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Post Convention Day Wrap Up

Aired September 2, 2004 - 00:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Good evening from Madison Square Garden, an empty Madison Square Garden -- almost empty Madison Square Garden. This is edition number two of LARRY KING LIVE. We're on with you twice nightly through the Republican National Convention, as we did in Boston with the Democrats. Two more shows tomorrow night, with three generations of Bushes on the early show.
Let's meet our panel for the hour, and your phone calls will be included later. Jacque Reid is the anchor for "BET NIGHTLY NEWS." Gideon Yago is a key correspondent for MTV's "Choose or Lose" coverage of the 2004 campaign. In fact, he's hosting a "Choose or Lose" special on MTV Labor Day night.

In Miami is Jorge Ramos, anchor for UNIVISION, author of "The Latino Wave: How Hispanics Will Elect the Next American President." Here at the Garden is David Gergen, White House adviser to Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton, professor of public service at Harvard's JFK School of Government and director of its Center for Public Leadership. He's also editor-at-large, "U.S. News and World Report."

Somewhere in an unknown location we'll check in with Mo Rocca. It's a surprise. He's our roving reporter.

And on the floor, let's start with Candy Crowley, CNN senior political correspondent. They're changing things, Candy, for tomorrow. What are they going to do?

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: They are slightly different view now for us. We are up sort of one level up, because right now they're taking down all the chairs. If I didn't know better, I'd say they're trying to confuse reporters now that we know where all the delegations are.

But, in fact, what they're doing is getting ready the big show which is tomorrow night, and the president -- he's going to have sort of a theater in the round is the best way that I can describe it. So, rather than use the podium that you've been seeing for the last three days, they are going to bring out and build up a larger round thing so that you will see -- sort of like a town hall meeting.

You will see the delegates close up. And you won't see this lectern. So it's sort of a talk-show intimate kind of feel.

KING: Thanks, Candy. We'll be checking back with you at the bottom of the hour. Candy Crowley on top of the scene. Joining us in a little while will be Stephen Baldwin. He's the anti-Baldwin. All the Baldwins are pro-Democrat except Stephen. He's the born-again Christian and supporter of George Bush.

Let's start with our senior member of the panel, Mr. Gergen. What did you make of the Zell Miller keynote speech?

DAVID GERGEN, ADVISER TO PRESIDENTS NIXON, FORD, REAGAN AND CLINTON: Well, I thought Dick Cheney's was temperate and serious, sober, a good speech. Forgive me for being intemperate about the Zell Miller speech. As I listened to him, Larry, I was reminded that Zell Miller began his career by working for Lester Maddox, a man of hate. And he unfortunately capped his career tonight by sounding like Lester Maddox.

KING: Were you surprised?

GERGEN: I was. It was a very rough speech. It was full of hate. It came very close to accusing the Democrats of treason. I thought it was a surprising speech. I know there were a lot of people in the hall that didn't feel that way. I think it was hard to hear in the hall.

And I'm sure a lot of partisans on the Republican side heard it in good spirit and thought it was fair. This is typical politics. I don't think it would strike a lot of Americans as being fair.

KING: Didn't he previously -- he was the keynoter for Clinton in '92. Didn't he previously praise Senator Kerry for his service?

GERGEN: He did. Only a year and a half ago. A year and a half ago he called him a -- he said he was a great hero for America, authentic American hero.

KING: So who changed: Kerry or Miller?

GERGEN: In a year and a half? I think it's very clear.

KING: What do you make of it?

GERGEN: Well, you know, it's interesting how the theme of a lot of the Cheney speech, and the crowd was doing the "flip-flop, flip- flop." Zell Miller stands for that. And, you know, they call him "Zig Zag Zell" in some parts of Georgia.

And, listen, it's fair to go after John Kerry on his votes in the Congress. It's fair to question his commitment to the war in Iraq, because, of course, Kerry has a lot of questions about Iraq.

But I thought that the kind of venom that was in the speech was so contrary to the spirit of what the convention had seemingly been and was very contrary to what George Bush pledged early on that he personally was going to be a uniter not a divider. This was a divisive speech.

KING: What did you make of it, Jacque? JACQUE REID, "BET NIGHTLY NEWS": Well, it begs the question what the strategy of the Republican Party truly is, given the tone of the speech. I mean, I agree. It was quite venomous. And, you know.

KING: But he's the keynote. They didn't tell him what to say.

REID: Exactly. And they don't, but you have to wonder what the Republicans are going to say about this come tomorrow. You know, every night this convention has a different theme. But it just seems like the common theme of speech after speech is, you know, that President Bush is the man to lead us in the fight against terror, but also very, very critical of John Kerry.

And considering that the Democrats during their convention tried to stay very positive, some criticisms of Bush there, and that the Republicans are being so negative here against Kerry, it would be interesting to see how this plays out as this campaign rolls on.

KING: Before we ask Gideon, our other panelist, David, you made a face. You think they -- the Republican did measure this speech?

GERGEN: Oh, there's no question that they went over it before he gave it, and that -- they've said that they looked at it. They've looked at all of the speeches. They have to be turned in. They have to be reviewed. And that always happens at conventions.

The interesting question is whether he was asked to speak this way. I don't think he was asked to speak in this way, but they did approve it. And they can't now sort of say, well, oh, we didn't know.

KING: Gideon, I don't want to say you represent all young people, but you certainly speak for a network that appeals to young. What do you think -- how do you think they'll react to this?

GIDEON YAGO, MTV CORRESPONDENT: Well, the funny thing is, I think, if you're a young voter and you're watching these conventions, you're looking for answers about what's going to change over the next four years.

The one thing that I find very interesting is that you hear a lot of talk of John Kerry and John Kerry's character. But who you don't really hear a lot about is Osama bin laden and al Qaeda. You hear a lot of Iraq. You hear a lot about John Kerry. And you hear a lot about the war on terror.

But to have this convention in New York City and not really address what will be done from here over the next four years to undercut Al Qaida's support and to prevent another al Qaeda attack, or the capture of Osama bin Laden, seems a bit strange.

KING: Indeed, his name hasn't been mentioned.

YAGO: Hasn't been mentioned, really. He's sort of the elephant in the room, if you will.

KING: Jorge, what did you think of the speech by Zell Miller, before we move to the Cheney speech?

JORGE RAMOS, UNIVISION: Well, it was the end of the moderation. I think that moderation in this convention only lasted two nights. And tonight we saw a completely different face of the Republicans.

While I was listening to Zell Miller, I was thinking of all the people in Latin America and all the Hispanics in the United States where we broadcast and, of course, we do not think of the United States as an empire.

But I'm thinking of all the 13 countries where we broadcast, and people listen to this speech, and saying, "Well, you know, this politician is making fun of the United Nations. This politician is making fun of other countries." So this false perception of the United States as an empire is only being reinforced when they listen to speeches like the one we heard today.

KING: And, by the way, Mo Rocca, where are you, Mo?

MO ROCCA, RNC ROVING REPORTER: Well, Larry, I'm on -- Larry, I'm on Eighth Avenue in New York City, and I'm across from the famous Payless Shoe Store, if you can see me right now. Can you see me?

KING: We're starting to see you.

ROCCA: I'm right here.


ROCCA: OK, well, I'm right here. Well, Larry, I actually enjoyed tonight. It was a nice change, because of course the theme was the "Land of Opportunity," and so we heard a variety of speeches addressing everything from 9/11, to 9/11, to the 9/11 attacks, and to 9/11 and its relationship to Iraq. There was a lot of 9/11.

And, you know, I always like to think of New York as a lady who likes to have fun. And the RNC really understands that New York is a whore, like a complete whore. I mean, she is -- wow, really. And sex makes me really hungry, which is why I'm coming into the CNN diner, the famed CNN diner, for some of Judy Woodruff's waffles and Jack Cafferty's chili. It's really terrific.

Oh, great. They gave me two cameras today, and we're getting very high production value here.

KING: Wow, you look good. I like it. I haven't been there yet. I'm going to go by tomorrow.

ROCCA: Oh, well, you should definitely come -- go ahead.

KING: Do they have a Larry King special?

ROCCA: Yes, they have a Larry King catfish. In fact, I'm going to go back and swing us some up right now.

KING: Oh, go Mo. And, again, in the men's room, cold compress, on the head.

When we come back, we'll spend some moments with Stephen Baldwin who breaks from the Baldwin family and supports President Bush. More of our panel and your phone calls still to come. Don't go away.


U.S. SENATOR ZELL MILLER, (D) GEORGIA: Senator Kerry has made it clear that he would use military force only if approved by the United Nations.


Kerry would let terrorists decide when America needs defending. I want Bush to decide.



KING: Making some changes in the floor of the convention for the wind-up night tomorrow night and the speech by the president.

We're going to spend a segment with Stephen Baldwin, the actor, a member of the famed Baldwin family, a born-again Christian, supporter of George Bush.

Have you broken with the family over this?

STEPHEN BALDWIN, ACTOR: Well, actually, Larry, first of all, thanks for letting me be here. Hi to all of the Luis Palau Evangelistic Team in Portland. Thanks, my partners on this project we're going to talk about.

No, I haven't broken from anything, and actually, I haven't actually clearly defined who I'm voting for.

KING: Really?

BALDWIN: I'm doing this little interesting little campaign of my own, and I'm calling it the campaign to support the man that I believe has the most faith. Now, does somebody come to mind? Shh, don't say his name, but that's the guy I'm voting for.

KING: Do you know of John Kerry's strong Catholic faith and beliefs?


KING: So, therefore, you haven't made up your mind?

BALDWIN: I'm going to support the man and vote for the man that I believe has the most faith, yes.

KING: What does that have to do with running a country? BALDWIN: Oh, everything, in my opinion. You know, for me, I want to know that the next president of the United States is a guy who is, in my opinion, and it's just my opinion, a guy who's really being led by God, hopefully. I think the country, in my opinion, was started by guys whose ideals and principles were founded out that kind of an understanding and a relationship.

And if you think about the fact that we can no longer say the pledge of alliance in school, and you know, we're taking the ten commandments out of government buildings, and now we're considering taking and removing "In God We Trust," it seems that, when they conceived this idea of separation in church and state, I don't think they were intended for that to become a separation of God and state. And, for me, that's a little scary.

KING: Some of the founders, though, were deists. Thomas Paine was an atheist. Lincoln questioned God.


KING: You agree that they weren't bad leaders?

BALDWIN: No, not at all. I think we all should have the freedom to do whatever we wish, but, in my opinion, I think we've gotten way to far away from that, and it's important that I think we try to get back.

KING: Now what is the project?

BALDWIN: The project that I produced and directed with this Palau ministry is called "Living It." This is a skateboarding BMX biking outreach tool to kids. We're trying to use BMX biking and skateboarding as a means to really attract the kids and then get into them about God and the Bible in new, exciting, edgy ways.

We produced this thing with the goal of distributing about 10,000 copies of these in the first two years through the Palau Ministry. But we've been doing the distribution for about seven months and we've already distributed 50,000 copies.

There's going to be a big skate tour next year with big rock and roll tour buses. We're talking to one of the very biggest entertainment companies from an Asian area about global distribution.

KING: Really?

BALDWIN: Yes, and it's just very exciting.

KING: How (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Sony people? Alec and Billy disagree with you on this, do they not, or don't they?

BALDWIN: Well, obviously, you know, they're behind who they're behind, and they have their reasons for doing so. And what's fascinating to me is, recently, I had a big-time celebrity come up to me and say, "Hey, Stephen, are you ready for the election? And you're going to get behind this guy, and who are you going to vote for?" And I said, "I'm trying something new this year. I'm going to vote for the guy based on my faith and who in my opinion is the guy with the most faith." And the guy goes like this, "In what?"

And it's just -- it's kind of fascinating to me that, like, now we're at this place where the world "faith" and the first impulse of that word isn't in relation to God.

KING: Do Alec and Billy share your faith?

BALDWIN: No. I'm a born-again Christian and...

KING: They're not?

BALDWIN: No, they're Christians, but they have their own practice, which I absolutely admire and respect them for. You know, obviously, we all have free will. But, again, the thing that's also interesting, another celebrity said to me, "Well, have you done your homework? And if George Bush is a Christian," and you know, well, you know, "how can you say that he's making Christian decisions and this and that?"

Look, for me, it's not about, you know, the facts of those kinds of decisions, in my opinion. The thing that's very interesting to me is, that people said, "Have you done your homework about those different policies, and those different choices, and this and that?" And I said, "Well, actually, yes. You know, I have been researching what one side thinks and what the other side thinks. And I've made my decision based on that."

My question to that person was, "Have you done your homework? Have you read the Bible?"

KING: Why don't you announce it then?

BALDWIN: Well, because, then it would seem to -- you know, like, a lot of people that I have a political agenda. And I don't. It's a faith-based agenda. I really feel very strongly about...

KING: Well, then, Alan Keyes might be your candidate, certainly in Illinois. He is strongly pro-Christian, maybe the strongest Christian candidate.

BALDWIN: And let me just add to that and say this. You know, I hope I don't sound unrealistic in, you know, that I'm saying something, you know. I understand, first of all, that the possible ramifications of me saying what I'm saying, you know?

And here's the thing: Christianity, in my opinion, has been a pretty cheesy deal for a long time, you know? And there's millions of young tattooed, pierced, hardcore kids out there in America that love Jesus Christ, and for me, I want to just help support those kids, give them a platform to express themselves.

This "Living It" movement is something that's really going to be big and exciting. And I just -- I look forward to kids having an opportunity to practice their faith in America.

KING: I'm anxious to see it. Thank you, Stephen.

BALDWIN: Thank you.

KING: Stephen Baldwin.

When we come, our panel will rejoin us. We'll go to calls at the bottom of the hour. We'll get their thoughts. We discussed faith in politics last night, did we not? Don't go away.


DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Senator Kerry says he sees two Americas. It makes the whole thing mutual. America...


America sees two John Kerrys.




KING: We're back. We'll go to calls at the bottom of the hour. We discussed faith last night. I want to get to the speech by Vice President Cheney.

David Gergen, what did you think of it?

GERGEN: I thought that -- Dick Cheney used the phrase in talking about George Bush, a moral seriousness. And that seemed to me to really capture what his speech was about. And it's fair game for, especially for a vice president, but at a political convention to sharpen the differences, tell you what the record of the other side is, why it's wrong. And then to tell you what your own record is.

I thought Gideon had a very good point earlier about the fact that he didn't really talk much about the future. I think that, in fact, we haven't heard much about the -- they put that in -- all the pressure and burden on President Bush tomorrow night to tell us where we're going from here. Nobody has talked about the future.

KING: We haven't heard an agenda yet.

GERGEN: No, we haven't. But I thought that, you know, Dick Cheney spoke with an authority, you know, that comes from experience, and his time...

KING: But he's not a dynamite speaker?

GERGEN: He's not a dynamite speaker. He's not an electrifying speaker, but I do think he speaks from authority. And the Democrats are going to have to respond in kind. They have to rise to the challenge. He threw down the gauntlet tonight. They have to pick it up.

KING: Jacque?

REID: Yes, I was going to say it seems like the Republican Party is really exploiting the fact that the majority of Americans are concerned about terrorism, and that's what they're pushing.

But, you know, there are also Americans out there who are concerned about issues. And they're just not talking about them. But I think the expectation is that President Bush will get to that tomorrow. It'll be interesting to see what he lays out.

KING: Gideon?

YAGO: I think, you know, it's going to be the economy, as well. That still seems to be the number one issue that everyone is concerned with. And when you have, for example, the governor of California coming out yesterday, a guy who's worth nearly a billion dollars in assets and used to command $40 million bucks a picture saying, "Don't be an economic girlie man," I think for a lot of this country that's worried about, you know, the security of their jobs, or getting a good job, especially young people trying to crack into a tough job market, some of that might fall flat.

KING: How do you think Cheney resonated among young people?

YAGO: He's a really polarizing figure. For a lot of the young conservatives that I talked to, they look at him as, you know, the heavy, the guy with the experience and the guy with the plan. But on the other side of the fence, he is viewed as the prince of evil. They view him as, you know, this sort of mastermind who, you know, pulls strings from the shadows and things of that nature.

And I think, actually, it's a good thing that he didn't give the commanding speech, that he didn't give Zell Miller's speech, because I think that would have alienated a lot of potential moderate and swing voters.

KING: Are you implying that Zell Miller hurt the cause tonight of the non-decided voter?

YAGO: Of the undecided voter, I mean -- I think he rallied the base. I think he was the anti-Clinton speech at the DNC where, you know, Clinton kind of enumerated "You're a Democrat if..." and sort of exonerated the party. He cut it down.

But I think it, you know, everybody's been saying that it's all about rallying the base and turnout. And I think he really helped out in that.

KING: Jorge, what did you think of Vice President Cheney's speech?

RAMOS: I think it was a strong and forceful speech. And I think it's fair game that he marked the differences between Kerry and Bush. After all, I mean, what's an election about if not about differences?

But I didn't hear a single word about Osama bin Laden, the most dangerous enemy of the United States and the efforts to capture Osama bin Laden. After President Bush said on NBC on Monday that he didn't know if we were going to win the war on terrorism, I was expecting Vice President Cheney to define victory in the war against terrorism.

So, how do you define victory? Is it no more soldiers dying in Iraq? Is it no more terrorist attacks in the United States? Or is capturing Osama bin Laden? How we will define victory in the war against terrorism, I didn't hear that. Hopefully, we'll hear it from President Bush tomorrow.

KING: Are you surprised, Jorge, that bin Laden's name has been infrequently mentioned?

RAMOS: I've been listening to most of the speeches of the convention, and I haven't heard it a single time, Larry. I don't know if I've missed some of the speeches, but it's really interesting because everything has been concentrated on the war against terrorism and on the war in Iraq, but what's going on with Osama bin Laden?

I mean, after all, he is the man who's responsible for 3,000 deaths on 9/11. After all, he's the most dangerous enemy of the United States, and we haven't heard a single word about him. Why not?

KING: And, Mo Rocca, where are you now?

ROCCA: Pick up dingy. Pick up dingy. Sorry, Larry, I've got a Daryn Kagan corn muffin that's just waiting to be eaten here and no one's picked it up yet.

Let me tell you a couple things right now that have come to mind. This convention is so successful, I think, because it's so incredibly bold. I mean, it's bold enough not to mention Osama bin Laden, but also bold enough to basically declare that Bush is running against al Qaeda and almost that John Kerry's kind of incidental. And I think it's pretty remarkable.

But about Zell Miller, I think that Zell Miller's speech was very visionary, because Thomas Jefferson thought that every few years, we should rethink our whole system of government. And Zell Miller, in invoking Wendell Wilkie in 1940, was essentially saying, you know, "Why not just give up?" Like, if John Kerry is a real gentleman, he would just forfeit right now and just let Bush win. I mean, why are we even holding this election?

KING: Yes, was that strange...

ROCCA: That's what I think he was saying.

KING: ... David, to go to Wendell Wilkie, was that strange to you? I mean, that's really a stretch.

GERGEN: Well, Wendell Wilkie does come from New York, but that's about the only reason I could see to go back to him. I think most Americans -- he was a very courageous patriot in supporting FDR after the election was over. You know, he campaigned vigorously against him in 1940...

KING: He did, against the third term.

GERGEN: Right, but once he stopped, once he lost, he swung behind the president. And that was a mark of patriotism. But it was strange for Zell Miller of all people to wrap himself in the cloak of Wendell Wilkie.

KING: We're going to take a break and come back. And when we come back, we'll get a final report from Candy Crowley and go to your phone calls for our panel on this second edition of LARRY KING LIVE.

Tomorrow night at 9 o'clock, we're going to have a shortened edition, because we're going to go early to the floor for the president's speech and the introduction of the president by Governor Pataki.

We'll also have three generations of Bushes, President Bush number 41, one of his sons and his grandson, Pierce, who you'll remember from four years ago in Philadelphia when Pierce was but 13- and-a-half years old and electrified an international audience with his sprightliness. Pierce returns tomorrow night now, a young man of 17-and-a-half.

We'll be right back.


CHENEY: The fanatics who killed some 3,000 of our fellow Americans may have thought they could attack us with impunity because terrorists had done so previously. But if the killers of September 11th thought we had lost the will to defend our freedom, they did not know America and they did not know George W. Bush.




KING: There has to be a technical reason why the air- conditioning units are turned up when everybody's gone and creating a wind tunnel directly over the host. Hey, I can't complain. It's show business. The show must go on. Or, as someone once said, why?

Anyway, let's get down to the floor. Why must it go on? Anyway, Candy Crowley our CNN Senior Political Correspondent what's the latest on what's happening down there and your -- your look at tonight?

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the latest that's happening down here is I'm told it's going to take them ten hours to build this stage, so somebody's getting some great overtime. There is that. So, it will take them obviously until the early morning hours to get this sort of theater in the round erected. Tonight, you know, obviously this was in contrast to the Democratic convention, which I disagree basically that it -- that there weren't attacks on George Bush. What the Democrats did and very well was not mentioned his name but there were certainly very clear intimations of what they were talking about when they drew comparisons. They just failed to mention the name George Bush.

Here, I thought Zell Miller, I can tell you from sitting in this crowd they loved it but these are the partisans. These are the party faithful. These are the party activists and they thought he was great and that speech was for them. That's the bottom line there.

All I could think about when listening to the vice president was a Labor Day rally when the then candidate George Bush and candidate Dick Cheney showed up for Labor Day and Dick Cheney walked up to the microphone and looked around and said, "It's great to be in Naperville."

And George Bush made fun of him but the entire rest of the campaign he would mimic Cheney, so this reminded me that he's not a great speaker but the speech itself, I thought was extremely powerful and quite strong.

You have to get around that delivery but, in some ways, the delivery gives him some, let me use this word and I'm really sorry, gives him a great deal of gravitas, just the way he delivers it. There's no show biz to it. It's just all business.

KING: Thank you Candy Crowley, see you again tomorrow night, our CNN Senior Political Correspondent, in my opinion the best in the business at it.

Let's go to phone calls for our panel of Jacque Reid, Gideon Yago, Jorge Ramos, David Gergen and somewhere Mo Rocca. We go to Birmingham, Alabama, hello.

CALLER FROM ALABAMA: Hello. Thank you for taking my call.

KING: Sure.

CALLER: I have two questions for the panel. I'd like to ask you what do you think Zell Miller's future as a member of the Democratic Party will be? And, secondly, what do you feel the real motive for his vicious attack of John Kerry and the Democratic Party is?

KING: David.

GERGEN: Well, Larry, as you know for some time while he's been a member of the Senate he has not gone to Democratic luncheons, the regular weekly luncheons of the Democratic Senators.

For all intents and purposes, he's written himself out of the party some time ago and he's retiring from his seat the end of this year. It's an open election in Georgia. That seat is almost certainly going to be won by the Republicans.

KING: So, his political career is over?

GERGEN: His political career is over...

ROCCA: Larry.

GERGEN: ...and he is going to be a figure of some controversy now in the south. He has followers. There's no question about that but his views have also, of course, stirred a lot of resentment against him among Democrats.


ROCCA: Yes, Larry. I think that Zell Miller could become the minority whipping post. (UNINTELLIGIBLE.) Sorry, I'm just finishing mixing this Wolf Blitzer on the beach. It's a new drink that everyone's talking about.

Can I also say something about the modulation, oh, I'm watching myself now, about Dick Cheney's voice. I agree with Candy. You know, Gary Cooper's voice barely modulated and it made him all the more powerful. I just wanted to point that out.

KING: Thank you so much. Joliet, Illinois, hello.

CALLER FROM ILLINOIS: Hi. My question is for Jacque and Jorge.

KING: Yes.

CALLER: I'm a registered Democrat but and Jacque your -- your audience is predominantly black and I don't understand what they -- what your audience does not understand. President Bush, who is Condoleezza Rice? Who is Colin Powell and the head of education for the United States is black. How can they say that President Bush is not inclusive of the black race? How can they say he -- he does not try and help the black race?

KING: Before she...

CALLER: And did he not nominate -- this is for Jorge and Jacque, did he not nominate minority judges and who filibustered against them? Who stopped their nomination, the Democrats and I never hear anyone saying anything about it.

KING: All right. We'll start with Jacque and then Jorge -- Jacque.

REID: Well, to answer the question I think that a number of African Americans, the majority, look at the issues. They don't look at things like who is serving in the president's cabinet according to the polls that we've done and other polls that are out there will support this.

A number of African Americans, you know, the Census Bureau just put out poverty numbers, under insured, jobless rate for African Americans is twice that of the rest of the country. When you look at so many social ills that are out there, that resonates with African Americans.

They don't see the Republican Party doing enough and not just with those issues but issues that touch the hearts of African Americans like disenfranchisement when it comes to voting, like affirmative action, like the criminal justice system and the...

KING: So, they don't see -- they see Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell and the secretary of education as just what?

REID: Well, they think it's wonderful, I think. We looked at the most popular African American figures and Colin Powell was number two. They -- but...

KING: Who was number one?

REID: Jesse Jackson. Jesse Jackson was number one.

KING: Jorge, what about there were many, were there not, Latino judges nominated, held up?

RAMOS: Well, what we can say for sure is the following. Mel Martinez (ph) was the housing secretary with President Bush. Rosario Marin was the treasurer. Hector Barreto works with the Small Business Administration. So, definitely President Bush has been working with Latinos.

But more than blaming President Bush because he has really made an effort to reach the Hispanic voters, I think the problem that many Hispanic voters have is with the Republican Party. This is a party that many Latinos link with Proposition 187 in California, of course, against undocumented immigrants.

This is a party that many Hispanics relate with Pete Wilson, who also has taken many positions against undocumented immigrants. This is a party that has among their members Tom Tancredo, the Congressman of Colorado that constantly criticizes both undocumented and legal immigration.

So, it is very difficult to talk about an inclusive party when still the perception that this is a party that does not accept immigrants and among the many Hispanics is widely seem among many Latinos.

KING: Something's making an awful lot of noise out there. Washington, D.C. hello.

CALLER FROM WASHINGTON, D.C.: Hey, how you doing Larry? Thanks for having me on tonight.

KING: Fine. Sure.

CALLER: I'm a long time listener, first time caller.


CALLER: Anyway, we hear Bush and his party promoting so-called Christian values. At the same time, they support increased militarism, vis-a-vis Bush's action of preemption.

I just don't see how this colossal discrepancy between true Christian values and an overwhelming increase in militarism isn't overwhelming apparent to the American voter.

Is it simply a failure on the part of our media not properly and specifically exposing that dichotomy or is it simply the sheer effectiveness of the administration's bastardization of religion and faith as a political tool to rally expansion in their Christian base?

KING: Gideon -- OK, we got the message -- Gideon.

YAGO: Well, I, you know, to be honest with you I think that's a better question for Ralph Reed (ph) and the moral majority. I think that's a better question for the extension...

KING: Do you think there is a dichotomy between promoting preemptive strikes and being Christian?

YAGO: I -- I couldn't tell you. I'm Jewish, Larry. I, you know, I don't -- it's not for me to cast judgment on other people's faith and why is it that this party is the party of faith and the party of war?

But what I will say is this. Since 1988, when Pat Robertson was running against George Bush's father, there has been sort of an ascendancy of the moral majority and the religious right within the Republican Party and I think it culminated in 2000 with the election of George W. Bush, the first born again president in the United States.

ROCCA: Jimmy Carter was born again.

YAGO: I think there's a lot of...

KING: Jimmy Carter was born again.

YAGO: Jimmy Carter was born again?

KING: He was.

ROCCA: Yes, absolutely.

YAGO: I stand corrected. I stand corrected. But that said, that doesn't I think eclipse the fact that right now the moral majority within the Republican Party feels as though they have one of their own in the White House and I don't think regardless of foreign policy they would jeopardize that position or the feeling that they have that much influence.

KING: David.

GERGEN: For some conservatives, Larry, the issue is not so much about war, although social conservatives, evangelicals have been very supportive of the pro-Israeli policies of the administration partly based on their reading of the Bible. But social conservatives are much more concerned about gay marriages and, of course, the platform of the Republican Party, which is not being discussed here tonight, just like the platform of the Democratic Party is to the left of what they presented in their convention, the platform is to the right of what's being said here tonight. The platform of the Republican Party, for example, not only is against -- it wants a constitutional amendment but it's against civil unions of gays.

KING: It is?

GERGEN: It is.

KING: Oh, the platform is against civil unions?

GERGEN: Yes and it's -- it takes hard line positions (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

KING: Does President Bush agree with that?

GERGEN: Well, his team signed off on the platform and it -- it did, I must say. They held off a challenge from the right which was an even tougher, a very anti-immigration plank that some of the strong conservatives want to put in. The Bush administration did oppose that.

KING: We'll take a break and be back with more phone calls on this second edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.


SEN. ZELL MILLER (D), GEORGIA: In this hour of danger, our president has had the courage to stand up and this Democrat is proud to stand up with him. Thank you. God bless this country and God bless George W. Bush.



KING: President Bush will not be speaking from a standard kind of podium tomorrow night. They're going to sort of have like a theater in the round. He'll be close in among the delegates in a more informal kind of Phil Donahue/Oprah set up.

Before we take our next call, let's check in with Mo Rocca. Are you still in the diner?

ROCCA: I am, Larry. I'm right behind the bar. That's where I still am. About the stage -- very good -- about the stage setup of tomorrow night, what they're going to do is they're going to drop a curtain around this round stage and at one point President Bush is going to pull a string.

The curtain will come down and you'll see Osama bin Laden chained there, sort of like Mighty Joe Young. That's the whole idea. So, I think it will be terrific. Hopefully, he won't break free and come over to the CNN diner and drink one of these or we'll all be in trouble.

But, you know, Lynne Cheney is the spitting image for Terry Moore. I just wanted to throw in a couple of the -- you remember Terry Moore?

KING: I know her.

ROCCA: Oh, no she's a terrific lady. Right, don't know her. A few factoids about religion and Republicanism as well. Teddy Roosevelt wanted to take "In God We Trust" off of our money because he believed in the strict separation of church and state and, in fact, thought that religion was sullied by it appearing on money.

And William Howard Taft refused the presidency of Yale because he thought it was too religious an institution. It used to be a more religious institution. So, these are Republican leaders who felt strongly about that, just wanted to toss that in there.

KING: Thank you and Teddy was also chief of police of the city, thought I'd toss that in.

ROCCA: That's right. He did a good job.

KING: Yes. Let's go to Portland, Oregon, hello.


KING: Yes, Mo, what? What, Mo, what?

ROCCA: I was going to say, well I just want America to know how modest Larry is because Larry doesn't cram his factoids down America's throats like I do. You were pointing out after Zell Miller's speech that, in fact, in the '50s or in the late '40s and early '50s that it was a very partisan age and that Truman who was invoked by Zell Miller was pilloried as a communist by Republicans for I think firing Douglas MacArthur. Yes.

KING: Right, (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Truman lost China.

ROCCA: That's right and so one interesting...


ROCCA: One interesting trend I saw tonight and I think it's a really smart gambit is this idea that this is a new age of extreme partisanship and that it's all happening from the other side but I think that was an interesting theme that we saw over and over again tonight.

KING: Portland, Oregon hello.

CALLER: Hello.

KING: Yes, go ahead. CALLER: Hi.


CALLER: I'm calling about the separation of church and state.

KING: Yes.

CALLER: You know they -- they keep saying that this is a Christian country. They're answering to a higher authority. This is the same as the Taliban does, the crusades. What about those who are not Christian? It's scary to be hearing this kind of thing and anyone...

KING: Is that a danger, David? Thank you. David is that...

GERGEN: In fairness to the Republicans, I haven't heard any calls here for this to be a Christian nation. I think they're asking that people be respected for their faith and they are very clearly a pro-faith party but that does not exclude Jews. It does not exclude Muslims.

It's a much more of an emphasis upon belief in God than it is on Christianity per se, so I mean there have been -- some Democrats have been, you know, kidding around there the last couple of days. They see a cross up on the stage here and I think that's unfair to the Republicans.

I think they do have -- listen, I sometimes find there are excesses in this and, you know, Ron Reagan at President Reagan's funeral said famously that his father did not wear his religion on his sleeve and I think that sometimes makes us uncomfortable but I don't think in fairness they're not calling for a Christian nation.

KING: Speaking of that, by the way, did you like the tribute to Ronald Reagan, Jacque? I thought that was very well done.

REID: I did. I thought it was very moving. I thought it was very moving. You know, I just kind of wanted to talk a little bit more about Christianity and faith here because, you know, I understand that the Republican Party is concerned about divisiveness in this country and they want to show President Bush as someone that can bring the country together.

But the country is very divided when it comes to whether or not the government should be involved in -- in religion. Democrats believe that they should not and Republicans strongly believe that they should, about half and half on each, so it will be interesting to see if they, you know, want to make everyone feel inclusive or included how they'll move on past this.

YAGO: Larry.

KING: Yes.

YAGO: Oh, I'm sorry. I was just going to say it just fundamentally comes down to the Constitution of the United States and, you know, if you're president you're supposed to -- that's the document, you know. That's the Bible for the United States of America.

The Bible is the Bible for Christianity but the supreme document that, you know, is going to govern everything that we're going to do, the thing that we actually swear on and swear to is the Constitution.

KING: Which never mentions God.

YAGO: Which -- which...

RAMOS: Larry.

KING: Yes. I'm sorry, Jorge -- it does not mention God. Jorge.

RAMOS: What's interesting is that the comparison between the United States and other countries. I get to talk to a lot of people in Latin America and they are always surprised when our politicians here in the United States mention the word God and when they talk about their religious values and even when presidents at the end of their speeches and many politicians talk about and say "God Bless America." Those kind of expressions would be unthinkable in many countries.

KING: Really?

RAMOS: Yes. I still can remember that in Mexico, presidents were not allowed to be seen in public going to mass.

KING: Really?

RAMOS: I don't remember presidents mentioning the name of God in public, so maybe we're so used to this kind of language but in other countries the separation of church and state is very clear.

GERGEN: Our Declaration of Independence talks about the creator. It does not...

KING: The Constitution never says God, right?

GERGEN: The declaration, which Lincoln saw as the sort of founding document that's like -- well...

KING: That's a declaration though. That's not a law.

GERGEN: Well, that's right but it...

KING: The Declaration of Independence says, "When in the course of human events it becomes necessary we'll be violent."

GERGEN: That's right. That's right. But, you know, the declaration which was as important a statement of what we believed in the beginning as the Constitution was...

KING: Of course. GERGEN: ...does talk about a creator.

KING: Why do you think they left -- why do you think they left it out of the Constitution?

GERGEN: I don't -- it was not a subject of great conflict at the constitutional convention but there's no doubt Washington talked about God on many occasions, in his inaugural address, in his farewell address. It has been woven into our nation's history that people have talked about God and America in the same terms.

There has been a tendency, I must say, like Zell Miller went into this tonight about America being a chosen nation. God is, you know, God's special province and I think that does set people on edge overseas as well as many people here.

KING: Got to get a break. We'll be back with our remaining moments right after this. Don't go away.


DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: People tell me Senator Edwards got picked for his good looks, his sex appeal, his charm and his great hair. I said how do you think I got the job?



KING: If you missed the Zell Miller speech and the Dick Cheney speech and the prelude leading up to it all that will be repeated at the top of the hour when we close things out tonight.

Let's get in one more call, Mt. Vernon, Ohio hello.

CALLER: Hello, Larry.


CALLER: Yes, my -- yes, my question is to you and the panel. Tonight I noticed that Dick Cheney's one daughter did not appear on stage, the lesbian daughter.

KING: Right.

CALLER: And my question will be will she appear on stage tomorrow night with her father and the president when they wrap up the convention?

KING: Do you know, Dick -- I'm sorry. Do you know David?

GERGEN: I do not, Larry.

KING: Do you think they asked her not to come on or was it her own choice?

GERGEN: I really have no idea.

KING: Does anyone know?

REID: I heard that it was her choice.

KING: Her choice.

REID: That she wanted to stay backstage.

GERGEN: Because?

REID: They didn't say. They just said that that was her choice.

GERGEN: I know. I did think though that Dick Cheney's showed an enormous amount of love and caring for her when he took the position he did on the anti-gay amendment.

KING: He sure did.

REID: And four years ago she came out, correct?

GERGEN: Yes, that's right.

KING: Yes, she did, oh yes. Mo Rocca, you want to give us a final report before we wrap things up with you?


KING: Where are you now?

ROCCA: Well, I'm -- I'm just relaxing now. I just finished making a bunch of Bill Schneider tuna melts for people so I'm exhausted right now. But I just wanted to say that Mary Cheney PR advice, she needs to give an interview because right now there's so much talk about her and all you see are these grainy pictures of her in the corner of a shot. She looks almost menacing at this point like I'm sure she's a nice person.

As for Lynne Cheney, you know, it's all very complicated I'm sure for the family. I mean Lynne Cheney, of course, wrote the novel "Sisters," the western theme novel "Sisters" about lesbian lovers that came out in the early '80s. They're conservative lesbian lovers. They're school voucher proponents in the plot. I've read the book. So, but it's a complicated situation but hopefully we'll see and hear more from her.

KING: That book was supposed to be re-released and they cancelled it, right? Yes. By the way, Jorge we'll see you again tomorrow night. You've done yeoman-like work. We really appreciate all you've contributed to our understanding of the Latino community and the Latino vote in this country. Thank you very much for all your work.

RAMOS: Thank you very much.

KING: And we'll see you again tomorrow night in our wind-up night tomorrow night on the second edition.

Gideon, you nobly carry on "Choose or Lose" and you got a special Monday night, right?

YAGO: Yes. Monday night.

KING: On Labor Day night.

YAGO: Brand new interviews with John McCain and John Kerry.

KING: And, Jacque, you've done great work as always.

REID: Thank you.

KING: And Mo and Candy Crowley and, of course, what could we say to David Gergen.

GERGEN: Thank you.

KING: Our esteemed professor from Harvard.

GERGEN: Thank you.

KING: Thank you all very much. We'll see you tomorrow night with three generations of Bush's in the nine o'clock edition of LARRY KING LIVE.

From Madison Square Garden in New York, I'm Larry King. Goodnight.



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