Return to Transcripts main page
JUDY WOODRUFF'S INSIDE POLITICS
Kerry Supports Stem Cell Research; Bush Signs Tax Cut Bill; British Citizen Indicted in Shoe Bomber Plot; Edwards, Cheney Prepare for Debate
Aired October 4, 2004 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KYRA PHILLIPS, ANCHOR: In just a few minutes, attorney general John Ashcroft is expected to announce the indictment of a man currently in British custody.
A seven-count indictment alleges that Saajid Mohammed Badat and Richard Reid obtained custom-made shoe bombs in Afghanistan. CNN will carry that news conference live just ahead.
And it turns out the sky's not the limit, after all. Spaceship One proves Wednesday's successful flight was no fluke with today's second trip beyond the edge of Earth's atmosphere.
The Spaceship One team won the $10 million X Prize. Pilot Brian Binnie also collecting a well-earned victory lap.
Judy Woodruff now straight ahead with INSIDE POLITICS right now.
ANNOUNCER: Political science.
SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I believe that when it comes to promising research, there's no such thing as false hope.
ANNOUNCER: John Kerry may be feeling hopeful himself, with the polls moving his way.
GEORGE W. BUSH (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today here in Des Moines, Iowa, the Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2004 becomes the law of the land.
ANNOUNCER: George Bush puts his signature on another tax relief package, with an eye toward profiting on election day.
The next big thing this fall: the vice presidential candidates prepare for their one and only debate.
The battle for the Buckeye State. What are Ohioans thinking about the race for the White House?
Now live from Cleveland, site of Tuesday's vice presidential debate, JUDY WOODRUFF's INSIDE POLITICS.
JUDY WOODRUFF, HOST: Thank you for joining us here in Cleveland, the largest city in the showdown state of Ohio and the backdrop of the next big debate of the 2004 campaign.
We are at the Cleveland Museum of Art, just down the street from Case Western Reserve University, where Dick Cheney and John Edwards square off tomorrow night.
However the vice presidential match up plays out, it is now clearer than ever that the first Bush/Kerry debate made an impression on voters.
Our new CNN/"USA Today"/Gallup poll shows the race is a dead heat again among likely voters with Senator Kerry gaining five points after his widely praised debate performance last week. Among registered voters, President Bush still holds a two-point edge.
We'll have much more on poll results ahead.
Buoyed by these polls, John Kerry turned his attention today to what is, for some Americans, a life and death issue: stem cell research.
CNN's Frank Buckley traveled with Kerry to New Hampshire.
MICHAEL J. FOX, ACTOR: The next president of the United States, Senator John Kerry.
FRANK BUCKLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Senator John Kerry appeared with actor Michael J. Fox, who suffers from Parkinson's Disease as Kerry took up the hottest social values issue of the campaign: stem cell research.
KERRY: When it comes to stem cell research, this president is making the wrong choice to sacrifice science for extreme right-wing ideology. And that's unacceptable.
BUCKLEY: Bush campaign officials point out the president was the first to fund any stem cell research, but federal funding was limited to existing stem cell lines. And critics say those limits have hindered potential breakthroughs in the treatment of diseases like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and juvenile diabetes.
FOX: He decided to allow it to go forward, but he's so restricted the stem cell lines available to us, that it was kind of like he gave us a car and no gas and congratulated himself for giving us the car.
BUCKLEY: Kerry says he would expand stem cell research and fund it with at least $100 million a year. KERRY: Right now some of the most pioneering treatments that could transform lives are at our fingertips. But they're being withheld from people, and they remain beyond our reach. I think that's the wrong choice for America's families.
BUCKLEY: As the Massachusetts Senator stumped on the subject in New Hampshire, his campaign released a TV ad on stem cell research.
KERRY (voice-over): It's time to lift the political barriers blocking the stem cell research that could treat or cure diseases like Parkinson's.
BUCKLEY: The double-barreled approach reflecting an increasing coordination between ad buys and candidate Kerry's daily activities, Kerry strategists believing this particular issue is one that appeals to voters across party lines.
Polling suggests a majority of Americans support stem cell research.
(on camera) As for the new CNN/"USA Today"/Gallup poll, Kerry advisers say it indicates the senator benefited from the debate last Thursday.
But they're quick to point out this race is far from over. On this, they agree with their Bush campaign counterparts. The race is going to be close right up to election day.
Frank Buckley, CNN, Hampton, New Hampshire.
WOODRUFF: And two more presidential debates to go.
Well, President Bush returned today to an issue that has worked well for him before. He went to some lengths to play up new tax cut legislation, holding a signing ceremony in the battleground state of Iowa.
CNN's Elaine Quijano is traveling with the president -- Elaine.
ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good afternoon to you, Judy.
The president's decision to sign that tax cut bill not in Washington, but here in this crucial state of Iowa, underscores just how important this state is in this race.
In fact, the president earlier this afternoon in signing that piece of legislation in nearby Des Moines, Iowa, told the crowd that he appreciated them being able to witness the signing of that bill into law.
Now, the legislation includes provisions to extend the $1,000 per child tax credit for five years and also extends the marriage penalty relief, as well. Now, at his second stop here in Clive, Iowa, the president also took some jabs at his Democratic opponent, Senator John Kerry, on issues like Iraq, also tax cuts. But on another domestic issue, health care.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: There's a big difference of opinion about health care in this campaign. I believe decisions ought to be made by you and your doctor. My opponent believes that the federal government ought to be making your decisions. Yes. That's what I call...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: All right. We're going to interrupt that report on President Bush to take you quickly to Washington to the Justice Department, where the attorney general, John Ashcroft, talking with reporters about an arrest today, someone, an associate of the shoe bomber, Richard Reid.
We'll listen in.
JOHN ASHCROFT, ATTORNEY GENERAL: ... faces American justice. Saajid Mohammed Badat has been charged for his role in the terrorist scheme of Reid to detonate on an American aircraft homemade bombs hidden in his shoes.
(LIVE EVENT: JOHN ASHCROFT PRESS CONFERENCE)
ASHCROFT: ... Michael Sullivan, whose office is prosecuting this case for their leadership and bringing this matter. I also commend the investigation...
WOODRUFF: The attorney general, John Ashcroft, making an announcement in Washington about the indictment of a man in connection with the so-called shoe bomber incident.
It was an incident on an airplane from Paris to Miami in December of 2001. Richard Reid was the man who was convicted in connection with that. He's searching life in prison.
What John Ashcroft just announced is that a British citizen, who's been in prison now for almost a year in jail, in London, named Saajid Mohammed Badat, age 25, has been indicted as a conspirator, a co-conspirator in that shoe bombing.
Again, Saajid Mohammed Badat in a London jail for the last almost one year. He's now been indicted by federal court here in the United States.
And our apologies to Elaine Quijano, who was reporting on President Bush, talking about his new tax cut legislation, which he signed today in the state of Iowa.
Well, now we turn to the main attraction here in Cleveland where we are in INSIDE POLITICS today, and that is tomorrow night's vice presidential debate. Dick Cheney and John Edwards retired to separate regions of the country to prepare for their one night only head-to- head.
Now CNN's Joe Johns.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Senator Edwards spent the weekend cloistered at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York, making only one brief appearance at a roadside country store.
SEN. JOHN EDWARDS (D-NC), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Doing fine. Working hard.
JOHNS: Away from the cameras, the Edwards campaign set up a room that they said looks a lot like the debate site, complete with cameras, with Washington lawyer Bob Barnett playing vice president Dick Cheney, a role he took on in debate preparations in 2000.
EDWARDS: Polls go up and down, but I felt very good about John Kerry's performance Thursday night.
JOHNS: Edwards' chief goals for the debate: not to lose the momentum John Kerry has picked up in the first debate to paint Kerry as steadfast and his opponents as favoring the rich over regular Americans.
Vice President Cheney spent the weekend at his home in Jackson, Wyoming, practicing in his own mock-up of the debate setting with Ohio Congressman Rob Portman as his debate partner. Portman played Joe Lieberman in debate preparations four years ago.
Cheney's goal will be to try to focus on terrorism and September 11 while promoting President Bush as a steady leader in trying times.
(on camera) Vice presidential debates are usually considered sideshows, but with the race now deadlocked this one qualifies as a main event. And as one Democratic strategist put it, the loser usually defeats himself.
Joe Johns, CNN, Chautauqua, New York.
WOODRUFF: Well, in this debate season, top campaign representatives may be more eager than usual to try to get their message out. Still ahead, Bush campaign chairman, Marc Racicot, and U.S. Commerce Secretary Don Evans. And from the Kerry camp, economic advisor Mickey Kantor and senior strategist, Tad Devine.
Plus V.P. candidates may play second fiddle, but they have produced memorial debate moments through the years.
And we'll go inside the battle for Ohio by paying a visit to a local church.
With 29 days until the election, can you believe it? This is INSIDE POLITICS, the place for campaign news.
WOODRUFF: As we told you at the top of the hour, our new poll shows John Kerry in a dead heat with President Bush nationally.
Here to talk about the race and tell us how the president plans to counter what some say is Kerry's surge is Bush campaign manager, Marc Racicot. He joins us from campaign headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.
First of all, Marc Racicot, do you agree with what seems to be the widespread assessment that the president turned in a disappointing performance at that debate last Thursday night?
MARK RACICOT, BUSH CAMPAIGN MANAGER: No, I wouldn't agree with that. Obviously, I think Senator Kerry was glib, and the assessments have been largely about impressions and appearances. But we're going to be focusing upon substance.
He was also not only glib, he was absolutely wrong on most positions that he took. Even his factual basis for most of those positions was wrong. He was wrong from whether or not the New York subway was working during the Republican National Convention, to whether -- to the costs of the war in Iraq, to whether or not there were assets diverted to the war in Afghanistan, over and over and over again.
When he wasn't wrong, he was rather perverse, Judy, in his reasoning. Where he alleged one time that we were wrong to go into Iraq. It was a mistake to go into Iraq, but then said that our soldiers, who have sacrificed their lives did not sacrifice them for a mistake. It was a perverse way of thinking.
And then of course, concluded the evening with a new test, a new position on Iraq, and that is now we have to pass what he refers to as a global test which, for the life of me, I can't quite understand in a natural evolution of all of his positions what that means.
But what we assume it means is what he said, that you have to prove to the world that, in fact everything that was done was done because there was an imminent danger or harm. So in other words, you have to get permission from those around the world when you're acting in your own self-defense.
So I think those are the issues we're going to talk about between now and the election.
WOODRUFF: Well, regardless of why it happened, the fact that John Kerry has now caught up with the president, the fact that John Kerry has momentum, doesn't this put more pressure now on Vice President Cheney to put on a strong performance tomorrow night?
RACICOT: Well, you know, frankly, I think all of these debates are important events. They're not the dispositive events of the campaign. In other words, they're not the only things that happen, but they're clearly important.
On the one hand, with the vice presidential debate tomorrow night, you've got John Edwards, who most certainly is a shrewd lawyer and capable on his feet. But you also have the vice president, who's been through many of these things before as a congressman, as chief of staff to a president, as secretary of defense, as vice president.
So his substance and his steady hand, I think, will provide an extraordinary contrast with -- with he ability of Senator Edwards to be clever in his responses throughout the course of the debate.
WOODRUFF: Marc Racicot, the president is still holding his own, certainly, in some questions people are asked on polls: who is the stronger leader.
But, for example, on the question who is more intelligent, 48 percent of respondents in our poll said John Kerry; 38 percent said the president. Is this something that troubles you when you see results like these?
RACICOT: No. Because that -- the fact of the matter is, what you mentioned, the most important character traits and position issues that I think are important to the American people -- who can lead this country with strength and with firm commitment, who can handle the war on terror, who has concerns about people like you -- all of those particular characteristics the president measures extremely well on.
And obviously, his policies and his accomplishments throughout the course of a lifetime, I think, speak to the capacity to lead this nation to discern and to have a vision about where we ought to go.
So the answer would be no.
WOODRUFF: Well, let me ask you about something that has been widely commented on since the debate. And that is some of the president's facial expressions, which were shown during John Kerry's answers during the debate.
Is the president -- is this something that the campaign is now mindful of, that you've talked to the president about or others in the campaign, or is this even an issue, do you think, going into the next two presidential debates?
RACICOT: Well, you know, everybody is -- is human in these debates. And most certainly, the president has strong feelings and strong commitments to this country and a strong desire to continue to serve the people of this nation throughout the course of the next four years.
And obviously, all of us have certain reactions. When you are accused, of course, of everything from lying, which the senator denied that he'd ever said in the past, but which we revealed very quickly. He's constantly referred to, and in fact the day after the campaign or the second day after the debate, excuse me, he ran an ad, again, once again, referring to the president as a liar. Most certainly you can expect that there will be some disapproval that is evinced on a person's countenance. At least there would be on mine.
So I'm certain the president will always make every effort to remain appropriate to the circumstances, but you have to remember, he's certainly not going to voice or in some way manifest his approval of something that he disagrees with.
WOODRUFF: Marc Racicot, we are going to have to leave it there. He is -- you are the chairman of the Bush/Cheney campaign. We thank you very much and I look forward to seeing you this week...
RACICOT: My pleasure. Thank you, Judy.
WOODRUFF: ... out here in Cleveland or either is St. Louis.
Later during INSIDE POLITICS, we're going to be talking with Tad Devine, who is a senior adviser to John Kerry. We'll be bringing up some of the same questions that we just raised with Marc Racicot.
But right now we want to turn to economic policy.
As we reported earlier, President Bush was in Iowa today to sign tax cut legislation. John Kerry has been saying that Bush's policies benefit the wealthy at the expense of the middle class.
Well, joining us now is Kerry economic adviser and former Clinton commerce secretary, Mickey Kantor.
Mickey Kantor, John Kerry says the president is out of touch with the middle class, but the president turns around today; he's signing tax cut legislation. Clearly, in part, geared to the middle class. For example, there is a significant childcare tax credit in this legislation.
MICKEY KANTOR, FORMER COMMERCE SECRETARY: Well, Judy, the only policy -- economic policy this administration has is tax cut. And most of them -- most of that has gone to the very wealthy.
Frankly, what's happened in this country is poverty's up 4.3 million people, 5.2 million people without health care. We've lost 1.6 million private sector jobs and 900,000 net jobs in the economy.
We're in very bad shape. We've got to do more than just cutting taxes for the wealthy. We need to affect all of us, and we need a program that works. And this one certainly has it.
WOODRUFF: But -- but is it -- is it something that is going to ring true with voters for John Kerry to say that this president is out of touch with the middle class when clearly the president's tax cuts have, in part, benefited the middle class in this country?
KANTOR: Well, they haven't, not very much at all. In fact, it's been negative. Median income, Judy, has gone down $1,535 over the last three and a half years. Yet we know health care costs have gone up 50 percent or more. We know college costs are up over 30 percent. We know gasoline prices are up over 30 percent. State and local taxes are up. And the middle class are losing jobs, as well.
So the middle class has not been positively affected. They've been adversely affected, and their kids and grandkids will carry an increasing debt because of this $422 billion deficit. It is a program that just hasn't worked.
Look, you can't be arrogant and stubborn when you know a program doesn't work. This administration should try something else. John Kerry has a number of plans, including child -- tax credit for children for childcare, including tax credit for college, including health care costs would be covered, which will really make a difference.
WOODRUFF: John Kerry, as you know, also talks a lot about job loss all over the country, specifically here in Ohio. And yet, you look at the statistics nationwide, economic growth seems to be back on track. The latest figures we've seen in the last few weeks show the economy perking along.
Is this an issue that John Kerry's going to have a really hard time -- is having a hard time making headway with?
KANTOR: Oh, not at all, Judy. We've had an average of 104,000 new jobs in June, July and August. We have to create 150,000 new jobs a month just to stay even.
We've created 1.4 million new jobs in the last year. That's less than any year under Bill Clinton. And by the way, 90 percent of those jobs, according to Merrill Lynch, are in slow growth, low-paying industries that pay an average of $9,000 less than the jobs they replaced.
Now, he doesn't have trouble making that case. The only problem we have is making sure the American people understand where we are as a country and what we need to do.
WOODRUFF: Mickey Kantor, we are going to have to leave it there. Again, he was secretary of commerce for President Bill Clinton. Good to see you. Thank you very much.
KANTOR: Thanks, Judy, very much. Appreciate it.
WOODRUFF: We're going to talk a little bit more about the economy with Bush commerce secretary, Don Evans, a little bit later.
But when we come back, I'll talk with a top Ohio Democrat and Republican about the crucial battle for the Buckeye State.
Plus, if tomorrow night's debate is like vice presidential match- ups past, we could see some fireworks. Our Bruce Morton explains.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Wolf Blitzer in Washington. Coming up at 5:00 p.m. Eastern, about 90 minutes from now, Mount St. Helens erupted again today, and the cloud of steam was bigger and darker than last week. And scientists are now afraid of a more severe eruption. They're afraid it could be on the way. We'll have details.
New violence in Iraq has taken at least 35 more lives, including 21 people killed in two Baghdad car bombings.
And a flight into history. SpaceShipOne returned to the sky today and came back as the winner of the $10 million X Prize.
Those stories, much more, all coming up later today on "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS."
Now back to JUDY WOODRUFF'S INSIDE POLITICS.
WOODRUFF: President Bush goes to the showdown state of Iowa to sign a tax cut bill into law. John Kerry stumps in another battleground, New Hampshire, and teams up with Michael J. Fox to take on the president over stem cell research.
And here in Ohio, we're getting ready for a campaign clash. Vice President Cheney and Senator John Edwards face off here tomorrow night.
Welcome back to INSIDE POLITICS. I'm Judy Woodruff, live from Cleveland, site of tomorrow night's vice presidential debate.
Well, as the political spotlight prepares to shift to the White House running mates, the aftershocks of last Thursday's presidential debate still are being felt. CNN's senior White House correspondent, John King, is here in Cleveland, too.
Hi there, John. Tell us first about the strategy from the Bush- Cheney camp for this debate tomorrow night.
JOHN KING, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, they hope this is a week in which they regain the momentum, Judy, after last week's debate performance by the president. And they view the vice president as critical to that.
Traditionally, not that much stock the voters put in the vice presidential candidates. Both campaigns can see that. But they think the vice president can do two things in his debate with John Edwards.
Number one, remind the American people, maybe you don't like all the president's decisions when it comes to the war in Iraq, but try to take the American people back to the mindset of after the September 11 attacks and how the president makes his decisions now with a different mindset. That he will deal aggressively with threats, even if he perceives those to be threats.
The vice president will make that case repeatedly. And the White House also hopes that his experience gap, as some Bush-Cheney officials are calling it, with Senator Edwards, remains people that Vice President Cheney has decades of service in public service, decades of experience in public service, and that he is far more prepared, god forbid, to step in and be president than the man the Bush-Cheney campaign is calling the golden-tongued but inexperienced Democratic candidate for vice president -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: John, we know -- we've been reporting on the polls showing a pickup for John Kerry in the wake of that debate. How is the Bush-Cheney camp countering that? What do they think about it, how worried are they about it?
KING: They're certainly worried. They went into last week's debate with some momentum, and they hope to build on it.
Matt Dowd, the chief strategist for the Bush campaign, put it this way today, though. He said they always expected a very close race and they are not the type of campaign to either celebrate in the end zone when they score and go ahead or cry in their beer when they have a setback.
So they certainly view this is as a very tight race now. They had hoped for something different coming out of last week's debate.
You saw in the president today what will be the strategy over the next couple of weeks, at least certainly this week: sharp attacks on Senator Kerry when it comes to the economy. The president is saying Senator Kerry would raises and hurt the economy and sharper tax. Trying to get back on the upper footing when it comes to Iraq and the war on terrorism, saying Senator Kerry would say put U.S. military decisions to a global test, as Senator Kerry called it in last week's debate.
So they will be very aggressive over the next several days on both tax cuts and the economy, and Iraq and the war on terrorism. The president will do that. And Judy, they also hope the vase president does that as well here tomorrow night.
WOODRUFF: All right. John King here with me in Cleveland. John, thank you very much. Of course, John will be here today and tomorrow, looking ahead to tomorrow night's vice presidential debate.
Well, today, by the way, is the last day to register to vote in several states, including here in Ohio. Election officials in certain parts of the state report a huge jump in voter applications. One county is processing almost 100,000 forms. Campaign staffers for both candidates say they are confident that their Get Out the Vote efforts will pay off come November.
The results from four years ago illustrate why turnout is so important in the battle for Ohio's 20 electoral votes. George W. Bush defeated Al Gore by just 166,000 votes.
As for where the Ohio race stands today, the most recent CNN-"USA Today"-Gallup poll was giving Bush a slight edge among likely voters, but Kerry was holding the lead among all registered voters. With me now to talk more about voter turnout and the battle for Ohio are two people who know this state very well. Republican Ken Blackwell is the Ohio secretary of state. Democratic Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones represents much of the Cleveland area in Congress.
Congresswoman Jones, I'm going to start with you first. Today we hear John Kerry in Ohio saying President Bush isn't in touch with average Americans. But I'm going to put to you the same question I put to Mickey Kantor a few minutes ago.
The president is up in Iowa today signing legislation that provides a tax cut for middle income Americans. There's a child care tax credit, there are other aspects to this legislation. So how is that charge that John Kerry is making, how does that have any credibility?
REP. STEPHANIE TUBBS JONES (D), OHIO: Cleveland, Ohio, welcome to my congressional district. We lost 60,000 jobs since George Bush took office in Cleveland alone, 230,000 in the state of Ohio.
Our school colleges are up 10 percent. Our school systems are suffering from him giving money to charter schools and voucher schools. The Cleveland public schools are hundreds of thousands in deficit.
He's not in touch with the people, working-day people. He won't even raise minimum wage. People are working $5.25 an hour. You multiply that times 2,080 hours, that means you're making about $12,000. That's below the poverty line.
He's not in touch. Give me a break.
WOODRUFF: All right.
Ken Blackwell, what about it, 230,000 jobs lost in this state under George Bush's presidency?
KEN BLACKWELL, OHIO SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, Judy, Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones knows as well as you and I that there's not a nation nor a state that has ever taxed and spent its way into prosperity. The president has it right, cut taxes, grow the economy, create jobs.
And as you indicated in your last segment, things are turning around in Ohio. But the reality is that America was attacked on September the 11th, and the president has responded in kind with a direct offensive against terrorists...
JONES: You keep making that excuse.
BLACKWELL: ... across -- excuse me. Across -- across this globe.
He is showing leadership. What we do realize in this country is that we are expanding home ownership. The economy is on the rise again. And jobs are being created.
We are moving in the right direction. And here, in the state of Ohio, the president's policies are working. And people are going to respond in kind with, I think, strong support.
WOODRUFF: Congresswoman, let me...
JONES: Hey, Ken, share the time. Let me say this...
WOODRUFF: Why don't you respond to the specific points that he was making.
JONES: I must. I must respond to the specific points.
East Cleveland, Ohio, unemployment rate, 14.3 percent, national average, 5.9 percent. His policies are not working in Ohio, just like the elected officials who are all Republican are not working in Ohio.
We have -- you have not, the Republican-elected officials, figured out how we fund public education in Ohio. And the Supreme Court asked you to do it four years ago. You all are fooling yourselves to say that this economy is improving, and you ought to be truthful with the American people.
WOODRUFF: Ken Blackwell, quick answer here.
BLACKWELL: The people of Ohio have elected Republicans for the last 12 years to lead this state through good times and bad times. And we are working our way out. And the president is right on cue in cutting taxes, fighting expanding lawsuits in our country to reduce health care costs.
And the president is right on track in understanding that there are some folks whose boats are not rising with the tide. And he is expanding community-based health care centers, and he's making home ownership easier for all people, and that includes everybody in Ohio.
WOODRUFF: Let me ask you both, we're hearing that there are hundreds of thousands of new Ohioans on the voter roles now, new voters registered in the state. Are they going to be mostly Democrats or are they going to be mostly Republicans? What's your sense of that?
JONES: "The New York Times" reports that voter registration for Democrats is up 275 percent in the state of Ohio. But the Republicans are only up 25 percent.
But lest we run out of time, let's talk about the fact that Ken Blackwell issued a ruling that, in order to file an application for registration, it had to be on 80-pound paper. Let's talk about the fact that Kenneth Blackwell just issued a ruling saying that provisional balloting would be more restricted in the general than in the primary. It's all a sign of what's happening with secretaries of state across this country who are restricting and depressing folks in communities.
WOODRUFF: All right. Let me give you a chance to answer those two points quickly.
BLACKWELL: Good try, Stephanie. Here's the reality.
Ohio state law for over 10 years has basically said people must vote in the precinct in which they live. The Help America Vote Act basically says every state must have provisional ballots. But how those provisional ballots are governed really rests with the state.
Ohio is one of 28 states in this country that has the policy that you must cast your ballot, regular ballot or provisional ballot, in the precinct where you live. That is not hard.
WOODRUFF: We're going to have to leave it there.
BLACKWELL: Excuse me. We are the country of the rule of law. Let's follow the law. Thank you.
JONES: Follow the law, Ken Blackwell. Let people vote.
WOODRUFF: All right. We're going to have to leave it there. Ken Blackwell, Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, we would have loved to have had more time. Thank you both for being with us.
JONES: Invite me back. Invite me back.
WOODRUFF: We will do it. We'll have you both back. Many thanks.
BLACKWELL: See you, Judy.
WOODRUFF: Many thanks.
Just ahead, "Campaign News Daily." Details on the break-in at Bush headquarters in Washington State, and the data contained on three laptops now missing.
Also, we'll update the Ohio ad war. Who's spending the big money to reach Ohio voters?
WOODRUFF: Checking the headlines in our "Campaign News Daily," a new poll in New Jersey gives John Kerry the lead among likely voters. Kerry receives 50 percent in the latest Research 2000 Survey. George Bush receives 42 percent.
Ralph Nader will also be on the Garden State ballot. He finished with two percent.
The Kerry campaign is apparently backing away from efforts to convert normally Republican-leading Virginia into an election battleground. About 20 Kerry staffers, or about two-thirds of the campaign's Virginia team, are being re-deployed to states where the White House race is considered closer.
Out West, the Bush campaign headquarters in Washington State was hit by burglars. Police are investigating the theft of three laptops from the headquarters in Bellevue. The state party chairman said the computers contained much of the Bush-Cheney campaign strategy for Washington State.
Returning our focus back to Ohio and the television ad wars going on here, CNN advertising consultant, Evan Tracey, of TNS Media Intelligence is with me now from Washington. Evan's firm tracks advertising in the nation's top 100 media markets.
Already, Evan, I'm in Cleveland, so let's start here. How much has been spent on ads here, and how does this rank among all the battleground states?
EVAN TRACEY, TNS MEDIA INTELLIGENCE: Well, Judy, there's battleground states, and then there's battleground markets within states. Right now, Cleveland is the number one market in terms of ad dollars that have been spent by the candidates and the interest groups.
We've seen over $31 million spent in Cleveland alone right now. And if the trend continues, it will stay first through the end of the election, because it has about a $10 million lead on the markets that are two through five, which include markets like Philadelphia, Tampa, Las Vegas and Miami.
WOODRUFF: So what about Ohio overall? Is it first, or where among all the battleground states?
TRACEY: Ohio is first. About $66 million has been spent total in the state of Ohio. And if you look inside -- one thing that was interesting when we were doing this research, the spending right now by the major 527 groups, almost -- anywhere from a third to a half of total dollars by the major 527s right now has been spent in the state of Ohio.
The Bush campaign is the leading spender so far, spending about $18.5 million in the state. And then Kerry's spending not far behind, in the $15 million range so far in Ohio.
WOODRUFF: So if you compare Republicans and Democrats overall, who's spending the most here in Ohio?
TRACEY: The real advantage right now is with the Democrats. And again, it's when you factor in the 527 spending.
About $30 million of the total money spent by the Demarcating- leaning 527s has been spent in the state of Ohio, and the majority of that has been spent in the market of Cleveland. So clearly both sides have their sights not only on Ohio, but specifically Cleveland, for all of its suburban voters right now that are going to be so important in tipping this state one way or the other.
WOODRUFF: So Evan, finally, compare what the typical TV viewer here in Cleveland has to look forward to for the rest of the month to TV viewers around the rest of the country. TRACEY: Well, earlier in the summer, on average, there were about 70 to 115 ads per day airing in that Cleveland market. As of Saturday's data, there's about 240 ads per day airing in that market.
So it's going to be very hard for the voters of Cleveland to miss any of these spots. And quite frankly, they're probably all looking to invest in TiVo right now.
WOODRUFF: All right. It will be interesting to see how you measure an advantage in that environment with 270 spots a day. All right. Evan Tracey, thank you very much.
TRACEY: Thanks, Judy.
WOODRUFF: We appreciate it.
WOODRUFF: TNS Media Intelligence.
Well, here in Cleveland, what should we expect from tomorrow night's vice presidential debate? Well, if the past is any guide, there could be a few memorable moments. Bruce Morton will take a look back.
WOODRUFF: We're already in Cleveland for tomorrow night's debate. And it is a debate that is going to pit vice presidential candidate Dick Cheney, take them out of their familiar campaign settings, and put them face to face at the same table. Our Bruce Morton reports past debates between presidential running mates made from some moments that those of us who cover politics won't forget.
BERNARD SHAW, MODERATOR: A candidate shall have...
BRUCE MORTON, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Vice presidential debates, we haven't always had them. John Kennedy and Richard Nixon debated in 1960, for instance. But their running mates, Lyndon Johnson and Henry Cabot Lodge, did not.
They can be mean sometimes. Bob Dole, Gerald Ford's running mate in 1976, denouncing Democrat wars.
SEN. BOB DOLE (R), FMR. VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I figured out the other day, if we added up the killed and wounded in Democrat wars in this century, it would be about 1.6 million Americans. And that's to fill the city of Detroit.
MORTON: Remember Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 lecturing then Vice President George Bush?
REP. GERALDINE FERRARO (D), FMR. VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And I almost resent, Vice President Bush, your patronizing attitude that you have to teach me about foreign policy.
MORTON: Sometimes they're just kind of sweet. Admiral James Stockdale, Ross Perot's running mate in 1992, a veteran, a Vietnam POW. clearly not a politician.
ADM. JAMES STOCKDALE, (REF.), FMR. VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Who am I? Why am I here?
MORTON: Vice President Cheney, who's been an attack dog this time, cursing the Democratic senator, suggesting voting for John Kerry would trigger more terrorist attacks, was gentle in his 2000 debate with Joe Lieberman. The sharpest moments were shoft one-liners, like this one, suggesting how successful Cheney had been as a businessman.
SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN (D-CT.), FMR. VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I can see my wife, and I think she's thinking, gee, I wish he could go out into the private sector.
RICHARD CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I'm going to try to help you do that, Joe.
MORTON: Do vice presidential debates matter? Here's perhaps the most memorable exchange of recent years: Lloyd Bentsen attacking the first President Bush's number two, Dan Quayle, after Quayle compared his experience to presidential candidate John Kennedy.
SEN. LLOYD BENTSEN (D), FMR. VICE 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: Devastating? Well, viewers thought Bentsen won the debate, sure. But when a "Los Angeles Times" poll asked, "Would the VPs' debate affect how you vote?" Seventy-nine percent, four out of five, said no.
People vote for president. And unless something really unusual happens, that will probably be true this time, too.
Bruce Morton, CNN, Washington.
WOODRUFF: As we think about that debate tomorrow night, we want to tell you about John Kerry on the campaign trail today. He has just landed in Philadelphia, where we are told he's going to continue to talk about the need to expand stem cell research.
It's something the senator was talking about in New Hampshire earlier. He is making it part of his stump speech this week out on the campaign trail in Philadelphia today, part of an all-important vote center in the showdown state of Pennsylvania.
Meantime, back on the trail, President Bush and Senator Kerry are pushing domestic issues, as we just told you. A warm-up of sorts for their next debate. Coming up, the Republican take on the latest Bush tax cuts from Commerce Secretary Don Evans.
Plus, a Kerry campaign insider on the state of the race after the first debate. Tad Devine and much more when INSIDE POLITICS continues.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We always expected it to be a close election.
ANNOUNCER: And now new numbers confirm that. It's a dead heat in the horse race. But that is not all our new poll says. We'll break down the numbers.
The clash in Cleveland. Vice President Cheney and Senator Edwards get ready for tomorrow's night tangle. Which candidate has the edge?
Now live from Cleveland, site of Tuesday's vice presidential debate, JUDY WOODRUFF'S INSIDE POLITICS.
WOODRUFF: Welcome back to Cleveland on the eve of the first and only vice presidential debate of the 2004 race for the White House. It will be held at Case Western Reserve University, just a short distance away from our vantage point here at the Cleveland Museum of Art. The Cheney/Edwards faceoff may not be the most crucial of this campaign. No way to know. But both candidates have been working behind the scenes to hone their debate skills.
Meantime, the men at the top of the tickets are out on the trail today. President Bush made the signing of tax cut legislation part of his appeal today to Iowa voters. And John Kerry has a meeting scheduled this hour with religious leaders in Philadelphia. Earlier Kerry promoted stem cell research at an event in New Hampshire.
Well, there's a somewhat different dynamic to the Bush-Kerry race four days after their first debate. Our senior political analyst Bill Schneider has details from our new poll.
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Remember John Kerry's missing convention bounce? Well, he finally got it from the first debate. A week ago President Bush was eight points ahead among likely voters. Then came the debate where by better than 2-1 the public says Kerry did a better job. After the debate Kerry gained 5 points, Bush lost three turning the presidential race into a dead heat. After the late June handover of power to the interim Iraqi government, Iraq was a diminishing voter concern. The debate on top of a lot of bad news coming out of Iraq has changed that. Before the debate Iraq lagged behind terrorism and the economy as the top concern to voters. After the debate, concern about Iraq suddenly intensified. The growing number of voters concerned about Iraq are voting for Kerry. So are voters whose top concern is the economy and health care. Terrorism is the only big issue that pays off for Bush.
So how come the election is so close? Because it is not dominated by the issues. Those who say they are voting on the issues are voting for Kerry. But they are fewer than four in ten voters. They are outnumbered by those who say their vote is driven by personal qualities. Those are Bush voters. What personal qualities? Intelligence? The public believes Kerry is more intelligent than Bush. What qualities do voters admire in President Bush?
BUSH: I made some tough decisions. The people know where I stand.
SCHNEIDER: Strength. By a wide margin, voters continue to see Bush as the stronger leader than Kerry.
(on camera): The race is now wide open but there are two more debates. Either of them could turn things dramatically just as the first debate did -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: All right. Thank you very much. You can listen for tax cuts to come up in the next round of debates. Coming up, the Bush camp's take on tax cuts and the economy from Commerce Secretary Don Evans. Plus, what does John Kerry do for an encore after his premier debate performance? I'll ask senior Kerry strategist Tad Devine.
WOODRUFF: No sooner does the dust settle from the first presidential debate that anticipation is building for the vice presidential faceoff in Cleveland. A just released portion of our poll shows 42 percent of those surveyed think John Edwards would do a better job tomorrow night. That's slightly more, in fact, that's within the margin of error of the 40 percent who think Dick Cheney will do better. Our senior political correspondent Candy Crowley is here to talk more about the polls and the debates and what they mean. Candy, you have been covering John Kerry. What do they think about this debate tomorrow night? What are they looking to?
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think what you will see is John Edwards taking much of what John Kerry did on that first debate and bringing it over to Dick Cheney. They're going to say yes, we concede that Dick Cheney has had more experience than John Edwards, John Edwards being a first-term senator. Dick Cheney has been in Washington in many positions for decades.
So they want to use that and turn it on him and say well, we have real life experience. We've been out -- we meaning John Edwards has been out working for real people as a trial lawyer and he understand those needs and Dick Cheney has been in Washington and of late has made misjudgments and sort of really tie him to the Bush administration using the fact that he's seen as the most powerful vice president in history.
So they want to take what we see as Cheney's strengths and turn them into weaknesses. You'll also hear something about Ohio. They'll use this venue in this battleground state to talk about the jobless rate in Ohio among those states that are in the top tier of those who lost the most jobs over the past four years. They want to talk about the number of people that have lost their health insurance. Again, bringing it back to Ohio so they will definitely use this state to talk to people in this state and campaign here.
So they want to use the debate to begin to turn the corner on to domestic issues using Ohio as the core of it but they will in fact tie Dick Cheney and some of his words as defense secretary. They have been going through Dick Cheney's statements when he was the Pentagon chief and during the first Gulf War so they want to use those statements also on how he thought about weaponry.
So, they have been studying Dick Cheney fairly closely and think that they can turn some of his strengths into weaknesses.
WOODRUFF: Candy, we know that John Edwards is serving his first term in the United States Senate. He's going up against somebody who has been in public life, been in Washington for long time. How concerned are the Kerry people about John Edwards -- simply, you know, the drastic difference in terms of their experience?
CROWLEY: Well, you know, again, they want to turn that -- they're going to say, look, it's the same as what John Edwards said during the primary, which is I have a different kind of experience. No, I am not a life-long politician, but I have been a highly successful trial lawyer, where he talked to real people, where he fought on their side in a lot of personal injury lawsuits.
So, they will say that experience doesn't mean just sitting around in Washington. Oddly, that's one of the arguments that John Edwards used against John Kerry during the primary.
So, but yes, I mean they do know that John Edwards Has to be up to snuff on the issues. They believe that he is. They believe that he can hold his own when they are talking about the issues, but they are very aware that Dick Cheney can be a formidable debater and he has a vast, decades-long worth of knowledge.
So, they're not exactly sanguine going into this. They understand it's a tough, uphill battle, but they also have a very charming, very well-schooled, very articulate candidate who they believe will hold his own.
WOODRUFF: Candy Crowley, here in Cleveland along with us, following the running mates for a change. Candy, thank you very much. You'll be with us for the next few days. Thank you. Well, earlier we did talk with the Bush campaign chairman Marc Racicot for his take on new polling that shows John Kerry surging into a dead heat with President Bush. For the Kerry campaign's perspective on all this, joining us now is senior Kerry campaign strategist Tad Devine.
All right, Tad Devine, John Kerry did move into -- he's in a much better position in this race. But now, the expectations are higher for him. Isn't there just as much pressure on John Kerry this week as there was for the debate last week?
TAD DEVINE, KERRY CAMPAIGN SR. STRATEGIST: Sure there is, Judy. I mean, there's tremendous pressure on both these candidates. We've said from the beginning that this was going to be a tight race for president, and we believe that. I mean, the country has been deeply divided for many years now. We expect the race to go down to the wire.
You know, John Kerry has been dealing with pressure for 30 years, and he's been in tougher straits than a debate, i can tell you that. And I think he'll handle it very well as he did the other night.
WOODRUFF: The polls do show some lift for John Kerry after last week. But they also show still some very troubling signs when people are asked who is a stronger leader -- who would be the stronger leader? President Bush is still in the lead, 56 percent to Senator Kerry's 37 percent. How do you overcome that?
DEVINE: Well, first, I'm not as worried about that, because when you ask that question in a direct sense as opposed to a relative sense, if you ask people is John Kerry a strong leader, well more than 50 percent of Americans agree. So, we've got plenty of voters who believe he's got the leadership qualities to be president.
WOODRUFF: That's a 20-point gap.
DEVINE: Well, in a relative sense. But again, as long as we have a vast majority of people who believe in his leadership and recognize the strength of his leadership, I don't think there's going to be any problem for him winning enough votes.
You know, I remember in '96 I worked for John Kerry in the Senate race. Bill Weld had a 71 favorable on Election Day. The only problem is Bill Weld had 45 percent of the vote.
So, you know, it's not the internals that are going to decide this. It's the way people feel about their future and whether or not they want to take this country in a new direction. And that's what John Kerry's campaign is about.
WOODRUFF: I want to ask you the same question in another form, if you will, that I just asked Candy. And that is John Edwards has only been in the Senate for one term. He hasn't even finished one term. He is going up against tomorrow night one of the most experienced people in Washington. He was -- Dick Cheney was White House chief of staff, he was defense secretary, he's been vice president for four years.
Are you nervous about the contrast and the chance that, you know, John Edwards could make a mistake simply because of inexperience?
DEVINE: No. I'm not nervous about the contrast. John Edwards has fought for people for 20 years before he entered public life and ran for office. Dick Cheney has been around a long time.
And listen, Dick Cheney got everything he wanted in this debate. He wanted this "Meet the Press" format. He wanted to sit down. he wanted the debate format that he did so well in four years ago. He's got it.
But John Edwards has the strength of his convictions and the argument and the people that he and John Kerry are fighting for. I think it's going to be a great debate. I had the privilege of managing Lloyd Bentsen's vice presidential campaign in 1988, and I don't think I've forward to a vice presidential debate as much since then. So, we'll see it tomorrow.
WOODRUFF: I remember that debate very well.
Tad Devine, the State of Virginia, you -- the Kerry campaign was competing in Virginia just in the last few days, though you pulled 20- some people out of there and redeployed them around the country. Are you basically giving up on Virginia?
DEVINE: No. We are redeploying people and have done so, and the Bush campaign has done some redeployment, as well. We're looking for opportunities. We've got some tough fights in some tough places.
I'm hopeful that if we can continue to build on the momentum which John Kerry provided us from last Thursday that we can continue to expand he battlegrounds in these states. Right now, we're competing in states with over 330 electoral votes. I think at the end game if we can compete in some more, that's great. We'll wait and see where they are.
WOODRUFF: You said they've redeployed. What states are they pulling out of?
DEVINE: Well, they've been very light in Washington State, Judy. You know, they've got a token media buy going on there for weeks now. They like to say that they are competing there. We're having tremendous success in that state. We're succeeding in the southwest, as well.
So, you know, they are on in a couple states, but they're not on with much volume, I'll tell you that.
WOODRUFF: Tad Devine, senior strategist, advisor in the John Kerry campaign. Good to see you. And John Edwards.
DEVINE: Nice to be with you.
WOODRUFF: Here in Cleveland. Thank you very much for being with us. We appreciate it.
Well, economic politics is moving front and center in the presidential campaign. John Kerry says he has a plan to bring down the deficit while relieving the burden on the middle class. But President Bush says his policies are working.
Coming up, a discussion with Commerce Secretary Don Evans.
WOODRUFF: Welcome back to INSIDE POLITICS in Cleveland today, looking ahead to tomorrow night's debate.
President Bush says his tax cuts are reviving the American economy. But John Kerry says he has a better plan for the middle class.
We talked in the last half hour with Mickey Kantor, who was commerce secretary under President Bill Clinton. He's advising the John Kerry campaign. But joining us now to talk about the Bush campaign's position is the secretary of commerce under President Bush Don Evans.
Mr. Secretary, good to see you.
DON EVANS, COMMERCE SECRETARY: Thank you, Judy. Good to be with you.
WOODRUFF: Thank you. I asked Mickey Kantor about this -- John Kerry is saying that he has a plan to help the middle class in this country. And he points to the president's tax cuts as benefiting primarily wealthy Americans.
When you look at the distribution of those tax cuts, why doesn't that make it harder to make the sale with middle class, middle income voters in America?
EVANS: Well, Judy, just a couple of thoughts. The Tax Cut Bill the president signed today benefits 94 million Americans. It benefits middle income families all across America. It benefits married couples all across America.
A family of four that earns $40,000 a year, had he not signed the bill, their taxes would be $900 higher. Because he signed the bill, they'll be $900 lower next year and the year after and the year after and the year after all the way to 2010.
I understand that Senator Kerry released a tax cut proposal today that would benefit about 16 percent of the taxpayers in America. Well, that leaves over 80 percent of the people out. So, I don't know who he is referring to when he talks about a middle class tax cut, but he's leaving about 80 percent of the taxpayers out of his package.
You know, the other thing, Judy...
WOODRUFF: But proportionally -- I was just going to say, proportionally, though, doesn't the lion's share of the president's tax cut plan benefit the wealthiest Americans, those earning over $200,000?
EVANS: Judy, that's -- right. Judy, that's a great question. It's really one of the biggest myths of this campaign. Because what he's talking about is increasing the marginal rate back from 35 percent to 38 percent on individuals.
Now, about 70 percent of that increase would be born by small business owners across America, the ones that are creating 70 percent of the jobs in America. So, he always fails to talk about -- when he talks about the wealthy, what he doesn't talk about is 70 percent of the savings that the president delivered through his tax cut going from 38 to 35 percent goes to small businesses all across America, and they create 70 percent of the jobs in America.
Not only do they create 70 percent of the jobs, they're responsible for the families and the workers in their companies that are trying to continue to earn more to educate their children, et cetera. So, that is the one key point that Senator Kerry continues to omit when he is talking about increasing taxes on those earning over $200,000. It's small business owners he's talking about.
WOODRUFF: Let's talk about the nation's economy overall. There are clearly signs that it is getting healthier. Growth getting back on track. But just Friday, the price of oil closed at over $50 a barrel, the highest it has been in two decades.
We see today over the weekend international bankers say they are now worried that the -- across the -- around the world, across the globe, they are going to be a negative effect because of the rising price of oil. And of course, that's going to have repercussions for the United States.
How do you -- as somebody who advises the president on economic policy, how do you confront this oil price problem?
EVANS: Well, Judy, one way you could confront it is go to the American people and tell them to call their senators -- senators like Senator Kerry -- and tell them to stop blocking an energy bill that he's been trying to get through Congress for the last three-and-a-half years.
He came into this town understanding energy, understanding the challenges. He laid out plan to the American people in the spring of 2001, and he has yet to have an energy bill on his desk because it has been obstructed by senators like Senator Kerry in the Senate.
And so, first we have to have an energy bill. In addition to that, Judy, I would say to you that, you know, we got to continue to look at ways to deliver reliable and affordable energy to this economy and to this country. And the president will stay focused on that. Fifty dollars a barrel is too high. We want to see prices come back down, and I think they will some.
WOODRUFF: Commerce Secretary Don Evans, we appreciate your time. Thank you very much.
EVANS: Yeah, thank you, Judy. You bet.
WOODRUFF: Good to see you.
EVANS: Nice to see you...
WOODRUFF: In a moment, we'll look -- take a look at a time honored political tradition: the connection between Bibles, ballots, and black voters.
WOODRUFF: John Kerry is actively seeking African-American support, among others. The senator attended services in Cleveland here yesterday and is meeting with black clergy in Philadelphia this hour. Kerry hopes to gain ground from the tradition of African- American ministers taking to the pulpit and urging their flocks to vote.
(voice-over): Morning dawns at the Mount Sinai Baptist Church in Cleveland, Ohio. People drift in seeking spiritual guidance.
REV. C. JAY MATTHEWS, MOUNT SINAI BAPTIST CHURCH: So, if you want to be rescued, it's in your hands.
WOODRUFF: And information.
Here, parishioners clutch Bibles in one hand, campaign fans in the other. And preaching is infused with politics...
MATTHEWS: Now that we've registered people to vote, we've got four weeks to get people out to vote.
WOODRUFF: ... just as worship is with song. The Reverend C. Jay Matthews continues an African-American tradition more than a century old: using the pulpit as his bully pulpit.
MATTHEWS: Between the ages of 16 to 65, 40 percent of black males in this country are unemployed. Why should we vote?
WOODRUFF: The message: We don't have much, but we do have a voice.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whatever white man is run running, you got to know you got to come by me in order to get to the White House.
WOODRUFF: In most black churches, politics flows from a homegrown theology of liberation.
MATTHEWS: God is a god who raises up and empowers the oppressed to become empowered eventually to stand free and liberated, both from sin and from the hostility of the environment. WOODRUFF: The marriage of religion and politics is a big theme this year. Take the political revival among conservative whites evangelicals.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sadly, there's a voice within Christian churches across America.
WOODRUFF: They share something special with black Baptists, like those who worship at Mount Zion. More than other religious groups, these two feel that God has a role in government.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bible is a life instruction booklet, you know, God made us. And this is his booklet to us to let us know how to live.
WOODRUFF: But the difference is one of emphasis. In Harrisburg's Word of Grace Church, gay marriage and abortion are major concerns. Not so here in Cleveland.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The main issue now is to make sure that the economic conditions get better -- which we have hope for that, because I don't think it can get too much worse than what it is right now.
WOODRUFF: So, while African-American Baptists and conservative white evangelicals share many views on social issues, these are not the ones that guide black voters.
Why not? An answer found in another Cleveland church.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have to be faithful to the world as we experience it. They're trying to respond to the world as they experience it.
WOODRUFF: And those experiences are quite different.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A social issue like school prayer or school vouchers or anything like that is not paramount if you're unemployed, if you don't have health insurance...
WOODRUFF: And so, white conservative Christians lean Republican, while black Baptists cleave to the Democrats, traveling down two paths with the same guide.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm waiting on the Lord. I know I'm going to make it, because he's faithful.
WOODRUFF (on camera): Part of the story of this campaign.
Well, that's it for INSIDE POLITICS this Monday from Cleveland, Ohio, the site of tomorrow night's vice presidential debate. I'm Judy Woodruff.
"CROSSFIRE" starts right now. TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com