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Larry King Live
Why Do Women and Men Vote Differently?Aired September 21, 2000 - 9:00 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Al Gore and George W. Bish -- Bush are happily married men, but they're courting other women on the campaign trail. Here to talk about the very important women's vote, Karenna Gore Schiff, one of her dad's closest campaign advisers, and Condoleeza Rice, senior foreign adviser to George W. Bush. Joining us for a roundtable discussion, author/activist Dr. Maya Angelou -- she's in Winston-Salem -- country superstar Loretta Lynn in Nashville, talk- show host Sally Jessy Raphael in New York, actress and entrepreneur Bo Derek in Montreal, and in Washington, Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Republican Congresswoman Mary Bono of California.
They're all next on LARRY KING LIVE.
There is a gender gap in this country, and there's a difference in the way women vote and men vote. And that's our topic for tonight.
We're going to begin -- our panel will join us in a little while -- with Karenna Gore Schiff, Al Gore's daughter and one of the chief campaign advisers. She is their eldest daughter. It's her second visit to this program.
Why do you think more women at this point, according to the polls, favor your father?
KARENNA GORE SCHIFF, GORE CAMPAIGN ADVISER: I think that women are really rallying to my father's campaign because what he's offering are really substantive, detailed proposals that will help them raise kids and achieve their dreams, get equal pay for equal work, and have their freedom of choice defended. He's really getting across a message that appeals across a wide spectrum of people, and women are sure a part of that.
KING: And what do you think caused the turnaround, because before the Democratic convention, George Bush was ahead among women?
SCHIFF: I think people are just more focused on the issues now. This campaign has been really long, and it's now the home stretch. I think there are 47 days left and counting, and people are starting to think about, OK, what exactly are these with two guys offering and who's going to really help me when it comes time to add up the budget, figure out if I can afford to send my child to college, figure out about caring for an older parent, and then achieving my own entrepreneurial dreams. There are a lot of women who are really out there and want to do it all and are stretched thin, and they deserve more help from our political leaders.
KING: Why do you think, Karenna -- and it is true -- that there is a woman's vote and a man's vote and they vote differently?
SCHIFF: Well, it's interesting. Women have outnumbered men as voters in every presidential election since 1964, and the gender gap in 1996 was 17 percent. So there is something to the idea that there's a women's vote, but it's also true that things that used to be considered women's issues are now at the center of the national agenda. And I think that's fantastic that we have the candidates...
SCHIFF: Well, like daycare, affording daycare is a huge issue in this country. And choice, that is at stake in this election and really deserves a lot of attention and thought. Those are serious national issues.
KING: So it is OK to you when both candidates, your father and the governor, play directly to women, going on a program like "Oprah," which probably has 95 percent women viewership?
SCHIFF: Well, absolutely. I'm really excited that women are -- have the power that they do in national elections, and you know, they still, we women, still disproportionately bear the, well, the challenge of raising children and caring for aging parents. And so debates about Social Security and Medicare and education and daycare really have a special appeal for women.
And what my dad is offering is a plan that will be sure to give them the help they need to have the opportunities for their families.
KING: As a woman -- I'm asking you not to speak for all women -- but as a woman, taking this step back, does sometimes, even with your father and the governor, does it look like pandering?
SCHIFF: Well, I don't think so. You know, on the campaign trail, there are so many people that come up and express their concerns and needs. An I've met people, and I know my father has met many women, who say: Listen, I'm trying to make ends meet. I've got trouble, really. I'm working two jobs, and still I'm not going to be able to send my child to college. And I think it's great that he is looking them straight in the eye and telling them exactly what he offers.
My dad, within a balanced budget and paying down the debt by the year 2012, will be sure to make investments in education and health care, and also give those targeted tax cuts for raising kids and caring for seniors that people in the country really need.
KING: On the other election, in the state you're in now, in New York, Hillary is in the lead in the polls, and people are crediting it to women who were offended by the way Congressman Lazio acted in the debate.
Were you offended?
SCHIFF: Well, I'm really focused on the issues they're discussing, to be honest, and so to me it's more important what laws they want to see passed and where they want to see federal funding go or not go, and those are the things that I'm going to base my vote on.
KING: So your totally issue-related? Lazio walking across to the podium didn't mean anything to you?
SCHIFF: I really am issue-related, and I don't know if -- I feel I have a lot in common with other young women regarding that. I think that people are sort of sick of spin and cynicism and hyperanalysis, and I really want to know exactly what it means to them in their daily lives.
KING: And I know you keep on top of polls and things. What percentage of the women's vote in this country do you think your father will got on November 7th?
SCHIFF: Oh, I am not a political professional, so I won't hazard a guess.
KING: What do you hear?
SCHIFF: What do I hear? To be honest, I'm really hearing much more about how hard it is to add up the bill at the end of the day and how people really want more help from our political leaders. I'm sorry I can't answer it for you, but I'm hoping that women will rally and get out to the polls, and things are looking pretty good.
KING: How's the baby?
SCHIFF: The baby's great. How's your family?
KING: They're fine. Thanks, Karenna. Always good seeing you.
SCHIFF: Thank you so much, Larry.
KING: Karenna Gore Schiff, one of the main campaign advisers to her father.
Our panel will join us. Later, we'll Condoleeza Rice. She's the senior foreign policy adviser to George Bush. She'll give us the other side of the picture, women relating to the Republican governor of Texas.
The panel assembles. It's three against three. We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW")
OPRAH WINFREY, HOST: Oh, you have a dot.com...
AL GORE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: On the Internet, yes, that's right.
GORE: I don't have a magazine or a publishing house or...
WINFREY: Touche, OK.
GORE: I don't even -- I don't have red boots.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Six outstanding diverse women represent our panel. They are in Winston Salem, North Carolina, Dr. Maya Angelou, the author, educator and activist, a supporter of Vice President Gore. In Nashville, the famed Loretta Lynn, entertainer, business woman, a supporter of Governor Bush. In New York, Sally Jessy Raphael, the famed TV talk show host of her own program, a supporter of the vice president. In Montreal, Bo Derek, actress and business woman. She attended the GOP convention and is a Bush supporter. And in Washington, our two elected officials: Senator Mary Landrieu, a Democratic of Louisiana and a supporter of Al Gore, and of course, Congresswoman Mary Bono, a Republican of California, a supporter of George Bush.
Let's start with Loretta Lynn. Why should woman vote for Governor Bush, Loretta?
LORETTA LYNN, MUSICIAN: Why should women vote for Governor Bush? Well, I've known Governor Bush for a long time, and not only is he a great man, but he is a smart man, and he has a great heart. And I just think that he will be one of the greatest presidents we've ever had. And I heard him say something about, you know, the name of the Bush, he's worried about that, because of his daddy being Bush too.
I say his daddy was one of our greatest presidents, but he didn't get his chance to prove everything. I think that he will be a great president, because he's going to be fighting for us. And he's going to build up the military, which we need very bad. And I know because I've been doing the USO tours. And there are so many things that he wants to do.
KING: We'll get to a lot of them.
Dr. Angelou, why do you -- what's the other side of the coin? Why should women vote for Al Gore? MAYA ANGELOU, POET/AUTHOR: Well, he's a man who has skipped the bonds. He really is a man who cares about men and women. And I love Loretta Lynn herself.
LYNN: Thank you.
ANGELOU: But I disagree with her position. I know that Al Gore is a man who cares about America and that makes me happy.
KING: Bo Derek, what's the other side of the coin from your viewpoint? Now, given the understanding that in current polls, Gore is leading significantly among women -- and if he stays ahead in the polls, it's because of the women's vote -- what's the other side?
BO DEREK, ACTRESS: I think the other side for me, I think, so many of Vice President Gore's programs lean toward socialism, which to me, looking at our country against other countries, I don't think socialism works. And our programs are already so -- they're just these big monsters. If you look at education, we do keep throwing more tax dollars into it.
It doesn't get any better. I think it has to be reformed. I think Social Security, for us to be making one and two percent on our contributions, our hand earned money, is just insane in today's economy. The economy is great. And I think things like Social Security, but especially education -- and Governor Bush has proven in Texas that he's made great achievements in all these, in health reform and in education.
And I think that he has a proven track record...
KING: Has he...
DEREK: ... and that to apply that nationally would be fantastic for all of us.
LYNN: Yes. And Bo, how many women voted for him in Texas? Over half of them.
DEREK: Well, but, in reelection, so that...
DEREK: ... he had proven -- he had proven himself. He got 67 percent of the women -- of the female vote.
LYNN: That's right.
KING: Sally, all right, the women in Texas like him. What's the other side of the coin, Sally Jessy Raphael?
SALLY JESSY RAPHAEL, TALK SHOW HOST: I don't -- yes, I don't understand the women in Texas liking him; 26 percent of all kids in Texas are living below the poverty line. That doesn't look very good for women's issues. It's third up from the worst state in the Union.
And as to education, that doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense. Most education in our country is local education funded by local real estate taxes. I don't see how either of their educational programs are going to affect until -- are going to affect much until we nationalize the schools, have them as a federal project.
Why vote for Gore? For me, one thing that is extremely important -- I come from a generation that remembers back alleys and coat hangers. I think it's freedom of choice. And that's where it stands. The second thing is day care. Third thing would be education for our kids. Fourth: women that -- we only get three-quarters of every man's salary for doing the same job. I mean, I can go on and on.
KING: All right.
Mary Bono, why is the governor, if he certainly has an appeal to women, not getting it across?
REP. MARY BONO (R), CALIFORNIA: You know, I think, first of all, we are seeing post-convention bounce. There's no question in my mind that the governor's message will come across to the women voters. First of all, I think, as we have heard the other panelists say, there are problems here that are inherent with what Al Gore is talking about.
He's talking about bigger government. We, as women, don't believe that the government has all of the answers. It's time to send control of education home. As Sally Jessy Raphael just talked about, she talked about it being a local issue. I have got to tell you, the Democrats don't look at it like a local issue.
Al Gore seems to think -- and the Democrats seem to think -- that what we can do in Washington to save our problems -- to solve our problems. We believe send it home.
KING: But -- do you think, Mary, it's still a bounce off a convention this far after a convention?
BONO: Well, yes, I still do to some respects. I have to give a lot of credit to the Democrats -- the convention. It was beautiful. It was well done. Every celebrity in the world was out there. You know, now it comes down to the issues that -- it's going to come down to the debates. And for me, it's our opportunity to talk about what we believe we ought to do on the local levels.
Let's send government home. And let's, you know, quit having this notion of a bigger federal government will solve all our problems.
KING: Senator Landrieu, are you...
LYNN: Larry, can I interrupt?
KING: Hold it. Hold it. I've got Senator Landrieu in her.
LYNN: OK. Go ahead.
KING: Senator Landrieu, are you surprised that there is such a thing as a women's vote?
SEN. MARY LANDRIEU (D), LOUISIANA: Not at all. Women have their own opinions just like men have. And they are most certainly entitled to them. But we want to say to my friend, the congresswoman, if this is a convention bounce, it's the longest bounce in history. And it's going to bounce us right to victory in the election.
I think, clearly, women are beginning to focus on this race and see Al Gore as a leader that they trust, that has the right experience and depth and knowledge of domestic an international issues, and a man who is speaking to things they care about, which is this government working for them, with them, meeting them halfway in all of the many roles that women have to play today.
And I think it's really, Larry, about as simple as that. And it's reflecting in polls from one part of the country to another in many different age groups. And I'm very happy for it, and think that women are actually leading the way.
KING: All right. We are going to break and then we're going to round robin this. I'm only going to ask, since we're in different cities, to please not over-talk each other. And we'll try to get everybody to get the same amount of time and get their message across.
George Bush opened up to Oprah Winfrey earlier this week about the birth of his twin daughters and his wife's determination after she became ill during the pregnancy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: She got on the airplane, she said, "These babies are going to be born healthy." She had that West Texas determination. I'm kind of tearing up about it a little bit, because it was such a powerful statement by a mother who said these children will come to be. It was such a resolute, powerful statement of motherhood.
And when the babies came, and she was healthy, and they were healthy, it was a fabulous moment. And I'll never forget it. It was a defining moment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Bo Derek, the perception is that the health has a great effect on women and that Gore is ahead on that issue. What's your reaction? Health.
DEREK: Well, I saw Governor Bush present his prescription drug plan last week. And I thought it was very -- it made a lot of sense. There's much more choice involved. I'm -- I really fear getting thrown into another big -- my health program -- getting thrown into another big government bureaucracy. I want choice. I want things on a local level. And I think those are very important issues. And that really separates, I think, Governor Bush from Vice President Al Gore.
KING: Dr. Angelou, doesn't big government -- don't you have a little fear of it?
ANGELOU: Well, I tell you what I have most fear of: the idea of separate and rule, divide and conquer. One of the things that Al Gore offers us is a chance to come together, not to stand apart and point fingers. I really like the man, because he says you may be Democratic, you may be a Republican, you may be independent, you may have no identification, but let us come together to make this country more than it has been, which is these yet to be United States.
KING: Loretta, do you think...
ANGELOU: That's what I like.
KING: Loretta, do you think the party -- your party and the governor is a little out of sync on the choice aspect?
KING: Choice versus the right to life?
LYNN: Well, what'd you say now?
KING: Do you think Governor Bush is -- the thinking of the Republicans is in the minority among women in America with regard to choice?
LYNN: Yes. You know what I think? I think that they should look over that. I don't think that ought to be in the middle of politics at all. I think...
KING: But it's there the plank of your party's....
LYNN: I know it, honey, but it shouldn't be. I'm just saying what I think. But I think that if the women in this country would think very hard before they vote, that they would say this: A single woman with children is only making 22,000 and paying the same taxes that a lawyer would pay if he was making $220,000. Now this is not right.
Gore -- Bush is trying to work this out where they don't have to do can that, and Bush is also fixing it where the couples getting married, and that's -- morals have to start at the White House. And I think...
KING: The question, though -- the question was do you think pro- Choice shouldn't be in the discussion?
LYNN: No, I do not.
KING: But it is, is it not, Sally?
RAPHAEL: You're darn right it is. What the heck was she talking about when it comes to taxes?
RAPHAEL: It's absolutely impossible that somebody earning 22,000 is the same as a lawyer or anyone...
KING: She means percentages.
LYNN: A single mother, a single mother.
RAPHAEL: Oh in percentages, yes.
RAPHAEL: OK, I'll give you that.
LYNN: OK, honey.
RAPHAEL: But you know, you don't have a -- but you don't have choice to decide whether choices is up for grabs. It's up for grabs. I mean...
LYNN: I know it's up from grabs but I'm trying to grab it.
RAPHAEL: It's terribly important. Do you want a bunch of men -- Loretta, do you want a bunch of men telling us what to do with our bodies? Is that what you want?
LYNN: I ain't never had nobody tell me.
RAPHAEL: Exactly, exactly.
LYNN: But then I've never come up against that.
RAPHAEL: A vote for Bush is a bunch of men telling us what we can and cannot do with our bodies.
LYNN: Well, I just think...
KING: Let me get a break on that note, come back and get the thoughts of our elected officials. We'll be hearing from Condoleeza Rice in a while. We'll also be taking your phone calls on this very important topic: women and the 2000 election.
This is LARRY KING LIVE. Dick Van Dyke, tomorrow night. Don't go away.
KING: Congressman Bono, is the choice versus the right to -- the right-to-life an issue in the campaign and does it help Gore with women?
BONO: Well, you know, of course, it's an issue in the campaign. Women do care about this issue. Whatever side you are on, it's an important issue for us. But it's very unfortunate when people try to turn this into scare tactics and basically to say what was just said by Sally Jessy Raphael.
This is not something that's really going to play as heavily as the Democrats would like to make it be. Governor Bush has said time and time again he wouldn't have a litmus test for who he would appoint to the Supreme Court. That in itself, I think -- he has said, you know, good people can disagree on this issue, and that is what he has said and I take him for his word at that.
KING: Do you disagree with the plank of your party on the subject, though, Mary?
BONO: Yes, I do. I'm happy to say that like Loretta Lynn I disagree with that plank. I personally wish that we could adopt a platform that simply says we ought to do -- and both parties can agree to it -- we ought to do all that we can that's within our powers to reduce the number of abortions. That's a noble quest, and it's something we can talk about and we can accomplish.
Both sides can come together on that. That's what we ought to talk about.
LYNN: Well, honey, they should use the pill. Nowadays, they've got the pill.
KING: Senator Landrieu, is this a fair issue?
LANDRIEU: It is most certainly...
KING: Because Mary says the governor has said he wouldn't make it a litmus test. That means he'll appoint Supreme Court judges on -- on their capabilities, not asking them how they would vote on choice. So your fears may be unwashed.
LANDRIEU: Well, I don't think the majority of people in this country believe that based on his record and his statements. But let me just say it's a very important issue. But Larry, as I've said on this program before many times, this issue is very, very important to women. I think it's one of the reasons why Al Gore is moving ahead, but there are many other reasons.
We were talking earlier about health care. You know, women still are the primary health care givers in this nation. They not only care for themselves, children, spouses, aged parents. Men are helping more with that, but women, I don't think anyone would deny, they want a health care system that works. They want -- they don't want the system run by HMOs. They want to make sure their doctors have the say in treatment. They want to make sure that prescription drugs is there.
And they hear Al Gore speaking of these things and making commitments that he can actually pay for, and they like that, and that's one of the reasons they're moving toward him: because they need a health care system that's better and that works for their children and their families.
DEREK: Bo Derek, I asked this earlier of Vice President Gore's daughter. From both sides, do you think that both candidates, and the vice presidential candidates as well, tend to pander to women?
DEREK: I wouldn't say pander, but don't forget women are the majority, and I think that they're being intelligent by reaching out and making themselves understood to women voters.
At the same time, I would encourage women to vote. Women in our history have suffered so much to give us this right, and I think it's really sad, pathetic that we don't care enough to vote. Not enough of us do.
And I've always said that if we got together and voted -- even without organizing -- I think we would vote similarly on so many issues. We could rule the free world.
KING: You have no problems with them, though, with them going on "Oprah" and "Regis" and the like? You don't think that's just a deliberate play to appeal to the women voter, period?
LANDRIEU: Larry, could I say something there? Could -- I don't mean to interrupt you, Bo.
KING: Yes, OK.
ANGELOU: I would like to say something, too.
LANDRIEU: I don't mean to interrupt Bo.
ANGELOU: I'd like...
LANDRIEU: But I would like to say something that, you know, Larry, you're a wonderful interviewer, but I find it hard to respond to this question. If guys went to a boxing match -- I know some women like boxing -- but a lot of guys like it or car pool or something like that, you wouldn't say they were pandering to the male vote.
ANGELOU: Thank you.
LANDRIEU: Just because they go on "Oprah Winfrey," I mean, women -- but Larry, women are real voters. Our vote counts just as much as men and so I don't think it's at all pandering.
KING: I would say, though, if both, if both candidates. Mary...
LANDRIEU: It's reaching out, which is a smart political thing to do.
KING: Mary, I meant it this way. If both candidates were to appear on Monday Night Football, that would be playing to the male vote, yes. Obviously, sure.
LANDRIEU: And candidates do that, but nobody says they're pandering to men. They're just being smart about reaching out because men....
ANGELOU: That's true.
KING: But I would ask that...
LANDRIEU: ... listen to things differently.
KING: If they went on "Monday Night Football," I would ask if they were pandering to the male vote.
LANDRIEU: Well, I don't know if you'd use the word "pandering."
KING: It's a fair question.
LANDRIEU: I think you'd say, are they reaching out to men. And they're reaching out to women. Thank goodness someone's reaching out to us, and we're reaching back for Al Gore.
ANGELOU: And let me say. Let me say...
KING: Let me get a break. We'll talk -- we'll come back in a minute, May. Hold it. We'll come right back.
This LARRY KING LIVE. We'll talk with Condoleeza Rice and then resume with our panel. Don't go away.
KING: She has quickly become one of the more -- best-recognized women on the American political scene. She is Condoleeza Rice. She's the senior foreign policy adviser to George W. Bush, former special assistant to President Bush for national security affairs. She comes to us from Palo Alto, California.
Why should women support your candidate?
CONDOLEEZA RICE, SENIOR BUSH POLICY ADVISER: Women should support Governor Bush because he has plans for America that will strengthen the United States, that will make it possible for the American people to have choices in their lives.
We've been through a period of very big government, and Governor Bush is talking about returning to the American people some of their money through tax cuts so that you can make the decision about whether or not you want to invest that money or enrich your child's life or how you'd like to spend it.
He's talking about improving the Social Security system so that younger workers have a choice to defer a little of their money and manage it better for higher returns. He's talking about educational choice so that parents who are trapped in bad schools for their children can get them out of those schools and into a better environment.
He really believes in people, and I think that women, when they really focus on this issue, they will see that he is someone who trusts them to make choices in their lives. KING: Why, Condoleeza, do you think thus far, according to the polls, he is behind and that the women also voted for Bill Clinton the last two times out as well?
RICE: I think there are a lot of other factors involved in the '96 election, an incumbent, an economy that was in pretty good shape.
Obviously, right now, we're going through a period of time where the American people are just beginning now to focus on this election, and I think, Larry, that when they really focus on this election, when women really focus on this election, they're going to see that Governor Bush's plan for a set of programs that permit real choice, that permit opportunities that can be chosen by women, that you're going to see them turning toward him.
I know that this is a man that I trust completely. I've watched him as a son and a father and a husband, but I've also worked with him in an environment, a work environment, and I know how much he respects women.
Some of the highest-ranking women -- some of the highest-ranking people in his administration in Texas have been women. And I certainly worked with him in a quite nontraditional field, and I can dell you he is comfortable with women in the workplace. He respects them. He listen to their opinions, not because they're women, but because he thinks they're smart. And I think that that is going to be very important to American women as well.
KING: He was ahead and then the -- after the Democratic convention was behind. Do you think that's because of the way Gore laid out the issues on the night he spoke? Do you think that turned it?
RICE: I believe with Representative Bono that we are still looking at something of a post-convention period here, but I also believe that we're about to go into a more intensive period where the candidates will have a chance to lay out their programs.
The debates are going to be very important, and Governor Bush will make his case, and I really do believe you're going to start to see American women respond to that case.
KING: I did not mean to give the panel the impression that I thought it was pandering. I just was asking the question whether it was pandering.
Do you think that whether the male candidates go to a football game or go to Oprah Winfrey's show that is pandering for one gender or the other?
RICE: The important thing is to go where the voters are, and I see nothing wrong with going on "The Oprah Winfrey Show." I enjoy the show. I watch it from time to time. I have a lot of male friends who watch it, too, and I hope he goes to "Monday Night Football" and then talks to the audience there. Anyway that you can reach the American voter, whether male or female, it's important to try to do it. KING: Now, what's the key issue, as you see it? And obviously, there is a women's vote. Do you agree with that?
RICE: Apparently, there is something of a gender vote, but I would just emphasize that women come in a lot of different shape, sizes and circumstances. There are women entrepreneurs who care a lot about regulation and business out here in the Silicon Valley, care about tort reform. There are women who are struggling as single parents and care a lot about getting some of their tax dollars back so that they can do better for their families. They're women across the spectrum.
And so there may be something of a gender vote, but let's remember that women come in a lot of different circumstances.
KING: Do you think the choice question hurts your candidate with regard to women?
RICE: I believe that the choice issue is not playing as heavily as the Democrats would like, because Governor Bush has said that while he is personally pro-life and would like to try to persuade the American people that that's the appropriate way to think about life, that he is himself -- he recognizes in a democracy it is a matter of persuasion, that the country is not ready to change this law. And his judicial appointments, as was said in a piece in "The New York Times" recently, have been exactly as he said his Supreme Court appointments would be.
They have not been "litmus test" appointments. It has been difficult to tell where these Texas judges would come down on issues. They have not been ideological in the way that they have voted.
I believe he's handled this issue -- I myself am personally pro- choice and believe that we can come together around important issues about which we agree: partial birth abortion and the need for adoption -- that abortions should be fewer is something that we all share.
KING: And do you think, Condoleeza, women will turn out in big numbers on November 7th?
RICE: I certainly hope that women will turn out in big numbers on November 7th. I hope all the American people will turn out in big numbers.
There's lot at stake in this election. It's the first post-Cold War election, really, in which we have a chance to think about America's role in the world. It's the first time that we can think about really reforming and revising some of the important programs, like Social Security and Medicare. It's time to really fix public education so that Americans all have a future.
There's a lot at stake. We have to turn out.
KING: Thanks, Condoleeza. Always good seeing you. We'll be seeing a lot of you.
RICE: Good to see you, too, Larry. Take care.
KING: Condoleeza Rice from Palo Alto, California. Our panel reassembles. We'll include your phone calls right after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LAURA BUSH, WIFE OF GOVERNOR GEORGE W. BUSH: In Texas, where people know him the best, he carried the women's vote, even when he ran against Governor Richards, and then much more of the women's vote, of course, last time in his re-election. So I think -- I suspect that in the end he'll get a lot of the women's vote.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Sally Jessy Raphael, apparently that kiss on the night of the speech mattered. Did it, and why?
RAPHAEL: Oh, it definitely did. It did because in a way it was him being relaxed and genuine and romantic and faithful to his wife, and those were the things that the American women were worried about. They didn't, you know -- he did away with the taint of Clinton.
Married a long time. First thought: Go kiss your wife. So, that's very good. That's very good.
Let me tell you why I think Bush is not going win.
KING: Hold on. I'll come back there. I'll come back.
KING: Loretta Lynn, was that kiss -- did that kiss impress you?
LYNN: No, it didn't impress me one bit.
KING: Why not?
LYNN: I would like to say that the morals in this country are so bad right now, if George Bush don't get in -- and I'm telling you -- I just think it says the morals (UNINTELLIGIBLE) are going to go further down.
KING: Yes, but you're not -- you're not questioning Vice President Gore's morals with regard to his wife?
LYNN: Well, he didn't get out there and act like Gore and kiss his wife like that. I mean, there's a place to kiss, and there's a place not to.
KING: All right. You think it was out of place?
LYNN: I thought it was out of place.
KING: What did you think, Dr. Angelou? ANGELOU: I thought it was romantic.
LYNN: If it was behind the door.
ANGELOU: Well, now, I think that we've gone so far from romance, and with people telling people don't be romantic, that young men and women today are saying to each other: "Hey, my name is Joe, your name is Flo. You've got 15 minutes?"
I think it's time to reintroduce romance not just into our bedrooms and our parlors, but even into moments like this when we have panels. We ought to reintroduce romance.
I think the Gores are right on time.
KING: Bo Derek, what do you think?
LYNN: But the Bible says -- the Bible says get behind your bedroom door.
KING: The Bible says that?
ANGELOU: Well, it didn't say that about kissing.
LYNN: Yes, the Bible says whatever you do in your bedroom ain't none of nobody's business.
ANGELOU: It didn't say that about kissing, Ms. Lynn.
LYNN: Well, that's got a lot to do with it.
KING: We're really hearing here.
KING: Bo Derek, did it impress you?
DEREK: You know, it impressed me in one way. It impressed me that he was introducing his wife, Tipper, as his wife, his lover, his soul mate, and not a political partner. And you can understand what I'm getting at. But I think he did separate his relationship with his wife from that of Bill and Hillary Clinton. And I appreciated it.
KING: Which was important for him, do you think?
DEREK: I appreciated it. I liked it.
KING: Did you like it, Mary Bono?
BONO: Thank you for asking me. I've been really anxious to talk about kissing.
LYNN: Come on, Mary.
BONO: No, I'm thrilled.
LYNN: Stay on my side.
BONO: I'm not. I've got my only version here.
First of all, I don't for a moment doubt the love between Al and Tipper Gore. And I've seen it. And I don't doubt that. But I also believe that that kiss was scripted. You know, there is no question that he knew what -- how it would play after he did it. There -- he knew that people would see this as, you know, a good thing.
I knew when Sonny used to give speeches and he would get out there and he would talk about his love for me, and you know, these things. And women would come up to me and they would say, "Oh, you're so lucky, honey, to have a wonderful man." And if Sonny would forget to mention my name during a speech, they would come up to me afterwards. And they'd say, "Oh, you poor thing."
So I think politicians know that it -- that it plays well. I'm sorry, we are ready to see a little kiss like that in public. And I think that he knew that women would see it as romantic and loving. And he knew exactly what it would do.
KING: Senator Landrieu, what did you think?
LANDRIEU: I can't believe we are spending so much time talking about this, Larry, but, but
LANDRIEU: I would say that I thought it was spontaneous. And I could -- you could almost tell because Tipper seemed quite surprised herself. But, you know, it's been a series of things, not just the kiss. It was the video. It's the speech. It's the message. It's the real budget that works. It's the plan for health care and education. I just don't think that women would be so riveted by just one thing.
It's a series of things, just like men look at a series of things. And that was kind of an interesting opening. But, you know, what's come after that is some very tough, interesting issues that women are following and care about, because they want what's better for their families. And they want their country to be strong.
KING: Let me get a call in.
Fayettville, Arkansas, hello.
CALLER: Hi, Larry.
CALLER: On the issue of education...
CALLER: ... don't you think that actions speak more loudly than words? If Al Gore believes in public education so much, why did his children and Bill Clinton's children all get educated in private schools, whereas George W. Bush's were educated there in the public school system?
RAPHAEL: I have no idea why they chose to do that. I just think the idea of the both of them talking about education is ridiculous. For example, I think Loretta said we have to return this to a local issue. Good, then we will have rich kids' schools in West Port and poor kids' schools in Harlem.
I mean, it has to be nationalized. We can't base the income for schools on real estate taxes, as a sign of wealth anymore.
KING: Well, are you annoyed, though
KING: Don't interrupt. Sally...
LYNN: My kids went to public schools. I had a bunch of them.
KING: The question was, Sally, was, are you offended that he is pro-public school, but his children went to private school? The Bush children went to public school.
RAPHAEL: I'm not offended by that at all.
RAPHAEL: I think it's every parent's right to get the best education they can for their children. And I want the best education for all of our children in America.
KING: One at a time. Dr. Angelou, go.
ANGELOU: I must state that not all the children in Harlem -- I mean, when you say Harlem and all the poor children come from Harlem, that is not so. And I will not have it said. I must
RAPHAEL: You are correct, Maya, I apologize.
ANGELOU: Thank you.
KING: All right. We will take a break and come back with more. And we'll even find out reasons why they think their candidate will win. So Sally can find out why she thinks Bush will lose, and Bo can tell us why she thinks he will win, and more on women's issues, as we continue after this.
KING: There are nine women in the United States Senate, 65 in the House of Representatives. More than 90 women hold statewide elective offices. About 23 percent of statewide -- of state legislatures in America, 23 percent are women. They are 52 percent, I believe, of the population.
Seal Beach, California, hello.
CALLER: Hi Larry. Thanks for taking my call.
My question is for Representative Bono. I'm really concerned about the environment. And it seems to be a non-issue for the Republicans. I didn't hear the environment mentioned once during the whole Republican Convention.
KING: And women are as interested in that as men -- Mary.
BONO: There's no question. You know, and first of all, I think the governor did come out in a strong way and talk about the environment not too long ago. And he talked about, again, taking funding and putting it towards our national parks, which have been neglected for too long, that the current administration has been spending money on buying more land.
Instead, we ought to take that money and put it towards fixing up the national treasures that we already have. So Governor Bush did talk about that. He talked about finding ways to work in concert with people to help the environment. And, you know, I -- just to say, as far as a Republican and the environment goes, I personally, in my district, have two big districts -- two issues I've been working on.
One has been saving the Salton Sea. And another one has been the establishment of the Santa Rosa, San Jacinto National Monument. So there are issues we care about. But the way I approached it, the way I believe Governor Bush would as well, is to sit down and realize that people can come together on these issues, have the Sierra Club sit down with the developers, find common ground, and do what it is in the best interests of all people.
And it can be done that way if you approach it from that point of view. Governor Bush has made those statements. And I believe he will be very, very strong on the environment.
KING: Senator Landrieu, the perception is that the soft issues -- health, education -- health and education -- appeal to women, and perception that the harder issues, defense, world policy, appear to men -- appeal to men. Do you accept that?
LANDRIEU: Well, I think that the polls reflect that if you -- that men are maybe somewhat more knowledgeable and interested. But, frankly, that's changing, because, you know, women are concerned about budgets. They understand the relationship between domestic and international policy. Women want a strong, I think, and secure military.
There are now two of us: one Republican and one Democratic woman on the Senate side. And, you know, I find, as I visit with more women, Larry, about this issue, that they are very concerned about the readiness of our troops. You know, you may recruit a soldier, but we retain a family. So the issues of good housing and health care for the military, they want our country to be strong, fight when we have to.
And women are getting much more comfortable talking about those issues. And it's important to them.
KING: Bo Derek, do you feel out of place in Hollywood as a Republican, since most of the community is Democratic?
DEREK: No, it's never been an issue for me. It really hasn't. There are plenty of Republicans. But there are lots of Democrats. But I've never found it to be a problem.
KING: Loretta Lynn, do you have full confidence that Bush can get the women vote?
LYNN: I sure do. And I think one of the things that is a great -- one of the greatest things I think is he's going to put money back into the pockets of the people that are working, working people. He's giving money back to them that they deserve.
And I think when it comes to the military, the military's way down. And when Clinton got in, he closed how many bases? And I have been doing USO tours, and believe me, these boys are in need. A lot of them are on food stamps.
KING: That was a bipartisan commission that closed bases, though.
LYNN: Was it?
LYNN: That was after Clinton got in.
KING: Yes, but it was -- OK.
LYNN: OK. I don't know about that, but I think the boys deserve more than what they're doing -- getting.
KING: Sally, you were going to tell us -- we want to get everybody in the panel to get a final word in, but I've got to take one more break. But you were going to tell us why you think Bush is going to lose, Sally.
RAPHAEL: Yes. I think he's going to lose. You asked me at the very beginning one of the most important issues of the campaign. I said the abortion issue.
Here you have a whole group of Republican women, even one of his own advisers, all of them saying, I'm pro-choice and yet I'm for Bush. The guy's going lose on that alone.
KING: We'll take a break and come back with our final thoughts from everybody. We'll try to get everybody in, too, on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.
KING: We're approaching an hour here, and we want to give everyone a final statement. Obviously, this is going to be a very, very, very important issue, the women's vote.
So we'll start with Dr. Angelou. Why should women -- and if we could each take about 25 seconds -- vote for Al Gore?
ANGELOU: I think that women are often accused of being silly and bimbos and forgetful, but most of us know that this is the best economy we have seen in 40 or 50 years. Women are very smart. We are the ones who deal with the pennies and the nickels and the dollars, and we know that Al Gore will continue something so brilliant -- he will continue us having some money in our pockets when we go to the marketplace.
KING: Loretta Lynn, why should they vote for George Bush?
LYNN: I think they should vote for George Bush because he's the smartest man, he's the best man to be the president of the United States. And I just think that -- I love the lady that just quit talking, but I still say that George Bush is -- would be the best president. Let's put it that way.
KING: You have no doubt. You know him well, don't you?
LYNN: No doubt in my mind. I've known him for 12 years.
KING: You know his father very well, too, do you not?
KING: Don't you know the father very well?
LYNN: Oh, we fax each other every day.
KING: All right. Sally Jessy Raphael, why should they vote for Al Gore?
RAPHAEL: Because Gore is for women. He stands on the right side of the line as far as all the major things that concern women. I think the guy is going to win. I also think he's infinitely more experienced than Bush.
He's going to win.
KING: No doubt in your mind?
RAPHAEL: No doubt, no doubt in my mind.
KING: Bo Derek, why should they vote for Governor Bush?
DEREK: First, I think it's a new world order, a new economy, everything's changed. We must reform our government. It's old- fashioned. It's stodgy, and the programs aren't functioning.
As far as the abortion issue, I do think it's just a matter of time before it is off the Republican platform, before it's a non- issue, which is I think where it should be.
We're never going back. I don't care what the Supreme Court says, I don't care what the president says, I don't care what anyone says. We are never going back to those days when there was no choice.
KING: Senator Landrieu, why should they vote for Al Gore?
LANDRIEU: Larry, I do believe that Vice President Gore is going to win, and he's been greatly helped and a wonderful partner in Joe Lieberman, and they're going to make a great leadership team for out nation, because this country is in a quite historic position. We have relative peace, great prosperity. The economic opportunities are just there.
And people are looking for a president that will help expand opportunities for more people, that will continue this growth, realizing that we're not quite there yet, progress needs to be made. And I think they see that in this leader that can actually deliver on that promise of opportunity, and I think that's why he's going to win.
KING: Congressman Mary Bono, why should they vote for Governor George W. Bush of Texas?
BONO: A funny thing, the senator just said the same thing I was going to say, but about Governor Bush. I see it the same way. What she sees in Gore I see in George W. Bush.
For me the biggest thing of all would have to be that it's time once again to believe in people and that people can solve problems if the government would get out of the way: get out of the way of the small business, let a small business man or woman, you know, have an opportunity to make a living, you know, return control back to parents and teachers in our schools, you know, start thinking outside of the box with things like saving Social Security.
You know, but mostly look at the past 7 1/2 years. It has been partisan bickering and fighting in Washington, D.C. We can get beyond that.
As the senator said, we're at the threshold now of new wonderful opportunities. Let's move forward here and end the divisiveness that's been existing in Washington for far too long.
KING: One other quick thing for our two elected officials: What are we going to do about this oil thing, do you think, Senator Landrieu? Do you think the president's going to tap into the reserves?
LANDRIEU: Well, Larry, I'm doubtful that that actually would help. I know there was a statement made today. But I've been promoting, and many Democrats and Republicans, a more aggressive domestic drilling program that can be done in a more environmentally sensitive way. I think that would help. There are lots of things.
But we can't rely on these sort of short term. It's got to be a much comprehensive program, and that's one of the things we're going to work on in the next Congress.
KING: And Mary, George Bush said he's going to get tough with OPEC. Do you think that can happen?
BONO: I think it has to happen, there's no question. We have been at the fate here of OPEC and their games and what has been going on. And I think George W. Bush would be, again, tougher with OPEC. But as the senator said, it's time once again to get ahead of the game here on this platform. We've been asleep at the wheel and we do need to address it.
KING: Thanks to all of your very much. See you tomorrow night with Dick Van Dyke. Willow Bay is here. Don't go away. Good night.
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