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Third and Final Debate Between Bush and Gore Features Sharp ExchangesAired October 18, 2000 - 5:00 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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AL GORE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: For me, it's sort of like the story of Goldilocks: the first debate was too hot, the second debate was too cold, the third debate was just right.
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BERNARD SHAW, CNN ANCHOR: Turning the page on the debates; Al Gore tries to secure a happy ending for his campaign come election day.
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GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's like that lady one time said when she was introducing me: He may have his daddy's eyes but he's got his mother's mouth. Maybe that's why I did all right in those debates.
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JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: George W. Bush offers his own debate postscript and a preview of the battle ahead with reinforcement from his not-so-secret weapon: his mother.
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WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: So what do voters want? A know-it-all, or a nice guy?
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SHAW: Bill Schneider fleshes out the candidates' post-debate caricatures.
ANNOUNCER: This is INSIDE POLITICS with Judy Woodruff in Washington and Bernard Shaw at CNN center in Atlanta.
SHAW: Thanks for joining us.
Their best lines have been debate-tested, their weak points displayed on live television. Now George W. Bush and Al Gore are taking their acts back on the road with 20 days left to persuade voters one way or another.
For Gore, that means touting America's prosperity, despite a rocky day on Wall Street that closed with the Dow Jones industrial average below the 10,000 level for the first time in seven months.
Our Jonathan Karl is traveling with Gore.
JONATHAN KARL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For Vice President Gore, the post-debate race to the finish line began where his campaign began: in Iowa.
GORE: Instead of a triple-dip, repeat recession, we now have the strongest economy in the 224-year history of the United States.
KARL: Gore kicked off a 20-day campaign marathon to Election Day with a renewed emphasis on economic prosperity as the central issue of the campaign. With the theme, a new slogan: "The Big Choice."
GORE: I stand for continuing the prosperity. And the big choice that we face in this election is how we achieve prosperity for all.
KARL: On Social Security, Gore outlined the choice in especially stark terms: either strengthening the program or destroying it.
GORE: If you want to see the basic shape of Social Security completely altered in a way that could cause its bankruptcy in a single generation, that is what I'm going to tell you this morning is the likely, expected outcome of the plan that is proposed by my opponent, Governor Bush.
KARL: The theme is picked up in a new ad put out by the Democratic National Committee.
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NARRATOR: Bush has promised the same money to pay seniors their current benefit. "The Wall Street Journal" shows he can't keep both promises.
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KARL: The chairman of the Democratic Party vowed to make Bush pay for touching the third rail of American politics with his plan to partially privatize Social Security.
JOE ANDREW, DNC NATIONAL CHAIRMAN: Well, he's grabbed that rail. He just didn't realize that we hadn't switched on the electricity yet, and that's what we're going to do with this televisions ad as well.
KARL: The Bush campaign says it is Gore who would bankrupt the program with a status quo approach that would do nothing to ensure it will survive the retirement of the baby boom generation. Gore plans to formally launch his final campaign tour, to be called "Prosperity for All," with what his aides are calling a major economic speech in New York tomorrow.
(on camera): What are these final 20 days going to look like?
GORE: Well, there are not going to be any days off for me, and precious few hours off. I'm going to be taking it right to the American people and presenting these clear choices all over the United States. And I'm looking forward to it -- I'm going to have a lot of fun.
KARL: The vice president says recent trouble on Wall Street won't complicate his effort to close out his campaign on a theme of "Prosperity for All." The stock market may fluctuate, Gore says, but the fundamentals of the economy remain strong.
Jonathan Karl, CNN, Des Moines.
WOODRUFF: And now, to George W. Bush and a road map of his post- debate, pre-election strategy. Here is our senior political correspondent Candy Crowley.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): First, a postscript on the debate, also serving as a preview of upcoming events.
BUSH: He said to the American people, looking into the camera, he said he absolutely is not for bigger government.
Now there's a man who is prone to exaggeration.
CROWLEY: Describing Al Gore's agenda as a government-bloating, prosperity-draining plan and nicking the vice president on the issue of credibility are end-game themes in the Bush campaign.
Strategists believe both issues play to the Republican base as well as the swing vote. Bush spoke in Eau Claire, first stop on a trip through Wisconsin, a state at the top of the Bush electoral hit list.
BUSH: The good news is, the fact that I'm standing here in Wisconsin speaks volumes about our chances.
CROWLEY: Republican strategists say Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan will get the lion's share of candidate and surrogate attention as well as much of the ad money in coming days.
Down just a notch, but slated for plenty of vote-harvesting is another trio of states: Missouri, a bellwether that has chosen the winner in every presidential election this century except one. Washington state, along with Oregon, part of a frequently Democratic twosome that the Bush camp would like to bag. Count on another West coast visit from George Bush.
Rounding off the second tier: Florida, brother Jeb's state. But more than that, seen as a state George Bush must win. It is pretty dicey right now; look for a bus trip in the near future.
Bush strategists are also keeping an eye on a third tier of states that currently hang in the balance. Look for effort and cash in Arkansas; Bush was there Monday. New Hampshire, he'll be there Friday. Tennessee -- Al Gore's home state, a psychological favorite and 11 electoral votes the Bush team would love, and polls show is doable. And, finally, New Mexico and Iowa. Advisers say was pivotal and positive.
The Bush campaign is coming off a 14-day period advisers say was pivotal and positive. The words of the last presidential debate have not settled into the electorate yet, but the governor's team clearly believes Bush didn't just survive, but succeeded.
BUSH: It's like that lady one time said when she was introducing me: He may have his daddy's eyes, but he's got his mother's mouth. Maybe that's why I did all right in those debates.
CROWLEY: Spokeswoman Karen Hughes noted, going into the debate phase Bush was slightly behind in the polls; three debates later, she says, he emerges slightly ahead.
Next phase: setting fire to the grassroots.
BUSH: In a close election, the team that's got the troops on the ground, that's ready to go to work, is the team that's going to win.
CROWLEY (on camera): A cautionary note about plans at this stage of the game: Polls have a way of changing and strategies have a way of changing with them.
Candy Crowley, CNN, Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
WOODRUFF: And we are joined now by former Clinton White House press secretary Joe Lockhart and by Scott Reed, who managed Bob Dole's 1996 presidential campaign.
Gentlemen, thank you for being with us. We just heard Candy give the Bush campaign view. We heard John Karl give the Gore campaign view.
Scott Reed, to you first: In your view, did either candidate come out of this debate last night with an edge looking at these last three weeks?
SCOTT REED, DOLE '96 CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Gore went into the debate needing to really shake the race up because all the trend lines have been towards Bush for the last two weeks, 2 1/2 weeks.
But what Bush did, which was so successful, was he changed the whole theme of this campaign. It's now a big government, Gore; versus a Bush, that wants to reduce the size and scope of government. A liberal versus a conservative.
And if you put on top of that his message of bipartisanship and ending partisanship -- Bush said last night in his closing, I want a mandate, to win, to change this culture in Washington. And I think that's very popular, especially with undecided voters and women.
WOODRUFF: Can that carry him over the top, Joe?
JOE LOCKHART, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, it might. I have, not surprisingly, a slightly different view of the debate last night.
I think Gore accomplished three important things last night. One is he reminded Democrats around this country why they're for him. I think they're excited this morning all around this country and in the key states. Two, he raised questions for undecided and independent voters about where Bush was on very specific issues; Bush has tried to run a thematic campaign, Gore a very specific campaign. And last night about specifics. Third, and perhaps most importantly, for the first time in a while he reminded voters about the basic question: Are we better off than we were eight years ago? and where does this prosperity come from?
And I think those questions, now, are much more focused and it gives the vice president a real platform to go for the next three weeks.
I think Bush just continued a strategy. It may work, he's repeated the themes over and over again. They're simple, they're easy to understand. But I think the vice president created a new platform to really go off and grab the momentum; and I think that's important.
WOODRUFF: What about, Scott, Joe's point about Gore talking about prosperity and, we need to remember that it was the administration I was part of, let's continue that prosperity.
Why can't Al Gore ride that to victory?
REED: Well, that's the amazing thing in this whole election. We're in an economy that's growing and doing well and it's amazing to me that Gore hasn't been able to put this away.
Last night he was in a dilemma, he did not mention Bill Clinton's name once. He is scared to mention Clinton, he's scared to try to attach himself to that, and that's why he's having such problems.
I think this is now shifting, though, from all this national business...
WOODRUFF: He's having problems because he's not mentioning Clinton or because... REED: He's having a problem attaching himself to any of the successes of the growing economy. In a growing economy, an incumbent like Gore should be walking away with this race; and he's not just because of these reasons.
It's changed to an issue of style, and people don't like Gore's style. He turns people off, and that's why these debates have been the turning point for him.
WOODRUFF: Joe, I mean, in fact, some people are coming away from the debates saying, OK, Gore came across as more knowledgeable, Bush came across as more likable.
If that's the way it is, does Gore have an edge?
LOCKHART: Well, you know, I kind of look at these debates as, sort of a classic student government election that we all went through once. There's the sort of -- there's the chemistry major who understands everything about what to do, and then you've got the guy from the fraternity who comes in and says, don't worry about the details, we're all going to have a good time.
I think we're going to find out on election day what the American public is interested in. I don't think we know right now.
But I think what was important about last night was, for the first time since -- there were flashes of it in the first debate -- but for the first time, last night, there were real issue differences. I think Governor Bush went to great lengths to try to avoid being pinned down. He wouldn't tell you where he was on Norwood-Dingell, patients' bill of rights, affirmative action, some other things.
And I think the public, after watching this for three times, and watching a very sophisticated, you know, bob-and-weave, I think probably has some questions, particularly swing voters who have specific issue areas that they haven't seen specific answers on.
REED: But it's good news for Republicans that these are not graded on just Oxford-type debating points, because Gore would have won on that. But there were some points last night where Bush did very well.
WOODRUFF: And he did choose -- I mean, you did see, as Joe said, Bush -- I mean Gore trying to draw specific distinctions, and in many cases, Bush trying to walk away from, and saying: I would rather -- it's more important that we look like we're more together on this than not.
REED: Well -- but again, that issue of bringing -- this is like the '60 election with Kennedy and Nixon: an outsider trying to bring a new breath of fresh air to Washington. That is what Bush is going to do. And that's why he is doing well.
WOODRUFF: What about...
LOCKHART: To quote Lloyd Bentsen, I don't think George Bush is a John Kennedy here, so...
WOODRUFF: What about in the three weeks to come, Joe Lockhart? What is it that Al Gore needs to do to close the sale with the American people?
LOCKHART: Well, we're in the -- we're out of the phony part of the campaign. Head fakes don't work anymore. And Scott knows a lot more about this than I do, because he's actually run a national campaign. But we go through a period where you want to try to outfox the opponent. You're moving your resources around. This is the real crunch time now.
You don't waste money now. You don't go to any place that you don't think you can win, or you don't think you have to go to in order not to lose. So you are going to see the candidates, you know, crossing paths on tarmacs in the Midwest and in places like Florida, maybe the Pacific Northwest, each of which reflects their own strengths and weakness.
You are going to see even more important decisions on where they buy their ads. I think what we're going to see, though, is we're going to see two radically different campaigns, like you saw in the debates: Gore hammering home specific issue differences, Bush talking about thematics, talking about philosophy. And we're going to find out on Election Day what the country is looking for, because I don't think we know yet.
WOODRUFF: Scott, what does Bush need to do if he is going to put this away on November the 8th?
REED: Bush needs to be focused on these -- on this Electoral College. You know, the big debate today going on in Washington is over at the Democratic National Committee. They are trying to figure out what are they going to do about the fact the Republicans have two- to-one cash advantage? And they're debating: Should they go borrow $15 or $20 million to try to make this closing 20 days on par? Does the Democratic Party want to go into debt for Gore? That is an issue that only the Democrats know.
LOCKHART: It's a debate we are well-practiced at, since we are outspent in every campaign. We win some. We lose some. I'm not sure that is going to be a -- that critical factor in this one.
REED: Watch Florida. Watch Pennsylvania.
WOODRUFF: That's my question. What -- I said November 8, I meant November 7, because it's the day after. We're all going to be analyzing. One of the states we watch, we heard Candy talking about
REED: Watch Florida. Watch Pennsylvania. Watch Ohio. Probably who wins two of those three wins. It's very difficult for a Republican to get to the White House without those 25 electoral votes in Florida. And watch the advertising. It looks like Gore is pulling out of Ohio. They've given up. Talk today that they are going to have to go up in California for the first time. They haven't had to spend any money in California to date. That is a big media market. That is not part of the Gore plan. So watch the buys in these states. It's down to about six or seven states.
WOODRUFF: Are there some worrying signs for Gore in some of these states, Joe?
LOCKHART: No, actually, I talked to the Gore people today. And I know they have an ad. They told me they have an ad going up in Ohio. So I don't think they are going away. You also hear that the Republicans and Bush are pulling out of Illinois. You don't really know. There's a lot of movement going on. They don't -- nobody wants to forecast what they are doing.
They don't want to forecast their strengths and weakness. But we are at the point where you can watch very closely and understand what they are doing just by where they are and where they spend.
WOODRUFF: But no -- at this point, no new arguments from either one. I mean, we have pretty much heard the shape of what they are going to say between now and Election Day.
LOCKHART: Oh, I think -- there -- I think there were a couple things that came out of last night that you will hear from Al Gore. One is, I think they really think they have got a winner on Social Security, where Bush -- I don't know whether he knew he was admitting it, but I think kind of admitted that he made -- he promised the same trillion to two different groups. And you saw the ad in the first piece. And I think that will...
And I think also the idea of the tax cut -- you know, Bush basically saying: Of course I'm giving the tax cut to the wealthy. Now, it's part of a longer answer, but I think you will hear that hit time and time again.
REED: One of the most telling parts of the evening last night was the 34-year-old lady that asked about: How's the task cut going to affect my family? Bush answered that very well. Gore went back to the old class warfare. The idea that a single -- or a woman with children cares about who gets a tax cut is ridiculous. It's not going to work. And that's why they are going to come up short on that.
WOODRUFF: Well, we get to...
LOCKHART: I think we're going to find out. We're going to find out.
WOODRUFF: We're going to get to find out. All right, Joe Lockhart, Scott Reed, thank you both. Great to see both of you. We appreciate it -- Bernie.
SHAW: As Bush and Gore tried to drive home their differences on the issues last night, they sometimes disputed each other's facts, or what they claimed to be facts.
So, once again, our Brooks Jackson checked out the candidates' debate statements to see if they jibe with reality.
BROOKS JACKSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They kept contradicting each other. Who was right? Bush said Gore falsely accused him of opposing a patient protection law.
BUSH: Actually, Mr. Vice President, that's not true. I do support a national patients' bill of rights. As a matter of fact, I brought Republicans and Democrats together to do just that in the state of Texas, to get a patients' bill of rights through.
JACKSON: Well, true: Bush did support many patient protections in Texas, including access to specialists and a ban on physician gag rules. But Bush may have overreached when he said this...
BUSH: But we did something else that was interesting. We're one of the first states that said you can sue an HMO for denying you proper coverage.
JACKSON: Actually, Bush only reluctantly allowed the right to sue HMOs to become law in Texas, without his signature, saying in May, 1997 -- quote -- "I am convinced that this legislation has the potential to drive up health care costs and increase the number of lawsuits. I hope my concerns are proven wrong."
JACKSON: And who was right when they feuded over Gore's spending plans?
JIM LEHRER, MODERATOR: Vice President Gore, is the governor right when he says that you're proposing the largest federal spending in years?
GORE: Absolutely not. Absolutely not. I'm so glad that I have a chance to knock that down.
JACKSON: But in fact, Gore is proposing hundreds of billions in added spending, far more than Bush. And the Bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget says Gore's proposals -- quote -- "would produce the largest spending increases since LBJ and the Great Society."
Gore overstated his role in shrinking the federal government.
GORE: For the last eight years, I have had the challenge of running the streamlining program called Reinventing Government. And if there are any federal employees in this group, you know what that means. The federal government has been reduced in size by more than 300,000 people.
JACKSON: It's true: The federal civilian work force has been reduced by nearly 325,000 since Gore took office, according to the Office of Personnel Management. But 87 percent of that, nearly 284,000, are civilian defense workers, from downsizing the Pentagon after the Cold War, not from reinventing government.
But Bush tripped up when he overstated the national rise in persons with no health insurance.
BUSH: The number of uninsured have now gone up for the past seven years.
JACKSON: It's true that the percentage of the population with no health insurance has gone up slightly since Gore became vice president: from 15.3 percent in 1993 to 15.5 percent last year, according to the Census Bureau. But the number of uninsured persons actually went down last year, from 44.3 million to 42.6 million. So Bush was just wrong about that.
(on camera): It was the last debate before Election Day, but probably not the last mangled fact. So we'll keep checking.
Brooks Jackson, CNN, Washington.
SHAW: Still ahead on INSIDE POLITICS, the day after: Bill Schneider on the choice now facing the American voter.
WOODRUFF: Voters obviously still are mulling over last night's face-off and the job done by the presidential candidates. But in our poll conducted right after the debate ended, 46 percent of debate watchers said Al Gore did the better job compared with 44 percent for George W. Bush. Gore got slightly better marks on that question, even though more of those surveyed for our flash poll identified themselves as supporters of Bush rather than Gore.
Heading into last night's debate, our daily tracking poll showed Bush with a slight edge over Gore among likely voters nationwide. We'll go back to our tracking poll results once they begin to include interviews that were conducted after last night's debate.
SHAW: For more on the debate and the impact on public opinion, we turn to this chap, our senior political analyst Bill Schneider -- Bill.
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Bernie, if the final debate did nothing else, it helped clarify the choice facing voters. Now, you've got one candidate who is more likable and the other candidate was more knowledgeable. So what do voters want: a know-it-all or a nice guy?
SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Al Gore was the knowledgeable one, just bursting to show how much he knew. Sometimes he got pushy about it.
GORE: And I specifically would like to know whether Governor Bush will support the Dingell-Norwood bill, which is the main one pending.
SCHNEIDER: Viewers, who were predisposed to support George W. Bush, grudgingly acknowledged that Gore did a better job in the debate. But does winning the debate mean winning the election? Back in 1960 Richard Nixon sounded more knowledgeable and experienced in the debate.
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RICHARD NIXON, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have met with the legislative leaders. I have met with the president when he made the great decisions with regard to Lebanon, Quemoy and Matsu, other matters. The president has asked for my advice. I have given it.
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SCHNEIDER: That was a year of peace and prosperity. It didn't matter much which candidate was more capable when there was no urgent problem that needed fixing. Voters went with the guy they liked more.
Nixon was no more likable in 1968, but he won because the country was in crisis that year. Voters wanted someone who knew what he was doing.
Bush was the likable one in last night's debate, not always articulate, but friendly and sincere.
BUSH: You know, it's hard to make people love one another. I wish I knew the law because I'd darn sure sign it.
SCHNEIDER: Viewers called Bush more likable by a wide margin. But don't nice guys finish last? Ronald Reagan didn't finish last, and he was always considered charming and amiable, even when he went on the attack.
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RONALD REAGAN, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There you go again.
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SCHNEIDER: But Reagan didn't get elected because of his charm. The 1980 election was close for a long time because voters desperately wanted someone who could fix things, and they were not sure Reagan was capable. He didn't cross that threshold until the debate.
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REAGAN: This country doesn't have to be in the shape that it is in. We do not have to go on sharing in scarcity with the country getting worse off, with unemployment growing.
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SCHNEIDER: Last night, Gore tried to be Reagan.
GORE: All right, here we go again. SCHNEIDER: Gore, Reagan? No. Bush played Reagan, the likable candidate whose knowledgeability is in question. Gore played Nixon, the knowledgeable candidate who's hard to like.
SCHNEIDER: So who wins? 2000 looks like 1960: peace, prosperity, no crisis. Good news for Bush. If there's not a great deal at stake, people may go with the more likable candidate. But Bush has to pass the same test Kennedy had to pass in 1960 and Reagan had to pass in 1980: convincing voters that he really is knowledgeable enough to do the job -- Bernie.
SHAW: Thank you, Bill Schneider. We'll be watching -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: Indeed we will, and there is still much more ahead on this edition of INSIDE POLITICS. Still to come, the Bush women go on the road.
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PAT NEAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The star of the women's tour, George W. Bush's mother, the popular former first lady, Barbara Bush.
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WOODRUFF: Pat Neal on the Republican hopeful's new push for the women's vote.
Plus, scoring the highs and lows of the final face-off with Margaret Carlson and Tucker Carlson.
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BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was another time, another country, another game. Still for all the changes, we have what you want in October.
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WOODRUFF: Our Bruce Morton on a World Series that hearkens back to times gone by.
SHAW: We will have more of this day's political news coming up, but now a look at some other top stories.
Israeli police have arrested a handful of Palestinians suspected of taking part in the mob killings of two Israeli soldiers Thursday. Israeli intelligence went into Ramallah, captured the eight Palestinians and took them back to Israel for trial.
Fighting continues in the West Bank despite the peace accord brokered yesterday. In Gaza, Palestinians clashed with Israeli troops again. At least 36 Palestinians were reported injured.
WOODRUFF: The victims of the attack on the USS Cole were honored today in a solemn ceremony in Virginia. Thousands of people turned out for the service at the Norfolk Naval Base. The suspected terrorist bombing killed 17 sailors and wounded 39 others. President Clinton spoke at today's ceremony, saying the U.S. will find those responsible for the attack.
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WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: For those who attacked them we say you will not find a safe harbor, we will find you and justice will prevail. America will not stop standing guard for peace or freedom or stability in the Middle East and around the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: The attack took place in Yemen last Thursday. Yemen's president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, says the attack against the USS Cole was, quote, "well-planned," and he said it seems preparations were made a long while ago. The comments made earlier today. Saleh said there were two people involved in the attack according to eyewitnesses.
SHAW: Hillary Clinton will not be prosecuted in the so-called "Travelgate" case. In a final report released today, Independent Counsel Robert Ray says Mrs. Clinton did play a role in the decision to fire the staff, but he won't prosecute because there's no evidence she intended the firings to happen. The case stems from the 1993 firings of seven employees in the White House Travel Office.
Rising inflation and disappointing earnings reports from IBM and Intel sent the Dow into an early morning tailspin. The Dow Jones average plunged more than 400 points, landing well below the 10,000 mark before recovering slightly in afternoon trading. By the end of the day, the Dow was off just over 114 at 9,975. The Nasdaq slipped 42 to 3,141.40.
That rise in inflation troubling Wall Street will translate into a 3.5 percent increase in Social Security benefits come January. It's the biggest raise in nine years. The average monthly check for retirees will go from $816 this year to $845.
WOODRUFF: There is new help for pregnant women who develop diabetes during pregnancy. Researchers have found that the drug glyburide can be taken safely during pregnancy. It had been feared the drug could cause birth defects or kill the fetus. Glyburide, a pill, is an alternative treatment to insulin injections.
When INSIDE POLITICS returns, extended excerpts from Jonathan Karl's interview with Al Gore.
WOODRUFF: Gore campaign aides apparently think the vice president did so well in his final debate with George W. Bush that they want undecided voters see the debate again. The Gore camp says it is asking the debate organizers permission to rebroadcast the entire 90-minute forum in small cable markets in battleground states.
Shortly after last night's face-off, Gore sat down with our Jonathan Karl to talk about his performance and the road ahead.
Jonathan began by mentioning some very funny debate parodies that have been running on "Saturday Night Live" and he asked the vice president how the show would lampoon him this week.
GORE: I don't know, but I can't wait. For me, it's sort of like the story of Goldilocks. The first debate was too hot, the second debate was too cold, the third debate was just right.
KARL: Now one thing you might imagine that they might see that would be your tendency to break some of the rules, and Governor Bush himself complained about that at one point. I mean, you agreed to a set of rules, like them or not, but you agreed to a set of rules that said you can't question the other guy and also you can't follow-up -- do follow-up questions with the audience. You broke those rules repeatedly. Why?
GORE: Those rules said no reaction shots. Did you show reaction shots tonight?
KARL: There may have been some reaction.
GORE: Shame on you.
KARL: So what? The rules didn't matter.
GORE: No, they did matter. But you know, I'm determined to fight for the American people, and I am not going to let things pass that will have a negative impact on the future of our country. I don't care. I'm going to fight for what I think is right, and I'm going to stand up for the working men and women in the middle-class families that need somebody who is willing to fight for them. That's what I'm all about.
KARL: Getting back to your tour, "Prosperity for All," right?
KARL: What are you trying -- are you saying prosperity is on the ballot? Are you going to try to take some credit for what we've seen over the last eight years?
GORE: Well, the credit -- the credit belongs to the American people. But the American people were working hard eight years ago, too. And when Governor Bush says we were much better off eight years ago than now and we ought to go back to the policies that we had then, I don't agree. And I don't think the American people agree, because even though some people have not fully shared in this prosperity, to say the least, nevertheless it's undeniably true that our economy is stronger, crime is lower, home ownership is higher, the debt is down. Instead of deficits we have surpluses. There are more -- 22 million new jobs.
Do we want to the keep going in that direction? Do we want to keep changing in the right way or do we want to go back to the way it was eight years ago?
I think the choice is clear, and I am not going to stand by and let down the people who want to see us continue building our economy so they can participate.
KARL: But you've been reluctant to try to make this a referendum on the last eight years.
GORE: It's a referendum on the future, Jon. But we have learned lessons as a nation, not only from the last eight years, but from the last 20 years. For the 12 years before this administration, we saw repeated recessions and high unemployment, the worst economy since the Great Depression, a quadrupling of our national debt.
Do we want to go back to that, seriously? I mean, I know you're a reporter and you can't answer. But most people say no. Do we want to keep creating new jobs and paying down the debt and keep balancing the budget and invest in schools? Yes, and that's what I'll do.
WOODRUFF: The vice president spoke with our Jonathan Karl after last night's debate. And you can hear Governor Bush's assessment tomorrow afternoon when he will be the guest on CNN's "STREET SWEEP" at 4:00 p.m. Eastern -- Bernie.
SHAW: Speaking of the governor, some of the women in his life teamed up today to try to bolster his support among female voters. especially in battleground states.
CNN's Pat Neal reports that the kickoff of the so-called "W Is for Women" tour, and its main attraction.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... Barbara Bush, and the next first lady, Laura Bush...
NEAL (voice-over): The star of the women's tour, George W. Bush's mother, the popular former first lady Barbara Bush.
BARBARA BUSH, FORMER FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: I have to confess that I feel funny talking about women's issues. You see, I think women care about exactly the same thing that men care about.
NEAL: The tour started in hotly contested Michigan. The Bush campaign believes undecided women voters could determine who wins this state's 18 electoral votes. Barbara Bush said her son was shaped by strong women and a pair of teenagers -- Bush's twin daughters.
B. BUSH: And thanks to them, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that George will be able to negotiate any kind of situation...
... regardless of how difficult, complicated or stubborn the opposition is.
NEAL: On the bus, Barbara Bush said she had undergone two back operations, and that had kept her off the campaign trail. Besides, she said, the campaign really hasn't needed her, despite her continued popularity.
B. BUSH: Well, do you want me to remain that way? If so, I should stay home.
NEAL (on camera): Now, what do you mean by that?
B. BUSH: I get into trouble all the time.
NEAL (voice-over): The outspoken candidate's mother said what makes her "sore" are distortions about her son.
B. BUSH: I think the Gore campaign has made an enormous issue of the fact George is not smart, and yet did Al Gore graduate from law school, did Al Gore graduate from divinity school? No. And I just read -- I don't know whether it's true or not -- but I read that George's marks at Yale were considerably better than Al's marks at Harvard.
NEAL: One other issue to clear up, from way back in the primaries, when President George Bush talked about being proud of "our boy."
B. BUSH: My George did something that was very normal for any father, and said, I'm so proud of my boy, and the opponents and the press picked that up as though that was something simply awful. You show me one parent who does not refer to their son or daughter as my boy or my girl, and I'll show you someone who doesn't love their children.
NEAL: Laura Bush said the issues on this tour are education, tax cuts, Social Security and Medicare. There's no talk of abortion rights.
LAURA BUSH, WIFE OF GEORGE W. BUSH: Well, because I think these issues that we're talking about are bigger issues for women across the country.
NEAL (on camera): Democrats say it's -- quote -- "plastic surgery" for the Bush campaign to try to refashion its policies that are anti-women, and while Gore continues to lead among women voters both across the country and here in Michigan, Bush is gaining ground. (voice-over): The Republican women's tour includes Lynne Cheney and Bush foreign policy adviser Condoleezza Rice. It will cover three battleground states in three days.
Pat Neal, CNN, Lansing, Michigan.
WOODRUFF: The Gore-Lieberman campaign also has been trying to use female family members to its advantage. Tipper Gore campaigned in the battleground state of Wisconsin this week promoting her husband's education policies and telling residents that every vote counts.
Alabama was one of the campaign stops for the Gore's older daughter, Karenna, a major player in her father's campaign and on the trail.
Would-be second lady Hadassah Lieberman zeroed in on the women's vote in New Mexico. She discussed women's health issues in Albuquerque.
Still ahead, a woman, Margaret Carlson, and a man, Tucker Carlson, on the candidates, the debate and the media.
SHAW: In La Crosse, Wisconsin, this is a George Bush rally under way now and Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson warming up the crowd.
GOV. TOMMY THOMPSON (R), WISCONSIN: And I would tell Mr. Gore there will not be any social promotion.
SHAW: Joining us now in Washington, a woman, Margaret Carlson of "TIME" magazine, and look, a man.
MARGARET CARLSON, "TIME": Thanks for clearing that up, Bernie.
SHAW: Tucker Carlson of "The Weekly Standard."
Let's go back to the stage in Washington University in St. Louis last night. What do you think? -- Tucker.
TUCKER CARLSON, "THE WEEKLY STANDARD": Well, it's like there's some sort of secret deal between the candidates where one has to appear sleepy at each debate. It was Bush's turn.
He did seem kind of enervated at times, but actually I think it was a pretty smart theme, pushing themes. I mean, several times you saw Gore try and bait Bush into, I don't know, batting around Dingell- Norwood or something, and Bush just sort of brushed him off, oh, you silly man, what small ideas, let's talk about America and how it's going to be when I become president.
I think it works. I mean, you know, if you were debating, as is often said, on a scorecard or if you're a certain sort of viewer, you're put off by that. But I think on those grounds, Bush won, and I think the polls show it if you look at the detailed questions asked in all the polls.
SHAW: Is that your take, Margaret?
M. CARLSON: To a certain extent I have to agree with Tucker in that if you were going to score the debate last night with music, it would be "All We Need Is Love." In the first 15 minutes, Bush must have said love six times, because I was checking off for a while with hatch marks. He even said he would pass a law of love, quote, "law of love," because he said all we need to do is get along. His answer to many questions were let us reach across the partisan divide, there's too much fighting in Washington.
Well, you know, if that's all you're going to say in answer to a question, then it's very hard to differ with him.
Gore let a huge opportunity go on that first question on patients' bill of rights, and he must just be scared to death about coming across as too negative, because Bush didn't help that patients' bill of rights at all. As a matter of fact, he let it pass without his signature. He was opposed to the patients' bill of rights. Gore let that go.
A couple of other things that Gore came back on, but as Tucker says. you know, Dingell-Norwood is like coming up with AFDC funding. It's like an acronym from Washington. You simply can't do it when the other guy's up in the clouds.
SHAW: Part of what you just said, Margaret, leads me to my next question to each of you. Tucker, if Bush went underboard, did Gore go overboard?
T. CARLSON: I think he did. I mean, I think -- you know, I think the crowding Bush's space -- I mean, I once read a study on this; Americans allow an awful lot of space between one another. And Gore, you know, did try and do the kind of chest-thumping fraternity thing with Bush a little bit.
SHAW: Well, maybe he thought he was in Tokyo.
T. CARLSON: Yes, or France.
M. CARLSON: Like head-butting...
T. CARLSON: Yes, exactly.
One thing that Margaret said that I thought was anything: Bush really spent a lot of the debate cueing very closely to -- to these talking points, which I guess are poll-tested. They must be effective. But I have to say I wish someone would stand up at some point and say Washington is in fact a pretty decent place. You never would have known it listening to George W. Bush last night, and I'd be interested to know, say, six months from now if Bush's attacks on the city hurt tourism.
I mean, at a certain point they've got to. I mean, he really did make it sound like a hellhole here, and I just want to stand up and say, you know, it's not. It's actually quite a nice city.
M. CARLSON: And Bernie, you know, it is a place where he's got to work and get things done. You know, a way of waking up for a lack of experience is to say you don't value the experience that you get here. But I think he goes overboard in that.
This idea that what has been missing is reaching across the aisle is another thing that keeps you from having to say very much at all about anything.
And I disagree with Tucker. I don't -- I think, you know, Gore's problem, not too hot, not too cold, try to get it just right. He came as close as getting it just right as possible last night. And it wasn't a Hillary Clinton situation where Rick Lazio goes across the studio and starts shoving a piece of paper in her face. It was more, you know, the appropriate kind of walking around.
And what I love...
T. CARLSON: You've got to -- wait, wait. You've got to admit -- you've got to admit, it was still pretty icky, though. When you reveal the true Al Gore, there is a kind of "ooh" effect.
M. CARLSON: Yes, but the true Bush was to turn to Jim Lehrer and ask him to referee. What about the rules, Jim? He's breaking the rules.
T. CARLSON: Yes, hiding Jim's skirts. That was a bit much.
M. CARLSON: Call...
T. CARLSON: I'm not sure it compares to the...
M. CARLSON: Call the principal.
T. CARLSON: ... to the swaggering (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...
SHAW: You know, Jim Lehrer's going to be on "LARRY KING LIVE" tonight at 9:00 Eastern. I can't wait to watch and see and hear what they have to say.
This last question requires, cries out for brevity from each of you. Tucker, you first: Will these debates affect the election November 7th?
T. CARLSON: Yes, I wouldn't be surprised if they did. I mean, sure. Why not? I mean, you know, all along the way, we said, well, it doesn't matter who we choose as vice president and the debates never really move numbers. But gee, they have.
You know, all sorts of events that haven't affected previous races are affecting this one. So, yes.
M. CARLSON: The debate may have been, you know, fighting with the Discovery Channel for low ratings, but this is the biggest audience they will have until the election and so it has to have an effect.
This is all there is for these guys, was last night. Now there are much smaller segments of the voting audience trying to hear what they have to say.
SHAW: "Time" magazine's one and only, Margaret Carlson and "The Weekly Standard's" one and only, Tucker Carlson. Thank you.
M CARLSON: Thanks Bernie.
T. CARLSON: Thanks Bernie.
SHAW: You're welcome. Still ahead: our Bruce Morton is going to remember another fall, much like this one after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TOM DASCHLE (D-SD) MINORITY LEADER: Let me just talk briefly about where we are in the Congress, I've tried to figure out the best analogy: I think it's sort of the combination of "West Wing" and "Seinfeld." We meet once a week but nothing happens.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: The Yankees win last night gives New York baseball fans something they have always dreamed about for years: a Subway Series.
As our Bruce Morton points out, the Yankees match-up with the Mets will be the first all-New York Fall Classic since 1956. And nearly everything, from politics to the game, has changed since then.
MORTON (voice-over): It was another time, another country, another game. Just 48 states back then: Alaska and Hawaii hadn't joined yet. The interstate highway system was the coming thing. "See the USA," ads sang, "in your Chevrolet." And people did.
Dwight Eisenhower was the war hero president, elected big in 1952. His opponent, Adlai Stevenson, carried just nine states. And Ike was the heavy favorite in 1956, correctly, it turned out. Stevenson, running again, like, say, the Chicago Cubs, won only seven states in the rematch. No Sammy Sosa's on the Democratic team.
Baseball? No Wild Cards back then, no playoffs. Just eight teams in each league, and the pennant winners in each league played the World Series. Three teams in New York, back then: the Yankees, the New York Giants, who would move to San Francisco, and the Brooklyn Dodgers, who would move to Los Angeles.
In the 10 seasons between 1947 and 1956, those three teams played seven Subway Series. Mostly, the Yankees played the Dodgers. Mostly, the Yankees won: won in 1952, Eisenhower's first presidential victory, beating Brooklyn four games to three; won in 1956, like Ike again, beating Brooklyn -- again -- in seven games -- again. Heroes played then. Yankees like Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, and a pitcher named Don Larsen, who, in that 1956 series, pitched a perfect game; no hits, no walks, no errors, no Dodger as far as first base.
No one had ever done that. No one's done it since. Even Eisenhower couldn't match it. But the Giants had heroes too, like Willie Mays. The Dodgers, first team to integrate, to play black players in the Major Leagues, had Jackie Robinson, who'd first broken the barrier; '56 would be his last year as a player.
For baseball, maybe this was the greatest generation. It's different now: designated hitters, short and long relievers, pitchers working every five days, instead of every four. And the games are too long. It's different politically, too. Neither of these guys looks like a landslide winner.
Still, for all the changes, we have what you want in October: a World Series and a presidential election, each one too close to call.
Bruce Morton, CNN, Washington.
WOODRUFF: And you know, Bernie, even with all of the people watching last night's American League game, there were 37.6 million people watching the debates last night.
SHAW: Including us.
WOODRUFF: That is right. And that is as many as were watching last week. That is it for this edition -- we're always keeping track here -- that's it for this edition of INSIDE POLITICS. Of course, you can go online all the time at CNN's allpolitics.com.
We'll see you again tomorrow, when both Al Gore and George W. Bush will be on the campaign trail in New York City.
SHAW: This programming note: Congressmen Marty Meehan of Massachusetts and Joe Scarborough of Florida will give post-debate analysis tonight on "CROSSFIRE." That's at 7:30 p.m. Eastern.
I'm Bernard Shaw.
WOODRUFF: And I'm Judy Woodruff.
"WORLDVIEW" is next.
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