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CNN CAPITAL GANG

Bay Buchanan Speaks About Politics, California, And Other Matters; Alan Cooperman Speaks On Possible Schism Within Anglican/Episcopal Community

Aired August 9, 2003 - 19:00   ET

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

ANNOUNCER: From Washington, THE CAPITAL GANG.
MARK SHIELDS, HOST: Welcome to THE CAPITAL GANG.

I'm Mark Shields, with Robert Novak, Margaret Carlson, and, in New York, Al Hunt.

Our guest is Bay Buchanan, the president of the American Cause.

Thanks for coming in, Bay.

BAY BUCHANAN, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN CAUSE: Sure, glad to do it.

SHIELDS: Good to have you here.

As the Saturday deadline neared for candidates to run in the October 7 recall election as possible replacements of California Governor Gray Davis, there was a surprise from Hollywood.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO," NBC)

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER (R), CALIFORNIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: The man that is failing the people more than anyone is Gray Davis. He is failing them terribly. And this is why he needs to be recalled.

And this is why I'm going to run for governor of the state of California.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHIELDS: That flushed out the first major Democratic candidate, Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LT. GOV. CRUZ BUSTAMANTE (D), CALIFORNIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: I'm going to work like heck to defeat this recall. It doesn't look like he's moving up at all. And so I -- just in case, just in case he doesn't make the recall, this is going to give Democrats another option.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHIELDS: But the strongest possible Democrats stayed out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA: The only way I would have gotten into the race, if I were absolutely convinced he couldn't make it, and I'm not convinced. I believe he can.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHIELDS: Al Hunt in New York, does Arnold Schwarzenegger really have a chance to be elected governor of California just 60 days from now?

AL HUNT, CAPITAL GANG: Mark, as of today, he's the favorite, by California standards. He got off to a dazzling start. A short campaign may camouflage any substantive shortcomings.

I think there are several imponderables. For the Democrat, it's a variation of the old 54-40 or fight. It's 50 or 30, and which fight? Can Gray Davis possibly defeat recall? Can he get 50 percent? Much less likely as of today.

And if not, can they coalesce behind another candidate -- I suppose Bustamante -- and win with 30 percent?

They can't do both. A mixed message won't work. They got to decide.

For conservatives, it's going to have to be principle or victory. Arnold Schwarzenegger is a pro-choice, pro-gay rights, pro-public education GOP, and I don't think the conservatives ideologically are going to be comfortable. But they may be so eager for victory they'll swallow that.

SHIELDS: But -- and add pro-gun control to that as well, Bay Buchanan. Can conservatives like Steve Moore, the Club for Growth, the Congressman Dana Rohrbacher, be comfortable endorsing this leftie?

BUCHANAN: Well, you know, I don't know that it's so important that Arnold Schwarzenegger gets the support of establishment Republicans. I think he's running as an outsider. He'd be very wise to do exactly that, and notify the White House he -- they want him not anywhere -- the president anywhere in California.

His key is, he can reach out to the black community, he can (UNINTELLIGIBLE) to the poor. He's very -- there's great enthusiasm for him in the middle class. He's across-the-board candidate. And (UNINTELLIGIBLE) about 135 people are going to be on that ballot, and one has neon lights all around him.

I think he's obviously the candidate to beat right now.

SHIELDS: The candidate to beat, Bob.

ROBERT NOVAK, CAPITAL GANG: Absolutely. This is just like the tax-cutting proposition of many years ago, that the establishment politicians and much of the media didn't understand the motive of a desire across the boards, nonpartisan, nonideological, to get rid of Davis.

And he's gone. And I think that Schwarzenegger is probably going to get elected. He also is a tax cutter. Al doesn't like to -- when he's listing his other characteristics, he doesn't like to put that in. He doesn't like to put in the idea that he believes in tax cuts.

But this doesn't have much to do with ideology. They really don't like Davis. Who doesn't like the Terminator? And, you know, he's really not a robot, he's a human being.

So he's a hell of a candidate.

MARGARET CARLSON, CAPITAL GANG: He's going to have to show he's a human being, because people mostly know him as that character.

You know, only (UNINTELLIGIBLE) -- I mean, this election is an ugly election. It's begun ugly, it will be won ugly if Davis is recalled. And only a celebrity, perhaps, could win it, because you have 60 days, you have to start out with name recognition.

His problem is, if he doesn't become something other than a celebrity very quickly. Now, he's done Leno, and his next one on -- his one online interview last night was at, with "Hollywood Access." He really needs to get out of the most...

NOVAK: Why?

CARLSON: ... the -- because you can't -- you have to have some substance. You cannot only be a celebrity. And the bikini wax line, I thought, was beneath any -- I thought we'd reached a new low in our politics...

SHIELDS: I would the (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

CARLSON: ... (UNINTELLIGIBLE). It wasn't a good joke.

SHIELDS: ... at his party would be upset by that. But (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

CARLSON: It wasn't a good joke.

SHIELDS: ... Al, Al Hunt, I have to, I have to ask you, looking at this race, you've got a very short campaign with high name recognition, deep pockets, all (UNINTELLIGIBLE) going forward. But when I heard Arnold Schwarzenegger, asked about the environment, says, Don't worry about me on the environment.

I mean, it reminds me of that -- you know, the old Southern politician in town where Prohibition was going back and forth, 51-49 each side, and they asked him, Where do you stand on liquor (UNINTELLIGIBLE)? He says, You don't have to worry about me on that one.

I mean, the -- you know, he -- he's -- can be noncommittal throughout? Is the press have an obligation to scrutinize him? HUNT: Yes, they -- of course, it -- of course the press does, Mark. But a short campaign, I don't think there's going to be a lot of focus on Arnold's wetlands position.

One thing I thought was interesting. Arnold did say that California has changed, it's not the state it was in 1968 when he came. He's absolutely right. The -- and I'll tell you, the villain is Hiram Johnson, the progressive, this democracy through plebiscite, Prop 13, term limits.

That -- the California of 1968 was Pat Brown's California, and it was a much better place.

CARLSON: Mark, you know, the fact that it's only 60 days means that the press might not be able to puncture this puffed-up celebrity. You know, we've had rich people, we've had Ross Perot, but eventually, people come to see who they are, and that they don't have any substance.

BUCHANAN: You, I believe, misunderstand. Arnold is not dumb. He is not incapable of learning the issues quickly and presenting them. He has this good script writer, he follows it, he's disciplined. He can pull this off in 60 days.

But I'll tell you, you should not underestimate Gray Davis. I ran for statewide office in California a number of years back, and he also ran that same year, and I watched him. He can come from behind very well. He's run a terrible campaign. He's presented himself as a victim in the state of California.

SHIELDS: I agree.

BUCHANAN: When you're the governor, it's really hard to make that case. But I'll tell you how he could pull this off. There's a bloc vote. If he can get, let's say, the 20, 25, 35 percent of the vote that's going to say no on recall, and he can say, Listen, vote no on the top, but on the bottom, vote for John Garamendi, whoever it is they agree to.

And so he sells that as, Lookit, I should -- you know, kill this recall. But if it doesn't work, and he moves that bloc vote to one candidate, he can win this.

NOVAK: I don't, I don't think that, I don't think that's possible, because the people who know (UNINTELLIGIBLE), you know the state, but the people who know think there is a terrific fall-off from people who vote no on any recall to those who then vote on a successor in the second vote.

But I really do think, Margaret, that you and Al were so much enthralled with politicians and the people who've been on the public payroll all their life, as if they know something on how to govern, they've ruined the state anyway.

I mean, I don't think you can appreciate the idea of somebody who doesn't have a wetlands policy, somebody who doesn't say, (UNINTELLIGIBLE), here's the way I'm going to fix the budget, that somebody like Ronald Reagan. You never really understood Ronald Reagan's popularity.

CARLSON: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

HUNT: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Mark, a point of personal privilege. Bob totally misquoted me. I said the race will not be about Arnold's wetlands position. I said Arnold is the favorite right now, and he's off to a dazzling start.

Bob, I'm sorry you didn't hear any of that.

CARLSON: But he's going to have to have more to say than he's had yet, and 60 days is not that long to learn everything, if the press is doing its job and manages to question him...

NOVAK: Hatcheting him, you mean.

CARLSON: ... successfully.

SHIELDS: Two quick points. The first is, Ward Connerly's anti- affirmative action question on the ballot could turn -- get a big turnout, one, in that same election.

Second, the limits of direct democracy are obvious. I want to endorse what Al said and what Margaret said. State of Oregon adopted a position, assisted suicide, by a 51 to 49 vote. You know, I'm -- there's a issue of global moral, ethical, and religious...

NOVAK: Can I -- can I say...

SHIELDS: ... connotation, and you just...

NOVAK: Can I say...

SHIELDS: ... (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

CARLSON: Yes.

SHIELDS: ... no minority rights are even considered when the, when the bypass -- when the process is bypassed like this.

NOVAK: Can I say thank God for Hiram Johnson? We would have a dull summer otherwise.

SHIELDS: Well, Bob Novak knew Hiram Johnson, and that, that's -- says (UNINTELLIGIBLE) all.

Bay Buchanan and THE GANG will be back to ask, who wants to rush Colin Powell out of the administration?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHIELDS: Welcome back.

The front page of "The Washington Post" reported, quote, "Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage recently told national security adviser Condoleezza Rice that he and Secretary of State Colin Powell will leave on January 21, 2005, the day after the next presidential inauguration, sources familiar with the conversation said," end quote.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PHILIP REEKER, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: That there were no conversation between the deputy secretary and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice concerning any plans for stepping down. There is no basis for the story as...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHIELDS: Secretary Powell lunched with President Bush at the president's Texas ranch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The fact that he is here in Crawford, Texas, talking about issues of importance, should say loud and clear to the American people that he's completely engaged in doing what he needs to do and having served as a great secretary of state.

COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: This is all August speculation with no basis in fact, there's no basis for the story to begin with. And we're doing our jobs together.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

SHIELDS: Bob Novak, the president never directly challenged the leak that Colin Powell was going to leave in that, in that set-to. Was there no basis for this story?

NOVAK: Well, yes and no. There was a basis that he's going to leave. In fact, everybody in this town knew on January 21, 2001, that Colin Powell and his pal, Richard Armitage, would serve four years. That's a given.

There -- what there doesn't seem to be any basis that suddenly Armitage calls up Condoleezza and (UNINTELLIGIBLE), Hey, we're leaving. That doesn't seem to be true.

Now, Kessler (ph) is a good reporter. He didn't -- he admits he didn't get that from either Rice or Armitage...

SHIELDS: That's right.

NOVAK: ... he got it from somebody. He's a State Department reporter, so he got -- probably got it from somebody in the State Department. Why did they put this out, this rather strange story, which probably is, is, is not true, as far as the conversation goes? And I think, and this is just speculation, it was this, it was to put up the terrible specter of Paul Wolfowitz being secretary of state in the next administration so they could knock it down.

CARLSON: Now, I...

SHIELDS: Is Paul Wolfowitz the most scary possibility, Margaret?

CARLSON: No, you know, the reason I think, my nominee is Newt Gingrich, who's been trashing the State Department openly for months now, is that in that story, Newt Gingrich was one -- on the list of the possible secretaries of state. And I think that's quite ludicrous.

Listen, you know, the neocons and the hawks wanted to turn the dove of the admitted, the lame dove into a lame duck. And they put this out there, and that's how it happened.

And President Bush did not really put it down. I mean, this meeting at the ranch was long scheduled. But it certainly gave an awful lot of life to this story. And remember a week earlier, when President Bush was asked about Condoleezza Rice, and he said, She's an honest person, she's fabulous person, period?

End of story. With Colin Powell, he says, He's doing what he needs to do, end of story.

BUCHANAN: Ohhhh.

NOVAK: Ohhhh.

CARLSON: I mean, that was, like -- that was just -- I mean, it was not...

NOVAK: Ahhhhhh.

CARLSON: ... a great endorsement, because...

NOVAK: That's ridiculous.

CARLSON: No, the Paul Wolfowitz and the secretary of state, Rumsfeld and other people, are obviously and always at odds with Powell, and they don't mind undermining him in public.

SHIELDS: Thank you, Margaret.

Al Hunt up in New York, how does it look from Gotham?

HUNT: Mark, I think Bob Novak is right that no one really expected Colin Powell and Rich Armitage to serve a -- any second Bush administration. I think the story, however, was clearly planted by the neocons. They were the ones that would be advantaged by it, a weakened Powell.

The prospect of Newt Gingrich as secretary of state is truly appalling. That's a really scary prospect.

And let me just say this about, about, about Colin Powell. I think if you look at the foreign policy successes of the Bush administration, better relations with China, who's helping us in North Korea, the Middle East peace process belatedly but finally getting going, going to the U.N. so the Brits would join us in Iraq, and the AIDS Africa initiative, they all have the Powell imprimateur.

A second administration without Colin Powell's a scary prospect.

SHIELDS: Al Hunt makes a good point there. Colin Powell, even though he seems to have lost every major turf battle with Don Rumsfeld in Defense, has had an influence, especially...

BUCHANAN: Oh, he, he's had...

SHIELDS: ... (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

BUCHANAN: ... a terrific influence. And I believe -- there's no question in my mind that it was the neocons that moved this. They're notorious for leaking. And I think the president should take such leaks really seriously, because not only did it undermine Colin Powell, but it also hurts the president, because there's a lot of people in this country that consider Colin Powell one of his finest assets and lean towards being with him because he is there.

And so I think the president should take this stuff and look at it. If they can determine who could do this stuff, those are the guys should be fired.

NOVAK: Mark, let me take it to review that he's lost every major turf battle. They went to the U.N. because of...

(CROSSTALK)

NOVAK: ... Colin Powell. They bet -- they went -- they had the inspectors, the U.N. inspectors there, course of Colin Powell. They have Paul Bremer there, you know, is a Colin Powell guy, not, he is not a Defense guy.

So I think he's had a big influence in this administration. I think he's been a very successful secretary of state.

SHIELDS: I would say, I -- that it's very good for you to say, Bob, but I would say rhetorically, certainly, George W. Bush has been a lot closer to Don Rumsfeld than he has been to Colin Powell. And I think Colin Powell did, I made the point, pull the bacon, save the bacon for him by going to the U.N....

(CROSSTALK)

SHIELDS: ... that was where he lost the turf guy, he lost, certainly lost the turf battle as far as Iraq is concerned...

BUCHANAN: Well, but see...

SHIELDS: ... reconstruction.

BUCHANAN: ... I disagree. The fact that the -- that Colin Powell...

NOVAK: (UNINTELLIGIBLE). BUCHANAN: ... disagreed with where the president wanted to go, and yet was able to influence the president to keep holding it up, holding it up...

CARLSON: It slowed them down.

BUCHANAN: ... (UNINTELLIGIBLE) a chance, yes, absolutely slowed them down.

CARLSON: Yes, but that's all.

BUCHANAN: I think he showed enormous influence and great respect.

NOVAK: I do too.

SHIELDS: I don't see much coalition...

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: Slowing down is not a victory.

SHIELDS: I don't see much coalition in Iraq today. Maybe I've missed something.

NOVAK: You usually do.

SHIELDS: Next on CAPITAL GANG, can Joe Lieberman stop Howard Dean?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHIELDS: Welcome back.

With former Vermont governor Howard Dean on the rise, Senator Joe Lieberman attacked him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

SEN. JOE LIEBERMAN (D-CT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I believe that that kind of candidate could lead the Democratic Party into the political wilderness for a long time to come. Could be really a ticket to nowhere.

HOWARD DEAN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are not going to beat George Bush by voting for things like No Child Left Behind. We're not going to beat him by doing what Senator Lieberman and others did, voting for some of the president's tax cuts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHIELDS: Meanwhile, Congressman Richard Gephardt failed to get an immediate AFL-CIO endorsement at labor's Chicago meeting.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. RICHARD GEPHARDT (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's time we had a president again who understands what's going on in the lives of ordinary American workers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHIELDS: And former vice president Al Gore gave his first political speech since October with a broad-based attack on President Bush, and with praise for the party's nine presidential candidates.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AL GORE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: I admire the effort and skill they are putting into their campaigns. I'm not going to join them...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHIELDS: Margaret Carlson, what was the impact of Joe Lieberman's attack on Howard Dean?

CARLSON: Zero, I think, because Howard Dean is not susceptible to conventional attacks, because he's in virtual reality land of campaigning.

Listen, Joe Lieberman is still ahead in South Carolina. He's staked out the center. But in this race, being anti-Bush is probably the only way to get the nomination.

And if you were to put Dean and Lieberman into a Cuisinart, you'd come out and have one normal candidate, in that Dean is so angry, and no matter what Joe Lieberman says, it comes out as reasonable and considered and decent, not the kind of stuff that's going to energize activist Democrats.

And for the next 60 days, I think this is the last time we're going to see Gore and Lieberman, a speech covered by them, because the next 60 days, all politics is California.

SHIELDS: And -- good point. And Bob Novak, I was in Chicago for the debate, or whatever you want to call it, the day after Joe Lieberman makes his attack on Howard Dean, and the -- it, it's -- that's it, he never says -- picks up that theme again.

NOVAK: He (UNINTELLIGIBLE) cannot win a Democratic nomination by saying the ideological leader can't win, or that he is off the mainstream. It just doesn't work. And Joe Lieberman's campaign is, is, is, is the most dysfunctional, because he seems to be running in a nonexistent national primary. There is no national primary. He's not going to win South Carolina. I don't know who is, but it isn't going to be Joe Lieberman.

But they have to -- the establishment has to figure out a way to stop Dean if they're going to stop him. They're not going to stop him with Joe Lieberman.

SHIELDS: One problem, AL Hunt, with trying to stop Howard Dean is, there's no establishment front-runner consensus candidate around whom to organize.

HUNT: Well, that's right, Mark. Of course, Dean is driving the insiders crazy. Look, this is not about ideology. It is true that Howard Dean opposed the Iraqi war. So did that notorious leftie Robert D. Novak.

It strikes me that the greatest passion that Dean brings when it comes to issues is fiscal responsibility. And he's actually to the right of Democrats on some issues.

But what Dean -- the tsunami that Dean has caught, as Margaret alluded to a moment ago, is this deep and pervasive anti-Bush current. Now, that may not be enough to win a general election among Democratic voters. That may not be enough to win a general election, but it's sure a requisite for winning the primary. And Joe Lieberman better understand you can't win primaries campaigning as Bush lite.

SHIELDS: Bay Buchanan, I was out in Chicago, talked to 11 different voters, who -- nine of whom said they were for Dean for one reason, and that was, I was dying for someone to take on the president, to stand up to Bush. And he did do it.

You've been through campaigns before...

BUCHANAN: Yes, I sure have.

SHIELDS: ... is that, is that a strong enough...

BUCHANAN: That is...

SHIELDS: ... organizing principle for...

BUCHANAN: That, that, that is...

SHIELDS: ... primaries?

BUCHANAN: ... a great place to start in order to try energize a base. They finally see a reason to go against some -- to be for somebody because he's beating up the guy they don't like.

But where the Democrats have -- are making a huge mistake, in my opinion, and they may not know of any other choice, but that is, they are -- they're moving ahead because of their anger against the president. But that president is enormously liked. He's amiable. He's a friendly guy.

And people want to like him. And you get in the general election, you got one angry candidate who happens to be antiwar, is the perception, and therefore antisecurity, in my opinion, and you have a guy that you really like, and you know he'll defend you, even sometimes when maybe you don't think he needs to, he's a little aggressive.

So as a security mom, I don't see how Dean can win in a general election. I think this is great news for Republicans that he's moving through this primary process. SHIELDS: Let me just say one thing about the labor. Labor is an organization that prides itself on loyalty and we're with you, you're with us. If there's anybody who's been with labor longer, stronger, and harder than Dick Gephardt, and if they turn their back on Dick Gephardt, I don't know how they'll go up to Capitol Hill in the future, Bob, and say, you know, You stick with us and we'll be with you.

NOVAK: But there's no question that Dean has got the -- I'm sure you've found that, the left wing of the labor movement. And he did hold back any endorsement, at least until the meeting that -- the new meeting they've scheduled in October.

SHIELDS: In October.

NOVAK: But I think we ought to say a word about Al Gore, that the only reason anybody paid any attention to that speech, to see whether he was going to get back in the race. And he has no intention. And I can't find any politicians who think it would be a good idea and the Democratic Party.

CARLSON: No, he's not getting back in (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

SHIELDS: I -- Al...

CARLSON: ... if he were, it would have been a different speech.

SHIELDS: That -- OK, Al Hunt, quickly, in New York, Al, and that is, I think the endorsement of labor is either Gephardt or nobody. I don't think there's anybody else they're going to endorse.

HUNT: You're absolutely right, and I don't think they're going to endorse Gephardt in October unless he does considerably better in the polls and fund raising by then.

SHIELDS: Yes.

Bay Buchanan, thank you for joining us.

BUCHANAN: You're welcome.

SHIELDS: Coming up in the second of CAPITAL GANG, our Newsmaker of the Week is Middle East expert Flynt Leverett. Beyond the Beltway looks at a gay bishop in the Episcopal Church. And our Outrages of the Week. That's all after the latest news headlines.

(COMMERCIAL AND NEWS BREAK)

ANNOUNCER: From Washington, THE CAPITAL GANG.

SHIELDS: Welcome back to the second half of CAPITAL GANG.

I'm Mark Shields, with Robert Novak, Margaret Carlson, and, in New York, Al Hunt.

Our Newsmaker of the Week is Middle East expert Flynt Leverett. Flynt Leverett, age 45, residence Fairfax, Virginia, religion Roman Catholic.

B.A. degree in music and political science from Texas Christian, M.A. and Ph.D. in politics from Princeton.

CIA senior analyst, 1992 to 2001. Middle East adviser to national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, 2002 to March 2003. Currently Brookings Institution fellow.

Al Hunt interviewed Flynt Leverett from Seattle earlier this week.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HUNT: Flynt, the recent 9/11 congressional report famously redacted 28 pages dealing with Saudi support for terrorism. Wouldn't it be better for all concerned to simply release that information?

FLYNT LEVERETT, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL ADVISER: I think from a Saudi perspective, the concern was that whatever was in that report, and however damaging or unfavorable it might be toward the Saudi image in the United States, that speculation about what was in the report was, in the end, likely to be more damaging to that image.

HUNT: A delegation of senior American antiterrorist officials just went to Riyadh to pressure the Saudis to do much better in curbing terrorism. Is there any reason to believe that this will be any more successful than our previous frustrations?

LEVERETT: Yes, I think in general, over the last year or so, the trend has been positive on counterterrorism. Before the May 12 bombings in Riyadh, since May 12, people that I talked to in the U.S. government say that Saudi cooperation on counterterrorism has gotten even better.

HUNT: Flynt, could al Qaeda and other big terrorist organizations flourish without resources from Saudis and those charities that you just mentioned?

LEVERETT: I think that has been an important source of financing and resources for al Qaeda, and I think what the May 12 bombings showed for the Saudis is that this was not a problem that they could keep outside of their borders.

HUNT: In the kingdom today, there are some 8,000 royal princes, almost all of whom doing very well, but almost 40 percent of the other young Saudi men are unemployed. Is that a system that is sustainable?

LEVERETT: Over the long run, obviously it is not sustainable. A lot of the attention in the United States today that's put on Saudi Arabia is focused on terrorism, and that's quite understandable. But there are other things going on in Saudi Arabia right now, a very intense process of internal discussion and debate about the kingdom's long-term future. HUNT: Well, Prince Abdullah is considered by most to be the great reform hope, as you just noted. When the ailing king dies, how much leeway is he going to have to make these reforms? And what's the most likely outcome?

LEVERETT: Well, I think the crown prince will have somewhat greater leverage than he has now if he's able to succeed his half- brother, King Fahd, as king. But it is a basic feature of the Saudi system that the ruling family prefers to operate on a consensus basis.

And there are some very powerful princes within the regime's inner circle. You might mention Prince Sultan, the defense minister, Prince Naef (ph), the interior minister, other princes who are governors of important provinces in the kingdom, all of whom have deep misgivings and resist important parts of the crown prince's reform agenda.

That dynamic is not going to go away. But it's going to be -- I think this is going to be the struggle that, in a real sense, determines the future of Saudi Arabia.

HUNT: Former secretary of state George Schulz has labeled U.S.- Saudi relations, quote, "a grotesque protection racket," end quote. And some say that if Abdullah doesn't make these kind of changes, including cracking down on terrorism, we ought to view Saudi Arabia more adversarially. Your view?

LEVERETT: I don't think that looking at the Saudi relationship in an adversarial light is ultimately constructive for U.S. interests. Saudi Arabia remains very important to U.S. interests in this part of the world, and in terms of the importance of Saudi oil for the global economy.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SHIELDS: Al Hunt, is Flynt Leverett, a former CIA career man, saying that the terrorist charges against Saudi Arabia are somehow overblown?

HUNT: No, Mark, he said that Saudi support has been essential for al Qaeda. I think he is sanguine, or more sanguine, because his feeling is that since May 12, since the Saudis were hit in Riyadh, that the kingdom will realize it's in their own self-interest to curb those -- that kind of support.

I hope he's right. History suggests skepticism.

CARLSON: George Schulz is right, Flynt Leverett is wrong. We have to get tough on the Saudis.

SHIELDS: Bob Novak.

NOVAK: I thought it was a very corrective interview in view of all the Israeli propaganda, the stuff by Dori Gold, trying to demonize Saudi Arabia, undermine the regime. He says we shouldn't have an adversarial relationship, and they have been helpful on terrorism. And I think people ought to publish that interview and read it carefully.

SHIELDS: Last word, Bob Novak.

Coming up, CAPITAL GANG Classic, Fritz Hollings speaks out.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHIELDS: Welcome back.

This week, Democratic Senator Ernest F. "Fritz" Hollings announced the end of a 55-year political and public service career by saying he would not seek reelection in South Carolina next year.

Senator Hollings appeared on THE CAPITAL GANG only once, on March 10, 1990, when the first George Bush was president.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, March 10, 1990)

SEN. FRITZ HOLLINGS (D), SOUTH CAROLINA: The country is economically in disarray. When a president has to come before the joint Congress and say the deficit is coming down when it's going up, that we're going to be balanced in the budget by 1993, when it's totally impossible, we are in disarray.

NOVAK: You're a charming guy. I've known you for about 30 years. But your economics is old-fashioned and out of date and dangerous. Tell you that, I'll tell you...

(CROSSTALK)

HOLLINGS: ... 30, not charming. Go ahead.

HUNT: Has Bob Novak charmed you into opposing this bill?

HOLLINGS: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) charming. He's getting charming.

Get on the car, off the golf course, get to (UNINTELLIGIBLE) up, you know, a heap, I should say, of $21 billion bill on them, on the cost of production. It'll pass, but we got to start finally get off of this free trade, free trade. Let's don't start a trade war. We've moved from the cold war to the trade war.

Everybody wants to privatize the profits, and, you know, make the cost public.

HUNT: But your South Carolina constituents aren't going to be happy about another nickel increase in (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

HOLLINGS: No, but that -- they ought (UNINTELLIGIBLE) bring into the real world, that's what the cost is.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHIELDS: Bob Novak, would you now amend your harsh judgment of Senator Fritz Hollings?

NOVAK: What I would amend is when I said he was charming. He's really not charming, he's kind of a mean old man. And his...

SHIELDS: Takes one to know one.

NOVAK: And his -- he's a tax increaser, a protectionist, a squeeze the American people, and I think probably it's good riddance for him in the Senate.

CARLSON: Oh, Bob, the uncharming Bob Novak.

Listen, Fritz Hollings on one screen, Arnold Schwarzenegger on the other. This is what our politics has come to. Please give us more of Fritz Hollings.

SHIELDS: Al Hunt in New York.

HUNT: He not only is charming, he is colorful. We're going to miss him. And I tell you something else, Mark, on the central issue of his time, race, he was a courageous voice on the right side of history.

SHIELDS: Let me just emphasize what Al Hunt said. As a young governor of South Carolina, he desegregated his state and its public institutions at a time when other Southern states were in bloodshed and war and bayonets, and Fritz Hollings did it. Not only that, he's a great patriot. He will be missed. Fritz, thank you for everything.

Next on CAPITAL GANG, Beyond the Beltway looks at the historic convention of Episcopalians in Minnesota.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHIELDS: Welcome back.

In Minnesota, the bishops of the Episcopal Church of the United States voted 62 to 43 to approve the election of an openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson of New Hampshire.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REV. GENE ROBINSON, EPISCOPAL BISHOP-ELECT: This Episcopal Church is wide open. There is no one beyond God's love. And you are welcome here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHIELDS: Conservatives protested by walking off the floor and called for intervention by the world's Anglican leaders.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REV. KENDALL HARMON, EPISCOPAL PRIEST: I think devastated is not too strong a word for not only how I feel but how so many Episcopalians feel. And I'd also like to say that so many Anglicans worldwide feel that way.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SHIELDS: Joining us now from Minneapolis is Alan Cooperman, the religion reporter for "The Washington Post."

Thank you for coming in, Alan.

ALAN COOPERMAN, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Glad to be with you.

SHIELDS: Alan, are Episcopalians on the verge today of a worldwide schism?

COOPERMAN: Well, emotions are definitely running high coming out of this convention, and there's no question that there are now deep theological disagreements within the Episcopal Church and the broader Anglican Communion of which it is a part, over homosexuality and over issues of biblical interpretation.

But whether it's going to be a long-lasting divide, and whether it's going to be institutionalized, I think we won't know for a while. A key event will be coming up in mid-October.

NOVAK: What, what is, what...

SHIELDS: Bob Novak.

NOVAK: What is that (UNINTELLIGIBLE)? And Alan, what is, what is the role of the archbishop of Canterbury, who has announced, I believe, a -- on Friday that he was going to get involved as, does he have any authority to reverse this? Or what would his role be?

COOPERMAN: That's exactly what I'm referring to. The archbishop of Canterbury has called a meeting in mid-October in London of the heads of all 38 churches in the Anglican Communion. The U.S. Episcopal Church is one of those 38 constituent churches.

The archbishop of Canterbury is not exactly the pope. He doesn't have direct line of control. As one bishop here said to me, He can't call me in South Bend, Indiana, on the telephone and tell me what to do.

However, the archbishop of Canterbury is the spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion. He has great moral powers over the constituent members. He's going to bring them together in mid-October to talk about how to deal with what the U.S. Episcopal Church has done.

SHIELDS: OK. Margaret Carlson.

CARLSON: Alan, the accusations made against the Episcopal priest who have those partner, at the 11th hour, looked like a very nonreligious kind of political smear. What do you make of that? It delayed the vote for 24 hours. You saw what was going on. Can you tell us how that was playing out?

COOPERMAN: Sure, Margaret. I can tell you that the opponents of Gene Robinson here at the convention claimed that they had nothing to do with those last-minute allegations, particularly the most serious of the allegations, which came from a man in Vermont who sent in e- mail alleging that Gene Robinson had touched him in appropriately.

But the allegations very quickly fell apart. The bishops investigated, they took 24 hours, they did an investigation. They really didn't have to do a great lengthy investigation, because the allegations were just thin from the beginning.

One concern, an alleged link between Gene Robinson and a Web site, Gene Robinson simply said he had nothing to do any more with the organization that ran the Web site. That left aside the whole question of how quickly one can get from one Web site to pornography on another.

That allegation just never really held water. But the second one, that Gene Robinson had inappropriately touched a man, seemed on the surface to be, you know, potentially a problem, at -- to say the least.

But, but in fact, the man said this event took place in public, it happened just once. Gene Robinson touched him on the shoulder and on the arm in public. The man conceded that this could well have been seen by anybody else who was present as just a normal occurrence.

And so it went away quickly.

SHIELDS: Al Hunt in New York.

HUNT: Alan, this issue has been painful for Episcopalians. Over the next couple years, is it going to affect other denominations also?

COOPERMAN: You know, Al, it's already -- this issue is already dividing almost all of what I would call the mainline, the kind of middle of the road denominations. The United Methodist Church has been torn up over this. The Presbyterian Church has been torn up over it. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has had a hard time dealing with it.

They're all in different places on it. And I might note, by the way, that the middle range of American Judaism, the Conservative movement, is also trying to grapple with this. Conservative rabbis just voted in June to revisit their position on homosexuality. They don't know what they're going to do yet. But over the next year, they're going to be studying the issue.

The United Methodist Church has a kind of don't ask-don't tell policy toward ordination of gays and lesbians, and it's got serious issues here, because many Methodist ministers in some parts of the country go ahead already right now and perform same-sex commitment ceremonies, even though the official rule of the church is against it.

In the Presbyterian Church, they just kicked a minister in Cincinnati out of his pulpit because he performed same-sex ceremonies. And yet he's supported by his congregation.

So this is a very divisive issue throughout all of the kind of middle-of-the-road denominations in the United States. SHIELDS: Alan, one -- the argument that opponents of Bishop Robinson's elevation made was that the growth of the Anglican Church in the third world, where they're competing for converts from Muslim -- the Muslim faith, that this would undermine their message as a gay church. Is there any evidence for that?

COOPERMAN: You know, I -- because the decisions are new, I don't think there's any evidence yet about what effect those decisions might have. The argument really stems from the fact that the Episcopal Church is now part of, or, sorry, is always been part of this big Anglican Communion. The Anglican Communion has been growing very fast in the third world. It's now about 75 million members, and only about 26 million of those are in England.

The biggest single congregation outside of England now is in Nigeria. And the primates in a lot of African and Asian countries, where Anglicanism has been growing very fast, are staunchly opposed to homosexuality. They take a fairly literal reading of the Bible, which is not where the Episcopal Church in the United States is today.

SHIELDS: Alan Cooperman, thank you very, very much for being with us.

THE GANG will be back with the Outrages of the Week.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHIELDS: And now for the Outrage of the Week.

In American historical lore, Justice Sam Houston is Texas, Daniel Boone is Kentucky, the brave frontiersman who two centuries ago helped settle the Bluegrass State.

But now the 60-mile Daniel Boone Highway will be no more. Republican Congressman Hal Rodgers (ph) of Kentucky is part of a scheme to take Daniel Boone's name off the road and to replace it with Rodgers'. Has anyone ever heard of a little boy playing cowboys and Indians saying, I want to be Harold Rodgers?

Bob Novak.

NOVAK: North Korea has agreed to six-nation talks, but wants to dictate who represents the United States. It has banned Undersecretary of State John Bolton, calling him "human scum" and "a bloodsucker." That's because Bolton told the truth about the scummy bloodsuckers in Pyongyang.

Speaking in South Korea, Bolton called Kim Jong Il "a tyrannical dictator" and said, "Life for North Koreans is a hellish nightmare." The White House is standing up for Bolton, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) he reflects President Bush's views. But will John Bolton actually get a seat at the talks?

SHIELDS: Margaret Carlson.

CARLSON: Mark, the rifle used in last year's sniper attacks came from an unscrupulous dealer who, now, thanks to an amendment slipped through committee with Republican votes that weakens gun laws, could arm the next Malvo. At the same time, Senator Orrin Hatch wants to repeal the ban on handguns and semiautomatics in Washington.

Half the guns used in crimes here are purchased in Virginia and Maryland, where gun laws make it so much easier to obtain them. Why in the world would the Republican Congress work overtime to protect unscrupulous dealers and criminals?

One reason -- money from the NRA.

SHIELDS: Al Hunt.

HUNT: Mark, Mark Kubman (ph) is a successful owner of the Dallas Mavericks and brings a refreshing quality to pro basketball. But he was outrageously out of line this week in declaring that the rape charges against Kobe Bryant, quote, "from a business perspective, are great for the NBA," end quote.

So was Bryant disgraceful in invoking the words of Martin Luther King about injustice. How about the perspective of the justice for a 19-year-old Eagle, Colorado, woman without high-priced PR consultants and lawyers, who said she was victimized?

SHIELDS: This is Mark Shields saying good night for THE CAPITAL GANG.

Coming up next, "CNN PRESENTS: Seeds of Terror." At 9:00 p.m., "LARRY KING WEEKEND," Kevin Costner. And at 10:00 p.m., the latest news headlines. All that and much more right here on CNN.

Thank you for joining us.

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



Matters; Alan Cooperman Speaks On Possible Schism Within Anglican/Episcopal Community>


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