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Inside Politics

Giuliani Diagnosed With Prostate Cancer; How Will Rudy's Illness Affect N.Y. Senate Race With Hillary?; Will McCain and Bush Reconcile?

Aired April 27, 2000 - 5:00 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR RUDOLPH GIULIANI (R), NEW YORK CITY: I was diagnosed yesterday with a -- with prostate cancer.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERNARD SHAW, CNN ANCHOR: Though upbeat about his prospects for recovery, Mayor Rudy Giuliani says his future as a Senate candidate is uncertain.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), N.Y. SEN. CANDIDATE: Like all New Yorkers, my best wishes and prayers are with the mayor for a full and speedy recovery.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Will Giuliani's illness change Hillary Rodham Clinton's game plan? We'll talk about the state of the New York race.

SHAW: Plus, they are scheduled to meet next month. But has John McCain called off the whole thing?

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

WOODRUFF: Thank you for joining us.

It would be startling news in and of itself -- the mayor of New York City with the tough-as-nails reputation announcing he has prostate cancer and that he hopes to beat it. But on top of that, Rudy Giuliani's illness casts an uncertainty over the biggest U.S. Senate race this election year.

We begin our coverage with CNN's Maria Hinojosa in New York.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARIA HINOJOSA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In his characteristic strong and steady tone, the mayor broke the news.

GIULIANI: Good morning, I was diagnosed yesterday with a -- with prostate cancer.

HINOJOSA: A private moment made public, perhaps sooner than the mayor would have wanted to.

GIULIANI: A reporter saw me going in and figured out I was there for a prostate test. I thought it would be better to reveal what I know of it.

HINOJOSA: What he does know is that the cancer has been caught in the early stages; that it is treatable; that his health otherwise is fine. The unknown: how this news affects his political future. Giuliani is in the middle of a high-profile Senate campaign against Hillary Rodham Clinton.

GIULIANI: I hope that I'd be able to run, but I -- the choice that I'm going to make about treatment is going to be contingent upon the treatment that gives me the best opportunity to have a full and complete cure.

HINOJOSA: Hillary Clinton campaigning in the Finger Lakes region of New York phoned the mayor.

CLINTON: Well, like all New Yorkers, my best wishes and prayers are with the mayor for a full and speedy recovery, and I know that all of us wish him very well.

HINOJOSA: Other political foes are bonding like allies, New York's comptroller Democrat Alan Hevesi himself had prostate cancer.

ALAN HEVESI, NEW YORK CITY COMPTROLLER: I'm cured and others have been cured. So the mayor should focus on his health problem, decide what's the best methodology for dealing with this health issue, and take care of the politics later on.

HINOJOSA: But Mayor Giuliani is a political animal, climbing the power ladder from prosecutor to district attorney to his tight victory over the city's first African-American mayor. Today, though, even his staunchest critics were subdued.

REV. AL SHARPTON, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: I would hope that he would do whatever is necessary to stabilize his situation and to go forward.

HINOJOSA: For now, Giuliani's Senate campaign manager says the mayor will stay busy.

BRUCE TEITELBAUM, GIULIANI CAMPAIGN MANAGER: As far as the campaign is concerned, we have a schedule that we're going to keep to. We haven't made any changes yet and we're just going to go ahead as planned.

HINOJOSA: And it appears his humor has remained intact as well.

QUESTION: Will you be a nicer mayor now?

GIULIANI: Well, let me see, am I going to be -- no way, no way, not going to get that.

(LAUGHTER)

HINOJOSA: For six years now, City Hall has been Rudolph Giuliani's political headquarters. No matter what happens with his health, this would have been his last term here. And from this base, the mayor says he will fight this cancer aggressively just as he has his political battles.

Maria Hinojosa, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SHAW: For a sense of how the mayor's illness may affect him and his campaign, we're joined now by CNN medical correspondent Dr. Steve Salvatore in New York.

Steve, what are the mayor's treatment options?

DR. STEVE SALVATORE, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the mayor this morning discussed a number of different treatment options that his doctor has presented to him, most likely is going to land between somewhere radiation therapy, something called seed implantation where they implant little capsule-like pellets radiation into the prostate gland to kill the cancer, or possibly even surgery. The thing is the mayor hasn't decided which one to do because there are a number of factors that get weighed into it. So he's going to discuss this with his doctors over the next couple of weeks and try and come up with a best overall decision for him.

SHAW: And how might those treatments cause Mayor Giuliani to feel?

SALVATORE: Well, when you have external beam radiation, radiation shot from outside the body, he could have some fatigue, he could be tired. You are talking about five days a week for about seven, eight weeks worth of radiation. He could have some local problems like things like diarrhea, you know, things in the area that might cause him problems. The seed implantation might have less complications, less fatigue. And obviously, if he goes for something like surgery it could be a slightly longer recovery. But in the end we're talking about weeks, not really anything more than a few months.

SHAW: OK, thank you, Dr. Steve Salvatore.

SALVATORE: Sure.

SHAW: Hillary Rodham Clinton says Giuliani's illness will not affect her campaign schedule. The first lady is wrapping up a three- day swing through upstate New York, which included a CNN town meeting in Buffalo last night. It was moderated by our own Wolf Blitzer, who joins us -- he's back from Washington.

Wolf, what came out of last night?

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Well, the first lady spent an hour answering questions not only from me but mostly from the audience, university, faculty, students, administrators, also members of the community at large in western New York. One thing she did say, she promised she would serve six full years if she is elected senator. She insists she has no ambition to run for president in 2004 even if there is a Republican in the White House.

She also said on the Elian Gonzalez case that she defended Janet Reno's decision to go in there and take that boy by force, despite the pictures that we have all seen. At the same time, she expressed hopes suggesting that perhaps when all is said and done Juan Miguel Gonzalez and his son would remain in the United States, but she said that was a decision they would have to make.

On the carpetbagger issue, which is still a big issue since she grew up in Illinois, she was -- spent many years in Arkansas, lived here in Washington for the last several years -- she said because she is so consistent with so many voters in New York on issues like health care, abortion rights, fighting crime, other issues, she thinks she is a New Yorker even though she's only lived in Westchester County now for a few months.

Here's a sample of what Mrs. Clinton had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: I am going to serve my six-year term as senator. I owe it to the people of New York.

The biggest is probably his support of the very large across-the- board, in my view, risky and irresponsible tax cuts. He also supports vouchers for public education, which I reject.

In the Senate we have to work with 99 other people and I think I bring a leadership style that will try to unite people.

We do need to add a prescription-drug benefit to Medicare and to ensure that Medicare is always there for my mother and your parents and you eventually.

I support the sensible gun-safety measures that have been before the Congress now, but the Republican leadership will not take them up. I think we can have sensible gun-safety measures without infringing on the rights of, you know, responsible citizens.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: She did spend about an hour and a half after the televised portion of that town meeting speaking to people in the audience. One point that she did make that I thought was curious, interesting, perhaps not a big surprise, she said that if Bill Clinton, her husband, could run for a third term, she thought he almost certainly would. The Constitution, of course, prevents him from doing so. SHAW: Thank you, Wolf Blitzer -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Terrific town meeting.

Well, back to Mayor Giuliani's announcement about prostate cancer. Many people who watched that announcement were reminded of other prominent politicians who were ill while serving in or running for public office.

I spoke about an hour ago with CNN senior analyst Jeff Greenfield. I asked him how political figures traditionally have treated questions about illness.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SR. ANALYST: Traditionally, political leaders have hid it. You go back to Grover Cleveland as president having emergency jaw cancer operation, they did it on a boat off the East River in Manhattan. Nobody learned about it for 25 years. Woodrow Wilson had a stroke in 1919. His wife and a political adviser pretty much hid that from the country and ran the White House.

Franklin Roosevelt was rarely seen as a real victim of polio. There were very few shots of him with braces or in a wheelchair. And he ran for re-election in 1944 with a heart condition that clearly made him a bad bet to survive. And even John Kennedy in 1960 -- we didn't learn until years later the extent of his Addison's (ph) Disease. So there has been pretty much a tradition of covering it up.

WOODRUFF (on camera): But today, Jeff, with very nosy news media which we are all very familiar with, the concern about the public's right to know, have politicians gotten more comfortable talking about their health problems?

GREENFIELD: Well, not entirely, particularly when people think there might be a political fallout. You'll remember after Ronald Reagan was shot there was a very reassuring photo of him that ran in the papers a day or so later. He was actually being held up. He was far weaker than that picture suggested, because the White House wanted to reassure the public. You think about 1992, Paul Tsongas running for president seven years after coming down with lymphoma, he assured us he was OK, and he was dead within four years.

And even this time in the year 2000, we didn't learn about Bill Bradley's irregular heartbeat until he had to cancel a campaign event. So there is not an entirely changed tradition of being very forthcoming. In Rudy Giuliani's case, I think he decided -- you know, a reporter had seen him at that hospital and it was imperative that he get as much of the story out as he knew immediately.

WOODRUFF: So are there predictable consequences to full disclosure?

GREENFIELD: You know, I don't think so. I mean, I'm giving you a really clear answer, Judy. It depends. I mean, Bob Dole had prostate cancer surgery in 1991. That's not the reason why he lost in 1996. Senators like Ted Stevens and Jesse Helms serve in the Senate with prostate cancer. But there does seem to be a feeling that voters aren't entirely happy with the idea of a candidate who might not be up to the rigor of either a campaign or a job.

And the other thing I'd like to mention, of course, which we often -- I won't say you, Judy -- some people like me forget is politicians are human beings. And when you look at Rudy Giuliani literally in the first day of having learned about this, we don't know whether he's going to look at this brush with mortality and decide, you know, I think I'd rather spend my time in a way other than running for office. That's the most unpredictable consequence of all.

WOODRUFF: All right, Jeff Greenfield, thanks very much.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: That was taped just about an hour ago.

And joining us now to talk more about New York politics and the Senate race from Albany, Fred Dicker, who is the state editor of "The New York Post."

Fred Dicker, first of all, thank you for being with us. What is the reaction to the mayor's announcement?

FRED DICKER, STATE EDITOR, "THE NEW YORK POST": Well, stunned, surprised obviously, and all kinds of speculation about what Rudy is going to do and a lot of talk about who might succeed him or replace him should he bow out of the race, and people think that, that is a possibility at least even though the mayor's aides are saying no, no, that's not going to happen, and the leaders of the Republican Party think it's not going to happen.

WOODRUFF: Now, he says at this point, understandably, he has no idea how this is going to affect his ability to campaign or even a decision to go on with the campaign. But you've been talking to the people around him, to other political folks, what are they saying?

DICKER: Well, they're saying they don't know either. I mean, they only found out about it, Judy, this morning. He didn't tell them when he spoke to some key people, he called a number of leading Republicans. He didn't tell them that he was going to stay in the race. But he did announce that he's coming upstate tomorrow to Saratoga Springs for a big event. He's traveling and he left them with the impression that if things go well in the diagnosis that he will continue as a candidate. They have to choose the candidate the end of next month, May 30th is the Republican nominating convention. So by then the expectation is clearly that he's got to let them know if he's running or not.

WOODRUFF: All right, also joining us, reporter Tish Durkin of the "New York Observer." Tish, reaction you are hearing?

TISH DURKIN, "NEW YORK OBSERVER": Well, as Fred has been mentioning, there is -- speculation is rife that the mayor may end up bowing out of the race. But of course, as you also mentioned, his people are going hell for leather to quell that speculation. They said that he -- the cancer was caught early, they have every reason to believe that it's treatable and that his candidacy is going to go full steam ahead. The only honest answer, of course, is that nobody really knows at this point.

WOODRUFF: How active a schedule, Tish, has he been keeping up until recently?

DURKIN: Of course, he's been keeping an extremely active schedule. It's just it hasn't been an extremely active campaign schedule, certainly not compared with Mrs. Clinton. She has been able in recent times to make a little bit of hay out of the idea that she has spent a great deal more time campaigning upstate than has the mayor.

WOODRUFF: Fred Dicker, speaking of Mrs. Clinton, does this complicate her ability to campaign in any way?

DICKER: Well, she's sure not going to beat up on him for a few days, we know that. Mrs. Clinton today put out a nice statement, a gesture, that she's praying for him and hopes all New Yorkers do that, so I think the answer is yes.

The expectation is that the mayor will probably get a sympathy bounce in the polls and that if you're too rough on him now as he goes through this awful time you're going to look like a meanie and insensitive and legitimately so, so I think it does complicate her campaign, but only for a few weeks. The mayor's got to make up his mind relatively quicky on this, let the public know what is going to happen, what he's going to do, and then we'll know. I mean, it won't be that long in the future that we know his decision.

WOODRUFF: Tish, how do you see it affecting Hillary Clinton's campaign?

DURKIN: Well, I see -- of course, without trying to imply that anyone would wish cancer upon an opponent. I think that politically in the short term it obviously complicates matters quite a bit for Mrs. Clinton not only because she can't attack the mayor at the moment, but also because, you know, in the long run she's not quite sure who she's going to be up against in the event that he does have to step out and that makes every move that she makes between now and the time that things become better determined a little bit tricky.

But I think that the upside for her is that no matter who she runs against, whether it's a more sympathetic permutation of Mayor Giuliani or some entirely different candidate such as Congressman Lazio of Long Island, she has got to in the view of many people, including some of her most ardent supporters, got to do a little more work to make a better affirmative case for herself, for her own candidacy, to get herself from that really strong 45 percent base vote that she consistently enjoys to the 51 percent that gets her across the finish line and that's going to -- that is work to which she may turn now that she's going to have to take an interregnum from attacking the mayor. WOODRUFF: Fred Dicker, the -- Mrs. Clinton's town meeting last night -- we just talked to Wolf Blitzer, who moderated that, it was televised on CNN, it happened up in Buffalo. What's the reaction, what were your impressions after watching?

DICKER: Well, you know, some people have said it was scripted. She does seem to take forever to answer certain questions, and I think the feeling was that there was kind of a sound loop that kept going around and around for Mrs. Clinton, where she says kind of the same thing about her 30 years experience whatever you ask her. But I don't think she hurt herself.

The trouble is from her point of view that any real assessment of the impact of that town meeting is being overshadowed today by what we are discussing right now. And I think when Giuliani holds his own town meeting, which will be publicized, I guess, or broadcast next week, there is going to be an enormous focus on that, much more than was on the first lady.

WOODRUFF: All right, Tish Durkin and Eric -- Fred Dicker, I'm sorry. Thank you both very much for joining us.

DICKER: Thank you.

DURKIN: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: And INSIDE POLITICS will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHAW: Late news this afternoon, Elian Gonzalez is the object of another ruling by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

CNN's Mike Boettcher is outside the court in Atlanta -- Mike.

MIKE BOETTCHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Bernie, actually the 11th Circuit appears to be playing the role of Solomon in this ruling, not an entire win or entire loss for either side. This particular order by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals addresses a motion that was filed by Juan Miguel Gonzalez yesterday in which he asked to be installed as the lone legal voice for Elian Gonzalez and the court has decided that Juan Miguel Gonzalez can intervene but they will not remove Lazaro Gonzalez, the great-uncle from the Miami family, as a spokesman, too, for Elian Gonzalez.

This is what they say, Bernie: "Although we permit Juan Miguel Gonzalez to intervene in this appeal, we recognize that his belated intervention might prejudice the present party's efforts to prepare for argument and otherwise to prosecute his appeal." It goes on to say: "We believe these provisions are both adequate to allow Juan Miguel Gonzalez to be heard, and are necessary to lessen the possibility that other parties in the progress of the appeal might be prejudiced by the intervention of Juan Miguel Gonzalez at this late date" -- Bernie.

SHAW: OK, Mike Boettcher with the latest from Atlanta, thank you.

And still ahead on INSIDE POLITICS: another bump on the road to reconciliation? The latest on John McCain's tenuous relationship with Republican hopeful George W. Bush. Tucker Carlson and Bob Novak will weigh in as well as Candy Crowley.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Now, the sensitive relationship between George W. Bush and John McCain. There are questions today about whether their May 9th meeting in Pittsburgh has been scuttled.

Our senior political correspondent Candy Crowley joins us now.

Candy, is this meeting on or off?

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It's on, but it's tenuous, that's sort of the good news that comes from the Senator McCain's camp on the record that they believe that the meeting right now is tenuous. Why? They say, "We want a meeting about substance and we want to make sure it's that."

It was off briefly. There was a -- it was not off briefly officially at all. We don't know whether John McCain, who is now in Vietnam, apparently read a Bob Novak column, got upset with the continuing mention of McCain as a possible vice presidential candidate in a "Salon" online magazine report. It said that McCain then called one of his aides and said the meeting is off.

However, aides in both McCain camp and the Bush camp say it is not off. Although, the McCain camp adds it's tenuous, they want assurances that there will be substance discussed.

WOODRUFF: And Bernie is going to be talking with Bob Novak in just a matter of minutes here.

Candy, what -- lay some of the groundwork for us before this happened. What were the Bush people saying about all this before this occurred?

CROWLEY: Well, you know, what's upset the McCain camp really isn't so much what the Bush people are saying to them or what the governor is saying on the record. What they say they're upset about is the continuing reports in the press about this whole vice presidential thing.

What they want, according to one source I talked to in the McCain camp who is close to McCain, who said, "We want this not to be a circus, we want to tamp this down, we -- everyone knows he doesn't want to be vice president. We don't want those expectations for that meeting to be so high. We want to talk substance and issues and we don't want it to be a media circus." So this was -- they feel that the Bush camp did not get this message in subtlety. They said, "Today, we weren't so subtle." They tried to send out a very open signal that they do not want the vice presidency discussed.

WOODRUFF: And what's your sense of what the Bush people were thinking this meeting was going to be?

CROWLEY: It came as a surprise to the Bush people when we first talked to them: "Gee, they say this meeting is off. Is it? No, as far as, you know, we know it's not." Governor Bush was asked about it saying, you know, Senator McCain wants to talk about substance, and Governor Bush said to reporters -- he is in North Carolina -- "Fine, we'll talk about substance."

They -- you know, they say on the record, "Look, as far as we know the meeting is on, we look forward to it, we'd be very disappointed if it doesn't happen." I think you need to look at this as sort of, you know, two fighters in the ring sort of circling each other. They wanted to send a very clear signal today that what they want to talk about is not John McCain, will he or won't he be vice president. They want to talk about issues that are important to McCain, and Bush said basically, "Fine, that's what we'll talk about."

WOODRUFF: All right, Candy Crowley, senior political correspondent, thanks very much.

And now, Bernard.

SHAW: That was very interesting, and joining us now, Bob Novak of the "Chicago Sun-Times," and good morning to Tucker Carlson of "The Weekly Standard." It's Friday in Vietnam where he's covering John McCain's visit.

Bob, first to you, you've written the piece, what is your understanding?

ROBERT NOVAK, "CHICAGO SUN-TIMES": My understanding is that Senator McCain got off the plane in Saigon -- Ho Chi Minh City, excuse me, and was told Bob Novak -- who is not his favorite journalist -- had written a column saying that there was some people in the Bush operation who regarded the coming summit meeting like going to the dentist, and there was some other things about the fact that there was speculation that there might be a McCain-Bush -- or Bush-McCain ticket. Senator McCain, I surmise, said the meeting is off. One of the senator's least attractive qualities is he sometimes goes on the -- off the wheel a little too quickly.

The meeting is not off. If he had read the 700-word column he would have found -- he would have guessed -- I don't tell who my sources are. But almost all the material in the column came from McCain supporters, they want the vice presidential election to be -- and these are close supporters -- they want the vice presidential prospect to be talked about because in the Republican Party, Bernie, the consensus is this is the strongest possible, feasible ticket, and there is some evidence that perhaps it's not an absolute no from Senator McCain.

So my understanding, now, is that the Bush people have been told by the McCain people, the meeting's not off, but it's going to be off if you don't stop -- if you start -- don't stop negotiating with the press. They didn't negotiate with the press, the negotiating with the press was done by McCain supporters. SHAW: Tucker Carlson, 10,000 miles away from here, what is John McCain's view of all this?

TUCKER CARLSON, "THE WEEKLY STANDARD": Well, he looked pretty calm to me last night, I must say. McCain is still mad, though, I think about the campaign. I mean, I had lunch with him yesterday in Hanoi, and we were talking about the South Carolina race still. He's still mad about some of the ads. But I think it's clear they're going to have the meeting. Part of the problem is that the communication between the McCain and Bush camps has never been good.

The designated McCain communications guy is John Weaver and, of course, he has to deal with the Bush people headed by Karl Rove, Weaver and Rove refuse to talk to each other, loathe each other. So that is been sort of an impediment to the flow of information between the two. But I'm not sure that McCain if in fact he did say that the meeting was off ever meant it. I'm not sure he actually said the meeting was off, by the way. But clearly, it's going to happen, the Bush people want it to happen.

SHAW: Tucker...

CARLSON: Yes.

SHAW: ... can I ask you a flippant question?

CARLSON: Please.

SHAW: If McCain and George Bush need to communicate, why doesn't each man simply pick up the phone?

CARLSON: Well, this is a deep and longstanding question in the diplomatic community. I don't know why. I mean, part of it is that the McCain camp realizes -- I mean, John Weaver was appointed by McCain when McCain first left after Super Tuesday and went to Bora Bora, he was appointed the guy to negotiate with the Bush campaign. Now, that was done on purpose. McCain knew that Weaver, because he refused to talk to Karl Rove, would slow things down a bit. I just don't think that McCain is any hurry to throw his endorsement behind Bush or to be seen at a photo op with him, though, of course, that will take place ultimately.

SHAW: Now, you lunched with the senator, what is he most anxious to talk with George W. Bush about?

T. CARLSON: Well, you know McCain, he's always talks about the reform-agenda business. I've never been able to understand exactly what that is. He says that's what he wants to talk to Bush about. I don't think he wants to be vice president, and I think he's said categorically several thousand times that he wouldn't accept it, and I think he means it, and I spoke to one of his aides about it last night who reconfirmed that. I don't think they're kidding. I really don't think there's a chance he would accept that.

SHAW: I also suspect that politics is not really uppermost in his mind. This is a very solemn time for this American, isn't it? T. CARLSON: I think it is solemn. I mean, keep in mind, McCain has been back here a lot. I think this is eighth trip back to Vietnam since he was released from prison. He's been to a lot of meetings with Vietnamese government officials. The key issue at almost all of them has been agent orange, or the orange agent, as they've been referring to it. The Vietnamese government wants a lot of money from the United States to clean up the effects of it, and McCain has been sort of talking to Vietnamese about that since we got here.

SHAW: Tucker, in retrospect, here is an American who was held more than five years as a prisoner of war. Here's an American who was kept in solitary confinement for more than two years. And when he was captured, he both that right and left arm broken, as well as both legs. Has he said anything about his captors then?

T. CARLSON: No, we keep pushing him. I mean it's -- I think reporters always ask McCain this. Aren't you angry? I mean, it's -- I think reporters always ask McCain this: Aren't you angry? I mean, we've been in restaurants and joked, you know, maybe the waiters was one of your captors and stuff, and McCain just laughs. He doesn't seem angry. We the other day tried to go back to one of the prisons he was held in. And after years of getting out of it -- he was the prison in where he was held in solitary confinement. They wouldn't let us in. It's an army base now, and they kind of yelled at us and shooed us away, and McCain just laughed. That seems to be his attitude. He sees the world through a pretty ironic lens, and it's no different here.

SHAW: Well, I'm thinking of his saying that he has no ill feelings toward them personally, but he does bear ill thoughts about them because of what they did to his friends, American service people who were killed in captivity.

T. CARLSON: I think that's true. But again, he keeps it pretty much under control. We went to the -- there's a monument on the shores of a lake in the center of Hanoi to John McCain, the air pilot John McCain. It's actually a sculpture of him on his knees, and it says, on this date, John McCain was shot down, and we went there, and McCain was just howling with laughter the entire time.

I mean, clearly, on some level, he must be angry. I'm not a shrink. I don't know on what level that is. But he certainly doesn't show it.

SHAW: As you were just finishing up that thought, we saw pictures of McCain's son who was taken on a tour boy his dad and his mom?

T. CARLSON: It was amazing, his son is John S. McCain IV. I was actually standing with him when all this was taking place, and I think we visited all the one of the prisons McCain was held in, and I think it was a pretty amazing experience for his son. But again, I think you know, his kids are used to, he's used to it, he's been back a lot, talked about it a lot, and it was not as emotional as I would have guessed it would have been.

SHAW: Well, he certainly has quite a heritage.

Tucker Carlson, thanks for getting up so early in the morning there in Vietnam.

T. CARLSON: My pleasure.

SHAW: Safe travels back home.

T. CARLSON: See you.

SHAW: See you next time -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Fascinating pictures there of the senator in Vietnam.

Much more ahead on this edition of INSIDE POLITICS.

Still to come, the vice president takes aim at George W. Bush on everything from health care to fund raising.

Plus:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If globalization has already come to Houston and trade is so important to the city, why would a Congressman from Houston ever vote against the China trade bill?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: Our Chris Black on the pressures and concerns facing one representative on the contentious issue of trade and China.

And later: Vietnam revisited: Bill Schneider on the political flame ignited by that war, still burning in the issues of today.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: We'll have more of this day's political news coming up, but now a look at some other top stories.

The trial of two Libyans accused of bombing Pan Am flight 103 will begin next week, as scheduled. A Scottish judge today rejected prosecutors' request for a postponement. They wanted additional time to review new defense witnesses. Attorneys for the Libyans say they will try to prove that someone else was responsible for the 1988 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland. Two-hundred-seventy people were killed in that attack. The trial will start on May 3.

SHAW: Some recent U.S. Air Force recruits are getting more than they bargained for. Enlistees in certain career fields who ship out to basic training by the end of may will get an extra $5,000. That's in addition to any other bonuses. Recruits who are scheduled for basic training later than May can qualify by signing up to go earlier. It's part of a plan to boost the number of recruits over the next five weeks. WOODRUFF: Some cloned cows in Massachusetts could hold a key to the elusive fountain of youth. Scientists say six cloned cows, between the ages of seven months and a year, have cells typical of newborn calves. Researchers say the finding could ease doubts about using cloned cells to fight disease. Concerns were raised when Dolly, the cloned sheep, had cells that appeared older than she was.

SHAW: Just ahead, the clock is ticking -- a look at the upcoming vote on Capitol Hill and the issue that has some representatives on the fence.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: George W. Bush said today that he must not be feeling confident about his campaign, since he says the vice president is spending so much time talking about the Texas governor. Bush's chiding didn't stop Gore from offering a new round of criticism of his new Republican rival.

CNN's Frank Buckley has been covering Gore's trip to Pittsburgh -- Frank.

FRANK BUCKLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Judy, Children's Hospital here in Pittsburgh was the latest setting for a policy message for Vice President Gore, also designed to criticize his opponent, George W. Bush. The vice president was here to talk about his plan to increase access to CHIP, the children's health insurance program, but he also used the opportunity to assert that Bush, as governor of Texas, presides over a state that is among the nation's leaders when it comes to people who are living without health care insurance.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AL GORE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Why, in light of that, did Governor Bush fight to deny health coverage to more than 200,000 children who were legally eligible for it under the national law that President Clinton and I had passed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BUCKLEY: Meanwhile, Bush criticized the vice president last night at a fund-raiser in Washington that raised more than $21 million for the GOP, Bush commented on Gore's recent criticism, saying Bush was too partisan, and joking that everyday is "scorched earth day" for the Gore campaign. Gore responded to some of those Bush criticisms today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GORE: Last night at his big fund-raiser in Washington D.C., governor bush was suddenly talking about an era of responsibility, but he does not ask the HMOs that were a big part of that multimillion- dollar fund-raiser, who themselves contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars at his fund-raiser. He does not ask the HMOs to take responsibility and give those medical decisions back to the doctors and nurses. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BUCKLEY: Vice President Gore was also critical of Bush on another front, on the economy, using and returning to the theme that got the Clinton\Gore team elected in 1992 -- "It's the economy stupid." While not invoking that specific phrase, Gore suggested that an election with Bush as a winner could return the nation to a time when the prosperity wasn't so good.

Frank Buckley, CNN, reporting live from Pittsburgh.

WOODRUFF: Thank you frank -- Bernie.

SHAW: In less than a month, the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on China's trade status. The question: whether to eliminate year-by-year reviews and extend permanent normal trade relations status. This week, the Clinton administration is sponsoring a trip to Beijing for several House members. Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman, himself a former member of the House, accompanied the Congressmen to show them opportunities for American goods in China. Now this trip is just one tactic in a massive lobbying effort on both sides of this issue. But there are other factors to consider.

Our Chris Black traveled to Texas for a closer look at the concerns of one still undecided member of the House.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BLACK (voice-over): About half a billion dollars worth of goods travel between China and the Port of Houston every year. Ken Bentsen, a Democrat and advocate of free trade, represents the port. Yet he is still on the fence on the most contentious issue before Congress this spring: extending permanent normal trade relations to China.

REP. KEN BENTSEN (D), TEXAS: I have not taken a position as of yet on this issue.

BLACK: And Bentsen is feeling the heat from his president, who is lobbying hard for the bill, from organized labor, whose members worry about losing jobs to China.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We open our doors, our arms to all these other countries, yet we get spanked, and we're the ones that wind up losing.

BLACK: And from business leaders in Houston who stand to profit from sales to the enormous Chinese market and who call him nearly every day to remind him of the stakes.

JAMES KOLLAER, PRESIDENT, GREATER HOUSTON PARTNERSHIP: One-third of all the jobs in Houston are involved in international trade. That's 700,000 jobs -- that's big.

BLACK: Houston has gone high-tech since losing a quarter of a million jobs in the mid-'80s, and is now thriving in the international marketplace. (on camera): If globalization has already come to Houston and trade is so important to the city, why would a congressman from Houston ever vote against the China trade bill? Ken Bentsen says he has a few concerns.

BENTSEN: There is the issue of worker retraining, and how we address that and how we make sure all Americans benefit from this, but there's also the issue of how we continue to monitor the Chinese treatment toward their own people.

BLACK: His friends in Labor remind him China represents a source of cheap labor for corporate America.

A.W. PARKER, PRESIDENT, TEAMSTERS JOINT COUNCIL 58: The issue is more than just trade or creating jobs in Houston. It's the fact that we want to, if we have trade, we want it to be on an even playing field.

BLACK: And President Clinton argued the U.S. needs to maintain a relationship with China for its own security, during a private White House meeting with Bentsen and other undecided Democrats.

BENTSEN: So that's a heavy consideration that gets beyond the dollars and cents of your normal trade deal.

BLACK: Bentsen says Labor's concerns would be addressed by a new commission to monitor human rights in China and improved programs for retraining workers who lose their jobs because of global competition. Bentsen has disappointed his Labor supporters before on trade issues.

RICHARD MURRAY, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS: This is not like a Michigan Democrat having to agonize, because organized labor is just not that strong here.

BLACK: And one political observer says Bentsen stands to lose more by opposing the bill and alienating the businessmen whose financial support he will need if he runs for the Senate someday.

The White House is hoping to get between 70 and 80 Democrats in support of the China trade bill. Ken Bentsen and other undecided Democrats represent the difference between victory and defeat.

Chris Black, CNN, Houston, Texas.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: And when we return, our Bill Schneider on how the Vietnam War changed the face of American politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Sunday marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of Saigon. And in Ho Chi Minh City, the former Saigon, there are plans for a commemorative parade. In the United States, there are still political repercussions from the war that deeply divided this nation decades ago. Our Bill Schneider joins us to explain -- Bill.

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Judy, the Vietnam War? That is so last century. But the war changed American politics in ways that are still being felt 25 years later. Vietnam created something totally unexpected, a revolt of the privileged, and it reverberated throughout American society.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Well-educated, high-income Americans help set the norms of this society, or change those norms. They did so in the civil rights movement. And children of privilege erupted in rage over the Vietnam War. Their target? Authority, the system, "the man." The children of the establishment rose up against the establishment. They tore the country apart in order to prove that the war was tearing the country apart. It worked. Americans turned against the war. But it worked at a cost. Look at what happened.

During the civil rights movement in the early 1960s, three- quarters of Americans said they trusted the government in Washington. Then the Vietnam War escalated, presidents lied to the country, and confidence in government started to drop. Then came Watergate, and the numbers collapsed to just over a third. Could it get any worse? Yes. By 1980, confidence was down to just 25 percent. Enter Ronald Reagan, who turned malaise into gold. Political trust rebounded. It was morning in America, only to be driven down again by the stock market crash, Iran-Contra and the early '90s recession.

The Clinton boom saw the figures again recover, but with a slight dip for impeachment, but trust in government is nowhere near its level before Vietnam. Cynicism rules. The anti-establishment resentment war protesters once expressed on the streets has become the dominant theme of public and political discourse.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, FORBES CAMPAIGN AD)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's hard to trust a politician, especially if they've been in Washington D.C. for a long period of time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHNEIDER: What's happened to the privileged youth who drove the anti-war movement? They've become a new constituency. Hippies became yuppies, and yuppies became what one writer calls bourgeois bohemians, or "bobos."

DAVID BROOKS, AUTHOR: They combine the '60s bohemian ethos, which was sort of arty, and free spirit and rebellious, with the 1980s bourgeois yuppie ethos, which was about making money, it's about ambition, it's about succeeding. And if you look at these people, you can't tell who sold out to who.

SCHNEIDER: Educated upper middle class liberals took over the Democratic Party in 1972 in revenge for Vietnam, and made it a vehicle for their interests. Liberal on social issues, but not so liberal on economics. Case in point: Bill Clinton anti-war activist, became Bill Clinton president of the United States.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCHNEIDER: The privileged youth of the anti-war movement have become today's privileged establishment. Has their antiestablishment fervor disappeared? Not at all. It's become a style of consumption and discourse. Once they took it to the streets. Now they take it to their Web sites -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: I'm going to ask will ask you to be a seer. Is this cynicism so deep that it can never be reversed or at least alleviated somewhat?

SCHNEIDER: Judy, Americans hate the cynicism that they've suffered now for over 30 years. They are looking for someone to save them, to deliver them from their cynicism. That's what they thought Ross Perot could do. That's what Ronald Reagan did for a while. But every time that happens, something happens to drive it up yet again. But I think the politician who can promise to deliver us from cynicism is the one who always wins.

WOODRUFF: Conversely, can the cynicism get any worse? Can something happen to make it even worse than it is?

SCHNEIDER: Well, it sort of bottomed out in 1994. You remember the Republican revolution, that's when trust in government reached an all-time low of 17 percent. It had been 76 percent during the civil rights era, and it collapsed to 17 percent. It can hardly get any worse than it is now. I mean, it's become the normal mode of discourse in this country that all politicians lie, that nobody can be trusted, and that politicians now resort to negative campaigning simply because it's easier to make people think bad about your opponent than to try to convince them that you are a good person. That's how low we have sunk. It can hardly get any lower.

WOODRUFF: Let us all hope it will get better.

SHAW: Yes.

WOODRUFF: Bill Schneider, thank you very much.

And that is all for this edition of INSIDE POLITICS. We'll see you again tomorrow, when we'll have Bill Schneider's political "Play of the Week." And of course, you can go online all the time at CNN's allpolitics.com.

SHAW: This programming note: RNC co-chair Pat Harrison and Gore adviser Frank Greer will be discussing the gender gap in the presidential race tonight on "CROSSFIRE." That's at 7:30 p.m. Eastern.

I'm Bernard Shaw.

WOODRUFF: And I'm Judy Woodruff.

"WORLDVIEW" is next. 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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