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Political Environment in Florida; Kerry and Vietnam; Interview With Senator Richard Lugar

Aired April 23, 2004 - 15:30   ET


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What a special place. I like to call it a little slice of heaven.

ANNOUNCER: The president and the Florida landscape. There's new evidence Sunshine State voters may cut it as close as they did in 2000.

JOHN KERRY (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We cannot go backwards today.

ANNOUNCER: John Kerry and abortion rights. Does the Vatican want him to pay a price for his position?

What's wrong with this picture? We'll re-examine the White House policy that makes photos like these taboo.



JUDY WOODRUFF, HOST: Thank you for joining us.

With all that is going on in the world, we begin with the political environment in Florida. President Bush is making his 21st visit to the state since its featured role in the 2000 election standoff. A new poll out today underscores why Mr. Bush can't seem to get enough of Florida.

Our White House correspondent, Dana Bash, has more on that and the issue driving the president's day.


DANA BASH, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: The president came here to southwest Florida, the edge of the Everglades, for day two of his effort to talk up the environment. He started the day with a tour, some weeding for the cameras of some non-native plants that environmentalists say are hurting the habitat here in a reserve. He also used a speech here to talk about his day-old plan to preserve and even expand wetlands.

Now, the environment is not even among the top issues that pollsters say voters care about. However, here in Florida, one major environmental issue is the issue of drilling for oil off the coast of Florida. It is one that most people in Florida are opposed to.

Now, Senator john Kerry, the president's Democratic opponent, was here earlier in the week and he is reported to have suggested perhaps that drilling is not necessarily a bad thing. Now, since then, Senator Kerry's campaign has denied that he is for any kind of drilling off the coast of Florida and his record stands to prove that. The Bush campaign says that this plays right into their strategy of painting John Kerry as somebody who zigzags on the issue, and today President Bush jumped into the fray.

BUSH: This action helped to protect the Big Cypress National Preserve, the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, and the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge. As you can see, there is no ambiguity in my position on drilling off the coast of Florida.

BASH: President Bush is spending these two days defending his environmental record as Senator John Kerry has spent the week attacking the president for what he calls his dismal environmental record. He has put new ads out and had a tour through the South, including here in Florida.

Now, Florida is, of course, the site of the 36-day recount in the year 2000, one that the president won by 537 votes, and, of course, took the White House because of it. And it is at this time still neck and neck between the president and John Kerry.

The latest poll from the American Research Group shows that President Bush is at 46 percent, John Kerry at 45 percent, and Ralph Nader at 3 percent. That is why the president is here today for the 21st time since he's been in office, and it's also why his campaign aides say that it is going to be one of his homes away from home between now and November.

Dana Bash, CNN, Naples, Florida.


WOODRUFF: Well, here in Washington, John Kerry campaigned today for women's rights and abortion rights, warning that they are under assault by the Bush administration. He spoke to thousands of women gathered here in Washington for a Sunday march in support of abortion rights. Kerry received the first-ever endorsement by the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, even as he tried to make his position on abortion clear.


KERRY: Protecting the right of privacy is not pro-abortion. It is pro-choice, pro the rights of women to be able to control protecting the right of privacy. Protecting the right of privacy is protecting the full measure of rights of human beings in our country. And as President Clinton said so often, and I think everyone here agrees, abortion should be rare, but it should be safe and legal, and the government should stay out of the bedrooms of Americans.

(END VIDEO CLIP) WOODRUFF: A top cardinal, meantime, at the Vatican had some tough words today about Catholic politicians who support legalized abortion. We'll have that story and the Kerry campaign's reaction ahead on INSIDE POLITICS.

And now a follow-up on senator Kerry's Vietnam War records. The Boston Globe reports a discrepancy in the documents posted this week on Kerry's campaign Web site. At issue, records describing Kerry's command of a small Navy boat in late January of 1969.

The Globe quotes former Navy skipper Edward Peck as saying that he commanded the boat at that time, just days before Kerry replaced him. The Kerry camp says that it got the records from the Navy. But it did not directly address the discrepancy.

Kerry's military service has been spotlighted this week, 33 years after he testified against the war on Capitol Hill. Our senior political correspondent, Candy Crowley, talked at length with Kerry about that political milestone.


CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A chest full of medals, accounts of bravery on file, and war buddies at his side. He has a bio the campaign touts as a perfect fit fur a nation at war.

KERRY: Some of us know something about aircraft carriers for real.

CROWLEY: Some parts fit more easily than others.

KERRY: We wish that a merciful god could wipe away our own memories of that service as easily as this administration has wiped their memories.

CROWLEY: John Kerry, cofounder of Vietnam Vets Against the War, debuted on Capitol Hill 33 years ago testifying to the stories of other vets who said they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals.

KERRY: They turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks.

CROWLEY: This is not his favorite part of the bio.

KERRY: You know, we don't have to go back to that, Candy. This is 35 years ago history.

CROWLEY: The words do seem crosswise to the image of the veteran's veteran, a member of the Band of Brothers.

KERRY: I regret any feeling that anybody had that I somehow didn't embrace the quality of the service. But always I have said how nobly I think every veteran served. CROWLEY: It is a tough argument, but Kerry has a lot of reinforcement.

LENNY ROTMAN, VIETNAM VETERAN: I felt as though I went to Vietnam as a soldier and went to the Washington as a patriot. I was proud of everything that John said.

CROWLEY: Still, he's not every veteran's vet.

JOHN O'NEIL, VIETNAM VETERAN: He was the father of a lie that the Vietnam veteran was a rapist, a baby killer, a drug addict, and the like. I don't think there's anybody that did that or created that more than Kerry.

KERRY: Candy, I never ever -- I fought that image everywhere I went. Everywhere I went in this country, I described accurately what was happening and what wasn't.

CROWLEY: His testimony was not anti-soldier, Kerry says. It was anti-war.

KERRY: It's created a monster, a monster in the form of millions of men who have been taught to deal and to trade in violence and who were given the chance to die for the biggest nothing in history.

I think it's hyperbole. I mean, I think it's a metaphor, sort of a -- it's a -- it's an all-encompassing statement that we created a problem here at home. Would I have chosen a different word today? Sure, probably. But the concept still remains legitimate.

CROWLEY: Kerry says he was young, angry, he wanted the war to end.

KERRY: The legitimacy of what we observed and saw and were fighting for, I wouldn't change at all. That was important. And it was generationly important. And I stand by that.

CROWLEY: Candy Crowley, CNN, Washington.


WOODRUFF: There are new poll numbers that lead the headlines in our "Campaign News Daily."

The presidential race remains tight in the showdown state of Iowa. A new survey by the American Research Group gives john Kerry 47 percent, George Bush 46 percent, and Ralph Nader 3 percent among likely voters.

Senator Kerry plans to cultivate his Iowa ties this weekend. He'll return to the scene of his big caucus victory with a Sunday rally in Des Moines.

In California, a new poll finds Kerry with breathing room over Bush and Nader. The LA Times survey of registered voters gives Kerry 49 percent and Bush 39 percent. Nader receiving 6 percent. Overall, 54 percent of those surveyed disapproved of the way President Bush is handling his job.

On Capitol Hill, the Iraq conflict remains a source of concern and contention. Up next, we'll talk about the volatile situation on the ground and in the political arena with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, Richard Lugar.

Also ahead, U.S. troops killed in Iraq. Should the Bush administration change its policy? Preventing public photos of the caskets?

And later, abortion politics and the 2004 presidential race just days before a big march by abortion rights supporters.


WOODRUFF: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee this week held hearings on the planned June 30 handover of governing authority in Iraq. Republican committee chairman Richard Lugar pressed the Bush administration to provide more details about how the handover will actually work. I spoke with Senator Lugar just a short time ago, and I started by asking him if there will be a true handover of power, or if the U.S. will still have effective control over Iraq.


SEN. RICHARD LUGAR (R), FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: On the basis of what we've found this week, especially from Undersecretary Mark Grossman at the Department of State, we're going to have a rehearsal of this situation perhaps through the latter part of May and June. By that, I mean Ambassador Brahimi of the U.N. will have named after consultation with everybody involved a president, two vice presidents, a prime minister of Iraq.

We will have named Ambassador Negroponte, hopefully will be confirmed, and about 1,000 Americans who are going to be in our embassy, plus 700 Iraqis. Now, my point is that these people are not only going to arrive July 1, they are hopefully going to arrive mid- May onward.

WOODRUFF: But is this a situation where the Iraqis are in charge, or as some have said, the U.S. is truly still going to be in charge?

LUGAR: It all depends on how these negotiations come out. And I use the word "negotiation" deliberately because we may be surprised. That is, the United States may find that Iraqis want to be much more assertive.

If we say Fallujah is very dangerous and we need to send Marines to Fallujah, and Iraqis say, now hold on, we are, in fact, now the government of Iraq. We want security but we think you ought to do it a different way. All I'm say is before we come to July 1, we'd better have had a lot of conversations as to who does what.

WOODRUFF: So some have said the administration has really gone back on its word, that it's not really going to be a handover of sovereignty. And it sounds like you're saying we don't really know what it's going to be.

LUGAR: Well, I think we're going to know. And that's the reason tediously in these hearings I've been persistent in asking questions of physically who, which persons are going to be where, how do they get in touch, how do we write the rules of the game.

Now, the administration would say, well already you have United Nations Resolution 151, you have an annex in the governing law. All I'm saying is, but that is -- July 1 is a new ball game. Now, you've got to adopt those rules. Everybody has got to agree that they're pertinent, or get new U.N. resolutions, new status of force agreement. We'd better do that prior to July 1.

WOODRUFF: Can you say at this point, Senator, that the whatever the ultimate cost in lives and dollars, American lives and dollars, will have been worth whatever the outcome is in Iraq?

LUGAR: Yes, I believe and I'm confident that it will have been worthwhile and that we will be successful. My point of raising all these questions is not as a Doubting Thomas or to create trouble. But it is to make sure we pin down success.

WOODRUFF: The top members of this administration have not come to testify before your committee. Is this a way to do business? I mean, some people have looked at this, and your own colleague on the Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Joe Biden, Democrat, has said he finds it astounding that the administration is not providing top level people to testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

LUGAR: Well, I find no particular slight one way. A great deal in the press is going on and on about how the secretary of this or that or so forth didn't appear. They have lots of things to do.

What we need is information. Secretaries don't have to appear themselves, but they have to provide answers.

WOODRUFF: So when -- and the press, the Los Angeles Times this week, went on to write that you in so many words have played no significant role in this administration's Iraq policy, you haven't even talked to the president about Iraq since September. At one point, the article said you were being virtually ignored by the Bush administration.

LUGAR: Well, I don't feel that way. But I would just say, even if it were true -- and I don't think it is -- the fact is, we are all- Americans. We're all a part of one government.

I have a responsibility whether this official or not is paying any attention to me to raise the right questions, to get the right answers. A lot is at stake. So we're not standing on ceremony here. We're not sort of waiting for everybody to come to the party.

We're saying we'd better set it up. Now, if you folks haven't set it up, then we will. That is, Biden and I and our committee. And we're going to get some rules of the road. At this point, administration people would say, well, that's audacious. After all, we're running it and so forth. I'm saying you haven't got the thing set. And we all had better make sure it is set.

WOODRUFF: So when your colleague, Senator Biden, says he finds it's just outrageous that the administration essentially is not calling on you, talking to you regularly, your answer is?

LUGAR: I'm not easily outraged. That's beside the point. Whether I'm outraged or not makes no difference. Whether we get the answers for Americans does.


WOODRUFF: Richard Lugar, Republican of Indiana, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The right to know versus the right to privacy. What to do about images of America's war dead. The controversy when INSIDE POLITICS continues


WOODRUFF: A White House spokesman says President Bush has seen the recently released photos of flag-draped coffins of Americans killed in Iraq and is moved by them. But the administration is defending its policy against making such photos public, saying the privacy of military families is more important. Presidential candidate John Kerry also weighed in today, saying the issue underscores the importance of this election.


KERRY: We see the haunting images again of war, of soldiers loading flag-draped coffins. We see rows of them in the belly of a cargo plane for their long flight home. We see images of them being saluted on their final journey to their resting place.

Those images appeared with a story about a husband and wife who took photos to show the world the touching way that we honor our fallen. They were fired for their openness and honesty. I think truth is on the line in this election.


WOODRUFF: Now, a number of such pictures have made their way into the media this week. Most of them were released by the Pentagon under the Freedom of Information Act, a move that the military now calls a mistake. Others were taken by that cargo worker that you just heard John Kerry mention for a military contractor. Those pictures were published in a Seattle newspaper. The cargo worker has now been fired along with her husband.

On this Friday, it's almost time to find out who scored the "Political Play of the Week." Bill Schneider is standing by for the big reveal. Also ahead, another round in the debate over whether John Kerry should be allowed to take communion. We'll tell you what a top Vatican cardinal has to say about Kerry and other politicians and their support of abortion rights.



KERRY: Abortion should be rare. But it should be safe and legal.

RICHARD CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: President Bush has often expressed his conviction that in a compassionate society every child must be welcomed in life and protected in law.

ANNOUNCER: Two very different views on abortion. Will the issue impact the race for the White House?

She's the only woman on the commission investigating 9/11. Now she's under fire by some Republicans in Congress. But should Jamie Gorelick resign?

SEN. JEFF SESSIONS (R), ALABAMA: I think it's very problematic for Jamie Gorelick to serve on that commission.

BOB WOODWARD, "PLAN OF ATTACK" AUTHOR: When I say in the book...

ANNOUNCER: His book is the talk of the town and across the country. But did it win him our "Political Play of the Week"?

Now, live from Washington, JUDY WOODRUFF'S INSIDE POLITICS.


WOODRUFF: Welcome back. John Kerry's campaign is defending the senator today against a somewhat surprising new offensive, not by the Bush campaign, but from the Vatican.

A top Vatican cardinal today called on priests to deny communion to Catholic politicians like Kerry who support abortion rights. There's been debate on this subject here in the United States ever since Kerry took communion on Easter. The cardinal's remarks came hours before Kerry discussed his abortion stance at a women's rights rally here in Washington.

When Cardinal Francis Arinze was specifically asked how his proposed crackdown applies to Kerry, he said, quote, "The norm of the church is clear. The Catholic church exists in the U.S., and there are bishops there. Let them interpret it," end quote.

Kerry did not specifically address this issue in appearances today. His campaign says the senator takes his faith seriously, but he also believes in the separation of church and state.

Well, abortion politics is front and center here in Washington as thousands start to gather for a major abortion rights rally this weekend.


WOODRUFF (voice-over): It was yesteryear's big divisive social issue and abortion rights activists are fighting to ensure their cause has a prominent place on the 2004 political agenda.

Advocates contend the anti-abortion movement has gained ground under the Bush administration, pointing to the president's signing of a ban on a late-term abortion procedure, and his championing of a new law making it a crime to harm a fetus while committing a federal offense on the mother.

They warn the White House is quietly chipping away at a woman's right to choose.

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: More than 30 years after Roe v. Wade became the law of the land, it has never been more at risk than it is today.

WOODRUFF: As the nation's leading women's organizations prepare for Sunday's big abortion rights march, John Kerry is seizing on the issue as a rallying cry for women voters. The senator's daughter and sisters will be marching on Sunday.

But Kerry's words show the thicket of abortion politics is thorny as ever.

KERRY: Protecting the right of privacy is not pro-abortion. It is pro-choice, pro-the rights of women to be able to...

WOODRUFF: Indeed polls show a nation divided. We asked Americans to identify themselves as pro-choice or pro-life, 48 percent described themselves as the former, 45 percent the latter.

And within those groups are myriad viewpoints.

DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: President Bush has often express the his conviction that in a compassionate society, every child must be welcomed in life and protected in law.

WOODRUFF: George W. Bush, while anti-abortion, has acknowledged that an outright ban on the procedure isn't in the cards at this time.

But abortion rights activists say look to the Supreme Court. A retirement is looming, they warn. And when that happens, they say reproductive rights will again be in peril.

And for that, they are organizing the largest Washington abortion rights demonstration since 1992.


WOODRUFF: To help encourage participation in the Sunday rally, Planned Parenthood is running a video spoof on its Web site. It pokes fun at anti-abortion conservatives such as Pat Buchanan and Ralph Reed, portraying them as a right-wing version of "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy."



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You people disgust me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is a breast. Oh this is got to go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yick! This is just totally out of the question. Good-bye.


WOODRUFF: All that from the Planned Parenthood Web site.

In just a moment, we're going to be debating the politics of abortion rights with Janice Crouse and Ellen Malcolm. We'll be doing that in a couple of minutes.

Meantime, from abortion, we turn to another politically charged issue here in Washington: the 9/11 investigation. Even as the president and vice president prepare to appear before the independent commission next week, partisan sniping is escalating over whether one panel member, Jamie Gorelick, should step down. Here now our congressional correspondent Ed Henry.


ED HENRY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Republican Jeff Sessions is the first senator to take the criticism of Gorelick one step further and call on her to resign.

SESSIONS: We have a little bit of a problem now with confidence in that commission. Her -- for her to continue to play a key role in it when she herself really should be one of the people being reviewed is a difficult for me to swallow.

HENRY: Republicans point to a memo Gorelick wrote as a top official in the Clinton Justice Department which critics charge put a firewall between law enforcement and intelligence agents and made it harder for them to share information. The kind of information sharing that could possibly have prevented September 11.

In a "Washington Post" editorial, Gorelick pointed out that the restrictions on intelligence sharing date back to 1978, well before she came to the Justice Department.

"I didn't invent the wall," wrote Gorelick. Gorelick has previously said she will not be deterred by political pressure.

JAMIE GORELICK, 9/11 COMMISSION MEMBER: I'm not going to resign from the commission.

HENRY: She has the backing of Commission Chairman Tom Kean who is taking heat from fellow Republicans for sticking up for her. The commission spokesman said any member of Congress has the right to express an opinion, adding, quote, "We very much hope that they would contact the commission directly and not communicate through the media."

Behind the controversy? A big dose of election year politics. Democrats say Republicans are just poisoning well because they fear the commission report will reflect badly on the president.

SEN. TOM DASCHLE (D-SD), MINORITY LEADER: I'm concerned that there are those who are afraid that the commission will get the facts. And as a result of ascertaining the facts are now undermining the credibility of the 9/11 Commission.

HENRY: But Republicans believe Democrats will pounce when the commission's report is released on the eve of the Democratic National Convention.

SESSION: Oh, they'll seize on the report. They find one line -- if there's one line out of 10,000, they'll be something to say got you with.


WOODRUFF: So, Ed, where is all this headed?

HENRY: I think the bottom line is this week we saw House Majority Leader Tom DeLay at a private meeting with Republican members of the House say it's time to keep attacking this commission. It's clear Republicans want to go on the offensive.

The big question is, can the commission come back together? Can they get the job done? The commission spokesman I talked to said they're still hopeful that people will judge them on their work, they won't get lost on these side issues.

And I have to say that even critics of the commission like Republican Senator Kip Bond who wrote that letter yesterday also attacking Jamie Gorelick said he believes if the commission sticks to its work, puts together a good report, people will focus on that and not the side issues.

WOODRUFF: Be interesting what the definition of a good report is.

HENRY: Exactly.

WOODRUFF: It may depend on where the criticisms fall.

HENRY: And which party you're in.

WOODRUFF: Exactly. All right, Ed Henry, thank you.

We're checking now our second edition of "Campaign News Daily." John Kerry's wife Teresa Heinz Kerry says that releasing her tax returns would violate the privacy of her children. Mr.s Kerry, who is an heir to the Heinz Food Company fortune, has an estimated worth in the hundreds of millions of dollars. As a senator's spouse, she files financial disclosure forms. But she says her taxes are entwined with the finances of her three adult children.


TERESA HEINZ KERRY, WIFE OF JOHN KERRY: What I have and what I receive is not just mine, it's also my children's. And I don't know that I have the right to make public what is theirs. If I could separate it, I'd have no problem.


WOODRUFF: Senator Kerry meanwhile was asked yesterday which, of course was Earth Day, if he owns a sport utility vehicle. Because of its poor gas mileage, the SUV is a frequent target for environmentalists.

Kerry first said, quote, "I don't own an SUV." But when asked about a Chevy Suburban kept at the Idaho vacation home owned by his wife, Kerry amended his answer. "The family has it," he said. "I don't have it."

Up next, abortion rights and the race for the White House. I'll talk with two women on opposite sides of the issue ahead of this weekend's big march here in Washington.

The politics of prescription drugs, how one person helped shape the debate.

And later, the secretary of state takes issue with a book about the march to war in Iraq. Just one of the highlights when we look back at "The Week that Was."


WOODRUFF: As abortion rights supporters gather here in Washington for Sunday's march on the National Mall, I'm joined by two leaders on opposite sides of this issue. Ellen Malcolm is the founder and president of Emily's List, a group that works to elect Democratic women who support abortion rights and Janice Crouse is with the Beverly La Haye Institute, a branch of Concerned Women for America. Welcome to both of you.

Ellen Malcolm, let me start with you. The polls do show that this country is split on abortion. You also see the percentage of people who say they support abortion rights has been slipping since the mid-1990s. Is it harder these days to support people of the rightness of your cause?

ELLEN MALCOLM, PRESIDENT, EMILY'S LIST: I think what we see is a majority of Americans support Roe v. Wade and the polling data changes the way you ask the question. Certainly men and women believe that women should have the right to make that personal decision without government interference. I think as we see now, the extremist policies coming out of the Republican administration, people are getting a lot more energized on this issue and it's going to rise on the list of things that people are concerned about when they decide who they're going to vote for.

WOODRUFF: Janice Crouse, I want to ask you about the polls because you can look at them another way. The most recent polls show 40 percent of Americans think it should be legal in all or most circumstances. Only 17 percent think it should be illegal under all circumstances. Is that discouraging to you?

JANICE CROUSE, CONCERNED WOMEN FOR AMERICA: No, it's not because I think truth is on our side and the more scientific data comes out, the stronger the pro-life position gets. It's really interesting to me to see that the more sonograms get in terms of their detail, the more people turn pro-life. When they look at all of those little babies in the womb and see the moves, see them suck their thumbs, and so forth, they see a real person there. And that has changed opinions, I think, very, very dramatically.

WOODRUFF: Is that hurting your cause, Ellen Malcolm?

MALCOLM: I think most people understand that occasionally, there are times where there are unexpected pregnancies, a mother would be concerned about her teenage daughter who made a mistake, family planning doesn't work as one anticipated. And so there are times when people need to make a decision. And we believe that the woman should make that decision with her doctor and her loved ones and the government should stay out of that process.


CROUSE: Ironically, Judy, the majority of the women who make that very painful gut-wrenching choice make it because somebody is insisting that they make it, a boyfriend or someone that they're living with. And that decision is not one that is dominated by health concerns or by a fetus that is unhealthy or malformed in some way. It is a decision that's made primarily because the girl feels that she's left alone from some financial reason or lack of emotional support that's not there and the pro-life people are there to provide that support.

WOODRUFF: Ellen Malcolm, is this going to be an issue in the election this year? Is it going to be an issue?

MALCOLM: I think it's going to be an issue for a number of reasons. I think a lot of people are very concerned about the conservative bend of the Republican administration and their extreme positions on this in many areas. We're very concerned about the Supreme Court. I think the next president could put a couple of people on the Supreme Court, and if that is the case and President Bush is elected, I think Roe v. Wade will be turned around and that will be a devastating issue for many people.

WOODRUFF: Is that what your organization and others who agree with you want? Would you like to see the Supreme Court do away with Roe versus Wade?

CROUSE: I keep hearing her talk about extremism and yet the majority of American women do not want an abortion and even the feminists themselves say things like we don't want abortion to be a common form of birth control. We want it to be rare. Nobody wants abortion. It's a last option for even people who choose that option. It's not an extremist position.

WOODRUFF: But what about wanting the Supreme Court...

CROUSE: In terms of legality, yes, if I were to choose and I had to make the call, I would say no, nobody should have to make that terribly painful choice. There are so many people who want to adopt a child. Why not make that choice where your child that you don't want somebody else is dying to have a child.

MALCOLM: Let me give an example of what I mean by extremism. The Bush administration attempted to take coverage of contraception out of the health care coverage for federal employees. Now, the Democrats were able to stop that. But that's what I mean by an extreme position. If you really care about this issue, I think you would be supportive of people who want to have contraceptive coverage under their health care. I think we see it also on issues like stem cell research where the president really blocked the use of stem cells in research to find cures for Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. And so I think it has hampered our ability to find cures for those disease. We think the priorities are wrong.

WOODRUFF: Just very quickly, Janice Crouse, today at the Vatican, a cardinal said that politicians, Catholic politicians who favor abortion rights should not receive communion. Is this a position that supports your point of view, do you think?

CROUSE: I think it's time in this country, Judy, that we had people who stand up for their values at a time when the church and people of Christian values who say they believe their principles and their Christian faith stand up for it. So, yes, I think if the church is going to stand for something, have the people who represent the church represent those beliefs. Otherwise, get out of the church and, you know, stand for secular beliefs.

WOODRUFF: Very quickly, Ellen Malcolm, where does that leave John Kerry with that view coming out of the Catholic Church.

MALCOLM: Obviously, people have deeply held religious beliefs and that's fine, but I think we should have a separation between people's religion and the state. I think John Kerry is going to be a strong voice to support choice and that's going to do him well in this election.

WOODRUFF: We're going to have to leave it there. Ellen Malcolm with Emily's List. Janice Crouse, with Concerned Women of America, the Beverly La Haye group. Thank you very much. Good to see both of you.

A uniter, not a divider. Who is he and what did he do to earn our play of the week. The answer when INSIDE POLITICS continues.


WOODRUFF: Bipartisanship is often in short supply on Capitol Hill. So when a lawmaker brings together both political friends and foes to pass landmark legislation, our Bill Schneider takes notice -- Bill.

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Judy, you know it is rare these days for an issue to break through the boundaries of partisanship and when it does, we'll call it the political play of the week.


SCHNEIDER (voice-over): What issue can bring together Ted Kennedy and Trent Lott? This one.

SEN. BYRON DORGAN (D), NORTH DAKOTA: We pay here in the United States the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. By far. We believe it's unfair.

SCHNEIDER: There's a grassroots rebellion brewing across America.

GOV. TIM PAWLENTY (R), MINNESOTA: I think we are in the doing the prescription medicine equivalent of the Boston Tea Party.

SCHNEIDER: Seniors are outraged over prescription drug prices.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now why is it so much higher here for the same drugs?

SCHNEIDER: Politicians smell an issue.

DORGAN: Sent to Canada, sent to the United States. $1.01 per tablet to Canada, $1.81 per tablet to the United States.

SCHNEIDER: Why not let U.S. citizens import prescription drugs from other countries? Isn't that supposed to be one of the advantages of globalization?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm a Republican. Let's go out into the world market and try to get a better deal for Americans.

SCHNEIDER: States are taking matters into their own hands. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, three states and the District of Columbia have passed laws regulating drug imports or reimports. 17 more states are considering related legislation. The House of Representatives by a 243-186 vote last year passed a bill to allow legal reimportation of prescription drugs. Many different versions of the same bill have been proposed in the Senate. Now senators led by Byron Dorgan of North Dakota have gotten their act together.

DORGAN: A group of us Republicans and Democrats decided to see could we put together a core bill that represents the philosophy and the practical approaches that will actually allow this to happen.

SCHNEIDER: The Bush administration, the FDA and congressional majority leaders have opposed the idea. But the White House says it's waiting for the results of a study of drug reimportation that is required by the new Medicare law. Does the bill have a chance to pass?

SEN. EDWARD KENNEDY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: This one has a lot of horsepower and a lot of firepower behind it in terms of the membership that are in support of it.

SCHNEIDER: And it's an election year. If the voters want cheap imports they're likely to get cheap imports and the politicians who give it to them get the political play of the week.


SCHNEIDER: What about the new Medicare prescription drug plan? It does not give seniors the one thing they really want, lower drug prices. So they're taking matters into their own hands and politicians are rushing to catch up.

WOODRUFF: Something to watch, isn't it.


WOODRUFF: Bill Schneider, political play of the week, thanks.

Well, trading barbs out on the campaign trail and the planning behind the war in Iraq. Highlights of the week that was when INSIDE POLITICS continues.


WOODRUFF: The specter of the Vietnam war rises on the campaign trail, and fresh fallout from the latest bestseller on the leadup to the war in Iraq. It is all part of the week that was.



MAX CLELAND (D), FMR. U.S SENATOR: The tragedy of the Iraq war is that this president never served in war. I didn't see Don Rumsfeld there, I didn't see Dick Cheney there.

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Best I've ever heard you. That's incredible.

CLELAND: Good luck.

BUSH: They can't stand the thought of Iraq being free. Stakes are high. They view freedom as a real threat to their ambitions. And we're not going to cut and run if I'm in the Oval Office.

KERRY: We need another one.

BOB WOODWARD, AUTHOR, "PLAN OF ATTACK": This war plan you can take it to the bank, it's going to happen. Cheney then said when we start, not if, but when we start, Saddam is toast.

COLIN POWELL, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: I was intimately familiar with those deployment plans. The suggestion that somehow a plan was presented to Prince Bandar that I was not familiar with is just flat wrong.

JON STEWART, "THE DAILY SHOW": Unfortunately for Powell, by the time the war planning passed through Bush to Cheney then to Rice then to Rumsfeld and finally to Prince Bandar and then down to him, he was actually left wondering why we were going after leopards of grass construction.

BUSH: If he can find a third side to an issue, I'm confident he would take it.

KERRY: He doesn't have a record to run on. He has a record to run away from.


WOODRUFF: That's the week that was. That's it for INSIDE POLITICS. Bob Woodward is with us on Monday. I'm Judy Woodruff. Have a good weekend. "CROSSFIRE" right now.


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