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Bush Hits Trails and Rails to Capitalize on Convention Momentum; Gore Fires Back at Bush, RepublicansAired August 4, 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: If you ask me, the Republican National Convention was kind of like a masquerade ball for special interests with a purpose.
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JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Al Gore begins the run-up to his convention by firing back at George W. Bush and his party.
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GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are sure glad we came to Philadelphia.
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WOODRUFF: Bush tries to add to his convention momentum by hitting the trail and the rails. We'll talk to him live.
Plus, the campaign dynamic after Bush's bash. We'll look for a bounce in the latest poll numbers.
ANNOUNCER: From Washington, this is INSIDE POLITICS, with Judy Woodruff and Bernard Shaw.
WOODRUFF: Thank you for joining us. Bernie is on assignment.
On this day after the GOP convention, both George W. Bush and Al Gore have their work cut out for them. While Bush is trying to prolong the excitement he generated in Philadelphia, Gore is trying to extinguish it. To that end, the soon-to-be Democratic presidential nominee appeared with firefighters in Chicago.
Our Chris Black reports on Gore, taking his turn and taking his shots.
CHRIS BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As the political spotlight shifts from Philadelphia, Al Gore is stepping out to reclaim it.
GORE: I'm here today to serve notice, this is day one of the fight for working families, and with your help, we're going to win this fight.
BLACK: After keeping a low profile during George W. Bush's big week, Gore came back to slam Bush, accusing him of hiding true conservative colors behind a moderate facade.
GORE: If you ask me, the Republican National Convention was kind of like a masquerade ball for special interests with a purpose.
BLACK: Gore said he was surprised by Bush's charge the Clinton- Gore administration had coasted for eight years.
GORE: I have to ask, what planet have they been on.
BLACK: And he mocked a line from Dick Cheney's convention speech, where he said, quote, "It's time for them to go." Gore said he knows what time it is.
GORE: But it is not recession time in America, like it was back in 1992.
BLACK: Gore's return to the campaign trail took him to the Annual Convention of the International Association of Firefighters, the first union that endorsed his presidential candidacy.
TIPPER GORE, WIFE OF AL GORE: You were the first to fire it up.
BLACK: In an interview with CNN, Gore gore's shrugged off Bush's attempt to tie Gore to Bill Clinton's personal failings.
GORE: Well, I'm running as who I am, and I'm running as my own man, and I have been a part of the policies that have helped to create the strong economy, and I want to continue the progress and prosperity. And I don't think the American people want to go back to the recessions and deficits of the 1980s, and I don't think that they want to focus on the past. I think they want to look to the future.
BLACK: Gore says he hopes to step out of the presidential shadow at the Democratic National Convention.
GORE: I'll introduce myself not as the vice president, but as presidential candidate. I want people to know that I'm a husband of 30 years, a father of four, a grandfather, a Vietnam veteran, someone who has fought for the people and not the powerful for almost a quarter century now.
BLACK: Gore's biggest task is the imminent selection of his running mate. Aides say Gore is in regular contact with campaign chairman Bill Daley and Labor Secretary Alexis Herman, as he mulls over his choices. Gore says he may wait until late Monday to offer the job to his top choice, a day before the official announcement in Tennessee.
What's left for him to decide?
GORE: Who it's going to be.
BLACK (on camera): Gore aides call this first day back on the campaign trail a taste of things to come -- more joint appearances with his wife Tipper and a fighting populist message.
Chris Black, CNN, Chicago.
WOODRUFF: In the 10 days until the Democratic convention begins in Los Angeles, George W. Bush will try as much as possible not to cede the spotlight to Gore. Bush and his running mate, Dick Cheney, held a farewell rally in Philadelphia this morning, saying they were leaving the convention city energized and focused on victory. Then it was onto Pittsburgh.
BUSH: Give us a chance. It won't be long now. Give us a chance to change America for the better.
WOODRUFF (voice-over): Fresh from last night's acceptance address, the Republican Party's nominee set out from Pittsburgh on a three-day train trip through a belt of crucial swing states.
BUSH: We want you by our side as we march across America with a message that's so hopeful and optimistic.
WOODRUFF Beyond the message, the math, the first leg took Bush through Pennsylvania, with its 23 electoral votes. Next stop, Ohio, 21 votes; Michigan, 18; and Illinois, 22. Together, the train tour states are worth 84 out of the 270 votes needed to win. Any one of them could swing the election.
WOODRUFF: Of course that is only part of the electoral map. Our Candy Crowley will dissect the rest of it later on INSIDE POLITICS. And we hope we get to Candy just shortly for a live interview with Governor Bush from his train. With the Republican convention wrapped up and the GOP ticket complete, Vice President Al Gore has a clearer picture of his general election opponent.
Our Bruce Morton has some thoughts on what Gore must do now.
BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): One of the things George Bush probably did in his speech was to raise expectations for what Vice President Gore has to do in his. The vice president has run on a promise to keep prosperity growing. Governor Bush said that's not enough.
BUSH: A time of prosperity is a time of vision, and our nation today needs vision. That's a fact, or as my opponent might call it, a "risky truth scheme."
MORTON: Bush managed to work in a reference to the Internet, an invention Gore once took credit for. And Bush added another personal jab at his opponent.
BUSH: I do not need to take your pulse before I know my own mind. I do not reinvent myself at every turn. I am not running in borrowed clothes.
MORTON: That, of course, is a reference to Gore's various efforts to become a more effective campaigner. From the 1996 Gore, who mocked his public woodenness.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, 1996)
GORE: I would like to demonstrate for you the Al Gore version of the Macarena.
GORE: Would you like to see it again?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORTON: Talk about borrowed clothes. There was the news that Gore hired a consultant, who suggested he get out of shirts and ties and wear earth tones, and move out from the podium, greet the folks.
A lot of critics do see Gore as a candidate searching for a public personality, a theme. Lately, he's been a populist, crusading against, usually, big business.
GORE: I am going to be running with the teachers, and the farmers, and the bus drivers and the hard-working men and women of this country. I'm going to be running with the people, not the privileged.
MORTON: Whether voters believe Bush, whether they agree with him, he came across as somebody who knows where he wants to take the country. What Gore now needs to do in Los Angeles is the same thing -- finally, away from Bill Clinton, to say to the country, this is who I am and where I want to lead you. He's not had an easy time doing that so far.
Bruce Morton, CNN, Washington.
WOODRUFF: Joining us from Nashville, Gore media adviser, Bob Shrum.
And, Bob Shrum, thank you for being with us.
BOB SHRUM, GORE MEDIA ADVISER: Happy to be here, Judy. WOODRUFF: Almost all the press commentary coming out of Philadelphia has been positive about the governor's speech, about this convention overall. Even neutral observers like historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, as I noticed, says as a composition, the speech was extraordinary. How do you counter this?
SHRUM: Well, first of all, as a composition, I think in some ways, it was very interesting. In some ways, it was good. It didn't have much of a storyline. There was very little biography.
And I thought the speech was marred by two significant things: first were a series of personal, negative attacks, not on issues, but personal, negative attacks that I think are going to go down very poorly with independent voters and undecided voters; and secondly, in terms of discussing the issues, it seemed to me that was Governor Bush was trying mostly to hide the real differences between him and Al Gore.
For example, he said at one point in the speech, I'm for a prescription drug benefit for seniors in need. His definition of "need" is very narrow. Most seniors don't get a prescription drug benefit under the Bush plan, like they do under the Gore plan, and unlike the Gore plan, it's not a prescription drug benefit under Medicare. Bush tells seniors to go out and beg HMOs and insurance companies for coverage. So I think we're going to have a real debate on the issues here.
WOODRUFF: But isn't the fact, Bob Shrum, that George W. Bush is moving into Democratic territory? He is challenging Vice President Gore on issues we have thought of as the Democrats had locked up? Social Security, Medicare, education. Isn't this, to some extent, going to box in your candidate?
SHRUM: Well, Judy, he's welcome to his Social Security position. He takes a trillion dollars out of the trust fund, and let me quote John McCain. "He doesn't explain how he's going to pay for it." And a new study by Henry Aaron shows that if you do that, you have to cut Social Security benefits by 20-50 percent or you have to raise the retirement age. He didn't talk about that in speech last night. He just denied it. But those are the facts.
WOODRUFF: And are those facts, because they are somewhat more detailed than overarching concepts, is it going to be harder for you all to get your point across to the voters if it does come down to the kinds of things you're describing?
SHRUM: You know, I have a lot more faith in the voters than I think a lot of the press does. I think the voters actually follow these campaigns. I mean, I was very interested in Bruce's report just now, when he said the vice president was suddenly running as a populist. That's not true. Al Gore has been, for example, taking on big drug companies, taking on big oil for his whole career in politics. And if Bruce had noticed in New Hampshire, he would have noticed that the spot that we ran most of all was a spot in which Al Gore talked about taking on the big drug companies to provide a prescription drug benefit for all seniors under Medicare. I think voters are very smart about this. I think they follow these issues. I don't think they think it's stagecraft. It is substance.
And the question they're going to ask in this campaign, is who's standing up and fighting for working families? Who's going to protect their Social Security? Who's going to give them a tax cut that helps working families, instead of the Bush tax cut, which gives $50,000 a year to millionaires and a dollar a day to working families.
WOODRUFF: That being the case, Bob Shrum, does Governor Bush, to some extent, inoculate himself against attacks by Al Gore when he's already raised this whole "risky scheme" business and made fun of it?
SHRUM: Well, first of all, as I've said before, I believe those parts of the speech were the least successful, alienated undecided and independent voters. Secondly, I think people want real debate on these subjects. And let me tell you, let me put it bluntly, George Bush takes a $1.5 trillion dollar surplus over the next 10 years, but with his Social Security surplus and tax giveaway for the few, turns it into a $1.5 billion deficit. That is risky.
WOODRUFF: What does Al Gore now need to do at his convention?
SHRUM: I think it's an extraordinary opportunity for the country to get to know Al Gore. I don't think people know him particularly well. They don't know the story of this person, who went to Harvard, came out, was against the Vietnam War, decided he had to serve anyway, went to Congress at a pretty young age, took up the issue of the environment when it wasn't popular, when it wasn't a front-burner issue, took on the big toxic polluters and fought on those issue. I don't think they know his story. I think they're going to learn his story.
And secondly, I think that convention is going to allow Al Gore to make his case that in a time of prosperity and surpluses, we ought to make the economy work for the many, and not just the few, we ought to invest in education, we ought to invest in health care, we ought to make sure that everybody gets a chance to move ahead in this dynamic economy. And there's a very big difference between Al Gore and George Bush on that.
WOODRUFF: What about as an event? How will it look different from the Republican convention?
SHRUM: We'll, I think we'll actually talk about substance and issues. I don't think you will see personal attacks, and I think that the diversity on the stage will be reflected by the diversity in the hall. You know, it's called America's convention, and it's going to look like America, and it's going to be a convention where you really are going to be fighting for working families and where there are going to be a lot of working families represented there.
WOODRUFF: Your campaign, Bob Shrum, was putting out a rebuttal of the acceptance speech literally within minutes after Governor Bush started to deliver it. Is that somewhat unprecedented in this business? Doesn't the nominee who's accepting the party's nomination deserve at least a day of his own?
SHRUM: Well, first of all, I would point out, Judy, that your producers at CNN were calling us, saying, do you have any comments? Please fax them as quickly as you can. That's what news organizations are doing. Number two, the speech, as you know, was released several hours before it was given. So people were able to look at to see what was wrong with it and to realize that it didn't really offer anything to working families. It was kind of like a very well-produced infomercial without the information that working families needed to decide whether or not Governor Bush was going to stand up and fight for them. He's not, Al Gore is, and people are entitled, in my view, to that information.
WOODRUFF: Well, fair enough. With regard to our producers, I'm sure they were calling every five minutes.
SHRUM: It's not CNN, everybody calls and says, do you have anything? Please fax it, here's the fax number.
WOODRUFF: All right, great. Well, we appreciate that, and I appreciate being set straight. Bob Shrum.
SHRUM: Thanks, Judy. See you later.
WOODRUFF: Thank you for being with us. We'll see you.
WOODRUFF: And more INSIDE POLITICS. More analysis of the Republican convention, coming right up.
WOODRUFF: Joining us now, David Broder of "The Washington Post."
David, thank you for being here.
DAVID BRODER, "WASHINGTON POST": Glad to be with you.
WOODRUFF: What have we learned about George W. Bush in the aftermath of this convention?
BRODER: I think we've learned couple things, Judy. One, he has figured out an approach to, at least domestic policy, which is acceptable to the whole spectrum of the Republican Party from the furthest right conservative to the most progressive or liberal member of that party. The second thing is that he has convinced his party that he's going to win, and they're not about to fuss with somebody they think is a winner.
WOODRUFF: What about one of the points we just heard Bob Shrum make, that when people really find out what is behind these broad proposals of Governor Bush's, they're going to realize it costs a lot more money than he's suggesting, and that it wouldn't bring, for example, Social Security, It wouldn't bring the kind of security under social security he's suggesting?
BRODER: Well, I think the governor still has a lot of explaining to do on his policy proposals. He's put some really big, and as he said last night, innovative ideas out there. But I doubt very much that most Americans yet have figured out exactly what he means when he talks about taking 2 percent of the money that you're now paying in taxes and putting that into an individual savings account, or when he talks about having national standards, but not national tests. These are fairly complex concepts that he's putting out there. Interesting ideas, but he's got a lot of explaining left to do.
WOODRUFF: David, one of the big questions going into this convention was, is he going to prove to show to show that he's up to the job, that he's ready to be president? Because he's had a relatively short time in public life, compared to previous American presidents. How far did he go toward proving that, do you think?
BRODER: Well, we know from your polling and our polling that the American people already think that Governor Bush has strong leadership qualities. I don't know that that necessarily translates to presidential leadership quality. But I think that he took a big step. That was a presidential-type speech last night, and he delivered it with great sense of calm and authority, and I think this was a significant step forward for him, what we saw last night.
WOODRUFF: What about the convention overall, the presentation that we're a new Republican party, we're diverse, we're reaching out, we want to leave no child behind and so forth and so on? Are the American people going to believe that the party is doing what they were telling us they're doing in the last four days?
BRODER: There will be an interesting test of that coming up in September, because the old Republican Party, namely the congressional wing of that party, will be back, and they will be engaged in a series of policy fights, not with Al Gore, but with President Clinton, about how to spend the money that's here, now coming in from this great economy. And that will be a test, because every time that President Clinton has to veto a bill or chooses to veto a bill from that Republican Congress, I'll bet you anything that Vice President Gore will be out there on the stump saying that's the reality of the Republican Party, not that pretty, gauzy rhetoric you heard from Philadelphia.
WOODRUFF: But isn't that part of what Governor Bush was already starting to do at this convention, to say I'm not of them, I'm not a part of the Washington that's been so bitterly partisan over the last few years?
BRODER: And I think he's done a pretty skillful job of separating himself from that congressional wing of the party, but just as last night was his moment on the stage, in the next month, in September, it will be the last time that President Clinton engages against the Republican Party, and so far, I think the scorecard reads Clinton seven, Republicans zero. No, that's not right, because they beat him on health care the first time around. WOODRUFF: That's true. OK, David Broder, great to see you. Thanks for coming in after what I know is a long day after a short night at the convention.
BRODER: Well, I'll bet you've had less sleep this week than I have.
WOODRUFF: I think we probably are about tied.
Thanks, David Broder.
BRODER: Much more ahead on this edition of INSIDE POLITICS.
Still to come:
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CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a simple plan. The complex part is carrying out the simple plan.
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BRODER: Candy Crowley on the George W. Bush post-convention strategy. Plus, money and the GOP hopeful, a look at the Republican Party's campaign money plans.
And later, there was only one thing missing from the Republican convention, and our Bill Schneider says that's worth the political "Play of the Week."
WOODRUFF: We'll have more of this day's political news coming up, but now a look at some other top stories.
Health officials in New York have confirmed the first human case this year of the West Nile Virus. A 78-year-old Staten Island man has tested positive for the virus. Officials say he was exposed before New York City started a widespread spraying program to control mosquitoes, which carry the virus.
Investigators looking into last week's Concorde crash near Paris are checking some possible new clues. A metal plate that was not from the jetliner was found among the debris collected from a runway at Charles De Gaulle Airport. And some tire debris found on the runway apparently came from only one of the jetliner's tires, not two, as investigators first believed.
Twelve of 17 Alaska Airlines' MD-80 jets, grounded for a maintenance view, have been returned to service. The carrier today admitted it used a potentially flawed tool to inspect a plane that crashed in January, killing 88 people. The tool was capable of giving an incorrect reading on a part called a jackscrew. That prompted the reinspection. An airline spokesman says the 12 planes passed.
Sears is halting sales of its ATX and Wilderness tires made by Bridgestone/Firestone. And the manufacturer is offering free inspections to anyone who bought them. The tires are under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. There have been 193 complaints, including reports of 21 deaths, about tires peeling off their casings.
The first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season has formed off Africa. Tropical Storm Alberto is in the far eastern Atlantic and moving slowly to the west. It's still a week or more away from threatening any land areas.
The British are throwing a huge bash in honor of the royal family's first centenarian. The Queen Mother is 100 years old today. Tens of thousands of people crowded into Central London to take part in the festivities honoring the Queen Mum.
In Philadelphia, doctors say Gerald Ford is "almost back to normal" after a stroke. They say the former president is making excellent neurological progress. He's walking and catching up on the news. They still don't know what's causing Ford's tongue to swell. The condition is painful and is causing his speech to slur. A biopsy is being considered.
And when INSIDE POLITICS returns, new tracking poll numbers on the presidential battleground after the GOP convention.
WOODRUFF: Less than 24 hours after the Republicans' made-for- television convention, the Bush camp likely is refocusing on the bigger picture.
For an update on Bush's electoral strategy, we hear from our Candy Crowley.
BUSH: Thank you all very much.
CROWLEY (voice-over): It's a simple plan.
KAREN HUGHES, BUSH COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Our strategy coming out of the convention is to have a great convention and go out and win. The complex part is carrying out the simple plan. In the Bush campaign, the task falls largely to Karl Rove.
KARL ROVE, BUSH CAMPAIGN CHIEF STRATEGIST: We like playing the game on their territory rather than ours, so we wanted to get our territory consolidated early and then be fighting for things, for states, that have been traditionally Democrat the last two or three presidential elections.
CROWLEY: Bob Dole's '96 wins form the base of a three-tier Bush electoral strategy, 19 states, mostly in the South and the interior West, good bets for Bush though not all safe assumptions.
The second tier is bring home states, mostly in the once-solid Republican South. Arkansas, Louisiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and the bell of the political south, Florida, 25 electoral votes and brother Jeb Bush as governor.
ROVE: One of the difficult things for both sides in this election is going to be that it just don't doesn't boil down to four or five states. There are a larger number of states in play than at any time since at least 1980.
CROWLEY: There are states in play and then there are the states they will play in. Color this the battleground. Double-digit electoral states running east from New Jersey through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois and Missouri, then to Wisconsin and Michigan, 121 electoral votes. Most experts believe whoever wins will win it here.
In a category by itself is California, 54 electoral votes worth of Gore-friendly territory. A strategist's job to find inroads.
ROVE: Al Gore has been to California roughly every six weeks for the last 7.5 years, yet he has never gotten to 50 percent in any poll except one. And he cannot get -- this is a state with a 12-point Democrat registration advantage.
CROWLEY: Many politicos believe Bush's noticeable California effort is a head feint, designed to keep Gore engaged in a an expensive piece of real estate.
Candy Crowley, CNN, Philadelphia.
WOODRUFF: And now to evidence that Bush is indeed emerging from his convention with a modest bounce. A Battleground/Voter.com tracking poll shows Bush went into the convention six points ahead of Gore. And now his lead has widened to 17 points. And we should note, most of those final interviews on Wednesday and Thursday were conducted before Bush's acceptance speech.
We are joined now with the people behind that survey, Democratic pollster Celinda Lake and Republican pollster Ed Goeas.
Thank you both for being with us.
CELINDA LAKE, DEMOCRATIC POLLSTER: Thank you.
ED GOEAS, REPUBLICAN POLLSTER: Thank you.
Ed Goeas, this is a big jump by convention standards to see this much of a jump.
GOEAS: It is. Traditionally for a Republican, a five-point bounce is what you would expect. We've seen as high as 13 points with Ronald Reagan, and it looks like we're going to match those numbers coming out of this convention.
WOODRUFF: Celinda, same analysis? LAKE: It was a significant -- it was a good convention, I think, for the Republicans and there is a significant bump. But you always get more bump when the candidates are less well known. And so the fact that you have an open race with a candidate who wasn't that well known, you'd expect a bigger bump.
I'd say this is a soft bump, and watch for it to decline rapidly as the campaign engages and Gore gets out there again.
WOODRUFF: Ed Goeas, it's not just the overall numbers that Gore should be concerned about here. We're looking at states where in state after state that had been considered strong Democratic territory in the last few elections with Bill Clinton running are -- Bush is either competitive, running even or now ahead as a result of this convention.
GOEAS: Well, we're coming out of this week with leading in every region in the country, leading with every age group, leading with independents, leading with men and women. The region of the country that you showed earlier, the industrial Midwest, we were dead even going into the week. We're now leading by 20 points.
WOODRUFF: Does that make the Democrats worry big time, Celinda?
LAKE: I don't think it makes us worry big time. We always took George Bush seriously. But George Bush has this week to himself. This is the last point in the campaign where he's going to have a monologue. Now it's a dialogue, and in that competitive dialogue, I think you'll see those numbers disappear pretty fast. It's going to be a close election on Election Day, no matter what happens, I think.
WOODRUFF: What is it that Gore could do now, Ed Goeas, to begin to chip away at the Bush advantage?
GOEAS: That's a tough question. He's running at a little bit better than a one-to-one ratio on his favorable-unfavorable, where Bush is at a 2.5-1 favorable-unfavorable.
You heard Bob Shrum earlier this evening talking about what they would do at the convention, but it sounds like what we just finished doing at the convention. So I think they're going to have to do more than just mimicking what we just did at our convention. They're going to have to really get in there and talk about these issues in a way that has credibility.
WOODRUFF: You said that they are go going to talk about issues.
WOODRUFF: Is that what it's going to take? Are people going to engage on the issues, Celina? I mean, this was mostly...
WOODRUFF: ... for whatever we heard, whatever you're saying, Ed Goeas, I mean, there weren't -- this was not an issue-stressed convention, let's put it that way.
LAKE: That's right. It was more image, it was more personal introduction.
Elections are about choices. There are clear choices here on the issues that matter, on prescription drugs, on patient bill of rights, on Social Security, on even the federal role for education. These men would do fundamentally different things. I think it's our job to lay those contrasts out. In some ways, I think the Republican convention was just a Democratic-lite convention. They had some of their best moments when they were talking about our issues, and I think you'll see us lay down some clear contrasts in our convention.
WOODRUFF: And is that -- yes.
GOEAS: It's also going to be a discussion about values and the direction of this country, what the role of government is going to be. And I think we did talk about those things during the convention in a way that was very positive. And no matter what the intentions are behind it, I think most Americans want to believe this is where the country is going and this is what they event addressed.
WOODRUFF: What about -- what is it, as you look inside -- it's not just the overall numbers, but as you look inside those numbers, what is it that's pulling independents, women, swing voters to George W. Bush.
Well, I think part of it is they liked what they saw, they like a moderate, they like his emphasis on values, they think of him as a moderate. But they don't know him very well. They did nothing in this convention to talk about his record in Texas You can bet we will talk about his record in Texas.
There was still very -- one line in his speech on health care. He didn't describe his prescription drug policy. You'll bet we will. And there's a real difference between his plan and ours.
I think that this convention did nothing to change the image of the Democrats, nothing to set the agenda, and that leaves us with major ability to come back.
WOODRUFF: Spoken like a Democrat and a Republican. Two pollsters we have a great respect for, Ed Goeas, Celinda Lake...
LAKE: Thank you.
WOODRUFF: Thank you, both.
LAKE: Thank you very much.
GOEAS: Thank you.
LAKE: We appreciate it.
And just ahead, a look at money and the Republican ticket. Brooks Jackson on the multimillion dollar strategy (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
WOODRUFF: Starting today, George W. Bush will fuel his campaign with federal funds, something he chose not to do during the primary season. But that is just one facet of a larger GOP plan.
Our Brooks Jackson joins us now to explain -- Brooks.
BROOKS JACKSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Judy, this very afternoon at 1:14, the U.S. Treasury Department wired $67.7 million in public funding to the Bush-Cheney campaign. That's all the campaign can legally spend. But in addition, the Republican Party is planning the most lavishly financed campaign effort ever.
In Philadelphia, I spoke to the man in charge, Fred Meyer, chairman of the GOP's victory 2000 effort. I asked, how much will the party spend?
FRED MEYER, CHAIRMAN, RNC VICTORY 2000: We have committed that we will be spending more than $100 million and we expect to do that. How much more than that, I don't know. We're going to raise absolutely as much money as we can to be prepared because we know that there will be a very, very negative campaign run by the other side. They have to because their favorable-to-unfavorable ratio is so bad versus George W. Bush's very strong favorable to unfavorable position. They're going to have to tear him down to make progress, from their standpoint, in this election. And we have to be prepared to counter those.
JACKSON (voice-over): Meyer said about half the party money would go for TV ads, concentrated in about 20 battleground states.
Ads like this one:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, RNC AD)
ANNOUNCER: ... to strengthen and improve Social Security. The Bush plan guarantees...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JACKSON: That spot has already run in 17 states and will be back -- plus a lot more.
But Meyer said that for every dollar spent on TV ads, another dollar will be spent for party organizing.
MEYER: We will be sending money to state victory committees in the, quote, "battleground states," so that we can maximize our voter turnout -- voter identification, and then voter turnout in the states that are critical to winning the election.
JACKSON (on camera): Now you're talking to me about just basic political nuts and bolts, real human contact for a change? MEYER: Exactly, exactly. We'll be doing volunteer direct mail, we'll be doing phone calls with voter identification, we'll be doing a lot of get-out-the-vote calls to people that otherwise might not vote.
And it's grassroots, nuts and bolts politics. And this, for the first time that I'm aware of, actually, the political parties will be spending more money than the presidential campaign will get from the federal government.
JACKSON: Now the RNC is preparing to report officially that it had nearly $70 million in cash at the end of July. It raised millions more at the convention this week, and Meyer's asking for $30 million more to be raised by Bush's "Pioneers," those are the 200 or so persons who raised at least $100,000 each for the Bush primary campaign, and from others. The new group is called "Team 2000."
JACKSON: Because I had thought Team 2000 was going to be another club where if you raised a certain amount, $100,000, then you're in Team 200. Is that not the case?
MEYER: Well, we're putting everybody into Team 2000 that wants to sign up for Team 2000.
JACKSON: All right, but your goal is to get 400 people who are going to do what? Just explain that to me in a sentence so I...
MEYER: Well, we're soliciting between 400 and 500 people. A lot of them did not take part in the Pioneer program. We're going to all of our major contributors and asking them to, hey, can't you get $25,000 in -- in hard money, federal money contributions for the GWB campaign?
JACKSON: Now add it all up, nearly $68 million in public funds to be spent directly by the Bush campaign, plus at least $100 million more for the Victory 2000, more if they can get it.
When I asked Meyer if the grand total to be spent between now and Election Day might reach $200 million, he didn't blink -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: Do you think all this causes Terry McAuliffe to have a stomach ache?
JACKSON: I'm sure it does, Judy. This is a pretty high bar to set, and it will be interesting to see if the Democrats can equal an effort like the Republican are planning to put on.
WOODRUFF: Terry McAuliffe, of course, being the chief fund raiser for the Democrats.
Up next, Bill Schneider nominates a political "Play of the Week." (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
WOODRUFF: For those who tuned into the Republican National Convention, there was a lot to see: speeches, cheering delegates and of course the traditional confetti and balloon drop, among other things.
But as our Bill Schneider reports, there was one crucial element missing.
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: This was the least political political convention in history. Cynics are already calling it "The Stepford Convention" -- programmed, scripted, devoid of spontaneity. But you know what? It was a very smart move, because the convention made exactly the point Republicans want to make in this campaign.
What kind of bounce will the party get? Well we don't know that yet, but we do know the convention will get the political "Play of the Week."
(voice-over): The look of this convention was different. It looked like a Las Vegas revue, complete with pulsating music, light shows, celebrity entertainers, fireworks and inspirational moments -- more party than politics.
It was an antipolitical convention -- no debates, no controversy about rules or platforms. Ideology was virtually nonexistent.
PAT ROBERTSON, PRESIDENT, CHRISTIAN COALITION: It's pre- packaged, it's slick, it is homogenized, it is pabulum.
SCHNEIDER: The Republicans were making a statement, a statement that was intended as a sharp contrast with Al Gore and Bill Clinton. What is it that voters like least about the president and vice president? Just this: that everything they do seems to be driven by politics.
John McCain was on message.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: If you believe America deserves leaders with a purpose more ennobling than expediency and opportunism, then vote for Governor Bush.
SCHNEIDER: Elizabeth Dole was on message.
ELIZABETH DOLE (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: ... and alienates so many real people who's real problems can never be solved in a focus group or soothed by a spin doctor.
SCHNEIDER: Dick Cheney asked a devastating question.
RICHARD B. CHENEY (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If the goal is to unite our country, to make a fresh start in Washington, to change the tone of our politics, can anyone say with conviction that the man for the job is Al Gore?
SCHNEIDER: Ever hear the phrase "Clinton fatigue"?
CHENEY: We're all a little weary of the Clinton-Gore routine.
SCHNEIDER: Clinton fatigue is politics fatigue.
BUSH: I do not need to take your pulse before I know my own mind. I do not reinvent myself at every turn. I am not running in borrowed clothes.
SCHNEIDER: What's the alternative to politics? Leadership.
BUSH: They have not led. We will.
SCHNEIDER: Why do people think Bush is so much more of a leader than Gore? Because Gore is vice president and a vice president is not supposed to be a leader? Sure, that's one reason. But there's another. Bush is proposing some bold ideas -- a huge tax cut. That's not a big priority with voters. A missile defense plan: The public isn't sure about that. Changing the Social Security system, that's supposed to destroy you.
The political response?
BUSH: Every one of the proposals I've talked about tonight, he's called a "risky scheme" over and over again.
SCHNEIDER: Politics versus leadership -- the convention highlighted that choice with a neat trick: It excluded politics. Or did it?
The most nonpolitical political convention in history was also the political "Play of the Week."
(on camera): Did you notice that politicians were virtually banned from the podium? That no one talked about impeachment? That Newt Gingrich was a nonperson? As Sigmund Freud once said, there are no accidents.
Bill Schneider, CNN, Philadelphia.
WOODRUFF: All right, Bill Schneider, thanks a lot.
Well, as we told you earlier, George Bush is trying to carry that momentum from the convention on a train ride from Pennsylvania onto Ohio. Our Candy Crowley is with the governor now in Youngstown, Ohio, aboard the campaign train.
Let's go to you now -- Candy.
CROWLEY: Thanks, Judy. Governor, thanks for joining us on the bring-back civility tour.
Listen, I wanted to -- you've gotten some good reviews on your speech, but I want to read you from one of your critics, Al Gore, who's back on the campaign trail today. He called the convention a "masquerade ball for special interests with a purpose." "They're for the powerful; we're for the people."
GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I didn't expect him to like what I said, nor did I expect him to like our convention. The American people will make a judgment on who best to lead.
I thought our convention set a really positive tone, one that said we can do better, one that said there's been missed opportunities, and that if George Bush and Dick Cheney are elected, we'll seize the opportunities to make sure the Medicare system works, Social Security, make sure our children are educated, and to keep the peace.
And I'm -- you know, I'm used to -- I'm used to running against a person now that would rather say something ugly than say something good.
CROWLEY: Well, let me ask you about attacks, but as you may know, a lot of attention was paid in your speech -- you said some things, maybe with a bit of humor, but they were nonetheless aimed at your opponent. Where's the line here? I mean, why is what he says an attack and what you say not?
BUSH: I -- the people -- the people are going to be able to pick out who's got the positive vision and the positive image. Yesterday, I did say that he called everything I proposed risky, which is exactly what he did. And I did needle him a little bit about the Internet, but it was in good humor.
But the most part of the speech was talking about me and where I want to lead the country and my hopeful vision for America, and that if given a chance, I will seize the moment and bring people together to get some positive things done.
CROWLEY: There were also some implicit and explicit references to Bill Clinton. To what extent is Al Gore responsible for what Bill Clinton did or did not do, because you're not running against Bill Clinton?
BUSH: No, I'm not running against President Clinton and don't intend to, but what I am -- what I am going to make the case of is that during this incredible prosperity there have been missed opportunities, and Al Gore is an integral part of the administration. If he's not, then he needs to say so during his speech at the upcoming convention. If he wants to distance himself from this administration that has missed opportunities, he'll have plenty of opportunity to do so in a couple of weeks. My point is they've tried, they have failed, and now it's our turn.
CROWLEY: But what about the moral clauses in your speech? Is Al Gore responsible for Bill Clinton's personal behavior?
BUSH: No, of course not. He's not at all. But I think that the American people want to hear from the candidates -- and he can say the same thing himself -- is that I will uphold the honor and dignity of the office. I say that every speech. And the reason I do is because people want to hear that from the next leader. I work the rope lines and people hold pictures of their children, saying, "Don't let us down."
CROWLEY: You said in your speech that two divisions of the Army could not be called into service at this point because they weren't ready.
BUSH: I did.
CROWLEY: The Army says today that's not so, that they're ready, that they've got recruits, that their divisions are ready to go, all 10 of them. What's...
BUSH: Well, my answer to that is that last November there was a report that said two divisions were ready -- not ready for combat. We've seen an Apache helicopter squad go to Kosovo not ready for combat. Recruitment goals are not being meant. And if in fact the Army now changes its tune from that report last November, then they need to let the country know.
But those who follow the military know morale is dangerously low, and those who follow the military know we better have a commander in chief who rebuilds the military to keep the peace.
CROWLEY: But you would concede that the military at this point is combat-ready...
BUSH: No, I wouldn't concede that necessarily. I mean, I'm amazed that they would put out a statement right after our convention. I'm curious why it took them this long to say that they were combat- ready after the report from last November that said they weren't.
CROWLEY: Let me ask you to turn into a political strategist. What does Al Gore need to put on his ticket?
BUSH: You know, I don't know. I mean, that's going to be up to him. I tell you what -- who I put on my ticket: somebody who could be the president and somebody who would be -- who would be a partner, somebody with whom I could work. And both those tests were passed with flying colors.
CROWLEY: Do -- you talked about Social Security last night, you talked about prescription drugs. But we -- there's a lot we don't know about how you'd like to do your Social Security plan, and we don't know if there would be a guaranteed minimum. We don't know with prescription drugs, how you would pay for it.
I know that you say this has to be worked out with the Congress in the future, but don't the voters need to know what's in your mind about how much of their Social Security they would be able to invest or how much a prescription drug plan would cost? Don't we need to know those details?
BUSH: Here's what I think. First of all, the prescription drug plan, there's been a proposal laid out by a bipartisan commission, which I actively support, that the administration rejected. All those numbers were looked at, and I would suggest that those who are looking for the details look at the Breaux-Frist plan. It's a plan that says seniors will be given options in the private sector. All the options will have prescription drugs.
And secondly, on Social Security, I've laid out the framework for change, and that is give me a chance to bring Republicans and Democrats together, and a key component of that change is going to be to make sure seniors don't lose any benefits, but also to give younger workers the option to manage some of their money in the private sector: whether it's 2 percent or 3 percent. That is up for discussion. But the point is that the principle is intact, and there's a clear distinction between me and the vice president on this issue. And I like my position.
CROWLEY: Governor George Bush aboard the train, Youngstown, Ohio.
BUSH: Yes, ma'am.
CROWLEY: Where are we going next?
CROWLEY: OK, let's go.
BUSH: Thanks for coming with us.
CROWLEY: Thanks very much.
Judy, back to you.
WOODRUFF: All right, Candy Crowley, very interesting. That's all for this edition of INSIDE POLITICS.
I'm Judy Woodruff. "WORLDVIEW" is next.
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