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Is Hillary Poison to Democratic Hopefuls?; Why Won't Augusta National Let Women In?

Aired September 3, 2002 - 19:00   ET


ANNOUNCER: In the CROSSFIRE tonight: Congress looks beyond the Hill at you know who.

SEN. TRENT LOTT (R), MISSISSIPPI: And I am absolutely satisfied that if, you know, we are going to have a major conflict again in Iraq that Congress will be involved.

SEN. TOM DASCHLE (D), SOUTH DAKOTA: The president has yet to make the case for taking action in Iraq.


ANNOUNCER: But is the Bush administration in disarray over Iraq?


DONALD RUMSFELD, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: That's baloney. These people meet together all the time. They know what each other thinks.


ANNOUNCER: She's a Democrat's favorite alley and a Republican's favorite target.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hillary Clinton put on a New York Yankees hat and claimed to be a New Yorker.


ANNOUNCER: Tonight, the Hillary factor.

And it's their club, or is it time the guys realized there's another gender out there and it's the 21st Century?

Ahead on CROSSFIRE. From the George Washington University, Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson.

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: Good evening, and welcome to CROSSFIRE. Tonight, the scariest Democrats since Teddy Kennedy. Shiver. Also, it's a private club, why can't they say who gets left out?

But first we leave nothing out as we tee up the best political briefing on television. Our CROSSFIRE "Political Alert."

Franklin Roosevelt had the Four Freedoms. Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge has declared a fifth, the freedom to manage. Ridge and President Bush spent the day lobbying to the administration's vision of a Homeland Security Department, one where the president can move around 170,000 employees as the needs in the war on terrorism dictates. Senator Daschle calls the president's proposal a power grab of unprecedented magnitude. In other words, the unions, a key block of Democratic donors, don't like it. National security versus the special interests, the debate has begun in the Senate. Stay tuned. We'll keep you informed.

PAUL BEGALA, HOST: And it has been deeply dishonest one by our president. He knows the law already gives him the right to move people around for national security. He's trying to use that argument to bust a union of people who are heroic, people who protect...

CARLSON: You know what, Paul? the country gets this act, and the first thing Democrats care about is pleasing their largest special interest group, the unions, it's disgusting

BEGALA: The first thing the Republicans care about is bashing the people who are risking their lives to save ours. And I think it's just lousy. But my friend and former Clinton administration colleague, Andrew Cuomo, today called it quits in his bid for the Democratic nomination of being New York's governor. Cuomo waged an aggressive campaign but came up short against veteran state Comptroller Carl McCall. Andrew Cuomo is the son of the legendary governor. He is doing what I think is best for the party and I think for his career in the long run. What I love about Cuomo is the same things the GOP hates about him, he's tough, he's smart, he's hard charging. Republicans, of course, prefer their Democrats a little wimpy. And Andrew Cuomo is nobody's wimp. So congratulations today to Andrew Cuomo on a move that is both classy and smart. Cuomo's old boss and mine was on hand to bless Andrew's move and his future.


WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON, FMR. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There are some great virtues of being term limited out. One of which is that you can commit candor. So I will make you a prediction. I am the only person standing on this stage whose political career is over.


BEGALA: That's just because George Pataki was not on that stage. George Pataki is now over, a united Democratic Party in New York...

CARLSON: You know what, Paul? there's no chance that George Pataki is going to lose, A. B, I don't hate Cuomo, I actually sort of like him. Voters didn't care for him too much. But the real story here is that Hillary Clinton abandoned him, a personal friend in his hour of need, for a person she barely know, Carl McCall. Actually, it's poignant, it's sad. And I think it's appalling.

BEGALA: She's the senator from that state who didn't take sides in it.

CARLSON: No, she was on Carl McCall's side, as you know. Warren Tolman is running for governor of Massachusetts. He doesn't have much going for him, but he is bald. So that's what he's running on. Tolman accuses his opponents in the Democratic primary of not having the bald to be governor. You don't have to be bald to be on board, he tells supporters. His campaign slogan, "bald is beautiful." Tolman may have taken a cue from one of his opponents, Robert Reich, who began his campaign by making short jokes. Reich is not quite five feet tall. Physical deficiencies work well in Massachusetts, political analysts say. This week a third Democrat running for governor, Thomas Birmingham, is expected to respond to the trend. Birmingham's new campaign slogan, "I am impotent and I have bad breath. Please vote for me." I think that's a winner and I think they'll go for that in Massachusetts.

BEGALA: I have a feeling Karl Rove is writing that down for Bush's reelection campaign in 2004.

Today's "New York Times" notes that our president has quote, "kept a silence that even Calvin Coolidge would envy," unquote, on nearly every major public issue lately. The nasty public rift among his advisers over whether to go to war in Iraq, no comment. News from the Congressional Budget Office that we'll have deficits as far as the eye can see until the Bush tax cuts expire? nothing. Federal courts slapping down Bush's attempts to conduct secret hearings on immigration cases? not a word. Maybe W. is just heeding the advice of Mark Twain who once said, better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

CARLSON: Again, you win the bumper sticker competition, but I have to say the CBO report of August 13 actually makes the point that the deficit has almost nothing to do with the Bush tax cut. You ought to read it. It's excellent reading and we'll discuss it.

BEGALA: Except for the fact that it's wrong, that's completely wrong.

CARLSON: That's what the CBO says, 80 percent of it had nothing to do with the tax cut.

BEGALA: We can argue about the CBO.

CARLSON: And we will and I'll win.

BEGALA: You will be wrong...

CARLSON: I don't think so.

BEGALA: ... as you always are.

CARLSON: The first thing any serious presidential candidate does is hire somebody else to write a book for him. Taking credit for another person's work is great preparation for the phoniness of running for office. Candidates have been doing since at least Senator John F. Kennedy pretended to write "Profiles in Courage." But now it's John Edwards' turn, the freshmen North Carolina senator wants to be president, so he has signed a deal with Simon & Schuster for a book about his life. Only problem, there isn't much to say, at least politically. Edwards has been in office for less than four years. Before that he was a trial lawyer specializing in Jacuzzi cases. Somehow Edwards will have to turn this lack of experience into a book. So far the working title is, "How I Financed Aruba Vacation by Suing People."

BEGALA: John Edwards is a compelling guy, he has got a compelling story.

CARLSON: He is trial lawyer supported by the trial lawyers, hated by most Americans and for good reason. They're the sleaziest group on this planet.

BEGALA: No. The corporations that rip people off. You make fun of Jacuzzi cases...

CARLSON: Corporations don't take the money from...

BEGALA: There was a Jacuzzi case where a little girl was nearly killed.

CARLSON: I'll have you know that he is a parasite on the wounded and the families of the wounded. And it is disgusting.

BEGALA: No. He went to corporations that were ripping people off and in some cases, maiming and hurting children, and sued them and held them accountable. I call that the American way.

CARLSON: And he went to Aruba on the profits.

BEGALA: Good for John Edwards. Well, Michael Reagan said that the September 11 attacks would not have happened if his father, Ronald Reagan, had been the president instead of George W. Bush, because, Michael says, of Reagan's toughness that would have deterred the terrorists. Now, look, I don't generally defend George W. Bush, but let me do it tonight. Why didn't this supposed toughness deter terrorists when Reagan actually was president? Terrorists blew up a Berlin disco, killing American servicemen, undeterred by Reagan. The Soviets killed 269 people by shooting down KAL Flight 007 in 1983, undeterred by Reagan. Reagan also failed to deter the terrorists who murdered 241 Marines when they blew up their barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1983. Of course, Reagan reacted swiftly to that bombing, two days later he invaded the Caribbean island of Grenada. Invading an island too small for Club Med, now, that's what I call tough. Michael Reagan should be ashamed of himself.

CARLSON: You're still mad about Grenada. Gee whiz, Paul. Let me just make this point. I think that every son ought to have the right to defend his father without receiving a diatribe like that. I don't agree with Michael Reagan either. But it's his dad, come on, man.

BEGALA: But when the far right has this bizarre affection for Ronald Reagan that makes them even attack our president for something that's not his fault.

CARLSON: Wake up, wake up. It's his father. He's defending his father. He's not some right wing lunatic. It's his dad.

BEGALA: Do you know his dad came up to him at his high school graduation and had to introduce himself, that's how bad he was. So Michael Reagan...

CARLSON: He still loves him.

BEGALA: ... ought to put a sock in it and defend his dad but not attack Bush on something, the one thing that's not Bush's fault. I mean, anything else.

White House press secretary Ari Fleischer put George Orwell to shame today as he tortured the truth, claiming that open warfare within the administration is actually agreement, that disarray is unity and that George W. Bush actually is in charge. But Senator Majority Leader Tom Daschle cut through all the hot air, noting simply and honestly that our president has yet to make the case for military action against Iraq.

Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered its second largest one-day loss of the year, plunging more than 355 points today alone.

Here to debate peace and prosperity, or the absence thereof, Florida Democratic Congressman Robert Wexler and California Republican Congressman David Dreier, the chairman of the House Rules Committee.

Good to see you.

CARLSON: Mr. Wexler, thanks for joining us. Up from sunny Boca. Dianne Feinstein, a senator, a fellow Democrat, said something I thought sort of stunning today about the administration's plans for Iraq. I want you to listen to it and try to defend it.


SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA: I think a unilateral attack on Iraq, with the circumstances of which I am aware at the present time, is a mistake. I think it's a mistake morally. I think it's a mistake politically. I think it will set into motion a series of events that most of us cannot comprehend.


CARLSON: It's a mistake morally. I wonder if, Congressman, you can tell us why it's immoral for the United States to depose a leader who seeks to destruction of the United States, has the means to carry out the destruction, the destruction of Israel, by the way. Why is it immoral to defend ourselves against such a man?

REP. ROBERT WEXLER (D), FLORIDA: I don't think it's question of morality.

CARLSON: She said it was.

WEXLER: Well, that was what she said. What it is is a question of being smart. How are we going to take out Saddam Hussein in the smartest way, so that we maximize our chances of success and we minimize the casualties and the cost to the United States? And the question is, which most rational people I think come to the conclusion, we are better off fighting this war invading Iraq with a coalition of nations, with the support of the United Nations, and that it is somewhat riskier if we do it by ourselves. I think that's clear. And what most people understand at this point is that the president has not made his case to the United Nations and he's not convinced our moderate Arab allies to join with us. And he needs to do that and he needs to convince the American people. And logically what I think - what I heard in Florida over the weekend is if Dick Cheney says that Saddam Hussein's got nuclear weapons or he's about to get nuclear weapons and every day we wait we (sic) get more dangerous, then why isn't Colin Powell saying the same thing?

CARLSON: Wait a second. Wait a second.


BEGALA: What I found fascinating is that I was one of the few Democrats who actually defended President Bush taking a month-long vacation. I think it's good. It's a tough job. He needs the time off.

REP. DAVID DREIER (R), CALIFORNIA: We can count on you as one of the (INAUDIBLE) defenders.

BEGALA: Well, very rarely, because I thought he'd come back rejuvenated and apparently not the case. Today's "New York Times," "A Bush confidant tells 'The Times,' 'This hasn't been the most pleasant summer. Bush doesn't sound like a man eager to get back to what promises to be a tough fall.'" If he's going to lead us into war, why can't he come back from a month's vacation and decide whether or not we need to go to war and make his case?

DREIER: Some unnamed person made that statement, and I can't believe that, because we saw George Bush over the last month. He was working all over this country. He was spreading that message. He was making the case just as vigorously as possible. I agree with Bob, that it's very important for us to build this alliance. And that's why I was really gratified to see the statement that Tony Blair made today, which was very clear, that obviously we need to have a change in Iraq. And I believe that he has really come forward. And we will, Paul, see this alliance. And we will see support in the United Nations, I believe, as the president moves ahead. The president is strongly committed to this. Yes, there's been a rigorous...

BEGALA: He has decided on a war?

DREIER: No. He's strongly committed to the goal of dealing with the Congress as he addresses this question. He's strongly committed to the goal of dealing with our allies. And he knows that this must be done. I mean, when you've got a guy out there who has, in fact, proceeded with the mass production of VX, which is one of the most horrible chemicals around, as Vice President Cheney pointed out, we can't stand by. And if a preemptive strike could have been an option before September 11 last year, the American people would have overwhelmingly supported that. And I believe that we need to look at that now as an option because this is a very serious threat.


CARLSON: That's the real point.

WEXLER: Absolutely. And David pointed out Tony Blair's very strong comment today which is a very hopeful sign. What the British are about to do with the French is go to the United Nations and ask for an unconditional inspection warrant essentially to go into Iraq, no questions asked, we can go in at any point in time with the back-up that if Iraq at any point flinches, we use military might.


DREIER: Just before a defector came out and talked about that VX gas, the inspectors were prepared to certify that this wasn't taking place there.


WEXLER: Saddam Hussein has chemical weapons. He's a dangerous man. The world will be better off with him. The question is how do we do it with the greatest success for America?

CARLSON: Well, then let me pose this question to you. You mentioned inspectors, you mentioned going back to the United Nations, getting the Security Council to sign off on all this. Nelson Mandela brought up this subject today, I don't know if you have seen what he said about it. Here's what the Nobel Prize winner Nelson Mandela said about weapons inspectors in Iraq.


NELSON MANDELA, FMR. SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT: I would oppose a group of inspectors that is drawn just from Europe or from whites only. I would oppose it. That is wrong. Because that is an indication that the intention is not to be impartial. The intention is to distort.


CARLSON: Look, the point here is not whether you agree with Nelson Mandela, but that different countries have very, in this case, radically different views about what inspections mean, for instance. And taking this question to the U.N. at a time when we know for certain that Saddam is working feverishly to build these weapons may delay it beyond a point at which the risk becomes...

WEXLER: We don't need to take that risk. We can set out the rules. The world knows how serious we are. We say there will be inspections, no questions asked, no conditions, we're going in, that's how we've doing it. Iraq, if you don't want to listen to these inspections, if you don't want to comply with the U.N. resolutions, then we have the military option and we stand on high moral ground...

DREIER: Prime Minister Blair's point that he made very clearly today is that this has been going on for 10 years, since the end of the Persian Gulf War. And we have seen repeated efforts to try and do this. And that's why now Prime Minister Blair is agreeing with the need to step up to the plate. And I think that our allies will support that.


WEXLER: Tell me, Tucker, who is paying for all this? When we went into the Gulf War in 1991 because we had a coalition, of all the countries...

CARLSON: I'm so glad you asked me that.

WEXLER: ... we paid very little. We should make certain that the American taxpayers don't get billed.

CARLSON: We are going to talk exactly about that in a moment. Let me take a commercial break. Coming up, the non-Iraq items on Congress' plate. Anyone want a tax cut. And how about all those spending bills to keep the government running. Speaking of running, we'll look at why Hillary Clinton is a factor in so many election match-ups. And our "Quote of the Day" is proof the CROSSFIRE does in fact set the nation's agenda, or at least its fast food menus. We'll be right back.


CARLSON: Welcome back to CROSSFIRE. Members of Congress return to Washington this week to find, among other things, a whole country to run. That means spending bills and perhaps another tax cut. We certainly hope so. Here on CROSSFIRE, joining us, Florida Democratic Congressman Robert Wexler and California Republican Congressman David Dreier.

BEGALA: Congressman Dreier, this will shock you as I'm sure it did me, as one of the most principled members of Congress, as I know you to be, the White House gathered a group of economists during the president's vacation to talk about...

DREIER: In Waco.

BEGALA: No, no, economists met at the White House on August 21. Larry Lindsey, the head of the National Economic Council, called them together to talk about ways to stimulate the economy out of this Bush recession. And here's what one of the participants said.

DREIER: Bush recession? The one that began at the end of Bill Clinton's presidency? That one.

BEGALA: Bush recession just goes together so well. We have such a great history with it. DREIER: The one that began at the end of the Clinton administration.

BEGALA: Here's what one of the participants in that conference said.

DREIER: I just want to make sure that we...

BEGALA: Here's what one of the participants said: "They know this thing," this a proposal to rejuvenate the economy, "can't be enacted into law, that's a given. But they do think they can ram it through the House and leave it to Senate Majority Leader Thomas Daschle to kill it." In other words, this is just cynical. They're not - your party is not seriously interested in helping 1.8 million people unemployed in this Bush recession are you?

DREIER: Oh, come on, please.

BEGALA: I'm just reading what a Republican economist at the meeting said.

DREIER: Let me just say this, that's absolutely preposterous. The fact of the matter is the president is doing everything that he possibly can to make sure that we focus on economic growth so that we can emerge from this recession, which did begin during the Clinton presidency. And you are wrong in saying that it...


DREIER: The fact is we want to put into place policies, and I believe the president has gone a long way towards implementing a tax cut measure, which enjoyed bipartisan support, by the way, Paul, that is going to...

BEGALA: It's also...

DREIER: No, that is playing a role in mitigating the downturn. Yes, we saw this tremendous drop in the market today, but I will tell you it would have been much worse had we not done that. Increasing taxes during a recession is the worst thing that we can do. If you want to take responsibility for freezing or increasing taxes, go right ahead. You do it.


DREIER: You do it beautifully, Paul.

CARLSON: Mr. Wexler, if you listen to learned economists like Paul Begala, you would think that the entire economy rises and falls on the whim of the presidency. That's not true. Obviously Congress comes up with the money. I want you to tell - look at some really pretty amazing statistics out of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Democratic-controlled. These are figures for how much the president asked for. And this is how much Democrats in the Senate appropriated more. Agriculture, they wanted $800 million more than Bush wanted. Treasury and Post Office, $490 million. VA and HUD, $3.15 billion. Defense, in a time of war they wanted $11.3 billion less. So if we have a spending problem adding to the deficit problem, it's Democratic problem, obviously.

WEXLER: First of all, basic constitutional process, the House has to pass bills, the Senate has to pass bill, the president has a veto. He doesn't like anything, it doesn't become law. The issue, Tucker, is...

CARLSON: So they should be able to just put up whatever they want hoping the president will veto, what does that mean?

WEXLER: No, no, the Congressional Budget Office, the non- partisan Congressional Budget Office said it like it is. The primary cause, why we went from surpluses to deficits is the $1.3 trillion tax cut.

CARLSON: Really? Then you're not reading the August 17...

WEXLER: And to add - to add insult to injury, the president comes back and says, make it permanent. Another $600 billion or $700 billion. And now he wants more tax cuts. What about a prescription drug program? Do we ever get that?


CARLSON: One at a time. Let's just back up for one second. Throw out the bumper stickers. The CBO on August...


CARLSON: Mr. Wexler.

WEXLER: Tucker, we believe in a prescription drug program...


WEXLER: ... that's not just a throw-out, that doesn't cover anybody and it's not under Medicare.

DREIER: We passed a prescription drug program and we're very proud of this prescription drug program that we passed because of the fact that it is going to be helping seniors who are unable to have access to quality prescription drugs today. It is a very, very...

BEGALA: Congressman, I love when Republicans - just a minute, now we have got to be (INAUDIBLE), it's the chairman of the House Rules Committee. I love when Republicans, though, pretend that they're for prescription drug entitlement, they're for Medicare, they're for Social Security. This year's election is the greatest right-wing cross dressing since J. Edgar Hoover hung up his brassiere. Why don't you guys stand for what you really stand for in the elections?

DREIER: We stand for helping the American people. We stand for individual initiative and opportunity. And we're doing just that. These guys, your team, advocate in the Senate much more spending and both of you are arguing for more taxes, that's not the way to deal with the issue.


WEXLER: Nobody is saying a penny more in taxes.

DREIER: Of course you are. Of course you are.

WEXLER: We have the political courage to say what we...

DREIER: You don't want to put into place the very important tax measure that we have.

WEXLER: What we have the political courage and integrity to say is that the $1.3 trillion tax cut, the American people...

DREIER: And that's just wrong.

WEXLER: The American people can't afford it anymore, whether you like it or not. We need...

DREIER: You're wrong.


DREIER: The tax cut is the best way to encourage economic growth and you're wrong.

WEXLER: I want to be able to...


BEGALA: David Dreier of California, Robert Wexler of Florida, thank you all both very much. Bringing a little heat and light to our stage. Thank you very much. Thanks a lot. Lots of fun.

Coming up, it is year 2002, we're deep into the 21st Century, so why are the cave men at Augusta National still excluding women? What are they afraid of? cooties?

And later, speaking of he-men woman-haters why are the right-wing Republicans bashing a senator who is not even up for reelection.

And just one day after CROSSFIRE tackled the evils of fast food, our "Quote of the Day" shows somebody must have been listening. Stay with us.


BEGALA: Welcome back. You know, last night, CROSSFIRE shook the conscience of the nation by asking a simple, but troubling question. Does fast food make you fat? duh. McDonald's it seems was watching. Today, the company announced all 13,000 of its U.S. restaurants will switch to a new cooking oil. So what if you need a chemistry degree to understand it. And so what if consumer groups say we'll be getting french fries it cooked in belly growing fat instead of artery clogging fat. As a tiny shareholder myself who just last night was bashing McDonald's here on CROSSFIRE, we are declaring victory. Our "Quote of the Day" goes to McDonald's USA vice president - president, rather, Mike Roberts who says, quote: "It's a win-win for our customers because they are getting the same great french fry taste along with an even healthier nutrition profile."

CARLSON: That so pathetic. They are so - you know, these corporate guys, they are so weak. They ought to just say, look, it's a french fry. It's not very good for you. It's not a brussel sprout, but it tastes excellent.

BEGALA: Who wants a fatty fry, by the way?

CARLSON: Everybody does. That's the whole point. You know, this is going to be like the New Coke. There

BEGALA: Pitch a few our here. There we go.

CARLSON: You're really a man of the people. Feed them french fries.

BEGALA: Feed them fatty french fries. God bless America.

CARLSON: All right. Person of interest in the anthrax investigation is a now a person without a job. Connie Chung has details next in the "CNN News Alert."

Later, women tee off at the Masters, not their masters, the Masters.

CARLSON: But next, is this the face that will generate millions of votes for Republican candidates? We'll find out, we'll be right back.


CONNIE CHUNG, CNN ANCHOR, "CONNIE CHUNG TONIGHT": Hello, there. I'm Connie Chung at the CNN broadcast center in New York. CROSSFIRE is back in 90 seconds, but first, these stories top our "News Alert."

After the long holiday weekend, Wall Street got back to business today. And the bears took over early. The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 355 points. The Nasdaq also declined, falling 51 points. Investors fretted over the latest factory production figures which came in lower than expected.

Steven Hatfill, the bio weapons expert being investigated by the FBI has lost his job at Louisiana State University. The FBI says Hatfill is one of 30 people it deemed "of interest" in its ongoing anthrax probe. In a statement, LSU said the move was in the university's best interest. It went on to say the school is making no judgment as to Dr. Hatfill's guilt or innocence regarding the FBI investigation.

One day after a tornado touched down in Ladysmith, Wisconsin, authorities began measuring the damage. Forty people were hurt and as many as 150 buildings were damaged by the twister that ripped through the downtown area last night. Ladysmith's mayor estimated damages in t he city at about $10 million.

Andrew Cuomo today announced he's bowing out of New York's governor race and throwing his weight behind his Democratic rival, Carl McCall. Cuomo said he fell behind in the polls in July and August, and was told that launching a negative campaign against McCall might turn the tide. Instead, Cuomo said he decided to opt out, hoping to improve McCall's chances against Governor George Pataki.

And those are the top stories at this hour. I'll be back in 30 minutes, and now back to Paul who is going to throw me a french fry, and Tucker in Washington. Here you go. Right here. Big one right here.

CARLSON: It's a long way to New York, Connie, unfortunately.

CHUNG: I thought Paul has a great reach.

BEGALA: Absolutely. I already threw them at the kids here, the students in the studio audience.


CARLSON: So what do you have on your show tonight?

CHUNG: We're going to follow that Baton Rouge murder story. The FBI releasing a profile of their suspect. And when I return we'll speak with an expert about the process of profiling fugitive in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

BEGALA: Ladies and gentlemen, the CROSSFIRE news guys' favorite news anchor, Connie Chung! Give it up!

Coming up, it ought to be a chip shot so why is it so hard to bring gender equality to the home of the green jacket?

And next, she's one of my favorite women, favorite senators and favorite people, so why are the Republicans picking on her?


BEGALA: Welcome back to CROSSFIRE. We're coming to you live from George Washington University here in Foggy Bottom, Washington, D.C. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is not up for reelection in New York for another four years, so isn't it a little strange that she's showing up in so many ads for other state's candidates, especially Republicans?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hillary Clinton put on a New York Yankees hat and claimed to be a New Yorker.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sununu (ph) would rank behind Hillary Clinton in seniority, putting New Hampshire at a crippling disadvantage. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He opposes President Bush on conservative judges. Why Texas's own Priscilla Owen (ph), a bipartisan choice in Texas, but opposed by liberals like Hillary Clinton.


BEGALA: Here to discus the Hillary factor are Ann Lewis, the national chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee's Women Vote Center and Republican strategist Alex Castellanos.

Good to see you again.


CARLSON: Ann Lewis, thanks so much for joining us. I don't if you could see some of the spots that Paul put up, Republican ads using the image of Hillary Clinton to get votes and raise money for Republicans. He didn't have any ads for from Democrats using Hillary Clinton to their advantage, saying, you know, I'm a close friend of Hillary Clinton's, vote for me. Because there aren't any. Because Democrats are pretty embarrassed to be friends with Hillary Clinton, frankly.

ANN LEWIS, NATL. CHAIRWOMAN, DNC WOMEN'S VOTE CTR.: But Democrats want to use their time and their money to talk to people about issues like Social Security and what are we doing about the economy and how are we going to have a prescription drug plan that really reaches every senior? And you know what? Republicans, for reasons that I'm not sure I understand, Republicans are so either worried about Hillary Clinton or so determined to avoid discussion of these issues, so determined to avoid discussion of these issues that they're going to use their time and their money to say to voters, not what we're for, not what we want to do, but, oh, boy, isn't this something to worry about.

CARLSON: I'll tell you why Republicans are convinced, and I think Hillary has helped raised millions for the Republican Party, and I want to thank on its behalf, you, for her. But because look at the track record of what happens to people who are friends with Hillary Clinton, who worked in the Clinton administration, who run for office. They don't do well. And I'm talking about Janet Reno in Florida, going to lose, Robert Reich in Massachusetts, also going to lose, Andrew Cuomo in New York, pulled out today, Erskine Bowles in North Carolina, is going to lose, Bill Curry in Connecticut, is going to lose. You know that that's true. Rahm Emanuel basically the only one. It's the kiss of death. I hope you're not planning to run for office, Ann, because I think your time in the White House would hurt you.

LEWIS: Well, thank you for your concern, Tucker. But we've already tested this theory and it happened in New York in 2000. A large state, you may have heard of it, millions of voters. Republicans had exactly one campaign strategy, oh, we're doing to demonize Hillary Clinton. That's all they did. And you know what? she won with 56 percent of the vote.

CARLSON: It's a Democratic state.

LEWIS: Well, (INAUDIBLE) that's pretty good.

BEGALA: (INAUDIBLE) yours, why? Because you're smarter than the average bear. The Republicans ought to know that this is a losing strategy, as Ann just pointed out. I think this is not driven by strategy, though, I think it's driven by some deep psychological disorder like their mommas didn't breast-feed them or something. They like them as a friend and so now they want to attack this woman, right? Isn't that what's going on here?

ALEX CASTELLANOS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Speaking of bears, the interesting thing about all this those same Democrats that are not getting anywhere near Hillary Clinton on the Clinton curse are bear- hugging the president of the United States. Democrats are running ads saying, oh, we support the president and everything he's done on the war on terror, we support his tax cuts. So I think you that gives you the stark contrast between the Clinton administration's failure and the Bush administration's success.

BEGALA: Well, there is a phrase for the people who are trying to attack Hillary, and they're called losers. Let me go through them. The Republican running against Max Baucus, senator of Montana, the state where Bush did even better than he did at home in Texas. Max Baucus being attacked for being too close to Hillary Clinton, he's up by 30 points, a good Democrat. Tom Harkin, Democrat from Iowa, being attacked for being too close to Hillary, he's up by 9 points. Mark Breyer (ph), young man running against an incumbent senator in Arkansas, up by 10 points, despite the fact they're attacking him for his connections to Hillary Clinton. And in my home state of Texas, Ron Kirk, the former mayor of Dallas, never held a statewide office, running against a Republican anointed by Bush, he's dead even, even though they're attacking him for Hillary. It's loser strategy, isn't it?

CASTELLANOS: You know, I don't think the right thing for Republicans to do is to attack Hillary Clinton for - she was Enron before Enron was cool. She took 100...

BEGALA: Now that was Bush. That was Harken Energy. That was Halliburton. That was Dick Cheney.

CASTELLANOS: She took $100 and turned it into $100,000. That's not the way to go. The real problem and the real reason Hillary causes problems for Democrats is she's a '60s big spending taxing Democrat. She's driving that agenda here in Washington. And right now that kind of high tax agenda would drive us back into recession. There's a fear factor out there. There's a fear factor for Democrats like Hillary Clinton.

CARLSON: Of course, I'm sure you sort of agree with Alex Castellanos for the things he says. So I'm going to address something more poignant instead. Today you had Andrew Cuomo drop out of the race. I think Andrew Cuomo seems like a decent guy, certainly accomplished. He ran partly and to some extent largely really on his connections to the Clintons. I want to show one of his ads. I think he had a number like this that highlight his connection to the Clinton White House.


ANDREW CUOMO, CANDIDATE FOR NEW YORK GOVERNOR: As President Clinton's housing secretary, we stood up to the sleazy landlords by bringing in the FBI. We took on a Republican Congress to win more housing for senior citizens.


CARLSON: Now, here in return, Hillary Clinton is a personal friend of his, all but endorses the other guy and doesn't endorse him. That's how she repays his loyalty and friendship, that's sad, isn't it?

LEWIS: Your complaint, Tucker, that somehow being associated with the Clinton, you don't win primaries? or that Mrs. Clinton helped the other guy win the primary?

CARLSON: She should have helped him because he's her friend. That's why.

LEWIS: I just think you contradicted yourself on the last two. But that's OK.

CARLSON: Why didn't she help him?

LEWIS: She had two friends in this primary. She had two active, attractive Democratic candidates and Hillary did what statewide leaders, elected leaders often do, she said, I'm not endorsing either candidate, but I'm going to support the Democratic nominee.

CASTELLANOS: She campaigned with McCall.

LEWIS: She did not campaign with him. She went into the parade with McCall.

CASTELLANOS: She threw Cuomo under the bus because she didn't want to antagonize McCall base voters, Democratic primary voters. And she threw her old friend under the bus.

LEWIS: She marched with McCall. But I'm going to go back and say, so it is your point then with having started by saying that being associated with Hillary Clinton was a losing proposition, now you want to blame her for helping somebody win, you can take one or the other argument. But I think they're contradicting each other.

BEGALA: We're almost out of time, Alex, (INAUDIBLE) I want a yes or no, will bashing Hillary give back the Senate control to the Republican party?

CASTELLANOS: No. But letting people know that Hillary Clinton is driving a high tax agenda that's going to drive us deeper into recession, and that's not only a job killer, but it would hurt Social Security, hurt defense, that would hurt everything. That's important.

LEWIS: Hillary Clinton is the candidate of fiscal responsibility.


CARLSON: On that amusing note, we are going to have to go, unfortunately. Ann Lewis, thank you so much for joining us. Alex Castellanos, two of our favorite (INAUDIBLE), thank you.

In less than 90 minutes, former President Bill Clinton and former Senator Bob Dole will be guests on "LARRY KING LIVE." A replay of 1996 you ask? No. They're announcing something even more exciting. You'll want to watch it.

One of our Louisiana viewers has gotten excited about voting for Hillary Clinton, that's coming up on our "Fireback" segment.

But first, grab your golfs, we're playing through. It's a private club, why shouldn't the members say who gets in? We'll ask. We'll be right back.


BEGALA: You know, things change slowly in the Deep South. Men still hold doors open for women, which I like. They still say, yes, ma'am, and no, ma'am, yes, sir and no, sir, which I like. But down in Georgia, they still haven't let any women become members of the Augusta National Golf Club. Well, it's no wonder that women are little teed off down in Augusta, Georgia. Joining us in the CROSSFIRE tonight is Philadelphia radio talk show host and television sports anchor, Howard Eskin, and here in Washington, Martha Burk, chairwoman of the National Council of Women's Organizations.

Thank you all both for joining us.

CARLSON: There are organizations all over the United States that discriminate against men, women's colleges, the Girl Scouts of America, women's health clubs, et cetera, et cetera. You could spend your time trying to integrate those. But instead you're picking on a club that you're not even a member of. Why should you be able to control who gets invited? Why is it your business, anyway? Why don't you just go after a women's college?

MARTHA BURK, CHWMN., NATL. COUNCIL OF WOMEN'S ORGANIZATIONS: I'm not a member. You're right. I couldn't get to be a member. Let me just say this, the Girl Scouts, the women's aerobics club in Seattle, all of those kind of places, they don't host the highest profile sports event on the planet. They haven't injected themselves into the public eye the way these folks have spent millions of dollars to invite the public into their living room. Actually, I imagine that boys can join the Girl Scouts if they really want to. The fact is, though, this is a very public entity. It's the highest profile event on the planet in sports. These folks are living not in the last century, but centuries before or less.

CARLSON: So you're telling me that the new frontier in civil rights, as you see it, is allowing rich women to join Augusta? Is this the most pressing problem facing women in the world today? BURK: Absolutely not. Absolutely not. And we work on all those pressing problems, believe me, Social Security, women in Afghanistan, better care child care, fighting laws that discriminate against women, trying to preserve Title IX so that young girls can continue to play sports. We work on those things every day. But the fact is this is symbolic. It's just another way, and women know it, whether they're golfers or not, women see this as just another example of the way they have been shut out. You know...


BEGALA: Let me bring in Howard Eskin into this. First, thank you for joining us, Mr. Eskin. There's a guy called Hootie Johnson (ph), I'm going to say Hootie as many times as I can say tonight, because it's such a goofy name. So Hootie and the Blowhards who run Augusta National claim that they have a right to free association. They have a private club that associates with whomever they like. and they have a point. Why don't women's group have a right as private citizens to boycott any products they don't like?

HOWARD ESKIN, WIP SPORTS RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, they can boycott the products, but Augusta National has now taken the endorsers out of the loop. So what this does, and what Martha is doing here, the PGA Tour donates a lot of money to charity, and in this tournament, the Masters has donated $3.3 million to charity last year. So now by taking the sponsors out of the loop, you have now hurt charities. And the real issue is here, Martha, you're fighting...


BEGALA: ... their bigotry, Howard?

ESKIN: Martha, you're fighting for yourself.

BURK: No, I never made this a public issue. Hootie Johnson did it. I wrote him private letter...


ESKIN: Yes. But you demanded - there are clubs...


BURK: And I said, look, reconsider this. It's the 21st Century. But let me get to that charity thing.

ESKIN: OK, Martha, but I...

BURK: They have made it clear that they're willing to pay somewhere between 4 and $12 million to continue to discriminate against women. They're taking money out of the mouths of their local charities to do it. I think that's pretty darn bad.

ESKIN: Martha, Martha, there are clubs in America that don't even allow women on a golf course. At Augusta National over a thousand women played as guests last year. Now if you get your way, and a woman is admitted as member, forced to be admitted as a member, she's going to be an outcast at that club anyway. Private means exclusive to one's rights. It doesn't mean you or somebody else and you're not fighting for women. You are fighting for yourself because in talking to women, who is going to be able to join Augusta National? Let's face it. I can't join, Paul can't join, Tucker can't join. None of us can join. So now you're taking on your own issue and it's ridiculous.

CARLSON: Well, Martha Burk, I want to ask you - you sort of slithered out of answering what I thought was sort of an important question a moment ago, that there are women's colleges, for instance, let's take Smith College in Northhampton, Massachusetts. Obviously it serves a much more important function than some golf club in Georgia. It doesn't admit men. That's discriminatory by your standards. And I'm wondering why you aren't outraged about it?

BURK: We are on record as being against single sex education.

CARLSON: But I want you to express a little outrage here as you did for some stupid golf club.

BURK: When Smith College has something that's as big and as symbolic as this, I'll be on the front lines. We are on record. We are on - this is a golf game.

CARLSON: ... get some perspective here...

BURK: Yes, I do know.

CARLSON: ... versus a university.

BURK: I do know that. This is a golf thing. And this is a symbolic gesture that they're making. They are standing at the barricades to keep women out of this. It's just symbolic of all the way women are...


BURK: Hey, women clean the johns in the locker room.

CARLSON: That's an outrageous thing to say. A thousand...


BURK: No. I'm sure they did, but they're not members and they're being excluded because of their sex, that's wrong. That's discrimination and I want to say in response to my colleague that the PGA Tour has said they will not hold a golf tournament at any venue that discriminates on the basis of race or sex. But you know what they did? they created a double standard for the old boys at Augusta. They said, this is not a real PGA Tour event, but we're going to recognize the winnings and we're going to recognize the tournament in the record. I think that's hypocrisy.

BEGALA: Mr. Eskin, isn't the problem here that these guys - their masculinity is somehow threatened. First off, let's be straight, golf is a weenie game, the clothes are effeminate, the language is wimpy, bogey, birdie, you know? The whole thing is just - it's really - these guys are just scared of their own masculinity.

ESKIN: It's not that exclusivity. Because women do play on that golf course unlike many golf courses in America, not many, some golf courses in America that don't allow a woman to set foot on there. But the reality of this situation is (INAUDIBLE), and you have got to know the history of this sport. This is not a PGA event. And you said they're tied to the hip. Martha, please. You said that the PGA is tied at the hip. You know, let me read your quote. "It's not tied at the hip to this club." Well, Augusta National owns the word Masters. They own that. It is their tournament to do what they want.

CARLSON: OK. Mr. Eskin, we're going to have to leave it there. Martha Burk, I'm sorry we are just plumb out of time, as much as I'd like to get more...


ESKIN: Fight real issues.


CARLSON: ... issues of golf and the effeminate and non-feminate nature of this...


BEGALA: Oh, what a bunch of weenies.

CARLSON: Thanks so much both for joining us.

Next, it's your turn to "Fireback." And in tonight's case, we'll chew the fat. We'll be right back.


BEGALA: Welcome back to CROSSFIRE. Time now for "Fireback," where you the audience get to argue with we the trained professionals. Let's begin with Jack Halikias of Cleveland, Ohio. Jack writes: "Someone ought to tell those guys that voted for Bush in order to keep their guns, well, guess what, he's keeping your 401(k), too." Amen, Jack, way to go Jack in Cleveland.

CARLSON: Ba-da-bing! Ba-da-boom! Take my wife, please. OK. Next up, Rob Sievers from Abingdon, Virginia, writes: "If it's OK to sue the fast food industry for failure to warn of the fat content contained in the food, then why shouldn't it be OK to sue CROSSFIRE for failure to include the following on the program: Warning, listening to Mr. Banzhaf," our guest last night on this topic, "will lower your levels of intelligence and increase your levels of egotism." That's actually a pretty good point. I actually still feel ill from that.

BEGALA: Rob doesn't understand that we do the show here in Washington, where intelligence is so low and ego is so high that there's just no way to adjust for it anyway, myself included. Martha Stanton in New Orleans, Louisiana, writes: "Like many women I know, I can't wait to have the opportunity to use my money and my vote to get Hillary Clinton back in the White House. This time she'll be where she should have been all along, in the Oval Office getting something done." Wow, Martha. Louisiana for Hillary.

CARLSON: Who is really one of the great document-hiders the White House has ever seen. OK. Next up, Laura Wagner from Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, writes: "I love sitting down every day to watch CROSSFIRE. It is one of my favorite shows. My day is not complete without watching Tucker make fun of me and my fellow Canadians." You know, Paul, there is a deep streak of masochism, that Canadian soul, I've decided.

BEGALA: The question, who's going to get more e-mail for attacking golfers or you for attacking the Canadians?

CARLSON: I love the Canadians.

BEGALA: Canadian golfers, now they're the ones.

CARLSON: They are funny little people. I love them. Our audience, yes, sir.

QUESTION: Yes. My name is Michael Ganty (ph), I'm from Stafford, Virginia. I have a question for Mr. Begala. Is the Democrats' reluctance to go into Iraq because they know that they devastated our military might through mass reductions during the Clinton years?

BEGALA: Did the military look very reduced, massively, when we were kicking ass in Afghanistan? No. That was the Clinton military that kicked ass in Afghanistan, Mike. Now in point of fact, actually, Dick Gephardt in my party actually supports the attack. Dick Armey in the Republican Party opposes it.


CARLSON: You will defend anything having to do with Clinton no matter what it is, no matter what it is.

BEGALA: Did we lose the war in Afghanistan with Clinton's military, Tucker?

CARLSON: Yes, ma'am.

BEGALA: I thought we kicked ass.

QUESTION: Claire Laramie, Tucson, Arizona, the Alliance for Retired Americans, I just have a comment. The comment is, wow, women at a private club. Next thing you know, we'll want to vote!


BEGALA: God bless you.

CARLSON: And based on your demeanor, that would be a disturbing prospect. I hope it never happens. Yes, ma'am.

QUESTION: Hi, Pat Lehman (ph), Wichita, Kansas, Alliance for Retired Americans. The boys in Augusta running the club remind me of a bunch of 9-year-olds with the clubhouse in backyard saying, "no girls allowed." They need to learn to stop scratching in public, grow up and let the women in.

CARLSON: And you know what you do with 9-year-olds? you leave them alone, I mean, just leave them alone. They're not killing anybody

BEGALA: Any guy named Hootie needs help getting women into his club, not keeping them out. So I feel sorry. From the left, I'm Paul Begala, good night from CROSSFIRE.

CARLSON: From the right, I'm Tucker Carlson, join us again tomorrow night, Wednesday night for another edition of CROSSFIRE. "CONNIE CHUNG TONIGHT" begins immediately after "CNN News Alert." See you tomorrow..


Augusta National Let Women In?>



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