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CNN CROSSFIRE

JFK Oval Office Secrets Come to Light; What Would Jesus Drive

Aired November 22, 2002 - 19:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANNOUNCER: CROSSFIRE: On the left: James Carville and Paul Begala. On the right: Robert Novak and Tucker Carlson. In the CROSSFIRE tonight: Oval Office secrets finally come to life. The JFK we never saw. And questions about how much the country should know about any elected official's health.
He calls himself a square peg. Pretty soon, judicial nominees will call him Mr. Chairman. And our courts may never be the same.

And stop gas guzzling long enough to think of a higher authority. We'll pull up to the pump and ask the Reverend Jerry Falwell, what would Jesus drive?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REV. JERRY FALWELL: I believe that global warming is a myth. And so, therefore, I have no conscience problems at all.

ANNOUNER: Tonight on CROSSFIRE.

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

JAMES CARVILLE, CO-HOST: Welcome to CROSSFIRE. Tonight, the president's own painkillers. How much should we know about our national leaders' physical health? And then we'll pull up to the gas pump, where the simple letters, WWJD, are driving people like Bob Novak to distraction. But first, nothing can distract us from delivering the best political briefing in television, our CROSSFIRE "Political Alert."

A couple of the world's favorite soul mates got together again today. When he met Russian president Vladimir Putin last summer, George W. Bush told reporters that he got the sense of Putin's soul. Today, Bush told Putin that NATO's invitation to bring some of Russia's ex communist neighbors is "important to our soul."

Bush said a couple of other things Putin probably wanted to hear more. That no matter what happens to Saddam Hussein, the U.S. will make sure Russians can still collect the $8 billion Iraq has been owed (ph) to them since the 1980's. And that he considers the Chechnya mess to be, a Russian "internal issue." I can unequivocally assure you that George W. Bush doesn't know the first thing about the conflict in Chechnya. If he did, he would have never said such a thing.

ROBERT NOVAK, CO-HOST: You know, James, I can tell you one thing. That George W. Bush knows a hell of a lot more about Chechnya than you do.

CARVILLE: You know what it is? I bet you $1 million he couldn't even point to it on a map. He doesn't even know where it is.

NOVAK: That's really stupid. And I'll tell you...

CARVILLE: You know how much these people have been oppressed over there?

NOVAK: I'll tell you something else. The people in this country are sick of the left wingers like you -- just a minute, let me finish my sentence -- of talking about George W. Bush and attacking his intelligence instead of talking about the issues. Why don't you get it straight?

CARVILLE: You want to talk about the issues? Do you know what the Soviets did to the Chechnyans, the Soviets that you love so much that were so authoritative, that you admire so much? They deported everybody in Chechnya.

NOVAK: It didn't happen until two years into the Bush administration. But the Environmental Protection Agency, the EPA, has finally issued a regulation long awaited by business. The new reg allows utilities, refineries and manufacturers to avoid installing expensive new anti-pollution equipment when they modernize their plans.

Now the greens are crying bloody murder, but they would regulate the country back to the Stone Age just to appease the garden clubs. Finally, at long last, the environmental regulators have done something to help the economy and create jobs. Good for the EPA, good for Christine Whitman.

CARVILLE: Children of America rejoice. You now have dirtier air to breathe because all these coal companies gave all these Republicans all this money and they're getting paid off. And you're going to pay for it down the line. Hurray for dirty air. Just what we need more of, dirty air. You love dirty air.

NOVAK: I tell you something, James, I am for jobs and not for the garden club.

CARVILLE: Oh, the garden club what? You're for dirty air, dirty water and the Soviet Union, in that order.

Earlier this year, the U.S. adopted a color-coded alert system which virtually nobody understands. For instance, today, like most days, the country is under a yellow or an elevated status, as opposed to red, orange, green or blue. Last night, on the "Tonight Show," Jay Leno asked Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge a question all Americans want to know.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY LENO, TALK SHOW HOST: I mean, what do they really mean and what are we supposed to do? Like I'm sitting home in my underpants watching the game. We're yellow. What do I do now?

TOM RIDGE, HOMELAND SECURITY DIRECTOR: Change your shorts.

LENO: Change your shorts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARVILLE: I guess when it goes to red, you got tire tracks on it, you're a little nervous.

NOVAK: Ask a stupid question, you get a stupid answer.

CARVILLE: That was pretty good. That was kind of funny.

NOVAK: Bill Clinton's late campaigning for Democratic candidates this year was very nearly as disastrous as when he campaigned for president in 1994, when Republicans (UNINTELLIGIBLE) controlled Congress. In the last few days before this year's voting, the former president barnstormed for six Democrats for governor. All but one lost.

A .167 percentage. A terrible won-lost average. Clinton went to Hawaii for Congresswoman Patsy Mink's memorial service. It turned into a political rally. Sound familiar? And contributed to the amazing, amazing election of the Republican governor of Hawaii.

A Democratic pollster shows Clinton's visit was a boon to Hawaii's GOP. The Republicans over there should say, thank you, Bill.

CARVILLE: You know what Bill Clinton's done and George W. Bush has never done? He actually won a presidential election. No, he won two. George W. Bush has never won one. So when you want to talk about political prowess, have your guy win an election and then come back and talk to me.

NOVAK: You can't believe how sick people are of going over that Florida recount. That's all you've got to talk about.

CARVILLE: I've got to talk about the sinking economy, I've got to talk about these terrorists, I got to talk about this dirty air. I've got to talk about a lot of other things. I've got to talk about the fact that Bush said he looked in...

(CROSSTALK)

NOVAK: It's all that old stuff, because Clinton goes around the country -- wait a minute, let me talk. Wait a minute.

CARVILLE: Bush never won.

NOVAK: When Clinton goes around the country, anybody he campaigns for loses. Anybody George Bush campaigned for won.

CARVILLE: But Clinton won in the presidency. George Bush never did that. George Bush has never won a presidential election.

NOVAK: The hell he didn't.

CARVILLE: He didn't win.

The good old boys of the Augusta National Golf Club won't like this, but Martha Burk is getting ready to play another round. Go ahead, Martha. Burk is leading the charge to get Augusta National to admit women members. She's going to launch a letter-writing campaign to about 30 of the club's most prominent fat-cat members.

She wants them to respond in writing and explain why they aren't working to change the club's membership anti-woman policy. Go get them, Martha. Actually, I can't wait until next year, when the discrimination issue will turn the Masters golf tournament into an orgy of TV cameras and tales. It will make golf look a whole lot more entertaining than it's ever been.

NOVAK: Let me ask you a question. What's your position on all women's clubs? Just a minute. Women's colleges? Black fraternities? What's your position on those things? Tell me.

CARVILLE: You know what I want, Bob? I want that thing at Augusta...

NOVAK: No, I'm asking you a question.

CARVILLE: I want it to be one huge protest. I want these women to take their clothes off and protest this thing like they did out in California.

NOVAK: What's your position on all-women's clubs?

CARVILLE: I don't know. What's an all-women's college? I think they ought to let men in. I'm for anti-discrimination.

(CROSSTALK)

NOVAK: New York's Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg not only inherited his office from the departed Rudy Giuliani, he also inherited Rudy's popularity. But it's just about gone. In early February, shortly after he took office, Bloomberg's approval rating was 65 percent. Now it's down to 41 percent. Dropping 24 points.

What happened? It's taxes, stupid. Mayor Bloomberg broke his no new taxes pledge with massive tax hikes. Voters don't like tax increases. Even in New York, where polls show a two to one preference for solving the budget crunch with lower spending rather than higher taxes. Republicans should know, but Mike Bloomberg hasn't been a Republican for long enough to know.

CARVILLE: You know what I like about you? You barely (ph) endorsed Mario Cuomo. You know what I mean? He was for gay rights, he was for -- you know there are a lot of good things you could say about (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

(CROSSTALK)

NOVAK: You love high taxes, don't you?

CARVILLE: No. You know what, I like fiscal responsibility. And I like things -- and I think if you do something, you ought to pay for it. And I don't mind paying so people can get healthcare. I don't mind paying for kids to get an education. And I don't mind paying so we can have clean air. And I'm not so damn tight that I care more about my money than I care about my country.

NOVAK: I'll tell you what, I'll send you my tax (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and you can pay my taxes too.

John F. Kennedy has been dead and gone for 39 years now. But can you believe it, he's still in the news. In a minute, secret keeping about the president's health. Does the president have a right to keep his serious illnesses a secret from the public?

We've also added a couple of ministers to discuss a deep theological question, what would Jesus drive?

And our quote of the day is a long lost moment. A sad moment of history.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARVILLE: Welcome back. This week, historian Robert Dallek revealed that John F. Kennedy lived with more pain than most of us could dream of and did things that might have cost him elections had the public known the truth. Kennedy took painkillers, stimulants and even anti-anxiety pills to the extent that it has been kept secret until now. Shouldn't we know more about our leaders' health problems?

In the CROSSFIRE in New York, presidential historian Douglas Brinkley. He's the Director of Eisenhower Center for American Studies and a professor of history at the glorious University of New Orleans, in my home state of Louisiana. And in West Palm Beach Florida is Laurence Leamer. He's written a couple of books about the Kennedys and the Kennedy's men and the Kennedy women.

NOVAK: OK. Mr. Brinkley, as you know, Robert Dallek is a distinguished historian. I think he's ideologically a liberal. And I was really shocked at these revelations. Let me just read some of them Let me read this one.

"Kennedy was taking an extraordinary variety of medications, steroids for his Addison's Disease, painkillers for his back, antispasmodics for his colitis, antibiotics for urinary tract infections, antihistamines for allergies, and on at least one occasion, an anti-psychotic, though only for two days, for a severe mood change that Jackie Kennedy believed had been brought on by the antihistamines. Drugs and drugs. Isn't it something the American public should have known about?

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, DIRECTOR, EISENHOWER CENTER FOR AMERICAN STUDIES: Yes, ideally so. You know I think illness and health in the presidency is extremely serious. If we look back to Woodrow Wilson when he had a stroke, and his wife actually ran the White House, or Franklin Roosevelt had polio. And the difference between -- remember -- you know, when you look at other presidents before John F. Kennedy, that's the tradition Kennedy was building on.

And FDR, even though you couldn't conceal his polio, nobody showed photographs of him in a wheelchair. You wouldn't even show pictures of FDR in braces. It was kind of considered bad taste.

So in 1960 to '63, people that knew about some of Kennedy's problems knew that he was on a number of drugs, simply kept it quiet because it seemed to be bad taste to do that. I think things have changed after Watergate, Vietnam era. I think the press has had a much more -- a less of a cooperative role with the White House and much more of an adversarial one.

And hence, today, nobody in the White House would be able to get away with doing that amount of drugs and not being known. So I think it's a combination of Kennedy concealment and part of the history of that era.

NOVAK: But Mr. Brinkley, (UNINTELLIGIBLE). I covered the 1960 Democratic convention in Los Angeles, when Lyndon Johnson was running against John F. Kennedy. And the Johnson people were making accusations about his health with just a tiny fraction of the truth. And the Kennedy people just lie through their teeth.

They said it was a lie, it was slander. That is really shocking, not just to cover it up, but to actually lie about it, isn't it?

BRINKLEY: Well, I don't think it's shocking when you're dealing with the Kennedy administration. You know it's been -- the notion of secrecy surrounding John F. Kennedy's personal life has been going on for decades now. As much as the revelations of the amount of illnesses.

And I also agree with Bob Dallek, the amount of courage to constantly put on a good face, to show the wit and humor John Kennedy did under such tremendous pain. You know I think that aspect of this has to keep in mind. But I don't find this completely shocking.

People over the last, you know, years, have been finding out just how debilitating the Addison's Disease was. And I thought William Safire made a very good point. We're starting to see that John Kennedy preferred to see himself perhaps more as a playboy than as the patient in bed all the time. That if he's the person after Eisenhower, who had heart attacks, and Ike was considered old and feeble and (UNINTELLIGIBLE), Kennedy wanted to show vigor and he wanted be a profile in courage. In order to do that, you didn't want to tell people you had prostate and colitis problems.

CARVILLE: Let me go to -- is there anything that we know of where his judgment was impaired, or where taking these drugs or these conditions he was suffering from affected his performance as president?

BRINKLEY: No, there's no...

CARVILLE: Wait a minute -- excuse me, this is to Mr. Leamer, please.

LAURENCE LEAMER, AUTHOR, "THE KENNEDY MEN, 1901-1963": Yes.

CARVILLE: Go ahead, sir.

LEAMER: Well, look at -- the reality of it was that in -- it's not -- we can't relate it to Roosevelt or anything like this. In 1960, India Edwards, who was Lyndon's Johnson's -- one of his advisers, said that Kennedy was a very unhealthy person and had Addison's Disease and would not be alive if not for cortisone medicine. That happened to have been the truth and Kennedy's people lied about it. And Dr. Janet Travell (ph) lied about it and Dr. Eugene Cohen (ph)...

CARVILLE: I'm just asking, do we know of something where this impaired his ability to function as president? In 1987, we know that then Chief of Staff Howard Baker actually had President Reagan tested to see if his facilities were in order, he was so concerned. Is there anything we can look back and say that Kennedy had impaired judgment or that he wasn't up to the job because of this, Mr. Leamer?

LEAMER: We don't know that absolutely. But what we do know, which is now in the Dallek revelations, which is absolutely crucial and is in my book, "The Kennedy Men," (UNINTELLIGIBLE) papers there were secrets that were hidden away and that she took out of the White House, is that Dr. Eugene Cohen (ph) watched Kennedy taking amphetamines.

Dr. Max Jacobson (ph) was coming down and, on a weekly basis, was injecting Kennedy with amphetamines. In November of 1961, Dr. Cohen (ph) writes this extraordinary letter to Kennedy, and says, Mr. President, a man in your position cannot be making the kind of decisions you make when the future of the free world is at stake. So we don't know absolutely...

(CROSSTALK)

CARVILLE: I'm asking you, you studied him, you're an objective historian, you're a neutral man here. Where's an instance that because of this, like President Reagan was, where was his judgment impaired?

LEAMER: You now, if we listen to the tapes of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kennedy acted magnificently. But if you listened to Cohen (ph) to stop taking amphetamines, I think he would have been a different kind of president. I don't know if you've had any experience with people who have taken amphetamines, I have. And I think it impairs one's judgment.

NOVAK: Mr. Brinkley, an excellent book came out about, oh, five or six years ago by Michael Beschloss called "Crisis Years" about Kruschev and Kennedy. And it was -- certainly, Mr. Beschloss is not anti-Kennedy, but it really indicated that the pain he was under and the illness was affecting his decisions that he was making a lot of bum -- that's the thing that James is asking -- he was making a lot of bad decisions in dealing with Kruschev. At Vienna, the need to assert himself in Vietnam. You can say that this illness did affect his judgment on what was, as we look back at it now, not nearly as good a foreign policy as some people have claimed.

BRINKLEY: Well, you could say that. I'm not sure it would be correct. Kennedy came in, as he said, quite unsure of how to be president. He was quite young. And, as you know, he had those disastrous moments in his first year, Bay of Pigs and, as you say, Vienna.

But Kennedy toughened up in the job. Anybody who studies carefully the Berlin crisis and things like the Cuban Missile Crisis, his ability to have a nuclear test band (ph) treaty, the creation of the Peace Corps and the Green Beret, coping with the civil rights movement. Those thousand days that people keep talking about, while they certainly weren't Camelot, Kennedy seemed more than to be alert and on top of the job.

I would argue that one could talk about, if you're talking about cortisone shots, what about, you know, somehow impairing your ability to function? One can look at Winston Churchill's drinking during the Second World War. Richard Nixon's drinking in the White House. There are other things that presidents do to cope with the stress. And if Kennedy needed to take some medication to help him with his illness, I'm glad that he took it and didn't have to be in more pain.

The problem is that it seemed to be so much of it and so many different ailments, that you do start wondering at what point would his condition start impairing his ability to lead. But there is no evidence that Vienna or Bay of Pigs was somehow because he was under the influence of drugs.

CARVILLE: Mr. Leamer, I assume your position is, is that people in high office should make all the -- they should release their medical records so the public has the right to know all of this.

LEAMER: Yes, exactly.

CARVILLE: So you think Vice President Cheney should release his entire medical records, which he has refused to do so far.

LEAMER: Listen, during the time that I've been a writer, there's been expansion of liberties and our knowledge of the presidents. We know all the things we didn't know 30 or 40 years ago, I say hurray. In the end, we're all going to be better for that. And that's for Kennedy, that's for Bush, that's for all of them.

NOVAK: OK. Thank you very much, Laurence Leamer. And thank you very much, Douglas Brinkley. We really appreciate it.

What do you feel when you pull up to the gas pumps, besides outrage at the price of gas? Some people are saying you should be feeling something else. How about guilt?

We'll also talk with the songwriter who goes by the name Johnny Trapdoor (ph). He's better known for his day job.

And our quote of the day is a chilling conversation that will bring back for some of us memories of the pain from a day that many of us will never forget. We'll let you hear it next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARVILLE: Long before September 11 and anything bad, everybody knew the date November 22. It was the Friday that President John F. Kennedy was a assassinated, and that was 39 years ago today. While Kennedy was in Dallas, a lot of his cabinet members were flying to Japan.

A producer for National Public Radio has unearthed a tape recording of the ground-air conversations between the White House situation room and the plane that day. NPR is playing the tape today on its news program "All Things Considered." We've made it part of our quote of the day. The man in the plane is referred to by the code name of Wayside, it's Kennedy's press secretary, Pierre Salinger.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is situation room relay following to Wayside. We have report quoting Mr. Kilduff in Dallas that the president is dead. That he died about 35 minutes ago. Do you have that? Over.

PIERRE SALINGER, FMR. WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president is dead. Is that correct?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is correct. That is correct. New subject: front office desires plane return Washington with no stop Dallas. Over.

SALINGER: Copied, Wayside copied. All OK, and we'll return direct to Washington without stopping in Dallas. Roger.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. This is situation room out.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

CARVILLE: Bob, where were you on that day?

NOVAK: My late partner, Roland Evans (ph), and I had just had lunch with two aides to Barry Goldwater, who was running for president. We all got piled into a taxi and the radio was on and we heard the news. It was just stunning. One of the Goldwater aides said, "Oh, my god. I hope the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) didn't do it." Where were you?

CARVILLE: I was at the field house (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Also, I might remind you that, at that time, you were in the process of celebrating your first wedding anniversary, and now you're celebrating your 40th this week, which you're taking your wife and family out. And congratulations on 40 years, Bob.

NOVAK: Thank you.

At the Kennedy Space Center, they're counting down to a nighttime launch of the space shuttle. Connie Chung will tell us how it's going next in a CNN NEWS ALERT. We're also asking a couple of guests, what would Jesus drive? Tell us what kind of spaceship he'd fly, too.

And then the past and future chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee will bring us back to earth and maybe bring some sanity finally to the judicial nomination process.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWSBREAK)

NOVAK: Next, a member of one of the most exclusive clubs in Washington, U.S. Senators, but who had to settle for staying in the Senate.

And later, does God want you to settle for an itty-bitty import?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NOVAK: Welcome back to CROSSFIRE. We're coming to you from the George Washington University and Foggy Bottom, D.C. When Republicans take over the U.S. Senate next January, Orrin Hatch of Utah will get back his old job as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Among other things, that means the makeup of the federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, will rest in the hands that have penned songs like "Little Angel of Mine," from the movie "Stewart Little II."

Hatch writes books as well as songs. His new autobiography is called "Square Peg - Confessions of a Citizen Senator" - Sen. Orrin Hatch.

SEN. ORRIN HATCH, (R), UTAH: How are you doing, Bob?

NOVAK: Good. How are you?

CARVILLE: Hi, Johnny.

HATCH: How are you?

CARVILLE: We've got two copies here that we can hold up. Senator, you're in the "crossfire" now. I have a question for you, sir.

HATCH: Sure. CARVILLE: Tell us about this code name or nickname Johnny Trapdoor.

HATCH: Well, Bono, you know, became a friend...

CARVILLE: Bono of U2, is that right?

HATCH: Bono of U2, the great rock star, well, he was brought in to me by Bobby Shriver, who is a really good friend. Bobby, of course, is Eunice Kennedy Shriver's son. He had a law graduate, and he brought him in because they wanted - Bono is a very socially conscious person, and he wanted help with sub-Sahara African debt relief, so he came to me and I helped open doors and we helped solve some of those problems.

Then he came with regard to South - basically African AIDS problems. And, of course, being the author, along with Kennedy, of three of the AIDS bills, of the three of the major AIDS bills, I helped him with that.

So finally the third time he came in, he said, hey, Senator. And, you know, in his Irish brogue, he said, I want to hear your music. I said, oh, that would be great. So I played him two or three songs. And he said, Senator, those are beautiful. He said, but the brothers won't sing them. And I said why is that? He said because of who you are. I guess conservative Republican Mormon, you know. And I said, well, what do I do about that? He said, you've got to change your name. And I said what should I change my name to? And he, very contemplative, looked up to the ceiling with his hands in front of his mouth and he said, aha, I've got it, Johnny Trapdoor. So...

NOVAK: So that's how you got it.

CARVILLE: You know, you've got Johnny Trapdoor...

HATCH: So if you hear of any music written by Johnny Trapdoor, you'll know exactly who wrote it.

CARVILLE: Sen. Trapdoor, Mr. Novak's trying to have you in the "crossfire" here.

NOVAK: OK. I'm going to ask you one questions about judges before we go - we go onto the - to talk about your book.

Do you think that under a Republican nominee - nominations to the Supreme Court approved by your committee, approved by the Senate, that "Roe v. Wade", the abortion law, will be repealed?

HATCH: I really question whether that's going to happen in the next, certainly in the next nomination. I don't know what's going to happen there. You know, it has been around a long time. But there's a real split in the country.

If you ask most people, do you believe in abortion, about 75 percent would say no.

NOVAK: But...

HATCH: If you ask them, do you believe in the right to choose, just let them to choose, about 55, 60 percent say yes. So, you know, it's a very divided question. And I'm not sure exactly...

CARVILLE: It's not that it's...

HATCH: well, but it depends on who's appointed. CARVILLE: But the two people that are really in charge of this are President Bush and you. President Bush is pro - President Bush wants to repeal Roe versus Wade and so do you.

HATCH: Well, President Bush is in charge. I'm not a...

CARVILLE: I understand, but you have...

HATCH: I'm just a poor foot soldier.

CARVILLE: No, but you're the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, so he sends the nomination to you. Both of you want to see this repealed. Give us a time. Do you think it will be around another two years or will it be repealed by then?

HATCH: You know, in all honesty - in all honesty, I've been on the committee 26 years. And I went all through the Reagan judges, the Clinton judges, and I don't know of one person who was asked, what is your vie on Roe versus Wade. Now, they may have thought that they knew what their views were, but, as you can see, senators...

CARVILLE: Would you like to see it gone in two years?

NOVAK: All right, all right. Senator, I want to get to your book now. And you had something that just froze me. On page 201 - we'll put it up on the screen - "if Bill Clinton had simply told the truth, in all probability" - it's hard for me to even say this - "Al Gore would be president today." Do you really believe that?

HATCH: I think that's probably true.

NOVAK: Explain that.

HATCH: Well, you know, I told President Clinton, I said, look, if you didn't tell the truth in the Paula Jones case, why don't you just admit it. I said the American people are very forgiving people, and we'll forgive you. I said you might go through some tough times for a while, but they'll get over it.

Had he told the truth, I really believe that he would - there would never have been an impeachment trial. I don't know many people who wanted to go through an impeachment trial. I certainly didn't.

NOVAK: How would Al Gore be president, though?

HATCH: What?

NOVAK: How would Al Gore be president then?

HATCH: Well, as you know, it was a very close race anyway.

NOVAK: It was? Oh...

HATCH: It was a darn close race, and if George...

CARVILLE: Bush almost won. HATCH: Well, Bush won - no, no...

NOVAK: Bush did win. We have an electoral college. Go ahead.

HATCH: One thing I like about James is he's never studied the constitution, you know, and it's typical of most Democrats.

NOVAK: He's never studied anything.

HATCH: Because, you know, the reason we have - the reason we have the electoral college - it's one of the most ingenious things in politics - is because you've got to run - you've got to run a popular race among 50 states, not...

CARVILLE: But if the counting would have kept in Florida, Gore would have won. If they had counted all the ballots...

NOVAK: Oh, come on! Get off of that, will you?

HATCH: James, let me...

CARVILLE: Because five of your friends stopped it.

HATCH: James, James, James...

CARVILLE: OK. We don't have to fight now, but we know that.

HATCH: We've been friends for a long time.

CARVILLE: I know.

HATCH: There were at least five or six other states where we knew they were fraud, but it just wasn't worth going into. Florida was the place where it had to be won. And it wasn't won there.

NOVAK: Let me...

CARVILLE: Absolutely, absolutely. You even knew fraud was there and you didn't do it because...

NOVAK: Let me get...

HATCH: We knew fraud was there, but nobody could have afforded the trial of those.

NOVAK: Let me get another quote out of your book. You said - this is fascinating - good senators make bad presidential candidates. Are you talking about yourself?

HATCH: Yes, sir.

NOVAK: You are a good senator.

HATCH: Well, I thought I made a pretty good candidate. But, you know, we had a great candidate in George Bush, no question about it. I have to say I fell in love with George Bush on the campaign trail. I'll never forget when we were - I had the question for Steve Forbes. And I said, Steve, I'm going to throw you a home run ball. And Steve said, well, I better hold onto my wallet. And I said, gee, Steve, I couldn't even lift your wallet. Everybody laughed, you know. And then George Bush was sitting next to me and he leaned over to me and said, very sincerely, he said, Senator, I'd give you some of my money if I could. It was kind of an endearing moment to me.

NOVAK: Did you - you once said that you had trouble running for president because you came from a state where people didn't drink and it was hard to raise money from those kind of people.

HATCH: That's right. It's a heck of a thing to raise money from people who never get drunk, you know.

CARVILLE: So you think people - those coal companies, they must be drunk all the time for as much money as they - as much contributors they give to the Republicans, huh?

HATCH: I'm so ashamed you're a Democrat. You don't realize - you don't realize the importance of energy in this country.

CARVILLE: I do. I do.

HATCH: Well, no, you really don't. You just think it's all going to come from the sun. It's...

CARVILLE: Oh, thank you, pat my hand right there.

HATCH: Let me pat the other one as well.

CARVILLE: That's nice of you.

HATCH: Let me pat the - listen, get that head over here. I want to pat that, to be honest with you. You know, this is one of my favorite guys.

NOVAK: He's one of your favorite guys? Please don't say that.

HATCH: I wish - I wish - listen, wait. I wish we had one of those. But I don't know anybody that would listen to anything he has to say, you know.

CARVILLE: Get help.

NOVAK: OK. All right. Sen. Hatch, "Square Peg - Confessions of a Citizen Senator." Go out and buy it.

Thank you very much, Orrin Hatch.

HATCH: Thank you so much. I hope you enjoy.

CARVILLE: One of my favorite senators too, right from Utah. Take care, Senator.

NOVAK: Still to come, your chance to fire back at us. One of our Democratic viewers wants James Carville to lay off Rush Limbaugh.

But next, a weird science meets religion, and the greens (ph) get a new slogan to drive everybody nuts.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NOVAK: Four years it's been a fad for young people to wear bracelets and t-shirts emblazoned with the initials "wwjd," meaning what would Jesus do? Now, religious environmentalists, despite all the world's problems - apparently have nothing better to do - have come up with something else wwjd can mean: What would Jesus drive?

It's part of a campaign made to make people feel guilty about driving sports utility vehicles. Can't SUVs be holy rollers? Stepping into the "crossfire" is the Rev. Jim Ball, executive director of the Evangelical Environmental Network, and in Lynchburg, Virginia, our old friend, the chancellor of Liberty University, the Rev. Jerry Falwell.

REV. JERRY FALWELL, CHANCELLOR, LIBERTY UNIVERSITY: Hi, Bob.

CARVILLE: Yes, sir. Rev. Falwell, I want to show you and our audience a copy of the ad that Rev. Ball is running, and then you can tell the audience and Rev. Ball why he's all wet and washed up about running something like this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... yet too many of the cars, trucks and SUVs that are made that we choose to drive, are polluting our air, increasing global warming, changing the weather, and endangering our health, especially the health of our children. So if we love our neighbor and we cherish God's creation, maybe we should ask, what would Jesus drive?

CARVILLE: What's wrong with that? It's a pretty good ad to me.

FALWELL: You talking to me?

CARVILLE: Yes, sir, absolutely.

FALWELL: What do you drive? What do you drive, James? CARVILLE: I drive a Cadillac DeVille.

FALWELL: Well, I drive a Suburban, a GMC manufactured - in fact, since 1970, I've done that. So has my wife. And if I ever change, I'll get a Hummer. I actually - I actually don't believe...

CARVILLE: What about the ad? I know - I mean the ad.

FALWELL: Well, I just don't believe that science supports global warming. And if it did, I don't believe whatever we drive here would, in any way, affect the temperature of the universe. So I think it's all a farce.

NOVAK: Rev. Ball, you know, we could get into a long discussion about global warming, which I don't think these of the four greatest experts in the world on global warming sitting here. But what I'm - what I'm - you are a theologian. Isn't this a little sacrilegious to bring in Jesus and the - and what his lesson was for the mankind in an argument over SUVs? It hits me that way.

BALL: Well, I'm an evangelical Christian. Jesus is my savior and my Lord. He's Lord of all my choices, including my transportation choices. Transportation pollution hurts people. It hurts kids, as we just saw.

What about our dependence on foreign oil from unstable regions? I think conservatives should conserve. So I think that...

NOVAK: Well, you're making - you're making an argument that - I don't agree with it, but it's a valid argument. What offends me - personally, Mr. Ball, you really do offend me - is the idea that somehow either because I drive a gas-burning Corvette sport car, which I love, I'm not as good a Christian as you.

CARVILLE: I'm glad you're offended. I got offended also.

NOVAK: Quiet, quiet. I'm...

BALL: Well, we think that transportation pollution has serious impacts on human health, and we think folks ought to think about that. We say...

NOVAK: What's that got to do with being a Christian?

BALL: Loving your neighbor as yourself. We have a very positive message here, Mr. Novak. We - this is a new way for you to love your neighbor. I'd like to see you do it.

NOVAK: Well, I love my neighbor. I don't know if I love you very much right now, though.

CARVILLE: Rev. Falwell, President Bush told Jim Lair, in a second debate, that he agreed that there was - that global warming was a problem. In typical fashion, he said he just didn't know what the hell to do about it, which is his reaction.

Why is President Bush so washed up and believing that global warming is a problem? And why is he so out of the mainstream?

FALWELL: I don't think he's washed up. I remember 30 years ago when global cooling was the threat. And I think 30 years from now it may be that again. And I don't think that we should take lightly environmental problems. But I just happen to think, as Bob Novak just said, that driving a Suburban or driving a Honda Bug makes any difference about it.

You know, when Jesus was here on earth, he rode the best that was available, and that was a jackass. And I think if he were here today, he would probably drive one of the better vehicles. And I rather think the evangelical ministers are better off reaching out with the message of the death, burial, resurrection of Christ, saving souls, winning people to Christ, rather than joining hands and worshipping the earth.

CARVILLE: Rev. Falwell...

CARVILLE: Wait a minute. This man's been under withering attack from both of you. Let's give him a chance. You've attacked him personally.

NOVAK: Go ahead. Go ahead. You want to answer that?

CARVILLE: Go ahead, Rev. Ball.

BALL: Well, I think it's all about loving your neighbor. This is the heart of...

CARVILLE: These guys hate that message. I mean that's terrible.

BALL: I know. I think these folks don't - these guys don't want to accept that transportation is a moral issue. I think that's the problem they're having here. They haven't looked at this as a - in terms of human health. I think that human health is pretty important to me.

NOVAK: I have to really comment that here's a guy who's the master of politics of personal destruction talking about loving your neighbor. You talk about hypocrisy.

CARVILLE: I love - I love my neighbor. You all tried to do everything you could to destroy Bill Clinton's presidency.

NOVAK: I want to - I want to - I want to read you something written by Tom Walsh, a columnist from the "Detroit Free Press." He says, "how do we know what Jesus would drive at all? Maybe he would stick to bicycling or striding through the countryside with a walking stick, like Gandhi did in India. Maybe he'd have two big honking sport-utility-vehicles, so he could schlep all the disciples around with him."

Isn't that a good point?

BALL: I think Jesus would be...

FALWELL: Very good point.

BALL: ... in favor of public transportation so that all of his folks could go around together. Sure. I think he would be in favor...

NOVAK: What about an SUV - what about...

BALL: ... of public transportation.

CARVILLE: Let me tell you - let me just tell you one thing. Don't talk about love your neighbor as yourself because these guys - that is nothing - they don't believe in that. They hate that part of it. They hate the gospel. They had the Sermon on the Mount.

NOVAK: Jerry Falwell...

CARVILLE: They want to talk Jesus hating gays and loving pollution.

NOVAK: Jerry Falwell wants to get in here. Go ahead, Rev. Falwell.

CARVILLE: Go ahead. Tell us what's so terrible about gays and so good about pollution, two of your favorite subjects.

FALWELL: Well, James, I really think that, if you really love people as much as you're preaching right now, you would have been a little bit different during the impeachment trial and all the things were happening in the last...

NOVAK: Let him talk, James.

CARVILLE: Jerry, you're not answering the question.

NOVAK: I get it.

FALWELL: The question is - the question is...

CARVILLE: I asked the man why he hates gays and loves pollution.

FALWELL: ... loving people and winning people...

NOVAK: Because that's a dumb question.

FALWELL: ... has nothing to do with driving an SUV.

BALL: I don't see people loving thy neighbor right here tonight. Let's let Rev. Falwell talk.

FALWELL: ... and I drive an SUV...

CARVILLE: Well, he won't want anybody to talk but himself.

FALWELL: ... and I'll be driving one if I'm living 10 years from now. And you can put all the ads you want out there. I don't think it harms anybody. I think it's a lot of hogwash. I do not believe in global warming as a permanent thing that human beings contribute to.

NOVAK: Well, that's the last word.

FALWELL: And therefore, Reverend, I'm for all you're doing. I just think you could be doing something more worthwhile.

NOVAK: I couldn't agree more. Thank you very much, Jerry Falwell. Thank you very much, Rev. Ball. Appreciate it.

CARVILLE: The message tonight is, hate the gays and love pollution, if you ever...

NOVAK: Something I said last night outraged a lot of our Canadian viewers. But one of them is smart enough to know what the outrage really is.

We'll let that come on "Fireback" in just a minute.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NOVAK: Time now when the viewers "Fireback" at us. Rich King, of Wilbraham, MA, says, "Hey, Bob, you put up a good argument about unemployment, discouraging people from looking for jobs, but you fail to say, what will people do when they have tried and still can't get work? WILL YOU put them in one of your spare rooms when they lose their homes?"

Rich, the answer to that is no. But I'll tell you something. Everybody in this country can find a job. They just might not get a job making as much as James Carville makes.

CARVILLE: But they can sure breathe that polluted air and hate those gays because that's what you all love so much.

"James, please don't pan Limbaugh. He's done more than anyone to convert folks to vote Democrat with his mouth being as big as his gut." Joseph McNamara, Sale, Oregon.

But actually, Rush is an entertaining. I think that Sen. McCain had it right and they ought to let him go home and entertain them yahoos out there all they want to.

NOVAK: Right. And, if I - if I were you, I wouldn't make fun of anybody's physical appearance.

CARVILLE: I didn't make fun of anybody's physical appearance. I read a thing. What you need to do is...

NOVAK: OK.

CARVILLE: ... stop and see what happens as opposed to putting words in people's mouths.

NOVAK: Last night, I criticized a Canadian official for calling...

CARVILLE: No, you criticized the whole country.

NOVAK: Can I - can I talk while you're interrupting, please?

CARVILLE: Go, go ahead.

NOVAK: Last night, I criticized a Canadian official for calling George Bush a moron, very insulting. And I said it was a country of weenies.

And now, here's a good response from Jim Pook of Tahsis, British Columbia.

"As a Canadian, I am as outraged as you are about our liberal government not picking up the slack on the war on terrorism. Prime Minister Jean Chretien should be ashamed. As for James coming to Canada - unless it is to cook Cajun food, we don't want him. Have you tried asking France?"

Another ace won't take you, James.

CARVILLE: Yes. It's like - I love Canada. And you say, you know, it's not insulting to call the whole nation weenies? You look at the Canadian's record in World War II, when it was corbet (ph), they did some of the best jobs of anybody.

NOVAK: That was a long time ago.

CARVILLE: I have people in my family --

"Have you ever noticed how much James Carville looks and acts like "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas?" No. But listen to this idiot. "This man has so much hatred and contempt for anyone who does not think like him that he's just about to explode! Keep lighting his fuse, Bob. It won't be that long until his own contempt consumes him." Jerry Adams of Beavercreek, Ohio.

Jerry, I don't know how to tell you this, Hoss, but I'm actually married to a Republican.

NOVAK: But that...

CARVILLE: What the hell do they got in the water in Beavercreek?

NOVAK: Jerry, I think you've got a real point about...

CARVILLE: What a dope!

NOVAK: I said Jerry, I think you've got a real point about - pardon me. I think, Jerry - oh, there they are. Look at that. The Grinch - the Grinch and him. OK.

Question from the audience.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, my name is Frank Lanke (ph)...

NOVAK: Push his mike up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi. My name is Frank Lanke (ph). I'm from Edison, New Jersey, at a Catholic University here in D.C. Bob, this question is for you. If America's so tired of hearing about the election of 2000, isn't America as equally tired of hearing you guys bash Bill Clinton all the time?

NOVAK: Bash who?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bill Clinton?

NOVAK: No, they're not because every place Bill Clinton went in this last campaign, Democrats lost. Every place George Bush went, Republicans won. CARVILLE: Just remember, Bill Clinton won two presidential elections. George has yet to win his first one. From the left, I'm James Carville. Good night from CROSSFIRE.

NOVAK: From the right, I'm Robert Novak. Be sure to join me tomorrow at 9:00 A.M. Eastern, 6:00 AM Pacific time for the premier of a new CNN program, "THE NOVAK ZONE." My guest will be Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld from Prague.

And join us again next time for another edition of CROSSFIRE.

"CONNIE CHUNG TONIGHT" begins right now.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com



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