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Interview With Ralph Nader; President Bush Fights Back

Aired February 23, 2004 - 20:00   ET


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. Welcome. I'm Paula Zahn.
The world, the news, the names, the faces, and where we go from here on this Monday, February 23, 2004.


ZAHN (voice-over): "In Focus" tonight, the Nader effect, why so many are turning their back on him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But this is not about a movement. This is about his own ego. He would not run.

ZAHN: Ralph Nader answers his critics and me tonight.

Also, the start of our series "Intelligence Under Fire." Tonight, part one: the anatomy of an intelligence failure in Iraq.

And the need for speed. America's drivers, why going fast is not fast enough.


ZAHN: All that ahead, but, first, here's what you need to know right now.

After months of Democratic punches, President Bush is fighting back and fighting hard to stay another term in the White House. He just gave his first highly political campaign speech this election year.

Senior White House correspondent John King is standing by live with details -- hi, John.


Still more than eight months to Election Day, but the president turning the page, if you will, tonight, delivering and just finishing what has been his most partisan speech of the campaign so far, his most direct attacks and direct rebuttal of the Democratic arguments, including in this speech tonight the president's first direct criticism of the Democratic front-runner, John Kerry.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The candidates are an interesting group with diverse opinions, for tax cuts and against them, for NAFTA and against NAFTA, for the Patriot Act and against the Patriot Act, in favor of liberating Iraq and opposed to it. And that's just one senator from Massachusetts.



KING: The president said the Democratic candidates wanted to raise taxes, while he would cut taxes. The president said that is critical to keeping the economy going. The president also said the Democrats want to go to the United Nations for approval before any time the United States goes to war. The president said he would not -- quote -- "outsource" vital decisions about national security.

Paula, this speech tonight part of an effort by the Bush campaign to get more aggressive. Then, next Thursday, just two days after the big Super Tuesday primaries, the president will launch his first TV ads of the new campaign. By then, the White House believes John Kerry will, without a doubt, be the Democratic nominee for president. So a partisan speech from the Pentagon tonight, but also one Republican footnote.

Some Republicans have been raising questions privately about whether Dick Cheney might be a liability to the ticket, the president trying to shut that talk down tonight, Paula, saying they don't come any better and that he was proud to stand with Dick Cheney four years ago and again this year -- Paula.

ZAHN: All right, thanks so much, John King, reporting from the White House for us tonight.

"In Focus" tonight, Ralph Nader's new run for the presidency. Gadfly, spoiler, egotist, just a few of the words being hurled at him, even by some admirers, now that he's made his decision. His critics are seething, but Nader is telling he will help defeat President Bush.

I asked him if he really believes he has a chance of becoming president.



Obviously, when you run for president, you can maybe reach 2 percent of the people directly with big rallies and so forth. But, most of the time you run, you're through the media. And if the media cooperates, it can catch on. You know, serendipity can occur, three- way race, like Governor Ventura. He got on 10 debates. If I can get on the presidential debates -- he had public financing. He had same- day voter registration. We don't have that in many states.

But you got to keep trying and you got to build for the future a progressive political base that really means what it says about government of, by and for the people, instead of, of, by and for big business, which is what's dominating one agency and one department after another here, not to mention many offices on Capitol Hill.

ZAHN: But you're really telling me tonight, in spite of the head-start George Bush has and John Kerry and John Edwards and the other Democratic candidates, you have a realistic shot of becoming president?

NADER: No, not a realistic, but I'm just saying, keep options open.

In the meantime, we're going to pay a lot of attention to a lot of problems in this country for which there are solutions that the two parties may not emphasize or that Democrats may not emphasize as much as they can. You know, it isn't like this country has too much political and civic energies, Paula. We need more voices and more choices.

ZAHN: DNC officials are telling us that you have promised not to attack the Democratic candidates. Is that true?

NADER: I said I'm going to focus on the Bush regime. And if the Democrats criticize our candidacy, I'll have to respond. But I'm certainly not going to go out of the way. I think John Kerry and John Edwards are well-intentioned people.

ZAHN: Is it true, though, that you made an explicit promise to the DNC?

NADER: No. No.


ZAHN: That you would have hands-off the Democratic candidates? What is the agreement, then?


NADER: All I said to Terry McAuliffe is that the greatest focus is going to be on the incumbent, President Bush's rather awful record, and I'm not going to spend much time on the Democratic nominees.

ZAHN: You describe John Kerry and John Edwards as being pretty similar in your mind. If it came down to supporting one of them, would you rate one over the other?

NADER: Well, John Edwards is very good on keeping the courts open, civil justice. He's a trial lawyer. He knows how important that it is to defrauded consumers and wrongfully injured Americans. I wish John Kerry was as strong as John Edwards.

On the other hand, John Kerry has this military record, which, in this current atmosphere, is a real plus for a Democratic nominee. I think both of them would be much better in direct proportions to the articulate organized citizenry that would make them better, unlike Bush, who's really a big corporation disguised as a human being residing in the White House.

ZAHN: What if you determine your spillover vote will, in fact, hurt the ultimate nominee. Would you drop out?

NADER: That's a hypothetical which I'll answer later, if that should occur. But, as a principle, I don't believe in launching a 50- state campaign, encouraging all the kinds of volunteers that are coming in on our Web site,, and all the contributions, and then sorry in late October, I'm dropping out. That's just not trustworthy. And it's not a fiduciary responsibility for my voters.

And I think people who don't like this candidacy should think twice about denying millions of voters who might want to vote for me a chance to vote for me. I think that expresses disrespect for more than a few voters in our country.

MATTHEWS: Let me close with some of the reaction to your candidacy. Quote from Reverend Al Sharpton, "A vote for Nader will be a vote for Bush." And from the Republican governor of Minnesota, "Republicans love Ralph Nader."

What assurances can you give Democrats tonight that you're going to help them and not George Bush?

NADER: Just wait and see. Wait and see. Relax and rejoice. And, as far as Al Sharpton's concerned, a vote for Nader means a crackdown on the predators in the inner cities.

ZAHN: Ralph Nader, thanks so much for your time tonight. We'll be watching your campaign.

NADER: Thank you, Paula.


ZAHN: We turn now to three political insiders, from Republican pollster Bill McInturff in Oklahoma City, regular contributor and "TIME" magazine columnist Joe Klein, here with me in New York, and in Washington tonight, Peter Beinart, editor of "The New Republic."

Welcome, gentlemen.

Peter, I'm going to start off with you this evening. Since the year 2000, it appears as though a number of Democratic candidates have seized Ralph Nader's issues. Will his message have any resonance this time around?


I think you're absolutely right. The Democrats have seized his issues. On trade, the Democrats have moved closer to Nader. The anti-specialist rhetoric that you're hearing from both Edwards and Kerry, also a page from Nader. Campaign finance reform, one of Nader's big issues, John Kerry, very, very good on the environment, which is one of Nader's key issues.

I really think there is no rationale for Ralph Nader's candidacy here, and that is completely apparent to most Democrats, including most liberal Democrats. ZAHN: Bill, are you really excited that Ralph Nader is running? Do you think it helps the president?

BILL MCINTURFF, PUBLIC OPINION STRATEGIES: Oh, it might be some nominal help.

But, look, he's running as an independent, not as the Green Party. The Green Party has ballot access in lots of states. Independents don't. And with no money and no access to the ballot, I'm afraid that all of the talk about Ralph Nader impacting this election is a probable joke. It has no consequence one way or the other. But, to the extent that it does, it's still a plus for George Bush and the Republican Party.

ZAHN: Let's talk about what the president had to say this evening and what John King reported was sort of the opening salvo or most fiercely partisan speech so far of this campaign year. Did it work?

JOE KLEIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I think it did. I just finished watching it.

And this was as effective as I've seen the president in quite some time. It was very simple language. It was very partisan language, as John said. And the striking thing to me is that the compassionate part of compassionate conservatism isn't any place in this speech.

ZAHN: Where did it go?

KLEIN: Well, he's running as a supply-side, Jack Kemp, conservative Republican this time. And at least for the audience tonight, which was a Republican audience, it was very effective. Of course, no talk of deficits and no talk of the impact that his tax cuts have had on deficits.


ZAHN: And, Bill, I understand you just met with a number of the Republican governors. They can't be too crazy about the federal deficit that has been rung up here.

MCINTURFF: Well, the governors have their own budget troubles, and, yes, they're looking for more help from Washington.

But having met with the Republican governors, they are very enthusiastic, as are Republicans in general, about George Bush. This president, George Bush, has the strong support of his partisans of any president in the last 30 years, 65 percent strong support or higher with Republicans. He's got an incredibly strong base on which to run.

I will just say very quickly, for someone who's passed Medicare drug benefits for seniors, No Child Left Behind on education, there's plenty of things that the president is going to talk about that reflect compassionate conservatism, in terms of what that means in terms of what we've done in this administration. ZAHN: Peter, is that a pretty rosy take on where you see the president right now?

BEINART: Yes, I would tend to agree with Joe more.

I think what's striking about all the things that Bill mentioned is that they actually -- at least according to the polls that I've seen, they haven't really actually done as much good for the president in terms of his ratings on issues like education and heat care vis-a- vis the Democrats, which is why I think the fundamental claim of this president will be, the Democrats can't keep you safe. I have, and, in addition, to try to do to John Kerry what they did to Al Gore, which is to say, this is a guy who doesn't know who he is. He's on every side of every issue.

And the question will be, can John Kerry respond to that more effectively than Al Gore did?

ZAHN: Now the question to Joe Klein here quickly.

Is John Edwards making any inroads into John Kerry's territory?

KLEIN: I don't think so. In order to change the dynamic of the race, he'd have to really make a case against John Kerry, and he's not doing it at all.

ZAHN: All right, gentlemen, thank you all for joining me tonight.


ZAHN: Joe Klein, Peter Beinart, Bill McInturff.

Coming up, Martha Stewart's business manager on the stand and a star in the audience, Bill Cosby, in fact. We'll have the latest news on the Stewart case.

And we begin our two-week long series, first, a look at U.S. intelligence failures before the war with Iraq. What went wrong and why?

Also, my conversation with best-selling feminist author Naomi Wolf about the secret she has kept for more than 20 years and why she's revealing it now.


NAOMI WOLF, AUTHOR: I didn't the people in charge cared. It was my understanding that they're knew about this and didn't care.



ZAHN: Comedian Bill Cosby, a friend of Martha Stewart, showed his support at her trial today by dropping in on the proceedings. Inside the courtroom, Stewart's business manager was on the stand.

To put today's legal action "In Plain English," let's turn to senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin and Sharon Cotliar from "People" magazine.

Welcome to you both.



ZAHN: Let's talk about the little bit of a break Martha Stewart got in the testimony from Heidi DeLuca.

Let's look at what she had to say on the screen -- quote -- "Peter Bacanovic felt ImClone was a dog. He felt he would set a floor price of $60 or $61 just in case the stock continued to fall as a safeguard."

Is this a critically important statement?

TOOBIN: It depends how well it stands up on cross-examination, but it's certainly good for Martha Stewart, because, just to put this all in perspective, remember.


ZAHN: Would you do that for us this evening?

TOOBIN: That's right.

ZAHN: Thank you, Jeffrey.

TOOBIN: Martha Stewart says, I had a plan to sell this stock at 60. That's why I sold the stock.

The government, of course, claims that she sold it because she was tipped that Sam Waksal, the CEO, was dumping his stock. So this is the first time there's been any independent corroboration of this so-called plan to sell the stock at 60. She hasn't been cross- examined yet. Heidi DeLuca. So we don't know how well the story will hold up. But it is at least a -- some sort of plan. There's nothing written down, but there's some sort of plan there that says she wanted to sell the stock at 60 and Bacanovic agreed.

TOOBIN: And you were watching Bacanovic when this testimony came down. What was his reaction?

COTLIAR: Well, Peter was taking a lot of notes. But I think he was very happy with his testimony. He was watching her. He was looking up. He seems like he was just happy that his side of the story is coming out now.

ZAHN: Bill Cosby made a -- what would you call that appearance today?


TOOBIN: He was there about an hour. And you know how you can tell he's a big celebrity? Because he was wearing sunglasses in the courtroom. What is that about?


TOOBIN: Why do you have to wear sunglasses indoors? I didn't quite understand that.


ZAHN: Does it mean anything to the jury, to see him there?

TOOBIN: Well, I was looking. You tell me what you think. I thought a couple of them kind of looked twice.


COTLIAR: They were stealing glances. There's no doubt.

TOOBIN: Stealing glances, a couple of them. But, you know, this trial, there's a lot to think about. I don't think Bill Cosby is going to make much of a difference. But it was fun to see him.

COTLIAR: Well, you're leaving out that he brought her a special gift. He brought her chocolate Jello. Rosie brought M&Ms, so he came bearing gifts as well.

ZAHN: Oh, it's a chocolate love fest here.


ZAHN: Let's talk about what the judge is up against now. She's considering dropping some of the charges and made it -- sort of implored this attorney today to keep this focused not on insider trading, but on something altogether different.

TOOBIN: One of the peculiarities of this case from the beginning is that this was an insider trading investigation. Did Martha Stewart have inside information when she sold her ImClone stock? She's not charged with that criminally. She's charged only with lying about why she sold the stock. It's an obstruction of justice, a false statement case, not an insider trading case.

ZAHN: So is the prosecution becoming perilously close to turning this into an insider trading case? Is that what the judge is deciding?


TOOBIN: Well, it's the defense that really wants to turn it into an insider trading case, because they want to keep pointing out that this isn't an insider trading case.

They want to say, look, she's innocent of insider trading. This is only a false statement case. So it's a peculiar situation, where the judge is trying to keep the trial focused on what she is charged with and the defense think it's better to focus on what she's not charged with.

ZAHN: And your sense of how soon this will all come to an end?

COTLIAR: Well, I'm told by some sources close to this that it could end by the end of this week and that they'll decide tomorrow whether or not Martha takes the stand. But it doesn't look like she will, and it doesn't look like Peter will either, simply because of how fast they're talking about this wrapping up.

ZAHN: And there was some caveats as to whether she would take the stand or not, right, a couple of calculations the defense was going to make.

TOOBIN: Well, there's a lot to think about. There are so many different questions she would have to answer, going back through all the evidence in this case. She would have to be both consistent with the testimony she's already given, which is, of course, the cause of the case, the alleged false statements, and consistent throughout her testimony on direct and cross. I think it's a risk that the defense is wise not to take, much as I would enjoy watching it.

ZAHN: Oh, I'm sure you would.

COTLIAR: It would certainly be dramatic.

ZAHN: Sharon and Jeffrey, thank you for joining us tonight.

What went wrong and why? We begin a weeklong look at U.S. intelligence, the war in Iraq, homeland security, and the hunt for Osama bin Laden.

And a nation of speed demons. We'll look at why so many Americans seem to be speeding so much and so fast.


ZAHN: It has been 11 months since the war began in Iraq, and still no concrete evidence of weapons of mass destruction. Was the intelligence just dead wrong to begin with or was it a lack of information that led to a series of wrong conclusions?

Here's national security correspondent David Ensor on tonight's "Truth Squad."


DAVID ENSOR, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Even the director of central intelligence will tell you, the U.S. did not have enough spies on the ground before the war in Iraq.

GEORGE TENET, CIA DIRECTOR: We did not have enough of our own human intelligence. We did not ourselves penetrate the inner sanctum. DAVID KAY, FORMER CHIEF U.S. WEAPONS INSPECTOR: With regard to human intelligence, that is, actual agents on the ground, we were relying on other people, other countries, defectors.

ENSOR: U.S. officials say the budget cuts of the early '90s took their toll. The CIA budget is classified, but, since 9/11, it has mushroomed, though selecting and training intelligence case officers fluent in Arabic takes time.

REP. PORTER GOSS (R), FLORIDA: It takes five to seven years to build the kind of assets you need in the intelligence community that we're talking about.

ENSOR: Even if the CIA had penetrated the inner sanctum around Saddam Hussein, would that have made any real difference? Former weapons hunter David Kay has said scientists were lying to Saddam about what they had and Saddam was lying to his generals, telling them other units had chemical weapons, though theirs did not.

JAMES WOOLSEY, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: With everybody lying to everybody about everything, in those circumstances, to expect complete accuracy is just a pipe dream.

ENSOR: It did not help matters that in the past U.S. intelligence had seriously underestimated Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs. This time, analysts felt they had to assume the worst.

TENET: We couldn't forget in the early 1990s we saw that Iraq was just a few years away from a nuclear weapon. This was not a theoretical program. It turned out that we and other intelligence services of the world had significantly underestimated his progress.

ENSOR: Back in 1960, the same problem, not enough reliable intelligence led to the famous missile gap after Nikita Khrushchev boasted, falsely, it turned out, that the Soviet Union was turning out missiles like sausages.

By the time the CIA figured out its mistake, the United States had committed to being thousands of missiles of its own as a deterrent.

But before everyone assumes U.S. intelligence did get it all wrong on Iraq, a note of caution. An extensive, illegal missile program has been found. So have aircraft and other conventional weapons buried in the sand. And the search for biological and chemical weapons has been difficult.

TENET: Iraqis who have volunteered information to us are still being intimidated and attacked.

ENSOR (on camera): Given a secretive strongman capable of bluffing and too little credible intelligence, the dangers of miscalculation were all too real. And, at this stage, it appears there was miscalculation. But U.S. intelligence officials continue to insist there still may be WMD in Iraq. David Ensor, CNN, Washington.


ZAHN: And every day this week, we'll be taking a closer look at U.S. intelligence, including what it means for the hunt for Osama bin Laden and homeland security.

Is California's governor flexing his muscles for the White House? He'd like to change the Constitution so an immigrant can be president. But would that be good for America?

Plus, best-selling author Naomi Wolf says she can't bear to keep a secret from her college years. She'll tell you what happened at Yale and why she thinks that school protected teachers who preyed on young women.

And tomorrow, meet the actor who plays Jesus in Mel Gibson "The Passion of the Christ," an exclusive interview with Jim Caviezel. What does he think of the movie's reviews?


ZAHN: Welcome back.

Here are some of the headlines you need to know right now. More trouble tonight for Halliburton, the giant defense contractor that is rebuilding Iraq.

The Pentagon has been investigating whether a Halliburton subsidiary overcharged for gas delivered to Iraq. Well, tonight, the Pentagon says that investigation is now a criminal probe.

Ralph Nader officially announced his bid for the presidency yesterday, urged Democrats to relax. He told me his campaign will focus on the Bush administration, not on attacking or spoiling things for the Democratic Party.


NADER: If the Democrats criticize our candidacy, I'll have to respond. But I'm certainly not going to go out of the way. I think John Kerry and John Edwards are well-intentioned people. Whoever gets to the White House has to deliver.


ZAHN: In the troubled Caribbean nation of Haiti, 50 U.S. Marines landed to defend the U.S. Embassy, if necessary. And a power-sharing deadline has been extended until 5:00 p.m. Eastern tomorrow. That's when opposition leaders will have to decide whether to accept a U.S.- backed peace proposal. The deal includes appointing a new government and a new prime minister.

In this week's "New York" magazine, best-selling feminist author Naomi Wolf writes: "Twenty years on, I am handing over a secret to its rightful owner. I can't bear to carry it around anymore."

Naomi Wolf joins us now to explain. Welcome.

WOLF: Thank you.

ZAHN: You go on to write that -- quote -- "Professor Harold Bloom did something banal, human, and destructive. You say he put his hand on your inner thigh some 20 years ago when you were a student at Yale University.

Why are you going public with it now?

WOLF: Well, the last thing I wanted to do was go public with it. I have spent 20 years trying to avoid my responsibility to bring Yale authorities the information that I had about this.

But Yale reached out to me last year and asked me to raise money from other women for them, and I wrote a letter saying that I couldn't until I knew that the grievance procedures were in place so I didn't have to worry about other young women going through what I went through.

And that set in motion nine months of stonewalling on their part as I talked to the head of development. I talked to the dean. I talked to -- I tried to talk to the president. Simply to make sure that women now are safe, and it was so startling to me that I couldn't get that simple assurance so I could drop the matter. That I started making other phone calls, and then women came out of the woodwork to tell me their stories, and I discovered that there are 20 years of sexual harassment of women and covering up by the administration that are ongoing to this day.

ZAHN: Let's go back to your personal story. What were you afraid would have happened if you had gone public back then while you were a senior at Yale? What were you afraid of?

WOLF: First, you know, this is so often the case, when you're 19 or 20 and you're a woman, you feel very powerless. And Professor Bloom was very powerful at the time. And I wanted to tell my college dean, but I had heard that she had torn down a sign that a secretary had posted letting students know about another professor's sexual harassment of a student at the time. So I was scared to tell her. I was afraid that, if I spoke up it would be the end of, you know any academic career I might have and that it would do no good because I didn't believe that the people in charge cared. It was my understanding that they knew about this and didn't care.

ZAHN: What does the professor say about your allegation? We made repeat the attempts to call him, and none of the phone calls were returned.

WOLF: Well, I'm not aware that he's made any formal response, and in a way -- I mean, he must -- I'm sure he knows it's true. And in a way, it's less important, you know, what happened 20 years ago than what's happening now. And this is about something much bigger than me and Professor Bloom. ZAHN: Let me read to you a statement that we have received from Yale tonight. "Ms. Wolf suggests that Yale does not take seriously those sexual harassment complaints that are registered. Contrary, there have been penalties ranging from reprimand to separation from Yale."

WOLF: Well, respectfully, Yale has been -- Dean Broad (ph) and president Levin, who never returned my calls, has not been honest throughout this nine months of my trying to get some straight answers so I could just be assured that the grievance procedures were in order.

ZAHN: You have ignited a firestorm with this piece from Camille Paglia, quote, "Naomi Wolf, for her entire life, has been batting her eyes and bobbing her boobs in the face of men and made a profession of courting male attention by flirting and offering her sexual allure." Does it surprise you it was so personal?

WOLF: I mean, I have no idea why someone would resort to that kind of invective But I know that Professor Bloom mentored her, and this is her way of showing support. I think it would be more relevant not to think about my feelings or Camille Paglia's, but to think about the young 19-year-old woman who doesn't have the resources that Camille Paglia or Professor Bloom or I have, and who we have a responsibility to make sure she doesn't have to be terrified when she's in an educational environment.

ZAHN: Is there any sense of relief now that this is out in the open?

WOLF: Look, this is not fun. When women come forward, it's never a fun thing. As I say, I'm the mother of a daughter, and I -- as difficult as this is now, I think it would be more difficult to know that I hadn't done what I had to do, and if she ever had to face something like this or other young women I'm responsible for had to face anything like this.


ZAHN: My interview with Naomi Wolf. We'll be right back.


ZAHN: What do these four people have in common? Former secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright, ABC news anchor Peter Jennings and actor Michael J. Fox. The answer: none of them were born in the United States and even though they could become U.S. citizens, none could ever be eligible to run for president. It would take a constitutional amendment to change that, and yesterday Arnold Schwarzenegger expressed some interest.


TIM RUSSERT, HOST, "MEET THE PRESS": If someone's been a citizen for 20 years, they should have the right to run for president. Don't you think? GOV. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER (R), CALIFORNIA: Absolutely. I think there's so many people in this country that are from overseas, immigrants, doing a terrific job bringing work and businesses and so forth. There's no reason why not.


ZAHN: Well, we're going to debate that question here tonight. Those who favor a constitutional amendment versus those who don't. With me tonight UCLA professor Raul Hinojosa, and Dan Stein, he's executive director of the Federation for American Immigration Reform. Both join us from Washington. Good to see you gentlemen. Welcome.

Dan, you've got more than 12.5 million foreign-born citizens, many of them serving for the United States in Iraq. Why shouldn't they have the right to run for president?

DAN STEIN, FEDERATION FOR AMERICAN IMMIGRATION REFORM: Paula, this is one of the very important areas of the constitution that the founding fathers put together and said, look, if you're not born in this country, there's one office, one office only you cannot hold, and that's president of the United States. That's the person who is our chief foreign policy representative, who's the commander-in-chief, and he represents the United States with respect to U.S. interests all over the world.

And what they said was, look, there may be immigrants who come to this country who are fine patriots. Arnold Schwarzenegger is a heck of a guy. But the people who are born in this country and who enjoy the protection of the system in our laws from the time they're born all the way up will have the greatest probability of having an exclusive allegiance to the United States. And we need this law now more than ever because, remember, Alexander Hamilton, he helped write the constitution. He wrote the Federalist papers, and he fought for ratification of this constitution knowing, Paula, that he could never become president of the United States.

Why? Because he understands prudently in a country where you can have split nationality, dual nationality, and our citizenship process has been diluted, we need to maintain that special process.

ZAHN: What about that, Raul, isn't there a distinct possibility that one of these foreign-born immigrants could have a divided allegiance?

RAUL HINOJOSA, UCLA PROFESSOR: The fact is when the constitution was written, most of these were not born in the United States, they were born in British colonies. Back then, it was a really important issue that you had your allegiances clear. We had just fought the civil war.

ZAHN: Why isn't it today? Why do you think it's different with the examples Dan just gave?

HINOJOSA: I think what's interesting is today we now have immigrants coming here and contributing widely, and voters should be able to decide whether somebody is providing a leadership role for the country. It's not an issue of a blood lineage per se. In fact, we could have many traitors who have lived here their entire life. The real question -- and this is the intelligence of the voters that I think the founding fathers were all about -- should be able to make the decision, whether somebody brings forth the type of characteristics that would be necessary to lead the nation. And that many immigrants have shown that. As you pointed out, not only leaders of this country in very important periods of history, but right now people that are dying and sacrificing the ultimate sacrifice for their country.


ZAHN: Dan, let me ask you this. It's not like the constitution hasn't been updated in the past, to grant civil rights to blacks and women.

Why wouldn't you accommodate this group?

STEIN: Generally courts today rewrite the constitution randomly, but there's a very explicit provision in the constitution now that says you have to be born in the United States. Look, there's a lot of reasons we might want to amend the constitution. I can think of a lot of reasons. We need to clean up the birthright citizenship mess that we have. We should prohibit dual nationality. When an immigrant takes the oath of allegiance in this country today, it turns out to be a big joke because they're retaining their old citizenship, they're voting in foreign elections while they are voting in ours.

They are running for office in foreign countries while they're in this country voting U.S. elections. We need to maintain the exclusivity of this law. There's a million things that need to be done on immigration policy, Paula, but this constitutional amendment is the last thing we need to be worried about. You know, what, I'm never going to be president. I'm a native born citizen and Arnold Schwarzenegger is never going to be president, and you know what, just going to have to deal with it.

HINOJOSA: The real issue is we have to be looking at the necessity of having political rights for people that actually live in various circumstances. They come to the United States, they contribute, they pay taxes. You want representation on school boards. You want them to be able to be part of the political process here.

ZAHN: Raul, don't they know, when they come here, that our constitution basically says that that is a right exclusively for natural-born U.S. citizens?

That shouldn't come as a surprise, should it?

HINOJOSA: Well, it's very typical around the world for that to happen although increasingly though that is changing. There is the opening of rights to have other people to represent in the electoral process, people who have come as immigrants and have adopted it. And I think that's a great value of the United States, that people will come in and become citizens and want to contribute to the society. And we should have our society based on that type of meritocracy rather than some type of arbitrary rules that don't necessarily (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

ZAHN: Raul Hinojosa and Dan Stein, we've got to leave it there this evening. Thank you for both of your perspectives.

And coming up, more real stories behind the movies. The yearnings of a fictional couple made "Cold Mountain" an Oscar nominee. We're going to show you the amazing story of real lovers separated by the civil war and the legacy they left behind.

And it's off to the races. Why are more Americans driving as if on a racetrack?

A look at an alarming increase in speeding and aggression behind the wheel.


ZAHN: Well, if you ever tried to drive an interstate highway, the speed limit, you probably know there's plenty of speeding going on. "USA Today" story says the percentage of tickets given to drivers going 80 miles an hour or faster actually tripled between 1991 and 2002.

What is driving some Americans to act like their driving is a NASCAR event?

Joining us from Philadelphia tonight, a legendary name in speed, championship driver Mario Andretti.

And in Arlington, Virginia, Paul Overberg of "USA Today," who co- wrote the story.

Welcome good to see both of you.


ZAHN: Mario, in the interest of full disclosure, did you get a ticket because we put such severe time limits on you?

MARIO ANDRETTI, CHAMPION RACE DRIVER: You said, did I get a ticket?

ZAHN: You didn't get a ticket coming here tonight, did you?

ANDRETTI: No. But I was only about three miles over the speed limit.

ZAHN: Good for you. Why is it that we are so obsessed with speed in this nation?

ANDRETTI: I suppose we're all in a rush and the highways are good, the cars are good and everyone is in a rush to just get to somewhere for whatever reason. I was noticing in the story, I think the bladder thing is quite legitimate. But there are many. Actually, some are funny, and some are not so funny.

ZAHN: One of the many distractions against drivers in trouble. Paul, one of the more interesting things you found is that 70 percent of male drivers versus 30 percent of female drivers speed, why?

PAUL OVERBERG, "USA TODAY": Well, Paula, I guess it's a combination of things. There's probably the men take more risks in driving, and especially young men, we found, the ones that are getting a lot of the tickets. They're also the ones that tend to drive the cars that will catch the eye of a policeman more than perhaps some of the other cars.

ZAHN: And once men and women get stopped, who's better at talking themselves out of a ticket, Paul?

OVERBERG: Well, we didn't focus on that too much, but I know from reading other research that typically men tend to get tougher -- have a tougher time of that and that women will often -- and troopers admit this -- will often be able to talk their way out of a ticket, especially the older women, who troopers may see as sort of a mother.

ZAHN: We should point out -- and in spite of the -- some of the humor involved in the story, this is a deadly serious story. Let me put up on the screen some of the research, Paul, that you've discovered in the year 2000. More than 12,000 deaths. Almost 700,000 injuries, and 2.3 million vehicles damaged.

Mario, you more than anybody else understand how to keep a car in control under high speeds.

What is it the rest of the folks out there are getting wrong?

Why are so many of us dying?

ANDRETTI: Well, you have to understand that there are different levels of skills as far as the drivers on the road. And some people probably can be perfectly safe and in control driving a little faster than the speed limit, and others are out of control. You have that variable. And the other part is that -- what I find and I think everyone that drives, if you pay attention, you'll find that there's not very much discipline on the road by other drivers. For instance, you hear of a multi-lane highway, usually you see so many times that driver that's going the speed limit would be in the passing lane and just would not move. So the one that wants to get around has to do the wrong thing has to swerve and pass on the right and create a hazardous situation. So, again, you have those road vigilantes that probably are more responsible for the problems that we have than the speed itself.

ZAHN: And, Paul, though, isn't it also true that there's a false sense of security out there given the kind of cars that are being built today?

OVERBERG: I think that's exactly right, Paula. I think it's a lot easier these days -- and people talk about this -- how they catch themselves driving so fast because cars have better soundproofing, and the engines accelerate faster. And it's just very easy to go much faster without even really noticing it the way you used to in older cars.

ZAHN: Well, gentlemen, we thank you both for coming in tonight. Paul Overberg, Mario Andretti. Hope you guys don't get any tickets. I've had a number of them in my past. Again, thanks.

OVERBERG: Thank you.

ZAHN: Lovers parted by war, but precious words on paper keep their love alive. We're going to tell you about a real life story of lovers, much like the Academy Award nominated film "Cold Mountain."


ZAHN: As we look ahead to Sunday's Academy Awards, tonight we begin a special series bringing you the real stories behind the nominees. We start with "Cold Mountain." A passionate love story is at the heart of the film. The letters' powerful words carry battle- weary solder Inman, played by Jude Law, through the violence of war, the desperation of desertion, and to the joy of reunion with his true love, Ada, played by Nicole Kidman. But are letters really powerful enough to rekindle love between two people?


NICOLE KIDMAN, ACTRESS: So much time has passed since you left and no word from you. Are you alive? I pray to God you are.

ZAHN (voice-over): To a cynic, they sound like the words of a poetic Hollywood screenwriter. But in reality, war-time letters are as real as war can get. Poignant dispatches that can carry soldiers and their family through the most trying of times.

ANDREW CARROLL, THE LEGACY PROJECT: Nothing is more important, either for those on the frontlines or those on the home front than the letters between the two, because this is the tangible reminder of that loved one. It is the handwriting. It's the paper. It's their emotion. And it's what they're going through.

Just a very simple letter. "My dear husband..."

ZAHN: Andrew Carroll has gathered more than 75,000 wartime letters, dating all the way back to the Civil War, letters that run the gamut of emotions. Powerful love.

CARROLL: I shall soon meet you in the land of dreams. So goodbye, and bless you.

ZAHN: Longing for home.

CARROLL: It makes me feel very sad indeed to know that you are sad and lonely.

ZAHN: Palpable fear.

CARROLL: Oh, do try and take care of yourself so that you will live to come home.

You really get to see what these young men and women are enduring, what they're sacrificing. And through their words, it's unfiltered. So you don't have someone analyzing and interpreting it, it's what they saw, what they've experienced.

ZAHN: Carroll's inspiration for collecting these letters came from watching the award-winning Civil War documentary by Ken Burns, and hearing the words of Civil War soldier Sullivan Balou (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I do not return, my dear Sarah, never forget how much I loved you, nor that when my last breath escapes me on the battlefield, it will whisper your name.

CARROLL: It really transcended time. It wasn't just a Civil War letter. It was just an incredible love letter. I so vividly remember hearing that letter and watching that just phenomenal documentary and thinking, imagine how many thousands, hundreds of thousands of letters like these are still tucked away in attics and basements across the country, and might be at risk of being thrown away. And that's what we're trying to prevent.

LAURIE SAWYER ELLIOT, DESCENDANT OF CIVIL WAR SURGEON: There's one too that he comes back and writes at the top of the letter.

ZAHN: No one understands the value of such letters more than Tim and Laurie Sawyer. Their great grandparents, Dr. William and Carrie Child (ph), are another real "Cold Mountain" love story. During the Civil War, they exchanged hundreds of letters. Child (ph), a Union doctor from New Hampshire, wrote home almost daily for four years to his wife Carrie, while she was raising their three young children alone. Amazingly, almost 150 years later, the letters have survived.

TIM SAWYER, DESCENDANT OF CIVIL WAR SURGEON: Slaying each other by thousands, mangling and deforming their fellow men is almost impossible, but it is so. We are able to hold these letters in our hands and read the same words that he wrote while he was under fire. And that, to us, it's -- it gives us a tremendous sense of being there, to some extent. And it's indescribable what it's like to actually hold a letter that was written that long ago from the man, as he was writing it. It's just an amazing thing.

ELLIOT: If I am not to return, know that you are everything to me. Know that I loved you and it will be my great comfort to feel that you loved me more than all else. I really felt that he was talking to us, sharing his heart and his feelings about what was going on at that time in history.

ZAHN: For the family, the letters became a window into the war.

ELLIOT: He would be describing the Virginia twilight, the pines and the oaks. The camp fires burning and the different songs that they were singing, or playing around the camp fires in the twilight.

ZAHN: As a surgeon, Dr. Child (ph) was at almost every major battle, from Gettysburg to Vicksburg, to one of the bloodiest battles of them all, Antietam.

SAWYER: The wounds in all parts you can think, but seven-tenth of all have suffered amputation. Many die each day.

ZAHN: Child (ph) even wrote of witnessing Lincoln's assassination. He also wrote vividly of his own transformation, from an innocent patriot to a war-hardened soldier.

SAWYER: A flood of tears ran down his sun-burned face. Not a word was spoken, but his face showed more than words could. Many times he was just terribly distraught about the fact that this was still going on. How can -- how can a being exist that hurls men by the thousands against each other? Maiming them. And so he goes on and on like this in many of his letters. It was a terrible thing. He may have gone into it with his eyes open, but when he came out I'm sure his eyes were not.

ZAHN: Despite Dr. Child's (ph) battlefield wish to have the letters destroyed, his family saved them and compiled them in a book. And now, years after his death, the letters are the strongest legacy of the real love between a Civil War soldier and his loyal wife, and historical record for generations to come.


ZAHN: And as our series continue tomorrow, the amazing true survival story behind best picture nominee "Seabiscuit," and Wednesday, a rare interview with a Tolkien family member about the genius and the controversy behind "The Lord of the Rings." And then on Thursday, the story of America's only female serial killer, Aileen Wuornos, the woman behind Charlize Theron's Oscar nominated performance. And then on Friday, the real-life experiences that led to Sofia Coppola's Oscar nomination.

And also, see if you can pick this year's winners. Go straight to, to play "Inside the Envelope," for a chance to win a home theater system.

That wraps it up for all of us here this evening. Thanks so much for being with us tonight. We'll be back, same time, same place, tomorrow night. Have a good night. "LARRY KING LIVE" is next.


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