|Editions | myCNN | Video | Audio | Headline News Brief | Feedback||
Democrats Launch Attacks on Dick Cheney's Voting Record; Bush Defends His VP ChoiceAired July 26, 2000 - 5:00 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AL GORE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Governor Bush has made his choice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REV. JESSE JACKSON, RAINBOW/PUSH COALITION: Jesus warned us to be aware of wolves in sheep clothing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Al Gore and his allies begin their attack on the new Bush-Cheney ticket in earnest.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: As opposed to understanding what a wonderful choice this was, to try to belittle the pick -- typical.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERNARD SHAW, CNN ANCHOR: The Republican team: out west and on the defensive.
WOODRUFF: Plus, Philadelphia gears up for protests at next week's GOP convention.
ANNOUNCER: From Washington, this is INSIDE POLITICS, with Bernard Shaw and Judy Woodruff.
SHAW: Thanks for joining us. We begin with GOP vice presidential candidate Dick Cheney as a unifying force within the Democratic Party. In an expected and clearly coordinated effort, Al Gore and a number of his supporters sank their teeth into Cheney's conservative record today, with some gnawing harder than others.
CNN's Chris Black traveled with the vice president to Chicago.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) CHRIS BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Al Gore says the Bush-Cheney ticket means the choice for voters is now clear.
GORE: It is a choice between the old guard that gave us deficits, divisions and social injustice in the past, and a new vision of prosperity and progress, investment, inclusion and growth to lift up all of our people.
BLACK: While Gore took a broad swipe at the Republican ticket, his supporters are lobbing missiles directly at the GOP's vice presidential candidate, Dick Cheney. At the Rainbow Coalition board meeting in Chicago, Jesse Jackson, once eager to be a vice presidential contender himself in another presidential year, is leading the charge.
JACKSON: Dick Cheney has an image that is palatable, but Jesus warned us to be aware of wolves in sheep clothing, to get beneath appearance to substance.
BLACK: Jackson dug into Cheney's congressional record for what he considers some of that substance.
JACKSON: Dick Cheney voted against Head Start. He voted against equal rights for women. He voted against sanctions against South Africa not once but six times. He voted against freeing Mandela from jail.
BLACK: And in Washington, Democrats focused on Cheney's opposition to gun control, including a ban on plastic guns and so- called "cop killer" bullets.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: A few months ago, the NRA said that if George Bush were elected the gun lobby would work out of the Oval Office. They may work out of the Oval Office but they'll be living in the vice president's office.
SEN. TOM DASCHLE (D-SD), MINORITY LEADER: Now we have a Republican presidential ticket that's to the right of the gun lobby.
BLACK: As to his own choice, Gore is still pondering a list he says has -- quote -- "very few names left on it." Once of those believe to be on the list, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, wasn't saying much either.
SEN. JOHN KERRY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: I read the papers, and I'm sort of, you know, one of those watching as well as participating. But I've committed, as I think every participant has, that this is a private process, and I want to respect that process.
BLACK (on camera): Gore plans to spend the next week resting and relaxing with his wife and children on a barrier island off the coast of North Carolina, getting ready for his vice presidential decision in the next important phase of his presidential campaign.
Chris Black, CNN, Chicago.
WOODRUFF: Meanwhile, Bush and Cheney tried to deflect that new barrage by the Democrats as they campaigned on friendly turf: Cheney's home state of Wyoming. Here's our senior political correspondent, Candy Crowley.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Bush-Cheney ticket headed west on their first road trip: chummy, confident and dismissive of Democratic criticism of the Cheney choice.
BUSH: Belittling? I'm not surprised. I mean, as opposed to understanding what a wonderful choice this was and to try to belittle the pick -- typical.
CROWLEY: As Democrats furiously pedaled Cheney's voting record as proof the Republican ticket is out of the mainstream, the pair stopped on the tarmac in Casper, Wyoming to give a tandem take on the criticism.
On Cheney's conservative votes during his years as a Wyoming congressman, guilty as charged.
DICK CHENEY (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I say again I am generally proud of the record that I accomplished as a member of the House of Representatives as Wyoming's congressman. I was and am a conservative.
BUSH: This is a conservative man, and so am I. But the thing that distinguishes Dick Cheney is that he can get along with others, he is a persuasive person.
He can't stand the politics that divides people into camps and pits people against each other. He's going to be a great vice president.
CROWLEY: Cheney says his votes in the '80s reflect the massive red-ink problems of the decade, so he may have said no to worthy programs that he would support now in surplus times.
On Cheney's opposition to sanctions against South Africa's apartheid government...
CHENEY: I consistently opposed the imposition of unilateral economic sanctions not necessarily because I was concerned about South Africa so much as because I don't believe unilateral economic sanctions work. I think they're often imposed not for foreign policy reasons but for domestic political reasons.
CROWLEY: And on charges that Cheney's oil-field service company and Bush's background in the oil business make this ticket a gusher for big oil companies...
CHENEY: And I'm very proud of what I did at Halliburton and the people of Halliburton are very proud of what they've accomplished. This is jobs, this is energy to run our economy. It's an absolutely vital part of the global economy, and I frankly don't feel any need to apologize for the way I've spent my time over the last five years as the CEO and chairman of a major American corporation.
BUSH: This is also an attempt to divert attention away from the fact they have no energy policy.
SUPPORTERS: Cheney-Bush! Cheney-Bush! Cheney-Bush! Cheney- Bush!
CROWLEY: Bush and Cheney were in Casper for a pep rally at Natrona County High School in wildly Republican, electorally light Wyoming.
CHENEY: You've all heard the comment "Elvis has left the building." Well, I'm here to tell you that Dick is in the building.
CROWLEY: Dick Cheney, president senior class and football player, and Lynne Cheney -- homecoming queen, champion baton twirler -- are alumni here. Cheney and his new boss came to open another chapter in the story of a hometown couple who made good and to celebrate the western roots of the Republican ticket.
BUSH: The West is full of people who understand what the meaning of the word "is" is.
CROWLEY (on camera): Bush and Cheney actually spent more time in the air than they did on the ground here in Wyoming, the sign of an event based on tradition rather than strategy. But Friday, the pair will head to states where their fortunes are less predictable. Cheney will help Bush kick off a tour through swing states as Bush heads into the convention next week.
Candy Crowley, CNN, Casper, Wyoming.
SHAW: Bush campaign officials have been bracing for questions about and attacks on Cheney's record in Congress. So as our Jonathan Karl reports, they have been undergoing a crash course in Cheney's voting history and Al Gore's.
JONATHAN KARL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dick Cheney cast more than 3,000 votes as a member of Congress, too many, he says, to remember them all.
CHENEY: The real question about this campaign is about the future, it's about what kind of policies we're going to pursue in the next administration.
KARL: But as soon as it became clear Dick Cheney was the pick, researchers at the Bush campaign started pouring through those 3,000 votes. They also revisited Al Gore's voting record. On the potential explosive issues of gun control and abortion, the Bush team says Gore was often voting the same way as Cheney.
Take gun control: From 1980 to 1984, Gore received virtually straight-A ratings from the National Rifle Association while representing his conservative Tennessee district in the House, grades similar to Dick Cheney's on the gun issue. And on abortion, Gore voted with the National Right to Life Committee 94 percent of the time in the early 1980s, nearly as high as Cheney's 100 percent rating. And in 1984, Gore voted for an amendment banning federal funding of abortion that said -- quote -- "The unborn are persons from the moment of conception." Cheney voted for that, too. It lost.
CHENEY: It's certainly our intent to run a positive campaign. As Governor Bush has said, we'll be happy to counterpunch if that's necessary.
KARL: Attacked on Cheney's voting record, the Bush campaign will respond with an attack on Gore's, telling voters Gore has flip-flopped on hot-button issues like gun control and abortion.
Bush calls it political judo and it's the modus operandi of his campaign, use an attack against you as an opportunity to turn the attack back on your opponent.
KARL: But the Bush campaign expects the debate over Cheney's voting record to be short-lived. Even as they tout the former defense secretary as the perfect pick, senior Bush aides are saying that as the campaign heats up voters will focus on Gore and Bush, not on their running mates.
Judy, back to you.
WOODRUFF: Thank you, Jonathan Karl.
Well,as we heard earlier, Cheney also is being forced to defend his tenure as chairman and CEO of one of the world's largest providers of oil products and services.
CNN's Tony Clark has been looking at Cheney's five years at the Dallas-based Halliburton Company.
TONY CLARK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dick Cheney was picked to head Halliburton company despite having no corporate background. But Cheney had two things Halliburton wanted: experience running a massive worldwide organization -- the U.S. Defense department -- and he had contacts, both in Washington and around the world, that could open doors for Halliburton as it sought to increase its global presence.
FRED MUTALIBOV, SOUTHWEST SECURITIES: I think that, you know, his connections helped Halliburton a lot during Dick's tenure, five- year tenure at Halliburton.
CLARK: When U.S. trade sanctions kept Halliburton from doing business in Iran and other countries, Cheney began pressing his former colleagues in Congress to lift the sanctions. Two-thirds of Halliburton's revenue come from outside the U.S.
Under Cheney, the company has become the largest oil-field services company in the world.
MUTALIBOV: Just recently, Halliburton got the largest contract ever awarded to a single oil-field services company. The company obtained a $2.5 billion contract from Petrobras to develop oil field off coast Brazil. And that kind of leverage Dick Cheney brought to Halliburton.
CLARK: Cheney could also give the oil industry more leverage in Washington, something he says the industry has lacked because of an image problem. But the prospect of George Bush, a former oil executive, as president, and Cheney as vice president could fuel attacks by Democrats that the industry would have too much clout.
Halliburton was in the midst of a major downsizing when Cheney came on board. Company earnings had just started turning around after two years of losses. Cheney is credited with giving the company a vision for the future and effectively doubling Halliburton's size by merging with Dresser Industries.
ROBIN SHOEMAKER, BEAR STEARNS: Its former CEO had attempted to carry out a merger but it wasn't successful. And Dick Cheney had the -- I think more than anything else -- the personal skills to get that done.
CLARK: While Cheney has been good for Halliburton during his five-year stint, Halliburton has also been good for Cheney, paying him about two million dollars a year plus stock options. Last month alone, Cheney exercised less than half his stock options and made $5.1 million.
Tony Clark, CNN, Dallas.
SHAW: Still ahead on INSIDE POLITICS: Bush's choice and what it means for Al Gore. Judy will talk with Margaret Carlson and Tucker Carlson. Plus, Alan Keyes throws in the towel in an apparent sign of approval.
SHAW: In New Jersey, Al Gore leads George W. Bush 42 percent to 38 percent in a new state poll. Ralph Nader got seven percent, and Pat Buchanan two percent in the Quinnipiac University poll. The results show little change from a June survey. In Maryland, Gore leads Bush 43 percent to 40 percent in a new Mason-Dixon poll. Nader is at five percent, and Buchanan at two percent. Gore had an eight point lead in Maryland in March, but Nader was not included in that poll. A Mason-Dixon poll in North Carolina shows Bush ahead of Gore by seven points, a slightly smaller lead than he had in April. Nader gets four percent, and Buchanan one percent.
WOODRUFF: And joining us now, Margaret Carlson of "Time" magazine, and from Philadelphia, Tucker Carlson of the "Weekly Standard."
Tucker, the Cheney pick, does this help George Bush?
TUCKER CARLSON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think in the strictest political sense, no, it doesn't. I mean, it brings in the three vital electoral votes that Wyoming has. But other than that, no. I mean, clearly people aren't going to vote for Bush because they like Dick Cheney. But the Bush people say: Well, gee, you know, nobody ever votes for a president because they like the vice president he's chosen. So the best you can do is revert to the original criteria that Bush offered up, which apparently he really meant -- you know, someone who is loyal and I guess could be president. I guess he really meant it when he said it.
WOODRUFF: Margaret, is that the best he could have done?
MARGARET CARLSON, "TIME": Well, it may turn out to be a wash in that, as Tucker says, people don't vote for a vice president. But in choosing Cheney, the Bushes may have over-corrected for the Quayle choice in '88; in that, yes, Cheney has lots of experience and he looks a lot older -- even if he isn't a lot older than George W. Bush -- so there's no Quayle factor involved.
But they overlooked that, what Bush has been doing for the last few months -- and brilliantly since he went to Bob Jones University -- is move to the center and really kick in the compassionate part of conservative. And what the pick of Cheney does is erase the compassionate from the conservative. He's just a plain conservative.
WOODRUFF: Tucker, is that a problem that Cheney reinforces everything conservative that George W. Bush believes?
T. CARLSON: Well, I mean, it may in fact be literally true, I don't know. But the idea that you are going to somehow paint Bush as mean and scary and right-wing because Cheney cast mean, scary right- wing votes in the '80s seems a little farfetched to me. I mean, coming here, I have to say one is struck by the degree to which the Republican Party -- really led by Bush now -- is just aggressively kinder and gentler.
I mean, I just found out the RNC's newest project, they are going to unveil this mural they had commissioned highlighting Philadelphia's contributions to the underground railroad. I mean, this really, you know, everything the way Bush is conducting this campaign is designed to reinforce the single message: I am a moderate. And I don't think that picking Cheney is going to compensate -- or overcompensate against that.
WOODRUFF: Margaret? M. CARLSON: Well, I don't know how you explain away Cheney's voting record. We don't have much to go on with Bush in Texas. But you have to assume that Bush embraced Cheney in his entirety. And there's no way to explain away or a tent big enough to embrace Cheney, being so pro-life that he makes no exceptions for rape or incest, voting against Head Start. How many of the million moms are going to go for the vote for cop-killer bullets and plastic guns that can't be detected?
And, you know, last night, Cheney was backing off a tiny bit from some of this, saying that: Well, there wasn't enough money for Head Start, but there was enough money for the weapons for the Nicaraguan Contras. It didn't cost anything to vote for a release -- to call for a release from Nelson Mandela from prison after 23 years -- cost nothing. I mean, how could he vote against that?
WOODRUFF: Well, Tucker, do I hear you saying that you think all these votes are just not going to be interesting after another couple of weeks -- that the press and the Democrats are going to stop pouring over all this?
T. CARLSON: Well, I guess it is significant that Dick Cheney singlehandedly kept Nelson Mandela in prison all those years. But I do think, even something as heinous as that, as Margaret points out, ultimately doesn't mean much. I mean, the Bush people are saying that part of this just is spin and a talking point, but part of it is true. They're saying: Gee, you know, I hope the Democrats attack Cheney. He's the vice presidential nominee. And all the time they spend attacking him, you know, is time they could spend attacking Bush.
And attacking Bush is what moves numbers, not attacking Cheney. So, ultimately, I just am not convinced that anything Cheney does, short of murder, is going to affect the election. But who knows?
WOODRUFF: Margaret, what effect does this have -- or does it have any -- on Al Gore and his decision on a running mate?
M. CARLSON: Well, to the extent that he can make a mistake, you know, it affects him.
I mean, there's -- I -- I don't -- I don't think Cheney was a good choice. And so Gore has the opportunity to make probably a bad choice and then just be equal to Bush's, which is it's not going to help him.
But it means that, you know, Bush -- Gore has experience and gravitas. What he needs is he can make a pure pick of somebody who brings a little excitement, a little bit of the future, a little bit of forward-looking to the ticket as opposed to Bush having to look backwards and get somebody that gave the experience that he perceived -- even he must have perceived himself as lacking.
WOODRUFF: So, Tucker, does Gore have more leeway now?
T. CARLSON: Oh, a lot more. He doesn't have to respond. I mean, you know, the great rumor was that Bush was going to pick Mrs. Dole, thereby forcing, or so the conventional wisdom said, forcing Gore to pick a female running mate. Yes, he can pick anybody. I think it's more likely that he'll go based on geographic considerations, and I think that Bob Graham of Florida, despite his profound personal eccentricities, becomes, I think, a more likely pick, because the idea is he could help bring in Florida.
Whether that's actually true, whether he could deliver Florida is another question. Nobody else seems to be able to deliver any other state, I don't know why Graham would be able to.
M. CARLSON: The possible visual of this of seeing Cheney with Bush is there was some Bush nostalgia out there that had been created by the Bush candidacy, and this could bring back some Bush fatigue, to see Dick Cheney and remember, you know, deficits and all the white men running things.
WOODRUFF: You mean Bush the father?
M. CARLSON: Bush the father.
T. CARLSON: Well, that's why we need Dick Darman in there.
M. CARLSON: A little Bush fatigue. Yes, let's get Dick Darman back.
WOODRUFF: What about the surveys that you both have seen, showing so many Americans are just not really going to be paying attention, they're not going to be watching the conventions. Tucker, are the Republicans concerned about that?
T. CARLSON: I think they are. I mean, but you know, people always say, oh, the conventions, they're so boring and phony. And you know, that's true, but it doesn't make them any less, I think, interesting or useful to watch, and I think more people watch the conventions than admit.
It's kind of like, you know, "Days of Our Lives" or "General Hospital": Everyone says, oh, god, that's low...
... that's low-brow fare, but then they sneak off (UNINTELLIGIBLE) chair and watch them. I think the same is true.
M. CARLSON: But the more scripted they get...
WOODRUFF: "Days of Our Lives," Margaret?
M. CARLSON: It's not even "Days of Our Lives" -- the more scripted it gets, the less in this age of reality television people would want to watch, because nothing's going to happen. And as you say, the mural there is, you know, this -- this kinder, gentler party. It's a squishy, "Can't we all get along here?" It may be one of the reasons why Bush didn't notice that Cheney has -- he comes from the nether regions of the right in his voting record.
T. CARLSON: Oh, Margaret.
M. CARLSON: For Bush, for Bush, it's all, you know, this really big tent, we can all get along, you know, just come over to our side and vote with us. And you know, it doesn't matter if you're pro- choice or anti-gun, you know, we're all one brand-new, new, new, new Republican Party.
T. CARLSON: And then out of the cave comes Dick Cheney! I just don't think people are going to buy that.
I mean, maybe he is scary: I just don't think he's going to scare too many other people, aside from you, Margaret.
M. CARLSON: I just say cop-killer bullets and Nelson Mandela, Tucker. Keep it in mind.
T. CARLSON: There's a bumper sticker.
WOODRUFF: Well, if you all could just think of all of the -- all of INSIDE POLITICS as "The Young and the Restless" we'd appreciate it.
M. CARLSON: Yes, you and Bernie.
WOODRUFF: Yes, exactly.
T. CARLSON: Luke and Laura.
WOODRUFF: He's young and I'm restless.
M. CARLSON: So you watch, Tucker: Luke and Laura. Good.
T. CARLSON: Thank you.
WOODRUFF: All right, Tucker Carlson, Margaret Carlson, thank you both, and we'll see you in Philadelphia, Tucker.
T. CARLSON: Thanks.
SHAW: Republican Alan Keyes says he is planning to withdraw from the presidential race. He says he supports the choice of Dick Cheney for the GOP ticket and will now drop his campaign for the Republican nomination.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ALAN KEYES (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My main concern has been to make sure that no one was placed on the ticket who would be committed to the pro-abortion cause, and would therefore represent an abandonment of the party's principles in that practical way. Obviously, that criterion has been satisfied and that's my only concern.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHAW: Keyes has 14 delegates, but says he's planning to attend the convention in Philadelphia and unite with other Republicans in support of George W. Bush.
There is much more ahead on this edition of INSIDE POLITICS.
WOODRUFF: Including a different view of Dick Cheney and the issue of abortion.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHARLES BIERBAUER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Republicans who favor abortion rights are already parading their opposition to the party's anti-abortion plank, and they think their argument is helped with Dick Cheney on the ticket.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: Charles Bierbauer on preparing for the convention and the difficult issues in the party platform.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICOLE COLSON, UNITY 2000: Police brutality and the fight against the death penalty, the fight for economic rights for poor people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHAW: Bracing for a barrage of protests -- Bruce Morton and how the city of brotherly love is planning to cope.
WOODRUFF: ... a look at Dick Cheney in the years long before the Pentagon and the GOP ticket.
WOODRUFF: We'll have more of the day's political news coming up, but now a look at some other top stories. The latest now on yesterday's deadly crash of an Air France Concorde near Paris. New amateur video shows the supersonic jetliner spewing flame seconds before plowing into a hotel in Gonesse, France. Investigators are focusing on the Concorde's engine No. 2, which underwent emergency repairs just prior to takeoff.
Just before the crash, a crew member radioed back that engine No. 2 had failed.
As officials continue to recover remains of the 113 crash victims near Paris, a memorial service was held today in Hanover for the 96 Germans who were killed in yesterday's crash.
SHAW: Until that crash the Concorde had an excellent safety record. Despite that, some already had doubts about its future.
Here's CNN's Margaret Lowrie.
MARGARET LOWRIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A day after the crash, Concorde took to the skies again from London's Heathrow Airport...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Air accident investigators have recovered the black box...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LOWRIE: .... as coverage of the crash dominated British television and newspapers.
From its inception, the Concorde would be known as "the cathedral of the skies," a thing of grandeur, beauty, built to impress, traveling twice the speed of sound in cocooned luxury. Britain and France began work on it in 1962.
The Concorde's early day were fraught with difficulty.
KIERAN DALY, "AIR TRANSPORT INTELLIGENCE": A lot of things that had only been done in the military before were now being done on a commercial airliner for the first time. So it was very high-risk technically.
LOWRIE: High-risk financially as well.
DALY: The brutal reality is that nowadays an airplane like that would never see the light of the day, because the economics were so poor, and it was only really once the initial cost of the airplane was effectively underwritten by both nations' taxpayers that the airlines were just about able to make the thing work on a day-to-day basis.
LOWRIE: Assembly lines were set up in both countries with Britain and France each designing and building parts. Rolls Royce built the Olympus engines jointly with Sneckma (ph) of France. Workers at the Rolls Royce plant in Bristol, England were stunned by news of the crash.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is really shocking. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) all doom and gloom in there at the moment.
LOWRIE: The first commercial flights were in 1976, operated by British Air and Air France, then both state-owned airlines. A total of 16 Concordes were built. Three were retired in recent years, leaving Britain with seven and France with six before the crash.
But with the technology nearly 30 years old, the Concorde is slated to be taken out of service some time in the coming years.
Margaret Lowrie, CNN, London.
WOODRUFF: President Clinton says that it will take imagination and flexibility to get Israel and the Palestinians back on track following the breakdown of the Camp David peace talks. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak has returned home. He vows he won't give up, but he blames the Palestinians for refusing to compromise.
The Palestinian president, Yasser Arafat, received a hero's welcome home. He says that he will declare statehood if an agreement is not reached by September 13th.
If Arafat does declare unilateral statehood, first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton says the U.S. should cut off all aid to the Palestinians. The statement comes as she tries to shore up support for her Senate candidacy in New York. Jews make up about 12 percent of the electorate there.
SHAW: Software giant Microsoft wants to sidestep the U.S. Supreme Court to try and avoid a court-ordered breakup. Microsoft lawyers filed a brief asking that the appeal of an antitrust verdict go to the Court of Appeals instead of the high court. A federal judge ordered the breakup last month and sent the appeal directly to the Supreme Court.
When INSIDE POLITICS returns, a Republican convention preview: the politics and the protests. Also we're going to talk to convention co-chairman Andrew Card.
WOODRUFF: In Philadelphia today, Republicans are unveiling their convention podium and making preparations to drop thousands of balloons during their big event next week. But outside the hall, demonstrators are getting ready to put on a show of their own.
CNN's Bruce Morton has more on the expected protests and how police plan to handle them.
BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Will people protest here? Yes, many. This rally grew out of the videotape of police beating suspected carjacker Thomas Jones. Speakers included New York's Reverend Al Sharpton.
REVEREND AL SHARPTON, NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK: And we don't need permission from anybody to stand up and fight for ourselves. If you don't want to fight for yourself, good. Shut up and let me fight for myself.
MORTON: Across town, on the same day, a local radio talk-show host led a rally in support of the police.
DOM GIORDANO, TALK SHOW HOST: There will be violence. They're talking about, even the more mainstream, are citing the spirit of Washington and Seattle in their protests, and these are the mainstream protesters.
MORTON: Will the Jones incident and a recent fatal shooting of an unarmed man by Amtrak police at the railroad station intensify planned protests? Nobody knows.
ZACHARY STALBERG, EDITOR, "PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS": Will more protesters come because of those incidents? Will more protesters come with a chip on their shoulder because of those incidents?
MORTON: The protesters will raise many issues.
COLSON: Police brutality, the fight against the death penalty, the fight for economic rights for poor people, you know, the fight against the global AIDS crisis.
MORTON: And more. The death penalty issue here is mixed up with the fate of Mumia Abu-Jamal, convicted of killing Philadelphia policeman Daniel Faulkner in 1981, who has gained a following as an author and activist during his years on death row. Lawyer and talk- show host Michael Smerconish plans a counterprotest on behalf of Faulkner's family.
MICHAEL SMERCONISH, TALK SHOW HOST: We filled out the necessary paperwork to procure a permit so that we could protest. What's unique: We're protesting the protesters.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have to have patience. Don't overreact.
MORTON: The city's police are training. These will be the biggest demonstrations they have faced in some years.
JOHN TIMONEY, PHILADELPHIA POLICE COMMISSIONER: We have done a tremendous amount of training: visual training, team training. We have a, I think, a real good deployment scheme.
MORTON: They know what happened in Seattle, in Washington, D.C. No one expects a repetition of Chicago in 1968 when the city's police attacked anti-Vietnam War demonstrators in what a later investigation called a police riot.
MAYOR JOHN STREET, PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA: This is the cradle of democracy. This is the greatest city that we think in this country, and we're going to do the best we can to make the protesters welcome just as we will make the delegates welcome. This -- this country has a rich tradition in allowing people to say what they have to say.
SMERCONISH: There doesn't appear to be much news coming out of the convention, and therefore, the stage would appear to be set for the protesters to be the dominant story.
MORTON: The protesters would like that, of course. The Republicans and the city establishment would not.
Bruce Morton, CNN, Philadelphia.
SHAW: And joining us now from the GOP convention site in Philadelphia: a general co-chairman of the event, Andrew Card.
ANDREW CARD, GENERAL CO-CHAIRMAN, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION: Good to talk to you, Bernie.
SHAW: Always good to have you. You know, I'm curious. Whom did you think Governor Bush might pick a few days ago?
CARD: Well, we were ready for whatever choice and we were ready for any timeline that he made it on. I was thrilled with the choice that Governor Bush made.
Was I surprised? The truth is I don't think I was really surprised. I know how terrific Dick Cheney is and I'm glad Governor Bush decided to pick him as his running mate. And we'll be ready for the convention, and we're going to send both Governor Bush and Dick Cheney off from this convention with a lot of positive momentum.
SHAW: What's the first thing you do to welcome them?
CARD: Well, first of all, we're going to have a different kind of convention. Governor Bush is a different kind of candidate. He's been grabbing the third rail of politics, called Social Security. He's going to reform it. He's talked about education in a way that Republicans haven't talked about in a long time. And we'll have a different kind of convention. We'll talk about opportunity with a purpose, strength and security with a purpose, prosperity with a purpose. And we're have a president with a purpose.
And this whole thing is about renewing America's purpose together, and that theme will come through this convention loud and clear as we talk to Americans. We're going to have discussions by people who live the policies that are set by government, not just by the policy-makers themselves.
SHAW: Why do you suppose past Republicans didn't discuss these issues that you so proudly say will be discussed in Philadelphia at your convention? CARD: Well, you know, we've got a different kind of candidate running for president. Governor Bush, he went and took the governorship of Texas, and he talked about things that Republicans hadn't talked about in Texas for a long time and made a tremendous difference.
Their education system dramatically improved under his leadership. He changed the tax policy in Texas. He brought people into the Republican Party in Texas. He worked well with Democrats and made the government work.
SHAW: Well, Andy, what do you suppose...
CARD: That's what we're going to do here.
SHAW: What do you suppose has come over your party?
CARD: Well, first of all, Governor Bush will be the first candidate of our party that was not kind of the World War II generation. We'll be paying tribute to the greatest generation in America on the second night of our convention. But Governor Bush is a new kind of Republican, and that's the kind of leadership that he'll be touting at this convention, and we'll talk about the principles that he's articulated during the course of the campaign.
SHAW: And Thursday night, after the governor delivers his acceptance speech, what kind of activity will you have on the floor? Will have you indoor fireworks.
CARD: We're going to have a lot of bells, and whistles, balloons and fireworks. This is really a different kind of convention, with lots of entertainment, lots of great speakers. Colin Powell and Laura Bush will speak on Monday night. John McCain, Elizabeth Dole and Condoleeza Rice on Tuesday night. On Wednesday night, we'll hear from the next vice president of the United States, Dick Cheney. That is the first time, by the way, that the Republicans have had their vice presidential speak on his own night. And then we'll have Governor Bush as the ultimate speaker, the president with a purpose, Thursday night.
SHAW: What happened to "carve up the Democrats" night?
CARD: We're not going to do the old "whack the other team" speech this time? The Republicans are going to present a very positive message. We will contrast with what the Democrats are offering, but we're are really going to talk about the future and the kinds of principals that Governor Bush believes in, and we'll hear about those principals from people who live them every day, the people who personify the principals that the governor believes in.
SHAW: Are you concerned about the protests outside that hall?
CARD: Well, we know that Philadelphia is ready. It's a great host city. They want this convention to well. The convention will go well, because we've got a great message inside of the convention. I'll let the police department in Philadelphia worry about getting delegates there.
But we're going to have a great time. I think it's going to be a good convention to enjoy. And, Bernie, we're looking forward to having you here.
SHAW: Well, Judy and I are anxious to get up there.
One last question, housekeeping question, how much is your big show costing, and how much of it is being by the American taxpayer?
CARD: Well, the Republicans and the Democrats get the same amount of money to put on their conventions. That's about $13.4 million. In addition to that, the host committee, the folks here in Philadelphia, some from New Jersey and Delaware, have raised money that allows the city to put this party on, but we pay for what goes on inside the convention hall. And overall, I would think this is going to be a great venue, thanks to the folks from Philadelphia, and we'll have a wonderful time.
But you know, this is a great tradition. You don't become your party's nominee without a convention. And the Republicans will have the best convention. If you've never watched a convention before, turn this one on. If you were turned off by an old convention, turn this one on, it will be that kind of a difference, and you're going to really enjoy it.
SHAW: Why do you think you're excited?
CARD: I am excited. I've been blessed to have the chance to work here.
SHAW: OK, look forward to seeing you up there, Andrew Card, general co-chairman of the event.
CARD: Thank you.
SHAW: You're quite welcome.
Judy, he sounds excited.
WOODRUFF: He does, and maybe that's infectious. Let's hope so.
As Republicans do gather in Philadelphia, some abortion rights supporters say they see some hope for softening the party's anti- abortion plank. They base that, perhaps surprisingly, on the selection of Dick Cheney as George W. Bush's running mate, even though Cheney has long opposed abortion almost under any circumstance.
CNN's Charles Bierbauer has an inside view of the maneuvering on an issue that has been divisive for the GOP.
BIERBAUER (voice-over): Republicans who favor abortion rights are already parading their opposition to the party's anti-abortion plank, and they think their argument is helped with Dick Cheney on the ticket.
ANN STONE, REPUBLICANS FOR CHOICE: If we'd gotten a pro-choice VP, some of the pro-choice delegates involved in the convention and on the platform may have been less likely to fight.
BIERBAUER: They even see Cheney softening his opposition to virtually all abortions.
DICK CHENEY (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't have any problem supporting the pro-life proposition, as Governor Bush has supported it. That is that it would allow for exceptions for rape, incest or the life of the mother.
BIERBAUER: Republican abortion rights activist say party officials have listened to their argument.
LYNN GREFE, REPUBLICANS PRO-CHOICE COALITION: Phone calls are returned. Everyone has been extremely cooperative, polite. Four years ago, I felt like a leper.
BIERBAUER: Just about every four years, Republicans have nearly come to blows over the strong anti-abortion plank. Platform chair Governor Tommy Thompson has encouraged conservatives that he wants no public squabble.
CHUCK DONOVAN, FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL: We believe the platform delegates are not going to be in any mood to open that issue up for discussion.
BIERBAUER: George W. Bush has also made it clear he wants no changes in language that starts with the "right to life" of "the unborn child." The platform committee, which held preliminary sessions in out of the way Montana and Ohio locations, gets to work Friday. The trip wires are social issues, such as abortion and gay rights. Platform language opposes gay marriage and gays serving in the military. Bush met with gay Log Cabin Republicans in April.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, APRIL 13)
BUSH: I want the Republicans, conservative Republicans to understand that we judge people based upon their heart and soul.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BIERBAUER: Again, conservatives expect no changes.
DONOVAN: Well, since we've asked for the status quo, the 1996 platform made it very clear that the Republican Party stands for the defense of marriage as it's always been understood.
BIERBAUER (on camera): The gay Republicans and abortion rights advocates will have their say before the convention begins. But unless George W. Bush himself signals a change, the platform language might as well be written in stone.
Charles Bierbauer, CNN, Philadelphia. (END VIDEOTAPE)
SHAW: And just ahead, a profile of a young Dick Cheney and his roots out West.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: The vice president only has two duties. One is to inquire daily as to the health of the president, and the other is to attend the funerals of third world dictators. But I think that Dick Cheney will do a lot more than that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: Sen. John McCain today amending his definition of the vice presidency. McCain says he thinks Dick Cheney is an outstanding choice, a sentiment that was echoed by the former defense secretary's supporters in Wyoming.
Our Kate Snow takes a look at Cheney's lifelong connection to the West.
CHENEY: Everything we've been able to accomplish since, over the course of the last 40 years, began right here in Casper.
KATE SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Out in Casper, they called him Dick "Cheeney." He moved there as a kid from Lincoln, Nebraska. Casper called itself the oil capital of the Rockies in the late '50s. The Cheney family wasn't in the business. Cheney's father, also named Dick, a soil conservation agent, his mother a homemaker.
DAVE GRIBBIN, HIGH SCHOOL CLASSMATE & VICE PRES. OF HALLIBURTON CO.: Marge and Dick Cheney -- you go play bridge with Marge and Dick Cheney, you couldn't have a better evening. It's just fun. They're very nice people. Not flashy, just "salt of the earth" kind of people.
BIERBAUER: Cheney met his future wife at Natrona County High. They were high school sweethearts, popular kids whose pictures are all over the 1959 Mustang Annual.
JOE MEYER, HIGH SCHOOL CLASSMATE, WYOMING SECRETARY OF STATE: If you watch "American Graffiti," it was not too far from that. If we had an A&W. We'd go buzz the A, and Dick and Lynne would drive by in their one car, and my girlfriend, at the time, and me.
SNOW: Lynne was the homecoming queen. Dick was senior class president, co-captain of the football team. Friends say Cheney wasn't thinking about a political career back then, but he did think about the consequences of his actions more than most. MEYER: Several parents, their boys -- who were a little more wild than we were -- wouldn't let them go out with the group unless Dick was in the group.
SNOW: Cheney decided to go East on a scholarship to Yale University. Dave Gribbin is a long-time friend.
GRIBBIN: He didn't study. I mean, he was -- you know, he didn't work at it. And so he got poor grades and he left.
SNOW: Cheney stayed three semesters at Yale, tried to go back once more and just couldn't make the grade. Just two years before George W. Bush would enter Yale, Cheney returned home to Wyoming.
MEYER: I think adversity in life helps make you a better person. And I think Dick thought long and hard, being the all-American from Casper, what caused the problem in Yale. And it probably dawned on him: I needed to work harder.
SNOW: And so he did, completing degrees in political science at the University of Wyoming and ending up in a doctoral program. But he never finished that Ph.D. In 1968, he moved to Washington for a congressional fellowship. The next year, former Congressman Donald Rumsfeld was looking for a staff at a newly-formed Office of Economic Opportunity.
GRIBBIN: Cheney went home that weekend and wrote that Sunday an unsolicited memo to his boss on how to staff a federal agency. His boss shared it with Rumsfeld. Rumsfeld was impressed, hired Cheney.
SNOW: He never looked back. Just six years later, Cheney, a 34- year old, became President Gerald Ford's chief of staff.
(on camera): Friends say Cheney never aspired to be famous, never sought the limelight. He still loves the West and is just as happy fishing the Platt River as he is here in Washington. Supporters say that mix will do well for him on the campaign trail.
Kate Snow, CNN, Washington.
SHAW: And when we return, a new twist on the famous Liberty Bell, just in time for the Republican Convention.
SHAW: Guess what? Starting tomorrow, INSIDE POLITICS will come to you live from the convention site in Philadelphia, where we will remain for the duration of the GOP event.
WOODRUFF: In addition to the delegates and the news media, Philadelphia is also playing host to a rather unique display. Nearly 30 states sent their own versions of the Liberty Bell as part of a PoliticalFest display opening today at the Convention Center. From Detroit industrial creation to a Mardi Gras theme from Louisiana, the bells represent something significant about each state. But, so far, there is no entry from George W. Bush's home state.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MERYL LEVITZ, GREATER PHILADELPHIA TOURISM: We are all in suspense about the Texas bell. We know they had a few other things to be concerned about and put their energies to, but I am sure that by the time the convention comes, the Texas bell will be here as well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: And by the way, Bernie, there are two bells from Dick Cheney's home state of Wyoming.
SHAW: I wonder what they are made of.
WOODRUFF: Go check those out.
SHAW: Yes. Yes.
WOODRUFF: And that is all for this edition of INSIDE POLITICS. We'll see you again tomorrow, as Bernie said, from Philadelphia. And, of course, you can go online all the time at CNN's allpolitics.com.
SHAW: And this programming note: Jesse Jackson and Congressman Bob Barr will talk presidential politics on CNN's "CROSSFIRE" at 7:30 p.m. Eastern.
I'm Bernard Shaw.
WOODRUFF: And I'm Judy Woodruff.
"WORLDVIEW" is next.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com
|Back to the top||
© 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.|
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.