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Interview With Ohio Governor Bob Taft; Is Electronic Voting a Risk to Democracy?

Aired March 2, 2004 - 18:00   ET


LOU DOBBS, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, 1,100 delegates at stake in 10 Democratic presidential primaries. We'll have the first results in an hour, Ohio a key battleground. Governor Bob Taft is our guest.

New electronic voting machines failing in at least two states today. Our panel of top political journalists will give us their assessment of whether this is a technological threat to democracy.

Death and destruction in Iraq, 150 people killed, hundreds wounded. We'll have a live report from Baghdad.

Former WorldCom CEO Bernie Ebbers has been charged with securities fraud and conspiracy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No one stands above the law, regardless of power, position or privilege.

DOBBS: Computer science once a career of the future, those jobs being exported to cheap overseas labor markets. Senator Max Baucus wants new laws to project American workers from overseas outsourcing. He joins us tonight.


ANNOUNCER: This is LOU DOBBS TONIGHT for Tuesday, March 2. Here now for an hour of news, debate and opinion is Lou Dobbs.

DOBBS: Good evening.

In less than an hour, the first polls will close in the Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses. Senator John Kerry is hoping for a decisive win that would propel him to the party's nomination. Senator John Edwards is trying for a strong enough showing to at least keep his fading chances of victory alive; 1,100 delegates are at stake tonight, more than on any other day in this race to the Democratic nomination.

We have three reports tonight. We begin with the Kerry campaign and Bob Franken, the Edwards campaign and Kelly Wallace, and from the White House, John King.

First we go to Bob Franken outside a polling station in Annapolis, Maryland -- Bob. BOB FRANKEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And the reason for Maryland, Lou, is because this was a state that was considered very close, although there are some indications that Kerry may be expanding his lead, also indications that the voter turnout is nowhere anywhere near as high that as it has been in the past, reason being that, according to sources, it might be there's a belief here that Kerry has things wrapped up.

He was quite confident today as he played a little football, allowing us to torture all the sports analogy. He would like to see score after the night is over to be 10-0. But, first, the night has to be over before people are going to start saying that he's the only game in town.

He also went back to his day job today, returned to the U.S. Senate for a visit. He, along with John Edwards, came to participate in the gun control debate. But now it's time to watch the election results and see if John Kerry is going to run away with it. The one thing I want to point out is that various exit polling has shown that the issues that are interesting people include the economy. Gay marriage is starting to appear on the radar screen.

And what is so interesting in these exit polls is a consideration of what happened in the debate. Surprising to a lot of people, the people who we asked to comment on that said they believed that Kerry had won. Kerry is hoping that he has a big victory this evening -- Lou.

DOBBS: Thank you, Bob.

Senator Edwards says he will stay in this race regardless of the outcome tonight.

Kelly Wallace now from Edwards' campaign headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia -- Kelly.

KELLY WALLACE, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Lou, privately, advisers to John Edwards will only say that the senator is staying in this race to win the nomination.

Reading between the lines, the message is, when the senator feels the time has come where he believes he cannot win, then that is when he is likely to get out of the race. The senator is back in Atlanta after heading to Washington earlier, joining John Kerry to vote on that gun control legislation. Earlier, he was greeting supporters at a suburban Atlanta polling station.

He didn't take any questions from reporters, the questions, of course, today, what will happen if John Edwards doesn't enjoy any success today? Going into tonight, advisers were feeling somewhat positive about a possible victory here in Georgia, also Minnesota. They were feeling less optimistic about pulling off an upset in Ohio.

But here is the key. If John Edwards does not pull off a victory, he is going to have to face some tough, tough decisions. He told reporters yesterday he hasn't received one phone call from a Democrat urging him to step aside. But if he doesn't come up with any victories today, those calls are likely to start coming in from some Democrats who might decide it is time to get behind focusing exclusively on President Bush -- Lou.

DOBBS: Kelly, thank you.

As the Democrats move closer to selecting their candidate for the presidential election, Republicans are preparing to launch a massive advertising campaign. The Bush-Cheney campaign has more than $100 million to spend on that campaign.

Senior White House correspondent John King reports.

JOHN KING, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Four and a half million dollars, beginning Thursday morning, with national cable television buys, new Bush-Cheney campaign ads, also targeted ads in 17 or 18 key states across the country.

The campaign won't tell us just yet what those states, but we do know from sources they include some of the big battleground states like Michigan, like Ohio, like Pennsylvania, but also smaller states that were key in the last campaign and were decided by a very small margin, like Arizona, like Maine and like New Hampshire as well; $4.5 million will be spent on this first wave of ads. More money will quickly follow.

The Bush-Cheney campaign says the first ad will be positive, will feature the president himself, and it will have the theme that Mr. Bush has been a leader in unique times, when the United States has been challenged at home and abroad. And, Lou, the campaign said a second ad will quickly follow. Our sources tell us the second ad will not be a contrast or a negative ad, but that perhaps quite soon we could see those as well.

The Bush campaign is not ruling that out. Their key goal right now, Lou, is to boost the president's public approval rating. And they fully expect that, after tonight, they will be able to know with certainty that John Kerry will be their fall opponent, with so much certainty that in fact we are told the president has begun to look over the transcript of the Democratic debates to see how Senator Kerry has answered key questions like, what would he have done if confronted with the same situation in Iraq.

So, the campaign, at least the advertising portion of it, Lou, will begin first thing Thursday morning from the Bush-Cheney perspective.

DOBBS: Something to look forward to. John, thank you very much -- John King.

We expect the first Super Tuesday results to come in tonight at 7:00 Eastern. That's when our special election night coverage here on CNN begins. We'll be bringing you the winners, the live campaign updates, all of that with analysis throughout the evening here.

Turning now to Iraq, insurgents today killed an American soldier in Baghdad when they threw a grenade into a Humvee. Another soldier was seriously injured in the attack, the soldiers members of the 1st Armored Division.

Terrorists also launched a series of coordinated suicide attacks against Iraqis today. They killed nearly 150 people. More than 400 others were wounded in the attacks. The victims were pilgrims in Baghdad and Karbala celebrating the holiest Shiite day of the year. It was the bloodiest day in Iraq since the end of major combat last May. U.S. and Iraqi authorities said a Jordanian with ties to al Qaeda is the chief suspect.

Joining me now from Baghdad is "TIME" magazine correspondent Vivienne Walt.

Vivienne, how was it possible for these terrorists to avoid security checks at what must have been heavily guarded public events such as these?

VIVIENNE WALT, "TIME": Well, there were two cordons, Lou.

And residents I spoke to thought that the security had actually been very good for several days they had cordoned off this area. But in the last few hours, in the last really 24 hours of this festival, the crowds have been building to such a massive proportion that people were simply able to push through the security. The security guards were completely overwhelmed and there was almost no military forces around either.

DOBBS: The reaction of the Iraqis, is there a feeling there that there should have been U.S. military there as a security force?

WALT: The gut reaction from just about every Iraqi that I spoke to at the bomb site around the Baghdad shrine was just absolutely undiluted fury at the Americans. The Americans were really the prime target of their anger in the immediate aftermath of this tragedy.

Of course, a lot of it was just the gut feeling, the incredibly charged emotions in the air, but, also, a real feeling that the Americans had let them down and almost an incredulousness that, with all this armor around Baghdad that you see everywhere, all over the city, they simply failed to protect the Iraqis. That was the message that we were given today.

DOBBS: And, Vivienne, just passing the constitution, the sense that the Iraqis are taking control, not only of their security themselves, but also their government, how real is that appearance? How -- how much closer are we to a time at which Iraqi do take responsibility for their own safety, their own government?

WALT: Well, in both good and bad ways, Lou, we're beginning to feel like this is what Iraq is. It's less feeling like the American occupation and more feeling like what new Iraq is going to be, possibly violent and perhaps also democratic, a mix of both.

Certainly, this has been a very emotional 36 hours. The past 36 hours have seen them pass an interim constitution, which is the most democratic government, if it is implemented, in the Mideast. It really is going to be quite a different kind of political situation than we have in neighboring countries around here.

Right off the bat, you get this incredibly large death toll and the very, very well synchronized attack in Karbala and Baghdad, suggesting that maybe, at the same time, we might be headed for a protracted, if not civil war, then protracted conflict in a lot of parts of this country.

DOBBS: Vivienne, thank you very much -- Vivienne Walt, "TIME" magazine, reporting for us live from Baghdad.

There was also violence today against Shiites in Pakistan. Gunmen killed about 40 people when they attacked a Shiite procession in the southwestern part of the country. More than 100 others were wounded in that attack. Pakistani officials blamed the attack on a rival Muslim sect. There are no indications tonight that the shootings were connected with the attacks in Iraq.

In Haiti, U.S. Marines secured more key locations in the capital of Port-au-Prince today. One of the Haitian rebel leaders today declared himself the commander of Haiti's police and military. But the State Department said the United States and its international partners do not recognize the rebel leader as head of the Haitian armed forces.

Still ahead here, the Justice Department charges former WorldCom CEO Bernie Ebbers.

Hundreds of thousands of American jobs already exported to cheap overseas labor markets. Computer science students in this country fear there will be no jobs left for them.


CHARLES DAVI, COMPUTER SCIENCE MAJOR: There are a lot of really talented mathematicians and computer scientists overseas who are willing to work for less.


DOBBS: Senator Max Baucus wants to protect Americans from offshoring. He's our guest tonight.

And the fight to save jobs in one of the most important battleground states in this presidential election. I'll be joined by Ohio's governor, Bob Taft, next.

Stay with us.


DOBBS: Two major developments on the war on corporate crime, former WorldCom CEO Bernard Ebbers indicted today on charges related to what was the biggest bankruptcy in American history. WorldCom today's chief financial officer, Scott Sullivan, today pleaded guilty on three counts related to the $11 billion scandal.

Attorney General John Ashcroft made those announcements, saying no one is above the law.


JOHN ASHCROFT, ATTORNEY GENERAL: It is the honor, the duty and the responsibility of the United States Department of Justice to ensure that no one stands above the law, regardless of power, position, or privilege.


DOBBS: Ebbers is the sixth WorldCom executive to be charged in connection with the scandal. The other five executives have all pleaded guilty. Over all, 115 corporate executives have now been charged in the 820 days since Enron's collapse. Three of them have found their way to jail.

CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin is here now.

Martha Stewart wrapping up. Your best take at this point.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SR. LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it was a pleasure to be in court today, if you like watching good trials, because you had two really top, top lawyers.

Robert Morvillo, Martha Stewart's lead lawyer, really putting forth the best argument that I could imagine for her today. And then Karen Seymour, the prosecutor, in her rebuttal summation, putting the government's case forward, they were good.

DOBBS: And the defense, Morvillo, saying that Martha Stewart what, in her defense?

TOOBIN: Saying that there is no direct evidence, there is who says, I saw Martha Stewart commit a crime, and, also, that if she was involved in a conspiracy with -- with her co-defendant, Peter Bacanovic, it was a confederacy of dunces, that they didn't tie all the loose ends together, that, if in fact they were criminals, they weren't really very good criminals, meaning, according to him, they weren't criminals at all.

DOBBS: If I understand you correctly, it was -- the defense was really sort of, it was a stupid act and my client is too smart to be that stupid?

TOOBIN: That's exactly right.


TOOBIN: That's a common argument in white-collar crimes. And Karen Seymour came back with the argument that, hey, smart people do stupid things all the time. Just because all the loose ends fit together doesn't mean they are innocent.

DOBBS: It doesn't mean they're innocent, but the government has to prove their case beyond...

TOOBIN: Beyond a reasonable doubt.

DOBBS: Did they do it?

TOOBIN: Well, they did a lot better than I expected. I thought this was a weak case going in.


TOOBIN: Isn't it artful how I didn't answer your question?


DOBBS: I don't think that's responsive, counselor.

TOOBIN: Well, I don't know. This is as hard a case to handicap as I have ever covered. Therefore, rather than be wrong, as usual, I'm going to wimp out on this. I just don't know.

DOBBS: And I will stay away from forecasting the outcome of this case altogether, I assure you.

Let's turn to Bernie Ebbers. It took a long time, but here he is charged.

TOOBIN: Sullivan's plea is almost as significant as Ebbers' indictment, because they have essentially the No. 2 person at the company cooperating. That's the thing that white-collar crime prosecutors always want. That's usually the key to conviction.

DOBBS: And quite a few more to go, as they say.

TOOBIN: Quite a few more, but the WorldCom case has moved a lot faster than the Enron case, for example. And they are moving it up.

DOBBS: Jeffrey Toobin, thank you, as always.

That brings us to the subject of tonight's poll. The question: Are you satisfied with the pace of the government's prosecution of corporate criminals in this country, yes or no? Cast your vote at We'll have the results coming up.

Next here, "Exporting America." The shipment of hundreds of thousands of high-tech jobs overseas is forcing many computer science students in this country to change their career plans. We'll have a special report. I'll be joined by Senator Max Baucus, who has a new plan to keep jobs in this country.

And then, Senator John Edwards hoping to spoil a Super Tuesday sweep for Democratic front-runner John Kerry. We'll have the latest for you on the primaries, our panel of top national political journalists. And Wolf Blitzer will join us as well with his preview of CNN's election coverage tonight -- all of that, a great deal more, still ahead.

Please stay with us.


DOBBS: Well, for many years, computer science has been a promising career choice for any bright American student. However, the shipment of hundreds of thousands of high-tech jobs to cheap foreign labor markets is changing all that. Now, some of this country's brightest young minds are choosing new career plans, often in the midst of their education.

Eric Philips reports.


ERIC PHILIPS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Charles Davi is a junior computer science major at Hunter College in New York City. He chose this major at a freshman with his eye on future earning potential.

DAVI: It's basically money I was interested in math and science. And I saw an opportunity to make money using my interests.

PHILIPS: Now, after three years of college, Charles doesn't like what he's seeing.

DAVI: There's a general air of uncertainty about whether or not, first of all, you're going to get a job or how much you're going to get paid, if you do get a job. And there are a lot of really talented mathematicians and computer scientists overseas who are willing to work for less.

PHILIPS: In the dot-com boom of the '90s, many students were drawn to technology. But the current outsourcing of computer jobs is driving many away.

According to the Computing Research Association, new enrollment in computer science programs nationwide declined 4 percent between 2001 and 2002, then a whopping 18 percent between 2002 and 2003. But experts say the market for computer jobs will recover.

STU ZWEBEN, COMPUTING RESEARCH ASSOCIATION: The forecast for information technology jobs down 10 years out is still something that we're not going to be able to meet with the current production rate of undergraduates.

PHILIPS: Educators also believe the outlook is particularly optimistic for high-level computer science jobs, but it's hard to translate that to students.

VIRGINIA TELLER, HUNTER COLLEGE PROFESSOR: The central question is how can we both attract qualified students and retain them in the computer science program, so that they can graduate and go on to the careers that we feel are going to be available for them?

PHILIPS: Charles isn't taking any chances. He plans to attend law school upon graduation.


PHILIPS: The diminishing number of those majoring in computer science has caught the attention of industry leaders like Microsoft's Bill Gates. Gates recently went on a tour of some of the top computer schools in the country, encouraging students to stick with this field and promising that opportunities are still very much available -- Lou.

DOBBS: Eric, you have to wonder what Bill Gates thinks to see a bright young person like you just showed there giving up computers for law.

Thanks a lot, Eric.

We wanted to share with you tonight another example of why "Exporting America" to cheap overseas labor markets doesn't always pay. A viewer from Hawaii sent us something from the U.S. Army Hospital in Honolulu, where he works. It is a golf ball marker with the hospital's logo on it. And if you look closely, you see it reads, "Triple Army Medical Center." It is Tripler Army Medical Center, missing the R. And it was made, you guessed it in China. Our thanks to retired Command Sergeant Major Donald Devany (ph), who is provost marshal at the Tripler Army Medical Center.

Coming up next, outrage in Ohio. That state has lost more manufacturing jobs than nearly any other since the last presidential election.


AMY HANAUER, POLICY MATTERS OHIO: The federal government has a lot to answer for in terms of how its economic policies have impacted Ohio and states like Ohio.


DOBBS: We'll have a special report for you. Governor Bob Taft is our guest.

And "Exporting America," Senator Max Baucus with a new plan to help American workers who have lost their jobs to cheap foreign labor markets. He's our guest.

And it is the biggest voting day of the year until the presidential election in November. We'll have the latest for you on Super Tuesday. Our political panel joins us. Wolf Blitzer will be here to preview CNN's election night coverage -- that and a great more still ahead.


DOBBS: Ohio has lost more manufacturing jobs over the past three years than any other state holding a primary or caucus today. The 160,000 factory jobs lost has made Ohio a key battleground state today and in the presidential election in November.

Bill Tucker reports. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): No other state has suffered the loss of manufacturing like Ohio. Last year alone, it lost 34,000 jobs just in manufacturing.

For the last three years, the state's economy has been sliding down a sleep slope. The state's unemployment rate has run at 6.2 percent for the past two months, well above the national rate of 5.6. And a recent poll shows the economy is the No. 1 issue on the minds of voters this election.

HANAUER: The federal government has a lot to answer for in terms of how its economic policies have impacted Ohio and states like Ohio. And if they can't produce a lot of jobs for the people who are losing their jobs in this state, I think they are going to have a very difficult time prevailing here in November.

TUCKER: A recent study by Policy Matters directly connects the loss of 46,000 jobs to the signing of the NAFTA trade agreement.

But not all of Ohio's problems are rooted in Washington. The state is ranked in the bottom 10 states for its support of higher education by its own board of regents. And it ranks in the bottom five states in terms of friendly tax environments, according to the Tax Foundation.

SAMUEL STALEY, THE BUCKEYE INSTITUTE: Ohio has nine separate income tax brackets. And at the top rate, you're paying significantly more for each dollar you earn than in neighboring states in the Midwest, but also throughout the nation.

TUCKER: And that puts Ohio at a competitive disadvantage.


TUCKER: But the one thing that would make the biggest difference of all, jobs, seems to be in very short supply in Ohio -- Lou.

DOBBS: Bill, thank you very much.

Well, my next guest says he's working every day to create more jobs in Ohio. Governor Bob Taft joins us now from Columbus.

Governor, good to have you with us.

GOV. BOB TAFT (R), OHIO: Lou, my pleasure to be with you.

DOBBS: You are watching a Democratic primary in which the principal issue has been the economy and jobs. Your state has suffered mightily. What will be the impact there, in your best judgment?

TAFT: Well, jobs are clearly the No. 1 issue in Ohio.

We've had some success in the past year. In fact, "Site Selection" just touted Ohio as the No. 1 state for new major business investment in jobs. We've had a very tough manufacturing recession. We're a major manufacturing state. But I'm pleased to see that the president's economic policies are starting to take hold in our state. In fact, last month, we had an increase of about 25,000 jobs, including a small increase in manufacturing jobs.

So, Lou, we hope that we are turning the corner with the president's tax cuts and with his leadership and that the situation will continue to improve throughout this year.

DOBBS: Well, Governor, you are describing a scenario in which you are weal ahead of the nation in recovering 2.4 million jobs lost in President Bush's term. You are still down a tremendous amount. Are you saying that you are going to create enough jobs in Ohio to overcome this between now and the general election?

TAFT: That's not clear. What I am saying is that the Ohio economy appears to be on the upswing. Manufacturers are starting to invest again. Our employment numbers went up by 25,000 new jobs in the month of January alone. So I the future looks a lot better, as we start to emerge from the recession. I also want to mention that Ohio's exports have expanded for the last four years. And that's a huge part of our economy. Our exports to Mexico, for example, have tripled since NAFTA. Our exporting to Mexico, for example, have tripled since NAFTA, our exporting to China have tripled since 1996. Our exports to Canada are way up.

We have about 200, 000 jobs in Ohio that are tied directly to expanding exports and, by the way, we also have over 900 foreign owned companies in Ohio expanding and growing and creating over 200,000 jobs themselves. So, we are very much involved in the international economy. We are a manufacturing state and those are good jobs. We want to continue to be that because those are good jobs we are very hopeful we have turned the corner and things looking up.

DOBBS: Governor we are all part of a global economy, Ohio is not unique in that respect. The idea that Ohio is having some difficulty attracting those jobs that have been lost, creating those jobs, you reject out of hand, your state has no one has been elected president without winning Ohio. Jobs are resonating across the country. Democrats are driving it home. You sounded like you were very much, A, a free trade proponent without apparently any amendment to that to suggest there should be trade balance. That you are not concerned about the outsourcing of jobs from Ohio or anywhere else. Am I hearing you incorrectly?

TAFT: No, I think we have to be for free trade but fair trade, and that's what the president is trying to accomplish by vigorously enforcing our international trade agreements. What I'm saying, though, it's a double edge sword. One estimate shows the increase in exports from NAFTA in Ohio is responsible for 50,000 new jobs, the policy matter study you quoted earlier, just looked at jobs that may have been lost. Surely we have lost some jobs to NAFTA. We also gained jobs because we expanded our exports and that creates good high paying jobs for Ohioans. DOBBS: Governor, fair is a sweet word when it comes to trade. It's nice to hear you say that, if I may say so. Because as we all know, free trade certainly hasn't turned out to be without some significant costs has it?

TAFT: Certainly there are costs. And the president and our state government, trying to do all we can to help the dislocated workers through trade adjustment assistance. The president himself came to Ohio, one of his 15 visits to our state to announce his new program to use our community colleges to help retrain workers for areas of the economy that are needing new workers, for example, healthcare is one of those. And he has focused on that problem, as am I.

DOBBS: Governor Taft, we thank you for being here.

TAFT: Thank you, Lou.

DOBBS: Many critics of Mexico's economy refer to what some call the manana syndrome, putting off work until tomorrow. Federal Chairman Allen Greenspan appears to be a relatively recent convert to what could be called a manana syndrome at least when it comes to this country's more than half trillion dollar trade deficit. Greenspan told the club in New York it will eventually work itself out. Mr. Greenspan said the event fall in the dollar should help contain our current account deficit as foreign producers export less to the United States. The fed chairman also said the trade deficit should improve as U.S. firms find the export market more receptive. By the way the dollar today hit it's high for the past 12 months.

Mr. Greenspan also offered absolutely no clue when he expects any of this to happen. Tomorrow, Senator Hillary Clinton is my guest. Senator Clinton will unveil a plan to keep American manufacturing jobs in this country. Please join us tomorrow night.

Coming up next here, "Exporting America," I'll be talking with Senator Max Baucus.

He has a plan to keep jobs in this country and create new jobs as well.

And voters in 10 states head to the polls on this super Tuesday. We'll be joined by three of the countries top political journalist.


DOBBS: Millions of manufacturing jobs have been lost in this country but now the service industry is also being hard hit. Highly skilled so-called white collar jobs falling by the wayside. My next guest is introducing legislation in the Senate to keep jobs in this country and to extend government benefits to service workers who are hit by what he calls offshore outsourcing. Senator Max Baucus the ranking member on the Senate Finance Committee joins us.

Senator, good to have you here.


DOBBS: The trade adjustment protection for workers hit by outsourcing, how will you approach that?

BAUCUS: Well, I think it's wise, first, to remember this is a very complex issue with globalization. And it's a huge challenge for America, that is how do we create as many jobs as we can, good paying jobs in America, and also keep the jobs that we have and help those who have lost their jobs. I believe frankly, very strongly that this is a -- something where we should use carrots to help the American companies keep jobs in the U.S., a lot more R&D, a lot more additional research funds, retraining, enforce our trade laws. But this is something -- an issue where I do not think it make sense to set up trade barriers. In part is to retrain those and help those who have lost their jobs, and that's the whole point of expanding trade adjustment systems to service workers.

DOBBS: Expanding that to those workers is first seems to me, if I may say, senator, the right thing to do, the responsible thing to do. It hasn't been done yet. Half of American industries and nearly all of our politicians are in denial that there's even an issue here. So I commend you on that. In terms of R&D investment and giving incentives to corporate America to keep jobs here, how much money do you think it would take?

BAUCUS: Well, we have to basically do what is necessary to tap into that good old American ingenuity and positive attitude we have in America of solving problems. My guess is that, well, making R&D tax cut permanent is quite expensive. Just for 18 months is several billion dollars. But my main point is, that we have to band together and do what we can in America. We can do a lot in America. We have such ingenuity to keep those jobs in America. That means more research, that means better education, science and math, engineering, and then retraining those folks so they can have more jobs in our country.

DOBBS: You know, senator, you don't have to convince me. You don't have to convince the folks who bring you this show each evening or I think most, if not all of the people on any given evening watching this broadcast, how in the world are you going to convince the Democrats and the Republicans it's time to look at policies that aren't working, call them what you will, and convince corporate America that they have responsibilities to extend well beyond a quarterly profit statement?

BAUCUS: Well, I really, Lou, as we all know in life we have two choices, either we try or do nothing, and clearly doing nothing is not an option. If we just stay positive, and stay developing ideas for both sides, gain, both sides win, I think eventually we will progress and we'll do quite well. It's clear, in my judgment, anyway, that we can't not as Americans bury our heads in the sand. We cannot put up barriers and build walls. But it's also true corporate America must and should work within their own countries and the others to get the better education programs, the retraining and make better use of R&D, et cetera, so we are creating and keeping more jobs in America. All countries are facing this problem. It's not just the United States, because of the intense pressures of globalization. We're Americans so we're going to do what we can to make sure those jobs stay in America.

DOBBS: Senator Max Baucus, good to have you here.

BAUCUS: Thank you.

DOBBS: A reminder to vote in our poll tonight. The question, "are you satisfied with the pace of the government's prosecution of corporate criminals?" Cast your vote, yes or no at We'll have the result as little later in the broadcast.

Coming up next, we'll share your thoughts on exporting America, including some criticizing my opinion, imagine that.

Also Super Tuesday polls will begin to close in less than 20 minutes. Wolf Blitzer will join me. He has a preview of our election coverage throughout the evening.

We'll be talking with our panel of top national political journalists. Stay with us.


BLITZER: On Wall Street, stocks today erased most of the gains of yesterday. The Dow down 86 points. The Nasdaq fell 18. The S&P down 7, almost. Now taking a look at some of your thoughts. Many of you wrote about the quality of meat being imported into this country.

Oliver (UNINTELLIGIBLE) of Fullerton (ph), California, said, "I think it is amazing that the FDA will not allow us to buy prescription drugs from Canada because it cannot guarantee the prescriptions are safe while at the same time the FDA allows meats to be imported for U.S. consumption without proper inspections."

Peggy of Navato, California. "Why are we importing beef? I believe we should be buying and eating meat grown in the U.S.A. and support our farmers and ranchers."

On "Exporting America." Jack Carter of Las Vegas. "I've watched Lou Dobbs for years and consider him a significant economic educator through his show. Unfortunately his stand against offshoring goes against the economic principles which have made our country great. Competition and free enterprise."

And Lee Zhong of Chicago. "Lou, I am an IT worker in the U.S. that has been impacted by the current exodus of outsourcing yet I am foreign. The only way to survive is to embrace it and to adjust yourself to it. Those who refuse to change will no doubt be left in the dustbin of history."

Well, Jack, Lee, you're both right. I am absolutely opposed to outsourcing American jobs to cheap overseas labor markets and I'm absolutely opposed to continuing our massive trade deficits. You might ask yourselves, if I might suggest, why so-called free trade advocates will never tell you how large our trade deficit must be before they become concerned. You might ask why multinational corporations and their advocates quote Adam Smith and David Ricardo to rationalize destroying American jobs and shipping them overseas.

Don't you think in this globalized, high-speed, technology-driven world economy of ours that they might harbor one or two mild doubts about relying on the thinking of economists who lived 200 years ago in a slightly, just slightly simpler world. But this free trade crowd harbors no doubt, no uncertainty, not even the face of crippling job losses, a disappearing manufacturing base in this country and, yes, a crushing trade deficit. As you said Lee, those who refuse to change will no doubt be left in the dust bin of history. In my view it is definitely time to change. We love hearing from you. E-mail us at

The first Super Tuesday polls close now in just under 15 minutes in Georgia and Vermont. Ohio will follow in about 45 minutes at 7:30 Eastern time. Of course, CNN will have the very latest results for you from all ten super Tuesday primaries throughout the evening. And Wolf Blitzer is leading our coverage. He joins me now from CNN's election headquarters.

WOLF BLITZER, HOST, "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS": Thanks very much, Lou. We are getting ready in about 15 minutes, as you say, the first polls. Georgia, Vermont, as soon as the polls close in every state, all ten of them tonight, CNN will be able to report what we know at that point, based on our exit polls. We never report the results of exit polls, as you and our viewers know, until the polls throughout the state are closed. So there will be polls closing tonight throughout the night, 7, 7:30, 8:00, 9:00, they will be closing in California at 11:00 p.m. Eastern. We'll have a long night of reporting news.

DOBBS: A long and presumably exciting night of coverage. We look forward to watching and listening to you. Thank you.

CNN will have, as I said, live coverage of all of the caucuses and the primaries as they come in tonight. Not only Wolf Blitzer but Larry King will be here to lead our special prime time coverage beginning at the end of this broadcast.

Now, electronic voting machines apparently failing to past the first big test in at least three states today. Polling places in Georgia and Maryland using old fashioned paper ballots today after the electronic voting machines didn't work properly. And many voters in San Diego county changed polling stations after dozens of machines there failed to boot up properly. An estimated 50 million Americans will vote electronically in the general election in November. The machines leave no paper record and that has a lot of people very concerned.

Joining me go now our panel of top political journalists, Ron Brownstein, national political correspondent "L.A. Times" joining us from Los Angeles. Karen Tumulty, national political correspondent "TIME" magazine from Washington, Roger Simon from Washington, political editor "U.S. News and World Report."

Let me ask you first, if I may, I'll start with you, Karen, the first question, is Kerry going to get the landslide that he expects tonight?

KAREN TUMULTY, TIME MAGAZINE: Well, certainly those are the indications that we have seen going into this election day. In fact, there's a very real possibility tonight that Howard Dean may win more states than John Edwards. If it is that big of a night for John Kerry, it's really hard to see how John Edwards continues on here. Even though he has scheduled stops tomorrow in Texas, he says he's going on, but it's hard to see how.

DOBBS: Roger, what do you think?

ROGER SIMON, "U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT": I think it's somewhat of an irony that Howard Dean has to drop out of race in order to win a state. Maybe that's what we were waiting for all along. It's supposed to be and rumored to be and probably will be a big night for Kerry. Both Kerry and Edwards are scheduled to hit the four states that are voting next week, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida.

But there's nothing easier to cancel than a political schedule and John Edwards, I think, is going to get a lot of calls if he doesn't do well tonight from party elders who are going to say to him. You've done a good job. You have gone farther than anyone thought you would have done. You have earned the right to run again. Now is the time to pack it in and start the campaign against George Bush.

DOBBS: Ron, you have a slightly longer both wait and evening out there in California. No surprises, I take it, what do you think will dominate tonight?

RON BROWNSTEIN, "LOS ANGELES TIMES": Well, I think, you know, John Edwards in addition to the overall results has to look at two other factors. One we mentioned last night. These are states in all parts of the country, Ohio should be receptive to his tough on trade message. Georgia is a southern state, New York and California are cornerstones of the Democratic coalition. If you can't win there, you have to ask yourself realistically, where can you win?

Also the circumstances, Lou. The fact is to overcome the lead that John Kerry begins with in most states, John Edwards needs two things. he needs time and money. The way the calendar works he doesn't have very much of either. The amount of money the candidate has spent on television is much too glancing to affect these results and he hasn't able to devote the time in a single place like he was able to in Wisconsin and South Carolina. So the circumstance as well as the result point to -- forcing him to reconsider if Kerry does as well tonight as it appears he might.

DOBBS: Let me ask you both and, the three of you, the new electronic voting machines not doing too well in three states. Ron, there in San Diego we're hearing a lot of problems. It looks like somewhere between 10 and 15 percent of that county's precincts are affected. Maryland, Georgia, how concerned are you about this and we'll start there?

BROWNSTEIN: That's a slippery issue, Lou. I was struck when I was down at the Florida Democratic Convention last December, several Democratic candidates got a standing ovation from the crowd talking about the security of the electronic voting systems that were being put in place. They were seen as a response obviously to the chad problem and punch card ballots. There are concerns, the secretary of state here as one of my colleagues pointed out in an excellent story today in our paper, has been asking for more security measures. He wants a paper record by 2006 which is being reviewed...

DOBBS: By when?

BROWNSTEIN: By 2006. So he does not believe it can be done in time for this election.

DOBBS: But that's absolutely -- it seems to me, if I say so, Ron, nuts. With everything that we've had, why should we not have a paper record here?

BROWNSTEIN: That is clearly the debate. The manufacturers say it defeats much of the purpose. Many of the advocates say it defeats much of the purpose. But I do think when have you all of these computer experts raising these questions and many of them are quoted in the "L.A. Times" today it does force this forward in a way that's going to put pressure on local officials for some greater degree of security.

DOBBS: Karen?

TUMULTY: But at the same time, you see states pushing even further into sort of the technological frontiers with not only voting electronically on touch screen machines, as I did this morning in Maryland, but voting over the Internet which raises even a greater host of security issues. So...

DOBBS: How do intelligent people get in this position? We saw what happened in 2000. We turn to a technology to help us. And no one thinks about maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to have a trail, a way in which to audit these votes, Karen?

SIMON: Right.

DOBBS: Roger?

SIMON: I mean, we love machines, Lou, we're always looking for machines to solve our problems. I think viewers may be slightly confused about what you are talking about. You can't do a recount with an electronic voting machine because there is no record. If George Bush or the Democratic nominee should win a state this fall by one vote, which would trigger all kinds of recount votes in most states, you would be unable to go back and recount as we did in Florida. You would just have to award the state to whoever got that one vote even though I think it would be questionable in most people's minds whether you had a legitimate count.

DOBBS: Don't you think, Karen, all of you, I'd like you to address this, but first, you, Karen, don't you think it would be a good idea right now for every state secretary, to start looking at how in the world to avoid this problem right now before we head for November?

TUMULTY: Well, you know, I was under the appreciation that that was what they were supposed to have spent the last four years doing.

DOBBS: You and me both.

TUMULTY: What we went through in 2000. I think that part of the problem too, is that people, you know, they want their results quickly on election night. They want to think this is a very quick and clean process. But as Roger says, you are losing a lot by losing that paper trail. And the real thing that you are losing is a chance to do a do- over.

SIMON: And there's one other problem, the problem is with hackers. You can hack into these machine. All voting systems are subject to fraud, we have known that for as long as there have been votes in this country. The problem with these machines is the fraud can be massive. It's just as easy to hack into 10,000 machines as it is one machine. A single hacker operating from his basement someplace could negate an entire election for an entire state or maybe a series of states.

DOBBS: Ron, how big -- you get the last thought on this with about 20 seconds? How big a problem is it?

BROWNSTEIN: We are in an era where the parties are very closely divided. The country is very closely divided. We're going to have a lot of close elections in a lot of states. That really underscores the need to have systems that have legitimacy in the eyes of the public. We had so many questions raised by so many credible voices suggest to me that it is not going to be untenable not to put in more security. I do not know exactly what that looks like, I'm not the expert, but I do think that the fact that this is here at a time when our country is so closely divided it's going to mean more pressure for more security.

DOBBS: I'd like to share with you and our viewers before I say good night to you, our thought tonight. It's on politicians. "Successful politicians are insecure and intimidated men. They advance politically only as they placate, appease, bribe, seduce, and bamboozle or otherwise manage to manipulate the demanding and threatening elements in their constituencies." Those are the words of a journalist, Walter Lippman. I thought I would share that with you. Karen, Ron, Roger, thank you all.

Coming up, we'll have the results of tonight's poll. Our poll, but first a reminder to check on our website for the list of the more than 350 companies we have now confirmed to be exporting America. We'll continue in a moment. Please stay with us.


DOBBS: Now the results of our poll. 4 percent of you say you're satisfied with the pace of the government's prosecution of corporate criminals. 96 percent are not. That is our show for tonight. We thank you for being with us. Tomorrow, Senator Hillary Clinton joins us. She has a proposal to keep American jobs on American soil and in our "Face Off" tomorrow, illegal immigration. Congressman Tom Tancredo of Colorado, Ben Johnson of the Immigration Policy Institute will debate those issues. We hope you will join us.

For all of us here, good night from New York.


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