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JUDY WOODRUFF'S INSIDE POLITICS

Washington Prepares for State Funeral; Interview With Ken Duberstein; Reagan and the Deficit

Aired June 8, 2004 - 15:30   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
ANNOUNCER: Getting ready to honor Ronald Reagan: Washington prepares for a state funeral.

An overflow of people and traffic: tens of thousands line up to say good-bye. We'll speak with President Reagan's last chief of staff.

Immortalizing Reagan: should our 40th President be put on the $10 Bill?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Alexander Hamilton has been on the Bill for a long time. This is no disrespect to him. But in the past, when president's have passed away, they've replaced other people who weren't presidents.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: Now, live from Washington, JUDY WOODRUFF'S INSIDE POLITICS.

JUDY WOODRUFF, HOST: Thank you for joining us.

As tens of thousands in California wait long hours to view the casket of Ronald Reagan, officials here in Washington are preparing for the nation's first state funeral in three decades. This morning, near the Capitol, the military held a dress rehearsal for its roles in the funeral, including this test firing of a 21-gun salute. The servicemen are also preparing the horse-drawn caisson that will be used in the funeral procession, a sight most often identified with the funeral of the late John F. Kennedy.

Also, the Marine band nicknamed The President's Own assembled to rehearse its part in the ceremonies. The band, of course, is a fixture at White House -- official White House events and presidential inaugurations.

For more now on the events honoring the life of Ronald Reagan, let's go back to California and our Ted Rowlands. He's standing by at the gathering point for mourners who are headed into the Reagan Library.

Hi, Ted.

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Judy. Continuing procession here, thousands of people making their way through the process. It's now down to just a couple hours for folks that want to take part in this process, which is so important to the family to allow Californians to pay their respects to Ronald Reagan. It is estimated that more than 60,000 people have come to take advantage of this opportunity and have made that now familiar one to two minute walk around the president's flag-draped casket up at the presidential library in Simi Valley.

Folks that are here really do truly run the gamut. People that remember President Reagan as their governor here in California, others remember him as an actor. And there are many children as well.

The current governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, has come by. A few minutes ago, actress Bo Derek made the walk around. The most poignant moment, however, in terms of emotional stirring, something that really stirred a lot of people's emotions, was when a group of Boy Scouts lined an entire side of the casket and then all gave the former commander in chief a salute, all at once, and then walked out.

A lot of school children are here. We saw a school bus parked outside. An impromptu field trip most likely there.

A lot of parents want their children to take advantage of this opportunity in history. And because of the overwhelming response, the library has extended the hours for visitation until 10:00 tonight local time. Folks have to be in place, however, here at Moorpark College by 3:00 in the afternoon if they want to pay a final respect to President Reagan -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Ted Rowlands, thank you very much. I was right where you are just yesterday, and the crowds have not diminished in size at all. Ted, thank you very much.

Well, President Bush and Senator John Kerry have suspended their official campaign activities this week. Both campaigns, however, continue to run television ads, although both sides plan to bring down those ads for 24 hours on Friday. That's the day of Ronald Reagan's funeral.

Senator Kerry arrives in California just a short time from now, where he is expected to travel to the Reagan Library to pay his respects. Kerry was already scheduled to be in the state to attend his daughter's graduation from film school.

President Bush is, of course, at the G-8 summit on the Georgia coast. After a lunchtime meeting with the Japanese prime minister, Mr. Bush told reporters why he admired Ronald Reagan.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Ronald Reagan will go down in history as a great American President because he had a core set of principles from which he would not deviate. He understood that a leader is a person who sets clear goals and makes decisions based upon principles that are etched in his soul. And our nation will miss him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: With me now to talk more about Ronald Reagan is Ken Duberstein. He was chief of staff to Ronald Reagan during the final years of his presidency.

Ken Duberstein, good to see you.

KEN DUBERSTEIN, FMR. REAGAN CHIEF OF STAFF: Great seeing you as always, Judy.

WOODRUFF: You were not only chief of staff, you were part of the congressional liaison at the White House during the first years of the Reagan presidency. Talk about how Ronald Reagan was different as a politician from the many other politicians you've known over the years.

DUBERSTEIN: What Ronald Reagan did as the great communicator was also listening. That was part of being a great communicator. And what he did was listened to Republicans and Democrats alike.

He understood that this was all about coalition building, that a congressman or senator couldn't be with you on this vote, but could be with you on the next vote. I remember this congressman coming down to the oval office and saying to the President, "You know, you're twisting my arm and you're the best lobbyist in the world." And Reagan saying, "No, I'm the second best lobbyist. The best lobbyist is the person back home who votes in your district. And what I have to do is inspire him or her to put pressure on you to follow what I want to do."

WOODRUFF: But he said that, never having served in a legislature. I mean, in fact, it's hard to imagine Ronald Reagan as ever having been a legislator a congressman.

DUBERSTEIN: Oh, no, because he was a decision-maker and a visionary. He was a bold-stroked leader. And what he did, though, was saying, look, everybody thinks I can't win on Capitol Hill. I have old Tip O'Neill and those -- so many more Democrats. And the only way I can do it is by reaching out.

Yes, I have my principles. Yes, I have my core beliefs. But you know something? At the end of the day, I'll take 80 percent of what I want and come back the next year for the additional 20 percent.

WOODRUFF: He did have those core beliefs, Ken Duberstein. But did you see him change his views on anything over the time you worked for him?

DUBERSTEIN: Not really, because what he did, though, was grow. And what Ronald Reagan, the first term, did by building up our national security, was in an effort to build down later on with the then Soviet Union. But he had to convince the American people, in fact, the world population, that what he was embarked on, national security, would be the keystone to making sure that the Soviets came to the table.

That was growth because he wanted to be remembered as a peacemaker. He couldn't deal with the Russian presidents because they all kept dying on him, as he used to say, until Gorbachev.

WOODRUFF: Right. Let's talk very quickly about the campaign that we're now in the middle of, the presidential campaign. There are those around George W. Bush who are trying now to compare him to Ronald Reagan and to point out the parallels between the two men. Do you see strong parallels between the two?

DUBERSTEIN: Well, as a matter of fact, you know, I remarked before that his name may be Bush, but his heart belongs to Reagan. He is that bold-stroked primary colors leader that -- somebody who has this big vision and wants to stick to it. I don't think this is the week to make comparisons, but I'll tell you, George W. Bush, his heart does belong to the Reagan and the Reagan philosophy.

WOODRUFF: So as somebody said, he stands on the shoulders of Ronald Reagan? Is that -- he is going to...

DUBERSTEIN: Well, I'd -- rather than the shoulders, I would say the heart and the beliefs are pure Reagan. He is a Reaganite.

WOODRUFF: Ken Duberstein, very good to see you. Thank you for coming by, Ken Duberstein, chief of staff to Ronald Reagan.

DUBERSTEIN: Thanks so much, Judy.

WOODRUFF: Thanks so much. Great.

DUBERSTEIN: Thanks.

WOODRUFF: In the Reagan era, spiraling budget deficits actually became standard operating procedure in Washington. But as our senior political analyst, Bill Schneider, explains, the 40th President never paid a political price for spending more than the federal government took in.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Speaker, the President of the United States.

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST (voice-over): Here's one thing Ronald Reagan did that he never intended to do. He made deficits politically acceptable. Reagan endorsed the controversial supply side theory of economics which said you could lower taxes...

RONALD WILSON REAGAN, FMR. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: A 10 percent across-the-board cut every year for three years.

SCHNEIDER: ... raise defense spending...

REAGAN: But I recommend increases in defense spending. SCHNEIDER: ... and balance the budget. How? Tax cuts would bring economic growth and more tax revenues. Presto, the deficit would go down. It didn't happen while Reagan was in office.

DAVID STOCKMAN, REAGAN BUDGET DIRECTOR: The deficit soared over $200 billion and people were worried. I was concerned as the budget director.

SCHNEIDER: For more than 10 years, the deficit roiled American politics. Politicians on all sides tried to make it an issue; Democrats Walter Mondale and Paul Tsongas, Republicans Phil Graham and Newt Gingrich, and Independent Ross Perot, to no avail.

Bill Clinton finally did something about the deficit when he first took office. He raised taxes. The result? For the first time in 40 years, Democrats lost control of Congress. But the economy started to boom and tax revenues soared. Republicans said because of Reagan's economic policy. They claimed Reagan was right all along.

REAGAN: But the real answer to -- to the deficit is recovery of the economy.

SCHNEIDER: So the second President Bush came in and followed the Reagan example, tax cuts followed by soaring deficits.

SEN. TOM DASCHLE (D-SD), MINORITY LEADER: We are repeating in many cases the same mistakes made in 1981 and '82.

SCHNEIDER: But the parties have switched places. For decades, the Republicans were the party of fiscal responsibility. It didn't do them a bit of good politically. Now the Democrats have grabbed that mantle.

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're going to restore the kind of fiscal responsibility we had in the 1990s.

SCHNEIDER: But polls show the deficit ranks low as a voter concern. There's no reason to expect President Bush to pay a political price for the deficit any more than President Reagan did.

Bill Schneider, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: The fans of Ronald Reagan have a new memorial in mind. Coming up, should the 40th president replace Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill?

A rare international victory on Iraq for President Bush as he kicks off a summit of world leaders. That story ahead.

And just weeks before the Democratic National Convention in Boston, convention planners have a problem on their hands.

You're watching INSIDE POLITICS, the place for campaign news.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: President Reagan left the Oval Office with the highest approval rating of any departing president. And he still gets high marks from Americans.

In a Gallup survey that surveyed mostly before Reagan's death on Saturday, 15 percent of the respondents rated him as an outstanding president. Forty-three percent said he will be remembered as above average. Thirty-one percent said average, six percent below average, and four percent said he was a poor president. Again, most of the people in that poll were surveyed before Reagan's death.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF (voice-over): Ronald Reagan will be buried Friday, but there are no worries about his legacy. While he was alive, Washington's National Airport was renamed in his honor. A massive federal building here in downtown D.C. was named after him. And a Navy aircraft carrier bears his name as well. Countless buildings and highways across the country also honor Ronald Reagan.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: And if the Reagan Legacy Project gets its way, Americans will soon be seeing a lot more of the 40th president. A move is under way to have Reagan replace founding father Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill.

With me now, Grover Norquist. He is the head of the Ronald Reagan Legacy Project.

Good to see you again.

GROVER NORQUIST, RONALD REAGAN LEGACY PROJECT: Delighted to be with you.

WOODRUFF: All right. There have already been, as we just said, bridges, buildings, airports and so forth named after Ronald Reagan. How much farther do you want to take this?

NORQUIST: Well, there are 62 things named after President Reagan, including Mount Reagan, which is right next to Mount Washington in New Hampshire. There are about 600 things named after John F. Kennedy and about 800 things named after Martin Luther King. So we're looking for something significant in each of the states, and eventually something significant in each county.

WOODRUFF: Why are you picking -- I brought a $10 bill along with President Hamilton on it, Alexander Hamilton. Why do you want to change the face on here?

NORQUIST: Well, over the last three years, I've been talking to leadership in the House and the Senate, folks in the Treasury Department, and said, what would be the appropriate way to honor President Reagan when he passes away? People looked at the $100 bill, the $50 bill, the $20, the $10. And the $10 and the $20 were the two that seemed most likely, as they're in general circulation.

The $20 is Alexander -- is Mr. Jackson, former President Andrew Jackson, who is a Democrat, who was bumped the last time by Alexander Hamilton off the $10. So the feeling was that, rather than bump a Democrat president, Alexander Hamilton has been on the $10 since 1928, he's been well honored by the country, he was a great secretary of the treasury. But of all the people on the currency, the only one who isn't a president. So the consensus decision -- it's not my decision, but talking to House and Senate and folks in the administration and so on, the $10 seemed the most reasonable.

WOODRUFF: But how much support do you have for this, Grover Norquist? I know there was an effort not long ago to change the image on the dime from Franklin Roosevelt to Ronald Reagan. Nancy Reagan herself said, I don't like the idea, I'm against it. What happened to that?

NORQUIST: Well, there are two things. No -- Nancy Reagan, when asked about Reagan Airport or anything else, makes it clear she's not pushing for these things. She is a very modest woman and her husband was a very great but also modest man.

So this is not something that Nancy Reagan is asking for or the Reagan family is asking for. This is something that a grateful nation is doing to honor a great president. So I don't want to make it sound as if Nancy's pushing for any of these. She's very clear she's not pushing for anything, including Reagan Airport or the aircraft carrier. However, the family would be delighted as we succeed in these things.

WOODRUFF: So they've let you know privately that they would be delighted if these changes happen on the coin -- on the coin or the...

NORQUIST: Well, we followed up with the airport, where Nancy Reagan was very complimentary to all the people who organized that, as well as the aircraft carrier. I certainly talk to Michael Reagan all the time, who is a great friend and a great supporter, and he is aware of our efforts to get things named after the president to honor him all over the country, including the $10 bill.

WOODRUFF: So who's with you? I mean, what -- and what do you think the odds are you can get this done?

NORQUIST: Sure. Oh, I think this will happen within the month. Senators and congressmen and folks in the administration can speak for themselves, but I've talked to the leadership on both sides of the aisle, and this is something that people are supportive of.

There's no known opposition to it. There's one possibility that Tom Daschle might filibuster. He had planned to filibuster against Reagan Airport and was going to lead the opposition to Reagan Airport. But the South Dakota legislature passed a resolution in support of Reagan Airport. This was read on the floor of the U.S. Senate. And Mr. Daschle sort of melted like the last -- second of the last scene in the "Wizard of Oz" movie.

WOODRUFF: Well, is there a constituency for poor Mr. -- for poor Alexander Hamilton, or is he going to get...

NORQUIST: Oh, Alexander Hamilton is a great American who did many, many things. A little bit of a protectionist, but otherwise had many strengths. And we will find him a nice stamp or some other home. But the $10 bill is, I think, where the consensus on the Hill is that Ronald Reagan will be memorialized.

WOODRUFF: So this $10 bill may be a collector's item...

NORQUIST: Yes.

WOODRUFF: ... with Alexander Hamilton's face on it.

NORQUIST: There are 1.5 billion of them in the world. So they're not going away, the Hamilton pictures.

WOODRUFF: Grover Norquist, who is the head of the Ronald Reagan Legacy Project, thanks very much. Good to see you again.

NORQUIST: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: Thank you.

A first-term North Carolina congressman is giving up his seat. Coming up, we'll tell you why Representative Frank Ballance resigned today.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Checking our Tuesday edition of "Campaign News Daily," a new poll in Michigan gives John Kerry a slim lead over President Bush. The EPIC-MRA Survey gives Kerry 47 percent and Bush 45 percent among likely voters. The results are the same as when likely Michigan voters were polled back in late March.

The head of Arizona's Democratting Party wants to know if a Republican is footing the bill to get Ralph Nader's name on the November ballot. The state party chairman has issued a press release claiming that a GOP consultant is paying petitioners to gather signatures for Nader. The consultant denies the claims. Nader's press secretary tells the Arizona Republic newspaper that Nader has collected enough signatures and doesn't need any help.

Tough talk by Al Gore has sparked a quick response by Florida's two Democratic senators. Gore, on Sunday, described Miami Dade mayor and current Senate hopeful, Alex Penelas, as "treacherous and dishonest" during Gore's losing 2000 election campaign. In response, Senator Bob Graham described Penelas as a good Democrat.

Senator Bill Nelson described Gore's comments as "slash and burn politics." Nelsons also said that Gore's comments, "don't help John Kerry in a state considered up for grabs come November."

North Carolina Democrat Frank Ballance resigned from Congress today, saying he is unable to carry out his duties because of a neuromuscular disorder. The 62-year-old Ballance was serving his first term in the House and was elected president of the Democratic freshman class. He had announced last month that he would not seek re-election because of his medical condition. State law requires North Carolina Governor Mike Easley to call a special election to fill Ballance's seat.

Well, things got personal today when Attorney General John Ashcroft went to Capitol Hill. Coming up, some very candid talk about sons in the military and fears of torture.

Plus, more worries about what the Democrats will find when they get to Boston next month.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: The president's in Georgia for the G-8 summit, but he's got his eye on the U.N. and expected victory on a key vote over Iraq.

BUSH: I'm delighted that we're about to get a Security Council resolution.

ANNOUNCER: The race for the White House goes on hiatus as the nation mourns the passing of our 40th president. But will Ronald Reagan's death give President Bush's bid for re-election a boost?

Nancy Reagan's become one of the biggest advocates of expanding stem cell research.

NANCY REAGAN, FMR. FIRST LADY: I just don't see how we can turn our backs on this.

ANNOUNCER: Will the passing of her husband put more pressure on President Bush to relax stem cell restrictions?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: Now, live from Washington, JUDY WOODRUFF'S INSIDE POLITICS.

WOODRUFF: Welcome back. Excuse me. Welcome back.

While much of the nation and official Washington are focused on the planned ceremonies honoring the life of Ronald Reagan, world leaders have been arriving throughout the day at the G-8 summit on the Georgia coast. President Bush is among the speakers at Friday's state funeral for former President Reagan. But until then, he is working on a number of important issues with his global counterparts, including a U.N. resolution on Iraq.

CNN White House correspondent Dana Bash is standing by now with more from Savannah, Georgia -- Dana.

DANA BASH, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Judy, the fact tha the U.N. is going to have a vote shortly on a new Iraq resolution is a political victory on the topic of Iraq that the White House has been waiting for some time on an issue that became an unexpected liability for them over the past several months. And the White House had hoped and had made compromises in order to ensure that they would get this at this time.

The timing here is critical for the White House because they wanted to kick off this summit here while the president is standing shoulder to shoulder with leaders who he agreed with Iraq on and also leaders who disagreed -- and more importantly leaders who disagreed with Iraq is absolutely critical to what the White House is trying to accomplish here. And they want to essentially show that the strains of the alliance are now over.

There you see a picture of one of the president's biggest foes on the war in Iraq, and that's Jacques Chirac, the president of France. He is arriving at this time to Sea Island for the summit.

And the president earlier today at a meeting, his first meeting of the day with the prime minister of Japan, talked about the fact that he is very, very happy that this resolution is likely to pass today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: I'm delighted that we're about to get a Security Council resolution. There were some who said we'd never get one. And it looks like if things go well, it would be a unanimous vote.

Thereby saying to the world that members of the Security Council are interested in working together to make sure that Iraq is free and peaceful and democratic. I think this is a very important moment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BASH: And it's an important moment, Judy, that the president's aides are trying very hard to make sure is noticed. A lot of the president's top aides were out doing interviews with the media today to make sure that people recognized that this is something that they see as very, very important in terms of moving forward with the alliance. And making sure that the strains of the past are no longer. And that is really the name of the game here in Georgia.

But the reality, Judy, is that this resolution is largely symbolic. The White House acknowledges that it's unlikely to see more troops on the ground from these various countries and unlikely to seek financial assistance.

But clearly what they want to make sure is, for example, John Kerry and his attacks on President Bush as being a unilateralist is somehow assuaged with these pictures and with this new U.N. resolution -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right. Dana Bash reporting on that G-8 Summit getting under way. Dana, thank you very much.

Meantime back here in Washington, Attorney General John Ashcroft told the Senate Judiciary Committee today that any suggestion the Bush administration's conduct provided a basis for the torture of Iraqi prisoners, is, quote, "simply false."

However, Ashcroft refused to answer senators' questions about reports that a 2002 Justice Department memo offers justification for the use of torture.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN ASHCROFT, ATTORNEY GENERAL: I condemn torture. I think it's...

SEN. JOE BIDEN (D-DE), JUDICIARY CMTE: So it's not justified then?

ASHCROFT: I don't think it's productive let alone justified.

BIDEN: Well I don't either.

And by the way there's a reason -- I'll conclude by saying there's a reason to sign the treaties. To protect my son in the military. That's why we have these treaties. So when Americans are captured they are not tortured. That's the reason. In case anybody forgets it, that's the reason.

ASHCROFT: Well, as a person whose son is in the military now on active duty and has been in the Gulf within the last several months, I'm aware of those considerations -- and I care about your son.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: Attorney General John Ashcroft. The attorney general told the senators that since we are in the middle of a war, he said it is not in the nation's best interest to discuss all of the legal ramifications of the war.

Preparations continue here in the nation's capital for Friday's state funeral for Ronald Reagan. Military personnel this morning rehearsed the 21-gun salute and other parts of the formal ceremonies, planned to honor the formal president.

In California, meantime, the crowds continue to stream by the casket of the Reagan presidential library. The size of the crowds have forced library officials to extend the planned viewing hours until 10:00 p.m. local time tonight.

The wait for shuttle buses to the library has at times been estimated at more than 12 hours long. Freeway traffic near the library has been snarled by the crush of would-be visits who are were hoping to pay their last respects.

CNN has also confirmed the Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry will go to the library this afternoon to pay his respects to the late president. Senator Kerry is in California for his daughter's graduation from film school. The senator reminisced about the former president today telling reporters that Reagan was, quote, "a very likable guy." Kerry added he met with Reagan more often than the current President Bush ever did.

The death of Ronald Reagan has put the presidential race more or less on hold. Political experts are wondering what effect Reagan's passing might have on the race.

In a new Gallup Poll taken mostly before news of Reagan's death, John Kerry had increased his lead over George Bush to six percentage points in a head to head match up. Kerry's lead was two points back in May.

When asked if they approve or disapprove of the way Bush is handling his job as president, likely voters were evenly split, 49 percent approving, 49 percent disapproving.

With me now to talk more about Ronald Reagan and the issues in the current race, CNN political analyst Ron Brownstein of "The Los Angeles Times."

Ron, do you think the death of Ronald Reagan an all the events around it will have an effect on the campaign?

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: In the long run, I don't think so, Judy. This is a consequential election for Americans. This is not a sort of a froth and spin election.

It's a one in which people -- I was out in Minnesota over the weekend talking to voters. They see real choices on the table here, primarily about Iraq, to a lesser extent about the economy.

In the short run, the focus on Ronald Reagan, a successful Republican president, improves the Republican brand, it shifts the focus away from some of the things that have been troubling Americans, particularly in Iraq.

And it allows President Bush to excel on Friday at one of the roles that's available to the president, being the leader of the country rather than the leaders of a party. So in all those way it's likely to be a short term benefit. In the long run this, is about bigger things.

WOODRUFF: But there are Republicans around George W. Bush who are trying to draw parallels between the younger Bush and Ronald Reagan. Of course, his father served as vice president, went on to succeed him in the White House. But they're saying it's the younger Bush who carries the mantle.

BROWNSTEIN: In some ways...

WOODRUFF: Can he get away with that?

BROWNSTEIN: First of all, in fact, I think it is true that in many ways Ronald Reagan is more the political parent of George W. Bush than George H.W. Bush. I've always felt that this president learned more from his father's failures than his successes. And in many ways what he learned was a style of leadership that is more akin to Reagan than to his own father.

Now whether that is a comparison that really matters to voters is another question. I think what President Bush is being compared against in the minds of voters is their expectations of him when he came in and how he measures up to those either positive or negative I think are much more important than a contrast with a president that is still 16 years in our past.

WOODRUFF: What about when either one of these candidates, George Bush or John Kerry is compared to Reagan? How do they stand up?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, look, I mean, as I say, I think there are comparisons, they are similarities between the way President Bush has approached the presidency. The bold stroke, the questions about some of the criticisms about lack of attention to detail, the desire to set a clear course, the attention to the conservative base that are much more like Ronald Reagan than they are like his father.

John Kerry, I suppose, in some of his comments and the point about meeting with Reagan more often than Bush did, is trying to like highlight different aspects of Reagan's precedence they might be useful to him. More conviviality with the other side, more willingness to reach across party lines at least on an informal, social basis.

And Democrats talk about a willingness to reverse course. Reagan raised taxes after 1981 when the deficit opened. He reversed course and become more willing to open the Soviet Union.

WOODRUFF: And is liked by many Democrats which is something that at least right now George Bush cannot say.

BROWNSTEIN: Reagan like Franklin Roosevelt, like Harry Truman has become large enough -- there are elements in his tradition that both parties can latch on to. And I think that's what we're really seeing.

They figure to some extent more than in his life, that his death is being raised above politics.

WOODRUFF: Ron Brownstein, thank you very much.

BROWNSTEIN: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: Still ahead, trouble at the site of the Democratic National Convention.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've been here since midnight last night. We have no expectation of leaving unless we're ejected from the premises.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: We'll find out why pickets and not delegates are Boston's top concern right now.

Also ahead what may be a lasting legacy of Ronald Reagan's long battle against Alzheimer's disease.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Ronald Reagan's death has renewed the debate over stem-cell research. Proponents say it holds the promise of finding ways to treat Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, some forms of cancer as well as spinal cord injuries. But for some there is a severe ethical dilemma. Stem cells are derived from aborted fetuses, that is the fetus type of stem cell, which is why President Bush has restricted federal funding to research that uses only 19 embryonic stem cell lines.

Nancy Reagan gave a speech last month calling on President Bush to open more stem cell lines to federal funding. Last week a bipartisan group, last Friday, of 58 U.S. senators also asked the president to broaden support for more research. But other lawmakers feel this is not a case where the ends justify the means and they say they are not sure about the science.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. RICK SANTORUM (R), PENNSYLVANIA: If you look at the scientific outlook of stem-cell research, it's very much unproven. I mean there really is no evidence that the point that this is going to be the panacea that people suggest it's going to be.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: Republican Senator Rick Santorum.

Well, Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah joins me from Capitol Hill. He's in favor of broadening support for stem cell research.

You were one of the leaders in getting that letter sent to the president last Friday. And by the way, you have laryngitis, and we appreciate your joining us. Have you heard back from the White House yet?

SEN. ORRIN HATCH (R), UTAH: We haven't, but keep in mind, these do not come from aborted fetuses. Where these stem cells come from are in vitro fertilized eggs that are going to be discarded anyway. They would die anyway. Why wouldn't we use those eggs that we would grow four to six days into blastocyst stage, take out the 150 to 200 embryonic stem cells and use those for the benefit of mankind? And you've just listed a few of the diseases that we might be able to find treatments or cures for.

You know, it's important for us to work for the living as well, and I think most scientists -- I've talked to all kinds of Nobel laureates -- are on the side of pushing ahead with embryonic stem cell research, getting NIH, the National Institutes of Health involved to set the moral and ethical standards pursuant to which this type of science can be conducted. And that's the way it should be done.

WOODRUFF: Well, we appreciate the clarification on where those stem cells come from, including the embryonic stem cells.

But president bush has basically -- his argument has been: Let's let the private sector do this. You don't need the federal government involved.

Why isn't that practical?

HATCH: Well, you do need the federal government because NIH, the National Institutes of Health, these are federal agencies who could set the ethical parameters and the ethical standards pursuant to which this type of scientific research can be conducted, and the rest of the world would pay attention to what they do. So it's very, very important that we get them involved.

Plus, it's very expensive to get this research going. It'll take, according to most scientists I've talked to, up to 20 years to be able to find treatments or cures, but during that time we can find out what caused those diseases, what are the derivation of diseases, and we could do an awful lot for mankind to help alleviate the suffering that so many people have from children right on up to aged people like Ronald Reagan who suffer from Alzheimer's.

WOODRUFF: Senator Hatch, I was going to say, another argument we hear, just quickly from George Bush, is that why not try adult stem cell lines?

HATCH: Well, we are doing that, and we do believe that should be done, but most scientists do agree that adult stem cells do not hold out nearly the promise that embryonic stem cells do.

We should do that as well. But there's no reason why we should not take these in vitro fertilization eggs that are going to be discarded and thus die anyway and utilize them for the benefit of mankind. We should do that.

WOODRUFF: With now, you have not only former First Lady Nancy Reagan, you've got more than half of the United States Senate telling the president to do this. But do you really believe he may change his mind and reconsider?

HATCH: Well, keep in mind, he didn't take the complete side of those who say that that fertilized egg is a human being. That's no question it's a human cell, but it doesn't have a chance of becoming a human being unless it's implanted in a womb. And President Bush thought there could be as many as between 70 and 80 stem cell lines that could be utilized.

Unfortunately, at the most there are about 19, and even some of those are adulterated by mouse stem cells. And by the way, they're mostly Caucasian lines, wealthy Caucasian lines. There are not the ethnic lines that need to be had and need to be worked with for the benefit of African-Americans and others.

So I believe that he was open enough to allow these lines to be developed that exist, and I think that -- I'm hopeful we can persuade him to agree to let NIH get involved and set these standards so that we can continue this really earth-shaking research that could benefit mankind.

WOODRUFF: We'll going to have to leave it there. Senator Orrin Hatch, sounding like he is hopeful for a change of view on the part of President Bush.

Thanks very much, Senator. Good to see you.

HATCH: Good to see you.

WOODRUFF: And take care of that voice.

HATCH: I will, thanks.

WOODRUFF: All right. We appreciate it.

Coming up, revealing Ronald Reagan. We're going to hear from an expert who has co-edited several books on the former president. And much of her research came from Reagan's personal papers and letters.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Several books published after Ronald Reagan left the Oval Office shed new light on the man and his vision for the United States and the world. Among them, the "New York Times" bestseller "Reagan In His Own Hand." Kiron Skinner is with the Hoover Institution and she co-edited that book and three others on Ronald Reagan. She's with us now live from New York. You have a fifth book on Ronald Reagan's radio address that's coming out in the fall, is that right?

KIRON SKINNER, HOOVER INSTITUTION: Yes. Co-edited with Martin and Annelise Anderson. We've done the previous four together. "Reagan's Path to Victory" is the final volume of Reagan's radio essays written in the late 70s after he stepped down as governor and before he launched his successful 1980 presidential campaign.

WOODRUFF: Are you breaking new ground with this research?

SKINNER: I think that we are. In 1996 Mrs. Reagan gave me access to President Reagan's private papers for work I was doing on the end of the Cold War. And along the way as I went through the boxes I found thousands of pages of Reagan's handwritten material, letters, speeches, radio essays from the 70s and I began sharing them with colleagues of the Hoover Institution including Martin Anderson and Annelise Anderson, two economists who'd worked with Reagan in his campaign and earlier in his presidency and including Secretary Shultz who has written the foreword, George Shultz.

For all of these volumes, for everyone, even though close to Reagan, they were literally surprised by what he was doing in his private life, really, on his own time and how engaged he was and how it shed a different angle on Reagan the man and his leadership style.

WOODRUFF: Help us understand what was so revolutionary about Ronald Reagan's thinking as is reflected in his writing.

SKINNER: I think he's known, of course, as a great communicator and I said that their yesterday in another interview and there's no doubt that he was one of the greatest speech givers of the late 20th century, but he revealed himself and he articulated his policies very clearly in one-to-one letters and in his radio essays. He just seemed very comfortable with the medium of writing letters, writing essays, and writing speeches alone in a room and he was just, I think, incredibly clear in what he would state.

For example, early in his presidency, seven months in, he wrote a letter to someone who had written him at the White House and this person was complaining that he wasn't giving a grand strategy for dealing with the Soviet Union to the American public and Reagan wrote back and said, "I do have a foreign policy plan. I don't believe in putting it in quotation marks. I believe that quiet diplomacy is more effective and the minute you go public it's hard do some of the things that in fact work with adversaries and even allies." That's Ronald Reagan, I think, at his best. You didn't hear him ever saying that in a speech, but he said it in a letter.

WOODRUFF: How far back does your research go? Do you look at some of the writings when he was making the transition from being a Democrat to a Republican?

SKINNER: In the "Letters" book, "Reagan: A Life in Letters," the one that was published last fall by the Free Press, we go back to his early childhood more than 70 years of Reagan's letter-writing from age 11 to his Alzheimer's letter in 1994 and we find Reagan throughout every phase of his life and career showing his kind of political style, his thinking about politics. There's a letter to Hugh Hefner that my co-author Martin Anderson retrieved from an archive at the -- "Playboy" archives and found that Reagan was really talking about his translation from a Democrat to a Republican and saying that his political philosophy was in place, but he was evolving in terms of how the Democratic party was, the direction it was going and he was evolving in a much different way. So he talks about every facet of his life, politically and in social terms in letters.

WOODRUFF: It's fascinating and I wish we could spend much more time talking with you about it because there's so much to examine, but Kiron Skinner, again, four books she has co-edited and a fifth one coming out this fall looking at Reagan's radio address. Very good to see you.

SKINNER: Thank you so much.

WOODRUFF: Thank you so much for stopping by. We appreciate it.

Still ahead, police officers and other union workers walk the picket lines in Boston. There is concern the dispute could have an effect on the Democratic National Convention just weeks from now.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: There is growing concern in Boston that some labor union unrest could affect next month's Democratic convention. Members of the police union began picketing this morning to protest stalled contract talks. Other union workers including firefighters and trade workers joined the protest. The picketing could delay the construction project that will turn the Fleet Center into a convention center. The Democratic gathering gets underway July the 26. Mark your calendars if you haven't already done that. That's it for INSIDE POLITICS. I'm Judy Woodruff. Thank you for joining us. Be sure to join me tomorrow for a special 90-minute edition of INSIDE POLITICS beginning at 3:00 p.m. Eastern, Noon Pacific. I'll be live from Capitol Hill as the late President Reagan's body is flown to Washington to lie in state in the Capitol rotunda. Thanks for watching, "CROSSFIRE" starts right now.

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