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Larry King Live
Bob and Elizabeth Dole Discuss the State of American PoliticsAired January 7, 2000 - 9:00 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight the No. 1 Republican power couple, Elizabeth and Robert Dole, are my guests for the entire hour, and we'll take your calls.
Next on LARRY KING LIVE.
It is always a great pleasure to be in their company, certainly a great pleasure to have them with us. They're our guests for the full hour. They are former United States Senator, former majority leader, former presidential nominee Robert Dole. And Elizabeth Dole, who held three or four Cabinet posts, and most recently was president of the American Red Cross, and herself a candidate until bowing out for the Republican nomination.
Before we get into all the things currant, the thing most current. What are your own thoughts on this young Cuban boy, Senator?
BOB DOLE (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Well, I think obviously we have got a concern as to what's best for this young man. And I think it's -- we have got activists on both sides who are trying to exploit the matter. And my view is there should be a hearing. I would hope the father would come to the United States. We have got to make certain we protect his interests.
KING: Congressman Burton has issued a subpoena for the boy. We just learned that tonight. What are your thoughts, Elizabeth?
ELIZABETH DOLE (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, the boy's mother died trying to bring her son to freedom, and it just breaks my heart to think he would be returned to Castro's repressive Cuba. So I feel very concerned about this young man if he's sent back to that country. His mother died...
KING: Do you agree with your husband the father should come here?
E. DOLE: Well, I think that's fine, but, you know, you don't know with other relatives what sort of pressure is put on them back in Cuba. I mean, it's just hard to know whether that would be the answer. But I think that when the boy's mother was trying so hard to bring him to freedom, and she died in the process, it just really does break my heart to think of sending him back there.
KING: And it bothers you when others jump in, you mean on both sides, to make it a political ploy rather than a kid?
B. DOLE: Here's a little five, six-year-old boy who can't make a decision for himself.
B. DOLE: And I think there are some people -- obviously in Cuba, where they have these mass demonstrations. They're all orchestrated by Castro's people. And I think even in this country, there are some that have taken a sort of life of its own. They're on television every five minutes or every ten minutes. My view is we need to find some form where we can have -- protect the rights and the interests of the young man.
KING: Elizabeth, when you got out of this race, you complained about the money, and you couldn't keep up with the money. You said eight-to-one I can handle, 100-to-one I can't handle. And you have endorsed, though, the candidate who was spending all of that money. And the reports immediately were you were doing this to get a vice- presidential nod.
E. DOLE: Oh, Larry.
KING: So tell us why you did this.
E. DOLE: OK. First of all, let me say that in terms of the money, no one can give over $1,000. And so while George Bush may have a lot of money, that does reflect a lot of support, doesn't it? And it reflects the fact that he started out very early, far earlier than I did. In fact, it was just a year ago this week that I left the American Red Cross, which of course is totally non-political. So he -- you know, he did it fairly. He has a lot of support. It reflects a lot of support.
KING: So when you complained about the money, you weren't complaining about him...
E. DOLE: No.
KING: ... you were just complaining about the facts...
E. DOLE: But I was saying, frankly -- right, that I think there are many in the media, in the press, who are just concerned as I am that when money becomes the message -- and that did happen with some of the pundits, as you know -- everything else gets overridden. The fact that you have years and years of experience in government, that you have run a huge organization like the Red Cross, that you have overflow crowds, that you're drawing new people into the democratic process, into the party -- that's all overridden. The whole story is, you know, the big stories are how much money did you have when the FEC reports were due?
KING: And now when you endorse him the big story becomes...
E. DOLE: I think that's something we need to think about.
KING: ... that you want to be vice president. Is that all wrong?
E. DOLE: Listen...
B. DOLE: I think she did that so that I could be vice president.
KING: You could be Mr. Second -- what would you be, second person?
E. DOLE: There you go.
B. DOLE: Whatever.
E. DOLE: Larry, it is just so, so terribly premature to even speculate on the vice presidency. I mean, George...
KING: But it is not why you endorsed him?
E. DOLE: Oh, heavens no, heavens no.
KING: Were you annoyed at that -- everyone in the press...
E. DOLE: No.
KING: It was almost in the first line of your announcement.
E. DOLE: Yes, I was annoyed because it wasn't true. And certainly, you know, Governor Bush I think will definitely be the nominee, but he's got to win the nomination. And when he does, the Republican Party is very fortunate that we have a wealth of talented people, leaders, from which he can choose for the vice presidency.
KING: And when you met with him the vice presidency didn't come up?
E. DOLE: No.
KING: You didn't bring it up, nor did he bring it up?
E. DOLE: No.
E. DOLE: No,
KING: Now Senator Dole, we know that you have two close friends in this battle, and that would be McCain and Hatch.
B. DOLE: Served with them in the Senate...
KING: Served with them in the Senate.
B. DOLE: ... a dozen years or more.
KING: You had made that funny statement about supporting McCain, when...
B. DOLE: Right, right.
KING: Have you endorsed yet?
B. DOLE: No.
KING: All right, so your wife has and you haven't. Is there a schism in the Dole house?
B. DOLE: No, I don't think so. And again, just to go back to that original story in May in "The New York Times," but the point I was trying to make -- apparently did a very good job -- is that I think we ought to keep good candidate in the race. And obviously Elizabeth was in the race, and I knew she was a good candidate. John McCain was in the race. At that time, George Bush was raising a lot of money. And my point was, let's keep our good candidates in the race. Senator Hatch hadn't gotten in the race at that point. And we have kept some good candidates in the race.
But, you know, they're having a debate tonight, just finished. And my view is that...
KING: Were you moved by the debate at all?
B. DOLE: I thought last night, just trying to be very objective, I thought Governor Bush did a very good job last night.
KING: Last night.
B. DOLE: I thought he was the clear winner last night.
KING: And tonight?
B. DOLE: Tonight I think -- again, I think he probably had the edge, but it was closer.
KING: Might you endorse Senator -- I mean, you don't have to endorse who you like.
B. DOLE: I don't have to endorse anyone. My view is that, you know, we want to elect a Republican president.
KING: Will you endorse?
B. DOLE: I may, but I am also going to do some commentary, and there's some question whether I should be endorsing somebody and doing commentary.
B. DOLE: For a certain group.
KING: Oh, I see. You will be commenting all through the election -- you can't comment if she's the nominee of a vice president, you would have to back out of commenting?
B. DOLE: Probably, yes. KING: Yes.
So you will not -- are you pressuring him...
B. DOLE: Well, I am not saying I may not, by the way.
KING: Are you pressuring him to endorse?
E. DOLE: Larry, you know, husbands have the right to make their own decisions. I mean, it is the new millennium, right? So I try to let him make his own decisions as much as possible.
KING: So you haven't said, "Bob, endorse him"?
E. DOLE: I think that's obviously something that's up to him, so...
B. DOLE: And I think it's clearly a two-person race. I think it's Governor Bush and Senator McCain, and...
KING: Do you think the others should drop?
B. DOLE: Well, no, I think that's up to them. But I -- you know, they get in, they're allowed to participate in the debates, and there could be an upset. But it would be a long shot at this point.
E. DOLE: Well, now, I do want to tell you that -- I think you mentioned earlier about my reasons for endorsing George Bush.
KING: I want to get to that.
E. DOLE: Yes, and I have certainly told him.
KING: The reasons?
E. DOLE: And he -- absolutely.
KING: And he is considering them?
E. DOLE: Well...
B. DOLE: I mean, I didn't have any problem with that. I mean Governor Bush is very helpful to me in Texas...
E. DOLE: Very supportive.
B. DOLE: His father was very helpful all over the country.
I mean, the point I wanted to make I guess I didn't articulate it very well. You don't have to be mad at everyone who is running in the race because your wife happens to be a candidate. I mean, we had a long time -- a life time to race.
E. DOLE: Larry, you know that no one was urging me to run more than Bob Dole. That's what made this whole thing so strange when it happened. B. DOLE: But anyway, that's history.
E. DOLE: He was out there urging me to run...
KING: Let me get a break.
E. DOLE: ... on television and his speeches.
KING: I know. Let me get a break. And he wanted to be first man.
E. DOLE: I know.
KING: Now he wants to be second man.
B. DOLE: Whatever, yes.
KING: We'll be back with the Doles, lots more to discuss.
Here's what Governor Bush of Texas said about Elizabeth Dole's endorsement this week. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Elizabeth Dole is a leader in our country, and she is a leader in our party. She is admired and respected all across our country, and deservedly so. Elizabeth, you have always said that you have been a lieutenant in Ronald Reagan's army. I'm proud to have you a general in mine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: The answer to your question is -- and what you're trying to get me to do is to express the will of the people of South Carolina, is what you are trying to get me to do.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I am asking you about your personal feelings.
BUSH: The people of South Carolina, Brian, I believe the people of South Carolina can figure out what to do with this flag issue. It's the people of South Carolina's decision.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Another question was about the opinion of the candidates flying of the Confederate flag in South Carolina. Should he have answered it differently?
B. DOLE: I think he answered about right. It's not a federal issue, it's a state issue. And I know it's very controversial, and it offends many people, but I think -- again, I think Governor Bush, you know, he's from Texas. He's the Governor of Texas. If it were flying over his capital, he would have to answer. But he's in South Carolina, and I think he did...
KING: Do you think it was unfair to ask if it was offensive to him personally, Elizabeth? That was asked, does it bother him personally.
E. DOLE: I think he handled it very well, you know, to just say again exactly what he had stated earlier. Because it is a state issue.
KING: But you could say it bothers me to see...
E. DOLE: I don't think he has to do that. I really don't. I think he handled it exactly right.
Senator McCain and the controversy over trying to get influence for an FCC. He says that senators do that all the time, they call up. He didn't say "give them the vote," he said "move on it quickly."
Did you do things like that?
B. DOLE: I did things -- when I had real -- in fact, a couple of things I put my letter in the Congressional record, so everybody would know that I had written to somebody. I didn't do it often...
KING: It is not uncommon for a Senator to write to a...
B. DOLE: No.
KING: ... a governing body to say get a move on this?
B. DOLE: And I have a very strange view -- if I am elected to Congress and I can't help my constituents, what am I there for? If I can't make a legal inquiry -- there is nothing illegal about what Senator McCain did, very appropriate, very proper. But of course, as he says, a question of somebody then gives you money, it looks like it's a quid pro quo.
And I am against -- every one of the hundred senators could be put in that position. And I think in some cases, they probably make a mistake.
KING: Elizabeth, is it...
E. DOLE: What surprised me was that some of the commentators afterwards said, I didn't think he answered that very well. Well, what else could he say? I mean, what he did was to call and say, you know...
KING: Move on this.
E. DOLE: ... it's been a very lengthy procedure. Just give them a yes or a no, just decide it. KING: Well, I think that because he's so strong on campaign finance and influence...
B. DOLE: I think that's right.
KING: ... that it looked like he was using it.
E. DOLE: But I don't know what else he could have said. I mean, he just told them the truth. He just called and said expedite it.
B. DOLE: You can't have a double standard, I think that's very true. But I think John McCain, no question about his honesty and integrity.
E. DOLE: Yes.
B. DOLE: I agree with Governor Bush, said it last night...
E. DOLE: Right.
B. DOLE: ... he's a decent, honest man.
KING: Did George -- did Governor Bush make a mistake by swearing to God he will lower taxes? Elizabeth...
E. DOLE: I think he...
KING: ... is that a tactical mistake?
E. DOLE: ... feels very, very strongly about tax cuts. He, in Texas as governor, has had the two -- presided over the two largest tax cuts in the history of the state. And he has an excellent plan for tax cuts. It's going to benefit particularly the people at the lowest income. Six million people will be off the tax rolls, and a single woman with two children, trying to raise two children on $30,000, is going to have 100 percent tax cut. So he feels strongly about this. And, you know, he speaks the truth about what he believes. And I think...
KING: But so did his father when he said, you know, my lips to God, they will not raise taxes.
B. DOLE: And I was there then, and I think President Bush still believed that to the very day he had -- you know, we had a Democratic Congress.
KING: I know, so...
B. DOLE: He didn't have any choice.
KING: Governor Bush doesn't know what kind of Congress he's going to have. Was it a mistake that could someday hurt him? Obviously, couldn't it?
B. DOLE: I don't think when he says, "I am going cut taxes" -- he'll do that. He can get that done, whether he has a Democratic Congress -- in his first term, first couple of years, he's going to have a lot of -- a lot going for him. The American people are going to be with him. And he can cut taxes and he has a good tax-cut plan.
KING: You agree?
E. DOLE: Yes, I do.
E. DOLE: I do. And you still haven't given me a chance to tell you other reasons why I endorse him.
KING: What's the principal reason?
E. DOLE: You know, he has had executive experience. Here's a man who not only in business, but in the second-largest state in our country -- if it were a separate nation, it would be number 11 in terms of the size of its economy -- and he's provided real solutions for real people. And I am very impressed with his record.
I think he's man of great integrity. He has a vision. And he's able to bring people together. He wants to bridge our differences rather than exploit them. And you can see this in working with the Democrat leaders in the Texas legislature both past and present...
KING: You are not saying...
E. DOLE: ... and with the Republican governors.
KING: But you have to...
E. DOLE: Those who know him best I think admire him most...
KING: You're not...
E. DOLE: ... and that says a lot to me.
KING: You're not saying you have to be a governor to be a president, though? You have to be...
E. DOLE: No.
B. DOLE: an executive? Of course, your husband wasn't.
E. DOLE: No, but I am saying this gives him...
B. DOLE: I would have been a governor, yes.
E. DOLE: ... excellent experience to bring to the position, though, because, you know, he has been a chief executive officer, and that's what it's all about.
KING: We'll be right back with the Doles.
As we go to break, the McCain-Bush exchange tonight over taxes. Watch. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCAIN: Governor, I know your people are running around saying that your tax cut is bigger than mine. That yours is bigger than mine.
BUSH: Let me see if I can put it in human terms for you. Chris and Beth Bradley came to the airport today. They make $42,000 a year in income. Under the plan that you laid out, Mr. Senator, here in South Carolina, they will receive a $200 tax cut. Under the plan that I propose and will get through the United States Congress, they receive $1,852 tax cut.
I believe -- and the fundamental difference -- the fundamental difference is that the additional $1,600, the difference, will go to Washington, under your idea. And under my idea, it goes into people's pockets.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Doles, there is another one tomorrow afternoon, the Democrats in Iowa. Are we over-debated?
B. DOLE: It's close. We have heard it -- tonight...
KING: What's new?
B. DOLE: I think everybody did a good job tonight, for example.
E. DOLE: Yes.
B. DOLE: I mean, I was impressed with all of our candidates. But it's the same thing every night, it's just a little different twist...
KING: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) go to the audience, we'll try...
E. DOLE: Trying to find new gimmicks, ways of making it a little different.
B. DOLE: Well, I thought in South Carolina, you certainly talk about defense, and there wasn't a defense question asked.
KING: Not one defense question?
B. DOLE: Not one defense question.
But, you know, I don't agree with Al Gore they ought to debate every night. I mean, if he does, nobody is going to watch it.
E. DOLE: No.
KING: What did you make of that proposal, by the way? Let's just... B. DOLE: Oh, I know what I made of that proposal -- he's running out of money.
B. DOLE: He doesn't want to be in the same fix Bob Dole was in in 1996.
KING: You would have made the same proposal?
B. DOLE: Win the nomination and you're broke. I mean, you know, that's what's going to happen.
KING: Did -- in all honesty, Elizabeth...
E. DOLE: Yes.
KING: ... as an American -- I am making this like "did you beat your wife," so I won't ask it that way -- no, no I don't mean it that way. Didn't -- doesn't the Reform Party candidate deserve a place in this debate? They were denied that today.
E. DOLE: I think 15 percent is a reasonable threshold in terms of the standing, you know, 15 percent. I don't think that's unreasonable, Larry.
B. DOLE: Plus, you know, there are 100 candidates for president. Now where you draw the line?
KING: Yes, but we all know the Reform Party is a logical party. It's first candidate got 19 percent.
B. DOLE: Then nine percent.
KING: And then fell to nine, but they didn't let him in the debate before the nine.
B. DOLE: Well, we've had three candidates this century that had 15 percent or more -- I think one as high as 27 percent. But there has to be some cutoff. And my view is if you have a good candidate, they'll probably reach 15 percent. It's going to be an average of five different polls.
KING: All right, supposing it is a candidate like a Trump, and he's got -- he puts all his own money in, and you're seeing Trump ads everywhere, Trump's appearing everywhere, wouldn't it look ridiculous to have a debate between Bush and Gore or Bradley and McCain and no Trump? I mean, wouldn't that look silly to the public, don't you think?
B. DOLE: But my view is he's not a serious candidate. He may be rich, but that doesn't make him a good candidate for president.
KING: What do you make of the Reform Party, Elizabeth?
E. DOLE: Well, I can't say that I agree with everything in the platform, but I think in terms of trying to bring new people into the political process, that's a very good goal. And that's something certainly I tried to do in my campaign and I think I did succeed.
KING: How were you doing in that area?
E. DOLE: We're doing very well. We had women of all ages. We had young people, just scores and scores of young people. And so many have been disillusioned. You know, when I entered public service it was consider a noble thing to do. And I wanted them to feel the same way again, to have a passion for giving back to their country.
Also, we found a lot of people who had been disenchanted, sort of disconnected, almost given up on politics, who were willing to get in there and give it another try with me...
KING: Do you think you...
E. DOLE: ... And I appreciated that very much, so...
KING: Do you think your party can get the women's vote?
E. DOLE: Oh, I do indeed, yes.
KING: You do.
E. DOLE: In fact, you look at Bush's record -- first of all, in surveys, he's doing very well with women, the polls. But when you look at his re-election in Texas, two-thirds of the women in Texas voted for him. He had also had about 50 percent of the Hispanics. He had 30 percent of African-Americans, about 30 percent of Democrat voters. So, very much like Ronald Reagan in terms of being able to bring people in from across the spectrum and unite people. He's a uniter, he's not a divider. And I think as a result he'll be able to accomplish a lot of positive good for the country.
KING: Senator Dole, any of the two, Gore or Bradley, that you fear any more than the other, just tactically as an opponent?
B. DOLE: I would say Bradley, because he -- he's sort of not part of the Clinton era, without any criticism of anybody. And I think he's a fresh face as far as...
KING: He comes with no baggage, in other words?
B. DOLE: Either that or different baggage.
KING: Yes. But he would be -- you would be more concerned about him?
B. DOLE: I think he would be viewed as a fresh face and somebody who is fairly new in politics. And let me say, knowing both Bradley and Gore, I think they're both decent men, don't misunderstand me. I don't agree with their philosophy. I think they made a terrible goof when they talked about giving the Joint Chiefs of Staff a litmus test on gays in the military. But, you know, they're entitled to their philosophy. But I would say Bradley. But I think it's going to be Gore. In my view, he...
KING: You think so? And Bush?
B. DOLE: Of course.
KING: You haven't endorsed yet?
B. DOLE: I haven't endorsed, but I think just looking at it, I mean, looking at the races I've been in and the position that Bush is in -- but it may be a bit early, but...
KING: What do you think about gays? Do you think they should stay as is? Don't ask, don't...
E. DOLE: Oh, absolutely. Don't ask, don't tell. Leave it right there.
KING: But apparently there are weaknesses in it.
E. DOLE: Well, I think it's working overall. And, you know, when you talk with various people who are in a position to know, I think clearly this policy is working...
KING: You favor it?
E. DOLE: ... and it should not be changed.
B. DOLE: No, we had a lot of discussion on it when President Clinton first proposed it. Serving in the United States armed forces is not a right. I mean, it's a privilege. And there are -- it's not a social service. It's not a social experiment. We're talking about people who defend our country.
KING: But, as Barry Goldwater said, there are gays that are buried at Normandy.
B. DOLE: Oh, no question about it. And I don't go around checking people's lifestyle.
E. DOLE: Right.
B. DOLE: I assume I served with gays in World War II. And they may have been heroes, they may have saved my life, I don't know.
B. DOLE: But that's why I think the present policy is working. If it's not, we ought to find out why it's not working, not change it.
E. DOLE: It was -- it was carefully worked out by Colin Powell, the Joint Chiefs, Senator Sam Nunn. I have great respect for these individuals, and I think that overall it really has been working.
KING: We'll take a break and be back with more.
We'll be taking your calls for the Doles, as well.
By the way, tomorrow night, we're going top repeat, in case you missed it, our rather historic millennium interview with Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler-Moore together. Hey, it's like couples night.
Back with the Doles.
Don't go away.
KING: What do you make of Hillary Clinton's running for the Senate, Elizabeth? And technically, like, we have a first lady who is not there?
E. DOLE: I think it's a very unusual situation, Larry. I think that when all is said and done, Rudy Giuliani is going to win this race, because he's done such an excellent job for New York. You know, crime is down. People up there are so pleased with what he's doing, I think they're going to reward him for this. It will be a tough race, no question. But...
KING: How do you look at it?
E. DOLE: ... I think he's going to win it.
KING: Senator, I mean, obviously we've never had anything like it.
B. DOLE: I look at it as a pick-up for the Republicans. We pick up one Senate seat because my good friend Pat Moynihan is leaving that seat.
B. DOLE: And I think we will, again, without any criticism of anyone, but I think it's -- I don't think it's going to work. You couldn't do it in any other state. Now maybe in New York, they can say, well, Robert Kennedy did it, others. But...
KING: But is there -- do you find any problems with the first lady not being in the White House?
B. DOLE: No, I don't think that's so important. I mean, I think Chelsea can fill in, and I think she can still...
KING: You laugh, Elizabeth?
E. DOLE: You have to keep the books very carefully, though, in terms of the expenses with...
KING: But you should encourage women to get involved more.
B. DOLE: Sure. No, I don't think she ought to be tied to the White House because she happens to be the first lady. No, that's not a problem. I think the problem's going to be just so recently in New York, like yesterday or the day before. So...
E. DOLE: Right.
KING: What would you make of it if he ran for Congress, as he hinted at? He being "the prez."
B. DOLE: Well, I mean, he runs for it back in Arkansas?
B. DOLE: I think he might have a tough race. Arkansas is changing. It's becoming more Republican. They have a Republican governor there, you know.
KING: You will admit in all of your year in politics, there's never been anything quite like this.
B. DOLE: I can't think of anything, no.
E. DOLE: I think that's an easy one. No, there hasn't.
KING: Historically, nothing's compared to it, right? You -- by the way, I didn't ask you. Do you think, as your husband does, that some of these others ought to drop out of the Republican campaign? Out of the primary?
E. DOLE: I think in a few weeks that's going to happen, Larry. You know, I think...
KING: You think when we come down to March it's going to be the three?
E. DOLE: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. In March?
B. DOLE: In my view is they ought to stay, you know, they ought to stay in there Iowa and New Hampshire, but -- you know, because they make a contribution.
E. DOLE: Right.
KING: Right, but then leave?
B. DOLE: You know, they're articulate. They have a philosophy, but they're going to have to leave one of these days because it's a question of money.
KING: And you know that. Money is -- when we get down to it, it's money, isn't it?
E. DOLE: That's the name of the game, because you've got to be able to run those television ads. That's the thing.
KING: We're going to include your calls. We've got other questions even away from politics for both guests.
Don't go away. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
KING: Before we go to your calls, a couple of individual questions that were at the end -- we're into a new century, so in that regard -- by the way, Al Hunt of "The Wall Street Journal" wrote the three most prominent senators of this century, Bob Dole, Ted Kennedy and Arthur Vandenberg. Were you surprised to hear that?
B. DOLE: Surprised? Pleased, but very surprised. In fact, somebody told me about it. I hadn't read that particular article.
KING: Concerning the century, who's the most, in your opinion -- everyone's picking lists -- who's the most influential person of the 20th century to you?
B. DOLE: It would almost be a tie between Eisenhower and Roosevelt, in my view. I think World War II is the defining event in this past century, and they were both, you know, both out there leading the charge, leading the effort.
KING: Eisenhower, Roosevelt?
B. DOLE: Right.
E. DOLE: Well, I would say -- I would include those two, and President Reagan was a great president. But I'd like to suggest another person. When we think about leaders who had great influence, I'd like to suggest that the man next to me has made an enormous contribution to his country, whether on the battlefield, in the hospital, on the floor of Congress, the halls of Congress or since he left the Congress, so many things that he's done.
For example, he's a very private person, but he has shared his bout with prostate cancer, trying to help men to save lives and also to improve the quality of their lives. Every day of his life he's making a difference for people that other -- others don't know about at all.
KING: That's wonderful.
E. DOLE: And I -- truly, you know, to me, this is the spirit of this country. I mean, I've been president of the Red Cross. We've had, you know, millions of volunteers who have just worked their hearts out. And that's what sets this country apart, isn't it? And I think Bob epitomizes that spirit of giving back, giving back. So I would just like to suggest that I have great respect for this leader.
KING: Have you ever told that to him?
B. DOLE: No.
E. DOLE: Sure, I have,
B. DOLE: Well... KING: No, the most influential person of the century, he touches a lot of bases.
E. DOLE: I think in terms of leadership, I would want to suggest his name, yes.
KING: Let's take some calls...
B. DOLE: I accept that.
KING: Not bad. You accept.
Rochester, New York -- hello.
CALLER: Hello, Larry.
CALLER: Recently, Donna Brazile made a comment regarding Colin Powell and J.C. Watts. Do you think the Gore campaign is playing the race card? And how would either of you have handled Brazile's remarks?
KING: Senator Dole?
B. DOLE: Well, let me say, you know, I believe in this compassionate conservatism. When I was in the Congress, I worked with Hubert Humphrey, McGovern, others on food stamps, school lunch programs, had a perfect civil rights record. I managed the Martin Luther King holiday bill on the floor -- not a Democrat, a Republican. And it irritates me when somebody strikes a, say, Colin Powell or J.C. Watts, who are...
KING: She was saying that black Republicans are traitors to...
B. DOLE: We'd rather have photo ops than help feed people. I think it was a cheap shot, the cheapest shot so far in this campaign.
KING: Should Gore be blamed for it, though? He didn't say it.
B. DOLE: You know, she's the same person who started a rumor about President Bush in the Dukakis race about some extramarital affair. So this is not her first encounter.
KING: Do you think she should resign? If you -- if you -- if she -- if your aide had said that?
B. DOLE: She shouldn't resign, she ought to be fired.
KING: You would fire an aide, had your aide.
E. DOLE: Yes, I would agree with that. And I think it's...
KING: So if your aide had said it, you would fire her -- him or her?
E. DOLE: I would. I think that it was an affront to them and certainly, in terms of the many positive things that our party has done, it was -- it was a -- you know, just a terrible reflection on the party.
B. DOLE: And I think even more importantly, if we're going to have bipartisan approaches to some of the problems that face minority groups, whether they're disabled, Hispanics, black Americans, poor white Americans, you know, we -- we've got to stop this. I mean, talk about civility in politics -- I'm certain Vice President Gore talks about civility in politics -- and this is over the line.
KING: But your party was late in the civil rights era, wasn't it? I mean, many prominent Republicans have admitted...
B. DOLE: They may have been late, but some of us were there.
KING: You were there.
B. DOLE: And we had a perfect record going back to 1964.
KING: Hagerstown, Maryland -- hello.
CALLER: Hi, thanks, Larry. This is for Senator Bob Dole.
CALLER: Yes, Don and Mike honor coming out on the erectile...
KING: OK, I think that was a gag call. I cut it because he mentioned two local disc jockeys. But...
B. DOLE: Oh, I see.
KING: Picking up on that, the night on this program when we asked you about -- that you had told me before that you were in the Viagra test program and decided to go public with it, was that a tough decision to make? Most men don't do that, don't discuss it publicly. And you changed the country.
B. DOLE: I changed when I heard there were 30 million men there with a problem and that I might be able to help maybe 10 or maybe 15 or maybe a thousand or maybe a half a million.
KING: Did you realize you'd get that reaction when you were saying it sitting right here?
B. DOLE: I realized I'd be ridiculed by some who didn't understand it, but I also understood that -- I've had people who come up to whisper to me in the airport, you know, thank you. These are women, not just men. But others, particularly some in the media who, I think, really haven't -- you know, they just can't -- they always want to be after someone...
KING: You knew there'd be jokes? B. DOLE: I knew there'd be jokes. I can take the Jay Leno and Letterman jokes. But my view is if it helps somebody, OK.
KING: How did you react, Elizabeth?
E. DOLE: Well, this goes back to what I said about Bob earlier in terms of being a real leader, a person that I think deserves a great deal of respect, because, you know, it was not easy thing to do.
KING: It took guts.
E. DOLE: Of course. And he's as private a person as I've ever known. And for him to share his story and to try to make that difference for others, both in terms of saving lives with the PSA test and improving the quality of life, I think it was, you know, in his heart it was, here's a chance to people. And his whole life has been oriented that way.
KING: Were you surprised it happened that night?
E. DOLE: I'm not surprised that he did it, but I didn't realize it was going to be at that moment in time, no.
KING: And you would be asked about it the next day, right?
E. DOLE: Right. In fact, I was in New York with Mayor Giuliani.
B. DOLE: That's right.
E. DOLE: And here we were talking about the success of our transformation of the blood program at the Red Cross. And what's the question that I get, you know?
KING: Viagra last night.
E. DOLE: Yes, right.
B. DOLE: But I just say, not to extend this, but, you know, I've been working way back since World War II trying to help veterans, help people with disabilities all through the Congress with the Americans with Disabilities Act, so it didn't seem to be much of a reach for me. It was a natural thing for me to do.
KING: I'll never forget you and I walking in Houston at the convention.
B. DOLE: That's right. I remember.
KING: A man came up to us -- you weren't there. The three of us were standing there, and he looked at you, said, you saved my life.
B. DOLE: That's right.
KING: Saw you on the program, took a PSA test...
B. DOLE: That's right. KING: ... had prostate surgery, never would have thought of it, saved my life.
B. DOLE: And if men are watching, I'd get that PSA test. It can save your life.
KING: Tell me about this World War II memorial. The number, by the way -- we're still donating, right? We don't have a memorial.
Let me get a break and come back. We'll take more phone calls and discuss that as well with the Doles.
Don't go away.
KING: Before we continue with more calls, we have no World War II memorial, none.
B. DOLE: None.
B. DOLE: We didn't know we didn't have one until about 12 years ago. We started...
KING: We thought we had one?
B. DOLE: Well, some World War II veteran contacted Congress and Captor -- Margie Captor (ph), and said, you know, why don't we have a World War II memorial? We started looking around. We didn't have one.
KING: So now we're going to have one?
B. DOLE: Now we have one. President Clinton's dedicated the site. We're...
KING: Where's it going to be.
B. DOLE: I'm the volunteer chairman trying to raise $100 million. We've raised about $76 million. It's going to be on 17th Street between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument.
KING: You've raised 76 of the hundred already?
B. DOLE: Right. We've got to net 100, so we need to raise a little -- about 120.
KING: There's a number to call if you want to help your veteran, know a veteran. Certainly with all the attention this year that the veterans -- the Brokaw books, the Sergeant Ryan.
E. DOLE: Right.
B. DOLE: Let me make it -- it's not for us. We want it to be there as a symbol to future generations that sometimes sacrifice, giving your life, giving whatever, may be necessary to protect liberty and freedom. That's what America's all about.
KING: He still wears his purple heart. Only thing you do wear, right?
The number to call to donate to the World War II memorial is 1- 800-639-4992. They weren't appearing here tonight for that, but we think it's important to mention. To donate to the World War II memorial, 1-800-639-4992.
Austin, Texas -- hello.
CALLER: Hi, Larry. Hi, Mrs. Dole.
E. DOLE: Hi.
CALLER: Senator Dole, this question is for you. If Governor Bush asks your wife to be his running mate for president, are you going to be on the campaign trail with her?
KING: Good question.
B. DOLE: Well, I'll be on the campaign trail whatever happens, but obviously if Elizabeth were on the ticket I'd be on the campaign trail. But, you know, I've been a Republican all my life, and I'm out there campaigning for Republicans every year. And I'll be out working for the Republican nominee.
KING: What do we call the vice president's spouse? We know the first lady.
B. DOLE: Hardly anything, I'd guess.
KING: Right. She's not second lady, is she? What will you be?
B. DOLE: I'll just be around.
KING: Just be around.
E. DOLE: Larry, I must say, though, this is so premature to have any speculation at all...
KING: How premature? It's a couple months away.
E. DOLE: ... on this. First of all, he has -- George Bush has to win the nomination. Then he's going to have all these people to select from who are outstanding leaders in the Republican Party, really. So...
KING: OK, let me ask this, it's a fair question.
E. DOLE: It's just so premature. KING: Colin Powell said on this show a couple weeks ago, if he were asked to be Secretary of State in either a McCain or Bush -- and he favors them both, he's contributed to both -- he would certain talk to them. If you were not the vice presidential selection, would you talk about a Cabinet -- would you come back to government?
E. DOLE: I have not really thought about this. I mean I -- I've just recently dropped out of the presidential race.
KING: You're out of work.
B. DOLE: Yes.
E. DOLE: I was in it to win, and...
KING: She's out of work.
B. DOLE: I feel sorry for her.
E. DOLE: And I've been winding it down and wrapping up the debt. And I'm almost there to have that debt eliminated, another couple of weeks. And, you know, right now what I'm doing is enjoying spending a little time with a 98 1/2-year-old mother, traveling to Taiwan with my husband, I'm lecturing, speaking -- tomorrow I'll speak to the National Presbyterian Women -- National Presbyterian Church. You know...
KING: So you're active?
E. DOLE: Oh, you bet, yes.
KING: Do you miss...
E. DOLE: And I have to have a mission field.
KING: I know that.
E. DOLE: And so I've to got decide what my next mission is.
KING: Do you miss running for something? Don't you miss...
B. DOLE: She's still running me.
KING: Do you miss going somewhere every morning with something to do?
E. DOLE: I'm going somewhere every morning with something to do.
B. DOLE: She does every morning, that's right.
E. DOLE: I sure am. I've got -- I have two offices, actually, in Washington right now, and we're going full steam ahead.
KING: And what do you do in Taiwan?
B. DOLE: We were there to represent a client, I was. And Elizabeth went with me. We had the chance to -- maybe a couple of days we were over there, about three and a half days. But...
KING: What's our commitment there? Tell me...
B. DOLE: There's a little story there, you know, we read in "The Washington Post." Coming back, we came back on one airline and got on another airline.
E. DOLE: Oh.
B. DOLE: And I read in "The Washington Post" we were in one of these near misses, that we missed another airplane by about one second.
KING: A crash, mid-air crash?
E. DOLE: Taking off from Los Angeles airport, yes.
KING: You learned about it from the paper?
E. DOLE: We didn't know it at the time.
B. DOLE: They called me to ask my reaction. I said...
E. DOLE: We weren't aware.
KING: Should be called a near hit, shouldn't it?
B. DOLE: I guess. But in any event, it shows out there that, you know, you'd better make the most of every day.
KING: It's been asked point blank of other -- I asked it of Governor Bush, and he said we should react with all due force but he wouldn't tip his hand. What would we do if the Chinese invaded Taiwan?
B. DOLE: I think we have a commitment under the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979. I think we'd have to...
KING: Have to defend them?
B. DOLE: Have to defend them.
E. DOLE: Help defend them.
B. DOLE: Now if they provoke something, that's -- you know, it would depend on the circumstances. And, of course, it's the last resort. You try everything else initially. But, you know, if our word meant anything at the time, I think we have -- you know, it's one thing about a nation like the United States, we need to keep our word. We haven't always done that.
KING: Had you still been at the Red Cross you'd have been down in Venezuela?
E. DOLE: Oh, yes, yes.
B. DOLE: Terrible.
E. DOLE: That was just awful?
B. DOLE: And I think a point there, maybe Elizabeth noticed it too, is that there hasn't been the coverage or response to the poor people there.
KING: Why not?
B. DOLE: I don't know. I mean, I -- it just sort of happened, and thousands of people lost their lives.
KING: How many? Fifty?
E. DOLE: Oh, it's unbelievable.
B. DOLE: Then it was off the front pages and off tube.
E. DOLE: And, you know, this goes back to what I was saying earlier about what's so special about our country. It's amazing -- I saw things as president of the Red Cross that'll just haunt me the rest my life, the suffering of this sort and so many tragedies. But I also saw the power of the human spirit, people who will travel across town or across the world to help those they have never met and they'll never see again. It's really powerful, you know? And I think that's -- that's one of the things that made Red Cross such a special mission field for me.
KING: How's your successor doing?
E. DOLE: Bernadine Healy is doing very well. She's a medical doctor, you know, former dean of the...
E. DOLE: ... Ohio State...
KING: She knows her stuff.
B. DOLE: Right -- school of medicine, and she'll do a fine job there.
KING: Did you just tape an endorsement of Bugs Bunny? Come on.
B. DOLE: I did, today. I mean, it took me a while to sort out who I was going to endorse.
KING: Were you shocked, Elizabeth, or OK?
B. DOLE: I had the choice of Daffy Duck or Porky Pig.
KING: What was this for?
B. DOLE: This is to encourage young people to vote and encourage their parents to vote. And that's why I did it.
E. DOLE: Young people encourage their parents.
KING: This is for the Cartoon Network.
B. DOLE: Yes, for the Cartoon Network. And only...
E. DOLE: He's having fun.
B. DOLE: ... half the American people vote. And we've got all these different programs now...
KING: You're telling them go out and vote for Bugs.
B. DOLE: That's right, just vote. Be sure to vote.
KING: Even if you vote for Bugs?
B. DOLE: Yes, vote for Bugs Bunny. These are kids. Maybe 10 years from now they'll be voting. Only 20 percent of the 18-year-olds vote.
KING: With your influence, though, what if he...
B. DOLE: He might win it.
KING: Hey, could be a write-in. What's up, doc.
We'll be back with more calls for the Doles right after this.
KING: Sandy Berger said that we did very well with Y2K in the area of terrorism. And a lot was -- we prevented a lot that'll never get headlines.
B. DOLE: Well, I think he may be right. I mean, we spent a lot of money. What did they, $100 billion price tag? But so far, you know, somebody said there's some credit card glitch now that...
KING: But in the area of terrorism, nothing happened?
B. DOLE: Nothing happened. We had that brief two- or three-hour problem with our satellites. Something could have happened, but they were able to repair those.
KING: Were you very concerned, Elizabeth, about Y2K?
E. DOLE: No, I think the fact that there was so much discussion of it and so much was done try to address it, you know, they'd produced a great result. So, no, I was not concerned. I really thought we would be on top of this.
KING: So you're not surprised that things passed without a...
E. DOLE: Well, what -- you know, there was -- I guess I'm a bit surprised there wasn't a little glitch somewhere. It's a...
B. DOLE: The mystery is in some countries where they didn't spend anything, there were no glitches.
E. DOLE: Yes, exactly. And they were...
KING: I know.
You wrote yesterday that the war in Bosnia really isn't over yet?
B. DOLE: Not over. I mean, as long as we're there there's going to be peace. But there's still a million people that haven't been able to go back to their homes.
E. DOLE: Yes, refugees.
KING: You think we might have to -- you think we could...
E. DOLE: And foreign investors aren't willing to really go in. It's divided.
KING: Think we can get too involved in an Israeli-Syrian peace accord, that we might have to patrol that border?
E. DOLE: Well, I think at this point...
KING: Is that a danger?
E. DOLE: At this point, while there have been a few hiccups recently, I think we have a better opportunity now than ever to see -- you know, people seem really committed to moving this forward to a resolution. So I'm optimistic, and I think, you know, this is a time when the parties have got to determine what's going to happen here. We can be the catalyst bringing people together, but it's really up to the parties to make the decision as to what's going to be best.
KING: And how activist do we stay? Let's say they come to an agreement. Would you agree with us being involved in the patrolling of the agreement?
R. DOLE: Well, you know, I hope it doesn't come to that. I hope that, you know, I hope we can keep American troops away from there. I think there is a tendency every time there is a fire storm, we send American troops, and I hope it can be resolved without that. But let's say, OK, it is all -- the deal is all worked out if we will do...
KING: If we...
R. DOLE: ... 500 troops or something...
KING: Would you say yes to that?
R. DOLE: I probably would, reluctantly.
E. DOLE: Yes. R. DOLE: For a period of time, to try to put some...
E. DOLE: Put some time element on it.
R. DOLE: Exit policies, you know, how to get out.
KING: Because usually when we don't want to...
E. DOLE: The problem is we...
KING: we don't...
R. DOLE: Much like Bosnia.
E. DOLE: Yes, we don't have an exit policy in those cases...
E. DOLE: ... over the last seven or eight years.
R. DOLE: Bosnia was one year in '96, and we're still there.
KING: We'll come back with our remaining moments and touch some other bases with the Doles. We have had a great hour. Hope you have enjoyed it.
Don't go away, there is more to come.
KING: We made history on this show once when the Doles brought their dog Leader onto this program together, and Leader passed away.
R. DOLE: Leader passed away.
E. DOLE: Yes.
KING: There's a Leader II?
E. DOLE: Yes, we have another dog named Leader now...
KING: Same breed?
E. DOLE: ... who is six months...
E. DOLE: ... old...
R. DOLE: A schnauzer.
E. DOLE: ... full of energy.
KING: Why is he not here?
R. DOLE: He's not trained yet. E. DOLE: We didn't think it was quite time to bring him.
KING: I see, would have been embarrassing.
E. DOLE: Might have been a little accident.
R. DOLE: He might make a...
KING: He will come, he will make an appearance here, right?
E. DOLE: We promise. Next time we come there will be three of us, right?
KING: By the way, what did you make of the question tonight, maybe -- of "What was the most embarrassing moment in your adult life?" Was that getting too private?
R. DOLE: Well, nobody answered it.
KING: No. Would you have answered it?
R. DOLE: Well, you would have to think a while, what's the -- I would have said yes, I think I made it showing up here tonight.
KING: Clarksville, hello.
CALLER: Mrs. Dole.
E. DOLE: Yes, hi.
CALLER: Yes, hi, I am Marguerite Clark Parker. Do you remember when you worked for my brother in his jewelry store in Salisbury, South Carolina?
E. DOLE: Yes, that's the first job I ever had.
E. DOLE: It was -- yes, I was in high school, and I worked there for two weeks at Christmas, and I think I cost him more than I made for him.
CALLER: Oh, no, no. Listen, I am not talking about how big you are now, but even then he talked -- he was always -- he called you Liddy.
E. DOLE: Yes.
CALLER: And he thought you were just so pretty and so smart.
E. DOLE: Well, you are very kind to say that. I got some good early training in good work force habits from him. KING: Ma'am, did your brother predict that Liddy, Elizabeth Dole, would go on to great things?
CALLER: Well, when she did get that far, he certainly wasn't surprised.
R. DOLE: Isn't that nice.
CALLER: And he thought a lot of your mother.
E. DOLE: Yes.
CALLER: And I came down to see him one time and I stopped at the jewelry store on my way to his house?
E. DOLE: Right.
CALLER: He married Mary Katherine Ingle, do you remember her?
E. DOLE: Sure, absolutely.
E. DOLE: That's right.
CALLER: And that's when I got to meet you.
KING: Well, I'll be damned.
R. DOLE: Well, isn't that nice.
E. DOLE: Well, it's a small world, isn't it?
CALLER: And I think your hair was a little longer than is it now.
E. DOLE: Yes, it probably was.
KING: By the way, tell us about your mom -- 98 1/2?
E. DOLE: She is. She will be 99 on May 22nd.
KING: And where is she?
E. DOLE: Salisbury, North Carolina. And she's still in the same home that I grew up...
KING: No nursing home or anything?
E. DOLE: No, no. We do have some people that come in to help her, you know, because she's frail now. But her mind is so good and, you know, I talk to her every day.
KING: She wanted her daughter to be president, didn't she? E. DOLE: No.
E. DOLE: No, there was no thought of such a thing, no.
R. DOLE: She keeps telling me she's failing, and I said, yes, I really feel sorry for you. You know, I said...
KING: What kind of mother-in-law is she?
R. DOLE: Very good.
R. DOLE: Very nice lady. She takes notes on everything. She's watching this program now, taking notes.
E. DOLE: Now, I have to correct one thing. If you -- I thought you meant as I was growing up she wanted her daughter to be president.
KING: No, I mean recently.
E. DOLE: Oh, yes. Oh, she...
KING: Not going to tell me she sent money to McCain.
E. DOLE: She was with me in the campaign, no question. Though she said, you know, I just really want you to be happy. And, you know, do you think this is what will make you happy? And I said, look, it's the greatest chance to contribute to your country that you can have.
KING: Going to keep us the House, the Republicans?
R. DOLE: It's going to be close. You know, I think it's going to be a fairly close election as far as the presidency is concerned. And we have got some vulnerable Senate seats, but the House is more vulnerable. If Bush does well -- I see a new poll today, he's, you know, lengthening his lead over Gore and Bradley -- but again, we're 10, 11 months a way. It is going to be close.
KING: You agree?
E. DOLE: Yes, I agree.
KING: Do you fear that we could have a split again, that possibly you could have a Democratic House with a Republican president?
E. DOLE: I think that Bush -- Governor Bush is going to be strong enough...
E. DOLE: Yes, I think in some of the key races he'll make the difference.
R. DOLE: I don't think the American people really want a divided government. It would seem to me it would make a lot sense to say, OK, Republicans take it. And if you don't perform, you all go. Out you go. But we'll see what happens, going to be close.
KING: Thank you as always, Robert.
E. DOLE: Great to see you, Larry.
KING: That's a great statement you made about...
E. DOLE: Great guy, let me tell you.
KING: There were a couple tears in the eyes of the senator.
Senator Robert Dole and Elizabeth Dole.
Tomorrow night on "LARRY KING WEEKEND," a repeat of our broadcast with Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler-Moore. Among some upcoming guests will be the Duchess of York, will be with us next week. James Carville has a new book, he's never dull. He's going to be aboard. And lots of other exciting things ahead as well, and we'll be at the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary.
Thanks for joining us for the Doles. I am Larry King. Have a great weekend. Good night.
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