out of the private sector means out of the energy business, and here is another problem. It's going to be an issue in this campaign. The Republicans have put up two oil men from Texas on the ticket. I mean, if these two guys are elected, they're going to rename the presidential yacht the Exxon Valdez. I mean, this is, oil, big oil from Texas taking over the Republican Party.
MATALIN: But Democratics know nothing but government experience. I think Americans want people serving in public office that have some private sector experience. George Bush was a small businessman, and Cheney keeps getting misrepresented by the Democrats as an oil man. He is a high-tech, energy service provider. That's what that job is. Once again...
PRESS: Oil company.
MATALIN: No, it's a high-tech, energy service provider. See, we want to encourage domestic development so we're not -- we have an energy policy. We don't want to be dependent, as this Clinton-Gore administration has made us on foreign oil.
PRESS: No, no. Dick Cheney's energy policy is to drill in the Alaskan national reserve -- Bernie.
SHAW: Whom do you have on "CROSSFIRE"?
PRESS: We are going to talk about Dick Cheney's record, continue this -- interesting, with a guy who was on George Bush's short list, Frank Keating, and a guy who is still, we think, on Al Gore's short list, Dick Durbin.
MATALIN: Another evidence of what a good choice this is. Every single other contender is not begrudgingly, but has in a full-throated way endorsed this selection. The Republican Party couldn't be happier, and soon, the general electorate will come to see what we are so happy about.
PRESS: Dream on.
SHAW: Mary Matalin, Bill Press, CNN's "CROSSFIRE."
We really like having you on this show.
MATALIN: Aren't you guys nice?
PRESS: Thank you. We love being here.
SHAW: What a day this has been?
WOODRUFF: Never dull.
MATALIN: What -- I kind of missed the whole Clinton...
SHAW: That's all for this edition of INSIDE POLITICS, as Mary Matalin expresses another thought.
WOODRUFF: Stick around, Mary.
SHAW: And, of course, you can go online all the time at CNN's allpolitics.com.
WOODRUFF: And this programming note: an exclusive CNN interview, Dick Cheney is the guest on "LARRY KING LIVE," his first interview since being picked as George W. Bush's running mate. That's tonight, starting at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.
I'm Judy Woodruff.
SHAW: I'm Bernard Shaw. "WORLDVIEW" is next.
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