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Edwards' Trial Lawyer Background at Odds with Bush's Campaign; Military Calling Up Reservists Returned to Civilian Life; "New York Post" Mistakenly Declares Gephardt Kerry's Choice

Aired July 6, 2004 - 20:00   ET


JUDY WOODRUFF, HOST, "JUDY WOODRUFF'S INSIDE POLITICS" (voice- over): Tonight, Republicans target John Edwards.

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Senator John Edwards from North Carolina.

WOODRUFF: A freshman senator...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: John Edwards is someone who had only four years experience in the United States Senate.

WOODRUFF: With a liberal record.

SEN. JOHN EDWARDS (D-NC), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: President Bush has fallen short of that goal.

WOODRUFF: No international credentials...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No foreign policy experience.

WOODRUFF: And he's not John McCain.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not a bad choice for his second pick.

WOODRUFF: The case for and against vice presidential candidate John Edwards.

Plus, taking a front page from history. A big city paper, a tabloid at that, gets it all wrong.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You see this morning?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Isn't that a joke?


WOODRUFF: Good evening and thank you for joining us. I'm Judy Woodruff. Paula has the night off. Senators John Kerry and John Edwards are now ticket mates in the race for the White House. And tomorrow, they will begin campaigning together. Senator Edwards met up with the Kerry campaign in Pittsburgh just a few hours ago. Tomorrow in Ohio, the new Democratic presidential running mates will kick off a multi-state campaign tour.

The Republicans meanwhile have a new campaign of their own. Attacking John Edwards.


KERRY: I am pleased to announce that with your help, the next vice president of the United States of America will be Senator John Edwards from North Carolina.

WOODRUFF (voice-over): And with that announcement, two former rivals became running mates. Republicans like Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney wasted no time criticizing Kerry's choice.

MITT ROMNEY (R), MASSACHUSETTS: That's an individual who only a few months ago John Kerry was saying didn't have the experience for this job. So I think lack of experience will be an issue.

WOODRUFF: Of all the finalists, Kerry chose the man with the least political experience. In fact, John Edwards never served in public office until he was voted into the Senate just six years ago, a fact that Kerry used to his advantage during the early days of the campaign for the Democratic nomination.

KERRY: When I came back from Vietnam in 1969, ladies and gentlemen, I'm not sure if John Edwards was out of diapers then yet or not. I'm not sure, I don't know.

WOODRUFF: Kerry backed off his comment, but Republicans and even some Democrats continued to question Edwards' lack of experience.

And today, with so much attention being focused on Iraq, Afghanistan, and terrorism, Edwards' inexperience in foreign policy and national security issues is no doubt what Republicans will focus on.

ED GILLESPIE, CHAIRMAN, RNC: Who he is to us is what Senator Kerry said he is not very long ago when he said that John Edwards is someone who had only four years' experience in the United States Senate, who has no international experience, no foreign policy experience, and said the American people can't afford to provide somebody on-the-job training on national security issues in the world today.

WOODRUFF: Edwards is also open to attacks from the GOP for his work as a trial lawyer, a line of work many Republicans don't like. Edwards made millions suing big corporations. So much so that the Republican National Committee calls him a, quote, "friend to personal injury trial lawyers." End quote.


WOODRUFF: So question. Will Edwards' lack of political experience, among other things, prove to be a major weakness? Joining me now here in Washington, one of his Democratic colleagues in the U.S. Senate, John Breaux of Louisiana.

And in our New York studios, the Reverend Al Sharpton who ran against Senators Edwards and Kerry in the Democratic presidential primaries.

Reverend Sharpton, Senator Breaux, good to see both of you.

Senator Breaux, let me start with you. Republicans are saying the most liberal member of the Senate has now picked another liberal member of the Senate and this is a team. Is this just going to be a great opportunity for Republicans to beat on two men they think they've got the goods on?

SEN. JOHN BREAUX (D), LOUISIANA: I think the American people are tired of people just beating each other up. They all judge John Kerry and John Edwards based on what they represent. It's a good ticket. It will sell well in the south. I was very pleased that he picked John Edwards. Because he can talk to the needs of rural farmers in my part of the country, he can talk to a single mom who is trying to raise children, or a factory worker who is worried about his future. It's a good ticket, he can articulate those needs.

WOODRUFF: Reverend Sharpton, was this the best choice though that John Kerry could have made?

REV. AL SHARPTON (D), FMR. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think out of the list we heard, it probably was the best choice. I'm very excited about it. I think it's going to spell victory. I think that many of the attacks we hear from the GOP will backfire. John Edwards is a one-term senator. George Bush was a one-term governor. So who determines experience? If we were going by that, then they should have never ran George Bush.

I think that John Edwards proved during the race he understands all Americans and I can't wait to see him debate Dick Cheney. Here's a man who fought for people, regular middle class people, as opposed to a man who made money for Halliburton. It will be a wonderful American experience.

WOODRUFF: Well, speaking of money, Senator Breaux, we know the Republicans are going to go after John Edwards. He's made millions of dollars being a trial lawyer, litigating personal injury cases. Why isn't he very vulnerable on that point?

BREAUX: Well, Judy, he was a great trial lawyer. But I think those same qualities that he had as a trial attorney, representing individuals who were hurt and injured through the negligence of others will allow him to become a great vice president of the United States. I mean, representing people who have been injured because of negligence of others is not something we should frown upon because he was doing a job, representing people who needed help. And as vice president, he can take those same qualities I think and become a great vice president. WOODRUFF: Reverend Sharpton, you, during the primary season talked about the need for a president who understands people of all races, of all gender, religious beliefs, sexual orientation. This is a white male ticket. You're satisfied?

SHARPTON: Well, I mean, I think that it is two white males at the top. But I think they have demonstrated a capacity to understand all Americans across the board. They have been sensitive. I stood on the stage, Judy, over 30 times with both of these men, I looked them in the eye. I would not go out and campaign for them if I didn't believe in them, and I do believe in them. I raised hard issues to them. I think that they will safely guide us in the twenty-first century.

John Edwards did make money. He made money because he got money for victims. I can trust a man that fought for regular people, rather than a man who made millions off of a baseball deal that we still don't know how he made that money.

WOODRUFF: Senator Breaux, what about John Edwards' lack of experience? Really, very minimal experience when it comes to international affairs going up against George Bush and Dick Cheney, who've been doing -- Dick Cheney in particular. He was defense secretary. He served as vice president and has had a long career in the city.

BREAUX: Judy, two points. Number one, John Edwards has probably met more foreign leaders, more heads of state, more prime ministers, more defense ministers, certainly than President Bush met when he offered himself as a candidate for president. Number one.

And number two, experience doesn't mean intelligence. I know a lot of people that's been in this business for 30 years and they still are as uneducated on the matters that are important as they were the first day they got here. So just being here a long time doesn't necessarily equate to intelligence. And I think John Kerry has shown what you can do in a very short period of time.

WOODRUFF: Reverend Sharpton, what about what John Edwards brings to this ticket in terms of reaching out to African-American voters and others? I just asked you about a ticket that looks like America. This one doesn't do that. But is this a ticket that's going to appeal to America?

SHARPTON: I think that if the candidates address the issues, and if they appeal to the needs and concerns of most Americans, they will get a response.

I remember John Edwards throughout the campaign, started talking about the difference in Americans. And trying to make it one America. That will appeal to African-Americans. It will appeal to Latinos. It will appeal to women. So I think this ticket has a lot of appeal.

I also think that just because you have a president and vice presidential candidate at the top that are white males, that will not be the makeup of their administration. Because you can tell that by the makeup of their platform.

We have in the case of Mr. Bush, who has put some dark faces in high places, but the policies have not helped us. We have 77 percent black youth unemployment. So it is good to have a black big in his administration, but look at what is happening to African-American people under his administration. We're not going to be fooled by that.

I think what they're saying, what they will represent, and how we come out of Boston, will appeal to a cross section of Americans who want to see where America was headed, continue to go in that direction. One America, not the America that George Bush has tried to radically change.

WOODRUFF: Senator Breaux, a quick geography question. Is choosing John Edwards going to help John Kerry in your state of Louisiana?

BREAUX: Judy. Absolutely. It's a good geographic balance, it is a powerful ticket. He'll do well in the south. John Edwards and John Kerry, particularly John Edwards, can speak to the values of the southern part of our nation.

WOODRUFF: So not just Louisiana?

BREAUX: Not just Louisiana, but a number of southern states will do very well.

WOODRUFF: All right. We're going to leave it there. Senator John Breaux of Louisiana, thank you for joining us. The Reverend Al Sharpton, it's always good to see you.

SHARPTON: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: It's good to see both of you gentlemen. Thank you.

Coming up next: the Edwards/Cheney match up. How will the freshman Senator stand up against Dick Cheney and his resume: former White House Chief of Staff, former member of Congress, former Defense Secretary, and now Vice President.


WOODRUFF: Even before John Edwards was chosen, political cartoonists already were making hay with the drastic differences between the vice presidential rivals.

Here, the "Atlanta Journal-Constitution" showing Edwards trying out some variations on a colorful phrase that we heard a lot about last week. The punch line, he's, quote, "just trying to seem vice presidential." It refers, of course, to that incident when Vice President Cheney recently threw an expletive at a colleague on the Senate floor, Senator Pat Leahy.

Well, it's hard to find two men who are a more glaring study in contrast than Dick Cheney and John Edwards in many ways. Edwards is a first-term senator, a gregarious campaigner who's drawn on his working-class background to shape a populist appeal. Dick Cheney is a veteran Republican insider, comfortable in some corporate board rooms and comfortable in political street fights as well.

National correspondent Bruce Morton takes a closer look at two men who are, in many ways, polar opposites.


BRUCE MORTON, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're different. Boy, are they different. Vice President Cheney -- Mr. Inside, Mr. War, once an aide to young Congressman Donald Rumsfeld, was President Gerald Ford's Chief of Staff, was a Congressman, was the first President Bush's Secretary of Defense, was -- well, you get the idea. Believes in secrecy, believes in a link between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, whether the 9/11 Commission agrees with him or not.

DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Senior al Qaeda associate Abu Musab al Zarqawi took sanctuary in Baghdad after coalition forces drove him out of Afghanistan. From the Iraqi capital in 2002, Zarqawi, along with some two dozen associates -- al Qaeda members and affiliates -- ran poisons camp in -- poison camp in northern Iraq.

MORTON: John Edwards: poor man's son -- his dad had to borrow $50 at 100% interest to pay the hospital bill when he was born. The same dad told him, "Hit bigger boys in the nose, they'll back down." He made a fortune as a lawyer by representing people, many of them poor, against corporations, insurance companies, and so on. His political career, like his law practice, has been for the underdog.

SENATOR JOHN EDWARDS (D), NORTH CAROLINA: I spent almost two decades as a lawyer, as a advocate, fighting for the same people that I had grown up with -- people like my dad, people who worked in the mill with him. In my view, they represent most of America. And they're the America that this president is leaving behind every single day.

MORTON: Neither served in the military: Edwards had a high number in the draft lottery; Cheney had a string of deferments and then parenthood. "I had other priorities than military service," he has said. He's 63, Edwards 51.

Will the old bear beat up the new kid? It has happened. Remember Lloyd Bentsen on Dan Quayle in 1988's Vice Presidential Debate, when Quayle said he was about the same age as John Kennedy had been?

SENATOR LLOYD BENTSEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy.

MORTON: Knockout punch, right? Except, of course, it was Quayle -- the first President Bush's running mate -- who won and Bentsen -- Michael Dukakis's -- who lost. Back in 1968, Hubert Humphrey and Ed Muskie ran against Richard Nixon and Maryland Governor Spiro Agnew. Muskie seemed much better qualified. There was even an ad.


MORTON: But of course, it was Nixon and Agnew who won. And this time, it's a choice, but...

STUART ROTHENBERG, "ROTHENBERG REPORT": There's going to be a stark choice here, if voters decide to make a choice, on the basis of the vice presidential candidates.

MORTON: Usually, they don't. Well, there is one other difference between these two. As far as we know, only Vice President Cheney has used the f-word on the floor of the U.S. Senate. Still, Edwards is much younger; he could catch up.


WOODRUFF: All right. Bruce Morton with his thoughts.

Joining me now to compare and contrast the vice presidential candidates and to talk more about John Kerry's choice: in New York, regular contributor and "TIME" magazine Columnist, Joe Klein; here in Washington with me, regular contributor Victoria Clarke, who is also a former Pentagon spokesperson; and in Mountain View, California, CNN Political Analyst Carlos Watson. It's so good to see all three of you.

Joe Klein, I'm going to start with you. I know people don't vote, necessarily, on who the vice president is, but compare Dick Cheney and John Edwards. Where do they -- how do they stack up against one another?

JOE KLEIN, COLUMNIST, "TIME" MAGAZINE: Well, you know, the Democrats have to be thinking that this is like an old Frank Capra movie from the 1930s: John Edwards, the fighting young populist, against Dick Cheney, the evil banker with the rimless eyeglasses.

Of course, it's not going to be as simple as that. And John -- you know, John Edwards is going to have to deal with the fact that he doesn't have very much foreign policy experience at all, and that is Dick Cheney's specialty.

WOODRUFF: And Torie Clarke, you know a little bit about foreign policy. Are the Republicans going to go after him for that?

VICTORIA 'TORIE' CLARKE, "PAULA ZAHN NOW" CONTRIBUTOR: Absolutely. It's one of, if not the most important issue in the campaign. And John Kerry is the one who has said several times -- I saw him say it recently -- "This is probably the most important election in this country's history." I agree with that. He also said many, many times that John Edwards, nice as he is, is not ready for this job. That says volumes, absolute volumes. WOODRUFF: So, Carlos, when you -- when you hear all this, and you think about Dick Cheney going up against John Edwards and vice versa, what do you think?

CARLOS WATSON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think there clearly will be a visual contrast, but I think John Edwards maybe brings three things, Judy, that people are overlooking.

Clearly they know he's a good campaigner, he's an orator, he might help in the south, but three other things. In John Edwards, you get not just one good campaigner, but two. Elizabeth Edwards, his wife, is a very good campaigner. We'll see a lot of her.

Number two, while a lot of people expect that John Edwards will help in the Midwest and in the south, don't be surprised to see him in the southwest, some of those toss-up states like Nevada and Arizona.

And last, but not least, there's a compelling bio to the extent that John Kerry brings you a powerful foreign policy bio. I think there's a significant biography, domestic policy biography, that you get with John Edwards. And I think you'll start to see a lot of that on airwaves.

WOODRUFF: All right. I'm going to ask all three of you to stand by: Carlos, Torie, and Joe. When we come back, we're going to talk strategy. I want to ask, you know, we're all wondering what does this choice say about John Kerry? More on that when we come back.


WOODRUFF: We're back now with Joe Klein, Tori Clarke, and Carlos Watson. You know, the polls showing many Americans, some already being willing to say, yes, I'll take another look at George W. Bush, but they're not ready to go with John Kerry. They still don't quite know who John Kerry is.

So my question first, Joe Kline, is what does this choice say about John Kerry?

KLEIN: I think that he chose with John Edwards the future, rather than the status quo, in terms of Dick Gephardt or very solid Tom Vilsack. One thing I have to say about Edwards though, and this is going to be one of the most difficult transition he's going to face. He's going to have to switch hats. He wore the white hat during the primaries. He was the guy who wouldn't criticize any of his opponents. Who was the nice guy above the fray. Now he's going to have to be the attack dog. He's going to have to trade in his white hat for a black hat. You've seen Dick Cheney doing this on the road the last week. And as you know, this is not something that Cheney likes to do publicly, but it is something a vice president has to do. And we don't know yet whether John Edwards is capable emotionally of doing it.


WOODRUFF: No, we don't. Go ahead, Carlos. WATSON: Judy, one thing about Joe's point, I wonder how much John Edwards is going to ultimately be the attack dog. We may have a situation where that's what's expected of him, but that may not be what he's comfortable doing and instead, you park him in the Midwest, and you park him maybe a little bit in the south, and you have him hold down those key states and go after Ohio. What you may also do, is you see more of Al Gore or some other Democratic luminaries, who play more of the role of attack dog, allowing John Edwards to remain the good cop. So, I think Joe is right. That's an interesting story that we've got to watch unfold over the next month or two. The first sign will come at the Democratic Convention when John Edwards gives his speech.

KLEIN: Carlos -- Carlos, at one point they're going to have to park him in a TV studio with Dick Cheney. And you remember four years ago, when Joe Lieberman debated Dick Cheney, he was very kind, very nice, very civil. I don't know whether that will go this time. I think that you might hear the word Halliburton a couple of times from John Edwards. The question is how aggressive he's going to be in that debate. He's going to have to be, because Dick Cheney oozes authority.

WATSON: You're saying he's going to hit him -- you're saying he's got to hit him with a smile? He's going to hit him with a smile. I think Halliburton is right, but I think there's one thing to bring up issues, and another thing to be a true Spiro Agnew attack dog. I'm not sure really, frankly, he's got it in him to be a Spiro Agnew type attack dog or Bob Dole in '76.

WOODRUFF: Well, let me bring Tori Clarke back in here.

If Edwards goes after Dick Cheney on some of these things, how is Dick Cheney going to handle it?

CLARKE: First of all I never underestimate John Edwards' ability to do that. What's fascinating is the conflict that sets up for the campaign. I think the biggest reason they picked John Edwards is to have cheerful and upbeat, instead of the doom and gloom, that people associated with the Kerry campaign. So, you've been marketing him as one thing, this cheerful, positive guy, and then all of a sudden he's the attack dog?

I don't know how that culture clash will work in the campaign.

WOODRUFF: But why isn't that a positive though for Democrats for -- you know, for them to have a smiling, sunny countenance in the person of John Edwards?

CLARKE: It may very well be, but they can't turn him into an attack dog at the same time. So, they're going to have a conflict within that campaign of what role they want him to play.


WOODRUFF: Go ahead. KLEIN: You know, Tori is talking about gloom and doom. And it was striking to me today how the Republicans came out of the box, attacking John Edwards. That's almost unprecedented. I don't remember the Democrats attacking Jack Kemp. I don't remember the Republicans attacking Joe Lieberman. This is a very unusual circumstance. Usually what happens is what Dick Cheney did today, which was to call Edwards congratulate him, and say "Let's have a good campaign." And it is an indication of the doom and gloom that's been emanating from the Bush campaign over the past few months. It's been almost entirely negative. And I think there's a real challenge for the president here, to show a positive vision of the country and not just attack negatively Kerry's and now Edwards' credibility in this really pretty vicious way.

WATSON: Judy, right now.


WOODRUFF: I want to let Tori get a word in.


CLARKE: You know, it's one thing to read the DNC talking points, it's another to use them when you're on CNN. The attacks from the Democratic Party in the campaign on the Bush administration have been endless, hourly kind of thing. I think what you're going to see, going back to your question about the strategy, what you're going to see from Bush and Cheney is trying to raise and elevate this debate.

What is this about?

This is about trade policies that recognize the economy is globalizing. This is about education policies that truly reform the education system. This about a national security strategy that recognizes we can't wait for those guys to whack us. They are going to be the ones, somewhat ironically because they're considered older and they're considered the veterans, they're going to be the ones putting out the forward looking agenda. And again, I think that will be a very, very interesting...

WOODRUFF: Carlos. I want to give Carlos a chance.

If that happens, Carlos, how do the Democrats come back?

WATSON: One thing about the attacks, I think there's a fear that John Edwards could lead to a double digit bounce. You remember, that Gore provided an 11 point bounce in '92, Kemp a 9 point bounce. But in 2000, Cheney and Lieberman only offered 3 and 5 points. I think the Republicans are smartly saying, let's not let a close race get away from us in the month of July, and they're attacking now. Let me point to another issue that I think is going to come up, which is the death penalty, and where John Kerry and John Edwards stand. They've got different positions. For the most part Kerry opposes it, and we haven't talked a lot about that in the campaign. John Edwards is in favor of it. And expect to hear a lot of that from the Republican Party. When Tori says substantive issues will come up, I think the death penalty, which is a meaningful issue, particularly with rural voters in the south and Midwest, I think that could be an issue that you hear again and again over the next month or two.

WOODRUFF: All right. We're going to have to leave it there.

Carlos Watson, Joe Klein, Tori Clarke, it's wonderful to see all three of you.

CLARKE: Thank you.

WATSON: Good to see you.

WOODRUFF: Coming by this Tuesday night, appreciate it.

When we come back, John Edwards, before the Senate, his career as a medical malpractice lawyer.

And later, everybody makes mistakes. But not every mistake screams at you from the front page, like the Gephardt for V.P. goof on the cover of one big city tabloid today.


WOODRUFF: Before he became a Senator, John Edwards was one of the country's most successful trial lawyers, taking on some of North Carolina's biggest medical malpractice suits.

For example, in 1985, Edwards argued the case of Jennifer Campbell, a little girl born with cerebral palsy after a difficult delivery, saying to the jury, and I'm quoting John Edwards, "She speaks to you through me. I didn't plan to talk about this. Right now I feel her. I feel her presence. She's inside me, and she's talking to you."

The jury responded by awarding Campbell $6.5 million. A judge ruled the verdict excessive, and the lawsuit was eventually settled out of court.

With that case, Edwards cemented his reputation as one of North Carolina's most respected, some would say feared, trial lawyers.

Well, notably, his courtroom success also puts Edwards in direct opposition to the Bush administration, which is trying to limit damages in such lawsuits as malpractice cases.

Joining me now to talk about Edwards' career, we're joined by one of his legal rivals who knows his style well. James Cooney is a defense attorney who squared off against Edwards about a dozen times. He joins us tonight from Charlotte.

And also with us from Raleigh, North Carolina, another attorney who knows Edwards well. Ed Turlington, in fact, served as campaign chairman in Edwards' presidential campaign.

Mr. Cooney, Mr. Turlington, good to see both of you.



WOODRUFF: James Cooney, let me start with you. You faced off against John Edwards in the courtroom. You know, the adjective "feared" was used. Is that an overstatement?

COONEY: No. I don't think anyone "feared" him. You knew when you were going up against John Edwards that you were going up against an opponent who's going to be extraordinarily well prepared.

I always enjoyed going against him, because it made me elevate my game. John was just very good at everything he did.

The important part to know about John Edwards as a trial lawyer, is it was never about the money. Money is just kind of a way of keeping score. For John, it was about winning. And if it had only been a dollar on the table, he felt so passionately about his client and the rightness of what he was doing, that he was going to win, no matter what the stakes were.

WOODRUFF: And I should point out, you are a political supporter of John Edwards, is that right? You're a Democrat?

COONEY: That's correct.

WOODRUFF: OK. And Ed Turlington, you are obviously a Democrat. You ran his campaign when he ran for president.

What about this comment that Mr. Cooney made, that it wasn't about the money?

TURLINGTON: Well, Judy, John Edwards as a lawyer, was a great advocate. And over a 20-year career, he honed his skills in representing men, women, and children who needed help, who had been injured or needed a lawyer to represent them.

He always showed his commitment in those cases, as he has as a Senator and as a candidate. And to pick up on what Mr. Cooney said, he was prepared.

I remember when I was in the same law firm with John in the early '90s, although I did a different type of work, I saw him many weekends in our law firm, getting prepared. And through his intelligence, his hard work, and his dedication, he was successful for those people who needed help, usually against very entrenched interests who had well- financed defenses.

WOODRUFF: I want to come back to you, James Cooney, on the point about not only about how good a lawyer John Edwards was, but just the fact that he is a lawyer.

I want to show you a poll that CNN, "USA Today" and Gallup ran last fall. This was last November. Eighty-three percent of Americans who were polled, when you asked them what do they think about the honesty and the ethical standards of lawyers, 83 percent say those standards are average or below average. Only 16 percent, above.

Those are pretty stiff expectations or odds for John Edwards to be going up against.

COONEY: Well, they are. But you have to remember, that's something we face every time we walk into the courtroom. And John had a remarkable ability, not only to connect with the jury, but to connect in a very honest way.

When you have 12 people in a jury box, they're the ultimate lie detector. They can tell when somebody's a phony and somebody is not being straight with them.

And with John Edwards, what you got was exactly what he was. He was the same the first day of trial as he was the last day of trial, as he is now. And juries sense that, and they sensed -- they knew he was being straight with them, that he believed passionately in what he was doing, and that he was going to be honest. So he was able to overcome that time after time in the courtroom.

WOODRUFF: You know, Ed Turlington, that may be the case, but we're already hearing Republicans. They've said it before and they're saying it today: John Edwards made millions and millions of dollars representing people in cases where there were either no limits or very high limits on what the awards could be.

And they're pointing a finger and saying that was not an honorable thing to do.

TURLINGTON: Let's look at the record, Judy. John represented all kinds of people, many of whom had strong cases. Others he had to develop those cases and win them.

Second of all, let's look at the facts that during the presidential campaign, Senator Edwards outlined specific proposals to help those doctors and medical professionals in states who can't get insurance, such as discouraging frivolous lawsuits.

So absolutely he's a success as an advocate, as a lawyer. He should be proud of that. But he understands that the system must have certain limits on it, and he's advocated for those.

COONEY: Ms. Woodruff, there seems to be a sense when I hear comments like that, that winning a big verdict is kind of like picking money up off the street in North Carolina. And it's not that way at all. If that were the case, we'd have 30 John Edwards running around the state.

The simple fact is, juries in this state want to make the right decision. And John Edwards had a facility to get them to see the justice of his cause. There was nothing easy or dishonorable about it.

TURLINGTON: Judy, you hear the voice of experience there, a sophisticated trial lawyer who's tried these cases representing all types of people. You know, the larger point that's dismissed in these Republican attacks -- which by the way John Edwards beat like a drum in his 1998 Senate campaign against a Republican incumbent Senator -- is our justice system is set up so that people are hurt or damaged, they have the right to a lawyer. And he was very good at that.

WOODRUFF: We are going to have to leave it there. Ed Turlington, spoken like a real friend of John Edwards. And James Cooney, someone who went up against John Edwards in court, but has clearly come away respecting him.

Gentlemen, we want to thank you both for being with us tonight.

TURLINGTON: Thank you.

COONEY: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: Thank you very, very much.

And later this week on CNN, you'll get the chance to hear from John Kerry on his running mate and the race for the White House. Kerry and his wife Teresa will be Larry King's special guests this Thursday at 9 p.m. Eastern.

Coming up, from the presidential campaign to the war on terror, the unexpected and painful goodbye. The thousands of soldiers who thought they were discharged and done with the military, but who suddenly find themselves headed to war.


WOODRUFF: Today the U.S. Army began contacting 5,600 individual Ready Reservists for service in Iraq and Afghanistan. Tomorrow, members of the House Armed Services Committee will question the Army's top brass about the call-up.

This is the latest group of reservists to be activated. Others are now getting ready to ship out. It is a trip that some of them thought they'd never make.

Our Ed Lavandera talked with one Army captain.


CPT. JOHN BUNCH, READY RESERVIST: This is the bag I'm taking on the plane.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Captain John Bunch never really expected find himself in an El Paso, Texas, Army barrack, packing for a year-long mission to Iraq.

J. BUNCH: This is the stuff that I want to make sure I don't lose: pictures, my Iraq handbook, the Bible.

MARY BUNCH, JOHN BUNCH'S WIFE: Your daddy would like all this. LAVANDERA: Mary Bunch never imagined she'd be spending the next year without her husband in Madison, Wisconsin, taking care of their 4-month-old baby boy Tommy.

The Bunch family is like thousands of other families about to be separated in an unexpected call to duty. Captain Bunch is a soldier in the Individual Ready Reserve, or IRR. These are soldiers that still owe time to the military, but they live like civilians until they're called upon.

J. BUNCH: I didn't think it would actually come to this, to be honest with you. I always used to tell my family, friends that were kind of concerned, they knew that there was still kind of a commitment, but I thought it would be kind of a World War III type scenario.

LAVANDERA: But the orders came in late April, when Captain Bunch got this letter in the mail.

J. BUNCH: Purpose: partial mobilization, Operation Iraqi Freedom.

LAVANDERA: The day he and his wife opened it, they didn't know what was in it.

J. BUNCH: It looks like a sweepstakes letter.

M. BUNCH: And I said, "Oh, that's just probably junk mail."

J. BUNCH: And she was just going to toss it away with the rest of the junk mail.

M. BUNCH: And he said, "No, wait a second."

J. BUNCH: I saw "U.S. Army" on it, "urgent." I knew exactly what it was. There was no doubt in my mind.

M. BUNCH: And he opened it up, and it was -- it was his orders.

J. BUNCH: Pulled the car aside and sat there for -- for awhile. And, you know, some tears were shed. And most of that first day, the first couple of days, were extremely rough.

LAVANDERA: Captain Bunch still owes the Army one more year of service. He graduated from West Point in 1997, served more than two years in active duty, then in the Ohio National Guard.

But after getting married, Bunch joined the IRR so he could pursue his dreams of going back to school, coaching football, and watching his son grow up. Those plans are on hold.

Despite being angry at first, Bunch says he'll make the most of this.

J. BUNCH: This whole experience is going to give me-- is a heck of a story to tell my kids someday when he gets old enough, and I can, you know, teach him a lesson about service, honor, duty to your country. And then, you know, hopefully he'll look at what daddy did and be proud of that.

LAVANDERA (on camera): About 2,000 IRR soldiers already serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Another 5,600 just got called up to help fill positions in units that are understaffed.

The Army says the need for these soldiers is so intense, that another major IRR call-up might be needed within the next year.

(voice-over) Bunch says he feels honored to be wearing the Army uniform again. But with only 30 days of refreshment training and no specific orders he's anxious about what will happen once he gets on the ground in Iraq.

J. BUNCH: If we knew what our assignment was, what our job was going to be, then we could hopefully narrow the focus of our training to better prepare us. We are trained, but to better prepare us for what we're about to do.

M. BUNCH (singing): I'm a little teapot, short and stout.

That's the one your daddy sings to you.

LAVANDERA: Mary Bunch will spend the next year changing diapers...

M. BUNCH: Oh, you want to stand up.

LAVANDERA: ... and watching Tommy take his first steps.

But what Mom and Dad fear most right now is not something they can easily bring themselves to say.

J. BUNCH: Everybody's fear is what they're about to do, you know, the ultimate sacrifice. Because, you know, the fact is, everybody wants to make it home. Everybody wants to see their loved ones again. And I want to see my child grow up. You know, that's the ultimate fear.

M. BUNCH: I guess with this whole thing is that I'm going to have Tommy, because it's making me stay stronger and be a stronger person.

J. BUNCH: I put this together before I left.

LAVANDERA: In about two months, Captain John Bunch has been thrust from the thrills of fatherhood...

J. BUNCH: Actually, the first time that Daddy ever got to hold him.

LAVANDERA: ... into the war in Iraq. These snapshots are the reminder of what's waiting for him when he comes back home.

(END VIDEOTAPE) WOODRUFF: Our Ed Lavandera, reporting from El Paso, Texas.

Captain John Bunch's parents, Tom and Kathie, join us now from Columbus Ohio.

Mr. and Mrs. Bunch, where is your son right now?

KATHIE BUNCH, JOHN BUNCH'S MOTHER: Right now, he's in Kuwait. He called us today. He arrived there last night.

WOODRUFF: And what is his assignment, Mr. Bunch?

TOM BUNCH, JOHN BUNCH'S FATHER: Well, he's still not certain. He knows he's going from Kuwait to Tikrit. He doesn't know what he's going to do yet. As you heard in the piece, he would like to have known his pinpoint assignment earlier, but he still doesn't have it.

He's anxious. Kathie talked to him today. I missed the call.

WOODRUFF: Mrs. Bunch, how are you feeling? How did you feel at first when you heard about this back in April? He said there were tears shed, he was angry. What about you?

K. BUNCH: I guess I wasn't expecting it at all, because I had heard them talking to the IRR. I had no idea what it was. And since then, I've learned many people don't know what it is at all. I was in shock when he called me.

As a matter of fact, today he said, when he went to find out where he was going to go, the Army officer who was giving him his assignment asked him what the IRR was, because they had never ever heard of it. And I think that's one of the reasons we wanted to do this, because we want people to understand what the IRR is.

WOODRUFF: You mean the Army officer had not heard of the Individual Ready Reserves?

K. BUNCH: That's what I was told by my son.

WOODRUFF: Mr. Bunch, we heard your son say, "If I knew what my assignment was, I could be better prepared." What does that say to you?

T. BUNCH: Well, it says a lot to me. John is a man with a big heart. He will do what the Army asks him to do. He will do his best.

But I know he was a little bit uncomfortable about the fact that he wasn't sure exactly what he should be training for. Thirty days isn't a long time, Judy, to come back and hone your skills after being off of active duty for almost four years.

He would have been much happier if he knew exactly what he was doing so the people that were training him could have said, "Captain Bunch, this has changed since you were on active duty. We now do it this way." And I don't know how anyone can be truly confident that he is prepared for the job he's going to do, unless they know what that job is. That goes for John and perhaps the people who are sending him where he's going.

WOODRUFF: Mrs. Bunch, have you tried to speak out to your member of Congress, to anybody in the Army about this?

K. BUNCH: I think now people are ready to listen. We did try shortly after he got his orders to get someone's ear, and nobody really seemed interested. And perhaps it was because nobody knew what it was.

There is one thing that John did want me to say today. He wanted to say that he is going to Tikrit. He knows that. And he is going to a combat unit.

He is a captain. He'll be in charge of men. And that not only is a little disturbing to him, but it's really not fair to those men either, because he hasn't been on active duty for five years now. And he hasn't even had any National Guard duty for two years.

And I think 30 days is not quite enough to get him ready to take on this job.

T. BUNCH: The other thing is that the way that the program, I guess, will ultimately be designed is that these individual augmentees, these IRR individual placements, will be with the unit before they go over so that they have 30 days to prepare with their unit.

John's not going to have that benefit, and neither are the people he's going to be serving with. He's just going to be placed straight in there. And I think that's somewhat worrisome.

WOODRUFF: Mrs. Bunch, Mr. Bunch, what do -- what do you think when you hear it now reported, as it is widely, that the Army is stretched thin, that they may have to call up additional IRRs, Individual Ready Reserves?

T. BUNCH: I don't think there's any doubt that's what's going to happen.

Judy, there are a number of people who have sacrificed tremendously already. In Chillocothe (ph), our hometown, we have a reserve unit that has been deployed there and is still there. We've had a National Guard unit that is -- excuse me, the reserve unit's back; the National Guard unit has been deployed.

And we, you know, we have a number of people who have already done this. And I think that we are stretched very thin.

WOODRUFF: Well, our thoughts are certainly with both of you and with your son's wife and baby. And we can't imagine what you must be going through.

We thank you very much.

K. BUNCH: Thank you.

T. BUNCH: Thank you, Judy.

WOODRUFF: As we support the troops. Thank you all, Mr. And Mrs. Bunch. Tom and Kathie Bunch, joining us from Columbus, Ohio, originally from Chillocothe (ph).

Well, I'm sure we'll want to hear from the Army, all about that, to react.

When we come back though, tonight, a page one embarrassment: one newspaper's painful mistake.


WOODRUFF: Today, the "New York Post" got the scoop on the Democratic veepstakes. Blazoned on the tabloid's front page, the words "Kerry's Choice, An Exclusive." One little problem, though, the V.P. candidate named was not John Edwards.

Here's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): "If John Edwards says yes," sounds like a marriage proposal. Well, here's the happy couple. Unless you happen to be reading the "New York Post."

(on camera) See this this morning?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Isn't that a joke? Isn't that a joke?

MOOS (voice-over): Even among normally blase New Yorkers, jaws dropped.


MOOS: You couldn't blame folks for getting mixed up.

(on camera) Did you hear the news this morning?


MOOS (voice-over): Kerry picks Gephardt. It was a "New York Post" exclusive.

(on camera) It was exclusively their error!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a big boo-boo, isn't it?


MOOS: Did you see this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I love that. That's the Dewey versus Truman of our time.

MOOS: You've seen the picture: victorious President Truman gleefully holding up the "Chicago Daily Tribune's" whopper of a mistake.

We had to imagine Senator Edwards holding up the "Post," because he wasn't waving it in fellow Democrat Dick Gephardt's face.

Gephardt himself seemed to suggest he wasn't convinced when he heard reports of the "Post" saying Kerry had chosen him.

REP. RICHARD GEPHARDT (D), MISSOURI: I guess I'm from Missouri: "show me."

MOOS: Missouri, the Show Me State. Show me the money.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'll buy that off you for 50 cents, double your money right now.

MOOS: Double it? On eBay, the price for this rare "New York Post" blunder was $26 and rising.

The conservative leaning "Post" explained the error by saying the editor in chief made the decision after the "Post" received information it believed to be correct. "We unreservedly apologize to our readers for the mistake."



MOOS: Hours after Kerry picked Edwards, the front page faux pas was still being sold on the street. A competing tabloid tweaked its nemesis.

(on camera) The "Daily News" sent the "Post" a case of champagne.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would have, too.

MOOS: Technically, it was sparkling wine, Cold Duck, accompanied by a note that said, "Have a nice day."

In the race to be first, sometimes it pays to say...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Whoa! That's too much.


WOODRUFF: Oh, well. Everybody makes mistakes sometimes. That was Jeanne Moos.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) WOODRUFF: Thank you for being with us tonight. Tomorrow, the first look at exclusive photos and interviews with the presidential rivals and their wives.

"LARRY KING LIVE" is next. Thanks for joining us. Good night.


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