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Inside Politics

McCain Gains Momentum in South Carolina, New York; Bush Bunkers Down in Palmetto State; Bye-Bye Bauer

Aired February 3, 2000 - 5:00 p.m. ET



SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What we're going to do is give him another bump on the road here in about 18 days, that's the bump.


BERNARD SHAW, CNN ANCHOR: His math may be a bit off, but John McCain's bid to throw George W. Bush off course seems to be gaining momentum in South Carolina.


WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST (voice-over): South Carolina has always saved the Republican establishment, and it will again this year, won't it? Maybe. Maybe not.


JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Bill Schneider on Bush's prospects in the Palmetto State.

SHAW: And, bye-bye Bauer. The Republican presidential field is about to narrow to four.

ANNOUNCER: From Washington, this is INSIDE POLITICS, with Bernard Shaw and Judy Woodruff.

WOODRUFF: Thank you for joining us.

We begin with John McCain's bounce. His campaign coffers and a new poll suggest the senator is reaping rewards from his primary victory in New Hampshire.

CNN's Jonathan Karl is on the road with McCain in the next state he hopes to conquer: South Carolina.


JONATHAN KARL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): John McCain is telling South Carolina that George W. Bush hit more than a bump in the road in New Hampshire. MCCAIN: They call it a bump in the road. I'm telling you, my friends, it was a land mine.

KARL: McCain's aides are euphoric about a new poll that shows McCain with a 5-point lead in South Carolina. Prior to his New Hampshire landslide, McCain had been trailing Bush by 20-plus points in most South Carolina polls. McCain says his fund raising has also been given a jolt.

MCCAIN: We've gotten over $600,000 in a little over 24 hours donated over the Internet.

KARL: Actually his aides say the number is closer to $800,000 now. The campaign also claims a dramatic uptick in more traditional forms of fund raising. Speaking to reporters on his bus, McCain joked that his finance director's job has gotten a lot easier.

MCCAIN: Herb Allison said he's heard from guys that he hasn't heard from in years.

KARL: With an all-out fund-raising push, the campaign expects to bring in $5 million over the next 10 days. McCain anticipates his momentum will prompt negative attacks from groups opposed to his campaign finance reform proposals. The National Smokers' Alliance has already taken aim.


UNIDENTIFIED NARRATOR: Candidate McCain states that as senator he has never voted for a tax increase, yet in 1998 Senator McCain sponsored legislation backed by President Clinton to increase tobacco taxes.


KARL: The group says it is running the ads in three South Carolina media markets. McCain is unconcerned.

MCCAIN: I am honored by the attacks of the people that addicted our children and lied to Congress.

KARL: As for the stakes in South Carolina, Congressman Lindsey Graham, who has become a fixture at McCain's side here, says McCain must win.

REP. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC), MCCAIN SUPPORTER: If he wins South Carolina, then the momentum exists, I think, to take him all the way to the top. If he loses South Carolina, it's probably the end of the crusade.

KARL (on camera): Prior to New Hampshire, McCain says he thought the odds were 90 to 10 against him winning his party's nomination. Increasingly confident, he now says the odds are 40 to 60 that he'll win it all.

Jonathan Karl, CNN, Charleston, South Carolina. (END VIDEOTAPE)

SHAW: McCain's gains are prompting George W. Bush to turn up the heat, especially in South Carolina.

CNN's Candy Crowley is traveling with the Bush campaign.


CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There is a sharper edge to him now. You can feel it. You can see it. You can hear it.

GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Any ad that is being run by John McCain that infers, implies or says that I don't reserve money for Social Security is Washington style politics.

CROWLEY: The post-New Hampshire George Bush promised to respond when attacked. He is playing tougher offense as well. On John McCain's reputation as an outsider:

BUSH: All of a sudden, in the course of the debate, I am tagged as the guy who is kind of the Washington guy, and I'm not going to let that happen to me in South Carolina, because you know what? The reality is, he is the person who has been the Washington insider.

CROWLEY: On John McCain and campaign finance reform:

BUSH: And for somebody who is talking about campaign funding reform, which is fine, I'm going to let him explain how campaign reform is -- how he is receiving people in front of his committee who then contribute to his campaign is consistent and that's -- I think that's an explanation needed.

CROWLEY: And while he has only praise for McCain's war record, Bush, flanked by five Medal of Honor winners and a host of military endorsements, signaled that he would not cede South Carolina's sizable military vote. Bush offered no direct criticism of John McCain in this area, but others did.

J. THOMAS BURCH, NATL. VIETNAM & GULF WAR VETERANS COALITION: He has always opposed all the legislation, be it Agent Orange or Gulf War health care, or frankly the POW/MIA issue. He was the leading opponent in the Senate. He had the power to help these veterans. He came home and he forgot us.


CROWLEY: For now, George Bush has left South Carolina solely to John McCain. Bush has flown here to Delaware, which has a primary next week. As he arrived in Dover, Bush told the crowd there he believes that every state deserves attention. Delaware voters, he said, are Americans, too. If it needs to be said, John McCain is not campaigning here in Delaware -- Bernie.

SHAW: Candy, as you know, sources are telling CNN that Gary Bauer has decided to drop out of the race, and he'll make the announcement at a news conference tomorrow at 10:00, we're hearing. Any reaction from the Bush campaign?

CROWLEY: We did talk to Governor Bush. He was a little reluctant since it's not on the record yet, but he did say that he has spoken with Gary Bauer post New Hampshire, that it was clear then that he was thinking about it.

There was no talk about an endorsement, but Bush did say that he thought should Gary Bauer endorse him it would help him sort of consolidate that conservative base. He said despite the fact that Bauer asked very tough questions in the debates, asking -- grilling Bush on abortion and on trade in China, that he and Bauer, he thought, had a pretty good relationship, and besides, Bush adds, his anti- abortion record in Texas stands and speaks for itself -- Bernie.

SHAW: Candy Crowley, Dewey Beach, Delaware, thank you.

Well, winning New Hampshire has had a tangible impact on the campaign of John McCain. Since Tuesday, McCain has been able to measure his primary success in Internet campaign contributions to the tune of $18,000 per hour, according to his campaign staff. Now, a closer look at how the Republican hopeful is using technology to give him a boost on the trail.


MCCAIN: We are doing fine in raising money. We'll never have as much money as Governor Bush -- by the way it's

SHAW (voice-over): In a neat bit of Internet age alchemy, John McCain is transforming political momentum into gold. Within hours of his New Hampshire victory, McCain started hauling in contributions over his Web site, a half million dollars by the end of Wednesday, $815,000 by 4:00 p.m. today, according to campaign estimates.

MAX FOSE, MCCAIN INTERNET MANAGER: Never before have you had the capability for people to sign up instantly to a campaign, and now you do through the Internet.

SHAW: In the past 48 hours alone, McCain has raised nearly three times George W. Bush's Internet total for all of 2000 and 1999. By raising so much online, McCain may be avoiding a dangerous trap. With the primary contests so close to each other, South Carolina is just 16 days away, many wondered if McCain had the time to spend his upset win into cash. Before the Web, he might not have pulled it off at all. A check can take up to a week to reach a campaign through the U.S. mail. That's why they call it snail mail.

By CNN calculation, an online credit card contribution took a grand total of 55 seconds, and unlike checks, there's no processing time. McCain's online fund-raising success is unlikely to make much of a dent in George W. Bush's cash advantage, but it could give McCain the juice he needs to get from one primary to the next, but only if he keeps winning, because in the light-speed world of Internet politics, where mo' means money, no mo' could mean just that. (END VIDEOTAPE)

SHAW: On February 10, McCain will hold an online fund-raising event. For $100 contribution, supporters will have the chance to participate in an interactive chat with the candidate.

WOODRUFF: Well, you won't be surprised to know that John McCain will be spending a lot of his newly raised funds on campaign advertising. Earlier today, I talked with David Peeler of Competitive Media Reporting and I asked him about the ad spending in the Republican race starting with a look back at how much the candidates poured into TV in New Hampshire.


DAVID PEELER, COMPETITIVE MEDIA REPORTING: In the month leading up to the primary on Tuesday we saw both John McCain and George W. Bush spending very heavily in that state, well over a million dollars in the last month. In fact, John McCain outspent George W. Bush by just a slight amount, by about $100,000, coming in at $1.5 million with George W. Bush coming in at $1.4 million. We also saw Steve Forbes, who came in third, spending close to a million dollars in that market, so that was, as we know, a very heavily media contested battle.

WOODRUFF: All right. So, David, we know that New Hampshire is behind us, and now both McCain and Bush are making South Carolina their next battleground state. Both of the candidates were there yesterday. They were there again today. How much are they spending on ads?

PEELER: Well, I can tell you, Judy, before they landed yesterday they had both already spent heavily. George W. Bush has a slight lead, about $550,000 in the state so far. John McCain has spent well over $500,000. Their media split is a little different. Some of the dollars are going into some of the smaller markets in the state and there George W. Bush has a little lead, but that -- it's a very heavily contested media race also.

WOODRUFF: Now, besides South Carolina, what other states are the Republicans focused on?

PEELER: Well, Michigan and Arizona have their primary on the 22nd of this month. We see in the state of Arizona, John McCain's home state, George W. Bush has already spent over a million dollars, Steve Forbes close to half a million dollars. The interesting thing is that John McCain has continued to stay out of it from a media standpoint. That may change over the next couple of weeks. It may be his home state, but he probably needs to spend some money to remind the voters of where he's from.

If you move onto Michigan, George Bush got on early. He's already spent a million dollars in the state. John McCain countered a couple of weeks after, and he's close to half a million dollars. So this race -- it -- when we talk about a national campaign, you're starting to see the effects of it from a media standpoint. In -- expanding beyond that, let's look at the states of Virginia and Washington. George W. Bush has already spent half a million dollars in those states. There he's got an advantage, because he's been able to get out earlier; he's really unopposed from the media standpoint at this current time.

WOODRUFF: All right, David, so as we look forward, even beyond that, to the March primary, what are you expecting to see as far as candidate advertising and strategy?

PEELER: Well, again, let's get back to the national campaign issue for a second. You know, you're going to go into the states of New York, California, and the amount of dollars that you have to spend to buy a an ad in those states or those major markets, New York and L.A., are about ten times what you would spend in New Hampshire. So a $500 spot in New Hampshire will cost you $5,000 in New York. That's going to be a very, very expensive, intense race. The person that has the money in the bank has an advantage, because you have to remember that in political terms, in the media business you cannot buy an ad until you have -- you can't buy it on credit. You have to have the cash on hand and deliver it to the station before they'll air your campaign.

So you know, the timing between fund-raising, collecting and processing that fund-raising dollar and getting it to the station will become critical as we go on into this multi-state primary situation.

WOODRUFF: All right, so much ahead and so much to look forward to.

David Peeler, thanks very much.

PEELER: Thank you, Judy.


SHAW: When INSIDE POLITICS returns, a live interview with two South Carolinians. One supports Bush; the other supports McCain.


SHAW: Now, let's talk about the GOP race with two South Carolina Republicans, Congressman Mark Sanford, a supporter of John McCain, and former Governor David Beasley, who backs George W. Bush.

Beginning with you, Congressman, on what will this South Carolina primary turn? What issues?

REP. MARK SANFORD (R-SC), MCCAIN SUPPORTER: I think it will turn based on the same issues, to a great degree, that it turned on in New Hampshire. That would include downsizing, the limiting of government, the idea of reforming government, reforming Social Security, paying down the debt and campaign finance reform, trying to change the way money is sent to Washington and the way that it affects politics in Washington.

SHAW: Governor Beasley.

DAVID BEASLEY (R), FMR. SOUTH CAROLINA GOVERNOR, BUSH SUPPORTER: Well, I think to a certain degree, Mark's right. It will turn on those issues, and that's why George Bush will be victorious. That's why South Carolina is George Bush country, because George Bush has the plan that cuts taxes, and McCain's plan is half of that, of George Bush's. In fact, it's more like the Clinton plan.

And I think what we're going to see in South Carolina is an end to the McCain deception that's taken place in New Hampshire that he got away with, that is that McCain is an outsider, when he's, in fact, an insider with 17 years of experience of catering to the special interest groups, which he can't get away with here in South Carolina. Because George Bush is truly the outsider here, running from the state of Texas to change government in Washington, to restore integrity to the White House.

SHAW: Mark Sanford, are you going to take that?

SANFORD: I don't think so. David is a dear friend, but we definitely disagree on this one.

Both from the standpoint of the whole notion that your ideology is decided by your zip code, I don't buy into that. You know, I don't think you could find two more reform-minded members of Congress than Lindsey Graham or myself. And the one thing that has consistently marked our time in Congress has been trying to reform the place. John's been doing the same, and he's been consistently shooting at campaign finance reform. He's been consistently shooting at trying to reform a number of different institutions of government, and the notion as well on the tax plan side that it is not more conservative to pay down the debt.

You know, the families I talked to here in Charleston, they tell me that, you know, when times are good, that's the time to pay down the debt, and it's a very conservative theme to take some of these projected surpluses, which may or may not materialize, and actually devote it to Social Security, because if not, we have real problems for my children.

SHAW: Governor Beasley, a question about your candidate. Is George Bush going to have to work harder in South Carolina than he did physically in New Hampshire?

BEASLEY: George Bush is going to work harder in South Carolina than he did in New Hampshire, and George Bush is going to let his message be very clear, and we're also going to clear up the misconception and deception that took place in New Hampshire.

John McCain supports Al Gore and Bill Clinton's positions on campaign finance. That won't play in South Carolina, because that's pro-labor union. John McCain supports the Bill Clinton tax plan that keeps more money in Washington. That won't sell in South Carolina. John McCain is chairman of a major committee in the United States Senate. He has been flying around on corporate jets of major contributors, writing letters on behalf, and to come and say that he is an outsider and against special interest groups just isn't going to fly here.

SHAW: OK, congressman...

SANFORD: David, I mean, I would go back to, again, it's your candidate that wants to leave the campaign finance system the way it is. I mean...

BEASLEY: No, that's not true.

SANFORD: It seems to me an outsider would be the one that wants to change it, in that if somebody strokes a $500,000 soft money check to the DNC or the RNC, it seems to me that there are no free lunches in life, and they expect something. I think it ought to be changed.

BEASLEY: It should be changed. George Bush supports change, not in such a way that rewards the labor union bosses, and that's what will happen under John McCain's plan. But how can he say he's against special interest.

SANFORD: This is the same plan, though, mind you...

BEASLEY: Gentlemen, let me ask you two South Carolinians a question about technique and style. What style of campaigning works best in your state?

Governor Beasley, is the governor from Texas going to have to put aside these prepared speeches and start talking off the cuff?

BEASLEY: I think he will do that. I think the people of South Carolina will truly respond to George Bush's style, because he's a down-to-Earth good man who has a good vision, and we have seen historically in South Carolina Republican primaries that we have corrected the mistakes of New Hampshire, and we have seen historically that the Republicans in South Carolina vote for a more traditional Republican candidate, like George Bush.

SHAW: OK, let's give -- I'm sorry to interrupt you, but I want to give your opponent a chance to respond, because we're fast running out of time.

SANFORD: Yes, I wouldn't say there's anything wrong with George Bush's campaign style. I would say that McCain's, to date, has certainly been more open and a more accessible style. I don't know if he'll change it in South Carolina. If he does, I think it's good.

But the larger issue is I think there are some legitimate differences on a number of different points, and I think that's what'll be debated over the next couple of weeks.

SHAW: OK, you gentlemen, you certainly laid out those issues.

Congressman Mark Sanford and former Governor David Beasley, thanks so much for your time.

SANFORD: Thank you.

BEASLEY: Thank you.

SHAW: You're welcome -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: We know there are some differences in that race.

Well, more now on Gary Bauer's decision to end his bid for the White House.

CNN's Gene Randall looks at why Bauer is pulling out and whether he has made a mark on the presidential race.


GENE RANDALL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In New Hampshire's GOP presidential primary this week, Gary Bauer barely qualified as an also-ran. He came in last, with just one percent of the vote. He had done poorly in the Iowa caucuses as well. And so Bauer will join a long list former Republican presidential hopefuls. Remember Lamar Alexander, and Dan Quayle, and Orrin Hatch, and Elizabeth Dole, and House Budget Committee Chairman John Kasich of Ohio? All have endorsed George W. Bush.

Now, there is pressure on Steve Forbes, who finished third in New Hampshire, to withdraw.

"The National Review," a long-time voice of Republican conservatism says, "It is time for Forbes to pull out." Calling him "a distracting figure on the stage." Translation, with Senator John McCain of Arizona suspected of insufficient conservative zeal, it is time to stop draining conservative support away from George W. Bush, as Forbes threatens to do in the primaries ahead.

As for Gary Bauer, despite a feeble showing in national polls, he was an effective debater, with a proven ability to needle Bush on such issues as trade in China and abortion rights.

GARY BAUER (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Governor Bush said this week that he thought Roe vs. Wade was -- quote, unquote -- "a reach." Governor, a reach? One and a half million children a year? It's a darn sight more than a reach.

RANDALL: Still, Bauer never posed a real threat to the establishment front-runner. And in a campaign that boasted few highlights, Bauer had his share of low points -- just ask the people from Bisquick.

Back in September, Bauer called a surprise news conference here in Washington to deny rumors of an affair with a campaign staff member.

BAUER: These rumors and character assassination are disgusting, outrageous, evil and sick.

RANDALL: And in the end, his bid for president may have seemed to some a little too homegrown.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am so proud of my son Gary. He's running for president.


RANDALL (on camera): Gary Bauer at least has the satisfaction of knowing he outlasted a lot of better known Republican candidates, but in the end, he will live up to his post-New Hampshire claim, that while he is a fighter, he is not delusional.

Gene Randall, CNN, Washington.


WOODRUFF: And INSIDE POLITICS will be right back.


WOODRUFF: We'll have more of this day's political news coming up, but now a look at some other top stories. Searchers have found the flight data recorder from Alaska Airlines flight 261. It was located with the same underwater retrieval equipment that found the cockpit voice recorder yesterday.

CNN's Carl Rochelle joins us now live from Port Hueneme, California with the latest -- Carl.

CARL ROCHELLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Judy, it was the Kellie Chouest, a commercial salvage ship that found the wreckage that found the black boxes, both of them -- the cockpit voice recorder yesterday, the flight data recorder earlier today. The flight data recorder a bit more difficult, because the pinger, the locating device that is set off by contact with the water, had been separated from it. Now the flight data recorder is being retrieved and will be flown back to Washington for analysis. The cockpit voice recorder is already back, has been opened. The tape has been listened, too. We are told by officials the quality is good and the information is good.

Chairman Jim Hall of the National Transportation Safety Board said the voices of the crew gave them important clues to what was going on in the cockpit during those final minutes.


JIM HALL, NTSB CHAIRMAN: As the recording began, the flight crew was discussing an existing problem with the airplane's stabilizer trim. The flight crew decided to divert to Los Angeles International Airport. The airplane's out-of-trim condition became worse as the crew attempted to diagnose or correct the problem. The crew had difficulty controlling the airplane's tendency to pitch nose down. The airplane descended, but the crew was able to arrest the descent. The crew continued troubleshooting and preparing for the -- preparing the airplane for landing, then control was suddenly lost.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ROCHELLE: The next order of business is mapping of the area where the plane went down by the salvage ships, and then they will begin to recover the debris from the crash, particularly looking at the tail section that held the elevator trim, control assembly and the cockpit area.

I'm Carl Rochelle, CNN, reporting live from Port Hueneme, California.

WOODRUFF: Thank you, Carl.

All 88 passengers and crew aboard the Alaska Airlines plane died. For some families, the healing process requires going to the site where their loved ones died. Dozens gathered on the beach near the crash site today to mourn and say goodbye.

SHAW: Britain is threatening to suspend the Protestant/Catholic home-rule government of Northern Ireland. Britain says it will strip the government's power within days, unless the Irish Republican Army promises to surrender its weapons. Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Mandelson says he will introduce legislation tomorrow that could transfer power back to London if necessary.

Austria will form a controversial coalition government that could leave the country in hot water with the European Union. Despite E.U. protests, Austria's new government will be sworn in tomorrow, and it will include the Freedom Party, led by Joerg Haider. The party came in second in the elections. Haider alarmed the E.U. with remarks that appeared to play down Nazi crimes during WW II. The E.U. has threatened a diplomatic boycott of Austria if the Freedom Party is given a role in the government.

When INSIDE POLITICS returns, Gore versus Bradley in California, and David Broder and Ron Brownstein on the latest twists along the campaign trail.


WOODRUFF: Bill Bradley spent this campaign day in California, a day that not only included jabs at Al Gore, but at George W. Bush as well.

CNN's Chris Black traveled with Bradley to San Francisco -- Chris.

CHRIS BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Judy, Bill Bradley flew through the night to bring his campaign to California, a super Tuesday state and a high priority state for his campaign. It was raining here today and they had to move an outdoor rally by San Francisco's famous Golden Gate Bridge indoors, but Mr. Bradley wasted no time in casting the choice for California voters in stark terms.


BILL BRADLEY (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's a choice between the old politics as practiced by Al Gore, a politics of rancor and division and grandiose and unfulfilled promises, and a politics that I practice, a new politics based on belief and conviction and honestly confronting the problems of this country and advancing real solutions to those problems.


BLACK: Senior officials in the Bradley campaign say that California is a good chance for the former senator to show he is more electable than Al Gore in November, because he has broader appeal.

No independents can vote in this primary and they tend to be more liberal in this state than in other parts of the country. So, Bradley will be talking a lot about abortion rights and about the environment, about campaign finance reform and about his proposal to license and register all firearms.

He was largely positive today, but he did take one big shot at Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush for speaking at Bob Jones University yesterday, a university that overtly discriminated against -- on the basis of race well into the 1980s.


BRADLEY: The Republican candidate for president yesterday goes to Bob Jones University to make a speech about what conservatism is in this country. Well, ladies and gentlemen, that is what conservatism is, Bob Jones University, and it should be rejected.



BLACK: Now, it's become a given, Judy, that no Democrat can win in November without California. In fact, Al Gore has been to the state 60 times in recent years.

But Bradley faces two big problems, the first immediate problem is being heard through the media buzz surrounding John McCain's big victory in New Hampshire, having his photo opportunity pushed inside today didn't help that.

The second problem is much more problematic for his candidacy. Now, independents can vote in this beauty contest, but their votes aren't counted in terms of the delegate selection process for the national convention and by March this contest will be about which man can get more delegates for the convention -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right. Chris Black traveling with Senator Bradley. Thank you, Chris.

Well, joining us now to talk a bit about the Bradley campaign and other matters, David Broder of "The Washington Post" and Ron Brownstein of "The Los Angeles Times." Gentlemen, I want to you look both ahead and back for just a moment at New Hampshire. We hear Bill Bradley going after Al Gore, we hear him even going after George W. Bush. What did he learn, David, in New Hampshire that perhaps should inform his candidacy from now on?

DAVID BRODER, "THE WASHINGTON POST": I think the main lesson that he learned was that you can't assume that people will support you just because you present yourself as a person of high principle and noble, bold intentions, that you have to get into the campaign and fight for every day's headlines and every day's impressions with the voters.

WOODRUFF: So, Ron, when he says, for example, this campaign is a choice between the old politics of rancor and division and unfulfilled promises, referring to Al Gore, and his own ideas which commitment and belief and so forth, you are saying that's not enough, or David is?

RON BROWNSTEIN, "THE LOS ANGELES TIMES": Well, you can get whiplash looking forward and back at the same time.


BROWNSTEIN: But I think that Bradley's problem, his strategic situation is remarkably unchanged from what it has been really from the point that he became a visible candidate, which is that he has a base among more independent voters and among more upscale, well- educated voters who respond well to the reform message, the kind of line you talked about, the kind of division between the old politics and the new politics.

But both in Iowa and New Hampshire -- although he did better across the board in New Hampshire -- he really hasn't been able to penetrate the base of the party, the core Democrats who do exert the most influence on the nomination in most states. And now the issue is as he goes forward, he does have this base which I think will keep him competitive in a lot of places, but you have the problem of trailing Al Gore virtually everywhere. And without the boost from New Hampshire, can you overcome that in the five weeks?

WOODRUFF: What is different about the campaign in the state of California, David? What does Bill Bradley going to have to do there that perhaps he hasn't done?

BRODER: Well, it will be much more of a media campaign than a personal appearances campaign. And Bradley has a couple of assets in California that I think are not generally known, he passed some very significant water legislation as a member of the Senate, which gives him real credentials with the environmental community which has been important in California, and the year that he spent at Stanford gave him links and an understanding of the high-tech industry, the Silicon Valley that I think will make him a serious challenger for vice president in those communities.

WOODRUFF: All right. We want you gentlemen to sit there, because we have a -- speaking of the vice president, Al Gore was also in California today, but in southern California.

Our own John King was with him. We want to go to his report and we'll talk to David and Ron afterwards.


JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): So, maybe he didn't invent the Internet after all, but the vice president, Palm Pilot at his hip, is out to show California he understands the ever-changing high-tech economy.

AL GORE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This must be a fun place to work.

KING: Gore says better public schools and college aid programs are the key to filling job vacancies at places like this digital soundstage for Hollywood special effects, and he says Democratic rival Bill Bradley fails to make the grade.

GORE: Nothing to turn around failing schools. Nothing to rebuild crumbling schools. Not a single speech in the entire presidential campaign on education reform. It is not a priority in his campaign or in his platform.

KING: Gore leads comfortably five weeks before the primary here, but California is one of Bradley's major targets; the stakes: enormous.

GORE: On March 7, California will have a very decisive voice in picking the Democratic nominee.

KING: Already, the campaign looks and sounds a lot different from the long months in Iowa and New Hampshire. No more barns, less hand-to-hand campaigning, much more of a focus on constituency group politics.

GORE: I am proud to have the heritage of a father who lost his seat for re-election because he had the courage of his convictions to stand for what is right, including for civil rights in this country.

KING: The issues in California are as diverse as its people.

GORE: I will move heaven and Earth to confront the problem of global warming.

KING: Topics discussed at this Los Angeles community college forum ranged from gangs and gun control to gay rights.

GORE: We are called upon to be a brave people in embracing what we know to be right, but difficult.

KING: It cost millions to mount a major TV advertising effort here, and Gore hopes to preserve scarce resources, so the focus for now is on courting powerful groups like labor unions and environmentalists. Having a popular governor at his side is a giant Gore advantage.

(END VIDEOTAPE) KING: Simple math explains the importance of California in the Democratic primary. Of the 2,169 delegates at stake on March 7, 367 of them, that's 28 percent here in California. That would explain why the vice president has been here some 65 times in the past seven years, 20 times just as he announced his presidential candidacy a year ago, and we're told by aides he'll be back at least once a week in the five weeks between now and the March 7 primary -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: John, we hear Al Gore distinguishing himself from Bill Bradley, how about distinguishing himself from the president. Did he do any of that today?

KING: An interesting moment today at that high-tech factory. The vice president was asked a very critical question by one of the workers who said he was disappointed with President Clinton's performance on the health care bill back in 1994 and on the president's performance on gays in the military. The president failed to get his position, his initial position through the Congress.

The vice president said that he had 16 years experience in the Congress, in both the House and the Senate, and that in his view that would make him better prepared to deal with the Congress, both the Democrats and on a bipartisan basis than a former governor. He did mention that Bill Clinton was a governor when he came to Washington. Said he thought a former member of Congress might have a better chance to get things done -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, John King, traveling with the vice president, thanks.

And we want to bring back, joining us Ron Brownstein, David Broder.

Ron, we were talking about what Bill Bradley's advantages and disadvantages are in the state of California. What about the vice president?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, the big, new element, not only in California, but in several state on March 7 is minority voters are entering the equation for the first time, in Ohio, in New York, in Georgia, in California. And Bill Bradley's strength, as I said, overwhelmingly has been with white, better educated, more affluent voters.

The question of whether he can seriously compete for minority voters is going to be absolutely critical to whether he can effectively challenge Gore for the nomination.

Right now, Gore is well ahead in the polls. You have a lot of African-Americans who are very loyal to the Clinton administration, feel that they're doing better than four years ago, but that is clearly one place where Bradley has to put some emphasis.

WOODRUFF: Is this an area where Gore just has an overwhelming advantage, David?

BRODER: He has an overwhelming advantage, because the Clinton administration has enjoyed enormous support in the minority communities. But there is one other element I think also that will play very significantly in California, Judy.

In New Hampshire, about a quarter of the people who voted in the Democratic primary had a union member in their household. Gore won by 25 points in that part of the electorate. In the non-union electorate, Bradley finished at least even with him, perhaps slightly ahead.

Bradley and Gore are going to be fighting for those union votes for the simple reason that Bradley cannot possibly win in California unless he finds some way of cracking into that union vote.

WOODRUFF: How crucial -- Go ahead.

BROWNSTEIN: These are all variations on the same theme. Bill Bradley has to be able to penetrate core Democrats to a greater extent than he has been, if he is really going to seriously contest this nomination.

You can be competitive with the kind of constituency that he has, and there are a lot of those voters in California, but there are not enough of them to win in most places.

WOODRUFF: Just quickly, I want to ask you both about the Republicans, McCain, Bush have moved on to South Carolina. Ron, I believe you've been in the state?

BROWNSTEIN: I have been in the state several times this year.

WOODRUFF: Not since.

BROWNSTEIN: Not since the vote. South Carolina is a great test because it is much closer to the mean or the average of the Republican electorate than New Hampshire, more representative. People think of South Carolina as an overwhelmingly, monolithically conservative state. In fact, it has had a lot of suburban growth too. It has not been immune to the trends that have transformed a lot of places in the '90s. There is a constituency out there for John McCain, if he can mobilize it. One key question: Will the religious conservatives unify against him? That could be a problem if it happens.

WOODRUFF: David, have you covered the state a lot?

BRODER: The test for Governor Bush is going to be whether he can really put some passion and conviction and spontaneity into a campaign that, up until this point, has lacked all three.

WOODRUFF: All right, David Broder, Ron Brownstein.

And speaking of John McCain, we have some big news for Mr. McCain out of New York. Right after this break. We will be back.


SHAW: Now, some late breaking news concerning McCain, the Republicans, and the New York state primary. The Arizona Republican senator scored a victory in New York this afternoon. Governor George Pataki said late today that he would take steps to make sure Senator McCain will be on the ballot for the New York primary March 7. Now that caps a month's long controversy that pitted Pataki, a Bush supporter, against McCain.

For the latest, we go to Frank Buckley in New York.

FRANK BUCKLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Bernie, this is significant because Governor George Pataki is the leader of the Republican Party here in New York, and a spokesman for Governor Pataki. Mike McKeon, tells CNN that, quote, "Governor Pataki believes Senator McCain should be on the ballot. He believes this should be a campaign of issues and ideas, not technicalities, and he's confident Governor Bush will win that campaign."

I asked the spokesman what the governor intends to do to put McCain on the ballot, and McCain said Pataki would, quote, "take the appropriate steps to ensure that he's on the ballot."

Now, that's a significant change from the party's position previously. The Republican Party in New York previously challenging McCain on a number of ballots, 12 ballots here in New York. So this is a significant change that could mean that John McCain will end up on all of the ballots here in New York -- Bernie.

SHAW: Thank you, Frank Buckley.

And we have some reaction just in from correspondent Jonathan Karl, who's covering Arizona Senator John McCain down there in South Carolina. Listen to what McCain has just told Jonathan Karl. Quote, "Republicans of New York rejoice. You are free. Throw off your chains," unquote. That from Senator McCain in South Carolina. Judy?

WOODRUFF: Colorful.

SHAW: Very colorful!

WOODRUFF: In the New York Senate race, meanwhile, Rudy Giuliani released a new campaign ad today. This came just one day after first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton released her first campaign ad. Giuliani's ad is running only in upstate New York.


MAYOR RUDY GIULIANI (R), NEW YORK: When jobs aren't there and our children have to move away, it can be devastating. That is why we pulled together and got moving by creating 360,000 new jobs, convincing major employers not to move, and by cutting billions in unfair taxes.

I'm ready to work for you and your family because my job will be to fight for yours.

(END VIDEO CLIP) WOODRUFF: The Giuliani campaign says that this ad will air for at least 10 days. The campaign would not say how much it's spending on this ad, only that the buy was, quote, "moderate to heavy."

Up next, Bill Schneider on what history tells us about South Carolina voters.


WOODRUFF: Former U.S. Attorney General Richard Kleindienst died this morning at his home in Arizona. Kleindienst served during the Nixon administration. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in a case related to the Watergate scandal. The 76-year-old died of lung cancer.

SHAW: Finally, we return to the state of the Republican presidential race in South Carolina. Our Bill Schneider considers whether the tradition and George W. Bush will prevail there -- Bill.

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Bernie, South Carolina Republicans now have the power either to save George W. Bush or destroy him. Not to worry, conventional wisdom says. South Carolina has always saved the Republican establishment, and it will again this year. Won't it? Maybe. Maybe not.


SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Ancestor worship is deeply ingrained in South Carolina's political culture -- the Confederate Flag; Senator Ernest Hollings, age 78; Senator Strom Thurmond, age 97. South Carolina Republicans ended Pat Robertson's threat to George Bush in 1988. They stopped Pat Buchanan in 1992, and again in 1996. Remember, the South is now the Republican Party's base, and South Carolina is the first Southern primary.

VAN HIPP, FMR. SOUTH CAROLINA GOP CHAIRMAN: As Lee Atwater said, it's the firewall. And as South Carolina goes, historically, for the past 20 years, so goes the rest of the South.

SCHNEIDER: History is important in South Carolina, and...

LEE BANDY, "THE STATE": Right now, here in South Carolina, history is on Bush's side.

SCHNEIDER: Bush's campaign strategy in South Carolina is simple: Rally the conservative base.

BUSH: This is a conservative state, and I intend to campaign on conservative values in this state.

SCHNEIDER: And try to depict John McCain as a filthy moderate, a closet liberal, and even worse, a press lover.

But McCain has got some well-known conservatives in his corner, like Congressmen Mark Sanford and Congressman Lindsey Graham, the hero of the Clinton impeachment. HIPP: Both Lindsey Graham and Mark Sanford have good voting records and are conservative.

SCHNEIDER: Unlike his father and Bob Dole, George W. Bush is largely unknown to South Carolina Republicans. They're asking the same thing Republicans all over the country are asking: Is there any there there? Republicans, desperate to reclaim the White House, were originally drawn to Bush because of his presumed electability. That factor may now be working for McCain.

Bush is supported by establishment conservatives -- former governors Carroll Campbell and David Beasley, as well as Senator Thurmond -- and he's going after the religious right, usually one in three GOP voters, compared with only one in six in New Hampshire. McCain is going after veterans and new voters.

HIPP: You've had a lot of people from up north who retired to South Carolina recently to live primarily along the coast, from the Myrtle Beach area to Charleston to Hilton Head. That will be McCain country in South Carolina.

SCHNEIDER: Plus, Democrats and independents who can vote in the Republican primary February 19, a day when there's no Democratic primary at all.


SCHNEIDER: In New Hampshire on Tuesday, one in three Democratic voters said they considered voting in the Republican primary for John McCain. Well, in South Carolina, they can.

SHAW: Bill, aside from the two House Republicans from South Carolina supporting McCain, doesn't he have anything else going for him?

SCHNEIDER: Well, Bernie, the Republicans in the state legislature, the majority party, two-thirds of them are supporting George Bush, but one-third of them are supporting John McCain. This is a state that has voted Republican in every presidential election since 1976. The last time it voted for a Democrat was Jimmy Carter, and as the Republicans have gotten bigger and bigger there, they've gotten more diverse.

SHAW: OK, thank you, Bill Schneider.

WOODRUFF: Great story.

That's all for this edition of INSIDE POLITICS. But you can go online all the time at CNN's

SHAW: This programming note: Democratic strategist James Carville will be the guest tonight on "CROSSFIRE." That's at 7:30 p.m. Eastern.

Time to say I'm Bernard Shaw.

WOODRUFF: And I'm Judy Woodruff.


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