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CNN INSIDE POLITICS

The Duct Tape Debate Rages On

Aired February 13, 2003 - 16:00   ET

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

JUDY WOODRUFF, HOST: INSIDE POLITICS begins right now.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: Preparing for battle in Iraq. The commander-in- chief rallies the troops, while war planning intensifies in Washington.

GEORGE BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: America will act decisively and America will act victoriously with the world's greatest military.

ANNOUNCER: The drumbeat against war, then and now. We'll hear from a leading voice from the Vietnam era, former presidential candidate George McGovern.

Is New York's subway safe or too obvious a target of terror? Mayor Bloomberg has an answer for people too scared to ride.

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, MAYOR OF NEW YORK: New York, you are very safe. And it's preposterous to think that you shouldn't be riding the subway.

ANNOUNCER: Preparing for the worst. What should you be doing to guard against a terror attack? And why can't top officials stop talking about duct tape?

SEN. ROBERT BYRD (D), WEST VIRGINIA: We did not create a new Department of Homeland Security just to be told to buy duct tape and plastic.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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

WOODRUFF: Thank you for joining us. The fear factor is growing as America and the world face the likelihood of dual wars against terror and against Iraq. Wall Street clearly has the jitters, sending stock prices lower. We'll have a live report ahead.

Also in this "NewsCycle," a terminal in London's Gatwick airport was evacuated for more than five hours after authorities arrested a Venezuelan man with a live grenade in his luggage. Two other men were arrested in a security scare near Heathrow airport. NATO canceled a fourth day of emergency talks in its bitter split over war with Iraq. France and Germany insisted the talks on defending Turkey would have to wait until U.N. inspectors report to the Security Council tomorrow.

In Florida, President Bush prepared troops for war with Iraq and urged the U.N. Security Council to show -- quote -- "backbone and courage" against Saddam Hussein.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: You got to decide if you lay down the resolution, does it mean anything? The United Nations Security Council can now decide whether or not it has the resolve to enforce its resolutions.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: Dana Bash joins us now, our White House correspondent. Dana, the White House is expecting to hear from Hans Blix tomorrow, his report to the U.N. What do they think he is going to say?

DANA BASH, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Judy, officials here are expecting a kind of mixed report from Hans Blix tomorrow. They do think that just like he do at the end of January, when he made a very important report then to the U.N., that he will talk about the fact that Iraq has not given up some of the weapons that the U.N. and the U.S. know that he has.

So they feel like he will be pretty strong on that. But they don't think that he will go as far as saying inspections aren't working and that inspections need to end. And what they're hoping here, as Ari Fleischer put it yesterday, it is kind of a Joe Friday report. Just the facts. Because Bush officials say that they believe that the facts are on their side.

And as a matter of fact, officials here tell us that after Hans Blix makes his presentation tomorrow, that U.S. officials and British officials will try to go through some of the facts. They will try to say, for instance, VX gas. We know that he has VX gas. Mr. Blix, did they report that? We know that Iraq has 30,000 chemical warheads.

Have they reported that to try to show almost in a lawyerly fashion -- kind of like what Colin Powell did last week at the U.N. -- that Iraq is not coming clean with its weapons of mass destruction. And the other thing we need to look for, of course, is the second resolution. Now officials here say that we should not look for that to be introduced tomorrow. It's much more likely to be introduced next week, primarily because of the fact that they're still trying to work out the language.

At this point, U.S. and British officials are talking about something probably very simple, something saying that Iraq is in breach or material breach of Resolution 1441. And that, Judy, you'll remember, said Iraq will suffer serious consequences if it doesn't comply with the inspections.

WOODRUFF: That's right. So everyone, of course, easily awaiting tomorrow's report by Hans Blix.

All right, Dana, thanks very much.

Meantime, the Pentagon said today that it had reached its mid- February goal for the military buildup in the Persian Gulf region. These are some live pictures coming to us from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where troops are deploying and you can see that in these live pictures coming to us now. We're told that nearly 160,000 U.S. troops now are within striking distance of Iraq.

If you're interested further, you can go to CNN.com/Iraq, to look at a map of U.S. military deployments in the region, and to get specific information about the units, their equipment, and their duties.

Well, if and when, Saddam Hussein is forced out of power, Secretary of State Colin Powell today warned congress that America should be prepared for a fairly long-term commitment in Iraq.

CNN's national security correspondent David Ensor has more on the U.S. vision of Iraq after Saddam.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAVID ENSOR, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Their goal for Iraq, Bush administration officials insist, is to liberate the country, not to occupy it.

DONALD RUMSFELD, DEFENSE SECRETARY: The United States simply has to be willing to stay there as long as is necessary to see that that is done, but not one day longer.

BUSH: So, I don't think our troops ought to be used for what's called nation building.

ENSOR: Even before he became president, George bush was on the record against nation building.

But at a hearing this week, administration officials were peppered with questions about how much it would cost the U.S. to rebuild Iraq after Saddam Hussein. And how long it would take.

SEN. CHRIS DODD (D), CONNECTICUT: I think the American public have a right to know what we're getting into here. And it's going to be very costly, and it's going to take a long, long time. And it's better to say that up front.

ENSOR: Undersecretary of State Mark Grossman said a two-year U.S. occupation would be a rosy scenario. Retired general Anthony Zinni predicted occupation would last a decade.

In New York, the president's deputy national security adviser said a lot of thinking has already been done about what he called the huge undertaking.

STEPHEN HADLEY, DEP. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: We can envision the early creation of an Iraqi national council, to advise U.S. and coalition authorities; a judicial council, to advise on revision to Iraq's legal structure; and a constitutional commission, to draft a new constitution.

ENSOR: General Tommy Franks would run Iraq for a short time, administration officials say, then possibly an international figure and then, says Secretary of State Powell, he hopes Iraqis could choose their own new leader.

COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: The challenge would be to put in place a representative leadership.

ENSOR (on camera): Some analysts argue the real costs and risks for the United States will come not during the period of a possible war with Iraq, but afterwards. Call it nation building or call it rebuilding Iraq, it will take plenty of time and, analysts say, many tens of billions of dollars.

David Ensor, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: Now, we turn to the war on terror. The federal government has issued another tip on what to do to cut down on contamination from a chemical, biological or nuclear attack. They say you should cover your mouth with a cloth and wash your hands.

Now, many Americans already are following some earlier advice to go out and buy duct tape and plastic sheeting. But some others are scoffing, including some Democrats and others on Capitol Hill. Here now is our congressional correspondent, Jonathan Karl.

Jonathan, are you saying they're not taking the recommendations from the Department of Homeland Security seriously?

JONATHAN KARL, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, some of them clearly are ridiculing those recommendations, some Democrats up here on Capitol Hill. As a matter of fact, at a press conference today, Democrats in the senate came in with some props. If you look the pictures here, they had - right at their side -- duct tape, water, plastic sheeting. All the very items that the Department of Homeland Security has suggested that people stockpile, Democrats presented today to say they're - a refrain we hear over and over again now from them -- duct tape is not enough to protect America.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BYRD: When the people ask for our best efforts to protect them from madmen, we must not respond with duct tape and a new bureaucracy. May God forgive us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KARL: Senator Chuck Schumer was also at that press conference, said that the guidelines are simply too vague. People don't really. understand what they're supposed to do with all of this stuff. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: When people hear that they should buy plastic sheeting and duct tape, it doesn't -- they don't understand why. They don't understand how to do it. And there has to be -- admittedly, we're at a brand new stage here, because our country's never been subject to this. But there has to be much clearer guidelines so that both people will be less afraid of the unknown, but at the same time they'll know what to do to protect against danger.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KARL: What the Democrats are saying here, Judy, is that the White House, the administration is short-changing first responders on the local level -- those firemen, police officers, emergency medical personnel that would respond to attack. They're saying that not enough money is going to the states to help them to prepare for another attack. What Republicans are saying, though, is that the big spending bill that will pass today in the congress, the $397 billion appropriations bill that's going to pass is one that will give $3.5 billion to states for first responders, exactly what the president responded.

Now, there's dispute about that. Democrats say there's actually only $1.2 billion in this. The bottom line is most people who will be voting on this bill today haven't actually read it. We haven't been able to exactly figure out why the big dispute among the numbers. But the bottom line is more money will go out as a result of what happens today here in the congress.

One other footnote on this, Judy, though, is that a lot of Democrats are actually taking the advice. Nancy Pelosi says that this weekend, she'll be checking on her supplies at home. And Jane Harman, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, says she has her own stockpile of those exact items here in the Capitol -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, Jon Karl, at the Capitol. Thanks.

Well, beyond the politics of all this, many Americans desperately want to know what they can and should do in case of a terror attack. Red Cross spokesman Phil Zepeda is with me now to try to clear up some of the confusion.

I just want to say, Phil Zepeda, if you go to the White House Web site when they announced that the threat level was being raised to high, they point out if people want more information, they should turn to the American Red Cross. And that's why we are turning to you.

You were saying that there are just some specific, basic steps that people should take. What are they?

PHIL ZEPEDA, SPOKESMAN, AMERICAN RED CROSS: Exactly.

We're advising all Americans that there is three steps that you can do. You can build a kit, you can make a plan and you get trained. When you're building a kit, it's the messages that you've been hearing. It's common sense things to put in a safety kit that you would build for any type of disaster, whether it's a terror threat or it's a single-family house fire. So that's building a kit.

Secondly...

WOODRUFF: This includes the plastic sheeting and the duct tape?

ZEPEDA: Well, it does. Those should be part of your kit.

What you need to wait for, though...

WOODRUFF: Water...

ZEPEDA: ... is the direction on how to use those items later based on the event that actually happens. Yes, you got to have water. You need to have food, high energy food. Think about medications. A lot of things that you would need to survive for two or three days on your own.

WOODRUFF: But should people get this material now? Because we know that in some cities, including here in Washington, there's already a run on hardware stores. Stores are running out of all these materials.

ZEPEDA: Well, it's never too early to prepare for any type of disaster. As I was saying that you're preparing for a tornado, you're preparing for a terrorist attack, it's the same type of materials that you have in a disaster kit that are imperative to survive any type of event.

WOODRUFF: All right, you were saying, after the kit, what's next?

ZEPEDA: Well, you should actually build a plan.

What you should look to do is have a place outside of your home to meet in the event that an event happens while no one's at home, people are at work and your home is affected. Where are you going to meet? Well, you can't go home. So identify that location beforehand.

And, also, identify someone out of town that you can contact who can be a single focal point for the entire family to get in touch with that will be the assurance that everyone's okay.

WOODRUFF: So, even if you have young children, you should sit them down and talk to them about this, about where to go and what to do? I mean, presumably, if they're in school, the school is going to be giving them information as well.

ZEPEDA: The best thing about the Red Cross, redcross.org Web site, is that we offer tips for individuals, families, schools, businesses on how to prepare at every level of the national threat level, so it provides the best information for everyone. WOODRUFF: All right. So the kit, and then have a plan for your family, and presumably your place of work or your business, also needs a plan of its own.

ZEPEDA: Third, simple tip, just get trained, get trained in first aid, CPR. Your local Red Cross chapter offers those continually. And it's going to help you at any point in your life, tomorrow or down the road.

WOODRUFF: But not everybody can do that, not every single person. So...

ZEPEDA: There is simple advice, the best device for any disaster, is to build a kit.

WOODRUFF: OK.

So for those who are saying, you know, that's preposterous -- you are going to hear Jon Karl, our correspondent, interviewing the mayor of New York a little later today. And he's going to say it's silly, in effect, to focus on these things. You're saying it makes sense.

ZEPEDA: Well, yes. It does make sense if they are thought of all together.

You know, we have items like batteries and flashlights. Well, these are going to be imperative to not only, you know, power the flashlight but your batteries for radios and such to hear official government information on how to act. The things collectively are going to keep you safe longer.

WOODRUFF: OK. Well, one thing we know is it will help if everybody keeps a cool head in all of this. Phil Zepeda with the Red Cross. Thank you very much for coming by.

ZEPEDA: Glad to be here.

WOODRUFF: We appreciate it.

Well to better -- to try to better understand the terror threat we would urge you to be sure to watch" CNN PRESENTS", "al Qaeda: The New Threat." That is Saturday and Sunday at 8 p.m. Eastern on CNN.

We'll have more on the terror threat and the duct tape debate when we come back. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, as I mentioned, has some strong words about some federal officials' warnings.

Plus ---

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm doing nothing differently. I will not let these people change my way of life. We have not gotten duct tape, and we have not gotten anything else.

WOODRUFF: What are members of congress doing to keep themselves safe if terrorists strike? The response is mixed. When George McGovern ran for president he campaigned against the Vietnam War. I'll ask him to share his views about possible war with Iraq.

And we'll tell you who else is joining the crowd of Democratic presidential candidates.

This is INSIDE POLITICS, the place for campaign news.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: This just in. We are keeping our eye on a nasty- looking fire near Los Angeles. These live pictures are brought to you from affiliate KTLA. The fire is in an industrial facility, Pocoma (ph), Los Angeles.

Lots more to come on INSIDE POLITICS. Does the government's advice on how to protect yourself from terror make good sense or is it, in the words of New York's Mayor, preposterous? Jonathan Karl gets Mayor Bloomberg's point of view next, as the "Subway Series" heads to New York City.

That's just moments away.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(voice-over): It's time to check your "I.P. I.Q." When George McGovern ran for president in 1972, he carried only one state and the District of Columbia. Was that state A: South Dakota, B: New York or C: Massachusetts? We'll tell you the answer later on INSIDE POLITICS.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Well, if there is any city that has a right to be anxious about the elevated terror threat, it is New York. But when Mayor Bloomberg joined our Jonathan Karl for a "Subway Series" interview last night, he was in a defiant mood, riding the No. 6 train, as always, despite warnings from one member of Congress that the subway isn't safe.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KARL: In light of the latest terror alert, how worried our New Yorkers? How apprehensive are people in this city that they'll be attacked again?

BLOOMBERG: Most people go about their business. I don't know if it's a resignation that there is nothing you can do about it, not paying attention and belief that there isn't a threat. But my advice to everybody is go about your business. If you see something suspicious, call 911, and let the professionals worry about it. There is nothing you can do about it. And you don't want the terrorists to destroy your life. And they will do that as surely as - by forcing you to change the way you live and to stay in your hole, it's just as bad as if - were to shoot you. Yeah, and I think in a practical sense, your risk of getting hit by a car is infinitely greater than your risk of being hurt by a terrorist. I mean, you've got to put these things into perspective.

KARL: Now, Jane Harmon, who is the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said on CNN that she advises members of her family not to ride the subways in New York because of her fear of a terrorist attack.

BLOOMBERG: I'm not going to go and attack anybody. But I ride the subway every day. Does that tell you what I think? My kids ride the subway. This is a safe city. It's not Washington, or anyplace else. It's New York. And that's all I now about. In New York you are very safe. And it's preposterous to think that you should be riding the subway, that you shouldn't go to the theatre, that you shouldn't go to restaurants. Children shouldn't go to school. How can you say that?

KARL: We have been hearing in Washington from the Secretary of Homeland Defense that one thing that should be done is people should be stocking up on duct tape and plastic, and all of this kind of stuff. What do you make of that?

BLOOMBERG: Look, go about your life. I'm not going to get into an argument with the people. Everybody has a right to say what they want. But I think that's preposterous.

KARL: Now, you've come up with this plan now, to move into politics, where you put through and listed the 380 campaign promises you made to get elected Mayor, listing what promises you've met, what promises you haven't. Got the document right here. Eighty percent you say you have either started to fulfill or you are about to start to fulfill. But there's another statistic, and that's the 31 percent approval rating in one recent poll. Why is the message not getting through?

BLOOMBERG: I don't know that the message isn't getting through. That was a poll taking the day after we raised property taxes, which we had to do to balance the budget. That was a referendum on whether people like to have their property taxes raised, not a referendum on me. But even if it was a referendum on me, I was not hired to good ratings.

KARL: They list campaign promises that you put out. When you get to page 51, of course, lists, I will not raise taxes. And you have been forced to raise taxes.

BLOOMBERG: No, no, wait. That's not true. I said at the beginning - well, yes, number one, I have been forced to raise taxes. Nobody wants to raise taxes. We have a law that says you have to balance the budget. And I am not going to go fire all of the police officers and make this city unsafe because it's having -

KARL: Didn't you say you weren't going to raise taxes?

BLOOMBERG: Let me finish. Thank you very much. I said, yes, I was forced to do it. And, yes, I did. And, yes, I had to change. When you say something - the first year we could not raise taxes because people were threatening to leave the city. It was right after 9/11. The city is much more stable. And we have a budget problem. The economy has slowed down. We don't have the revenue. So we have a choice. Either we stop putting out the fires, stop arresting the bad guys, stop picking up the trash, stop educating our kids, or we raise our taxes. That's an easy decision for me to make. I find it hard to believes that you would question it.

KARL: Well, you've got a problem, you have what, 100,000 jobs that have left the city, how do you get the jobs back in the city if commuter tax is coming on line, property tax -

(CROSSTALK)

BLOOMBERG: The one way I guarantee you won't have those jobs is if the streets aren't safe, if our schools aren't good, if the fires aren't put out, if the trash isn't picked up. That's what drives people out, not taxes.

KARL: All right, this is our stop. Mr. Mayor.

BLOOMBERG: Let's do it.

KARL: Thank you very much.

BLOOMBERG: All the best.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: Meanwhile, President Bush presses his case against Iraq, while this former presidential candidate makes the case against war. We'll go "On the Record" with George McGovern when INSIDE POLITICS continues.

(MARKET UPDATE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: George McGovern was an outspoken critic of the Vietnam War, and now he isn't mincing words when it comes to a possible U.S.-led war with Iraq. The former Democratic presidential candidate, the former senator joins U.S. now. Senator, good to see you.

GEORGE MCGOVERN, FORMER SENATOR: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: President Bush said that it is clear that Saddam Hussein is a threat to the United States, and that's why he needs to be disarmed sooner then later.

MCGOVERN: You know, I think most people would agree that had it not been for that 9/11 attack, we wouldn't even be here talking about Saddam Hussein. The irony of that is that he had nothing to do that with that attack. Iraq had nothing to do with it. This was Osama bin Laden's. He was the mastermind. He planned it, and his al Qaeda network, that little band of desert radical young men that he's assembled. So I don't see the connect between that and this march to war in Iraq. And I disagree with the president. I don't think Iraq is a threat to the most mighty military power in the history of the world.

WOODRUFF: But the administration, the president argues -- and I know you've heard this argument, because he's made countless speeches about it -- is that 9/11 change everything, that, before 9/11, the United States could count on containing Saddam Hussein. It could count on him staying in his box, so to speak.

But since then, the fear is, with these weapons of mass destruction, chemical, biological, and nuclear, he'll either use them on the U.S. or the region or provide -- give them to terrorists who will.

MCGOVERN: Well, I agree with former President Carter, who said the other day that it's ridiculous to think that Iraq would attack the United States, knowing that they'd be incinerated in a matter of hours. Any country that attacks the world's most powerful nuclear state is going to go down.

There are nine countries that have nuclear weapons. No one of them would attack us, knowing that we have overwhelming preponderance of power there.

WOODRUFF: But isn't their point that Saddam Hussein is irrational, that that may be a rational argument for you and someone else, but not for somebody like Saddam Hussein?

MCGOVERN: If we're going to go after every irrational person around the world, we're not going to have enough soldiers left to feed the wars that will erupt.

I want to make one thing clear. I don't enjoy criticizing the policies of my government. I love this country more than life itself. And that's why I came here today, as I have other places, to try to plead with our leaders, do not drop an American army into that Middle East tinderbox. The consequences of that are almost beyond imagination.

I remember, after Winston Churchill tried to talk our leaders out of going into Vietnam, we said, well, we have information that the communists are doing this and doing that. He said, the only thing certain about a war is that nothing is certain about a war. I tremble at the consequences of putting an American army into that area. I think it's going to inflame the whole Arab world and doubtless many other countries. And that's what we don't need right now.

WOODRUFF: But what about the president's argument, Senator, that if nothing is done now, that these terrorists at some point are going to get hold of these terrible weapons? And the terrorists don't care. They just hate the United States, the argument goes, and they'll use them against the U.S. And we don't -- and the argument is, we're not going to wait for that.

MCGOVERN: Well, that's a danger that we have to guard against.

But you know there are nuclear weapons for sale. I'm not going to go in to all the countries that are capable of selling them. But certainly Iraq is low on the list. There are countries that have had these weapons for many years who are in economic trouble who could use the proceeds from the sale of those weapons.

Also, we don't have any monopoly on science. Other groups are capable of copying, at least on a primitive scale, what we have done. And even as you and I sit here today, we have some of the world's best arms experts combing Iraq from stem to stern, looking for evidence of weapons.

WOODRUFF: The U.N. inspectors?

MCGOVERN: The U.N. inspectors.

Now, they say they need more time. Well, what's the big hurry? Lyndon Johnson once said, somewhat ruefully, during the Vietnam War, it's awfully easy to get into war. It's awfully tough to get out. What is the rush? Why don't we give these arms inspectors -- there are several hundred of them, I guess, that are in Iraq. And they did a great job right after the Gulf War 10 years ago of destroying large numbers of weapons. Let's give them a chance to operate here, before we decide to go to war.

WOODRUFF: All right, former Senator George McGovern making a case that we know that the administration and others are going to be arguing and debating in the days to come -- Senator, good to see you.

MCGOVERN: Thanks a lot. It's nice to be with you.

WOODRUFF: Thanks very much for talking to us. We appreciate it.

We'll be right back with more INSIDE POLITICS after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF (voice-over): It's time again to check your "I.P. I.Q."

Earlier, we asked: When George McGovern ran for president in 1972, he carried only one state and the District of Columbia. Was that state, A, South Dakota, B, New York, or, C, Massachusetts? The correct is C, Massachusetts. President Richard Nixon carried 49 states, including McGovern's home state of South Dakota.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Donna Brazile and Bay Buchanan join us to talk about whether there's too much anxiety in the air over duct tape and plastic sheeting.

(NEWS BREAK)

WOODRUFF: With us now: former Gore campaign manager Donna Brazile and Bay Buchanan, the president of American Cause.

Bay, some conflicting signals here: We're hearing the Department of Homeland Security on Monday say, you do need to stock up on plastic sheeting, duct tape and water. And then there are others who are saying that's not the case. We heard Mayor Bloomberg a little while ago saying, let's not panic here.

BAY BUCHANAN, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN CAUSE: Judy, it's time for both the administration to step in and really take some charge here, because there is really not only anxiety, but there's some real tension out there amongst people.

People are scared. And I find it amongst women in particular. And it's time for us to have some calming voices, some parents around, some adults. I find both the media and the administration should take charge. There should be a homeland security -- Mr. Ridge come out on a regular basis, say: This is where we stand. There's no panic, but I wanted to appraise you of what's going on. Now, listen to your mayor as to what to do if there's an emergency in your area.

And then the mayor should step forward. And it's time for the media to step back and stop hyping this. I was in a car yesterday, turned on one of the talk radio show hosts, who I won't embarrass, and I became a nervous wreck, because they were so hyping everything. And I thought, this is irresponsible.

WOODRUFF: But, Donna, they did put out a statement that said, you should buy, you should stock up on three days' worth of water, get the plastic sheeting and the duct -- if you're a mother, then you're going to care about this.

DONNA BRAZILE, CHAIRWOMAN, VOTING RIGHTS INSTITUTE: Of course.

Well, it's so funny. They want you to stock up on water, but not toilet paper. No one is talking about diapers, batteries.

(LAUGHTER)

BUCHANAN: Everybody is stocked up on that.

BRAZILE: That's true.

But I believe that it's time for calmer voices to speak. I agree with Bay. Congress is now appropriating some money for the local responders.

BUCHANAN: Exactly.

BRAZILE: They should rise to the occasion, the police, local police, local firemen, and tell the American people, block by block, city by city, what we should be doing, rather than just getting people to go out to the Home Depot and Lowes and their hardware store to stock up on these items that, by the way, I don't think they will be quite useful as many people think they will be.

BUCHANAN: And, Judy, there is a responsibility of all people who have -- are communicating to the public at this stage, whether you're on talk radio or whether you're on TV, to really be a calm voice in this time. It's not time to incite.

WOODRUFF: For example, Tom DeLay -- we've heard some of the Democrats and what they have had to say.

BUCHANAN: Exactly.

WOODRUFF: Tom DeLay said today, when he was asked, are you going to stock up, "I've got plenty of TV dinners in the fridge to get me by."

BUCHANAN: Tell Mr. DeLay, if we don't have electricity, those TV dinners aren't going to go too far.

BRAZILE: There you go.

(LAUGHTER)

WOODRUFF: Let's turn very quickly -- not much time here -- to Iraq and what happens after. You have an administration official testifying on the Hill this week that we need to stay in Iraq with a military presence for as long as it takes. And people are talking years.

BRAZILE: They're talking years. They're also talking billions of dollars.

Look, what the American people should also be concerned -- and this is the time for someone to tell us the whole truth -- this may take us 10 years and $100 billion. The United States military, I don't believe, is quite ready for what comes area Saddam Hussein in terms of managing the peace, transforming the government, transforming that state, deposing the weapons, all of this stuff that they have to do. They need to tell us the truth.

BUCHANAN: Well, I think they're telling us what they know, to be quite honest, Donna.

Nobody is questioning that the military victory is at hand here in a short time. The problem is afterwards and it always has been. They're hoping to put a coalition government together. They're talking about the -- we're not just going to war. We're going to occupy a foreign country. We're going to take over it.

BRAZILE: That's why we need the United Nations.

BUCHANAN: It's the first time in American history we're going to occupy another nation for a long period of time, it appears, try to put a coalition government together, which I just don't know even how it's possible, to be quite honest. And the neighbors are more concerned after we're there than they are now.

BRAZILE: Again, that's why we need allies. That's why we need the U.N.

But I must also say this. If we have to evacuate D.C., Bay has already said I have a room in her house. So, I say, stock up on all of the usual, plus some other things that she knows I like.

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN: I bought water for her this week. And I told her if she wanted anything stronger that she would have to bring it herself.

BRAZILE: I will be bringing it over. Trust me.

WOODRUFF: I'll be there to hear the political discussion.

(LAUGHTER)

BRAZILE: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: OK.

Bay, Donna, thank you both.

WOODRUFF: Well, Bob Novak joins us with some "Inside Buzz" when we come back.

Plus, the field of presidential candidates is about to grow by one -- details next in our "Campaign News Daily."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Bob Novak joins us now with some "Inside Buzz."

All right, Bob, what is the latest on the judicial confirmation battle over Miguel Estrada?

ROBERT NOVAK, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It looks, though, Judy, that the Democrats won the first round.

The Republicans were talking about canceling next week's congressional recess, Senate recess, in order to force the Democrats to keep their filibuster going, to put their feet to the fire. But the reason that they have quit for recess is that, partially, the senatorial wives are demanding it. They had their January recess canceled.

And the bigger reason is, there are really a lot of people who are afraid of being in session in Washington right now at this time of the Muslim year, with the terrorist threat. There's a lot of fear on Capitol Hill. And they want to get out of town for next week.

WOODRUFF: Very interesting, because that's what we're talking about a good bit on the program.

Bob, you always keep us updated on these spending bills. Where do things stand on the so-called omnibus spending bill? NOVAK: Yesterday, Speaker Hastert brought in some Republican leaders. And they hammered out an agreement on the omnibus spending bill. That's the appropriations left over from last year. They had Dick Cheney on the speaker phone asking questions.

But I'm going to tell you a little dirty secret. The real enemies of pork-barrel spending, like Senator John McCain, have no idea what's in that bill. It may be filled with pork. And you know who else doesn't know? Mitch Daniels, the budget director. They are starting right this afternoon at the Budget Office, at the Office of Management and Budget, to go through a 12-inch-high stack of papers, which is in the bill. Who knows how much pork is encrusted in those papers?

WOODRUFF: Last but not least, not long ago, Tom DeLay, the House majority leader, signed a letter against -- that went out. And it criticized, among other things, labor groups. Now, there's continued to be fallout from this letter.

NOVAK: Yes.

James Hoffa, the president of the Teamsters, wrote a very tough letter to DeLay criticizing that. And, as a result, for the first time, from conservative Republicans in the House, today, I have heard criticism of Tom DeLay, who they like very much and is a very powerful leader. But they figure that James Hoffa, he may not be a day at the beach for the Republicans, but he's about as good a labor leader as the Republicans are going to get.

The Teamsters did support some House candidates. And they're not happy about getting in dutch with Hoffa. They would like DeLay and Hoffa to kiss and make up. And the ball is in Mr. DeLay's court.

WOODRUFF: All right, we want a camera there if that happens.

Bob Novak joining us from the "CROSSFIRE" set -- thank you, Bob.

To comings and going in the presidential race in today's "Campaign News Daily": Former Illinois Senator Carol Moseley-Braun says she plans to join the Democratic field next week. An aide says Moseley-Braun will file papers for an exploratory committee on Tuesday. This weekend, she begins a swing through the key primary season states of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.

A source says that Congressman Dennis Kucinich is likely to announce this weekend that he too is forming a presidential exploratory committee. The Ohio Democrat then plans to travel to an AFL-CIO meeting in Iowa to lay out his campaign agenda.

And Retired General Wesley Clark is heading back to New Hampshire on Monday. The former NATO supreme commander has said he's not a presidential candidate, but he reportedly is keeping an eye on the race.

Up next: terror preparations in the nation's capital. The people of this city know all too well how devastating an attack can be. Are members of Congress taking pains to protect themselves?

We'll find out when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge today briefed members of Congress on how they should prepare for a potential terror strike. Are lawmakers stocking up on water and plastic sheeting or are they going about their business as usual?

CNN's Kathleen Koch went to the Hill to find out.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

REP. JANE HARMAN (D), CALIFORNIA: It's water, food, granola bars, and little hiking stuff.

KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's not for hiking, but hunkering down in her office on Capitol Hill. Congresswoman Jane Harman, a top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, is one member seriously preparing to ride out a possible terrorist attack.

HARMAN: I think that was a mistake made on 9/11. The federal government, or at least this congressional office, should not have closed. And we will not close the next time.

KOCH: Lawmakers are also getting advice from law enforcement on being less conspicuous.

SEN. KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON (R), TEXAS: That you not have official plates on your car, certainly that we are more careful about where we go and what we do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As far as using underground ability to go to the Capitol, getting in lumps of members of Congress together to be outside, is obviously a better security precaution.

KOCH: Small wireless emergency communications boxes are being installed in offices.

CHANNING NUSS, DEPUTY STAFF DIRECTOR: So we can get members and staff updated evacuation information, should that become necessary.

KOCH: Capitol Hill Police, too, have ratcheted up their readiness.

TERRANCE GAINER, CAPITOL POLICE CHIEF: We're redeploying our officers, giving them more and heavier weapons to carry around and trying to change up the way we look.

KOCH: All officers are now carrying pouches with protective hoods like this one in case of a chemical or biological attack. Recently completed barriers in the streets around the Capitol are ready to pop up and block traffic. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist says two rooms in the U.S. Capitol have been designated secure, with proper ventilation to keep members safe. Some lawmakers, though, aren't ready to head for the bunker.

REP. MARK FOLEY (R), FLORIDA: I'm doing nothing differently. I will not let these people change my way of life. We have not gotten duct tape and we have not gotten anything else.

KOCH: Even those taking precautions see limitations.

(on camera): You don't think the duct tape is worth a darn?

HARMAN: No, I don't think it's worth a darn. We've got the duct tape because that's on the list.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KOCH: Now, congressional leaders say that they will also rely heavily, in case of emergency, on small handheld wireless devices like this one, a BlackBerry.

There were just a few hundred of them on Capitol Hill on 9/11. They've invested millions in them now. And they have some 6,000 of them now on Capitol Hill. But, very eerily, this entire system, the BlackBerry system, has been down worldwide since this afternoon.

And Judy, no one has told customers just why or when this system will be operating again.

WOODRUFF: Which raises the question, what do you do when that's down?

KOCH: Precisely.

WOODRUFF: All right, Kathleen Koch, thanks very much.

Still interesting to see the contradictions in what the best advice is.

INSIDE POLITICS will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: And that's it for INSIDE POLITICS. Thank you for joining us.

I'm Judy Woodruff.

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




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