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Larry King Live

Gore and Bush Win in Iowa; Forbes and Keyes Make Strong Showing in GOP Caucus

Aired January 24, 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: Good evening and welcome to a special edition of LARRY KING LIVE. We are in Des Moines with the whole gang. And we will be back, by the way, at midnight with a live edition of LARRY KING LIVE part two. Normally that's a repeat, but with results coming in, of course, we'll be with you twice.

We begin by going right to the hotel that houses the winner of the Iowa poll tonight, Governor George W. Bush of Texas, and with him is his lovely wife Laura. George is on the right. Laura is on the left.

Is it about as expected, Governor, this early total as we have it, which reads, 44 for you, and 31 for Forbes, and 12 for Keyes?

GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I think it's a little better than I anticipated Larry. The highest vote total anybody had ever gotten in the caucuses in a crowded field of the Republican Party was 37 percent. So I am thrilled with this record-shattering victory. I'm grateful and I'm humbled.

KING: Are you concerned at all that the totals of Mr. Forbes and Mr. Keyes exceeds you? And does that give you a tendency to think that the conservative or Christian right has made a strong statement here tonight?

G. BUSH: No, I'm not concerned at all. This was a crowded field of hard-working people. Everybody was out garnering the vote. We just did a little better job than everybody. To get over 40 percent of the vote in a crowded field is a tremendous victory. My message of compassionate conservatism resonated loud. The people of Iowa want a leader who can unite our party and our country. And that's exactly the signal they have sent.

KING: Laura -- Mrs. Bush, what are your feelings tonight?

LAURA BUSH, WIFE OF GEORGE BUSH: Well, I feel great tonight. I'm really thrilled about this. I've loved having the opportunity to campaign in Iowa. And we've got a lot of great friends here. And so this is a really, really nice night for us.

KING: Will you go with your husband to New Hampshire, or are you going to go back to Texas and...

L. BUSH: I'll be going with him to New Hampshire tonight. And I'll spend the next week there.

KING: And then go to South Carolina as well?

L. BUSH: And then go on to South Carolina

KING: Governor, is this because you miss her so much, or do you need her on the campaign?

(LAUGHTER)

G. BUSH: Well, she's responsible for half the vote. And she is a fantastic campaigner. The people who get to know Laura know her as a gentle, good listener, but also a very strong woman and a great mother.

And so -- plus, I miss my family, Larry. The hardest thing about this campaign is not being around my wife all the time and our 18- year-old twin daughters. I even miss the cats and the dog.

KING: To reiterate, you -- and then a couple of other questions -- you are saying that this total, if it holds at 44, is very gratifying to you. And even though Forbes got 31, if that holds -- and this is again a CNN projection of -- based on incoming polls -- and Alan Keyes 12, you're quite happy with that.

G. BUSH: I'm extremely happy. Not only am I happy, I'm thrilled. This is a huge victory and it's a victory of message and organization. And I brought a positive message to Iowa and was able to attract a fantastic organization, and so I'm really happy.

KING: Do you think anybody will drop out after tonight?

G. BUSH: I don't know. That's what you need to find out. I'm not sure. I'm -- all I'm getting ready to do is go thank all the people who've worked so hard in this campaign and to let the people of New Hampshire know that I'm getting on an airplane tonight and I'm heading up East.

KING: All right, a couple of other quick questions. Mayor Giuliani in New York, a strong supporter of yours, has criticized the New York Republicans for attempting, as he said, to leave McCain off the ticket. He said it doesn't help you, it helps everybody to have everybody on the ticket. Do you join him in that thought?

G. BUSH: Actually, what I believe is that there's a petition process not only in New York, but in a lot of states. We knew the rules going into the petition process of finding registered voters who actually lived in the congressional districts and signed up a lot of really good New Yorkers to support my campaign. And so what I do is I support the rules of the party.

KING: So you don't agree with Mayor Giuliani?

G. BUSH: Well, I agree he ought to be the United States senator and I wish him all the very best in his campaign. I look forward to working with him if I'm the president and he's the senator. KING: A proposal today in Congress to make young Elian Gonzalez a citizen. I know you've said you wanted that left up to the courts. What do you think of that idea?

G. BUSH: Well, I'd vote "aye" if I were in the Congress. That doesn't mean that the situation won't be ultimately resolved. All that means is citizenship gets him out from underneath the control of the INS. I still believe his dad ought to come to the United States, inhale the great breath of freedom, and then make a decision on our turf. I think -- listen, the mom was coming to find freedom for her son, and it's that compelling, wonderful American freedom that I hope the dad is able to enjoy as well.

KING: So you would vote "aye," though, in Congress to make him a citizen.

G. BUSH: I would. But, as you know, I'm running for president, not the United States Congress.

KING: Now, to clear up the thing, there's been so many disparaging things on the abortion question, let's get it clear so we can go on from here. The platform, which you say you support, of your party couple years ago said: The unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. Doesn't say anything about rape or incest. Do you share that view?

G. BUSH: What I share is for the Republican Party to be a pro- life party. The goal that I'm going to set if I'm the president is to convince Americans to respect life.

The goal ought to be that every child, born and unborn, ought to be protected in law and welcomed into life.

Our party is a pro-life party and it ought to remain that way. And I support the platform.

KING: OK. Therefore you -- what about rape and incest? Since the platform says it cannot be infringed. Then isn't a fetus a product of a rape or a product of incest still a living thing?

G. BUSH: Well, as you know that if the country ever were to come to be voting on a constitutional amendment, that I would support three exceptions. I understand that we've got a long way to go there. And so the next president must herald life and explain the value of life to the American people. And that's what I intend to do.

KING: But you would favor the exceptions.

G. BUSH: I would favor the exceptions.

KING: Any change of strategy in New Hampshire based on tonight?

G. BUSH: Not really. Listen, the message that I laid out is the same message I'm going to talk about in New Hampshire. Is that I've got the capacity to lead. I'm a uniter not a divider. I see an incredibly optimistic view of our future. I'm going to talk about education. I'm going to continue talking about cutting the taxes to keep economic growth alive. And I want to make the tax code more fair. And I'm going to talk about restoring morale in the military to keep the peace.

KING: Any comments on the Gore-Bradley race tonight?

G. BUSH: No. I -- I frankly haven't been paying that much of attention to it because I know that I've got a tough task ahead to win my party's nomination. I look forward to being the nominee to take on whoever their nominee is.

But right now the Republicans are making their decision. And I'm going to continue talking about my role as a leader for the (inaudible).

KING: John McCain apparently, according to projects, is going to get five percent here tonight. Is that about what you expected?

G. BUSH: Well John didn't campaign here. I don't think he should -- we should hold him to a high standard. He didn't -- he didn't -- he didn't run a campaign in the state of Iowa.

KING: So therefore it's wrong it say if he didn't finish third or fourth, it's a loss for him here.

G. BUSH: Well, he just didn't campaign. He chose not to campaign in this state. I believe it's important for the Republican nominee to campaign in all the states, but he made a different decision. And that -- you need to get him to explain why he made that decision.

John's a good man. I look forward to campaigning with him and against him in the state of New Hampshire. We've got a -- we've got a -- we've got a -- we've got a great -- great race going on there. And I just -- I'm looking forward to getting there tonight.

KING: One other question for each of you. Laura do you like campaigning? Do you like the -- this?

L. BUSH: I like campaigning. I like a lot -- I like people. And I like to be with people. I like to tell people about my husband. I've enjoyed it a lot.

KING: Was it as much fun as when he owned a baseball team?

L. BUSH: Well I don't know about that. No, only kidding.

KING: And on that note, it is a national story, Governor. What do you think should happen with John Rocker? You were a baseball owner. He said what he said.

KING: I guess no one whose sane could agree with it. What do you think? G. BUSH: Yes, but the guy -- the man needs to be -- I thought the Atlanta Braves are handling it well. That John's got to understand that when you wear the uniform and a lot of kids are looking at you, you have a responsibility. And John needs to assume responsibility for the actions he took, and I think the Braves are doing a fine job. Stan Kasten's a good man, as you know, Larry, and he is a sensitive soul. And John's going through -- getting the help he needs to be a responsible citizen.

KING: And the commissioner has announced that baseball will make a decision on punishment. Do you agree with that?

G. BUSH: Sure. That's the commissioner's job.

KING: By the way, you're in the heart of all old fans. You're the one who voted against the wild card, right?

G. BUSH: I did. I voted against the wild card because I'm a baseball traditionalist.

KING: You're the one owner that voted against. You were it, right?

G. BUSH: I was the one owner, which goes to show I stick by my convictions and stick by my principles, and that's the kind of president I'm going to be.

KING: You leave for New Hampshire tonight, right?

G. BUSH: Yes, sir, I do. I'm looking forward to it. There's great folks up in New Hampshire. We've got a fantastic organization. I look forward to campaigning with my buddy Senator Judd Gregg and Congressman Charlie Bass. I'm ready for the contest, Larry.

KING: We'll see you there next Tuesday. Thanks Laura and thanks, governor.

L. BUSH: Bye. Thanks, Larry.

KING: Governor George Bush and his wife Laura victorious tonight on our projections here based on entrance polls. Our last poll give himself 44 percent to Steve Forbes 31, Alan Keyes 12, Gary Bauer seven, John McCain five, Orrin Hatch one, and that, of course, could change. When we come back, Jeff Greenfield and and Bob Woodward join us.

At the bottom of the hour, John McCain. And later on, we'll be talking with Ann Richards and Jack Kemp. That's all ahead on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE from Des Moines.

Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Joining us now -- they'll be back with us at midnight for a LARRY KING LIVE part two -- Jeff Greenfield, CNN senior news analyst. He's with me here in Des Moines. And in Washington, Bob Woodward, assistant managing editor of "The Washington Post." Always great to see them both.

Bob, your early read on this, first the Republicans?

BOB WOODWARD, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Well, the polls were right, and Greenfield and I, who have always been skeptical about polls, have to eat a little crow or a lot, if those projections hold up -- and it looks like they will. The interesting thing about Iowa it is so preliminary. As has been pointed out, it is a notoriously poor predictor about the outcome of who becomes president. The last three elected presidents -- Reagan, Bush, and Clinton -- all lost the Iowa caucuses in the year they were elected president. So I wouldn't jump to any conclusions. It's not over in any form.

KING: Do we...

WOODWARD: And I think the other thing, your interview with Gov. Bush was very interesting, because Governor Bush did demonstrate some of that compassionate conservatism toward McCain and said, look, he didn't campaign in the state, so his 5 percent showing really doesn't mean anything.

KING: All right, Jeff, does that mean by winning in Iowa, you're in trouble?

JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: Well, it can. As long as -- let's start a disagreement. The polls were dead right, I give in this to Bob, about the Democratic race, but in the Republican race, for the third straight time, they underestimated the performance of the social conservatives. They had Steve Forbes at 20 percent. We have him getting somewhere between 30 and 31. And we have the three social conservatives getting more than 50 percent of the vote.

But what I agree with Bob about, is the very nature of a caucus, which is why the polls don't always measure in intensity, have a very limited half-life, the result of the caucuses once you get to New Hampshire. Clinton actually didn't compete in 92, because Tom Harkin of Iowa was running. But he's absolutely right, in any contested year, the winner of the Iowa caucus doesn't get to be president.

KING: Are you saying that Gov. Bush was wrong in being enthused about this vote night?

GREENFIELD: First of all, he won by -- he had a comfortable margin of victory. He's entitled to feel good. And anyway, the history of spin is that candidates very rarely come on and say, I'm a little upset with what happened tonight, especially when they won.

But what I am saying is, I think there is a small, but palpable danger ahead for George W. Bush, other than the fact that John McCain is leading in New Hampshire. I think this will give the social conservatives, who distrust Bush, a little bit of heart to keep pushing him on the issue you raised with him and others.

KING: The gentlemen will be with us many times tonight. Go ahead, Bob, your comment.

WOODWARD: Well, of course, what Bush has done and what he said earlier was that it is a victory for organization and message, and also, it's a victory for positioning himself as a moderate, but a moderate who is acceptable to many, if not most conservatives. And if he can maintain that position as he goes to New Hampshire, where his chief opponent is McCain, he may be in a really grand position.

KING: We're going to take a break. And when we come back, bring aboard two people who have faced the electorate, former governor of Texas Ann Richards, the former congressman, former vice presidential nominee and co-founder of Empower America Jack Kemp. Bob Woodward and Jeff Greenfield will remain, and we'll be talking in a little to John McCain in New Hampshire.

Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: And joining messieurs Woodward and Greenfield are Jack Kemp, the former vice president of the -- vice presidential nominee...

JACK KEMP (R), FORMER VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Almost.

KING: He knows winning and losing. And Ann Richards, the former governor of Texas, who by the way, was defeated by Gov. George Bush, who won in Iowa tonight.

Was this a convincing victory to you, Ann?

ANN RICHARDS (D), FORMER TEXAS GOVERNOR: Yes, but I -- you know, I think the thing was a done deal going into it. I mean, we knew that Bush was going to win, and we knew that Gore was going do win.

I thought that there were two things out of Iowa that were significant. And one was that the issue for Republicans was abortion, not ethanol, and that we saw a re-energized, refocused and really terrifically enthusiastic candidate in Al Gore. And I don't think -- I really don't think we expected that.

KING: And you, Jack Kemp, how do you see it?

KEMP: Well, just to keep this in perspective, Larry, and Jeff and Ann...

KING: And Bob.

KEMP: ... and Bob Woodward. The headlines all over "The Des Moines Register" today: Kurt Warner in the Super Bowl, from Iowa, and the barnstormers.

KING: That's right.

KEMP: But clearly, it's a great victory for Al Gore, as Ann Richards pointed out, and it's a good victory for George Bush. It's terrific for Steve Forbes. And it's a loss, with all due respect, to the compassionate conservatism of Gov. Bush. It's a loss for McCain, because the people in New Hampshire are watching Iowa, and irrespective of the fact that he didn't campaign, it hurts him not to have done better than five percent, even though out one here on the ground.

KING: So are you saying Forbes is a winner tonight, in that regard?

KEMP: Bush is the winner because he goes into New Hampshire with McCain, I think, weakened.

RICHARDS: You know what, I was going tell you, Larry, that I thought McCain was the smartest one of the bunch, that he didn't go and campaign in Iowa, that he didn't spend the money that you were going to have to spend. And it's been interesting to listen to the pundits say, well, Bradley should never have gone to Iowa, and spent all of that money and have all of that effort and not be able to do well. And McCain made a decision not to do that, and I think it was smart of him.

KING: Is Bradley in trouble, Bob Woodward?

WOODWARD: I mean, no.

KING: No?

WOODWARD: No, because he set the bar at 31 percent -- what has he got 35 percent? He didn't win. I mean, it is a question of organization, and organization is very, very powerful here.

But we -- one of the points about McCain here I think needs to be made clear. Anybody who has been in Iowa, and talked to voters and watched the process of the candidates going around at these very small meetings. If you are not willing to make that effort in Iowa, they are not going to vote for you. The decision to not campaign and make yourself present means they are not going to take you seriously. So to make a judgment about McCain, who did not agree and sign up, I think is not right.

KING: Do you agree with him on Bradley, Jeff?

GREENFIELD: No, I want to keep my record perfect and disagree with the distinguished Mr. Woodward. I don't think you're allowed to set the bar so low that whatever you get over that, you win. I don't -- I agree this Bob that this isn't fatal, he's not finished, New Hampshire often doesn't listen to Iowa, but I'm very curious; the most curious thing I am about tonight is, what is Bill Bradley going to say? Is he going to look the voters in the eye and say, you know, I haven't communicated well enough yet, I've got to tell you why it's important. But I don't think there's any way to spin this as anything but bad for Bradley.

KING: Jack, you debated him -- I'm sorry.

KEMP: No, but the question was not, was -- clearly, it's bad for Bradley. The question was, is he finished? Does this really wipe him out, or is this a severe, serious blow? And again, to be reminded, this is very, very preliminary.

KING: Jack is Gore a much better candidate now? Has he gotten better?

KEMP: I think Bob is right -- they're still on the playing field. But after the headlines that are going to be in both Iowa, and New Hampshire and throughout the country tomorrow, it's a serious blow to both Bradley and McCain, in my opinion, and I like them both, a. B, Gore is a better candidate. I think as Ann Richards, as she is wont to do -- bless her heart -- talking about abortion. The issue in the Democratic Party, as she brings up, abortion, is the fact that he has laid down a marker, a litmus test for the joint chiefs of staff. And believe me, that will be replayed all throughout the campaign.

KING: He's not going to get out of that?

KEMP: No way, and he shouldn't be out of it.

KING: We'll be back, and we'll talk with John McCain and his thoughts on the Iowa primary, and our panel will stay with us as well. This is LARRY KING LIVE. We'll get a update on the results so far as well.

Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: If you've just joined us, this is part one of LARRY KING LIVE. We'll be on twice tonight -- again at midnight live. Bernie and Judy will be back at the top of the hour with more recaps of all the doings tonight here on the first night, as Bernie has called it, of election 2000: the caucuses in Iowa.

Our panel -- and earlier we heard from Governor George Bush, the winner tonight in Iowa -- our panel includes Bob Woodward, the assistant managing editor of The Washington Post -- he's in Washington -- Ann Richards, the former governor of Texas is in Austin; and here in Des Moines, Jack Kemp, the former vice presidential nominee and co- founder of Empower America; and our own Jeff Greenfield, CNN senior news analyst.

Joining us now from Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire is Senator John McCain.

What's your read tonight? Apparently the early -- the projection now is you'll get five percent in Iowa. Is that disappointing, John?

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's 5 percent more than I thought I was going to get, Larry. As you know, we had no involvement in the campaign and we saved ourselves a lot of money and assets. We're very happy with where we are here in New Hampshire. We're looking forward to the playoffs that are going to begin tomorrow and welcome all back to New Hampshire. Look, our message -- reform and inspiring young Americans is working. I just talked to 800 young Dartmouth students here and we're ready to go and we're having a lot of fun.

KING: All right. What's your read on Bush -- we'll give you the current totals -- Bush at about 43; and Steve Forbes at 30; and Alan Keys around 12. What's your analysis of that?

MCCAIN: To be honest with you, I'll leave it up to experts like Jack Kemp. But I don't know enough about it. I think you can view that a good showing by both Forbes and Keyes. But I don't know really -- haven't paid that much attention except to say that I think what really counts here -- and the folks in New Hampshire have examined me and a lot of the other candidates, and I'm not sure they're going to be affected much by what happens in the Iowa caucuses.

KING: One of the pundits earlier tonight pointed out it was Bradley doing poorly tonight, beaten around two-to-one by Gore. With independents who can cross in New Hampshire, do you think a lot of Bradley people might go for you next Tuesday?

MCCAIN: I really don't buy that theory too much, Larry, because I think those who are independents that lean towards Democrats and liberals would go with Bradley no matter what, and those who are for a conservative Republican would go in my direction. I don't think it's that many votes that are just going to be swayed by Bradley's showing in Iowa, because again I think the people in New Hampshire who take their responsibility seriously aren't too much affected by Iowa results.

MCCAIN: And I think that's true in past elections as you see the results have varied from Iowa to New Hampshire.

KING: Has anything tonight surprised you?

MCCAIN: No. No. I guess it's a little bit surprising the size of Gore's victory over Bradley. But Bradley's very popular here in New Hampshire. And I think it's -- I think it's going to be a fight here in New Hampshire as well.

KING: Abortion was a big issue on the Republican side in Iowa. Will it be in New Hampshire?

MCCAIN: No. I think campaign finance reform -- particularly in light of the Supreme Court decision today validating everything that I've been fighting for. And I think that the tax issues. Governor Bush wants to spend the surplus all on tax cuts. I want to spend it on tax cuts, social security, Medicare and paying down the debt. I think that's an issue.

And I think it all also boils down to who they think has the best -- who's most capable and prepared to be president of the United States.

KING: You think the Supreme Court decision validated your fight? MCCAIN: Absolutely. If you look at the quotes, they're saying exactly what I've been saying. Including Justice Stevens saying money is not for -- is property, it's not free speech. That should repudiate a number of people who have been making that false assertion for many years.

KING: Where do you -- where does your read tell you, you stand right how in New Hampshire? We keep hearing one day you're ahead, you're behind, it's very close. What do you -- what do you see as of tonight?

MCCAIN: I see it very close. I see a large undecided, as always. I think some citizens in New Hampshire will change their mind three or four times between now and a week from tomorrow. And I think it's going to be very spirited and a great -- great experience.

Look, this is really democracy in action and I -- I've enjoyed every minute of it. I think the outcome is going to be very close.

KING: Will Iowa affect New Hampshire?

MCCAIN: Well, history shows that it doesn't. But I -- I think I'd have to leave that to other pundits. But I'm very comfortable with the decision. We would have had to spend $2 million on 40 days in Iowa. We simply didn't have the assets, nor, most particularly, the time, at the time we made the decision. So we've (OFF-MIKE)...

KING: No regrets.

MCCAIN: This campaign and we're going to -- we're going to keep it up.

KING: No regrets about not going to Iowa?

MCCAIN: Oh no. No, we -- listen, just the experience of being here in New Hampshire's made it all worthwhile.

KING: Now, how well do you stand -- let's say, for arguments sake, you win one or both of these next primaries. Will you be well financed enough to go on to that super day in March?

MCCAIN: Sure. Money is coming in, in unprecedented fashion. We've raised nearly $1.5 million just on the Internet. We're doing fine. We'll never match up, obviously, to Governor Bush, but we'll certainly have enough to be competitive.

KING: Are you predicting victory in New Hampshire?

MCCAIN: No, I'm predicting a very close outcome. And five months ago we were at three percent in a poll with a five-percent margin of error. I'm exuberant about how far we've come and the progress we've made here, and it's got to do with a lot of town hall meetings -- I've just had my 101st -- and it's got a lot to do with message: giving the government back to the people.

KING: Thanks, John. See you next week. MCCAIN: Thank you, Larry. Thanks a lot.

KING: Senator John McCain, Republican candidate, as we all head for New Hampshire. And we'll be there as well next Tuesday.

And we'll be back with our panel for the rest of this hour, then Bernie and Judy will be with you at the top of the hour. We'll be back at midnight with the panel and other guests, including Steve Forbes and Alan Keyes.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: There's the latest. Our panel has reassembled. And before we get their thoughts on what John McCain had to say, Jeff has a viewpoint here on totals.

GREENFIELD: Well, actually, a little bit of news, Larry. You know that Iowa and the -- all of us pundits and the pols have lived in Iowa for months. Listen to the turnout numbers, as we estimate them. The last contested Republican contest in 1996 drew about 96,000 people. CNN estimates the 2000 caucus will draw almost exactly the same amount.

The real news is on the Democratic side. In 1988 -- those are the last contested Democratic caucuses -- 125,000 Democrats turned out. Our estimate for tonight, 75,000, a falloff of almost 50 percent.

KING: Saying?

GREENFIELD: Saying that there may be no great issues on the table, that the electorate is either disaffected or contented. I mean, people will have a field day with these numbers. That the people of Iowa, who are often talked about as very civic-minded, didn't seem civic-minded enough to come out on a cold night and go to the caucuses.

These -- that 75,000 figure, if it holds up, is really low.

KING: Are you surprised at that, Ann?

RICHARDS: Actually, I'm not, because I've watched this thing pretty carefully, and it looked like to me it was all such a foregone conclusion that Gore was going to win and on the other hand that Bush was going to win. And I don't really think people think thought they had a stake in these caucuses, that it was preordained.

But listen, I want to say something else to you. You know, and -- and -- and Jack Kemp mentioned it. One of the reasons why the abortion issue is such a problematic thing I think for Bush and is going to go on into New Hampshire is that you've got guys that just got 50-some-odd percent of the Republican primary's caucus vote there in Iowa who are going to dog Bush's tracks on the issue of abortion.

It's not that it's being brought by the Democrats or it's being brought by some ideological group, but it is being brought by the guys who are running against him in his own party.

KING: And they're getting 50 percent. Jack Kemp, is she right?

RICHARDS: And it's a tar baby he can't turn loose of.

KING: Jack.

KEMP: You know, with all due respect, will he be dogged by the left, the pro-abortion folks? Yes, absolutely.

KING: No, she's saying he'll be dogged by the right?

RICHARDS: I certainly hope so in the general election.

KEMP: Oh no, I disagree with that. He has clearly put himself on the side of that Reagan plank that was in the '80 platform. He may get dogged by both the left and the right.

KING: The platform doesn't make exceptions.

KEMP: It doesn't. But I think he's taken a position that there's no way right now, he said -- at least I saw him on television Sunday -- in which a constitutional amendment would pass. He wants to lead. That means to educate. And that brings -- that brings to mind the idea that leaders, whether it was Abraham Lincoln in 1860, who did not face, who did not face the moral issue in a pure way of slavery -- many of us wish he had, but he didn't. He kept the union together, ultimately ending slavery. And I think Bush's position has been the right position on this issue.

KING: Bob Woodward, your thoughts on what John McCain had to say tonight.

WOODWARD: Three things struck me about him: how he was calm, calm and calm. There is a certain at-ease quality that he has that I think projects. And if somebody wants a calm candidate or a president -- and he has his message and so forth -- it's very, very appealing.

And I was quite struck by -- he just, you know, he gets 5 percent in Iowa. I've made the point, and I think maybe not strongly enough, that in Iowa if you had the most revered Republican running -- say the Lord, God -- and he didn't show up in Iowa, he wouldn't win. He wouldn't get votes.

The deal is, the terms of the engagement in Iowa is that you will come to somebody's living room in my neighborhood.

KING: What did you think of him tonight, Jeff: McCain?

GREENFIELD: Well, I think Bob -- I get to agree with Bob this time. I think he's right. And I also think it points to something really kind of interesting as we get to New Hampshire. The folks that did well or OK on the conservative right, faith-based conservatives, they're not going to go after McCain, because the distance between McCain and those people is too great. Steve Forbes and Alan Keyes are going to try to peel votes away from Bush. And that in a way leaves McCain free to run on his issues of campaign finance reform and a different kind of tax program than Bush has. And in a way, this is not -- this is not bad turf for John McCain, because he's kind of by himself. He's so much of a dissident from the Republican Party that I don't think he's even going to be attacked by the others.

KEMP: Well, look, I really like John McCain. He's a hero. He fought for this country. He's unbelievably courageous.

KING: You cannot not like him.

KEMP: Yes, we all like him. How can you say, as he did, that he wants to give the government back to the people when, in fact, the government is taxing at the highest level in peacetime in the history of this country and he won't cut taxes? He thinks that George Bush is cutting taxes for the rich. That's class warfare. I don't think it will work in New Hampshire. That's a Reagan state. And I think Bush and Forbes will come across as more Reaganesque than John McCain.

KING: And you repeat again, you think this is a big night for Forbes.

KEMP: I think it's a big night for Bush and Forbes.

KING: Both of them.

KEMP: And Keyes.

KING: Ann.

RICHARDS: I think it was important that McCain -- McCain said he was doing well raising money, because when you get done down to it, you can call it organization, as Bob Woodward did, in Iowa and you can call it organization in New Hampshire, but we're really talking about money here. It takes money to put those organizations together.

If McCain has got the money to carry him well in New Hampshire and to carry him well in South Carolina, then you may really have a race. But I have never thought George Bush had a race at all. Anytime you have got the kind of money that he has got in the bank -- what is it now? -- $60 million, I mean, you can do all kinds of things and still win a race with $60 million.

KING: Let me get a break, and we'll come back with more. Our panel is with us. They'll all be back, by the way, at 12 o'clock Eastern, 9 o'clock Pacific. Also with us will be Steve Forbes and Alan Keyes, both of whom did, apparently everyone agrees, very well tonight. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're in Des Moines. Our panel will be back with us at midnight, as we have said, and we'll have some closing comments from each and then a little special tribute here to someone who passed away today that deserves the tribute, and then back to Bernie and Judy.

OK, it's on to New Hampshire. Mr. Woodward, what happens there?

WOODWARD: Well, it's now much more important, because the real issue in the campaign as posed by Bradley and McCain is do we want an aggressive new reform era in the federal government or do we not. And that really wasn't tested in Iowa, and it's going to be really seriously tested in New Hampshire.

KING: Jack Kemp, what's going to happen in that -- that interesting state?

KEMP: Yes, you can't count out Steve Forbes. He had the organization back here on the ground...

KING: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

KEMP: No, I'm just -- he's a friend. But Bob was talking about McCain as the only challenger. I was just suggesting -- I think Steve Forbes tonight makes himself a big player in New Hampshire, particularly on taxes. I make the point again I don't think it was a good idea for McCain to attack George Bush for trying to cut tax rates across the board. That was not, in my view, a good idea.

KING: Do you think Forbes -- Forbes will be impacting in New Hampshire?

KEMP: I think he will be, and I think clearly -- I have said it twice, but Ann Richards, who knows a lot about money, with all due respect worrying about George Bush having $60 million, the Democratic Party when they ran against Bob Dole in 1996 had about $110 million to spend without any answer from the primaries up until the August Republican convention.

RICHARDS: Hey, well let me tell you, the whole issue there, it just proves my point. Not that I'm worried about it, I'm just telling you, when you've got the money, you win elections. And that's exactly what happened with Dole and Kemp against the Democrats, and that is exactly what is going to happen in terms of the nomination with George Bush with all of that money.

I think the question going into New Hampshire is going to be, what kind of campaign is Bradley going to wage? You know, the -- the issue of can you be a really nice guy, can you run a campaign and not be acerbic and not go on the attack and all of that -- was something Bradley said he didn't watt to do in Iowa and I think he was true his word. And I think he -- I think he waged the best campaign he could doing that.

Now, the issue is, does it work? Obviously, it doesn't work as well as Bradley would like for it to work, and that's going to be a tough decision for him going into New Hampshire.

KING: Jeff?

GREENFIELD: There's going to be lot of money in New Hampshire, because you have two Republican candidates who raised money -- so much money they're not subject to the federal campaign limits. I agree with Ann that in terms of the human element, in terms of the most interesting story it's what does Bill Bradley, a man who has been told he was destined to be president from the time he was playing basketball for Princeton, now at the most critical moment of his political career -- and that's why Wednesday night; this is not a plug -- that debate between Gore and Bradley will be fascinating.

KING: Which will be seen right here...

GREENFIELD: You bet.

KING: ... at 9 o'clock Eastern. By the way, we'll be on at 10 o'clock Wednesday night because CNN has got two debates on Wednesday night. Right? They have the Republicans and the Democrats back to back.

What does Bradley have to do, Bob, in New Hampshire?

WOODWARD: Well, I mean, again so much is tone and style. If -- I mean, the -- the new rise of Al Gore very much has to do with Gore's new direct style. And if Bradley can handle this and -- and emotionally and develop a way of saying, this is what happened, this is what it means, squarely face the fact that he didn't win -- he's not somebody who is used to losing. And so, that's going to be difficult. But I -- I think there's kind of a summary of what everyone is saying, that in New Hampshire we need to follow the money and we need to follow the debates.

KING: jack Kemp, 30 seconds.

KEMP: Well, Bill Bradley doesn't need any advice from Jack Kemp, but he is a friend. And I would say very sincerely Bill Bradley doesn't need to be acerbic or mean or attack. He just has to make a compelling case why he is the only Democrat who stands a chance in November of 2000.

KING: His case has to be I can win?

KEMP: Absolutely. That he will remove the stain from the Democratic Party's candidate for the presidency.

KING: Our panel is Bob Woodward, assisting managing editor of The Washington Post; Ann Richards, the former governor of Texas -- the Honorable Ann Richards is with us in Austin -- Jack Kemp, vice presidential nominee of his party four years ago and the co-founder of Empower America; and Jeff Greenfield, CNN's senior news analyst. All will be back with us in a little over two hours for part two tonight of another edition of LARRY KING LIVE.

We'll have a special tribute to a special person right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: A wonderful man passed away today at the all-too-young age of 65, Bob Squier. If you don't know the name, you'll know the face. We'll show it to you in a minute.

The famed Democratic consultant who advised so many people over so many years and made so many friends in both parties -- he was a wonderful guy. He died of colon cancer. And unfortunately, he never took a colonoscopy. Had he taken one maybe a year or two ago they would have found this, and he might still be with us.

So this might be a good time to urge all of you, and especially when you reach the age of 50 and over, to get a colonoscopy at least every 18 months.

We send our best and our love to Bob's wife, Prudence; his sons Mark (ph) and Mack (ph); and his three grandchildren. He will be sorely missed.

We talked with him about the changing pace of politics. This interview ran in the fall of 1994.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, SEPTEMBER 1994)

BOB SQUIER, DEMOCRATIC CONSULTANT: I think what's happened is that the rules have changed. And I think they've been changing since I was -- since I first started working in politics. I first came into this business in '68 from the other side of the camera, working as a documentary producer. And it seems to me over the years things have been changing incrementally up until about four or five, maybe six years ago. And then things started changing in a big rush.

A lot of things are happening in broadcasting, for instance, and in the news business that are putting, it seems to me, the pressure on to make people look other places for the new in news.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: The late Bob Squier. Bernie and Judy at the top of the hour with all the latest on election 2000. We'll be back in two hours. So long.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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