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PAULA ZAHN NOW
Interview With Madeleine Albright; Dean Set For Another Endorsement?; Who's Next On America's Hit List?
Aired January 7, 2004 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. Thanks for joining us tonight. I'm Paul Zahn.
The world, the news, the names, the faces, and where we go from here on Wednesday, January 7, 2004.
ZAHN (voice-over): After two big-name endorsements, is Howard Dean about to win another? Tonight, an exclusive, as one major political magazine announces its Democratic presidential pick right here.
The battle in Afghanistan that unseated the Taliban, the war in Iraq that brought down a dictator. Who might be next on America's list?
And 16 would-be Trumps fight for the ultimate dream job in a new reality show.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think that you're going to be successful in the business world?
ZAHN: They've got the looks. They've got the brains. But do they have what it takes to survive the Donald? Tonight, our own job interview with the ultimate boss.
ZAHN: Those stories and much more straight ahead.
First, though, here's what you need to know right now at the top of the hour; 35 U.S. soldiers were wounded tonight in a mortar attack on their forward base near Baghdad. Military sources are reporting to CNN that six shells struck their base about 90 minutes after sunset.
Let's go to Karl Penhaul, who is standing by in Baghdad.
Karl, what can you tell us?
KARL PENHAUL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Paula.
Yes, details still coming in, details coming in from military authorities in Baghdad and also from the Pentagon, a short five-line communique from military authorities here in Baghdad. What we do know, a barrage of six mortar shells slammed into this logistics base west of Baghdad about an hour after sundown.
One of the shells, at least, scored a direct hit on living quarters. And it's there that the bulk of the 35 wounded soldiers were at that time. Now, according to the military communique, those soldiers received first-aid treatment at the site and were then taken for hospital treatment elsewhere.
What the Pentagon has also told us is that some of those soldiers have since returned to active duty, although they haven't specified how many. Now, this base is west of Baghdad. The military authorities aren't stipulating how far from Baghdad. But it does, in fact, come under the jurisdiction of another town, which is why we were reporting earlier on that it came out of Balad -- Paula.
ZAHN: Karl Penhaul, thanks for the update.
Important to remind all of you that this is, in fact, the highest casualty rate suffered from such an attack so far.
International terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, Iraq, Saddam Hussein, all that is "in focus" tonight as we welcome former Secretary Of State Madeleine Albright for a wide-ranging interview. She joins us from Washington.
Always good to see, you, Madam Secretary. Welcome.
MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Wonderful to see you, Paula.
ZAHN: Let's talk a little bit about what you think the challenges are that lie ahead for the United States as it fights its war on terror. What kind of help is it not getting from other countries that it needs to win that war?
ALBRIGHT: Well, we know that the fight against terrorism is the most important issue that the United States has to deal with.
And it is something that, obviously, requires a great deal of cooperation, as we learn in one form or another every day. And I think that we may not be getting the right kind of cooperation in terms of support for what we're doing in Iraq. We need additional help there. You have just reported about the killings today, the tragedy. And the situation there continues to be chaotic.
We need help, also, in securing the new constitution in Afghanistan. President Karzai has been victorious in a new constitution, but it's still a very, very fragile situation.
ZAHN: All right, you're saying we need this help. Are we going to get this help? And if we are, from whom?
ALBRIGHT: Well, I think that it requires a lot of consultation. And we need to go back to our allies and tell them that we need help and we need help from the United Nations.
Are we going to get it? It's a question of how our allies are handled. I've been meeting with a lot of former European colleagues who are very troubled by the approach that the administration is taking towards them. And I think the realization has to come that, while we are the strongest country in the world, we can't fight terrorism by ourselves.
ZAHN: Are you willing to concede that Secretary Baker made at least some progress on his last trip, as he talked to some of these key allies?
ALBRIGHT: I don't have to concede it. It's evident. I think that Secretary Baker has done a great job on an important mission of trying to get some dealings with lowering the Iraqi debt. But that's only part of the story.
We need people to help us on the ground in Iraq and also to develop the civilian and the civil administration there and to deal with what continues to be a chaotic situation, what you hear, 35 Americans were killed today. And earlier during the week, I've seen numbers, the allies -- nobody else is losing people like this. And so I think, at a certain stage, the American people are going to ask, can we afford to lose this many Americans, if others are not on the ground with us?
ZAHN: I think, before we go any further, I should clarify that Karl Penhaul just reported, although the information is a bit sketchy, we don't believe there was a loss of 35 lives, but, in fact, 35 U.S. soldiers wounded, some of them already back on active duty. They're not telling us how many, but a tragedy nevertheless that this forward base was struck.
Let's talk a little bit about concern of the traveling public. Is the United States going to be able to impose its will on some of these European countries to get the kind of security it needs for flights from those countries to the United States?
ALBRIGHT: Well, first of all, I think that this goes back to what I said earlier.
Fighting terrorism is a worldwide problem. We cannot do it without the cooperation of everybody. And that has to do with airline flights. I have been traveling over the holidays. I can assure you that I like it when everybody is checked very carefully. And I myself, even though there are people who recognize me, I am very happy to take off my shoes and take off my jacket and have everybody look through whatever I have.
I don't mind if I'm fingerprinted or if people take my photograph. So I think it is essential. The question is how we go about it. And while there clearly was not a lot of time in dealing with this high alert, I know that many of our friends and allies felt that we just ordered them to do these things and they don't have all the facilities.
And then, frankly, the culture about carrying weapons on airplanes is quite different within these different countries, even our friends the British. So I think, again, a little diplomacy here would have helped to ease the way here. But I think that everybody has to recognize that this is everyone's problem. And I don't want to travel on a plane where people have not been checked. And I love having the air marshals on.
ZAHN: Madam Secretary, we're going to have to leave it there this evening. Thanks so much for your time tonight. We appreciate it.
ALBRIGHT: Thank you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We must make our immigration laws more rational and more humane. And I believe we can do so without jeopardizing the livelihoods of American citizens.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: President Bush this afternoon announcing a long-awaited immigration reform plan. It would grant legal status to millions of illegal immigrants for three years.
With me now is a man who would be at the center of the change. Eduardo Aguirre Jr. is the director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services at the Department of Homeland Security.
Welcome, sir. Glad to have you with us tonight.
EDUARDO AGUIRRE JR., DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY: Thank you, Paula. It's good to be here.
ZAHN: Thank you.
We're going to quickly put up on the screen one of the underpinnings of the president's reform plan. The plan would grant legal status for three years. It permits travel to and from the worker's home country. It is open to foreign workers, as well as those already working in the United States. Now, the president has clearly stated that this is not an amnesty program. But how is it different from an amnesty program?
AGUIRRE: Well, an amnesty program, if you think back to the last time we had an amnesty during President Reagan's term, gave people the opportunity to remain in this country as permanent residents and put them on track to citizenship.
The president has said that that's exactly not what he wants. What he wants to do is, he wants to recognize that we have eight million people in this country that are not documented, that need to be accounted for. Many of them are working productively. And we have to bring them into the mainstream and give them a temporary worker program. They are not going to be put on a track towards citizenship.
They're not going to be put on a track towards permanency. That's what an amnesty would have provided. ZAHN: But, as you know, sir, there has been a great deal of skepticism expressed from some Hispanic groups in the country today, and particularly from the National Council of La Raza, who said this: "We feel that this is political positioning. And we really want to see some sincere policy outcomes and see something that really helps the immigrant community and not just the Bush campaign."
Is this just a reelection ploy for the president?
AGUIRRE: I think what it is, is actually political courage.
I think the president has come out at the beginning of 2004 and put on the table an issue that is very controversial, is very polarized, and it requires a lot of debate. I think the president has demonstrated courage politically by putting this on the table and encouraging the Congress to deal with the issue and to create political dialogue and let the chips fall where they may. At least the president is stating a position. And let the Congress deal with it, pro or con.
ZAHN: Well, it looks like the president has some work to do, particularly from some members of the more conservative wing of his party.
Here's what Colorado Representative Tom Tancredo had to say -- quote -- "I believe there is demand for workers in this country, for jobs that Americans won't take for the amount of money someone is willing to pay them. That is the part that never gets added onto this particular response. Oh, yes, yes, yes, there are a lot of people who won't do the work. Well, right, for somebody is willing to pay. So you import cheap labor."
Is this a way to dodge paying decent wages?
I think what we're talking about, I think what the president is proposing is that, as these workers are legalized, they're going to be afforded the opportunity to not be exploited, so that, if they are being unfairly treated, they have the capacity to complain and they have the capacity to come towards the authorities and determine that there are all fair practices in place.
What it does do for me, Paula, as a member of Homeland Security, is, it would give me the opportunity to know who is in this country now illegally, hopefully in the future legally, and it would reduce the universe of unknowns that we have as we protect the homeland.
ZAHN: The president took some hits from all sides today. Here's what presidential candidate John Edwards had to say about the plan. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN EDWARDS (D-NC), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The problem is, there are still not going to be enough green cards available. And we're going to continue to have a group of second-class citizens in America. This is not real immigration reform, which is what the country needs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: Do you wish the plan had gone further?
AGUIRRE: Well, I think, if we're going to talk about the glass, whether it's half full or half empty, that's part of the debate that I think the president has put forth. Now the dialogue begins. And I think now the Congress takes up the banner and decides what to do.
ZAHN: What do you say to people who say this certainly leaves the perception that you are rewarding people who are breaking the law?
I don't know that we're rewarding anybody. I think what we're doing is, we're getting our head out of the sand and recognizing that there are indeed eight million people in this country that are unaccounted for. Now, we know that they're here. I just can't tell you who they are, where they live, or exactly where they work, because they're undocumented.
We want to document them. We want to have a more secure environment. We actually want to also recognize that they're working here. So they're earning a salary. They're paying taxes in many regards. They're paying sales taxes. They're paying property taxes, many times through rent. They're part of the economy. So let's recognize them, and let's deal with them in a legal fashion. Take them out of the shadows, where they are right now and put them in the broad daylight.
ZAHN: Eduardo Aguirre Jr., thank you so much for your time tonight, from the Department of Homeland Security.
AGUIRRE: Thank you for the opportunity.
ZAHN: An exclusive ahead, as we move onto politics. "The New Republic" will announce its Democratic presidential endorsement right here.
Also, the war on terror. Could Syria's leader find his country next on the list?
And reality TV a la Donald trump. The real estate mogul will join us live as he launches his new reality show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: States like these and their terrorist allies constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world by seeking weapons of mass destruction. These regimes pose a grave and growing danger. (END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: President Bush two years ago naming Iran, Iraq, and North Korea as the world's top evildoers. Saddam Hussein, of course, is out of the picture. Iran and North Korea are now cooperating, to some extent. So, which countries could be next on the U.S. list of global threats?
Joining us now from Washington, Robin Wright, who specializes in foreign policy reporting for "The Washington Post," and "Newsweek" correspondent Michael Hirsh, who's also the author of "At War With Ourselves: Why America is Squandering Its Chance to Build a Better World."
Welcome to both of you.
ROBIN WRIGHT, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Nice to be with you.
MICHAEL HIRSH, "NEWSWEEK": Thank you, Paula.
ZAHN: Robin, I'm going to start with you this evening.
We've gone to war in Afghanistan. We've invaded Iraq. Where do you think the next biggest potential trouble spot is?
WRIGHT: Well, I actually think that, after launching three wars, the third one being the broader global war on terrorism, that the Bush administration is really going to focus on this fourth year of the presidential term on waging peace, that we are not likely to see any new military interventions, any major new military or diplomatic offensives over the next year.
There's just too much to be done to prove that the initiatives taken during the president's term have been worth the enormous human and financial cost. But that doesn't mean that there aren't a lot of issues that still loom out there. The Iranian nuclear issue still has to be proven, that Iran will comply. And North Korea hasn't been solved. So, the two other axis of evil countries, as President Bush called them, have not been fully removed from the list.
ZAHN: And, Michael, what about Pakistan? Is there an answer there?
HIRSH: Well, it's getting more and more difficult to deal with Pakistan, which, ostensibly, is one of our chief allies.
At least President Pervez Musharraf is, but because his society is somewhat out of his control, we're finding that Pakistan is both a hiding place for Taliban, even possibly some al Qaeda -- in fact, Taliban are walking freely around Pakistani cities today. And we're also discovering, particularly in recent weeks, with regard to the Iranian and the Libyan nuclear programs, that Pakistan is a key proliferator, that the father of Pakistan's nuclear program is the sort of Johnny Appleseed of nuclear centrifuges, as one official described him to me.
ZAHN: And, Robin, what about Syria?
WRIGHT: Well, Syria clearly is playing the role of spoiler in the Middle East peace process and also to some degree on Iraq.
There are a lot of issues that the United States has with Syria. But, as a next threat, it's not looming out there. It's a country with whom, of all the seven nations on the terrorist list maintained by the State Department with which we have diplomatic relations. But Pakistan, as Michael points out, is clearly the most dangerous country in the world today.
And that's one that is going to get even more attention from the United States after assassination attempts against President Musharraf and the fact that he's unable to control so many sections of his own country.
ZAHN: Michael, a little bit earlier on, Robin made a glancing reference to some of the chief concerns we now have in Iran, when it comes to nuclear compliance, and Iraq, and, in addition to that, North Korea. Do you see us ever not worrying about them as the axis of evil?
HIRSH: Well, I think that -- look, the axis of evil was always kind of a phrase. It certainly didn't resonate with our European allies or those around the world.
Certainly, no one mistook the axis of evil for the axis powers of World War II, for example, in terms of a consensus on taking them on. And, as Robin pointed out, there is some compliance by Iran on the question of nuclear proliferation anyway. There's a much bigger problem right now with Iran acting as a conduit for terrorists passing between Central and South Asia, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and Iraq and Turkey.
But there is some hope that the Iranians can be brought around. And the North Koreans have seemed to soften somewhat against a very multilateral effort, led by the United States. So, I think there clearly is a sense that the axis of evil was never an axis to begin with and has now become a lot easier to deal with.
ZAHN: Michael Hirsh, Robin Wright, thank you for both of your perspectives this evening.
WRIGHT: Thank you.
ZAHN: The next time your child misbehaves in school, will he or she be arrested instead of sent to the principal's office? We're going to look into reports that that is happening more and more often these days across the country.
Also, a look ahead at tomorrow's hearing in the Scott Peterson case, whether the trial should be moved out of Modesto.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ZAHN: Welcome back.
It used to be that, when kids acted up in school, they wound up in the principal's office. Well, times have changed. In Ohio this fall, a 14-year-old girl who broke the dress code and refused to cover up was arrested, charged with a misdemeanor, and locked up for several hours. Increasingly, it seems, school systems are sending their disruptive students straight into the juvenile court system.
With me now from Philadelphia is Marsha Levick. She is the legal director of the Juvenile Law Center there. And from Washington, D.C. tonight, we're joined by radio talk show host Armstrong Williams.
Welcome to both of you.
So, Marsha, tell us tonight why cracking down on these kids, while these kids might have done nothing criminal, but certainly something disruptive in the classroom, is such a bad idea.
MARSHA LEVICK, PHILADELPHIA JUVENILE LAW CENTER: Well, it's not a bad idea to respond to any and all misbehavior that kids do in the classroom.
The challenge, I think, for us as adults and as teachers and administrators and law enforcement officials and judges is to respond promptly, but also to respond appropriately and to respond proportionately.
ZAHN: What if these kids don't get the message?
LEVICK: Well, we don't -- you can't expect a child to get a message that makes a lot of sense to her if she's led out of school in handcuffs for dressing inappropriately.
Serious school misconduct should be treated seriously and it should have serious consequences. Trivial misconduct should not be treated in a serious way. And conduct that is somewhere in between, again, needs to be considered in a thoughtful way that deals with the conduct that is respective of the context, of the age of the child, of the circumstances in which it occurred. But not every kind of misconduct needs to be treated as an arrest.
ZAHN: Armstrong, let's talk about context here for a moment. Would you acknowledge that a child who brings a knife to school or any kind of weapon should be handled differently than a teenage girl who dresses inappropriately at school?
ARMSTRONG WILLIAMS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, you know, the sadness of it is that it's all connected. You know...
ZAHN: But what's the answer to that question? Should those be treated in the same way?
WILLIAMS: Very similarly, in my opinion.
ZAHN: Why? WILLIAMS: Look, the girl's mother and the school asked her to put on a shirt, to obey the school guidelines. She refused to. She was very disrespectful to her mother. And so it's that kind of behavior. It starts there.
ZAHN: So she deserved to be handcuffed and thrown in the slammer for a little while?
WILLIAMS: Listen, obviously, the mother can't raise her. The school's job is not to raise her. They're there to teach. You've got to set an example and you've got to draw the line.
You know it must have taken a lot, even for the school, Paula, to get to the point where they need to handcuff these kids and treat them like criminals to make an example that their behavior will not be tolerated. This is where we are. It's easy for us to sit here and talk and second-guess what they're doing in schools. But we're not in these schools every day, like a lot of these teachers, these principals and dealing with these unruly kids who use profanity.
Sometimes, they attack these administrators. They're unruly in the classroom. The classroom is a place to learn and to respect learning. It is not happening.
ZAHN: All right, but, in all due respect to what you're saying, Armstrong, there should be no proportionality here to how you address these issues? It's all the same?
WILLIAMS: Paula, they've tried it. It has not worked.
That's why it's gotten to the point where they said, listen, enough is enough. If it takes us putting these kids in handcuffs, this is what we're going to have to do to get their attention and make these schools better, so kids can learn and have an opportunity towards the future.
ZAHN: Marsha, what do you think the solution is, short of handcuffing these kids?
LEVICK: Well, there are all kinds of responses that schools can engage in.
This situation can be dealt with through an in-school detention. It can be dealt with through suspension. It can be dealt with through expulsion. Armstrong is simply incorrect to say that the schools have tried this. We went from a situation in this country where we essentially did traditionally view these matters as subjects for school discipline to suddenly arresting anybody and everybody.
I represent an 8-year-old who has been charged with disorderly conduct in Northeastern Pennsylvania because the teacher essentially didn't like the way he raised his hand to go to the bathroom. That's a ridiculous lesson to be teaching to any kind child of any age. We are not teaching respect for authority. We are actually teaching our children that we as adults are not particularly wise in the way in which we exercise our judgments.
WILLIAMS: If I could say one thing...
ZAHN: Going to have to say it quickly here.
WILLIAMS: ... when I was coming along as a child in South Carolina, we got our butts whipped. The parents can't whip the kids. They call it child abuse. The schools can't discipline them. They call it something else.
So what is left? This is where we are now, almost 20 or 30 years left. What they really need is a good old kick in the butt. And it's called tough love, but they can't do that anymore. And it's left to these administrators and these schools to come up with some kind of solution after they have exhausted every kind of remedy that has not worked, the kinds of things that Marsha just spoke about. And this is where we are.
ZAHN: All right, you've raised some interesting issues, both of you, as we continue to debate these zero-tolerance policies.
Marsha Levick, Armstrong Williams, thank you.
WILLIAMS: Thank you.
LEVICK: Thank you.
ZAHN: And we're going to move on to presidential politics and an exclusive, as the editor of "The New Republic" joins us live to reveal which Democratic presidential candidate will get the magazine's endorsement.
Also, Donald Trump joins us, as he prepares to launch his own version of reality TV.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, DEVELOPER/BUSINESSMAN: They thought it was going to be easy. And it's a tough city and it shows how tough. One of the reasons I loved it, it shows the toughness of business in New York. And that's why I like the concept.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: And tomorrow, columnist George Will will tell us about what he thinks of Pete Rose and his admission about gambling just the debate over baseball's Hall of Fame.
We'll be right back.
ZAHN: Welcome back. Here are some of the headlines you need to know right now. Here at the bottom of the hour, airports closed, schools are shut down, the highways almost impassable in parts of western Washington And Oregon. Areas along the coast receive between three and 11 inches of snow so far and freezing rain has made most travel difficult at best.
The doctor who treated former Beatle George Harrison for cancer is in his final days -- that is, when George Harrison was in his final days -- is now being sued by Harrison's Estate. The suit alleges that Dr. Gilbert Lederman broke confidential agreements with the star and also got him to autograph guitars for his children shortly before he died.
Moving on to politics now with the first primary contest coming up in Iowa and New Hampshire, Howard Dean's past is under close examination for clues about what kind of leader the former Vermont governor has been and might end up being.
Correspondent Kelly Wallace takes a look.
KELLY WALLACE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is Howard Dean country, Burlington, Vermont, where they call the Democratic frontrunner by his first name. And people here say their Howard is not the same man gracing America's front pages.
PETER FREYNE, POLITICAL COLUMNIST, "VERMONT ALTERNATE WEEKLY": When I see the magazine covers about the angry man, we didn't see much of that anger. He is a New Yorker. He has a sharp tongue. He can be very effective and strategic and pinpoint his remarks.
WALLACE: Angry, no. Intense, yes. Those who tangled with him say. Case in point -- back in 2002, when cameras caught the then governor dressing down a top Republican.
GOV. HOWARD DEAN (D), VERMONT: You had your chance.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're running for president and haven't been around.
DEAN: You're running for senator and you have a lot of trouble getting reelected.
WALLACE: Yet in the state house, even Republicans are not likely to criticize him.
SEN. VINCE ILUZZI (R), VERMONT LEGISLATURE: People understood that they could respectfully disagree, agree to disagree, but to say that they walked away saying I don't like Howard or I hate Howard Dean or he's a left-wing nut that you can't reason with, you're not going to find that in Vermont.
WALLACE: Misperception number two, those who know him well say Governor Howard Dean was no left wing liberal.
FREYNE: We all laugh at that. Howard Dean represented the Republican wing of the Democratic party. Some even thought it was the Republican wing of the Republican party at first.
WALLACE: In fact, his biggest critics during his 11-year tenure were not Republicans but left leaning Democrats who sometimes found him too conservative, like Democrat Francis Brooks.
REP. FRANCIS BROOKS (D), VERMONT LEGISLATURE: There were times when leaving his office, we were along ways from agreement.
WALLACE (on camera): Howard Dean is popular here. He was elected to five consecutive two-year terms as governor. His biggest political test perhaps, coming on an issue which thrust this tiny state onto the national stage.
(voice-over): That was in 2000, when Howard Dean reluctantly signed a law legalizing gay civil unions.
ILUZZI: The governor said very clearly there are times in politics where you have to do the right thing, even though you're sometimes ahead of where people are at. This is the right thing to do.
WALLACE: People here now wait to see if that record and no nonsense leadership style can sell outside Vermont.
Kelly Wallace, CNN, Burlington.
ZAHN: Well, Howard Dean has gotten some newsworthy endorsements lately. Let's see if he gets one more tonight. "The New Republic" magazine is about to reveal its endorsement for the Democratic nomination exclusively right here, right now.
Peter Beinart, editor of "The New Republic," is in our Washington bureau. Good evening.
PETER BEINART, EDITOR, "THE NEW REPUBLIC: Good evening.
ZAHN: All right. We're going to suspend the suspense a little while longer.
First of all, how did you arrive at your decision?
BEINART: It was a vigorous internal debate within the magazine. In fact, in this issue of the magazine we're publishing, four dissents in favor of other candidates. At the end of the day, as the editor in consultation, I made this decision feeling it was our responsibility to take a side.
ZAHN: That's a nice way of saying, you're the big cheese. You ultimately sign off on the decision.
BEINART: After listening to a lot of people.
ZAHN: And I'm sure you listened to everything they had to say.
Peter, you kept us in suspense long enough.
Who is the magazine's choice?
BEINART: We decided to endorse for the Democratic nomination Joe Lieberman.
ZAHN: And why do you think he's the best choice?
BEINART: We think for the Democratic party after September 11 the critical issue is deserving the trust of the American people on national security and winning back that trust. And it seems to us that Joe Lieberman, who has a record of supporting the first Gulf War, being very vigorous in wanting America to fight against Slobodan Milosevic and defend people in the former Yugoslavia. Who's been I think courageous on Iraq, say that we need more troops there, something which most politicians, Democrat and Republican, don't have the courage to say. But those are the right kind of principles for a Democratic party that needs to convince America that it will be strong enough to protect us in this dangerous time.
ZAHN: Peter, you might think those are the right kinds of principles, but based on the internal tracking polls you've seen and the rest of the polling is there anything that would suggest that has resonance with the voters at this hour?
BEINART: Right now, Lieberman is trailing the pack, and that's lieutenant absolutely true. One of the luxuries of being an opinion magazine is you can say what you believe is right and who you think is the best. And you don't have to worry about the polls. Many other people do in the campaigns. We use this as an opportunity to say what we believe the Democratic party, a party which we care about very much, what we believe it should stand for. So, for us, those things are secondary.
ZAHN: Time to add in frequent contributor and political analyst Joe Klein into the mix.
Now, I don't want you know -- competitive news magazine here, but does this endorsement mean anything?
JOE KLEIN, POLITICAL ANALYST: I am not going to and I can't because I'm an infrequent contributor to "The New Republic," and I can't -- you know, I have a slight conflict of interest here.
ZAHN: So gracious here this evening.
KLEIN: No. It's a slight conflict. I have to at least admit to it.
ZAHN: Did they pick the right guy?
KLEIN: For them, yes. "The New Republic" represents the moderate center, sane, part of the Democratic party. A wing of the party that is totally in eclipse this year, unfortunately.
ZAHN: Is Joe Lieberman electable? KLEIN: Yes, absolutely electable. I don't know whether he's able to get the nomination, though, which is a different thing entirely. Because in fact he could make the argument that he's more electable than a lot of these more extreme candidates who are getting so much play.
ZAHN: But pundits out there -- and you're not among them -- have pretty much said that he's out of this race. In a month or so.
KLEIN: I've pretty much said that I don't think he's going to be able to get the nomination, but I've said it in sadness because he is running an entirely honorable campaign. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that, among the Democrats who are in favor of the war, he was the only one who actually really believed it. He really was in favor of the war because he really is a hawk overseas. Now, and that stands him in bad stead with the vast majority of the Democratic party this year.
ZAHN: We're going to take a look at a portion of the editorial that was written. It says "The problem with Dean's vision of the Democratic party is more than electoral, it's intellectual and moral. And a candidate who offers the clearest, bravest alternative is Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman."
Once again, back to the question of electability, Peter Beinart, what do you see in the tea leaves?
BEINART: We think in a general election Joe Lieberman would be a very strong candidate because he has a clear and honorable record on national security, a record of being willing to defend America, a record of being willing to defend America's principles abroad. In the general election -- for the nomination, we certainly don't know yet. It remains to be seen. But again, an endorsement is a statement of principle. It's a statement of what you believe. It's a debate about the Democratic party that has gone on for a long time and will continue for a long time. It's a vehicle for us to say what we believe the party should stand for.
ZAHN: All right, lets come back to issue of what happens now -- between now and nomination time. We know that Joe Lieberman pretty much opted out of Iowa. He didn't want to spend a lot of resources there. But in New Hampshire, polls would show that Wesley Clark is gaining some traction there.
Can he hang on if he doesn't do well in New Hampshire?
KLEIN: Clark or...
ZAHN: The other guy, Mr. Lieberman.
KLEIN: Mr. Lieberman, probably not. He's got to show something in New Hampshire because Clark is moving up it appears. And Clark has a lot of money and Lieberman doesn't at this point. I would be kind of curious to ask Peter whether there was any consideration given to pragmatism in this case. You had a couple of other Democratic candidates who kind of stand in a moderate, "New Republic" sort of way, like John Edwards, John Kerry.
Were the dissents in their favor?
BEINART: There was a dissent for John Edwards, who we think has had a very compelling economic critique of the Bush administration that we've been very favorably impressed by. A piece supporting Wesley Clark, who was very courageous in Kosovo, in stopping the genocide there. and even a piece in favor of Howard Dean, who we think had an excellent record as governor of Vermont, but who we've been concerned about his national security statements during his campaign. So there certainly was. But, again, Joe Lieberman is the candidate who has the most consistent, courageous record, often in a small minority in the Democratic party. The only northern Democrat to support the Gulf War, for instance. The co-sponsor of the Iraq liberation act in 1988, committing the Democratic -- some elements of the Democratic party to Saddam's overthrow. And those are things that in the end carry the day.
ZAHN: Joe Klein, Peter Beinart, we're going to look forward to spending the entire campaign with you gentlemen.
And we're going to get reaction from the candidate himself as Senator Joe Lieberman will join us live after this break.
Also, if Scott Peterson can't get a fair trial in Modesto, would Los Angeles be better?
We are going to ask legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin as the judge prepares for the change of venue hearing tomorrow.
And then the Donald: Donald Trump will tell us about his new venture on reality TV.
ZAHN: Welcome back. As you just heard, "The New Republic" magazine just announced its backing for Senator Joseph Lieberman for the Democratic presidential nomination. Joining us now on the phone from Derry, New Hampshire is Senator Lieberman himself. Welcome, sir. Thanks for joining us tonight.
SEN. JOE LIEBERMAN, (D-CT) CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: Delighted to, Paula. Thank you.
ZAHN: First of all, congratulations, Senator. Is this honor enough to give you any boost there in New Hampshire?
LIEBERMAN: I really think it will. I am honored, I'm grateful, and I'm excited about it, because I think this may be the first endorsement by a national publication of a candidate this year, but also I'm honored because of all that "The New Republic" represents and has represented in American political life for a long time.
I mean, I've been saying I'm the mainstream alternative here to George Bush on one side and Howard Dean on the other. And that there is a different way, a better way, and I would show that you could be socially progressive at home and creative with new ideas, but also strong on security. And I haven't seen the endorsement, but to me, that's what "The New Republic" represents. I'm real grateful for it.
ZAHN: But sir, the polls would suggest, and other information, that Wesley Clark now is emerging as an alternative Howard Dean. What's going on there? Why do you think that is?
LIEBERMAN: Well, I think what's going on is that this is a very fluid race. I think Howard Dean surged out in front for a while. People are taking a second look at him. Democrats and independents worried about some of the positions he's taken that seem very inconsistent and wrong and worried about whether he has a chance to beat George Bush. I think there's going to be a second look at Wes Clark too.
ZAHN: What are voters going to see upon a second look? When it comes to the issue of national security, there are a lot of people there who think that New Hampshire voters really think that his general credentials give him great heft and great credibility on the issue of national security, which is one of your key issues as well.
LIEBERMAN: Yes indeed. And here's where I'd say that, of course, I respect Wes Clark's military service to our country. But you know, I've been at this for a long time, 30 years. I've got a record on social progress and national security.
I took some risks in this campaign and before in supporting the kind of muscular internationalism in the Gulf and against Saddam Hussein that "The New Republic" has stood for.
And Wes Clark on the war has basically taken six different positions. Finally ending up saying he would have opposed the war, and that means that, if he had his way, Saddam Hussein would still be in power and not in prison. And I think America and the world, certainly the Iraqi people, would be a lot less safe.
So these are issues that we're going to focus on in the next three weeks. Bottom line, as I go around New Hampshire -- and I just came from a house party in Wyndham, and I'm heading into a town hall meeting in Derry, people are truly undecided. I actually believe that an endorsement like "The New Republics" and probably the newspaper endorsements up here will have an effect on how people decide to vote. This is a truly undecided race.
ZAHN: Real quick, yes or no. Can you survive this campaign if you don't do well in New Hampshire?
LIEBERMAN: Well, I'm going to do better than expected. And that's going to be enough to move on to the states south and west a week later. I'm really confident. And "The New Republic" endorsement just bolsters that confidence. I'm saying what I believe is right for the country, and you never can lose if you do that.
ZAHN: Well, I hope you have a subscription to "The New Republic" if you don't already.
LIEBERMAN: I do indeed. I'll be buying all the members of my family and friends one.
ZAHN: I assume, yes. Holiday gifts have already been ordered. Senator Joseph Lieberman, thank you.
LIEBERMAN: Thanks, Paula. Bye-bye.
ZAHN: Action due tomorrow on the Scott Peterson case as his lawyers try to move the trial. Legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin will bring us up to date.
And the new entry into the reality TV sweepstakes. It resolves around the Donalds: Donald Trump. You probably know him. He'll join us to tell us more.
ZAHN: Tomorrow a judge in Modesto, California opens a hearing into whether Scott Peterson can get a fair trial there. Peterson, as you recall, is charged with murdering his wife Laci and their unborn son. Peterson's lawyer wants the trial moved.
Prosecutors say worldwide publicity makes that pointless. Joining us to talk about that and news on the Enron front, our senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin. Good evening.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Good evening.
ZAHN: So, what happens in court tomorrow? What are the arguments we're going to hear?
TOOBIN: This is the best change of venue motion I've ever seen.
TOOBIN: Because not only was there a tremendous amount of publicity, it was so concentrated in Modesto, in Stanislaus County. This was a community project to look for Laci Peterson. Hundreds of people in this not very big city, you know, tromp through fields looking for Laci Peterson for months. And the rage at Scott Peterson is really intense.
ZAHN: All you have to do is look at these numbers. That poll done in one of the local newspaper says anywhere from 39 to 59 percent of residents in Stanislaus County believe that Scott Peterson killed Laci Peterson.
TOOBIN: Is already -- believe already without any presentation of evidence. And that's a lot of people.
ZAHN: No gray area.
TOOBIN: That's a given.
Plus, this is a death penalty case. And in a death penalty case, procedurally, you've got to give the defendant the benefit of the doubt. ZAHN: Do you think Scott Peterson will get a change of venue?
TOOBIN: I do. I really do. The prosecution has an interesting argument. They say, look, Mark Geragos has been holding press conferences, floating goofy theories about Satanic cults. Scott has given interviews. That's like -- so he's generated a lot of the publicity that they're not complaining about. But I don't really buy that.
ZAHN: Help me understand then why L.A. residents would be any more empathetic to him. I mean, there is, after all, this lingering horrific image of a pregnant woman whose life was cut horribly short.
TOOBIN: Because this case is not the focus of attention in L.A. the way it is in Modesto. A lot of time will have passed by the time this goes to trial. People's memories will have faded. I don't think that L.A. will have nearly the problem with biased jurors that Stanislaus will.
ZAHN: So, let's move on to Enron. A lot of developments on that front today. What do we need to know?
TOOBIN: Big, big important developments. It looks like a plea bargain may be in the works for Andrew Fastow and his wife. Andrew Fastow was the chief financial officer. He is the key link to Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling, the top people at Enron. If those people are going to be prosecuted, prosecutors need a deal with Andrew Fastow. They're close.
ZAHN: Does Fastow want a deal.
TOOBIN: Apparently, a deal is in the works, and that is very bad news for Skilling and Lay.
ZAHN: So what, it's the domino theory?
TOOBIN: That's right. People flipping up the line. This would be a tremendous victory for prosecutors and a real chance to get all the way to the top in this case. Which has not been -- they haven't gotten so far.
ZAHN: Jeffrey toobin, thanks. Appreciate it.
TOOBIN: Good to see you.
ZAHN: What would you do for a chance to be Donald Trump's protoge? That is the prize in Donald Trump's new reality TV show debutting tomorrow night. He'll join us next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, REAL ESTATE TYCOON: We have Harvard people, we have a Harvard MBA. But we also have people right off the street. And the people right off the street, they're brilliant.
(COMMERCIAL BREA) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We've got 16 people. Each week I give them a task. It's a business task and a tough one. We're going to find out who's going to be the smartest, who's the most streetwise, and who can make money.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: This is the open for a new reality TV show called "The Apprentice," where Donald Trump teaches the art of the deal to 16 contestants. The winner gets to be Mr. Trump's right hand man or woman for a year. Donald Trump joins us now along with producer Mark Burnette, creator of "The Apprentice," which debuts tomorrow night on NBC. Good to see all of you.
TRUMP: How are you?
ZAHN: I'm fine, thanks.
Why a reality show?
TRUMP: Well, Mark came to me and all of the networks actually came to me and they wanted me to do a reality show, for whatever reason, I can't tell you. But they wanted -- and Mark's idea of "The Apprentice" just hit me right. I turned everyone down and we've turned them down very solidly, but Mark had this concept of "The Apprentice."
215,000 people applied, which is the most in the history of television for applications to a show. We chose 16. Their people chose 16, and now I cut the 16 down to 1. And they're brilliant people, but they get eaten alive by the city of New York. It's tough. It's a tough deal.
ZAHN: If you get eaten by Donald Trump or the city of New York?
MARK BURNETT, CREATOR "THE APPRENTICE": I think both. These are really smart people, Paula. I mean, half of them have Harvard MBAs and the other half have high school diplomas only. And Donald sends them out week into Manhattan to start a weekly business. And those who do badly have to come to his board room and face the Donald, and he'll fire whoever did the worst each week.
ZAHN: So is surviving Donald's board room harder than surviving on a desert island?
BURNETT: They're both hard, but it's way more intimidating to face the Donald across that board room when he's going to tell somebody you're fired.
ZAHN: The greatest thing I ever read about you is you know something will get done when you nod. So when you nod and it doesn't get done, what happens to these guys?
TRUMP: It just gets done. They went through a tough period of time. They all came in the limos and they left in the taxies. It was a pretty rough period of time for them.
One of the reasons I loved it, it shows the toughness of business in New York. And that's why I liked the concept so much.
ZAHN: And it's a complete maritocracy in the show, right? You treat the women in just a tough way as the men?
TRUMP: Everyone's treated -- and we have a breakup. We have women versus men, and we also have geniuses from Harvard and Doctors and everything else and probably the age is about 20 to 31. So they're all relatively young. We have Harvard people. We have a Harvard MBA. But we also have people right off the street. And the people right off the street, they're brilliant, and they do very well, I would say, wouldn't you?
ZAHN: Let's go back to the women for a moment. Because "TIME" magazine calls them, either the hottest women in your office hot to super model hot, and they say that there is more leg and naval flashed in most staff meetings outside of Hooters.
TRUMP: And they know how to use their looks. Many of the women are very beautiful, super model beautiful but they have 200 IQs, which is rather rare.
ZAHN: Do they flirt with you?
TRUMP: I haven't noticed it.
ZAHN: You haven't noticed it? Give me a break.
TRUMP: Maybe I'm so busy trying to evaluate that I didn't notice. But they really are. They're beautiful woman, and they know how to use their beauty.
ZAHN: If you haven't noticed them flirting with you, did any of them hit on you overtly during the show?
TRUMP: The show is not over yet. Maybe I'll be lucky. I don't know.
BURNETT: The interesting thing, you're going to see a very different side of Donald Trump. This is Donald in his element in the board room, and he absolutely is worried about results. And no matter even if you're the most beautiful person in the world, he's going to fire you if you screw up.
ZAHN: Now come clean here, if you weren't doing a reality TV show, would you really hire any of these folks that we see?
TRUMP: Any one of them. They're brilliant. 215,000 people, this is the top 16, and it was based really -- I mean, we have some beauties, but it was based on the brain. They're really brilliant people.
And I think that's the big difference between this show and all the other shows. I mean, if I've seen criticism of reality shows, you know what it is, they're dumb. They're not smart. Of course, other than "Survivor," which is very brilliant, mark. These people are totally brilliant people. It's going to be very interesting.
ZAHN: Is your girlfriend, Milania (ph) fine with everything that takes place on this show?
TRUMP: Milania (ph) is great. She's very secure, she's very beautiful also. And she's great. She hasn't complained.
ZAHN: When you look at your life, you're a billionaire, you have a book and a TV show and probably a movie in development we don't know about. When is enough enough?
TRUMP: I really did this -- a lot of reasons. I did it because it shows the toughness of New York, the toughness of business, both of which I love. I love business. I love New York. It's been fun.
And I did it because of this guy. He's a great salesman. He told me it would take three hours a week. So far, it's been about 30 hours a week. And I'm building 11 buildings in Manhattan. So it's not the greatest thing in the world. I look forward to getting back to work very quickly.
ZAHN: You know what else I learned about you. You actually have an adjective that's assigned to your name. Trumpalacious. Do you have any idea what that means?
TRUMP: That one I haven't. I mean, the interesting thing is I was walking over, because we're not so far apart as you know. And everyone The terrific thing is I was walking over, because we're not so far apart, you know, everyone on the street is saying, Donald, you're fired. And they're all pointing at me saying, you're fired.
So that seems to be a little bit of a code word for this show, because ultimately that's what I do. Ultimately, I fire somebody every week. And sometimes not -- I didn't try and do this, but sometimes it's really a vicious deal. They did wacko, they go crazy.
BURNETT: And many times Donald was struggling with it and felt quite emotional. He wasn't sure who to fire. They all did a great job. He had to fire somebody. And he felt bad.
ZAHN: I suppose he probably fired the average guy instead of the beautiful bodacious woman.
BURNETT: Donald made his own decisions all the time, and he was really, really fair, and a number of times he said, wow, that was tough.
ZAHN: We'll be looking for that level playing field tomorrow night.
TRUMP: It really is level. It's tough, but it's level.
ZAHN: Great to see you. Good look with the series. This was trumpalacious. BURNETT: That's very interesting.
ZAHN: Donald Trump, Mark Burnett, thanks for you time tonight.
And we thank you all for being with us. "LARRY KING LIVE" is next. Good of you all to drop by. See you again tomorrow night.
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