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Inside Politics

Bush Campaigns in Michigan While Gore Stumps in Iowa; Disclosure of Bush's 24-Year-Old DUI Arrest Sends Media Into Frenzy

Aired November 3, 2000 - 5:00 p.m. ET



GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's become clear to America over the course of this campaign that I've made mistakes in my life, but I'm proud to tell you I've learned from those mistakes.


JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: A day after acknowledging a drunken driving arrest at the age of 30, George W. Bush tries to put the 11th hour flap behind him.


AL GORE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have no comment on this. I want to talk about the issues.


BERNARD SHAW, CNN ANCHOR: Al Gore tries to stay on message, while his aides deny any link to the leak about Bush's past.

WOODRUFF: A Maine Democrat says he was involved in making the story public. Who was his source? And what was his motive?

ANNOUNCER: This is INSIDE POLITICS with Judy Woodruff in Washington and Bernard Shaw at CNN Election headquarters.

SHAW: Thanks for joining us. Heading into the final weekend before the presidential election, George W. Bush's campaign expected to be on the offensive. Instead, it is deeply into damage control. At issue: the disclosure of Bush's 24-year-old DUI arrest: How it will play with voters, and how long reporters will keep asking questions about it?

Our Candy Crowley is traveling with the Bush campaign.


CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A titanic struggle under way. There is a campaign that wants to move on. BUSH: It's become clear to American over the course of this campaign that I've made mistakes in my life. But I'm proud to tell you I've learned from those mistakes.

CROWLEY: And there are reporters with questions.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is that a direct answer?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's not a direct answer!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An answer to a direct question: Have you ever been arrested?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's not a direct answer.


CROWLEY: A day after the governor of Texas confirmed he was arrested in 1976 for driving under the influence, the question turned from did it happen to has he lied about it.

KAREN HUGHES, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, BUSH CAMPAIGN: The only time Governor Bush has ever been previously asked whether he had been -- ever been arrested for drinking, he responded, quote, "I do not have a perfect record as a youth." That was his response in October of 1996.

CROWLEY: But Wayne Slater of "The Dallas Morning News" says two years ago he asked Bush after a news conference about any arrests after 1968 and Bush said no.

WAYNE SLATER, "THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS": So I was clearly left with the impression that although he said the word no, initially, that he was going to correct that, fix that or talk about an arrest.

CROWLEY: It was Hughes who interrupted the conversation between Slater and Bush two years ago. She agrees with Slater's rendition of the conversation, with one exception. She says the governor does not recall responding no to the question.

Bush has always talked of mistakes and irresponsibility in the past, but he has refused to offer specifics. The details may matter less than the time and the headlines lost as the Bush camp deals with this.

While reporters were asking and writing about a 24-year-old DUI, they were not writing about a campaign that is greeted with raucous overflow crowds or about a campaign that believes Al Gore is running behind.

BUSH: The president will be flying into Arkansas tomorrow to try a last-minute rescue mission. But you need to know something, I'm not worried, I'm flattered. I figure this, if we've got Bill Clinton back in Arkansas and Al Gore back in Tennessee, we must be doing something right.

CROWLEY: For now, if it cannot change the subject, the Bush campaign wants to change the question to something along the lines of who leaked this thing four days before an election?

HUGHES: I think the American people are tired of this kind of gotcha politics. They're tired of this kind of last minute dirty tricks, and I think the Democrats owe the American people an explanation.

CROWLEY (on camera): In fact, the Bush campaign is betting on a public distaste for and fatigue with the airing of personal dirty laundry. As one aide put it, "this won't be the first time the media and the public are on separate wave lengths."

Candy Crowley, CNN, Saginaw, Michigan.


WOODRUFF: A Maine lawyer and former Democratic gubernatorial candidate says he played a major role in the disclosure of information about Bush's 1976 arrest. And he says the Gore campaign was not involved in any way.

CNN's Bill Delaney has more now on how this story broke.


BILL DELANEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On what started out as an ordinary day at Portland, Maine's Cumberland County Courthouse Thursday, extraordinary news. George W. Bush, in 1976, arrested for drunk driving. The messenger, long-time Portland attorney Tom Connolly, who says he just happened to be at the courthouse on an unrelated matter when a local public he refuses to name, a Democrat approached him.

TOM CONNOLLY (D), FORMER MAINE GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: A friend of mine, a person of utmost integrity, came up to me and said, are you aware of the fact that George W. Bush has a 1975 Maine conviction for DUI?

DELANEY: DUI, operating under the influence, for which the political world and beyond now knows Bush paid a $150 fine 24 years ago. Shortly after getting the information, Connolly, somewhat excitedly, he says, told a group of nearby lawyers. He was overheard by a local TV reporter. A few hours later, the story broke. Connolly categorically denies any link to the Gore campaign.

(on camera): How much Gore campaign involvement are you aware of, if any?

CONNOLLY: Zero, and I believe that to a moral certainty.

DELANEY (voice-over): In what sounds like a chapter from a political pot-boiler, Connolly says a now-elderly man who was in the same courtroom with Bush 24 years ago mentioned it to his chiropractor Thursday. The chiropractor then told the unnamed public official who told Connolly.


DELANEY: Connolly has spent most of his career involved with drunk driving cases. He say he thinks that's why the unnamed public official gave him the information. Connolly says he's defended teachers who lost their jobs for drunk driving. He says the same conviction should matter as to who the next most powerful person in the world will be -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Bill, what is Connolly's explanation for not making public the names of the other people involved?

DELANEY: Well, he simply says, Judy, these are friends of his, and they've asked him not to. He's simply honoring their requests. He really won't tell us much about that unnamed public official except to insist again and again that the man is a very upright man, a Democrat, and that again, the Gore campaign had nothing to do with yesterday's revelations.

WOODRUFF: All right, Bill Delaney reporting. Thanks very much -- Bernie.

SHAW: Now, let's move on to the Gore campaign. It is denying any role in bringing Bush's past arrest to the public's attention.

And, as our Jonathan -- John King explains, the vice president's approach to this story is hands off.


JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Just four days to go and a lot of ground to cover -- no time to be distracted. So the Gore campaign followed a careful script: nothing to say.

GORE: I have no comment on this. I want to talk about the issues.

KING: And nothing to do with it. "We categorically deny any involvement," Gore Campaign chairman Bill Daley said in a statement. "It is time," he said, "for Governor Bush's campaign to stop hurling charges and start accepting responsibility."

Social Security is a major Gore focus in the final days. And as he campaigned in Iowa, the vice president seized on a remark the Texas governor says was a slip of the tongue.

GORE: He said, "What do they think Social Security is, some kind of government, some kind of federal program"? Yes, yes.

KING: The crowd loved it, and there was more.

GORE: Do you want to entrust the Oval Office to someone who doesn't even know that Social Security is a federal program?

KING: The Bush remark immediately found its way into a final weekend Gore TV ad aimed at elderly voters in Pennsylvania and Florida.


BUSH: They want the federal government controlling the Social Security like it's some sort of federal program.

NARRATOR: But the bigger mistake is what Bush wants to do to Social Security. Take a trillion dollars out, promising it to young workers and seniors at the same time.


KING: The vice president will campaign in eight states between now and election day: Missouri, Iowa, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Florida. Kansas City was stop one Friday. The vice president eager to draw a contrast. Point:


GORE: My opponent is supported by the HMOs and the insurance companies and the big drug companies.


KING: Counterpoint...


GORE: For 24 years, I have worked for the working people and middle class families of America and along the way I have had many occasions to take on the powerful special interests, and they know where my heart is. My heart is with you.


KING: Top Gore aides say their polls in major battleground states like Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania are looking up heading into the final weekend. And they say there is no way of knowing whether the revelation about the governor's arrest will have any significant impact on the race.

(on camera): But some Gore allies sensed a late campaign opening, suggesting a candidate who says his top priority is restoring integrity to the White House should have been more forthcoming about having broken the law, no matter how long ago.

John King, CNN, Ames, Iowa.


WOODRUFF: Still ahead on INSIDE POLITICS, the running mates and their strategies of dealing with the latest campaign surprise. Plus, Jeff Greenfield on whether certain states will make this presidential election look like some others from the past.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) SHAW: There is no significant change in the latest presidential polls -- four days before voters cast their ballots.

In our CNN/"USA Today"/Gallup tracking poll: George W. Bush leads Al Gore by six points, when interviews conducted over the past three days are averaged. Most of those interviews were conducted before the news broke of Bush's 1976 DUI arrest. A six-day average of interviews shows Bush ahead of Gore by four points.

Now comparing our tracking poll to others, Bush is up by three points in the Reuters/MSNBC survey. He is four points ahead of Gore in the ABC News poll. And "The Washington Post" poll gives Bush a three-point lead.

WOODRUFF: Out on the campaign trail, the vice presidential candidates were faced with dealing with the news of Bush's 1976 arrest.

Deborah Feyerick is on the road with Dick Cheney, and Frank Buckley is traveling with Democrat Joe Lieberman.

And we start in Portland, Maine with you, Deborah, and Cheney's defense of his running mate -- Deborah.

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Judy, Cheney's defense really was try to avoid the subject altogether. He spent the day in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Maine talking instead about tax cuts and rebuilding the military. Even so, these drunk driving arrests, both his and the governor's more than two decades ago, really dogged him throughout the day.


FEYERICK (voice-over): At his first stop in Millersville, Pennsylvania, Dick Cheney made what appeared to be a veiled reference, his one and only Friday, to Governor Bush's drunk-driving arrest.

RICHARD B. CHENEY (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Now we're getting down to the closing days of the campaign, and there's all kinds of stuff flying around out there. But the important thing is that we keep our eye on the able and remember what it is we're going to decide next Tuesday.

FEYERICK: Cheney himself has two arrests for driving under the influence when he was in his early 20s, arrests he disclosed during his 1989 Senate confirmation for defense secretary.

Cheney would not take any questions about the incidents from the national corps, CNN included.

Speaking only to local journalists, Cheney was asked whether the arrests now made Bush's character an issue.

CHENEY: Well, I think he's been very forthright about it.

FEYERICK: Character and integrity have been major themes of each of Cheney's campaign stops. Except for one quick reference, the vice presidential candidate rarely mentioned them on his swing up the Northeast, an omission his press secretary called "mere coincidence." It didn't seem to matter to voters.


FEYERICK: The campaign is really trying to contain these drunk- driving stories right now. They're hoping to buy some time in the three days leading up to the election. However, what they're hoping is that voters instead will focus on what Cheney has been calling the fundamental differences between the candidates -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Deborah, did I understand you to say that on this particular swing in the Northeast, Dick Cheney is not going after Gore on the character -- on the subject of character?

FEYERICK: Well, you know what it is, during all his campaign stops Cheney has really been talking about the fact that character and integrity are what Bush and he are going to restore to the White House. That has been a major theme of every stop that he's had along the road, except for maybe one or two. But today, it was just noticeably absent. And the press corps, who follows him day in and day out, raised that with the spokesperson. And again, she said that if it had been dropped, he didn't prepare his remarks, but it was just sheer coincidence.

WOODRUFF: All right, Deborah Feyerick, thanks very much.

SHAW: Now, checking some new state polls: In Delaware, George W. Bush is holding a four-point lead over Al Gore in a new Mason-Dixon poll. Gore held a slim lead in the last Delaware survey a month ago.

In the battleground state of Wisconsin, Gore is up by six points in a New Research 2000 poll. Two other recent polls in Wisconsin conflicted on who is in the lead. And finally, an "Arizona Republic Poll" shows Bush maintaining a 10-point lead in that state.

What clues does election history give us about November 7th? Joining us now, CNN senior analyst Jeff Greenfield -- Jeff.

JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: Well, Bernie, you know, all this year we've been trying to figure out what other year this one might be like. Maybe it's 1988, when an outside governor is painted into an outside-the-mainstream corner. That's what happened to Michael Dukakis. Or maybe it was 1992, when a fresh-faced outsider beats the experienced Washington hand. That's what Clinton did to Bush.

Well, actually, when you look at the state lineup, it may wind up looking like a couple of familiar races from the past, but races that are nothing like the ones we've known over the last 20 years.

Now, let's go back to 1968: Hubert Humphrey won Pennsylvania and Michigan of the battleground states. Richard Nixon took New Jersey, Ohio and Illinois, and won the popular vote by only 7/10 of 1 percent. Look at 1976, another close race. Jimmy Carter won Pennsylvania and Ohio. Gerald Ford won New Jersey, Illinois and Michigan. Carter won the popular vote by two points and barely made it in the electoral college.

But from 1980 through 1996 -- that's five-straight elections -- the winning candidate has won all of these battleground states -- New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan -- and has won the popular vote by at the least 5 1/2 points.

Now, this, by the way, is why the networks were able to call those races long before polls in the West closed. Now, this is also why so many of us are scratching our heads about this race. It's been almost 25 years since we've had to think like this.

Now, when you throw in the possibility that the candidate with the most votes might actually lose the presidency in the electoral college, well, you've got a nightmare for those of us trying to make sense of it. Our most important tool may be a large supply of Maalox -- Bernie, Judy.

SHAW: Doesn't taste very yummy. Thank you, Jeff.

WOODRUFF: I'm bringing Pepto-Bismol. Good ads here. There's much more ahead on this edition of INSIDE POLITICS. Still to come...


GEORGE H. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I didn't ride in here on a watermelon truck. Something like this four days before an election, come on, give me a break here!



WOODRUFF: ... a father's defense, plus a closer look at the governor's record in Texas on the issue of drunk driving.



AL GORE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm excited, because in these last hours, momentum means a lot.


WOODRUFF: ... Vice President Al Gore on the closing days of this campaign.

And later, approaching the curtain call on a hit show: one Bill Schneider says is worthy of "The Political Play of the Week."



GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are less than 100 hours away from the hour of decision.


WOODRUFF: George W. Bush, rallying supporters in Michigan today, and noting the waning hours of Campaign 2000.


AL GORE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So, I ask you to go and win this election in Missouri where the balance lies.


WOODRUFF: Al Gore encouraging Democratic turnout in one of the most fiercely contested states: Missouri. Gore also will stump in Tennessee this evening after his campaign swings through Iowa and Missouri.

A new poll from the show me state suggests the race there is closer than ever with Bush and Gore dead even. It also remains tight in West Virginia, where a new poll shows Bush leading Gore by two points. The Texas governor campaigns in West Virginia this evening after two rallies in Michigan earlier in the day.

SHAW: As Governor Bush faces possible fallout from his disclosure of a 24-year-old drunken driving arrest, he has a somewhat surprising new supporter in his corner. Former presidential candidate Ross Perot endorsed Bush on CNN's "LARRY KING LIVE" last night.


ROSS PEROT, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There are two horses in the race. We have two people in the race. One of them is going to win. The only thing that matters to me is the citizen who loves this country and wants his children and grandchildren to have a better life than you and I have had and wants this country to be safe and secure during the 21st century. I think that he is clearly the better of the two men.


SHAW: Putting Perot's endorsement in some context now, he has a history of animosity with Governor Bush's family and with Al Gore. Gore was widely hailed as the winner over Perot when these two debated the merits of the North American Free Agreement on "LARRY KING LIVE" in 1993. And of course, Perot ran against former President Bush in 1992, a campaign marked by angry finger-pointing.


PEROT: There has been a 90-day effort to redefine my personality by a group called the Opposition Research and Republican Party. They're generally known as the dirty tricks crowd.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SHAW: Last night, Perot, for the most part, dismissed the revelation of George W. Bush's 1976 drunken driving arrest as a, quote, a mistake from the past. And his old rival, George Herbert Walker Bush says essentially the same thing. The former president defended his son today and questioned the timing of leak.


GEORGE H.W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And look, I didn't ride in here on a watermelon truck, something like this four days before an election, come on, give me a break here.

This man is strong. He is honest. I heard what Gordon said about him in this little hiccup here at the end of this campaign. Stood up, took responsibility, changed his life.


SHAW: Governor Bush's mother and his sister Dorothy, who was in the car when Bush was arrested 24 years ago, also came to his defense today.

WOODRUFF: Now, in light of the revelation about Governor Bush's past, we take a closer look at where he has stood on the issue of drunken driving.

Here is CNN's Charles Zewe.


CHARLES ZEWE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Texas leads the nation in alcohol-related traffic deaths: 1,734 people killed last year, half of all driving fatalities.

RICHARD ALPERT, ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY: We have a problem with alcohol-related deaths. We have too many fatalities.

ZEWE: Richard Alpert is an assistant district attorney in Fort Worth, where there are more than 8,000 pending DWI cases.

ALPERT: And if we are looking at what's killing people in this or really any other state, as much as we fear gangs and other crimes, drunk drivers and vehicles are the major cause of death.

ZEWE: As governor, George W. Bush signed into law a bill reducing the state's blood alcohol limit for driving while intoxicated.

BUSH: For safe streets, I urge you to crack down on drunk driving by lowering the blood alcohol limit to 0.08.

ZEWE: Mothers Against Drunk Driving has praised his efforts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How much have you had to drink tonight?

ZEWE: Texas, however, still stands to lose $96 million in federal highway construction money over the next two years because it's still legal here to carry open containers of booze in vehicles.

Attempts in the Texas legislature to change the law have failed under lobbying pressure from the liquor industry. Federal and state campaign finance reports show the liquor industry has contributed more than $387,000 to Bush's presidential bid and more than a half million dollars to his two campaigns for governor.

Critics of Texas drinking laws also say judges have severely limited the use of sobriety checkpoints by Texas police and state laws are not nearly tough enough on repeat drunk drivers.

Prosecutors, such as Richard Alpert, say more than anything else, he's battling a mindset among Texans in toughening DWI laws.

ALPERT: There's a certain idea of pickup trucks and cans of beer that kind of go together, and I think that's part of the mentality, that people don't see anything wrong or dangerous about drinking and then getting behind the wheel of a vehicle.


BUSH: As a kid, I behaved like a kid at times.


ZEWE: When he ran for governor, Bush signed a form similar to this one swearing to the Texas Republican Party that he had never been convicted of a felony. His main arrest was on a misdemeanor.

Ironically, Bush was called for jury duty at an Austin drunk- driving case four years ago. He was dismissed, however, at the urging of a lawyer he later named to the state Supreme Court, let off jury duty before he could ever be asked in pretrial juror interviews about his own record of drinking and driving.

On a jury questionnaire, though, when asked if he had ever been accused of a crime, Bush left the space blank.

Charles Zewe, CNN, Dallas.


SHAW: And this in addition, according to Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer, this questionnaire was part of the official summons all Texas residents receive when summoned for jury duty. While they acknowledge the question about drunk driving was left blank, Air Fleischer contends an aide to the governor -- an aide to the governor -- filled out the form, not the governor himself, and left 10 other questions blanks as well.

From Governor Bush's record, we turn to a more personal look at who he was back in the days when admits he drank too much and made mistakes. That story from CNN's Bruce Morton.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Who was George W. Bush in 1976? A man in transition, betwixt and between. Flying jets in the Air National Guard ended in '73. He graduated from the Harvard Business School in '75, and moved back to Midland, Texas, where he was exploring the oil business.

"All my friends were in the oil business in one way or another," he writes in his campaign autobiography. Friend Joe O'Neill remembers Bush started as a "landman," looking for drillable land.

JOE O'NEILL, BUSH FRIEND: If there is open acreage, going out and trying to negotiate a lease on that acreage, and then going out and trying to find partners to pay for that lease, you know, co- drafting, like I told you, or he had some partners that would say, you know, "Let's go get that deal, George, you go get it." And George's talent is a people talent.

MORTON: It was a year later, 1977, that he actually got in on some oil holes. That same year, he met Laura, who would become his wife, and a year after that, 1978, when he would run unsuccessfully for Congress.

A big party guy back then?

CHARLES YOUNGER, BUSH FRIEND: He drank and he had a good time, but he wasn't wild and crazy and out-of-control and out-of-bounds.

MORTON: Doug Hannah knew him best in the early '70s.

DOUG HANNAH, BUSH FRIEND: If we went to a party and they were serving liquor, then we would drink it, and we would drink it until it was gone. But that was when we went to parties.

MORTON: The decision to quit came some 10 years later, when Bush was 40.

BUSH: I used to drink too much, and I quit drinking. And I believe it was because Billy Graham planted a seed in my heart one time.

DON JONES, BUSH FRIEND: The decision to stop drinking was something personal. I never saw any episode that would lead me to believe that he had a problem. I just never saw it, and I was with him when he drank socially.

MORTON: The arrest was almost a quarter of a century ago, before he was a husband or a father or a candidate for president of the United States.

Bruce Morton, CNN, Washington.


WOODRUFF: When we return, Al Gore talks to our Jonathan Karl about gun control and about the short road ahead.


SHAW: Busy, busy, busy: These presidential candidates will be hopscotching through key states in the next two days.

Our Jonathan Karl caught up with Vice President Gore, along with his wife and one of his daughters, on the way to today's rally in Ames, Iowa. He began by asking the vice president about the issue of gun control.


GORE: Well, actually I've mentioned it quite often, and the point that I try to make is that there are too many of these cheap handguns in the hands of the wrong people. And nothing that I have proposed is going to affect any hunter or sportsman or law-abiding gun-owner. But criminals and stalkers and those who would put children out with the a gun in places where things like Columbine could take place -- we need some common-sense restrictions there. For example, I cast the tie-breaking vote to close the gun-show loophole; and I think it should be closed.

JONATHAN KARL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): But I don't think I've ever heard you mention your photo licensing proposal, for instance.

GORE: No, I have mentioned it. I have mentioned it a number of times and I think that it's a good proposal, just like a driver's license for a car. It only affects new handguns. It doesn't affect rifles or shotguns. And of course, I have also made proposals that would affect these assault weapons that have no place other than to, you know, to be used for bad purposes. I think they ought to be banned.

KARL: As the crowd waits for your last thought on the last three days -- these last three days and this is what you've been going for 12 years and this is your first run for president. I mean, what do you...

GORE: Well, I'm excited. I'm excited because, in these last hours, momentum means a lot and you can see for yourself the excitement in these crowds and how large they are, and I feel very good about it. This is a fork in the road election, it's a big choice and I want to keep the prosperity going. I want to enrich all of our families, not just a few.


SHAW: When asked about President Clinton's comment on the Tom Joyner show this week on radio -- that Gore was the next best thing to a third Clinton term -- Gore said he appreciated the president's support.

WOODRUFF: Up next, Bill Schneider's political play of the week. Plus, where it all began -- we'll talk to with David Yepsen and David Nyhan about the presidential race from their perspectives in Iowa and near New Hampshire. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Vice President Al Gore stumped today in Iowa, the early caucus state that has now become a presidential battleground. The latest Research 2000 poll puts Gore's Iowa support at 44 percent, with George W. Bush at 4. A PSI Iowa 2000 poll has Bush at 46 with Gore at 43 percent. The state famous for its first in the nation primary is also a battleground. The Research 2000 poll in New Hampshire has Gore at 46 percent, Bush at 42. But, an ARG Poll shows Bush ahead: 45 percent to 40 percent.

Well, joining us now to talk about those early states and more, David Yepsen of "The Des Moines Register" and David Nyhan of "The Boston Globe."

Well, as I just said to both of you, who'd have thunk we'd be here talking about Iowa and New Hampshire in November.

But David Nyhan, let me begin with you. You're in Boston, but New Hampshire is a state in play.

DAVID NYHAN, "THE BOSTON GLOBE": Yes, it's usually a Republican state. Both senators and both Congressman are Republicans and there's a strong anti-tax position. Gore managed to beat Bill Bradley up here by 4 points last February while John McCain was clobbering Bush by 19 points. New Hampshire wasn't crazy about either of one of these fellow, these nominees in February, Judy, and it's still very close. I want to hear Yepsen tell me who's going to win Iowa because I don't know who's going to win New Hampshire.

WOODRUFF: All right, David Yepsen, what is going on in Iowa?

DAVID YEPSEN, "THE DES MOINES REGISTER": Well, the race is very close as those two polls pointed out. I think you -- my feel of this is that Gore is ahead but Bush is closing. The Democrats in the last few elections have had a far superior turnout effort than the Republicans.

But I can tell you the Republicans are energized. I just came from that Al Gore rally, the crowd was a little more subdued than a crowd than a George W. Bush had out here a couple of days ago. So I think that the energy in this campaign right now is on the Bush side here.

WOODRUFF: David Nyhan, what about energy in New Hampshire and in the Northeast in general?

NYHAN: Bush has had a good month of October, a better month than Gore did generally. But this drunk driving arrest and doubts about whether he told the truth about it. If it turns out that Bush lied to "The Dallas Morning News" or if he didn't tell the truth on more applications than just jury duty, but on some other forms, that shoves him over into no controlling legal authority land. And I think it probably is a net loser for Bush on the ground in New Hampshire. Gore only beat Bradley in New Hampshire, I think Judy, because of a superior ground organization. Unions and a real sophisticated vote poll. And Bush did not show anything like that back in February. So if it comes down to who gets their vote out in a very even contest, I could see it going to Gore.

WOODRUFF: What about -- you brought up, David Nyhan, you brought up the drunk driving arrest when Bush was 30 years old. David Yepsen is this -- what is the reaction you are hearing today to this?

YEPSEN: Well, I can tell you the Gore people are not happy about this. I mean, I think this is the sort of thing that could actually help George W. Bush.

You know, there's a statute of limitations in politics and voters resent last-minute stuff like this coming up in a campaign. I also think that the Gore people are worried that they're going to be seen as behind this. They're very quick about denying this today and it's really angered the Bush people.

We had an experience years ago with Governor Harold Hughes, where he was a recovering alcohol. Everyone knew he'd been a drinker, and one of his opponents had raised this issue at the end of the game and it backfired big time.

And so I think this could actually hurt Al Gore. I think it could help George W. Bush with a lot of voters who may have not decided. For those voters who care about that, they've already made up their mind. This is just sort of piling it on at the end, and so I think it could actually probably help Bush.

WOODRUFF: But David Yepsen, you're saying that despite the fact that the fellow up in Maine says that the Gore people had nothing to do it.

YEPSEN: Right. The question is do the undecided voters in this campaign believe that and if the Gore people can tamp this down in the next few days, then maybe it will just go away.

WOODRUFF: David Nyhan, what about the question of just suspicion about how it all came out?

NYHAN: Well. there's no question that it was an important lawyer who's a Democrat and who had been to the Democratic convention, passed it on to a reporter at a TV station and then broke it. The problem is not the offense. I think that Bush is insulated from fears that he'd be a crazy drunk in the White House by the fact that he stopped drinking a long time ago.

The question is if he lied about it and lied more than once, for instance, to "The Dallas Morning News," which apparently the Bush campaign never challenged the account that he'd never arrested and it begins to look a little fishy. It's not the way, if you're Bush, that you wanted to finish up the last four days, I can tell you that.

WOODRUFF: All right. David Nyhan with the "Boston Globe," David Yepsen with "The Des Moines Register." I wanted to ask you both about Nader, but we're going to have to save that for after the election. Thanks very much. YEPSEN: Good to see you again, Judy.

WOODRUFF: Great to see you both, especially in November -- Bernie.

SHAW: Thank you. Since those early days in Iowa and New Hampshire, both candidates have campaigned almost non-stop, crisscrossing this nation to reach potential supporters. And with just days remaining, our Bill Schneider looks back on the highlights of the road to the White House -- Bill.

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Bernie, when a Broadway show goes on for eight months, you call it a hit. When a campaign stays interesting for eight months, you call it the political "Play of the Week."


SCHNEIDER (voice-over): We've certainly gotten good entertainment value from this campaign. Look at all the catch-phrases the candidates have introduced.


GORE: ... Social Security in a lockbox.



GORE: The wealthiest one percent.



GORE: And I stand here tonight as my own man.



GORE: Because want to fight for you.



BUSH: The man's practicing fuzzy math again.



BUSH: We trust the people.



BUSH: Challenge the soft bigotry of low expectations.



BUSH: The American dream is available for every willing heart.


SCHNEIDER: The acting was worthy of an academy award. There were moments of wild improvisation.


BUSH: That is Adam Clymer, a major league *ssh*le from "The New York Times."

CHENEY: Oh, yes. Big time.


SCHNEIDER: At the moment of big decision, each candidate stopped the show.


BUSH: My running mate, Dick Cheney



GORE: The next vice president of the United States of America, Joe Lieberman.


SCHNEIDER: The debates made us gasp in amazement.


BUSH: And I believe I can.

GORE: What about the Dingell-Norwood Bill?


SCHNEIDER: Sometimes they played for laughs.


GORE: With Gore and Lieberman you don't have to worry about pork barrel politics.



BUSH: Number two: give Oval Office one heck of a scrubbing.


SCHNEIDER: And sometimes they laughed at themselves.


GORE: It's absolutely clear. I never exaggerate. You can ask Tipper or any one of our 11 daughters.



BUSH: I'm especially pleased that Mr. Milosevic has stepped down. It's one less polysyllabic name for me to remember.


SCHNEIDER: The candidates stayed true to themselves, right up to the end this week.


GORE: I need your help. I need your vote. I need Chicago.



BUSH: This frightens some in Washington because they want the federal government controlling the Social Security like it's some kind of federal program.


SCHNEIDER: Just look at all the plot twists. The lead in this race has changed five times in the last three months. And here's the best part: We're three days from the end, and we still don't how it's going to turn out. So bravo, candidates, for a long-running hit.

A great play deserves "The Political Play of the Week."


SCHNEIDER: By the way, I hear "The Full Monty" just opened on Broadway, and that, too, looks like it's going to be a big hit. Now, Al, George, don't even think about it.

SHAW: Thank you, Bill Schneider. Well, that's all for this edition of INSIDE POLITICS, but, of course, you can go online all the time at CNN's

WOODRUFF: And stay with CNN tonight for the latest political news throughout the evening. Among the guests tonight: talk show host Rush Limbaugh, who will be on COUNTDOWN TO ELECTION 2000.

Sunday night at 10:00 p.m., Eastern, Bernie and I and analysts Jeff Greenfield and Bill Schneider will be here for a special one-hour report leading up to Tuesday's election. I'm Judy Woodruff.

SHAW: I'm Bernard Shaw. "WORLDVIEW" is next.



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