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Should the U.S. Act Soon Against Saddam?; Are al Qaeda, Iraq Working Together?

Aired September 26, 2002 - 19:00   ET


ANNOUNCER: CROSSFIRE. On the left: James Carville and Paul Begala. On the right: Robert Novak and Tucker Carlson.
In the CROSSFIRE tonight: Is it time to do something about Saddam? Henry says: Go.


HENRY KISSINGER, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: I know. I would like to ask the question: Why not now?


ANNOUNCER: Madeleine says "Not so fast."


MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: But I do not share the irrational exuberance for conflict.


ANNOUNCER: What about former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger? He is in the CROSSFIRE.

Plus, fighting words on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are engaged in a deliberate and civil and thorough discussion.

SEN. TOM DASCHLE (D-SD), MAJORITY LEADER: They've made it much more difficult.



From the George Washington University, James Carville and Robert Novak.


Tonight, United States senators listen to the voices of experience. Do you think the president might give it a try? Also, we'll ask him if it's time for Washington to remember the immortal words of Rodney King: "Can't we all get along?"

But first, something we can't get along without. Here comes the best political briefing on television, our CROSSFIRE "Political Alert."

Senator Tom Daschle is still waiting for an apology from the president of the United States. Majority Leader Daschle, one of the calmest statesman in Washington, finally lost his temper yesterday after the president started to question democratic senators loyalty to America.

Instead, the president rushed to a fund-raiser where in addition to the usual talk about regime change in Iraqi, he also said it would need some leadership change in the Senate. Mr. President, there is a big difference between Iraq and the United States Senate.

Tom Daschle was back to being his normal, calm self today. Maybe he should take a deep breath, too, and apologize like a man.

ROBERT NOVAK, CO-HOST: James, you know better than anybody else that being in politics means you never have to say you're sorry. And you've never apologized to anybody for the retched campaigns you have run.

CARVILLE: I never called anybody a traitor, either.

NOVAK: The brilliant 40-year-old Washington lawyer Miguel Estrada groveled today before democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. That committee and party line votes has killed two highly qualified Bush nominees for the federal appellate bench. Estrada may be next, so he promises senators that he would have an open mind on the court and follow the facts instead of his own views. His own views are conservative, which constitutes one strike against him.

The second strike is that he would be the first Hispanic-American named to the prestigious circuit court from the District of Columbia. That terrifies democratic strategists who want to keep Hispanics on their democratic plantation.

CARVILLE: You know if you want to point judges, win the election, don't steal it. They don't have a right to appoint these judges, these ideological ridged judges. If you want to appoint qualified, competent, middle of the road judges, fine. They did not win the right to appoint ideological judges. These Democrats need to hold the...

NOVAK: You name the left-wing judges and we name the middle of the road.

CARVILLE: Right. You know we win the election. That's the difference.

George W. Bush is a man who says what he means and means what he says. He's the leader of the free world and he has access to the most secret and sophisticated intelligence available. He even knows what the meaning of "is" is.

So let's listen to our commanding chief answer what is perhaps the most important question of the day.


QUESTION: Mr. President, do you believe that Saddam Hussein is a bigger threat to the United States than al Qaeda?

BUSH: That is a interesting question. I'm trying to think of something humorous to say.


CARVILLE: The president speaks from the gut anyway. Understand it?

NOVAK: You know, you and Begala have this campaign to ridicule the president of the United States, and I'll tell you something. Not only are the viewers getting sick of it, I'm getting sick of it.

CARVILLE: What? The guy made a fool of himself. What do you want me to do? He couldn't answer a straightforward question.

NOVAK: That is your campaign spin. And it's getting old.

These are hard times for Democrats. But the party's leader in the house, Dick Gephardt, got some help today from a political expert: Barbra Streisand. A confidential memo sent to Gephardt was reported by "Roll Call," the Capitol Hill newspaper.

The memo, from Streisand's political adviser, Marjory Tabankan (ph), noted that the actress is performing this coming weekend at a fund-raiser to make Gephardt speaker of the House.

Then, the memo said, Barbra, busy in rehearsals, thinks it's time for Democrats to go on the offensive instead of taking Republican abuse lying down. Gee, I bet Dick Gephardt is really grateful for such good advice.

CARVILLE: You know I know Marge Tabankan (ph) and I know Barbra Streisand, and they're brilliant people. And I think that they have every right to send a memo to the minority leader of the House saying what they think. I don't know why it so offends you that someone can have an opinion and express an opinion.

NOVAK: Because you think anybody who give big bucks and soft money is smart. And that's disgusting.

CARVILLE: No. I think anybody as talented as Barbra Streisand, and has thought about these things and is committed to these things, I think she is a talented, committed, brilliant woman. I know her, I know Marge Tabankan (ph). She's a very able one. And Marge (ph) and Barbra, you keep sending that advice and send me some, because you all are brilliant people.

NOVAK: She's the Aristotle of the 21st century.

CARVILLE: She might be. She might be. She's also one of the most talented people of the 20th century.

Colorado Republican Congressman, Tom Tancredo, has undergone a remarkable conversion. Once upon a time, Tancredo was a fire breathing leader of Colorado's term limits crowd. Three terms and you're out; no exceptions, no excuses.

Well, guess what, now that he's running for a third term, Tom Tancredo doesn't believe in term limits anymore. Colorado voters should term limit this weasely guy right now.

Tom Tancredo is a man of his word, Bob. His most recent word.

NOVAK: I'll tell you something, Carville. I hate to ever agree with you on anything, but I think these term limits hypocrites make me sick. If they campaign on term limits they ought to stick to them, and that includes both Democrats and Republicans.

CARVILLE: I'll tell you another thing, too, is this guy talks -- he's all against immigration and stuff like that, and they find out that he has illegal immigrants working on his house. You and I also agree we should have a broad immigration policy and let people in this country.

NOVAK: Alan Greenspan, the jazz clarinet player who became the world's most famous central banker, today became a knight of the British empire. Really.

Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, that probably exceeded even the moment when Dr. Greenspan sat in the presidential box with Hillary for Bill Clinton's first State of the Union Address to entrap him into supporting the Clinton tax cut -- tax increase, the biggest tax increase in the history of the country. Considering the ill-designed interest rate increases by Greenspan in 1999 and 2000, maybe Sir Alan is now a night errant. That is a knight who makes errors.

CARVILLE: You know you're (UNINTELLIGIBLE) everybody tonight.

NOVAK: That's right.

CARVILLE: Barbra Streisand, Alan Greenspan. My goodness. You know what, I know I'm next. Everybody comes after me.

All right. It was secretary of state day up on Capitol Hill. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee held hearings about Iraq and heard from former Secretaries: Henry Kissinger, Madeleine Albright, as well as current Secretary of State Colin Powell. We figured if you can't beat them, join them.

So we invited former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger into the CROSSFIRE.

Welcome, Mr. Secretary.

NOVAK: Mr. Secretary...

LAWRENCE EAGLEBURGER, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: First of all, I want to tell you how much I enjoy being with a group of people who don't have any very firm opinions.

CARVILLE: Well, thank you sir. Thank you very much. And I can't tell you how honored we are that you're coming on our show.

NOVAK: Mr. Secretary the Congress has basically agreed on the wording of this resolution. But I want to just play a little quote by President Bush that he said today, justifying going to war. Let's listen to it.


BUSH: There are al Qaeda terrorists inside Iraq. The regime is seeking a nuclear bomb. And with fissile material, could build one within a year.


NOVAK: Let me take the first part of this. There are al Qaeda terrorists within Iraq. There are al Qaeda terrorists in Detroit. There are al Qaeda terrorists in Hamburg. There are al Qaeda terrorists in Phoenix. There are al Qaeda terrorists on the West Bank. There are al Qaeda terrorists all over the world, according to our intelligence.

What is the point in saying there are al Qaeda terrorists in Iraq?

EAGLEBURGER: Well if you think I'm going to argue ardently for invading Iraq, you've got the wrong guy on the program.

NOVAK: But that's a specific question, though.

EAGLEBURGER: There apparently are some ties between Saddam and al Qaeda. How deep they are, how important they are, I think is open to serious question.

There is nobody who has contended that Saddam Hussein had anything to do with the September 11 bombing -- or the thing in New York last year. I think that it is tenuous to argue that the al Qaeda connection and Saddam Hussein is so intense that it merits invading Iraq.

I think there are other arguments to be made. I don't think the connection with terrorism in general, and al Qaeda in specific terms, holds up that well. So I am not one of those who would argue that it merits an invasion.

NOVAK: All right. Let me go to the second half of that quote by the president that they can build a nuclear bomb within a year. All of the briefings that they have received on the Hill from the CIA, five years at the shortest time. How did it suddenly become one year? Is this just a buildup for propaganda?

EAGLEBURGER: No. See, this is where it gets tougher for me, I must admit, because if the president of the United States says to us that the evidence is such that he has to contend -- that he can contend that Saddam can have a nuclear weapon in X amount of months or a year...

NOVAK: A year?

EAGLEBURGER: Well, even so, then I've got to salute and say, Mr. President, if that's what you're telling the American people, I'm not going to call you a liar. If that's what he's saying that the intelligence now indicates, I've got to take it seriously. This is the first time I've heard that, although we have heard the vice president say for six months every time he gets a chance that there is this nuclear issue.

But when the president spoke to the Congress, in what I thought was a brilliant speech -- to the U.N., rather, in what I thought was a brilliant speech, he barely mentioned the nuclear issue. He mentioned it only one brief time. I thought it was a superb speech, but there he was talking about the times that the Iraqis have violated -- or have not paid attention to the Security Council's resolutions.

But when it comes to the nuclear issue, I have to say, I've got to take the word of the president of the United States. I can't judge it myself. If it is a clear and present danger that he's going to have a nuclear weapon, then I have to salute and say, Mr. President, you've got to make your decisions. And as an American citizen I've got to accept it.

But I will say this is the first time I've heard it said that specifically with a timeframe on it.

CARVILLE: Mr. Secretary, correct me if I'm wrong here, but I read there's only a limited amount of time that the military would want to invade Iraq. And it can't be like during the summer, say from November to March. Is that about the timeframe that it's feasible?

EAGLEBURGER: I suppose it's feasible any time. But you are correct in terms of temperature and climate and so forth. Yes, it makes sense.

CARVILLE: So if we're going to do -- if the president is intent on doing this, it has to be some time between now and, say, next March or April at the very latest. Is that correct?

EAGLEBURGER: I suppose that's correct.

CARVILLE: So if -- would you advise -- do you think it's advisable for them to go -- let's assume that they try to get a U.N. resolution in the Security Council and fail. Do you think that that gives us a substantially stronger opinion -- position than not trying at all?

EAGLEBURGER: Than not trying at all? CARVILLE: Yes, sir.

EAGLEBURGER: Not trying in the U.N. at all?

CARVILLE: Trying and failing. I mean suppose they go in January and they fail and they say if we don't do this thing in the next three months, they're not going to get it done for another year.

EAGLEBURGER: I guess the answer to that is, if we've tried, if we have put before the U.N. all of the evidence that we have as to why we think we should do it, and we then still fail, yes, I guess I would have to say to you that if we're convinced -- if the administration is convinced it has to do it, whether it is to strengthen our position or not, I can't say. But I would say -- again, I would say if the president has decided that it's got to be done, we're going to have to do it. I would obviously far prefer a U.N. resolution that said we should do it.

I would far prefer that we had allies that would go with us when we do it. And even if the U.N. fails to pass such a resolution, if we have some allies that go along with us in the invasion, it makes it much easier for me at least to say this is something we should do. But your question gets to the very heart of this thing, which is, under any circumstances should we be prepared to do this unilaterally? It makes me very nervous, I don't like it at all, but I guess I would have to say in the end if the judgment is that the nuclear issue is right around the corner, I'm going to say then we have to do it all by ourselves if we have to.

CARVILLE: Right. But my point is, is that I think it's important for the public to know that there is a limited amount of -- there's a...


CARVILLE: ... to know when the -- don't want to do it in June for sure. OK.

NOVAK: OK. We're going to have to take a break. In a minute, we'll ask Secretary Eagleburger if the U.S. is going after the wrong target.

Later, will Tom Daschle and George W. Bush ever speak to each other again?

And our quote of the day gives a little perspective to Washington policy disagreements.



NOVAK: Welcome back to CROSSFIRE.

A senior State Department official tells CNN the Bush administration has begun to seriously negotiate more specific text in a proposed U.N. resolution on Iraq. The U.S. is talking with Britain, Russia, China and France, as Security Council members that could veto any resolution.

We're talking with former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger -- James.

CARVILLE: Let's talk about -- when I ran campaigns, one of the things I always tell my people, never fight a battle that you're not prepared to win. Victory has consequences, just like defeat.

EAGLEBURGER: You bet you.

CARVILLE: My question is, do you think if we had given sufficient thought -- I mean we're not going to lose to Iraq. I mean let's face it, we all know we're not going to go to war with Iraq and lose a war.

Do you think that we have given sufficient thought to the consequences of victory in terms of our position in the Middle East? And, also, vis-a-vis the rest of the world in America's image for arrogance?

EAGLEBURGER: I don't think we have. But I -- on the basis of what I've seen, I don't think we have. But I hope I'm wrong. Because if you -- at least if you think about that we're going to win the war in Iraq -- and we all agree with that. Although I worry a little bit about people saying we're going to get it over in two weeks or two days. Here you can make a mistake thinking it will be over in a hurry.

NOVAK: A cakewalk...

EAGLEBURGER: Yes. You really have to be -- that's a dangerous argument. In the first place, I have to assume Saddam isn't going to fight the second war the way he fought the first one. But anyway, we win it.

How long do we stay there? We are surrounded by Arabs that don't want us there. We're going to put in a government of our choosing. And I don't care how decent they all may be. You put a government in that's imposed by the United States on Iraqis, I can't believe they're going to be enthused about that.

If you think through the consequences of all of this, the problems that face us simply in managing a victory in that country is going to be bad. And then there is the other problem, which you've just touched on, which worries me a lot only because we haven't thought about it much. And that is, have we thought about how the rest of the world is going to look at us over the next decade or two if we throw our weight around without thinking through when we have to do it, as against when we think we'd like to do it?

NOVAK: And then there's the question of priority.

EAGLEBURGER: You got it. NOVAK: There are members of the -- serious members of the Senate Intelligence Committee I have talked to who ask two questions: Why Iraq? And why put all the 100,000 terrorists around the world into a secondary category?

EAGLEBURGER: Well, I think in a way, Robert, you've touched on a very important point, which is one of the things that Scowcroft argued in his article that got a lot of this debate going was we are losing sight of the battle against terrorism with all of this. I think there's some truth to that, too, because all of the debate now on Iraq, and what has that led to in terms of thinking about other points where there are terrorists?

There are a lot of terrorists in Syria. You can go around the world and talk about where the other terrorists are located. Lebanon, we've got Hezbollah and so forth. All of these are potential targets, but we're not doing much with it.

NOVAK: Can I raise a question?


NOVAK: That we are going after Iraq -- the U.S. is going after Iraq for reasons of the balance of power in the Middle East and the availability of oil?

EAGLEBURGER: I don't think so. I really -- this oil business is something I never believed. I lived in a government where we went through all of these things. I don't think that oil is the issue.

And on Iraq, I think the president and a number of the people in this administration honestly believe that he is a serious, serious menace to the Middle East. And I can make the same argument. I don't share it as much as they do, but I think it's an honest belief.

CARVILLE: Mr. Secretary, there are people who believe that to expand -- that we should have never even expanded it to a war on terrorism and that we're really not serious about that. That the complete focus should have been a war on al Qaeda, and we have not completed that.

The president went out and expanded it from al Qaeda to terrorism. Now we've expanded it to Iraq. Do the people who say that we should have relentless focus on the war with al Qaeda before we expand the war have a valid point?

EAGLEBURGER: No, I really don't think so in this sense: When this started, the president said war on terrorism. We all embraced that, we all believed it. I still do believe it. Al Qaeda is a piece of that.

But it's -- that's all it is, is a piece of this. And if we licked al Qaeda tomorrow morning, we still have a massive terrorism problem. And I know you want me to shut up, and I'll do that right away. But, the fact of the matter is that it's a problem that we've got to deal with. NOVAK: Lawrence Eagleburger, thank you very much.

CARVILLE: Thank you so much, Mr. Secretary.


NOVAK: The Iraq and homeland security debates have Washington's political atmosphere as hot as July. In a little bit, we'll ask what it will take to cool things off.

And in the CROSSFIRE, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) is back. Tonight, a governor who wasn't going to the rest home to rest.

And our quote of the day looks back at a time when there was unity in U.S. international policy for a very personal reason.


CARVILLE: Now Secretary of State Colin Powell seems like the odd man out among the Bush administration's (UNINTELLIGIBLE). But in the administration it's never easy to get everyone on the same page.

We're giving former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright our quote of the day for this reminder about one of the few times official Washington was of the same mind.


ALBRIGHT: The only time that there was not disagreement between the State Department and the White House was when Henry Kissinger was both National Security Adviser and Secretary of State. Otherwise, it's hard wire.


NOVAK: But the truth of the matter is that Henry was fired as national security adviser after a couple of years. And so we had another one to contend with as he was secretary of state.

CARVILLE: He couldn't keep both of them at the same time. It's like being a coach and a GM, I guess, huh?

NOVAK: Michael Jordan is talking about his future in basketball. Connie Chung has the latest in a CNN News Alert.

Later, Senator Daschle may be outraged, but is it time for Washington to be getting a little hot under the collar?

And in the CROSSFIRE "Police Blotter," an out of control Viking gets flagged, and it may cost him more than 15 yards.


NOVAK: Welcome back to CROSSFIRE. We're coming to you from the George Washington University in Foggy Bottom, D.C. Nothing gets the D.C.'s press corps blood flowing like a no-holds barred Washington fight. Let's face it, the days when a member of the House would beat a Senator with a cane or there would actually be duals, sadly are long gone.

These days we're happy if somebody raises their voice and slaps the podium, like Senator Tom Daschle did yesterday. Them's fightin' words.

Let's ask two congressmen, what's next in the senatorial or congressional cock pit. We're talking to a Florida Democrat Robert Wexler and Arizona Republican J.D. Hayworth.


CARVILLE: Congressman Hayworth, let me show you the sound bite from President Bush that started all this, and I have a follow-up question.


BUSH: The Senate is more interested in special interests in Washington and not interested in the security of the American people.


CARVILLE: Now, Congressman, being that Senator Daschle was mailed anthrax, and the people in his office, what do you think would possess the president of the United States to say that he's not interested in security when he tried to be killed by terrorists and John Ashcroft has not even caught them yet?

REP. J.D. HAYWORTH (R), ARIZONA: Well, first of all, Jim, let's put this into some context. If you had continued the sound bite you used, past the 3.2 seconds you utilized on air there, you would have heard the president say that responsible Republicans and Democrats are working together and they understand the nature of the threat. And, indeed, we see that. In terms of the fact that both Republicans and Democrats are willing to support our commander in chief on a resolution of use of force against Iraq.

With reference to the anthrax that you talked about, that underscores the need, and the sad fact, that the Senate missed its goal of passing a Homeland Security bill by September 11. And there are plenty of absurd examples as to why they need to get off the notion of protecting collective bargaining and union bosses' rights, instead of workers rights, and the ultimate right of our commander in chief to make sure people perform.

CARVILLE: Tell me, Congressman Hayworth, what union boss or union regulation stopped the New York firemen, who were all union members on September 11, from doing their job? Would you please point to the regulation and the union boss that is keeping these people from doing their jobs?

HAYWORTH: I'd be happy to point -- I will be happy to point directly to what is going on in terms of federal workers. It comes in the Customs Department. For example, the administration asked Custom workers to wear radiological detection devices in certain locations. Those Customs workers said they would not because it was not part of their collective bargaining agreement.

In another situation, to try and find out what was going on in ports of entry, the federal government asked Customs to send some of their workers abroad. And the people of the union said you have to take them based not on performance, but by seniority. I know some stubborn things, James.


CARVILLE: You tell me about the New York firemen, did you Congressman?

HAYWORTH: There is another even more galling thing, James.

CARVILLE: What about the Tucson fireman?


HAYWORTH: You don't want to face facts, do you, Jim? That is fine.

NOVAK: We've got Congressman -- let's get Congressman Wexler in here.

Congressman Wexler, I don't know if you know if you know Congressman Robert Andrews of New Jersey. I don't know if you ever met him. He's a Democrat from New Jersey, and -- he's a real Democrat. He ran for governor one year. I would like to have you listen to what he said about this furor.


REP. ROBERT ANDREWS (D), NEW JERSEY: The president's remarks yesterday were misinterpreted in the media, if I say may so. I think that he was sandbagged a bit by the way they were reported originally.


NOVAK: He didn't question the patriotism of anybody. I wonder, to Mr. Wexler, if you might surprise me and be as much of a statesman as Robert Andrews and agree with him?

REP. ROBERT WEXLER (D), FLORIDA: What I think is that the president's words speak for themselves. On four different occasions, President Bush questioned the commitment of Democrats to national security. And I think he does a disservice to the country and himself when he does that.

The good news is, Bob. We are coming together on Capitol Hill. We are coming together, I think, in a very unified way to support an appropriate use of military force in Iraq. We Democrats demanded that the president go to the U.N. originally, he didn't want to, to get a broad international base of support. He did it.

We Democrats said, come to Congress, so the nation can have a debate. He's now done that. We Democrats demanded a better resolution and we are about to do that to authorize force.

So I think what we're saying is, Mr. President, don't go on the campaign trail and question Democrats concern for national security. Be unified. Don't divide us, Mr. President.

NOVAK: Mr. Wexler, I'm disappointed you were not as much a statesman as your fellow Democrat Mr. Andrews. But I think you are a realistic politician. And see if you can agree with me what happened to create this temper tantrum by Tom Daschle and Robert Bird, who is old enough to know better.

Isn't it out of frustration that you're trying to have all of these kind of Democratic issues like prescription drug subsidies and things like that? You want to talk about all of these so-called kitchen table arguments, where people are whining that the government is not taking care of them enough. And, suddenly, the war is the issue. And you're so frustrated, you're taking it out on President Bush. Isn't that what is really going on?

WEXLER: Well, Bob, if you're saying are we Democrats trying to make an argument that, in addition, alongside our national security concerns in Washington, we should be addressing the prescription drug needs of seniors, you bet we want to do that. Do you think we ought to fund the education bill that the president so heralded at his State of the Union Address? Yes, we think we should.

The president's record on the domestic side is dismal. It's true, the president wants to talk about Iraq. I happen to support regime change in Iraq. I want to disarm Iraq. But at the same time, we should be providing prescription drugs for seniors and taking care of our schools. The president doesn't want to talk about the domestic side.

CARVILLE: Congressman, you didn't answer my question about New York firemen so let me make it closer to home.


Do you think that Tucson firemen or Phoenix policeman ought to have a right to collective bargain?

HAYWORTH: Do you believe that any policeman? This is the credit to the New York firefighters and the policeman. They answered the call. Now here's the problem with the a federal unit.

CARVILLE: Did the union stop them?

HAYWORTH: Here's the problem with the federal unions, take a look at the SWAT teams from the Border Patrol. When we want to send them into the desert now, they're saying, whoa, you can't do that unless you keep us close to quality restaurants. The ability to have dry cleaning and a good barbershop. Now, clearly, James, that is absurd.

CARVILLE: You know...


That's the stubborn Border Patrol. Let me ask you...

HAYWORTH: No, it's not, that's the unions.

CARVILLE: That's a smear on the Border Patrol.

HAYWORTH: You know the bottom line...

CARVILLE: Do you think -- the president said the Senate doesn't care about security. Do you think you're a better American than Senator Inouye or Senator Kerry or Senator Cleland?

NOVAK: Oh, James.

HAYWORTH: You know, James, even your shamelessness sometimes astounds me, because this is not a question of patriotism.

CARVILLE: Just answer the question. What is the question? It was the president who said it was a question of security.

HAYWORTH: Can I answer the question?

Poor, James, you're trying so desperately make this into political Punch & Judy when we're talking about national security. .

CARVILLE: Of course I am. Of course I am. You tell my friends on the Senate that they're bad Americans...

HAYWORTH: It's not wrestle mania. It's not a wrestling match.

CARVILLE: You're doggone right that it's a political Punch & Judy.


HAYWORTH: Let me answer the question. Here is the issue: Are we going to stand up for national security or are we going to be beholden to the quirks of collective bargaining? Are we going to put unions in front of national security? I believe Zell Miller and other good Democrats stand with the vast majority of the American people who say, heck no!


NOVAK: Senator Zell Miller is sponsoring that bill. I think Mr. Carville was his campaign consultant at one time, wasn't he? I believe so.

CARVILLE: I think union members are good law abiding Americans. NOVAK: Listen, I want to play something that Tom Ridge, who is no extremist, who is a moderate Republican, head of the -- Homeland Security adviser of the president, said about this situation. Let's listen to it.


TOM RIDGE, DIRECTOR, HOMELAND SECURITY: Let's not take away the authority that this president had on September 10, 2001, in a bill designed to reorganize and maximize the federal government's effort to protect American citizens and protect our way of life. It's incomprehensible, the wrong bill, the wrong time.


NOVAK: Isn't it the fact of the matter Mr. Wexler, that Tom Ridge has put it that you people from the Democratic Party are so much under the thrall of organized labor that you cannot dread (ph), even when homeland security is at stake, to cross a labor union? Isn't that the fact?

WEXLER: No. The fact is unfortunately, Mr. Ridge's position is disingenuous. In the homeland security bill, we are creating a mammoth governmental agency. The president is gaining enormous powers, not losing them.

What we Democrats are saying is the issue of worker rights, although we stand up for them and the Republicans don't, should not be a part of this debate. But this is the Republican strategy. They did it when it came down to paying our dues for the U.N., they introduced abortion. When it comes to bankruptcy reform, they introduced abortion. When it comes to national security and homeland security

NOVAK: Oh, that's enough of your campaign speech.

WEXLER: It's not a campaign speech.

NOVAK: Mr. Wexler, thank you.

WEXLER: It's about protecting America.

NOVAK: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Thank you.

CARVILLE: Yeah, you know what, the Border Patrol, I will defend the border patrol.

NOVAK: All right.


NOVAK: That is the end of the segment. Thank you very much.

CARVILLE: I will defend the Border Patrol from this uncalled for attack on the Border Patrol.

NOVAK: Thank you very much, Mr. Wexler. Thank you, Mr. Hayworth.


NOVAK: In our "Fireback" segment, one of James Carville's fans suggests some more wars that need fighting.

But next, the $75 million man heads out of jail and back to the playing field, by way of the CROSSFIRE police blotter.


CARVILLE: Whenever public figures cross paths with law enforcement, watch out. The CROSSFIRE "Police Blotter" is never far behind.

Martha Stewart may have a new recipe for trouble. "The Wall Street Journal says an assistant to her stockbroker has made a deal with federal prosecutors. The assistant initially backed up the story Martha told -- and the broker -- about a controversial stock sale.

Prosecutors want to know if the sale was actually based on inside information. According to the paper, the assistant may have accepted an illegal gift from the broker after collaborating the story. That is not a good thing. I would like to know why their obsessing on Martha? Is it because she is a Democratic contributor? Why isn't there such a big rush to go after Bush's friend Kenny-Boy Lay, of Enron, who booted (ph) $90 billion?

NOVAK: Just wait for Kenny Lay to get in the crosshairs. But I feel Martha is being persecuted anyway. Maybe she'll make cookies in prison, though.

As if Kentucky Governor Paul Patton did not have enough problems, now, the FBI is asking questions about whether he did favors for a nursing home operator. Patton has admitted to having an inappropriate relationship with the woman. That is political talk for having an affair after first lying about it.

But he denies using the powers of his office to harass her once the affair ended. Is he lying again? Investigators by his fellow Democrats in Kentucky state government is one thing, but when the FBI gets involved, the governor might have to kiss away hopes for a U.S. Senate seat and maybe much more.

CARVILLE: I talked to Al Cross with the "Louisville Courier Journal" I guess it was yesterday, and they're pursuing this whole nursing home story down there.

Minnesota Vikings receiver Randy Moss attracted quite a crowd after spending a night in a Minneapolis jail. He was arrested after a city traffic officer caught him turning left from the wrong lane. And instead of stopping, Moss used his car to nudge the woman about halfway down the block. Never mind what would happen if you or I did that. Moss is only charged with a couple of misdemeanors thanks to a $75 million contract. The $1,000 fines won't hurt anywhere near as much as a linebacker. The Vikings coach says he's "disappointed." NOVAK: Go Vikings.

Former Clinton Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, is getting some free publicity in his North Carolina Senate race against Elizabeth Dole. The kind of publicity he doesn't need.

Bowles has been added as a defendant to a lawsuit accusing his investment firm of losing more than $120 million through bad deals. The money came from Connecticut state pension fund and Democrat officials there originally left Bowles name off the lawsuit. Now, the Bowles camp was whining that it was added only because of Republican pressure. Oh, those nasty Republicans.

CARVILLE: You know, Erskine Bowles is one of the most honest people in the United States Of America? And Roy Rowen (ph) did this as a favor to the Republican Party and all the money he raised.

We got a break here?


All right, Ross Perot's national...


OK, what are we doing?

CARVILLE: We're going to take a break here.

NOVAK: Oh, we're going to take a break.

And when we come back we'll have "Fireback".


It's "Fireback," when the viewers "Fireback" at us.

Adrian Seabrook of New York City says: "President Bush should be fighting a real war, the war on poverty, unemployment, and civil rights. Mr. Novak, you and the president should lead the fight all by your lonesome selves."

Adrian, you're living in the '60s when Lyndon Johnson fought all those wars, and he lost them all.

CARVILLE: He didn't lose the war for civil rights. He didn't lose -- and he made a lot of progress on poverty. I'll guarantee you that.

"I do not think we are asking people the right questions in the polls that show big support for attacking Iraq. The right questions to ask Americans is this: Are you more likely to be hit by one of Saddam's WMDs or a layoff or a corporate scandal?" Swapan, Denville, New Jersey.

NOVAK: That's a pretty interesting question. I wonder if we ought to ask about the Torricelli scandals, too, since he's from New Jersey.

CARVILLE: He's going to be all right, because he's talking about the real issues. And Forrester don't know anything.

NOVAK: Marty Metz of San Marcos, California says: "I am laughing at the `outrage' Daschle exudes, because Bush says Daschle doesn't care about security for the people, when his party" -- and Carville -- "is the king of such statements, like Bush doesn't care about children or the elderly."

Marty, I've never met anybody from San Marcos who I didn't agree with, and you're right on, buddy.

CARVILLE: I don't say he doesn't care about them, I just doesn't do anything. He wants to cut Social Security and he's cutting education. He cut childhood immunizations and he cut the WIC program. So, who knows that he cares, he's got a terrible record.


CARVILLE: "What's happened to you, James? You used to be so obnoxious that I couldn't stand you. Now that you're on CROSSFIRE and away from Bill Clinton, you've almost become a pussycat." Ruth Carlson, Erie, Pennsylvania.

Ruth, please start hating me again. I'm really not.

Am I going soft?

NOVAK: Ruth, believe me, he's just as obnoxious as ever.

CARVILLE: Thank you, Bob. I needed that.

NOVAK: Questions from the audience.

QUESTION: Yes, sir. My name is Yeager Simpka (ph). I'm from Enfield, Connecticut. And my comment is for Mr. Carville.

Mr. Carville, why are Democrats so upset that the Iraqi issue has become political? Isn't November 5 and the nationwide election nothing but the grandest referendum there is?

CARVILLE: Right, I think so. But I think what's happened is, I think they're trying to use Iraqi thing and a war to a political advantage, when we're told not to. When the president said we all ought to be in this together. And the Democrats completely supported the war on al Qaeda. And I do think they're upset and I do think they need to keep making these points.

NOVAK: Democrats love to whine.

Go ahead.

QUESTION: Yes, my name is Alex Holt (ph). I'm a student from the University of Texas. And was wondering if either of you could maybe recommend like an anger management counselor for Tom Daschle. Because after yesterday, it's obvious now, he's just one big pent up anger. I'm beginning to worry. I don't think that's healthy.

CARVILLE: I really appreciate you. I know that you a lot about the Democrats, you man. And you really convince me with your fake sincerity out there. Anyway, I know you care and we appreciate it.

NOVAK: OK. The trouble is that they're really not on the level. You know that. That's all a lot of phony stuff and it's all contrived.

CARVILLE: I don't think that. I don't think Tom Daschle is phony on that. I don't think he's a particularly phony guy. I think he's a pretty real guy.

From the Left, I'm James Carville. Good night for CROSSFIRE.

NOVAK: Then he's in trouble.

CARVILLE: Good night from CROSSFIRE.

NOVAK: From the Right, I'm Robert Novak. Join us a gain next time for another edition of CROSSFIRE.


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