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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Coverage of the Republican National Convention
Aired September 1, 2004 - 00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, or good morning, depending on where you are, and welcome to edition number two of LARRY KING LIVE, the completion of the second night of the Republican National Convention at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Schwarzenegger and Mrs. Bush highlighting the evening, and tomorrow night, the vice president and his wife. Our guests, by the way, tomorrow night on the early show will be John McCain, Dan Quayle and Bill Frist. Tonight, our panel is assembled. Your phone calls will be included in an emptying Garden.
Jacque Reid is anchor for BET TV news nightly. Upstairs in our booth is Gideon Yago. He is key correspondent for MTV'S "Choose or Lose" coverage. He's the GOP winner of MTV's "Stand Up and Holler Essay Contest" and he addressed the convention earlier tonight.
Tucker Carlson returns. We missed him last night. The co-host of CNN'S "CROSSFIRE," CNN political analyst and the host of PBS's "TUCKER CARLSON UNFILTERED." In Miami, Jorge Ramos, the anchor for "UNIVISION NEWS," author of "The Latino Wave: How Hispanics Will Elect the Next American President."
Here on the podium with us at the Garden is David Gergen, the White House adviser to Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton, professor of public service at Harvard's JFK School of Government and director for its center for public leadership, also editor-at-large at "U.S. News and World Report."
On the floor, the ever-present Mo Rocca, our roving reporter, TV personality, "TODAY SHOW" contributor, a veteran of "THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART," and dressed up well tonight, and author of a new book, "All the Presidents' Pets." And CNN Senior Correspondent, somewhere on the floor, Candy Crowley.
What's your analysis of tonight, Jacque?
JACQUE REID, "BET NIGHTLY NEWS": You know what? I think that Arnold Schwarzenegger gave a strong speech tonight, maybe not as strong as Giuliani last night, but still strong nonetheless. And he owned the phrase "girlie man" tonight, calling anyone who criticizes the U.S. economic policy an "economic girlie man," you know, which got a big laugh, I think the biggest applause and laugh of the night.
So he hit a home run also letting voters out there know that they don't have to agree necessarily with everything that President Bush agrees with in order to vote for him.
KING: Gideon, what were you doing on the podium? You're a journalist.
GIDEON YAGO, MTV CORRESPONDENT: Oh, I was introducing actually the winner of the RNC essay contest.
KING: Oh, you weren't the winner?
YAGO: No, no, no, no, no. What we do...
KING: Oh. That would be rigged.
YAGO: ... yes, that would be rigged. That would be rigged. We partnered with both the DNC and the RNC to have a prime-time youth speaker featured at both conventions and I went out and introduced her.
KING: Tucker Carlson, there was one notable error tonight picked up by our vast production crew. Governor Schwarzenegger refers to coming to this country and hearing the debate between Humphrey and Nixon, Humphrey sounded socialistic and Nixon introduced him to capitalism. One little problem: They never debated.
TUCKER CARLSON, CNN HOST: Well, I don't think Schwarzenegger even spoke English at the time. So he could be, you know, forgiven for making that mistake it seems to me.
You know, the immigrant story -- you don't think of Schwarzenegger, as least I don't, I mean, sort of an oiled-up muscle guy, but he's actually got a really good immigrant story.
KING: Yes, he does.
CARLSON: That was just sort of nice to hear. I was struck by how the political differences he has with the White House -- he's pretty liberal, actually.
KING: Very, in some respects, very liberal.
CARLSON: He's very liberal, actually. That's exactly right -- didn't take center stage. I mean, it wasn't -- I don't think the stories tomorrow -- maybe I'm wrong, but I don't imagine the page on the "New York Times" story will be, you know, "Liberal Addresses Conservative Audience." I don't think so.
CARLSON: They did a pretty good job. Plus, he was actually pretty funny, which always works.
KING: Jorge, as someone always interested in the immigrating American, how did Schwarzenegger appeal to you?
JORGE RAMOS, UNIVISION ANCHOR: Well, I think Schwarzenegger gave a pretty effective speech. But I'm still very interested in this contrast between a very conservative platform and then here we have a speaker that does not agree with President Bush on abortion, on gay marriage, on stem-cell research, and still is supporting President Bush. So I think his speech was definitely aimed at those undecided voters, those independent voters that Republicans need.
On the other hand, it's really interesting that Schwarzenegger is presenting himself as an immigrant, but at the same time, he won his role, his position as governor of California, on an anti-immigrant position. And, of course, he didn't say anything at all about this debate on driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants that he does not support at all.
KING: David Gergen, what was your read on tonight, and let's include Laura, too?
DAVID GERGEN, FORMER ADVISER TO PRESIDENTS NIXON, FORD, REAGAN, CLINTON: Sure, Larry. You know, Larry, the Republicans have won four out of the last six national elections. And tonight they gave us a good reminder why.
KING: Which was?
GERGEN: They're very good at this. They know how to run a good convention. They know how to give polished, effective speeches. They know how to appeal not only to the hall but to the country. It was a strong night for the...
KING: But a small percentage of the country's watching.
GERGEN: Well, even so, we know that it makes a difference. And tonight they had a bigger audience than last night. I actually thought the Giuliani speech last night was the best speech we've heard in either convention. And almost as good as -- he reminded me of Cuomo in '84. It was at that level. And you remember that Cuomo speech.
KING: Very well. That's the best I ever heard.
GERGEN: That was just wonderful. And I thought tonight, while Arnold Schwarzenegger was very effective, he's going to rally a lot of Republicans. I'm not sure he rallied -- a lot of Democrats would find that a divisive speech, some independents would, whereas Laura Bush, I thought, gave a uniting speech. And I thought she was more effective in terms of delivering what they needed out of this convention, that is, make her husband seem someone people could -- it reminded people why they liked George Bush to start with, you know, what about him, back in those early days, especially after 9/11, made him so attractive.
KING: Candy Crowley, what about the kids? This was their first real major shot in the limelight.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The kids are still kids. You know, I think you can tell the difference between the Kerry girls and the Bush girls. And that is the Kerry girls are much more mature. They're older. They've lived some life. These are college graduates who never wanted anything to do with the limelight. I think it showed.
I mean, it was interesting, because we talked about this downstairs in the room where we get all this stuff, we put it in our ears and the microphones and everything. But some of the younger interns that we have who all thought it was a little lame. And then I remember listening to Judy and Wolf saying, "Oh, it looked like maybe that George Bush, Sr., and Barbara didn't really like some of that. It was a little racy for them."
I thought it was cute. I thought it was fine. I think we'll all forget it by tomorrow.
KING: And, of course, the expert analysis of our man on the floor, where we never know what might happen, Mo Rocca.
MO ROCCA, RNC ROVING REPORTER: Well, about the Bush girls, I thought they were -- they did a fairly good job. They're real Texans. They reminded me a little bit of Linda and Lucy Baines Johnson. But they're more kittenish than that. They have a little bit of Judy and Audrey Landers in them, if you remember those two girls.
I loved the introducing to Laura Bush, though, from the president. That was beautifully staged managed, the baseball gave behind him. I expected James Earl Jones to come out at one point.
But if you notice in the corner in the screen by President Bush's head there was a guy at bat that kept swinging, and it looked, if you didn't have good sensory perception, it looked as if the guy kept whacking him in the head with a bat.
But for more of my opinion, if you want to know what I think of Schwarzenegger's speech -- who wouldn't want to know what I think about it? I thought -- I was grateful that there weren't too many movie lines. I'm grateful he didn't quote "Kindergarten Cop" to defend No Child Left Behind.
I thought it was very -- Larry, you pointed this out before the show that the talk of immigration was unusual for a Republican Convention. He mentioned Ivory Coast. I think most Republicans probably think the Ivory Coast is a debate between two different bar soaps. I think Republicans probably prefer Ivory, really prefer it.
But, otherwise, it was a good speech. My favorite moment, lastly, of the Schwarzenegger speech was the shot of Maria Shriver when Schwarzenegger was touting the virtues of Richard Nixon in 1968. She looked very pained. I kept thinking she must have been coached by Dina McGreevey, Governor McGreevey's wife, on how not to look like you're about to vomit when your husband's speaking. You know, McGreevey has a much tougher road to hoe, I'm sure.
KING: I would say.
KING: We'll take a break. And when we come back, we're going to spend some moments with Ben Stein, who is never dull. And he's not going to give away money, but he's going to give away a lot of information. We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LAURA BUSH, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: He'll always tell you what he really thinks. You can count on him, especially in a crisis. His friends don't change and neither do his values. He has boundless...
He has boundless energy and enthusiasm for his job and for life itself. He treats every person he meets with dignity and respect, the same dignity and respect he has for the office he holds.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Welcome to second two of LARRY KING LIVE. We're on twice nightly, 9 and midnight eastern time live.
We welcome now Ben Stein, author, actor, game show host, speechwriter for Presidents Nixon and Ford. His latest book is "Can America Survive? The Rage of the Left, the Truth and What To Do About It," conservative American, former speechwriter.
What do you expect from the president Thursday night?
BEN STEIN, ACTOR: I think he's going to say the economy's in much better shape than the media's letting on. By every reasonable standard, it's better off -- we're better off than we were in '96 when Clinton ran on a program of high prosperity.
I think he's going to highlight the differences between us and the terrorists. And he's going to say we're winning the war. I think his speech is going to be a combination of Giuliani's speech and Schwarzenegger's speech.
But I think he's going to touch on something else: There is a religious revival going on in this country. When you travel around as much as I do, you see it as the number one issue on many, many people's minds is faith and their relationship with god. He is a part of that revolution. He's not riding. He's not playing it for political effect. It's his life, and I think he's going to talk about.
KING: Meaning that Kerry doesn't have faith?
STEIN: No, I think Kerry has faith, but I think Kerry's faith is very...
KING: Kerry's a devout Catholic.
STEIN: Kerry's -- well, he's not -- I mean, he doesn't follow the church teaching of the church about right to life. But he is a devout... KING: If he did, there'd be no Catholics left in America. Well, anyway...
STEIN: Well, anyway, actually -- but Kerry does not make faith the overriding light motif of his life, and Bush does. Bush is a genuine born-again Christian like you see in Amarillo, like you see in Little Rock, like you see in Fort Smith. And I think he resonates with a great many Americans.
As I say, there is a religious revival going on this country. You might not see it in Beverly Hills. You might not see it in Manhattan. It's going on in America. It's a big thing.
KING: Is it in enough states of electoral consequence?
STEIN: I think it is. I think it's certainly going on in Florida. You see a lot of it going on in central and northern Florida. You see a lot of it going on in Arizona. You see a lot of it going on in New Mexico. It's a big, big phenomenon.
KING: Isn't there also a kind of rebuff against it, people who don't like the pontifical nature of it, the fact that you shall believe?
STEIN: There is some of that on Riverside Drive. There's some of that on Crescent Drive and on Cannon Drive. But there is...
KING: And in Pittsburgh, and in Chicago...
STEIN: Maybe so. But the up swell, the upswing, the enormous fervor of people's religious faith, discussion. Are you a good Christian? Are you in good with God? This is going on on a scale which I wouldn't have considered possible 20 years ago. It is on everybody's minds in many sections of the country.
KING: And are you saying it could elect Bush?
STEIN: I think it will elect Bush.
KING: It will elect Bush?
STEIN: I think it will.
KING: It'll be -- in other words, you think that'll be the key difference. Why do you think it hasn't been brought up, other than by Ben Stein?
STEIN: I think it will be. Well, first of all, I think they can already count on the people of faith, but I think they're going to rally -- I think Mr. Bush is going to rally the people of faith. And I think those people are the ones who are going to put him over the top.
The discussion that I hear is not, is unemployment better measured by the household survey or by the employment survey, are we better off in terms of the number of people uninsured than we were four years ago, it's who is a man of faith. I think Bush has got a tremendous, tremendous advantage in that regard.
KING: Why such division in this country?
STEIN: Well, I think it has something to do with some psychological problems on the part of very angry people. I mean...
KING: On both sides?
STEIN: Well, on both sides, but mostly on the left. I think Bush is what I would call a weak but dominant father figure, just like Dave's and my former boss, Mr. Nixon, was. And that kind of person attracts a lot of anger. The dominance attracts a lot of anger, and the fact that people are not afraid of him attracts a lot of anger.
If he were a really scary, dominant person, people would be too afraid to go after him. They displace the anger they feel towards the terrorists, the uncertainty they feel towards Bush, because he seems friendly and unthreatening.
KING: What about the right-wing talk radio anger at Kerry hyphen Clinton hyphen -- just anger anger?
STEIN: There's plenty of that. There's plenty of that. And it's very unfortunate, and it's not a good thing. But I don't see anybody comparing Clinton with Hitler. I never saw anybody comparing Kerry with Hitler. I see a lot of that when I go to the Web sites against Bush. That is a very scary thing.
It kind of upsets me that the Democrats say, oh, the Republicans are being so hard on Kerry saying he lied about Vietnam. Well, what about comparing Bush with Hitler? What about saying that the Bush family were in bed with the Nazi party? I mean...
KING: Did Kerry say that?
STEIN: Those are on a number of anti-Bush Web sites...
KING: Would you ban all these 527s?
STEIN: Oh, I don't see what the whole point of McCain-Feingold was if they were going to allow unlimited contributions through 527s. What was the point of it?
KING: Although freedom of speech...
STEIN: I think freedom of speech should have allowed unlimited contributions. There should have been no McCain-Feingold. I was opposed and still am.
KING: Are you going to campaign for Bush?
STEIN: I already have.
KING: And you will continue to...
STEIN: But I tell you what, if Nader were on the ballot in California, I think I'd vote for him, just because neither candidate, even though I love Bush, neither candidate gives much of a damn about consumer rights or stockholders' rights, and those are big, huge issues to me.
KING: And Nader does, obviously?
STEIN: Nader's a great guy, an incredible great guy. And you know what? You can just call him up on the phone and get him on the phone. I've known Bush pretty well. I couldn't get him on the phone if my life depended on it.
KING: Thanks, Ben. Always good to see you.
STEIN: Thank you so much.
KING: Ben Stein, a neighbor. He loves our Christmas decorations.
"Can America Survive the Rage of the Left? The Truth and What to do About It," is Ben's latest book. Our panel resumes. Your phone calls in a while, too. Don't go away.
KING: Let's start this go-around with Gideon Yago with MTV.
Gideon, do you think faith plays a big part among young voters?
YAGO: I think it does. I mean, 46 percent of this country considers themselves born-again or Evangelical Christian. And you've seen Karl Rove in the press say that the reelection strategy is predicated on getting the 4 million Evangelicals who didn't vote in 2000 to the polls in 2004 for Bush, and then that is what's going to swing the election in his favor.
The one thing that I wonder is that all this week we've heard about the moderate face of the Republican Party, and it's been the moderate face that's been put forward. If President Bush comes out and really harps hard on a lot of the Evangelical core issues, the anti-abortion, the anti-gay marriage, is he going to alienate those swing moderates that may be on the fence between him and Kerry?
CARLSON: I'm not sure the election's going to be determined by swing moderates. I do think both sides are hoping to convince people who are already committed to them to actually come out and vote in that way. I think this election -- it's just my guess, but I think it's right -- will be different from previous presidential election.
I don't think moderate and religious are mutually exclusive terms. There are a lot of moderate religious people. I do agree with Ben Stein that, you know, church-going and outward expression of faith, that is the line that divides the parties. I mean, the Democratic Party increasingly is a secular, coastal party, and the Republican Party increasingly, I think, is a religious sort of heartland party.
That's good or bad depending on where you are, but that is -- you know, if you want to pick one issue that divides them, it's definitely that.
REID: Well, you know, I was going to say, it's interesting what Ben Stein had to say. And as the Republican Party tries to reach out to African-Americans, you know, a large number of African-Americans are very religious. More than half of them go to church on a weekly basis.
And Erika Harold, who spoke here tonight, one of the former Miss Americas, she's African-American. And she talked about faith-based initiatives. And that's why she wanted to come be part of the...
KING: But will that appeal to African-Americans, who don't vote Republican?
REID: I think it could. You know, we talked about Republicans reaching out to African-Americans. I think that may be one approach that they can definitely try.
GERGEN: I don't think there's any question about Ben Stein being right about the revival of religion and the search for spirituality among the young. Billy Graham came to the Harvard campus about a decade and a half ago, and there was a great big yawn by -- nobody paid much attention. He came about two years ago, and kids slept out all night on the steps of the church at Harvard, a very -- in many ways, you know, it's seen as a secular institution. But these kids are in this search for spirituality.
I don't think it's quite the Christian Evangelical type Ben was talking about, but there is a search for something deeper, something more meaningful.
KING: Can it make a difference in the election?
GERGEN: I can think it can certainly make a difference if Evangelicals turn out in larger numbers, as Tucker just said. The Republican Party now has spent some years courting and building this Evangelical base in the South, and in some of the -- southern Ohio and places like that, the Bible belt, and it's made a difference for them.
And we know that in the Gore, you know, the Gore loss, he picked up a lot of the so-called seculars, whereas George W. Bush picked up people who go to church more, once a week or more, often vote heavily for Bush, whereas people who do not voted the other way.
But I do think it's wrong to suggest that if you're a Democrat that means, by definition, you're not religious. There are a lot of very religious Democrats.
KING: Ben did suggest that.
YAGO: Sorry, Larry, not to bust in here and be rude. I apologize. But the one thing in particular to young voters is that, for a lot of whom who are paying attention to this election, and this is the first election that they're paying attention to, I can't tell you how many have said that they look to the president because he's been saved.
But the thing is, when you're president of the United States, you're supposed to answer to the Constitution of the United States, not necessarily the Bible. And to have a president come out and says that he answers to a higher authority than the Constitution, I've heard that, again, as something that worries, especially a lot young voters out there who may be leaning towards Kerry.
KING: Jorge, most Latinos are Catholic, are they not?
RAMOS: Absolutely. The majority of Latinos, and especially people coming from Latin America, the majority are Catholics. But something very interesting is happening in this country. Not only are Hispanics transforming the United States in a process of Latinization, but also Latinos are being transformed by the United States in a process of Americanization.
So, at this point, about 80 percent of Latinos are Catholic, but 20 percent of Latinos are becoming Protestant. So we are seeing a change in the composition of the Hispanic population, and not only that this has, of course, political consequences, but 60 percent of Latinos will vote for the Democrats, but about 30 percent or probably a little more of Latinos are voting for the Republicans. And Republicans, at this point, are seeing an opening, not only religiously but also politically.
KING: Will religion play a big part in the Latino vote?
RAMOS: I don't think so. I think there are other issues more important for Latinos. I mean, Latinos overall are hard-working people, very conservative, very religious, but there are other issues like jobs, like the economy, health insurance, immigration, that was discussed today, that might be much more important for them than religion in this election.
KING: Do you have a thought on this topic, Mr. Rocca?
ROCCA: Yes, you know, I do. I mean, look, I don't want to question the president's faith, obviously. I do think it's interesting the Bush family's relationship to religion at large. I mean, anyone who knows anything about Laura Bush knows that, you know, in her real life, she's kind of a laid-back hippie chick, and probably the biggest pain for her is when she has to socialize with, say, Pat Robertson.
I mean, what's she going to talk about? "Oh, you know, Reverend Robertson, we're so excited about the Rapture. Can't wait until it comes. The sooner the better." I mean, I don't buy it. And, you know, former First Lady Barbara Bush, I mean, Larry, let's be honest here. I mean, I think the only time she's liable to use the words "Jesus Christ" is when the bartender at Kennebunkport mixes a lousy vodka stinger. I mean that with all respect.
KING: With all due respect, yes.
We're going to take a break, come back, check in with Candy Crowley and then go to your phone calls. Our panel are Jacque Reid of "BET NIGHTLY NEWS," Gideon Yago, Tucker Carlson, Jorge Ramos, David Gergen, Mo Rocca. We'll check in with Candy Crowley when we come back and then go to your calls.
You're watching LARRY KING LIVE edition two. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LAURA BUSH: No American president ever wants to go to war. Abraham Lincoln didn't want to go to war, but he knew saving the union required it. Franklin Roosevelt didn't want to go to war, but he knew defeating tyranny demanded it. And my husband didn't want to go to war, but he knew the safety and security of America and the world depended on it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: At the top of the hour we'll repeat the earlier events and highlights of the evening. This is part two of LARRY KING LIVE. We're on twice nightly.
Tomorrow night, the vice president and Mrs. Cheney will speak, our guests on the early show tomorrow night John McCain, Dan Quayle and Bill Frist.
Before we go to your calls let's go down to the floor and another report from Candy Crowley wrapping up the evening -- Candy.
CROWLEY: You know, it was interesting to me listening to you all talk earlier, Larry, about the Arnold Schwarzenegger speech and someone described him as a liberal, which he is certainly within this arena but the fact is he gave a very conservative speech. I mean the liberal parts of him were nowhere to be seen in that speech other than to say, hey if you disagree with a few things about George Bush, that's okay.
What they want to use Schwarzenegger for here, which I find sort of fascinating, is not just about swing votes. It's also about that very deep simmering anti-Bush feeling out there that's fueling, even the Kerry people will say, much of the -- at least some of the Kerry support, a lot of the Kerry support according to Republicans.
So, what they want to do with people like Schwarzenegger and McCain and the moderates Rudy Giuliani is to use them to kind of cool off that seething anti-Bush feeling, not so much because they think they're going to come vote for George Bush but because maybe if they lose a little of that heat they might not show up at the vote to cast an anti-Bush vote.
KING: That's Candy, one of the best journalists in the business. See you again tomorrow night.
Before we take the first call, Tucker Carlson, don't a lot of their right wing conservatives dislike moderates?
CARLSON: I don't know, dislike. Look, I mean I think...
KING: I mean they tend to put them down.
CARLSON: Yes, well, I mean there's a huge debate in the party over what it ought to stand for and, you know, I would think there's frustration on the part of conservatives that liberals within the party are always called moderates rather than liberals and, you know, and conservatives are always, you know, right wing maniacs, sure. I mean, look, you know, any party has wings and they debate over what, you know, the party ought to mean.
I do think Schwarzenegger's a slightly different case. I mean from the point of view of the Republican Party, which obviously I don't speak for, but I've noticed that they're excited that a Republican is governor of this relatively liberal state, overwhelmingly Democratic state in the same way Bloomberg, a Republican, is the mayor of the overwhelmingly Democratic New York City.
In both cases, incidentally, I don't think it's about even them. I mean both those guys were called into clean up messes left by Democrats. It was more a repudiation of the Democratic leadership but Schwarzenegger I think represents like politically anyway something pretty important for the Republicans.
KING: Let's take a call, Seattle, Washington hello.
CALLER FROM WASHINGTON: Hello. This question is for Gideon or Jorge.
CALLER: I'd like to know if you gentlemen think that this is almost like another crusade between two world religions. That's what I'm getting from listening to you tonight.
KING: Do you think this is a religious crusade, Gideon?
YAGO: Absolutely not. I think using the word crusade is really dangerous because I think, you know, for people in the Arab world, especially the Arab world that's seeking modernization that's a really dangerous, really loaded word and I don't see the war on terror as a crusade at all but then again I'm not the one calling the shots.
KING: And, Jorge.
RAMOS: I'd agree with that. I don't think -- I don't think it's a crusade but I -- I because of my job as a journalist I happen to travel all around Latin America and I have never seen such an anti- American feeling as I've seen in the last two or three years. It's never been like this.
So, I think that when you ask people in Mexico or Colombia or El Salvador what do they think about the United States, the polls we've seen is that they have a pretty negative impression of the United States right now and when you go a little further and ask them, "Well what's the reason" most of them point to President Bush.
So, even though I think it would be a mistake to call it a crusade, I can definitely say that with President Bush the United States, at least from the perspective of Latin America, has been isolated or separated from the rest of the world.
KING: David, is this seen somewhere as a Christian mission?
GERGEN: There are those who believe that in this country and I think it is -- I think it is profoundly dangerous to see it in those terms but I know some who believe that essentially the Islamic radicals are coming after Christians and it's -- and we have to return it in kind.
But it's wrong to think in those terms. Clearly, the radicals are also going after say Israelis and it's also -- I think it's more accurate to say that this is a great fight within Islam.
But for us to -- I think one of the things we have to be very careful about in this discussion of religion and, you know, this sort of a Christian nation is that to somehow -- I think it adds to what Jorge was just saying. I think it adds to a sense of you folks are different and you just think differently from the rest of the world and I -- and somehow you don't get it.
KING: What about the Pat Buchanan element? Pat's got a book coming out, a full page ad today in major newspapers, blasting Bush.
GERGEN: Well, that's coming -- Tucker can probably analyze that better than I can but Pat has had, of course, has had a long history of animus toward the Bush family. He ran against the father.
But I think he's also deeply, deeply troubled by the sense of sort of the imperialist spirit that seemed at one point to be associated with the war against Iraq and that sort of force has diminished since then.
But Pat thinks -- Pat thinks that the United States is too tied to Israel and that the neo-conservatives who are (UNINTELLIGIBLE) neo- conservatives that are guiding the president are too tied to that cause and that they're leading us into deep trouble with the Arab world.
KING: Tucker, might they stay home in November? CARLSON: Traditional conservatives like Pat Buchanan, absolutely.
CARLSON: Absolutely they might stay home. I mean they're not going to vote for Kerry because of abortion. That's the bottom line. They don't, you know...
CARLSON: ...Kerry is an avid supporter of legal abortion. I mean there's no other way to read it. They're avid. They're adamantly opposed to abortion and that's a complete deal killer for a lot of traditional conservatives and for a lot of evangelicals.
KING: They might stay home.
CARLSON: But they're very angry at Bush because of Iraq, also because of immigration. He's got a pretty liberal immigration policy. But mostly because they don't think that America ought to, you know, intervene abroad unless it absolutely has to. I think it's unfair to call them paleo-conservatives by the way. They're just sort of old fashioned. They're what conservatives were, you know, 50 years ago.
KING: Jacque are blacks going to turn out?
REID: You know what, African Americans turn out when their passionate and the majority of...
KING: Are they passionate?
REID: They're very passionate with their dislike of President Bush and there's a lot of get out the vote campaigns going on and what we're hearing is that a lot of African Americans are going to go to the polls this time around.
KING: The lieutenant governor of Maryland didn't touch a lot of blacks tonight or did he touch whites who want to be impressed with the feeling of appealing to blacks?
REID: Well, it was interesting to see him in prime time and Rod Paige was out here tonight. We talked earlier about the former Miss America. She's African American. We had the Harlem Boys Choir. We jokingly around BET called this Black Tuesday.
It seemed to have a black theme with the compassionate conservatism and maybe it was part of that outreach to the African American community. We say we hope there are some things for us to cover for the rest of the week. They might have used it all up tonight.
But, you know, Michael Steele, he gave a good speech. I mean the crowd was a little distracted but if you listened and especially towards the end, it was very strong and he talked about the civil rights agenda of the Republican Party and how it started with Lincoln and just continued on and he talked about how African Americans broke away in 1964 but now it's time to come back. So, he hit on some very good points.
KING: Piqua, Ohio, hello.
CALLER FROM OHIO: Hello.
KING: Yes, hi.
CALLER: I was wondering what -- hi. I was wondering what their thoughts are on the No Child Left Behind. I know in Ohio we had a lot of schools that were -- they provided a lot of money with our Republican governor and Republican, you know, rulers in Ohio.
They provided a lot of money for the schools and got the people to vote for these new schools and then they turned around and wanted to tax everybody to provide the rest of it and now they can't fund their teachers. They can't fund their programs, all the music and outer courses are going away. I just wonder if they've seen that in other states.
YAGO: Well, I think No Child Left Behind is going to -- actually I've seen a lot on the campaign trail is that No Child Left Behind has pushed a lot of teachers towards Kerry.
The problem is that your -- the criticisms that they make that I've heard is that what you're doing is you're fostering, you're just teaching kids how to respond to a test. You're not fostering a love of learning. You're not really educating kids.
You know performance on math and science skills has dropped over recent years. The cost of a college education is just going up and up and up and while this system of accountability is a really great political thing to point to, it's leaving actually a lot of kids behind.
The onus is on Kerry now as to propose an alternative that's more than just throwing money at the problem because I think the accountability issue has a lot of appeal for a lot of parents who don't want their kids just kind of pushed through these giant mega- schools that have sprung up in the last ten or 15 years and walked out maybe slightly more educated but then dependent on, you know, a college degree to actually set them right in the world.
But, again, it is a very divisive issue and it's definitely one that I've seen push a lot of teachers, especially young teachers, people in my generation who went and, you know, took up teaching right out of college towards the left.
KING: David, No Child Left Behind sounds great. Is it working?
GERGEN: It's not working as well as it should and the idea of tests and accountability strikes me as being a very strong and positive idea and it's one that the teacher's unions have opposed too vigorously.
But no child -- the idea of tests and accountability has to be accompanied by a professionalization of the teacher core and that means not only giving them pay but making sure that they have mentoring, making sure that they have a -- you know Lou Gerstner, CEO, a former CEO of IBM, just headed up this big commission which he put together on teachers and it came up with a lot of serious reform proposals because people who have been pushing for standards and accountability realize you're not going to -- you're never going to get where you need to be unless you also make sure you have a group of dedicated and very professional teachers and the teacher's unions have got to be willing to come along with that.
In exchange for their professionalization they've got to be willing to open this up and to open themselves up to charter schools and other ideas, more competitive ideas in the schools.
KING: Let's take a break. We'll be back with more phone calls on this second edition of LARRY KING LIVE from Madison Square Garden in New York. When I was a kid I used to go to the old garden. It was up at 49th and Eighth Avenue. You wouldn't know, between 49th and 50th, the Knicks, the Rangers, now they both lose. They lost then too but there was still (UNINTELLIGIBLE). We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHWARZENEGGER: There's another way you can tell you're Republican. Your faith in free enterprise, faith in the resourcefulness of the American people and faith in the U.S. economy and to those critics who are so pessimistic about our economy, I say, "Don't be an economic girlie man."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JENNA BUSH: Contrary to what you might read in the papers, our parents are actually pretty cool. They do know the difference between mono and Bono. When we tell them we're going to see Outkast they know it's a band and not a bunch of misfits. And, if we really beg them, they'll even shake it like a Polaroid picture.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Mo Rocca, what did that mean?
ROCCA: Oh, sorry, Larry. You're looking at my button because earlier we were talking about Michael Steele who's from Maryland, so I wore my "Sock it to 'em Spiro" button. What did they mean?
ROCCA: Oh, they're whipper snappers. It's a lot of kid stuff they were talking about. KING: No, but what does the Polaroid thing mean?
ROCCA: Yes, you shake it like a Polaroid. You know how you used to have to shake. I think that's what it is. It's the movement you have to make.
REID: It's from the group Outkast.
ROCCA: Outkast, thank you Jacque for translating.
REID: Their latest song is "Shake it like a Polaroid picture." Come on (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
ROCCA: I know this. What is Outkast is what I meant to say. I wanted to point out a couple of things, which is that it's remarkable to me after two days that every speaker is essentially talking about terrorism, even Rod Paige who described the NEA as a terrorist organization.
But it's amazing to me that the party, the Democratic Party which is so in bed with Hollywood, is so crapping at marketing itself. Like the Republican Party is so adept at just getting one message out and the message here, and it's really compelling. I mean I'm terrified, like I'm really afraid of them coming to get us and, you know, that may be accurate. I don't want to diminish that at all but it's making me terrified.
KING: Sock it to 'em Spiro. Let's get another call. By the way in the essence of fair reporting it must be getting cooler outside because it's freezing in here. It is. Galena, Illinois hello.
CALLER FROM ILLINOIS: Hi, Larry. My question is about the...
KING: Hold it, hometown of Ulysses S. Grant, thank you, Mo, go ahead Galena.
CALLER: Yes. My question is about the Bush doctrine of preemption. I listened to Mayor Giuliani and Senator McCain last night and, of course, they're very supportive of that doctrine and it's part of the Republican platform. My question is if George Bush is reelected, is it logical to assume that sometime over the next four years we'll be invading Iran and/or North Korea?
KING: Tucker (UNINTELLIGIBLE) question.
CALLER: I hope I'm not a girlie man asking that question by the way.
KING: It's a very fair question.
CARLSON: No, I mean I think -- well, let me just say first off it's also part of the Democratic catechism preemption. I mean, you know, as a doctrine, as a principle, as an idea it makes sense and everyone agrees with it. You ought not to wait until you get attacked to respond to a threat that you receive. I mean that's -- nobody disagrees. Kerry says that all the time. He said that at the Democratic convention.
The question is was it worth going into Iraq? That's an open question but I think Iraq pretty much guarantees that Iran is safe unless, you know, something we can't foresee now happens. Yes, no we're not going to be invading any more countries I think if Bush is president.
KING: Is Iraq a failure David?
GERGEN: It's certainly not a success at this point and it was interesting to me that Laura Bush (UNINTELLIGIBLE) we'll almost have to wait 100 years. You know it took us a long time to get our own democracy going. We'll have to wait a long time.
But I -- it's been very striking to me, Larry, how to go back to Mo's point, which I think is right, how successful they have been here in two days at moving the conversation away from the economy and Iraq to danger at home, terrorists.
KING: In other words, fueling the fear is what you're saying.
GERGEN: I think that they raise that as the central issue. Laura Bush came out tonight to talk on the night that it was going to be about compassionate conservatism, which four years ago was all about, you know, domestic, you know...
KING: Ties that bind.
GERGEN: Yes, ties that bind. Here it's now morphed in this convention. Compassionate conservatism is about protecting your kids from terrorists.
GERGEN: And that's a very interesting change. I think it's a very shrewd political move because it's where the president is strong.
KING: I want to get Jorge. Who said Larry?
ROCCA: I did. I just wanted to say, can you hear me?
ROCCA: As the 32nd president, FDR, once said, the only thing we have to fear is not being afraid constantly which I think is what President Bush is going to say on Thursday.
KING: Jorge Ramos, do you think they are appealing to fear here?
RAMOS: Well, I think the message is very clear. Be afraid. President Bush is the strongest of the candidates and, if you have to choose between President Bush and John Kerry, then you know who's going to keep you safe. I think the message is very clear and the Republicans sometimes can do this much, much better than the Democrats.
Now, what's really interesting for me is how maybe the 9/11 report means nothing right now. It seems when you listen to some of the speeches that many people believe inside of Madison Square Garden that there is a direct relationship between 9/11 and the war in Iraq.
We know right now, at least so far, that Saddam Hussein had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11. Still, the message seems to be exactly that, that the war in Iraq is justified because of 9/11.
I, of course, live in Miami and if the new policy of the United States is to get rid of dictators, we have 30 other dictators in the world and, not only that, here we see in Miami bumper stickers saying "Castro is next."
I know many Cuban Americans who believe that Fidel Castro is much more dangerous than Saddam Hussein and they're asking, well, if they got rid of Saddam Hussein why not Fidel Castro?
KING: We'll take a break and be back with our remaining moments. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LAURA BUSH, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: George and I grew up in West Texas where the sky seems endless and so do the possibilities. He brings that optimism, that sense of purpose, that certainly that a better day is before us to his job every day and with your help he'll do it for four more years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Welcome back to Madison Square Garden butcher store. They're hanging meat. It's cold.
All right, something happened here, David. You could explain this. What did they do? Are they trying to tell us to get out of here? We're the only live broadcast going on?
REID: That means you're supposed to -- that's what they do in restaurants when they want you to get out.
GERGEN: They've turned off all the escalators. They've done everything except...
KING: They do it in Vegas to keep you awake.
REID: And we're still here.
KING: Spokane, Washington, hello.
CALLER FROM WASHINGTON: How you doing, Larry?
KING: Hi. CALLER: I want to say thank you for having me on the air tonight.
CALLER: My question to you is, well, how does President Bush plan on keeping companies from going overseas to like India for example?
KING: OK. Let's get into that, outsourcing. In fact there's a new book out on it by our friend Lou Dobbs.
GERGEN: There is indeed.
KING: A strong critic of it.
GERGEN: He's a very -- he's gotten quite a name for himself with his campaign against outsourcing and it's interesting to hear these calls because they reflect, hey look, we're not buying into a lot of this yet, particularly the guy who called and said, you know, I'm one of these girlie men. He obviously took offense at that.
KING: Yes, and people will. Some people will.
GERGEN: People will. But the outsourcing thing is I don't think that the administration really frankly has a policy nor does it want to embrace one because they feel at the end of the day free trade benefits everybody and that has been the experience historically but the truth is we're losing some good jobs to India.
REID: And I was going to -- I just wanted to ask isn't that going to be harmful in the long run considering the jobless rate in this country?
GERGEN: It means you got to put a lot more effort into good (UNINTELLIGIBLE) getting people well trained. We got to stay ahead of everybody else, otherwise outsourcing -- otherwise, outsourcing will really hurt us.
GERGEN: It's a good call.
CARLSON: Yes, I mean, I agree with David. I haven't seen the administration's plan to stop it. I mean I think they mostly responded to the Kerry charges that people who outsource are traitors to their country or Benedict Arnold's.
And, you know, I think the idea has been batted around that you would try to limit tax breaks for companies that do that but it's sort of -- it's sort of natural. I mean, I don't know, industries move. I mean that's what globalization is, right, they find their natural level and it's painful but, you know, the promise is that -- the promise that Clinton made and I think it's probably true is that in the end it's good for everybody.
YAGO: Well, I was actually over in Hyderabad, India in May and I went to see some of these call centers in high tech cities that sprung up over there and it's just amazing.
Most of the people that are working in these call centers have Master's degrees and things like software programming and are working at usually a 15th of the pay of their U.S. counterparts.
For people who are my age who are trying to crack into the job market or looking for a job that you can get with maybe just a high school diploma, all these call center jobs and a lot of the manufacturing jobs shipping overseas is very, very bleak for them.
The argument for outsourcing that I've heard Don Evans and the White House support is that the American companies make $1.12 for every buck that they send overseas, so it benefits business over here.
The problem is does that mean that American businesses are now hiring more or investing more to create more new jobs or are they just giving golden parachutes or giving people yearly bonuses and things of that nature?
Right now the White House really is very encouraging of having an open relationship and a fair relationship with places like China and India and, you know, if you're interested and you're worried about the outsourcing and outsourcing of jobs issue, I don't think that you're going to hear much outside of just blanket support for it.
KING: No. I only got a minute left. Do you have a thought on it, Mo?
ROCCA: Talking heads are next. We're all going overseas talking (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Very quickly, Oklahoma, second highest divorce rate in the country, second highest divorce rate and yet the state flower is Mistletoe. Isn't that a sad irony?
I want to say one last thing also. The most touching moment tonight, Laura Bush's speech when she talked about the passing of their first Springer Spaniel Spot. Spot, of course, was the son of Millie the elder dog's -- the elder Bush's dog. Spot always resented when people said that he was only the first dog because he was the son of a former first dog.
KING: What is the...
ROCCA: It's something to think about.
KING: What's the number one divorce state?
ROCCA: Nevada, surprise. Sagebrush is the state flower. It doesn't mean anything.
ROCCA: I'm going over to see (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
KING: We're out of time, Mo. Go.
ROCCA: CNN diner for the Jack Cafferty coconut cream pie and Aaron Brown's fajita.
KING: Have a good time, Mo. Rest well. Watch the guys in the white suits. See you tomorrow.
Stay tuned for replays of highlights of the earlier evening. Good night.
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