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Crucial Votes Put Gore and Bush on Same Side; New York GOP Awaits Decision from Giuliani; Vice Presidency Evolves to Position of ImportanceAired May 18, 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)
AL GORE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Are there any senators wishing to change their vote?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERNARD SHAW, CNN ANCHOR: A key vote on an issue that put both presidential hopefuls on the same side.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Vice presidents, names to remember: Henry Wilson? William Wheeler? Give up?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Then and now, our Bruce Morton on the evolution of the vice presidency.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR RUDY GIULIANI, NEW YORK CITY: You can't figure out one way or the other what I'm going to decide, because I haven't figured it out yet.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHAW: The New York mayor and the unavoidable question, as New York Republicans await a decision.
ANNOUNCER: From Washington, this is INSIDE POLITICS with Bernard Shaw and Judy Woodruff.
WOODRUFF: Thank you for joining us.
Al Gore rode to Capitol Hill today for a close vote in the Senate. On a matter concerning U.S. troops in Kosovo, Gore, in the end, did not cast the deciding vote. Oddly enough, it was George W. Bush, at home today in Texas, who may have done more to tip the Kosovo vote toward the White House.
Our Chris Black has the story from Capitol Hill.
GORE: Are there any senators wishing to change their vote? If not, the ayes, 53, the Nays are 47. The Levin Amendment is agreed to.
CHRIS BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the end, Vice President Al Gore did not get to save the day and break a tie. The Senate killed a provision requiring the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Kosovo by July, 2001, with votes to spare. Gore's rival for the presidency, George W. Bush, helped to seal the deal by endorsing the White House effort to quash the measure. This caused some Republicans to take a second look.
Gore rushed to the Capitol moments before the vote to stand ready to play one of his only constitutional roles as tie-breaker in the United States Senate.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Senators voting in the affirmative: Abraham...
BLACK: Fourteen Republicans voted against taking U.S. peacekeepers out of Kosovo. Six Democrats defied their president and supported the withdrawal. The issue divided the Senate and both political parties.
SEN. ROBERT BYRD (D), WEST VIRGINIA: This matter is about power. It is about the arrogance of power in a White House that insists on putting our men and women in harm's way and spending their tax dollars without the consent of their elected representatives.
SEN. CHUCK HAGEL (R), NEBRASKA: The issue in my opinion come down two ways are, is this action wise and correct action at this time? And two, what are the consequences of this action? And make no mistake, Mr. President, there will be consequences.
BLACK: Senator John McCain, Bush's rival for the Republican nomination, helped lead the fight to kill the language, and Chuck Hagel, one of McCain's closest allies on Capitol Hill, made sure the Republican colleagues learned of Bush's opposition. Bush said Congress was overreaching, and he wanted to preserve the power of the presidency.
BLACK: The winner of the November election assumes the powers and responsibilities of commander in chief. On this day, the two presidential contenders shared an unusual victory over Congress -- Judy.
SHAW: Chris, just how critical a role was Governor Bush's weighing-in on this? How much difference did it make in the last analysis?
BLACK: No question, Judy, it did make a difference. This issue caught both the White House and the Senate unaware. The Military Construction Bill is one of the vehicles usually not controversial. So Senators Warner and Byrd by sponsoring this sort of caught people unawares. And when the issue first came up, most Republican senators were initially inclined to support John Warner, who is chairman of the Armed Services Committee. But when they found out how Bush thought, they really took a second look, and it really moved some votes.
WOODRUFF: All right, Chris Black at the Capitol, in a windy, windy Monday -- Thursday afternoon, thanks -- Bernie.
SHAW: That Kosovo vote marks the second occasion this week in which Bush has sided with the White House. The other matter concerned China, where President Clinton is fighting his own party in the effort to establish permanent normal trade status.
As CNN's John King reports, the struggle shows how liberal Democrats still chafe at some of the president's centrist agenda.
JOHN KING, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This powerplay in the Rose Garden was a vivid reminder the China trade debate is one the President can't afford to lose.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We all know that when Chairman Greenspan talks, the world listens. I just hope that Congress is listening today.
KING: The fed chairman rarely injects himself into controversial policy debates, but he was at the president's side to make the case for granting China permanent trade relations with the United States. Mr. Greenspan says it would not only be a boon to the U. S. economy, but also a boost for reformers within China.
ALAN GREENSPAN, FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN: Such a development will be a far stronger vehicle to foster other individual rights than any other alternative of which I am aware.
KING: Republican Congressional leaders are the president's allies in the final push for support.
REP. DENNIS HASTERT (R-IL), HOUSE SPEAKER: Free and fair trade with China is in the best interest of both the Chinese and the American workers.
KING: The president plans a televised address to the American people on the issue Sunday night, and Mr. Clinton continued one-on-one meetings with undecided lawmakers in advance of next week's decisive House vote. The White House is counting on at least 150 Republican votes, is closing in on 60 firm commitments from Democrats, and is targeting two dozen remaining undecided Democrats in its quest for the final 10 or 12 votes needed to guarantee passage.
CLINTON: Momentum is building, but we've still got a challenging fight.
KING: Most of the opposition comes from Mr. Clinton's own party. The number-two house Democrat led Chinese dissidents on a march outside the capitol, designed to pressure those still undecided.
REP. DAVID BONIOR (D-MI), MINORITY WHIP: It is a China that would do Joseph Stalin proud, a police-state where injustice is law and brutality is order.
KING: The bitter trade debate has echoes of Mr. Clinton's past battles with Democratic liberals on spending and welfare reform.
AL FORM, PRESIDENT, DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP COUNCIL: This president has changed the Democratic Party. Now we're on to the next frontier. That's trade, and we'll change it on trade, too.
KING: If so, it won't be easy. The African-Caribbean Trade Package, signed by Mr. Clinton Thursday, was the first major trade bill to clear the Congress in six years. So the growing White House confidence in the China trade battle is tempered with caution.
KING: The president has called it the most important vote the Congress will take this year, his final year, so he's pulling out all the stops because he's well aware that if he loses, there will be a rush to label him a lame duck -- Bernie.
SHAW: John, in the run-up to next week's vote, what is Big Labor doing?
KING: Well, Bernie, we saw a show of force by the president here at the White House today, privately, a show of force by labor this afternoon on Capitol Hill. CNN is hold that the AFL-CIO president John Sweeney, accompanied by the Teamster's president Jimmy Hoffa, met privately with Dick Gephardt the House Democratic leader and David Bonior, his number two, both of these leaders angry at President Clinton, the labor leaders, angry at the vice president for their support here. But we're also told by labor sources they're unhappy with Mr. Gephardt. They think he should be doing more in public to fight the president on this one. Some even suggesting that he give the response to the president Sunday night if there is a televised address by the president.
Obviously, Labor's anger mostly directed at the White House, but they came to the meeting, we're told, with a list of undecided lawmakers that they want Mr. Gephardt and Mr. Bonior to work aggressively. Some irony here, Bernie, many expecting this vote will be on Wednesday. Even the president's opponents think he's going to win narrowly. The president that night scheduled to attend a Democratic fund-raising gala, largely underwritten by the labor unions -- Bernie.
SHAW: Very interesting. John King at the White House.
And coming up on INSIDE POLITICS: the vice presidency -- today a position of power, but not always so.
SHAW: He may have lost the fight for the soul of his party, but John McCain continues his battle to make the party more inclusive. Today it meant another meeting with a group ignored so far by George W. Bush.
CNN's Bob Franken has the story.
BOB FRANKEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This was the second appearance for John McCain before the Log Cabin Republicans, the organization of gay Republicans. For George W. Bush, the count is still zero. He refused to meet with the group during the brutal primaries when Bush ultimately rolled over McCain from the right. But, says McCain, now that the primaries are over, expect change.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), ARIZONA: There is no doubt in my mind that Governor Bush since the South Carolina primary has moved very much in a centrist direction, whether it be on education, whether it be on health care, whether it be on a broad variety of issues, he is moving in a much more centrist position.
FRANKEN: And that, says McCain, explains why Bush met quietly in Austin last month with a smaller group of gay Republicans. Meanwhile, Log Cabin Republican officials tell CNN they are meeting behind the scenes with top Bush aides, identified by sources as campaign chief Karl Rove and communications director Karen Hughes. Yet to be decided is whether the group will endorse Bush.
KEVIN IVES, LOG CABIN REPUBLICANS: It is an open question right now. I think that the people are looking for those areas of agreement on substantive policy issues that are important to the gay community, and we're hopeful we can get there. We've got a couple of months to work.
FRANKEN: The key issues are AIDS funding, and retention of the presidential order that prohibits discrimination against gays. The decision whether to endorse is to be announced at the GOP convention in Philadelphia. At stake, about a million gay voters who identify themselves as Republicans, about one-half the number of gays who say they're Democrats.
McCain, for his part, says he is pushing for a GOP that is as inclusive as possible.
MCCAIN: I want you in the Republican Party, not only in the Republican Party, but to play a role in our party, just as there are many different elements within our party, and I think that that's what Abraham Lincoln had in mind when he formed our party.
FRANKEN (on camera): This is a part of John McCain's chosen role as a voice for Republican reconciliation, made necessary by the alienation left over from the primaries. Bob Franken, CNN, Capitol Hill.
SHAW: Another social issue the GOP confronts in this election year is abortion. Some would say the party's position opposing abortion rights has hurt it with certain voters. So it may be telling that George Bush says he may select as his runningmate an abortion rights supporter. Bush was asked about that today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, there's a lot of buzz about Governor Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania.
GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes, there is.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you consider a pro-choice running mate?
BUSH: I'll consider Tom Ridge. He's a friend of mine, he's been a good governor of the state of Pennsylvania, and he's under serious consideration, as are a lot of other people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHAW: Joining us now to talk about George W. Bush, Tom Ridge and other possible VP choices, John Miller of "The National Review" and David Broder of "The Washington Post."
John Miller, does the fact that Governor Ridge comes from a battleground state with 23 electoral votes make him a compelling possibility?
JOHN MILLER, "NATIONAL REVIEW": Well, I think that's why Austin is looking at him very closely right now, 23 electoral votes that Al Gore can't well afford to lose from Pennsylvania, in fact. But there are a lot of problems with Tom Ridge, of course. He is pro-abortion, and that puts him out of sync with most of the Republican Party, including Governor Bush, and there are also problems with his voting record in Congress. It was a very liberal voting record that he had, and for example, he was elected in 1982, and during his time in Congress, he was more likely to oppose President Reagan's position on any given issue more than to support it, according to "Congressional Quarterly."
SHAW: Well, in your piece here today, you write that the trouble with Tom Ridge is not just about abortion, and I say that to ask you, David Broder, is ridge getting all this attention because his name is being bandied about so much?
DAVID BRODER, "WASHINGTON POST": Well, Bernie, this is the second journalistic shot at Governor Ridge in a short time. "The Weekly Standard's" Fred Barnes had a similar piece just two weeks ago, which suggests to me that the conservative movement must believe that Governor Bush is seriously interested in Governor Ridge, or they wouldn't be working him over in the way that they are.
SHAW: John Miller, in this "National Review" piece, you talk about points that you find disagreeable with this possible runningmate. Is that true, that you're concerned that Governor Bush is seriously looking at Tom Ridge?
MILLER: Well, you heard the interview today. He says he is looking at him, and I think we can take that at face value. That's why a number of people have been taking serious looks at him. But so far, very few have studied his congressional record, which reveals him to be a very pro-union member of Congress when he was there, which is understandable, because he came from the Northwest corner of Pennsylvania, which is Erie. There's a lot of union member there, and it's a very difficult district for a Republican to win in. He was a protectionist. He voted for all kinds of pro-union measures.
But I think more disturbing to a lot of conservatives is going to be the fact that on national security issues, he was a dove. He voted against the MX missile, he voted for the nuclear freeze. And perhaps most troubling, he was a leading opponent of strategic defense, of missile defense, which of course is going to be a key component of any Republican national security strategy in the fall.
SHAW: David Broder, all of our polling suggests that Republicans want to win.
SHAW: They want to do whatever it takes. Can the Republicans win with a liberal Republican, as John Miller calls Tom Ridge, on the ticket?
BRODER: Well, I don't know the answer to the question, and I don't know that all Republicans would agree with John's characterization of Tom Ridge's Congressional record. But I think what we're witnessing here, Bernie, is a pretty familiar pattern. During the summer before a convention, once a nominee is known, the conservative movement really muscles up. You may remember that four years ago, Bob Dole suggested that he'd like to see some so-called tolerance language in the preamble to the Republican platform that suggested that while the party was pro-life, it recognized that there were members the party who had a different view on the abortion issue. The conservative movement, the anti-abortion movement, threatened such a hullabaloo in San Diego if that language went in that Bob Dole had to drop it.
Now as a political reporter, not an advocate on this issue, I would say that the Republican Party has several times refused to do what is politically smart to do, in suggesting that it is open to people who have differing views on the abortion issue.
SHAW: John Miller, which two names off the top of your head would most please conservatives as possible runningmates for Governor Bush?
MILLER: Well, I obviously don't speak for all conservatives or even the conservative movement, but there are a number of good people out there I think the conservatives would like. Connie Mack from Florida the Senator from Florida, I think would be a very pleasing choice to a lot conservatives. I think John Engler, although he's considered perhaps not a front-runner anymore, because McCain won Michigan, I think that would be a pleasing choice to a lot of conservatives. Frank Keating, the governor of Oklahoma, I think would be another good choice. There are many, many out there. Tom Ridge is obviously not the only good governor that Republicans can turn to.
SHAW: And lastly, Dave Broder, can George W. Bush afford, afford, to put another governor on the ticket as opposed to an experienced Washington hand?
BRODER: Well, Washington experience would be an asset. And Governor Ridge, of course, did serve in the House for a time before he became governor. But I think the critical issue for Governor Bush is likely to be the question of personal loyalty. Every time I have heard him speak about his father's administration or his own administration in Texas, he has put great emphasis on having an assurance that whoever is part of the administration is really loyal to the head of the administration. And I would guess that that test more than any ideological test is going to be the one he applies to a potential running mate.
SHAW: David Broder of "The Washington Post," "John Miller" of "The National Review" with a new piece out on Governor Tom Ridge.
Gentlemen, thank you.
BRODER: Thank you.
MILLER: Thank you.
SHAW: You're welcome -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: As in most of the recent presidential campaigns, some of the hottest speculation concerns potential running mates. A pro- choice Republican? A Rust Belt Democrat? Maybe a woman or women? In the first of a series of reports on the vice presidency, Bruce Morton's "Campaign Journal" examines how the job has evolved from what it was into something important.
MORTON (voice-over): John Adams, George Washington's vice president, called it "the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived. I can do neither good nor evil." Thomas Jefferson called it "honorable and easy," but he saw the presidency as "but a splendid misery."
Back then, the number two finisher in the presidential election became vice president, usually someone from the other party. Federalist Adams's veep was Anti-Federalist Jefferson, after that rule changed in Jefferson's presidency, it got a lot of party hacks.
Andrew Jackson's vice president, Martin Van Buren ran for president when Jackson's term ended and won, but that was rare. Vice president's names to remember: Henry Wilson? William Wheeler? Give up?
ROBERT DALLEK, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: The vice presidency did not count for very much for a very long time, and of course the most famous comment on it came from FDR's first vice president, John Nance Garner (ph), who said the office wasn't worth a warm bowl of spit.
MORTON: Or a word that rhymes with spit.
Thomas Marshall, Woodrow Wilson's VP, said, once upon a time, there were two brothers. One ran away to sea, the other became vice president. Neither was ever heard of again. But over time, that changed.
DALLEK: I think Theodore Roosevelt, first of all, gave the vice presidency a better name, because having succeeded William McKinley, he was someone who was very effective and really was one of our near- great presidents. And then, of course, Harry Truman, coming after FDR, that was an amazing performance.
MORTON: Sure was. Truman, who didn't even know the U.S. was developing an atomic bomb, had to decide whether to use it against Japan, had to ends the war, deal with the Soviets, use an airlift to break their Berlin blockade -- major decision after major decision. Vice presidents mattered more because the U.S. was now a world power.
DALLEK: With the Cold War and the fact that Eisenhower had illness and was vulnerable, when he left office in 1961, he was 70 years old. At that point, he was the oldest president in American history. And there was the feeling that you needed somebody who could really handle the job.
MORTON: And that meant another change. VPs weren't party hacks anymore, they were serious men with ambition.
DALLEK: The great change is that vice presidents now run for president. This didn't used to happen. Now in the 20th century, so many vice presidents have reached for and a few of them have gained the office, like George Bush, like Richard Nixon.
MORTON: Others, Hubert Humphrey, Dan Quayle, have tried. And vice presidents do more now, go to Cabinet meetings, sit on the National Security Council. Jimmy Carter gave Walter Mondale real jobs to do, and the trend continues. President Bill Clinton has worked closely with Al Gore, thrown deep to him, so to speak, put him in charge of reinventing government.
Richard Nixon debating Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev was good television, but today's VPs do more than photo ops. This year, a sitting vice president is running against the son of a president who was also a veep. John Adams, that first veep, said, "I am nothing, but I may be everything." VPs aren't nothing anymore and more than ever may be everything.
Bruce Morton, CNN, Washington. (END VIDEOTAPE)
SHAW: There is much more ahead on this edition of INSIDE POLITICS.
WOODRUFF: Still to come, the latest from the New York mayor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GIULIANI: Of course I have a timetable for that. I keep that timetable to myself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: Rudy Giuliani, still undecided, much to the dismay of some New York Republicans.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PATTY DAVIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is Illinois's 10th Congressional District. Big homes along Chicago's North Shore, big money, and this year a land of big opportunity for Democrats.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHAW: Patty Davis on the Democrats' hope of taking a key House seat, and the Republicans' effort to keep it. And later...
WOODRUFF: ... the vice president ventures into the future and the world of animation.
WOODRUFF: We will have more of this day's political news coming up, but now a look at some other top stories.
Blame for the controlled fire-turned wildfire in Los Alamos, New Mexico, is being placed on federal officials. A preliminary government report says the park official who set the blaze failed to properly plan and implement the burn at Bandelier National Monument. Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt presented the findings this afternoon in Los Alamos.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRUCE BABBITT, INTERIOR SECRETARY: The report details many failings, but it is unsparing in its analysis of multiple failures throughout the entire process of this prescribed burn, beginning with the preparation of the prescribed-burn plan itself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: The fire has burned more than 200 homes. It is about 60 percent contained. SHAW: Accused railway killer Angel Maturino Resendiz was found guilty of capital murder today in the 1998 slaying of a Houston-area doctor. The jury deliberated for 10 hours over two days and rejected the defense's insanity plea. Jurors must now decide whether Maturino Resendiz should face life in prison or be executed.
WOODRUFF: The U.S. State Department is warning its employees about their use of laptop computers. This after officials confirmed today that 15 laptops are missing. Most of the laptops were used in areas that normally do not handle classified information. A top-to- bottom security review was prompted after the media reported the January disappearance of a highly classified laptop.
SHAW: The Confederate flag likely will be coming down from South Carolina's Capitol dome. The state legislature approved a plan today to move the flag from the dome to a monument on statehouse grounds. If the governor signs the bill, which he said he will, the flag will come down July 1st. The NAACP has said the new site is still too prominent, and it will continue a tourism boycott.
WOODRUFF: The space shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to lift off just before sunrise tomorrow. Its cargo: new batteries and replacement parts for the weakened space station. This will be NASA's fourth attempt to launch the crucial maintenance mission. Space agency forecasters say the weather looks good. CNN will carry the liftoff live, that's tomorrow at 6:12 a.m. Eastern, 3:12 Pacific.
SHAW: The Illinois winner of the Big Game lottery jackpot has come forward. Lottery officials said today that the other half of last week's $363 million jackpot will go to a family in suburban Chicago. They are expected to claim their prize tomorrow. The Illinois winners will split the jackpot with a family from Michigan.
Next on INSIDE POLITICS, Rudy Giuliani and what some may be calling indecision 2000.
WOODRUFF: Now to New York, where Rudy Giuliani passed up another opportunity this day to announce whether he will stay in the Senate race. The mayor met with reporters and said he still doesn't know whether his health will permit it.
As CNN's Frank Buckley reports, the people who want to know most are Giuliani's fellow Republicans.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One, two, three...
FRANK BUCKLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Even a ribbon- cutting ceremony draws a room full of reporters intent on finding out if New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has decided to stay in the Senate race or not.
GIULIANI: It's a very difficult decision. I'm thinking about it. I have not made it yet.
BUCKLEY: The mayor and one-time U.S. attorney saying decisions about his prostate cancer have been difficult to reach.
GIULIANI: I thought you'd make this decision the way you'd make a decision about a budget or a case. It's a more difficult, much more personal decision that involves a lot more things about you. That's good and bad. It means it's a longer process than you would like.
BUCKLEY: Many New York Republicans agree.
JIM CAVANAUGH, WESTCHESTER CO. GOP CHAIRMAN: Well, it's time to be decisive. We need to know and we need to know now whether the mayor is in or whether the mayor is out.
BUCKLEY: Jim Cavanaugh is the Westchester County Republican chairman. While he and many other Republicans now believe Giuliani plans to remain in the race, Cavanaugh is also willing to bluntly point out the political consequences for the party and for Giuliani should he decide to pull out.
CAVANAUGH: He's almost leaving it too late, that if he pulls out now he's going to leave a bad taste. He's going to be accused of leaving the Republican Party in the lurch, and he's going to bear responsibility if we don't beat Hillary Clinton. And I think he's going to burn some bridges that might hurt him down the road, should he, you know, want to do something after mayor.
HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), NEW YORK SENATE CANDIDATE: You know, every day in the Congress, Republican legislators are trying to undo the victories of the labor movement.
BUCKLEY: First lady Hillary Clinton meanwhile continues to campaign almost every day, at this event receiving the endorsement of the largest Teamsters local in the U.S.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, HILLARY CLINTON CAMPAIGN AD)
ANNOUNCER: Thirty years fighting for children and families.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BUCKLEY: The campaign's second TV ad is now airing in New York, the commercial coming as new polls suggest Giuliani's cancer diagnosis, his intent to seek a separation from his wife, and his friendship with a woman not his wife have not hurt him with the voting public. Giuliani and Clinton are still locked in a statistical dead heat.
But with Giuliani undecided about whether he's in or out, Long Island Congressman Rick Lazio is getting a lot of attention. At a Conservative Party dinner, to which Giuliani was not invited, Lazio said he was withholding his potential candidacy until the mayor makes up his mind.
REP. RICK LAZIO (R), NEW YORK: He needs to make that decision, and when he makes a decision, then we'll be in a different scenario.
BUCKLEY (on camera): New York Democrats have nominated their Senate candidate this week in first lady Hillary Clinton. Republicans are set to nominate theirs on May 30th, and so far they're not sure who their candidate will be.
Frank Buckley, CNN, New York.
WOODRUFF: And joining us now, New York Congressman Peter King, a potential GOP candidate should Giuliani not run, and former New York City Mayor Ed Koch.
Congressman King, do you think Mr. Giuliani's going to run?
REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: I really don't know. I had thought all last week when everybody else said he was going to get out, I was pretty confident that he was going to stay in, because he usually does things backwards. And now with all the signals coming yesterday and today that he's going to stay in, I'm starting to think that maybe he's going to get out. But seriously, if I had to bet, I'd say he's probably going to stay in.
WOODRUFF: Mayor Koch, what do you think?
ED KOCH (D), FORMER MAYOR OF NEW YORK: Well, first I want to comment on Mr. Cavanaugh. I thought that was a stupid statement that he made that if Mr. Giuliani decides to withdraw because of his medical condition, he'll be held responsible for the Republicans debacle, or words to that effect. He ought to show a little more compassion for someone who is making what he perceives to be a life- and-death decision. Thank God he caught it early on.
I have always believed that he did not want to be the senator, and I always believed that he would withdraw without regard to the medical condition, which I didn't know about, and his extramarital affairs, which we didn't know about until recently, and I still think he will withdraw.
WOODRUFF: Well, perhaps I misunderstood. I think I understood Mr. Cavanaugh to say that if Giuliani ran and lost, he would be held responsible. We'll go back and look at that tape.
KOCH: Either way -- either way it's not a very compassionate thing to say.
WOODRUFF: Congressman King, why is he taking so long?
KING: I have to agree with Ed Koch. I mean, prostate cancer is a deadly disease if it's not caught early. Thank God it looks as if Mayor Giuliani's disease was caught early. My father died from prostate cancer. I have some knowledge of it, and I can understand what he's going through -- put it this way, I can only begin to understand what he's going through.
These are very, very tough decisions. There's various treatments you can decide on. Each of them has potentially unpleasant side effects. Some are more of a guarantee than the other. So as far as that's concerned, I think that he's entitled to the time. Once he does make up his mind, I think he owes it to the party and to the people to announce it as soon as possible. But until then, I think we have to give him the benefit of the doubt.
WOODRUFF: Ed Koch, you told our staff a little earlier today that you thought he would not run. Do you still feel that way?
KOCH: Yes, yes, I do, although all of the comments coming out of room nine down at city hall, where the reporters are, are to the affect that they, many of them at least, think that he will run.
WOODRUFF: Should he run?
KOCH: No, I don't think so, because -- listen, he can't get along with two people. He's certainly not going to be able to get along with 99 other senators. And what he wants to do is to be the governor. I think that when he runs against Pataki that he will lose anyway. But at least that's the job he really wants. He does not want to be senator.
WOODRUFF: Congressman King, any chance you will run if Giuliani stays in?
KING: No, I certainly would not run if he stayed in. What I've said is if he drops out, I would pursue the nomination up to the convention. If I don't get it at the convention, then I would certainly not run a primary. It's no secret that right now it looks as if Governor is leaning toward Congressman Lazio. Governor Pataki will control the convention. If it stays that way, that's the way it's going to be. Rick Lazio is a good congressman. I think I'd be a better candidate, but, you know, that is for the convention to decide. If I don't get it, I don't get it, I'll be happy to continue serving Congress.
WOODRUFF: You said Governor Pataki is leaning toward -- and I didn't understand what you...
KING: He's leaning toward Congressman Lazio right now.
WOODRUFF: Yes, OK, I thought you were saying leaning toward running, which was not my understanding.
KING: No, no, no.
WOODRUFF: Why would you be the stronger candidate?
KING: I think I would be stronger because I would have the opportunity to get three other party lines. I would have the first claim on the independent voters who supported Senator McCain since I was his leading supporter in New York state. I also would have support, I believe, among labor unions that would cut into Democratic support. And I think I have a higher name I.D. than Rick Lazio. If you had Rick Lazio on the show, he'd give you 10 reasons why he is the stronger candidate.
WOODRUFF: Mayor Koch, who would be the strongest candidate for the Republicans if Giuliani does not run?
KOCH: Listen, I'm not going to help the Republicans.
WOODRUFF: We can try.
KOCH: I will say this to you, that Peter King is a very good friend of mine and I've crossed party lines and will continue to vote -- not to vote, but to support him -- I don't live in his district -- to support him, even though he is a Republican and I am a Democrat. He is a very able person, and I am a friend of Rick Lazio, but that's a Republican matter. We'll beat either one of them.
WOODRUFF: Congressman King, what do you think is going to happen in this race? If -- OK, assuming Giuliani stays in, makes this contest, are you certain he can beat the first lady?
KING: No, it's going to be a very, very tough race and a lot of the criticisms that Mayor Koch made are very accurate. Rudy Giuliani does have negatives. I would hope, as a Republican, that his positives outweigh them, the fact that he has cut back on crime in New York, that he is decisive, that he's firm.
The other side of that -- you know, there is a flip side that his personality isn't always as good as some people would like it to be, but I think if he concentrates on the positives, which is his record as the mayor of the city of New York, rather than getting sidetracked into personality issues, then he has a good chance of winning.
WOODRUFF: Mayor Koch, how do you explain that Giuliani hasn't, at least so far suffered in the public opinion polls, despite...
KOCH: Well, it depends on which poll you are referring to. "The New York Times" poll of last week showed that Hillary had an 8-point lead and that 12 percent of those who were neutral or, I assume, supporting him in the past, were reconsidering because of his extramarital affairs.
And I believe that even if the current poll that shows them neck and neck were accurate, that that's normally what happens at the beginning of a scandal and then the scandal takes hold. I believe he will be a very weak candidate with the expiration of time.
WOODRUFF: But if he does run, Ed Koch, isn't it harder for Mrs. Clinton to criticize him if he's undergoing cancer treatment?
KOCH: No, I don't -- he doesn't expect to be treated any way other than a regular candidate, and he can't run away from the fact -- there is no great reservoir of goodwill. We all want him to get well, but in terms of his personality, he is as I wrote a book about him, the title of which was "Giuliani, Nasty Man."
WOODRUFF: All right, former New York City mayor Ed Koch, you heard it from his own lips, and U.S. Representative Peter King of New York, thank you both.
KING: And Ed Koch is not a nasty man.
WOODRUFF: Gentlemen, thank you both, we appreciate it -- thank you for clarifying that.
And just ahead, Bob Novak's "Reporter's Notebook."
Plus, the race to replace Illinois Congressman John Porter -- a look at why his seat has the full attention of both parties.
SHAW: George W. Bush's opposition to Congress' attempt to set a deadline for pulling the troops out of Kosovo put him on the same side with Vice President Al Gore, but it apparently did not sit so well with some Republicans, as Bob Novak of "The Chicago Sun-Times" told us one hour ago in his "Reporter's Notebook."
ROBERT NOVAK, "THE CHICAGO SUN-TIMES": Well, the Republican senators, Bernie, are not at this stage of the political cycle are going to say anything negative about their Republican presidential candidate Governor George W. Bush, but they are very upset that he intervened at the 11th hour and ensured the defeat of that amendment to pull the troops out of Kosovo at a designated time.
They had gotten the word that he was going to be neutral on it, but that Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, who was a possibility to become a vice presidential running mate, although he supported John McCain, talked to Governor Bush and convinced him he should intervene.
So, on the other side, however, are Senator Paul Coverdell of Georgia, who is Governor Bush's liaison with the Senate, Senate majority leader, Senate Armed Services Committee chairman, and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, his fellow Texan. So they are a little bit upset, but they're not going to say anything.
SHAW (on camera): But they don't like the fact that he called what they're doing "legislative overreach."
NOVAK: No. They think he is another all power to the executive guy, and he is.
SHAW: Two of the Democrats, names, names, names, vice presidential possibility.
NOVAK: There is a definite falling off in interest I perceive in people very close to Vice President Gore in Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana. The vice president likes him a lot, but they really don't think he brings very much. They want somebody who will bring in electoral votes.
And I have mentioned him before, but I keep hearing his name, Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, he's one guy from one of those key Midwestern states where they think could make the difference in carrying the state. He's Catholic, very good speaker, keep your eye on Dick Durbin of Illinois.
SHAW: What about George Mitchell?
NOVAK: Well, he is the person -- he doesn't bring in any electoral votes, for me, he is the prestige guy, the elder statesman, the wise man, not a political choice, but if you want somebody who's qualified to be president, I think George Mitchell. You'll hear a lot of talk about him, too.
SHAW: He also knows how the government runs and he is a Washington experienced hand.
NOVAK: And he knows foreign policy very well.
SHAW: What's this Club For Growth?
NOVAK: The Club For Growth is a group of supply-side conservative Republicans who want to defeat Republicans who are not living up to what they think the model should be. They have one big target in this first year that they are going to put a lot of money into defeat in the primary and that is Congresswoman Marge Roukema of New Jersey.
But they are also being asked to get beyond the Congress and go against Governor Mike Leavitt of Utah who has come out for taxing the Internet. Governor -- that has really hurt him in Utah. He got -- he did very badly in the state convention, they forced a primary against him, and then sent the message, Bernie, to governors around the country, don't tax the Internet, it's not popular with Republicans.
SHAW: Bob Novak, thank you.
WOODRUFF: Meanwhile, in Illinois, Republicans are fighting to hold on to the seat of retiring Congressman John Porter. The race has become quite competitive, as Democrats focus their efforts to regain control of the House.
Our Patty Davis reports on the battle in Illinois' 10th District.
DAVIS (voice-over): This is Illinois' 10th Congressional District -- big homes along Chicago's North Shore, big money, and, this year, a land of big opportunity for Democrats.
LAUREN BETH GASH (D), ILLINOIS STATE HOUSE: I'm running for Congress in the 10th Congressional district. DAVIS: Four-term Democratic State Representative Lauren Beth Gash is vying for a seat once considered safely in Republican hands: that of retiring Congressman John Porter.
GASH: I've won elections repeatedly in this area, in what had been considered a safe Republican seat, and what we showed them that -- is that the political parties don't own the seats, but the voters do.
DAVIS: Both parties have made the seat a top priority this year.
STUART ROTHENBERG, "ROTHENBERG POLITICAL REPORT": Right now, Illinois' 10th District is a toss-up. It's a Republican incumbent who is retiring, but the Democrats have recruited just the kind of candidate who could win here. The question is whether the Republicans can unite coming out of a messy multi-candidate primary and hold what should be a Republican seat.
DAVIS: Long-time Porter aide Mark Steven Kirk easily won the GOP's most expensive primary this year, spending just $350,000 in a field where the top spender poured $2.4 million into the race.
(on camera): Democrats had hoped to pit Gash against a more conservative GOP opponent, but many call Kirk a carbon copy of the moderate Porter who held onto this heavily Republican yet centrist district for 11 terms.
MARK STEVEN KIRK (R), ILLINOIS CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: I will be a social moderate voice and leading on women's health care and environmental issues, and I may differ with some people in my party, but that's the kind of independent, thoughtful leadership that our district has always had.
DAVIS (voice-over): Kirk and Gash find themselves on the same side of many issues -- both favor abortion rights and gun control -- but Gash says it comes down to this.
GASH: I think that having a voting record is a very different thing than talking about it.
DAVIS: Kirk has never held elected office.
KIRK: This is not about who has been elected before; this is about who can do the best district job for our voters.
DAVIS: With so much at stake, big-name Republicans have been campaigning in the 10th District -- former presidential candidate John McCain and House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who hails from a neighboring Illinois district.
REP. DENNIS HASTERT (R-IL), HOUSE SPEAKER: We're going to build on that victory and have a victory in November.
DAVIS: While some high-profile Democrats are working to help Gash pry the seat from Republican hands for the first time in 20 years. GORE: ... we will really work hard and elect Lauren Beth Gash to the United States House of Representatives.
DAVIS: Patty Davis, CNN, Winnetka, Illinois.
SHAW: When we return, animation and politics -- a look at where the two meet.
WOODRUFF: Al Gore is taking his vice presidential powers to the world of animated television. Gore produced -- provided the voice for a cartoon likeness of himself in the upcoming season finale of the Fox show "Futurama." In the show, Gore helps another character return to the 30th century.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "FUTURAMA")
GORE: I'm Al Gore and these are my vice presidential action rangers, a group of top nerds whose sole duty is to prevent disruptions in the space-time continuum.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: I thought your sole duty was to cast the tie breaking vote in the Senate.
GORE: That and protect the space-time continuum. Read the Constitution.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: The show's producer invited Gore to play himself after hearing that "Futurama" was one of his favorite shows. Apparently, Gore's daughter Kristin shares that sentiment. She recently signed on as one of the show's staff writers. The season finale airs Sunday at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.
And that's it for this edition of INSIDE POLITICS.
SHAW: Of course, you can go online all the time at CNN's allpolitics.com. I'm Bernard Shaw.
WOODRUFF: And I'm Judy Woodruff. "WORLDVIEW" is next.
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