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Larry King Live

What's So Funny About Election 2000?

Aired September 29, 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, why are these guys smiling? Maybe they found that running for president can be a funny business. We're going to talk political humor with comic Chris Tucker, star of "Rush Hour" and "The Fifth Element." Joining him in Los Angeles, comic Elayne Boosler; plus actor, author and game-show host Ben Stein. In Washington, Tucker Carlson of "The Weekly Standard" and "Talk" magazine, and our own Bill Schneider, syndicated columnist and CNN senior political analyst.

And they're all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Comedy and politics, that's our topic tonight. I'm back in Los Angeles with a great panel. Mr. Schneider will be sort of our interlocutor. We will set scenes with him and then get the comments of our group.

We will start, Bill Schneider, with what was the importance of that kiss, the Gore kiss?

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Larry, could it have been a statement about, say, family values? I mean, I think it was half planned and half spontaneous, which I think added to the moment, but he was making a statement there. I'm not Bill Clinton. I'm devoted to family values. I'm a family man. I'm faithful to my wife.

KING: Last night they said that was totally spontaneous.

Elayne, did you buy it?

ELAYNE BOOSLER, COMEDIAN: Yes, I bought it, but I don't think it belongs on TV. I think they should put sex back in the Oval Office where it does belong.

KING: Chris, what did you think of the kiss?

CHRIS TUCKER, COMEDIAN: I don't care. As long as they don't kiss me, I don't care.

KING: As long as they don't bother you.

TUCKER: Don't bother me.

KING: By the way, very happy new year to you. TUCKER: Oh, happy new year to you.

KING: Chris revealed recently that he was Jewish.

BEN STEIN, AUTHOR/GAME SHOW HOST: You're kidding. Well happy new year to you.

TUCKER: Thank you very much.

KING: Ben, what did you make of the kiss?

STEIN: (a) totally phony and planned. He doesn't do anything that's not phony and planned. And (b) if the test of whether a man should be president is how long he can keep up a sort of semi-sex act on TV, let's look on the Playboy Channel for then candidates. Those guys can really do some stuff for a long time.

KING: You say this as a non-partisan observer.

BOOSLER: Did you watch it?

STEIN: Yes, unlike the other comedians, I don't pretend to be nonpartisan. They pretend to be nonpartisan, and they're all Democrats.

KING: You are a conservative Republican.

STEIN: I'm the only Republican, but I don't pretend about it.

BOOSLER: Isn't it phenomenal that he supports the candidate who is not smart enough to win his money?

STEIN: Well, you know what? You know, I love the fact that people don't think he's smart. He graduated from one of the best prep schools in America, graduated from Yale, graduated from Harvard Business School, made $20 million before he was 50 -- honestly -- and is governor of the second-biggest state. I'd like to think we should all be so stupid.

KING: Let us, before we move to that, get the thoughts of Tucker Carlson, who is -- is he related to you, Chris?

TUCKER: We're brothers, yes. I wasn't going to mention it.

TUCKER CARLSON, "THE WEEKLY STANDARD": I was named after him.

TUCKER: But hey, Tucker, I talked to mom earlier. She said hello.

CARLSON: Give her a kiss for me.

KING: Tucker, what did you make of the kiss?

CARLSON: Well I thought it was sort of -- I mean, I don't think Tipper knew about it. I thought she looked kind of afraid. She looked like she was trying to get away from him. I don't know. If that -- I mean, if that is the measure of a family man, someone who's willing to neck with his wife on TV, it's a pretty low threshold, I think.

KING: Did -- Bill Schneider, did the Clinton problems, the Lewinsky thing, open a whole new era of political humor?

SCHNEIDER: Oh, sure. I mean, I think we had a whole lower standard of humor about the Clinton-Lewinsky affair than we've ever had about a president -- and I'm not going to tell those jokes. Maybe some of your other guests will -- but it certainly opened the door to a lot.

But remember something else. It seemed to obliterate the line between public and private life. But you know what? The public, the voters, made that line very clear. They said, we don't like Clinton's private life. We don't approve of it, we don't like what the man has done, but he's doing his job. And the voters said, this line holds.

KING: Ben, did that infuriate you as a staunch Republican?

STEIN: Which, does the lying...

KING: That Clinton remained popular.

STEIN: That Clinton got away with it?

KING: Yes.

STEIN: It disappointed me. It didn't infuriate me. I think the bottom line is, in terms of administering the government, he did do a fine job. There's no doubt about it. In terms of humiliating the office, humiliating the presidency, did a bad job.

When my son was born, president was a word meaning high esteem. Now it's a set-up to a dirty joke. His friends are constantly telling jokes about -- that bring with the president and the intern, the president and the intern. It's embarrassing it's a set-up to a dirty joke now.

BOOSLER: And whose fault is that? It's Congress' fault. He didn't have sex and then announce it, and say, "Hey, I got lucky." Congress...

STEIN: Well, he didn't -- he didn't have sex with Congress. I mean...

BOOSLER: Well, you know, some of them need it, because...

STEIN: Well, you mean you may think they need it. But they don't think they need it.

BOOSLER: Well...

STEIN: If they thought they needed it, they would go out and buy it.

BOOSLER: That's true. And many of them do.

STEIN: But the fact -- I mean, Congress didn't make him have Monica Lewinsky, cop his...

BOOSLER: Congress announced it. It would have been a private matter. It never would have never happened. He is my hero. He kept his eyes ahead, and he led the country while all this was going on. Look how short the wars are. You have a president who likes sex. The wars were three days when he was in office.

We had to be out by Thursday. He had to pick up the girls. It's wonderful.

STEIN: Well, we -- we didn't really even have to have those wars, as a matter of fact. They haven't -- seem to have done a lot of good.

KING: Chris, is -- I know you're making a movie called "Mr. President."

TUCKER: Yes.

KING: Is sex in this movie?

TUCKER: No, it's not it. But it's fine to me, Larry, about how everybody is on the president by -- when he made this mistake. Everybody makes mistakes every now and then. They need to let it go anyway.

STEIN: Well, everyone makes...

KING: Let it go?

TUCKER: Let it go.

KING: You forgive him?

TUCKER: I forgive him. Let it go.

STEIN: I...

TUCKER: As long as -- like she said, as long as he don't start a war, because I -- I mean, Bush is scaring me, talking about the military is not ready. I don't care if the military is not ready, because I don't want to go to war.

(CROSSTALK)

TUCKER: Because they will end up drafting me. And Spielberg, he won't make a movie about me, "Saving Private Tucker," because Private Tucker saved himself.

KING: Private Tucker ain't going.

TUCKER: I'm not. I'll leave.

KING: Tucker, you were going to say?

CARLSON: Well, I was just going to -- I mean, look, I don't even think it was the sex that was the most offensive. It was the constant attacking of everybody. It was everybody who criticized him wasn't just a legitimate critic, he was a -- you know, a wild-eyed Clinton- hater and had mental problems. And there was this vast conspiracy against the Clintons all the time.

STEIN: And not only that...

KING: And really, the whole apparatus just sort of leapt on any critic and tried to destroy them. That was really mean and vicious. And there's no excuse for that.

SCHNEIDER: It was pretty vicious on both sides.

CARLSON: It was.

BOOSLER: Both sides.

(CROSSTALK)

SCHNEIDER: I think in the end, what happened was simple: He embarrassed the country.

STEIN: He embarrassed...

KING: But they didn't think that was enough to drive him out of office. But he clearly embarrassed the country. And a lot of people don't think he has really paid a penalty for that.

KING: Ben is going crazy, because Ben is a control freak.

STEIN: No, I'm not a control

(CROSSTALK)

STEIN: I'm not a control freak. But I -- the idea that Congress somehow is to blame for the fact this man had sex with an intern, repeatedly lied about it, wagged his finger at the nation and told a big, huge fat lie.

KING: But she may be referring to Newt Gingrich criticizing him while he's having an affair.

(CROSSTALK)

KING: Another Congressman criticizing while he's having an affair.

STEIN: Listen to me. I don't question for a minute that a lot of people have affairs. It's not even a little bit surprising to me. I don't see them all wagging their finger at the country and absolutely lying about it, while the president...

(CROSSTALK) KING: No, but if they wag their finger at someone who's doing the same thing they're doing, that's hypocrisy.

STEIN: But that's -- that's -- so Newt Gingrich has paid the price. He's gone. He was gone right away.

BOOSLER: Because he didn't have the stamina to stick up like Clinton did.

STEIN: Clinton did not -- Clinton -- well, OK -- so he's not as much of a bare-faced, tough liar as Clinton.

BOOSLER: He's not as dedicated to politics as Clinton.

STEIN: He's not a tough liar the way Clinton is.

KING: You mean, we're rating lies?

BOOSLER: Yes.

STEIN: Yes, Clinton is a tough, skillful liar.

KING: OK, Chris, by the way, before we go to break, congratulations: front page of "New York Times" magazine.

STEIN: Wow, fabulous.

(CLAPPING)

KING: Yes. One of the leaders: the new era of comedy.

STEIN: That's fabulous, fabulous.

KING: You still proud to be an American?

TUCKER: I'm proud.

KING: Although you will not serve your country.

STEIN: I would, but not for -- you know, if I do, I will go to the Air Force, because if they send me out to over enemy territory, I'm going to fly back over here, because...

BOOSLER: He's not going to serve his country until Denny's serves him.

TUCKER: They will be looking for me. They'll say, "Private Tucker, where are you?" I'll say: "I'm at home. I parked the plane at the base and I put the helmet on the seat. And I put some more gas in it. It's there."

"Private Tucker."

"I'm at home!"

KING: He won't serve until... BOOSLER: I said he won't serve his country until Denny's serves him. It's fair enough.

KING: Good line. We will take a break. And as we go to break, here was Al -- speaking of humor, we are going to show you humor in verse tonight -- here's Al Gore: late night television. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN")

AL GORE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I hold here in my hand, Dave...

DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST: Yes.

GORE: ... the top-10 rejected Gore-Lieberman campaign slogan: Vote for me or I'll come to your home an explain my 191-page economic plan to you in excruciating detail.

LETTERMAN: Yes.

GORE: Remember, America, I gave you the Internet and I can take it away. Think about it.

Your vote automatically enters you in drawing for the $123 billion budget surplus.

LETTERMAN: Wow!

GORE: With Lieberman on the ticket, you get all kinds of fun new days off.

We know when the microphone is on.

LETTERMAN: Yes.

GORE: Vote for me and I will take whatever steps necessary to outlaw the term, "Wassup!"

Gore-Lieberman: You don't have to worry about pork barrel politics.

You'll thank us in four years when the escalator to the moon is finished.

If I can handle Letterman, I can handle Saddam Hussein.

And the number-one rejected Gore-Lieberman campaign slogan: I'll be twice as cool as that president guy on "The West Wing."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "LIVE WITH REGIS")

SUSAN HAWK, GUEST HOST: He looks like you.

REGIS PHILBIN, HOST: Look at him. He wants to be me! (APPLAUSE)

Yes, check it out!

(APPLAUSE)

Check it our, governor! Very nice.

(APPLAUSE)

Yes, there you go.

GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What do you think?

PHILBIN: I love it!

(APPLAUSE)

Yes, the Regis Collection!

Oh, you old devil. He gave Oprah a kiss but he wore my shirt and tie.

(LAUGHTER)

Not missing a trick. I'll tell you that.

Anyway, nice to have you.

BUSH: Thank you, sir.

PHILBIN: Thank you so much for coming. And you've met our...

BUSH: I did meet Susan.

PHILBIN: Yes, Susan Hawk.

You ever watch "Survivor," governor?

BUSH: I did.

PHILBIN: Did you really?

BUSH: I did, yes, coming down the stretch in particular.

I was fascinated to see who was going to survive...

PHILBIN: Yes.

BUSH: Kind of like me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Who's funnier, Chris? Gore or Bush?

TUCKER: Bush, because Bush is just doing everything he can. He's dressing up like people, looking like the Smurfs...

(LAUGHTER)

He's kissing Oprah and (UNINTELLIGIBLE). He's funny to me.

KING: OK. Who's funnier, Tucker?

CARLSON: I think Bush is probably naturally funnier, but I don't know, a lot of this is effort. I mean, how hard are you trying to be funny? I think that counts. It means something.

I thought Gore did a great job with the Letterman questions. So what if it's scripted? He's trying hard.

People like this. People don't take the president very seriously, so I don't think they want the candidates to take themselves very seriously.

KING: Now, Bill, it used to be reversed. Adlai Stevenson was criticized for being funny, correct?

SCHNEIDER: That is correct. And Americans, I don't think, want their president to be too funny. Look, you know, wit is one thing. John Kennedy was celebrated because he had a great wit. Ronald Reagan could tell a good story.

But look, they're hiring someone to do a job. They're not looking for the funniest guy. I don't think Al Gore or George Bush could be described fairly as hilarious. Both of them can do it if they have to, and other people write the lines for them. But that's not the main thing: The main thing people want to know is can you do the job.

KING: But in the old days...

TUCKER: Larry, I disagree. I want my president to be funny.

(LAUGHTER)

I want -- I want to get to know him. I want to know what he's thinking about. I want the home number to the White House, because if there's any kind of thing going on, any war or something...

KING: You want to call.

TUCKER: ... I want to be able to call and say, "You're we should do this?"

KING: In the old days, Elayne -- we'll get right back to you -- in the old days, they didn't go on, Adlai Stevenson didn't go on "The Tonight Show."

BOOSLER: Oh, he was (UNINTELLIGIBLE) are you kidding me?

KING: He didn't go on.

BOOSLER: Oh, he opened for Sinatra, didn't he?

(LAUGHTER)

I think Bush is hysterically funny, because listen to -- this is what he's running on. We have an unbelievable surplus, we have unprecedented peace and prosperity, we need a change.

(LAUGHTER)

KING: That is funny then...

STEIN: But you know, I love the idea that somehow it's to Gore and Clinton's credit that we have this surplus. We are the taxpayers. We're paying for the surplus. They didn't pay for it. Gore and Clinton didn't take money out of their piggy banks to pay for it.

When we pay our huge...

KING: So if a Republican were president, you'd be saying the same thing.

STEIN: We're paying with our staggering taxes to lower the deficit.

KING: The question was who's funnier.

STEIN: Well, I think actually they're both kind of funny. I've seen them both in casual circumstances.

And I had the pleasure of having dinner on Tuesday night with Bush, sitting about where I am and he was about where you were.

KING: It was right after he appeared here, right?

STEIN: Right.

KING: You were at that dinner.

STEIN: He was very, very funny and very self-deprecating. When someone was giving a speech about how the Republicans have a good chance to win California, he made a very, very funny face as if to say from your mouth to God's ear. It was very, very funny.

But I will say what this proves is something amazing about the power of the media, how the candidates will come to and kowtow to the media...

KING: Both. Both, right?

STEIN: ... to the powers -- they will kowtow to the media. The media is the real moving power in this country.

KING: Tucker, is he right? Are -- was Marshall McLuhan proved correct?

CARLSON: Yes, I mean, it's not so much the media. It's, I mean, it's the Oprahs and the Jerry Springers of the world. I mean, it really is this arms race, and nobody is standing up and saying, no, actually I'm not going to talk about my undershorts on TV, no way.

You know, but it's just, nobody puts a stop to it. So at a certain point, it's like, OK, well, I'll do pay-per-view, or you know, I'll do cable access.

I mean, seriously, I mean, where does it end? It really is kind of vulgar, really. I wish someone would just say, "I'm just not going to do that; it's too undignified."

STEIN: But why is it -- I don't think it is vulgar. And by -- I think the only problem is the media is a gigantic power, but it's unelected and unaccountable. But the point is they also cannot put people in jail, and I think that's an incredibly good thing. We have a power in this country that's very, very strong, and yet it cannot put people in jail and start wars.

BOOSLER: You know, in the amount of time that he's been talking 18 people have already been executed in Texas, many of them guilty.

(LAUGHTER)

STEIN: That's terribly funny.

TUCKER: They almost executed me when I was getting off the plane one time.

KING: Have you ever been...

SCHNEIDER: Well, Larry...

KING: Hold on. Have you ever been racially profiled?

(CROSSTALK)

TUCKER: If I have, I can't remember. I probably have.

KING: What were you going to say, Bill?

SCHNEIDER: There's a vast army of people out there who are not voters, they're not involved in politics, they don't watch the news. They could vote if you reach them, and the way you reach them is through shows like "Oprah" and "The Tonight Show" and the Letterman show. I mean, half the voters just didn't bother to vote, people old enough to vote in 1996.

So what they're really trying to do is reach people who really aren't reachable by commercials and by standard news media. They've got to get them somehow, and they're doing it that way.

CARLSON: Yes, but think about -- think about what that means. That means that you're making a pitch to people who get all their political news from Oprah or Letterman. Do we really want these people voting? I don't think so. In fact, I think it's irresponsible to ask for their votes. Stay home, please.

SCHNEIDER: I'll put it to you this way...

KING: Let me get a break.

SCHNEIDER: Gore wants them voting and so does Bush if they'll vote for them.

KING: Let me get a break. When we come back, we'll talk about White House sleepovers and get the thoughts of our guests on that. More political humor as we go break. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE DAILY SHOW")

JON STEWART, HOST: Bush himself downplayed the ad, saying it was of little impotence.

(LAUGHTER)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: You know, the idea of putting subliminable messages into ads is -- it's ridiculous.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEWART: All right. Now -- now, wait a minute. Before we all jump on Bush for saying subliminable, I'm sure that that was probably just one of those, you know, one tiny slips of the tongue.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: You thought you did. You talk about subliminable.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: All right. Now -- now -- all right. He said -- he said subliminable twice, but he was probably distracted thinking about executing some criminables.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: By the way, if you've just joined us, I'll reintroduce our panel at the bottom of the hour and tell you some things they're doing currently as well.

Chris, before we get to the subject of sleepovers, Chris remembers that he was racially profiled.

TUCKER: Yes, I think it was, but a cop pulled me over. I think cops are just bored. Sometimes -- some cops are just childish. They pull you over because I think they're tired of hiding in the woods, and so they want to pull you over and talk. Some of them want to talk -- a cop pulled me over and said, he said: "You see me behind you. Why did you start speeding up?" I said: "Because you was catching up. You just (UNINTELLIGIBLE) to catch me."

(LAUGHTER)

And then they want to ask all these questions and then they tell you to slow down. I said: "Look, you made me even later now. I've got to go faster." So...

(LAUGHTER)

Some cops are just bored, you know. So it might not have been racial profiling. They might...

KING: That's correct.

TUCKER: They're just bored.

KING: Bill Schneider, is stayovers new? Because George Bush said on this show, logically he said, friends are supporters and that's who stays over. And he's not surprised by it. He didn't make a big deal of it.

SCHNEIDER: I'm certain people have always stayed over at the White House. The problem is a matter of scale. Look how many people stayed over at the White House, and a lot of people stayed over there, and subsequently they gave a lot of money. Some did; some didn't.

But it was the scale of that operation. It really did look like they were renting out the Lincoln Bedroom. And it was beyond -- it was just like the way Clinton raised soft money in 1996. It's been done before, but not on that scale.

KING: Elayne.

BOOSLER: Let me tell you something: I'd rather have a president take money from people who just want to sleep in the White House because they're patriotic than be in the pocket of the NRA, who -- according to whom, if everybody in Jerusalem had had nails, Jesus would be alive today.

(LAUGHTER)

TUCKER: Larry -- Larry -- Larry...

KING: One at a time.

STEIN: Why is it worse to take contributions from the NRA than say...

BOOSLER: Because Cheney voted against cop-killing bullets...

STEIN: Well, wait a second. BOOSLER: ... against guns that could be smuggled on airplanes, against a waiting period. I want a president who let's people sleep over, not (UNINTELLIGIBLE) laws that are going to kill everybody...

KING: But Ben, is it wrong -- the question is on stayovers. Sometimes we divert here. I'll get back to it. One at a time. Is it wrong to -- if a supporter...

STEIN: I don't think it's wrong to let people stay over, but I don't think it's any wronger to accept contributions from people who think citizens should be armed than to accept contributions from NARAL, frankly, who think that you should be allowed to kill babies.

KING: Tucker, are you offended by people staying at your building? It's your building.

CARLSON: Well, no, of course not, I mean, if they want to have a couple of friends over. But if they want to have 404 over in the space of a year, I think that seems a little excessive. It's not their house, and I don't know.

I think it'd be one thing if Hillary Clinton got up and said, yes, sure, I mean, this is the perk I have to sell and I'm selling it. But instead she gets all self-righteous, like they always do. I can't believe you would accuse me of that. It's the self-righteousness to me that's the real crime, and they commit it a lot.

KING: Are you offended, Chris?

TUCKER: No, I'm not offended, Larry. I stayed at the White House because I didn't have a ride home, and Bill -- actually, I took some money from the White House because somebody dropped $20. So I mean, you never know...

KING: Somebody dropped -- you kept it? You kept money?

TUCKER: Bill had to go, so, you know, the president had to leave so I kept it. But I don't see nothing wrong with it.

KING: What was it like in the middle of the night?

TUCKER: It was kind of spooky because the Army kept marching back and forth and Secret Service kept knocking on my window, saying, are you all right? But it was...

(LAUGHTER)

KING: We'll take a break and come back with more.

By the way, Monday night on this show we'll ask about that, Ralph Nader and Pat Buchanan. Monday night, on the eve of the debate, the other debate.

Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO") JAY LENO, HOST: Al Gore is getting awful friendly, isn't he? Did you see him with James Taylor? Show him with James Taylor.

Al Gore -- OK, now watch this. And it looks, you know, OK, says hello. Now, Ellen, could we get a little closer? Look at there...

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

I don't know what that was all about.

(CROSSTALK)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "LATE NIGHT WITH CONAN O'BRIEN")

SEN. JOE LIEBERMAN, (D-CT), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (singing): Regrets...

Here's one right here...

(LAUGHTER)

Oh, boy.

(singing): Regrets, I've had a few, but then again, too few to mention. I did what I had to do, and saw it through, without exemption.

That's a subtle reference to tax cuts, exemption.

(singing): I planned each charted course, each careful step along the by way...

Here's comes the finish, Conan.

(singing): But more, much more than than this, I did it my way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: OK. What does that say to you, Ben?

STEIN: It's humiliating that he's doing it, but he's got a good voice. And he's -- he sounds a lot like the cantor at the synagogue I used to go to when I was a child, and he has quite a good voice. But why is he doing it? What's the point of it?

KING: Elayne, I guess you will defend it.

BOOSLER: No, no, I'm with -- it was humiliating. There is -- you know, telling women that you don't want to be in anybody's life as a politician, but you will outlaw abortion when you appoint three new Supreme Court justices. That's not humiliating.

KING: Did you like him singing on the...

BOOSLER: I loved him singing. In fact, Bush actually declared a Jesus day in Texas, and in response Lieberman declared that the entire state of Connecticut would be 20 percent off.

(LAUGHTER)

KING: Tucker Carlson, what did you make of Lieberman singing? What have we come to, Tucker?

CARLSON: Well, I don't know. In the case of Lieberman, he's pretty charming. I was with him the other day in Ohio, and he's just -- there's this ingenuousness to him that's appealing. He was giving this speech and this group of cheerleaders behind him, and they're doing their pom-poms. And he says to the crowd, you know, I wish we could take these girls on the road with us.

And I thought, you know, if anybody else said that it would be an entire Letterman, you know, monologue. But he got away with it. There's something charming about him. I hate to admit it, but there is.

KING: Bill, have we ever had a candidate sing, to your knowledge, on television before? We had one play a clarinet, right? One play a saxophone.

SCHNEIDER: One played a saxophone. Harry Truman's daughter sang. He complained when the reviews come in. I can't remember one singing on television...

KING: Nixon played piano.

STEIN: Nixon played piano very well, too.

SCHNEIDER: Nixon played piano. We've had musical presidents. But look, Joe Lieberman is a happy warrior. That's why he's an effective candidate. Dick Cheney is not a happy warrior.

KING: So Chris...

BOOSLER: When Lieberman got the nomination, he thanked God so many times that day I thought he'd won a Grammy.

TUCKER: I love Senator Lieberman. I love him, but he sure did do it his way, because Frank Sinatra did not sing like that. He did it his way.

KING: He did not.

Do you know any Dick Cheney humor? Do we have any Dick Cheney?

STEIN: Well, Dick Cheney is not really...

BOOSLER: His voting record. STEIN: ... that funny a guy, but he does have a lot of qualifications. But Lieberman is, I think, the funniest of all the four top people in the race, because he totally turned on a dime and changed all his basic positions about education and the teachers' union and vouchers just bang, as soon as...

BOOSLER: I pray to God Dick Cheney turns on a dime and does the same.

STEIN: ... as soon as Maxine Waters told him to and cracked the whip. Wham. He was there.

KING: But George Bush said here the other night he's not sold on vouchers. He just wants to see it tried somewhere, but he's not sold on it.

STEIN: You know, I think that's a lot more consistent, if I may say so, than what Lieberman is saying.

KING: Will you be proud as a Jew to have him run for vice president?

STEIN: I'm very proud as a Jew to have him run for vice president, but I'm embarrassed that he changed his position so quickly on so many vital parts of the national experience.

KING: Are you happy with this campaign so far? All of you. Polls say it's clean, hasn't been dirty.

STEIN: The big thing about this campaign is this guy, Bush, has been in the public eye, they've had people looking at him now for a year. They cannot touch him with one incident of ethical misconduct. That's pretty amazing.

BOOSLER: Because he hasn't done anything. He's not a leader. He doesn't know anything...

STEIN: He's the leader of the second-biggest state.

BOOSLER: With the highest pollution, the worst child education, the worst -- biggest death penalty...

STEIN: Well, that's a lie...

(CROSSTALK)

BOOSLER: Guns are allowed in church, which you do need guns in church if you're going to have that many guns...

STEIN: People in Texas want that. I mean...

BOOSLER: Listen, here's the big thing the people of Texas...

(CROSSTALK)

KING: One at a time. BOOSLER: Great. Here's the difference in the campaign. Let's look at the actual issues and not go for cheap shots.

CARLSON: What? My god.

(CROSSTALK)

KING: You'll get in right away, Tucker.

BOOSLER: Here's some of the issues, and they are this: that there's a huge surplus and Gore wants to use it to keep the prosperity booming and not give it all back and pay down the debt, which we still have. Gore wants to give all the money back, and I figured out why.

STEIN: I think you mean Bush.

BOOSLER: Thank you. Bush wants to give all the money back. And you know why? He doesn't know what to do with it. He's never led anything before. Take the money. I don't know -- take HUD. Do you want a department?

KING: Chris.

TUCKER: Bush reminds me of one of my old friends, and we're not friends anymore, so that's all I've got to say.

KING: Very direct, Chris.

STEIN: Well, look, Bush says, correctly, we have this surplus because taxpayers are paying so much money. The question is, should it belong to the taxpayers or to the government? Very, very, very...

KING: But the government is us.

STEIN: There are about six Nobel Prize-winning economists who have written a statement saying Bush's plan is right.

KING: I've got to get a break. We'll come back with more. We'll include your phone calls. We'll re-introduce the panel and give them each their due credits. Here's some more humor as we go to break.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "LATE NIGHT WITH CONAN O'BRIEN")

CONAN O'BRIEN, HOST: This is interesting. An article -- an article in, speaking of politics, in this month's "Vanity Fair" speculates that George W. Bush may suffer from attention deficit disorder.

(LAUGHTER)

The article also speculates that if Al Gore is elected, we'll all suffer attention deficit disorder.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We are back on LARRY KING LIVE, talking political humor.

Tomorrow night, we are going to replay our interview with Mark David Chapman, the man who killed John Lennon. He is eligible for parole. We'll replay that interview tomorrow night. And Monday Night: Ralph Nader and Pat Buchanan.

Let's reintroduce our panel. Chris Tucker is the noted comic and actor. What a future he has got -- front page: "New York Times" magazine. His movie credits include the hysterical "Rush Hour" and "The Fifth Element." And he's going to star in the upcoming movie, "Mr. President."

Elayne Boosler, one of the funniest people in the world, always on tour. She plays college campuses, large halls, small halls. Elayne Boosler is never home. Her pet charity activity, she's on the Boxer Rescue, L.A. She rescues only boxer dogs.

BOOSLER: Not only -- all kinds, but

(CROSSTALK)

KING: Boxers, particularly. If you lose a boxer, she's out on the hunt.

BOOSLER: I'm on our Web site.

KING: Ben Stein author and actor -- I knew his father well, the late Herb Stein -- what a great man he was too -- host of "Win Ben Stein's Money" and "Turn Ben Stein" on. He also is a speechwriter for the hysterical Richard Nixon. And he wrote all those funny lines for Gerald Ford.

In Washington is Tucker Carlson, staff writer for the "Weekly Standard," contributor to "Talk" magazine and a CNN political analyst, as well -- and our own Bill Schneider, CNN senior political analyst, syndicated columnist.

We will also include your phone calls.

Fund raising: Last night, I asked Al Gore what's the first thing he will do when he becomes president -- if he becomes president -- and he said he will submit to Congress the McCain-Feingold.

Do you buy that?

STEIN: I believe he would do it. But I don't think it's a good idea. I don't see why people shouldn't be allowed to contribute as much as they want to a cause they believe in: rich Democrats, rich Republicans, rich social...

KING: Period. It's open.

STEIN: Yes, it's open.

BOOSLER: I would throw it over here.

KING: You don't want it. Money.

TUCKER: It's OK, I guess, you know. If you believe in somebody you can give them, you know, whatever you want to give them.

KING: Do you agree with him?

TUCKER: I agree with him. I...

KING: Raise any amount of money you can.

TUCKER: Yes.

KING: Don't matter.

BOOSLER: And who was...

KING: I got $80 million. You got nothing. I run against you.

TUCKER: But you know what, I think, if somebody likes you, they can give money. But I also agree that some of these other parties should be a part of the debates.

KING: Oh, that's -- I'm going to ask about that.

Tucker, money, do you believe Gore wants to eliminate the -- all kinds of excess money?

CARLSON: Well, I mean, you're really cutting through a jungle of sanctimony there, I can't even presume to figure out. I'm not a shrink. I don't know what Gore wants. But I do think that Ben Stein is on to something in that: Gee, what's a political ad but an exercise of your First Amendment right to free speech?

I don't what's (UNINTELLIGIBLE) us about that, about groups having a lot of money to disseminate ideas. Is that scary? Are we scared of that? I don't think we ought to be.

KING: It may not be fair, though.

Is it new, Bill Schneider?

CARLSON: Why, because some popular wacko ideas don't get enough airtime?

(CROSSTALK)

KING: The Supreme Court has

(CROSSTALK)

KING: This turned into talk radio.

Bill Schneider, is it new?

SCHNEIDER: The Supreme Court has come up with this, I think, crazy idea that money is speech, which means that rich people have a lot more rights than poor people, because they have a lot more money to spend on ads. I mean, until you get around that, I think you are going to have a big problem, because they have said money is speech and you can spend it on anything you want as much as you want.

STEIN: But why isn't money speech? I mean, if a person is fully committed to a political or moral cause, why shouldn't he be able to spend his money on it? I mean, why isn't it speech? Whey isn't it speech if Stephen Spielberg believes strongly in something, wants to spend money on it?

Why isn't it speech if some wealthy oil man wants to spend money on it? Why...

BOOSLER: Because...

STEIN: Why should there be a limit? And why should the government control political advertising? Far better to have it in private hands.

BOOSLER: It's very sad when groups can actually dictate the course of the country. You have -- they're investigating Firestone now because of 100 accidental deaths. There are 47,000 accident deaths by gun in this country ever year. It's the only consumer product that's not regulated by any consumer agency. And that's because of big money. And that's why it's bad.

CARLSON: But you know what's even more -- you know what's even more scary, though? I mean, thousands of people die from guns, but many millions are bored to tears by talking points. And I think we need to keep that in mind when we discus gun control or anything else, Elayne.

BOOSLER: You talking to me or Ben?

CARLSON: I'm talking to you.

STEIN: Well, the real money that's being -- the real money that's being spent on the gun debate is by the anti-gun people. I mean, the NRA is -- used to be a powerful lobby. Now the anti-NRA people are -- gigantically.

KING: Well, it's an arguable thing.

STEIN: But why shouldn't people be able to express freely their point of view? That's what democracy is all about.

TUCKER: Well, Larry, back to guns, though. Why do you have a right to have a gun, but you don't have a right to health care? I think that's a big problem. The president -- the president who comes into office should -- we should have a right to health care. You have a right to have a gun. You should have a right -- everybody should... KING: Is health care a right?

STEIN: It's in the Constitution that you have a right to a gun.

TUCKER: But you don't have a right to...

STEIN: It isn't in the Constitution you have a right to health care.

BOOSLER: Not quite. Not quite.

STEIN: But I -- well...

(CROSSTALK)

BOOSLER: The right to a well-armed militia is not the right to own a gun.

STEIN: Well, that's been interpreted to mean you have the right to a gun. But why -- I'm not sure which candidate is against health care. I mean, Bush is very much for extending health care to seniors. Gore is for extending health care to seniors. I don't think there's really any debate about that.

KING: They're both government programs, though.

BOOSLER: He's right: extending it to seniors.

STEIN: I don't think there's any debate that this -- there's...

BOOSLER: I believe Texas has the highest amount of uninsured children in

(CROSSTALK)

STEIN: Because it's second-biggest state. That's why.

BOOSLER: Oh, that's -- but this is a big country, you know.

KING: Tucker, is -- Tucker, is health a right? Or is -- does the public think it's a right?

CARLSON: Oh, I think the public thinks it's a right. I mean, but the idea that we are guaranteed it, I don't know. I mean, why stop there? I mean, really, you could think of all the other things that seem like rights, like a car.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: I can't imagine living without one -- or ice cream, or tuna fish sandwiches, or -- I mean - and I don't belittle it or anything. But, I mean, at some point, you do have to say: Well, there's a difference between a right and a good. A lot of things are good, but it's doesn't mean we're guaranteed them.

BOOSLER: Tucker, it that a talking point? CARLSON: No, I just thought of it, actually, Elayne.

(LAUGHTER)

STEIN: It is a fact -- it is a fact, that for seniors, the price of prescriptions can be a crushing

(CROSSTALK)

KING: You have got to think about that.

STEIN: Crushing. Unbelievable. So there should be some -- some help on that.

KING: Let me get a break. As my friend Henry Louin (ph) said: "Money is not the only thing. Health is 3 percent."

(LAUGHTER)

We will be back with more. Here's more humor. We'll take your calls. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE DAILY SHOW")

JON STEWART, HOST: Gore leaps ahead in polls following Democratic Convention. A flustered George W. calls for a second Republican Convention. Vice Presidential Albert Gore, helped by a bounce from last week's Democratic Convention, has sprung to a narrow lead over Republican rival George W. Bush for the first time since the presidential race began, this according a Reuters/Zogby poll of 1,004 likely voters.

It's great news for Gore -- if those are the only 1,004 people who vote.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN")

GORE: That kind of thing could happen to anybody. The mike is open. I mean, you know...

DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST: It's constantly on.

GORE: Yes. And if you're with your running mate on stage and the crowd is cheering, you know, you just say whatever's on your mind.

LETTERMAN: Has anything like that ever happened to you?

GORE: Well, I hope not.

(LAUGHTER)

LETTERMAN: You know what I'm talking about? GORE: I'm not sure what you mean, Dave. What are you getting at?

(LAUGHTER)

LETTERMAN: Just go ahead. I don't know where this was. But we have videotape now of...

GORE: Oh, no. What? What?

(LAUGHTER)

LETTERMAN: The vice president and Joe Lieberman. Roll the videotape.

GORE: Uh-oh.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GORE: Hey, you know what? I have to go on the Letterman show. That show is so lame.

SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN (D-CT), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Oh, yes, big time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Asheville, North Carolina, hello.

CALLER: Hi.

KING: Hi.

CALLER: I was calling because I wanted for you to ask the panel why are they only discussing two candidates instead of...

KING: I'm about to get to it.

CALLER: ... the other more qualified candidates out there like Ralph Nader.

KING: Here we go: Nader, Buchanan. Should they be on the debates? You say yes, Chris?

TUCKER: I say yes. I like -- I like the Green Party. I like of his things.

KING: You're a Nader man.

TUCKER: Yes, I like Nader. He's down to earth. Something about Nader.

KING: Elayne. BOOSLER: I absolutely believe that they all should be on the debates. I think it's important and it would be fantastic, loosen it up.

STEIN: I absolutely think they should all be in the debates, and I don't think it's too late for them to change and have them on. Nader is an incredibly public servant. Buchanan I think is wrong but he's a genius. They should all be on it.

KING: Tucker, you make it unanimous?

CARLSON: No. No dice. I mean, they've got nothing to lose. I mean, there's nothing preventing a candidate like that -- I mean, a candidate like that goes into it thinking: "Look, I'm not going to win. Why not destroy the other guys?"

It's a distraction. They're wackos. I don't think we ought to put them on TV.

KING: So therefore, there will never be a possibility of a third party in American unless some guy like a Perot came along who...

BOOSLER: Did you hear what he said?

KING: ... could garner 15 percent of the vote, right, Tucker?

CARLSON: Well, I think that's fair. I don't know. I mean, that's -- you know, that's -- that's what running for president means, is getting tons of people to vote for you. And if they don't...

KING: Elayne's having a fit.

CARLSON: What a point, they're wackos and we shouldn't put them on TV. And tomorrow night, you have Mark David Chapman on your show.

(LAUGHTER)

KING: Well, I mean, he's not running either.

BOOSLER: I'm leaving. Where's my cab?

CARLSON: I'm all for hemp legalization, Elayne, but you know.

(LAUGHTER)

KING: All right. Bill, what's the history of third party candidates in debates?

SCHNEIDER: You put them in the debate, you legitimize them, and they do better. Look, when Perot got into the debate in 1992, his vote went up and he ended up getting 19 percent of the vote. When he was excluded in 1996, his vote went down: He only got 8 percent.

How did Jesse Ventura become governor of Minnesota? There were six debates in Minnesota. Because he got public financing, he was included in all of them. It produces a Catch-22. Nader and Buchanan say, if we're not in the debates, we don't even have a chance, so therefore we have to be in the debates. And the debate commission says, wait a minute, it's not our job to turn you into a viable candidate. You have to prove to us that you're a viable candidate and then we'll include you in the debates.

KING: Tucker, why shouldn't Americans see two prominent figures who are running for president and who are we to judge whether they have a chance or not?

CARLSON: Well, I mean, they do see them. I mean, they're going on your show, for instance, and they're all over the place. And there's nothing that prevents them from going up with spots or giving as many speeches as they want. It's a pretty democratic system. And it turns out that if a lot of people like you, then more and more people get access to your message and get to see you.

I mean, there's really nothing preventing them, nobody is deciding, you know, they can't be president. It's just the public is deciding that their positions just really aren't that appealing. So they're not very popular, so they're not going to be in the debates. That's fair.

KING: Ralph Nader really is presenting a position that is the only major alternative to the other two parties, and he does have a very devoted corps of followers. He's had them for a long time. It doesn't seem to me that he's a wacko. I mean, I don't agree with everything he says, but to call him a wacko I think is a bit extreme.

KING: The Constitution doesn't say two-party system.

STEIN: It doesn't say parties at all. It doesn't mention parties at all.

KING: But you can't break that, can you, Elayne?

BOOSLER: I think they should -- I don't see why they shouldn't be allowed to be in the debates. I mean, they're running. They are viable. They have a support base. And the debates are so scripted now that, you know, it's like there's nothing spontaneous left.

I think there should be some wildcards in there to make people really step forward and for once say something real.

TUCKER: I was running for president for like at least a week, but I found out they wouldn't let my party in the debates.

KING: What was your party?

TUCKER: It was a block party. We had the party last night.

(LAUGHTER)

I came in, I'm going to tell you something...

BOOSLER: I came to the rent party.

TUCKER: Yes, that was...

KING: first you had a rent party and then you had a block party.

TUCKER: Yes, we had the block party...

(LAUGHTER)

I want you to be my running mate, but we'll talk about that after. I think we'll beat them.

KING: I'll be a chip off the old.

BOOSLER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

TUCKER: ... the show every night, we'll win, Larry. I promise.

KING: We will take a break and come back with more of our distinguished panel. This is LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE TONIGHT SHOW")

JAY LENO, HOST: Now according to the latest polls, Al Gore is the handsomest, smartest, most -- most -- that doesn't sound like the joke I wrote.

Who's the cue card guy? Oh, look who the cue card guy is.

GORE: Keep going. Keep going.

LENO: It's Al Gore.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: And now, a moment to another question. Bill Schneider, if you were president, seriously, what would be my first act?

SCHNEIDER: What would be my first act as president? My goodness. Well, I think the best way to deal with the health care problem in this country is probably give Medicare to everybody. I mean, it works. Bush calls it a government-sponsored HMO, but the fact is it provides health care. It would be expensive, but you know, it's something that everybody supports. And I'd figure out a way to expand gradually, not instantly, but gradually over a period of time coverage of Medicare so that everyone is included, just like federal employees all get access to health care.

KING: One of our -- as you said that, one of our panelists, Ben Stein, passed away.

(LAUGHTER)

Having an attack, so we're going to close with four people. Hold it one second, Ben. Before you go crazy -- we nearly lost him -- Chris, what would be your first act?

TUCKER: The first thing I would do is fire the secretary of energy for losing those nuclear secrets. You don't lose nuclear secrets. You lose car keys.

(LAUGHTER)

What's going on over there?

And we need to give Wen Ho Lee an apology. He was in solitary for nine months, and they don't know if he did it or not. We need to give him a round-trip ticket to China, because he's -- you know, he changed his name.

TUCKER: Wen Mad Ho Lee.

(LAUGHTER)

If he wasn't a threat before that, he's a threat now. We need...

(LAUGHTER)

KING: Now, we made him a threat.

TUCKER: Yes, we made him a threat.

KING: Tucker, what would be your first act? You President Carlson.

CARLSON: Something deeply frivolous probably. I don't know, I'd probably open up Pennsylvania Avenue, which Clinton has closed...

(LAUGHTER)

... in what I thought was kind of cowardly way, thereby wrecking my commute in the morning and sort of shutting off the White House sort of -- the people. I'm against it. That's why I liked McCain. He was going to rip the barriers down first thing. Good guy that way.

KING: And you, Elayne, President Boosler.

BOOSLER: Yes. Too many frivolous lawsuits completely clogging up a system that needs to work better. I think if you file a frivolous lawsuit and if you were found guilty, the new law would be your lawyer has to die with you.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: Right!

KING: Tucker likes that one -- Ben.

(CROSSTALK)

STEIN: I have a program of gigantic tax credits for adoption, because I'm very much against abortion, and I don't think you can really eliminate abortion or cut it down to a minimum unless you have gigantic incentives to adopt every child that is born and not wanted by its parents.

TUCKER: Larry, I didn't get my serious point in. For education, I would do something about education seriously. Instead of trying to make the private -- you know, giving these vouchers for kids to go to private schools, why don't we make the public schools just as good as the private so you could save that money in the vouchers. And then I mentioned the health care thing earlier. Thank you, man, for backing that up.

KING: Rapid City, South Dakota, hello.

CALLER: Hi there.

KING: Hi.

CALLER: I'd liked to know if the panel thinks it helps a candidate to accept the stereotypes that Letterman and Leno and these other comedy shows create for the candidates?

KING: In other words, the candidates come on and play to the stereotype. Very good question -- Elaine.

BOOSLER: I don't know. I mean, I didn't see Gore...

KING: No, he's playing to the stereotype, isn't he?

BOOSLER: What is the stereotype there?

KING: That he's not funny, he's not loose, so he does a 10 list. He's parodying himself.

BOOSLER: Well, you know, what comedy never works? If you go on stage and don't have self-awareness, then you always bomb. But if you know what people are thinking about you when you're sitting there and you cop to it, you take responsibility for it, there's a great connection with your audience. I think there's no choice but to say, "Yes, yes, I know you think I'm wooden. Let's move on from there." And then it's out of the way. It's

(CROSSTALK)

KING: Tucker, what to you think?

CARLSON: I think it works, to some extent, I mean, if it's employed in a judo-type way. But I mean, it's like, you know, the fat comic gets up and talks about his weight the whole time, I think becomes kind of tiresome. You want to neutralize it by doing that. Ultimately, people want candidates who are not the same as they are, you know, who don't have dandruff and, you know, over-extended credit cards.

They want -- they want candidates who are better than they are. I really think that. They want not to just -- just to relate to somebody. They want to look up to him. And so ultimately, I think you have to overcome it and make people respect you.

KING: Ben.

STEIN: I think it helps a lot to play to the stereotype, because it makes him seem likable and one of the guys. I think all elections are basically the election for the high school student counsel. We want to vote for the guy who's the nicest guy.

KING: Chris.

TUCKER: I think that they need to have -- I've been watching the Olympics. They should have world leaders in Olympics and give everybody a shot at the president. And whoever is the fastest -- like, I think if we had "world leaders Olympics," I think Clinton would surely win the 100-yard dash. You ever seen him jog with his little legs? He could build those legs up.

KING: So you mean, put them into athletic contests?

TUCKER: Put into athletics. You know, let them see if they can really be the president. I don't like the changing up. I think they should be straightforward, be a man, and don't change up because of somebody saying something.

KING: Bill, how about playing to stereotypes?

SCHNEIDER: I think the most important thing a politician must do is to be himself or herself, because the worst thing a politician ever does is try to change himself. That was the problem Al Gore had when he started to become an alpha male. And then he tried to become a different kind of person.

People see through that instantly. Remember when Jimmy Carter was running and he made the comment about lusting in his heart after women? He was trying to be one of the guys. Everyone just groaned. It was awful. Ronald Reagan never tried to pretend he was an intellectual. He was who he was. Every candidate should know who he is and never try to betray that.

KING: We will be back with our remaining moments on the subject of political humor right after this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE DAILY SHOW")

STEWART: Later, Lazio, bolstered by a successful run for student council president -- even roostered himself across the stage in his big-boy suit to demand Clinton's signature on a pledge against soft- money donations.

REP. RICK LAZIO (R-NY), NEW YORK SENATE CANDIDATE: Right here. Here it is. Let's sign it. It's a New York freedom-from-soft-money pact.

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), NEW YORK SENATE CANDIDATE: Very well...

LAZIO: I'm not asking you to admire it. I'm asking you to sign it.

CLINTON: Well, I would be happy to when you give me the signed letters.

LAZIO: Well, right here. Right here. Right here. Sign it right now.

CLINTON: When you give me...

STEWART: OK. I will. Well, why don't you then? I am. So hurry up. OK. Shut up. You are. I am.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: In our remaining moments, let's get thoughts on that Senate race in New York.

Bill, is Hillary ahead now?

SCHNEIDER: She appears to be. I think "Newsweek" -- "Newsday" or "Newsweek" -- "Newsday" had a poll showing her about 10 points ahead. And I think she is ahead. Look, New York has two million more Democrats than Republicans. That's a pretty good advantage going in.

KING: Tucker, what do you make of that race?

CARLSON: Well, I think, at some point, everybody has to face the tragic truth that it's probably more likely that she's going to win, and hearing the name -- you know, the whole Clinton thing is just never going to end. Ever.

KING: So it's a tragic truth to you?

CARLSON: Oh, yes. No, no, no, it's tragic. I mean, this is bad. This is on the level of, I don't know, monsoon-in-Asia tragic. Yes, this is a bad thing for America and the world.

KING: And the world?

(CROSSTALK)

STEIN: I don't know how -- I think she is going to win. But anti-Israel, anti-Catholic in New York state: I don't get it. I totally don't get it. But I think she is going to win.

KING: You think she is anti-Catholic and anti..

STEIN: Well, she's very pro-abortion. BOOSLER: She's pro-choice. Abortion and choice are different. There's a different thing. Bush keeps saying he wants to stay out of people's personal lives, except women's personal lives. And let me just say this: For a man who believes that killing 10 minutes of what he terms a life is murder, he doesn't mind killing already-born people, who could change. And I think he's a fisherman: Throw 'em back. Kill them when they're bigger.

STEIN: No, he's -- no, he's against killing -- taking innocent life. He's against taking innocent life.

BOOSLER: Oh, I see, that's different. The Bible is...

KING: Do you -- what do you make of -- did Lazio run poorly? Do you he's run...

STEIN: I think he's run a poor campaign. But he could improve. He could improve.

KING: Hey, there's time.

TUCKER: Larry, who is Lazio? I've never heard of him.

BOOSLER: There you go.

(CROSSTALK)

KING: Who is Rick Lazio? He is a congressman from New York.

TUCKER: Didn't they find after Giuliani -- Giuliani left, right? They found him...

KING: Giuliani.

TUCKER: Yes.

KING: They found him? No.

(CROSSTALK)

TUCKER: Yes, they found him, yes.

(CROSSTALK)

TUCKER: I like Hillary Clinton. I think she's smart. And I just like her a lot. I think -- I know she's going to win.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: ... a warm personality.

SCHNEIDER: Larry...

(CROSSTALK)

KING: Hold on. One at a time. Yes, Bill? SCHNEIDER: If Larry -- look, if Gore gets elected and Hillary gets elected, we will have some fun the next four years, because the Democrats are going to be looking at both of them real hard. They're both going to be carrying the Clinton legacy. So if Gore ever disagrees with Hillary, or she with the president, it's going to be quite a free-for-all among Democrats.

KING: In a sense, Tucker, don't you, I mean, really sometimes want that?

CARLSON: Oh, yes. Oh, I mean...

KING: I mean, you want Gore and Hillary, right? Come on, Tucker, say it.

CARLSON: Oh, sure. You mean the perverse part of me? Are you kidding? Oh, it's like pornography. Oh, yes. Oh, definitely. But I hate myself for it.

(CROSSTALK)

BOOSLER: ... in a bow tie.

CARLSON: Yes.

KING: And in a sense, Chris, you would like to have Bush as president?

TUCKER: Bush as president?

KING: Yes, because you can harpoon him.

TUCKER: I don't know who I want now. I don't

(CROSSTALK)

KING: You mean, after this hour, you're not sure?

TUCKER: I have a plan. I think my plan is better than both of them.

KING: Which is?

TUCKER: I have a good plan. I told you. I mentioned some of my stuff. But I'm not going to -- if they let me into the debates, I'll give everything.

(CROSSTALK)

KING: That's it? You're not going to tell us what...

(CROSSTALK)

BOOSLER: I do not want Bush as president. I don't mind getting my comedy from Ben, totally. And I want a leader who can lead and who is not an idiot. STEIN: If you think graduates of Harvard and Yale are idiots...

BOOSLER: His father went there and they

(CROSSTALK)

STEIN: No, that's not how ti works.

BOOSLER: He's an idiot. He knows nothing.

STEIN: It was Gore who dropped out of Harvard Law School, because it was too hard.

KING: Thank you all very much, panel.

BOOSLER: Hey, I love this guy.

KING: Thank you, Bill. You two are really...

BOOSLER: I love this guy. It's like being married sitting here. It's a pleasure.

KING: Boosler and Stein have a relationship. Would that be a story.

(CROSSTALK)

STEIN: I'm married to a gentile. She doesn't argue.

(CROSSTALK)

KING: Tell them Kevin Nealon's line, quick.

BOOSLER: Kevin Nealon is brilliant. He said he couldn't get into the Olympics this year. He just couldn't get interested in it. It just got so competitive all of a sudden.

KING: Stay tuned for Jeff Greenfield. He's going to host "NEWSSTAND" with more on the "Race for the Presidency."

See you Monday night with Nader and Buchanan. Good night.

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