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JUDY WOODRUFF'S INSIDE POLITICS
Earth Day 2004: Green Politics; Politics and War; October Surprise: Back to the Future; Kerry Campaign Releases Details of the Senator's Contacts with Lobbyists; Interview with Sen. Joe Biden; Interview with Joe Califano
Aired April 22, 2004 - 15:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: Who's greener?
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Since 2001, the condition of America's land, air and water has improved.
JOHN KERRY (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: In three short years, this president has put the brakes on and actually reversed 30 years of environmental progress in our country.
ANNOUNCER: Candidates Kerry and Bush battle over the environment.
KERRY: We rationalized destroying villages in order to save them. We saw America lose her sense of morality.
ANNOUNCER: That's what he said back then about the Vietnam War. What's he saying today?
KERRY: I think the way I characterized it at that time was mostly the voice of a young, angry person who wanted to end the war.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many of you are registered to vote?
ANNOUNCER: The answer is often not many. But with punk getting into politics, that may soon change.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're anti-government. They're anti the system. And we're trying to tell them you have to care now.
ANNOUNCER: Live from Washington, JUDY WOODRUFF'S INSIDE POLITICS.
JUDY WOODRUFF, HOST: Thank you for joining us.
Well, like many Americans, and like so many candidates before them, President Bush and Senator John Kerry today headed outdoors to observe Earth Day. The annual event offers candidates a chance to take a public stand against pollution and in favor of conservation. But in a White House race dominated by talk of terrorism, war and the economy, Earth Day could be one of the few times this issue holds the election spotlight.
KERRY: The birds are with us, folks, I'm telling you.
WOODRUFF (voice-over): John Kerry embracing a pet issue of the Democratic base, a cause that hasn't had much currency in recent presidential laeks elections.
KERRY: In three short years, this president has put the brakes on and actually reversed 30 years of environmental progress in our country.
WOODRUFF: On this Earth Day, the Democrat wrapped up a three-day tour spotlighting his plans for the environment. He pledged to curtail toxic emissions from power plants, improve water testing and quality, and introduce programs to preserve coastal areas. And he charged the Bush administration ignores environmental concerns in favor of big business.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: George Bush let corporate polluters rewrite our environmental laws.
WOODRUFF: George W. Bush ushered in Earth Day in Maine, pledging to restore and create at least a million acres of wetlands over the next five years.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The old policy of wetlands was to limit the loss of wetlands. Today, I'm going to announce a new policy, a new goal for our country. Instead of just limiting our losses, we will expand the wetlands of America.
WOODRUFF: An avid outdoorsman, the president has stresd public- private partnerships as tools for environmental preservation. But leading environmental organizations give his policies a thumbs down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Bush, the worst environmental record, an "F".
WOODRUFF: And Kerry sees the environment as an issue that could tip the balance in his favor. This despite polls showing just 2 percent of Americans count it as their most important concern.
KEATING HOLLAND, CNN POLLING DIRECTOR: Some voters may decide that the environment actually does matter to them if they don't see a big difference between Bush and Kerry on more important issues.
WOODRUFF: It's something Al Gore did not bank on the last time around, downplaying his environmentalist credentials, lest he be branded an extremist. Kerry, on the other hand, is hoping that the environment is one issue where voters will see clear daylight between his views and those of the president.
WOODRUFF: And this just in from Houston, where John Kerry is on the campaign trail today, Kerry challenging President Bush to be prove that he has not cut a deal with Saudi Arabia with regard to oil prices by pressuring Saudi Arabia, pressuring other oil-producing countries to lower oil prices now. Kerry going on to say that despite assurances to the contrary, he believes Americans are getting a bad deal.
Well, much like he has on the environment, Kerry has worked hard to highlight his differences with the president over the war in Iraq. In an interview with our Candy Crowley, Kerry commented on recent talk around Capitol Hill about reviving the military draft. He also talked about an event 33 years ago when, as leader of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, he testified before a Senate committee on this date in 1971. Kerry told Candy that he regrets how some veterans received his testimony.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KERRY: I think the way I characterized it at that time was mostly the voice of a young, angry person who wanted to end the war. And that's what I've said. And I regret any feeling that anybody had that I somehow didn't embrace the quality of the service. But always I have said how nobly I think very veteran served.
I think they served with as much courage, as much commitment at soldiers in any war in any period, and perhaps even with more, because they had to do it with a country that wasn't behind them and wasn't supportive. But what I did was try to point out how we could bring them home, how we could save lives, how we could live a truth in America.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It's coming up again. I'd love to know what you think about the draft, specifically because you talked a lot about how unfair the -- you know, the demographics, if you will, of who went over to Vietnam. How do you feel about a draft?
KERRY: I don't want a draft. And I don't think we need a draft.
If you ever had a draft because of necessity in terms of the kind of confrontation that would require it, I will move heaven and earth to make sure it is never a draft like the draft that we saw, where phone calls and connections got people out of harm's way, while the average American and the kids out of the inner cities and off the farms who had no clout and no power, bore the brunt of the war.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: John Kerry in an interview with Candy Crowley last night.
Well, today on Capitol Hill, there's more to report on Republican criticism of the 9/11 terror commission. Specifically of commission member Jamie Gorelick, a former deputy attorney general under President Clinton.
Our congressional correspondent Ed Henry is with me now for more. Ed, what is going on up there?
ED HENRY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Basically, so far, it has just been House Republicans attacking the commission. But today, a letter this hour has gone from Republican Senator Kit Bond of Missouri. He has 10 signatures on the letter to the commission heads saying that Gorelick should testify before the very commission that she sits on.
This is because she was a member of the Clinton Justice Department. She wrote that memo everyone has talked about that strengthened the so-called wall between the FBI and the CIA that some people believe helped lead to 9/11.
The bottom line is, what's going on here is that Republicans feel like these attacks are starting to stick, they're beating up on the commission. Also, Republican Senator Jeff Sessions told me that he wants to go after the commission a little bit, make sure that Gorelick has a smaller role in preparing the final report for this commission.
Democrats believe -- Democratic leader in the Senate, Tom Daschle, said this week that he thinks Republicans are trying to undermine the credibility of the commission because Republicans are afraid what the commission might report this summer before the election.
WOODRUFF: This in a way puts on the spot the Republican chairman of this commission, former New Jersey Governor Tom Kean.
HENRY: That's right. In fact, Republican Senator Jeff Sessions told me that he's very upset with Tom Kean, not just with Jamie Gorelick, because a week or so ago, House judiciary chairman, James Sensenbrenner, said that Gorelick should resign. And Kean responded by saying that's a silly slugs. Jeff Sessions said he doesn't like that at all and he said Kean should do a better job of running the commission.
WOODRUFF: All right. Very quickly, Ed, there's also action on the Hill today on the so-called continuity of Congress legislation.
HENRY: That's right. There's going to be a vote in the House in just a few minutes on final passage. Basically this is Exhibit A, if you want one, on how Congress can't seem to get much done these days.
This is something that post-9/11 there's a lot of concern that if there's another terrorist attacks that wipes out a lot of House members, how would Congress reconstitute itself in order to pass legislation to get the country back on its feet. There's a bill that's about to pass in the House, probably along party lines by Sensenbrenner, that would basically mandate that all special elections in the House would happen within 45 days rather than it being spread out as it is now.
Democrats don't think that's good enough. They want a constitutional amendment that would basically allow governors to appoint replacements or to let members of Congress pick their own replacements.
The bottom line is that the Senate is probably not going to act on this away. So we're still not going to have a plan. And at the end of the day, here's something that both sides say needs to get done and probably is not going to.
WOODRUFF: All right. Republicans can get what they want in the House, but we'll see what happens after that. Ed Henry, thanks very much. We appreciate it.
Well, polls show that two-thirds of Americans say they fear a terror attack is likely before the election. And President Bush concedes it is a hard country to protect. But an attack is just one of many scenarios that could change the course of this presidential race. Our national correspondent Bruce Morton reports.
BRUCE MORTON, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): October surprise? The phrase goes back to 1980 campaign charges, never proven, that Ronald Reagan's campaign talked Iran into keeping the American captured in the U.S. embassy until after the election, denying President Carter a pre-election triumph.
This time, well, some people expect or hope the administration will capture Osama bin Laden in October. No arguments about where to try him, no angry Arabic speeches in a courtroom somewhere. But plots aside, this election, much more than any in recent history, could be influenced by events that haven't happened yet.
STUART ROTHENBERG, ROTHENBERG POLITICAL REPORT: We saw what happened in Spain with the bombing right before the election. International events, events that we have no control over could have a substantial impact on how voters view George W. Bush and John Kerry.
MORTON: Gas prices high now could go through the roof in the late summer driving season and make voters angry. That happened to Jimmy Carter, along with his failure to free the hostages. U.S. casualties in Iraq may continue, may go up if resistance to what many Iraqis see as a foreign occupation grows.
Americans for now seem inclined to hang tough, to stay in Iraq. But if the transfer of power at the end of June is a mess, and it's still unclear who would get power, that could change.
It may vary from voter to voter, from place to place. But at some point, one more body bag, one more coffin, one more yellow ribbon, one more family told his tour's been extended may make voters say it's not worth it. Let's get out. And what if there's some big terrorist attack in the U.S. as Election Day nears?
ROTHENBERG: I think for a short term right after an attack there would be a rally around the flag, rally around the president. But over time, I think there would be people looking for reasons, explanations, maybe scapegoats. That could actually hurt the president. It all depends on the timing, the kind of event, and when it happens, how close it is to Election Day.
MORTON (on camera): Often we know early. Walter Mondale always trailed Reagan, Bill Clinton overcame draft-dodging charges, overcame Jennifer Flowers in the primaries. This time, the economic future is cloudy, and the United States is fighting a vaguely defined war against a shadow enemy or enemies. The election of 2004 may very well be decided by things that just haven't happened yet.
Bruce Morton, CNN, Washington.
WOODRUFF: From an October surprise to a surprise political little interest group. Straight ahead, punk rockers encourage their fans to do the ultimate in establishment behavior: register and vote.
Earth Day 2004, when it comes to election politics, does the environment really matter? Just one of the questions for Bay Buchanan and Donna Brazile.
WOODRUFF: The term "punk politics" may sound ike an oxymoron since the music and lifestyle traditionally embraces anarchy. But there is a real political movement inside the punk world led by some of its biggest stars. CNN's Jason Bellini caught up with them in Phoenix.
JASON BELLINI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Punks are by definition anti the system.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many of you are registered for the draft? How many of it you do not want to get drafted to go to make Dick Cheney rich?
BELLINI: But on the punk voter tour, the anti- establishment message coming from artists like Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys has been tweaked.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Insurrection in the street only goes so far without insurrection in the voting booth, too.
BELLINI: Punk is getting practical about politics.
FAT MIKE, NOFX: We just started a federal PAC. It's called the Bush Administration Retirement Fund or BARF PAC for short.
BELLINI: Fat Mike of NOFX is what you might call the spiritual leader of the tour. He says it's all about getting kids angry and scared.
FAT MIKE: I explain to them the Patriot Act and how the government now knows what books you check out and what you're looking at on your computer. BELLINI: A punk star for over 10 years, he knows his audience.
FAT MIKE: They're anti-government, they're anti the system, and we're trying to tell them you have to care now.
BELLINI: Caring means voting in November. Most seem to get it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a callout to punks that actually want to make a change for positive, you know. If you feel against Bush, if you feel against his lies, and you want to get rid of him, you go and vote.
BELLINI: Some we're not so sure about.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I support Kucinich.
BELLINI: And we even met a few Bush supporters in this crowd.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think they don't know what they're talking about. I think they hear something and they're not thinking for themselves.
BELLINI: Punk Loader (ph) says they've sold 30,000 "Not My President" T-shirts.
(on camera): On Tuesday, they release the CD and DVD "Rock Against Bush Volume One." A line in one of the songs is revealing.
Are you telling kids they need to vote for John Kerry?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not telling kids who to vote for at all. We're telling them they should register to vote and we're telling them our point of view.
BELLINI: Do you like John Kerry?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think John Kerry's all right. He's a snowboarder, used to play in a band.
BELLINI: Punk Voter (ph) claims to have registered more than 1,000 new voters all ready. And they're just getting started. They'll join the Warp (ph) tour this summer, attended by half a million young people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So how many of are you registered to vote?
BELLINI: In this subculture, the Florida 2000 recount changed everything. Punk ponders what might have been had they gotten religion sooner.
Jason Bellini, CNN, Phoenix, Arizona.
WOODRUFF: Right now, only a little over 30 percent of voters ages 18-24 vote in national elections. We'll see if this year is any different.
Well, John Kerry has released his military documents online. Will it satisfy his critics? Donna Brazile and Bay Buchanan will take issue on that topic and others after this break.
WOODRUFF: With us now, former Gore campaign manager, Donna Brazile, and Bay Buchanan, president of American Cause.
Bay, to you first. The Bush campaign calling on John Kerry to release all of his military records. Apparently that's what he's done now. Should this satisfy the critics?
BAY BUCHANAN, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN CAUSE: Sure, if he's released them all, I think that's all he needs to do. He made a commitment, he volunteered to do it on Monday. I don't know why he just didn't do it on Tuesday. I don't know what the holdup was.
But that's all that that's necessary. He made a point. He wanted to follow up, and I think he should have. He gave an obligation, in essence, and now he's done it.
WOODRUFF: Donna, some in the press are saying there still may be medical records that have not been released. Should that be part of this issue here?
DONNA BRAZILE, FMR. GORE CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Well, they've released 146 out of 150 pages of documents. And Bay, what took them so long, of course, is that today you need to have a DVD and CD-ROM in order to load all of this stuff. But the Kerry campaign I think did the right thing in putting it out there.
Now the public can see that John Kerry not only served his country very well, but many of the officers who served with him applauded his tremendous courage. And I think that should put this matter to rest and behind him.
WOODRUFF: So Bay, that's the end of it?
BUCHANAN: I hope that $55 million that he just raised, I'm sure he can afford a couple of DVDs and CDs, Donna. I suggest that that might not have been the reason. I suggest that what he probably did is made a commitment on Sunday that he didn't want to follow through with.
BRAZILE: I don't think so.
BUCHANAN: But he has done it. If the press says there's records -- if there's 147 out of 1350 pages, he's going to have to release the other three, in my opinion. It's all got to be out there. That's what he said he would do and that's what he needs to do.
BRAZILE: But, Bay, no question, he's going to release those records. And look, take a look at it, www.johnkerry.com, and go to "About John." And I looked at it because John Kerry -- I was surprisedded to see not just the type of awards he received, but just the type of conflict in battle.
This guy has the courage to serve. He had a tremendous record. And I'm glad it's out there so the public can see that John Kerry is a great leader.
WOODRUFF: Let's move quickly on to the environment. This is Earth Day. Bay, is this a winning issue for John Kerry?
BUCHANAN: No. The polls clearly show -- I have no idea why he's spending any time on this. I think the polls show it's somewhere beneath dental care in the minds of the public.
One-third of the public now thinks the number one issue is the war. Another third thinks it's the economy and jobs. This does not hit the radar screen. If they want to spend a lot of time on this issue, I welcome it, because it will just make that margin of difference in victory that much greater for George Bush.
BRAZILE: Well, for the 133 million Americans, Bay, who are breathing unhealthy air, it makes a difference in their lives. If we had a president who understood that the environment should be protected, it would make a difference for those of us who live in this region to have a president understand safe drinking water. So it makes a difference in presidential politics in terms of battleground states, Judy.
WOODRUFF: But you're not convinced, Bay?
BRAZILE: I don't think Bay is convinced at all.
WOODRUFF: Bay, I hope you could still hear us. We didn't hear a comeback there.
Let me turn finally to this dispute over whether the Supreme Court justice, Antonin Scalia, should recuse himself from hearing a case involving White House privacy. A case where Vice President Cheney, Donna, is named in the case after Scalia had invited -- or been invited by Cheney to go on this duck hunting trip.
BRAZILE: Absolutely. I think Justice Scalia should not do any further damage to his reputation and he should rescue himself from this case and allow the other eight justices to sit down and deliberate this matter without having someone who has personal involvement and a personal stake in the outcome.
BUCHANAN: Yes, absolutely not. Justice Scalia has recused himself when he felt it was necessary. This is his decision.
He's the most ethical individual. He has said had he no conversation with the vice president or anyone else associated with this case, and that he's clearly objective as he reviews it. So he should remain on the court, and he does the right thing by doing so.
BRAZILE: I disagree, Bay. I think he should recuse himself from this and he should recuse himself and any other justice who has any personal, you know, involvement with someone that is before the court.
Look, we need to have a decision on it. This is a very important decision that will be handed down. And Justice Scalia should take himself out of the picture.
WOODRUFF: Bay, quick last word.
BUCHANAN: He shouldn't. He hasn't. He shouldn't. He does the right thing. And he should vote to keep those records locked up.
WOODRUFF: All right. We are going to leave it there. Bay Buchanan, Donna Brazile.
BRAZILE: Another fresh air day for the Bush administration.
WOODRUFF: All right. Thank you.
BUCHANAN: I like that clean air as much as you do, Donna.
BRAZILE: And fresh drinking water.
WOODRUFF: All right. We'll see you both.
BUCHANAN: Conservatives love it, as well.
BRAZILE: All right.
WOODRUFF: Coming up next, John Kerry's relations with lobbyists. The campaign releases 15 years worth of documents, but is the real goal to focus attention on President Bush?
Also, Capitol Hill concerns about the war in Iraq. I'll talk with Democratic Senator Joe Biden about the U.S. strategy for securing peace.
ANNOUNCER: John Kerry gives us a look at which lobbyists he's met with over the years. Is today's move by the Kerry camp designed to put pressure on the White House to open its files?
For President Bush it's often a matter of faith.
BUSH: I also have this belief, strong belief that freedom is not this country's gift to the world. Freedom is the almighty's gift to every man and woman in this world.
ANNOUNCER: But is the president's use of religion upsetting to some voters?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I would say, you know, you have to be careful of identifying the divine will with your position.
ANNOUNCER: Now, live from Washington, JUDY WOODRUFF'S INSIDE POLITICS.
WOODRUFF: Welcome back. The John Kerry campaign today added to what seems like a now daily discussion of various personal documents by releasing details of the senator's contacts with lobbyists. CNN's Kelly Wallace reports that the release of the 15-year paper trail has as much to do with President Bush as it does with Senator Kerry.
KELLY WALLACE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As John Kerry rallies in Houston, his campaign releases 14 pages documenting nearly 200 meetings the senator had since 1989 with lobbyists representing groups including -- corporations, military contractors, and labor unions. Aides acknowledge the timing of the records dump is designed to highlight next week's arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court. At issue, whether Vice President Cheney must disclose who met with while crafting a national energy plan.
DAVID WADE, KERRY CAMPAIGN SPOKESMAN: The question is, why won't George Bush's campaign and why won't this White House come clean about which lobbyists that Dick Cheney met with as vice president of the United States to write our energy policy?
WALLACE: A Bush-Cheney campaign spokeswoman called Kerry's move little more than political theater and defended the White House saying, quote, "it is important for a president and vice president to be able to receive information from a wide range of perspectives as part of the deliberative process of policy making at the executive level."
The second goal of the camp Kerry? Change the message. This after the GOP accused the senator of holding back his military records and his wife's tax returns. On Wednesday, the campaign posted on its website Kerry's Navy documents filled with glowing praise from superiors about his Vietnam service. As for his multimillionaire wife, a campaign spokeswoman said Teresa Heinz Kerry filed an extension this year and therefore releasing her income tax returns is a, quote, "non issue at this point."
But it could become a political problem. Remember 1948 and the uproar after vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro refused to release her husband's tax returns. She eventually reversed course. While not required by law, since 1976, presidential and vice presidential candidates and their spouses have made their tax returns public.
WALLACE: The Kerry campaign believes it now has the upper hand on the records issue, contrasting Kerry with the White House when it comes to disclosing meetings with lobbyists. But the story does not end there because the senator is likely to face continued pressure over other records, and that is releasing his wife's tax returns -- Judy. WOODRUFF: All right. Kelly Wallace, thank you very much.
And now we turn to the fight for Iraq. It has been topic No. 1 on Capitol Hill with lawmakers wrapping up three days of hearings today. It was also the topic of a speech by Republican Senator John McCain to the Council on Foreign Relations. He called the deteriorating situation in Iraq a wakeup call and said that at least 10,000 troops, more troops are needed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I have said since my visit to Iraq last August that our military presence is insufficient to bring stability to the country. We should increase the number of forces, including marines and special forces to conduct offensive operations. There's also a dire need for other types of forces, including linguists, intelligence officers and civil affairs personnel. We must deploy at least, at least another full division and probably more.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: Joining me now from Capitol Hill to talk about the situation in Iraq is Senator Joe Biden of Delaware, ranking Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee.
Senator, our time is limited. Please forgive me. I'm going to kick quickly through some questions. Number one, on the number of new troops needed, John McCain says 10,000, Iraq expert Ken Pollack yesterday told me 40 to 60,000. How many more?
SEN. JOE BIDEN (D-DE), FOREIGN RELATIONS CMTE.: I think you need somewhere in the range of 20,000. That's why I've been pushing so hard to get NATO in. If we got NATO in, we could get in in the next three months, we'd free up 20,000 American forces that are there now to do the things John's talking about.
Before John went, John and I had a little argument. I said we needed more troops. John went, came back and said you're right. We need more troops, we've needed them. We went in with too few to begin with.
WOODRUFF: Senator, the Bush administration is now saying the Iraqis will have only limited sovereignty over their own country after June the 30th, that the U.S. military is still going to be in control of security running the security of that country. Is that really then going to be a handover?
BIDEN: No. But we should -- this is the whole purpose that Dick Lugar and I are trying to accomplish. We're trying to get the administration to say what the plan is so we it the American people and the world knows what the plan is so people don't say, look, they've gone back on what they promised.
It was clear to Lugar and me from the beginning that this would be a handover of limited sovereignty because of the present limited capability of an interim Iraqi government. But the way they kept talking about is limited sovereignty. And now we're going to have the super ambassador there.
We should bring in an international board of directors, essentially like we did in Bosnia and in Afghanistan. Involving the major powers. We should change the face of this internationalize it. I see no evidence that they're willing to do that yet.
WOODRUFF: The president at his news conference last weekend, and I'm quoting, said "Iraqi officials will assume full responsibility for the ministries of government."
BIDEN: Here's the distinction they're trying to make, Judy, and it's very confusing. They're saying, for example, they'll take over the Department of Health. They'll take over the Department of Parks and Sewers, et cetera. And that represents sovereignty.
But at the same time, they're saying that that very government -- the question I asked today, Mr. Grossman, the No. 3 guy in the State Department testifying before a committee, I said what happens if this new government with a new president -- and according to the Brahimi plan -- says, by the way, in august you guys cannot go into Fallujah. Who's in charge? Them or the U.S. military? They don't have an answer, Judy.
WOODRUFF: You've been critical, Senator, of the Bush administration this week for not sending senior representatives to testify before the Foreign Relations Committee. But today it, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice did come and meet privately with Republicans. She's going to be meet privately with Democrats on the Hill. Isn't that good enough?
BIDEN: No it's not good enough, Judy. It's good, it should be, that should be standard operating procedure. I've been here for seven presidents. That was standard operating procedure.
The idea that a chairman of the foreign relations, a Republican, committee can't get a commitment from the secretary of state and the secretary of defense to appear before the Foreign Relations Committee at this incredibly significant moment in American foreign policy is bizarre.
Can you imagine William Fulbright allowing that? Can you imagine Frank Church allowing that? Can you imagine that occurring in all the Congresses you've ever covered? It's ridiculous.
WOODRUFF: One other thing, Senator. The White House is saying they are not likely to ask for more money for Iraq until after the elections...
BIDEN: Surprise, surprise.
WOODRUFF: ... this November. Is that going to be soon enough to cover whether it's $50 or $75 billion or whatever the amount is?
BIDEN: It may cover most of it, Judy. But it's disingenuous.
Look my problem here is from the beginning. We're not leveling with the American people. And if we expect to keep their support for this long and sacrificial haul we're going to have to go through, we should level with them. They don't have one single penny in for Iraq or Afghanistan for next year, Judy. And it's costing us $4 billion, $600 million a month just to keep our troops there.
When you ask them, are we going to have fewer than 100,000 troops next year, they know we're going to have at least that many. So they know it's going to cost at least another $48 billion.
Why aren't they being honest and telling us so we can tell the American people? I'll support that. I'll support it. But let's level with the American people.
WOODRUFF: Senator, very quickly is, the chairman of your committee, long-standing Republican Foreign Affairs (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Chairman Dick Lugar reported to be playing no significant role in particular policy. Virtually being, according to reports, ignored by the White House. Do you have any thoughts about that?
BIDEN: They're making a tragic mistake. This is one of the finest, brightest and potentially most helpful people in the United States Congress they could have. The Congress is lucky to have a Republican of his stature and consequence.
But because he doesn't -- this is conjecture on my part. They act like county chairman. Because he does not agree with them, they act like they're punishing him.
He should be talking with them everyday. The president should be meeting with him two or three times a week. Can you imagine Clinton not meeting with me or can you imagine Bush I not meeting with him if he was chairman of the committee? This is ridiculous. This is childish.
WOODRUFF: We're going to be talking on INSIDE POLITICS tomorrow with Senator Lugar.
BIDEN: He's a fine man.
WOODRUFF: Certainly one of the things we want to talk to him about.
Senator Joe Biden, ranking Democrat on Foreign Relations. Thank you very much, Senator. We appreciate it.
BIDEN: Thank you.
WOODRUFF: Returning now to presidential politics and our campaign news daily, two western governors sometimes mentioned when potential Kerry running mates are being discussed are making appearances here in the east. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson is in the showdown state of Pennsylvania speaking at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano is here in Washington taking part in the task force on education.
Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader has already done a better job at fundraising than he was doing this time four years ago. FEC filings show that Nader has brought in about $600,000 in the two months since he entered the race, making him eligible for federal matching funds. The campaign says almost all of the money came through the Internet. This time four years ago, Nader had raised about $200,000.
Former candidate Howard Dean may be out of the White House race, but the true believers are still sending him their cash. Dean, of course, left the presidential race in February, but during the month of March, donors gave the Dean campaign more than $625,000 according to FEC documents.
Personal faith and U.S. policy. The president's words are under scrutiny. Political analyst Bill Schneider looks into the current role of religion in the Oval Office.
Another book from a Washington insider. We'll talk to the author, a veteran of three Democratic administrations.
And California environmentalists get some traction out of the governor's vehicle. We'll explain when INSIDE POLITICS returns.
WOODRUFF: Tributes are pouring in for long-time "Washington Post" columnist Mary McGrory who died late yesterday after a long illness. Her career and writing spanned everything from the McCarthy hearings to the war in Iraq and earned her a Pulitzer Prize for her work during Watergate. Mary McGrory was 85 years old. INSIDE POLITICS will be right back.
WOODRUFF: The president's personal faith has become a sticking point for some of his critics. Mr. Bush makes no bones about his Christian beliefs. Political analyst Bill Schneider looks at how some recent remarks are playing politically.
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Did President Bush cross the line between religion and politics? At his news conference the president offered this justification for his Iraq policy.
BUSH: Freedom is the Almighty's gift to every man and woman in this world. And as the greatest power on the face of the earth, we have an obligation to help the spread of freedom.
SCHNEIDER: Bob Woodward reported how Mr. Bush responded to a question about asking his father for advice on the war.
BOB WOODWARD, AUTHOR, "PLAN OF ATTACK": When I asked about his father he said in terms of finding strength, I appeal to a higher father. Meaning God. And when he ordered war he prayed. And he prayed that he be a good messenger of God's will. SCHNEIDER: That set off alarm bells in some quarters.
RALPH NADER (I), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Bush is just such a messianic militarist.
SCHNEIDER: Other presidents like Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton have talked about their faith. It's sort of expected these days.
RON KLAIN, FMR. GORE ADVISER: I worked for Vice President Gore who when asked in the 2000 campaign how he made decisions, said the first question he asked himself was WWJD, what would Jesus do?
SCHNEIDER: Where do you draw the line between religion and politics. A religious leader put it this way.
REV. WILLIAM M. TULLY, ST. BARTHOLOMEW CHURCH: Yes, talk to us about what animates your thinking and what's in your heart.
SCHNEIDER: On the other hand, .
TULLY: I would say, you know, you have to be careful of identifying the divine will with your position.
SCHNEIDER: The political strategists put it this way.
KLAIN: That's perfectly legitimate that his philosophy derives from his religion, but to suggest that his authority to govern our country or his mission comes from above, that's a different sort of thing.
SCHNEIDER: The line is between the personal and the policy. Your faith should be a source of personal inspiration, not a justification for your policy. Democrats may ask whether President Bush crossed that line in making the case for war. But they have to be careful how they do it.
KLAIN: We live in a country that is largely a country of believers. And to the extent that what President Bush is saying is a more modest claim that a lot of his views and values are influenced by his faith, that's something that most Americans probably agree with.
SCHNEIDER: There are two dangers -- one is for President Bush to justify his Iraq policy in religious terms. And the other is for Democrats to challenge the personal faith behind the president's values. Both cross the line from opposite directions -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: Could say tricky in both senses. All right. Bill Schneider, thank you very much.
He was a player in many of the key political conflicts of the last half century and he has put it all in a book. We'll go inside the White House with Joseph Califano after this break.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) WOODRUFF: Joseph Califano held key positions of power in the Kennedy, Johnson and Carter administrations, and his role as a Washington insider provides plenty of material for his new book, "Inside A Public and Private Life." I recently sat down with the former Carter cabinet member and started by asking him what was the primary point he wanted to get across by writing the book?
JOSEPH CALIFANO, AUTHOR, "INSIDE A PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIVE": Judy, I wrote this book for my kids and my grandchildren. One, I knew nobody when I went to Washington. My mother was a school teacher, my father was a secretary for IBM. Then I ended up working for Bob McNamara and then Lyndon Johnson and then representing the Democratic party and the "Washington Post" during Watergate and then secretary of HEW, and just so many things.
One, this is a country of incredible opportunity. Two, that my faith was very important to me, and when you exercise public power, you need a moral compass. Mine was my Catholic faith. Other people have other compasses, and three, that courage is critical. I mean, in getting anything done and a very rare commodity. Catherine Gram's (ph) courage when I write about when I represented the "Post" and Woodward and Bernstein during Watergate, I thought Lyndon Johnson's courage on the racial issue when he knew it was turning the south over to the Republican party for a generation.
WOODRUFF: People ask this question all the time, Joe Califano, but how did you see Washington change in the many years that you worked here?
CALIFANO: Oh, you know, I think it is much more partisan today than it was when -- when you think of the fact that during Watergate, I had no problem talking to Al Hague (ph) or Alex Butterfield (ph) you know, in those days, we used to say everybody drank the same booze.
WOODRUFF: They were Republicans part of the Nixon White House.
CALIFANO: They were. When I was suing the Committee to Reelect the President, I think it's much more partisan. I think money is much more important today. It was always important, but nothing, not the tons of money that people need now and that drive them to leave town on Thursday night and come back on Tuesday morning so they can spend the weekend raising money. I think that's a part of it. I think, look, in the Johnson years, we passed 100 laws in each Congress. I mean and today, if a president passes one law, Leave No Child Behind or Welfare Reform for Clinton, it's consider a major accomplishment. It's another town.
WOODRUFF: You know, there are those who say this is a city where you only get ahead if you're willing to cut deals and backstab and all the rest of it. Is the real Washington a whole lot darker than the Washington people see on television?
CALIFANO: I don't think you have to keep backstabbing. You do have to make compromises at every stage along the way and you face those problems. I write about them in the book. I mean, you know, if you need a senator's vote to pass Medicare in 19635 and he wants you to appoint somebody who's not quite competent to be a federal judge, do you do it? I mean, those issues come up every time.
And in the end the anti-smoking -- I mounted the anti-smoking campaign in 1978. I mean, you know, Tip O'Neill (ph) came to me and said these guys are so angry with you, these tobacco guys, they could literally kill you. I thought well, that's Tip. Conspiratoral view of the world. Then you see Jeffrey Wygant (ph), the whistleblower, finding a bullet in his mailbox and President Carter having to basically fire me because he couldn't carry Virginia or North Carolina or maybe even Georgia in those days or Kentucky with the anti-smoking campaign.
WOODRUFF: There's a lot to talk about. One other little story I quickly want to ask you about. Your first encounter with a young lawyer for the Watergate committee named Hillary Rodham. Something about colorful language. Quickly fill us in on that.
CALIFANO: Very quickly. It was the summer of 1972, the most anti-establishment summer in Washington. I was walking into a hearing attacking Coca-Cola for mistreating migrant workers in the Senate caucus room and it was jammed with angry young students. We just had the Kent State killings over the war and this young woman with thick- rimmed glasses ran up to me and said you, I'll leave it blank, read the book and find out. You sold out, you sold out. I didn't know who it was, and 18 months later she walked into my office at Williams, (UNINTELLIGIBLE), and Califano applying for a job. I offered her the job, incidentally, tried to get her to come to work for us as a lawyer, but she decided she wanted to go to Arkansas. It was Hillary Rodham Clinton.
WOODRUFF: Joe Califano. We'll have to ask Senator Clinton about that colorful language. Just quickly, this just in from the Capitol, the House of Representatives has passed overwhelmingly by a vote of 306-97 legislation to provide for so-called continuity of Congress providing for a special election to be held within 45 days if a terrorist attack were to wipe out a large number of the members of Congress. That legislation going on to the Senate. We heard our Ed Henry predicting a little while ago not likely to see movement there anytime soon. INSIDE POLITICS will be right back.
WOODRUFF: California environmentalists apparently are revved up on this Earth Day over the governor's SUV. They are calling on him to lead by example and park his Hummer. During his campaign Arnold Schwarzenegger pledged to retro-fit the gas guzzler with hydrogen power. Well, that hasn't happened yet although some companies have expressed interest in doing the work.
That's it for INSIDE POLITICS. Thanks for joining us. I'm Judy Woodruff. "CROSSFIRE" starts right now.
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