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Inside Politics

George W. Bush Bristles at Clinton Attacks; President Bush Fires Warning Shot Across Clinton's Bow; McCain Set to Speak to GOP Convention

Aired August 1, 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)

GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He's so desperate to have his legacy intact by getting Al Gore elected he'll say anything, just like Al Gore will.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: George W. Bush hits back at President Clinton, and their families join in the political feud.

Still on his way to the GOP convention, Governor Bush is echoing tonight's national security theme. Plus, all the angles on John McCain, hours before his convention speech. Why do some of his fans fear they'll be disappointed?

ANNOUNCER: From the Comcast First Union Center in Philadelphia, the site of the Republican national convention, this is INSIDE POLITICS, with Judy Woodruff and Bernard Shaw, and analysts Jeff Greenfield and Bill Schneider.

BERNARD SHAW, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks for joining us on this second day of the GOP convention. Matters of war and peace will be showcased in this hall this evening.

WOODRUFF: So George W. Bush surrounded himself with military veterans on the campaign trail today, and then he launched a counterattack against President Clinton.

SHAW: As our Jonathan Karl reports, Mr. Clinton's recent criticism of Bush is not sitting well with the governor or his father.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JONATHAN KARL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a Charleston, West Virginia rally, George W. Bush broke his self-imposed pledge not to mention Bill Clinton by name as he campaigns his way to Philadelphia.

GEORGE W. BUSH: This nation is looking for an administration that will appeal to our better angels, not our darker impulses.

(APPLAUSE)

This nation does not want four more years of Clinton-Gore.

(APPLAUSE)

KARL: Bush said he mentioned Clinton because questions from reporters about the president's recent attacks got him -- quote -- "riled up."

GEORGE W. BUSH: It's amazing to me that the president of the United States would -- would spend time trying to be a political pundit. He's so desperate to have his legacy intact by getting Al Gore elected he'll say anything, just like Al Gore will.

KARL: In recent days, President Clinton has stepped up his criticism of Bush.

WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The message of the Bush campaign is just that, I mean: "How bad could I be? I've been governor of Texas. My daddy was president. I owned a baseball team."

(LAUGHTER)

"They like me down there. Everything's rocking along hunky- dory."

KARL: Those words from President Clinton prompted Bush's father, the former president, to threaten to end his longstanding policy of not criticizing President Clinton.

GEORGE H.W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And if he continues that, then I'm going to tell the nation what I think about him as a human being and a person.

JOE LOCKHART, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We should have some perspective here. President Bush ran probably the most relentless, mean-spirited campaign in our political history when he ran against Governor Dukakis, and one of the architects of that campaign was George W. Bush. So I don't think anyone here needs a lecture about personal attacks.

KARL: A senior Bush aide said the former president spoke out because Clinton's attacks have been -- quote -- "way beyond the pale." But the aide doubted President Bush would follow through on his threat to attack Clinton.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KARL: Asked if he thought it would be helpful if his father engaged in a war of words with President Clinton, Bush avoided the question, saying only -- quote -- "I don't think it's harmful that the president is talking about me. It's a sign they're a little concerned" -- Bernie.

SHAW: Thank you, Jonathan Karl, from Harrisburg. SHAW: Well, former President Bush will be seen, but not heard live in this convention hall this evening as Republicans pay tribute to the last three GOP Commanders in chief. As our Charles Bierbauer reports, the event may draw further attention to George Herbert Walker Bush's role, or lack thereof, in his son's campaign.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHARLES BIERBAUER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Bush has never really said what he thinks about President Clinton and so far he's still showing restraint.

GEORGE H.W. BUSH: I know what you're referring to, but I may be -- you know, I've been very good about not criticizing the president for -- for eight years, and I believe I can continue through the rest of his term.

BIERBAUER: Were he just a father, former President George Bush might weigh in aggressively defending his son. But Bush wants his son's campaign to stand on its own.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "LARRY KING LIVE")

LARRY KING, HOST: What are you going to do in the campaign?

GEORGE H.W. BUSH: Stay the heck out of it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BIERBAUER: There might be another parental weapon.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "LARRY KING LIVE")

KING: How about Barbara?

GEORGE H.W. BUSH: We might unleash her.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BIERBAUER: Because Bush was himself president, every public word is watched as a sign of his influence over the campaign or his son's weakness, as in New Hampshire earlier this year.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE H.W. BUSH: This boy, this son of ours, is not going to let you down.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "LARRY KING LIVE")

GEORGE H.W. BUSH: I've been told to stay out of controversy, Larry.

KING: So you can't call him "my boy" anymore? GEORGE H.W. BUSH: Can't do that. You know, I've done that all my life.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BIERBAUER: At the 1996 Republican convention, President Bush spoke critically of his successor at the White House, Bill Clinton.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE H.W. BUSH: As president I worked to uphold the dignity and the honor of the presidency.

(APPLAUSE)

And I tried, as did my superb staff, to treat both the White House and the presidency itself with respect. It breaks my heart when the White House is demeaned, the presidency itself diminished.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BIERBAUER: This year, the former president's unusual dual role created a convention quandary.

ED GILLESPIE, RNC PROGRAM CHAIRMAN: We asked the president what role would he like to play and we asked the governor what role would he like his father to play, and they both agreed that President Bush's role here in Philadelphia should be as the proud father, which he is.

BIERBAUER: President Bush has no speaking role, but in the convention's taped tribute to him, President Bush has some advice for both his governor sons.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE H.W. BUSH: At some point, both of you may want to say, well, I don't agree with my dad on that point, or frankly, I thought dad was wrong on that. Do it. Chart your own course, not just on the issues, but on defining yourselves, for nothing can ever be written that will drive a wedge between us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BIERBAUER: President Bush says he is used to being criticized, but it's worse when a son or daughter is criticized, and Barbara Bush says George W. Bush can "take care of himself and doesn't need his mother to defend him," though she is "dying to do it" -- Bernie.

SHAW: Charles, does anyone in the Bush family think that possibly President Clinton is trying to provoke Governor Bush?

BIERBAUER: Well, you know, President Bush and I have spent a lot of years together covering him, and he sort of looked over and gave me a wink at the end of that statement. He's restraining himself and he knows very well why he's restraining himself, because he does not want to get himself dragged into this argument and he wants to let his son stand forth, and particularly because part of the criticism is that George W. Bush is too influenced by his father. So, that's all the more a father's prerogative to say, son, you've got to stand up for yourself here -- Bernie.

SHAW: OK, thank you, Charles Bierbauer.

Now, we've been watching developments outside this hall. We're going to show you an aerial view of a growing demonstration in downtown Philadelphia. Several protesters have formed a human barricade here turning rush-hour traffic into gridlock and resulting in 13 arrests. This is one of at least three human barricades reportedly forming around Philadelphia in the last hour. We see the police taking off people. Activists have told police they want to block traffic at key intersections in order to disrupt activities around this Republican national convention here in Philadelphia.

We will continue watching developments outside the hall -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Meantime, as you've been hearing, several big political names will be featured at the convention tonight, but former Bush rival John McCain has the most coveted speaking slot. Our floor correspondents Jeanne Meserve and John King join us now with a preview.

First to you, Jeanne. What are you hearing about Senator McCain's speech?

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, of course, McCain thumped George W. Bush in New Hampshire and gave him stiff competition for about a month. So what better way to display the unity of the party than to have him speak here tonight.

Aides to McCain tell us that he will not specifically mention his signature issue of campaign finance reform, but that he will refer to it obliquely, using the word "reform" twice in 4 1/2 pages of text, calling for changes in the institution and practices of government.

We are told that the Bush campaign has seen this speech but did not make any editorial changes.

They are sure to be happy with the second part of this speech, the second subject, which fits in with the theme of the evening, military defense and military service. We are told that McCain will talk some about his and his family's military service, and specifically draw a connection between his family and that of the governor. He will talk about the fact that the father of the governor, former President Bush, served under his grandfather in the Pacific during World War II.

It's going to be interesting to see how the delegates respond to this. We spoke to one McCain delegate in the state of Michigan who told us several days ago that he did not want to see McCain abandon his principles, that he wanted to see him talk specifically about campaign finance reform. We will watch him tonight to see if he and others feel that McCain has gone a little bit too far in support of George W. Bush -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, Jeanne, and for more on McCain's speech, let's go to John King, who's covering the delegation in the senator's home state of Arizona -- John.

JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Judy, these delegates throughout the first day of the convention said they were here with mixed emotions. Since Senator McCain has released them, they say they will work enthusiastically for Governor Bush in the fall. Still they had worked quite hard for Senator John McCain, their home state favorite, and they will be watching closely this evening among them.

Cindy McCain, the senator's wife, she is the chairwoman of the Arizona delegation. Elsewhere on the floor, as Jeanne reported, some McCain delegates still grumbling a bit they don't see Governor Bush making a firm commitment to campaign finance reform, other issues Senator McCain highlighted. And there's even some talk here that perhaps Senator McCain will make another run at it in four years if Governor Bush loses. However, those most loyal to Senator McCain knows that if he is to do that, one, Governor Bush would have to lose, and two, Senator McCain would have to emerge from this election with no bad feelings in the Republican Party.

So in his speech tonight, right from the outset, he will make clear that he will work for Gov. Bush this fall, and then decide his political future after November and when we know who will be the next president -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: And, John, you are also covering the Texas delegation. Some folks getting riled up there?

KING: Well, in the Texas delegation, of course, their main mission here, support their home state governor. There has been some controversy today as to whether we would see any protests in the Texas delegation tonight. Among the speakers tonight, another member from Arizona, Congressman Jim Kolbe. He's the only openly gay member of Congress. There was some talk that some Texas conservatives might walk out in protests, but we are told this morning, key members of the Texas delegation went to those activists, said that would embarrass Gov. Bush quite so, urged them not to do so. The whip organization put on alert here on the floor tonight. But we are told by a spokesman from the Texas delegation that under no circumstances now would there be such a walkout.

WOODRUFF: All right, John King on the floor. Thanks to you and Jeanne -- Bernie.

SHAW: And now let's turn to our Sr. political correspondent Bill Schneider. As we watch this convention on the floor tonight, what should we be looking for?

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, as we just said, the big moment is going to be John McCain's speech, because he has his own following. McCain has been a good soldier, or actually make that a sailor. He's a Navy man, remember. He endorsed Bush, he endorsed Bush, he endorsed Bush, and he released his delegates. Will he be a party pooper? Not if he expects to have any future in the Republican Party. We'll be watching the McCain delegates. Are they onboard with Bush? Is there any lingering resentment? McCain argued during the campaign that the Republican Party can't win if it sells itself simply as a conservative party. It has to offer, he said, something more. McCain wanted to turn the GOP into a reform party. If Bush wins, McCain's argument goes up in smoke. He knows that. His delegates know it, but will they show it?

SHAW: Anything else?

SCHNEIDER: Well, how long can this convention keep up its happy face? Sooner or later, the delegates are going to want some red meat. Where's the beef? Will any of the speakers get tough with Bill Clinton or Al Gore? Those names hardly came up last night, except for Laura Bush's thinly-veiled reference when she said, "I want my son or daughter to respect the president of the United States," wink, wink, nudge nudge, say no more, say no more. Well, the crowd roared. They want to see some fight. This is a convention, and their trying to de- Gingrich the GOP -- no more Mr. Nasty Guy. But can the party really restrain itself from trashing Clinton and bashing Gore, or will hotter heads prevail?

SHAW: Only time will tell!

SCHNEIDER: That's right.

SHAW: Bill, what about the tributes to past presidents?

SCHNEIDER: That's where Reagan comes in. It will be interesting to see who gets the loudest cheers -- Ronald Reagan, who will be represented by his wife, or former President George Bush. Reagan, of course, is a GOP icon, of course. 1980 was the year one of the modern Republican calendar, and of course there's tremendous sympathy for the former president. But the election of George W. Bush would be a tremendous vindication of his father, who was defeated by Bill Clinton. If former President Bush gets a response from this crowd that even rivals Ronald Reagan's, it's a sign that the party has gone from being Reaganized to being "Bushified."

SHAW: "Bushified."

SCHNEIDER: "Bushified." That's better than bushwhacked.

SHAW: I was wondering whether you were going to say "Bushized."

OK, Bill Schneider -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Well, our senior analyst Jeff Greenfield is here to tell us a little bit more on the subject of scripted conventions -- Jeff.

JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: Two minds perhaps on the same track, Bernie.

You know, when it comes to the political press, our favorite menu is "grouse" and "whine." So when we talk about scripted conventions and infomercials, the campaigns are right to tell us, you know, it's not our job to give you an exciting fight; it's our job to make our party look good. OK, but what if, as a matter of political strategy, they may be wrong? What if they may be making a serious error by erasing any and all notions of conflict from the convention?

Now think about what we saw last night, or rather what we didn't see. Not a single solitary sign or banner saying anything vaguely unpleasant about Democrats. Now how come? Didn't anyone in that New York delegation want to wave a banner that said "Hillary Go Home?"

Wasn't there a single Republican who wanted to proclaim "Gore's a Bore," or "Bye, Bye, Bill," or even, Heaven forbid, "How's Monica?" Now without question, voters -- especially independent voters -- don't want any part of snarling faces or mean-spirited fury. But maybe -- just maybe -- when they tune in a convention, they want to see something vaguely resembling a political event. They may even want to hear a party explain what's wrong with the other team. You know, that's what Reagan did in that 1980 debate, when he asked, "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" That's what George Bush the elder did in his classic 1988 acceptance speech when he called Michael Dukakis' "competence" theme, a "pinched, narrow vision." Tough words, but part of the give and take, the same as Democrats going after Dick Cheney's voting record. I mean, how in Heaven's name is criticizing someone's voting record a personal assault?

Interesting, in a recent study, scientists found that parents who spend too much effort feeding their children absolutely clean food may be putting them at risk. It turns out a little bit of grit is good for kids. It may be the same thing with elections. "Campaign" is a term borrowed from the military. It means a battle. It means someone wins and someone loses. So forget the media's indignation over image- making. The real problem may be that children sitting at school desks on a convention podium or sitting behind the nominee-to-be to make audiences feel warm and gooey isn't smart politics. And I should tell you, I talked to two disgruntled conservatives, and they think I'm wrong, that it might be good politics, it's just not very interesting.

WOODRUFF: All right, Jeff Greenfield, a lot to think about there. And INSIDE POLITICS will be right back. We leave you with some aerial views of another protest. This is different from the one Bernie told you about a moment ago. This are people who are gathered in front of city hall, and we will continue to keep an eye on it.

INSIDE POLITICS will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HILLARY CLINTON (D), NEW YORK SENATE CANDIDATE: But make no mistake about it, the strategy on the other side is to induce a case of political amnesia in every one of us -- forget about those deficits, forget about those votes to keep Nelson Mandela in prison and to abolish Head Start, forget about all that rhetoric, forget about going to Bob Jones University, just take us as we are and appear in these beautiful pictures that we send out every day.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SHAW: New York Senate candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton criticizing this Republican party during her address to the National Urban League yesterday. Joining us now, her Republican opponent, Congressman Rick Lazio.

Political amnesia coming from the floor, pretty pictures? Your reaction to her criticism of what's happening here?

REP. RICK LAZIO (R-NY), SENATE CANDIDATE: My reaction is that this convention is about being positive and laying out for the American people what the Republican message is, talk about what we stand for, where we would like to lead the country, and I understand what Mrs. Clinton is trying to do, talk about anything other than the New York Senate race, I think talk about anything other than the fact that she's yet to do one single thing for the people of the state of New York.

The fact is, Bill Clinton is not running for Senate. Dick Cheney is not running for Senate. George Bush is not running from Senate from New York. It's Rick Lazio and Hillary Clinton and we've both got to stand on our respective records.

SHAW: And you're not going to respond of her criticism of she likes to call them "Congressman Cheney's" House voting record?

LAZIO: I just think that Dick Cheney is a widely respected former chief of staff, former secretary of defense. He has been praised by Al Gore, by Tony Coelho, by a whole rift of other Democrats. I think this guy is a quality man. He's got character, he's got integrity, and we ought to be proud of him.

SHAW: With all the Democratic voters in the state of New York, why don't have you a high Republican profile at this convention? Why aren't you speaking from the podium?

LAZIO: If I got to worry about these votes, to tell you the truth, these 20,000 votes, I'm in big trouble. My job is to get back to New York. We came into the race only two months ago, Bernie. We have a lot of work to do over the next three months. I need to back and answer questions from New York, talk about the issues, connect with people, get around the entire state. That's where I belong. It's great to get applause and get pats on the back, but people from New York need to understand that I'm going to put New York first and I'm get my backside out of this convention tomorrow and get back to New York where I belong.

SHAW: A little tug-of-war within your staff over whether you should accept an invitation to speak from this podium or whether you should, as you say, get your backside back to New York.

LAZIO: Well, I belong back in New York, that's my decision. I'm proud to be here to support Governor Bush. I'm proud to campaign with Governor Bush, my job is to go out there and talk about my record, the things I believe, the things I've done in eight years in Congress and what I will do in the Senate.

SHAW: And it's also in keeping with the Bush campaign's wanting to keep the spotlight on the governor rather than members of Congress?

LAZIO: It's his convention, and I am totally comfortable with that. And they're going to be times when I disagree with Governor Bush. I believe in many of the same principles he believes in. But there are things like support for the arts, maybe campaign finance they supported that we may disagree with. That's OK. What we need to do is make sure we get a great president elected. And back in New York, the people of New York have confidence they are going to elect someone that's got a mainstream record that will care about them.

SHAW: But conversely, Mrs. Clinton is going to have a very high profile in Los Angeles in less than two weeks, you're up by seven points in the poll. After the Democrats close in Los Angeles, do you still expect to be ahead?

LAZIO: See, I don't know. I mean, the polls only say one thing to me right now -- they say the fact we have had seven or eight different soft money negative commercials trying to distort my record has had no impact but a positive impact on me. The people don't believe them, that they want a positive message. They want to hear about what we believe in, what we stand for. They care about things like character. They care about things like honesty. They want to know where we are on health care, on the environment. They need to know from me that I'm going to be out there and be a champion for the environment, as someone who has written legislation that passed into law, somebody who stands for lowered taxes, somebody who's got a fiscal confidence married with a sense of fiscal responsibility.

SHAW: Before we run out of time, if you had to use one word on what will the election between and you Mrs. Clinton turn?

LAZIO: Trust.

SHAW: Congressman Lazio, thanks for joining us.

LAZIO: Sure.

SHAW: Quite welcome.

As Hillary Rodham Clinton launched a three-day tour -- am I looking at the wrong camera? Let me start that over. My apology.

As Hillary Rodham Clinton launched a three-day tour of Long Island today, daughter Chelsea was at her side. It was Chelsea Clinton's first campaign appearance since she decided to take a break from her studies at Stanford University to help her mother campaign and spend time with her father at the White House.

There is -- I can look at you.

WOODRUFF: Be sure it's the right camera.

(LAUGHTER)

SHAW: There is much more ahead on this edition of INSIDE POLITICS. WOODRUFF: Still to come, the Republican lineup -- a look at the star speakers and tributes as we talk to the chairmen of both parties about the GOP convention. Plus:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Secretary of State Colin Powell? Bush hasn't offered, at least not yet.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHAW: Jamie McIntyre on the resume of Gen. Colin Powell.

And later:

WOODRUFF: Could traffic jams factor into winning the presidential race? Our Jeff Greenfield offers his thoughts on the matter.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JOIE CHEN, CNN ANCHOR: Bernie and Judy will have more of the day's political news coming up, now a look at some other top stories.

A U.S. Army sergeant is sentenced to life without parole in the killing of an 11-year-old girl in Kosovo. Staff Sergeant Frank Ronghi had pleaded guilty to charges of premeditated murder, sodomy and indecent acts with a minor. In exchange for the guilty plea, which allowed him to escape the death penalty, the Army dropped additional charges of rape and felony murder.

French pilots are applauding the decision to suspend all Air France Concorde flights indefinitely. Aviation authorities grounded the Concorde until an investigation into last week's crash is completed. One-hundred and thirteen people died when the supersonic jet crashed into a hotel near Charles De Gaulle Airport. Investigators say one or two of the jet's tires may have exploded, causing a fuel leak.

The Pentagon is calling in reinforcements for civilian firefighters in the western United States. Six-hundred soldiers from Fort Hood are in Idaho today for field training. They'll help fight a 15,000-acre fire, one of a dozen major fires burning across the state. Five-hundred marines are training across the state; 663,000 acres across 10 states have burned. Lightning, high winds and heat have sparked several new fires. Firefighters say this could be the worst fire season in 12 years.

CHEN: The U.S. Justice Department says Drug Enforcement Agents have disrupted an international methamphetamine ring. So far, at least 135 arrests have been made in "Operation Mountain Express." That operation has focused on a network shipping drugs used to make methamphetamine to dealers based in Mexico. The drugs were distributed across the United States, with many of the shipments ending up in the Midwest. A new study stirs debate about the Brady Bill and its effects. That study shows murder rates did not drop any faster in states that toughened their laws to comply with a 1994 gun control measure. But fewer people 55 and older used guns to kill themselves after the act took effect.

U.S. Senator Robert Torricelli says he will not run for the Democratic Party nomination for governor of the state of New Jersey. Torricelli had been working on a bid to face Republican Governor Christie Whitman in 2001. The senator announced he was out after Woodbridge Mayor Jim McGreevey picked up support from 30 of the state's elected officials. Democrat McGreevey narrowly lost to Whitman in the 1997 election.

When INSIDE POLITICS returns, from Philadelphia, Colin Powell, as a would-be secretary of state: What does his past tell us about his possibilities in the future?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: On Tuesday, August 1st, the Republican National Convention honors the past and focus on the future. In the 8:00 hour, local time, retired Army General Norman Schwarzkopf is scheduled to offer his perspective on the night's theme: strength and security with a purpose, safe in our homes and in the world. Schwarzkopf will speak on the importance of military readiness. Former senator Bob Dole with lead a salute to U.S. military veterans, especially those, who, like him, served in World War II.

In the 9:00 hour, the Republicans will offer a video tribute to the party's three most recent presidents: Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and George Bush. During the 10:00 hour we will hear from Condoleezza Rice, an international policy adviser to former President Bush, and some say, a possible cabinet member of any future Bush administration. She will discuss international policy.

Later in the hour, Senator John McCain, who spent five and a half years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam will discuss the importance of military strength. It will be the final policy address at the convention's second night: Tuesday August 1st.

The Republican National Convention gets back under way in less than two hours.

SHAW: In keeping with the night's theme of national security, let us consider now how international relations might be conducted in a Bush administration.

CNN's Jamie McIntyre explores that issue by looking at the record of the Republican who is, by most accounts, the leading candidate to be Bush's secretary of state.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MCINTYRE (voice-over): With a CNN/"Usa Today" poll ranking Colin Powell as vastly more popular than any current politician, it's little wonder George W. Bush is hinting the former joint chiefs chairman may end up in his cabinet.

GEORGE W. BUSH: And I hope his greatest service to America might still lie ahead.

MCINTYRE: Secretary of State Colin Powell? Bush hasn't offered, at least not yet.

COLIN POWELL, FMR. JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN: I'm sure there will be a conversation. And if I can serve him, I'd certainly consider it.

We are that rarity in history, a trusted nation whose power is tempered by compassion, whose leadership is earned by example and who's foreign affairs will be guided by common interest and common sense.

MCINTYRE: Despite his sky-high approval ratings, Powell has his critics, who argue his military doctrine of decisive force is too inflexible help the United States achieve diplomat goals.

TOM DONNELLY, PROJECT FOR A NEW AMERICAN CENTURY: Based on his past track record, you have to be wondering whether he will be the guy to seize the moment or to allow it to dissipate. For instance, some insiders say Powell didn't really want to use military force to evict Iraqi troops from Kuwait in 1991.

IVO DAALDER, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: It was clear that, within the coterie of people around President Bush at the time, General Powell was on the more cautious side with regard to the use of force.

MCINTYRE: As joint chiefs chairman, Powell advised Presidents Bush and Clinton against NATO air strikes in Bosnia, a tactic that eventually helped force the Serbs to the peace table. In his defense, Powell argues that, as a senior military adviser to the president, it was his job to lay out options, not to make policy.

POWELL: You should always be reluctant to use military power. I have been characterized as the reluctant warrior. Guilty.

MCINTYRE: But would Powell be as hesitant to flex U.S. military muscle as secretary of state?

DONNELLY: The question is, is whether he has learned from that experience, whether he still believes that American leadership should be exercised cautiously, that military force should be used only as a last resort.

MCINTYRE (on camera): Powell's credentials for secretary of state include a stint as national security adviser to President Reagan and a role in negotiating the end of military rule in Haiti. He also has what is an undeniable plus, a demonstrated ability to rally the American public.

Jamie McIntyre, CNN, the Pentagon.

(END VIDEOTAPE) WOODRUFF: When Colin Powell addressed the convention last night, his strongest comments, though, were not about national security, but about affirmative action.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

POWELL: We must understand, my friends, we must understand that there's a problem for us out there. We must understand the cynicism that exists in the black community, the kind of cynicism that is created when, for example, some in our party miss no opportunity to roundly and loudly condemn affirmative action that helps a few thousand black kids get an education. But you hardly hear a whimper when it's affirmative action for lobbyists who load our federal tax code with preferences for special interests. It doesn't work.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: We are sorry about the gremlins there at the beginning of that sound from Colin Powell. I will just read the first part of what he said. He said: "We must understand the cynicism in the black community when some of our party condemn affirmative action. But hardly a whimper is heard from them over affirmative action for lobbyists," as you heard him say, "who load the federal tax code with preferences for special interests." He said, "It doesn't work."

Well, joining us now, the chairman of Republican National Convention, Jim Nicholson, and the national chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Joe Andrew.

Gentlemen, thank you for being with us.

Jim Nicholson, to you first. Is Colin Powell's analysis correct? Is the black community justified in being cynical of the Republican Party for the reasons he described?

JIM NICHOLSON, CHAIRMAN, RNC: No, it's not. The Republican Party is reaching out vigorously in all fronts to join the black community of America in our party. I mean, we're the party that met for the first time ever right here in this city in 1856. And we met on the issue of slavery. We came together. We nominated Lincoln and elected him president. And he freed the slaves. And we did that because of our conviction about freedom and equality. And we have the same convictions as we meet here today 144 years later, Judy.

And you see people on this stage at this convention -- J.C. Watts chairing this convention. You saw General Powell. You saw Delegate Harris from the House of Delegates and

(CROSSTALK)

NICHOLSON: ... occupies Thomas Jefferson's seat.

WOODRUFF: But if I may, Jim Nicholson, his point has to do with those in the party who condemn affirmative action at the same time special interests, lobbyists are lobbying for successfully loading up, as he put it, the federal tax code with preferences for those special interest.

NICHOLSON: You know, those -- those...

WOODRUFF: He said special -- in other words, his point is special interests for some but not for others.

NICHOLSON: Those tax preferences in that tax code have been put there over the last 40-some years, mostly under Democrat control of the Congress. But his point about, you know, affirmative action in helping blacks, I think, is a very important one and I think that was the most important part of his speech, because it tied so closely to what he said is that we have to help children in this country, especially young black children, get a better education so that they have a better sense of themselves, a better self-value, self-esteem.

And that's what -- that's what Governor Bush's domestic agenda is really centered on, is helping improve the education in America.

WOODRUFF: Joe Andrew, let me bring you in from a Democratic perspective. The Democratic Party is -- its hands aren't clean on this issue either. As Jim Nicholson points out, many of these tax preferences were put in under Democratic leadership.

JOE ANDREW, NATIONAL CHAIRMAN, DNC: Well, look, of course Americans of all races are very cynical about what's going on here at the Republican national convention, because they recognize that there are more Hispanic and African-American speakers on this stage than there are delegates to this convention.

NICHOLSON: Well, that's not true, Joe.

ANDREW: This is simply true. It is true, Jim, and you know that it's true, and the fact of the matter is there are just photo opportunities out here...

NICHOLSON: It's not at all.

ANDREW: ... not real opportunities for working families across this country no matter what race they may be.

Colin Powell was right. I mean, our country should stand up for affirmative action, and the Democratic Party and Al Gore continues to fright for that to make sure that we can have opportunities for all Americans. His speech was great for Al Gore and Democrats last night, to see that a respected Republican agrees with Al Gore on affirmative action, agrees with Al Gore on education. We've got to lower class sizes. That was very good for Democrats.

NICHOLSON: What he said about education was that we need to try things different. He said, what's wrong with trying to give these kids a chance if they're in a failed school, to give them -- give them a voucher to go to a better school, which wealthy people have the option of doing, Joe, like -- like Clinton and Gore both did with their children. That's all...

ANDREW: Well, that's very selective, Jim. What he said was we need to invest money in preschool education, which Al Gore will do, and George W. Bush doesn't have a dime in his proposal for this. He said we need to make sure we fix our crumbling schools and that we lower class size, two things that George Bush is not willing to put money in that Al Gore will put money in...

NICHOLSON: Well, what we need to...

ANDREW: ... because he recognizes we've got to work on those things.

NICHOLSON: We need to make sure that kids are learning, Joe. We need to make sure that they're learning to read. Governor Bush has proven in Texas that you can do that if you have standards and you hold people accountable. And the people who have improved most in Texas are the minority children, I'm happy to say.

WOODRUFF: Joe Andrew, let me -- let me ask you this. If the Republican Party truly is trying, as it says it is this week, trying to be more open to women, more open to minorities, trying to improve its record on education, why not accept that? I mean, why not applaud that?

ANDREW: Because it's a convention-night conversion. This very week in the United States Congress they could have fought for working families. They could have tried to raise the minimum wage. Instead they spent time getting rid of the estate tax. They could fight for affirmative action. They could fight for programs that would help women and Hispanic and African-American citizens to make sure that they can reach their own dreams. But they're not doing that. They're just providing photo opportunities. They're using people as props here on the stage. And Americans recognized that. They understand how phony this all is.

NICHOLSON: Joe, you need to get some new talking points. Here's what the American...

ANDREW: Those aren't talking points. That's the truth, Jim, and (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

NICHOLSON: Here's what the American Congress just did for working families. They just repealed the death tax. They just repealed the marital tax. And they've repealed the tax on Social Security, which you Democrats put through when Clinton came in, three taxes that we just lowered for working Americans.

ANDREW: Al Gore is for tax cuts, and everybody knows that. It's that Democrats want to fight for tax cuts for working families, not for the rich. And that's George W. Bush is all about, the rich.

NICHOLSON: You think -- you think people are rich in this country if they're -- if they're a policeman married to a teacher. That's your definition of rich.

ANDREW: No, no.

NICHOLSON: That's not ours. ANDREW: Al Gore wants to fight to make sure that people making $40,000 get a tax cut, not people making $100,000.

NICHOLSON: Now, that's -- that's your talking points.

(CROSSTALK)

ANDREW: It's not talking points.

Judy, we'll let you have a word here.

WOODRUFF: Well, we are going to have to leave it there. I did have another question, but we'll save it for the next time.

Gentlemen, thank you both, Jim Nicholson, Joe Andrew.

NICHOLSON: Thank you.

ANDREW: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: Thanks very much.

Coming up next, more on Colin Powell, the Republican Party and the GOP convention with Jay Carney of "TIME" magazine.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHAW: This is how things look inside this Republican convention hall in anticipation of tonight's gavel. But outside the hall, there have been demonstrations this day here in Philadelphia.

For the latest, let's check in with Charles Bierbauer -- Charles.

BIERBAUER: Bernie, I'm outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center, which is in downtown Philadelphia, several miles from where you are. You may see a cluster of police behind me. There have been police all throughout several areas of downtown Philadelphia this afternoon, because there have been a number of demonstrations.

Just a few moments ago, a group left here carrying signs that said such things as "Shut down capitalism" and "Stop racist police terrorism."

What we've had is a convergence of several of these protest groups. They deal particularly in once instance with a Philadelphian, who is sitting on death row here in Pennsylvania, Mumia Abdul Jamal, for the murder of a taxi cab driver.

The death penalty is a big issue in this particular town. The death penalty is an issue at this convention, or at least outside this convention. We saw signs saying, "We will remember Gary Graham," the Texan death-row inmate whom George Bush, George W. Bush did not grant clemency for, was unable to stay his execution.

We've seen signs that also say, "Pentagon out of Vieques." That's with regard to the military firing range down in Puerto Rico. So there is a great variety of incidents and interests gathering together here.

We have seen a number of arrests. It's very difficult for me to tell you how many. I saw a number of people taken into custody.

My colleague, Steve (UNINTELLIGIBLE), who's at a separate location out in West Philadelphia, what he describes as a warehouse, a cooperative-type warehouse. Said the police came in with a search warrant and may have taken as many as 30 people away on a police bus.

We've seen police on bicycles. We've seen police on horseback. We've seen police in vans.

This has not been what I would call a nasty demonstration, but it has been vocal. It has been both spreading out and converging throughout downtown Philadelphia for a good part of this afternoon.

Now, back to you -- Judy.

SHAW: OK, thank you, Charles Bierbauer with the latest. Earlier, we had reported 13 arrests, so Charles reporting 30 people taken from that building, that totals 43 -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right. And joining us now, Jay Carney of "TIME" magazine.

Jay, I want to ask you about whether Colin Powell's remarks on affirmative action, special tax preferences for -- tax preferences for special interests is having any effect.

We just heard the chairman of the Republican Party say he disagrees with Powell's analysis. He doesn't think that the black community is justified in being cynical toward the party because of that. How do you read all of this?

JAMES CARNEY, "CNN & TIME" CORRESPONDENT: Well, he's in a difficult situation, because he can't simply say that the party up until this moment has been indifferent to the demands and plights of black Americans, but he also wants to welcome General Powell into this party and welcome his message into inclusion.

Colin Powell, I think, took a step out of the box for himself last night, in terms of becoming more of an aggressive leader and an involved leader in this party, and trying to -- he sort of laid down the gauntlet, and said, it's not good enough to just talk about this and put on a good show for four days. It's not good enough to talk about it during an election year. You have to do something about it. And frankly, the Democrats can point to the fact that this is not a party that the has been effective at all in attracting minorities, and especially African-Americans. When Joe Andrew said that there were more African-American speakers or minority speakers than on the stage, he was exaggerating, but it's awfully close actually.

WOODRUFF: The feel-good atmosphere == is that working for the Republicans, do you think? CARNEY: Well, we'll have to see. You know, the early indications are that the public is not tuning in, you know, tuning in, you know, in record numbers to this convention. I am sure it's working in that they're sending a message that George Bush is trying to send, that this is a new kind of party. But I think that there is a risk, and I know that there is some concern among Republican officials about this risk that Bush creates a situation, now, that is so emphasizing the positive, that any attack that the Democrats level, when Bush wants to counterattack, we are all going to say, wait a second, you are not going to go negative, and anything they do is going to be perceived as negative, and it may come too late to counter the attacks which are bound to be effective that the Democrats will make.

WOODRUFF: What about the comments, I don't know if you call them attacks or not, but the comments coming out this week from President Clinton, from Hillary Clinton? Is that serving them well?

CARNEY: Serving the Democrats?

WOODRUFF: Serving the Democrat well?

CARNEY: Well, look, Al Gore is behind on the polls. They know that they can't win by attacking Bush's personality, because Al Gore has a charisma deficit, there's no doubt about it. They have to go after him on the issues, and there's no doubt that what Clinton said got under George W. Bush's skin and it got under President Bush's skin, and I think that they would love, they the Democrats, would love an opportunity to remind the Republicans about the bad things and the original Bush years. American tend to feel very good about former President Bush now, because we've had such a long period of prosperity, and they don't always remember about the bad things, the reasons of why they threw him out of office with only 33 percent of the vote I think in 1992 -- a recession, a perception that he was out of touch with regular Americans, and the sense that the Gulf War was a short-term victory.

WOODRUFF: All right, Jay Carney, and we'll see you later on this week.

CARNEY: Thanks for having me.

WOODRUFF: Thanks a lot. I appreciate it.

CARNEY: And still ahead, Jeff Greenfield's words of advice fro the would-be presidential hopeful.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Joining us once again now for a final thought, our senior analyst, Jeff Greenfield.

GREENFIELD: Take notes. If the Republicans are looking for a killer issue, I've got it right here. Now yes, it stems from personal inconvenience, but I truly believe could reshape the entire political universe. You have to ask yourself: Can Governor Bush, or for that matter, can any Republican candidate, ever cut into Democratic majorities in the big cities? Yes, with one issue: no more motorcades. Every time a president, or vice president or spouse of same comes into New York, thousands of security people bring the town to a screeching halt, bridges are closed, highways are closed, streets are blocked, and the traffic flow -- never a breeze at best -- raises blood pressure from the Bronx to the Battery. I believe a simple promise by George W. to minimize these disruptions, and the city's Democratic vote shifts seismically -- putting the state of New York -- Gore's likeliest big state right now -- into play.

Now I know this issue lacks the moral urgency of child poverty or health care. But if, in fact, all politics is local, there is nothing more local then this.

You have to trust me, Governor Bush, promise me you will take a taxi when you visit New York, and you will be riding right up Pennsylvania Avenue in January.

Tomorrow, we'll talk about airport delays.

(LAUGHTER)

WOODRUFF: Spoken like a New York resident. You do live in New York City, don't you?

GREENFIELD: You bet you.

WOODRUFF: We never would have guessed.

GREENFIELD: Well, you know, how would could you tell?

WOODRUFF: All right, well, that's it all for this edition of INSIDE POLITICS. Bernie and I will be back in one hour, along with the rest of the CNN convention team, for the start of our coverage of tonight's session.

GREENFIELD: Of course you can go online for convention coverage all the time at cnn.com/election2000.

I'm Bernard Shaw.

WOODRUFF: And I'm Judy Woodruff.

Stay tuned for "THE WORLD TODAY." Among the guests, former McCain Backer, Senator Fred Thompson of Tennessee.

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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