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CNN CROSSFIRE

Swift Boat Veterans Launch New Ad Attacking Kerry; Iraq Olympic Soccer Team Speaks Out Against Politics In Sports

Aired August 20, 2004 - 16:30   ET

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


ANNOUNCER: CROSSFIRE, on the left, James Carville and Paul Begala; on the right, Robert Novak and Tucker Carlson.
In the crossfire, a new ad targets John Kerry.

(BEGIN SWIFT BOAT VETERANS FOR TRUTH POLITICAL AD)

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Crimes committed on a day-to-day basis.

UNIDENTIFIED CRITIC: He betrayed us in the past, how could we be loyal to him now?

(END SWIFT BOAT VETERANS FOR TRUTH POLITICAL AD)

ANNOUNCER: Are the attacks having an impact?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KERRY: The president keeps telling people he would never question my service to our country. Instead, he watches as a Republican-funded attack group does just that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: Today on CROSSFIRE.

Live from the George Washington University, Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson.

TUCKER CARLSON, CNN "CROSSFIRE" HOST: Welcome to CROSSFIRE. The group Swift Boats Veterans For Truth has fired yet another well aimed salvo in their campaign against John Kerry.

Their latest damage -- we'll show you it in just a moment -- doesn't accuse John Kerry of a thing. It merely replays tape of him attacking his fellow veterans.

According to a new poll, which we'll also show you, his fellow veterans don't like it one bit.

PAUL BEGALA, CNN "CROSSFIRE" HOST: Well, the new ad, of course, features a carefully edited tape, mind you, after which war hero Kerry is accused of betraying his fellow soldiers. Nice stuff.

Meanwhile, President Bush can't seem to muster the guts to denounce these attacks, perhaps because he hopes they'll distract voters from the jobless economy here at home and the endless occupation in Iraq. The politics of courage, or lack thereof, today in the CROSSFIRE.

But first, the best little political briefing in television, our CROSSFIRE "Political Alert."

President Bush today relaxed in Crawford, Texas. There, the alleged man of the people can enjoy his private 1,600-acre ranch with its seven private canyons, miles of private creek front or perhaps fish in his private lake stocked with plenty of private fish.

Of course, there won't be any average anglers wetting a line with their buddy, George this weekend. The signs in front of the ranch say no stopping, no standing, no parking.

But perhaps Mr. Bush would cut his fellow Texans a little slack. After all, recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the unemployment rate has risen in McLennan County, where Crawford sits, and that the nearby city of Waco has lost almost 1,000 jobs since Mr. Bush became president.

Come to think of it, maybe there's a good reason Mr. Bush doesn't want to hang out with any of the common folk near his ranch.

CARLSON: So Paul, if your point is that Bush has a big vacation house, Kerry has four. But the idea that...

BEGALA: It's very bad...

CARLSON: He goes on vacation -- he goes on vacation, that's the story? It's the end of August, Paul.

BEGALA: Even his hometown has gotten the shaft under George W. Bush, even Crawford, Texas, even McLennan County.

CARLSON: You are really scrapping the very bottom -- under the barrel...

BEGALA: He has...

CARLSON: Not even under the barrel, below the barrel.

BEGALA: You know what, the 1,000 people in Waco who had jobs under Clinton lost their jobs under Bush.

CARLSON: Yes, he did that. Bush did that. You know why? Because he evil.

BEGALA: No, because he's stupid and he has an inept economic policy.

CARLSON: He's evil.

BEGALA: He doesn't know what he's doing.

CARLSON: He's evil.

BEGALA: No, just incompetent.

CARLSON: He's, ooh, very, very evil.

OK. Say what you want about Ted Kennedy, but the Massachusetts senator is probably not a danger to air travelers. Yes, he's misguided and pompous, but even his enemies concede that the 72-year old Democrat is unlikely to hijack an airplane.

Keep him away from the drink cart, and all is likely to be fine. But that's not the view of the federal government.

Earlier this year, Kennedy's name somehow wound up on a watch- list used to keep terrorists off airplanes. Five separate times, Kennedy was unable to buy a plane ticket until he explained to supervisors who he was. And even then, when the mistake was recognized, it took weeks to correct.

The point is not that Ted Kennedy was inconvenienced, but that airport security is dangerously stupid. Radical Muslims have declared war on America, middle-aged, Irish senators have not.

We know the difference, but we refuse to recognize it for fear of committing racial profiling. So, Ted Kennedy gets treated like Osama bin Laden. It sounds funny, and it is sort of funny, but some day it will be tragic.

BEGALA: I think that's the perfect bumper sticker for the Bush campaign, dangerously stupid.

That's their policy...

(APPLAUSE)

BEGALA: ... their government.

CARLSON: No, actually...

BEGALA: They are both dangerous and stupid.

CARLSON: ... it is a liberal policy. This idea that you're going to hurt...

BEGALA: Who's running the government? George W. Bush.

CARLSON: Actually, Norm Mineta, a Democrat...

BEGALA: A Bush appointee.

CARLSON: I agree. And I disagree with it, that's my point. I am attacking the Bush administration's policy, but I am also attacking the liberal idea that committing racial profiling, whatever that is, is scarier than a terrorist attack. It is not.

BEGALA: It is a Bush policy. CARLSON: And they ought to change it. That's what I'm saying.

(APPLAUSE)

BEGALA: Well, speaking of our president, the most heart-warming story of the Olympics has been the stunning play of the Iraqi soccer team. Athletes whose predecessors were tortured by Uday Hussein are now kicking butt and kicking soccer balls, in Athens.

Not surprisingly, President Bush is trying to take credit for the success of the Iraqi athletes. He has a new ad that does so, and he said this recently in Oregon.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Just the image of the Iraqi soccer team playing in this Olympics is fantastic, isn't it?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BEGALA: What's even more fantastic is that members of the squad don't approve of Mr. Bush trying to take credit for their success. The star midfielder, Salih Sadir told "Sports Illustrated," "Iraq, as a team, does not want Mr. Bush to use us for the presidential campaign. He can find another way to advertise himself."

Well actually, Salih, given how he screwed up the economy, healthcare, the environment and our occupation of your country, he can't.

(APPLAUSE)

CARLSON: I think there's a lot of evidence that Iraqis at all levels, not just on the soccer team, are not so interested in freedom; and that's why they're rallying around radical, lunatic Shiite leaders.

However, objectively it's a good thing that Iraq is free, for the very few good things to come out of this experience in Iraq. And I don't think there's anything wrong with saying so.

BEGALA: It is, but they're free to hate us because of the way George W. mismanaged the occupation...

CARLSON: Come on, Paul.

BEGALA: ... because he didn't have...

CARLSON: I honestly -- I think it goes a little bit deeper than that. I don't think it's about Bush. I am not supportive of the invasion.

BEGALA: Who led us to war?

CARLSON: Hold on. Paul, I do think that the problem is the Iraqi view of freedom is not our view of freedom, unfortunately. And I don't know. I still think it's good they're free. (Unintelligible).

Well, of all the groups who support Ralph Nader, you would think people who smoke a ton of pot would be on the very top of that list.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: Nader, himself, probably doesn't smoke a lot of pot. In fact, it's hard to picture him even having a beer. But the Green Party, under whose banner Nader ran four years ago, is about as pro- dope as they come, hailing hemp as a cure for just about everything from global warming to high housing costs and every hassle and headache in between, dude.

In other words, there is a reason they call it the Green Party. So, you'd think pot heads would love Ralph. And they may, but apparently they're not going to vote for them.

This weekend about 150,000 potheads will gather for Hempfest, an annual celebration of the herb outside Seattle. But, according to organizers, the event will not become a Nader rally. Nope.

John Kerry, a man not even cool enough to smoke pot will be the man of the hour at that rally. Why? Because the potheads think Nader can't win.

That's right. Even the dope smokers have sold out this year.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: And I find it totally depressing.

BEGALA: Look, it shows that even dope smokers have some common sense.

I think, you know, Bay Buchanan should be out here and...

CARLSON: They don't like Kerry. They know he's uncool.

BEGALA: ... her brother, Patrick's campaign. I think Ralph Nader is going to go the way of Pat Buchanan, which is, the first time, kind of cool, a lot of support; the second time a little less; the third time, Pat was below 1 percent.

Nader will be below 1 percent because even the potheads understand that they don't want George W. Bush to get four more years.

CARLSON: Actually, because anti-democratic lawyers are keeping him off the ballot in those states.

BEGALA: They're making him play by the rules.

CARLSON: Yes, every vote counts.

BEGALA: Ralph Nader is a lawyer. He should obey the law... CARLSON: Right.

BEGALA: ...if he wants to have access to the ballot.

CARLSON: Well, Swift Boat Veterans and John Kerry are both on attack. Will Kerry's response divert voters from veteran's charges that he betrayed them after the war?

And how long are we going to keep talking about Vietnam anyway. Can't the baby boomers finally be quiet?

And later, what do you think Bill Clinton wants to be remembered for in 100 years? We'll share some clues.

Keep guessing, later on CROSSFIRE.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BEGALA: The group with the Orwellian name, Swift Boat Veterans For Truth, is at it again today. They released another outrageous ad attacking war hero John Kerry.

So why this is right wing so concerned about what happened in Vietnam 35 years ago? Well, maybe because they can't defend what's happening in America today?

And why doesn't George W. Bush just have the simple courage to stand up and denounce these attacks the way brave Republicans like John McCain and John Warner have done?

Joining us to talk about the impact of these ads and other issues, Bay Buchanan, president of the American Cause and former chairman of Patrick Buchanan's campaign for president, and Vic Kamber. He is an author, a democratic strategist and a consultant to labor groups.

Thank you very much for joining us.

(APPLAUSE)

CARLSON: Thanks for joining us. Vic, before we argue about the ad, let's go ahead and watch it.

Here's the new ad from Swift Boat -- you know, the ad.

(BEGIN SWIFT BOAT VETERANS FOR TRUTH POLITICAL AD)

KERRY: They had personally raped, cut off the ears, cut off heads.

JOE PONDER, VIETNAM VETERAN: The accusations that John Kerry made against the veterans who served in Vietnam was just devastating.

KERRY: Randomly shot at civilians.

PONDER: And it hurt me more than any physical wounds I had. KERRY: Cut off limbs, blown up bodies.

KEN DORDIER, VIETNAM VETERAN: That was part of the torture was to sign a statement that you had committed war crimes.

(END SWIFT BOAT VETERANS FOR TRUTH POLITICAL AD)

CARLSON: It's hard to argue with that. Those are John Kerry's words. Those are his fellow veterans, all whom served longer in Vietnam than he did.

There is a former prisoner of war who spent over five years in prison camps, saying that they were offended, that their feelings were hurt and that they were outraged by his claim that they committed war crimes. I don't see that there's anything to argue about.

VIC KAMBER, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, it's -- first of all, it's out of context. We don't -- I'd love to see the full context of what he said.

CARLSON: Well, I've got it right here.

KAMBER: I'm happy to look at it.

Number two, these people have no credibility. They lied throughout the entire first ad.

This is the truth. I have no difficulty with what you're saying here. This is what they really believe. They're angry with John Kerry for his anti-war comments after the war - after he left the Army. They have a right to be, if they want that. That's their view.

But they lied in that first ad. These people have absolutely no credibility. This man is a hero...

CARLSON: No, Vic.

KAMBER: He served the country well. He has five awards. He deserved all that.

(APPLAUSE)

CARLSON: I want you to think about what you're saying. You're saying that it's outrageous that people attack John Kerry because he is a war hero.

KAMPBER: It is outrageous that they lied.

CARLSON: These are men...

KAMPBER: It's outrageous that they lied.

CARLSON: ... whose heroism is beyond question.

KAMPBER: Whose? These men?

CARLSON: Whose heroism is beyond question. OK.

You're attacking them as right-wing thugs. Think about it.

KAMBER: I didn't use that word. You just used it.

CARLSON: Please.

KAMBER: I'm attacking them as liars, as men who would not stand up and say that they are unhappy with John Kerry because of his anti- war position, so they took to lying, to telling the American public this man is not a hero. He shot people in the back. He's this. He's this. He's this.

Now, they're saying, gee we're unhappy with him because he was anti-war.

They lied to us. They have no credibility, and this is a front for George Bush. And you know it, and I know it.

(APPLAUSE)

BEGALA: OK. Today, the Kerry campaign organized a conference call with reporters on which General Merrill McPeak, Tony McPete, former Air Force chief of staff who led the Air Force during the first Gulf War, who endorsed George W. Bush for president, had some rather striking things to say about President Bush and his administration.

This is not hiding behind anyone. This is fully endorsed by the Kerry campaign. And I believe every word of it. Here's what General McPeak said today about our president and his team.

"One of my complaints, one of many, about the current administration is that they are cheerleaders. John Kerry carries the ball. He doesn't need to try out for the pompom corps like these guys do. They're a little bit old for it and not nearly pretty enough.

I'm not highlighting the fact that Cheney got five deferments or that Bush played dodge ball during the Vietnam War."

Isn't it a little unseemly for men like George W. Bush and Dick Cheney to be countenancing the attack on anybody's heroism?

BAY BUCHANAN, THE AMERICAN CAUSE: You know what's amazing is, here Vic is all upset with these people he claims are lying and then he makes accusations, as you just have, against the president of the United States, as if they're behind...

BEGALA: I just read what General McPeak said.

BUCHANAN: But, no, you then said, well, isn't it a terrible thing that Bush and Cheney would be supporting these kind of things.

Bush and Cheney...

BEGALA: They're countenancing...

BUCHANAN: They are not...

BEGALA: ... which they do.

BUCHANAN: They are not, in any way, involved in these -- these are men who worked side by side, in war with John Kerry 30-some years ago.

They're officers, 200 naval officers, well-respected former officers, have signed and confirmed these charges against him.

Now, if you all want to take issue with these -- I don't know if the charges are accurate or not -- but you cannot then jump to the conclusion that these people are somehow a front for Bush.

They are not. They have a right as Americans to speak against John Kerry.

BEGALA: They have a right to fight for Bush as well.

BUCHANAN: And they have...

BEGALA: But my question -- let me get back to my question. I've been talking for a minute about whether they were a front for the Bush campaign. But my question was about President Bush and his character.

Why is he behaving like a cheerleader here, standing on the sidelines going, rah, rah team. If he believes these attacks are legitimate, why doesn't he wage them? If they're illegitimate, why doesn't he disavow them the way John McCain did?

BUCHANAN: That is an excellent...

BEGALA: Why is he so gutless?

BUCHANAN: I think that is an -- that's an interesting point. George Bush has denounced this ad along with all...

BEGALA: No, he hasn't.

BUCHANAN: Wait a minute. He has announced all of the ads. What I...

BEGALA: Not the content, he's just denounced they way they're funded.

BUCHANAN: Wait a minute. Let me...

BEGALA: Who cares how they're funded.

BUCHANAN: He does not believe any of these ads should be up. But I will ask you, let's have a level playing field. We have $63 million of ads trashing the president of the United States. And I didn't hear Kerry or you saying, it's an outrage, and they were lies. Oh, they were not true.

(APPLAUSE)

BUCHANAN: A pack of lies.

BEGALA: I have a problem with false advertising.

CARLSON: Let me just say, I was going to ask you another question. But I just -- I wonder if you think it's unseemly, this constant, this litany of attacks, -- frankly some of them homophobic, if I do say -- against Bush as being effeminate, not masculine enough. That he is...

KAMBER: Are we in this gay age because of...

CARLSON: I've asked you a fairly simple question.

KAMBER: Yes, go ahead.

CARLSON: And that is, do you think it's appropriate to constantly attack Bush's masculinity, as Paul Begala does, while holding John Kerry out as some rippling mass of masculinity?

KAMBER: First of all...

CARLSON: Isn't that a little bit disgusting?

KAMBER: I had no idea that his masculinity was being attacked. I could care less about his masculinity. I hope he has a feminine side to him and frankly would be a better American if he was.

My point is, let's start talking issues.

CARLSON: Really?

KAMBER: Why are we sitting here talking crap? And that's all we're doing.

CARLSON: Where were you during the Democratic convention when John Kerry got up and spent the entire four days, he and his party, talking about his four months in Vietnam and never mentioned, virtually...

KAMBER: You weren't at the same convention I was.

CARLSON: I watched almost every speech at that convention. I was there. The highlight -- the whole thing was about his service in Vietnam.

KAMBER: There were 122 speakers that talked about the problems in America, the economy, education, infrastructure, foreign policy, war, you name it. Yes they talked about...

CARLSON: It was all "reporting for duty, sir" and all that ludicrous Army stuff.

KAMBER: That may be. He did it, Tucker.

CARLSON: I mean, come on.

KAMBER: He did it. He did report for duty.

CARLSON: But he spent 20 years in the United States Senate. Can't we hear about that?

BEGALA: Let me get back to this question of whether they're a front for President Bush because I'm really quite intrigued with the notion that you really might be sort of credulous and naive enough to believe that they're not.

Here's what the "New York Times" reported this morning, "Records show that the group," this group in question, Swift something. "Records show that the group received the bulk of its," financing -- "initial financing from two men with ties to the president and his family.

A Texas publicist, who once helped prepare Mr. Bush's father for his debate when he was running for vice president, provided the group with strategic advice. And the groups television commercial was produced by the same team that made the devastating ad mocking Michael S. Dukakis in an oversized tank helmet."

Do you really believe that this has nothing to do with the Bush campaign?

BUCHANAN: Paul, now I'm sure this is enormously revealing to all who are listening. Everybody, including yourself, must have thought the nuns of St. Mary were financing this ad?

Who do you think finances ads that beat up on Kerry, people who are pro-Bush. Who do you think is financing...

BEGALA: So, why do you -- why not acknowledge that this is a front group...

BUCHANAN: That does not...

BEGALA: ... for George W. Bush's campaign.

BUCHANAN: Is MoveOn.com a front group? Is Michael Moore's movie a front group?

(APPLAUSE)

BEGALA: Kerry has disavowed MoveOn ads, which I actually endorse. But Kerry has disavowed ads that he disagrees with.

BUCHANAN: No, he picks and chooses the ads.

BEGALA: Those that are fair and those that are not. That's called judgment.

BUCHANAN: No, no.

BEGALA: The president could exercise some judgment. BUCHANAN: He...

BEGALA: This is not a fair ad.

BUCHANAN: He denounces all of them. He says, I want nothing to do with them. He doesn't know whether this ad...

KAMBER: Bay...

BUCHANAN: ... is accurate or not.

KAMBER: ... he is denouncing...

BUCHANAN: He says, I'm not touching them.

BEGALA: A lot of things he doesn't know. Actually pleading ignorance is a wise course for the president on most any issue.

KAMBER: But he is pleads ignorance. That's the problem.

BUCHANAN: The problem here is for two weeks John Kerry decided he was going to ignore these charges. And that's up to him, if he wants to ignore the charges, fine. Maybe it will go away.

All of a sudden out of nowhere he brings it up again. He is going to put "unfit for command," that thought back on the charts for another two weeks. And everybody is going to be talking about it. This is fool-hardy strategy.

BEGALA: From a veteran strategist -- keep your seat, Bay. Hang on Vic, just a second. We're going to come back to you guys.

And when we do return, we'll put our guests in "Rapid Fire" where the questions come faster than John Kerry's right-wing attackers can change their stories.

And oil prices are hitting new highs today. How soon will we be paying the price at the pump?

Wolf Blitzer will have details for you right after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOLF BLITZER, CNN "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS" HOST: I'm Wolf Blitzer in Washington.

Coming up at the top of the hour, will rising oil prices create hardship among Americans this fall and winter? Could they cause a recession?

This Swift Boat assault on John Kerry continuing, how long will President Bush be able to stay above the parade?

And Michael Jackson is fighting mad, hear what he has to say about the latest gossip surrounding his life and upcoming trial.

Those stories, much more only minutes away on "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS."

Now back to CROSSFIRE.

CARLSON: Time now for "Rapid Fire." We ask questions faster than John Kerry can transform from self-described war criminal to self-proclaimed war hero. Our guests, democratic consultant, Vic Kamber and American Cause president, Bay Buchanan.

BEGALA: Bay, don't you think the president should listen to the wise counsel of John McCain and John Warner, veteran Republicans and disavow these ads?

BUCHANAN: Absolutely not. He's should stay completely out of it. He has denounced all the ads. He's done exactly the right thing. He is not about to get into this battle. It's someone else's.

CARLSON: Vic, CNN just got word that the Kerry campaign is asking the federal government to take these ads off the air, by force. I thought you were the party of free speech?

KAMBER: We are. I think it's wrong if that's what they've done.

CARLSON: Good for you.

KAMBER: I haven't seen the news. I think it's wrong. The ads should run, as bad as they are, as dishonest as they are. They should run.

CARLSON: You are a principled man.

KAMBER: It will hurt George Bush in the end.

BEGALA: I have to say, I'm with Vic on that. You know, it will hurt John Kerry if he's perceived as trying to silence anybody.

BUCHANAN: He's also trying to ban the book. He's trying to pull the book from...

BEGALA: Well, God knows people said a lot of untruthful things about Bill Clinton, and we never tried to shut them down by through the legal means. I don't believe in doing that.

But let me come back to the content of what they said. Their charges have been contradicted by Senator Kerry's crewmates. By Jim Rassmun, the man whose life he saved, the Green Beret, by official U.S. Navy records, and even by some of their own prior and subsequent statements.

Don't these guys have a serious credibility problem?

BUCHANAN: Listen, if John Kerry is so worried about all of this out there, he can clear it all up by releasing his medical records. He refuses to do so. So, you wonder after awhile why he won't do it, just release them, and...

BEGALA: What happened to George W. Bush? He didn't show up for his physical. Why didn't he release that?

BUCHANAN: Everything on George Bush is released.

CARLSON: I think I would be glad if this whole subject went away. I think it is unseemly and embarrassing. I would be happy if the ads came down. I would most of all be happy if John Kerry would stop bragging about his heroism.

KAMBER: Why?

CARLSON: You're not supposed to brag about your heroism.

KAMBER: Why?

CARLSON: Because it's unseemly. It's wrong. And it's a bad example for our children.

KAMBER: Maybe all that's...

CARLSON: I mean that. I do mean that.

KAMBER: Tucker, maybe all that's true, what you just said. But is it true that he is a hero.

CARLSON: It is true. It is true.

KAMBER: Than let's stop the lies.

CARLSON: But he should stop bragging about it.

(APPLAUSE)

KAMBER: Let's stop the lies.

CARLSON: Just because he's a hero doesn't mean he didn't say awful things when he came back.

He is a hero who said awful things when he returned.

BUCHANAN: He said awful things about the officers that he was out there on. He said they were reckless in their behavior and caused innocent lives.

KAMBER: The issue is, is he a hero, himself? And your answer is, yes.

BUCHANAN: We do not...

KAMBER: If you want to argue with what he said after he came back, argue about that; but was he an American hero? Yes.

CARLSON: OK. I'm afraid we're going to have to, on that high note, leave. Bay Buchanan and Vic Kamber, thank you both very much.

BEGALA: Thank you, Bay.

CARLSON: Well Bill Clinton's legacy has been buried in a hole in Arkansas. For real, we're not making it up.

Just ahead, we'll tell you what curious visitors will find a century from now.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON: Welcome back. All right. Here's what we have going for us. It's Friday. It's a beautiful day, and a time capsule honoring Bill Clinton is deep in the ground in Little Rock, Arkansas? Could things get any better than that?

A 200-pound stainless steel capsule was buried yesterday near the new Clinton library in Little Rock. It contains a copy of Clinton's autobiography, no wonder it's so heavy, letters from him and his wife as well as other items, none of which sadly really sums up the flavor of his eight years in office, which is to say it's not what's in the capsule that's amusing but rather what was left out.

That's right, there's nothing like that in it at all. Many of us will be around -- not many of us will be around 100 years from now when the capsule is opened, which means that that future generations may have no idea what the Clinton years were really like. Maybe that's a blessing.

BEGALA: All that long national nightmare of peace and prosperity? By the way, what should be in the Bush time capsule? How about like a copy of "My Pet Goat," the famous book that he read while America was under attack.

How about the federal budget surplus?

CARLSON: You know what, Paul? Paul, wait.

BEGALA: Let's put the surplus in there.

CARLSON: Let me speak. First of all...

BEGALA: Maybe his national guard record. How about seven million jobs that he promised us?

CARLSON: It's "The Pet Goat," not "My Pet Goat"...

BEGALA: It's "The Pet?" No, I think it's "My Pet Goat."

CARLSON: So, stop lying about his record.

BEGALA: Well anyway, next week we're back on the road with the old CNN "Election Express." We're firing it up.

Monday, we'll be in Philadelphia for a little brotherly love. CROSSFIRE will then make its way on to New York and the Republican National Convention, should be a lot of fun. I for one am going to eat a bunch of cheese steaks on Monday. I hope you'll join me.

CARLSON: And that, with "cheez wiz."

BEGALA: From the left, I'm Paul Begala in the CROSSFIRE.

CARLSON: And from the right, I'm Tucker Carlson.

Thanks for watching CROSSFIRE, and join us next week when we're all over the place.

See you then.


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