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Pope Urges President Bush to Reject Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Aired July 23, 2001 - 17:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: This is INSIDE POLITICS. I'm Judy Woodruff in Washington where a who's who of American politics and journalism says farewell to Katharine Graham.

JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm John King with the president in Italy, where the pope urges Mr. Bush to reject what he calls, quote, "the evils of embryonic stem cell research."

MAJOR GARRETT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Major Garrett at the White House. More special interest groups are taking aim at the president's commission on Social Security.

KATE SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Kate Snow at the Capitol where a showdown on the patients' bill of rights is about to begin.

ANNOUNCER: Now, Judy Woodruff takes you INSIDE POLITICS.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: Thank you for joining us.

Much of official and unofficial Washington took time out today for a final tribute to one of this city's most respected figures. The funeral for former "Washington Post" publisher Katharine Graham was held this morning at the National Cathedral. Graham was remembered by family and friends as a shy but strong person who guided "The Post" through turbulent times to help make it one of this nation's most respected newspapers.

We'll have much more on today's service and the extraordinary life of Katharine Graham in just a few minutes.

But first, we turn our attention overseas to President Bush's meeting today with Pope John Paul II. The pope used the meeting to add his voice to a major decision facing the president here at home.

With the very latest, let's go to Rome and CNN's senior White House correspondent, John King -- John.

KING: Well, Judy, the president has been agonizing over this decision for weeks. He has consulted doctors, bio-ethicists, scientists, political advisers. Mr. Bush reaching out to a wide array of consultations on this issue. He says it's one of the toughest decisions he's ever made. Today, he sat next to the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, a man he called one of the world's leading moral voices. And in the language of politics, what the pope did today was play a little hardball.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KING (voice-over): Pope John Paul II is frail, his voice halting but still characteristically blunt, telling his visitor he has a moral duty to oppose using embryonic stem cells for medical research.

POPE JOHN PAUL II: A free and virtuous society, which America aspires to be, must reject practices that devalue and violate human life at any stage from conception until natural death..

KING: The controversial issue did not come up in a closed-door meeting at the pope's summer residence in the foothills south of Rome, but the pontiff raised it in a public statement putting pressure on the president as he weighs whether to allow tax dollars to be used for such research.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And, of course, I'll take that point of view into consideration as I make up my mind on a very difficult issue confronting the United States of America.

KING: He has called it the most difficult decision of his young presidency, the moral case voiced by the Catholic Church and others countered by the promise of medical research using stem cells from human embryos.

BUSH: It's the need to balance value and respect for life with the promise of science and a hope of saving life.

KING: The pope made clear he sees no such dilemma.

POPE JOHN PAUL II: America can show the world the path to a truly human future in which man remains the master not the product of his technology.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KING: Now the Bush White House off to a relatively good start in relations with the Vatican. Aides have figures that mostly to the president's outspoken opposition to abortion, but that good will could be tested by the stem cell debate. The pope called it one of the great moral questions of the new century, and he's made clear that he'll be watching closely as the president makes his decision -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: The White House has known all along, John, that the president would be making this decision over the summer. Did they not calculate, did they not assume that the pope was going to make such a strong statement against embryonic stem cell research?

KING: Well, certainly, as the president said today, the pope's position was no surprise. As of early yesterday, though, most White House aides did not expect it to come up in a closed-door meeting. They said they didn't expect any public statements, but late yesterday, the White House did get advance notice from the Vatican that the pope had decided to make that very strong public statement, a statement made with the president seated only a few feet away, a statement already reverberating back in the United States as the political debate continues and the president as he's agonizing over this decision -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, John King, reporting from Italy on the president's trip.

Now for much more on the president's meeting with the pope and Mr. Bush's political appeals to Catholic voters here at home, I'm joined here in Washington by Ron Brownstein of "The Los Angeles Times."

Ron, you've been looking at the politics of this issue. What do you make of the pope's remarks today?

RON BROWNSTEIN, "LOS ANGELES TIMES": Well, it really underscores the extent to which the president has made a situation more difficult and more complex by taking so long to make a decision. I mean, you can empathize with the complexities of all of the issues that he has to work through. But in a practical sense, what he's done is allowed the advocates on both sides more time to make their case, to raise the visibility of the issue, and to really put him in a sort of cross pressure that is very difficult to see a winning exit from. Just look at the last few hours where you had the pope on the one hand today making a very impassioned plea. Just a few days ago, he received letters from a filibuster proof majority of senators making clear they want him to go forward, as well as many as 40 House Republicans already indicating. So it's possible that whatever the president does, Congress could still come in and say, "We want this research to go forward."

WOODRUFF: Ron, how does this issue fit in with the president's overall political strategy?

BROWNSTEIN: Judy, one of the top political priorities in the White House is to improve share of vote among Catholics, and not Catholics in general but religiously observant Catholics. One of the most interesting trends of the last few elections is that Americans are dividing not only by religious affiliation whether they're Catholic or Protestant or Jewish, but by religious practice, how often they go to church. The fact is that the president does very well amongst people who are -- and Republicans do well among people who more likely attend church more often. The president is hoping to pick up his share among those religiously observant Catholics, which is now about three-fifths of them voted for him. He wants to pick that up closer to the share that he received among religiously observant white Evangelical Protestants, which is about four-fifths. That would take him a long way toward building the governing majority that he's seeking.

WOODRUFF: So, that's precisely -- I mean, you're saying they're being very precise about what they are trying to accomplish?

BROWNSTEIN: Look at the travel log of the president. Almost every city that he visits, he finds time to meet with the senior Catholic official that is there. He's met with two dozen bishops, archbishops, cardinals. He's very conscious of using Catholic social gospel language in explaining a lot of his social priority, the faith- based initiative. I mean, I think they see themselves as building almost, in effect, a moral majority here. They have done very well with voters who are more likely to attend church. And it's true even within denominations, Judy, white Evangelical Protestants who attend church are much more likely to vote for Bush and vote Republican than other Protestants who don't' attend church. Catholics, as I said, 60 percent of regular churchgoers voted for Bush. Sixty percent of Catholics who don't attend church at least once a week voted for Gore.

WOODRUFF: Are there any risks for him, though, in going after these more religiously observant Catholics?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, the risk is that if you divide the electorate primarily along lines of values, you may have a zero-sum game for both parties. I mean, the fact is that secular voters, the least religious voters in society, are now voting overwhelmingly Democratic. And as I said, even as Bush has pushed his vote up among the more observant Catholics, there's some evidence that the Republican vote is going down among the less observant Catholics. So the question is whether either side really can build a stable majority? We're pretty well divided evenly on this as we are politically. About half the country attends church regularly, about half the country doesn't attend church regularly. So if each party sort of sorts out along these lines, it's not clear that either can gain a decisive advantage.

WOODRUFF: All right, Ron Brownstein of "The Los Angeles Times," thank you, Ron.

And coming up a little later this evening on CNN, we will have a special report on the president, the pope and the stem cell dilemma. Now that's tonight at 10:00 p.m. Eastern.

Meantime, the White House Commission on Social Security meets here in Washington tomorrow to begin public debate on the program's future. Now for more on that meeting and criticism of the commission's preliminary findings, let's go to Major Garrett who's at the White House -- Major.

GARRETT: Judy, Democrats will tell you they have never, ever, ever lost a debate with Republicans when it comes to Social Security. And they see this president's commission, whose mandate is to create a means by which the country can privatize Social Security, as an enormous red bull's eye on this Bush White House. And today was perfect example of it. Across 40 states in the United States, more than 100 events organized either by the Democratic National Committee or by labor, civil rights or women's group opposed to the idea of privatizing Social Security. And on Capitol Hill, every Democratic woman member of the House opposed the president's push for privatization and said why.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GARRETT (voice-over): Every female Democrat in the House denounced a Social Security commission's report as a scare sheet designed to driveway a wedge between women and Social Security.

REP. ROSA DELAURO (D), CONNECTICUT: The commission is attempting to frighten minorities and women and is beyond cynical. And I promise you that we will spare no effort to expose these distortions because, in fact, these are the very groups that depend on our retirement system the most.

GARRETT: The report highlights financial woes millions of older women face. Many begin with smaller pensions because they are paid less and often work less. For these same reasons, Social Security benefits are also smaller. Even so, Social Security accounts for half the income of widows and divorcees over 65 and more than 90 percent of the income for women who never married. Women also live about five years longer than men. And taken together, it's no surprise the poverty rate for women over 65 is 70 percent higher than for men.

DARCY OLSEN, CATO INSTITUTE: Generally speaking, women are disproportionately dependent on Social Security when they retire. And the problem with that for women is that Social Security is going broke. And so this is a problem that is increasingly important for women and a reform that is absolutely necessary.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GARRETT: Now the president's reform again is to privatize the system to allow younger workers voluntarily to take some portion of their payroll taxes, which are currently 12 1/2 percent, maybe as much as two percent of that payroll tax, set it aside to invest in stocks and bonds. But Democratic critics say if you take that money out of the system, Judy, how do you put it back in, how do you maintain Social Security when you take those payroll taxes out? Yes, it may be a better deal for younger workers, but what happens to those who are near Social Security retirement age? It will be up to the commission to come up with those answers. And the president's No. 1 ally in that pursuit is Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a Democrat from New York, known far and wide as one of the protectors here in Washington of Social Security as we've come to know it -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Major, not to suggest that there aren't serious policy questions involved here, but what are the politics behind this commission's preliminary report?

GARRETT: The politics are essentially this, Judy. You have one enormous program: Social Security. It is the retirement system for every American. What that means is everyone is a special interest group. And what the whole reform movement is about is piecing together small blocks of voters, some cases large blocks of voters, to get them behind the reform movement. It's no accident at all that this preliminary draft from the president's commission talked about Social Security and women, talked about Social Security and minorities, pointing out that not only is insolvency, which begins they say in 2016, a problem, but benefit cuts, higher taxes also a problem. But the system itself does not deliver in the lines of those who drafted this report enough for minorities and women. Trying to get them on board, trying to get them behind the president's effort to reform the system, which I have said before, means only one thing: that's privatization -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, Major Garrett at the White House. And Major will be coming back to you in just a moment on another issue.

Meantime on Capitol Hill, the political focus has turned to the upcoming debate over the proposed patients' bill of rights. Let's go now to CNN congressional correspondent Kate Snow.

Kate, we understand there's some late developments there in the House with Republicans?

SNOW: Just in terms of the timing, Judy, there is agreement on both sides that this is going to be a nasty fight, that this is going to be a close vote. And we're told now by several senior Republicans, including some of those involved in this debate, that they're going to probably hold off until Friday to take this vote. That's a little later than everyone had thought. Republicans conceding that they need the help of President Bush who returns back tomorrow night. They need him to start working the phones, calling some important members trying to get them to back their version, the Republican version of a patients' bill of rights.

There are two different versions: one that the president has already backed from, which is from Ernie Fletcher -- a second one, which is similar to the version that already passed the Senate. Now the two patients' bill of rights have some common ground. Both of them would allow for guarantees to emergency room access, also for access to specialists for people who are in HMOs. They also allow patients to take complaints to an outside review board, and both would codify a patient's right to sue. But that's where the differences come up in terms of how and where patients can sue. Both the Fletcher-Peterson bill, which is backed by the White House, and the Ganske-Dingell-Norwood bill, which is backed by the Democratic leadership, both allow suits in federal court but with slightly different requirements.

In state court, the Fletcher measure allows only limited suits when an HMO ignores the decision of an outside review panel. And then on damage awards, another key difference, both bills allow states to set limits on damages. In federal cases though, the pain and suffering damages under the Fletcher bill would be at $500,000 would be the cap. Under the Ganske-Dingell-Norwood bill, there are unlimited pain and suffering damages. And then finally, punitive damages meant to punish an HMO, there is no limit on -- rather there are no punitive damages allowed under the Fletcher-Peterson bill. But under the Ganske-Dingell-Norwood bill, there are civil penalties, also known as punitive damages, allowed up to $5 million. All of that said, it all breaks down to an argument by Republicans and the backers of the Fletcher bill that their bill would rein in lawsuits, that it would not allow as much litigation. Those on the other side contend that they need to have those rights for patients in order for patients to be protected -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Kate, as you point out, this can be a terribly complex issue. Does either side, though, have a political advantage going in here? SNOW: Well, again, both sides conceding that this is going to be very close. I can tell you that Democrats say they think they have all of their ducks in a row. In other words, they think all the Democrats will support the Norwood-Ganske-Dingell bill. They're even hard to put out there. But on the other side, the Fletcher bill, the Republicans think that they have a pretty good case, that they think they're down to I'm told just a handful of votes. I spoke with Ernie Fletcher, Dr. Fletcher, just a short time ago, and he says it's just a matter of convincing those key five to 10 members to support them. They also believe they won't bring this up for a vote until they're really sure they can pass it and get to the president -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, Kate Snow at the Capitol.

And now, I want to bring back Major Garrett at the White House on the subject of patients' bill of rights.

Major, we heard Kate say the Republicans are holding off a few more days. They really are -- they are partially waiting for the president to get back from his trip to start lobbying some of these wavering members of Congress. What's the White House going to do?

GARRETT: Well, the White House is going to do exactly what Kate Snow indicated. The president is going to start working the phones. He's going to do more than that. He's going to continue to meet here at the White House as he did up until the time he left for this European trip with Republicans in the House who have yet to commit to that bill, the Fletcher-Thomas-Peterson bill that Kate Snow talked about, the bill the Republican majority and the House supports and the White House supports.

Now the president was to have made some phone calls during his European trip, but during the trip, White House advisers decided that wasn't going to be really good enough. Phone calls wouldn't be good enough. Face-to-face meetings are really what is going to be required. And this is going to be a crucial test of the president's personal ability to persuade many of these House Republicans to change their position. What do you mean change their position? Well, many of them in an earlier Congress voted for the Democratic bill, the Norwood-Ganske-Dingell bill. To get them to change that vote and have to explain that to their constituents is no small feat. That's why it's been so tough for the White House to achieve this, to pull these Republicans off a bill they have already a history of supporting to come to a new one. And that's why negotiations, intense negotiations continue.

And I can tell you, Judy, that last week while the president was gone, Charlie Norwood, Republican from Georgia, who was sponsoring that other bill, was here at White House. He met for two hours with Josh Bolton, who is the president's deputy chief of staff. They talked about this liability issue to try to find out if there was any way that the two sides could be reconciled in advance of this vote. All the intelligence I've gathered is that they did not come to an agreement, but discussions will continue as the White House continues to press not only Republicans in the House to change their vote -- and if that doesn't work, try to work with Mr. Norwood to find out if any impasse, any way can be broken, rather, through the impasse that currently exists.

WOODRUFF: Major, as you know, Congressman Norwood has been having ongoing discussions with the White House. What happens if they don't reach some sort of reconciliation language on this?

GARRETT: Well, the White House says what they'll do is continue to talk to Dr. Norwood up until the time of the vote. And Kate Snow is absolutely right. This vote has been pushed back to Friday because the House leadership needs more time. Whether it's 10 votes or 15 votes away, and you can get various tout sheets from House Republicans and House Democrats and even here at the White House exactly how far the president is away. They're not going to bring that bill to the floor until they are sure that they can win. So it's going to be up to the president. Once he returns tomorrow night, Wednesday is the day this will all begin, face-to-face to meet with those members, to push them over to the bill that he wants to support, and what may in fact be required, Judy, is a promise from the president that, "If you stand with me now, we will work out a conference with that Senate bill that was passed with many Democratic votes that is more -- that allows more lawsuits. I will work out a compromise that you can support and that will fit with your political district needs. And then we'll have a bill that we can all sign and all turn into law." That will probably have to be the assurance the president gives these members to bring them across the divide they currently have yet to across -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, Major Garrett at the White House on the patients' bill of rights.

Stay with us. This is INSIDE POLITICS.

ANNOUNCER: The House majority leader talks taxes and other key issues. A live interview with Representative Dick Armey next. Also ahead, tributes and farewells as Washington's elite gather for the funeral of Katharine Graham. We will discuss Graham's lasting impact on her city and her profession. Plus, a South Dakota split over the tax cut, why the state's two Democratic senators are off message on one of the year's biggest political issues. Live from Washington, Judy Woodruff brings you more of INSIDE POLITICS straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Joining us now from Capitol Hill, the majority leader of the House of Representatives, Congressman Dick Armey of Texas.

Congressman Armey, I know you are aware of what Pope John Paul II had to say to President Bush today about the issue of embryonic stem cell research. Do you think this will make a material difference in the president's decision on federal funding?

REP. RICHARD ARMEY (R-TX), MAJORITY LEADER: Oh, I think this is a very serious decision with the president. Obviously, he's going to listen to the pope. He's listened to a lot of other people. But he is really I think a man that's gotten within himself to say, "Who am I really truly on this issue and how do I resolve this moral dilemma between the search for a cure and the desire to preserve innocent human life?" It is probably one of the most profound things I've had the privilege of watching, a real serious adult person in a position of enormous responsibility wrestling with the fundamentals of the question: Who am I and what do I stand for in a serious issue that is this complex and this important on both sides of the issue?

WOODRUFF: Mr. Armey, the Republican Party is to a degree split as I know you know over this issue. You and those who feel very strongly that this research should not go forward have written the president a very strongly worded letter. Some Republicans since then have spoken up and said in effect you are boxing the president in, making it harder for him for whatever decision he makes because he will be opposed whatever he does by some part of his own political party. What do you say to that?

ARMEY: I don't think there's a worry about that. Obviously, they don't know George W. Bush. He will not be boxed in by me, by the pope or by anybody else. This is a man who knows himself and will come to terms with himself on this issue. I hope that the letter I sent is a valuable piece of information, gives him insight into a point of view. But in the end, nobody is going to box George W. Bush in on an issue like this. This is going to be a serious man coming to terms with himself on a serious matter and I have not a doubt about it.

WOODRUFF: Mr. Armey, let me turn you now to another subject that I know you've been giving a lot of thought to lately, and that is taxes and what to do about the tax code. Today, the head of the president's Council of Economic Advisers said that now that the tax cut is behind the administration, it is much more sensible, much more feasible to focus on incremental tax changes rather than a complete overhaul of the tax code. Do you agree with that?

ARMEY: Well, I'm wrestling with that question myself. I have been advocating a one-shot, you know, winner take all, all or nothing, complete overhaul. My own view is that may be the only way it can get done. I was there this morning with Glen, and I understand the Council of Economic Advisers saying, "Well, maybe we can do it a bit at a time." I think we need to make the reforms. There are clearly some things in this tax code that are onerous and clearly first-choice objectives like the alternative minimum tax. But I'm a little fearful that we can get bogged down and end up with more complexity rather than less complexity.

But the exciting part is the president, the White House is involved in the debate and is looking down the road to see what more can we do to relieve the burden of this onerous code on the American people?

WOODRUFF: Well, I know one of the arguments Glen Hubbard made today was that with all the focus on the tax cut and the affect it's having on the size or the shrinking size of the surplus, now is not the time to take on a perhaps very controversial, complete overhaul of the tax code. Do you agree that that should be a concern?

ARMEY: No, I don't. I think right now, first of all, if indeed you wanted to have a larger surplus, then have a larger economy growing at a faster rate. I believe if the economy believes it's going to be lifted from this burden of $1.2 billion to $2 billion a year in just red tape in the tax code that just weighs them down, interferes with their ability to function, forces them to make decisions made on tax policy instead of economic criteria, I believe that could be a big growth injection in the economy. And we ought to be bold on that matter. Growth is a very important part of the American experience and the tax code today, I think, interferes with growth in a lot of different ways.

Finally Congressman Armey, Gary Condit, the congressman, very much at the center of this controversy over the disappearance of the intern, Chandra Levy. You spoke with Congressman Condit last week. Do you have a sense of his plans with regard to either staying in or resigning from Congress?

ARMEY: Actually, we did not discuss that. But I tell you one thing, Gary is very clear his hope and his first prayer is for Chandra Levy. He still holds out hope that she's safe. Hopes that we will find her safe. And frankly, I believe that he is more concerned right now with that question and would hope that the attention would go back to that issue, find this young lady, hope that she's safe, find her safe and help her get her life back together is more important right now I think in Gary's mind and certainly in the minds of most of us than the question of Gary's political future.

WOODRUFF: So you don't -- in a word, you don't agree with those of your Republican colleagues who are calling on him to resign?

ARMEY: I think that's between he, his family and his constituents. I don't think it's something he's asked our opinion on, and I'm not sure that we're welcome to venture our opinion in the matter.

WOODRUFF: All right, House majority leader Dick Armey, thank you very much sir. Good to see you again.

A professional athlete takes center stage at a trial featuring strippers and alleged mob connections. The latest on the so-called Gold Club case from Atlanta. And, new hope in the fight against Alzheimer's. A look at some of the day's other top stories, just ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Paying respect and sharing stories: Politicians, the media, and the public bid a final farewell to one of the first ladies in American journalism: Katharine Graham. Their tributes next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BEN BRADLEE, FORMER "WASHINGTON POST" EDITOR: Great owners help reporters and editors shine a bright light on the darkest corners of society. This is what Kay Graham brought to the table, plus so much more. Like a love for news, a love for answers, and a love for the piece of the action.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: From the powerful to the everyday citizen, they gathered here in Washington today, to celebrate the life of Katharine Graham. Some remembered a strong leader, a loyal friend; others, a quiet revolutionary.

CNN national correspondent Bruce Morton has more on a day of tributes.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whether we live therefore, or die, we are the lords.

BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was a funeral service and it was a picture of the Washington establishment, the power structure of the United States. Politicians of both parties, elder statesmen, tycoons like Bill Gates and Rupert Murdoch, gathered at the National Cathedral to remember a woman who yielded great power and was also a great friend.

HENRY KISSINGER, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: In the pain of this moment, none of us would trade places with those whose lives were never touched by Kay Graham.

MORTON: Cellist Yo-Yo Ma played Bach.

BRADLEE: Well, Mum, what a way to go. Yo-Yo Ma to send you on your storied way.

MORTON: Ben Bradlee, the man that she hired as the editor of "The Washington Post," remembered Graham in the shower when President Reagan called about a story "The Post" was going to run.

BRADLEE: Kay comes flying out of the shower, soaking wet and grabs a towel and starts to look for a pencil and some paper. The paper gets soggy, the pencil punctures the paper. But finally she's ready. Brenda Star, girl reporter, is at the scene and ready to go.

Maybe not all of you understand exactly what is takes to a make a great newspaper: it takes a great owner, period. An owner who commits herself with passion and the highest standards in principles to a simple search for the truth.

MORTON: Her children remembered a woman who, at the beginning, wasn't sure she could be such an owner.

LALLY WEYMOUTH, KATHARINE GRAHAM'S DAUGHTER: It's true, that in the very beginning, she used to practice her speech to "The Washington Post" Christmas party, over and over again in our bedroom. And make us listen to Merry Christmas.

But ultimately, she found her voice, as many of you know. STEPHEN GRAHAM, KATHARINE GRAHAM'S SON: She loved scoops. Her only question was: are you sure you're right? She favored fairness, daring, digging, honesty, nonpartisanship.

MORTON: So Washington said good-bye to a woman who changed a newspaper, changed the role of women in her lifetime, changed her country and its politics. What a journey she had.

BRADLEE: She was a spectacular dame and I loved her very much.

MORTON: Bruce Morton, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: Joining me now from "The Washington Post" news room, Columnist David Broder.

David, it was about as close to a state funeral as a private citizen ever gets. You know, newspaper publishers come and go. What elevated her?

DAVID BRODER, "WASHINGTON POST": I think her character, more than anything else, Judy. This was much more than a tribute to a business woman, or a publisher. This was a tribute to a person. And I thought Senator Danforth of Missouri, retired senator Jack Danforth, who, as you know, is an Episcopal priest, was so insightful when he talked about how she really, in a city of people who sought power, she had power. But she used it to empower other people.

All of us who worked for her, felt that we had that backing from her. But her reach was far beyond that. And I think we've all learned in this past week, how many lives she really touched.

WOODRUFF: I can say from a personal standpoint, that is true. David, we heard Bruce Morton say in his report, she changed its country and its politics. Is that an overstatement?

BRODER: I don't think so. Let me give you just one example of many. At the service today, after the service, I saw Representative David Dreier of California, as you know, the Republican chairman of the House Rules Committee. And I was touched that he was there.

And I said, thank you for coming. And he said, I came for my mother. And I said, what do you mean? He said, when my dad died a few years ago, my mother was 76, and because she had read Mrs. Graham's book, she said, I can take over the family business. I don't have to give it to somebody else.

There were so many people around this country whose lives were changed because of Katharine Graham in particular, of course, because of that magnificent autobiography she wrote.

WOODRUFF: On the journalism side, David, what difference does it make, in the capital city of this nation, that the older of our two newspapers, "The Washington Post" had an owner who believed so fiercely in an independent press? BRODER: Well, it's made an enormous difference because governments always, presidents always, tried to muscle the press. She knew that. And her first encounter is the publisher -- was of course with a man that she knew very well, Lyndon Johnson, who tried to muscle her and the paper, and failed. And every successive president has tried to do that. So having a woman of that character, with that kind of steel backbone, just has meant everything to what people know and learn about what is going on in government.

WOODRUFF: Is that so unusual in journalism today, David? These are subjects you pay very close attention to.

BRODER: Well, she is a role model for publishers, I think that there is a move underway already to create an award in her name that would be given to other publishers, who show the same kind of fierce independence, and provide the kind of strong backing for the journalists who work for them that Kay Graham provided for all of us.

WOODRUFF: Anybody on the horizon, remote likely her, David Broder?

BRODER: Well, I am sure that there are wonderful young publishers around the country. I have met a few of them. But I count myself very lucky, as all of us here do, that I had the privilege of working for the one who couldn't -- you could not hope to have a greater publisher or a greater friend than Kay Graham was for all of us.

WOODRUFF: All right. David Broder joining us from the newsroom of "The Washington Post."

For many of us, it may be has been a day of reflection. Remembering the lessons that we learn from Katharine Graham, the courage we witnessed and the person we knew. Here is what just a few of her friends and colleagues told me today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: She had to put aside the way that she was raised and to really get out there, and talk about what she believed in and overcome some of her inner doubts, which all women have, and she overcame them in a brilliant way, and yet, never lost her humanity or her ability to identify with men and women, but for the weaknesses that we all have.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Clearly, she has a place in history, because she made history. In the case of Watergate and the case of the Pentagon Papers and in the case of other major stories, including Iran Contra. And "The Washington Post" under her leadership was responsible for those issues being ventilated and many of them changed the course of the way that we do business here in Washington.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARBARA WALTERS, ABC NEWS: She had enormous guts. I mean, she could have really taken a back seat and nearly fought for the Pentagon Papers, and certainly could have backed down when it came to Watergate. She -- her newspaper brought down a president. And she was enormously criticized. I mean, the president at that time, President Nixon, would have done anything to have gotten her and her reporters diminished and -- and -- and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) on. She had such guts. And it's an inheritance that we all benefit from today.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRADLEE: She had an enormous influence, not only on the country, but this town, you know, there are people here who have seen through the help, through the schools, and the hospitals, and one is a legendary (UNINTELLIGIBLE) And plus she was -- she drew a good hand and she played it well.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: Just some of the people who knew Kay Graham best. If you want to read more of Katharine Graham's life and work, we have a section devoted to her at cnn.com. AOL keyword: cnn.

INSIDE POLITICS will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: The waiting and the wondering over about what Massachusetts Congressman Marty Meehan plans to do today. Today with his family by his side, the five-term Democrat says he intends to seek re-election. He had been thinking about a run for governor. But Meehan said several issues persuaded him to take another term in Congress. Among them, a fight for reform that he has been waging for 9 years.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MARTY MEEHAN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: The fight to clean this nation's campaign finance laws have been temporarily stalled in Washington. It's a fight I simply cannot walk away from and it's a fight I intend to win.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: Meehan also said he does not want to see his district dismantled, which, at the moment, is one possibility as Massachusetts and other states begin to redraw their Congressional maps. Our Congressional correspondent Kate Snow traveled to two states to look at the practice and the politics of redistricting.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, it's 90 percent political.

SNOW (voice-over): In Maryland, the battle over redistricting is decidedly one-sided. Senate President Mike Miller is a Democrat. So is the house speaker and the governor. Maryland isn't losing or gaining any Congressional seats. But armed with new census data, the legislature will redraw boundaries and it's no secret what Senator Miller has in mind.

MIKE MILLER (D), MARYLAND SENATE PRESIDENT: I don't want to lose Democratic seats on my watch. You know, I am not out to hurt Republicans but at the same time, I am not about to hurt any Democrats.

SNOW: Miller has already picked his targets. One of them is a woman who has been elected to Congress eight times in the suburban area just outside of Washington, Republican Connie Morella.

MILLER: She's gone. She's gone. Lost and found in the border town, looking for the diamond ring, she is gone.

SNOW: Likely scenario, expanding Morella's district, bringing in areas with larger minority populations who tend to vote for Democrats.

REP. CONNIE MORELLA (R), MARYLAND: Shakespeare said, "Oh, it's wondrous to have the strength of a giant, but it's tyrannous to use it as a giant." And I would say that of some of this political power that some state legislators in the lead have.

SNOW: It's a microcosm of what's happening all over the country.

AMY WALTER, "COOK POLITICAL REPORT": It's a little bit like the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) coming back, and I don't know if it's 7 or 8 years, but at the state level, there are state legislators who control the process and every ten years, they become the most important people on earth.

SNOW: Maryland is one of seven states where Democrats control the process. In eight states, Republicans hold the reins, five have nonpartisan commissions, and the rest are either split or only have one House district.

Pennsylvania is losing two Congressional seats, and suddenly, current representatives are worried about their jobs.

JOHN PERZEL (R), PENNSYLVANIA HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER: I've seen more Congressmen in the last year than I have seen in the last 10.

SNOW: Pennsylvania Majority Leader John Perzel is the man to lobby. In Harrisburg, Republicans run the show, Perzel hopes to drive two Democrats out of office and pick up another Republican seat as well. Democrat Joe Hoeffel sees the writings on the wall.

REP. JOE HOEFFEL (D), PENNSYLVANIA: All 21 members want to run for re-election. So it's a tough thing that the state legislature has to go through. So I knew it was coming. SNOW: Hoeffel's district in suburban Philadelphia is likely to be merged with Bob Borski's district to the south. The two Democrats will have to run against each other.

TERRY MADONNA, MILLERSVILLE UNIVERSITY: Make no mistake about it: The Republicans in this state, the House leaders in particular, have laid out a claim -- we will reduce the Democratic congressional delegation by 50 percent.

SNOW (on camera): A sea change in Pennsylvania could have strong implications here on Capitol Hill. Nationwide Republicans hope to gain at least a handful of seats through redistricting, helping them keep their slim majority in the House.

Kate Snow, CNN live, Capitol Hill.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: All right, Kate at the Capitol.

Well, two senators from the same state and the same party divided by the tax cut. Straight ahead, why one senator considers the rebate checks a bad idea while the other brags about his role in making them possible.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle no doubt is used to disagreement from colleagues on big issues like the recent federal tax cut, but you may have been surprised that fellow South Dakotan and Democrat Tim Johnson aired those differences so publicly.

CNN congressional correspondent Jonathan Karl joins me now.

Jonathan, we know Tom Daschle was against this tax cut. What's going on with Senator Johnson, his Democratic colleague, trying to use this to his advantage?

KARL: Well, the first thing, of course, South Dakota is an overwhelmingly Republican state. It's a state that voted overwhelmingly for George W. Bush in the last election.

Now Johnson is up for re-election next year. This is expected to be one of the most hotly contested Senate races in the country. So Johnson treating the tax issue much differently obviously than Tom Daschle.

First of all, Johnson was one of those 12 Democrats who voted for the tax cut. He is up now already with a campaign ad touting his role in making that cut possible. It's a radio ad. This is what it says.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, JOHNSON CAMPAIGN AD)

SEN. TIM JOHNSON (D), SOUTH DAKOTA: Hi, this is Tim Johnson. Starting next week, most South Dakota families are going to receive something a bit unusual from the federal government. A check. You'll be receiving a tax rebate of between $300 and $600. It won't make you rich, but it will help families make ends meet. It's the first installment of a tax cut I helped pass in Congress.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KARL: So there you have Tim Johnson talking about the tax cut that he helped pass. Now Tom Daschle, just as this tax cut ad was just getting on the airwaves in South Dakota, Senator Tom Daschle on Friday had this to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TOM DASCHLE (D-SD), MAJORITY LEADER: I don't like this particular rebate, because 20 percent of my South Dakotans are not going to get a check. Taxpaying South Dakotans will not get a check.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KARL: So Tom Daschle, of course, has been on the front lines on every possible aspect of this tax cut, criticizing it, but also criticizing it for not helping South Dakota. This is an interesting problem for Daschle that's not going to be limited to South Dakota. There were 12 Democrats who voted for that tax cut, including several Democrats that are going to have tough re-election battles next year.

So the question is, how are they going to -- you know, the national leadership going against the tax cut. Those Democrats campaigning on the tax cut. It's going to be interesting to watch.

WOODRUFF: This didn't have anything to do with Senator Johnson facing any opposition next go-round, would it?

KARL: Well, it's interesting to see how combative that race is going to be. We are now 16 days -- 16 months away from the campaign, from the election, and there isn't even a declared Republican candidate and Johnson's already had two ads up and running. John Thune -- there have been reports over the last few weeks that John Thune, the congressman, the sole congressman from South Dakota, was now leaning in favor of a run for the Senate -- he had been talking about running for governor. I talked to Thune last week and asked him if that was correct, if his thinking had now changed. And he said that he is, in fact, leaning much more toward a Senate race than he was before, but is still not ready to say how he'll play this one.

WOODRUFF: All right, Jon Karl, congressional correspondent, thanks.

INSIDE POLITICS will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: One more word about Katharine Graham. Washington's story is a story of highs and lows. Through it all, presidents, senators, members of the Cabinet come and go. But there is a part of Washington that endures: The press is one part of that, whether it's the newspapers, "The Washington Post" or others, whether it's television news. There's a part of Washington that what Henry Kissinger today called "the permanent Washington."

He said: "Katharine Graham, who is perhaps the most permanent fixture in this capital, never lost sight of the fact that it thrives not by victories, but by ultimate reconciliation."

I think that's a point for all of us to remember: Even as we revel in the political combat and the partisan divide -- we love a good fight -- if Katharine Graham reminded us that it is -- what matters is what's finally, ultimately done in reconciliation, a spirit of reconciliation, that that is what matters, then that's one more rich piece of her legacy that this remarkable woman leaves behind. Katharine Graham.

That is all for this edition of INSIDE POLITICS, but of course you can go online all the time at CNN's Allpolitics.com. AOL keyword: CNN.

Our e-mail address is insidepolitics@cnn.com. I'm Judy Woodruff. "FIRST EVENING NEWS" is next.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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