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CNN INSIDE POLITICS

Bush Officials Play Up Links Between al Qaeda, Iraq; Democratic, Republican Leaders Discuss New White House Resolution on Iraq

Aired September 26, 2002 - 16:00   ET

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

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Judy Woodruff in Washington. Bush officials play up links between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda.
And former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright talks to me about her charge that the administration is overdramatizing the Iraqi threat.

JONATHAN KARL, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Jonathan Karl on Capitol Hill, where Democratic and Republican leaders are discuss a new White House draft resolution on Iraq. I'll tell you what it says.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Candy Crowley in Washington. A day after Tom Daschle angrily accused the president of politicizing war, has anything really changed between Democrats and Republicans?

WOODRUFF: Also ahead: the good, the bad and the ugly campaign ads.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My county sheriff's department's in a mess, and I'm in no need in (ph) living in a Heartbreak Hotel.

The man you need is right here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: Live from Washington: This is INSIDE POLITICS with Judy Woodruff.

WOODRUFF: Thank you for joining us.

The political passions over Iraq that took Washington by storm yesterday have given way today to calmer words and, apparently, some action. President Bush now says he is close to agreement with Congress on a war powers resolution. A new draft is expected to be reviewed by Senate Democrats this hour.

Our congressional correspondent Jonathan Karl is on Capitol Hill.

Jonathan, what's new about this language? What's changed?

KARL: Well Judy, there are some significant changes here. And clearly the White House believes they have addressed many of the concerns posed by Democrats.

First and foremost, if you remember, the first version of this proposed by the White House included not just an authorization to use force against Iraq, but also a phrase that allowed the president to use force to, quote, "restore international peace and security in the region." That is now out. In this latest draft resolution, that is now out, that language.

Also in here is a new section that requires the president to come to Congress before force is used, or as shortly thereafter as possible, and tell the Congress that such force is necessary and appropriate to defend the national security interests of the United States against the threat posed by Iraq.

And furthermore, that reliance by the United Nations -- United States on further diplomatic means alone will not adequately protect the national security interests of U.S. against the threat posed by Iraq.

And there is a third section here that's been added that is also very significant, at least as far as the White House is concerned. They have agreed to now report back to Congress, after 90 days, progress in the war -- in this war against Iraq.

So the White House believes they have clearly made some significant concessions here. But Judy, negotiations still go on, and Democrats in the Senate are still looking for some more changes, some more language about the United Nations.

WOODRUFF: So are you saying so far these are seen as concessions by the White House?

KARL: The White House clearly believes they have gone a long way. They are not saying that this is a take-it-or-leave-it situation, but they're pretty close. They believe they have answered the key concerns here.

One of those key concerns being the question of how much consultation the president will have to give the Congress. Now the president will have to come to Congress before he goes and uses force in Iraq and tell them that all those diplomatic means have been exhausted, and he'll have to report back to the Congress 90 days after force has been started.

WOODRUFF: John, separately, we understand you've learned about some Democrats up there declaring themselves on Iraq.

KARL: Well this very interesting. You have a very divided Democratic caucus here.

On the one hand, tomorrow we have learned -- we have learned that tomorrow Senator Ted Kennedy will give what's billed as a major speech here in Washington at the School For Advanced International Studies, highly critical of the president on Iraq, saying taking unilateral action against Iraq would be very dangerous right now, and that he would adamantly oppose such action. So while you have that going on, and other liberal Democrats in the Senate working with Senator Kennedy on that, you also had a situation today where Senator Tim Johnson, another senator from South Dakota, fellow Democrat with Tom Daschle, came out today on the floor of Senate and said that he would support the president on Iraq. And he went further, and he actually said that he believes the U.S. is within its rights to act with or without the United Nations; the United States has right to act alone on this.

So while some Democrats loudly raising questions about the president's Iraq policy, some Democrats enthusiastically supporting the president.

WOODRUFF: All right, Jon, thanks very much. Jon Karl reporting from the Capitol.

Well, as we said, calmer heads may be prevailing on Capitol Hill and at the White House today. But Tom Daschle's eruption on the Senate floor is by no means forgotten, despite efforts by both sides to move on and, to some degree, make up.

Here now our senior political correspondent, Candy Crowley.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CROWLEY (voice-over): Maybe being president means never having to saying you're sorry, but this did seem to be a kinder, gentler, more inclusive president.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We just concluded a really good meeting with both Democrats and Republicans.

CROWLEY: Did he mention he met with both Republicans and Democrats?

BUSH: We refuse to live in this future of fear. Democrats and Republicans refuse to live in a future of fear. We're determined to build a future of security.

CROWLEY: But Democratic strategists say what they really want is to do is shut down the president's Iraq talk on the campaign trail. Then, said one strategists, we can talk about our stuff.

And Thursday on Capitol Hill, Tom Daschle was back in low key, hauling out the charts, trying to talk about the Democrats' stuff:

SEN. TOM DASCHLE (D-SD), MAJORITY LEADER: Congressman Gephardt and I wanted to begin by talking briefly about the new unemployment numbers again today.

CROWLEY: What Democrats want is to move forward their election- year agenda by coating the Iraq debate with bipartisanship.

REP. DICK GEPHARDT (R-MO), MINORITY LEADER: If this gets drug into politics, we all fail, the country fails. And that's why we feel so strongly about it. Let me -- just on the economic issue, let me ask this question, that I think we're going to increasingly ask in the days ahead: Are you better off than you were two years ago?

CROWLEY: Frankly, Washington is pretty much where it was before Tom Daschle's storm: Iraq dominates the dialogue.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CROWLEY: And members of Congress, especially Democrats, are divided between those who want to back the president, those who don't, and those who want to get it over with and move on.

Daschle, complained one Democratic aide, only succeeded in dragging this out for another week -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right Candy, thank you.

Well, in pressing the case against Saddam Hussein, the Bush administration is charging more forcefully than ever that Iraq and al Qaeda terrorists are, quote, "too close for comfort."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: The regime has longstanding and continuing ties to terrorist organizations. And there are al Qaeda terrorists inside Iraq.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, meanwhile, got somewhat more specific today about contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda.

Let's bring in our Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr.

Now Barbara, what is he saying?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well Judy, today here at the Pentagon at an extensive briefing at midday, Defense Secretary Donald Rums, in fact, did lay out the most comprehensive case he has so far to date on a relationship of contacts, he says, between the al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. Contacts; but it's not clear yet that the two have collaborated on any terrorist activity.

He said that there is now, in his words, credible evidence of contacts on several fronts between the Iraqi regime and the al Qaeda. And some of those contacts, he said, are quite recent, having taken place in the last six months.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD RUMSFELD, DEFENSE SECRETARY: We have what we consider to be credible evidence that al Qaeda leaders have sought contacts in Iraq who Could help them acquire weapons of mass destruction capabilities. We do have, I believe, it's one report, indicating that Iraq provided unspecified training relating to chemical and/or biological matters for al Qaeda members.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STARR: The secretary also said again, in his words, there is solid evidence of the presence of al Qaeda members in Baghdad, possibly some of them senior al Qaeda members.

He also said the al Qaeda has discussed with Saddam Hussein's regime in the past, that they have talked about asking for safe haven, and reciprocal nonaggression discussions, meaning hands-off against each other. It's not clear whether anything has come of those discussions.

All of this clearly part of an orchestrated effort by the Bush administration today to turn up the heat and shine more light on what it says is a relationship of contacts between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Interesting, Barbara, that they've chosen now to bring all this out. Thanks very much.

STARR: Indeed.

WOODRUFF: Well, the wisdom of unilateral action in Iraq dominated a hearing today before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The witnesses: former secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright.

Secretary Albright sat down with me up on the Hill right after her testimony, for an exclusive interview.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: Secretary Albright, thank you for talking with us.

MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: It is great be with you again, Judy.

WOODRUFF: In your testimony just now before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, you said among other things that the Bush administration is overdramatizing the threat from Saddam Hussein in order to arouse increased public support for going to war with Iraq. That is a pretty strong statement. Did you mean that?

ALBRIGHT: Well, I basically was saying that secretaries of state, such as Atchison, have, in fact, said that sometimes an administration overdramatizes it. I have also said in the testimony that there were certain elements of the administration that seemed to be kind of overly eager about this, and that troubled me because I think that there is a whole other agenda that was put out there before -- even before 9/11 -- where a group of people had wanted to, so to speak, go get Saddam.

I think what's very important now is to keep our eye on the ball. We have a very serious long term fight against terrorism. That is what President Bush told us was our priority. We have a lot still to do in Afghanistan and a lot to do, generally, in trying to dismember al Qaeda. And the question is whether it is necessary right this minute to open a new front, so to speak, by going after Saddam Hussein, when I think we should run out the string a little bit more at the United Nations.

WOODRUFF: Well, in connection with that, the president and his top advisers have been saying that they are worried that al Qaeda operatives -- and we now learn that they have been, we have been told, that they have been trained, that they have been sheltered in Iraq -- could get hold of some of these weapons of mass destruction in the hands now of Saddam Hussein and could turn around and use them for their own terrorist purposes. Now that is something the administration is worried about. Why shouldn't all of us be worried about it.

ALBRIGHT: Well, I think it is certainly a consideration we have keep in mind. We don't have, I think, all the facts on this. And I think part of what bothers me is that the administration's case is kind of being dribbled out piece by piece, and sometimes the justification for it seems to change. And I think it would be very important for the president himself to lay out the case. Tony Blair tried to do it in England, and I think would it be very important for our president to make the case to the American people.

For me, I for eight years worked on -- I understood what a threat Saddam Hussein was. We had Security Council resolutions. I think we have had him in a strategic box. And I think we've got to be very careful not to blow up the box before we know what the consequences of that kind of action are.

WOODRUFF: So when Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, of Defense, Rumsfeld, talks about a potential nuclear 9/11, should that not be more of a cause for...

ALBRIGHT: Well, I think that we can't just throw terms like that around. I think it's -- I as an ordinary American citizen now feel that we need to have more information. And the question is whether our fight against terrorism is enlarged or in fact is hurt by action, direct action, against Iraq now; I think we have to be concerned about that.

And Judy, what we have been doing for the last four years is basically really patrolling the no-fly zone, bombing all the time -- I'm not sure people really know that -- in an effort to keep consolidating the territory into which Saddam cannot go.

I am very concerned, about the weapons of mass destruction; any American should be. But we have to figure out what the best way to go about this, and I think that we will have much more support if we push for intrusive inspections with the support of the United Nations. We can use force as a last resort, not a first.

WOODRUFF: Another part of the argument the administration is making is that given all this, that it's just the administration's responsibility not to stand by and wait for something to happen, that they need to move in and preempt Saddam Hussein before he does something truly horrific.

ALBRIGHT: Well, I think, again, we need to know what the effects of that will be. And one of the things we haven't talked about yet is what happens the day after. I think the American people need to know that if this happens, if we go in now unilaterally, the United States is going to be in charge of Iraq for the foreseeable future. And I haven't heard anything from the administration that really explains what it looks like, and who will help us and what the consequences of this are. So I'm not underestimating the difficulty in terms of weapons of mass destruction, nor even saying that I'm completely opposed to this. I just want more facts. I just think we haven't got answers.

WOODRUFF: One other thing you said that caught my eye, you said it is not a sign of sound leadership to understate the risks of war. Is that what the administration has been doing?

ALBRIGHT: Well, I don't think they have told us the full consequences and how long we'll have to be there. And everybody kind of says there is no doubt that we have the best military in the world. But if we actually have to go into Baghdad proper, will there be hand- to-hand, block-to-block fighting? How many forces will be needed for that? I think the American people can deal with the truth, and I think that is what we are asking for.

And I don't have any doubt, Judy, that we can win the war. But the question is whether we will have the staying power to win the peace. And that is part of the question that hasn't been even dealt with at all.

WOODRUFF: Secretary Madeleine Albright, thank you very much. Good to talk. We appreciate your joining us.

ALBRIGHT: Thanks, Judy. Nice to see you again.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: Here on INSIDE POLITICS, we are closely tracking how the Iraq debate is playing in the key races of campaign 2002. Among the most vulnerable senators, you just heard a few moments ago our Jon Karl reporting that Democrat Tim Johnson of South Dakota now declaring his support for the president. There's also Democrat Paul Wellstone of Minnesota locked in a neck-and-neck race with his Republican challenger Norm Coleman. Wellstone opposed the 1991 Gulf War resolution, a vote against a new Iraq resolution could cost him politically.

Today on the Hill, at that hearing, Wellstone took strong issue with any U.S. effort to go it alone.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PAUL WELLSTONE (D), MINNESOTA: And if we go in unilaterally, I would just say to the chairman again, I think that the consequences throughout the near east and South Asia, the consequences in world that we live in, and the consequences for our men and women that are there in Iraq, could be very serious. I think we need to pay very special attention to that: the difference between unilateral going alone, and having the support of the international community. If it requires more diplomatic heavy lifting, we ought to at least make every effort to do that first. That would be my plea here today.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: Senator Paul Wellstone today before the Senate foreign relations committee.

Stay with CNN for coverage of the showdown with Iraq, including a special report each weekday at noon Eastern by my colleague, Wolf Blitzer.

We'll look at the economic fallout from a possible war with Iraq a little later in this hour. Up next, is Governor Jeb Bush's re- election bid suddenly on the skids? We'll discuss his Democratic opponent's new momentum.

Also ahead.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cactus is our state flower and we've got four guys ran for president and lose, but we keep trying.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: Campaign ads likely to make you laugh, whether they meant to or not.

And what's up with rap stars and the New York governor's race?

This is INSIDE POLITICS, the place for campaign news.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: With 40 days left until the election, we resume our daily look at some of the hottest campaigns around the country.

Today we focused on Florida, and the race for governor between incumbent Jeb Bush and his challenger, Democrat Bill McBride.

With me now is Mark Silva. He's the political editor of the "Orlando Sentinel."

Mark, this is a race where the polls have just shifted a little bit.

What's going on down there?

MARK SILVA, "ORLANDO SENTINEL": Well, it's tightened up after the Democratic primary, which was on September 10. And suddenly what existed as a 31-point gap between Governor Bush and his current rival in January is now looking like a six-point gap. WOODRUFF: Now, is this surprising to you, because I think some people thought, with the whole snafu over the election, the Democratic primary, that this might hurt the Democrats. But apparently it hasn't?

SILVA: I don't think so. I think it, perhaps, slowed the challenger's momentum somewhat. But Bill McBride, the Democratic nominee, took the time to carefully pick a running mate and emerge next week when the vote was counted with a well-prepared second phase of his campaign. And his television is kicking up now.

WOODRUFF: So what is he saying, what is he doing differently to use -- to make the most of this momentum?

SILVA: He is remaining on a remarkably disciplined course that he has followed from the beginning of the campaign. He identified an issue, the improvement of the public schools, as a winning issue. And he ran a completely positive campaign against Janet Reno, which he won by a mere 5,000 votes.

And he is running the same campaign: education and positive. And he is trying to keep the governor on the defensive.

WOODRUFF: And what about what about Governor Jeb Bush? Is he having to change his strategy as a result of all this?

SILVA: He has changed it for the moment because the governor, during the primary, had the unusual strategy of attacking Bill McBride, hoping to knock him off and make Janet Reno, the nominee, a much weaker opponent.

And I think those ads backfired; they helped build up Bill McBride. And since the primary you haven't seen anything negative out of Jeb Bush's camp on television. It's all positive.

WOODRUFF: Anything you want to say about money? Does either side have a big money advantage here?

SILVA: It's going to be a big soft money contest. Because of the limits in this state on individual contributions to candidates, they'll be turning to the parties, both in the state and nationally.

Terry McAuliffe, the DNC chairman, will be in Florida Saturday night. You're going to see every presidential candidate here as well. And it's going to become a very sizable soft money contest.

WOODRUFF: Well, I can assure you it's a race we're watching. And I'm sure we'll be talking to you again. Thanks a lot, Mark Silva in Orlando.

SILVA: Thank you very much.

WOODRUFF: We appreciate it.

Time now for another check of the political airwaves. David Peeler, of Competitive Media Reporting, with me now from New York to showcase the good, the bad, and the ugly of political advertising.

All right David, let's start with what's good. What you are seeing out there?

DAVID PEELER, MEDIA CONSULTANT: Hi Judy.

Well, you know, there are some good examples out there. You know, for example, technology has now entered the political campaign cycle. And a lot of the candidates now say, you know, we've got a plan, only now they want voters to go and check the Web and look at the plan.

The challenge from an advertising standpoint is, if you're going to put your plan out there, and you're going to put it on the Web, sometimes your opponent may be able to get a copy of it and turn it around on you.

Let's take a look at this ad.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NARRATOR: Bob Riley's plan? Ninety pages, over 22,000 words, one picture of Riley on a horse, but not a dime for education.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PEELER: Don Siegelman has done a pretty good job of spinning that around on Riley in that governor's race in Alabama.

So, you know, that's an example of good tactics in an advertising campaign.

Moving on, the other thing that you see in political campaigns is that a lot of times the production values of these political ads are pretty -- not really great. We've seen out of Minnesota, in the Pawlenty campaign what we think are some pretty good production values.

Here is a candidate that is using some of the VH-1 technology and the pop-up videos, and really trying to hit that younger demographic voter with ads that they're used to seeing on television.

Let's take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TIM PAWLENTY, GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE, MINNESOTA: Hi. I'm Tim Pawlenty, I'm running for governor.

This south St. Paul, where I grew up. My dad a truck driver for much of his life.

This is where I learned to work hard and be accountable. When dad lost his job, we did what a lot of families are doing now: We tightened our belts.

It's time we squeezed government, not families. I'm only candidate in this race who won't raise your taxes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PEELER: You know, a lot of times campaigns are negative.

And we've seen, in Arizona, where Proposition 201 on the gambling issue has really turned the tide and used humor to really, I think, strike home a very strong message.

Let's take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're independent. We have our own time zone, and we refuse to change our clocks. A cactus is our state flower. And we've had four guys run for president -- and lose, but we keep trying!

We don't have one of the Seven Wonders, we have the wonder. And we are the champions!

But we've got some big challenges, like a billion dollar deficit. We have to take a look at these gambling propositions, because we don't want to pay more taxes!

One gives us back 25 million, one gives us 89 million, but Prop 201 gives us back 300 million dollars a year!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: They do hold our attention.

PEELER: They sure do.

WOODRUFF: All right David, what have you seen that falls into the ugly category?

PEELER: Well, you know, ugly -- it's kind of the double-ugly down in Iowa. It's a very, very ugly senatorial race that we have down there, and they're using some pretty ugly tactics.

What you see here is an example where a political campaign has chosen to use professional actors. And this fine, young middle-aged woman walking down the path here is a professional actor.

But she's claiming she's from Iowa has been in Iowa all her life. The campaign itself had to change this party ad and race to the airwaves with a new ad that really tried to do some damage control on what was perceived as a big issue.

Let's take a look. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To keep his hands off my Social Security, and stop spending it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My name Alice Selma (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm Peg Gephart (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My name is Betty Soner (ph), and I have lived in Iowa all of my life.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PEELER: Well, those fine women are all from Iowa. But here's a case where you get caught trying to counter something that you didn't expect at all in the campaign.

WOODRUFF: All right, well if that was the ugly, what have you seen that you would say is just plain bad?

PEELER: Well, so far we have a winner Judy. I think you're going to like this one.

This tactic doesn't work on Madison Avenue, it doesn't work on Pennsylvania Avenue. And I'm sure it's not going to work in the hills of Carolina, where it's running.

But let's take a look at this one. It's special.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I came back to tell y'all my county sheriff's department's in a mess, and I'm in no need in (ph) living in a Heartbreak Hotel.

The man you need is right here, returned from a long career with the sheriff's department. The man you need: E.B. Hyatt (ph).

E.B. HYATT: What we need is professionals on the job, not family and friends, a code of ethics and cooperation, not intimidation. It's just good business.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You ain't got nothing but a hound dog running the show now. Vote Hyatt for sheriff.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PEELER: Well, E.B. Hyatt didn't win that sheriff's race, and I think we know why.

WOODRUFF: David, come on, tell the truth, you would you have voted for him if you lived there.

All right.

PEELER: I was voting for Elvis.

WOODRUFF: OK. David peeler, thanks very much. We'll talk to you again soon.

PEELER: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: Well, another rapper issues a political endorsement, just ahead.

Also, Isidore crashes into New Orleans. The latest on flooding in the Crescent City, and along the Gulf coast, next in the "Newscycle."

First, let's turn to Rhonda Schaffler at the New York Stock Exchange for what's going on in the markets today.

Rhonda, hi again.

Sorry about that, we don't have Rhonda Schaffler. Will go to a break -- Yes we do.

RHONDA SCHAFFLER, CNN FINANCIAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi Judy.

WOODRUFF: There she is.

SCHAFFLER: You do, indeed.

And there's actually some upbeat news for investors here. Stocks extending their winning streak for a second day, a trio of better- than-expected economic reports giving the market a lift. Jobless claims dropped last week. New home sales rose to a record. Durable goods orders in August dipped, but much less than expected.

Dow Industrials climbing 155 points, ending just below the 8,000 mark.

But the Nasdaq could not keep pace. It dropped a fraction. Tech stocks stalled after Nortel Networks warned again quarterly its quarterly profits would fall short.

In corporate news, former WorldCom Controller David Myers plead guilty for his role in the biggest corporate accounting scandal in U.S. history. He admitted to false filing of documents with securities regulators, conspiracy to commit fraud and securities fraud. Myers is the first to plead guilty in the WorldCom scandal. His testimony could help prosecutors build a case against his bosses at that company.

And local telephone giant SBC Communications, a short time ago, announcing it's going to cut 11,000 jobs. That's on top of 10,000 it's already cut this year.

Also -- and this could be important for trading tomorrow -- Philip Morris warns its fourth quarter results will fall short of expectations. That's the latest from Wall Street. More INSIDE POLITICS after the break, including the congressman who once led the battle for term limits, but who now says he may try to stay in office.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Checking the "Newscycle": Torrential rains, courtesy of Tropical Storm Isidore, are expected to cause flooding into the weekend across parts of Louisiana and Mississippi. In one of the hardest-hit areas, rainfall totals of 10-12 inches are reported around Jackson, Mississippi.

Five people were shot and killed today during a bank robbery in Norfolk, Nebraska. Police say three gunmen held up the bank and used a stolen car to escape. This afternoon, police reported the arrest of three men about 75 miles from the scene. It is not known if these three are connected to the robbery.

And Michael Jordan announced today that he will play another season with the Washington Wizards. The 13-time All-Star won six NBA championships as a member of the Chicago Bulls. And we're glad that he's in Washington right now.

And I'm told that that wasn't Michael Jordan. I don't know what it was.

With us now, they don't need any introduction: Bay Buchanan, who is president of American Cause; and Donna Brazile, former campaign manager for Al Gore.

Speaking of Al Gore, he made a speech this week, critical of the president's Iraq policy. Yesterday, you had this big outburst on the Senate floor from Tom Daschle. What is that sum total effect of this? Does this make it easier for Democrats to separate from the president? Does it muddy the waters? What's going on?

DONNA BRAZILE, CHAIRWOMAN, VOTING RIGHTS INSTITUTE: I think Al Gore helped to frame the debate this week and gave voice to the opposition and those who are concerned about some of the more pressing questions about the regime change: How do we disarm Saddam? Who will help us?

I also think that Daschle's role is to help frame the resolution and tweak the words to make sure that we have an appropriate resolution to go forward that will give us strength in building our case in the international community. So I think both Gore on Monday and Daschle on Wednesday did a great job in showing that the Democratic Party can speak with many voices and yet have one aim.

BAY BUCHANAN, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN CAUSE: Listen, Al Gore spoke with many voices all by his lonesome out there.

His speech was the ramblings of an unfocused, indecisive mind. On one hand, he says: "You know, we shouldn't go it alone. It could be very harmful to the war on terrorism. But if we don't go now, it could be helpful to Saddam." He was all over the lot, Donna. He does not have a conclusion whatsoever.

And the problem Daschle is having right now -- and I think that Gore absolutely hurt him -- is that he is facing, five weeks from now, Election Day. And the American people are overwhelmingly thinking about this war. As they think about the war, the Republicans and the president benefit. So he has to look like he is supportive. But, at the same time, he has got the labor concerns. He has got his liberal concerns, who say don't go along with the president on homeland security and on the war on terrorism.

So he is in a real bind. I think there is legitimate questions. But Daschle is in real problems, because the questions are coming up at the wrong time.

BRAZILE: Well, I think Democrats showed earlier this year with the war on terrorism that they can stand shoulder to shoulder with the president on defining what the mission is and going after the real enemy.

But when it comes to questions of war and peace, Democrats, like Republicans, will vote their conscience and their conviction. You have Jim Leach of Iowa who is against going into Iraq. And you Democrats in New Mexico who are for the president going into Iraq. So I think members should be allowed to vote their conviction without partisanship and gamesmanship.

BUCHANAN: I couldn't agree more. And Wellstone looks like he will vote his conscience, vote against the resolution. And he may lose his Senate seat as result. An honorable man, but very tough for the Democrats.

WOODRUFF: But is it -- are you saying, Donna -- let me ask both of you this.

The conventional wisdom has been, Democrats look weak if they oppose the president. Is it not possible to have any disagreement with the president and still be considered somebody who can stand up say what he thinks and is a patriotic American?

BRAZILE: When Democrats support the president, the president's party continues to go after these Democrats. And they retaliate when Democrats want to be helpful.

It is time that we see Bush the uniter, not Bush the divider and bring the American people together, bring the Congress together, have one focus, one mission, one aim, so that we can go after the same goals.

BUCHANAN: The problem here, Judy -- and it's a problem for Republicans as well as Democrats -- Republicans have stated -- many, many of them -- that the president has not made his case, that it doesn't appear to be an imminent threat. And yet they are saying, as are the Democrats, "We've got to vote with the president on this resolution because we are facing reelection in just a few weeks here."

The problem is the timing of it. I believe there are very legitimate questions to be asked about the imminence of this threat. But the problem, again, is, are they willing to really take it upon themselves to jeopardize their own future and put their country first? And I believe they should do it. I don't think they will.

BRAZILE: I want to first of all say I think Paul Wellstone is the right candidate for the right time and for the people of Minnesota. So I think Paul Wellstone will do great job. He's leading in the polls. And I think Paul Wellstone -- and people know Paul Wellstone. Paul Wellstone is a progressive, but...

BUCHANAN: He's an example of the problem out there, Donna, for people who would normally otherwise win. But all of these fellows are looking at the election...

(CROSSTALK)

BRAZILE: ... Republicans are in the wilderness and don't know what they are doing. They are lost in the political wilderness.

BUCHANAN: That's why Daschle is so worried.

BRAZILE: And that's why last week, Bay had not only a bowl of popcorn, but a big bowl of popcorn. And I want to know: Did she drink a Diet Coke with her popcorn when she read Al Gore's speech?

(LAUGHTER)

WOODRUFF: All right, were you drinking the Diet Coke?

BUCHANAN: You know, I didn't listen to that, because, Donna, I have a life. I read it a little later.

(LAUGHTER)

BRAZILE: It was very appetizing. And I can tell you this. I read it. And by the time I finished...

WOODRUFF: We want to know all about your TV-watching habits. Next week, we'll ask you what you were drinking and eating when Tom Daschle was speaking on the floor.

All right, Bay, Donna, thank you both.

BRAZILE: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: Appreciate it.

And I have just been handed this report from CNNfn, Financial News, Tim O'Brien. And that is that he has learned that the Justice Department is expected to file criminal charges against former Enron CFO Andrew Fastow. Charges could come as early as next Wednesday, the source telling CNNfn that there are ongoing negotiations focusing on just how much responsibility Fastow is willing to take.

Now, this would be the second high-profile criminal charge in the collapse of Enron. Previously, Justice had named Fastow as an unindicted co-conspirator in the cooperation agreement that it entered last month with Fastow and his former underling, who was a man named Michael Kopper.

And, again, we'll have more on that on "LOU DOBBS MONEYLINE" at 6:00 Eastern.

Another perspective on Al Gore and the Democrats: Up next, Bob Novak has "Inside Buzz" on Gore's speech on Iraq and how it's playing within his party.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Checking the headlines in our "Campaign News Daily": Oregon Republican Senator Gordon Smith is touting his support for gay rights in his race against Democratic challenger Bill Bradbury. A new Smith TV ad features the mother of Matthew Shepard, the Wyoming student who was murdered in 1998.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, AD)

JUDY SHEPARD, SISTER OF MATTHEW SHEPARD: My name is Judy Shepard. And Gordon Smith stands with me in the fight against hate. I consider Gordon to be a good friend. He's very compassionate. And I've come to like Gordon a lot.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: In California, a new poll finds Governor Gray Davis holding on to a single-digit lead over Republican challenger Bill Simon. A survey by the Public Policy Institute of California gives Davis an eight-point edge, down three points since an August poll.

Rapper and actor LL Cool J today endorsed New York Governor George Pataki for reelection. The artist praised Pataki for his work revitalizing parts of the Queens neighborhood where he grew up. As we have already reported, rapper Sean "P. Diddy" Combs has endorsed Pataki's opponent, Democrat Carl McCall, who has a chance to become the state's first African-American governor. LL Cool J told reporters the election is about more than race.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LL COOL J, RAPPER/ACTOR: It's simple. It's not about parties. It's not about race. It's not about what's cool or not cool. It's about actions. And it's about people stepping up and doing what they say they are going to do. And that's why I'm here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: And one more campaign news item, this one from Colorado: Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo rode a term-limits pledge to victory back in 1998. Well, now he says he is no longer bound by that pledge and he will consider running for a fourth term if he is reelected this November. Tancredo's decision has already drawn criticism from his one-time allies in the term-limits movement.

Bob Novak with us now with some "Inside Buzz."

Bob, now, I understand you've been talking to some Democrats about Al Gore's speech Monday on Iraq?

ROBERT NOVAK, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, I have been talking to several of them since his speech, inside Congress, outside Congress. And, honestly, Judy, I can't find a one who likes the speech, even those who agree with him.

Most of them think it's bad idea structurally and tactically to be taking a peace position. But even those who agree with him in the substance didn't think he did a very good job. And everybody says: "Gee, that is trouble with Al Gore. One campaign, he's a hawk. This one, he's a dove."

WOODRUFF: OK.

Now let's move on to the Republicans, who have been trying to win the support of some organized labor. And what are you finding out?

NOVAK: Well, they have been particularly going after the Teamsters and the carpenters. And it looks like unrequited love. A very good source tells me that it is very doubtful that Governor Jeb Bush, Republican of Florida, will get the Teamsters' endorsement, that he really wanted. Some people who were trying to broker that say that the governor's people down in Florida really screwed up the wooing of the Teamsters.

My understanding is, the Teamsters are supporting all the Democratic incumbent senators this year. The only prominent Republican the Teamsters are backing is New York Governor George Pataki. That is not what the White House hoped for.

WOODRUFF: All right, you like to report about these fund-raisers that we often have in this city, Bob. What are you hearing about one going on tonight?

NOVAK: Tonight -- this may be my favorite fund-raiser of the year -- Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones of Ohio is having a fund- raiser at the National Democratic Club. You can still make it, Judy, after the show. For only $2,500, you can be a sponsor of it.

Now, what's interesting -- there's a couple interesting things. She has hardly any opposition in her district. She won with 85 percent of the vote last time. And they're billing this as a birthday celebration in her honor. But her birthday was September 10.

WOODRUFF: OK, well, I'll catch a ride with you.

Last but not least, Democrats with a little cash-flow problem? Real quickly, Bob.

NOVAK: The Democratic National Committee has put out an emergency appeal for funds, a campaign funding request, an emergency. And they're asking -- guess how much money? -- $100. This not going to the fat-cats. If you're asking for $100 contributions this late in the campaign to make up your deficit, you must be in some cash trouble at the Democratic National Committee.

WOODRUFF: Well, there are going to be some limits kicking in pretty soon, right?

NOVAK: Yes, of course, the interesting thing about this appeal is, they mention no issues at all. They say: "Please give us $100. We're short of cash." I could say that, too.

WOODRUFF: Oh, I'm sure you have already written them a check.

Bob, thank you. Appreciate it.

NOVAK: Nice to see you, Judy.

WOODRUFF: We'll see you later.

We'll return to the showdown with Iraq next. What would be the price of war with Saddam Hussein? Our Bill Schneider will analyze the possible economic fallout.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: As the Bush administration moves toward possible war with Iraq, our Bill Schneider has been investigating some of the big questions about the conflict.

He is with us now from Boston today -- Bill.

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Judy, how much is a war with Iraq going to cost? And can we afford it? Two good questions. Anybody got any answers?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(voice-over): The Pentagon's preliminary price tag for a war with Iraq? Around $50 billion. But some estimates run higher, a lot higher.

Lawrence Lindsey, President Bush's chief economic adviser, estimates the war could cost between $100 billion and $200 billion. Sounds like real money. "Not to worry," Mr. Lindsey said. One year of additional spending? That's nothing. "Oh, really?" Democrats say.

SEN. ROBERT BYRD (D), WEST VIRGINIA: The administration believes that $100 billion to $200 billion of spending on the war on Iraq will have no impact on the economy, but $13 billion more of needed spending on our nation's education, public health, veterans' medical care, and transportation system is wasteful.

SCHNEIDER: Economists believe the true cost of a war with Iraq will be its impact on the U.S. economy. Wait a minute. Won't war spending boost the economy?

JOSEPH STIGLITZ, ECONOMIST, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: A mistaken view that war is good for an economy, partly because the world came out of the global depression in the 1930s with World War II -- that's not the way it is today.

SCHNEIDER: How is it today?

STIGLITZ: The fact is that the anxieties over the war are already depressing consumers and even more investors.

SCHNEIDER: According to Sir Alan Greenspan -- he just got knighted by the queen this week -- the big issue is what happens to oil prices.

ALAN GREENSPAN, FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN: It is factually the case that spikes in oil prices have preceded recent recessions.

SCHNEIDER: Like after the Arab-Israeli War in 1973 and after the Iranian Revolution in 1979. What about after the Gulf War in 1991?

GREENSPAN: Big surges in prices occur. And as soon as it became apparent that the war was going to be over quickly, the markets came down very dramatically.

SCHNEIDER: In other words, it depends on how the war goes.

DONALD RUMSFELD, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: It is not knowable what a war or conflict like that would cost. You don't know if it's going to last two days or two weeks or two months.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCHNEIDER: President Johnson never called for a tax increase to help pay for the Vietnam War. The result? Inflation. Will President Bush call for a tax hike to pay for this war? Don't count on it -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: OK, we'll remember that.

Bill Schneider in Boston, thanks a lot.

SCHNEIDER: OK.

WOODRUFF: Coming up next: new clues about who secretly recorded a campaign meeting in this Iowa hotel -- an update when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: In the Iowa Senate race, we have an update on the Tom Harkin-Greg Ganske eavesdropping saga. A lawyer now says that his unnamed client attended and tape-recorded a Ganske fund-raising meeting and then released the tape to the Harkin camp.

The reason: The man was incensed by the Republican's comments during the meeting about his eagerness to attack Senator Harkin. The lawyer says his client wants to remain anonymous, but authorities have been given his name. The man reportedly was invited to the event because he had contributed to a previous Ganske campaign. But the Ganske camp is now suggesting that he was there for the sole purpose of making the recording. Iowa Democrats are offering media organizations the exclusive rights, meanwhile, to the list of people who have attended the party's precinct caucuses since 1984. The price tag: $250,000. The state Democratic Party says news groups could use the list to conduct accurate, targeted polling leading up to the 2004 Iowa presidential caucuses.

Well, for the record, we want you to know that CNN has said thanks, but no thanks to the offer. But prospective Democratic presidential candidates John Kerry, John Edwards and Howard Dean have all bought the list of caucus-goers to target their 2004 campaign efforts in Iowa. Dick Gephardt reportedly plans to do the same thing. Would-be candidates get the list, you should know, for $65,000, a discount.

I'll be back in a moment, but now let's take a look at what's coming up on "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS" -- hello, Wolf.

WOLF BLITZER, "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS": Hi, Judy.

Mass murder at a bank: now a state on edge, on the lookout for the gunmen, the latest on a deadly day in America's Heartland. His trip defied President Bush and the governor: why Jesse Ventura went ahead with his visit to Cuba. We'll go live to Havana to hear directly from the outspoken governor. And is there a link between al Qaeda and Iraq? We'll tell you who's saying what and hear directly from the House majority leader, Dick Armey.

All that, much more coming up at the top of the hour, right after INSIDE POLITICS.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: That's all the time we have for INSIDE POLITICS. "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS" is next.

Thanks for joining us. I'm Judy Woodruff.

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