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Inside Politics

Bill Bradley Endorses Gore; Bush Comes Closer to Picking Running Mate

Aired July 13, 2000 - 5:00 p.m. ET

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

BERNARD SHAW, CNN ANCHOR: Bill Bradley back in the political spotlight and enthusiastically joining team Gore.

Also...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST (voice-over): Bill Bradley didn't win a single primary or caucus, so why should his endorsement of Al Gore today mean anything?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Bill Schneider on today's move and why Al Gore still has reason to worry.

Plus...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. GEORGE. W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is a good man who's your governor, and he is a good friend, and I think I can say that without giving any hint, if you know what I mean.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHAW: George W. Bush toys with the big question of who will be his number two.

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

WOODRUFF: Thank you for joining us.

Bill Bradley emerged today to endorse Al Gore for president. With Gore at his side, Bradley ended several months of near seclusion to urge Democrats to unite for the coming election. His hearty endorsement contrasted with the faint words of praise he extended to Gore when he withdrew from the bitter primary struggle last March.

Our Bill Delaney was in Green Bay, Wisconsin, for this endorsement.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BILL DELANEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The at times not- so-merry-go-round of Al Gore and Bill Bradley's political relationship came full circle at an amusement park in Green Bay, Wisconsin, bad blood of their bruising competition for the Democratic nomination for president not flowing.

BILL BRADLEY (D), FMR. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I believe that Democrats have a better chance of guiding America to a brighter future than do Republicans, and it's not even close!

(APPLAUSE)

BRADLEY: And today, I want to make clear that I endorse Al Gore for president of the United States.

(APPLAUSE)

AL GORE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I treasure Bill Bradley's support. He is a good Democrat who speaks and stands for principles we all believe in, and Bill Bradley will be an important part of this campaign and an important part of America's future.

DELANEY: No evidence of scarring from the needles of the past.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GORE: You know, racial profiling practically began in New Jersey, Senator Bradley.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DELANEY: That sort of thing, having allegedly led to Bradley's allegedly faint praise after his campaign caved in last March.

BRADLEY: I believe that a Democratic president can do more for this country than a Republican president, and he has my full support.

DELANEY: A spokesman for Senator Bradley said it was making too much of mole hills to make too much of the linguistic nuance between last March's support and the word "endorse" Bradley used on the summery shores of Green Bay. Still, words can echo. Don't be surprised to see this in Republican advertising in the months to come.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, FEBRUARY 21)

BRADLEY: Well, what you've you seen is an elaborate, what I call, Gore dance.

(CHEERING)

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

(END VIDEO CLIP) DELANEY: Things are said, said a Bradley spokesman, in the heat of a campaign, adding Bradley will be out there, at least to some degree, this fall, and enthusiastically, campaigning for gore.

(on camera): After meeting Bradley, Gore planned an evening before a group he needed to court more ardently than any single supporter, undecided voters, hoping to woo a few in Michigan. Bradley's a boost, sure, but Gore still has millions of other minds to make up.

Bill Delaney, CNN, Green Bay, Wisconsin.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SHAW: One mind watching all this in Los Angeles, our senior political analyst Bill Schneider -- Bill.

SCHNEIDER: Bernie, Bill Bradley didn't win a single primary or caucus, so why should his endorsement of Al Gore today mean anything?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Bill Bradley tried to rally liberals in a campaign against Clintonism. His argument? Under Clinton and Gore, the Democratic Party has lost its ambition.

BRADLEY: The Democratic Party shouldn't be in the Washington bunker with you. The Democratic Party should be thinking big things with big ambitions.

SCHNEIDER: Bradley couldn't get anywhere by challenging Clinton and Gore on the issues.

GORE: So I want to start by telling you what we were doing in that Washington bunker. We created 20 million new jobs, cut the welfare rolls in half, passed the toughest gun control in a generation.

SCHNEIDER: And right now, it's not the Bradley vote Gore is worried about. It's the Ralph Nader vote. Nader is doing something Bradley never did: He's attacking Gore personally.

RALPH NADER, GREEN PARTY PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He's basically become a very plastic person who doesn't know who he is anymore and panders a lot. I think a think a lot of people in this country have sensed that.

SCHNEIDER: Bradley didn't attack Gore personally. Instead, he complained about Gore's attacks on him -- "He hit me!" Nader's challenge could turn out to be more serious. To many voters, Nader's a consumer's hero, and his complaint about Gore hits a nerve with the same liberals Bradley targets. Nader's charge -- Gore's a sellout to big money.

NADER: And I think he's become part of the Clinton indentured situation that is beholden to big business donations. SCHNEIDER: That charge resonates with union voters in the Midwest, who are angry with gore over trade. It also resonates with environmentalists on the West Coast who think Gore is too cautious. Gore hopes the Bradley endorsement will keep liberals onboard. That was Bradley's message: a vote for Nader is a vote for Bush.

BRADLEY: Because I believe that Democrats have a better chance of guiding America to a brighter future than do Republican, and it's not even close!

(CHEERING)

SCHNEIDER: Nader has a message, too.

NADER: The Gore campaign, in response to press inquiries about our campaign, have responded by saying they're not losing any sleep over this campaign, to which I reply, "Slumber on, Al Gore, slumber on."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCHNEIDER: What's Nader's game? To discredit the Clinton-Gore legacy in order to return the Democratic Party to its progressive principles. That's exactly the same goal as Bradley. Bradley has written on his Web site: The Democratic Party's issues and the principles that underlie them will outlast any one national campaign. Doesn't sound like a man who expects Gore to win -- Bernie.

SHAW: Bill, a question for comparisons: Is Nader as big a threat to Gore as Pat Buchanan is to George Bush?

SCHNEIDER: That's a big surprise. Nader is materializing as a bigger threat to Gore than Buchanan is to Bush. Nader is outpolling Buchanan in the polls, number one. Nader has a far more positive image among voters than Pat Buchanan does. Nader is regarded a hero to consumer activist, whereas Buchanan many voters consider a trouble maker. And much more to the point, conservatives this year, unusually, seem to be willing to make compromises to win. They don't want to make trouble. They are tired, they're angry after eight years of Bill Clinton, whereas liberals, there is some potential trouble there for Al Gore; they could go for Ralph Nader.

SHAW: Bill Schneider, in Los Angeles, thank you.

George W. Bush appeared in Pennsylvania today, and geography alone determined the topic of conversation: Bush's possible choice of a running mate.

CNN's Chris Black followed the Bush campaign to Pittsburgh.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRIS BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): George W. Bush, campaigning in the swing state of Pennsylvania, made a teasing reference about who he might pick as a running mate, in front of the local favorite, Governor Tom Ridge. BUSH: This is a good man, your governor, and he is a good friend.

(APPLAUSE)

BUSH: And I think I can say that without giving any hints, if you know what I mean.

BLACK: Bush says Governor Ridge, a Republican who supports abortion rights, is still in contention.

BUSH: I'm not telling you. He's under consideration. That's a short answer to a short question.

BLACK: He says he is moving closer to a choice and has eliminated some candidates from the list, but he declined to say who stayed on the list and who's been cut.

BUSH: You know, I think it's best in this process to tell people that I'm coming to a conclusion and that -- just leave it at that.

BLACK: Bush says he is hearing a lot of unfounded speculation these days, but nearly every day he finds reason to mention his running mate search.

BUSH: The only thing is, Dr. Kissinger is no longer on the list.

BLACK: But Bush says only two key advisers, his wife, Laura, and former Defense Secretary Richard Cheney, the man in charge of his vice presidential selection process, know what he is thinking.

Bush told reporters he thinks the role of vice president has broadened and changed since Walter F. Mondale served as Jimmy Carter's vice president. He said he considers Mondale, his father, Dan Quayle, and his own current rival, Al Gore, to be successful vice presidents. He is using all of them as models as he considers his own running mate.

Bush is clear about the qualities he is looking for in a number two.

BUSH: The decision will be based upon a person's ability to be the president and a person with whom I can get along, and obviously, if a person can help in a state, that'd be helpful.

BLACK: Popularity in a battleground state like Pennsylvania is a bonus, Bush said, but secondary to loyalty.

BUSH: I don't have to be looking over my shoulder and worrying about my back if I become the president.

BLACK (on camera): As to whether he announces choice before during over after the national Republican convention, Governor Bush says that is under consideration, as is, too, who he will ultimately pick.

Chris Black, CNN, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: Just as Governor Bush, Vice President Gore is said to be undecided on when to announce his choice of a running mate, but an emerging possibility is to make the announcement immediately after the Republican national convention. The idea would be to blunt any post- convention bounce the Republicans might receive. Sources within the Gore campaign say that it is just one of several options that Gore is considering.

The National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League today issued report cards on the 20 most mentioned vice presidential possibilities. Seven Democrats scored a's for their work on the issue of abortion, including Senators Dick Durbin, Dianne Feinstein, John Kerry and Joseph Lieberman. Also, Energy Secretary Bill Richardson, former Senator George Mitchell and Governor Jeanne Shaheen. Senator Bob Graham got a B, and Senator Evan Bayh and House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt C's.

On the Republican side, Governor Christie Whitman scored highest with a B. Governor George Pataki got a C. And Governor Tom Ridge, whose support of abortion rights has become an issue, received a D from NARAL for his -- quote -- "declining work." The other seven Republicans -- from Elizabeth Dole to Congressman John Kasich and Governor Frank Keating -- all received failing grades from NARAL.

Joining us now, author and syndicated columnist Elizabeth Drew, and Ron Brownstein of "The Los Angeles Times."

Elizabeth, first with you, in this business of choosing a running mate. Does Governor Bush have a dilemma?

ELIZABETH DREW, AUTHOR/SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: I think the big question for Governor Bush, quite frankly, is whether he's going to make a distinguished or undistinguished choice. That's going to tell us a lot about him. And if it's a close race, it could make a difference. Of the people under consideration, it's been my understanding for some time, despite his little teasing today, that Governor Ridge is not really in contention, because Catholics are very bothered by his abortion rights position, and Bush is not interested in alienating the Catholic vote.

With all due respect, Governor Keating of Oklahoma, whom Bush says he likes a lot, he keeps stressing he wants to feel close to someone and wants someone who's loyal, would not be a distinguished choice. He has no great national experience. He is said to be very fond of John Kasich, the House member, but Kasich is a very bright guy, but he has a kind of puppy-like aspect, that even some of Kasich's friends sent word to Austin that would not be a good idea.

That leaves two what I think would be distinguished choices, Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Fred Thompson of Tennessee. They both have national exposure, Thompson more than Hagel, but he's get it quick. They can shore him up on foreign policy, and they'd be ready to govern in 10 minutes if they have to. He's supposedly also considering Chris Cox of California, but again, I don't think that brings a lot of stature and distinguish to the ticket.

SHAW: Ron, anyone else in the safe category area?

RON BROWNSTEIN, "LOS ANGELES TIMES": Well, I think that, you know, the question really is, as you were saying, another way of looking at it politically, is there anyone that can change the playing field at this point for him? And if you rule out John McCain, who is going to be on later, I think, but if he really is not going to do it, and Colin Powell really isn't going to do it, you don't have anybody at the national level, who would change the national picture.

And once you put Ridge to the side, if indeed they have, and many indications are that they have sort to of soured on Ridge because of the fear of what it might mean for the base, your really don't have anyone out there who's in serious contention who can affect a state that you really hope to win, and that's why putting Ridge to the side may be a boon to Democrats.

Once you get beyond that, I think you're pretty much in the category of do no harm. When you get to people like Hagel and Thompson, at least you have an overture to the king, the McCain wing of the party, and potentially some appeal to independents. Hagel is someone who has a Washington experience, but also has very been much separate from the Congressional leadership. He's in "Roll Call" today, criticizing Trent Lott over the China vote. He would send a message, I think, that would be interpreted among elite opinion as Bush establishing his independence from the Congressional leadership, and that wouldn't be bad.

DREW: Yes, Trent Lott is actually trying to undermine Hagel, but I'm not sure that's a complete demerit. There is another name, which also involves a state. They would very much like to cause Gore heartache in Tennessee. So if Bush doesn't have what -- the nerve or the panache to pick Thompson, who would be a very big figure, there is some talk of Bill Frist, who's also up for re-election. I don't think of Thompson and Frist as interchangeable people, but that just to complete the list of the names, at least floating around, that I think are serious.

BROWNSTEIN: A lot of these names are names you pick when you think you're pretty far ahead. You know, but the question is, can you pick someone who will make a difference in a one or two-point race? That's really the way you've got to make these decisions as a presidential candidate. You have to assume it gets close in the end.

SHAW: What about Al Gore's list?

BROWNSTEIN: Al Gore has a pretty short list also, I think, and he doesn't really have a lot of good options, if you look at the Democratic contenders. I was talking to one senior Democrat, who saying if you're talking about someone who is going to affect a state, really you've got Bob Graham. That's about it. Now Florida is a tough state for Democrat.

Now the way things are going for Gore in the Midwest, where you have culturally conservative, white swing voters, all of those states, Bernie -- Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Michigan, even Pennsylvania, it's all looking pretty tough right now. And you may get to a position where they have to win Florida.

I think Graham is the only one, other than Dick Gephardt, who is sort of the equivalent of John McCain on the Democratic side, possible national figure, but unlikely to do it. Graham is the only who really brings a particular electoral and political punch to the table for the Democrats right now.

DREW: Dick Durbin of Illinois, an elected Catholic, has been very high on the list for some time, not so much necessarily Illinois. It would be more of a national thing to have any -- he's young, he's a fresh face, and he's a very sharp debater.

Not long ago, Dick Gephardt started coming into view, and that's because Gore has a very difficult problem, while the Bush people and Bush have done I think a very smart job of holding the base, but convincing everybody else he's moved to the center, Gore is still worrying about his base, as well as trying to get the center.

So Gephardt supposedly helps him with labor and helps him with the liberals. It could be that Durbin does that as well. I'm told, too, that don't rule out Bob Graham, because once in a while they go back and forth, but then they think, well, we might just carry Florida after all.

BROWNSTEIN: Well, one of the keys in the race is the difference the way the two candidates have consolidated their base. Bush has been running consistently at about 90 percent of Republicans, at a Reagan-like level, and that's given him the freedom to spend his time in front of the NAACP, in places like New Jersey tomorrow, Pennsylvania, New York, focusing all the time on swing voters.

Look where Al Gore has been this this week. He's been in Arkansas, he's been to Connecticut, he's been in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He's been talking to the NAACP. He's been focusing on the fact that he is only running three quarters of Democrats, and the difference in freedom and flexibility that it gives each side has been enormous, the populist image all aimed at consolidating Democrats.

DREW: I'll tell you somewhere else has been this week, Dick Cheney, who's in charge of the search. He's been on Capitol Hill. He was there Tuesday. And what they seem to be doing is reporting around some of the central figures that they are thinking about, not talking to them directly yet, but talking to other senators, other people, even some press, about some of the people they are considering, but I suspect by this weekend the finalists are going to start to get phone calls about meeting Bush somewhere, quietly.

SHAW: Interesting. Elizabeth Drew, Ron Brownstein, thanks very much.

And, Judy, we have to look out for surprises, names not mentioned.

WOODRUFF: That's right. All of this is fascinating, fascinating. Well, you've heard what the reporters are saying. You can name your pick for Al Gore's running mate by going to CNN's allpolitics Web site. Just click on "Veepstakes," and choose who you think has the best shot at being the actual nominee. You can also find out who won "Veepstakes 2000" on the Republican side. That's at allpolitics.com.

And next on INSIDE POLITICS, he's out of the race, but still very much in the picture. We will talk with Arizona Senator John McCain.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHAW: A new poll released this day shows George W. Bush with a 7-point lead over Al Gore. The Pew Research Center poll of registered voters shows Bush with 42 percent, Gore with 35 percent, and Pat Buchanan and Ralph Nader both at two percent. This poll was taken in the last week of June.

A new survey by the American Research Group shows Nader hurting Gore in three of the largest electoral-vote states. In California, Gore is leading Bush by seven points, even with Nader in the race; Gore also maintaining a comfortable nine-point lead in New York. But, in Florida, Gore is trailing Bush by two points, the same total that is going to Nader. In Pennsylvania, Gore trails by 14 points, with Nader polling eight percent. And, in Illinois, Gore is trailing by seven points, with Nader getting six percent.

WOODRUFF: And joining us now from Capitol Hill, former Republican presidential candidate, and Arizona senator, John McCain. Senator, thank you for being with us.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Thank you, Judy, Bernie.

WOODRUFF: This Shadow Convention coming up in Philadelphia -- we're told you are playing a lead role. Are you trying to steal some of the limelight away from Governor Bush?

MCCAIN: No, I hope I couldn't do that. Arianna Huffington is an old friend of mine, and she asked me to speak. And I'm going to talk about reform. And I'm going to talk about Governor Bush's reform agenda for America: his reform of the military, reform of health care, reform of education, and the fact that Governor Bush as president will carry out a substantial reform agenda.

WOODRUFF: But that Shadow Convention is going to be getting some attention, as is your Straight Talk Express, which you are re-creating to bring into the city. How much attention do you want to get here?

MCCAIN: Oh, I'm very appreciative of the fact that Governor Bush has asked me to speak on Tuesday night. I hope that I can be effective in furthering the cause of his nomination and express, not only my confidence, but my enthusiasm for his presidency. The Straight Talk Express was a lot of people who had a good time on it; said why don't we take one more ride. That's all. We're just going to ride up to Philadelphia. There's no big deal.

Once we get there, in fact, I'm going to have a town-hall meeting with one of our Congressional candidates and Tom Davis, the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee. But I'm there to do what I can to ensure that Governor Bush is presented to the American people in the best and most positive light, which will not be a difficult task.

WOODRUFF: You mentioned, Senator, you mentioned health care reform. You mentioned reform of the military, education reform on the part of Governor Bush. You didn't mention campaign finance reform. You endorsed him, but he really has not moved an inch, has he, on this issue? Is that disappointing to you?

MCCAIN: Well, I'd like for Governor Bush and I to agree on every issue. And obviously, it is a very major issue in my view. But Governor Bush is for full disclosure. He is in favor of soft-money elimination, at least as far as corporate and unions are concerned. And I'm hoping that, as I campaign with him, and other ways, we can work together on that issue as well.

WOODRUFF: Well, in connection with money in this campaign, there was a report this week that the House Republican campaign officials are thinking of, in effect, defying the Federal election commission, going ahead and pouring huge amounts of party money into Congressional races without waiting to see what the Supreme Court says about whether this is lawful or not. Is this something you are comfortable with?

MCCAIN: Of course not, nor am I over many of the other egregious abuses that are taking place. The estimates are now as much as a billion dollars will be spent in soft money. I hope our Republican leaders and others recognize that the Democrats are now out-raising us in soft money. So, it is now beginning to be in our interests to see that done away with.

Look, it's lurched out of control. The abuses take place on both the Republican and Democrat parts. We need to reform it. And more and more Americans, I believe, are siding -- taking that view as well. Reform was the theme of my campaign. Most political observers said that we would not succeed with that as a major campaign principle. And yet it did succeed. And I'm confident that over time, we will win.

WOODRUFF: Just want to ask you briefly...

MCCAIN: Sure.

WOODRUFF: ... a question, Senator. Looking back to the primaries, a report in the "Wall Street Journal" this week that a Bush ally, a lobbyist for Cambodia named Richard Hines, footed the bill for a mass mailing just before the South Carolina primary, attacking you for your stance on the Confederate flag. A mailing went out to conservative voters. Are you absolutely certain that the Bush campaign had nothing to do with this, as they say they did not?

MCCAIN: I have no idea. It's kind of entertaining in that the mailing alleged that I wanted to take the flag down, which was not the position I held at the time, but the position I wish I had held at the time. So it's kind of ironic. This kind of thing has to be taken out of American politics. I have no idea of what the connections were. And I'm looking forward and not back. And I'm looking forward to a Bush presidency, which I think is going to be best for America.

WOODRUFF: The Bush spokesman, Ari Fleischer, did a television interview, where he, at one point, he used the term vice president when he was talking about you and your relationship with the governor. Was that just a -- was he letting the cat out of the bag?

MCCAIN: I know that Ari Fleischer is a very important man in the Bush campaign, but I think that Governor Bush is the one who's making that decision, not his very important press spokesman. He's a very good guy, but I think it's Governor Bush who'd be making that decision, and as you know, I'm not in the process.

WOODRUFF: Are you absolutely not in the process, under no circumstances? I'm asking because you did tell some of your Congressional colleagues that if Governor Bush came to you and said: This is important for victory, you would do it.

MCCAIN: But that's not a scenario that is likely, because I'm not in the process. And, in other words, I've not gone through the Dick Cheney vetting process. So, when I asked Governor Bush in Pittsburgh, when we met, that I didn't wish to be in the process, I know he has honored that request. And so therefore, I don't see any scenario.

WOODRUFF: Who should he pick?

MCCAIN: I think we are blessed with some wonderful people: Tom Ridge, Chuck Hagel, Fred Thompson, Tommy Thompson, Christie Todd Whitman, I'm very pleased -- Elizabeth Dole -- I'm just -- I'm glad I don't have that decision to make, because we have such an abundance of very highly qualified men and women.

WOODRUFF: Finally, Senator, reports today and yesterday, the United States just, in effect, normalizing relations with Vietnam. What is your sense, your reaction, when you hear this coming finally?

MCCAIN: It's a trade agreement that has been signed. I think it's a logical next step after normalizing relations. I think it's good for America. I think it's good for Vietnam. And I believe that it will help force the Vietnamese to make some much-needed reforms and help their economy. I think it's a good thing. And I'm pleased that these negotiations were carried out by our trade representative, Charlene Barshefsky, who I think did a wonderful job.

WOODRUFF: All right, well, Senator John McCain...

MCCAIN: Thanks.

WOODRUFF: ... we thank you so much for joining us. And we look forward to seeing you early and often in Philadelphia.

MCCAIN: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: Thanks again. And much more ahead on this edition of INSIDE POLITICS.

SHAW: Indeed. Still to come: this police scene on the streets of Philadelphia; a look at the political response.

Plus...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KATE SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: On this day, the talk is about the two certainties in life: death and taxes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: Kate Snow on Capitol Hill and the Republican efforts to pass tax cuts.

And later...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PATRICIA LAZIO, WIFE OF SEN. RICK LAZIO: But Mrs. Clinton's campaign isn't telling it straight about Rick Lazio and health care.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHAW: The wife of the Republican Senate hopeful goes to bat against New York Democrats.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: We will have more of the day's political news coming up. But now a look at some of today's top stories.

President Clinton is plunging back into the Mideast peace summit after leaving Camp David briefly today for a couple of public appearances. This is day three of the Israeli-Palestinian talks.

And joining us now from Maryland with the latest developments, CNN's Jerrold Kessel -- Jerrold.

JERROLD KESSEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Judy, plunging back with -- President Clinton says -- renewed energy when he left this morning for those prior commitments elsewhere; he had apparently -- or reportedly -- left these Palestinian and Israeli guests with the polite injunction: Grapple with the issues now.

Because after the first couple of days of trying to set the convivial tone for the atmosphere for engaging the issues, according to sources inside the Israeli delegation, the Americans were telling both sides: Now is the time not just to say what the are issues, but to get down to them, to address them, and to try to address the possible solutions regarding them; that was this in fact the first real negotiating day. But it began last night when Yasser Arafat and Ehud Barak had their first tete-a-tete at the summit. And what we're led to understand, there was, not unexpectedly, disagreement, although they did engage the core issue. All core issues were touched upon, we understand, at that meeting.

The president really has some kind a tactical dilemma as he returns to engage the peace summit to decide whether he will be absolutely committed and engaged at every single level of negotiations, or at times, to step back, and let the two leaders and their delegations get together and address each other on the issues. That will be something which we will try to see how the Americans approach this tactically.

The president also having to address another minor -- or not minor, but side issue perhaps -- in making sure that it's all smooth sailing at the summit. Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat had wanted a number of other leaders -- of Palestinian leaders of different parties -- some of them of opposition parties within the PLO executive -- to come up to Camp David, each though they're not part of his formal negotiating team; and to have a meeting with him to try to buttress his negotiating stance, whether in favor of a deal or not.

Now, understand that that meeting will take place -- this from Palestinian source issues -- tomorrow with Yasser Arafat at Camp David. Perhaps, there will be also another meeting with the president taking part as well.

For now, I am Jerrold Kessel, reporting live near Camp David in Maryland.

WOODRUFF: Thank you, Jerrold.

We are expecting another Camp David news briefing shortly from State Department spokesman Richard Boucher. As soon as the briefing gets under way, we will get to it live.

SHAW: It is being called a major breakthrough in United States relations with Vietnam. A landmark trade agreement between Washington and Hanoi could open new markets for both countries.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: With this agreement, Vietnam has agreed to speed its opening to the world, to subject important decisions to the rule and law and the international trading system; to increase the flow of to its people; by inviting competition in, to accelerate the rise of a free market economy and the private sector within the Vietnam itself.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHAW: Congress must approve any deal between the former enemies. And since Vietnam is a communist country, any agreement would undergo an annual Congressional review.

A former spokesman for Ken Starr went on trial on contempt charges here in Washington today. The prosecution claims Charles Bakaly told the "New York Times" reporter that Starr had decided he could indict President Clinton during his impeachment trial. At issue is whether Bakaly told the truth about it to a federal district judge. WOODRUFF: A six-member jury is expected to start deciding the historic Florida tobacco trial tomorrow. Closing arguments wrapped up today. Attorneys for an estimated 700,000 sick smokers are seeking $154 billion from the Big Five cigarette-makers. Tobacco industry attorneys say the cigarette-makers can not afford such a big damage award.

Just days after two brownstone buildings collapsed in Brooklyn, a four-story building collapsed today in Manhattan. Work was being done on a structural wall when it caved in, triggering the collapse. Nine employees were inside, and all but one escaped without injury. An adjacent building, which housed several homeless families, had to be evacuated.

SHAW: Next on INSIDE POLITICS, the incident that has embroiled Philadelphia as the city prepares to greet the Republican Convention.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHAW: With less than three weeks to go before the Republican National Convention, the host city suddenly has a problem on its hands. In Philadelphia, civic leaders are appealing for calm after a beating by black and white police of a black suspect in view of television cameras.

CNN's Deborah Feyerick is in Philadelphia with the latest on a story that began developing yesterday -- Deborah.

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Bernie, this is certainly not what political leaders wanted so close to the convention. Right now, they are embroiled in four investigations into this beating. Federal prosecutors, the district attorney, the homicide detectives, and also the police department's internal affairs bureau, all looking into this beating. Police are not defending or condemning their actions. They are waiting until all of the facts are in. But so far, police have not recovered the gun that they believed that Thomas Jones had used on one officer on the hand. The police commissioner today himself out in the neighborhood questioning witnesses. The chief of homicide portrayed the suspect, in the meantime, as no innocent.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMES BRADY, PHILADELPHIA HOMICIDE UNIT: We believe that he's involved in two robberies on the 11th of July, and an additional robbery earlier that morning, at 7:12, about 12 hours before the officer was shot. So there will be additional charges filed in the very near future, which include three additional purse snatched robberies, as a result of evidence recovered at both of those crime scenes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FEYERICK: The family of Thomas Jones, say regardless of what he did they believe that police did cross the line.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know that he had problems. I know he had problems. I tried to talk to him, but what can I say?

QUESTION: Did he listen to you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sometimes, yes, yes.

QUESTION: You must be very sad right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes I am . I am sad about the way that they treated him, you know, a grown man been shot four, five times. That was police brutality. I am not talking about white or black cop, I am talking about cops period.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FEYERICK: Thomas Jones has been charged with two counts ever attempted murder, reckless endangerment, assault, as well as auto theft. The officers who were involved, at least several of them, as well as those who were involved in the beating, have been put on modified assignment, as is procedure pending the outcome of the investigations.

Reporting live, Deborah Feyerick, CNN, Philadelphia.

WOODRUFF: Thanks, Deborah.

Well, if the name "Thomas Jones" were to become as familiar as "Rodney King," then Philadelphia will have even more in common than it does today with Los Angeles.

As CNN's Bruce Morton reports, both are holding conventions this year, and both have been troubled by actions involving police.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Will this videotape of Philadelphia cops beating Thomas Jones be world famous? Yes. Is it already? Probably. Here we go again? Maybe, maybe not. Jones is not another Rodney King.

MYR. JOHN STREET, PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA: As inflammatory as this tape might be, we have to keep in mind that the police were in the process of apprehending a criminal suspect who had resisted several attempts by the police to arrest him and who shot a police officer in the process.

MORTON: Los Angeles police famously beat unarmed Rodney King, whose only crime was acting oddly, in 1991. When a jury acquitted the cops, riots broke out. More than 50 people died in the rioting. Damage came to maybe a billion dollars. Two policemen were later convicted of violating King's civil rights.

Philadelphia can look back at its own racial troubles. In 1985, police tried to evict the radical MOVE sect from a row house. After a gun battle, the mayor approved dropping a homemade bomb on the MOVE house.

Sixty-one houses burned -- row houses burn easily -- and 11 people, including 5 children, died.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, 1985)

MYR. WILSON GOODE, PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA: I ultimately am responsible for seeing that government runs well, that people are helped rather than hurt by their government, that good rather than evil is visited upon them in the process of government's work. In other words, the buck stops with me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORTON: Philadelphia, back then, stayed calm. Los Angeles blew up as recently as last month -- fires, looting, victims -- after its basketball team won the NBA championship.

MYR. RICHARD RIORDAN, LOS ANGELES: These are not fans; these are losers who only know how to trash our city. They're vandals.

MORTON: Philadelphia and Los Angeles are in the spotlight because they are the two convention cities. The Republicans come to Philadelphia in just a couple of weeks. Trouble ahead?

STREET: I think this situation is very, very different than situations we are likely to encounter at the convention.

RIORDAN: I am highly confident that we will do the best job of security in any convention in history.

MORTON: These are not the 1960s, when city after city burned following Martin Luther King's murder, when Chicago police beat demonstrators at the Democratic convention of 1968. But racial peace is not everywhere either. Rodney King asked a question.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RODNEY KING: Can't we all just get along?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORTON: The answer seems to be: not always, not yet.

Bruce Morton, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: Just ahead on INSIDE POLITICS, the Republican plan to use tax cuts as campaign leverage. Plus, a New York Democratic makes his ballot fight official, petitioning to force a Senate primary.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHAW: Today, Democrat Mark McMahon delivered 40,000 signed petitions to the New York State Board of Elections. McMahon is trying to get on the Democratic Senate primary ballot to challenge first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton for the party's nomination.

The Republican candidate, Congressman Rick Lazio, is releasing a new ad today. The ad is a so-called "rapid response" to a state Democratic party ad released yesterday, which criticized Lazio's recent vote on prescription drug coverage.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, LAZIO CAMPAIGN AD)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Rick voted for a patients bill of rights, and Rick just helped pass new legislation to help seniors afford their prescription drugs. Why do I care so much about health care? I am a registered nurse. And how do I know so much about Rick Lazio? He's my husband.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHAW: That ad will air upstate for an undetermined amount of time in what the campaign calls a "heavy ad buy."

WOODRUFF: Taxes, not health care is the issue of the day on Capitol Hill. The Senate is considering the first in a series of tax measures on the agenda before the upcoming recess. The president has already threatened to veto some of the measures.

But as Kate Snow reports, that is part of the Republican strategy.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SEN. DON NICKLES (R-OK), MAJORITY WHIP: The American people want tax relief.

KATE SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): That's at the heart of the Republican strategy on tax cuts this year. Take a huge budget surplus and give the people what they want -- popular tax cuts wrapped in small, easy-to-digest packages. On this day, the talk is about the two certainties in life: death and taxes.

A bill would repeal the estate tax, phasing it out by the year 2010.

SEN. JOHN KYL (R), ARIZONA: It takes death out of the equation, it removes that horrible Hobson's Choice that a family must make at the worst possible time.

SNOW: Republicans say it would save farmers and small business owners from being double taxed after death. But in fact, only 2 percent of all estates are subject to the estate tax and a tiny fraction of them are family owned.

SEN. EDWARD KENNEDY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: It's very clear what the priorities are. The other side, the Republicans have been looking after the financial interests of the wealthiest individuals in this country.

SNOW: Democrats offered their own estate tax cut for family- owned businesses, but it was killed along party lines. Republicans are plowing ahead with more tax relief before the summer recess. A Republican plan would eliminate the so-called "marriage penalty" and provide a tax break to all married couples.

SEN. TOM DASCHLE (D-SD), MINORITY LEADER: Give me a tax cut that is not popular. I mean, the Republicans have built their whole reason for being around this notion that somehow no one should have to pay any taxes.

SNOW: Last summer, Congress tried to push through a huge package of nearly $800 billion in tax relief. The president refused to sign it. Republican leaders have learned from that mistake.

GLEN BOLGER, PUBLIC OPINION STRATEGIES: They took a page out of President Clinton's strategy, legislative strategy and that is to break things up into bite-size morsels that the public readily supports and understands and get votes on it and, you know, when it's a 70 percent supported issue, it's hard for the Democrats to oppose it.

SNOW: President Clinton has already said he'll veto both the estate tax repeal and the marriage tax reduction, saying the surplus should be used for other priorities.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SNOW: But analysts say that is part of the Republican strategy. Getting the president to veto tax cuts gives them fresh material and a way to criticize the White House going into their convention later this month.

Kate Snow, CNN live, Capitol Hill -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Thank you, Kate.

And still ahead, the former prime minister's gift to charity that turned out to be worth six figures.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: The handbag made famous by former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher fetched a hefty price on the auction block.

SHAW: When the bidding was done, the bag sold for more than $150,000 -- all for a good cause. There were 63 bids for this black Ferragamo handbag, which came with a handwritten note from Margaret Thatcher. The online auction, which lasted 10 days, included 15 handbags from celebrities, and raised more than $155,000 for the Breast Cancer Care organization.

You might recall this story, Bill Schneider was over in London two weeks ago and he did this piece on this handbag.

WOODRUFF: The stories that handbag could tell, don't you think?

SHAW: Indeed. That's 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.

WOODRUFF: And this programming note: Bush adviser Haley Barbour and Gore adviser Ron Klain will be the guests tonight on CROSSFIRE. That's at 7:30 p.m. Eastern.

I'm Judy Woodruff.

SHAW: I'm Bernard Shaw. We'll be right back with "WORLDVIEW," which 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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