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Larry King Live

Nancy Reagan Discusses Her Husband and the Republican National Convention

Aired August 2, 2000 - 9:00 p.m. ET


LARRY KING, HOST: This is Larry King. The next hour is devoted to LARRY KING LIVE, with two shows tonight, now and again at midnight, and you're looking at the floor on this next to last night of the Republic National Convention.

Before we meet first guests, we have with us on the phone from her home in California, Nancy Reagan, who was here last night in honor of her husband Ronald Reagan, who of course could not attend, but we're here to talk about the couple things, mostly about the condition of President Ford.

You spoke -- Nancy, thanks for being with us. You spoke to Betty today?

NANCY REAGAN, FORMER FIRST LADY: Yes, I called her as soon as I got to the house.

KING: And?

REAGAN: And she said that Jerry was going to be fine, and she was very encouraged, and she expected to be on the way back to Colorado.

KING: You were with him last night. Did you notice anything wrong?

REAGAN: No, nothing. I -- it's so funny, because, we were there -- I was speaking to them, and we were all together, and we were talking about the convention, and Jerry said, he thought he was getting a cold, and he was eating some ice, and that was all. I mean, he looked fine, and then we were waiting for the motorcade to turn around so we could leave, and they left. It was such a surprise.

KING: You know the two first ladies with two husbands not well. I guess there is irony here. How do you feel about all this? How did -- did Betty sound upbeat?

REAGAN: Yes, very, very. She said the doctors were very encouraging, and she sounded very upbeat.

KING: How tough was that for you last night? We're looking at a scene now you are sitting with President Bush, and Betty Ford and President Ford. How tough was it for you? REAGAN: Well, you know, it's hard not -- to deal without Ronnie, always hard.

KING: I know you were glad they didn't ask you to speak, right?

REAGAN: Oh, my, yes. Oh, my, yes. I did that four years ago, and I barely got through it, and I know I couldn't get through it now. So it's a good thing.

KING: What do you make of how well -- I know Andrew Card is going to be with us in a moment -- how well they're doing this convention?

REAGAN: It looks fine to me. No, I'm not going to get into that, Larry.

KING: You had a good time.

REAGAN: I had a good time, fast, fast turnaround.

KING: In and out.

REAGAN: In and out.

KING: Thanks so much, Nancy. I appreciate you giving us some time.

REAGAN: You're welcome, Larry.

KING: Nancy Reagan, the former first lady.

And joining us now ambassador Peter Secchia. He was a Bush ambassador to Italy from 1989 to 1993. He's a close personal friend and adviser to Gerald Ford and was with him most of the day. David Hume Kennerly, the contributing editor to "Newsweek," a personal photographer to President Ford for three years. And Andrew Card, who was Bush's campaign convention chairman. He was with Gerald Ford last night and was at the hospital today.

Ambassador, you spent most time with him. What can you tell? What happened to him today?

AMBASSADOR PETER SECCHIA, FORD FRIEND AND ADVISER: Well, I was here his chief of staff early this morning, and I had already left to go. I went to three hospitals trying to find out, because I heard he was in the hospital, and finally got there, and -- he is a tough guy. He's really a wonderful guy. And it was difficult to see him. He said, you know, "I haven't had a cold in 3 1/2 years," and he's had a lot of tests and a very busy day.

KING: Was he able to speak well?

SECCHIA: No. He's still got that problem with the speech, and I think the ice that Mrs. Reagan talked about was because he'd had a infection in this -- trouble with his tongue, and that was complicated with the fact his sinuses, he thought was a cold, and the antibiotics, and a tough old codger, but he's doing great. From the morning when I first saw him until nine hours later when I left him, I could see him improve, just see it.

KING: Watch it improve.


KING: Is there some paralysis?

SECCHIA: No. They say he'll recover that speech problem he has. He's complaining about a little bit of a problem with his facial, but there's nothing, I couldn't notice anything paralyzed. He's very concerned about his University of Michigan football team, and we had a few laughs, and David showed up, we had a few more laughs, and...

KING: He was able to laugh and -- is he in the ICU unit?

SECCHIA: He's in intensive care, in a special neurology department, but they -- the prognosis is good. Recovery will come, and everybody loves the man calls. There were calls coming in from all over the world today. And you yourself, that wonderful warm note you left.

KING: I went over to hospital today and left you a note and...

SECCHIA: I gave to it Mrs. Ford and I read it to him, and he was so happy to hear from you.

KING: How's Betty doing?

SECCHIA: She is a princess. I mean, she is just wonderful. She was -- I was sobbing this morning, and she is like the Rock of Gibraltar.

KING: David, when did you get there?


KING: You know him a long time, you were his personal photographer -- how'd he look to you?

KENNERLY: He's looking good. I mean, not too much difference from last night really I didn't think. And Pete's right, he really is a tough guy, and he was able to laugh about something in one of the newspapers, wanted to see what was going on, and he wants to get out of there tomorrow.

KING: That's not going to happen, is it? With a stroke, you...

KENNERLY: I wouldn't want to be one to tell him that, that's for sure.

KING: Andrew, when did you get there?

ANDREW CARD, BUSH CAMPAIGN CONVENTION CHAIRMAN: I first saw him when he first went into the hospital, probably about 20 minutes after he arrived last night.

KING: This morning?

CARD: Last night.

KING: Last night. And they said it was what? Sinus?

CARD: He had sinus, and throat problems and maybe something do with his ears. I spoke with him. He was very, very pleasant, anxious to get out of the hospital, and..

KING: And he did get out.

CARD: And Mrs. Ford was just wonderful, and very supportive of what the doctors were doing, and everyone so kind to him. And then this morning when I heard he was back in the hospital, I went right over and saw him in the morning as well.

KING: And they were questioning the doctors a lot about why he was released last night. Did he insist on being released?

CARD: He was anxious to get out of the hospital last night.

SECCHIA: The doctors are very careful today to emphasize that the symptoms were different today than they were last night. Last night was basically the results of the swollen throat and a few problems of the complications from drugs.

KING: We'll be right back with Ambassador Secchia and David Hume Kennerly and Andrew Card. Still to come, Elizabeth dole, Senator Trent Lott. Another LARRY KING LIVE coming up at midnight.

As we go to break, here's a portion of our interview just last night with former President Ford.


KING: And, finally, how is your health? You're 88.

GERALD FORD, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I should correct you. I was just 87, Larry.

KING: Oh, good. Live longer.

FORD: I'm looking forward to it. But, anyhow, I couldn't be healthier. Betty and I are having a magnificent life. Fifty-two years of married life, and four great children, 15 grandchildren. Everything is breaking just right, and I'm delighted to be here at this convention after going to so many for so many years. It's -- it's a thrill to come back to Philadelphia.


KING: We're back in Philadelphia, where the crowd is being entertained by Jon Secada, the Cuban born who now lives in Miami, sensation of the musical world. And obviously, he's got them in the palm of his hand.

If you have just joined us, we are with Ambassador Peter Secchia, the former ambassador to Italy, David Hume Kennerly, the contributing editor for "Newsweek," the famed photographer, and Andrew Card, who put this whole convention together, and we're discussing Gerald Ford, and ambassador was there all day. His joviality, but there had to be concerns. I mean, a lot of stuff in him, up the nose, and arms and everything.

SECCHIA: I think he was scared. I have never seem Jerry Ford scared.

KING: Scared?

SECCHIA: He loves life. He still works hard. He had a terrible month. He did events. He still takes the red eye at 87 years old and goes and does events for his friends, and -- but I think this morning, I detected for first time in our long friendship that he held my hand pretty tightly and was talking about questions of life that he had. He is just such a supersweet person.

KING: Are you involved in his estate in any way?

SECCHIA: I am not involved. I'm a part of his -- whatever.

KING: Did Betty -- was Betty scared?

SECCHIA: No, she was just wonderful.

KING: Upbeat?

SECCHIA: Yes, she was really strong. I mean, even this morning, one hour after he was in. She was talking up. She knew wouldn't be out right away, and he'll come to that realization. I think we talked tonight. He finally realized...

KING: He's going to stay a while.

SECCHIA: That something serious happened to him.

KING: Were you scared?


KING: Were you scared?

KENNERLY: Well, when came in, I was preparing to be, like, shocked maybe, but I was relieved to see that he looked pretty good, and he was smiled, and he really happy to see me. And one of the funny things that happened was he wanted to see his schedule for the next week, because he said, I've got a speech next Wednesday, and I'm going to be there for that. And Mrs. Ford said you can't see your schedule, he said, all right, then give me my calendar.

SECCHIA: I'm going through his papers -- calendar, schedule, what's the difference? (LAUGHTER)


KING: Funny. Did you think it was worse than it was last night?

CARD: I saw him 1:30 to midnight in the morning last night, and I didn't think that bad. He actually seemed pretty good. This morning, when I went over at about 6:15 in morning, 6:30, I was a little concerned, I was concerned.

KING: You got in the cab, didn't know what hospital you were going to, right?

SECCHIA: I heard on the news that he was in the hospital, and I was getting ready to go in the gym and workout, and I went down and got a cab, I got a cab, and he hardly spoke English, and he didn't know, so we were trying, and he didn't have a phone, so we went three different hospitals.

KING: Really?

SECCHIA: Yes. We finally found him at the third hospital, and then I couldn't get in. It was a long...

KING: How long will he stay in, do we know?

He didn't give you a ballpark?


SECCHIA: At least a few days.

KENNERLY: But he, you know, he's ready go. He wants the plane there. He wants to go to Colorado tomorrow morning, that is what he is saying -- that is what he thinks. Petty Circle (ph), his chief of staff, whom you know, and Calvin McNall, neither was -- so you tell them Calvin, no, you tell him Petty.

KING: Betty's a trooper, isn't she?

CARD: Oh, she was terrific last night. She was really a sense of strength for everyone, and then this morning she kind of took charge.

KING: It's interesting, the irony of the Betty and Nancy, two husbands, caregivers, two strong ladies. What do you expect? You think he's over the worst, right, ambassador?

SECCHIA; I think so. I think he's going to have to take a few days.

KING: He's 87.

SECCHIA: He's got to finish these tests, and they're just now getting some of the results, and ear, nose and throat specialist trying to figure out the difficulty swallow, and it's not an easy situation for a guy that's the courage that he has, to be there and know that he's not in control of situation. And she's so great. I mean, she's so good.

KENNERLY: She's been there the whole time. I mean, she went over last night, and then back first thing this morning, and just later this afternoon went back to the hotel for like an hour.

SECCHIA: She wonders how the press really found out, because they snuck out the backdoor and went to hospital...

KING: She wonders how the press found out?


KENNERLY: See, CNN got there before they did.


KING: Thank you all very much. Andrew, really, I thank you. David, I thank you. I can't thank you enough. I know didn't you do anything but come here.

SECCHIA: Twenty years ago.

KING: You're a trooper. He remembers. He was on my radio show one night, at the opening of the Ford Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

KENNERLY: Is that what got him in trouble in Italy.

KING: We cost him his job. We won't need a benefit for him. Ambassador Secchia, and David Kennerly and Andrew Card. When we come back, Elizabeth Dole on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE, and then Trent Lott.

Don't go away.


KING: As we come back, the delegates are listening to Mayor Richard Riordan of Los Angeles, who will greet the Democrats in 10 days in Los Angeles. They have lit the flame of remembrance in L.A., an expression of unity and remembrance to the victims of bigotry, intolerance, referring of course to the Holocaust. Governor George W. Bush let that flame at the museum in March, symbolizing his desire for inclusion, an end to bigotry and intolerance.

And we welcome to LARRY KING LIVE, Elizabeth Dole. she spoke last night. She ran for the presidential nomination, former cabinet secretary, former head of the Red -- are you out of work now? What are you going to do?


ELIZABETH DOLE (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Oh, Larry, you know, I'm enjoying speaking on college campuses and to a lot of business organizations. I'm going to be campaigning, of course, for George Bush, who's going to be great president of the United States. I'm campaigning for Senate races, House races. My mother is now 99 years old, and I'm spending time with her in North Carolina.

KING: She's watching tonight and criticizing.

DOLE: She's very special to me. We talk every day. And I have not planned go on corporate boards, but I broke down, because I'm a great admire of Ted Waitt and his values, and their reflected in the corporation. So I'm now into computers as a member of the Gateway Board. That is going to be my only board, though, my only board.

KING: Your only board. Are you going to get involved in the New York Senate race?

DOLE: Yes, I probably will. I think I will be campaigning for Rick Lazio. He is a marvelous candidate. Great...

KING: Were you -- are you glad you ran?

DOLE: Yes I am.

KING: Good experience?

DOLE: It was a wonderful experience. It was a great year of my life, I had a chance to talk about issues that I feel passionately about. And I really think we helped pave the way for the woman who will be the first female president of the United States. I have a feeling that somewhere, from the streets of San Francisco, to the cornfields of Iowa, to the mountain roads of New Hampshire, I may have shaken the hand of the woman who will be the first president.

KING: In your lifetime?

DOLE: In my lifetime, that is right. That is what I would predict.

KING: How strong is this ticket? Well, you were one of those considered for vice president. What did you make of the Cheney selection?

DOLE: Well, I think that it is an excellent choice, an excellent choice. You know, I served in the Cabinet with Dick Cheney when I was secretary of labor. And then as secretary of transportation, I worked with him when he was a member of the Congress. And as Tony Coelho has said, who's very close to Al Gore, few people have more experience, or the same amount of experience, as Dick Cheney has, in the executive branch and the legislative branch. He has such good judgment, just so solid.

KING: Would go back to government...

DOLE: I don't...

KING: ... if George W. is elected and he asked you? DOLE: Well, you know, at this point, I'm looking at a number of options. And I really think it is important to think about where you could make the best contribution. You know, I'm a mission-driven person.

KING: Might it be government again?

DOLE: And so I just don't know the answer to that at this point, Larry.

KING: George W. called you a pioneer. Make you feel old or happy?

DOLE: Oh, no, I hope I will continue to be on the cutting edge. In fact, I was proud that we could take some cutting-edge positions on some controversial issues during my campaign, right.

KING: It will be tough if offered something to turn it down, though, isn't it -- to turn down a president, that is the hardest thing to do.

DOLE: Well, Larry...

KING: And staying with this, it's the last question. It will be tough, if offered.

DOLE: Larry, I'm not even thinking about that at this point. Let's get him elected. The important thing is we've got to go through a fall campaign. It will be a tough campaign. You know, I mean, I think we know what Al Gore's style of campaigning is. So I'm going to be doing everything I can. I believe in this man and certainly want to help him in every way I can.

KING: Always great seeing you.

DOLE: Thank you.

KING: Elizabeth Dole. Next is Trent Lott, and then the Eisenhowers, and then our you go-at-it-team, Governor Richards and Jack Kemp.

Don't go away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Love has motivated a community to reach out to those still struggling to....


KING: There is Ben Stein talking to President Bush -- Ben on your left. If I had to tell you that, you got problems. And Ben will be one of our guests on the midnight show tonight, our second edition of LARRY KING LIVE.

We now welcome the Senate majority leader, member of the Mississippi delegation, just -- you handled the thing when they nominated Mr. Cheney -- Senator Trent Lott, what are your thoughts first on Gerald Ford tonight?

SEN. TRENT LOTT (R), MISSISSIPPI: Well, I had the pleasure of knowing him when I first came to House back in 1973. He was the minority leader. And he was very generous, very kind to me. I remember particularly one time, when the Watergate matter was getting going and I was mouthing off a little bit, like young people will, and he came to me and said very sternly: Don't get too far out on this. And it...

KING: Wise advice.

LOTT: And it struck me like lightning right then. I have thought about it many times since. But he was one of the first people to contribute to my first campaign for Congress.

KING: Really.

LOTT: Yes.

KING: Is Cheney frankly a surprise when you first heard it?

LOTT: Larry, I met with him back in April. He came to office to talk about the beginning of the selection process. And I said: Hey, Dick, you got the easiest job in town. He said: What do you mean? I said: You the man. You should be the nominee.

KING: You said that?

LOTT: I said that. And he said: No, no, no, no, you know. I vote in Texas, and Lynne and I like what we are doing. It's a great life. I'm going to be involved in the selection process. But everybody that knows Dick Cheney reacts to him the way George W. Bush did. And that is, your respect grows for him. You realize that he does have a keen intellect. He's a fine man. He is not going to give you a lot of extra talk. He is going to listen. And then when he has something to say, it is worth listening to.

And I think George W., as they went through the process, realized more and more, this is the man. This is the maturity. This is the experience. This is the person I feel close to. And it was a logical voice. So I wasn't that surprised.

KING: When we saw you up on -- it's not a podium -- on the stage tonight...

LOTT: Right, right.

KING: We said: Hey, here is one of the old guard, right?

LOTT: I'm old guard? I thought I was a young man.

KING: Have they been leaving you guys out, the leadership?

LOTT: They made a conscious decision for this not to be a convention where all of the old familiar faces from the House, the Senate, and governors dominate the stage. We have had, you know, small parts. But they made a decision to bring in young people, like the young fellow who was here a moment ago.

KING: Yes, he's going to be back -- Michael.

LOTT: Yes, he going to be -- and they brought in the lady that was a teacher from Durham, North Carolina. She had a message about charter schools. And when I first heard it, I said, you know, I think this is good. This is...

KING: So you don't feel excluded?

LOTT: No. Look, I have an opportunity to do the shows. I work, you know, with my job in Senate. I want us to win. I want us to show the American people really what our heart and soul is really all about. George W. Bush is doing that. We are following his lead. And we want to win this election. I think this convention is going help with that.

KING: I ran into Governor Whitman before we came on, and she was shocked that President Clinton had again today criticized the Bush campaign.

LOTT: Yes.

KING: Why isn't all fair and love and...

LOTT: I think it is a little bit demeaning, once again, for the office, for the president to become that engaged, particularly in a negative way. I thought what he had to say about Governor Bush a couple days ago was totally out of order. I didn't appreciate it a bit.

KING: Should he not be involved in the campaign?

LOTT: No, no. He is going to be involved. And there is nothing wrong with that. And he should be. But for him to be involved in sniping and attacking him, you know: What has he been. Well, you know, he's been a governor. Well, what had Bill Clinton been: a governor of a much smaller state. Now, he is the president's son. Hey, yes. And the people loved the President Bush. And they -- but these aren't his own spurs here.

KING: Is it poor taste, then?

LOTT: I think it is poor taste. But I think there is a strategy. You know, the Clinton-Gore team, they're...

KING: They're dumb.

LOTT: No, they're not dumb. They are very good at trashing their opponents. Also, I think he may be trying to lure President Bush and the governor into an exchange with him. And it is hard...

KING: He almost succeeded with the president.

LOTT: Yes, it's hard to resist. But you know, they need to say: Thank you very much, President Clinton, we are going to deal with Al Gore.

KING: One other thing. We have seen advance of the Cheney speech. And this will be the first speech at this convention to mention Clinton and to take him on.

LOTT: Well, look, Dick, can -- look, he ran for Congress. He knows how to campaign. He knows how to mix it up. I think that may surprise some people, what, you know, aggressive candidate he will be. I met Dick Cheney, the real Dick Cheney, at Jackson Hole, Wyoming one time. Tricia and I were out there with Lynne and Dick. And we snow- mobiled and then went up to the top of Jackson Hole to ski down.

I'm from Mississippi, we don't ski very good.


LOTT: I was scared to death. Dick came out in this ridiculous- looking outfit: old blue jeans, dirty coat, and a red scarf. And we're standing there scared to death. Dick Cheney took off down that run like a wild man. And all we could see was the red scarf flapping in the breeze.


LOTT: I said, this is the real Dick Cheney. This is what's inside.

KING: We don't know that yet.

LOTT: That stoic personality -- the American people will get to know it, and they are going to like it.

KING: Always great seeing you.

LOTT: Thanks, Larry.

KING: Senator Trent Lott, the majority leader of the United States Senate. They are back: the Eisenhowers. Yes, I'm not kidding. Julie Nixon and David Eisenhower, two old friends, will be right here. Don't go away.

ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, Deputy Permanent Co-Chair J.C. Watts.


KING: We're back, and what you are watching is continuation of the roll call. The Republicans are doing it a little differently, in stages. Started it Monday night, will conclude it tonight. And when they're ready to go to put George W. Bush's name over the top, we'll go back down to the floor. They've gone now from North Dakota to Ohio.

We welcome to LARRY KING LIVE -- good to see them both again there -- here are the Eisenhowers: Julie Nixon Eisenhower daughter of the late Richard Nixon and Pat Nixon. She is an author, editor and lecturer, and David Eisenhower, the grandson of the late president, historian, editor, and lecturer.

So good to see you.


KING: How goes life?


KING: How are the children? How is everybody?

J. EISENHOWER: Everybody's great, and it's fun to be at the Republican convention and to be with a winner. I think he's going to make it.

KING: How's your sister?

J. EISENHOWER: Wonderful. She was with the Fords and Bushes and Reagans last night in the box, and had, I think, a wonderful time.

KING: Speaking of that, what did you feel about Gerald Ford today, David?

DAVID EISENHOWER, AUTHOR/GRANDSON OF DWIGHT EISENHOWER: Well, I think we've all been following the bulletins closely, and I noticed that the doctors are saying it's a small stroke.

KING: We just had a whole discussion.

D. EISENHOWER: And I was earlier -- and I can remember as a child when my grandfather had a what was described as a small stroke in office as president. And what that did to him was it affected his confidence, his ability to speak complex words. It made him more hesitant in press conferences and so forth. But he recovered completely.

So I think that what this -- what this means, small stroke, is that he's -- that President Ford's going to make a recovery.

KING: Of course, your grandfather was much younger at the time.

D. EISENHOWER: He was younger, but I don't think he was as healthy as Gerald Ford, in a strange way. He was somebody who had been a very heavy smoker, he had had heart attacks.

KING: Yes, you're right.

D. EISENHOWER: And Gerald Ford is very healthy.

KING: And of course, your tie to Gerald Ford, he succeeded your father.


KING: What are your feelings? J. EISENHOWER: And Larry, he was my -- one of the heroes when I was a teenager in New York. See, after the debacle of the Goldwater defeat, the Republican Party was just devastated, and Gerry Ford was a minority leader in the House. And he and Ev Dirksen used to go out, and once a week they did "The Ev and Gerry Show," and they'd talk about why it was good to be a Republican.

And here I was in New York, the only Republican in my class, and Gerry Ford was a hero. He was so articulate. And of course, that's one reason why he was successful later on, too. But he's a great person.

KING: How has this marriage worked so well, a marriage of two heavyweight American families?

I mean, when you think about it. You're married how long now?

D. EISENHOWER: We've been married 32...

J. EISENHOWER: Thirty-one years!

D. EISENHOWER: Thirty-one years. Right.

J. EISENHOWER: Yes, thirty-one years. But I don't know.

KING: How many children?

J. EISENHOWER: We have a lot in common.


J. EISENHOWER: And I think that's -- and he has a great sense of humor.

KING: You're still teaching.

D. EISENHOWER: Yes, I am. I'm at the University of Pennsylvania.

KING: You've been there forever.

D. EISENHOWER: Yes, I've been there for, off and on, for 20 years.

KING: So you live here in Philadelphia?

J. EISENHOWER: We do. So we're just -- it's a bedroom commute.

KING: Are you in the social world here, Julie? Do you make all the scenes? Are you at the balls?

J. EISENHOWER: No, I think that we put our time into the teaching and the kids and some community service. We're not so much into the social scene. But certainly, this is a vibrant city. If you want to be in a social city, you can be in Philly.

KING: You're going to be involved in the campaign?

D. EISENHOWER: I am -- No. I'll be teaching this fall again at the University of Pennsylvania. We're involved more as a -- as observers. In fact, we have the -- the Annenberg School for Communication has actually got students and survey-takers roaming the halls here at the...

KING: That's who's been running it?

J. EISENHOWER: That's it. In fact, there were two in the CNN headquarters...

KING: They're everywhere.

J. EISENHOWER: ... with Tom Johnson earlier tonight.

D. EISENHOWER: Yes, they're everywhere.

KING: Tom Johnson, they were around him.

J. EISENHOWER: They were surrounding his commuter?

D. EISENHOWER: It's part of a vast election-year study, a rolling survey of 130,000 voters, which is going to be a terrific snapshot of how voters receive their political information, how they form opinions, how information is communicated. But we are not...


D. EISENHOWER: We may not be officially involved.

J. EISENHOWER: We'll give you the scoop when the students come up with it on how close the election will be in (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

D. EISENHOWER: Right. But we have a rooting interest, or I certainly do.

KING: I guess you do.

D. EISENHOWER: I think -- I think this is a -- I've watched Governor Bush, and I must say I think he's run a really excellent campaign. I think he's going to be a great candidate. That's my opinion.

KING: Do you think it's going to be a big win? Close?

J. EISENHOWER: I think it'll be -- I think he'll win comfortably. That's my prediction.

KING: How will he do in Pennsylvania?

J. EISENHOWER: I think we'll carry Pennsylvania. It'll be a battleground. But we'll -- go ahead. What?

D. EISENHOWER: Well, it's what they call a "battleground state," and I have talked to -- in fact, I have been out and around in political circles in Pennsylvania recently, and everybody is talking about hard fight, but Bush is up where he needs to be up now, particularly in the suburban areas with women. This is where Republicans...

KING: That's been the surprise in this campaign.

D. EISENHOWER: This is where Republicans lost this state...

J. EISENHOWER: The women are coming home to the Republican Party.

D. EISENHOWER: ... in the past couple of years.

KING: We'll see lots more of you.

J. EISENHOWER: All right, Larry, good to see you.

KING: Fighting Julie.


D. EISENHOWER: Good to see you, Larry.

KING: Always good to see the Eisenhowers, Julie Nixon Eisenhower and David Eisenhower, still the champion of Rotisserie League Baseball. Don't mess with them!

When we come back, the battle lines are drawn again. They're back: Jack Kemp and Ann Richards. Don't go away.


KING: They're continuing the roll call vote to nominate George W. Bush for the presidential nomination. Cheney is arriving. He will be speaking in the next hour. Oregon has just cast its votes. When it gets to the deciding state, we'll carry it.

But now, the dynamic duo return. In Washington, D. C., Ann Richards, the former governor of Texas, and here in Philadelphia, Jack Kemp, the co-director of Empower America, and the 1996 GOP vice presidential candidate, as we see the Cheneys arriving, preparing for his speech. I will tell you, Ann, that Jack Kemp is not wearing the same jacket he wore last night which so annoyed you.

ANN RICHARDS (D), FMR. TEXAS GOVERNOR: Well, no, I thought it was the liveliest think I saw all night last night. I thought it was slick.


KING: We should show


KING: ... so they know what I'm talking about. Anyway, Jack Kemp is here in a plain blue blazer. (CROSSTALK)

KEMP: My suit, my blue suit.

RICHARDS: Hey, looking good, Jack.

KEMP: Thank you, Ann.

KING: Have we tempered down -- and you will both be in Los Angeles together live...

KEMP: Yes.


KEMP: I'm a home boy.

KING: So you are coming to enemy territory?

KEMP: Absol -- not enemy territory. I'm a democratic Republican -- small "d."

KING: Let's talk serious for a moment on one thing.

RICHARDS: Listen, remember, just remember, Larry, our party has always been inclusive.


RICHARDS: This is nothing new for us.

KING: Well, let me ask you...

RICHARDS: So having Jack there will be perfect.


KING: Ann, do you know Gerald Ford?

RICHARDS: I do not know Gerald Ford. I met him, you know, I met him several times and admire him a great deal. In fact, the last time I saw him was at the White House when President Clinton had a meeting on the China permanent trade relations. And a number of us were invited to go over there. President Carter was there, and, of course, President Clinton, and Gerald Ford.

But, you know, last night -- we were sitting here -- it's kind of lonely here in Washington in this control room -- and we were sitting here, and when he came on television, I said it looks like to me he's had a stroke. It's because his speech was so slow, you know? And I'm so...

KING: Jack, you know him well.

KEMP: Yes, I know him well. I served with him in the Congress. I've skied with him in Vail, Colorado. KING: Good athlete?

KEMP: He's a wonderful guy. And he and Betty are dear friends. We spent Fourth of July together listening to the Colorado Symphony Orchestra play Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture. It was wonderful. And our prayers are with him. And I know Ann feels the same way.

KING: Did you feel...

RICHARDS: Oh, listen, they are wonderful people. And Betty Ford...

KEMP: Look at him, 87 years old.

RICHARDS: What she's done for alcoholism and drug abuse with that clinic of hers...

KEMP: Yes.

RICHARDS: ... and, of course, both of them are pro-choice, so they have a special place in my heart.

KEMP: Well, I went to her clinic for recovering politicians. I'm in my 11th stage.

KING: Were you worried last night about the slurred speech?

KEMP: I took for granted that it was the sinus condition. And now he had a stroke or a small stroke, or two?

KING: Yes, a small stroke, yes.

KEMP: What a courageous man, I mean, sitting out there, walking in front of everybody, talking with you. He's a courageous man, besides being an All-American football player at the University of Michigan.

KING: All right, Ann, this convention to be letter-perfect time wise. Does that impress you, that they are on the money?

RICHARDS: Well, you know, what can I say, Larry? It is so programmed.

KING: You can say they are doing good.

RICHARDS: It so programmed. It is so political. And I ask around today, everybody I saw today, I asked them, did you watch the convention last night? Did you watch the convention? And uniformly, the answer is no. I don't know what the ratings have been, but...

KING: They've been fair.

RICHARDS: ... I think part of it has to do with the fact that it is so predictable. People want -- I think people do want to kind of mix it up.

KING: All right -- Jack.

KEMP: Larry, listening to Ann Richards say that the Republican Party's convention was political is like listening to -- who's the guy in gambling in Morocco, who said: I'm shocked! I'm shocked! Look, of course it's political. The Democratic Convention will be political.

KING: But she meant some rump-racing, a little arguing, a little...

KEMP: Well, look at it. It's a new decade, a new century, a new millennium. And frankly, George W. Bush is leading a new Republican Party, and we're going to compete with every single Democratic Party candidate, including the president -- who's still campaigning -- and Al Gore for votes in the Latino community, Hispanic community, immigrant community, black -- and they don't like that. They don't like it.

KING: But this is not too slick, in your opinion?

KEMP: Oh...

KING: No, really.

RICHARDS: ... that will be slick. Parts of it are unrehearsed. Raul Fernandez of Proxicom gets up as an immigrant, Latino-American, saying he started a business from nothing and turned it into his shot at the American dream. He wants that for everybody. I think that's the type of thing people want to hear, that they're not stuck at the bottom wrung of the latter. They have a chance to climb it up...

RICHARDS: OK, listen, I have to interrupt him, Larry...

KEMP: Of course you do.

RICHARDS: Or he'll talk the whole 30 minutes.

KING: Go ahead, Ann.

RICHARDS: The word was not political, the word was predictable. And I think that the very staginess of it, the very plan of it -- but hey, who knows -- you know, I don't know whether the Democratic Convention is going to be any better.

KING: Let me -- I have got to get a break here. We'll come right back. Don't go away. They're still with us. The dynamic duo returns after this. I love that name.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... and beautiful places. Mr. Secretary, the great state of South Carolina respectfully passes.



(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KING: They are proceeding with this roll call. They have started it on Monday and picking it up through tonight. They need 1,034 votes to put George Bush over the top. It will be coming fairly soon. And when it does, we'll go to it. Our guests are the Honorable Ann Richards, the former governor of Texas, and Jack Kemp, the co- director of Empower America.

What do you expect, Jack, from Mr. Cheney tonight?

KEMP: I think he is going to mention both President Clinton and Al Gore.

KING: Finally.

KEMP: Finally. We are going to hear...

KING: ... their names?

KEMP: Yes. He'll do it with, I think, dignity and grace, but he's going to let...

KING: Tough speech.

KEMP: ... the American people know the differences between Gore's vision of the future and the Bush-Cheney view of the future. And with all due respect, I think people are going to be impressed.

KING: The word also, Ann, is that he is going to use Gore's words of 1992: "It's time for them to go." He will use that theme tonight.


KING: Good idea?

RICHARDS: Well, I just hope while people are watching, they will keep in mind of where they were eight years ago when we had another Bush and we had Quayle and we had Cheney -- when we had those three people before -- and answer to themselves whether they are better off today eight years later than they were eight years ago. Because I know the answer to that. We have never had such a period of economic prosperity, with a balanced budget, with money to solve Medicare and Social Security if we can get the Republicans to help us do it in the Congress.

KING: That's one thing, Jack, you can't say: Are you better off today than you were eight years ago? You can't say that.

KEMP: Well, look, we're better off and we could be better off. I mean, with all due respect to Ann Richards, all of this started with Ronald Wilson Reagan.

KING: What was that?

KEMP: I want to remind you of something, the top tax rate in 1980 when Reagan took office was 70 percent. The Soviet Union was on the march all over the third world, and NATO was in disrepair. Inflation was at 13 percent, the mortgage rates were at 21 percent, and Reagan and Bush helped bring it down.

KING: Bush lost in '92 on the economy?

KEMP: There was interim Reagan, there was hiatus, we had a slowdown, had a recession, and Bill Clinton won, but he reappoints Alan Greenspan, who is Reagan's chairman of the Fed. He appoints Bob Rubin from Wall Street to keep the bond market sound. He signs a capital gain tax cut from 28 down to 20, thanks to the Republican Congress. He signs welfare reform, and basically he's run from the center.

KING: Got to get a break. They're telling me I've got to get a break. They're rushing me, so I'll come right back. Under a lot of pressure here, folks. Doing my best. By the way, I mentioned that Governor Whitman had said to me that President Clinton had criticized George W. Bush again today. That did not occur today. The governor is referring to remarks the president had made earlier in the week that were reported today, just to set the record straight.

Back with our remaining moments after this.


KING: The roll call continues. They're closing in on 1,034 delegates, the votes needed to push George W. Bush over the top and become the official nominee, and then in the next hour, the last hour for the convention doings tonight, we'll hear from the vice presidential designate, Dick Cheney, and then tomorrow night, Governor Bush will speak.

Speaking of vice presidents, Governor Richards, who do you expect your party to select?

RICHARDS: I really don't have any idea, Larry, who they're going to select.

KING: None at all?

RICHARDS: No, I really don't. I've talked to several people, and everybody is making a lot of guesses about one senator or another. But I did want to give you one of the lines Cheney is going to speak tonight, and we're not going to get a chance to talk about it. I don't want people to forget this guy is smart, and he is good, and he has a record, and his record was voting against things like school lunches, voting against letting Nelson Mandela out of jail, voting against the actions to put apartheid down in South Africa, and they're philosophical, and I think it is important for people to remember, that you may be smart, but you can also be wrong.

KEMP: Guess what?

RICHARDS: And Cheney was wrong then, and I think that that philosophy will carry over if he's elected. KEMP: Look, with Ann's comment, I think it's important to remember that Dick Cheney was a representative of the state of Wyoming, and...

KING: Wyoming didn't want Mandela to...

KEMP: No, no, no. He was voting against negotiating with the ANC at the moment that the king of the Zulu tribe, Buthelezi, was trying to get the United States to recognize that there are two parties, not only the ANC, but the party of Buthelezi. I voted against Dick Cheney on that issue. I voted for sanctions on South Africa. I think most people now recognize that Dick Cheney is running for vice president. He's going to be a national, indeed an international representative. And he's for free trade, he's for lower taxes, he's for school choice, he's for welfare reform, trade reform, immigration reform.

KING: We'll listen to him carefully.

KEMP: He is a man who understands the global economy and is going to be a great vice president.

KING: Ann, we're out of time, Ann, but we'll start with you tomorrow night. And both of these folks will be with us in Los Angeles, Jack Kemp and the honorable Ann Richards. We hope you enjoyed all our earlier guests as well. We're going to be turning it back over to our buddies Bernie, and Judy and Jeff, and they'll carry it through this roll call finish and then into the major speech by Dick Cheney.

We will be back at midnight with a whole host of guests, including that little man you saw, that 14-year-old boy on the floor who shook everybody up.

Thanks for joining us. Stay tuned for more coverage. We'll be back at midnight.



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