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Inside Politics

Gore and Bush Dominate in Super Tuesday Balloting; Bradley Aides Say Candidate Will Withdraw

Aired March 8, 2000 - 5:00 p.m. ET



GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's going to be up to Vice President Gore to explain what's happened in this administration. This is going to be a spirited contest.


JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: George W. Bush takes on Al Gore with new intensity after Super Tuesday made their presidential nominations seem all but inevitable.

BERNARD SHAW, CNN ANCHOR: Is John McCain ready to turn out the lights on his campaign? We have new information about his mulling, the day after.



JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Who do you blame for a defeat of this depth and breadth?


WOODRUFF: Jeanne Meserve offers a postmortem now that we've learned Bill Bradley will call it quits tomorrow.

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

SHAW: Thanks for joining us on what you might call "moving-on" Wednesday. We have new information that John McCain is tentatively going to -- going over plans to withdraw from the presidential race Friday in Phoenix, though a final decision apparently has not been made.

Let's go live now to CNN's White House correspondent John King in Sedona, Arizona.

JOHN KING, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Bernie, the senator returned home here to Arizona a short time ago. He's at his mountain retreat a little bit south of Sedona. He's been calling friends and supporters around the country. In several of those conversations, we're told Senator McCain acknowledging the Republican nomination is no longer within reach. He wants to meet with his senior advisers later tonight at the ranch, although among themselves, those advisers are now discussing plans for the senator to exit the race on Friday in Phoenix.


(voice-over): Aides say the devastating delegate math is the major factor in McCain's deliberations. Governor Bush is now closing in on 700 convention delegates, and he's favored to win the overwhelming majority of the 91 at stake in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming this Friday, and the 31 in play in next Tuesday's primaries in Florida, Texas and several other Southern states. So Bush could mathematically lock up the nomination by this time next week.

SEN. CHUCK HAGEL (R), NEBRASKA: Well, John's a realist. John counts pretty well. John's a very effective leader and politician, and mathematically we just can't get there.

KING: Advisers say McCain is nonetheless determined to press ahead with his reform agenda and wants to consult with supporters to consider the best platform for doing so.

HAGEL: John's not going to put this country or this party through some high theater and high drama about, gee, should I do this or should I jump of the cliff, or what should I do? That's not his style. John is straightforward, says it plain, and that's what he will do here, I suspect, the next couple of days.

KING: Aides make the case that McCain is in a position of strength now because of the new voters he's attracted to the GOP primaries, and most of them are warning the senator he might lose stature if he stays in the race only to receive another thumping next week.

SCOTT REED, DOLE '96 CAMPAIGN MANAGER: He comes out a big winner. He will still have a major voice in the Republican Party at the national level. I imagine he'll have a major voice in the Bush campaign at the national level. And he has brought issues and ideas and enthusiasm to this race that it really was lacking.

KING: McCain says he would never consider the vice presidential nomination, nor would he consider a third-party presidential run.


KING: Now, emotions are obviously still raw and some top McCain advisers are making the case that there would be a price to pay if Governor Bush and the Republican establishment do not give Senator McCain and his issue agenda a prominent place as the campaign moves forward. In the words of one senior McCain adviser, quote, "I can't see John jumping to the Reform Party, but I could see him being pushed." -- Bernie, Judy.

SHAW: John, I have to ask you: Is that a threat? KING: Well, certainly, again, the emotions are quite raw now. The McCain camp obviously disappointed at the big defeats they suffered last night. They insist it's not a threat, but they also insist that they want their candidate and his issues treated with respect. Obviously, Senator McCain was a maverick, not welcome by the Republican establishment in this race. They are making the case he has not only won seven primaries, but he has attracted thousands of new voters, voters critical to Governor Bush's success in the fall. Right now, they're trying to plot their next move. All expectations are, of course, the senator will exit the race on Friday, and they are looking quite warily for an overture from Austin -- Bernie.

SHAW: One last question, John King: Is Senator McCain calculating when he might endorse George W. Bush?

KING: We have not heard anything about a formal endorsement, although we do know the senator consistently said throughout the campaign that the Republican Party was his home, that he was a loyal Republican and that he would support Governor Bush if Governor Bush were the nominee. We do know he has some issues with Governor Bush in terms of accepting soft money, and there's bad blood about the tone of the campaign. But we fully expect when Senator McCain bows out, as we expect that to happen later this week, that he will endorse the Republican nominee -- the presumptive Republican nominee, George W. Bush.

SHAW: John King with the very latest from Sedona, Arizona -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Well, over in the Democratic contest, Bill Bradley has decided to endorse Al Gore tomorrow when, sources say, Bradley will end his own run for the White House.

As for Gore and George W. Bush, this is, for all intents and purposes, day one of their general election campaigns.

We begin with the Bush camp and CNN's Candy Crowley.


CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Super Tuesday may go down in campaign 2000 as the day an unpredictable primary season became the race we expected all along: Bush v. Gore.

BUSH: I just can't help but think of Al Gore as Washington, D.C. It's apparent to me that he believes that all great knowledge comes out of Washington, that there's a wonderful faith in the federal government.

CROWLEY: Governor George Bush spent weary Wednesday at home in Austin depositing his absentee ballot for next Tuesday's Texas primary, contemplating his next steps. He is in political limbo -- a presumed nominee unable to presume until John McCain makes a decision, in or out. Bush seems to be trying to smooth the exit route from what has been a sometimes bitter contest. BUSH: One of my jobs is going to be when I secure the nomination, is to reach out to John and reach out to John's supporters and remind people that the ultimate objective is to reform Washington and renew America, is to have a new president with a new attitude.

CROWLEY: The truth is, the battle for the White House will focus on the core of McCain's support: Independents, swing Democrats, new voters. Their votes for McCain seem to indicate they are dissatisfied with Clinton-Gore, but not attracted to Bush. Where do they go now? Bush believes he can take hold with an agenda that will key on but not be limited to reforming education and the Social Security system, strengthening U.S. defenses and cutting taxes. There will be, as well, references to what Bush calls the "exile of honor" from the White House.

BUSH: I think the administration has let us down. After all, it was the vice president who went to a Buddhist temple to raise money, and I think there's an attitude, there's a frame of reference that I was referring to, and this is going to be a spirited contest. I look forward to it.

CROWLEY: Aides say Bush will push his agenda aggressively this spring, campaigning in remaining primary states and returning to California and key battleground states in the industrial Midwest.


CROWLEY: Asked whether he thinks issues or character will be the order of the day in the general campaign, Bush says both. "I think," he said, "that people will judge my heart. They will see whether I can make a decision and stick to it. And then, after having passed that hurdle, they will listen to what I have to say." -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Candy, the estimates were that Governor Bush has spent up to $65 million, most all of the money that he had raise in his campaign. What is he going to do for money from here on out?

CROWLEY: Raise some more, is the short answer. Of course, you know, we expect that both the presumed candidates, Gore and Bush, will perhaps dip into some of that party money and let the party do some advertising over the summer. But the truth is that they have a series, and have had for some time, a series of fund-raisers planned for Bush which begin late next week after those primary races, really, in the Sun Belt.

WOODRUFF: Candy, do they have specific ideas at this point about how they reach out to the people who have been supporting John McCain?

CROWLEY: You know, I think they think, first of all, that they are giving John McCain a wide berth at this point. I think, as you heard, the governor has been quite solicitous about what he believes McCain is going through at this point after his losses on Super Tuesday. I think issue-wise, they really are counting on education. That has been, really from the beginning, something that Bush wanted to key on, something he thinks is his strength. He believes he has a record to back it up. And it's an issue they believe they can take away from the Democrats and one that really does attract the Independents and the cross-voters.

So he will key on education as an issue. And I think you began to see in California some of the outreach to people who may have been disturbed by Bob Jones University in South Carolina. There was talk in Los Angeles at the Simon Wiesenthal Center where he talked about tolerance. So it began, really, before Super Tuesday. It will continue through the spring and into the summer.

WOODRUFF: All right, Candy Crowley with Governor Bush there in Austin, thanks -- Bernie.

SHAW: Vice President Gore is traveling from Nashville to Detroit for campaign appearances. After Super Tuesday, he seems destined to become the first presidential candidate of either party, who wasn't an incumbent, to win every possible primary season contest.

And as CNN's Chris Black reports, Gore now is working to parlay that sweep into a victory in the fall.


CHRIS BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Last night was for celebrating. Today the work continues. After just a few hours sleep, Al Gore rose early for a video tour of television network shows. Later, after a visit to his elderly mother, he was on the trail again, this time to a town meeting in Detroit.

The dimensions of his coast-to-coast victory exceeded his campaign's hopes and expectations. Aides say it opens a window of opportunity for Gore to begin framing the issues for the general election. His top advisers say issues will drive this campaign and they are confident the vice president is on the side of moderate voters.

AL GORE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think the main issue is how to keep the prosperity going and protect Social Security, protect a woman's right to choose, and get child-safety trigger locks. I don't know how Governor Bush can oppose mandatory child-safety trigger locks.

BLACK: Gore is also looking to inherit the campaign finance mantle from John McCain and Bill Bradley.

GORE: Like John McCain, I condemned the secretly-funded special interest attack ads that distort and dishonor our democracy. We need to give this process back to the people.

BLACK: Acknowledging his own vulnerability on the campaign money issue, Gore repeatedly admits he made a mistake when he attended a fund raiser at a Buddhist temple in 1996. Gore intends to begin a series of what his campaign calls working family days, when he will spend a day doing a particular job, like teaching a class. His aides say this is a way to continue the direct contact with voters they believe is essential if Gore is to win their confidence and votes in November. (on camera): The vice president has been laboring to move out of President Clinton's shadow, but last night, the president hosted a Super Tuesday party at the White House for friends and members of Congress to root for his partner. Gore aides say the president called Mr. Gore to congratulate him.

Chris Black, CNN, Nashville, Tennessee.


WOODRUFF: Well, Bill Bradley is back home in New Jersey today where he has scheduled a news conference for tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. Eastern. That is when sources say he will announce that he is dropping out of the race and endorsing Al Gore.

CNN's Jeanne Meserve considers some of the questions Bradley may be asking himself about where his campaign went wrong.


JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Who do you blame for a defeat of this depth and breadth?


MESERVE: The candidate who some said was more like a priest than a politician, who never had an easy way with voters, who seemed ill at ease with the warm and fuzzy and foolish parts of being a candidate.

GORE: I agree with Bill Bradley.

MESERVE: Do you blame the other candidate, who changed not just his style, but his substance, obscuring the differences between you?

MCCAIN: I'm running for president of the United States because I want to reform the institutions of government.

MESERVE: Or the other candidate, who preached a message of reform that obliterated your own? The calendar -- the one that left the Democrats with a yawning hole in their schedules after New Hampshire, taking you off the front pages and front burner?

BRADLEY: I confirmed that I've had four episodes since then.

MESERVE: The heart whose irregular beat raised questions about the health of your candidacy?

BRADLEY: What happened in 1996 was a disgrace.

MESERVE: The tone, which sometimes made your new politics sound just like the old politics?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am not sensing that you really want to wade in there and start hacking.

MESERVE: Or the other tone, which some people said wasn't harsh enough?

BRADLEY: I believe in quality health care for all Americans, period.

MESERVE: Your prescription for government solutions which might have been out of step with these times?

BRADLEY: We want Washington State to be able to send a message to the rest of the country.

MESERVE: The strategy, which emphasized an insignificant beauty contest when real competitions were looming in 15 other states?

The machinery of the party, which moved all its pulleys, gears and levers to propel Al Gore to victory?

GORE: I am so proud that NARAL is standing with me today.

MESERVE: Do you blame the interest groups, who, despite your record, went with the man perceived as the winner?


MESERVE: Who or what do you blame? All those things, as you prepare to write the obituary on a campaign that had many goals, but few achievements -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: OK, all right, Jeanne Meserve, thanks -- Bernie.

SHAW: And still ahead on INSIDE POLITICS, Judy will talk to party chairmen Ed Rendell and Jim Nicholson about the road ahead for their candidates.


WOODRUFF: Joining us now here in Washington, Republican National Committee Chairman Jim Nicholson, and in New York, the general chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Ed Rendell. Gentlemen, thank you for being with us.

Jim Nicholson, let me begin with you. Can you shed any information -- shed any light for us at this moment on what John McCain is preparing to do?

JIM NICHOLSON, RNC CHAIRMAN: No, I can't, Judy. I really don't have any inside information. Swapped calls today, but haven't talked to Senator McCain. I think I'll probably talk to him in the morning, so what I know, I have, you know, heard from friends and some in the media, but I think Senator McCain is -- you know, is closeted with his advisers and they're looking over the situation.

Senator McCain conducted a very exciting campaign and woke up a lot of people to the Republican Party and just caused record turnouts in our primaries, and has caused a great deal of excitement and enthusiasm in our party, and I think he ought to be very proud of what he's done. He did it talking about... WOODRUFF: Let me ask you...

NICHOLSON: ... you know, reform and a new vision.

WOODRUFF: Well, I do want to ask you about the comment he made about reform in his speech last night in Los Angeles. He said, "what this country needs is a thorough reform of its political, its governmental processes." He said, "the Republican Party needs to recover its purpose." Do you agree with him?

NICHOLSON: Well, I think big institutions like the Republican Party need to continually be introspective and look at itself and make sure it's serving the needs of the people. And when John talks about reform, he's right on target. The Democrat Party is the status quo party, and the Republican Party is the reform party in America today.

We want to reform education and truly make it better for students and kids and for their parents so that they have a chance in America by getting a good basic education. We want to reform Social Security and add a personal investment account to it to save it and have people have a chance of having a piece of the rock which they all want in America.

WOODRUFF: Let me -- Ed Rendell, when you hear George W. Bush saying that he's going to run against Al Gore as a creature of Washington, in effect, of the status quo, what do you say?

ED RENDELL, DNC GENERAL CHAIRMAN: Well, I think Americans have overwhelmingly evidence that they like the status quo. The night of the president's State of the Union address, the question was asked to all Americans, do you think the next president should continue the policies of President Clinton? This was all Americans, Judy, not Democrats: 72 percent, yes; 19 percent, no. So I think George Bush is going to have a tough time running against the status quo. I also think he's going to have a tough time being the education president when the tax cut plan that he has proposed would cause massive cuts in Head Start, massive cuts in Title One, massive cuts in student loans, massive cuts in the Hope scholarship program.

NICHOLSON: That's not true.

RENDELL: He's going to have a lot -- that is absolutely true. Every economist says so.

NICHOLSON: That is not true, and you know it. Plus, he has a record of achievement and excellence in education as an executive in the second biggest state in the Union. He has not just talked about it. He's done it.

RENDELL: He's propose a tax cut which will absolutely obliterate any domestic spending, including defense.

WOODRUFF: Ed Rendell and Jim Nicholson, you know, the analysts are all saying this is going to be probably the most negative campaign any of us can remember, and it's going to last for a long time. Is it going to be not only a tough but a very negative campaign over the next six, seven, eight months?

NICHOLSON: Judy, I noticed in "U.S. News and World Report" this morning that one of Gore's senior aides said that, said this is going to be one tough, mean, dirty, sleazy, ugly campaign. And we know that Al Gore has conducted campaigns like that since he ran for the president the first time in 1988, when he invented Willie Horton, when he destroyed Dick Gephardt, and he did the same thing to Bill Bradley. So on the Democratic side, I certainly know we can expect that.

But we're going to run on the issues, and we're going to run on the character of our nominee. Seventy percent of people, the people in this country, want a higher moral and ethical plain in the White House, and that's why all of these people have turned out and voted in our primaries.

WOODRUFF: Ed Rendell...

RENDELL: Judy, this is -- Jim is talking about this higher moral plain. I am just going to quote John McCain, who said the George Bush ads in the last week were among the sleaziest ever, hit an all-time low and that George Bush, as a result, couldn't be trusted. Now you've heard the Gore people say that they want to run this campaign on issues. If we keep it on issues, then we can stay away from the personal negatives. Al Gore, when he went negative on Bill Bradley went negative on positions, on issues. If we keep it on issues, it will be a good campaign for the American people. If we get into attacks, personal attacks, that's when it becomes sleazy. I don't think we intend to do that.

WOODRUFF: In fact, Jim Nicholson, we have out there on the table John McCain's statement that George Bush -- George W. Bush is a Pat Robertson Republican. How does Governor Bush deal with that? Do you agree with that, first of all?

NICHOLSON: Well, Judy, do you have out there on your table that Bill Bradley asked Al Gore in debate, Vice President Gore, if we can't trust you in this campaign because you're lying in this campaign, how can we trust you as our president of the United States? Al Gore has demonstrated that he's not trustworthy. Look, last week in this city, Maria Hsia was convicted on five felony counts of violating the campaign laws. She organized a fund-raiser for Gore in a Buddhist temple, and he for a long time has said it wasn't a fund-raiser, and then he said no laws were broken, there was no controlling legal authority, and now we know, a jury in Washington has convicted her of five counts, and he's not been leveling with the American people on that from the beginning.

RENDELL: Let's get back to issues. What the Hsia case showed and what Haley Barbour and the foreign money on the Republican side showed, is we've got to get rid of soft money. Well, Jim explain to us now why the RNC voted against -- to condemn McCain-Feingold, why every Republican senator except John McCain voted against McCain- Feingold to keep soft money? Let's -- Jim and I should right now write every senator, every Congressman, and say we're in favor of reform, we're in favor of getting rid of soft money. NICHOLSON: Ed, you get the playing field leveled with the unions, and you get the union bosses to stop taking money out of the worker's paychecks every pay period and putting it in their political slush fund, and giving it to Democratic candidate, then we'll have something to talk about.

RENDELL: Do you support McCain-Feingold?

NICHOLSON: Meanwhile, we should have some campaign finance reform. We should report contributions every day. We have the technology to...


RENDELL: And I agree with you on that. I agree with you on that.

NICHOLSON: We need to stop taking money out of the union workers pay without their consent.

RENDELL: But will you support McCain-Feingold?

WOODRUFF: Gentlemen, we are going to have to...

RENDELL: There's your reform, Judy. They won't even support McCain-Feingold.

WOODRUFF: Well, their party is already on the record, as is Governor Bush.

RENDELL: Against McCain-Feingold.

WOODRUFF: Jim Nicholson...

NICHOLSON: We still believe in the Constitution, Ed.

RENDELL: John McCain does, too.

WOODRUFF: We're going to have to leave it there.

NICHOLSON: That's good.

WOODRUFF: I think we're getting a little taste of what this campaign is going to be like.

RENDELL: On the issues, Judy, on the issues.

NICHOLSON: You bet, on reform.

RENDELL: There you go.

WOODRUFF: We appreciate it. You both get the last word -- Bernie.

SHAW: Would you like to borrow my fire extinguisher.


SHAW: There is much more ahead on this edition of INSIDE POLITICS. Still to come:


BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Iowa began at home calmly. George W. Bush and Al Gore were supposed to win, and did. The first thunderbolt came in New Hampshire.


SHAW: Our Bruce Morton looks back at the battles lost and won as signs indicate election 2000 may soon become a two-man race. Plus, the Golden State's many propositions. Jennifer Auther sorts out the yes's and the no's. And later:


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are termed here "McCainiacs," and there's a reason for that.


SHAW: A look at the die-hard supporters the morning after.


SHAW: We will have more of this day's political news coming up, but now look at some other top stories. Authorities are sorting out the details of yet another fatal shooting spree. It happened in Memphis, Tennessee. Authorities say firefighters responding to a house fire this afternoon were ambushed by a man who began shooting at them. A deputy, two firefighters and a woman inside the house were killed. Police then shot and wounded the gunman.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The perpetrator also was shot when he refused to put down the weapon. My understanding, he too, is in noncritical condition at this point. He has been transported. We do have two individuals -- three individuals transported to the hospital at this point.


SHAW: There is no word on a possible motive for the shooting spree.

WOODRUFF: Three people are dead, and nearly two dozen injured after a huge pileup on Interstate 10 near Wellborn, Florida. More than 20 cars and big rigs smashed into each other this morning. One of the trucks was carrying acid. But state police now say there was no danger of a spill. Authorities say that smoke from a nearby forest fire had lowered visibility on the highway. President Clinton is pressing Congress to normalize trade relations with China. Mr. Clinton sent legislation today that would grant Beijing permanent trading privileges with the U.S. and open the door for China to join the World Trade Organization. The bill is expected to pass through the Senate, but could face stiff opposition in the House.


WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you believe in a future of greater openness and freedom for the people of China, you ought to be for this agreement. If you believe in a future of greater prosperity for the American people, you certainly should be for this agreement. If you believe in a future of peace and security for Asia and the world, you should be for this agreement. This is the right thing to do. It's a historic opportunity and a profound American responsibility.


WOODRUFF: Be sure to tune in tomorrow to CNN's "BURDEN OF PROOF." President Clinton will be the guest. That's at 12:30 p.m. Eastern, 9:30 a.m. Pacific.

SHAW: When INSIDE POLITICS returns, what Super Tuesday voters have told us about a Bush/Gore match-up in the fall.


SHAW: Al Gore and George W. Bush say their primary season opponents helped make them better candidates. That may not -- they may not want to end their self-improvement efforts, even after their big Super Tuesday victories.

With an eye toward a Bush/Gore general election match-up, let's turn to our Bill Schneider in Atlanta.

Bill, what potential problems for Bush did you see in yesterday's exit polls?

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Bernie, let's look at where Bush was notably weak on Super Tuesday. Remember the controversy over Bush's appearance at Bob Jones University? That's given Bush a big problem with Catholic voters. In our combined exit polls of voters across the country yesterday, Bush carried a bare majority of Catholics -- eight points worse than he did with Protestants.

Bush explained, he apologized, he sent a letter to Cardinal O'Connor. What else can he do? Here's a thought: Put a Catholic running mate on the ticket.

Bush was also weak with moderates and with independent voters, both of whom went for John McCain. Bush defeated McCain by shoring up his conservative base. That means he got pushed to the right. Bush has already started going back to his message of compassionate conservatism and inclusion. Forget what you saw in South Carolina.

Now Bush called himself a "reformer with results." Did Republicans believe him: yes and no. They weren't really convinced. And if Republicans weren't sure, he's going to have a bigger problem with the rest of the voters.

McCain advertised himself as a straight talker. How about Bush? Do Republicans think Bush says what he believes? They're not sure. That's another problem for Bush. He's a very laid-back guy who has some trouble communicating conviction. That leads his critics to call him a front-man for the big money boys.

Now did Gore's weaknesses show up in the polls yesterday? They did, and what's interesting is he had some of the same weaknesses as Bush. Remember, these are two establishment candidates, both favorites of party regulars, both parts of a political dynasty. Prince George meet Prince Albert.

Gore, too, had a problem with independents, not as big a problem as Bush, but Gore has limited appeal beyond the party faithful. Independents liked McCain and Bradley. They're out. So independent voters are going to be intensely fought over for the next eight months.

What's the formula for independents? Fiscally responsible, socially inclusive, precisely the image both Gore and Bush are trying to project.

Now here's a problem Gore has all to himself: Clinton. The president is both a plus and a minus. The plus: Clinton's job rating is still very high. The minus: Voters have a low opinion of Clinton as a person.

But why should that matter for Gore? Gore's a different person. Well, it does matter. Among Democrats yesterday who had a negative personal opinion of Clinton -- and 40 percent did -- Gore's support fell by about 25 points. Gore is Clinton's man, for better and for worse.

Gore was also noticeably weak among Democrats yesterday who were looking for new ideas. Gore says he's the candidate of change, but it's awfully hard for a vice president to stand for anything except the status quo. But you know, the status quo's not bad right now, unless of course the stock market goes into another tailspin.

Gore was even weaker among voters looking for someone who was not a typical politician. Voters look at Al Gore, and what do they see? A typical politician. Quick, more earth tones, folksier talk, no controlling legal authority. Well, better scratch that -- Bernie.

SHAW: Thank you, Bill Schneider in Atlanta -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Well, whatever problems emerge in the campaign ahead, the presidential race so far has been filled with ups and downs and damage control.

CNN's Bruce Morton takes a look back.


MORTON (voice-over): Iowa began it all calmly. George W. Bush and Al Gore were supposed to win and did. The first thunderbolt came in New Hampshire: Front-runner loses big.

MCCAIN: Last night, a New Hampshire campaign ended and a national crusade began.

MORTON: It was about, the war hero said, giving government back to the people, about working for a cause bigger than oneself, and a real campaign had begun.

BUSH: I intend to be back, and I intend to win this state for the Republican Party come November.


MORTON: The Republicans had other contests. In South Carolina, Bush spoke at Bob Jones University, which opposes interracial dating and regards Roman Catholicism as heresy. Bush said later he regretted not raising those issues, but the negative stuff had started.

A McCain ad.


MCCAIN: His ad twists the truth like Clinton. We're all pretty tired of that.


MORTON: Pat Robertson, backing Bush, attacking McCain supporter Senator Warren Rudman.


REV. PAT ROBERTSON, FOUNDER, CHRISTIAN COALITION: A vicious bigot who wrote that conservative Christians in politics are anti- abortion zealots, homophobes, and would-be censors.


MORTON: Phone calls for McCain about Bush's visit to Bob Jones.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Several weeks ago, Governor Bush spoke at Bob Jones University in South Carolina. Bob Jones has made strong anti- Catholic statements, including calling the pope the anti-Christ, and the Catholic church a satanic cult.


MORTON: McCain lost South Carolina, won Michigan, and then lost Virginia after delivering this speech.

MCCAIN: We are the party of Abraham Lincoln, not Bob Jones.

MORTON: That speech may have backfired. McCain headed for Super Tuesday on the defensive. He started sounding more like a victim than a rebel, lashing out at ads paid for by some Bush friends.

MCCAIN: Tell his sleazy Texas buddies to stop these negative ads. Take your money back to Texas where it belongs...

MORTON: Bradley faced a different problem. He'd lost in New Hampshire and faced no other votes until Super Tuesday. How to recover?


BRADLEY: What you have seen here is an elaborate what I call "Gore dance."


It is -- it is...


It is a dance to avoid facing up to your conservative record on guns.

GORE: You're sounding a little desperate, because you're trying to build yourself up by tearing everyone else down.


MORTON: In the end, Gore cruised to victory and Bush battled to it, but among them, Gore and Bradley, Bush and McCain, raised some big issues and got voters' attention. Turnout almost everywhere was up.

Bruce Morton, CNN, Washington.


SHAW: And up next, ballot initiatives galore in California: a look at how the Golden State voted on same-sex marriage and other key issues.


WOODRUFF: In California, voters did more than register their support of presidential and other candidates on Super Tuesday. They also made decisions on 20 ballot initiatives on a range of issues.

SHAW: Our Jennifer Auther takes a look at some of those issues now, starting with the controversial proposition on gay marriage.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JENNIFER AUTHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): California voters overwhelmingly opposed same-sex marriages by almost a two-to- one margin, but gay and lesbian community leaders in Los Angeles say the passage of Proposition 22 galvanizes an already politically active voting block.

GWENN BALDWIN, GAY & LESBIAN CENTER: We have accomplished so much. For the first time, we defined full recognition of gay and lesbian couples as a civil rights issue.

AUTHER (on camera): Gay marriages currently are not legal anywhere in the United States. California's proposition 22 amends state law to say even if gay marriage becomes legal in another state, they won't be recognized in California as valid.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want man and wife; I don't want gay marriages.

AUTHER (voice-over): Exit polls show conservatives supported Prop 22 by a margin of eight to one. Liberals opposed it by three to one, voters including Wilson Cruz of the hit TV show "Party of Five."

WILSON CRUZ, ACTOR: I come from the gay community of color, and we remember a time in American history when black Americans had to jump a broom in order to be married, and they wouldn't stand for it, and neither will we.

AUTHER: On juvenile crime, California voters decided to lower the age by which a teen can be tried as an adult from 16 to 14. Prop 21 also increases penalties for convicted teenagers. Opponents say it will disproportionately affect minorities.

JOHNNY TREMAIN: If this proposition was in affect while I was heavily gang affiliated, I would have never gotten the chance to make the dramatic, positive changes in my lifestyle that I've made.

AUTHER: Four years ago, Johnny Tremain was behind bars. Now he's 20 and a production assistant in the film industry.

Another measure, Prop 25, was similar to John McCain's rally cry of campaign finance reform.

RON UNZ, COAUTHOR, PROP. 25: The initiative puts, for the first time, contribution limits in place in California. We also provide free airtime for statewide candidates that agree to voluntary spending limits.

AUTHER: California voters rejected it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I voted no. I think if you limit the amount you that can be given to a candidate, then only rich people can run, like Steve Forbes or Ross Perot.

AUTHER: By far the most money, more than $55 million, was spent by both sides of Props 30 and 31.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thirty and 31 will increase your insurance rates.


AUTHER: Both referenda asked whether consumers should be protected from slow payment of insurance claims by making it easier to sue insurance companies. California voters said no.

Jennifer Auther, CNN, Los Angeles.


SHAW: And still ahead, standing by their man: a look at some of the loyal supporters of Senator John McCain.


WOODRUFF: As our John King reported earlier, Senator John McCain is tentatively going over plans to pull out of the presidential race this Friday in Phoenix. Aides say that he will continue to review his options over the next day or so.

Our Bill Delaney reports on some McCain supporters who are not ready to throw in the towel.


UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: Go, John, go! Go, John, go!

BILL DELANEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The high after the biggest win for John McCain this primary season in, of all places, Massachusetts, where the electorate's only 13 percent registered Republican, a more than 30 percent clobbering of George W. Bush.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let's also box up the handmade signs.

DELANEY: But now what? The morning after -- well, more like around noon -- at McCain's Massachusetts headquarters they were tidying up, not giving up, despite McCain's clobbering in way too many other places.

JACK ROY, MCCAIN VOLUNTEER: Thank you for all your help.

DELANEY: Volunteer Jack Roy, calling to thank regional coordinators, said all he heard was this thing isn't over, no way.

(on camera): Why don't people feel like they got hit by a truck last night?

ROY: Because I think it's deeper than that. I think it's deeper than political party. It's -- I can't explain it.

DELANEY (voice-over): Ah, come on, maybe it's time to let go now. You know insurmountable delegate counts, all that real-world stuff?

JEAN INMAN, MCCAIN MASSACHUSETTS CHAIRWOMAN: We are termed here "McCainiacs." And this is a phenomenon, and it's not just going to go away.

DELANEY: And, the "McCainiacs" said, the word from on high from Arizona was take a day, a breather, await further instructions.

(on camera): So what about what some are calling the Republican dream ticket, Bush for president, McCain for vice president? At McCain's Massachusetts headquarters, everyone thinks that's a terrible idea.

(voice-over): Like Terry Mann, who in early January moved into a cheap hotel room in New Hampshire on her own dime, and has worked for McCain ever since. Bush?

TERRY MANN, MCCAIN VOLUNTEER: Our candidate was really taken down by an unprecedented attack, by a totally sleazy and unprincipled campaign, and that was what Bush did.

DELANEY: Indignation, passion, much of it from independents who may have been uninspired by Bush or Gore. Some political pros sense stirrings of a new movement, a new party.

MARY ANNE MARSH, POLITICAL ANALYST: And there's a big vacuum there. If it's not going to be filled by John McCain, it'll be filled by somebody.

DELANEY: As for "McCainiacs" themselves.

INMAN: His crusade will continue, and we will let him know, whatever road he walks...

DELANEY (on camera): Third party?

INMAN: Whatever. Absolutely. Absolutely. Yes. We'll be there for him.

DELANEY (voice-over): And you know, they say love can move mountains.

Bill Delaney, CNN, Quincy, Massachusetts.


SHAW: Joining us now, Margaret Carlson of "Time" magazine and Tucker Carlson of "The Weekly Standard."

First let's talk about the dearly departing, McCain and Bradley. First McCain, Tucker.

TUCKER CARLSON, "THE WEEKLY STANDARD": Well, I think it's -- I think McCain has clearly achieved something remarkable in American politics. I'm not sure anybody knows what it is precisely, I'm not sure he knows what it is, but something big happened. And it's hard to decelerate from the speed he was going to zero, so I think, you know, I think it's going to be hard to drop out. And also, there is a lot of anger certainly from his staff at George W. Bush.

A friend of mine, Jake Tapper from "Salon" magazine asked John Weaver, McCain's political director, the other day, he said, look, if you go Bull Moose, if you go third party you ought to keep in mind, you know, that Roosevelt lost, and Weaver sort of laughed and said, that's right, but so did Taft. I mean, so there is this very anti- Bush feeling, so -- I don't know. I think the question is still open as to what is going to happen.

MARGARET CARLSON, "TIME" MAGAZINE: And that made McCain happy, the idea that he might lose again.

T. CARLSON: One hundred percent.

M. CARLSON: Yes. People say that he actually is not that sad in defeat, that there is something in him that makes the crusade all the better if it ends in a glorious defeat. Although, I would not want to be in Sedona, Arizona this weekend as he does decompress from this campaign.

The interesting thing about the supporters and where they go, I don't know how many people Bradley can take with him or tell where to go, whereas McCain, since it was a crusade, his people tend to more be ardent, and how he leaves will have some effect I think on where his people go more than -- I don't think Bradley can lead people anywhere, but I think McCain can.

T. CARLSON: Yes, I'm not sure Bradley had them in the first place, but...

SHAW: Well, Governor Bush, the Republican establishment, how deep is McCain's disgust?

T. CARLSON: Pretty deep. I mean, what -- very deep actually and I think it got deeper as every -- as the campaign progressed. But one of his -- McCain's aides said to me the other day, look, you know, we took a candidate who was 3 percent on the polls, brought him up, a pro-life conservative candidate, fundamentally conservative, and brought him up into the 50s, made him into one of the most popular politicians in America, and what's the instinctive reflexive response of the Republican Party? Destroy him.

This says something about the Republican Party. That's their attitude and the -- you know, I spoke to -- been in politics a long time, he said, I'm not going to do this anymore, I am not going to sit on buses and planes, you know, getting their senators and governors re-elected, I'm sick of it. That's how they feel.

M. CARLSON: I mean, the Republican death wish is such that a 36 percent candidate is fine. Remember they tried to reform it so they would bring in Republicans -- I mean, Democrats and independents and then as they came in, but for the wrong guy, they suddenly said, no, we don't want the guy who can bring them in, we want the guy who's not bringing them in and we'll deal with that problem later. SHAW: Who do you think has the better chance of getting those independents and those swing Democrats?

T. CARLSON: I don't know. Bush -- I mean, keep in mind as hard as it is to remember what the Bush campaign was like last year -- I mean, this was sort of a motif of the Bush campaign. This is a guy who reached out intentionally, self-consciously to Democrats, to Bob Bullock, the lieutenant governor in Texas, and to a lot of Democrats and was good at it. Apparently, he's going to try and recapture that movement.

M. CARLSON: Yes. Well, now that he has discredited McCain for having done it and McCain is out of the way, he can now resume doing it.

SHAW: I can't let you get out of here without asking you what moment stood out in your mind's eye last night in all the coverage and as you followed things? Tucker, you were with McCain yesterday and last night.

T. CARLSON: I was struck by two things, one, by how cheery McCain is. I mean, a lot has been written about what a -- you know, his temper and how he's an angry man. I spent a lot of time with him. I think he made a number of mistakes in the campaign. I think he has some flaws, but anger and outrage, personal anger doesn't seem to be one of them. He was smiling all night.



M. CARLSON: Well, he loses his temper, but gets over it, which is how most of us behave, which is why people were as offended by it as, you know, reporters sometime expect it to happen. One of the things I noticed is that the negative campaign -- the negative ads worked in this -- in these primaries, but what doesn't work is to complain about the negative ads.

T. CARLSON: That's true.

SHAW: Let's go back to former New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley. What will be his lasting legacy as it affects Al Gore and this general campaign?

T. CARLSON: Well, Gore is so much better. But I think part of it goes back to what Margaret just said, this -- all this talk of the new politics and, you know, Bradley was really no better defining what the new politics is than McCain has been. But Bradley's -- whatever Bradley meant by it, that somehow you could, you know, have a campaign without going negative or without, you know, contrasting yourself to your opponent, it turns out to be totally untrue. The old politics still works.

M. CARLSON: Well, the old politics apparently you enjoy politics and the idea that you can go out and have no fun doing it at all is not appealing to voters. They both want you to enjoy the process, but they know that some of the characteristics that you have taken into the campaign you are going to take to Washington, because you're going to have to deal with Trent Lott and Dick Armey and you're going to have to get along, find a way to work with them, and part of those political skills are -- have to be demonstrated in campaigning.

T. CARLSON: No one wants a morose president...


T. CARLSON: ... I think is what -- yes.

M. CARLSON: No. Cheerful, like you, Tucker.

T. CARLSON: Thank you, Margaret.

SHAW: Margaret Carlson, Tucker Carlson, thanks.

M. CARLSON: Thanks, Bernie.

SHAW: You're welcome.

Well, that's all for this edition of INSIDE POLITICS, but you can go online all the time at CNN's

WOODRUFF: And these programming notes: California Democratic Governor Gray Davis and New York Republican Governor George Pataki will be discussing the presidential race tonight on "CROSSFIRE." That's at 7:30 p.m. Eastern. And tomorrow morning at 11:00 a.m. Eastern, CNN will carry live the news conference by Bill Bradley announcing his plans.

I'm Judy Woodruff.

SHAW: I'm Bernard Shaw. "WORLDVIEW" is next.


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