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PAULA ZAHN NOW
Interview with Jane Fonda; Hurricane Ivan Nears Gulf Coast
Aired September 15, 2004 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Hurricane Ivan closing in on the Gulf Coast, the heart of Dixie the target tonight of the full fury of nature's storm.
And then there's the gathering political storm.
Welcome to PAULA ZAHN NOW: PRIME TIME POLITICS.
Tonight, the president's National Guard service. Even if the "60 Minutes" documents end up not being authentic, is that beside the point?
Three hundred thousands American jobs shipped overseas in the last year, -- outsourcing and the candidates. Lou Dobbs is our special guest for an explosive debate.
And we will reveal the results of our exclusive new poll in another hotly contested battleground state.
Also, she's back. A bit later on, my interview with Jane Fonda on politics, women and the 2004 election.
But first tonight, let's get to the latest on Hurricane Ivan, a Category 4 storm that killed 60 people as it raked through the Caribbean. And the eye of the storm is just hours away from reaching the Gulf Coast. Right now, Ivan is about 100 miles from the coast heading toward Mobile, Alabama, with top sustained winds topping out at 135 miles per hour.
In Panama City Beach, Florida, two people have been killed in tornadoes spawned by Ivan. We have team coverage tonight.
Anderson Cooper joins us from Mobile, Alabama, and meteorologist Orelon Sidney is tracking the storm from CNN Center in Atlanta.
Let's get started with Anderson tonight, if we can find him.
Anderson, you out there? There you are.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I am out here indeed.
The winds are blowing hard, but not as hard as they are going to be blowing. About 35-mile, 40-mile-an-hour sustained winds at this point. We are anticipating, at the height of the storm, it could be up to 135-mile-an-hour sustained wind. That's what it is right now, Category 4, as you said, Paula. It is less than 100 miles away from the shores of Alabama, about 135 miles away from downtown Mobile, Alabama. Not only is it the wind and the rain that's a problem. It is the storm surge that's the big concern here. It could be anywhere up to 20 feet. Max Mayfield of the National Hurricane Center said just a short time ago anticipating the surge of about 10 to 15 feet. But downtown Mobile could just be flooded.
The river is just right over there. They are expecting the water to just come washing over this area sometime after midnight in the darkness. It's all going to happen. And that is where the residents here in Mobile, many of whom are still hunkered down in their homes -- evacuations have been under way. They were told yesterday to get out, but a lot of people here in Mobile have stayed. They've ridden out other storms. They think they can ride this one out there as well. We'll see.
There's still electricity. There's still power. But this storm has not even begun to blow, Paula.
ZAHN: So you say you're going to begin to really feel the impact about midnight. When is the official landfall expected to be, a little later than that?
COOPER: You know, they've couched it. They have not really said, given a definitive hour at this point. What they've noticed in the last couple of hours is, the storm has actually picked up steam.
A couple of hours ago, we were told that the eye wouldn't make landfall until 7:00 a.m. tomorrow morning. That has been gradually reduced. Now they are saying it could be 4:00 a.m. at the night. They seem to be sort of hedging the exact time because at this point it is still pretty unpredictable. That's the thing, as you know here, Paula, about these hurricanes. You cannot exactly anticipate where they are going.
As we saw with Hurricane Charley, they thought it was going to hit Tampa, veered off, went right to Punta Gorda. The hope is that that won't happen. They think they have this thing on track. And if they do have it right on track, they think it's going to head right here to Mobile, Alabama, Paula.
ZAHN: So, Anderson, you were also talking about the concerns over storm surge. You are not too far from the shore right now. What kind of water levels are you looking at the this hour?
COOPER: Yes, we can't tell. We haven't been down right at the water because, frankly, it's too dangerous at this point to bring the equipment down to the water. Sorry, the winds are picking up here.
Definitely, these waters are going to be rising. There's no doubt about it. On a bad rainy day, you get flooding sometimes in downtown Mobile, Alabama. So there's going to be flooding. It's just a question of how much and how widespread it is. But if Max Mayfield is right, and he was talking 10 to 15 feet of storm surge, that's going to be pretty bad here for a good number of days in Mobile, Alabama.
ZAHN: Well, I know you are hunkered down with a number of city officials who have chosen to remain in Mobile, Alabama. Please be careful, Anderson. Thanks so much.
Now we're going to move on to see where Ivan is heading.
Joining us now from Atlanta, CNN meteorologist Orelon Sidney.
Orelon, what's the latest?
ORELON SIDNEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Paula, thanks a lot.
Here's where the storm is located now. We're looking at the center of the storm about 105 miles south of Mobile Bay. Mobile Bay is just about right there where my hand is. We also have a tornado watch you can see that's off to the east. This is in effect until 2:00 p.m. Central time. The storm now still has winds of 135 miles an hour. At 130 miles an hour, that would become a Category 3, but I don't think that's going to happen.
A couple of reasons for that. The eye has really cleared out over the past several hours. And there's some warm water that it's interacting with now. Now, just off shore, there are some coolers waters right in here. So I think that that's going to keep it from strengthening very much. I certainly don't expect it to be a Category 5, especially since it's expected to go inland in about four hours.
But I expect it to hold its strength and I wouldn't be surprised if we saw maybe a little bit of strengthening before it goes in. It doesn't need it, though, Paula. This is a dangerous storm already. Take a look at some of the tornadoes we're seeing here. These are actual tornado warnings that are coming out. We're going to take a look at another image. Mike Grogan (ph), my producer, is going to be changing this for me as we go through the night.
Go ahead, Mike, to the next image.
What we're going to find now as the storm moves on in is the wave height continuing to increase. We will find showers and thunderstorms with potential tornadoes, especially to the east of the center. These here are data buoys and those are showing -- look at the wave heights just off the coast, 45.9-foot waves. That's the buoy that's just to the north of the eye. You're seeing 45-foot waves and the water there is about 700 feet deep.
When that gets to the coast, that is really going to mean some battering waves. You're going to have a lot of damage from wave action along the coast here. We do again have the tornado watch. We'll talk about some tornado warnings as we go through the night. It's going to be a very busy night, Paula.
ZAHN: Yes, and a daunting night for the some two million folks in the Gulf Coast region who have already been evacuated.
Orelon Sidney, thanks so much for the update. We want to show you all some amazing satellite pictures of Ivan and remind you that CNN will be tracking this storm throughout the evening. Look at that eye. It is huge.
In the meantime, PRIME TIME POLITICS starts now.
ZAHN (voice-over): The Bush/Kerry race getting as tight as it possibly can in a must-win state, an exclusive look at the latest numbers, how they are moving and what it means for both campaigns.
Hundreds of thousands of American jobs going out with the tide, headed overseas.
LOU DOBBS, CNN ANCHOR: There is no plan, and, as a matter of fact, it's a simple denial of an extraordinary amount of pain that's being inflicted on the middle-class working families of this country.
ZAHN: Sparks fly with outsourcing opponent Lou Dobbs just ahead.
And that leads to tonight's PRIME TIME POLITICS voting booth poll. How has outsourcing affected your wallet? Has it made you richer, has it made you poorer or had no effect at all? Go to our Web site, CNN.com/Paula, and cast your vote. We'll keep an eye on the results.
ZAHN: Now on to the day's political storm, those disputed documents in a CBS News report on President Bush's National Guard service.
The focus now is no longer on the president's record, but on the accuracy of the CBS report. Some Republicans are calling for a retraction, even a congressional investigation. And tonight, CBS News promised to try to resolve all of the questions about its controversial report.
Here's Jeanne Meserve.
JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): More than 30 years after the disputed memos were allegedly written, a secretary to the purported author, Lieutenant Colonel Jerry Killian, said she thought the documents were fake.
MARIAN CARR KNOX, FORMER SECRETARY: I know I didn't type them. However, the information in those is correct.
MESERVE: CBS News said a preponderance of evidence supported its reporting.
ANDREW HEYWARD, CBS NEWS PRESIDENT: We would not have put the report on the air if we didn't believe in every aspect of it. MESERVE: But there was a concession as well.
HEYWARD: Enough questions have been raised that we're going to redouble our efforts to answer those questions.
MESERVE: The day had been a rough one for CBS on Capitol Hill; 40 members of Congress signed a letter from Congressman Roy Blunt saying CBS had become part of a campaign to deceive the public and defame the president. He urged the network to retract the story. Other Republicans raised a cry for a congressional investigation.
SEN. ROBERT BENNETT (R), UTAH: A deliberate attempt on the part of a forger to change the course of an election.
MESERVE: But politicians weren't the only ones raising questions. Linda James was one of the experts CBS asked to authenticate copies of the documents. She says the quality was poor and she had questions about the signatures and typography. I asked her if she advised CBS not to air the story.
LINDA JAMES, DOCUMENT EXAMINER: I believe I did say it that way, but my main was to caution them not to use the handwriting part, because there was incomplete evidence and that I could not authenticate these documents for them.
MESERVE: Emily Will, another document examiner consulted by CBS, says she called the network before the "60 Minutes" broadcast to reiterate what she called serious concerns about the authenticity. "I said flatly and clearly and plainly that I had a lot of questions. If you run this on Wednesday, on Thursday, you are going to have hundreds of document examiners asking you these questions."
(on camera): In a statement tonight, CBS said Will and James had misrepresented their conversations and communications with CBS News, that they did not raise substantial objections or render definitive judgments on the one document they saw that the network released -- Paula.
ZAHN: Thanks so much, our Jeanne Meserve reporting tonight.
The dispute over the National Guard documents has also triggered a battle royal within the media. The documents and the old media vs. new media right after this.
ZAHN: And welcome back.
More now on the growing firestorm surrounding CBS News and its report on George W. Bush's service in the National Guard. For days now, questions have been raised about the authenticity of the documents that the news program "60 Minutes II" used in its reporting. There is growing evidence that these documents may not be authentic. They might have been forged. Joining us now from Washington for more on the National Guard document story, "Washington Post" media critic Howard Kurtz, who also hosts CNN's "RELIABLE SOURCES," and blogger and "New Republic" senior editor Andrew Sullivan.
Welcome to both of you.
So you both saw these political charges flying left and right today.
Howie, is there any evidence that anybody from the Democratic National Committee or the Kerry campaign dumped these documents on CBS News?
HOWARD KURTZ, "RELIABLE SOURCES": There is no evidence, zero, nada. But I hasten to add that we don't know who CBS' source is. It's a confidential source. CBS is having to scale back just a little bit this evening, Paula.
I just talked to Dan Rather and to CBS News president Andrew Heyward. They acknowledge that a hole has been punched in their story about these documents, about these 30-year-old memos, because the former secretary to George W. Bush's former squadron commander says she didn't type them. She thinks they are fake. She thinks the information is accurate and reflected the late colonel's views, but those documents, she says, are not accurate.
And Rather and CBS have now put her on the air, thereby taking down just a notch the story that they've been sticking to for a week.
ZAHN: All right, so, Andrew, if it turns out that the substance in these memos ends up being proven to be true, does that take some of the steam out of the argument then that, as Christopher Cox suggested today, that Dan Rather, the reporter of record on the story, aided and abetted fraud?
ANDREW SULLIVAN, ANDREWSULLIVAN.COM: No, I don't think it's at all relevant what actually happened 30 years ago.
The only relevant matter with this is, were these documents fakes or were they real? If they were fakes, and it seems that CBS is all but conceding that by putting the secretary on the air, then CBS has to apologize and retract those documents.
ZAHN: But, Andrew, why doesn't the substance of these memos matter? Why do you think that irrelevant?
SULLIVAN: Because if a story is true, but the evidence you provide is forged, it's journalism 101, you can't use that evidence. Either it's factual or it's not. And if it's not, they have to withdraw and retract.
Now, I just cannot believe that a journalistic enterprise caught red-handed like this is still arguing that this is a legitimate story. It's not. And it shows the arrogance of these people that they really still believe they can lord it over the public and keep a lie essentially alive.
ZAHN: But, Howie, based on your conversation tonight with the president of CBS News and Dan Rather, they are saying that this latest prong of the story enhances their credibility, that, in fact, the substance of these memos, as we just heard this woman talk on television who was a secretary to Mr. Killian says, hey, I saw that stuff before. That was true. I just don't think the documents were real.
KURTZ: But, look, the reality of what did or didn't happen with George W. Bush 30 years ago, which the Democrats would probably love to make an issue out of, has been totally overshadowed by "60 Minutes" and Rather's handling of this story.
And if in fact it turns out -- and we don't have definitive evidence yet, but we have a lot of questions -- that these were false, it's a huge black eye, a huge embarrassment for Rather and CBS. And I spoke last night, Paula, to Linda James, who you just showed a clip of on the air, and the other document examiner. These were women hired by CBS. They both told me that they had seen serious problems with these documents, that they had told CBS this before it was aired, that in the words of Emily Will, one of the examiners, she had raised red flags. She had delivered these warnings.
And "60 Minutes" went ahead anyway. They can't now just simply say, OK, the documents weren't real, but we still think the story is true.
ZAHN: Yes, but, Andrew Sullivan, we also heard in the second part of the statement from CBS News tonight, they believe -- they say that those objections were never raised, simply not true what these women are saying now.
SULLIVAN: Well, they are impugning the very people, experts, they asked to verify. This is extraordinary. They have to withdraw this right away, because they are not re-reporting the story. I mean, they are telling us now we're going to look further into it.
I'm sorry. They've made the story. It's wrong. It's based on a forgery. Why do they go ahead if they have these doubts? And the answer is liberal bias. Dan Rather has a beef against the Bushes for many years and he pushed this story because he wants to defeat the president. That's the obvious explanation.
ZAHN: All right, Howard, is there any evidence that would prove that, Howie Kurtz?
KURTZ: Well, I don't think it's fair to impugn Dan Rather's motives on this particular story, because everybody at CBS News, up to the news division president, thought they had satisfied themselves, perhaps wrongly, as it turned out, that these document were accurate. And in fairness to Rather, he told me just an hour ago that if it turns out that these documents are false, he wants to go on the air and take the hit himself. He takes the responsibility. He's not going to hide behind a spokesman. And so we can debate his career and his political leanings, but I don't think it's fair to impugn his motives on this story.
SULLIVAN: Why hasn't he done that already? The evidence is now overwhelming. They can't find a single expert to say that these documents are legitimate. And yet he's still insisting that they are. Now, why hasn't he apologized already? I just can't understand the resistance to the obvious, unless it's politically motivated.
ZAHN: Howard Kurtz, did you ask him that question tonight?
KURTZ: Well, CBS is being slow and careful about this, because no news organization likes to come out and publicly admit, boy, we blew it, we screwed up. But they are now finally, after a week of saying we 100 percent absolutely stand by this story, acknowledging at least the possibility that this story has blown up on them.
And I have to give credit to some of Andrew's colleagues in the online world who were early and aggressive in doing some of the fact checking that raised the very questions about the authenticity of these Vietnam-era memos.
ZAHN: All right, but, Andrew, here's what I don't get about your argument. If you believe that in some way Dan Rather is guilty of trying to tamper with this election, you look at any poll that's been done recently, like in "TIME" magazine, and it shows that this whole National Guard issue has very little resonance with the American public.
SULLIVAN: Paula, that's not what I said.
What I said was that, given the doubts that were raised about these documents before they went with the story, why did they push this story forward without further investigation? Why did they put it on the air? And the answer is, I think the bias in their mind is so deeply entrenched, they don't realize that they are so eager to get a hit at Bush that they didn't do the usual journalistic 101 safeguard. And that's a legitimate issue.
ZAHN: So you are saying it's purely politically motivated, Andrew.
SULLIVAN: I'm saying that if the blogosphere, if people, as Richard Klein (ph) said, in their pajamas can figure out within three hours that these documents are fake, then I don't understand why people at CBS couldn't have done that either, unless their minds were clouded with bias.
ZAHN: Howard Kurtz, you get a last word tonight. KURTZ: It may be shoddy journalism, Paula. We'll have to wait and see on that. I also don't understand why they didn't hold the story in the wake of some of these warning flags.
But why take the risk of your gold-plated program, "60 Minutes" and your star anchor, Dan Rather, why put their reputations on the line for a story that you might have had doubts about? That doesn't wash with me because I think the risk of being wrong, as it turns out they may be wrong, was simply too great to pursue this story for political purposes.
ZAHN: But it's not like this story, Howard, was turned overnight. In the press release, they talk about Mary Mapes, who is a longtime producer, who they said has been working on this issue for five years. This is something they claim they didn't go into casually and that the timing of this may look suspicious to some, but this is when the story was ready.
KURTZ: They spent six weeks on the story, but I think maybe they should have taken another week.
ZAHN: All right, Howard Kurtz, Andrew Sullivan, thank you for both of your perspectives tonight. Appreciate it.
KURTZ: Thank you.
ZAHN: There's a furious fight between the Bush and Kerry campaigns for a handful of hotly contested battleground state. Tonight, another exclusive look at one of those states. The latest polls ahead, plus the big political stories of the day -- coming up.
ZAHN: Latinos are now the nation's largest minority group. And you can be sure both presidential campaigns have noticed that. Senator John Kerry speaks to members of the Hispanic Congressional Caucus tonight.
And earlier today, President Bush hosted a White House reception in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, where he talked business.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The most hopeful aspects of our society today are the number of Hispanic-owned businesses that thrive throughout America. I love it when I meet an Hispanic entrepreneur, particularly somebody who came up with an idea at their kitchen table and said, I want to own something. I want to own my business and now they are employing people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: Well, Senator Kerry was also talking business today. He used a speech to the Detroit Economic Club to slam the Bush administration's record on jobs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This president has created more excuses than jobs. His is the excuse presidency. His is the excuse presidency, never wrong, never responsible, never to blame. President Bush's desk isn't where the buck stops. It's where the blame begins.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: And we have some new information from a battleground state.
Our CNN/"USA Today"/Gallup poll shows the race could not be any tighter in Minnesota. The president and John Kerry are tied among likely voters and among all registered voters, which makes Ralph Nader's number loom very large indeed. Now, we should point out that a separate poll by "The Minneapolis Star-Tribune" shows a much wider Kerry lead in Minnesota, as you can see from this graphic.
But it begs the question, could the home state of Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale really go Republican?
Let's put that question to James Carville and Tucker Carlson, two of the hosts of CNN's "CROSSFIRE."
I believe this is your first appearance on PRIME TIME POLITICS.
JAMES CARVILLE, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": Well, thank you. Thank you.
TUCKER CARLSON, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": Thanks, Paula.
ZAHN: So, Tucker, let's start off by talking about these numbers. Mr. Bush certainly hasn't gotten the traction in this state as he has in some other battleground states. Are you worried about it?
CARLSON: I'm not personally worried about it. I think he's doing better at least in the CNN poll. "The Star-Tribune" poll, incidentally, is pretty controversial. I'm not a polling expert, but I can say a lot of people think it's a bad poll. But the CNN poll, no, is pretty consistent with numbers you are seeing out of a lot of other states.
ZAHN: Oh, you are making your partner laugh there.
What's so funny about that, James?
CARVILLE: I love all of this analysis here, but I don't know the two polls. If the CNN national poll is right, which I would dispute, but...
ZAHN: It better be.
CARVILLE: Yes. If it is right, you would expect Kerry to be even or a little worse than that. If Bush is up seven naturally, it wouldn't be startled at all that he were even in Minnesota.
I don't think that he's even in Minnesota, but it doesn't matter. It would follow logically that that's what would happen.
CARVILLE: There's no way that Senator Kerry can be president unless he carries Minnesota. It's a swing state only that, if Bush wins Minnesota, he can't lose the presidency.
ZAHN: But as an adviser to John Kerry, James Carville, what are you advising him to do to change the direction of his campaign? We have heard these stories about how there are warring factions in the campaign, that John Kerry is listening to too many people. And a lot of people say he should be listening to you. What do you tell him?
CARVILLE: Well, I think reports of my influence have been greatly overexaggerated.
I think that he -- as I've said, I think his campaign didn't have a particularly good summer, particularly late summer. I think they are beginning to make some smart moves and getting ready to do some smart things. But that's up to Senator Kerry and the Kerry campaign. And we'll have to wait and see.
CARLSON: See, I don't see any -- I have heard a lot of Democrats, not just James, but other Democrats I know, some I'm friends with, are furious at the Kerry campaign because they think that -- and I believe correctly -- he is blowing a great opportunity to beat an incumbent, who is beatable, obviously.
And so you thought -- two weeks ago, the Kerry campaign comes out and says, we're going to stop talking about the past, start talking about the future, start talking about Iraq and what we would do there, in contrast to the president, and yet you have the DNC continuing day after day to pound on some dumb National Guard story from 30 years ago.
I think you are seeing evidence that the campaign either is in chaos or who is running it, that's not clear. Democrats are mad about the direction it is going. And I think, though not a Democrat, they have every reason to be.
ZAHN: All right, but there are some new numbers out, gentlemen, that show, in August, 47 percent of undecideds had a favorable impression of Bush, while just 36 percent had a favorable impression of Kerry. Now the candidates are tied at 43 percent.
James, what does this mean?
CARVILLE: I don't know. Obviously, that would be good news for Senator Kerry. We'll see.
I think that, internally, the Kerry campaign is retooling. I'll see, but I'll fully expect and hope that they draw some significant contrasts with President Bush, particularly on the issue of the debacle that we're in, in Iraq right now. But that remains to be seen.
ZAHN: And, Tucker, you have long argued that that is indeed the president's greatest vulnerability.
CARLSON: Well, sure. But -- and -- and more to the point, it's the only issue that, historically
PAULA ZAHN, HOST: And Tucker, you have long argued that that is, indeed, the president's greatest vulnerability.
TUCKER CARLSON, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": Well, sure. But -- and more to the point, it's the only issue that historically will be considered significant 50 years from now. I mean, Iraq is the defining issue, not just of this election, but of our age, at least at this point. And so it would be nice to have a challenger who had a position on it.
I'm not just saying this because I'm not for Kerry. I'm saying this as someone who's watching the campaign really closely and has no idea what John Kerry's position on Iraq is. He's sort of against it, but then he's sort of for it.
I mean, that's not a talking point. That's really true. What does John Kerry think about Iraq? I don't know.
ZAHN: James, you get the last word.
JAMES CARVILLE, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": I know what President Bush thinks about it. Is he made the decision to go with no planning whatsoever, and it's turned into a disaster.
And I think that Senator Kerry will be hearing from this. At least I hope so. But I -- we'll see what happens.
ZAHN: Let's hope he's listening to you, James Carville.
CARVILLE: He doesn't have to listen to me. He's got to listen to himself.
CARLSON: He ought to listen to me.
ZAHN: All right. He might do that, too, Tucker.
Thanks so much gentlemen.
ZAHN: Thank you.
ZAHN: Appreciate your time.
And Minnesota, like other states, is feeling the pinch from jobs going overseas.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LOU DOBBS, HOST, "LOU DOBBS TONIGHT": We've got 15 million Americans in this country who desperately need work, and they need to be a part of this labor force, and they are not. And that is the reality that neither political candidate is dealing with vigorously and honestly. And we've got to.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: Some fireworks as we debate outsourcing. Good or bad for the economy? And does either candidate have a clue as to keep more jobs in this country?
And you can still cast your vote at "Prime Time Politics Voting Booth." The question tonight: "How has outsourcing affected the amount of money in your wallet? It's made me richer; it's made me poorer; it has had no effect at all."
Go to CNN.com/Paula.
ZAHN: We turn now to your money, your job and the presidential campaign, where one of this year's hottest issues is outsourcing. That's when companies eliminate high-paying jobs in the U.S. and move them overseas where wages, benefits and taxes are lower.
Outsourcing is blamed for the loss of hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs. Some say over a million at this point.
Well, at his speech to the Detroit Economic Club this morning, Senator John Kerry said he will do more than the president is to stop it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Today, if a company is torn between creating jobs in Michigan or Malaysia, we have a tax code that actually encourages you to go overseas. And George Bush thinks that's right. I believe it's wrong. And as president, I'm going to change it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: But the Bush campaign shot back saying Senator Kerry's plan won't really stop outsourcing. The president has promised to make America the best place in the world to do business.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: To create jobs, my plan will encourage investment and expansion by restraining federal spending, reducing regulation, and making the tax relief permanent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: One of the most vocal opponents of outsourcing is also one of the easiest for us to find. Lou Dobbs is the anchor and managing editor of CNN's "LOU DOBBS TONIGHT." He is also the author of "Exporting America: Why Corporate Greed is Shipping American Jobs Overseas."
Here to debate him tonight is Jagdish Bhagwati. He is a free trade advocate and professor at Columbia University and senior fellow in international economics at the Counsel on Foreign Relations. His most recent book is called "In Defense of Globalization."
I guess I should buy both of these books, shouldn't I?
DOBBS: Well, certainly one of them.
ZAHN: Let's start off -- one of them. I've got to do this guy, too, for equal time.
Let's start off with presidential politics that are weaving around this issue. Based on what you've heard from both campaigns, does either one of these candidates have a clear and reasonable plan to keep jobs in this country?
DOBBS: Well, obviously, the president of the United States, George Bush, says outsourcing is good for America and therefore, there is no plan. And as a matter of fact, it's a simple denial of an extraordinary amount of pain that's being inflicted on middle class working families in this country.
Senator Kerry, who started talking about CEOs who are Benedict Arnolds, who were outsourcing, has been tepid and relatively quiet on the issue over the course of the past several months.
ZAHN: But professor, it is your belief that Lou is overstating the magnitude of this problem?
JAGDISH BHAGWATI, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: Lou is wrong in even thinking there is a problem. The problem is only about the adjustment cost that is implied as we lose some jobs and gain other jobs.
Matter of fact, and that is where both parties have to come up with very credible programs.
ZAHN: Gainers or losers, Lou?
DOBBS: We've lost 1.6 million jobs over the course of the past 3 1/2 years. The University of California at Berkeley last October in its report suggested 14 million jobs at risk. The pain is immense.
This president stands the possibility of being the first president since Herbert Hoover to lose jobs, net jobs, in the course of his four-year term.
BHAGWATI: When you take outsourcing jobs, we have actually lost by the best estimates we have, in terms of both from our side and from the other side -- outside, India, China, Philippines, 100,000 jobs gross...
DOBBS: They know better than that.
ZAHN: We could spend the rest of our night arguing whether it's 100,000 or 1.6 million.
BHAGWATI: The 1.6 million is a total loss. He's got a sound byte right there, which is that 1.6 million jobs have been lost. What does that have to do with outsourcing? I mean, this is ridiculous.
ZAHN: Another argument the professor has made for many, many years...
ZAHN: ... if we don't allow for these jobs to be exported, you're going to have countries like Great Britain and France that are going to seize that part of the market. Is that a concern to you?
DOBBS: Utter nonsense. The professor is a classic one-world absolute utopist. It's an absurdity. The fact of the matter is, the reality is, we've got 15 million Americans in this country who desperately need work, and they need to be a part of this labor force. And they are not.
ZAHN: I just want to know how you would defend outsourcing to these hundreds of thousands of people...
BHAGWATI: I know -- well, I would say...
ZAHN: ...who have seen their jobs exported.
BHAGWATI: If international trade and investments, which go both ways, actually create as many jobs and sometimes more jobs and higher value jobs than the jobs that you lose.
DOBBS: Are jobs being created at a higher volume?
BHAGWATI: You've got to look at the total. Oh, yes. A continuous series of new jobs are coming up. As some lose their jobs, there are new...
ZAHN: Do you deny -- he sees creation of different kinds of jobs as new jobs. Do you acknowledge that?
DOBBS: Absolutely not. The professor is a theorist. He does not deal with the facts. The Bureau of Labor Statistics through 2012 predicts what percentage of the jobs that will be most popular will be low paying. Do you know, professor?
BHAGWATI: Yes, but at the same time...
DOBBS: Seventy percent of the jobs.
ZAHN: Let me move both of you on to a different sparring partner now. That is Tom Freeman of "The New York Times." And here is what he has had to say in defense of outsourcing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM FREEMAN, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Look at American exports to India, OK? Stuff made here. They've almost doubled in the last decade.
That means people are getting jobs there. And what are they doing? No, they're not buying our junk. They're buying our software, you know, our education, our financial services, which is good jobs here.
That's the history of free trade.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: Do you concede that there are any benefits to outsourcing, which is what Tom Freeman just told us?
DOBBS: I see no benefit whatsoever to the middle class of this country. There are great benefits to corporate America, U.S. multinationals, who are using the direct competition between cheap third world labor and the American middle class worker to create larger profits.
But that is not prosperity. That's profitability, and the worker is not sharing in that prosperity in this country right now.
ZAHN: I'm going to try that one more time, professor. Your best defense of outsourcing and how you would assuage the anger of a worker who has lost his or her job because of outsourcing. And it's got to be brief.
BHAGWATI: I think because without outsourcing we'd lose many more jobs and we would have a great deal of adjustment problem. Phones (ph) go out because they won't be able to compete by buying cheaply whereas others do.
And I think to be worried about people right at the bottom who are stuck in the $15,000 jobs. And I don't think either party has any credible programs on how to deal with real problems.
ZAHN: All right, gentlemen.
BHAGWATI: They need adjustment programs, adjustment assistance programs.
ZAHN: We're going to have to leave the debate here this evening. Lou Dobbs, Professor Bhagwati, thank you for both of your perspectives. And I guess the voters have a lot of work to do between now and election day.
DOBBS: So do the candidates.
ZAHN: To shed some light on this subject.
Thank you again.
And now right back to the election cycle. There is a scramble to squeeze votes out of one of the most powerful voting blocs: women. Longtime political activist Jane Fonda on what women want in this campaign.
And the approaching wrath of Ivan when we come back.
ZAHN: In the 48 days left until the presidential election, we'll be hearing more and more about efforts to get out the vote. Democrats and Republicans are vigorously trying to identify, register and motivate members of any voting bloc that can give them an edge in November.
Efforts are under way to reach young people, evangelical Christians, African-Americans and significantly, women. And I recently talked with two prominent activists who have long been associated with women's issues and liberal causes: actress Jane Fonda and playwright Eve Ensler.
ZAHN: Let's talk a little bit about this partnership you have with MoveOn.org, an organization that has spent tens of millions of dollars to try to defeat George W. Bush.
Is it your primary goal to elect John Kerry?
JANE FONDA, ACTRESS/ACTIVIST: Our primary goal is to try to get the 50 million women who are eligible to vote and have not voted to vote. We want the woman's voice to be in the body politic.
EVE ENSLER, PLAYWRIGHT/ACTIVIST: What we want women to see is that voting is in their interest. That it matters that they vote. That if women don't vote, all of the things that matter to them will be disregarded and essentially not paid attention to and not heeded. That their vote counts.
ZAHN: But the fact is, Jane, with the vast amount of money that MoveOn.org has spent running ads against President Bush, is there any way you can encourage women out there who would be inclined to vote Republican to come to the polls?
FONDA: We're the majority. If we voted, we would make a difference. We could decide who was elected. We could decide whether the person elected, man or woman, was going to care about and speak to our issues.
And we don't need to tell people who to vote for. We have to say, "Here are the facts. Here's who represents what. Vote your heart. Go in there; whatever party you belong to."
ZAHN: Let's look at the reality in the numbers. In the 2000 election, you had some 20 million single women in America that simply didn't vote. In -- of those, 16 million weren't even registered to vote. Now that was coming off two terms of a Democratic presidency.
What does that tell us?
FONDA: Well, I think it tells us that women, especially young, single women, feel that none of these guys are speaking to their issues.
ZAHN: No matter what party they represent?
FONDA: Yes, and they're right. They don't see our issues. They don't feel our issues. They're not walking in our shoes.
ZAHN: Is that our fault?
ENSLER: Well, I think part of it is how women feel empowered or disempowered. Part of what's happened in a culture we live in is women don't feel the right to what they know. They don't feel they can say what they say and see what they see and know what they know.
And what we're saying is begin with voting. To not participate is basically turning over your lot. It's saying, "I'm not part of this game. I'm not participating in this game. I'll accept whatever comes my way."
ZAHN: And that's basically what women have been saying.
ENSLER: And it's not acceptable.
ZAHN: Why do you think it is that these women believe that neither of these candidates are addressing their concerns? Are these politicians afraid of touching these issues?
FONDA: I think that they've been allowed to get away with ignoring us. It's become the way life is. It's just the way things are, that we're not paid attention to.
We're the ones that -- that look to the future. We bear the children. We protect the earth. We take care of health care. The issues that women carry in their bodies are the issues of the future.
And it is our responsibility as individuals and for our children and for our grandchildren to -- to force them to pay attention to us. They're not going to do it unless we force them.
ZAHN: So we certainly should share in the blame, should we not, for sitting out of the process?
FONDA: It's like blame the victim. We live in a patriarchal society where women are less than. Just that's the way it is. I don't -- I'm not going to blame us. I'm just going to say it's time to wake up.
ZAHN: Jane, I find it hard to believe when you talk to these 50 million women out there that didn't vote that you just want them to vote their hearts. You really want them to vote for John Kerry, don't you?
FONDA: I'm not putting myself, nor am I asked to be in either campaign. I'm just saying that I know that if women voted and they voted with their hearts and with their bodies and their souls, that the future would be more safe, because that's where our hearts are.
ZAHN: But you personal, obviously, are more comfortable with Kerry.
FONDA: I'm a Democrat. My father would strike me dead from the heavens if I ever voted for a Republican. Ted could never understand: "You've never voted for a Republican?" I can't do that to my father, who was a yellow dog Democrat. What can I say?
ZAHN: Jane, you have spent a number of years trying to put your controversial Vietnam past behind you. And yet for the last week or so, we have seen a tremendous amount of news coverage on George W. Bush's service in the national guard and questions being asked about John Kerry's service in Vietnam.
What does that tell us about how raw the feelings are to this day about the Vietnam War?
FONDA: It tells us that they're raw. It tells us that we have not healed. We need to heal from this wound, because it's very directly connected to what -- to the new wound. We haven't learned, you know, the lessons of Vietnam.
ZAHN: Jane, you have apologized to the families of Vietnam War vets, saying that maybe you have said some things that you wish you hadn't said along the way. Do you think you'll ever be able to satisfy people to this day who question what you did in Vietnam?
FONDA: No. There's a lot of people who -- who -- it's a cottage industry to hate me. And if they -- if they stop, that might mean that they'd have to look at some things that would question their own identity. And that's -- it's very hard for people to do.
ZAHN: Our thanks to Jane Fonda and Eve Ensler.
Coming up, we're going to get the latest on tonight's lead story: Hurricane Ivan's impending landfall on the coast of Alabama.
ZAHN: And as we continue to track Hurricane Ivan, we are already seeing destruction on the Gulf Coast.
Look at this video. It is of tornado damage in Panama City, Florida. Two people died in a tornado there this afternoon, of course, spawned by Hurricane Ivan.
We're going to get more now on the storm, if my colleague Anderson Cooper doesn't blow away. He joins us from Mobile, Alabama.
The winds are so much stronger now than even an hour ago, Anderson.
ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, "ANDERSON COOPER 360": Yes, that's definitely true, Paula. The winds have really picked up over the last hour, even the last 40 minutes or so. We took a reading about 60- mile-an-hour wind gusts.
It is going to get worse, though, as the eye of the storm approaches. Now, that's going to be sometime after midnight, probably around the 3, 4 a.m. time -- time zone.
But the winds are really picking up substantially, and this rain is coming down. And as you know, Paula, here in Mobile, Alabama, flooding is a major problem. That's going to be a big problem tonight as the storm surge expected to be anywhere from 10 to 15 feet.
It is -- it's going to be very bad here in the downtown part. They're saying as many as 12 blocks -- there's a little lull in the storm there for a second. As many as 12 or 15 blocks could be flooded out. It's going to be a very long night indeed, Paula.
ZAHN: This is the third hurricane you've covered this season. I think this is the first time you've been so close to the impact of it, isn't it?
COOPER: It is. I mean, with Charley, I was in Tampa. We thought that's where it was going to hit. The storm jogged off the last minute. In Frances, we were in some pretty high winds. But this is much worse than it was, for me, at least in Frances. And we're anticipating it getting much worse.
We're going to be here all night long. So we'll see how long we can stay out. At some point we're afraid the equipment itself will blow away, because this wind is really, really picking up now, Paula.
ZAHN: Well, we could care less about the equipment that blows away. We just want you to be safe. Anderson Cooper, stay smart. Thanks again.
And please stay with CNN for continuous coverage of Hurricane Ivan, starting with a two-hour special edition of "NEWSNIGHT." That gets underway at 10 p.m. Eastern. And as Ivan comes ashore, CNN will be live all night long and into the morning with reports from our correspondents up and down the Gulf Coast.
Still ahead, our "Prime Time Politics Voting Booth" question, "How has outsourcing affected the amount of money in your wallet?" The results when we come back.
ZAHN: Finally, a look at how you responded to our "Prime Time Politics Voting Booth" question.
We asked, "How has outsourcing affected the amount of money in your wallet?"
Five percent said, "It made me richer." Eighty-four percent said, "It made me poorer." Ten percent said it had no effect at all. Of course, this is not a scientific poll, but we thank all of you who are watching for taking part in it.
And that wraps it up for all of us here this evening. Thanks so much for joining us tonight. I want to take you back to Mobile, Alabama, where folks are getting prepared for the onslaught of Hurricane Ivan. They're going to begin to feel the full force of the winds about midnight tonight.
There's still a question as to how fast the storm will move into the area, but the best guess, with Mother Nature being so difficult to predict, midnight we're looking at some really, really high winds. CNN will stay on the story all night long. Thanks for staying with us tonight. Good night.
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