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Inside Politics

Joseph Lieberman Accepts Al Gore's Offer to Join the Democratic Ticket

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



SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN (D-CT), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There are some people who might actually call al's selection of me an act of chutzpah.


JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: In his debut as Al Gore's running mate, Joseph Lieberman drives home his role as a groundbreaker and as a voucher for Gore's character.


AL GORE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He's the right person. No one is better prepared to be vice president of the United States of America.


WOODRUFF: Gore was prepared to be vice president, too. How badly does he need Lieberman to soften his Clinton connection? Plus, a profile of Lieberman's wife, Hadassah, and how she underscores the Democrats' theme of inclusion.

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

WOODRUFF: Thank you for joining us. Bernie is on his way to Los Angeles for our Democratic convention coverage.

We begin with Al Gore and Joseph Lieberman, launching their ticket and their journey to L.A. At a rally in Nashville, Lieberman reinforced the reasons why Gore tapped him to be his running mate, through the words he repeated over and over again: faith, family, character, values.

Our John King has more on the event and its message.


JOHN KING, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A new partnership for the Democrats and a new day in American politics. LIEBERMAN: I cannot express with words the gratitude I feel in my heart today as the first Jewish-American to be honored to be a major party candidate for the vice presidency.

KING: It was the country's first glimpse of Senator Joseph Lieberman on the national stage, and he used it to urge voters to take a second look at the man who brought him here.

LIEBERMAN: Before the nation knew him as vice president, I knew him as a man of family and a man of faith.

KING: The day's unspoken message was this: Give the vice president some credit for the booming economy, but not the blame for the president's personal conduct.

LIEBERMAN: He has never wavered in his responsibilities as a father, a husband, and, yes, as a servant of God almighty.

KING: The vice president stressed their shared support of welfare reform and balanced budgets. It's a message aimed squarely at the middle class and the political center.

GORE: There's a big difference in this election, and it comes down to this: Joe and I are fighting to see to it that our prosperity benefits working families, and not just the few.

KING: But most remarkable about this day was the emphasis on religion and values, a clear rebuttal to the Republican convention theme that a GOP victory in November is needed to bring morality and integrity to the White House.

LIEBERMAN: I ask you to allow me to let the spirit move me as it does, to remember the words from Chronicles, which are to give thanks to God -- to give thanks to God and declare his name and make his acts known to the people.

KING: With the new signs and a new team came a sense of excitement. The question now is whether the energy of the moment translates into lasting momentum. Los Angeles is the Democratic convention city this year, as it was in 1960, when John F. Kennedy became the first Roman Catholic elected president.

GORE: That year, we voted with our hearts to make history by tearing down an old wall of division. And when we nominate Joe Lieberman for vice president, we will make history again.

KING: The Gore senior campaign staff looked on with a mix of excitement and nervous anticipation, knowing the next 10 days will serve as a critical test of their new team's appeal.


KING: Gore's hometown of Carthage, Tennessee and then Lieberman's native Connecticut up next, as the Democrats hope a week spent introducing the party's new number two will also bring a more favorable reassessment of the man atop the ticket -- Judy. WOODRUFF: John, separately from all this, the vice president got a pretty big endorsement today?

KING: He did indeed, Judy. The 1.3-million member United Auto Workers finally joining the AFL-CIO fold in delivering an endorsement to Vice President Gore. They held out because of differences over trade and other issues, but that union today saying he is by far the best choice. They also applauded Ralph Nader a bit. But the UAW now endorsing Al Gore, very important because of the UAW's large membership in key battleground states, like Missouri, Ohio, Michigan. That a big endorsement the vice president puts in his pocket as he and his new partner make their way now to Los Angeles -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, John King reporting from Nashville. Thanks.

There is evidence that voters may indeed be giving Gore a second look as he and Lieberman head into the Democratic convention. A new CNN/"USA Today"/Gallup poll suggests that George W. Bush's lead over Gore may have narrowed to as little as one or two points. We should note that this was only a one-day survey of registered, not likely, voters. It was taken after word broke yesterday that Gore had selected Lieberman.

We're joined now by our Candy Crowley with the Bush campaign in Austin, Texas.

Candy, tell us, is the Bush campaign at all worried about the signs of maybe some narrowing in the polls?

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, if you will, for a couple of months now, they've been kind of trying to draw the sting of what they believed would be ever-closing poll. What they say is, look, the polls from about a week away from the Republican convention all the way to a week after the Democratic convention are going to go back and forth. That's why they call them swing voters, and that's what they think you're seeing is the swing voters and the ticket-splitters.

No, they're not overly worried about it. Again, they've been talking for months about how they believed by Labor Day, the polls and even the wide lead that George Bush has enjoyed will begin to come down to something that's a little more realistic and a little more conducive to what's actually going to happen in November. So they expected the polls. It can't be good news, however.

WOODRUFF: Candy, do the folks there believe that Gore selecting Lieberman will make it harder for them to link Gore to President Clinton and his problems?

CROWLEY: No, in fact, I just talked to a top strategist a little while ago, who said, look, we don't see this as a danger; we see this as an opportunity. They don't believe that Lieberman when it all shakes down. They say, look, he's enjoying a good bounce, and that's how it's being played right now; that gives him some distance. But they think that in the end, what voters will see is the difference, not the distance. That is the difference between how Joe Lieberman responded in the midst of the Monica Lewinsky affair as opposed to how Al Gore responded. So they believe that it's not so much distance as difference we'll see. That's kind of how they've been going on the whole matter of Joe Lieberman, which is to say that they praised Joe Lieberman to get at Al Gore.

The governor released a statement later -- earlier today, just after Joe Lieberman gave his speech, in which he said, "I respect Sen. Lieberman for his convictions, his strong faith and his record on Social Security, missile defense and reforming our public schools. I hope he will run a positive campaign and that the vice president will use this opportunity to change his tone to that of Sen. Lieberman's level." It goes on to say, "This election now presents the vice president with an interesting test of whether he will continue attacking positions his running mate shares, or whether he will lift up our nation by elevating the tone of his presidential campaign."

So again, sort of a two-track thing, pulling things out of Joe Lieberman's record and comparing them to George Bush, saying look, he's closer to us than he is to Al Gore. You'll see more of this as the fall campaign begins. But right now, they basically feel, what the conventional wisdom is, and that is in the end, that particularly ticket splitters and swing voters are going to vote for the top ticket, not for number two -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, Candy Crowley, in Austin, thanks.

And now we turn to our Sr. political analyst Bill Schneider.

Bill, picking up on something Candy said, what role is the Clinton factor going to play in this election?

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Clinton? Who is that? I think I remember. Well, you know, he is absolutely central, and it's a problem for both parties. Republicans learned a big lesson from the way they handled, or mishandled, impeachment. As much as many of them despise President Clinton, they must never be harsh or vindictive. Now notice Governor Bush's tone when he talked about Mr. Clinton at his acceptance speech last week.


GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Our current president embodied the potential of a generation -- so many talents, so much charm, such great skill. But in the end, to what end? So much promise to no great purpose.


SCHNEIDER: Rueful, not harsh. Now as for the Democrats, well, you know, by picking Joe Lieberman, Al Gore is making a big statement about Clinton. Lieberman has been loyal to Clinton's new Democratic agenda, but scathingly critical of Clinton's personal behavior, exactly where Gore wants to be. In fact, that's exactly where the voters are. Clinton's latest job approval rating is 57 percent, higher than Ronald Reagan's was at this point in 1988. But look at how people feel about Clinton personally. Unfavorable personal opinion of Clinton is higher now than it has ever been -- it's 54 percent negative.

WOODRUFF: So that will mean anything for the election, for voting, if anything?

SCHNEIDER: Well, you just heard Candy talk about those swing voters. The true swing voters this time are those who say Clinton is doing a good job, but who have that negative personal opinion of the president. Look at how those people are voting right now. They're showing a 40-point lead for Bush. That's phenomenal. If they believe Clinton is doing a good job, they ought to be voting for Gore, but they're not, in a big way, because of their personal feelings about Clinton.

Gore and Lieberman are targeting those swing voters. Did you notice how they touted the administration's record today without once uttering the name Bill Clinton?

WOODRUFF: So is there anything Clinton, the president, can do to help Al Gore?

SCHNEIDER: Well, I think, you know, there are a couple of things he can do. He needs to cut Gore loose the same way President Reagan cut his vice president, named George Bush, loose in 1988. Clinton needs to defend his record and criticize Bush as someone who threatens what this administration has achieved. And finally, he must never suggest that electing Gore would be like a third term for Bill Clinton. Because, you know what, as happy as Americans are with the way things are going in this country, they don't want a third term for Bill Clinton.

In fact, we asked them if President Clinton and former President Bush could run for president again, which one would you support? And the answer was Bush, by more than 10 points. Nostalgia? Maybe a little, but also a big desire for change.

WOODRUFF: Bill Schneider, thanks very much.

And as part of that effort to distance Gore from Mr. Clinton, there is, as we have mentioned, a growing Democratic emphasis on faith and family. Joseph Lieberman's wife already has begun doing her part to personalize those themes.

CNN's Frank Buckley has profile of Hadassah Lieberman.


FRANK BUCKLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Hadassah Lieberman who emerged with her husband and stepped onto the national stage is a mother, a professional, a volunteer, and a daughter of Holocaust survivors.

HADASSAH LIEBERMAN, WIFE OF JOSEPH LIEBERMAN: Whether you and your family immigrated from Europe, Africa, Mexico, Latin America, or Asia, I am standing here for you. This country is our country. This land is your land, and anything is possible for us.

BUCKLEY: Friends say her immigrant experience against the backdrop of the Holocaust helped to define Hadassah Lieberman.

DIANE ABRAMS, FAMILY FRIEND: I think it made her more compassionate toward any kind of people who were having difficult times, and hard times, or problems. And she feels, I think, a desire to help uplift people who are in trouble.

BUCKLEY: The 52-year-old mother of two and stepmother of two additional children is a health-care consultant with a Master's degree from Northeastern, and she is not, say those who know her best, Joe Lieberman.

RABBI JOSEPH EHRENKRANZ, FAMILY FRIEND: Hadassah is animated. Hadassah is that compliment to him. She'll take the same statement and when she makes it, you're going to listen to that statement, because it is a statement that's made with vigor, and vim, and conviction. And he does it in a quiet way. And I want to tell you, he needs her and she needs him.

J. LIEBERMAN: And I will never be more grateful for anything than I am for the woman who has been my friend, my partner, and my inspiration for almost 20 years now. I love you and thank you, my dear Hadassah Freilich Lieberman.

BUCKLEY: Friends say the public affection between the Liebermans is genuine, Mrs. Lieberman's love for her children as strong. Rhoda Freedberg remembers how Hadassah drove some distance every day one summer to take her then young son to a day camp drop-off site.

RHODA FREEDBERG, FAMILY FRIEND: She felt that this one was the proper day camp for her child and it was worth her driving 40 minutes not only in the morning, but in the evening to pick him up so that he could have a good experience that summer.

BUCKLEY: This summer, she found herself surrounded by cameras in her driveway.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your hair looks lovely, by the way.

H. LIEBERMAN: Thank you. I'm trying. This morning, I came out barefoot. I figured I got to clean up the act a little now.

BUCKLEY: Hadassah Lieberman may soon be a household name after all, the wife of a candidate for vice president who will not, friends say, shy away from the role.

EHRENKRANZ: She's very smart and stays in the background, but can't.

BUCKLEY (on camera): Senator Lieberman calls her a partner. And it's likely she'll contribute to his campaign in some way. As one friend put it, he relies on her judgment, and she's not shy about giving it.

Frank Buckley, CNN, New Haven, Connecticut.


WOODRUFF: Still ahead on INSIDE POLITICS, more on the issue of religion and Joseph Lieberman's role in the presidential race.



J. LIEBERMAN: I ask you to allow me to let the spirit move me as it does to remember the words from Chronicles, which are to give thanks to God, to sing to God and make music to God, and most of all, to give glory and gratitude to God from whom all blessings truly do flow.


WOODRUFF: With the emphasis on religion in this presidential campaign, we are joined now by Rabbi Michael Lerner, the editor of "Tikkun" magazine, and the Reverend Jerry Falwell, chancellor of Liberty University.

Rabbi Lerner, to you first. What does the selection of Joe Lieberman mean to American Jews?

RABBI MICHAEL LERNER, EDITOR, "TIKKUN": Well, I think this is an incredible, wonderful moment for us. It's a proof of the goodness and generosity of the American people that it could be possible for Gore to make this selection and not feel that he was going to lose votes by doing so. It's a great moment. It's a moment of inclusion. The promise of inclusion is being actualized at this very moment. And I hope to live for the moment when that is also extended to African- Americans and gays and lesbians.

WOODRUFF: Jerry Falwell, as a Christian, someone who is a leader in the Christian community, what does this mean, what should it mean for Christians in this country?

REV. JERRY FALWELL, CHANCELLOR, LIBERTY UNIVERSITY: I doubt you will find many evangelical Christians who are not applauding this selection. While I plan to vote for George W. Bush, because I believe he is the better candidate between the two presidential nominees, I do believe, I believe that he made a wise -- Mr. Gore made a wise decision in choosing a man who, number one, has impeccable character.

He is a family man. And he had the courage back during the scandals to rebuke his own president, something the vice president did not do, but rather walked off the cliff and, 17 points behind, suddenly realized: It's not the economy, stupid, it's character. And he asked, I mean, a real noble man of character, Senator Joe Lieberman, to join the ticket. It also cut the umbilical cord with the president. And I think that's going to be the tone from here to November. Joe Lieberman can't do anything but help him.

WOODRUFF: Rabbi Lerner, is that right? Joe Lieberman can't do anything but help Al Gore?

LERNER: Well, I think that it's unfortunate that although Lieberman is a wonderful person, that the way that he's being presented, as this manifestation of moral values, is a reflection of the narrowing of our conception of what morality is about. And unfortunately, it has narrowed partly as a result of the impact of the religious right and partly as the result of the media to just focusing on people's personal sexual behavior and not talking about the central issues that the Bible talks about, which is social justice. And on social justice issues, Lieberman, I'm afraid, has been not very good.

He has been at the time of -- at the time that we possibilities for cutting back the defense budget and beginning to deal with the real needs of poverty and oppression in our society, dealing with domestic needs, Joe Lieberman has been in the forefront of pushing for an expanded defense budget.

So while I am totally excited about the fact that he was nominated from the standpoint of his being a Jew, I am afraid that the discourse about morality in the society has neglected this central Biblical command to pay attention to the other, to the oppressed other, to the stranger, to those who are powerless. And that's where Lieberman, I'm afraid, is weak, and he may lose some of his labor supporters as he's played this role in moving the Democratic Party away from its Democratic base...

FALWELL: Rabbi...

LERNER: ... to focusing on serving interests that are the interests of the elites in this society.

FALWELL: Rabbi, the comparison I was making about his being a great moral addition to the ticket, my comparison had nothing to do with social justice. It had to do with the moral bankruptcy of Bill Clinton and this administration.

LERNER: Well, you're right -- you're right about that aspect of his moral bankruptcy. But again, the moral bankruptcy on sexual issues should not be equated with moral bankruptcy all across the board, because this is a guy, Bill Clinton, has done some good things that ought to be acknowledged.

WOODRUFF: Michael Lerner, you clearly disagree with a number of Joe Lieberman's votes, but Jerry Falwell, let me come back to you. Is there any reason that you can think of why a staunch Christian in this country should not vote for Al Gore because he has put an Orthodox Jew on his ticket?

FALWELL: If George Bush, for example, had asked an Orthodox Jew onto his ticket who was compatible ideologically with Governor Bush, it would have enhanced his vote-getting ability with evangelical Christians and religious conservatives nationwide. It would not have enhanced his position with Rabbi Lerner and those in his strata of ideological beliefs. But the vast majority in this country are committed to faith and family, and sexual behavior and violation of one's commitment to their spouse are important to most Americans.

LERNER: Yes, and I think that's absolutely true, and that's why I think this was a very good choice from that standpoint. What I think is also important, is to not define ethics in terms solely of sexual behavior in private life and to look at social justice issues. And here what we've seen is a shift in American politics to the right, and the center is now, today, is now in a position that just a few years ago was the position of the Republican Party. And that's why many people see Lieberman as the Democrats -- as the Republicans' favorite Democrat, because he's been so close to them on many issues.

WOODRUFF: We hear you. We hear you, Michael Lerner, and we hear you, Jerry Falwell, and we thank you both for being with us. Thank you, both.

LERNER: Thanks so much, Judy.

WOODRUFF: Thank you.

FALWELL: Vote for George Bush.

WOODRUFF: And much more ahead on this edition of INSIDE POLITICS. Still to come...


JONATHAN KARL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Al Gore considers him not just a running mate but a political soul mate.


WOODRUFF: Jonathan Karl on the common ground and the differences of opinion on the Democratic ticket. Plus, how the Gore-Lieberman ticket affects the Senate races and the balance on Capitol Hill.

And later...


BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Early in the civil rights movement, it was particularly blacks and Jews together, two minorities that had known prejudice and discrimination. But that began to change.


WOODRUFF: Our Bruce Morton on the ties and the disputes between two key voter groups.


WOODRUFF: The Democratic convention in Los Angeles is still days away, but in Long Beach, California today the Reform Party opened what may prove to be the most eventful national convention in its short history.

Gary Tuchman joins us now from Long Beach with the latest -- Gary.

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Judy, first things first. The Reform Party Convention will not be harmonious. Behind me, police cars: They are not here for the possibility of demonstrators. They're here for the possibility of disruptive Reform Party members.

The convention doesn't begin for two days, but the action is under way in this hotel behind me. The party's national committee is meeting to try to settle some suspense: Who should be the presidential nominee of this party for this year? Should it be former GOP candidate Pat Buchanan, or John Hagelin, a physicist from the state of Connecticut?

Whoever wins gets control of $12.6 million in federal funds. But as we speak, a huge dispute is taking place in the meeting room inside this hotel over who is on the committee that makes the decisions.

Buchanan wants his people on the committee; the anti-Buchanan forces want their people. And those anti-Buchanan forces are saying their people are being kept out of the meeting room, and they have left.

So at this point, the Buchanan people are inside the room. The news media is also out, and it's the political equivalent of a train wreck.

The Reform Party has conducted a national mail-in primary this week, but last week, Buchanan was disqualified by the executive committee of this party, saying that he had unauthorized supporters. However, Buchanan is saying that's a sham. He hoped this meeting today settled that, and both sides are very angry.


JIM MONGIA, REFORM PARTY SECRETARY: We are very concerned about the attempt by the Buchanan campaign to steal this party and steal this election and steal $12.6 million in federal matching funds. And the leaders of this party, who have been here since its founding, are not going to allow that to happen.



BAY BUCHANAN, EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, BUCHANAN CAMPAIGN: My assessment is this is a last -- last desperate effort of the Perot efforts to somehow hang onto the power in this party. They have lost. It is over. They are the past, and Pat Buchanan is the future.


TUCHMAN: Either of these Reform Party candidates are only a blip in the national polls, and there are some who believe that this party, founded by a certain Texas billionaire, is now in danger of the possibility of self-destruction.


TUCHMAN (voice-over): He is the only man to run for president under the banner of the party he founded, but Ross Perot does not want to be the Reform Party presidential candidate in 2000.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jack, you're not helping me!


You're not helping anyone!

PROTESTER: Massachusetts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Neither are they.


PROTESTER: You're going to have to throw me off the stage!


TUCHMAN: So the fight is on for the nomination, and it's a fight that's not for the squeamish, as evidenced during a Reform Party meeting in February.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These people don't want a solution.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, we do want a solution! What do you think we came here for?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can we have Mr. Gargan be included?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We flew here to get a solution!


TUCHMAN: The battle for the party's presidential nomination has created a battle for its soul and fights over everything from party rules to who should run the party.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Jack Gargan! For six months he has been unduly harassed and I am ashamed of this party! You are unethical, corrupt people!


TUCHMAN: After that accusation, Jack Gargan, an ally of Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura, was voted out, and that was a day after Ventura, who had earlier said he did not want to be the Reform Party presidential candidate, said he also no longer wanted to be part of the Reform Party.

GOV. JESSE VENTURA (I), MINNESOTA: I can't stay within a national party that could well have Pat Buchanan as its presidential nominee.

TUCHMAN: In addition to Ross Perot and Jesse Ventura, former Connecticut Governor Lowell Weicker considered going for the nomination, and so did New York developer Donald Trump.


TUCHMAN: But in the end come down to two men, Pat Buchanan and John Hagelin, who have virtually nothing in common, except for their membership in a most unified organization -- the Reform Party.

Judy, back to you.

WOODRUFF: Gary, you better keep the flak jacket on. Thanks.

And we'll have much more of this day's political news coming up, but now a look at some other top stories.

President Clinton gets a firsthand look at some of the damage caused by those big wildfires in the western United States. Mr. Clinton flew to Idaho this morning to meet with firefighters before touring some of the damage. Mr. Clinton thanked firefighters for their efforts.


WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're going to release today about $150 million in emergency funds to help continue to fight the fire and to help restore the area afterwards, and I hope that restoration work will also lead to some jobs for the people in this area, who have been disadvantaged by this fire.


WOODRUFF: At least 66 major wildfires are burning in the West today.

A bomb explodes in an underground walkway in Moscow, terrorizing rush hour commuters. At least seven people are dead, dozens injured. A second device was found and disarmed. Police are treating the incident as a terrorist attack.

Chile's former dictator, Augusto Pinochet, may stand trial for human rights abuses. The Supreme Court in Chile stripped Pinochet of his immunity today. Hundreds of people outside the court in Santiago celebrated the ruling. Pinochet is accused of being involved in the deaths and disappearances of thousands during his regime.

The world's biggest airline faces more problems. United airlines is canceling almost 2000 flights next month in an attempt to improve relations with pilots. United already canceled 4,800 flights from May through the end of this month, after pilots announced that they would no longer work overtime.

United is hiring 1300 additional pilots to try to solve some of its problems.

A Civil War submarine is back in port 136 years after sinking off the South Carolina coast. The H.L. Hunley was raised from the ocean early this morning to a greeting of cannons booming on shore. It went down with a crew of nine in 1864, and was discovered almost intact in 1995 by shipwreck hunter Clive Cussler.


CLIVE CUSSLER, HUNLEY EXPEDITION: It's a great thrill, because we looked, searched for so long, you know, off and on for 15 years, and we ran 1,159 miles of, you know, line, when we searched with the magnetometer. So to see this happen is just incredible an experience, because I didn't expect it. I thought they'd probably maybe raise the Hunley after I was dead.


WOODRUFF: The Confederate submarine was the first to sink an enemy warship.

And when INSIDE POLITICS returns, the Gore campaign's number one goal for the Democratic convention.


WOODRUFF: When Al Gore introduced Joseph Lieberman as his running mate today, he emphasized the areas which he agrees with his one-time Senate colleague. But the two have disagreed on some issues, getting a good deal of attention this election year.

Our Jonathan Karl has been looking at Lieberman's record and where he breaks with Gore.


KARL (voice-over): Al Gore considers him not just a running mate, but a political soul mate, a fellow new Democrat who has stood with him on issues ranging from war to welfare reform.

GORE: We have stood together again and again for policies and principles to bring a new time of prosperity and progress.

KARL: But Republicans, pointing to disagreements between the two, joke about the need for a Gore-Lieberman debate, something, in a way, we've already seen, when Al Gore tore into Bill Bradley for supporting school vouchers.

GORE: Instead of meaningful public school choice and competition, he proposes private school vouchers, draining away precious public dollars from our public schools, giving them to private schools that are not accountable at all.

KARL: Gore could have been talking about Lieberman there. He voted with Bradley in favor of experimental school voucher programs.

GORE: You shouldn't be asked to play stock market roulette with your retirement savings in the Social Security program.

KARL: Republicans say Gore is at odds with his running mate on Social Security, pointing to an interview two years ago where Lieberman called privatization proposals "innovative" and said -- quote -- "We're going to see again a kind of old Democrat Party, new Democratic Party kind of split on this. I think in the end, that individual control of part of retirement Social Security funds has got to happen."

More recently, Lieberman has criticized privatization proposals. In an unpublished article Lieberman written in June, he explained the evolution of his views -- quote -- "I was attracted by privatization proposals that seemed to promise taxpayers more control over their Social Security. But ultimately, I turned away from privatization because the promises and the numbers supporting them don't add up."

Perhaps more significant is the issue of missile defense.

LIEBERMAN: There is a real threat from rogue nations having ballistic missiles which can hit the American homeland.

KARL: During the 1990s, Lieberman was a lonely Democratic voice supporting a large-scale missile defense program. In 1995, he was one of five Democrats to vote against cutting funding for a space-based defense program.

For his part, Gore has criticized George W. Bush's call for a global missile defense system, calling it too costly and too dangerous.

GORE: I won't even guess at the new math needed to make his risky foreign policy scheme and his risky tax scheme add up.

KARL: Differences with Gore aside, Lieberman ridicules Republican suggestions that he agrees more with George W. Bush.

LIEBERMAN: With all due respect, I think that's like saying the veterinarian and the taxidermist are in the same business because either way you get your dog back.

KARL (on camera): Differences of opinion between running mates are nothing new. In fact, Gore aides insist the differences between Gore and Lieberman pale compared to the differences two decades ago between Ronald Reagan and his running mate, the elder George Bush.

Jonathan Karl, CNN, Capitol Hill.


WOODRUFF: And we are joined now by Ron Brownstein of "The Los Angeles Times."

Ron, what does the Lieberman selection accomplish for Al Gore?

RON BROWNSTEIN, "LOS ANGELES TIMES": Well, Lieberman is probably in the unique position to help Gore try to get the best of the Clinton years and move away from the worst of it. As the chairman of the DLC, the Democratic Leadership Council, which was instrumental in formulating a lot of the Clinton agenda, he signals Gore's intent to basically follow the policy direction that has been associated with a lot of the good things in the last eight years. At the same time, Lieberman, as the most prominent and earliest Democratic critic of Clinton's behavior in the Lewinsky scandal, tried to separate him from the personal behavior.

So, you get personal separation and policy continuity above all, I think, in the Lieberman pick.

WOODRUFF: Will much be made of some of these differences between Gore and Lieberman on issues, whether it's school choice or missile defense, whatever?

BROWNSTEIN: You know, there are some uncomfortable moments, there's no question. There are going to be questions for Gore about why these are risky or out-of-the-mainstream ideas, as he portrays them with George W. Bush, when Lieberman is with him. But I think this is the kind of thing that tickets do have to deal with. And on the broad measures, it is correct, as Lieberman suggests. He is not really in tune with Bush on the big questions of what to do with the surplus, even on Social Security privatization now. There's plenty of differences between these campaigns.

But it does reflect the fact that part of what Bush is talking about is emerging -- particularly education area -- as the beginning of a bipartisan -- there is some bipartisan consensus. There is some bipartisan interest in vouchers. And it's a different debate than it was 10 years ago.

WOODRUFF: To what extent is Gore still vulnerable, having selected Lieberman, on Clinton problems, Clinton's scandals?

BROWNSTEIN: Well Al Gore is getting hammered among socially conservative swing voters, there's no question about it. Whether you look at married women, or blue-collar men, or, to some extent, seniors -- I think married women of the three being the most important -- he is not anywhere near the numbers that he wants. If I was Al Gore, I would put Lieberman on the Rosie O'donnell show, you know, talk about Hollywood.

I think that Lieberman offers a broader way of reaching those voters. It's not only inoculation from Clinton. It's a stronger Democratic message of values and helping parents navigate the culture, which has been his, you know, his big emphasis in the last few years, working with people like Bill Bennett. It's a very different kind of ingredient than Democrats usually cook with. Gore has talked in those terms as well. And I think Lieberman, he hit a little bit of that in his speech today.

He underscores that. The other thing he does is going to be to vouch for Gore as a person. And that emphasis on biography is something I think we are going to see a lot of next week at the convention as well.

WOODRUFF: But, by having a choice that does not reinforce Gore's ties with his Democratic base, is he going to continue to have to solidify the liberal Democrats?

BROWNSTEIN: That is -- you know, that's the challenge that he has. Bush, at his convention, went in knowing he had 90 percent of Republicans voting for him and he could focus overwhelmingly on swing voters through those four nights, as we saw. Gore is in a situation where he's usually polling in the 70s among Democrats. So he has got to do two things at once. He has got to try to energize the base and reassure swing voters. That's a difficult balancing act to hit.

WOODRUFF: All right, Ron Brownstein, thank you very much. We appreciate it.

And just ahead, a look at how Joseph Lieberman's vice presidential candidacy affects the Democrats' hopes for a Senate majority. Plus, a look back at 1988 and Lieberman's first Senate victory.


WOODRUFF: With Democrats eying the plausibility of a Senate takeover in the fall, Joseph Lieberman's nomination to the presidential ticket puts another Democratic seat in jeopardy. But that is tempered by last month's one-seat gain, when Democrat Zell Miller was named to fill the seat of the late Republican Paul Coverdell of Georgia.

Our Bob Franken now, with more on Lieberman's candidacy and his impact on the fall Senate races.


GORE: Ladies and gentlemen, the next vice president of the United States of America, Joe Lieberman.

BOB FRANKEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Al Gore's choice of Joe Lieberman has caused a lot of excitement, but Lieberman as vice president could actually be a mixed bagged for his parties.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Senate will be in order.

FRANKEN: If Gore and Lieberman win, Democrats would lose a safe seat in their pitched battle to take back control of the Senate. Under Connecticut law, the state's Republican governor, John Rowland, would most certainly name a Republican to Lieberman's Senate see. It's exactly the problem the Democratic leader Tom Daschle voiced concern about as Gore considered several senators from states that also had GOP governors.

Now, he's looking at the Lieberman selection in an optimistic light.

SEN. TOM DASCHLE (D), MINORITY LEADER: It may complicate it a little bit. I think you have to honest. But I think, at the same time, as complicated as it might be, we fortunately picked up a senator we didn't think we'd have just a couple weeks ago. We now are down to four.

FRANKEN: Lieberman's Judaism is a political ex-factor. Some observers say it could change the dynamic in other campaigns around the country. New York Senate candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton says that she and Lieberman have already talked.

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), NEW YORK SENATE CANDIDATE: I've spoken with him and wished him well and told him how pleased I was about the about choice. And if it's possible, given all the ground he has to cover, I would love to have him in New York.

FRANKEN: Interestingly, the analysts say that Lieberman may be more helpful to Democratic candidates in Florida, with its heavy Jewish population than to Mrs. Clinton in New York with its heavy Jewish population.

STUART ROTHENBERG, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Mrs. Clinton is such a strong personality and a strong figure and such a polarizing figure that, if Jewish voters decide to go for Al Gore because of Joe Lieberman, once they see that Clinton name in the Senate race, they are going to stop and they are going to decide about that race on its own merits.

FRANKEN (on camera): Still to be answered is whether Lieberman's presence on the ballots will have a coattail effect and, of course, whether it would be positive for his party or negative.

Bob Franken, CNN, Capitol Hill.


WOODRUFF: As a U.S. Senator, Joseph Lieberman has compiled a fairly conservative voting record, at least for a Democrat. Lieberman has been blurring party lines for his whole career, and never more so than in 1988, during his first run for the Senate.


WOODRUFF (voice-over): In 1998, Lieberman was Connecticut's attorney general, but his lifelong goal was the U.S. Senate. He faced a formidable opponent, three-term Republican Senator Lowell Weicker, a maverick whose staunch support for abortion rights and opposition to school prayer won favor with many Democrats.


SEN. LOWELL WEICKER (R), CONNECTICUT: There is no better senator than the one standing before you.

(END VIDEO CLIP) WOODRUFF: But Lieberman had his own crossover appeal. In many ways, he was more conservative than Weicker, supporting the death penalty and a moment of silence in schools. In international affairs, Lieberman was a hawk, Weicker a dove.


WEICKER: I have opposed that Contra policy from the beginning.

J. LIEBERMAN: Our hope for a peace is to continue humanitarian aide to the Contras.


WOODRUFF: As the polls tightened, Lieberman released a devastating add, an attack on Weicker's attendance record and reputation for bluster.


NARRATOR: Lowell Weicker is like a big bear. On things that matter to him personally, he will always growl, but sometimes when it matters, he's sleeping. The official Congressional record reveals that Weicker has one of the worst attendants records in the Senate.


WOODRUFF: Lieberman won by just 10,000 votes, but six years later, in 1994, as Republicans were knocking off Democrats all over the country, Lieberman held his seat by a margin of 36 percentage points, nearly 400,000 votes.


WOODRUFF: And a footnote, that "sleeping bear" ad was produced by Democratic consultant Carter Eskew, who is now Al Gore's top image man.

Still ahead, our Bruce Morton looks back at the long history between two key minority groups in this election.


WOODRUFF: In his speech today, Senator Joseph Lieberman talked about breaking a barrier as the first Jewish candidate on a major party ticket. It is a factor that may have strong appeal for minority voters.

But our Bruce Morton explains, some African-American views of Lieberman may be tempered by history. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MORTON (voice-over): "Black and white together," the old anthem goes. And early in the civil rights movement, it was particularly blacks and Jews together, two minorities that had known prejudice, discrimination. But that began to change. The urban riots of the '60s may have been one reason -- black anger at ghetto merchants, some of whom were Jewish.

KEATING HOLLAND, CNN POLLING DIRECTOR: I think it came as a big surprise to Jews that African-Americans harbored ill feelings toward them. But social science studies going back to the 1970s indicate that blacks were more likely than whites, particularly younger whites and better-educated whites, to be willing to express views such as Jews have too much influence over America, Jews have too much influence over American politics, Jews have too much power in government -- all things that would be relevant to Lieberman today.

MORTON: Some moments emphasized that trend. Jesse Jackson's 1984 reference to "Hymies" and "Hymietown, " for which he apologized.


REV. JESSE JACKSON, RAINBOW/PUSH COALITION: I have done the best I could do to reach out. I hope that at some point in time that my reaching out will not be in vain, but I have done the best I can do. Now I'm going to let this matter ride its own course.


MORTON: In 1984, Minister Louis Farrakhan's described Judaism as a "dirty religion," but later accuses the press of taking his comments out of context.


MINISTER LOUIS FARRAKHAN, NATION OF ISLAM: That I'm suing "The Chicago Sun-Times," the "Chicago Tribune", "The New York Post," "The new York Daily News," "The New York Times," and all the rest of the papers in America that have said that I said that Judaism is a gutter religion.


MORTON: Tempers erupted again in 1991 in Crown Heights, New York between blacks and Hasidic Jews. Those tensions have eased, many think.

But one scholar think Lieberman's speech attacking President Clinton over Monica Lewinsky may have hurt him with blacks, perhaps Clinton's strongest supporters.

PROF. RON WALTERS, UNIV. OF MARYLAND: I think that he would have some problems with sort of the average black person, who during the impeachment of President Clinton, saw Joe Lieberman take the well and appear to bash him. MORTON: Many tensions are easing. Lieberman at his rally today quoted Jesse Jackson.

LIEBERMAN: He said to me, you know, Joe, each time a barrier falls for one person, the doors of opportunity open wider for every other American.

WALTERS: It's a mixed bag. I wouldn't say that the black community -- quote-unquote -- has a warm reaction to Lieberman, but there are just some strong pluses and some very strong negatives.

MORTON: Gore and Lieberman need blacks. They have three months to turn any negatives there are around.

Bruce Morton CNN, Washington.


WOODRUFF: And that's all for this edition of INSIDE POLITICS. I'm Judy Woodruff.

"WORLDVIEW" is next.



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