CNN Europe CNN Asia
On CNN TV Transcripts Headline News CNN International About Preferences
powered by Yahoo!
Return to Transcripts main page


What Does it Take to Wait for a Victim and Then Squeeze the Trigger; Will Doug Forrester's Past Words Spell Defeat on Election Day?

Aired October 17, 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, what does it take to hide and wait for a victim and then calmly squeeze the trigger? Find out from Eric Haney, an Army trained sniper.


ERIC HANEY, ARMY SNIPER: Just cleverness. Now, there's always a great deal of cleverness associated with evil.


ANNOUNCER: Bullet fingerprinting, just more gun control or a weapon that could trace future hit-and-run snipers?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The type of rounds we're looking at here, that are in the .22 family, such as the .221, .222, .223 caliber, are fired by 30-plus types of firearms.


ANNOUNCER: New Jersey's race to replace the Torch. Will Doug Forrester's past words spell defeat on Election Day? The Republican Senate candidate enters the CROSSFIRE -- ahead on CROSSFIRE.

From the George Washington University, James Carville and Tucker Carlson.

JAMES CARVILLE, CO-HOST: Good evening and welcome to CROSSFIRE. Tonight, the sniper killings and the election. Will the controversy over bullet fingerprinting make a difference on November 5? We'll toss that hot potato to two of the most outspoken members of Congress.

And we'll go inside the sniper's mind with a military trained sniper.

Also, in the CROSSFIRE, Doug Forrester, the man fighting to replace the New Jersey Torch.

But first, as we do every day, let's start with the best little political briefing in television, our CROSSFIRE "Political Alert."

With President Bush all fired up to attack, the White House now tells us North Korea admits having a nuclear weapons program. The North Koreans swore for years they weren't trying to produce nukes, but when a senior U.S. diplomat put the evidence is on the table, they came clean. That was almost two weeks ago, but President Bush sat on this disturbing revelation until late yesterday. You may recall North Korea is a member of what the president calls the "axis of evil," also included, Iraq. But he wants to work things out peacefully. If he's willing to do that with lying communists in North Korea, why not Iraq?

TUCKER CARLSON, CO-HOST: Well, for one thing, it may not be true; they may be lying about the existence of nuclear weapons probably. And for another, the president said he wants to work out the situation with Iraq peacefully.


CARVILLE: I hope (UNINTELLIGIBLE). You don't what these North Koreans --what they're doing. They are really loony in...

CARLSON: Yes, like Louisiana.


CARLSON: Is al Qaeda behind the D.C. area sniper killings? There's no link yet, but government sources tell CNN that investigators plan to question suspected al Qaeda detainees at the U.S. military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. One U.S. official told CNN that it -- quote -- "makes perfect sense to question the detainees."

Other officials, however, say that they do not think the terror group is involved. They point to the fact that al Qaeda isn't known to leave calling cards like the tarot card found at the scene of one of the sniper attacks. Also, many terrorist groups claim responsibility for their attacks. That hasn't happened in the sniper case.

CARVILLE: For all of the Bill Clinton bashers out there, here's something to chew on. According to the "Chronicle of Philanthropy," the former president has been using his clout to help charities around the world. Since leaving the White House, he's been in South Africa to help in the AIDS battle.

His own foundation is helping other African nations fight the deadly disease. He also (UNINTELLIGIBLE) trying (UNINTELLIGIBLE) underdevelopment promoting racial and religious understanding and encouraging public service by young and old citizens. Now, consider our current president, since installed last year, President Bush has attended a total of 71 party fund-raisers, raking in $188 million. So watch what you have to say about Bill Clinton.

CARLSON: James, I've said this before, but it's time to get over Bill Clinton. But I would also say you're a little defensive and I would be, too, if the president I adored and worked for turned out to be as greedy as Bill Clinton has turned out to be.

CARVILLE: ... two million dollars to...

CARLSON: No, he got...


CARVILLE: He -- one speech, $2 million. He and his 31 fellows working for him like Ronald Reagan.

CARLSON: I'd be embarrassed.

CARVILLE: I'm not embarrassed at all.


CARVILLE: I'm damn proud of the way he's all around trying to help people around the world. And I'm damn proud of the fact that he could run this country as opposed to running the ditch that this current crowd is doing.

CARLSON: Yes, you don't sound defensive or anything.

OK, in international news, it's inauguration day in Iraq. Saddam Hussein was sworn in as president today after a short but vigorous election. The official results of that election, 11,445,638 votes for Saddam, 0 votes for anyone else. Iraqi political analysts hailed the news as a sign of increased popularity and a rising approval rating. In similar elections seven years ago, Saddam received a near 99.96 percent of the vote.

A government spokesman attributed the positive trend to -- quote -- "Iraq's unique manifestation of democracy," a statement that is technically true. The only sour note in the festivities was the skeptical reaction from the international community. A high Iraqi minister conceded the results -- quote -- "may not be readily accepted by the American administration." There is always a hitch.

CARVILLE: You know, Tucker, I would hate to be his political consultant because if you lost one vote you would lose your life. I mean he got to come in at you.


CARVILLE: Wow! I wish I could get an election like that.

CARLSON: Payday is working.

CARVILLE: You're damn right. A moment ago our report on Bill Clinton and his efforts to help those in need -- now to be fair, let me tell you a bit about President Bush's own efforts for charity. Big brother Bush is helping little brother Bush raise big campaign bucks in Florida. Governor Jeb is facing an unexpected tight re-election fight with Democrat Bill McBride. You can imagine the red faces if Jeb goes down on his feet, but the president is doing his best to prevent that and he was on the stump in Daytona today. In all of his 11 visits to the Sunshine State, the president has hauled in $7 million for the party. The man loves Florida, doesn't he?

CARLSON: I must say that we all love Florida, James. And I have to say, I'm struck by the -- I say this many times -- but I am struck by the hootzba (ph) required for you, a defender of the former president to attack anybody for fund raising. It's amazing.

CARVILLE: Well, let me tell you -- yes, I say no one does it more than this president does. No one is trying to do everything they can to prop up this kid who is running against this tough ex-Marine, a real seasoned guy...

CARLSON: The trial lawyers that have been elected.

CARVILLE: ... do something about education in that state and something about the tremendous road to (UNINTELLIGIBLE). This guy is a real -- there's a real manner as opposed to...


CARLSON: Even you don't believe that. It's kind of sad to hear you say that.

CARVILLE: I believe it totally.

CARLSON: People say the Democratic Party no longer stands for anything, that it has run out of ideas. But that's not entirely true, there's always Barbra Streisand. Streisand who also sing, acts and dances has become the Democratic Party's most important public important intellectual since Jane Fonda left politics for exercise videos. In the past month, Streisand's financial support has become an issue in several political campaigns. She's also provided and released one high level briefing memo to House Democratic leader, Dick Gephardt, who's name she misspelled.

Now, she has added her deep thoughts to the debate over America's foreign policy. In a statement issued yesterday, Miss Streisand sought to clarify the nuances of her position saying that she remains deeply opposed to -- quote -- "the Iranian dictator, Saddam Hussein." The news was met with relief by French President Vladimir Putin as well as by the British Prime Minister, Pope Paul John II.

CARVILLE: You know I...


CARVILLE: Actually, that's not so sad. Actually, I spoke to Barbara Stresiand. She's a very bright woman. Her qualifications speak out on public policy are no less than one Rush Hudson Limbaugh. What's his -- why is he any more qualified than she is?

CARLSON: Tell that to Iranian president, Saddam Hussein.

CARVILLE: Somebody in the office made a typo. Somebody in her office made a typo. And you know what, she...

CARLSON: She doesn't read her own memos?

CARVILLE: It was put -- the memo, she spent -- you said, it was put dictated, not read. But you're not interested in facts, Tucker. You don't like her because this woman is a humanitarian. She's a bright woman. She's a bright woman made...


CARVILLE: She's a bright woman and she's talented, and that offends you. And I don't know why but it does.

CARLSON: But not the Iranian president Saddam Hussein.

CARVILLE: Now, you know, a typo. Who couldn't put a typo in something? Now the case for the roving Washington area sniper. Will bullet fingerprinting help catch the killer and would the sniper attacks impact the November elections? Joining us to talk about it, Democratic Congressman Robert Wexler of Florida and Republican Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana.

CARLSON: Mr. Wexler, thanks for joining us.


CARLSON: I was a little surprised to be honest with you, Congressman, to learn today that you were not a co-sponsor of the bill put up last year by Republican Melissa Hart of Pennsylvania that calls for a study of ballistic imaging technology and an evaluation of the effectiveness as a law enforcement tool. This is legislation pending in the House of Representatives where you work, been languishing there for a year. Only one Democrat has signed onto it. Why?

WEXLER: Because we support the bill that doesn't just ask for a study, because in Washington we all know what a study usually means; it means just killing. What we think is that as a law enforcement tool, all law enforcement people across the country ought to be able to track a bullet to a gun where it was bought. It shouldn't offend the Second Amendment.

And let's think of it in the context of the sniper now in the nation's capital. If we had this law now nationwide, we'd at least know one thing that nobody knows now -- where was the gun bought that this sniper is using. And there's no excuse not to know this.

CARLSON: But Mr. Wexler, that's a little bit disingenuous, you must admit. You didn't sponsor legislation last year to make this the law of the land. Most people have never heard of ballistic fingerprinting until two weeks ago. Melissa Hart of Pennsylvania, a Republican, did something, with the support of the NRA, I will add, to make this a reality, and you didn't help her, why?

WEXLER: No, Tucker, the NRA opposes the use of technology, which will track...

CARLSON: You supported this legislation. I don't know what you're talking about.

WEXLER: ... a perpetrator of a violent crime when and where the gun was purchased. That's what we need to do.

CARLSON: That's not true.

WEXLER: There's a simple choice, either you're with the National Rifle Association or you're with law enforcement. If you're with law enforcement, you want to track the killer when he shoots. If you're with the NRA, you want to stand behind a bunch of political jargon. We say track the killer and pass the right kind of...


CARVILLE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) but what is the bigger priority for the House Republicans, to stop the law enforcement from having this ballistic fingerprinting or privatizing social security? Which of these two really gets you excited?

REP. MIKE PENCE (R), INDIANA: Well, let me tell you, James, I'll stick with the sniper for a second. I...

CARVILLE: But is that a bigger thing, privatizing social security?

PENCE: Let me say, it is -- I don't know if it is a bigger priority and I'll give that some thought. But look, I -- this sniper business is very serious. We all live at least some of us part of the year -- and Rob and I both move our families with us here in Washington, D.C.

And my wife, Karen, and my nine-year-old daughter, Charlotte, were at the Home Depot the night before the shooting. And no one feels more passionately than the family people of this area like rob and me and you all about this issue. But let me just say that I want to take issue like Rob and me and you all about this issue.

But let me just say that -- I want to take issue with what Rob is suggesting here. I don't think, Rob, it's a choice between those that want to find out who's firing this weapon and where the ballistics come from and the NRA. The truth of matter is that the science and technology, Rob, is not there. We are equating in this public debate ballistic evidence that is drawn from the scraping of a bullet inside the barrel of a weapon to DNA or fingerprinting. It's simply not the case.

The signature that appears on a bullet that's fired out of a weapon, it changes as the weapon changes and it can be manipulating, Rob. It is not a sure test. It is not a fingerprint. As Maryland has found out that has had this on the books for a couple of years, they have not succeeded in prosecuting a single criminal with this so- called ballistic fingerprinting.

WEXLER: I would agree with you. We all want the same thing. We want to find the killer. We want to find the sniper. I'm willing to oppose the NRA to do it. However, you talk about the Maryland experience. I believe in your own state, they've solved three big crimes using this same exact technology. This technology works. That's what our law enforcement people tell us. It's not left wing lunatics that say to use it. It's the law enforcement people at the ATF, it's the FBI, people at your local sheriff's -- it's your local cop on the beat. He or she wants it.

PENCE: What is not in question here is whether or not the ballistic identification works. What is in question here is whether or not you can create a national registry of ballistics that would begin with new weapons.


CARVILLE: But somebody's out there -- somebody's out there saying, why not try, what the hell, maybe it won't work perfectly, but what's the problem with trying.

WEXLER: James, a great question. What is the problem with trying? Well, in Maryland, they started with new firearms. So for starters, if we did it like they did it in Maryland across the nation, it would not apply to over 250 million weapons in the country. You might be willing to solve that by having 250 -- 99 percent of which -- 250 million law-abiding citizens bring their guns in.

CARLSON: No, wait, I'm going to ask a question here. I think the discussion as heated as it's becoming is a fundamentally reasonable one. What crosses the line, I think we'll agree, is that when people leverage the tragedy of the sniper attacks for political gains. That's stomach churning. That's out of bounds.


CARLSON: Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, lieutenant governor of Maryland, running for the top job, said she wouldn't do it. Here's the ad she put out today. It'll make you sick.


ANNOUNCER: Bob Ehrlich is dead wrong. Uzies and AK-47s don't belong in our neighbor hoods. In Congress, Bob Ehrlich voted to put dangerous assault weapons back on our streets. Tell Bill Ehrlich to stop siding with gun-lobbying extremists who threaten our neighborhoods.



CALSON: It's like he's on the side of the sniper? That's revolting.

PENCE: You know, first of all, don't mention the sniper.

CARLSON: What do you mean don't mention the sniper? (CROSSTALK)

PENCE: What makes me sick is when people have assault weapons and they go to schools with them. And we could take them out of the hands of people by simply outlawing. Why does anybody need an assault weapon?

CARLSON: Bob Ehrlich, being on the side of people who...


CARLSON: Hold on...


PENCE: You're oversensitive.

CARLSON: I'm not oversensitive.


CARLSON: There's footage of Columbine High School massacre on the background.

PENCE: What valid purpose does a civilian have to have an assault weapon?

CARLSON: That is a valid question. This is not a valid ad because an attempt -- hold on, hush.


CARLSON: Because it attempts to...

CARVILLE: Let's see it again.


CARVILLE: And when he says the word that Bob Ehrlich sides with the sniper, stop it. Show it again, CROSSFIRE.

CARLSON: Oh, that is the most disingenuous thing that I've heard. Watch this.


ANNOUNCER: Bob Ehrlich dead wrong. Uzies and AK-47s don't belong in our neighbor hoods. In Congress, Bob Ehrlich voted to put dangerous assault weapons back on our streets. Tell Bill Ehrlich to stop siding with gun-lobbying extremists who threaten our neighborhoods.


CARLSON: That's a Brady campaign ad on behalf of Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. CARVILLE: But what's wrong with that?


PENCE: Some people support getting...


CARVILLE: Uzies threaten...


CARLSON: ... threaten the neighborhood, pal.


WEXLER: But that's not what the commercial said. The commercial said that he voted to put assault weapons on the street.


WEXLER: Where was that bill in Congress?

CARVILLE: If you vote against drunk driving laws, you're voting to put drunk drivers on the street.

CARLSON: OK, we're going to take a quick break and we'll get back to the shouting in just a minute.

When CROSSFIRE returns, North Korea's nuclear bombshell, will it affect the war on Iraq? Will voters care on Election Day? Our guests will (UNINTELLIGIBLE) on that. And what does the sniper think about just before he pulls the trigger? We have a military training sniper to answer the question.

And our "Quote of The Day," a key lawmaker compares the United States government to al Qaeda. Stay tuned.


CARLSON: Welcome back to CROSSFIRE. The White House announced yesterday that North Korea does in fact have a nuclear weapons program. Eight years after president Clinton promised America he solved the problem for good. Is this an election issue? Back with us, Democratic Congressman Robert Wexler of Florida and Republican Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana.

Before we go forward, I just want to apologize for the perception that I put out that North Korea and Louisiana are alike. They're not. Louisiana has better food.

CARVILLE: Thank you, all right. I accept the apology on behalf of Louisianans everywhere.

Counselors, let's be serious for a second and we'll get back to the shouting and the fun, but it was revealed today that the administration (UNINTELLIGIBLE) North Korea admitted that they were working on or had a nuclear weapon or something like that. What is the current state of play here? Do they have one? Are they working one? Or what is it, as you understand it?

PENCE: Well, I think there's a real question, James, as to whether they do or whether they don't. But the fact that they have indicated that they have moved toward a nuclear program of some type in direct violation of the international understandings in 1994 brokered admirably by the Clinton administration. I think it's troubling.

The real issue here with this disappointing news is what is North Korea trying to do? What are they trying to say? I know the administration has deployed some emissaries to the region to begin to explore that. We have to be very cautious about nuclear blackmail in this case. But it may ultimately result in an opening further in an additional opportunity normalize our relations with North Korea. We were on track for that, although troubling, but this may not be a setback.

CARVILLE: You and Congress are actually both supporters of Iraq -- military action in Iraq. Do you see this as having any impact? Some people said, "Well, gee, if we got to go into Iraq, why don't we go into North Korea." What's your -- I ought to ask both of you the question. Give him a chance to -- you go, and let's listen to...

WEXLER: Well, I think there's an important lesson here. And I applaud the president for saying that in North Korea we need to use diplomatic efforts to defuse the situation, and to make certain that North Korea disarms its nuclear program. We need to use the allies, the Japanese, the South Koreans, and also the Chinese to use a diplomatic effort. I voted for the war authorization, but it should be war, the last resort in Iraq. And the president must...


WEXLER: Use diplomacy...

CARLSON: Mr. Wexler, let's just -- this is not ancient history. It's eight years ago. You just said essentially what the former president said, eight years ago, which was we need to make certain that this country, North Korea, doesn't have the ability to build nuclear weapons. And in exchange for the promise from them, we gave them food, fuel, helped build a nuclear reactor, still under construction apparently in North Korea. In retrospect, don't you think our diplomacy with North Korea was a little gullible?

WEXLER: What we need to have now is diplomacy with verification. We need to have...

CARLSON: Why didn't we have that eight years ago?

WEXLER: Well, wait a minute. This has been a bipartisan program.

CARLSON: I'm not saying it's not. I'm just saying why didn't we have it eight years ago.

PENCE: If I could jump in here. One of the things -- and I usually don't come on CROSSFIRE and defend the Clinton administration...

CARLSON: Thank heaven.

PENCE: But I really do believe...

WEXLER: We will fight back if you do.

PENCE: I really do believe this was well intentioned -- you have a situation where they were developing a nuclear program, I believe, with plutonium before and they followed the letter of the law. And now, we're saying they've developed a uranium-based nuclear program.

CARVILLE: There's also some evidence that they stopped for six years. They started two years ago and without this agreement, they'd be further along, if they would have continued through that.


PENCE: But I want to get to your point if I can, James, to speak to that. I think it's a very relevant question. A lot of people think that the reason why we are moving in the direction of a military confrontation with Iraq is simply because they have redeployed and redeveloped a program of weapons of mass destruction.

As Rob knows, as I know, supporters of the resolution this past week in the Congress know, it is not just as I explained to my children, the toys that they have, it's the friends that they play with. It is the association with a multiple known terrorists organization, which is different from North Korea.

CARLSON: A quick last word because we're almost out of time.

WEXLER: Yes, let's not lose sight of the real enemy. The real enemy is al Qaeda. They showed up again this week again in a horrible fashion. Yes, we've got to deal with North Korea. We've got to deal with Iraq. But let's remember the people that attacked us on September 11.

CARVILLE: But quick, yes or no, gut, al Qaeda linked to the sniper -- just your gut, yes or no?


PENCE: I would say yes. I don't think these guys are local. They're too good.

CARVILLE: Thank you.

CARLSON: Thank you both very much. Mr. Wexler, Mr. Pence, thanks.

Ever wonder what it's like to be a sniper? We hope not. Our guest knows firsthand. He joins us next. Also in the CROSSFIRE, he was on his way to beating the torch and then the torch flamed out. The state of New Jersey Senate candidate, Doug Forrester, who will join us.

Hint number two of our "Quote of The Day" -- this Republican leader pulls out the al Qaeda card and fans the flames of controversy. We'll be right back.


CARVILLE: And now the CROSSFIRE "Quote of The Day." The target, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle. The spokesman allows that the senator was not amused by the verbal broadside fired by House Majority Leader Dick Armey.


REP. DICK ARMEY (D-WV), MAJORITY LEADER: At least the difference is al Qaeda doesn't have a Senate. Al Qaeda doesn't have a Senator Daschle that has other focuses. Al Qaeda has got a clear focus.


CARVILLE: Well, all I'll tell you is that he would like the Iraqi election. You don't have democracy or anything else, either.

CARLSON: But, James, look, the point that he's making obviously is totalitarian organizations like al Qaeda are more efficient in some ways than Democratic organizations like Congress and that's a valid point.

CARVILLE: He's an idiot.

CARLSON: Coming up, the latest on North Korea's admission, that it has, surprise, surprise, been lying about its nuclear weapons program. That and other top stories and the CNN news alert. And who is the Beltway sniper? What does he think? We'll talk to a former Delta Force operator who was trained as a sniper. And a Republican fighting to light his own torch. Doug Forrester's race for the New Jersey Senate seat. All that and more. We'll be right back.


CARVILLE: Welcome back to CROSSFIRE. We're coming to you live from the George Washington University in beautiful Foggy Bottom in downtown Washington D.C.

Here's a question that's probably on the minds of a lot of people: what does the sniper think about just before taking aim and pulling the trigger?

Our next guest can tell us because he was trained as a sniper in the United States Army. Eric Haney is a retired command master sergeant and a founding member of the Army's elite delta force.

He joins us from the CNN Center in Hotlanta, Georgia. CARLSON: MR. Haney, thanks for joining us. It's striking how calm this person -- this sniper appears to be. He sort of drives away without getting into car accidents after every shot.

Is that evidence that he's been trained, either by a terrorist cell or by a military organization?

CMD. SGT. MAJ. ERIC HANEY, U.S. ARMY (RET.): Well, no, it's not. And first of all, he's not driving, his partner is doing the driving. The two of them are operating together and they're swapping off. One will shoot and the other one's providing security, watching out in the very close vicinity.

And then that's the one who very calmly puts the vehicle in gear and swings out into the flow of traffic.

CARLSON: Well, wait a second. I mean, first you say that with authority. I'm not questioning your authority to say it, but you say it as if you know it, A and B, if that's true, doesn't that mean that -- or doesn't it suggest that this is a terrorist operation if there's more than one?

HANEY: No, it doesn't suggest that at all to me. Terrorists are going to publish manifesto. That's part of political terrorism. You must state that you're doing something.

These are not doing this. This is homegrown, domestic terrorism of the crazy sort. And they're a pair of them operating together.

CARVILLE: Sergeant, let me -- I just want to kind of straighten out something for our viewing audience -- this guy is, like, shooting people between 150 feet and about 150 yards.

How long would it take you to train a person of average ability, of average intelligence to hit somebody in the head at that range.

HANEY: About an hour and a half at the maximum. The skill is pedestrian. And any -- all the shooters know that. In fact, the shooters themselves know that the skills are not that high. They've taken one shot at about 100 meters at a walking man. And hat was the shot that was characterized as they shot a window in a Michael's store.

That was a miss. They weren't shooting a window. After that, they never attempted that at that range again.

CARVILLE: So, the idea is being put forward that this a highly trained sniper is absurd. This is somebody that could be marginally trained to hit somebody in the head at a range like this?

HANEY: Most assuredly. It's -- the skills are not there.

But I was quite surprised, and almost astounded by the skill and planning of selecting the sites from which they shoot. That means more to them than the range of the shot, and who they're going to shoot. Who they're shooting is immaterial. They're shooting human beings. That's the statement they're making, they're disconnecting humanity.

But they're thoroughly planning and selecting the site to shoot from and then how they're going to make their retrograde, their egress and get away out of the area once they've done that.

CARLSON: Well, Mr. Haney, if everything that you have said is true, that it's at least a pair of people and that they have thought this through, at least they've thought the logistics of it through, and it's not a terrorist organization like al Qaeda, what does that leave us with? Who meets all those criteria?

HANEY: In my mind, these are a couple of young men. They're white, they're in their early 20s, somewhere between 20 and 25 years of age. They still have the delusions and fantasies of the teenage years that are somewhat common in young boys, and young men. They started playing this as a game, and they have worked themselves up to this. I would be quite certain that they've rehearsed it, they've played this as a game.

And at some time, they started driving around with an empty gun playing click out in the public. And one would say to the other, Bill, I just got that person. And his partner said, No, you didn't how you can prove it? He said, Well, my sites were on him. Well, you can't prove that.

At some point they graduated to this step.

CARVILLE: Let me ask very quickly, sergeant: would you be surprised if one or both of these people had some law enforcement training?

HANEY: I would be quite surprised if they had law enforcement training or military training. These are two utter flakes. I mean two real aberrant characters. And when they're finally apprehended or killed, everyone who's ever come in contact with them in their life is going to say, I knew something was wrong with those boys. I knew something was crazy about them.

CARVILLE: Boy, there really is. There is something really sick, too, about these people.

CARLSON: Mr. Haney, that was genuinely interesting. Thanks for joining us.

CARVILLE: Thank you.

HANEY: Certainly.

CARLSON: Coming up in "Fireback," more Canadians write in, more questions about hair. But first, the man who could be the next U.S. senator from New Jersey, with the balance of power at stake, this may be the closest Senate race in the country.

We put Republican candidate Doug Forrester in the CROSSFIRE next.

We will be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON: Welcome back to CROSSFIRE. Republicans are intent on retaking the Senate. Doug Forrester, New Jersey Republican, could be the key to that.

A poll out recently shows Forrester slightly behind his Democratic opponent, who is former Senator Frank Lautenberg. You will recall Lautenberg replaced Senator Robert Torricelli, who dropped out of the race two weeks ago in a cloud of ethical scandal. Now, Forrester is having to explain old newspaper columns he wrote several years ago.

Doug Forrester joins us tonight from Philadelphia.

CARVILLE: Thanks for coming on the show, sir.

DOUG FORRESTER (R), SENATE CANDIDATE, NEW JERSEY: I appreciate being here. Thank you very much.

CARVILLE: Do you know how many votes right now on the current Supreme Court, most legal scholars think, would overturn Row v. Wade?

FORRESTER: Well, I believe that the issue of justice determination is something that every senator needs to take very seriously. I don't have a litmus test, and I happen to believe that that account is what we need to give any time we are asked what our positions are. The intellectual integrity, the judicial temperament, the personal integrity of justices...

CARVILLE: But, the number -- there are four -- most legal observers say there are four right now, one more would -- would you ask a potential court nominee, would that be a deciding factor to you, if they said they would overturn Row v. Wade?

FORRESTER: James, it seems unlikely, in fact impossible that there would be a presumption on the part of any nominee to come before and speculate on a particular case. I said I had no litmus test because I look at the intellectual integrity, the judicial temperament, and the personal integrity of the nominees. That's what needs to be evaluated. I happed to think we need to look at that very, very closely. It's very important, and I can't think of anything more important than a United States senator doing that kind of thing.

CARLSON: Amen. Mr. Forrester, one of the reasons I hope you win is because I look forward to seeing more ads like this one, six years from now. This is one of the greatest ads of the season. This is yours. Here it is.


UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: If I fail this test, can I have Frank Lautenberg take it for me?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Torricelli and Lautenberg are teaching our children the wrong lessons.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Oh! I'm losing. I quit. Let Frank Lautenberg play for me.



CARLSON: Now, I guess my first question is -- is Frank Lautenberg a good basketball player, and two, the implication is that Mr. Lautenberg, former Senator Lautenberg getting into the race, really is corrosive of the American political system. Do you think that's true?

FORRESTER: Well, I think his voting record is corrosive of the American political system, I will tell you that. One of the good things about running against Mr. Lautenberg is that his voting record is so bad. Obviously, I'm not happy with what happened because I happen to believe that once an election starts, we shouldn't be in a position of stopping it and canceling ballots out. But I think, once we have a chance to remind New Jersey that Frank Lautenberg's record is so bad on defending the country in terms of defense expenditures, FBI expenditures, he voted to cut them. He voted to cut the intelligence budget, he voted to make the intelligence budget public, he voted seven times against the death penalty for terrorists. He is the guy who participated in putting the tax on Social Security benefits. I mean, these are the kinds of things that...

CARLSON: Wait -- but...

FORRESTER: ... we just don't want to have.

CARLSON: Well, and I can see why. Good for you. But you just said that you wished that Senator Torricelli hadn't gotten out, but of course, you called on him to resign even before he did get out.


CARLSON: Isn't that an inconsistent position?

FORRESTER: Well, we called on him to resign from the Senate. He has not done that. For him to stand for the judgment of the voters, well, I think would have been appropriate. But you know, we were winning, and what happened is that just because we were winning, the power brokers decided to swap him out for somebody else.

Now, Mr. Lautenberg is the seventh candidate that I have run against in the past nine months, and I'm confident that we will be successful in that engagement as well.

I assume that November 5 is the last day of the election. Who knows. We're going to be ahead on November 5, and the vote count and somebody's going to run, and say give Democracy another chance. I'm going to be running against Barbra Streisand in December.

(LAUGHTER) CARVILLE: I want to get -- you would not ask a potential Supreme Court nominee what his position on Roe v. Wade was, and you would vote to confirm that person, even if he would overturn it?

FORRESTER: I am pro-choice, but my determination with regard to Supreme Court justices, which has to be one of the most important decisions a senator would ever face, has to do with intellectual integrity, judicial temperament, and personal integrity. That's what we need to look at. I can't imagine that there would be...


CARVILLE: ... position on abortion. Let me ask you one more thing. Do you support the plan of the Social Security commission to privatize 25 percent of Social Security?

FORRESTER: I do not, and one of the things that is most disturbing about this Torricelli-Lautenberg machine that we have got going here is that Mr. Lautenberg has inherited Mr. Torricelli's campaign, including the attack ads against me. This is one of the points that has been made. I am not in favor of privatizing social security, never have been. That is just one of the distortions that this campaign has been about.


CARVILLE: What's your position on Social Security? What is your position on it?

FORRESTER: I am not in favor of privatizing Social Security.


FORRESTER: We need to pass the Social Security Guarantee Act. We need to make sure that Mr. Lautenberg's votes are not carried forward. You know, he voted to transfer $208 billion from the Social Security Trust Fund to pay for other federal projects. He is the one that put the tax on Social Security benefits. This is incredible. Every citizen -- every senior in New Jersey has to pay $945 on average in Social Security taxes because of Mr. Lautenberg, and the people who voted with him. That's not what I call protecting the Social Security system.

CARLSON: Amen. Now, Mr. Forrester, one of the many subjects on which we agree is the subject of Atlantic City, New Jersey. I want to read you a column you wrote a little over ten years ago, May 16, 1991 in the "West Windsor-Plainsboro Chronicle."

You said, "When I visited Atlantic City last week, I approached it anew with an open mind. Determined to appreciate the benefits of the resort community, I carefully discounted the usual frailties and focused on it's positive attributes. I even tried to warm to the glitz of the place, which usually strikes me like the subtle beauty of a street walker. Unfortunately, the results were the same. I left with a distinct feeling I had cavorted in the unclean waters of a toddler's wading pool." You're a good writer, for one thing. Let me congratulate you on that. But I totally agree with you. Atlantic City does smell and good for you for having the courage to admit it.

FORRESTER: Well, let me say very quickly, that that column was written a dozen years ago. Atlantic City has turned the corner in a big way. you know there were a lot of people who were about Atlantic City, challenging the promises that hadn't been delivered on by both business and government.

There were a lot of observations that were made like mine. But that was a dozen years ago. The good news is that the people of Atlantic City are enjoying the fruit of those promises now. Business and government have come together. There are great leaders in Atlantic County. I was with Senator Gormly (ph), for example, yesterday. We were campaigning in Atlantic City. We were making the case that the good things that are going on there need to continue.

The real sadness, though, in the area is not that immediate issue of Atlantic City, but the Pinelands and the growth problems that have been forced upon them by the federal government and the fact that New Jersey is last in getting federal resources. That's a classic example of the kind of legacy that Frank Lautenberg and Bob Torricelli have left us. Those are the real issues that are pressing down there, because they have been ignored by the federal government.

There were impositions put on a million acres, and the growth was forced into just a few towns and they have had no relief. They have kids in trailers for educational purposes. That's wrong. You know, Mr. Lautenberg complained bitterly, when he ran for office the first time, that New Jersey was 46th in terms of return of federal resources for roads and bridges and environmental clean-up, all kinds of things. He complained. Well, now after 18 years of Frank Lautenberg, you know where we are? We're 50th.

CARVILLE: One thing that you -- one thing that you do better than Frank Lautenberg is you filibuster better. So you'll certainly have a good thing in the Senate because you run the clock out.


CARVILLE: Let's go back to what -- let's go back to your columns and let's see what you said with assault weapons in 1992 and see what your position is today.

FORRESTER: well you know, I think it's remarkable that...

CARVILLE: Let me see -- can we see what you said first and you can answer the question?

FORRESTER: I would be happy to.

CARVILLE: All right. "Owning an assault weapon is just what liberty is all about. Liberty is all about the government allowing citizens to do weird things unless there is a compelling documented public purpose which should preclude them." The "West Windsor- Plainsboro Chronicle," October 15, 1992.

Is that still your position on owning an assault weapon?

FORRESTER: My position, then and now, is to enforce existing gun laws. For nine months I've been campaigning about enforcing existing gun laws, which includes the ban on assault weapons. There's a renewal that's going to come up, I'll be voting for that as well.

The key issue on all these columns that have to do with public purposes is that we would enforce the laws, is that we would make sure that we give the resources to law enforcement authorities to keep our families safe.

You know, I've been endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police and the State Trooper's Association. They are the people who put their lives on the line every day for you and I. They know that I'm going to give them the resources to protect us. That's my position.

CARLSON: Unfortunately, Mr. Forrester, we're out of time. As one last favor to us, you've done us many already, but if you could prevail upon Senator Lautenberg to get over his cowardice and come on the show, it would be amazing.

FORRESTER: I thought James was going to be a surrogate for him. That's as close as I have gotten. It seems to me that he should debate. It's really unfortunate. He's hiding from me.

CARVILLE: The man's record is so wonderful and so replete with so many accomplishments it'd take a six hour debate for him.

CARLSON: He's afraid. I mean it's ridiculous. Mr. Forrester, thank you.

FORRESTER: Thank you for having me on. Thanks very much.

CARLSON: Thanks.

Up next, in "Fireback," a viewer minces no words when it comes to the idea of Hillary Clinton running for the White House. We'll be right back.


CARLSON: Welcome back to CROSSFIRE. Time for our "Fireback" segment where we read your e-mail and response to it if we can.

Shane Dulaney of Ohio writes: "Wasn't Hillary Clinton already president." I think she was. "I didn't vote for her then, and I won't vote for her now."

All right. Shane Dulaney, good for you.

CARVILLE: She does as good a job the second time around as she did the first, it would be a great country again.

"There's a sniper terrorizing the D.C. area. North Korea, an Axis of Evil member, might have nukes. But the clear and present danger is apparently in Florida where Jeb needs money, for the election." Lynn, Lexington, North Carolina.

Well, (UNINTELLIGIBLE). His father just loves the Sunshine State.

CARLSON: I'm confused by what that e-mail means.

CARVILLE: I'm not confused if he's down there campaigning (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

CARLSON: Bryanna Lee of Canada writes: "Hey, Tucker. Solve an argument for me. My friend says your hair is a wig. I say it's not. Can you ruffle your hair for us please? I could win a dinner and feel vindicated at the same time."

Bryanna, I have to say, you just lost dinner. If you look at the credits, underneath, I'm telling you guys will see "Sponsored by Hair Club for Men." It is, in fact, a wig, and I'll admit it.

CARVILLE: I want to get one just like yours.

CARLSON: Do you?

CARVILLE: It looks so good.

CARLSON: They're expensive, but I think they're worth it.

CARVILLE: Ah, you know. What the hell, man, no one would notice if I put one on. '

CARLSON: All right. Now we go to our audience. Yes, sir, you have a question.

QUESTION: Hi. My name is Chad Clifford, I'm a law student at George Washington University.

CARVILLE: At the George Washington University.

QUESTION: At the George Washington University, yes.

My question concerns the new decision by the Bush administration to release the information on the existence of nuclear weapons in North Korea. Was that a political move to wait for the decision in the House and Senate passed on Iraq?

CARLSON: Probably not, perhaps so. But usually the rule with these kinds of things is they're almost always more complicated than they appear on the surface. And again there's the question of whether it's even true, whether North Korea has the weapons or it's not attempting nuclear blackmail. So I think you definitely have give the benefit of the doubt.

CARVILLE: For now, I think we have to inquire and people will, and it's a legitimate question. But I'm willing to give the administration the benefit of the doubt for the moment. CARLSON: Well of course.

Yes, ma'am.

QUESTION: My name's Caitlyn Harvey (ph) and I'm from (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Park, New York. Doug Forrester said himself that the only reason that he got in the New Jersey Senate race was to defeat Bob Torricelli. With no record of his own to defend and Bob Torricelli no longer in the race, why should anyone vote for Forrester?


CARLSON: Something called ideas. People have -- well first of all I would say that defeating Robert Torricelli is an admirable reason to get into politics, or just to devote your life to public service. I think that's enough right there.

But second, I think Doug Forrester has ideas. And he articulates regularly. There are a lot of candidates with no records, Bill McBride in Florida for instance.

CARVILLE: You know what, I didn't hear anybody on the board that doesn't occur to anything else.

Good night from CROSSFIRE. From the left, I'm James Carville.

CARLSON: From the right, I'm Tucker Carlson. Join us again tomorrow night for another edition of CROSSFIRE.

"CONNIE CHUNG TONIGHT" begins right now. See you tomorrow.


the Trigger; Will Doug Forrester's Past Words Spell Defeat on Election Day?>

© 2004 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser. does not endorse external sites.