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Day One of RNC Recap; Interviews with Sen. John McCain, Andy Card; Schwarzenegger Speaks on Day Two
Aired August 31, 2004 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Strength and security: The Republican battle cries on the first night of their convention here in New York City. Now, the 9/11 attacks backed squarely at the center of the president's reelection themes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI (R), FMR. NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: And since September 11th, President Bush has remained rock solid.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HEMMER: The Republican strategy on day one, and where the convention goes now on day two -- ahead on this AMERICAN MORNING.
ANNOUNCER: This is AMERICAN MORNING. From the Republican National Convention in New York, here's Bill Hemmer.
HEMMER: And good morning. Once again, we are live in midtown Manhattan just off the floor of Madison Square Garden. Good morning, and thanks for being with us today.
The delegates here getting their money's worth last night, hearing from some of those popular Republicans in America today. The former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani on stage, front and center. Before him, Senator John McCain from Arizona.
Again and again both men came back to the war on terror. They came back to the war in Iraq, portraying President Bush as a strong leader in dangerous times. And we'll talk to Rudy Giuliani here in our next hour this morning.
We'll also hear in a few minutes from Senator McCain. I talked to him late last night in a few moments after he finished his speech.
Also live with me today here in Madison Square Garden, Chief of Staff of the White House Andy Card will be my guest. And a bit later this hour, the First Lady on the road, campaigning in Michigan, Laura Bush. She will speak later tonight. We'll talk to her, in fact, this morning.
Also this hour, former Democratic Senator Bob Kerrey will talk to Heidi across town. We've canvassed the city once again today.
Heidi Collins outside of our studios. Good morning there, Heidi. HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, speaking of canvas, Bill -- I've got a nice canvas tent over me because of the threat of rain. And boy, it is also pretty darn warm out here, too. We're backing so you can see a little bit.
Well, it's a nice setup. And so, we're going to get to a lot of other news this morning, as well.
In fact, there was a dramatic rescue in Virginia, where flooding after Tropical Storm Gaston is causing major problems. You can see all that water there. We're going to talk more about this rescue -- right there that you see on the screen.
Also this morning, another development in the story of New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey. A former aide to the governor says he's made a decision on whether to file a sexual harassment lawsuit. We'll talk about that decision with Golan Cipel's lawyers a little bit later on.
But for now, let's head over to Jack Cafferty. He's across the street from Madison Square Garden, once again, at the CNN Diner on Eighth Avenue. Good morning to you, Jack.
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, Heidi. For what it's worth to you, I'm indoors out of the rain.
COLLINS: Yeah. Hey, thanks!
CAFFERTY: Coming up, we got "The Cafferty File." We got the voice of the voter -- how the country's changed since 9/11. We've got a bit of a change of position on the part of President Bush when it comes to winning the war on terror.
The highlight of the morning, though, promises to be tour of the CNN Diner. Now, for those of you who have never seen a diner before, I mean, listen up. We're going to give you a look at a diner here at the corner of 34th and Eighth. If you've seen a diner before, you want to stay tuned anyway, because this will give you something to compare this diner to, to other diners that you've been in.
So, you want to hang around for what promises to be the moment of AMERICAN MORNING: a look at the diner. Heidi, back to you.
COLLINS: Hey, Jack, I was over there yesterday. I've got to say, it's pretty slick. I like it. I mean, it's a nice diner.
CAFFERTY: Yeah. It's a diner.
COLLINS: Hey, bring me a pen that says CNN on it, will you, if you get a chance?
CAFFERTY: Got any money?
CAFFERTY: I'll bring you a pen. We've got a lot of those. They're handing them out to the press. COLLINS: I understand that.
CAFFERTY: They're handing out things to the visiting members of press. They're also feeding the press. This is all in an attempt to suck up to the press so they'll write nice things about CNN's coverage of the convention.
I haven't looked at the papers yet this morning in an update -- to find out if it's working, but that's the theory: feed the press, free food, and they'll write nice things. Sucking up to the press here at the CNN Diner.
COLLINS: All right, well it is a lovely diner. We're looking at it right now, Jack, and we see members of the press there. So, we will check back with you a little bit later on, Jack. Thanks so much.
Want to get to the stories in the news right now, though. Within the past two hours, the French announced they would do everything possible to secure the release of two French journalists who are being held hostage in Iraq.
New pictures of the men aired on Arab TV station Al-Jazeera. The men are pleading with the French government to drop a ban on Muslim head scarves in public schools. The kidnappers are giving France an additional 24 hours to meet their demand.
Israel could begin withdrawing from Gaza as early as February of next year. Just hours ago, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon presented his party with a timetable for the pullout, including a compensation plan for settlers moving out. The prime minister said he'll force a vote on the issue later this year, despite opposition from this own party.
One of the most conservative members of the House of Representatives says he will not run for another term amid claims he called a gay sex phone line. Republican Congressman Ed Schrock of Virginia is unexpectedly dropped -- has unexpectedly dropped his bid for a third time in office. Republicans have until Friday to find a replacement nominee.
And prospective jurors return to court this morning to answer questions from lawyers in the Kobe Bryant sexual assault trial. A Denver television station is reporting witnesses in the trial could include the woman accusing Bryant, as well as her parents.
And in California, testimony resumes in the Scott Peterson trial today. In the next hour, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin joins us live with what to expect in both of those cases.
For now, though, back to Madison Square Garden and Bill.
HEMMER: All right, Heidi. Thanks for that.
The Republicans here wasting no time in taking their fight to Democrats on night one. Some of the defense delegates wearing purple heart Band-Aids yesterday -- a swipe at John Kerry's Vietnam war record. But the featured speakers focused on George Bush's leadership in the war on terror.
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani sharing one of his thoughts as he was confronted with the terrible events of 9/11.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GIULIANI: At the time, we believed that we would be attacked many more times that day and in the days that followed. Without really thinking, based on just emotion, spontaneous, I grabbed the arm of then Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik and I said to him, "Bernie, thank God George Bush is our president."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HEMMER: Senator John McCain got the crowd fired prior to Rudy Giuliani: his defense of war in Iraq; taking a stab at "Fahrenheit 9/11" filmmaker Michael Moore.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: ... not -- and certainly not -- and certainly not -- a disingenuous filmmaker who would have us believe...
CROWD: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!
MCCAIN: Please -- please, my friends...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HEMMER: That remark got the loudest round of applause last night for Senator McCain. Shortly after his speech, I talked with him, and that was the first topic of our discussion.
You referred to Michael Moore as a disingenuous filmmaker. Did you write that line?
MCCAIN: Sure. Yeah, I didn't know he was going to be in the audience, but...
HEMMER: Oh, you weren't aware that he was sitting behind...
MCCAIN: No. I had -- I had no idea.
HEMMER: Why did you feel it necessary to put that into your speech?
MCCAIN: Because Iraq was not an oasis of stability and peace. Iraq was a bad place where people were put in prison, mass graves are everywhere -- eight, nine-year-old boys were in prison. So, I think it was important to remind everybody that Iraq was a very bad and sad place under Saddam Hussein.
HEMMER: You said you weren't aware that he was in the arena. MCCAIN: No.
HEMMER: Had you known, would that have changed your approach?
HEMMER: Your statement?
MCCAIN: No. But I regret a little bit that it seems to be such a center of focus. It was just a throwaway line. My message is -- frankly is the other way, that we're all Americans and the real enemy are those who want to destroy us. And we should be working more together and lower the partisanship and the very bitter environment that we have now.
HEMMER: It's interesting you say it, because it was the biggest applause line of the night. And you, in fact, repeated it on the floor of Madison Square Garden.
But more of the point you just made. You talk about politics in this campaign. You said -- I'm quoting now -- "It should be argued among friends, we are Americans first, last, and always."
Has this campaign, to this point, made enemies?
MCCAIN: Sure. I mean, we've -- we've insulted each others' honesty and integrity. We've questioned each others' patriotism. In the view of not just me, but almost every observer, this is the most bitter and partisan campaign that anybody can remember.
HEMMER: You did not mention John Kerry by name?
MCCAIN: John Kerry's a friend of mine. I'm not campaigning against John Kerry; I'm campaigning for George Bush.
HEMMER: John Kerry has been working with you in the Senate for a long time.
HEMMER: In fact, you were in southeast Asia together working on Vietnam veterans issues.
HEMMER: Republicans say that his 19 years in the Senate have produced very little in terms of legislation or things that have been sponsored by him. You were there -- are they right, or not?
MCCAIN: I think he's been a contributing member of the Senate. He's not led on any, quote, "major" issues, but I've worked with him on a lot of issues in the Commerce Committee, as well as others. But he'll have to defend his own record. I'm here touting and praising the record of George Bush and his leadership of the country.
HEMMER: Do you believe the Swift Boat ads have hurt his campaign?
MCCAIN: Sure. All of us know that. The polls show that.
HEMMER: Let's get back to the issue of this campaign right now. Some Democrats have said that you are being used right now by the Republican party. They said that about Rudy Giuliani, as well.
What would you say to Democrats who level that charge?
MCCAIN: Well, I'd say that two months after the primary in the year 2000, the president and I got together. I campaigned vigorously for him in the year 2000. In fact, I quoted from my speech in Philadelphia four years ago tonight in my speech. I campaigned with him. I have supported him.
Last January, I started campaigning for his re-election in New Hampshire. So, I mean, I've been a supporter of President Bush and his re-election all along.
HEMMER: Senator McCain from late last night. He's on the campaign trail, in fact, at this hour, down in Nashville, Tennessee. Much more of my interview with Senator McCain coming up in our 9:00 Eastern Time hour on this AMERICAN MORNING, including his thoughts on why President Bush said America cannot win the war on terror. Those comments from earlier this week.
White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card is one of the president's closest advisors. He's my guest here live in Madison Square Garden.
Nice to see you, and good morning.
ANDREW CARD, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: Nice to see you, Bill. Thank you.
You just heard what I mentioned there. Let's go back to the interview played with Matt Lauer on NBC. When asked the question whether or not the U.S. could win the war on terror, here's the answer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't think you can win it, but I think you can create conditions so that the -- those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world, let's put it that way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HEMMER: Try and clear this matter up, because it's gone back and forth now for two days. Did the president misspeak?
CARD: Well, the context of that conversation centered around kind of a traditional war, and Osama bin Laden is not likely to show up in a tent in the desert and say, I'm here to sign a peace treaty, and let's talk about reconstruction.
No, this is a war that will go on for a long time, much like the Cold War. I don't think there will be one particular day when we can say the terrorists the all showed up in one spot and said, hey, we're done. I think that this will be a battle that will go on and on and on, but it will be one where we will prevail. But this is not a nation-state that we're fighting. It's not the head of a state that will say on behalf of my country, I surrender.
HEMMER: Another topic, "TIME" magazine. There was a quote over the weekend, talking about the Bush -- President Bush talking about Iraq, calling it a catastrophic success, and not being prepare for the swift movement and the swift victories, he put it.
John Edwards came out yesterday, came out again on Sunday, and said, I don't know how you define the term "catastrophic success." Can you?
CARD: It was a tactical effort to take Baghdad. There was some talk before the war began that there would be kind of a siege of Baghdad, that it would take a long time for our armies to get there, that we would have to surround the city, and that they would have to corrode from within.
Instead, there was a very swift move up towards Baghdad, and we actually captured Baghdad quite easily. That was a bit of a surprise. We were prepared for it, but it was a bit of a surprise. That was the catastrophic success.
HEMMER: Would you prefer the president used a different phrase there?
CARD: I this president said exactly the right thing. The important thing about the president, is he provides strategic direction for the country, and he made the right decision to go to Iraq, and to help secure America and make us safer, and the 9/11 commission certainly has said we are safer today because of the president's leadership. We have to do more to become even more safe, but we are safer today than we were on September 11.
HEMMER: Let's talk about last night quickly. Before we started the interview, you told me it was a great night, your words from last night, on night one. There was also some videotape caught on there floor of some of the delegates wearing these band-aids on their cheek and on their fingers that poked fun it's a Purple Heart claims of Senator Kerry. Was that coordinated through the RNC?
CARD: Not to my knowledge. I can tell you this, I have great respect for anyone who wears the uniform of the armed services or anyone who has worn the uniform of the armed services, and I certainly have great respect for the people who have made sacrifice and earned the purple heart.
HEMMER: It was said that President Bush was disappointed in his own father, or something to that effect, back in 1992, at his own convention, not pushing the agenda forward. And he's learned a lesson from that now 12 years later. Is that a fact, and if it is, how will it go forward this year in 2004?
CARD: Well, the president has not based his campaign on a reflection of the past; he's talked about the future. And the president knows he has a plan for the future of America, and he's built a solid foundation so that that plan could work. In fact, he's cut taxes so people can have more money in their pockets.
He's making sure no child will be left behind in education. He's going to make sure workers are prepared for the 21st century. And he's making sure that the compassionate heart of America shows up all of the time, everywhere, not just in our country, but around the world.
HEMMER: Just to follow-up on that, did he learn a lesson from his father?
CARD: We always learn lessons from the past. And this president, like everyone else, learns lessons from the past. But this is about the future, and in this convention, the president will highlight the hopes, and dreams and aspirations that he is going to make possible for everyone in America.
HEMMER: Appreciate your time this morning. I know you're working some long hours. Thanks for getting up today, Andy Card.
Day two rolls on later today. President Bush rolls on, too, with his campaign. He'll address the convention on Thursday evening here. The president travels today from Michigan down to Nashville, Tennessee to talk to the American Legion National Convention. Also stops in Iowa and Pennsylvania as well.
Also I'll be talking with the First Lady, Laura Bush, a bit later this hour, 7:30 a.m. Eastern Time, about 15 minutes from now on the clock.
Much more from Madison Square.
Back to Heidi Collins, again, outside of our studios there on 6th Avenue -- Heidi.
COLLINS: All right, Bill, thanks so much.
I want to take you to Virginia now, where those some dramatic pictures coming in from Richmond. It's under a state of emergency this morning. More than 10 inches ever rain from Tropical Storm Gaston caused severe flooding in that area. People described a raging torrent, 10 to 12 feet deep, that washed away cars. Even the city's emergency operations center was flooded.
And in some parts of Richmond, the water was so high, moving so fast that people were trapped inside homes and businesses.
Take a look at this now, rescuers cut a hole in the roof of this apartment building to get people out. It was one of 14 rescues yesterday. Virginia's Governor Mark warner is expected to tour the area this morning. (WEATHER REPORT)
HEMMER: In a moment here, a conversation with one of tonight's features speakers, the First Lady Laura Bush, our guest here live on AMERICAN MORNING.
What she has to say about the swift boat ads attacking John Kerry, as well as the ads responding and attacking her husband.
Also ahead a look at maybe the world's best known Republican, other than the president. Why some of the party might be a bit worried about Arnold Schwarzenegger's appearance, or are they tonight?
Plus, Governor Jim McGreevey's accuser makes the decision whether or not to go forward with his lawsuit. We'll talk to the attorneys for Golan Cipel, still ahead on this hour of AMERICAN MORNING.
HEMMER: One of the biggest stars at the Republican National Convention on stage later tonight in primetime. The actor-turned- governor Arnold Schwarzenegger addressing delegates here in Madison Square Garden.
Our national correspondent Kelly Wallace with us now with a preview of what's coming up later tonight.
Good morning, Kelly.
KELLY WALLACE, CNN NATL. CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Bill.
Interesting to watch. Arnold Schwarzenegger in this hall a little after midnight last night. A source close to Schwarzenegger saying we can expect a positive, uplifting message, designed to try and bring people into the Republican Party.
But this speech is also something about somebody else. It is about Arnold Schwarzenegger making his debut on the national political stage.
WALLACE (voice-over): He's the rock star of the Republican party. The action hero...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER (R), CALIFORNIA: Hasta la vista, baby.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: ... turned California governor still using those Hollywood one-liners.
SCHWARZENEGGER: Thank you! I'll be back! Thank you! (APPLAUSE)
WALLACE: He's got sky-high popularity with Republicans, strong appeal with Democrats as well, which explains by President Bush, who didn't exactly embrace Arnold Schwarzenegger during California's historic recall, is more than happy to share the stage with him now.
BUSH: Some accuse us both of not being able to speak the language.
WALLACE: But they do have their differences. Schwarzenegger, unlike the president, is a social moderate, who supports gay rights, abortion rights and gun control. And now, he's following in the footsteps of another actor turned California governor who made his way to it national political stage, the late former President Ronald Reagan. The difference -- unless the U.S. Constitution is changed, Austrian-born Schwarzenegger can't make the leap.
SCHWARZENEGGER: When I came to this country 35 years ago, I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would be standing in front of you here as the governor-elect of California...
SCHWARZENEGGER: ... introducing the president of the United States.
WALLACE: There are risks in this partnership. The governor could be identified with the president, enormously unpopular in his home state. Mr. Bush risks getting upstaged by a man who loves to make a splash.
SCHWARZENEGGER: And this is why I'm going to run for governor of the state of California.
WALLACE: And perhaps in an effort to try and not steal the spotlight, there won't be any appearances on the comedy shows, no interviews this week for Arnold Schwarzenegger, but still, the networks, as you know, Bill, deciding to take Schwarzenegger's speech live, not carrying Giuliani and McCain night, and this is something that could make Bush/Cheney aides squirm. What if Schwarzenegger gets higher ratings than President Bush?
HEMMER: We'll find out Friday morning.
WALLACE: they don't want to think about it.
HEMMER: Thank you, Kelly -- Heidi. WALLACE: Sure.
COLLINS: All right, Bill. Thanks so much.
Still to come this morning, we're going to hear from the Democratic side things, after hearing from John McCain last night. We'll get a reaction and their response from the evening last night. We'll be back in just a moment, right here on AMERICAN MORNING.
COLLINS: We want to go back to that diner, that really good- looking diner where Jack Cafferty is standing by. You see it there, the CNN Diner.
Lots of neon, Jack. Looking good.
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, it's a conversion that the folks at CNN did. The people who actually own this place are in Italy for two weeks. They said, we'll make you a special deal -- you can have this, and we're going to go on vacation.
Used to be the Tick Tock. They've converted it to look a little like the set, I guess, of "Happy Days" for want of a better way to describe it. And as promised, we will have the nickel tour later in the broadcast.
John Kerry, meantime, does not have the corner on flip-flopping anymore. President Bush has now apparently decided the United States cannot win the war on terror, as opposed to last April when he told reporters that a question he often got was whether the war on terror could be won, and his answer then was, of course it can.
Mr. Bush explained his position change by saying the United States can -- quote -- "create conditions so that those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts the world," unquote. White House officials say he was emphasizing the long-term nature of the struggle.
Here's the question: Do you think the United States can win the war on terror? I don't know that I'm particularly encouraged to hear the president say he doesn't think we can win this thing, but that's apparently what he thinks.
What do you think? Am@cnn.com, and we will read some of the e- mails later. We've got the voice of the voter, about terrorism, we've got the diner tour, and we've got "The Cafferty File."
While I should mention that pornography is making its way up "The New York Times" bestseller list. Who'd have thunk it?
Talk to you later.
HEMMER: I thought that was all gone. I thought Disney moved into Times Square, Jack.
CAFFERTY: What's that? What did you say about Times Square?
HEMMER: I thought when Disney moved to Times Square, all that stuff was booted out there, no?
CAFFERTY: No, no. Well, we got this -- there's an actress who makes, how shall we say, dirty movies, who' written a book, and apparently there's a large appetite for same (ph). We'll tell you the details later.
HEMMER: I see. Wonderful.
Thank you, Jack. Talk to you a bit later in the hour.
In a moment here, the Bush family member with the highest approval rating to date. The First Lady, Laura Bush, is live here.
Also, a big development in the scandal surrounding New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey. Lawyers for his accuser will explain, still to come this hour.
Back in a moment after this.
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