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Philly Road Trip Makes Pit Stop in Arkansas; GOP Platform Takes Center Stage at Convention; Philadelphia Fights Over Which Face to ShowAired July 28, 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: Because we're kind of working our way toward the convention. Yes.
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BERNARD SHAW, CNN ANCHOR: A camera-friendly rally in Arkansas helps propel the Bushes and Cheneys toward Philadelphia.
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Here in the convention city, the spotlight is on the GOP platform and it's hard line on abortion.
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MARIA HINOJOSA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Two competing images are on display this week, as Philadelphia fights over which face is the right face to show.
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SHAW: Maria Hinojosa on urban realities and whether they are being addressed by the Republicans.
ANNOUNCER: From the First Union Center in Philadelphia, the site of the Republican National Convention, this is INSIDE POLITICS, with Bernard Shaw and Judy Woodruff and analyst Jeff Greenfield and Bill Schneider.
WOODRUFF: Thank you for joining us.
When the Republicans open their convention here on Monday, it is expected to be chock full of stage craft and symbolism. In keeping with that concept, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney began their journey to Philadelphia today with a shower of confetti in a state close to a certain Democratic president's heart.
Our Candy Crowley is covering their pre-convention tour.
REP. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Please join me in welcoming the next president and vice president of the United States, Governor Bush And Secretary Cheney!
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Bush, Cheney and company met up in Arkansas to launch a six-state, five-day rust-belt, bible-belt, swing-state kind of trek.
BUSH: Because our first stop is a place that will strong a resounding signal to America that Arkansas is Bush-Cheney country.
CROWLEY: Bill Clinton's home may seem like an in-your-face pick for a first stop, because it is. This is George Bush on Dick Cheney.
BUSH: This man is a good man. He's a solid man. He's a man who understands what the definition of is, is.
CROWLEY: In his own way, Cheney made a similar point.
DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are embarked on a great crusade to restore dignity and integrity to Washington.
CROWLEY: If five days of pounding by Democrats is wearing and tearing on Cheney, we may never know. Consistently affable and mild- mannered, Cheney is emerging as the Clark Kent of the ticket. And among the faithful, his pick has struck a cord. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Integrity and character is back. God bless you.
CROWLEY: Touring a faith-based community center, Cheney proved an able backup when Bush was asked about UFO's.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Half the public believes that they are real. Would you finally tell us what the hell is going on?
CHENEY: Sure, I will.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This man knows. He was secretary of defense.
BUSH: He's -- and it was a great one.
CROWLEY: As he travels, Bush is going over his 3,900-word speech for what he calls this "unbelievably, interesting, dynamic moment in my life," by which he means getting the Republican nomination. There is confidence on the trail and in the itinerary. Hoping is to squeeze an extra of couple days of limelight out of the convention, Bush will move through a string of states he says he intends to win, despite Republican presidential defeats in all of them in the last two cycles.
Having long ago solidified his Republican base, the governor will be in mostly working in mostly working-class areas of Arkansas, Missouri, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Together, they represent a good chunk of political change: 74 electoral votes.
(on camera): Currently, the governor leads in all six of the states he will visit, but there is history to undo and a political legacy to retrieve. None of the states on the tour has voted for a Republican president since 1988. The president, of course, was George Bush, the father.
Candy Crowley, CNN, Springdale, Arkansas.
SHAW: There is more evidence today that Bush's lead over Al Gore is growing. But the increase apparently is not due in any large part to Dick Cheney. Our new CNN/"Time" magazine poll shows Bush is 16 points ahead of Gore among likely voters in a four-way match-up including Ralph Nader and Pat Buchanan.
When asked about Cheney's influence on their presidential preferences, two-thirds of registered voters said his selection as Bush's running mate makes no difference.
On the plus side for Cheney, 44 percent said they view him more favorably because of his record as a conservative; 22 percent say they view him less favorably; 32 percent say Cheney's conservatism has no effect on their opinion of him.
WOODRUFF: As we have been pointing out, the Bush campaign has been trying to soften the rough edges often associated with the GOP's right wing. But here in Philadelphia today, a party platform subcommittee rejected two attempts to make the abortion plank more moderate.
CNN's Charles Bierbauer has more on the platform and what is at issue.
CHARLES BIERBAUER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Republicans who support abortion rights sought to remove platform language that says the unborn child has a right to life that can not be infringed and calls for a human-life amendment to the constitution.
TONI CASEY, GOP PLATFORM COMMITTEE MEMBER: It does not reflect the opinion and the beliefs held by thousands and thousands of pro- choice women -- pro-choice Republican men and women.
BIERBAUER: But the Republicans stuck with language strongly condemning abortion.
REP. HENRY HYDE (R), ILLINOIS: The question is, are we a pro- life party or are we a pro-abortion rights party? That is what we are here to decide.
BIERBAUER: The platform language approved by the subcommittee exceeds George W. Bush's parameters on abortion. He says he would not seek a constitutional amendment and would not make abortion a litmus test for judicial choices.
PHYLLIS SCHLAFLY, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COALITION FOR LIFE: The platform is not a piece of legislation. And it's not a direct order to the candidate. It's a statement of what the party believes. BIERBAUER: The Republican platform continues to take a strong stand against homosexuality: no gay marriage, no gays in the military. But it has moderated other positions of the past. It no longer calls for abolishing the Federal Department of Education, but still seeks progressively limited federal involvement in education.
SEN. BILL FRIST (R), TENNESSEE: They think we want all these huge bureaucracies, just as you said, which we're against.
BIERBAUER: It no longer demands English as an official language. But it does call for an overhaul of the nation's immigration system. The battles over the platform language were few and predictable. Only the subcommittee wrestling with abortion drew any crowd.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Bush campaign does not want this language changed. That message has been delivered to us loud and clear from day one throughout.
BIERBAUER: Still, there's been a change in the party's attitude toward dissent.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Unlike '92 and '96, where they had operatives who were hammering on the delegates.
BIERBAUER: Abortion-rights advocates say they could take the issue to the convention floor next week. Platform chair Governor Tommy Thompson hopes to avoid that.
GOV. TOMMY THOMPSON (R-WI), CHMN. GOP PLATFORM CMTE.: If it goes to the floor, I don't think I've done my job.
BIERBAUER (on camera): Governor Thompson's job, or juggling act, is to allow the dissenters to have their say outside the hall, to keep the conservatives happy, and to deliver a platform that the convention can endorse without a fuss. At this hour, the full committee is taking up the section on the family, which contains the language about abortion -- Bernie.
SHAW: Thank you, Charles Bierbauer, outside the hall.
Inside the hall, we're joined by Bush campaign adviser Ralph Reed.
Welcome to INSIDE POLITICS.
RALPH REED, BUSH CAMPAIGN ADVISER: Thanks, Bernie, good to be with you.
SHAW: Good to have you. Good strategy, shift in strategy on abortion language: leave the language alone in the plank, let the delegates think, feel, and say what they will?
REED: Well, I think the platform is a grassroots document. It percolates up from below, as opposed to being imposed from on top. But what I think what Governor Bush has made abundantly clear is that, while he supports right to life -- and by the way, not just on the abortion issue, but also he opposes euthanasia, opposes physician- assisted suicide, opposes embracing an ethic of life for the elderly, the disabled, and the infirm -- I think, Bernie, he has really put a friendlier face on our party.
I think he has an inclusive leadership style. He is somebody who wants to have a dialogue based on mutual respect with those who occasionally disagree. And I'll tell you, having -- this is now my fifth convention -- it's a totally different spirit here than it has been in the past. And Governor Bush deserves the credit.
SHAW: Do you say amen?
REED: Well, I would definitely say kudos to Governor Bush. I think that he has brought a new spirit to our party, and I think that people on different sides of this issue that have really fought very tough over the years have been united by the...
SHAW: And you have been in the center of some of those battles.
REED: I have, but I tell you, it's been a long time since I've seen our party this united. And the guy who deserves the credit is our nominee, Governor Bush.
SHAW: Is the mortal, the primary impetus to win this time?
REED: Well, I don't think it's just to win for the sake of a pyrrhic victory. I think it's in order to adopt the reform agenda that Governor Bush has talked about. This administration has had seven and a half years of prosperity. In order to solve the long-term fiscal solvency of Social Security, it's done nothing but demagogue it and use the politics of division. It could have adopted bipartisan Medicare reform to protect the elderly.
It hasn't done so, after seven and a half years, we have no prescription-drug benefit. They haven't done anything to genuinely improve education. And so, I think Governor Bush, by laying out that reform agenda, and making it clear that if he's elected, that is what he's going to do, that's what got these delegates energized.
SHAW: Are you energized by these pre-convention polls?
SHAW: .... showing Bush-Cheney up high?
REED: I'm energized by this candidate and by his agenda. And, as you know, these polls are going to spike way up and then they are going to come back down. I think it's going to be a very close election. I think Governor Bush will win. I think we have a very, very strong ticket. And I think the Democrats have greatly miscalculated by trying to tear down Dick Cheney. This is one of the finest public servants in either party in this country in the last quarter century.
SHAW: Miscalculated how? How do you think that is going to play out?
REED: Miscalculated by engaging as they always do in the politics of personal destruction, trying to tear people down. As I said, this is one of the finest public servants in either party in the last quarter century. He's served our country in war. He's served our country in time of Constitutional crisis. And the poll shows that he's respected by a margin of 60-9 for being defense secretary, by a margin of 44-22 for being a conservative.
SHAW: Do you think that his public voting record ought not to be part of the public debate?
REED: I think it's fine to say that you disagree with a vote that somebody cast 20 years ago. But the fact of the matter is that Dick Cheney himself has said those were times of soaring deficit, times of great fiscal irresponsibility. Some of the programs have GAO studies that showed that the money wasn't being spent right. He's made it abundantly clear today that he wants to see Head Start fully funded. He's made it abundantly clear that he supports common sense gun measures like Governor Bush has proposed.
SHAW: Jeff Greenfield.
GREENFIELD: Ralph, what your opponents say, and perish the thought, even what we in the media say, may not matter much. But I found it interesting that some movement conservatives are having some problem with this convention. "The Weekly Standard," a conservative publication by Rupert Murdoch has been scornful of the tone of the convention. They called it the "empathy express." They say this is a Clintonized Republican Party, aping Clinton in substituting sympathetic faces and content-free good feelings for hard choices in policies.
Now you came into this business as a movement conservative. Let me put it the way they might put it. You know, you want so much to win that you've forsaken a lot what you came into politics to do.
REED: I haven't seen that editorial, so I don't know if I can comment directly on it. But I would just say, I don't find that all the sentiment of the delegates, and the conservatives, moderates and others that I've run into since I got here yesterday. In fact, I find that the opposite to be the case. They're excited about this candidate. They're excited about his agenda.
And, you know, I don't know, Jeff, I didn't know it was a crime to make your agenda more acceptable and to present to the American people a smile and not a frown, and to make it clear that your party is inclusive and not exclusive, that you want to reach out to women, and seniors, and Hispanics and African-Americans, who haven't always felt welcome, and throw the doors open to them. I think that's something to be celebrated, not criticized. GREENFIELD: I think the point is that in the same way that Democrats, some of them in '92, said it's OK that Clinton doesn't agree with us on welfare reform, the death penalty, various other things, We really want to win. The idea of a bigger Department of Education, for instance, that's something conservatives used to be very much opposed to. And the theory is, well, we're going to bank some of our beliefs because we really want -- we think we can win with this guy, and he's good enough.
REED: Yes, and I totally reject that analysis. If you look at what Governor Bush has proposed, he hasn't proposed that we make bureaucracy bigger; he's proposed the opposite. He's proposed greater local control of education, higher standards, accountability, and that certain bonus funds out of the federal government be tied to how schools perform. As you know, Jeff, that's a total reform of how education is operated.
I think the people who need to be worried today are not Republican. The people who ought to be worried are the Democrats, who looking at today's CNN/"Time" poll, are looking at one out of every three Democrats saying that their party ought to nominate somebody other than Al Gore, That's a major problem going into their convention in two weeks.
SHAW: Ralph Reed, Bush campaign adviser, we'll seeing a lot of you this week.
REED: You bet. Thanks, Bernie.
SHAW: You're quite welcome. And still ahead here on this edition of INSIDE POLITICS, we'll talk to a member of the Gore campaign about the latest polls.
WOODRUFF: And we will also look at the campaign's latest attack on George W. Bush's running mate.
SHAW: Vice President Al Gore is vacationing in North Carolina this week, and considering the question of his running mate. Meanwhile his campaign is launching a new attack on Dick Cheney and comments he made as the head of Texas oil services company Halliburton. The Gore campaign says Cheney praised a 1999 OPEC decision to cut oil production, a move that would increase oil prices. The campaign alleges that shows Cheney was more interested in oil profits than consumer gas prices. Bush spokeswoman Karen Hughes says Cheney was simply describing what was happening in the oil industry at time.
WOODRUFF: And joining us now from Nashville, Gore's deputy campaign manager for communications, Mark Fabiani.
Mark Fabiani, first of all, what about the response of the Bush campaign to your charges. They're saying that all Mr. Cheney was doing was reflecting what's going on at time? MARK FABIANI, GORE DEPUTY CAMPAIGN MANAGER FOR COMMUNICATIONS: Well, that's not quite true. In fact, Dick Cheney traveled to the Middle East. He met personally with the head of the OPEC countries, and then he traveled to Venezuela and met with the head of Venezuela, which is also an OPEC country. And then he came back and he spoke to a group of oil men, and he said what he found on his trip after all of these meetings was the good news that oil price were going to be going up, and he said there's hope and optimism for the oil industry. And indeed, he was right, oil prices went up, consumers across the country got gouged, especially in the Midwest.
When people figure out what a role Dick Cheney had in these prices going up, they're not going to look too kindly on the Republican all-oil ticket.
WOODRUFF: But you're not suggesting Dick Cheney wanted people to pay more for gas, are you?
FABIANI: He's in the oil business. His stock was at record low in 1999 when gasoline prices were low. He traveled to all the OPEC countries, and then he came back and said that there was good news for the oil industry. He used the words -- and I'm quoting -- "hope and optimism" for the oil industry because prices were going to be going up. Now he knows -- he's a smart man -- what's going to happen if oil prices go up -- gasoline prices go up, and that's exactly what happened this year, and people across the country were gouged, and they're mad about it, and am all-oil Republican ticket is not going to play very well, especially in the Midwest.
WOODRUFF: Well, you just heard Ralph Reed say these attacks by your campaign and other Democrats on George W. Bush's running mate are really going overboard, that what you have in Dick Cheney is, in his words, a "fine public servant," and to try to paint him as anything else is just not going anywhere. In fact, it's going to backfire on you?
FABIANI: Well, no doubt he's a fine public servant. He has a career going back many years. He worked for the Nixon administration, the Ford administration. But these are legitimate issues to be discussed. There has never in American history been an all-oil ticket, never, and that's something that is worthy of discussion, and particularly in a year when gas prices have been the number one issue on people's mind. People are concerned about it, and it's a legitimate issue that's out there, and it deserves to be discussed.
SHAW: Let me ask you about something Governor Bush and Dick Cheney said today on the campaign trail. Governor Bush, among other things, he said, "I have a running mate who knows what the definition of 'is' is," clearly a reference to President Clinton. Then Dick Cheney said, "We are embarked on a crusade to restore the dignity of the White House."
FABIANI: Well so much for Governor Bush's pledge to run a positive campaign, to not engage in what he called the politics of personal destruction. His statement today is a desperate statement. He's trying to deflect attention from the problems that he's had this week with his decision to select Mr. Cheney, and he's done it in a desperate way by going back to a situation that happened a couple years ago that everyone would just as soon forget about in this country.
WOODRUFF: I also want to ask you, Mark Fabiani, about these polls. Yesterday, the CNN/"USA Today" Gallup poll shows Al Gore running 11 points been the George W. Bush. Today, a different poll shows the vice president 16 points behind Governor Bush. Not only that, one of every three Democrats saying they'd rather have a nominee other than Al Gore. What does your campaign do about this?
FABIANI: Well those polls have been all over the map. The last six polls taken, including a huge poll by the Pew organization released yesterday, show the race within the margin of error, within two or three points. So it's hard to know what to make of these polls. They shouldn't be jumping all over the map the way they are, because frankly, out there in the real world, most people aren't paying that much attention to this election.
They'll start paying attention at the conventions and into the fall. And when they do, we're really confident that people will want new guard leadership represented by Al Gore, not the old guard of Bush-Cheney.
And we're going to focus on the message of paying off the national debt, protecting Social Security, and contrast that with what Bush and Cheney would do, which is really old guard stuff, huge tax cut, big defense program, privatize Social Security. We'll do very well in the fall with those issues.
WOODRUFF: Mark, Jeff Greenfield has a question -- Jeff?
GREENFIELD: Mark, your campaign has been making the argument you just made for months, that once people focus on the issues Al Gore will do fine. I think the most disturbing things for you guys at this poll are not the numbers, which we can all agree are often written in sand, but that on bedrock stuff like leadership, who do you trust more, those character issues that are much harder to change than people who vote on issues, your candidate is doing not well at all.
And I think the question there is will attacks on Dick Cheney's voting record make much of a difference if the majority of folks just don't think Al Gore is up to the job based on character issues?
FABIANI: Well, look, in the last couple of weeks there have been serious questions raised about Mr. Bush being up to the job. And we're more than willing in the fall to compare which candidates has the most experience, the most qualifications. Al Gore has presided over one of the greatest economic booms in history. George Bush has run his budget into deficit.
Those issues of leadership and competence are going to become very clear in the fall. We look forward to debating those, and hopefully George Bush will agree to some debates and people can see these two guys next to each other. And when they do, we're very confident about the outcome.
WOODRUFF: All right, Mark Fabiani thank you very much for joining us.
FABIANI: Thanks for having me.
WOODRUFF: Appreciate it -- Bernie.
SHAW: Chelsea Clinton is taking some time off from college to help her mother on the campaign trail and to spend some time at the White House. President Clinton says his daughter has more than enough credits to graduate from Stanford next spring. The president says Chelsea will spend part of her time working on Hillary Rodham Clinton's Senate campaign in New York.
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WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: She wants to be able to help her mother and she wants to be able to keep company with her father, which is always a surprising thing when your children grow up and they want to spend time with you. I think Hillary and I are immensely gratified by that.
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SHAW: In Georgia, CNN founder Ted Turner floated his name among top state Democrats last week as a candidate for a vacant U.S. Senate seat, according to sources in the state. Georgia Governor Roy Barnes appointed former Governor Zell Miller to replace the late Paul Coverdell. Miller will now face a special non-partisan election in November for the final four years of Coverdell's term. There was no comment today from Ted Turner's office.
And there is much more ahead on this edition of INSIDE POLITICS.
WOODRUFF: Still to come from our headquarters at the site of the Republican National Convention:
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HINOJOSA (voice-over): Block after block of crumbling housing stock, idle factory buildings backdrop mounds of litter, abandoned cars, abandoned lots, abandoned people.
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WOODRUFF: Maria Hinojosa on the side of Philadelphia the delegates may not see.
SHAW: Which presidential hopeful fares better at the hands of the news media? The answer just ahead.
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WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST (voice-over): What a smart calculation, deserving of the political "Play of the Week."
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WOODRUFF: Bill Schneider on the shrewd move that adds up to a political bonus.
JOIE CHEN, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Joie Chen at CNN Center.
We'll have more of the day's political news ahead. First, a look at some other top stories.
A U.S. Army sergeant has pleaded guilty to premeditated murder, sodomy and indecent acts with a minor. Staff Sergeant Frank Ronghi admitted killing an 11-year-old ethnic Albanian girl in Kosovo. Sources say that his admission was offered in exchange for a more lenient sentence. Ronghi faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole.
Political protests turn violent in Lima, Peru. Anti-government demonstrators attempted to disrupt the third inauguration of Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori. They threw fire bombs and set blazes in government buildings. Police used water cannons, tear gas and batons to control the crowd. At least 35 people are reported injured.
President Clinton says he wants to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which the Israeli government regards as its capital. In an interview with Israeli television, Mr. Clinton said he would have made the move sooner but he didn't want to undermine the Mideast peace process.
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CLINTON: I have always wanted to move our embassy to West Jerusalem. We have a designated site there. I have not done so because I didn't want to do anything to undermine our ability to help to broker a secure and fair and lasting peace for Israelis and for Palestinians. But in light of what has happened, I've taken that decision under review, and I'll make a decision sometime between now and the end of the year on that.
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CHEN: Congress passed a bill in 1995 calling for moving the embassy move. In the past, such proposals were opposed by the Palestinians, who considered East Jerusalem to be their capital.
The death toll from Tuesday's Concorde crash near Paris has now risen to 114. The body of a fifth person killed on the ground was found today. Crash investigators now say that fire seen streaking from the supersonic jet during takeoff may not have started in the engines. They believe a wheel exploded on the runway. They say the blow-out could have damaged the plane, setting it on fire and destroying an engine. The jet left a trail of debris, including tire fragments and other pieces on the runway. But debris recovered from inside the engines has yet to be identified.
A psychiatric evaluation has been ordered for a 22-year-old man in connection with last night's jetliner hostage drama. Authorities say that Aaron Commey got around security at New York's Kennedy Airport and boarded a National Airlines jet with a handgun. He surrendered several hours later. The psychiatric examination is to determine the man's competency to stand trial.
First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton is cleared of wrongdoing in the so-called "Filegate" investigation. A final report by independent counsel Robert Ray was unsealed today. It says there is no evidence that Mrs. Clinton or any senior White House official was involved in seeking information on Republicans in FBI background reports.
When INSIDE POLITICS returns, the streets of Philadelphia and problems some GOP convention-goers may not see.
SHAW: Days away from the Republicans convening here in the City of Brotherly Love. And in part of the preparation -- you just heard that? Guess what that is? That's a fire alarm. They've been testing them for the past two hours. The fire alarm in this building has been activated, cease operations, leave the building. We've been told that they are merely testing, and we can safely work here, Judy. And let us continue. Let us resume, as they say from the podium of a convention hall.
Here in Philadelphia, you could say "accentuate the positive" is the unofficial motto of GOP convention planners and city officials.
But, as CNN's Maria Hinojosa reports, some people want the party and the nation to focus on what's wrong in this city and others.
GALEN TYLER, KENSINGTON WELFARE RIGHTS UNION: This is called America Street.
HINOJOSA (voice-over): Down and out in Kensington, a part of Philadelphia's rough side that can seem to go on forever.
TYLER: When people talk about the badlands, if you can look around, that's what -- I mean, that's what they call Kensington, North Philly.
HINOJOSA: Block after block of crumbling housing stock. Idled factory buildings backdrop mounds of litter, abandoned cars, abandoned lots, abandoned people.
TEX HYMAN, HOMELESS MAN: Who cares about people who sleeps like this? They say we're criminals. HINOJOSA: Activist Galen Tyler is offering visits to ailing Kensington. He calls them "reality tours."
TYLER: When these 15,000 reporters come in from all over, you know, 5,000 international, we want them to see that poverty do exist here.
HINOJOSA: Tyler doesn't want the Republicans to miss a thing -- not the squat city building where welfare families spill out all day, not the coats upon coats of graffiti, certainly not the trash.
TYLER: And see, all this over here used to be full of nothing but trash.
BART BLATSTEIN, PHILADELPHIA DEVELOPER: This is a great area -- vibrant, large artist community, yuppies.
HINOJOSA: But Kensington is just outside Philadelphia's tony downtown, so developer Bart Blatstein has been dumping loads of money into reviving the neighborhood. He wants the Republicans to see a city on its way back, one where government can make a difference.
BLATSTEIN: This is an area that is receiving help. The government has been great.
HINOJOSA: The two competing images are both on display this week, as Philadelphia fights over which is the right face to show.
BETTY LIVEWELL, RESIDENT: Sometimes we get a bad rap, and I just wanted them to know that there are nice people living here.
HINOJOSA: The Republicans say they'll give both sides a once over.
ANDREW CARD, GENERAL CO-CHAIRMAN, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION: We're going to be good neighbors during this convention, so I think we'll be seeing all aspects of the city. And our delegates will be actively involved in the community.
HINOJOSA: A spokesman for the Republican National Convention has said that they will be holding voluntary site visit for any of the delegates in case they want to go into the poor communities here in Philadelphia and volunteer their time while they're here. But poverty rights activists say that's not enough, and they've erected a national tent city for the homeless and the poor. They've got signs up where they say there are 35 million Americans living in poverty. A delegation just arrived from Atlanta. More are expected. They'll continue here throughout the convention, and they say they welcome any visits from any of the delegates to the convention.
Reporting live from the tent city called "Bushville," Maria Hinojosa, CNN.
WOODRUFF: Thank you, Maria. And then of course this spat over Philadelphia's image is just a minor skirmish in a much wider war of politics and perception. In that, the candidates' public images are the main focus, with much of the battle being waged through the media. This year, the ground may be shifting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, 1992)
GEORGE BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Annoy the media and re-elect George Bush for president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: President George Bush in 1992, voicing a common complaint among conservatives, that the news media are biased against Republicans. But this year's GOP standard bearer has little to complain about.
BUSH: Thank you for this honor.
WOODRUFF: According to a study by the Project for Excellence in Journalism and the Committee of Concerned Journalists, Democrat Al Gore was far more likely to be the subject of negative news stories this year. Forty-two percent of Gore stories covered the degree to which he is tainted by scandal.
Thirty-four percent dealt with whether Gore exaggerates or lies.
Just 14 percent focused on his competence and experience.
When the media reported on Bush, it was more likely to deal with positive themes. Forty percent of all stories were on Bush's main campaign message, that he's a different kind of Republican.
Twenty-six percent focused on whether he is intelligent and knowledgeable enough for the job, and 10 percent on whether he's coasting on his family name.
But there's also evidence that the media tide may be turning Gore's way. Much of the negative coverage came during Gore's tough primary battle with Bill Bradley. Bradley stopped just short of calling him a liar.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, JANUARY)
BILL BRADLEY (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If a candidate doesn't trust the people enough during a campaign to tell them the truth, what chances do you think there are that candidate will trust the people enough to tell them the truth as president of the United States?
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WOODRUFF: According to the study, 43 percent of Gore stories in March dealt with questions about his truthfulness. By June, that percentage had fallen to 16 percent. Now, the most common Gore theme concerns his competence.
As for Bush, the media honeymoon could be ending. In June, the most common theme was whether he's smart enough.
WOODRUFF: And joining us now from Washington, Tom Rosenstiel, the Director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, one of the group's responsible for the study.
So, Tom, your study shows the press has been tougher on Al Gore up until recently. Al Gore has been lagging in the polls. Does that mean the media is influential?
TOM ROSENSTIEL, DIRECTOR, PROJECT FOR EXCELLENCE IN JOURNALISM: Well, not necessarily. We did a companion study that was a survey of public attitude, and we found that the public doesn't see the race the same way that the press does.
While the press focused on the fact that Bush might be a different kind of politician, more people, more Americans, attribute those characteristics of reaching across the aisle, being a sort of unusual politician with Al Gore than they do with George Bush.
And while the press has not focused on the notion that George Bush has coasted on his family name, that's the most prevalent perception of character that Americans have with George W. Bush, even though that's not what the press is emphasizing.
WOODRUFF: So you're saying the results may be the same, but it's for different reasons, different from what the press is reporting?
ROSENSTIEL: Yes, to some extent the public seems to be saying the same thing that your fire alarm is: Get out of the building, get out of the way, let us judge this race ourselves. And we don't want the media filter telling us, making these character judgments for us about who these guys are.
WOODRUFF: Tom, you've been looking at the press for a number of years. Is this is a change...
ROSENSTIEL: I've got gray hair.
WOODRUFF: Is this a change for the press? Does this mean the press is viewed differently in this whole political process now?
ROSENSTIEL: Well, I mean, there's 80 years of research that suggests that people don't take this stuff in like a hypodermic needle, that the press doesn't tell people what to think, it tells them what to think about, if you will.
But this seems to be, really, almost a repudiation. To some extent, I've got to believe the 15 years of surveys that show that people distrust the press, increasingly distrust the press, this is the chickens coming home to roost. People don't believe what journalists are telling them. There was a survey about a month ago that suggested that people believed ABCnews.com more than they do ABC news on TV because there's the perception that it's unfiltered and that journalists are not mediating the information in a dot.com environment.
WOODRUFF: Well, there's a whole lot here to chew on and, Tom Rosenstiel, we are out of time. But we know that we'll be looking at this question again and again. Thank you very much for joining us.
ROSENSTIEL: Thanks, Judy.
WOODRUFF: Just ahead, preserving the primary calendar. A look at why New Hampshire's early contest may be safe for now.
SHAW: On our Web site, cnn.com/election2000, you can test your political IQ. Answer the questions on the site, then tune into CNN at 8:00 p.m. Eastern to find out how well you did.
Here in Philadelphia, pre-convention business today included a debate over the presidential primary process. For the first time since the 1970s, the GOP considered a major change to the primary calendar.
But as Kate Snow reports, that plan was soundly defeated.
BUSH: God bless you all and God bless America.
KATE SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): George W. Bush sealed the deal in just over 40 days from Iowa to the March 7th primaries. By then, everyone knew he would be the Republican nominee.
TOM SANSONETTO (R), WYOMING DELEGATE: Two-thirds of the states did not have an opportunity to have a meaningful say on the nomination for the most powerful person in the world.
SNOW: Delegates on the convention's Rules Committee agree in principal the current system where so many states hold early primaries has got to change. But the question is, how?
A plan promoted by one of the smallest states in the union, Delaware, went down in flames.
The Delaware plan would have meant radical changes in 2004. Seventeen states, territories and the District of Columbia would hold primaries in February. Another group of slightly bigger states would vote in March, another in April, and the biggest states would wait until May.
BASIL BATTAGLIA, DELAWARE GOP CHAIRMAN: It's really decided at the end by the larger states. It just gives the smaller states an opportunity to participate with candidates and gives the candidates an opportunity to go to those state, and they don't need a large war chest to go into those state.
SNOW: But the states with the most delegates said that plan would have made their voters worthless.
LEZLEE WESTINE (R), CALIFORNIA DELEGATE: And when you tell a large bloc of them that they will really have no say, that really takes a lot of the energy and the enthusiasm out of the political process.
SNOW: Delegates who were on the fence had some help deciding how to cast their votes. The Bush campaign sent advisers to urge delegates to defeat the primary reform plan.
CHARLIE BLACK, BUSH ADVISER: The biggest problem with it is that the Democrats will not go along. They will keep their current primary calendar, which means their nominee will emerge in March, while the Republicans continue to fight until May or June. We end up, we've given them about a three-month advantage both to campaign and to raise money.
SNOW (on camera): Democrats say they're willing to discuss changes to the primary system. Like many Republicans, they suggest a plan proposed by state leaders, allowing regional groupings.
ED RENDELL, DNC GENERAL CHAIRMAN: Break the country up into regions, have regional primaries, one a month for five months, and rotate them every four years. So that everyone every 20 years would go first, everyone every 20 years would go last.
SNOW: But that plan has its critics, too, and if the Republican rejection of the Delaware idea is any indication, the 2004 presidential primary season is likely to be as short as it was this year.
Kate Snow, CNN, Philadelphia.
WOODRUFF: And now let's go to Atlanta to the news desk there and our own Joie Chen for a news development outside Philadelphia -- Joie.
CHEN: Judy, there's a late development on that Napster story coming from San Francisco and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals this afternoon, the circuit court of appeals today issuing a stay against the injunction that would have shut down the music-sharing system which is known as Napster. Napster was supposed to shut down by midnight West Coast time tonight. It's an Internet site that allows its users to upload and download music through the Internet, but the recording industry considers it an invasion, an infringement, of its business.
The bottom line of this latest decision from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco this afternoon that Napster can keep going, at least for the time being, while this case is being pursued.
We'll have more of INSIDE POLITICS from Philadelphia coming up right after a break.
SHAW: Our Bill Schneider joins us now with a campaign move that defied conventional politics and scored big this week -- Bill.
SCHNEIDER: Bernie, as you know, when you pick a running mate, you're supposed to balance the ticket. Dick Cheney really doesn't do that. So why pick him? What could possibly make Bush's decision to pick Cheney this week's political "Play of the Week?"
SCHNEIDER: The fact is, George W. Bush didn't pick Dick Cheney to balance the ticket. He picked Cheney to make a statement, several statements actually. One is about maturity. Don't worry about Bush's lack of national or international experience. He will have people like Cheney around him, who know what's going on.
Cynics call it the Quayle-Bush ticket. But voters seem to find Cheney reassuring. The biggest Cheney positives, according to the latest CNN/"Time" poll: secretary of defense during the Gulf War, member of Congress -- in other words, experience. Is Cheney's conservatism a problem? Not in the abstract. By two to one, voters say being very conservative is a plus. But Bush has the conservative vote locked up. He's got to reach out to moderate swing voters. Can Cheney do that? Possibly, but not with ideology, with civility.
CHENEY: I look forward to working with you, Governor, to change the tone in Washington, to restore a spirit of civility and respect and cooperation.
SCHNEIDER: Notice how Cheney refuses to play to the traditional vice presidential role of attack dog. The message to swing voters is: Elect us and we'll stop the bickering. And one more thing:
BUSH: I have to admit something. I didn't pick Dick Cheney because of Wyoming's three electoral votes.
SCHNEIDER: In other words, it was not a political calculation. How could it be? Where's the balance? But that, too, was a statement. You know how everything Al Gore does seems to be driven by political calculation: no controlling legal authority, let Elian stay here. By picking Cheney, Bush was saying: Unlike Gore, I'm not driven by political calculation. What a smart calculation, deserving of the political "Play of the Week."
SCHNEIDER: Now, the conventional wisdom is that Bush's choice was about governing, not about politics. After all, he picked a running mate who fits no political strategy. Oh, yes, he does. You know, sometimes being non-political is the best political strategy of all.
SHAW: I have one question... SCHNEIDER: What is that?
SHAW: ... for anyone. Does Cheney's presence on this ticket help the Republicans get suburban, independent, swing and women voters who are going to count so mightily on November 7th. Does he?
SCHNEIDER: Well, for one reason, they are the ones who don't like partisan bickering. They don't like -- they think that what is going on in Washington is irrelevant to their lives. The appeal of Cheney is not ideological. It is that he is coming in to say we are going to restore a civil, cooperative tone to American politics. And they like that.
WOODRUFF: And he says -- whatever he says, he says with a smile on his face. And no matter what anybody says about, you know, personality or cosmetics shouldn't matter, they do matter for many people.
SCHNEIDER: Yes, that's right. He is not a Gingrich conservative. He is really a Reagan conservative. And they are very different.
WOODRUFF: I talked with one Ohio delegate today who said: You know, nobody in our delegation is doing cartwheels over the naming of Dick Cheney. We would have loved to have some spectacular surprise -- and we are now hearing the fire alarm evacuation.
GREENFIELD: They just want to be on INSIDE POLITICS.
WOODRUFF: I think that's what it is. We wish we could show you this (UNINTELLIGIBLE) But his point -- the delegate's point is that we are not doing cartwheels over this guy, but he is reassuring -- the exact word you used.
GREENFIELD: I think -- I think, first of all, let's think about this conversation six weeks from now, because we have all been around enough to know that things that look one way in July may look very different. I don't know whether or not the attacks that the Democrats are making, some of the questions that have been raised about Dick Cheney -- opening up the defense department to a political event -- whether that will have any impact at all. We generally know that vice presidents, once the hoopla is are over, tend to fade.
But I think, I think -- I always say to agree with Schneider -- but I think the political appeal in the broader sense of not doing a calc -- what looks like a political calculation, is in itself a very smart political statement. It's a way of saying: Look, I am telling you, I want this guy to help me govern. No, he doesn't -- does he win Catholic women in suburban Ohio: no conceivable way. It's almost like the uncharismatic -- quick line -- Ed Koch's slogan when he got elected mayor: "After eight years of charisma, why not try competence?" That's what this message is, I think.
SCHNEIDER: I think so too.
SHAW: Well the question is, will it work? SCHNEIDER: Yes, well we don't know.
SHAW: Ah, cliche.
SHAW: Only time will tell.
WOODRUFF: Only time will tell.
GREENFIELD: Yes. And speaking of time, if I may, 10:00 tonight, 10:00 Eastern, there is a NEWSSTAND special, anchored by yours truly in which we're not only talking politics with political types, we have brought in a screenwriter, a comedian, and an advertising genius, to give a kind of take about politics from people who do not focus on them for a living. I think -- if I may coin a cliche -- it's a very unconventional convention coverage.
SHAW: Excellent. We will be watching.
WOODRUFF: We can't wait.
SHAW; And that's all for this edition of INSIDE POLITICS. But of course, you can go online all the time at cnn.com/election2000.
WOODRUFF: CNN will bring you all the news live from the Republican Convention throughout the weekend and, of course, all next week, including a special one-hour edition of INSIDE POLITICS Sunday at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.
SHAW: Also Sunday: Republican vice presidential candidate Dick Cheney will be among Wolf Blitzer's guests on a special two-hour "EDITION" at noon Eastern.
Speaking of time, Judy, they want us out of here at the stroke of 6:00 Eastern for a security sweep.
WOODRUFF: So we are ripping off our microphone as we speak.
I'm Judy Woodruff.
"WORLDVIEW" is next.
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