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Larry King Live

What's So Funny About Election 2000?

Aired October 25, 2000 - 9:00 p.m. ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, why are so many people laughing all the way to the voting booth?

Joining me in Los Angeles to talk politics and punch lines, actor and stand-up comic Chris Tucker; in Detroit, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and presidential hopeful Dave Barry; back in L.A., comedian and writer Elayne Boosler, she's set to join Democratic congresswomen on a campaign bus trip between now and Election Day; the author and actor Ben Stein, host of "Win Ben Stein's Money," and a former White House speechwriter; plus, comic Chuck Booms, co-host of "Kiley & Booms," on Fox Sports Radio. They're all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

The campaign -- we're within two weeks of a presidential election. Now, Dave -- we'll start with Dave Barry in Detroit -- are you definitely running again?

DAVE BARRY, AUTHOR, "DAVE BARRY IS NOT TAKING THIS SITTING DOWN": Yes, I'm -- Larry, I'm always running and I just want to say that I agree with everybody watching this program about every issue.

KING: In other words, that's your stand tonight, whatever anybody thinks, you are for?

BARRY: Well...

ELAYNE BOOSLER, COMEDIAN: Well, I'm voting for him.

CHUCK BOOMS, COMEDIAN: That sounds like Gore.

BARRY: Unless they change their mind.

KING: All right, and Dave's new book, by the way -- let me get this in -- Dave's new book is "Dave Barry Is Not Taking This Sitting Down," he is a Pulitzer Prize winner and a perennial -- why are you -- Ben, why are you slumping at that title, you don't like the title?

BEN STEIN, HOST, "WIN BEN STEIN'S MONEY": I don't like him sitting on the toilet there on the front of his -- the book. It looks like he's sitting on a toilet.

BOOSLER: You should see the back of the book -- don't look, it's a sight.

BOOMS: We're 30 seconds in, Larry, and Ben is offended already. KING: Doesn't take much.

STEIN: Dave Barry is a genius writer, but his sitting on a toilet is a little odd.

KING: Are you sitting on a toilet, Dave?

STEIN: Looks like he is.

BARRY: Larry, I am, but there is a reason, which is I'm trying to dramatize an issue that is not coming up for any other candidates, which is, these low-flow toilets that have been foisted on the American public -- this used to be a big toilet nation, used to be a nation with big proud toilets you could flush a live pig down.

BOOMS: Good point.

BARRY: Not that I would. And now...

KING: I have never thought of that.

BARRY: And now we get these little toilets that they require us to use these so-called water-saving toilets, you put a grape in there, you can flush it 50 times, the grape is still in there, and I'm against that, Larry. So if Ben Stein doesn't want me to talk about that issue, OK. But the American people...

STEIN: You know, I think it's a good issue. I actually have bribed the plumbers to put in superpowerful Niagara Falls-type toilets. I'm a person with irritable bowels.

KING: OK, let's get...


BOOMS: And Al Gore invented the low flow, a lot of people don't know that.

KING: OK, let's get started. We'll start with you -- Chris Tucker, by the way, is going to be in a new movie called "Mr. President" -- by the way, is it true you get $20 million a movie now?

CHRIS TUCKER, COMEDIAN/ACTOR: No, it was $20 and they just kind of...


TUCKER: And everybody is calling now.

KING: All right, the first question on hand tonight for all of you is, should Al Gore call on Bill Clinton to be involved in the campaign?

BOOSLER: Absolutely, and I think he should call on him to campaign as hard as he can for George Bush. STEIN: Well, he has already been campaigning for George Bush by embarrassing the office of the White House -- of the presidency so much. But...


KING: ... a 62 rating, higher than Eisenhower...

STEIN: It's incredible.

KING: Somebody likes him then.

STEIN: It's unimaginable how he has a...

KING: Somebody likes him.

STEIN: ... higher rating. It's a mystery.


KING: Maybe he's a good president.

BOOMS: Yes, I agree with Ben, but, Larry, there is a stat out now that 73 percent said that there is no way that they would want any part of a Clinton third term. So you do see the dynamic of, they do approve of the economy, and he gets a lot of credit, don't forget, for -- the Democrats had 40 years to balance the budget, the Republicans came in and did it in 40 months. He talks about welfare reform...

BOOSLER: What are you talking about?

BOOMS: ... he vetoed it twice -- Clinton. Then he signs it and takes credit for it.

KING: In other words...


BOOMS: So a lot of his popularity...


KING: Chuck -- just so we understand, Chuck, he's not a good president?

BOOMS: Clinton, I think he's, you know...

KING: So 62 percent of America is wrong.

BOOSLER: Right, and we're all broke and the economy is crashing.

BOOMS: Well, no, they think that the -- Larry, they think that the economy is great and they think...

KING: That's the only reason they like him?

BOOMS: But I don't think he has been a good president, because this is a guy who's been found in contempt of court.

KING: OK, should be out campaigning for Gore?

TUCKER: Yes. I think Gore should use every -- anything he got, and I think Clinton is -- they're friends, first of all, and he should use him.

STEIN: They are not friends, they hate each other. It's been written up over and over again that they hate each other.

KING: Chris thinks they are friends.

STEIN: OK, if you think they are friends.


BOOMS: Ben may be breaking something right here.


KING: That's right.

Dave, do you think Gore should call on Clinton to campaign for him?

BARRY: I think the danger there is that Clinton will announce he wants to be president again. And I know you are going to tell me that's illegal, but so what? I mean, he got away with everything else.

STEIN: Yes, it was illegal to lie to the grand jury, it was illegal to lie about a whole bunch of things.

BARRY: We'll look at the Constitution and we'll discover the part where it says you can't be the president has been crossed out with magic marker, you know.

KING: Depends what "is" is.


BOOMS: He almost can't afford to have Clinton go out, even though part of what you and Elayne were saying is right, he almost can't afford that, because he keeps doing this "I'm my own man" speech, but then as...


BOOSLER: Every other president has helped the incumbent, and the truth is I think you've mixed up the facts.

KING: Let her finish.

BOOSLER: He never lets me finish.

STEIN: OK, sorry. BOOSLER: But I think -- thank you.

STEIN: Well, wait, I want to never let her finish.

BOOSLER: But I never even get to start now with you, you're coming in so much faster, I've got to talk to your wife.

I think you've mixed up your facts, because the actual person taking the credit for things like a patients' bill of rights and the ability to sue HMOs, who said they formed it and didn't, was George Bush -- it passed in his state over his veto and with no signature.

STEIN: Oh, God, we are getting into this nonsense.


KING: ... veto that.

BOOSLER: ... patients' bill of rights.

STEIN: Wait, they have a different...

BOOSLER: So it's not Clinton...


STEIN: There are several different kinds of patients' bill of rights.

KING: But he let it -- when it came into law, though, he took credit for it, he let it signed -- he never signed it.

STEIN: Well, he could have vetoed it, he didn't veto it.

BOOSLER: So they overrode the veto.


STEIN: No, no, no. No, they did not override the veto.


BOOMS: Larry, you've had Al Gore sit here.

KING: Many times.

BOOMS: And I know Bush bumbles and everything, but Al Gore has sat here and I have watched you when you've had him on -- now, which guy was he, was he debate guy number one, debate guy number two, or debate guy number three. He has been three different people in all three different debates. He was nasty in the first one, he was chained to a chair in the second one, and in the first one, by the way, he had rouge on, he looked ridiculous.


BOOSLER: That is cutting political humor, that rouge bit, I love that bit.

STEIN: Well, that is a good question, you know him better than we do, is he a thug and a bully in real life, or just...


KING: In real life, he's very funny...


KING: ... which he hardly ever shows...

BOOMS: Right.

KING: And he's very bright.

BOOMS: Right.

KING: They are both are -- and George Bush is very -- in fact...


BOOSLER: And he wears lipstick.


KING: Yes.

BOOMS: I missed that episode.

KING: The four principal candidates are all very bright and all very nice guys.

BOOMS: Right.

KING: And the public is not going to get hurt if any one of them is in office.

STEIN: How about...

BOOSLER: But women will if Bush is in office.

STEIN: Even if Pat Buchanan wins?

STEIN: No, women will not be. Women will be saved...


KING: Let's get Chris Tucker's thoughts.

BOOSLER: Hey, Chris.

KING: What about black America?

TUCKER: I think black America...


TUCKER: I'll tell you what black America...

KING: Let him finish.

TUCKER: We -- I think Bush -- I think the problem with why it's such a tight race and because people don't -- they are not relating to Gore or Bush, they're not relating to them.

KING: They don't like either one?

TUCKER: I think they're going by the demographic, they're trying to get like Michigan and they're trying to get Missouri, they're trying to get these key states and trying to do these demographic thing. They need to go down on Crenshaw and sell some bean pies and get to know the people, let the people know that they care.


TUCKER: If you talk to the homeless people, you would be surprised how smart they are, and they could run a nation. I know this guy named Willie who could run the nation.

KING: Willie.

TUCKER: He is talking about how -- surplus -- you're talking about the surplus and what you going to do...

BOOMS: Oranges and peanuts, Larry, for everybody.


KING: Dave, are we -- is there a general turnoff, Gore, Bush? Will we see a low turnout in two weeks?

BARRY: I think we could get eight to 10 voters out there by the time this is all over -- no. I don't hear anybody talking about this except for the people on this immediate show. I mean, does anyone else?

STEIN: No, no. I just got back from Oklahoma City, talking to the kids at O.U., and they're screaming for Bush, I mean, screaming for Bush, college students screaming for him.

BOOSLER: God, he's making up more stuff -- prove it.


STEIN: I don't doubt that that's true, but there is enthusiasm, there is extraordinary enthusiasm.

KING: Do you think there is enthusiasm across America?


BOOSLER: No. STEIN: I don't know, but what I -- I spoke at Stanford, I spoke at a whole bunch of universities...


BOOMS: I actually do. I think that there is. And I also think that Chris had a great point, Larry. What's happening here is people are voting, not necessarily for Bush or Gore, but if you vote for Bush, you are going, I get Colin Powell as secretary of state, I get John McCain as secretary of defense, I get Condoleezza Rice as the national security adviser.


BOOMS: That's a pretty good team, so he could bumble a little bit, but I get good people. Now, the same thing is happening with Gore, and they don't really like Gore, but they have a team thing going there that Democrats seem to like maybe Gore's policies, but not necessarily him.

KING: So are you saying we like Bush, or we like Gore's politics?

BOOMS: And when we all watched the vice presidential...

STEIN: No, no. I think some people like Gore's politics, but we don't...

KING: Some?

STEIN: Well, a lot. But the real question is, what's the man like? Anybody is going to have a lot of advisers, and Gore will have some smart advisers...

TUCKER: And that's what we need to know, that's what I was saying.

STEIN: But we have to know what's the essential man like.


KING: Willie would know.

TUCKER: Right, right.

The people have been hearing the same thing every debate, they're talking about the education and what they're going to do with all this stuff -- no, we want to know some more stuff, specific stuff.


KING: What do you want to know?

STEIN: Well...

TUCKER: We want to know what are you going to do, like I said, what are you going to do -- if you're talking about the surplus, we get all this extra money, pay everybody's rent off and...


STEIN: Well, that's what George Bush wants to do. That's what George Bush wants to do.

BOOMS: I want to know what he did with Tommy Lee Jones all those years, I want to know what happened in that dorm room.

KING: OK, we'll take a break and we'll come right back with more. Aren't you glad you turned in for intellect tonight? No, you're not watching PBS. Don't go away.


AL GORE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Where is that next joke? Oh, here is a good one. A Southern Baptist and an Orthodox Jew walk into a roomful of Catholics and -- no, wait a minute, that's my schedule for today.



KING: There are two other men on the ballot, Cheney and...

BOOSLER: Lieberman.

KING: Lieberman.

BOOSLER: Thank you.

KING: It's called tension.

BOOMS: She -- she is ruthless.


BOOMS: Ruthless.

KING: One at a time. Dave Barry, what do you make -- by the way, who's your vice presidential candidate? Who's running with you?

BARRY: That's a good question, Larry, but...

BOOMS: The Tidy Bowl guy.

BARRY: It's that kind of personal, intrusive question that has turned Americans off on the media so far.

KING: I see. So you're not going to answer it is what you're telling?

BARRY: Well, you can be -- do you want to be it, Larry? I mean, nobody's really...

STEIN: I'd like to be it.


Can I be it?

KING: OK, it's...

BARRY: No, but, Ben, I would...


I would let Ben do it, but I don't want anybody with irritable bowel syndrome riding Air Force One.

STEIN: I'm the best one to talk about this...


BOOMS: That's great news, Larry. I'm sitting next to the guy with irritable bowel syndrome.


BARRY: Larry, can I just say one thing?

KING: Yes.

BARRY: I just wanted -- this is an observation, but because you three are in Los Angeles and I'm in Detroit...

KING: There are five of us here.

BARRY: What?

KING: There are five of us, Dave.

BARRY: What? Oh, however many.

BOOSLER: Oh, you can be president like that. You're already scrambling the budget numbers.

BARRY: Fuzzy math. Fuzzy math. But anyway, the wonderful thing about this is I'm watching a television show here and I can talk and be on it, and I just -- it's the greatest thing I've ever seen. They should sell this, people would make millions of dollars.

STEIN: Al Gore invented it, Dave. Al Gore invented it.


BARRY: But now...

KING: This is the beginning of interactive television. You are participating in...

BARRY: I just want to say... KING: ... it. We're going to a home in Detroit. Dave Barry is in that home and we're taking him into our show.

BOOMS: It's breakthrough television, Larry.

KING: Breakthrough...

BARRY: But I just want to say that now that I can talk back as a viewer to this show...

KING: Yes.

BARRY: ... you have to stop interrupting each other.

KING: OK, good point.

BARRY: I'm speaking for millions of Americans when I say that.

KING: Please stop interrupting each other. Here's a question. We'll start with each.

BARRY: That's really all I have to say.

KING: Lieberman versus Cheney, your analysis, Ben.

STEIN: I've been stunned at how Lieberman has been pretty quiet on the Palestinian-Israeli crisis. I thought he was going to be the savior of the Jews and speak up for the Jews, and he's been totally silent about it, and I don't understand that. I've been very disappointed, of course, in his flip-flops about vouchers and about affirmative action. I don't think he's much of a guy, and I think Cheney has proved to be a very solid guy.

KING: Any embarrassment over the Halliburton story breaking today about money -- things with the government, grand jury investigations, money made by Halliburton to...

STEIN: It's a giant, big, enormous publicly held company. All of them are always being investigated all the time.

KING: What do you make of the vice presidential candidates?

TUCKER: I think, once again, I think that they need to get to some more issues and stop talking about the same thing. And I think -- I think Lieberman, I can relate to him a little bit. But Cheney...

KING: What?

TUCKER: I don't know -- he don't speak. You know, when he talk, I don't understand. He's talking about a war, and like I told you, Larry, I don't want to go to war. So...

KING: So you'd think you'd go to war with Cheney?

TUCKER: Cheney. Look at the people Bush got. He got Cheney. He got Colin Powell. And what's the other one? McCain. They hang out all the time. What do you think you're talking about?

STEIN: They're talking about keeping us out of war.

KING: You think they talk about getting into war?

TUCKER: Well, I know McCain want to get even.


You know, he was a prisoner. If he became president, what's the first thing he would have did? Come on.

KING: Chuck.

BOOMS: John has the potential, McCain, to snap at any moment. You know, there's no question about that. And that's great.

KING: You're next.

BOOMS: But with the vice presidential thing, I will tell you that I did "Politically Incorrect" the night of the vice presidential debate. Interestingly, Bill Maher said, let's all, you know, yuck it up with these guys. We get on, and we all looked at each other and went, these two were fabulous. These two were really good. The tickets are upside down. And then we just started beating up Gore and Bush. So a show that was meant to be humorous about those two guys, Larry, turned into we saluted both of them for a job well-done. They looked good.

KING: What do you make of Lieberman-Cheney?

BOOSLER: I'm stunned. I did "Politically Incorrect" the night of the vice presidential debate, and I didn't see you.

BOOMS: You weren't there.

BOOSLER: What I make of it is this.

BOOMS: See how she is.

STEIN: That's how she is.

BOOSLER: Do I get to talk now?

KING: Let her finish.

BOOSLER: Thank you.

KING: Ladies, please.

TUCKER: Yes, let her talk.

BOOSLER: Hey, thanks, man. I'm -- I'm -- I don't think it's Lieberman's role at all to step in on the Middle East crisis at this moment. This is not his role at all. And I think if he were suddenly to be the savior of the Jews, America would be right in saying, how dare you step in at a point like this? So he's done nothing wrong.

Thank god people can change their records. I pray to god Cheney changes his voting if he does become vice president, because he voted to keep Nelson Mandela in jail, he voted for no sanctions against South Africa. He voted against paying for any woman who's poor if she's raped or the victim of incest any abortion whatsoever, even to save her life. And I...


BOOSLER: ... I would think it be awful. Of course, I didn't know...


BOOMS: Elayne, can I ask you something? Elayne, can I ask...


KING: One at a time.


STEIN: Do you think...

BOOSLER: Why is he allowed to lie and interrupt and lie?

STEIN: Do you think -- do you think that it was up to the United States government whether Nelson Mandela was in jail? He wasn't in a U.S....


BOOSLER: ... sanctions and he voted against them.

STEIN: ... jail.

BOOSLER: America had -- let him talk. Use sanctions.


KING: I've got to get a break.

BOOSLER: Let him say it. Use sanctions.

BOOMS: Larry...


... I want to ask Elayne a really important question.

KING: Well, hold it. Let me get a break. Let me get a break, guys. Try -- try to be courteous to each other.

BOOMS: I think I have been. KING: And I think you've been generally courteous. I think...

BOOMS: And I think Dave Barry's asleep.

BOOSLER: I let everyone talk and then they didn't let me talk.

KING: Let's get, before we go to break, a comment from our viewer in Detroit. Mr. Barry, how did you make of the last segment?


We'll be right back after these messages.


GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There's a lot of history not only in this city, but right here in this hotel. For years, this was the home of Al Smith's opponent, Herbert Hoover. When you think of the Hoover years, you think of Depression, food lines, despairing people jumping out of windows. Or as the vice president might call it, a day in the life of Texas.




KING: We're back on LARRY KING LIVE. You're watching the host slowly lose control. But what the heck? It's only television.

Chuck has a question for Elayne and then I'll get back to other topics -- Chuck.

BOOMS: Well, we were talking about, Larry, and Elayne, we were talking about the vice presidential thing, and you and Ben are sniping at each other. And it's really avoiding the really big issue here that hasn't come out.

KING: Which is?

BOOMS: My beautiful ex-girlfriend in Cleveland thinks that Dick Cheney is hot. How do you feel?

KING: That's a fair question.

BOOSLER: I really think that she's a brilliant woman, your ex- girlfriend, which is probably why she's your ex-girlfriend.


BOOMS: Another low shot.

BOOSLER: There you go.

STEIN: But I'm not allowed to interrupt now. KING: No...

BOOSLER: That's right. That's right.


KING: Interruption...

BOOMS: Elayne, of the four -- of the four -- Lieberman, Cheney, Gore and Bush -- who is best-looking?

BOOSLER: You see, this how Republican men treat intelligent women. They dismiss us. It's condescending, and they don't want to talk about --

BOOMS: She's only talking to Larry. She's dismiss us.


BOOMS: She's telling Larry they've dismissed us while she talks to Larry.

KING: Well, "The Washington Post" did a whole story on cute.

BOOMS: OK, and who won cute?

BOOSLER: You did. He won.


BOOSLER: It was you.

KING: Dave Barry, do looks count in this -- should how someone looks count?

BARRY: No, I don't think looks should count, but I do think that we need to know what exactly is the deal with Al Gore's hair. Like how far forward does the skin really go, because the way -- you know, they never show the back view. Don't you think we should look into that before we elect him president?

TUCKER: Larry, Larry, Larry, I admit...

KING: Good point, Dave.


TUCKER: What do looks and a president what that has to do with a president picking a president. How he looks. How he talks. I mean, how can -- that I mean if.

KING: What else to go on?

TUCKER: If we did that with Abraham Lincoln, everybody know Abraham Lincoln ain't the greatest looking, but was a good president. he was an honest president and we would have never known if we looked at him said he well, he don't look good enough. Abe was a good guy.


STEIN: But it is in nature of human beings to judge people based on how they look. People who look nice and trustworthy generally are considered that way whether they are or not. And by the way, the polls I've seen show that woman think that Bush is far better look than Gore. they think Gore looks kind of sneaky.

BOOMS: Where do the gay men come in on this?

BOOSLER: See prove it.


STEIN: I saw a poll in a West Hollywood paper that said gay men like Gore a lot. Just kidding.

KING: But they would be good judges --

STEIN: I admit it when I make things up.


BOOMS: And by the way, Abraham Lincoln was a looker. I mean I don't care what you say. Somebody asked me what's his most distinguishable facial feature and I paused said, I think the hole in his forehead.

STEIN: Oh, God. That's bad. That's awful. That is terrible.

BOOMS: That was for Ben.

TUCKER: Seriously, he was great guy. That's what matters. It don't matter how you look. You get somebody because of how they talk...


BOOMS: There was no TV then.


BOOMS: The problem is the Kennedy-Nixon debate. John Kennedy was great-looking guy, Larry, with a lot of personality. And why wouldn't a woman look at that and say, hey there's some pizzazz there, I think he'd be a good leader

STEIN: But I think that actually Chris is making a very good point. In the Lincoln -- in the era of Lincoln candidates debated for hours and hours without notes, and gave incredibly learned dissertations citing classical sources. And nowadays it is reduced to very low level of intellect, it is.

BOOSLER: Because George Bush's people forced them...

STEIN: See now, isn't that interesting.

BOOSLER: They forced those rules?

STEIN: Oh, for Christ's sake, try.


BOOMS: Larry, you should have done one of the debates

STEIN: We tried to have a debate on serious historical presidents, and you make it into a savage attack on George Bush.

KING: I'll return now. We've got to take a break. Once again, before we go to break, a comment from our viewer in Detroit, Dave Barry.

We'll be back with more of LARRY KING LIVE right after this.


GORE: I learned some important lessons in the debates. For example wearing Estee Lauder make-up is good. Having Ron Lauder actually apply the make-up is bad.



KING: Panel, let's get into a specific issue. Should every prescription drug be given to any senior who can't afford it?

TUCKER: Yes. I think -- yes.

KING: Yes.

STEIN: Yes, if it's prescribed by doctor, yes.

BOOMS: No, because I'm not I'm not in favor of any give-aways, you know.

KING: So let them fall over.

BOOMS: Well, no. I mean, for the people who can't afford it, yes, but you know when cover everybody like Uncle Al wants to do, that means I'm buying Bob Hope's medicine. Maybe I don't want to buy Bob Hope's medicine.

STEIN: He said if they can't afford it, yes.

BOOMS: If they can't afford it, yes.

KING: Prescription drugs.

BOOSLER: I'm so afraid to get old. All I keep hearing is prescription drugs for seniors. What's wrong with these people? What's wrong with everybody? KING: You need more drugs.

BOOSLER: You hit 65 -- I mean, my grandmother, she's 80. They're backing up trucks since this election started dumping drugs in her drive way.

BOOMS: Where does your grandmother live?

BOOSLER: Seattle, and the thing that's interesting is that all these candidates, they want to make sure that you can stay stoned when you're 80 and they want to arrest you for being stoned when you're 30. Not what we want.

KING: Dave, what's your position on prescription drugs?

BARRY: I'm with Elayne. I think if we give enough drugs to senior citizens then we won't have to give them Social Security anymore. We could save billions.

KING: That's another good plank in the platform. Right.

STEIN: Yes, but we don't want to do that. We a like seniors. We like them. They're our parents and grandparents.

KING: Well, technically, as a true conservative, you would be opposed to the concept of Social Security.

STEIN: No, not at all. Not at all.

KING: Why not? I don't have choice in that.

STEIN: No, no people who are genuinely in need, should be helped by government.

KING: But you're paying for Bob Hope's Social Security.

STEIN: No, no, people who are genuinely in need.

KING: But Social Security's for everybody.

STEIN: I totally agree wealthy people should not have Social Security. I completely agree with that.

BOOMS: But how do you that Larry if they're paying into it?

STEIN: Then it becomes like any other kind of where wealthy people pay a tax and most of it goes to poor people. But there's no reason for a person who has an income of tens of millions of dollars to get Social Security.

TUCKER: I disagree with that because you can lose that wealth at any time. You don't know you can lose that but I agree.

KING: You could have tens of millions of dollars and lose it?


KING: How do you lose it?

STEIN: A tear. A tear. A tear.


TUCKER: Let me tell you, I don't have no problem with paying my taxes. I think the more money you make, the more taxes you should pay. You should be proud to pay your taxes. The less money you make -- wait a minute, wait a minute -- the less money you make, the less taxes you pay. But I think, it should be a right to have health care. You've got a right to carry a gun, you should have right to have health care, and a right to education.

KING: Why wouldn't you want to pay double taxes next year? You made more money.

BOOMS: Well I don't understand, then what's the point trying to do better.

KING: You don't want to do better.

BOOMS: Trying to do better with your career.

TUCKER: Give as much as.


BOOMS: If I do better, I pay for more people.

KING: Now wait a minute. If you make 10 million and they take five, if you make 20 they'll take 10. You'll have twice as much.

BOOMS: All right, but what about if I make 20 million I decide...

BOOSLER: I don't think you have anything to worry about, buddy.

BOOMS: Hair before it's over. I told you I was going to get on your hair and I may do it right now.

TUCKER: It's in the Bible. If you got enough to be comfortable, help out somebody.

BOOMS: But don't you think it's better to give it where you want to give it? I mean there's charities that I work with...


KING: About 280 million people in America.

STEIN: Why should it be that a person who makes a million dollars pays 50 percent say, instead of 30 percent. That is if you -- if everybody pays 30 percent, say or 20 percent, the million dollars. KING: The millionaires going to love that.

STEIN: But why is it rich people should be.


BOOMS: Also, rich people re-invest in the country. If a guy starts out with one dry cleaner, and he does well and he has five, why not allow him to keep more of his money, and open five more. That means more people get to work.


TUCKER: They're going to reinvest in a Ferrari and a new house. They're not going to re-invest in...

STEIN: That's not true. The huge majority of money that wealthy people make...

KING: Dave Barry, you're rich. Do you reinvest?

BOOMS: Let's donate the sales...

KING: Come one, Dave. You're a wealthy author. You're a Pulitzer Prize winner.

BARRY: I really think taxes should be lower for everybody except for the guy who won on "Survivor." And they should take all his money away from him. Wouldn't that be funny? Just like -- just him. Just him.

KING: Just him.

STEIN: And the gay men didn't think he was very good-looking.

BOOMS: The guy who won on "Survivor." Oh, God.


TUCKER: Sometimes you can have too much money. You see -- I mean, Bill Gates got so much money he be happy because the bank tell him you got rid of some of this money or buy the bank because we can't keep this.


KING: You're nouveau rich.

TUCKER: Excuse me.

KING: You are nouveau rich.

TUCKER: That's what -- the rich? No -- I ain't rich. I'm just talking for the poor.

(LAUGHTER) TUCKER: I am poor. I feel rich.

BOOMS: That suit's a rental.

KING: You rented that.


TUCKER: But back to the issues, I think we should pay taxes. But what -- I think the less money you make, the less taxes you make.


KING: I'm going to re-introduce our panel for those of you who may who may have tuned in late and not know who you are watching. And we'll identify each of their occupations and what they're currently doing. We'll also include your phone calls. But as we've been doing all night, we'll get a view of our viewer from Detroit who is part of interactive television as we go to break. If you have a comment -- we'll be right back.

BARRY: I'm on a television show right now. I'm on the "Larry King Show" right now.

KING: He's on the phone at home. It's interactive.

BARRY: I'm on television right. OK, I've got to go. All right, I'm on Larry King. Larry King. No, it's the Larry King.

KING: We'll take a break and we'll be right back. Don't go away.


GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: And I see Bill Buckley is here tonight, a fellow Yale man.


We go way back, and we have a lot in common. Bill wrote a book at Yale, I read one.




KING: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE.

We are going to reintroduce our illustrious panel, a mixed bag to say the least. Chris Tucker, the comic and actor, whose movie credits include "Rush Hour," he'll star in the upcoming movie "Mr. President," and it's reported in the trades that he will make $20 million per film.

Don't say...

TUCKER: Twenty dollars.

KING: Twenty dollars, I'm sorry.

TUCKER: I have cousins who really know.

KING: Elayne Boosler, comedian and writer, who will join the Democratic congresswomen on a campaign bus trip. She's a pet -- activist for pets, right?

BOOSLER: Animal rescue. And we're doing the bus trip to see as many Grateful Dead concerts as possible before the election.

KING: She's on board of -- she's on the board of Boxer Rescue L.A. You only rescue boxers.

BOOSLER: Oh, we have the best boxers ever.

KING: Our interactive viewer tonight is in Detroit, he is Dave Barry, also happens to be a well-publicized author and columnist, his new book, "Dave Barry Is Not Taking This Sitting Down," he is a Pulitzer Prize winner and a perennial presidential hopeful with refusal to name his running mate. Ben Stein is author, actor, interrupter, and the...

STEIN: She's the interrupter.

KING: And the host of "Win Ben Stein's Money," and "Turn Ben Stein On," he was a speechwriter for Richard Nixon -- they were laughs.

STEIN: People are still laughing about them. I...

KING: And Gerald Ford.

And Chuck Booms, new to LARRY KING LIVE.

BOOMS: Thank you.

KING: Chuck is a comedian and the co-host with Kevin Kiley, my old friend...

BOOMS: Your old buddy.

KING: ... of "Kiley & Booms" on Fox Sports Radio.

BOOMS: By the way, Larry, if Elayne is still rescuing boxers, the guy that Tyson kicked the crap out of up in Detroit, where Barry is at, could use a home. He's a big white guy, bloody, bad neck now, but if you can find him a home...


KING: Let's take a call. Yakima, Washington, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry.


CALLER: It's a great panel. I'd like to have them, if they could for a moment, take a deep breath and each of them tell us what the strengths are of each candidate -- each candidate.

KING: The strengths of each -- we'll have to do it quickly. What is the strength, to you, of George Bush?

BOOSLER: Well -- of each candidate.

KING: Each candidate -- George Bush.

BOOSLER: The strength of George Bush is that he's such a quick study that he memorized one little line to answer each question in the debate, which they set up, and...

KING: And the strength of Al Gore is?

BOOSLER: The strength of Al Gore is that if you vote for Al Gore, it's a vote for women, for prosperity, for the environment, for your children.

KING: That's his strength?

BOOSLER: That is his strength.

KING: That's his strength.


KING: Strength of Al Gore?

TUCKER: The strength of Al Gore is he knows Bill Clinton, and the strength of George Bush is his daddy was president (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

KING: Ben.

STEIN: Strength of Al Gore is he was lucky enough to have Alan Greenspan be head of the Fed during the time he was vice president, therefore he got a lot of prosperity with low inflation. The strength of George Bush is he's an honest, decent man.

BOOMS: This is very easy -- Yakima, it goes like this. George Bush, very likable; Al Gore, he's the guy at the party you would never want to talk to. When he walks through the door, you hide.

BOOSLER: No issues, no issues.

TUCKER: I think -- and I think they need to meet some -- you need to meet the president and meet Al Gore. They are some good guys.

KING: Well, you've gotten to know them, so you're...

TUCKER: I got to know them and they're good guys.

KING: In fact, you flew on the plane.


TUCKER: I flew Air Force One.

KING: They let him fly Air Force One.


STEIN: They let you at the controls?


BOOMS: Was Harrison Ford on there?

TUCKER: No, Harrison Ford saved me one time.


KING: All right, Dave Barry, strengths of each candidate.

BARRY: Larry, to me, they're both very, very strong candidates, and it's a question of personal preference. It's like ointment and suppository.

KING: You keep going back to your principal issue. I'm told that it is the mandated use of 1.6 gallon toilet -- is that the number one issue? Do you...

BOOSLER: Number two issue.

BARRY: Yes, Larry, it is.


KING: OK, that's your number one issue.

Before we take another call, Ralph Nader, what do you make of him?

STEIN: Great guy. An extremely smart, capable guy, should have been in the debates, has a lot of very original ideas about how to run America. It was a big, big mistake not to allow him and Pat Buchanan in the debates.

KING: Can he cause Gore to lose the election?

BOOSLER: I totally agree with everything Ben just said. I think he's wonderful and I hope that people who want to vote for him out of the goodness of their heart understand that a vote for Nader, unfortunately, this time, is a vote for George Bush and you've got to give it to Gore.

BOOMS: You're about to get Peroted. TUCKER: Larry, I agree with them. And back again to what I was saying, granted, he's relating with the people, he's relating with the people...

KING: Nader?

TUCKER: Nader is relating with the...

KING: Green Party.

TUCKER: The Green Party, excuse me. He's relating with the people, he's telling the truth and people like that, and that's why he's getting 5 percent of the vote. And he -- what -- he got $5 he raised for the Green Party. And he's getting almost more -- you know, he's getting better votes.

KING: Chuck.

BOOMS: This is a guy who years ago helped me find out that a cordless phone that I had was really a ripoff and I've really never had a chance to thank him. He's out there for the little guy. It was a piece of crap.


BOOMS: And I thought, if this guy would ever run for office, look at the stance. I mean, he's saving...

KING: So you're going to vote for him?

BOOMS: No. But the fact is, is that I do have to agree with everybody here. He's an honest guy. They should have been in the debates. This is where both parties fall short. And Buchanan should be allowed in, too, and let us make up our mind, and quite frankly, Harry Browne from the Libertarian Party should be allowed in.

KING: Dave Barry, what are your thoughts on Ralph Nader?

BARRY: I think he's a very strong candidate, but he may also be a praying mantis.


STEIN: What does that mean?

KING: Analyze that for us. I mean, it's funny, but where did that come from?

STEIN: Well, why is it even funny? What does that mean?

BARRY: Well, Ben, if I have to explain it...


STEIN: Oh, I think he means a stalking horse, and that's the joke. BOOMS: ... and the insect, bug reference.


KING: Did you take that badly, what he said?

TUCKER: I think he just ran out of jokes.

KING: You understood that.

As we go to break and go to more phone calls, there is our viewer in Detroit. You have any comment to make, viewer in interactive television tonight?

BARRY: I think you're doing a great job.

KING: Thank you very much.

BOOSLER: We're glad you're not here.

KING: We'll be right back. Don't go away.


BUSH: The top 10 changes I'll make in the White House.

DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST: Oh, here you go.

BUSH: Are you ready?

LETTERMAN: This is right up your alley.

BUSH: Yes.

Number 10...

LETTERMAN: Number 10.

BUSH: To save taxpayer dollars, calls to winning sports teams will be collect.

New rule at cabinet meetings, you can't talk until you ride the mechanical bull.

LETTERMAN: Have you ever been on a mechanical bull?


LETTERMAN: Yes. Do they still have those down in Texas?

BUSH: Yes.


BUSH: Number 8.

LETTERMAN: It's another form of capital punishment, I believe, isn't it?

BUSH: Good-bye boring presidential radio address -- hello, Dick Cheney spins the hits of the '80s, '90s and today.

Make sure the White House library has lots of books with big print and pictures.

Just for fun, issue executive order commanding my brother Jeb to wash my car.

First day in office, my mother's face goes up on Mount Rushmore.

LETTERMAN: Wow. Well, look there.

BUSH: Look into hiring a security guard for our nuclear secrets.

Will not get sick on Japanese leaders like other President Bushs I know.

Give Oval Office one heck of a scrubbing.

Tax relief for all Americans, except smart-alec talk-show hosts.



KING: "The New York Times" reports today, Mr. Stein, that Al Gore has not had a sick day off in eight years, that he does 150 pushups and a hundred situps every other day.

STEIN: Well, I own some apartments in West Hollywood. There are about 50 guys that are more buffed than he is and oil themselves up every day. So, you know, I'm used to seeing buff oiled-up guys.

KING: But are you happy to know he's in good health?

STEIN: Yes, I'm very happy to know he's in good health. It looks to me like Bush is in great health too.

BOOMS: I'm not very comfortable to be sitting next to Ben after he said he's used to looking at buff oiled-up guys.


STEIN: I see a lot of them. I have a lot of business dealings in West Hollywood, and Al Gore obviously is part -- part of the muscle-bound crowd.

KING: Why hasn't he, to be frank, why isn't Al Gore, Elayne, 20 points ahead? The economy's great, the president, despite what the gentlemen say, 62 percent of the public think he's done a good job? For whatever reason, they think it. Why doesn't he get 62 percent of the vote?

BOOSLER: I know. My friend's 16-year-old daughter, I think, summed it up the best. She's a brilliant little girl, and she said: George Bush is like the Backstreet Boys. He came out of nowhere, he doesn't write his own stuff, and all of a sudden he's ahead. And it's just one of those phenomena that happens.

STEIN: Well, do you think that Al Gore writes his own speeches?

BOOSLER: Is he interrupting me? Is he interrupting me?

STEIN: I'm interrupting you very politely.

BOOSLER: Can I finish?

And the other thing is that anyone who says the reason to vote for someone is because he's a really nice guy, I think it shows such an understanding of how unqualified this man is on the issues to be president. He's a nice guy. Vote for the guy who's had 20 years of helping the country.

KING: Dave Barry, why isn't Al Gore way ahead?

BARRY: Is -- I just -- was Ben Stein saying that Al Gore is gay?

STEIN: No, not in the slightest. I'm saying that I see lots of muscular -- I see lots of muscular, buffed-up guys. It doesn't impress me that much that one of them is running for president.

KING: All right.


KING: Why isn't he way ahead, Dave? I'm glad we cleared that up for you. Why isn't he way ahead?

BARRY: Well, I think because he comes across as maybe a guy who's being operated by another life form with tentacles.

BOOSLER: A praying mantis.

BARRY: No, I didn't say that again. I'm never going say praying mantis again, because, you know, it ticked everybody off.

KING: Ben didn't get it.

BOOMS: I got it.

STEIN: Well, what is it then?

KING: It just was crazy.


STEIN: He's a wacky guy...


He's a kind -- he's a kind of an overbearing bullying guy. KING: OK. Before you answer, what do you make...

BOOSLER: I just want to correct one -- one misinformation piece that you had. Dave Barry will never, never be out of jokes. Just...

KING: He will.

TUCKER: Dave is funny. He's funny.

BOOMS: Why -- why is it, Larry, that when Al Gore is in private with you and other people -- and surely, they'll want to see him in private with you after what we're hearing, Ben -- but you know, that he comes off so friendly, and yet even in the third debate, tell me that you weren't a little freaked out, Elayne, as he was walking toward Bush? There was that uncomfortable moment of, what are you doing?

STEIN: Oh, Elayne and I were on TV that night. She thought it was great. I thought he looked like Frankenstein, but she thought it was great.

BOOMS: Why? Yes, he did. He looked really...

BOOSLER: Now, he doesn't interrupt me. He's just giving my answers.


BOOMS: Well, I'm asking you. What did you think?

BOOSLER: I didn't know what he was going to do. It was a moment that was a little...

BOOMS: Was it uncomfortable for you? I know that...

BOOSLER: Yes, but it won't make me not vote for the guy. I mean, so what?

BOOMS: No, I didn't say that it would, but Larry, those are the things that have added up. Is it that one thing? No. Is it when he says his dog's prescriptions are more than his mother's, you know, his wife's mother, and then it turns out not? Is it that one? No. But when you have months and months of this accumulate, people have gone through eight years of pointing their finger and saying...

KING: But the question is you have all that. On the other side, he's the only Vietnam veteran of the four running.

BOOMS: Which he should be saluted for.

KING: Volunteered.

BOOMS: Right.

KING: Enlisted.

BOOMS: But wasn't he like a photographer?

KING: Yes, but he could have been assigned to anything.


BOOMS: Oh, come on, he's...



BOOMS: Elayne, he was doing sketches.

KING: Where were you...

BOOSLER: Well...


BOOMS: No, I know. I said I salute his -- I salute his service.

KING: His father was a senator for a long time. He served his country for a long, long time in the House and the Senate.

BOOMS: Why doesn't he bring more of that out?

KING: The vice presidency is part of a presidential race -- a presidency. He has no sex scandal, OK? He's got -- the president's got a 62 percent popularity rating. The question was, why isn't he way ahead?

BOOSLER: I know why. I know why.

STEIN: But that's exact -- that's the vital question indeed. That is the vital question.

KING: She knows the answer.

STEIN: OK. Elayne's going to know the answer.

KING: What is the answer?

BOOSLER: The answer is that so little was expected from George Bush -- and this is not a personal thing. So little was expected, the bar was set so low because of his record, and if people know the record, they'll understand that...

BOOMS: But that means, Larry...

BOOSLER: The fact that he could speak in the debates put him over. People were...

BOOMS: But that means now -- that means now, if Elayne is right, that means a majority of the country, should be Bush be elected, has just been fooled by the fact that there were low expectations and he did all right. (CROSSTALK)

BOOSLER: The country can be fooled.

TUCKER: Let's talk -- let's talk about...


I haven't talked in a while. I haven't talked in a while. Let's talk about the debate on the affirmative action thing, when everybody is saying Gore is like a pest. That's what you want as a president. You want a smart president. You don't want a cool president.


TUCKER: I want somebody to be smart, keep us out of stuff.

BOOMS: He wasn't that smart.

TUCKER: But let me tell you, he had -- when he talked about affirmative action and George Bush didn't want to answer because he's against affirmative action, because he already said that he was going to support on the Supreme Court Clarence Thomas and he's an anti- affirmative action person. So he already said it and Gore could have got him on that. He -- Gore -- if Gore would have got him...

KING: Has Gore been a poor candidate?

STEIN: Gore's a poor candidate because I think he has a disordered personality. He has real serious -- he has serious problems playing well with others. On the stage, in the debates, he came across as a thug and a bully. If he had come across...

KING: But if I tell you he's not a thug and a bully, and you believed that...

STEIN: I've seen him.

KING: ... and if you believed that...

STEIN: Will you listen, Larry? I saw him interviewed on MTV a year ago. He looked wonderful.

KING: But why isn't he running well?

STEIN: But now, he's coming across as a guy who's a thug and a bully and just...

BOOMS: Is it not possible that the Gore advisers, Larry, as we had talked about on the break, with Bob Dole, that made Bob Dole unfunny, and now he's on Comedy Central, are telling Gore be this way in the first debate, be this way in the second?

KING: But he's the decision-maker.

BOOMS: But the buck stops with Al. TUCKER: He's supposed to be funny. Let the president be smart.


TUCKER: Let...

BOOSLER: Let him be smart.

KING: Dave, what advice would you give Al Gore?


BARRY: Oh, me?

KING: Yes.

BARRY: I would -- I would tell Al to do what Ben Stein tells him to do.

KING: Whatever Ben Stein...

STEIN: I would say oil up, oil up, Al, and work out and...


KING: We'll take a break and we'll be back with more of our...


BOOMS: He may oil you up.

KING: Don't go away.


JAY LENO, HOST: Vice President Gore, more and more students are having sex with their teachers. Now, you proposed putting beds in the classroom. Why is that?


GORE: So that the teacher can spend enough one-on-one time with each -- with each student?



LENO: Well, what grade do you think that students should start having sex with the teacher?


GORE: High school.


LENO: Governor Bush, what do you think?


BUSH: Third grade, fourth grade, fifth grade.





KING: Little Rock, Arkansas. Hello.

CALLER: Hello. I was wondering if the panel would answer in what type of political environment they grew up in and did that influence their affiliation today?

KING: Yes, were you a Republican -- of course you were. Your father was a prominent Republican, involved in the Republican Party and served in an administration.

BOOMS: My mother and father were Eastern European dictators. It was interesting. One led Rumania, the other was in charge of the Ukraine. And my brother and I were, you know, tortured fairly often. We were smacked very lightly on the ass with Hot Wheel tracks.

BOOSLER: Well that explains the whole thing.

BOOMS: Actually my parents were both -- my mother, I should say, was very political. My father, he's kind of the guy you drag to the booth and my mom goes that, that, that and he goes.

KING: Was she a Republican?

BOOMS; And my mother is a Republican.

KING: And what about you, Chris?

TUCKER: When I left Yale years ago, I kind of figured -- I thought it was important to get people -- get deeply involved in finding where my tax money is going. No, seriously, my mother and my father they just up on everything and they always told me to be involved with everything because it all comes together.

KING: Were they Democrats?

TUCKER: They are whoever comes with the right stuff and say the right thing.

KING: Elayne.

BOOSLER: I'm a child of David Crosby and Melissa Etheridge,

BOOMS: My how you've grown.

BOOSLER: I know. I was just raised in a, you know, middle class, working family in New York.

KING: Democrats.

BOOSLER: I think I went with the candidate. Probably leaned Democrat but went with the candidate.

BOOMS: Speaking of going with the candidates...

KING: I want to ask Dave's thoughts. Dave when you grew up, what was home life like and what were your parents...

BARRY: My parents were both -- they were Adlai Stephenson Democrats, I mean, even after he died.

KING: That's how much they loved him, right?

BARRY: Yes, they still vote for him.

KING: Did that therefore make you tilt Democratic?

BARRY: Not really. I went through the '60s and then I ended up being sort of an anarchist.

KING: And remain that to this day.

BARRY: Yes, pretty much.

KING: You were going to say something, Chuck.

BOOMS: Yes. Well, when you talked about they went with either candidate or whatever, the one time that I voted that I did not vote Republican I voted for Paul Tsongas. And he was, I'm sure you knew, Larry, one of the most terrific, smart, honest men you could imagine. And I was doing some stand-up shows in Boston, and I went over and visited with Paul in his office -- you'll like this, Ben -- he pulled out a full-page ad from the Democratic Party paid for to do the Mediscare thing they're using so he would lose the primary and Clinton would win. They were trying to defeat their own guy. And he told me to my face, and this is what's wrong with everything.

I sat back and listened to a good, smart Democrat that I really liked, and he wasn't Mr. Personality. He had a dry sense of humor. But the problem was Clinton looked like they wanted, and by doing it that way unfortunately we got Clinton.

BOOSLER: I think Clinton was a great president. I think people are in great prosperity. And we want to keep it going.

KING: We may be in denial about that.

STEIN: We are certainly in prosperity, but whether or not he was a great president...


KING: When he proposed his budget in 1996, didn't most Republicans say we'll have a travesty if this passes?

STEIN: I think it was in '93. It was in '93.


BOOMS: They both have that, Larry. Then when there was welfare reform -- you know this, Ben -- the liberals said there would be hundreds of kids huddled at bus stops with no food. So they both play that scare game.

STEIN: If you ask 100 economists who was responsible for the prosperity, 99 of them would say Greenspan, not Clinton.

BOOSLER: Smart of him to appoint those people.

STEIN: The Republicans appointed him.

TUCKER: Stop playing it ain't no Clinton.

KING: Do you have a comment in Detroit as we go to our last break?

BARRY: Yes, do you guys realize that the World Series is on?

KING: We'll back with -- no score?

We will be back with our remaining moments. Don't go away.


KING: We have about a minute and a half remaining, so it's prediction time. We begin with Mr. Tucker. What will happen 13 days from today?

TUCKER: I don't know. Like I said, if they listen to this show Mr. Bush and Al Gore, get to know the people, talk about some different things. I think the person who did does that is going to win. And that's the person that's going to win.

KING: Close. Mr. Stein?

STEIN: Superclose election, but I think that Bush will pull it off.

BOOMS: Very close election, Larry. I like Millard Fillmore.

KING: He's very big in Wisconsin.

BOOMS: Is he really? Elayne and I are going to run on the Whig Party ticket just based on our hair. I think it is going to be close. I think Bush will win. And I think Lazio will win. I think Rick Lazio has pulled even and he may do it.

KING: Elayne.

BOOSLER: Mets in seven.

BOOMS: That I like.

KING: And who's going to win the presidential election?

BOOSLER: Oh, keep prosperity going, vote Al Gore. Vote for women, Al Gore.

KING: Who's going to win?

BOOSLER: Al Gore is going win because women are brilliant in this country and they know what we need.

KING: Mr. Barry, your prediction, please?

BARRY: Larry, I think the American people are going win this election.

BOOMS: You know, Barry might get some votes out of this. I hate to say it. You've got a lot of viewers. This could tilt the election.

STEIN: And every one of them uses a toilet.

KING: That's right, if you use a toilet, consider Dave Barry. Thank you all very much for this illuminating conversation which has added to our breadth and knowledge.

BOOSLER: You know they're going to change the name of your show ti "Jerry Springer with Brains." That's what it's going to be.

KING: Thanks for joining us. Stay tuned for "NEWSSTAND." I'm Larry King. Tomorrow night: Walter Cronkite, Sandra Vanocur and Don Hewitt. It'll be different. Good night.



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