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Barr and McKinney Soundly Drubbed in Georgia; Jeb Bush to Meet PM Sharon in Florida; Bill Clinton Reportedly Interested in Hosting Talk Show

Aired August 21, 2002 - 16:00   ET


JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Judy Woodruff in Washington. Voters have given the boot to two of the more polarizing figures in Congress. Is there a broader message for candidates in election 2002?
BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Bruce Morton in Washington. Bob Barr and Cynthia McKinney join a growing list of colorful and sometimes controversial characters who are leaving Washington for one reason or another.

WOODRUFF: Also ahead, House Majority Whip Tom DeLay take on critics of the president's Iraq policy.


TOM DELAY, HOUSE MAJORITY WHIP: Saddam Hussein is a terrorist himself. We know what this man is. We know what his history is. We know that he's a predator.


WOODRUFF: Plus, six degrees of Ken Lay. The former Enron chief has links to all sorts of famous political figures, Kevin Bacon too.

WOODRUFF: Thank you for joining us. Democrat Cynthia McKinney and Republican Bob Barr are on opposite ends of the spectrum but in some ways, the two House members defeated in yesterday's Georgia primary are mirror images of one another, outspoken and ideological firebrands, loose cannons according to their critics, best known for their attacks on presidents. Both of them went down fighting. But McKinney's loss to former state court judge Denise Majette was more of a surprise. Here now CNN's Martin Savidge.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the end, the Democratic primary race of five term Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney was not so much a contest between her and a challenger but a referendum on the outspoken congresswoman herself.

She was always known as a politician who shouted out on often controversial topics, bringing her lightning rod status, earning her the love of supporters and the scorn of conservatives. But even fellow Democrats were bothered by the verbal slap she took at the Bush Administration in the wake of September 11, at one point hinting the White House knew of the impending attacks and chose to do nothing to prevent them so that Bush supporters could profit in the stock market. It may be her own words came back it haunt her.

Softer spoken Democratic challenger Denise Majette rose from obscurity as a former state judge to serious challenger. The day before the primary, the race was said to be too close to call. But a heavier than usual turnout in this Atlanta area district led to a lopsided victory. Majette won by nearly 18,000 votes.

DENISE MAJETTE (D), GEORGIA CONG. CANDIDATE: This campaign was not about me. It was not about my opponent. It was about all of you, all of you who represent the spirit, the heart and soul of America.

SAVIDGE: Despite trailing badly all night, McKinney chose to wait until almost all the votes were counted before admitting defeat.

REP. CYNTHIA MCKINNEY (D), GEORGIA: I want to congratulate Denise Majette.

SAVIDGE: She blamed the upset on a large number of Republican voters casting their ballots for her opponent, something that is legal in Georgia's open primary system, commonly called a crossover.

MCKINNEY: Tonight we saw a massive Republican crossover.

SAVIDGE: But behind the scenes, McKinney campaign workers said that crossover was not enough to explain the defeat. Instead saying the people she needed for votes simply stayed home.

MCKINNEY: It looks like the Republicans wanted to beat me more than the Democrats wanted to keep me.

SAVIDGE: Offering no real insight into her political future, McKinney did tell supporters she would be back to fight another day, a message that could be construed as both a promise and a warning that the country hasn't heard the last of Cynthia McKinney. Martin Savidge, CNN, Decatur, Georgia.


WOODRUFF: Meanwhile, ousted Congressman Bob Barr is promising to support his fellow House member John Linder after their bitter battle in Georgia's Republican primary. In conceding the race, Barr made no apologies for his legacy of political controversy, including his high profile role in the impeachment and trial of former President Bill Clinton.


REP. BOB BARR (R), GEORGIA: When you think back to what we've accomplished in the political arena and the economic arena and in terms of law enforcement, we have accomplished as a team more than many other members, probably most other members of Congress or the Senate accomplish in an entire lifetime. And I appreciate that very much. We've got a lot left to do.


WOODRUFF: John Linder trounced Barr by winning two-thirds of the vote in suburban's Atlanta's new seventh district which contained more of his old district than Barr's.

The boundaries were redrawn by Georgia's Democratic controlled legislature, which was eager, it said, to pit the two conservative GOP incumbents against one another. The primary winner is considered a shoe-in this fall in the mostly Republican district. Tom Baxter is the political editor of the "Atlanta Journal-Constitution." First of all, on the Barr-Linder race, how do you explain it?

TOM BAXTER, POLITICAL ED, ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION: Well, you know, John Linder had polls throughout this campaign that showed that he was just stylistically the clear choice of the voters in this district. This district's a little bit more upscale, a little bit more urban than the one that Barr had represented. Turned out Linder was right. It clearly in Gwinnett County, the biggest county, the one that mattered, he won by a 3-1 margin and I think it was a matter of the style of the two candidates. It's a Republican conservative county, but they just like that low-key Linder style more.

WOODRUFF: Let me ask you about the McKinney Majette race. We heard Cynthia McKinney basically saying the Democrats didn't want to keep me or the Republicans wanted to beat me more than the Democrats wanted to keep me. Was it the Republican crossovers that made the difference there?

BAXTER: You know, as you can imagine, there are a lot of us who want to get our hands on those precinct returns and examine them a little bit more carefully. Clearly the Republican crossover helped Majette. But I think you also just have to look at the fact that McKinney didn't really invigorate her votes. She got no more votes than she had gotten in the previous elections.

And there are a lot of people who felt they add a reason to come out and vote against her this year, independent, Democrat and Republican.

WOODRUFF: Tom Baxter, what about the comment that her father made. He's a well known Georgia state representative, Billy McKinney. Just a few days ago, he was quoted as saying his daughter was in a tough fight because of an, and he spelled it out, J-E-W-S, Jews. To what extent was that a factor in this race?

BAXTER: I think that particular comment, actually came kind of late, came yesterday, if I'm not mistaken. But over the weekend Louis Farrakhan came into the district and campaigned for McKinney and I think that clearly was one of the deciding factors in this race, one of the things that caused such a solid victory for Majette.

WOODRUFF: You're saying it hurt McKinney.

BAXTER: Certainly hurt McKinney, not only among White voters but I think among middle class, more upscale black voters who were just uncomfortable with that type of politics. WOODRUFF: Some people are going to look at both of these campaigns and say, here were two polarizing outspoken candidates, one on the right, one on the left. Do you think there is a broader message here for candidates across the country this year?

BAXTER: Certainly I do, Judy. These two districts are side by side, and we had some cases where precincts that were next to each other, you'd have a majority of people voting Republican, picking up the Republican ballot to vote for Linder in one precinct and the next precinct over, a majority were picking up the Democratic ballot to vote for Majette. It was a vote for moderation, no matter which party.

WOODRUFF: All right, Tom Baxter is the political editor for the "Atlanta Journal-Constitution." Thank you Tom, good to see you. We want to tell that you tomorrow on INSIDE POLITICS, I'll be talking with Denise Majette about her upset win over Cynthia McKinney and the political challenges ahead.

Including the results from the Georgia's -- from Georgia now, Eight House incumbents have been ousted in primaries so far this year. Six of them have been Democrats, two of them, Republicans. The question is, should candidates still in the running read anything into the double defeat of McKinney and Barr?

It's a question I just posed to Tom Baxter, but let's now turn to our political analyst Bill Schneider. He's out in Los Angeles. Bill, could what happened in Georgia be part of a bigger trend?

BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Judy, I think divisive candidates like Bob Barr and Cynthia McKinney could be in more trouble than usual this year. They've got what I call the four Cs going against them.

First, controversy. They thrive on it, us versus them. That gives them an intense personal following and a lot of enemies. Second, this year we have redistricting. So constituencies changed. Fewer of us, more of them and both candidates made them mad. For instance, when Barr attacked his opponent John Linder, Linder's constituents, many of whom are now in the new district, came out in very large numbers to defend their congressman.

WOODRUFF: Now what about crossover votes? Was that a factor?

SCHNEIDER: Well, as we've just heard, of course. That's the third C. A lot of angry Republicans came out and took Democratic ballots to vote for Majette. They were angry at McKinney because of her outrageous allegations we heard in Martin Savidge's report about President Bush. Crossover voting is getting easier around the country and more common.

Finally both Barr and McKinney faced credible challengers. John Linder is already a member of Congress. You can't get more credible than that. Denise Majette was a judge and she raised a lot of money from pro-Israel supporters. The money gave her name recognition and raised her credibility. So when the four Cs come together, candidates who thrive on controversy are suddenly in trouble.

And then, a fifth C comes into play, the center. It revives. The poet William Butler Yeats once wrote, things fall apart, the center cannot hold. But you know what, Judy, I don't think Mr. Yeats spent a lot of time in Georgia.

WOODRUFF: I think you're probably right, Bill. We're going to check on that but we think you're right. Thanks, Bill. We'll see you tomorrow. We appreciate it.

Well, don't be surprised if Capitol Hill seems less animated next year. Still ahead, the lawmakers with strong personalities and in some cases heavy baggage soon will exit the Washington stage.

Speaking of strong personalities. There's more talk about Bill Clinton hosting a talk show. Find out who's taking issue with that.

Up next, the Bush administration's case against Saddam Hussein, Republican Tom DeLay tells us why he is standing squarely with the president against the Iraqi leader and against some other Republicans. This is INSIDE POLITICS.


WOODRUFF: House Majority Whip Tom DeLay said today that the United States should act now to remove Saddam Hussein from power. DeLay said that Iraq will soon have nuclear weapons and quote, the costs of inaction are unacceptable, end quote. I spoke with Tom DeLay just a little while ago and I began by asking his reaction to comments by former Marine and U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter who says that Iraq poses no threat to its neighbors or to the United States.


REP. TOM DELAY, (R) MAJORITY WHIP: Unfortunately, Mr. Ritter hasn't been to Iraq in a long time. He's probably not privy to the CIA or any intelligence that we've been able to gather, and I don't know what his motives are. But his statement is just ridiculous and I frankly, I don't know what planet he lives on.

WOODRUFF: Do you have solid information that there are weapons of mass destruction now in Iraq?

DELAY: Of course we have solid information that there's weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. And the American people have seen it, and have seen that Saddam Hussein will use them. Up front and personal on their TV sets in their living rooms. We know what this man is. We know what his history is. We know that he is a predator. And we know that he is supporting terrorists around the world. This is our war on terrorism. Iraq is just part of it.

WOODRUFF: What about, though, the view of senior statesman in your own party and the Republican party like Brent Scowcroft, who was the national security adviser to the first President Bush, who said to go into Iraq would, in his words, destroy potentially the war against terrorism around the world. DELAY: This is the war on terrorism around the world. Iraq is a nation that supports terrorism. Saddam Hussein is a terrorist himself. This is the war on terrorism. This is the war that was laid out by the president of the United States after 9/11. Thank God that George Bush was president on 9/11 because he instinctively knew what we were involved in and how to handle it. And he has shown the leadership that this country needs and the world needs, a leadership that understands that we have to go after terrorists and terrorist nations wherever we find them. This is part of that war.

WOODRUFF: But among other things, General Scowcroft, the argument is that in going into Iraq now, U.S. would be turning its back on the crisis between the Israelis and the Palestinians, that there would be an explosion of outrage. There in the Middle East and around the world, against the U.S.

DELAY: What's going on in Israel is part of the war on terrorism. Israel is being attacked by terrorists. Other nations are going to be attacked by terrorists. The United States has been attacked by terrorists. We are at war and we have to understand that this war against terrorism is a different kind of war than we've ever fought before and we are writing a new book.

But the president is right. We have to go after terrorists wherever we find them, this preemptive doctrine is the right doctrine. We need to go after the terrorists and get them before they get us.

WOODRUFF: Well, what do you say to your very close colleague in the House, your colleague from Texas, the Majority Leader Dick Armey. He says Americans, quote, "don't make unprovoked attacks." He said to do so would not be consistent with what we've been as a nation or what we should be as a nation.

DELAY: I think the attack on 9/11 fulfills the criteria laid out by the majority leader. If that doesn't fill his criteria, I'm not willing to wait on any attack and have American citizens die when we know where the terrorists are, we know where their weapons are, and we need to go get them.

WOODRUFF: But for someone like Dick Armey who's a good friend of yours among other things, do you say -- what do you say to him in private about this?

DELAY: I've already answered your question.

WOODRUFF: Well, let me ask you about one other comment you made in your speech. You talk about the impertinence of people in the government and you said -- at one point you said the U.S. State Department would do well to remember it answers to the president of the United States and not the European Union. Are you talking about Secretary of State Powell?

DELAY: I'm talking about the State Department is undermining this administration's ability to fight this war and, you know, there is tons of leaks out there. They ought to -- those that work in the State Department should know who they work for and be loyal to the president of the United States. They should certainly discuss with the president behind closed doors their feelings and how they think that he should proceed. But to leak it to the national media is undermining our ability to fight this war. And I think they are being impertinent.

WOODRUFF: House Majority Whip Tom DeLay, we want to thank you very much for joining us and we also want to point out, congratulations are in order, because today, this very day, you've become a grandfather for the first time.

DELAY: That's exactly right. I'm very excited about it. Brett Thomas Ferro (ph) just entered the world.

WOODRUFF: And that's your daughter's son.

DELAY: That's right.

WOODRUFF: Well, we wish you the very best and we hope mother and child are doing just great.

DELAY: They are doing well, thank you.

WOODRUFF: Thank you. Good to see you. We appreciate it.


WOODRUFF: We talked with Tom DeLay just a short time ago. He was very happy, as you could tell. Well, Iraq, back to Iraq is one topic that President Bush says was not discussed today in his meeting with his top military advisers. With me now from Crawford, Texas is CNN Senior White House Correspondent John King. John, it wasn't on the formal agenda, but surely it's on their minds.

JOHN KING, SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Surely it's on their minds, Judy, and they couldn't not be, once Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and President Bush emerged from that meet to talk to reporters. The very first question, of course, was about Iraq. Mr. Bush said, no, it did not come up once. The word was not spoken during his high level military meeting at the Bush ranch today.

But in that question and answer session, the president said the media was churning about this. The defense secretary called it a frenzy. With all that said, Mr. Bush then went on to make perfectly clear regime change is his goal in Baghdad, although Mr. Bush said, quote, "I'm a patient man."


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm a patient man, and when I say I'm a patient man, I mean I'm a patient man. And that we will look at all options and we will consider all technologies available to us, and diplomacy and intelligence. But one thing is for certain, is that this administration agrees that Saddam Hussein is a threat. And you know, that's a part of our thinking and it hasn't changed.


KING: Mr. Bush says consultations with Congress, consultation with key allies will come once he makes a decision whether he will choose the military option or diplomacy. But overseas in Kazakhstan today, one man who was not at the meeting at the Bush ranch, General Tommy Franks, he said it's the president's job to worry about the diplomacy, to worry about the politics as you were just discussing with Mr. DeLay. General Franks says his orders are quite simple.


GEN. TOMMY FRANKS, CMDR, US CENTRAL COMMAND: I confine my efforts to the business of military planning and so, that's -- that will be the effort I will be about in the future is conducting the planning that is necessary in order to be sure that our nation, the United States of America, and its allies, have credible options which can be presented to the president.


KING: By putting an emphasis on patience today, Mr. Bush clearly trying to send a signal to those who say he is in a rush to military confrontation are wrong.

Senior White House officials say most of these decisions are weeks, if not months away. At the White House they're also grateful for the strong words of support from Majority Whip Tom DeLay today. They didn't like everything in that speech, especially the public criticism of the State Department. Some harsh words about the Republican critics of the president. But make no mistake about it, the White House very happy to have a prominent conservative, the man likely to be the majority leader, in the White House, at least in the White House view. The Democrats might disagree come January, out- supporting the president.

WOODRUFF: Thank you, John, and we're told that Mr. DeLay consulted pretty heavily with Condoleezza Rice, the president's national security adviser, in getting ready for that speech. All right, John, thanks.

When we return, Democrats cry foul over plans for the governor of Florida and the prime minister of Israel to share the same stage.

Also ahead, dozens of people treated for respiratory problems at the Miami airport. We'll have details next in the "Newscycle."

But first, let's turn to Rhonda Schaffler. She's at the New York Stock Exchange for a market update. Hi, Rhonda.



WOODRUFF: Among the stories in the "Newscycle," a San Diego jury today found David Westerfield guilty of kidnapping and murdering 7- year-old Danielle van Dam. Prosecutors have said they will request the death penalty and the penalty phase of this trial begins next week.

New videotapes obtained by CNN's Nick Robertson in Afghanistan show how al Qaeda built urban environments in remote Afghanistan, training exercises that experts believe prepared terror operatives for urban warfare. In the tapes, al Qaeda's elite fighters train in house to house combat, and experts believe rehearsed hostage taking and assassinations.

At Miami international airport, more than 40 people were treated for breathing problems believed to have been caused by mace. An airport security officer had taken a can of suspected mace from a passenger early this morning. The can apparently was leaking and the substance spread throughout the area. The concourse was later reopened and no one was taken to a hospital.

With me now to discuss some of this day's other top stories, Mindy Tucker, communications director for the Republican National Committee and Jennifer Palmieri. She's press secretary with the Democratic National Committee.

Let me ask you both about something that we were made aware of in the last few days and that is Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is going to appear at an event in Florida, the date with Governor Jeb Bush, the president's brother, the day before the Republican primary in Florida. And let me just quickly quote Bob Poe, the Florida state Democratic party chair. He said this is a shameless attempt at politics by the White House.

But the Israeli counsel general in Miami, Nicky Arbel (ph) says the intention was just to pay a visit with the great Jewish community of Florida, which is highly supportive of the state of Israel. Jennifer Palmieri, which is it?

JENNIFER PALMIERI, DNC PRESS SECRETARY: Well, I think that when it comes to the Bush White House and Bush family politics, it just shows that nothing is off the table, and whereas you would think that normally politics stops at the nation's shore, the fact that Jeb Bush would influence, put influence on his brother to bring an esteemed foreign leader like Ariel Sharon to act as a political prop is unseemly, and I think that, I think Floridians are going to see through it and it could backfire because it could really offend some voters.

WOODRUFF: Mindy, anything inappropriate about Sharon?

MINDY TUCKER, RNC COMMUNICATIONS DIR: Well, I think what would be inappropriate is if Governor Bush were to snub the prime minister of Israel and say I don't want you here. I think that would be ridiculous.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Suggest it might have come from the White House...

(CROSSTALK) TUCKER: I don't know why, though, what does it gain you and everybody making a big deal about the election, it's a primary. What, they think it's going to get him more Republican votes? Oh, no. I mean the whole idea that this is politics is -- people in Florida, Democrats in Florida, grasping for some issue to get mad at him about. Jeb Bush has got a solid race. He's going to win and for them to bring this up is just ridiculous.

PALMIERI: Well, we have plenty of good issues that we think our Democrats will do well on in the Florida race and I think that this just shows how worried Jeb Bush really is, that he feels he needs to drag in a foreign leader.

WOODRUFF: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) you on to a story that came out today in "The New York Times" in the business section. And that is, former President Clinton is -- has been in discussions, negotiations with the CBS network about a possible television talk show. Now, he had already been talking with NBC. That apparently fell apart, no agreement.

Mindy, what are we to make of this?

TUCKER: I feel bad for Jennifer. She left. The White House is over for her. She still has to answer questions about this guy.

Unfortunately, with him, when it is not about him, it's always about him. He keeps trying to insert himself into the news. And I think most Americans would cringe at the idea of having to watch him on a talk show on a regular basis. We need to move forward. We need to get on with the business of our country and not focus on the past and the things that happened. And, hopefully, he will do what he should do as a former president and act appropriately and hopefully...

WOODRUFF: Well, would this be inappropriate?

TUCKER: It depends on how he carries himself.


PALMIERI: I think that it's probably unlikely that this is actually going to happen, because I think what President Clinton would like to do -- and, Judy, what you know from talking to him post- presidency -- there are three issues he's focused on: combating global AIDS, and working on racial reconciliation, and economic empowerment.

And if he thought that he could use a television show to talk about these issues, he would love to do that.

WOODRUFF: But they're not denying that there have been these extensive negotiations.

PALMIERI: They have been in discussions. But the type of show that President Clinton is interested in doing is like maybe six shows a year, where you talk about these substantive issues. And, unfortunately, I don't think it's ever going to happen, because I don't think that network executives are interested in that type of show.

So I think that...

TUCKER: And it works out, because Americans aren't interested in a Clinton show.

PALMIERI: I actually think the fact that there's so much interest in this shows that there's a little bit of Clinton nostalgia, though. I think that they would welcome some serious dialogue.

WOODRUFF: I have a feeling Mindy might not agree with that.

All right, we're going to leave it there. Jennifer Palmieri, Mindy Tucker, good to see both of you. Thanks for being with us again.

Well, Senator Hillary Clinton may not be endorsing either Democrat in the New York governor's race, but she is actively trying to get other Democrats around the country elected this year. Just a few hours ago, she launched a Web site for HILLPAC, a political action committee that she started last year. The site lists 21 Senate candidates and 52 House candidates, all of them Democrats.

HILLPAC has bankrolled in order to -- quote -- "fight back against the extremist agenda." HILLPAC has raised more than $1 million in hard money this year. Nearly all members of the Senate have similar leadership PACs.

Well, the Clinton family's connection to a certain former intern named Monica is well documented, but up next: Could there be a link between Lewinsky and the former Enron chief that President Bush once called Kenny boy?


WOODRUFF: The Enron scandal is back in the spotlight today. Former executive Michael Kopper pleaded guilty to money laundering and conspiracy to commit wire fraud in exchange for his cooperation with federal investigators.

Well, there's no way to know who, if anyone, will play Kopper when the Enron debacle becomes a made-for-TV movie. But consider this bit of inspired casting. Actor and Democratic activist Mike Farrell, best known for his role on the hit series "MASH," reportedly has been tapped to play Enron chief Ken Lay in a CBS drama about the company's collapse. According to "The New York Post," the movie will be titled, "Crooked E," a reference to Enron's now well-known logo.

Well, Ken Lay has become famous and infamous as a symbol of corporate scandal. And that got the folks at the "Washington Business Forward" magazine to thinking about his political connections. The result is a humorous feature: six degrees of Ken Lay.

Editor-in-chief Eamon Javers talked to us about the project.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) EAMON JAVERS, EDITOR IN CHIEF, "WASHINGTON BUSINESS FORWARD": We were sitting around the offices of "Washington Business Forward" magazine the other day, talking about all of the American political and business that scandals that are going on: Harken Energy, Halliburton and Enron.

They're pretty tightly connected. But what we didn't realize until we started looking into it is that Kenneth Lay of Enron can actually be connected, Kevin-Bacon style, in six degrees or less, to just about every scandal that's ever happened in American business or politics.

Here's how we did it. Start with Monica Lewinsky, for example. Monica Lewinsky received job advice from Vernon Jordan just before the sex scandal broke. Vernon Jordan sits on the board of directors of Revlon, which is headed by Ron Perelman. Ron Perelman was financed in many of his deals by junk-bond king Michael Milken. Michael Milken lobbied in California for energy deregulation with Kenneth Lay.

Let's try another one: Bob Dole. Bob Dole hawks Viagra for Pfizer Corporation on TV. On the Pfizer Corporation's board is Frank Raines. Frank Raines is Clinton's former OMB director, who is now trying to bring a baseball team to D.C. with Fred Malek. Fred Malek served in the Nixon administration. Nixon also employed Lawrence Eagleburger. Eagleburger later joined the board of Halliburton, where Dick Cheney served as CEO. Dick Cheney later met to discuss energy policy with Ken Lay.

And, of course, whenever you're doing six degrees of separation, you have got to do Kevin Bacon. And Kevin Bacon can be linked to Enron CEO Kenneth Lay pretty quickly. Here's how we did it. Kevin Bacon starred in a movie called "Quicksilver" with actress Jamie Gertz. Jamie Gertz was in "Less Than Zero" with Robert Downey Jr. Robert Downey Jr. appeared in an obscure movie about a Democratic National Convention that was financed by Sam Waksal, the former CEO of ImClone.

Sam Waksal was colleagues with John Mendelsohn, who sat on ImClone's board of directors. John Mendelsohn, president of the University of Texas Cancer Center, also sat on the board of directors at Enron with, once again, you guessed it, Kenneth Lay.


WOODRUFF: You got all that, right? Eamon Javers is the editor of "Washington Business Forward" magazine. We've got a quiz on all this tomorrow.

Well, Louisiana's top Republican considers a run for the U.S. Senate -- details ahead in our "Campaign News Daily." Also: California Republican Bill Simon on his race for governor and the president's upcoming visit to help his campaign.


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) WOODRUFF: Bill Simon, thank you for talking with us.

You're running your first TV ads today in California, first ones in two months. And yet we're told you've got $5 million in your campaign up against Gray Davis' $30 million. People say $5 million is just a drop in the bucket when it comes to television time in California.

BILL SIMON (R), CALIFORNIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: Well, Judy, you know, we're actually ahead of our fund-raising schedule. If you compare where we are today vs. where Dan Lungren was in 1998 or Pete Wilson in 1994, we're actually ahead of their pace.

We're ahead of our own fund-raising projections. And so we feel quite comfortable in terms of where we are with respect to fund- raising. But I will say this: that Gray Davis has more money in his account than any candidate for statewide office in any state in the history of our country. And there's one reason for that: because his signature is for sale.

WOODRUFF: Well, let me ask you about your campaign. Last week, you laid off almost half of your campaign staff. Now, to an observer from here in Washington, it doesn't sound like a campaign in strong shape.

SIMON: Well, no, that's actually not what happened, Judy.

We offered something short of half of our people the opportunity to stay on the campaign in a volunteer capacity. And almost 80 percent of them have chosen to do that. So, actually, most of the people have stayed with the campaign. And we're very grateful for that. And that actually is an indication of the level of support that we have received from our people.

We're running a good, strong campaign, but there is no question that we need to go up on TV and make sure that we've got enough resources to be on TV through the duration.

WOODRUFF: Well, you've got President Bush coming in there this week to raise money for you. However, it's been noted that, when the vice president was there last week, the two of you did not appear in public together. He was in San Francisco giving a speech about the same time you were in the area. He didn't mention you in a speech that he gave. And some people are saying that's odd.

SIMON: Well, not at all, Judy.

The trip by the vice president was always intended to be for the benefit of the California Republican Party. And you mentioned President Bush. There's an indication of the type of support that we do enjoy from the Bush administration, who have been behind us 100 percent every step of the way and assure us that they are going to continue that way through November the 5th.

President Bush will come here on Friday and do three events with us, which will make it five events in total that he's done for my campaign. And I believe that that might be the largest number of events for any candidate. But in any -- regardless, it's a sign of tremendous support for our campaign. Next week, we have got another member of the Bush administration coming out, Secretary of Commerce Don Evans; and then, early in September, Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao.

So, we believe we have got tremendous support from the Bush administration.

WOODRUFF: Well, I know the president is coming to raise money. Yet, in "The Washington Post" this week, they're quoting -- they quote White House strategists as saying that they don't want to get too close to your campaign. They fear that -- quote -- "It may be too far gone to resuscitate."

How do you explain comments like that?

SIMON: Well, I say this, Judy. You have to take a look at -- actions speak louder than words, in my estimate. And the fact that President Bush will be here -- Rudy Giuliani is actually going to be here tomorrow. But President Bush will be here on Friday, will be doing three events for us. The press will be there. This is all out in the open. President Bush is behind us 100 percent.

WOODRUFF: Let me finally ask you about that verdict, $78 million jury verdict against your family's investment firm for defrauding a business partner who turned out to be a convicted drug dealer. Is this going to be hanging over your head until another hearing that's scheduled for mid-October?

SIMON: Well, Judy, I don't believe so.

The facts are this: that jury verdicts occasionally are flawed. This one was. And I have great confidence it will either be set aside in just a couple weeks or it will be overturned on appeal. But, regardless, the bottom line is this. I've not been implicated in anything here.

And our citizens of California want to know about one thing: What is Bill Simon going to do for them? And I'm going to lower taxes. I'm going to create more jobs. I'm going to reduce regulation. I'm going to repair our schools. And I'm going to make sure that our quality of life, our roads and our water and our power, are reliable and affordable. That's what our citizens want to know about, Judy. And I believe that Bill Simon has the vision to accomplish what Californians want.


WOODRUFF: Bill Simon remaining optimistic despite some challenges in that campaign.

Well, checking the headlines now in our "Campaign News Daily": Florida Republicans have unleashed a new ad against Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill McBride. The spot targets McBride with claims that he mismanaged his law firm and is using -- quote -- "trick accounting" at his campaign. McBride has a ready response. In his own new ad, McBride says Republicans are attacking him because they know -- quote -- "I'd be the toughest Democrat to beat."

Polls have shown McBride trailing Janet Reno among Democrats, but he maintains that he would make a stronger candidate against Governor Jeb Bush.

Republican sources tell CNN that President Bush is expected to speak with Louisiana Governor Mike Foster today to urge Foster to run for the Senate against incumbent Democrat Mary Landrieu. The governor is said to be considering a last-minute entry into the race. The filing deadline is this Friday. Three Republicans already have announced plans to run against Landrieu, but all three of them are trailing the senator in the opinion polls.

Ahead here: some of the colorful characters making their final appearances in Washington.


WOODRUFF: Social Security is always a hot topic on the campaign trail. And with the president's talk of expanding the program to include what he calls personal retirement accounts, Democrats see political opportunity.

Here's CNN's Brooks Jackson.


BROOKS JACKSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): To hear Dick Gephardt, the biggest issue in the fall elections is Social Security.

REP. RICHARD GEPHARDT (D-MO), MINORITY LEADER: If they want to privatize it and turn their fortunes over to the stock market...

JACKSON: Democrats are painting this election as a referendum on privatization.

GEPHARDT: This is the important issue in this campaign.

JACKSON: Some attack ads have appeared already.

In the Arkansas Senate race:


NARRATOR: He wants to privatize Social Security, take our money out of the Social Security trust fund, and hand it over to big Wall Street investment firms to gamble in the stock market.


JACKSON: And in the South Carolina governor's race:


NARRATOR: Sanford's plan would leave seniors without protection from companies like Enron and WorldCom.


JACKSON: And in ground war tactics, labor union activists confront Republicans, demanding they sign a pledge not to privatize.

That's Florida Congressman Clay Shaw, who heads the Social Security Subcommittee. The target is the president's proposal to create private accounts using a fraction of current Social Security taxes.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Americans would own these assets. After all, it is their money.

JACKSON (on camera): Both sides use word games. Republicans use the term personal retirement accounts. Polling shows most Americans like the idea. So instead Democrats use the term privatization. That doesn't sound as good.

(voice-over): Democrats hope corporate scandals and two years of slumping stock prices will raise public doubts. And, indeed, a handful of Republicans are backing away.

Mississippi Congressman Chip Pickering once favored private accounts, but not now.

REP. CHIP PICKERING (R), MISSISSIPPI: Now we are in deficit spending. And what I have said is that we do not need at this time to consider changes to our retirement system.

JACKSON: But so far, it is hard to find evidence that the Democratic attacks are working. Only three Republicans have actually signed that no-privatization pledge. That South Carolina ad fell flat.


NARRATOR: Mark Sanford tried to privatize Social Security.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would ask them to pull down this ad.

JACKSON: After it ran, one TV station poll showed Republican Mark Sanford was doing better, not worse, dead-even with his attacker, Democratic Governor Jim Hodges.

Democrats are distorting the issue. Bush's plan would not privatize all of Social Security, diverting only a fraction of Social Security taxes to private accounts. And investments would be widely diversified, not put into individual stocks like Enron or WorldCom.

As for Republican distortions, look at this South Dakota ad.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, AD) NARRATOR: Johnson supports a Social Security privatization plan that lets the federal government invest Social Security in the stock market.


JACKSON (on camera): That's Republican John Thune accusing Democratic Senator Tim Johnson of privatization. Semantics cuts both ways. But, so far, this issue isn't cutting much.

Brooks Jackson, CNN, Washington.


WOODRUFF: They are, in many ways, larger than life and they will be bidding farewell to Capitol Hill -- that story when we return.

But now let's take a look at what's coming up on "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS" -- hi, Wolf.


A San Diego jury says guilty, but the fate of child killer David Westerfield is not set in stone. We will have complete coverage. Plus, a CNN exclusive: terror on tape, what al Qaeda taught about assassinations. Also: a frightening day at the fair. What happened to this child after a fall?

All those stories, much more, at the top of the hour, right after INSIDE POLITICS.


WOODRUFF: Looking ahead to what's in the works for tomorrow's INSIDE POLITICS: a congressional poll unlike any you've ever seen, how consumer taste for burritos reveals preferences for political leaders -- our unscientific survey on tomorrow's INSIDE POLITICS.

Well, as we reported at the top of show, two political lightning rods leave the House, Bob Barr and Cynthia McKinney, both defeated in yesterday's Georgia primary.

As our Bruce Morton reports, they're not the only vivid personalities who will be packing up and leaving Congress.


BRUCE MORTON, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): "The Hotline," a political newsletter, noted the other day that Washington reporters are losing a lot of colorful congresspeople this year. And they're right.

SEN. STROM THURMOND (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I may be 96 years old, but I still like young women.

(LAUGHTER) MORTON: Strom Thurmond is 99 now, but still likes a well-turned ankle and sees quite a few of them.

Voters may not have liked Cynthia McKinney's comments about the Bush administration. She lost her primary yesterday. But how many congresspeople can dance this well? Not many.


REP. JAMES TRAFICANT (D), OHIO: And what really frosts my pumpkin: Experts around the country say, to solve the problem, Congress should give them more money. Beam me up.


MORTON: The House lost Jim Traficant. Prison gained him and his hairpiece, perhaps the furriest toupee on Capitol Hill.

Jesse Helms of North Carolina is retiring. You could love him or hate him, but who else could sound like a 1928 truck horn?


MORTON: Phil Gramm of Texas is another retiring senator. We learned about his education the year he ran for president. Remember?

SEN. PHIL GRAMM (R), TEXAS: My ninth-grade math teacher told my mama: "We can't all be engineers and Phil ought to go to trade school, and doesn't have the ability to graduate from high school." My mama said, "What does ability have to do with it?"


MORTON: Gary Condit lost. That was kind of a relief. He reminds us of a tragedy: an intern murdered here in Washington.

Georgia Congressman Bob Barr lost his primary yesterday. Activists will miss him. He'd lead the charge, even if he was the only one in it.

REP. BOB BARR (R), GEORGIA: The president's grand jury testimony on August 17, 1998 was replete, that is full of lies, untruths and misleading statements.

MORTON: Fred Thompson of Tennessee is leaving, but we can always watch his movies, and he may have a series on TV.

And he's not from Congress, not in Washington, but reporters everywhere will miss him. Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura is retiring.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you for your time, Mr. Ventura.


MORTON: Well, yes, in a funny way, it was. And we'll miss you. The new guys won't be as much fun, probably.

Bruce Morton, CNN, Washington.


WOODRUFF: Well, we can only hope for some flamboyant victories on November the 5th.


We thank you for joining us. I'm Judy Woodruff.


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