CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Interview with Rudolph Giuliani and Bob Dole
Aired January 29, 2002 - 22:28 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.
LARRY KING, HOST: Good evening. Thank you very much Aaron and Judy and Jeff. It's good to be with you. We're going to be with you for the next 90 minutes, taking you right up to midnight Eastern time with some outstanding guests. We'll also, throughout the program, be including your phone calls. And later in the show, the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Bob Woodward will give us his wrap on it.
But right now, we are going to go to New York to the former -- it's hard to say this -- former mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani. He's with us exclusively tonight. It's great to have him aboard, looking so -- well, what's it like being former?
RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER MAYOR, NEW YORK CITY: Well, I'm also, you know, a former baseball player when I was very young and a former other...
KING: Former kid.
GIULIANI: Former kid, right.
KING: What is it like --
GIULIANI: You keep moving on in life. It's a -- it's really great. It's the time of -- where I can reflect on what happened and move forward in private life and I think it's part of the whole idea of people being citizens, you know, even citizen politicians. So, I -- this is a great time for me, a beautiful time for me.
KING: Before we ask about State of the Union and other things, what do you miss about the job?
GIULIANI: The daily press conferences.
KING: Oh, yes.
What do you miss the most?
GIULIANI: It's one of the greatest jobs in the world, being mayor of New York City, so of course you miss a lot of aspects of it. But, you know, I had a long time to get prepared for life after being mayor since I was the first mayor that had term limits. It didn't happen suddenly. I wasn't defeated. So, you know, I started thinking about this a year, a year and a half ago.
So it's very -- it's a very interesting period for me and a good one. I'm writing a book and it gives me a chance to reflect on all the things that I did and why I did them and maybe kind of explain it in theories.
KING: And also, to be honest, making some money, right?
GIULIANI: Oh, yes, not bad. You know, after all, we are not communists.
KING: Yes, not paid.
GIULIANI: That's a line from "The Godfather". Remember that? You know, hey, after all, we're not communists.
KING: Funny you would remember a line from that...
GIULIANI: We believe in the free enterprise system, a part of democracy.
KING: OK. Your reaction to this speech tonight?
GIULIANI: I thought it was a very philosophical. In some ways, kind of a spiritual address. I mean, it wasn't the usual set of 50 programs. There were some programs, but it was overarching kind of a State of the Union Address. It was certainly made clear that President Bush is going to carry out the promise he made on September 20 to make sure that we continue this effort, this war on terrorism, until we eliminate terrorism and terrorists. And that's an objective that has begun. It's begun successfully, but there is a lot more that lies ahead. I thought he was much more specific about that than I think a lot of people expected he would be.
KING: But not very specific in the domestic area, as been pointed out, when only one-sixth of the speech on domestic policy, and according to the analysts we've just seen, not very specific, more overall range planning.
GIULIANI: Yes. I think he was philosophical about that. He tried to explain his thinking and his philosophy. And if you noticed, it was all built around a security theme. There was first, foreign security, and the countries that he is going to pursue unless they abandon terrorism and he made that quite specific.
Then, domestic security, homeland defense and the things that he thinks are required in order to accomplish that. And then he wove in the theme of economic security and health care security. So what I -- I believe the president was trying to do and I think he achieved it quite successfully is to take our feelings of unity and move them forward. And it was, I think, the most bipartisan State of the Union speech that I have ever heard, including symbolic things like introducing and acknowledging Ted Kennedy and it required Congressman Gephardt at the beginning of his Democratic address to spend the first three or four minutes talking about bipartisanship. So I think in that sense, it was very, very effective to build the feeling and the process by which he has got to accomplish by which he has got to accomplish what he has to accomplish domestically.
KING: Any area, in your opinion, that it lacked?
GIULIANI: No, I don't think so. I think if he had tried a very, very specific speech, we would still be listening to it and he would have lost the high ground on which he presently -- the presidency presently is operating. His best chance to succeed over the next year is to find ways to keep this bipartisan coalition together and to use it as best as possible to address the economic problems we face.
I thought it was very, very dramatic that right at the beginning of the speech, he acknowledged two things: one, that we are at war, which we all know; but number two, that we are in a recession and that despite that, the state of our union is stronger than ever. And he used the unity that we have to try to deal with the recession. And I think that the specifics, you know, come later.
KING: No one got hit more in the area of homeland security than your city. Are you satisfied with Governor Ridge, with the general job this administration is doing?
GIULIANI: They couldn't have done enough and they continue to. I mean, the anticipation of all the things that are necessary and the work that has been done on it is really -- is absolutely remarkable. And I also noted in the president's speech that he has us now in terms of our foreign policy and military preparedness anticipating, when over the course of last seven or eight years we weren't doing that.
There was a point in the speech in which he talked about raising military pay and the biggest budget increases for our military in the last eight years. Those are very pointed reminders that that is not what he inherited. And I think you are going to see, you know, a change in direction there, a very dramatic one. We have already seen that since September 11, but, you know, his administration has had to do a lot of catching up and I think they have done it very effectively.
KING: Do you think homeland security should be a cabinet job?
GIULIANI: Well, you know, I -- that's sort of a distinction without a difference in this particular case, in the case of Governor Ridge because he is so close to the president. He is right in the White House. It really is a cabinet job. Whether you make that official or not is really up to the president as to whether he wants to do that. But, I kind of lose the distinction. I think of Tom Ridge as a member of the cabinet, seems to be more closely connected to the president than even some cabinet members.
KING: All right. The state of New York, more than four months later. How are -- give us a mini state of the union address from its former head.
GIULIANI: Miraculous people, New Yorkers, Larry. You are one of us so you know that. These are absolutely miraculous people. You know, it's really because we are Americans and we're people who live in freedom. Maybe in some cases, we live in a little more freedom in New York than elsewhere, but in some ways, it makes us very, very strong.
I was at the opening a new hotel right there in Battery Park City, you know, literally a few steps away from where the terrible attack took place. We are still, as the president pointed out, people who are mourning, people who are upset, and people who are probably going to always be affected. But this city has bounced back and it is stronger and better than it was before. It's economy has bounced back. We are getting ready for the World Economic Forum that is going to begin on Thursday night here for the first time in America and in New York. A great world gathering. So, New York City -- the spirit of New York is, I think, is as strong as its ever been and stronger. Their resiliency amazes even me.
KING: We are going to take a break and come back with Mayor Giuliani, going to ask about that world economic conference and any security concerns he may have. The former mayor of the city of New York, Rudy Giuliani; in a little while, former senator and presidential candidate Bob Dole.
You are watching a special edition of LARRY KING LIVE following the State of the Union Address. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We last met in an hour of shock and suffering. In four short months, our nation has comforted the victims, begun to rebuild New York and the Pentagon, rallied a great coalition, captured, arrested and rid the world of thousands of terrorists, destroyed Afghanistan's terrorist training camps, saved the people from starvation and freed a country from brutal oppression.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: The men and women of our armed forces have delivered a message now clear to every enemy of the United States. Even 7,000 miles away, across oceans and continents, on mountain tops and in caves, you will not escape the justice of this nation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: This is our post-State of the Union edition of LARRY KING LIVE. We are talking with Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York. OK, some 3,000 business and political leaders are going to gather for this World Economic Forum.
We have worries about anti-globalization activists. We have seen that at previous forums. Are you concerned?
GIULIANI: I'm always concerned about things like that. You would be foolish not to be concerned. I was concerned, you know, back when we did the U.N. 50 celebration and we had 180 world leaders here. I was concerned when we had the millennium celebration, you know, when we rang in 2000. And I probably could give you another dozen times that I was very concerned.
But this is the greatest and the very, very best police department in the country. We have go on with life. New York thrives on big events like this, whether it's something like this, which is unique and unusual, or, you know, play-off games, World Series games, parades, so we have to be ready.
And we I'm sure we will be. I think Mayor Bloomberg has done a terrific job of getting us ready. He inherited this, he knew about it in advance because I talked it over with him. He has been a participant in the world economic forum many times in the past. So I think it is something he really understands well. I -- sure everybody is concerned, but it will come off just great and wonderful and concern is just part of the fact that we are responsible.
KING: Were you disappointed that Mayor Bloomberg seemed to discount your plans for new ballparks for the Yanks and Mets?
GIULIANI: I live on hope. As the economy improves I think that that is something that will happen. I think the mayor has to be given a chance to work it out himself. I would have felt exactly the same way eight years ago. I would want to at least see my way through this deal my own way.
KING: The city is bidding for the Summer Olympics of 2012. Do you think it has a big shod?
GIULIANI: I think it does. I think it has a really, good chance of getting it. I think that in some ways, although you certainly wouldn't want something like this to happen to make it more desirable, I think the fact is that probably the city is seen as a more desirable place to do it now as a result of what happened. It makes as real statement and I think the way which the city recovered from September 11 shows how this city can absorb almost anything. It has tremendous resources. I think the city is even a stronger candidate than it was before.
KING: Are you going to remarry?
GIULIANI: Do you want me to propose on the air?
KING: Why not? We love her. She is a great girl, your girl.
GIULIANI: Judith is a terrific lady. Without her I would not have got through prostate cancer and the worst attack on America in our history. You need support and you need love and you need good friends and I am very fortunate to have all of those things. Otherwise there is no way I would have been able to perform anywhere near the way I did after September 11 if I did perform well.
KING: So you might well tie the knot?
KING: Hey, I'm just asking. I like her, I like you.
GIULIANI: I think I have to leave that for a personal discussion. What are you are looking for, ten percent or something, you are a match maker? Larry the matchmaker.
KING: Make me a match. Your own political future, one cannot see you on the side lines for long.
GIULIANI: Give me a little while. I have only been on the side lines for less than a month. I need a little more time to reflect and think and -- I think this is a wonderful thing. You know, you are in government, I have spent most of my life in government. I spent eight years in the private sector. I'm a very big believer in the private sector and the things that it can contribute, so this is a real opportunity for me to take the things I did in government and to show that they can work to help corporations, businesses, that need help, businesses that need to expand, need to focus more on security and understanding.
A lot of the implications of what the president was saying in his speech tonight about homeland security help places to be more prepared for anthrax. There are so many things that I'm doing now that I'm just about as consumed as I was when I was in government. But that extra responsibility so you can relax a little more isn't there, and that is desirable for a period of time.
KING: Who is in this firm with you?
GIULIANI: Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, and Fire Commissioner Tom Von Essen, Kike Hess, who was my corporation counsel, Denny Young, he and I have worked together continuously for 18 years; Bruce Titlebaum (ph) , who helped run my Senate campaign and raised enormous amounts of money with me; Tony Carbonette (ph) , my chief of staff and the person you asked about just a few minutes ago, Sunny Mendell (ph).
KING: She is staying with you?
GIULIANI: She is.
KING: She is the best.
GIULIANI: She is absolutely terrific.
KING: What is the name of the group?
GIULIANI: Giuliani partners.
KING: Funny your name would be in the title. Good thinking.
Couple of other quick things.
KING: Do you have any thoughts off top on this Enron thing?
GIULIANI: I do. I was listening for it very carefully in the presidents's address, and them in Congressman Gephardt's response. They both did exactly what I thought they would do. The president dealt with it by showing his concern and showing what he will do about it, which is much stricter accounting standards, much stricter standards for corporations, much fuller disclosure to employees and to stock holders.
And I think, he did exactly what he should do. He put it in proper context. He didn't overemphasize it and he talked about the things that can prevent this from happening in the future. And then Congressman Gephardt raised it in exactly the way I think I probably would raise it if I were a Democrat, which is from the point of view of being a very, very strong argument for campaign finance reform. And in that way having the chance to talk about it and describe it.
I think, that's the context in which it has to be looked at. What can we do to prevent something like this from happening in the future? I think the President's proposals are quite correct. They will protect against a future Enron, and I think Congressman Gephardt is correct. We need campaign finance reform.
KING: And your health is good, Rudy?
GIULIANI: My health is absolutely first rate, which is the first and most important thing. I just had a checkup the other day and I am cancer free and doing fine.
KING: That's great. See you at the World Series. I'll see you before that.
GIULIANI: Well before that. Always a pleasure.
KING: Always my pleasure. Former mayor of the city of New York, Rudy Giuliani.
Next, the former presidential candidate of his party, the former majority leader of the Senate whose wife has tried to get into the Senate; Bob Dole is next. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My hope is that all nations will heed our call and eliminate the terrorist parasites who threaten their countries and our own. Many nations are acting forcefully. Pakistan is now cracking down on terror, and I admire the strong leadership of President Musharraf.
But some governments will be timid in the face of terror, and make no mistake about it: if they do not act, America will.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: This was the scene tonight as President Bush -- you are watching the scene tonight as President Bush entered the United States House of Representatives Congress for the annual speech that heralds in every administration which does every -- State of the Union.
By the way, this speech is only required to be delivered by hand, but it has been publicly delivered for a long, long time.
We now welcome to LARRY KING LIVE from our studios in Washington, Bob Dole, the 1996 GOP presidential candidate, former Senate majority leader. First reaction to this speech, Bob.
BOB DOLE, 1996 GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I wish I had been in the chamber. I was over at CNN watching. But I thought he did a great job. I thought Dick Gephardt did a good job. I hope we can come together now on some of these domestic issues. But let's face it, President Bush went in with a very strong hand, with 80 to 85 percent approval rating, he had the confidence and the American people trust him, and they believe him. And he was very credible tonight.
KING: And you have been in that hall how many times to watch state of the union addresses?
DOLE: ... way back in 1961, when President Kennedy first addressed a joint session. So I -- that was an exciting time for me, my first year. There have been other great moments, when President Johnson, President Reagan, but you can't remember all of them.
KING: You've seen a lot of them.
DOLE: I've seen a lot of them. And...
KING: What is the night...
KING: What is the night like? What is that like on that floor during the state of the union?
DOLE: Well, it's a night of -- you know, let's face it, we have got Republicans and Democrats, and they have their own views, particularly if it's just a normal speech. But this is not a normal speech. We are at war. There is a war on terrorism. It sort of takes you back to maybe FDR's time. And I wasn't there at that time, but I was in uniform.
But, you know, it's a high moment. And a lot of people say, well, it's all theater and, as you said, you don't have to do it in person. But, I have got to believe, and I don't know what the numbers are, that more people watched President Bush tonight than have watched a state of the union message for probably ever because he was speaking not only to, obviously not only to the Congress, but to the American people and to the world. And people are listening probably all over the world.
KING: How good was the speech?
DOLE: I thought it was very good. You know, you go back to September 20 when he first delivered that speech after the tragedy of September 11. I think it was more emotion filled at the time and we were all very emotional, very sensitive and it's very fresh on our minds. But I thought he did an excellent job.
And I think the thing that -- I don't think President Bush may have changed, but more people are beginning to understand this is a man of -- he is focused. He understands what he wants to do. He is going to stick with it. And as he said tonight, you know, we are not going to wait for something to happening. We are not going to sit around and wait for it to happen. We are going to try to anticipate events and take action when necessary.
KING: Anything surprise you?
DOLE: Not really. I thought it was good that he recognized my friend, Ted Kennedy. You know, there is bipartisanship on the education bill. George Miller and Ted Kennedy and Congressman Boehner and Judd Gregg, two Republicans, two Democrats and the president and many others involved and they made it work. And I think he said that tonight to let both sides know as he said I'm very proud of the party I belong to, but we want to get some of these things done. And he listed some very important domestic issues.
KING: You said you thought Gephardt had a good response too. Since you are an opponent, naturally, philosophically, what do you -- rank it good, why?
DOLE: You know, I think -- I have always had a lot of respect for Congressman Gephardt. He is from Missouri and I'm from Kansas. We have different ideas, different philosophies, different parties. But I always thought he was a straight shooter and a good person. And you could tell in his response, he spent, as Mayor Giuliani said, spent the first 30, 40 seconds just commending President Bush and making certain that everyone who happened to watch his response understood, that they were joined at the hip. He said there was no daylight between the Democrats and President Bush when it came to the war on terrorism.
And that in itself says a lot. The American people want to hear that. They want results. I was in Mississippi today speaking to a group called Ageless Heroes in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. And they want to hear more of this bipartisanship and getting things done. I think that's one thing that, I think, September 11 was a turning point. The extremes on the right and the left, in my view, are not going to have the influence they had in American politics, hopefully for a long time.
KING: Are you surprised that historically, when the nation is at war, the president tends to have bad off years in Congress, in congressional elections?
DOLE: Well, I am surprised because President Bush is riding high and, of course, it's going to be hard to sustain 80, 85, whatever percentage may be. And again, it all depends on the economy. Even though people are focused on the war on terrorism, we are an impatient people. We want to move on to something else. We may think that the war in Afghanistan is over, it's over. And that's why the president again tonight tried to bring people back, focus attention again on this is a global conflict. He mentioned three countries by name, Iran, Iraq and North Korea, so the American people will continue that focus. But this could...
KING: By the way...
DOLE: This could be a good year if President Bush continues the strong leadership. I think it could be a good year for Republicans.
KING: There was no specific on Iraq. Do you think we are leaning toward going there?
DOLE: I think the president was sending a pretty strong message to Saddam Hussein. As far as inspectors are concerned, you know, we have tried to get permission to send inspectors back again and he has refused. I thought it was a shot across the bow, and hopefully Saddam Hussein will get the message. If not, some of our friends who have been kind of timid about Iraq will get the message.
The president made it pretty clear. If they threaten us, the United States, you know, we are not going to wait for everybody to sign up. We are going to take appropriate action to protect our interests.
KING: What are your thoughts on the Guantanamo issue, treatment of the prisoners?
DOLE: Well, you know, I got so tired of hearing about John Walker and the allegations about prisoners in Guantanamo, I wrote a letter to the editor to the "Wall Street Journal", which appeared today. Obviously, we are going to treat them humanely. You know, we are talking about America. This is America. They are being guarded by young men, 20 year old, may be your neighbor, it may be your son, may be somebody that you know. We are not going to mistreat these people.
But we have to face it, as Secretary Rumsfeld has said, these people would kill you in a minute. They would rip you apart if they had the opportunity. So we want to be very, very cautious when we deal with them.
KING: How is your wife going to do?
DOLE: Well, I think she is going to do very well. She has been campaigning very hard. She is perceived as a competent, first-rate person that she is. And I think she attracts voters across the spectrum, Republicans, Democrats, Independents. And I may be back in the Senate, not as a voting senator, but as a Senate spouse along with former President Clinton.
And I going to run for president of the spouse club. Maybe this time I can beat him.
KING: Do you get a special seat, you and president Clinton, if your wife is elected?
DOLE: I don't think we get a special seat. No, I think we get to go to the spouse's meetings and things like that. But I assume we can probably get into the gallery.
KING: Are you going to campaign for your wife?
DOLE: If she asks me. I mean, I want her to have a good lead before I go down there.
Yes. The answer is yes. I'm going to Charlotte Thursday night to speak to a young group of entrepreneurs. But it's a great state and my view is that she will be elected. Democrats have some good candidates. They've got a tough primary. But I believe Elizabeth will go all the way.
KING: And what does this mean concerning you? Do you stay in Washington? Do you move to North Carolina? She's established residence there. What is the effect on the marriage?
DOLE: Well, she now owns a place. Her mother still lives there. Her mother is going to be 101 May 22 and Elizabeth has purchased that place and I will sort of be commuting back and forth to North Carolina. And then now and then I will touch down in Kansas and then, of course, I have a job here in the District. So I'm sort of like Larry King. I'm in L.A. I'm in New York and I'm in Washington.
KING: Do you miss all the trappings of the Senate, honestly?
DOLE: Yes. Not the trappings. I -- but I do miss not being sort of in the eye of the storm and trying to work things out, you know, standing up for your party, standing up for your country, whatever it might be, working together with Senator Mitchell. We both happen to be in the same law firm now.
But, yes, you miss it. It's like anything else you love doing and, suddenly, you're doing something else, and you still think about it. I dream about being in the Senate frequently, about votes and standing up and making speeches. I never made a very good one, but -- you know, it's 37 years out of my life in Congress, so it's something that I miss.
KING: Is it hard, therefore, to watch something like tonight from the view of a spectator in a television green room.
DOLE: Well, not really. I think Sam Nunn's going to be on, and I think he would say the same. Obviously, you were there, and you decided to leave. We both left voluntarily. We -- I think we both made the right decision. We --
At least I felt in my case I was going to be a candidate for president of the United States, and that's -- I -- even if I lost, I shouldn't go back and reclaim the leadership. So I left the Senate voluntarily on June 11, 1996. I've never had second thoughts, never looked back.
But I did -- you know, I -- just like the mayor said, he loved what he was doing. And I loved what I was doing, and it's all because we live in such a great country and represent such a -- good Americans everywhere.
KING: And what Senator Dole make of the Enron mess?
DOLE: Well, I think they ought to lump them all together. You've got a Global Crossing, Enron, and Kmart. Maybe they ought to have hearings on all three of these bankruptcies. I mean, they're major corporations.
There may be others out there in difficulty, but I think in Enron -- I think whatever it is, whether it's Enron, whether it's Global Crossing, we're going to have to, as the president said and others have said in both parties, you know, tighten up the rules, make certain that people don't put their money in 401(k)s and then have their legs cut out from under tem because somebody didn't disclose the true nature of the business.
KING: Doesn't it bother you to see some executive cash in $12 million, $13 million, and a guy who saved up all his life has nothing? I Mean, that's disgusting.
DOLE: Particularly, you know, if we learn in any of these cases, in any of these bankruptcies that they knew in advance. I mean, if it was a normal course of business and they sold some stock or bought some stock and everybody else sort of had the same right, well, there's no problem.
But if they had inside information and knew in advance that the crash was coming and sold out and left the shareholders and the employees high and dry, that borders on criminality and maybe -- they may be culpable -- who knows -- by the time the Justice Department and the various congressional investigations are complete.
KING: Senator, are you feeling as well as you look?
DOLE: I feel good. I had an aneurysm repaired this June in the Cleveland Clinic, and I have an -- they did this -- did it the new way. I did pick up a strep infection in the hospital. I was on antibiotics for about 70 days. So I can open your mail and...
(LAUGHTER) DOLE: You know, I won't have any problem with any kind of anthrax, but I feel good now and -- doing a lot of traveling and enjoying life and still trying to make a difference here and there.
KING: You are a great American. Thank you, Senator.
DOLE: Thank you, Larry.
KING: Bob Dole. Always great seeing him.
When we come back, the solicitor general of the United States. He's got a great post. This has been a tough year. He is a widower. You well know that. Ted Olson is next. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: America will do what is necessary to ensure our nation's security. We'll be deliberate, yet time is not on our side.
I will not wait on events while dangers gather. I will not stand by as peril draws closer and closer. The United States of America will not permit the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's most destructive weapons.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Hi. You're watching the Capitol at night. Look at that beautiful scene on a beautiful night in the nation's capital.
This is an extended version of LARRY KING LIVE, 90 minutes following the state of the union address. If you missed that address or any part of it and the Democratic response by Congressman Gephardt, it will all be repeated less than an hour from now at midnight Eastern, 9:00 Pacific.
We've got an outstanding array of guests. We've already met former Mayor Giuliani and former Senator Dole.
We now welcome to this special edition of LARRY KING LIVE in Washington Ted Olson, the solicitor general of the United States. His wife, Barbara, of course, the bestselling author and attorney who died on American Flight 77 on September 11th.
This had to be a different kind of the state of the union for you, wasn't it, Ted?
TED OLSON, SOLICITOR GENERAL: Oh, it certainly was. I would say fully two-thirds of the president's speech had to do in one way or another with terrorism and the government's response to it and the president's response to it, and I think everyone felt the weight of the moment tonight when he was talking, as certainly I did.
KING: This was like Roosevelt in wartime, right? OLSON: Well, you know, that's interesting. I bro -- I took -- I looked at President Roosevelt's state of the union address in January. I think it was January 6th, 1942. It was just a -- less than a month after Pearl Harbor. And I thought you might be interested. I'm surprised you mentioned it. But I brought this along.
One of the things he said, which was very much like what President Bush said today -- he said "that those on the other side are striving to destr -- to create a world in their own image, a world of tyranny and cruelty and serfdom.
"This is the conflict that day and night now pervades our lives. No compromise can end that conflict. There has never been and there never can be successful compromise between good and evil. Only total victory can reward the champions of tolerance and decency and freedom and faith."
That was very much like...
OLSON: ... what President Bush said today.
KING: How -- your overall reaction to the speech? Did you like it?
OLSON: Oh, I thought it was wonderful. What President Bush has demonstrated again and again since Sept -- well, throughout his career, but particularly since September 11th -- the American people have seen this -- is integrity, leadership, determination, and confidence in himself. He believes in America, he believes in Americans, and he believes in himself. He is comfortable as a leader. He knows what it means to lead.
This was not a speech that was written by focus groups. This was a speech that was written from the heart of President George W. Bush, and I think any American watching this speech, whatever your political perspective, understands that this man knows what it's like to be a leader. He believes that he can be a leader, and he tells the country what he believes and speaks from his heart.
I think that the whole speech resonated with conviction and integrity.
KING: Knowing, Ted, what September 11th did to you, did you feel kind of personally involved with this address?
OLSON: Well, I -- oh, I certainly did. I can never begin to describe what September 11th has meant to me and will mean to me for my entire life, but I am a part of this administration.
I know the conviction that President Bush and Vice President Cheney and Secretary Rumsfeld and Attorney General Ashcroft have put into the fight to protect Americans from this happening again. They can't guarantee that it won't happen again. And President Bush very, very firmly pointed out that of the -- of the cells that are out there, the terrorist cells that are out there, there are many left. Many, many, many left. I think he used the term of 10,000 people.
But I can tell you from both the inside and from the things that I've seen as a citizen the commitment and dedication to protecting Americans from international terrorism and domestic terrorism is so deep, it's so deeply ingrained in everything that the leaders of this administration are doing.
I felt that listening tonight and watching tonight, but I feel it every day as I see these individuals go about the work that they're doing, the passionate -- the passionate commitment to protecting Americans from terrorism, the horror of terrorism, is there every -- every second of every day.
KING: As solicitor general, what are your thoughts about the detainees at Guantanamo?
OLSON: Well, I probably shouldn't talk about that. There is already litigation pending in one of the courts of the United States. We're going to be filing an opposition to the initial filing in just two days from now. We'll be a hearing in a couple of weeks. I suspect there will probably be other pieces of litigation.
I am convinced that what the administration is doing, what the Defense Department is doing is treating these individuals with compassion and dignity and honesty, but they are terrorists. They -- as Senator Dole was pointing out, these are people that have vowed to kill Americans and to die if it was necessary to do so.
So it's also important that they be treated in a way in which we can protect our country. As one very, very intelligent person put it, a Constitution is not a suicide pact.
KING: General, it's a -- hard to call you General when we know you so well as Ted.
OLSON: Well, it seems funny -- it seems funny for me to hear it, too.
KING: But you are the solicitor general. And does -- is it harder to be a democracy in times like this?
OLSON: Well, it tests our democracy, it tests our principles, but in everything that -- I know this. Everything that the administration is doing and all the officials I named earlier and many that I didn't name -- we are committed to protect the America people, but we are committed to protect the American people's liberties and individual freedoms and our Constitution. No one is walking away from the Constitution. So it tests us.
And the Constitution and the Supreme Court allows us to do certain things in times of war and in times of terror and in times of urgency, such as we're facing today. But there are limits, and we're respecting those limits, and I know that the people within the administration have a deep commitment to protect those individual freedoms and those constitutional values that make this country what it is and has made this country what it is through other wars for over 200 years.
KING: Of course, frankly, if we don't abide by our own Constitution, we're not much different than what we're fighting. But is it a thin line sometimes?
OLSON: Well, there are ways in which -- as I said, the Constitution is not a suicide pact. The Constitution recognizes that while there are limits on what the government can do with respect to individuals, those limits --
The Constitution speaks in terms of reasonable searches and seizures and reasonable this and reasonable that. Those limits on governmental action, which are supervised by the courts, recognize that certain circumstances might require actions or tolerate actions that might not be tolerated in other circumstances.
But everything that the government is doing is within those limits and virtually everything that's being done in terms of developing intelligence and preventing terrorist acts are being done within the Constitution and in -- much of it is being done with judicial supervision, authority issued by courts.
KING: We're going to see a lot of court activity over a lot of this, aren't we?
OLSON: Well, we certainly are. I mean, we are a country that believes -- one of our protections -- one of the great protections that our country has is the independent judiciary, and so people feel comfortable in taking these grievances to the courts.
And sometimes the courts may not spend too much time with them because we tend to bring -- sometimes we bring frivolous claims to the courts and so forth, but that's a part of our protection and a part of the Constitution that our people believe in.
So the -- yes, there will be a lot of things in the courts, and as you know, my office represents the United States in the United States Supreme Court, and I suspect that some of these cases will get to the United States Supreme Court at some point.
KING: Ted, thank you very much. Our hearts are always with you, as you know.
OLSON: Thank you, Larry. I so much appreciate it.
KING: The solicitor general of the United States, Ted Olson.
When we come back, two more distinguished Americans. The Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California. And the former Senator Sam Nunn who was a Democrat -- Democratic senator from Georgia. He's now, of course, involved in many, many things, including the ending of nuclear weaponry. He'll be with us from San Francisco. And they're both next. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: September 11 brought out the best in America and the best in this Congress, and I join the American people in applauding your unity and resolve. Now Americans deserve to have this same spirit directed toward addressing problems here at home.
I'm a proud member of my party, yet as we act to win the war, protect our people, and create jobs in America, we must act first and foremost not as Republicans, not as Democrats, but as Americans.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I hope you will join me in expressing thanks to one American for the strength and calm and comfort she brings to our nation in crisis: our first lady, Laura Bush.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Joining us now on Capitol Hill is Senator Dianne Feinstein -- she was in the House tonight for the -- this historic evening -- member of Select Intelligence Committee and chairman of the Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Technology, Terrorism, and Government Information.
And in San Francisco, former Senator Sam Nunn. While in the Senate, he chaired the Armed Services Committee, also served on the Intelligence Committee, co-chair and CEO of the Nuclear Threat Initiative. That's a foundation committed to reducing the global threat of weapons of mass destruction.
Senator Feinstein is a loyal member of the opportunity -- member of the loyal opposition. What did you make of the speech?
SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CA), TECHNOLOGY, TERRORISM, AND GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SUBCOMMITTEE CHAIR: Well, you know, the more I think about it, there are a couple of interesting things.
The first was I couldn't tell whether the speech was given by a Republican or a Democrat. It was a very centrist speech.
Second, he did what he had to do with respect to the war. He rallied the public. I think he told people a little bit about what it was going to be like in terms of the -- what they had found in Afghanistan, the nuclear drawings, that kind of thing, to be prepared for a sustained war. As Bob Dole said, he said, "This is war."
So, once again, he's bringing the American public along. I thought that was very good. He also broad-brushed very controversial issues -- Social Security, the retirement fund -- and concentrated on major priorities -- the defense, the homeland security. He also broad-brushed the economic stimulus. So it was a speech that was many things for many people -- patients bill of rights, prescription drug plan, all of these things.
Now the nitty-gritty is going to come with the budget because it's a very full agenda in these 11 or so pages, and so I think we're all going to be very eager to see how this is going to be funded and what the budget priorities are going to be.
KING: Senator Sam Nunn, your thoughts as a former member of the Senate looking on tonight from San Francisco, the home of Senator Feinstein?
SAM NUNN, FORMER SENATOR, NUCLEAR THREAT INITIATIVE CO-CHAIR AND CEO: Larry, I agree with Dianne's remarks and with the remarks of your previous guests. I think the president was at his best tonight. I thought the Congress was at its best tonight.
I thought there were a lot less partisan setups here where you jab the other side and everybody claps, if you're a Republican or a Democrat, and I thought the president really did appeal to the American people as the commander in chief.
I thought it was a commander-in-chief speech where he talked about winning a war, protecting the homeland, and he also -- he joined in both of those crucial subjects with -- the crucial subject of the economy, and I think, in all of those roles, he appealed to people across the country in the broad middle of America and, therefore, he appealed to both political parties.
KING: Senator Sam Nunn, then, in your opinion, this was a wartime address?
NUNN: I thought it was, and I thought he laid out the very important thing that he's done over and over again that it's not going to be quick. He even said that this war may not end on our watch, but it would be fought on our watch, and I think he made it clear that we're going to have to sustain it, so I did think it was that kind of speech.
KING: Senator Feinstein, your reaction to the warnings to both Korea, Iran, and Iraq?
FEINSTEIN: Well, they're appropriate. That's -- there's no question about that. There's no question that this is not just a localized war, that it exists in other areas, and --
You know, I spent the last month -- and I think I mentioned this to you -- reading everything I could get my hands on about al Qaeda and this particular terrorist fundamentalist Islamic movement, and it's very serious. It's almost a clash of civilizations. So it's going to be need real fortitude on our part, real staying power on our part. And, you know, Americans tend to be instantaneous. They're there for the moment, and then they're gone for tomorrow, and I think this president understands that. I think he's bringing us along. He's keeping us committed.
And Sam's right. It was commander-in-chief speech.
KING: And, Sam, do you think that based on that that the -- if you're living in Iraq, you should increase your worry?
NUNN: I would certainly hope that Saddam Hussein would read not only this speech but previous comments as a real mandate for him to allow the inspectors back in because the inspectors can find biological and chemical operations that we can't get from 30,000 feet.
Without occupying the country, it's going to be very hard to be able to deal with all the array of weapons of mass destruction, so I think getting the inspectors back in is very important, and I think the president has laid the foundation for that.
And I believe that -- I'm sure that -- surely the State Department and others are working very diligent to get Russia, to get China, and to get all our allies to back that. I think, at some point, that demand's going to become much more of an absolute mandate with a timeframe on it.
KING: Senator Feinstein, what did you make of -- if you saw the Congressman Gephardt response...
FEINSTEIN: Well, I didn't hear much of it, but I understand it was very good, and I understand that there were real similarities between the two things -- two speeches.
You know, I think one of the things that really wasn't talked about is really the need to maintain a multilateral approach to terrorism. I think that's extraordinarily important, to keep our allies with us all the way through this.
We were very lucky in a sense in Iran because with our technological prowess and the Northern Alliance and others with us on the ground actually doing that part of the fighting, it was sort of an unbeatable combination, and our loss of life was extraordinarily minimal.
I didn't think you can fight a full-out war on terrorism without more loss of life and without the connection with our allies. So I had wished that he had spoken a little bit about that, about maintaining this multilateral alliance that we have.
KING: Next, we'll take a call on this expanded 90-minute edition of LARRY KING LIVE. We'll be repeating the president's address at the top of the hour. That's about 35 minutes away.
Still to hear from Bob Woodward, the Pulitzer Prizewinner, Congressman Christopher Shays, and Congresswoman Jane Harman. And Shannon Spann, the widow of CIA agent Johnny Mike Spann, will be joining us in a little while.
Let's take a call from Pittsburgh. Hello.
CALLER: Yes. I'd like to ask Senator Feinstein in particular, but both people, why Bush keeps getting credit for the Democrats being just so damn nice and not really confronting these statements that anybody who doesn't just -- doesn't agree with him is anti-American, because I think that that reflects good bipartisan effort on the Democrats' part and very partisan behavior on Bush's.
KING: Senator Feinstein, do you want to respond?
FEINSTEIN: Well, yeah. I mean...
KING: And Senator Nunn might have a thought, too.
FEINSTEIN: I'm not really sure I understand that question.
KING: Well, I think she's saying why the Democrats aren't being a little tougher.
FEINSTEIN: Oh, I think, you know, we can be tough. I mean, when it comes to Social Security and protecting it as the policy that it's meant to be -- the insurance policy it's meant to be for people in need -- the Democratic Party can be very tough.
When it comes to education, the president has bent over backwards. He's worked with the Democratic side, and that's why we got a bill. When it comes to the economic stimulus, you'll see Democrats being very tough. The president's bill is $66 billion in one year and $160 billion over 10 years, so there's going to be a great deal of discussion.
But this I don't think at a time of war was really the place for that kind of thing because we need to come together.
KING: Senator Nunn, do you agree?
NUNN: Yes, I do. And the president -- as Dianne pointed out earlier, he broad-brushed the subjects that have the most controversy. There was very little he said tonight that most people couldn't agree with.
And I think that's appropriate because he is trying to appeal, as he did on education -- he's trying to appeal to the Democratic side to put together coalitions to deal with some of these other subjects.
I think the stimulus bill -- for instance, there's a very natural compromise there. You accelerate the tax cuts, but you drop the rear end of the tax cuts that are way out in the future because we have no idea what the fiscal picture is going to be.
NUNN: The other thing I would observe is I think the Democrats are going to have to be much more assertive on the fiscal side because this is where the numbers don't add up.
Now they don't add up for a lot of the Democratic programs, too. So both sides are going to have to face fiscal reality here.
KING: Thank you, both, very much for joining us. We appreciate it, and we'll be calling on both of you again frequently.
When we come back, Shannon Spann, the wife of CIA agent Johnny Mike Spann, who was singularly honored tonight by the president.
As we go to break, here's a quick comment from the responsive speech of Congressman Gephardt.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. DICK GEPHARDT (D-MO), MINORITY LEADER: To our enemies, we say with one voice: No act of violence, no threat will drive us apart or steer us from our course to protect America and preserve our democracy. And make no mistake about it: We're going to hunt you down and make you pay.
Now is not a time for finger-pointing or politics as usual. The men and women who are defending our freedom are not fighting for the Democratic Party or the Republican Party. They're fighting for the greatest country that's ever existed on Earth: the United States of America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Half-hour to go on this expanded edition of LARRY KING LIVE.
We now welcome Shannon Spann. She's at our studios in Washington. She's the wife of the late CIA agent Johnny Mike Spann, the first American killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan.
Here's how President Bush referred to her tonight. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Last month, at the grave of her husband, Michael, a CIA officer and Marine who died in Mazar-e Sharif, Shannon Spann said these words of farewell: "Semper fi, my love." Shannon is with us tonight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: What did that feel like, Shannon?
SHANNON SPANN, WIFE OF CIA AGENT KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN: Well, Mr. King, thank you.
It -- it's really been just very heartwarming, the outpouring of affection and appreciation from the American people and, certainly, to hear the president acknowledge my husband's contribution was a great honor.
KING: Were you very fearful of Mike's welfare when he was over there as a CIA agent?
SPANN: In fact, no, I really wasn't. He was very well trained. The folks that he was with are top notch. We really did not think about it quite in those terms. We just really preferred to focus on the mission and the support that the guys in the field needed.
KING: So, therefore, can we say that you were doubly shocked?
SPANN: Well, of course, certainly, it's a shock to one's family, but I guess the words that the president said this evening in reiterating his commitment to the cause and that it's just and that it continues are really the kinds of things that we thought about in those times.
KING: Do you have any special thoughts or feelings about Johnny Walker, who your husband interviewed?
SPANN: Well, "special" I don't think would be the word. I'm certainly pleased that he has been charged. I think I've been pleased with what I have heard the attorney general speak in terms of these matters, and I believe -- I'm confident that justice will prevail there.
KING: And we know that his first wife died of cancer and he had two daughters. How are they doing?
SPANN: Well, they're -- they're doing well. They're certainly well aware of how loved they were by their father, and they have a very rich heritage now that he's left for them in terms of his patriotism and his service to our country. So I think that they'll grow up in the knowledge that he served our country well and that he was -- that they were loved by him.
KING: You have an 8-month-old child, right?
SPANN: Indeed, we do.
KING: How -- you appear to be so well within yourself and holding up so well.
SPANN: Well, I think the president captured that when he said that in times of crisis that God is near and, certainly, Mike was a Christian, and our family certainly depends upon the grace of the Lord in this time, and that's -- our church family and our families is certainly what sustains us.
KING: No doubts about your faith when this occurred?
SPANN: No. No, no. No, certainly not. In fact, one's faith is, of course, tried during times of crisis, but it certainly has proved to be true and our family in our church and, certainly, our CIA family has been so supportive of us, we -- times like these are not times for doubting. KING: Shannon, when Mike left the Marines and went to the CIA, were you happy about that? Were you glad he was in that very special service?
SPANN: Well, he -- I certainly was glad because I actually met Mike during our time in the CIA. I didn't know him when he was a Marine, and I've been, I should say, very blessed by the response of the Marine community to this tragedy. I look forward to being able to meet some of those people that served with my husband in that capacity.
KING: There is a Mike Spann Fund that has been established to offer assistance to his widow and children. We are going to give out the address if you'd like to help.
It's the Mike Spann Fund, care of Jeffrey H. Smith (ph), Esquire, Arnold & Porter -- that's a famous law firm in Washington -- Arnold & Porter at 555 12th Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20004.
If you didn't get the address, you can remember Arnold & Porter in Washington.
Thank you, Shannon. God bless you.
SPANN: Well, thank you. It's an honor to be here with you tonight.
KING: My honor.
That was Shannon Spann.
Joining us now on -- in the same set is Congressman Christopher Shays, Republican of Connecticut, chairman of the National Security Veterans Affairs and International Relations Subcommittee, and Congresswoman Jane Harman, Democrat of California, ranking member of the new House Intelligence Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland.
She's quite a lady, Congressman Shays, isn't she? Shannon.
REP. CHRISTOPHER SHAYS (R-CT), VETERANS AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE CHAIR: Well, let me just say it was such a privilege for Jane and I to be in the hall of the House and be able to stand up and salute her husband and to salute her, and you can imagine how we feel being in the same studio with her. I feel like you should keep asking her questions, and Jane and I can come back another day.
KING: Congressman Harman, how do you explain the fortitude like that?
REP. JANE HARMAN (D-CA), TERRORISM AND HOMELAND SUBCOMMITTEE: I wonder if I would have it, Larry. As a mother of four, my heart breaks sitting next to Shannon Spann, to think about her and the three children that Mike Spann left behind.
You know, his death shows the courage of our CIA agents in the field, and his star will go on the wall of honor at the CIA. The CIA's taking enormous risk to protect us against the next wave, should we have it, and I just want to salute all those agents out there taking risks and risking their lives and causing their families to worry so much but serving our country.
KING: Congressman Shays, all this good feeling tonight -- is it going to carry over tomorrow?
SHAYS: Oh, absolutely. You know, our hope was that the president would just be, you know, honest, straightforward, keep it simple, but show the strength of a leader, and he did that.
I mean, we have three basic tasks -- to win this war on terrorism and it's going to be a sustained effort, to protect our homeland, and to get our economy moving again, to get people back to work -- and I think he outlined well those three objectives.
KING: Congresswoman Harman, are you joining in the praise?
HARMAN: Well, I thought it was a very good speech, and I welcomed the fact that it was not another laundry list. But I did think the part on homeland security was fairly skimpy.
It's the first time we've heard a call for a sustained strategy, which is useful, but the areas that were identified weren't spelled out, and the threats that were listed, you know, plans for American nuclear reactors and so forth, that were found in Afghanistan didn't track the threats the president listed.
So I continue to call on this administration to give us a strategy to protect the millions of Americans at home, and I worry that now we're in an election year, and we're going to focus on economic priorities, and we may leave aside something that is just so critically important.
KING: Do you want to comment on that, Congressman Shays?
SHAYS: Sure. I think that this is a speech where he gives the broad goals, and he's going to fill it in in the next few weeks.
I mean, we've read some of the parts in the -- the doubling of INS and the Customs Service, doubling the amount of money going -- in fact, five times the amount of money going to our police and fire and EMS.
So I think Jane's concerns are valid. I think he'll fill in, though, the parts in the weeks to come.
KING: Jane, did you watch the Gephardt response?
HARMAN: I read it. I didn't watch it. I thought it was good, and I think the minority leader is right to call for unity.
But, again, I think, as the year progresses, it's just critically important to remember we're going back into deficit spending and this pot of money for homeland security, the $38 billion, will be vulnerable, if we don't have a good strategy, and both Gephardt and the president did not detail that strategy tonight.
I think the police and fire and emergency responders need us to act within a very short period of time.
KING: Congressman Shays, the biggest increase in Defense Department spending in 20 years. All understandable?
SHAYS: Oh, it's understandable. We are truly at war. I mean, it's not a question of if. It's a question of when, where, and of what magnitude. We're going to face pretty horrific attacks.
And we're kind of like in the 1950s. We're developing an assessment of the terrorist threat. We have to develop a strategy to deal with it. It's going to be long term like the Cold War, but it's going to be hot sometimes like the second World War.
KING: Congresswoman Harman, would you agree with the statements made earlier by Senator Feinstein and Senator Nunn that this was -- and by others that this was a speech by a commander in chief more than a president?
HARMAN: I would agree with that, and I have seen the president a number of times lately, and he is very much acting as commander in chief. He's doing an excellent job leading the war.
But now, again, we need to focus more attention on the homeland, and I do think we have to shift subjects a little bit because more Americans are at risk at home than they are abroad.
KING: Any predictions on the House races this fall? Are we going to have much of a change, Congressman Shays?
SHAYS: Well, I think it's going to be a horse race. There are so many very close elections, and I think that's why it makes our job easy -- Jane's and my job easy. Just be Americans first and Republicans and Democrats second. Let the chips fall where they may.
KING: Our guests have been Congressman Christopher Shays, Congresswoman Jane Harman, and, of course, with them in Washington, Shannon Spann.
The rest of the way up to the top of the hour and the repeat of the speech will be spent with the assistant managing editor, Pulitzer Prizewinner, "The Washington Post," Bob Woodward. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My budget nearly doubles funding for a sustained strategy of homeland security, focused on four key areas: bioterrorism; emergency response; airport and border security; and improved intelligence.
We will develop vaccines to fight anthrax and other deadly diseases. We'll increase funding to help states and communities train and equip our heroic police and firefighters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The way out of this recession, the way to create jobs is to grow the economy by encouraging investment in factories and equipment and by speeding up tax relief so people have more money to spend. For the sake of American workers, let's pass a stimulus package.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're in the remaining moments of our 90-minute special. We're going up to the top of the hour, and then we'll repeat the state of the union address and the Gephardt response.
It's always great to welcome to LARRY KING LIVE Bob Woodward, the assistant managing editor of "The Washington Post," Pulitzer Prizewinner, bestselling author, currently the co-byliner of an eight- part front-page series of articles, "10 Days in September: Inside the War Cabinet" appearing in "The Post."
Bob will return on Thursday night to lead off the show to discuss a major article that will appear Thursday on a meeting -- a special meeting that took place at Camp David in that Woodward investigative style.
Mr. Woodward, your reaction to the speech?
BOB WOODWARD, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Well, it was addressed in a way to the complacency that I think the president feels a lot of Americans have toward what's going on in the war. And that is not a criticism, but the war has gone well.
There have been no other attacks on the homeland or American facilities abroad, and if you go around and talk to people, as I'm sure you know, there's a sense, "Well, this is over. This was a problem that's been solved," and what the president was saying is, "Oh, wait a minute. It hasn't even begun to be solved. The problem is worldwide."
As he put it, there are thousands or tens of thousands of trained terrorists out there. I think he called them ticking time bombs. We learned in September what 19 of those ticking time bombs can do, and so if the numbers are anywhere close to what he says, those are people who aren't just in a sense ticking away idly.
They are people who are committed to dying in their cause. In fact, they crave the death of inflicting some sort of damage on this country. So it was a very good warning, and I think probably a wakeup call to lots of people.
KING: Do you agree, Bob, with those guests tonight who said that this was more a commander in chief than a president?
WOODWARD: Well, it was a war speech, and if you look at Bush and know Bush and observe him at all, there was one thing on his mind. It was 15 minutes into the speech. Then he finally mentioned something else, the economy, and that was only in passing. He is obsessed with this.
Dan Balz and I who are doing this series for "The Post" about the first 10 days after 9/11 -- Dan and I went to interview Bush last month in the Oval Office, and it was supposed to be an hour. He was so interested in it, he postponed the speaker of the House coming so we could talk to him another half-hour.
And this idea of Bush as somebody who doesn't do his homework or doesn't know what's going on was totally erased. He had NSC -- National Security Council minutes there. He read some of them to answer our questions. He went through specific meetings, specific moments, and decision points, and there was a kind of total commitment and energy on his part that you saw in the speech tonight.
KING: Were you happily surprised to see Cheney there?
WOODWARD: Well, he has come out of the secure location for this moment, but, in the series that we're doing, this morning, we started the piece for the third day or two days after 9/11 with Bush's limousine pulling up to the White House.
And Andy Card, the chief of staff, runs out and literally blocks the president from getting out of the limousine and says, "I have to tell you something," and they go in and close the door, and he -- and Card says to the president, "There is another threat on the White House, and we are taking it very seriously."
The president's quite upset that he has been asked this in the limousine and says, "Why can't you tell me this in the Oval Office?" So President Bush goes to the Oval Office, and there is the director of the Secret Service saying, "We want to evacuate you to the bunker underneath the White House because we consider this threat really something that we're going to have to deal with."
And then it led to the Cheney departures to the secure locations, which went on for some time, and it turns out that it was Cheney who kept saying, "You know, I've got to go away because of these continuing threats."
I think the threats are still there, but they rise and fall, and so -- you know, again, it -- this sense of normalcy -- "Well, Cheney's there. So everything is OK." Maybe it's a more effective message if he's not there because it underscores the dangers.
KING: Will his -- let me ask you -- we'll take a break and come back -- if his popularity at 84 percent will carry over into the congressional races.
We're talking with Bob Woodward. He's going to be back with us Thursday night to talk about the extraordinary events of the 10 days after, including the Camp David meeting. Back with more right after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As we gather tonight, our nation is at war, our economy is in recession, and the civilized world faces unprecedented dangers. Yet the state of our union has never been stronger.
KING: There's the interim chairman of the nation of Afghanistan, Mr. Karzai, being introduced by President Bush to a rousing applause from the members of the House and Senate in attendance tonight at the state of the union address. We're talking with Bob Woodward.
What's -- is he going to carry over to elect Republicans?
WOODWARD: Bush's popularity and the force he seems to be exercising here -- you know, you don't know. Those elections seem very close, but in a political time line, they are very, very far off.
Suppose there are more attacks in this country. Suppose they come and are sponsored from some of the countries that we did not attack militarily. There's a whole group here in Washington that feels that Iraq should have been attacked along with Afghanistan.
There are reasons why that was not done, but suppose it turns out that Iraq sponsors something, some sort of terrorist attack in the United States or some embassy abroad. Lots of people would say, "Hey, wait a minute. The wrong choices were made."
We are in a very risky situation for everyone in this country, everyone who travels abroad, but the president is, though, in a very strong position and, certainly, has done a remarkable job in this. He is in a risky position.
These people on the other side -- we talked about this before, Larry, but we really don't know what they're up to, what they think they're going to get out of this, what are their goals. We have some general idea. I think they operate on time lines that we don't understand, and one of their doctrines is attack when the American guard is down.
So they are -- you know, perhaps they're on vacation now, lots of them, at least psychologically, waiting for the guard to come down, and then they are going to attack.
KING: Let's take a call for Bob Woodward.
Boon, North Carolina. Hello.
CALLER: Hi. Mr. Woodward, I would really like to know what you think -- why you think Bush did not mention bin Laden by name tonight at all.
WOODWARD: Well, he did in his first speech on this issue to Congress on September 20th. There's no reason to mention bin Laden. Everyone knows he's the leader of the group. Of course, no one knows where he is, and that's one of the mysteries of this. With the massive military and CIA intelligence effort in Afghanistan in the region around Afghanistan, why do we not know where bin Laden is or what happened to him and why have we not captured or killed him?
No one has a really good answer to that, and it suggests there's something we don't understand or have a full grasp of.
KING: Vancouver. Hello.
CALLER: Mr. Woodward, I'd like to ask you if you believe that President Bush's popularity is due to the fact that he has brought trust back to the Oval Office.
WOODWARD: You know, that's for the political analysts. What -- his focus is on the war. He has developed a strategy. He's got a national security team that is extraordinary by any standard, lots of experience, lots of different perspectives, and he -- look, he -- he's holding a winning hand this minute.
Tomorrow afternoon, if something goes south in all of this, what looks like a big winning hand could be a losing hand or not a very good one.
KING: Could south be Enron?
WOODWARD: That -- one of the -- that scandal, which is a very real one -- I could list a million questions that arise from it, but scandals are driven by facts, and if the facts lead to the White House or the administration, then there will be big trouble.
But all of the investigative systems are in place. There are almost a dozen congressional investigations. The Justice Department and the FBI are conducting a full investigation. And the press is highly energized and focused on Enron, quite rightly so.
At some point, with all of those people at work digging around, trying to find out what really occurred, we're going to get a fuller and fuller picture.
KING: How well do you think this president has learned from his father with regard to the possible failings of high ratings? I think President Bush at one time had a 90-percent rating and was a one-term president.
WOODWARD: Well, I'm sure that's in the back of the current president's mind. What interested is me that when Dan Balz and I went to interview the president, he --
His father never would have done that, to be quote honest with you. During the Gulf War, I did a book called "The Commanders" and talked to lots of people. The -- President Bush would never talk to me.
President Clinton would not let you go in and say, "Look, I really want to go through and ask questions. What happened? What did you think? What information was available? What were the alternatives?"
This president feared it not at all and answered every single question.
KING: Therefore, well within himself.
WOODWARD: Well, on this issue. I mean, as you suggest, the economy can come around. It is an issue that rightly people care about.
The Republican Bush philosophy essentially is there are only limited things that the government can do to help the economy. It's basically up to the business people and the consumers. That was reflected in the speech tonight, that was reflected in the tax cut, and I suspect other requests in the economy.
It's not something where he has all the levers of power. In war, he does.
KING: Thanks so much, Bob. We'll see you again Thursday night for more on that rip-roaring story you've done. Always good seeing you.
Bob Woodward, the assistant managing editor of "The Washington Post."
We thank all of our guests for being with us tonight and staying up late, too. This has been a special 90-minute edition of LARRY KING LIVE following the state of the union address, and what we're going to do right now after a short break is repeat that address for you. We'll also repeat the remarks in response by Congressman Gephardt.
Tomorrow night, Governor Ann Richards, the former governor of Texas. She is never dull. She's going to be the special guest.
Thanks for joining us and good night.
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