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Bush to Meet With E.U. Leaders; Cheney Uses f-Word

Aired June 26, 2004 - 09:00   ET


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, this is CNN SATURDAY MORNING. I'm Drew Griffin.
BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Betty Nguyen. Good morning. And if you're just waking up on the West Coast, thanks for starting your day with us.

There's a lot going on today. We're awaiting two live events, one from Baghdad, where we understand coalition forces will be holding a news conference, that is with Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt and Dan Senor. And this is a live look in Ireland, where the president will be speaking, along with the Irish prime minister, Bertie Ahern. And we'll be taking a live look there in just a moment as the president starts his speech.

GRIFFIN: Also ahead, he's called one of the most dynamic and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) generation. Some believe that what T.D. Jakes has planned next could revolutionize the way Christians worship. We're going to take a closer look at his style later.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Did you hear what happened with...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I heard Dick Cheney telling everybody to [expletive deleted] off.

MOOS: See? Now I have to bleep you.


NGUYEN: The bleep and the veep. What Dick Cheney said was shocking. But CNN's Jeanne Moos found plenty of evidence that he's not the only politician afflicted with the curse.

First, though, today's headlines.

GRIFFIN: Rebuilding Iraq has been a high priority at today's European Union summit in Ireland. In a joint statement, the U.S. and E.U. leaders agree that Baghdad needs and deserves strong international support. That includes reducing $120 billion of international debt that Iraq owes, and helping to train Iraqi security forces. President Bush leaves Ireland in a few hours to travel to Turkey. The NATO summit begins Monday in Istanbul. Turkish officials have vowed to tighten security after a pair of bombings this week in Ankara and Istanbul.

A third round of talks aimed at curbing North Korea's nuclear program ends with little progress. Representatives from six nations met in Beijing to try and push for disarmament. North Korea says it will give up its nuclear program if the United States agrees to an aid package and promises security guarantees. Another round of talks scheduled by the end of September.

Britain taking its turn now, hosting the Olympic torch. A number of British athletes and celebrities are running the flame through the streets of London, the torch on its way, eventually, to the Athens Summer Games in August.

NGUYEN: President Bush is wrapping up his visit to Ireland for a U.S.-European Union summit, and he's been seeking support from the European community to help stabilize Iraq. He is supposed to be speaking at this moment, but he is waiting on reporters who are stuck because protesters are in the streets in Ireland.

And we want to go now live to Chris Burns, who is on the phone from Newmarket-on-Fergus in Ireland to talk to us about this protest and how that is stopping today's news conference. Chris?

CHRIS BURNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Betty, we are just scrambling out of the bus right now. We've just gotten to Dromoland (ph) Castle, where the press conference is going to take place. It has now been delayed at least 15 minutes now. We're waiting -- as the leaders were waiting for us to arrive.

We were blocked by hundreds of protesters who were blocking major highways around Dromoland Castle protesting President Bush's visit over his policy in Iraq and over the use of Shannon, nearby Shannon Airport to, as a byway for U.S. troops to go to and from Iraq.

So apparently we're (UNINTELLIGIBLE), we found a way around it. We've been driving for an hour and a half to get there. And normally it's about a 10-minute drive from where our press hotel is. So it was quite a bit of an ordeal, at least for the drivers, and rather comical for us to watch how things were just being blocked and unable to move.

But at this point, we are here, and I -- it looks like the press conference will be starting in just a few minutes, Betty.

NGUYEN: Just a little bit delayed because of those protesters. Tell us what police are doing about that, because you said it was supposed to be just a 10-minute drive. But obviously, it took much, much longer. Are these protesters just simply in the streets? Are police trying to curb this?

BURNS: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) protesters have obviously been successful in blocking roads. We were stuck in a traffic jam that we had to pull out of. It was -- you know, they have deployed some 6,000 troops and police. If you count the -- apparently there's some 600 or so protesters. So it's more about 10 security forces for every single protester. And still they were unable to block -- to keep these protesters from being successful in blocking us.

But it is under way now. We are taking our places, and the press conference should be beginning in the next few moments.

NGUYEN: And as you met with these protesters, was there any violence in the streets today?

BURNS: No, there was -- not that we saw, as the -- And we had the crews out filming around. It was actually a rather festive event, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) what we saw. What we saw was quite -- actually kind of like a festival, really. People were marching, and at the head of the cortege, where people who were staging what they said was a citizens (UNINTELLIGIBLE) arrest, and they had somebody dressed up who they said was President Bush dressed up as a monkey, they were arresting and putting him a cage. A rather comical thing.

But no violence at all. It was really quite in good spirit, as it had been in Dublin yesterday. There were some 10,000 people who turned out also against the President Bush visit.

NGUYEN: Chris Burns on the phone from Newmarket-on-Fergus in Ireland. And of course, Chris, we'll be getting back to you live there when the president does start speaking. So we'll continue to monitor this.

But for now, Drew?

GRIFFIN: Four days and counting now to the handover in Iraq. Iraqi insurgents are maintaining their drive to derail that transfer of power to Iraq's interim government. A few hours ago, witnesses say a car bomb exploding, killing one person, wounding 20, in the Kurdish city of Erbil in northern Iraq.

In Baquba, attackers targeted this Shi'ite political party headquarters. They killed two guards there. They also attacked a building used by Interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's party. Nobody hurt in that attack.

The U.S. general in charge of training Iraqi forces tells our Christiane Amanpour American troops will continue to help provide security after the government changeover.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Realistically, come June 30, this next week, how much of a back seat is the U.S. force going to be able to take?

LT. GEN. DAVID PETRAEUS, OFFICE OF SECURITY TRAINING: Well, I think that you will see Iraqi security forces more prominently, if you will, in the front lines. But coalition forces very much in the background, standing behind them, if you will. That's important. In some cases with them, in some cases around the corner from them. Certainly, they are to provide backup.

One of the critical components of what must happen in the days and weeks ahead is that there must be a sense of Iraqi security forces, that if they get in trouble, coalition forces will come to the rescue, if need be.

Interestingly, oftentimes, when they know that, when Iraqi security forces are aware of that, they don't call for it, but it does stiffen them and stiffen their resolve and give them psychological confidence, if you will, to stay the course.

AMANPOUR: Thursday, in many parts of the country, there were coordinated attacks. Can you give me an assessment of the seriousness of the threat?

PETRAEUS: Well, I think it is a very serious threat. These are very serious terrorists, some of them, clearly, from outside the country, perhaps increasingly so.

Make no mistake about it. These attacks are no longer at the coalition or just at the coalition. These are attacks on Iraq. They're designed to frustrate the progress, to disrupt the progress, maybe to make the new Iraq fail, because if it succeeds in its new conception, then they are out.

It's, again, extremists. It's Saddamists, and in some cases it's violent criminals who don't want law and order to return. That's a very combustible mixture in a country that (UNINTELLIGIBLE) is still, in large measure, is awash in weaponry that still has caches all over the place that we're policing up as quickly as we can find them, but which were squirreled away in holes and basements and houses many, many months ago, and are still being employed.

AMANPOUR: We've always been told that these are nobodies and nothings and thugs, but they have mounted such an offensive that handover is being accelerated, and jobs haven't been done. Democracy hasn't been solidified. Your forces aren't up and running yet. Do you think people grasped the nature of this threat?

PETRAEUS: Well, I think we grasped the seriousness of it. I think that there is a constant searching for specifically who is behind it, specifically how are they coming into the country, who is funding it, how are they communicating, where are the safe houses, where are the rat lines? We have been going after these guys all along.

And that, at times, they have been able to establish new beachheads, if you will. And that's what happened most recently, clearly, that they have been able to create basically a ring of truck bomb manufacturers around the country, and they've been able to explode one a day, certainly, for several weeks.

AMANPOUR: So how do you plan, for instance, to retake Fallujah? I mean, can a Taliban-like Fallujah be allowed to exist in a new Iraq? And if not, how does one retake it, particularly after June 30?. PETRAEUS: Sure. Clearly, it can't. And I would not write off the Fallujah brigade just yet. That is one that I think you need to watch awhile. Some of these you do need to give a little bit of time to. On the other hand, I mean, we have not been hesitant in striking absolutely confirmed safe houses of Zarqawi and his associates.

And I'm sure you know very well that there was one bomb that went into that house, and sometime later, a huge explosion. And it wasn't from the bomb, it was from the massive amount of explosives that were stockpiled there.

So that type of intelligence has been coming. It has been enabling precision, but lethal, very lethal, strikes like that.


GRIFFIN: The transfer of power meant to take place on Wednesday.

It brings us to our e-mail question for you this morning, dealing with the issue, What should the U.S. role be in Iraq after that handover? We will read some of your e-mails later in the hour, if you want to write to us right now. It's

NGUYEN: And we invite you to stay with CNN as we are awaiting a news conference out of Ireland, where President Bush will be speaking, along with Bertie Ahern, which is the Irish prime minister. This is part of the first of two summits over the next five days. And we'll be learning a lot more about what was discussed. That's coming up right here on CNN SATURDAY MORNING.


GRIFFIN: Live event in Ireland. This is British Prime Minister Bertie Ahern introducing a news conference after the European summit.


GRIFFIN: Senator John Breaux, known as one of the most moderate Democrats on the Hill, now he's decided to hang up his congressional hat. And he is in The Novak Zone with Robert Novak.


ROBERT NOVAK, HOST: Welcome to The Novak Zone.

We're at the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., with Senator John Breaux, Democrat of Louisiana, who is retiring from Congress after 32 years in the House and Senate.

Senator Breaux, you have a great reputation as a moderate, somebody who tries to get Democrats and Republicans together. Are you the last of the moderates?

SEN. JOHN BREAUX (D), LOUISIANA: I certainly hope not, Bob. I think that, you know, there will be someone else step into my shoes certainly, and do as equally or better job than I. I think we've tried to set the pattern for what I think is important, people working together, regardless of party, to get things done.

The American people are demanding that more and more. There will be someone who will be right in there doing that.

GRIFFIN: But in all candor,it's been a little tougher for a moderate in recent years, hasn't it?

BREAUX: It's been difficult. I remember back when I first came to the Congress, there was a real role for moderates. I think people were less concerned about which party won and which party lost and more concerned about just making things work and getting things done.

So definitely different atmosphere back in those days.

NOVAK: You were only 28 years old when you were elected to the House of Representatives from Louisiana. How was it for a young guy dealing with all of these important people in those days?

BREAUX: Well, it was really intimidating. I mean, a lot of times they wouldn't let me on the members' elevator. They thought I was the elevator operator and they'd say, Sorry, son, members only.

But, you know, I think this is a place where, if you work hard and know the subject matter, they'll accept you regardless of the age. I think perhaps today it's maybe even easier as more and more younger members, particularly in the House, are elected on a regular basis. It's not the exception like it used to be.

NOVAK: Senator, when I first came here, of the 11 states of the old Confederacy, they had 22 Democratic senators. Now it's 14 Republicans, eight Democrats. May even change a little more in the next election. Why is that?

BREAUX: Well, I think a lot of people felt that there was a growing moderation or conservativism in a great deal of the South. Everybody, when I was starting out, was a Democrat. I think many of those really were more Republican. And then they sort of shook out and became registered Republicans.

And I always felt, look, I want to help change my party, not change parties. And I think that there's a legitimate role for moderate conservative Democrats. And I've always tried to help the party move in that direction, sometimes successfully and sometimes less.

NOVAK: Senator, you are one of the powers in the Senate Finance Committee and been an advocate of Medicare reform. But Medicare isn't reformed. Social Security isn't reformed. A lot of people think the tax system needs reform. Are you a little disappointed that you're leaving Congress with those things undone?

BREAUX: Well, I think we're -- I'm really proud of the work that we've done on Medicare reform. For the first time, Medicare will cover prescription drugs. And we've involving more individual responsibility in terms of people who are on Medicare and taking physicals. And I think we're moving in the right direction. We still have a long way to go. But that was a real accomplishment.

Social Security is in decent shape, but I think we ought to have more individual responsibility in helping to achieve and create wealth. Social Security can do that. There's a lot left to do.

I mean, government is something that we'll always have something challenging them here in this city.

NOVAK: Senator, it's been reputed that you were offered the job as the head of the Motion Picture Association, Jack Valenti's job, one of the great jobs in Washington. Pays a lot of money, a lot of interesting work. Why did you turn it down?

BREAUX: I just didn't think it was a good fit. I mean, it was -- Jack Valenti has worked at that job eight days a week, 25 hours a day. I'm looking for doing different things and other things. And that would have been a single-focus job. And I have a great respect for the industry as a great industry, but it just wasn't a good fit.

NOVAK: Senator Breaux, you have a good time with the Mardi Gras celebration from your state here in Washington. You have a lot of fun doing that. I get the feeling, though, that the people here on the Hill don't have as much fun as they used to. Am I right?

BREAUX: Absolutely. I mean, you know, Russell Long in those days used to get more done in an afternoon over a bottle of bourbon after working hours when they brought both sides together. Said, Look, now how are we going to work out this tax bill? And they got it done.

Now we got all of the complicated PR firms and trying to make each party a winner and the other party a loser. In the old days, it wasn't like that.

I mean, I think that there is a real need right now for getting back to some of those old ideas of getting together, having a drink, you know, traveling together. I mean, I think that ultimately produced better policy, and certainly a better atmosphere to achieve the goals that we're trying to achieve as a Congress.

NOVAK: John Breaux, you are reputed to be the -- easily the best tennis player in Congress. Do you have any regrets that you didn't make something of yourself and become a professional tennis player instead of a politician?

BREAUX: Oh, now you're hitting a real wonderful spot for me. I'd love to do that. But I didn't have the opportunity. When I was growing up, you didn't make money playing tennis or even golf. But nowadays, it's a whole new type of atmosphere. And I wish I had been born a little bit later, perhaps.

NOVAK: And now the big question for Senator John Breaux.

Senator, there has not been a Democrat elected president in the last 40 years who wasn't from the South. Is the Democratic Party taking a big risk this time in having a liberal from Massachusetts instead of a Southerner as its nominee?

BREAUX: You don't have to be born in the South to be able to speak Southern. I think if John Kerry learns to speak the language and address the concerns that we are concerned about in the South, he can be successful. If he has a Southerner as vice president, it would be a big help to him.

So you don't have to be born in the South to be able to win in the South. And I think he's capable of doing that.

NOVAK: John Breaux, thank you very much. Good luck in your life after Congress.

BREAUX: Thank you, Bob.

NOVAK: And thank you for being in The Novak Zone.


NGUYEN: Well, all morning long we've been asking you for your thoughts on our e-mail question of the day. And that question is, What should the U.S. role be in Iraq after the handover? Received a lot of comments.

Harry from Harrisburg writes, "Leave half of the troops there, and go after and take out Zarqawi. Send the other half to Afghanistan and finish off bin Laden. Then bring everybody home."

GRIFFIN: Glenn writes, "I feel we should keep a presence, much as the one we had in Guantanamo, Cuba. Any hostile neighbors of democratic Iraq would know we're just around the corner. And by now, they should know we will act."

NGUYEN: Thanks for all your comments that you wrote in to Of course, we will have another e-mail question tomorrow on CNN SUNDAY MORNING.

We do want to say good morning to Seattle. We will have your complete weather forecast in about 10 minutes. Nice and sunny there.

CNN SATURDAY MORNING continues in just a moment.


NGUYEN: Coming up at the top of the hour, it's "ON THE STORY." And we want to head now to Kathleen Hays in Washington for a review of what is ahead. Good morning.

KATHLEEN HAYS, "ON THE STORY": Hi, Betty. Well, we're "ON THE STORY" from here in Washington, to Atlanta, New York, and Baghdad. Jane Arraf is on the story of the deadly attacks in Iraq and how U.S. forces and Iraqis are reacting. Kelly Wallace has been following former president Clinton as his book rockets to the top of the bestseller list. I'll talk about that giant sex discrimination case against Wal-Mart. And Jeanne Meserve is on the story of the new eye in the sky to protect U.S. borders. All coming up, all "ON THE STORY." Back to you, Betty.

GRIFFIN: Kathleen, we'll take it here.

A look at our top stories.

President Bush has wrapped up a brief summit in Ireland. His plane awaits him in Shannon, Ireland, where Air Force One will soon depart for Ankara, Turkey. Mr. Bush and European leaders pledged full and sustained support for the new Iraq government. It could include some training of troops by European members. They also back the idea of NATO helping those security forces.

Next stop for the president, again, the NATO summit in Turkey. He overnights tonight in Turkey. The summit is tomorrow.

In Iraq, four days before the return of sovereignty, insurgents take aim at a political target in the north, an assault on two party offices in Baquba and a roadside bombing of a Kurdish government official's government in Erbil. The attacks left six people dead.

NGUYEN: Well, back here in the U.S., especially in the Southeast, rain, rain, and more rain. Rob, when is it going to stop?

ROB MARCIANO, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, sometime in September, I suppose.

Well, this time of year we get the humidity across the South and the Gulf of Mexico, and all you need is a little trigger point to pop up those showers and storms. And when it rains, it comes down pretty hard. And that's what we've been seeing across much of the South, although much of the attention will be focused across Texas and Louisiana today.

Morning showers across the Northeast, they will end. A beautiful day on top for much of the Midwest, including the Great Lakes and a lot of major cities, Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, even Minneapolis, although you're waking up to some cool temperatures.

The rains are just offshore south of Houston. Galveston, Texas, yesterday, over five inches of rain. There was some flooding there and in Houston. Right now, at least the bulk of the focal point of the rain around the Sabine River.

Scattered showers across Atlanta, across the Carolinas, the DelMarva Peninsula, some showers earlier, they're moving offshore now. And some showers now moving into western Mass. and through parts of New Hampshire, and they'll be pushing towards Boston over the next couple of hours. Generally speaking, the rain will be ending from west to east across the Northeast.

Looks like the West Coast is looking dry. There will be a couple of showers across parts of the Rocky Mountains.

Sixty-three degrees currently in Chicago, it's 55 degrees in Denver, 72. Here's your warmth, here's your humidity. Actually warm and humid across New York as well, 72. You'll feel less humidity tomorrow and a cooler, drier Canadian air mass. Good living on the West Coast, with temperatures wakening up from the Bay area and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) in Seattle into the mid-50s.

Here are your the high temperature forecast, 84 degrees in Salt Lake, 108 Phoenix, 72 degrees expected in Denver, with a threat for a thunderstorm there. And beautiful weather Chicago, St. Louis, through Kentucky, and across the Northeast as well.

As far as your Sunday is concerned, take a look at that. Not much change. Maybe a few degrees warmer across the Midwest. And these temperatures don't look different from today, but they will be more comfortable, because they'll be less humid and more sunshine.

Seventy-three in Denver, 88 degrees in Salt Lake. And tomorrow in Seattle, 68.

Here's a current live shot for you from the Emerald City. King is our affiliate out that way. We're looking at downtown, just over the buildings. You can see through the haze. That's Mount Rainier in the distance. And if we were able to pull that shot out, you would be able to see Puget Sound to the right, and the Space Needle as well. Fifty-five, a gorgeous wakeup call for folks across the Pacific as well.

NGUYEN: What a day in Seattle. Now, that's more like it, Rob.


GRIFFIN: Gay Pride festival in Seattle today, up on Capitol Hill.

MARCIANO: Yes, time, time for festivals out West (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

GRIFFIN: You bet.

NGUYEN: Thanks, Rob.


GRIFFIN: Plenty more ahead on CNN today. "ON THE STORY" is next at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. At 11:00, it's "PEOPLE IN THE NEWS," today a look at headline-makers Michael Moore and Donald Rumsfeld. And at noon, it's "CNN LIVE SATURDAY."

NGUYEN: And we appreciate you spending your morning with us. Thank you for joining us.

GRIFFIN: Take care. We hope you'll stick around. We got news all morning long, right here on CNN.


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