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As Bush Continues Pressing the Issue of Attacking Iraq, Are War Critics Coming Around?; The Administration's Next Steps in the Iraq Debate

Aired September 16, 2002 - 16:00   ET


JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Judy Woodruff in Washington.
As the Bush administration keeps pressing the case against Saddam Hussein, are critics of a possible war with Iraq coming around?

CANDY CROWLEY, SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Candy Crowley in Washington where Democrats on the Hill seem to be shifting to a sooner than later approach to debate on Iraq.


I will tell you about the administration's next steps in the Iraq debate, regardless of what the Democrats do.

WOODRUFF: Also ahead, our Bruce Morton on the civil war, going corporate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The clash at Bloody Lane is brought to you by, no kidding, Farmer's and Merchants Bank and Trust.

WOODRUFF: Thank you for joining us.

In California a jury says it is deadlocked on whether to recommend the death penalty or life in prison for David Westerfield. He of course is the man convicted last month in the murder and kidnapping of 7-year-old Danielle van Dam. A judge in San Diego has scheduled a hearing just about a half hour from now to decide whether to accept the deadlock or to send jurors back for more deliberations. We plan to carry that hearing live.

But now, we begin with new diplomatic and political movement toward a showdown with Iraq. At the United Nations, Secretary of State Colin Powell, says he is encouraged by his talks with the Security Council about getting tough on Saddam Hussein and his defiance of U.N. resolutions.

In Iowa, President Bush pressed his case against Iraq to the American people, reminding them of what he told the United Nations last week, that if the world doesn't take action against Saddam Hussein, the United States will.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If Iraq regimes continue to defile us and the world, we will move deliberately, yet decisively, to hold Iraq to account. We owe this to our children.


WOODRUFF: Here In Washington, Democrats are fine-tuning their political strategy on Iraq and the timing of Congressional debate.

Our senior political correspondent Candy Crowley joins us now. Candy, you've been talking to a lot of people now.

What is the status of thinking on all this?

CROWLEY: Definite movement. Like I said, they'd would rather get this out of the way. The problem is the subject has sucked all the oxygen out of the room. If you are someone on Capitol Hill who's a Democrat who wants to get some legislation done, you're standing around talking to yourself because the talk is all of Iraq.

It's as you know, a political year. Mid-terms are coming up and in fact they want this just off the table.

So there is a growing sense that they ought to just do some sort of resolution, not wait until after the elections, get it off the table and move on.

WOODRUFF: They knew last week, the week before, this was an election year. What has -- what has caused them now to decide, OK, we want to move quicker?

CROWLEY: I'm told there are a couple things. First of all, as I said, it's the idea that it just is taking all of the headlines. And Democrats are then not talking about their Issues as they see the ones they can win on, the economy, the pensions, prescription drugs.

But also, really what's driving the debate a lot are these presidential candidates and some of them have been very hawkish, Lieberman, Edwards, Gephardt. And so that tends to sort of drive the Democrats because they are the most high profile and the most outspoken of the Democrats.

WOODRUFF: Candy, as I asked you this question about whether this is having an impact on the campaigns, we got pictures to show everybody. President Bush coming back to the White House after a trip today to Iowa where he did a little politicking on behalf of Congressman Nussle.

But what about the thinking, the effect on individual campaigns out there?

CROWLEY: I'm told, look, this does not -- the atmospherics have not changed on the campaign trail, that it isn't the news media that drives the debate on the campaign. It's local Issues and it tends to be TV ads. Then why do you care whether this gets off the table if it's not driving.

And they said this is such a crazy election year, such a close election year, we don't want anything out there that isn't what we consider to be our prime issues so they want it off even while saying, this has not shown a lot of resonance out there. They get one or two questions at town hall meetings, but it's not really driving the local races, where they just want it off their plate.

WOODRUFF: Fascinating. They say Washington is where things move things slowly, but maybe not in this case.

CROWLEY: Well, we will see. Exactly, exactly. Never say things will move quickly.

WOODRUFF: All right, Candy. Thanks very much.

And now we want to bring in our senior White House correspondent John King.

John, what is the administration, they are obviously watching all this action at the same time we are, what do they attribute all this to?

KING: Well, they attribute it, Judy -- the Democrats, any Democrats saying they want to move more quickly on this. The White House would attribute to the president's speech last Thursday to the United Nations. White House officials believe that was the turning point and if the Democratic leadership thought it could put off this issue until after the election they were convinced otherwise by the president's speech and his remarks the next day that he could not understand how any Democrat or any law maker for that matter could justify to their constituents why they would want the United Nations to go first.

So the White House believes the president's strong speech and his remarks the next day, his willingness to get into the political debate with Congress if necessary is what has turned the tied here. We are also told that the White House is hoping to have language as to what that resolution should say up to Capitol Hill by the end of this week, early next week is the target.

The White House has a draft proposal making its way around here between the political staff, the legal, the national security staff. They hope to get it to Capitol Hill, if not by the end of this week, by early next week and then they hope the House and the Senate will accept it with just relatively minor changes perhaps and move on it as quick as possible.

WOODRUFF: And John, is the White House of the view that if this happens sooner rather than later, that's all of the good as far as they are concerned? Any down side they can see?

KING: The White House certainly wants the resolution sooner rather than later. They believe if perhaps if the United Nations debate is still going on and you might hear the president's helicopter leaving, that's the noise behind me, if the Congress gives the president the strong resolution perhaps it might help Secretary Powell if he's trying to sway members of the Security Council to show there is unified resolve, if you will, here in the United States. The president has said he wants it before Congress goes out on recess. The White House though also says it hopes that Congress goes ahead with the hearings that are planned because the White House believes those will be helpful, not only in swaying key members of Congress but much more important from the president's point of view, having Secretary Powell, Secretary Rumsfeld and others deliver public testimony on Capitol Hill will again help sway the American people for one and perhaps the global audience as well.

WOODRUFF: All right, interesting to watch all this. The timing of hearings, resolutions and all the rest of it. OK, John, thanks very much.

KING: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: Meantime over at the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says the goal of Congressional debate on Iraq will be to connect the dots before tragedy happens. Rumsfeld warns skeptics who want proof of Saddam Hussein's nuclear ambitions that putting the pieces together won't be simple.


DONALD RUMSFELD, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: There isn't a single smoking gun that everyone nods and says, ah-ha, that's it. If we wait for a smoking gun in this instance, it obviously, would be after the fact.


WOODRUFF: Let's good on the record now about Iraq with retired General Wesley Clark, of course the former NATO supreme commander, now a CNN military analyst.

General Clark, from a military standpoint, is there -- is it a good thing, is it not a good thing for Congress to go ahead and move quickly on this resolution whatever the language is. and for United Nations to move quickly?

GEN. WESLEY CLARK (RET), FORMER NATO SUPREME CMDR.: Well, I think from the military perspective, the sooner the ambiguity is taken out of this the better. This gives the military a free hand in terms of planning the specific details of the campaign.

And of course that has to depend in turn on how many allies are going to support us, where we're going to get ports and air bases and whether there will be a coalition, if so, who will be in it and what the forces will be and so forth.

So from the military side I'm sure our commanders are asking for answers to these questions, and in that regard, the sooner the better.

WOODRUFF: Do you agree with the urgency of this?

CLARK: I have some reservations about this. I see on the one hand, there is a strong case to be made that in order to work effectively with the United Nations, you need to show them that the American people as well as the president are determined to go ahead and help the United Nations do its job with respect to Saddam Hussein.

But on the other hand, we have to get this right. It's not just a matter of putting the forces into Iraq, even though it is often referred to, let's get them in there, it a matter of what they do when they are there, what the specific objective is and how we plan for the post conflict operations. I think it's an easy thing for military, relatively easy, for the military to consider all the doctrinal factors involved in planning a military operation.

But to try to bring the entire international community and the United States government together to deal with the circumstances afterward is much more difficult. And one of the principles of military operations in environments like this that we discovered and learned hard way during the 1990s is, you have to plan for the post conflict environment at the same time that you are planning a military operation.

Otherwise, when that military operation goes unexpectedly well, you are left with a what now, problem. And so, we want to get that planning done and in that respect, we need time and we need a sense of focus on post conflict planning.

WOODRUFF: How much difference does it make, the wording of these resolution or resolutions that Congress would pass in terms of what the president is able to do after?

CLARK: I think it does make a difference because I think that Congress, the American people's representatives, can specify what it is they hope that the country will stand for and what it will do.

So I think the -- what people say is, don't give a blank check. Don't just say, you are authorized to use force. Say what the objectives are. Say what the limitations are, say what the constraints and restraints are. What is it that we, the United States of America, hope to accomplish in this operation.

And I think that the support will be stronger and it will be more reliable and more consistent if we are able to put the specifics into the resolution.

WOODRUFF: For example, Republicans, the White House circulating in the last few days, the Tom Daschle resolution from 1998, which among other things, urged then President Clinton, quote, to take all necessary and appropriate actions to respond to the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. Is that kind of language that is appropriate here?

CLARK: Well, I think that there will be more restraints this time because unlike the situation in 1998, where the administration had -- was not engaged in other military operations, was not at war, in this case, there is an ongoing military operation, and there is a contemplation here, not just...

WOODRUFF: You mean in Afghanistan? You mean in Afghanistan? CLARK: Right, exactly, Judy. And there is a contemplation here of going in on the ground. There was no question in 1998 about us going in on the ground.

Now we are. If we are going into the ground in this troubled region, there are other nations who may get involved, whether we like them to or not. Iran, Syria, there is the problems of governing Iraq afterwards and I think the Congress will want to have a say on how we approach these problems.

WOODRUFF: All right. General Wesley Clark. We thank you very much. Always good to see you.

CLARK: Nice to see you Judy.

WOODRUFF: Coming up next, David Ensor on the latest Al Qaeda Captives. Plus, how is the debate over attacking Iraq playing outside of Washington? We'll some reality checks from Iowa and Massachusetts. And we'll set the scene for tomorrow's gubernatorial primary in the Bay State and later, are religious groups keeping the faith in the president's faith-based initiative? This is "Inside Politics," the place for campaign news.



DAVID NYHAN, POLITICAL ANALYST: ... the sun belt bounces the wrong way in this part of the country, but the president had an effective speech before the U.N. and that coupled with Colin Powell's loyalty, Powell is very respected hereabouts and Tony Blair is persuasive elegance, have, I think, shifted public opinion in the president's favor.

So while New England is at the end of the oil pipeline and is most vulnerable to any kind of oil price increase, oil prices are spiking up here and heating oil is going through the roof, I still think that the president has made -- has some traction here for his war policy.

WOODRUFF: David Yepsen, what about in Iowa where people have historically been skeptical about some military action?

DAVID YEPSEN, "DES MOINES REGISTER": I think most people still are skeptical here. I think the president is starting to do a better job making his case than he was a few weeks ago.

But I can tell you many Republicans in the congressional delegation here have been very weary of this idea of going to war with Iraq. This is Iowa. It is in the center of the country. There's a lot of isolationist sentiment here. It's a deeply religious state. There's a lot of pacifist sentiment here.

I think the best example of that was how our senator, Chuck Grassley was one of only a couple Republicans to vote against the Persian Gulf war. This sort of adventure is not particularly popular with a lot of voters and so the president has still got his work to do here. But I think he's starting to make some progress.

WOODRUFF: Let's talk about some of the races in your two states. David Nyhan in Massachusetts, a very hot Democratic primary for governor, Shannon O'Brien has been ahead, state treasurer.

But you've got Robert Reich who has done a little bit better. Where do things stand now and what are the issues that are playing out there? With so much talk about Iraq, are any other issues getting any play?

NYHAN: The 9/11 commemoration drowned out -- snuffed out the campaign. And these are four Democratic liberals of varying degrees of red-hotness. I think Yepsen will understand that term.

Sharon O'Brien has been ahead all the way through because she wins the vote in surveys of 35 to 40 percent of the woman. It's one woman versus three males. She would be the favorite tomorrow.

Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee who has no primary fight, ran the Utah Olympics and is now back here. He's attacking Shannon O'Brien with negative ads, $250,000 worth, because obviously I think Mitt fears that the Democrats best man is a woman.

And in case she does win tomorrow, we look at it as a seven weeks of contest between the well-healed and the high-heeled.

WOODRUFF: I like that line. All right.

Let's go back it Iowa and David Yepsen. President Bush was in your state today. Is he helping some of the Republican candidates In Iowa this year?

YEPSEN: I think he is, Judy. I mean he's raising some serious money for them. There are five Congressional districts in this state. Four are competitive races. And so the president has been in several of those already. We expect to see him back again even before the November elections. So, yes, he is raising money. He's helping Republicans gin up their get out the vote effort in this state, which they desperately need to do.

WOODRUFF: This was what, his eighth visit since he became president. David quickly what about that Senate race. Tom Harkin is the incumbent Democrat, Is it looking -- how is it looking for him?

YEPSEN: I think it's looking better for Senator Harkin. He is running against Congressman Ganske. Our poll at the beginning of the summer Harkin was up by nine. A later poll a couple weeks ago had Harkin up by nine, but only at 50 percent. A later poll just out a couple weeks ago, had him up by 12.

So Senator Harkin is still not in the greatest of shape but I think he is starting to open up some daylight here.

WOODRUFF: All right, talked to some Republicans today who are saying his vote against the Gulf war back 10 years ago is going to be used in that campaign to the extent it hasn't already been. So something to watch over the next eight weeks.

YEPSEN: That's right.

WOODRUFF: All right, David Yepsen, David Nyhan. Great to see you both. We'll check in with you again. We appreciate it.

Now we return our focus to the war on terror, next in the "Newscycle."

But first, let's turn to Bertha Coombs. She's at the New York Stock Exchange for a market update this Monday.

Hello Bertha.

BERTHA COOMBS, CNN FINANCIAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Judy, it was mixed session on Wall Street today.

The Dow Industrials managed to escape another down day thanks to a rally in defense shares.

But tech stocks ended lower. There were a number of bearish analyst calls in the semiconductor sector.

Worries about possible action in Iraq also hurt overall sentiment. For the day, the Dow added about 67 points. The Nasdaq composite finished with a loss of 15 points. Volume was light as a number of investors observed Yom Kippur today, taking the day off.

General Electric topped the business headlines. Former CEO Jack Welch said he has given back some of the lavish perks included in his retirement package. The company also said the SEC is conducting an informal investigation into that contract. The stocks still gained 85 cents today.

Boeing bounced back after quite a few days of heavy selling, adding $1.65. The company averted a strike by its largest union over the weekend.

And other defense names rallied as well. Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics got a big boost. Both won multibillion dollar contracts from the U.S. Navy to build destroyer.

That's the latest from Wall Street.

Judy, more INSIDE POLITICS after the break, including the newly crowned king of political handshakes.


WOODRUFF: Checking our "Newscycle," the man believed to be a top al Qaeda operative captured last week in Pakistan is now in U.S. custody.

CNN's David Ensor has more on the suspect and where he fits in the investigation of last year's attacks.


DAVID ENSOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He was captured during a series of raids by Pakistani police last week. This may be Binalshibh with a blindfold according to some Pakistani officials.

Ramzi Binalshibh is not part of the top tier al Qaeda leadership but one senior official called him, quote, "a very, very big fish for us." Both because of his key suspected role in the attacks of 9/11 and because he may have been in contact with senior al Qaeda leaders since then and may know of plots still under way. U.S. intelligence officials plan it interrogate him at length in an undisclosed location outside the U.S. The same scenario used for Abu Zubaydah, another al Qaeda figure in American hands.

In Iowa, the president says Binalshibh's capture sends a message.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He is the one that thought he was going to be the 20th bomber. He thought he could hide. He thought he could still threaten America. But he forgot the greatest nation on the face of the earth is after him. One person at a time.

ENSOR: During the raids last week in Pakistan, another al Qaeda operative of interest was also taken though officials say he is much lower down in the al Qaeda organization. The second new prisoner is an associate, officials say of one of the suspects in the bombing of the USS Cole In Yemen.


ENSOR: And In fact, sources now confirm for CNN, Judy, that that man's name is Umar Al-Garib (ph). He is the brother of Calid Tofiq Al Atash (ph), a one-legged man who once organized a key terrorist meeting In Malaysia which Included some of the terrorist hijackers.

So he also could be of interest and might be able to tell something. He is connected to the USS Cole bombing.

WOODRUFF: A lot of movement on that front. David, thank you very much.

Well, with us now, Betsy Hart, of the Scripps Howard news service and Michael Eric Dyson, of the University of Pennsylvania.

Michael Eric, to you first. The man that Dave Ensor's reporting of course was picked up over in Pakistan, but here in the United States the so-called tip line beginning to produce some interesting results. In New York, people picked up in the Buffalo suburb down in Georgia. Three people were picked up. Later it turned out they were not -- there was no legitimate reason to hold them.

My question to you, is, New York Governor Pataki saying he's going to create a tip line in New York State. Is this something that makes sense given the fact that sometimes innocent people are caught up? MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA: Well, you have to weigh the cost and effect of the policy. I think on the one hand all of us want to have our borders protected but at the same time if the same people continue to be targeted so that you end up duplicating what is inadvertently a process of racial profiling or in this case religious profiling or at least skin profiling, then you end up with a whole bunch of civil liberties violations that don't end up leading to more kind of progress on the front of the war of terror.

So while I am certainly sympathetic to the need to protect American citizens, we must be careful not to stigmatize those of dark skin and refuse to see that terrorists come in all shapes, sizes and colors.

WOODRUFF: What about that, Betsy?

BETSY HART, SCRIPPS HOWARDS NEWS SERVICE: Yes, let's not get overwrought. Let's remember that all across America, there are for instance tip lines to report car pool lane violators. I mean let's put this in perspective.

And second in fact, terrorists don't really come in all shapes and sizes. In fact terrorists to date have been radical Muslim extremists, men between the ages of 18 and 45.


HART: No, it is true, it is true that in this process a very innocent law-abiding American-loving Arab could be taken in wrongly for questioning. If that happens that person should be furious. But he should not be furious at Americans who want to keep planes and buildings from being blown up. He should be furious at radical Muslim extremists around the world who want to blow up our buildings and planes.

DYSON: Tim McVeigh was a Christian white man in American society.

HART: And if we thought that he was part of a million strong army of people who wanted to do the same thing I would say, let's go after...

DYSON: They are. White supremacy is deep established in American society and predicated upon the most ridiculous denials of freedom to American people.

So, Betsy, I think have you to -- watch the bigotry and keep that in perspective...

HART: Michael, you're trying to change the subject. It is not going to work...

DYSON: No, no absolutely. I'm talking about terrorists come in all shapes and sizes and skin colors and we have to be careful that we do not target specifically and racially profile those people who are law-abiding citizens of this American society who pay just we pay their taxes.

HART: There's no question we want to protect civil liberties. But it's also true that we need to be extra vigilant and we need to know where the risks are.

DYSON: I don't deny that. I'm just saying (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

HART: Little old ladies from Topeka as they get on airplanes is just silly and it puts all of us, including law-abiding Arab Americans at risk.

WOODRUFF: Mike one final comment and we got to move on.

DYSON: Sure, I'll just say she keeps qualifying a law-abiding American, American Arabs as opposed to law-abiding Americans in general. My point is that we can't presume that they are not law- abiding. Let's give them the presumption of innocence before we impugn them with guilt.

WOODRUFF: Let's move quickly on. We got one other question I want to ask you both and that is the story today in "The Washington Post," Democrats beginning quietly to question the political motivation behind the timing of the administration push on Iraq. Jim Jordan who's the director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee saying among other things it's absolutely clear the administration has timed this Iraq public relations campaign to influence the mid-term elections -- Betsy.

HART: Well, Democrats have a tough one on this. First what they want to do is deny George Bush a victory on anything. So what they're trying to do is to create this doubt, this cynicism that as you mentioned, Judy, this is politically motivated.

But guess what, this isn't Bill Clinton. In those days if he was bombing Sudan, you sort of looked at the calendar and said, gee, Monica Lewinsky must be testifying soon.

George Bush is very different and people trust him. They like him. They really believe, especially now, you've got Tony Blair coming to the forefront. You've got liberal magazines like "The New Republic" saying it's time to invade Iraq.

So I think to that try to create this air of cynicism around George Bush is not going to work for the Democrats. But it could backfire. That's why they are trying to be subtle. Only, guess what? It is pretty obvious what they are up to. And they better be careful.

WOODRUFF: Michael Eric.

DYSON: Well, I think that's ridiculous. First of all, "The New Republic" hasn't been liberal in quite a long time. Betsy needs to update her reading card.

I think that what we have to see here is that Iraq is an extraordinarily difficult subject to talk about. I think the Democrats need to turn up the heat and suggest that this cowboy mentality that has besieged George Bush -- forget Bill Clinton -- let's go back to the elder George Bush and go down to the younger George Bush.

These are cowboy rhetorics being deployed in the name of an imperial presidency that doesn't seek to either justify its actions before Congress or, when it goes to the U.N., wants it either make it bow down to his policies and not bow down to United Nations policy.


DYSON: I didn't interrupt you, Betsy.

So, my point is, is that America that must rein in its own cowboy rhetoric and see that we're part of an international and global community. And let's stop the genocide in Iraq. Our policies and sanctions have killed about a million and a half people. And I think we need to pay attention to that.

HART: Baloney. Let's stop the angst the hand-wringing and get on with war.

WOODRUFF: All right, we heard it there.

DYSON: A cowgirl.

WOODRUFF: Betsy Hart, Michael Eric Dyson, we could go on for a long time here. I am going to have to call it quits and see you all next week.


DYSON: All right.

WOODRUFF: Thanks very much.

HART: Thank you, Judy.

DYSON: All right.

WOODRUFF: Next, find out which politician is all shook up next on INSIDE POLITICS. Plus: the Senate showdown in New Hampshire. I'll talk with GOP incumbent slayer John Sununu and his Democratic rival, Jeanne Shaheen. And later: putting a logo on America's bloodiest battle.


WOODRUFF: Whether or not Democrat Bill Richardson wins his bid to be governor of New Mexico, he now has a place in the record books. Richardson reportedly shook 13,392 hands in an eight-hour period Saturday, with a "Guinness Book of World Records" official standing by to keep count. Richardson broke the previous record of handshakes by a politician, set almost a century ago, when Teddy Roosevelt pressed the flesh of more than 8,500 people. Let's see if a politician can break the record of Bill Richardson this year. We'll see. Well, now an "Al Gore, will he or won't he?" update. Gore spokesmen tells CNN reports that Gore has decided to run for the White House in 2004 are wrong. Jano Cabrera says the former vice president still has not made up his mind. But Gore is stepping up his political schedule. Tomorrow, he returns to Florida. And Gore joked this weekend about that state's continued problems at the polls.


AL GORE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We just had an election just Tuesday. And they had one in Florida, I noticed.


GORE: After what Florida went through two years ago, I believe if I was governor of the state, I believe I would have fixed that by now, you know?



WOODRUFF: Gore was speaking to the Congressional Black Caucus.

Well, checking the headlines now in our "Campaign News Daily": Well, Pennsylvania Republican Mike Fisher has released a new ad in his race for governor against Democrat Ed Rendell. The ad features the colorful Philadelphia cabbie describing Rendell as a -- quote -- "limousine liberal" and warning of a potential Rendell victory.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rendell has already said that he is probably going to have to raise taxes. You got more money to give up? I don't. So, you keep the tip. You're going to need it if Rendell gets elected.


WOODRUFF: A new poll of Tennessee voters gives Republican Lamar Alexander a double-digit lead in his Senate race. A survey commissioned by "The Knoxville News Sentinel" gives Alexander an 18- point edge over Democrat Bob Clement. One reason for Alexander's lead: Among those polled who plan to vote for the Democrat in the Tennessee governor's race, one-third say they support Alexander for the Senate.

In California, Republican Bill Simon is showcasing his big-name supporters in a new TV ad against incumbent Governor Gray Davis. The spot features alternating shots of President Bush and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani voicing their support for the Simon campaign.

Well, the field is set in the New Hampshire Senate contest, where Republican Congressman John Sununu is taking on Democratic Governor Jeanne Shaheen. Earlier, I spoke with both of them, starting with Governor Shaheen. And I began by asking her response to Sununu's attempts to label her as a liberal Democrat.


GOV. JEANNE SHAHEEN (D), NEW HAMPSHIRE SENATE CANDIDATE: You know, I have been governor for six years in New Hampshire. People know my record. They know that I have worked very hard to make sure we have a strong economy, to make sure we improve our schools, that we give access to health care for people.

And the fact is, for the last six months, what we have heard from John Sununu is that he is not going to do anything that's not in the best interests of the Republican Party. Well, this election isn't about the Republican Party or the Democratic Party. This election is about what's best for the people of New Hampshire.

WOODRUFF: It's interesting you should bring that up because it is pretty clear the Republicans are saying -- one of the arguments they are making is that this race could determine control of the Senate. We know the Democrats are in the majority now by just one vote.

For example, Mr. Sununu and other Republicans are saying, "Well, do you want Teddy Kennedy to be chairing the Education Committee or do you want Judd Gregg?" who, of course, is the existing senator from your state of New Hampshire. Does this hurt you by just the fact that they are making this argument?

SHAHEEN: You know, I think there is a lot of interest in this race at the national level. And I understand that.

But what's really important about this race is what it means for the future of New Hampshire. And, on almost every issue, John Sununu and I differ. On leaving big loopholes for giant corporations off shore, John Sununu sided with the giant corporations. I think we ought to close down those offshore tax loopholes. John Sununu wants to extend patent laws for the big drug companies so that we keep lower-priced generic drugs off the market. I think we ought to close those loopholes and make sure people get access to those lower-cost drugs.

John Sununu sided with the big oil companies to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and other special places. I think we shouldn't do that, that we need an energy policy that is diversified,that recognizes...



I'm Judy Woodruff in Washington. We thank you for joining us. We turn it over now to "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS."


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