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CNN CROSSFIRE

President Bush, Senator Kerry Pay Tribute to Nation's War Dead

Aired May 31, 2004 - 16:30   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
ANNOUNCER: CROSSFIRE. On the left, James Carville and Paul Begala; on the right, Robert Novak and Tucker Carlson.

In the CROSSFIRE: On a rainy Memorial Day, the president pays tribute to the nation's war dead.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And the war on terror we're fighting today has great -- brought great costs of its own. Because of their fierce courage, America is safer, two terror regimes are gone forever, and more than 50 million souls now live in freedom.

ANNOUNCER: His challenger, John Kerry, does the same, but that doesn't mean they called a halt to their political warfare.

Today on CROSSFIRE.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: Live from the George Washington University, Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson.

(APPLAUSE)

PAUL BEGALA, CO-HOST: Hello, everybody. Welcome to CROSSFIRE on this Memorial Day.

It is a bittersweet day in our nation's capital and all across America, as a matter of fact. People have a chance to reflect on what it costs to fight a war and preserve the freedoms that we all cherish.

TUCKER CARLSON, CO-HOST: And the two men who want to lead the country for the next four years seemed to take some time off today from the verbal attacks on each other, at least for the morning. But political warfare isn't very far from the surface. We'll be getting to that.

First, the best political briefing in television, our CROSSFIRE "Political Alert."

After 20 years in the Senate, John Kerry still can't explain what exactly he thinks about foreign policy. He tried yet again this weekend in a sit-down with "The New York Times." Despite his supposedly deep knowledge of the subject, he brought along at least one aide for help, and in the words of "The Times" -- quote -- "referred repeatedly to a two-page primer," cheat sheet, during the interview. And he still got things wrong.

Kerry claimed for instance that during the Clinton administration, there were international weapons inspectors in the North Korean capital. Not true. At one point, Kerry actually blamed the U.S. government for North Korea's behavior. Because President Bush showed no respect to North Korea, Kerry said, that country's lunatic criminal dictatorship was compelled to build nuclear weapons. Kerry actually said that, because, you see, it is all Bush's fault, everything, even Stalinism in North Korea.

BEGALA: President Bush has done a bad job in North Korea.

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: Senator Kerry is right to raise it. When President Bush came in, we were teed up to have a serious agreement with the North Koreans to back down on their nuclear program. Instead, he dissed the South Koreans.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: OK. Great. But you know as well as I do that North Korea was building nuclear weapons in the previous administration. And to blame their behavior on this president is insane.

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: No, he blames our president for his failed policy in Korea, as he should his failed policy in Iraq, as he should his failed policy across the world.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: He said because Bush went unilateral into Iraq and because he rattled the saber, they built nuclear weapons.

(BELL RINGING)

CARLSON: That's so dumb that I don't think you could even defend it.

BEGALA: It's so dumb, only George Bush could do it.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

BEGALA: Well, in a new revelation today, "TIME" magazine reports -- and I'm quoting "TIME" magazine here -- -- quote -- "An internal Pentagon e-mail says action on a multibillion dollar Halliburton contract was coordinated by Vice President Dick Cheney's office" -- unquote. Mr. Cheney denies helping Halliburton. He does, however, continue to receive compensation of over $150,000 a year from his very generous former employer.

Plus, the Congressional Research Service has report that the 433,000 Halliburton stock options worth $12.5 million that Mr. Cheney owns may represent a continuing financial interest in the company, despite the fact Mr. Cheney has pledged to donate those shares to charity.

And if Mr. Cheney is ever investigated for his conduct at Halliburton, which once traded with our enemies in Iraq, Iran, and Libya, Halliburton will pay his legal bills. If it turns out Mr. Cheney did help Halliburton get a no-bid contract, he's going to have a whole lot of legal bills to pay. This is a stunning story, Tucker.

CARLSON: You know, Paul, I think you're on to something important here. I think the implication that you just made we went to war in Iraq to benefit Halliburton

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: I don't believe that for a minute. I didn't imply that.

CARLSON: Then what is your point?

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: I said -- my point is that "TIME" magazine says that a Pentagon memo says that action on the Halliburton contracts were coordinated with Cheney's office.

CARLSON: So what? What does that have to do with anything?

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: That doesn't bother you, if a no-bid contract goes to the vice president's former company and he is accused, his office is accused of coordinating that contract?

CARLSON: That's great. Let's say it's all true. It's still irrelevant to the fact we're in a war in Iraq, Paul. Come on.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

BEGALA: Of course it is. It's got nothing to with the war in Iraq. It has to do with integrity in the Oval Office, something Mr. Cheney

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: Right.

"The New York Times" reports today that left-wing billionaire George Soros has spent almost $16 billion this year to groups aligned with the Democratic Party. Mr. Soros, who made his fortune in currency speculation -- that's one of the sleaziest possible zero-sum business schemes you can imagine -- has become obsessed with defeating George W. Bush -- quote -- "It is the central focus of my life," Soros explained to "The Washington Post" this fall, "a matter of life and death."

Soros went on to compare the president of the United States to the Nazis. And then he said something even more offensive. Soros described the United States as -- quote -- "a danger to the world." That's right, you and me, according to Soros, we are a danger to the world.

So why exactly are Democrats in bed with an anti-American extremist like George Soros? That's a great question. Maybe John Kerry will answer that question. Maybe you can answer that question.

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: Well, how about he's committing free speech? Somebody call Ken Starr. Somebody call Dick Cheney to shut him down.

CARLSON: Oh, give me a break. Give me a break.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

BEGALA: Let's shut him down.

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: He is an American success story. He is an American citizen.

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: He has a perfect right to speak out against him.

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: It's called freedom. That's what these men and women fight for.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: That's such demagoguery. You ought to be ashamed that you said that.

BEGALA: Oh, really?

CARLSON: No one is contesting his right to say this. I'm contesting the validity of it. The United States is the greatest threat to the world? That's disgusting.

BEGALA: Six months ago, George Soros gave an interview you disagree with and that is what's bothering you today, on Memorial Day?

(CROSSTALK)

(BELL RINGING)

BEGALA: That's what bothering you?

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: Do you disagree with that?

BEGALA: Do you disagree with his right to have free speech, Tucker Carlson, without big shots shooting him down? CARLSON: Of course not.

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: Let's attack his wife. Let's go gear up the whole Republican attack machine on George Soros.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: That was disgusting, actually.

BEGALA: Well, the Bush-Cheney campaign is the most negative in history, hammering John Kerry with attacks that "The Washington Post" calls -- quote -- "wrong or at least highly misleading" -- unquote, one example straight from the mouth of Vice President Dick Cheney.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Senator Kerry has questioned whether the war on terror is really a war at all. He said -- quote -- "I don't want to use that terminology."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BEGALA: The truth, as "The Post" reports, Kerry invariably describes anti-terror efforts as a war. He said, "I don't want to use that terminology" when he was asked about economic transformation of the Middle East, a very different matter.

Now, all of us who watched the buildup to war know that Dick Cheney is incapable of telling the truth. Now we know that, if you want somebody to honestly attack problems, Kerry is your man. If you want someone to dishonestly attack, vote Bush and Cheney.

(APPLAUSE)

CARLSON: Paul...

BEGALA: It's a stunning story.

CARLSON: You know, you have literally no idea what John Kerry thinks about foreign policy. John Kerry has no idea what John Kerry thinks.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

CARLSON: John Kerry both attacked and supported the first war in Iraq. He attacked and supported the second war in Iraq. To call him a straight shooter, Paul, I can't believe your face doesn't blush when you say that. That's so demonstrably false.

BEGALA: How can you defend -- how can you defend Dick Cheney telling a bald-faced lie about something like John Kerry, which is easy to look it up? "The Washington Post" looks it up and finds the facts that Dick Cheney completely misled.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: A bald-faced lie in a political ad? Wow. I'm shocked.

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: A Dick Cheney speech. A Dick Cheney speech.

CARLSON: You've rocked my world, Paul.

BEGALA: The president lies and Tucker is not surprised.

(LAUGHTER)

BEGALA: Up next on CROSSFIRE, well, it may be Memorial Day, but the campaign imagery was hard to miss. Political warfare of course knows no holidays, nor should it in a democracy.

Plus, with jobs being shipped overseas and 135,000 American troops stuck in Iraq, you would think the Republicans would offer a little more than fun and games, but you would be wrong. We'll roll the dice on the Republicans' latest game later on CROSSFIRE.

(APPLAUSE)

ANNOUNCER: Get ahead of the CROSSFIRE. Sign up for CROSSFIRE's daily "Political Alert" e-mail. You'll get a preview of each day's show, plus an inside look at the day's political headlines. Just go to CNN.com/CROSSFIRE and sign up today.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(APPLAUSE)

BEGALA: Welcome back to CROSSFIRE.

President Bush was at Arlington National Cemetery today paying his respects to our nation's war dead. Senator John Kerry, who won the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts for his heroism in Vietnam, spent his morning at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial here in Washington, D.C.

The two of them have only declared a momentary truce in their battle for the White House and they will soon be back to open political warfare.

Here in the CROSSFIRE now to talk about what happens next, former Republican National Committee communications director Cliff May. He's also president of the Foundation For the Defense of Democracies. And Democratic strategist Peter Fenn.

Gentlemen, welcome back.

(APPLAUSE)

CARLSON: Peter Fenn, thanks for joining us.

The leader of the House Democrats, Nancy Pelosi, in San Francisco had this to say about the president the other day -- quote -- "Bush is an incompetent leader. In fact, he's not a leader. He's a person who has no judgment, no experience and no knowledge of the subjects he has to decide on. He has on his shoulders the deaths of many more troops."

Yesterday on "Meet the Press," Tim Russert asked her about this line, this attack on the president. Why did she say this, he asked.

Here's what Nancy Pelosi said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "MEET THE PRESS")

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: Believe me, I said this for the troops. I said this for the troops, a cry for help for the troops. We have put them in harm's way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON: I wonder how the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan feel when they hear that the person who is leading them, their commander in chief, is not a leader, no experience, no judgment, no knowledge? Make them feel better, do you think?

PETER FENN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, I'll tell you what would make them better, is to have on November 2 a new president of the United States, which would get this country on the right track.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

FENN: And that's -- as the Democratic leader, as the Democratic leader, that's her job, is to elect Democratic candidates for office and to hopefully elect a new Democratic president that can turn this foreign policy around.

(CROSSTALK)

FENN: The only way -- the one thing about Iraq and you and I agree on Iraq now.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: I'll tell you what we don't agree on, Peter. It's irresponsible statements.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: Hold on. Let me ask you this.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: Democrats are at a disadvantage by 20 points, give or take, 15, on national security. Don't you think it's outrageous and irresponsible statements like this -- that's not a critique -- it's an attack -- that are responsible for that?

(CROSSTALK)

FENN: You have Wolfowitz, who doesn't even know how many people died in Iraq.

CARLSON: I'm asking about Nancy Pelosi.

(CROSSTALK)

FENN: Over 800 people died. He didn't even know it.

(APPLAUSE)

FENN: And her -- when she's looking out for the troops, it's to get them home. It's have a worldwide effort against terror, not just going-it-alone policy. This administration has no direction in its foreign policy. And that's what she's talking about. And that's what's good for the troops.

BEGALA: Cliff, let me ask you about a story breaking today in "TIME" magazine, a really rather remarkable one that seems to tie the office of the vice president to no-bid contracts for Halliburton.

Let me read you from "TIME" magazine: "'TIME' has obtained an internal Pentagon e-mail sent by an Army Corps of Engineers official that raises questions about Vice President Cheney's arm-lengths policy toward his old employer. Dated March 5, 2003, the e-mail says action on a multibillion-dollar Halliburton contract was coordinated with Cheney's office."

Now, does that trouble you?

CLIFF MAY, FOUNDATION FOR THE DEFENSE OF DEMOCRACIES: It troubles me. I don't know. I can't tell you anything about it. I didn't know we were going to talk about that. I haven't seen that "TIME" magazine piece. And I can't speak for Cheney's office.

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: ... denies any role in vice president playing any role in these contracts.

MAY: And I take them at their word.

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: But you don't think "Time" magazine is making this up, do you?

MAY: What's that?

BEGALA: You don't think "TIME" is making this up, some Pentagon e-mail?

MAY: No way "TIME" magazine could ever get anything wrong, of course not.

BEGALA: Nor would Dick Cheney would ever mislead us, either, right?

(CROSSTALK)

MAY: As you well know, I spent more than 20 years in the media, including for "The New York Times." The media often get things wrong from bad leaks. What's the source of this information?

BEGALA: It's an internal e-mail that was discovered as part of a litigation.

MAY: An internal e-mail that was discovered as part of a

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: Discovery is a process that happens in lawsuits when people have to turn over documents. This was documents that came up in an e-mail.

(CROSSTALK)

MAY: I have no idea what this is about. Neither do you. But I understand you want to bring it up because it makes Cheney look bad. And so that's always the most important thing for you to do on this show.

BEGALA: No, the most important thing is to try to make sure American tax dollars are not being handed off to no-bid contracts.

CARLSON: Peter Fenn, Peter Fenn, one the reasons, I think -- maybe the main reason George W. Bush I believe is going to be reelected is because Democrats have gone insane, as you well know.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

CARLSON: I want to give you one example.

A character named Harold Schaitberger, he is the president of the firemen's union, along with a lot of other Democrats last week accused the White House of essentially manufacturing a terror alert for political gain, if you can even imagine -- quote -- this is Harold Schaitberger, if there is such a person -- "I do find it awfully convenient and suspicious that Ashcroft's announcement happened to be tied in right behind the president's recent message to the nation, as well as his troubling plummeting poll numbers" -- in other words, just sort of pretending there are terrorists out there for short-term political gain.

FENN: No. No one is pretending that there are terrorists out there.

But when you're talking about Schaitberger, who heads up a union that's endorsed John Kerry, you also talk about the police officers, who have also this year endorsed John Kerry. The last time, they supported Bush. You've got a concern out there amongst those who are on the front lines about a guy who holds a press conference without talking to his homeland security chief about it.

You also have a concern when it's funny that the ad they put out against John Kerry on the Patriot Act in trying to go after him on terror occurs the same week that they have this press conference. Now, I do find this a little odd, I have to say to you.

CARLSON: OK, so you're a conspiracy nut, too.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: Here's my question.

(CROSSTALK)

FENN: I don't trust these guys as far as I can throw them.

CARLSON: But don't you think, to the average voter out there, who knows intuitively that actually there are a lot of terrorists out there, some in this country seeking to kill us, that when they hear Democrats say...

FENN: So the information is a month old. So why have it this last week? If it's so old

(CROSSTALK)

(APPLAUSE)

CARLSON: You don't recognize this is like going off into conspiracy land?

FENN: And they didn't raise the terror alert, did they? Didn't raise the terror alert.

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: Excuse me, Tucker.

Cliff, "The Washington Post" today analyzed the ads the two campaigns have run. They've come to the conclusion that Bush -- let me put up the statistics here -- the Bush-change campaign has run 49,050 negative ads, 49,000 negative ads. John Kerry has only run 13,000 negative ads. "The Post" analyzed the ads and describes Bush's ads as -- quote -- "wrong or at least highly misleading."

Isn't it really pathetic when a good guy like George W. Bush has no positive agenda at all for the country for the future?

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

MAY: First of all, a couple of things -- a couple of things that need to be pointed out. One is, Stanford University looked at it and said the kinds of ads we're talking about, negative ads, which I know you're against -- I have known you for years and I know how you hate negativity in politics, because you're a very sensitive guy.

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: They should be factual, not highly misleading and wrong.

(CROSSTALK)

MAY: No.

First of all, Stanford looked at it and said it's about par for the course. Secondly, if you look at what Nancy Pelosi is saying, if you look at what Al Gore is saying, if you look at what Senator Kerry himself says in any speech, it is way beyond anything that has been said at all by the Bush camp.

(CROSSTALK)

MAY: One more thing. One more...

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: What new ideas does our president have for a second term, besides more negative ads?

(CROSSTALK)

MAY: You've got to let me finish.

"The Washington Post" also kind of remarkably didn't examine such ads as those put out in favor of John Kerry by organizations like MoveOn.org, which are the most extreme, the most extreme.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: I want to get back to issues here.

(CROSSTALK)

MAY: Why wasn't that in there?

(CROSSTALK)

MAY: Shame on "The Washington Post."

(APPLAUSE)

FENN: Scott Reed, Dole's campaign manager, admitted that this race, if it's about issues, if it's about the war in Iraq, if it's about education and health care policy, that this president's in trouble, because he cannot answer the fundamental Ronald Reagan question, are you better off than you were four years ago?

(APPLAUSE)

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: I'm glad you brought that up. Right. That's why they're mean and deceitful.

(CROSSTALK)

FENN: No, no, no. Listen, this group is making Lee Atwater look like Mr. Rogers.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: They're evil. They're evil. I agree with you. They're evil. Hold on. I want to get to issues here.

(CROSSTALK)

FENN: And they're not going to stop.

CARLSON: Can I bring up an issue? I promise this will be a real issue.

FENN: Oh, good.

CARLSON: I spent the weekend reading a fantastic "Boston Globe" biography of John Kerry. It was actually very interesting. He's a pretty interesting guy.

And I want to read you a quote from that book. This is from a speech he gave in March of '92 at Yale. And I think this is very thoughtful. Here's John Kerry -- quote -- "We must be willing to acknowledge publicly what we know to be true, that, just as the benefits to America of affirmative action cannot be denied, neither can the costs. The truth is that affirmative action has kept America thinking in terms of racial terms. Somewhere within the vast apparatus conjured up to fight racism, there exists a reality of reverse discrimination that actually engenders racism."

In other words, affirmative action is racist and we know this. Would he be bold enough to say this today?

(CROSSTALK)

FENN: Tucker.

CARLSON: That's John Kerry.

FENN: For crying out loud, he has been a supporter of affirmative action for 20 years. He's thinking through this

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: What does this mean?

FENN: Listen, what does it mean? It means that there are problems any time you change a social structure.

CARLSON: Would he admit this today?

FENN: He supports affirmative action. He always has. And he will in this campaign.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: Hold on. Let me read what he says.

(CROSSTALK)

FENN: ... problems with it.

CARLSON: He says -- quote -- "It actually engenders racism."

Would John Kerry get up and say that again today, that affirmative action, as we all know that's true, would he say it again today, that it engenders racism?

FENN: No, probably not. He probably wouldn't; 12 years ago, you pick out some quote.

(CROSSTALK)

FENN: But at least he can think through issues, which is one of the criticisms of this president.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

MAY: Let me just -- Peter, you mentioned

(CROSSTALK)

MAY: His question is a very simple one. What's his position on it? That's all.

(CROSSTALK)

FENN: It's a clear position.

MAY: Let me ask you a simple question. His position on the Patriot Act, is he for it or against it?

FENN: He's for the Patriot Act and he's for changes, just like a

(CROSSTALK)

MAY: He's for the Patriot Act.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: We're going to take a quick commercial break.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: We finally got an answer to that question. Thanks a lot, Peter. I appreciate that. Up next in "Rapid Fire," some veterans came rolling into town this weekend. Find out which presidential candidate has them all revved up.

But, after the break, new details about this weekend's terror attack in Saudi Arabia and the hostage standoff that followed it.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Daryn Kagan at the CNN Center in Atlanta.

Coming up at the top of the hour, new details emerge about the weekend hostage drama in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi government defends its decision allowing three of the militants to escape.

The cleanup continues in the U.S. heartland after 175 weekend tornadoes. We'll talk live with the governor of Indiana.

And we'll remember Memorial Day with a World War II veteran who waited 60 years for his Silver Star.

Those stories and much more. We are just a few minutes away on "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS."

Right now, back to the guys on CROSSFIRE.

CARLSON: Welcome back.

Time now for "Rapid Fire," where the questions are crisp, the answers even crisper. Our topic this Memorial Day, the ongoing battle between the president and his challenger, John Kerry.

In the CROSSFIRE, Democratic strategist Peter Fenn, and Cliff May, head of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

BEGALA: Cliff, last week in the Bush-Cheney Web site, Anthony Principi, the secretary of veterans affairs, wrote -- and I quote -- "Our active military responds better to Republicans," saying that soldiers fight harder if we have a Republican president. First, isn't that a slur on every veteran who fought under FDR, Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, John F. Kennedy? And, second, isn't that a hell of a thing for a guy to say who's trying to cut veterans' benefits?

MAY: I don't think we should cut veterans' benefit. And I think he's just taking a look at polling.

(CROSSTALK)

MAY: He's looking at the polling. And you and I both know that people in the service tend to vote overwhelmingly Republican.

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: He's said they fight better.

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: He's nuts, isn't he? He's an incompetent

(CROSSTALK)

MAY: I think this is an important point.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: Wait, I'm sorry. This is "Rapid Fire." I've got to be rapid.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: And speaking of veterans, Rolling Thunder, mostly Vietnam Veterans on Harleys, came to town this weekend, promptly endorsed President Bush. Why wouldn't they enforce fellow war hero John Kerry?

FENN: Listen, a lot of veterans are endorsing him. He's got veterans at every stop. And I tell you, when they find out

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: When they find out -- he can ride a Harley, I know.

When they find out that he's going to cut $910 million from Veterans Affairs, according to that last White House memo last week, then boom. We've got them.

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: The VFW, a larger group than the cool old guys on Harleys, call the Bush budget disgraceful to veterans. What specific policy has President Bush helped veterans on?

MAY: Look, I think the president's policies on veterans overall are pro-veteran. And I think if there's going to be a fight between John Kerry and President Bush who gives the most to veterans, I don't think that's one you're going to do very well on.

CARLSON: Now, John Kerry, this foreign policy genius, Peter, when he spoke to "The New York Times" the other day, brought an aide with him, Jamie Rubin, very smart guy, and a little briefing book, which he had to read during the interview. That's kind of sad, isn't it?

(BELL RINGING)

FENN: You're comparing him to our president of the United States?

CARLSON: Yes, I am.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

FENN: OK, well, we'll have this debate any day. He wrote a book called "A New War" seven years ago.

CARLSON: I read it. Not so good.

FENN: Not so good. He -- 598 days ago, he got up on the floor of the Senate and called for having NATO involved, having the United Nations involved. And I think this next president is pretty good on foreign policy.

CARLSON: That sounds like it's the next show.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: Peter Fenn

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: ... our favorite guests, thank you very much.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: Thank you, Cliff.

CARLSON: Up next, living really large. A new online board game from the RNC shows just how much it would cost you if you tried to live like John Kerry. Don't try this at home.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON: Welcome back.

When it comes to political gamesmanship, the Internet is turning out to be a key battleground. For instance, the Republican National Committee has a new board game on its Web site. It's called "Kerryopoly." Roll the dice and visit one of John Kerry's many, many multimillion-dollar homes, ride his handmade motorcycle, take a trip in his $700,000 speedboat. The point, the rich really are like you and me, except they have a lot more stuff and sometimes they run very annoying presidential campaigns.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

BEGALA: Of course, George W. Bush never traded off his family's wealth, the estate in Kennebunkport, the ranch in Crawford.

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: My favorite thing is, daddy bought him the United States Supreme Court.

CARLSON: No, but you know what, Paul?

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

BEGALA: From the left, I am Paul Begala. That's it for CROSSFIRE.

CARLSON: They stole the election. I won't even try.

From the right, I'm Tucker Carlson. Join us again tomorrow, Tuesday, for yet more CROSSFIRE.

Have a great rest of Memorial Day.

(APPLAUSE)

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


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