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AMERICAN MORNING

With Debates Over, Where Are Next Battles Going to be Fought?; 'Paging Dr. Gupta'

Aired October 14, 2004 - 08:31   ET

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


BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back, everyone. Welcome back. Just about 8:30 here in Columbus Ohio, on this AMERICAN MORNING. I'm Bill Hemmer, talking with undecided voters about the final presidential debate from last night. Nineteen days ago now, the polls suggest that either candidate can win at this point. In a few moments, we'll look at where each candidates go from here, which parts of the country they're trying to attract and what their message is. It may be hard to believe that you can still be undecided at this point late in the game, but of our group of 24 last night here on the campus of The Ohio State University, as they like to say in central Ohio, seven of our 24 still say they are undecided. Time is coming down, though, ticking away soon.
Back to Heidi now. Good morning again, back to you in New York City.

HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning again, Bill.

And boy, you're right, time is a-ticking on the election.

But also in a few minutes, we're going to be talking about something else, whether or not the United States can exploit a rift between insurgents in Iraq and the foreign fighters that joined their cause. We're going to talk to a correspondent with "The Washington Post" who's been following this split. He's going to explain what's behind it.

For now, though, want to get to the stories now in the news this morning.

The Israeli military launches new airstrikes in Gaza. Palestinian sources say at least five people were killed in the overnight strikes, including three members of the Islamic fundamentalist group Hamas. Israeli troops have killed some 90 Palestinians in the region in the last two weeks.

In Louisiana, a jury is being asked to decide if a serial killer is mentally fit to face the death penalty. Derrick Todd Lee has been found guilty in two separate murder cases, but Lee's lawyers say he is mentally retarded and cannot be executed under federal law. The final decision now lies with the jury. And new details this morning about a tour bus that overturned in Arkansas last week. Officials say the bus was in, quote, "such bad physical shape, it should have been taken off the road." They found sheet metal glued to the roof and cracks in the frame. Fourteen people killed in that accident. And bursts of flaming rocks and heavy smoke. No, it's not Mount St. Helens in Washington State. You are looking at Mexico's Volcano of Fire. It's registered more than 60 small explosions in the last couple of days. The volcano is considered one of the most destructive in the country. Unbelievable pictures there.

Meantime, though, we want to go back to Bill now once again in Columbus, Ohio -- Bill.

HEMMER: All right, Heidi, debates are over. They are done with right now. Where are the next battles now fought for the campaign? Two reports this morning, Suzanne Malveaux is with the Bush team in Scottsdale, Arizona. Ed Henry is with the Kerry campaign in Las Vegas, Nevada, and let's start this morning this hour with Suzanne there.

Good morning.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Bill.

It was last night President Bush before a crowd of 35,000 said that he enjoyed this debate, that it was really his chance to present his vision for the next four years. And while Bush aides say that they believe his performance was a strong performance, they say that they are eager for President Bush to get out to friendly and familiar territory.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In order to make sure we're secure, there must be a comprehensive plan.

MALVEAUX (voice-over): It's choosing time, Bush aides say. The president will be traveling to key battleground states nearly every day until the election. This week, Nevada, Oregon, Iowa, Wisconsin and Florida. Mr. Bush's strategy, to promote his vision of protecting the country and growing the economy.

KARL ROVE, SR. WHITE HOUSE ADVISER: He gave us the wind at our back. The president was the clear, commanding victor tonight, and that's going to give us a great momentum going out on the trail here for the last 19 days.

MALVEAUX: Bush aides say there are still 14 battleground states left, but they will dwindle fast. The Bush campaign will shift its resources for TV ads and presidential trips accordingly. Bush campaign strategist Matthew Dowd says he's already seeing signs that the Kerry camp is giving up on hard-fought territory.

MATTHEW DOWD, POL. ANALYST: They pulled out of Missouri, they pulled out of Arizona, they pulled out of Arkansas, they pulled out of Virginia, they pulled out of North Carolina, all states that they ceded to us, so they're now having to defend more Gore states than compete in Bush states, which is a very good sign for us.

MALVEAUX: At the same time, the Bush campaign is mobilizing it's 1.2 million volunteers to get people to the polls.

But strategy aside, political analysts warn that unforeseen events could dramatically impact the election. For instance, the capture of Osama bin Laden, more violence on the ground in Iraq or another terrorist attack.

DAVID GERGEN, "U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT": If there is violence from terrorists, much will depend on where it happens. If there is great violence against American troops overseas, that could very easily play to advantage of Senator Kerry.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MALVEAUX: President Bush today travels to Nevada. That is state that he narrowly won back in 2000. He also travels to Oregon. That's going to present some challenges for the president, where they face a 7.4 unemployment rate in that state. Also, they lost about 900 jobs between July and August, but Republicans, the Bush camp, believes that is a state that is still very much in play -- Bill.

HEMMER: You mention Nevada, Suzanne, let's go there now, in Las Vegas.

Here is Ed Henry there with the Kerry team.

Ed, good morning there.

ED HENRY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Bill.

The Kerry camp is claiming victory. They say they won the triple crown. They want to use that momentum to shift the focus to the domestic agenda, and it will start this morning to a speech to the nation's largest senior citizen lobby.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HENRY (voice-over): Using the final debate as a springboard, John Kerry today launches a 10-day offensive, highlighting domestic issues.

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The fact is the take-home pay of a typical American family as a share of national income is lower than it has been since 1929. And the take-home pay of the richest .1 percent of Americans is the highest it's been since 1928.

HENRY: The Kerry camp believes the senator's recent attacks on the president's Iraq policy have rallied the anti-Bush vote. Now the senator wants to move to the middle and reach out to undecided voters.

JOE LOCKHART, SR. KERRY ADVISER: The first two debates really made clear for the public the stark choice on Iraq. I think what they want to hear now is more of, how are you going to turn the job situation around? How are you going to get health care costs under control? How are you going to get more people enrolled under health care? HENRY: Yesterday, the campaign was quick to jump on a comment by Treasury Secretary John Snow, who called accusations that the president has a weak record on jobs, quote, "a myth."

SEN. JOHN EDWARDS (D-NC), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I wonder if the four million Americans who've fallen into poverty in the last four years, I wonder if that's a myth. What about the fact that folks income is going down at the same time that the cost of virtually everything -- health care, child care, college tuitions -- is going up? I wonder if they think that's a myth?

Well, here's the truth, come November 2nd, we're going to send George Bush out of town, and that will not be a myth.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HENRY: Senator Kerry will start highlighting those differences between he and the president on the homefront right here in a few hours, when tells the AARP that he shares their concern, their desire to start importing cheaper drugs, prescription drugs from Canada, something the president has refused to do. But the Bush campaign is not going to give an inch. First lady Laura Bush will also be addressing this conference -- Bill.

HEMMER: All right, we'll be watching and waiting for that. Ed Henry, thanks, live in Las Vegas this morning, and Suzanne Malveaux before that in Arizona.

Back to Heidi with more news on Iraq, in New York City -- Heidi.

COLLINS: That's right, Bill. In fact, fighting word from Iraq's Prime Minister Ayad Allawi. He's threatening a military onslaught against rebel-hold Falluja unless foreign fighters there are turned over to Iraqi authorities.

Meanwhile, a "Washington Post" report points to cracks in the insurgent alliance in Falluja. Karl Vick is the "Post" correspondent in Baghdad.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: Karl, the U.S. administration has traditionally seemed to lump together these foreign fighters and insurgents over in Iraq. But now, you write that some of the insurgents want the foreign fighters out of Falluja. What is causing this split?

KARL VICK, "WASHINGTON POST" CORRESPONDENT: Well, there has always been a division, I mean, there's always been separation in the forces fighting in Falluja. There are the natives of Falluja, who, you know, have never taken to the occupation from the beginning, and then when the siege in April, the Marine siege of the city occurred in April, and there was a great deal of publicity about that and the civilian casualties that attended it, people from around Iraq were going to Falluja, and also some people from across borders, you know, Arab jihadist, and other foreign fighters. So in some ways it's not a new division, but it's the separation between them, the gaps between them. The splits have been aggravated in recent weeks.

COLLINS: What will it mean for the coalition and the U.S. military? Is this split something that they could now possible take advantage of?

VICK: Well, they definitely want to take advantage of it. They've been monitoring it as closely as they can, I think.

Our story didn't come from the Americans; it came from what we were hearing out of Falluja, where it's difficult to report and you sort of have to do things in indirect ways. But it's definitely a picture we got, and the Americans encourage it. They want to see a cleaving of the people, of the sort of natives of Falluja, who would agree to a peace deal, from the diehard foreign and even local insurgents who would -- who want to fight to the death.

COLLINS: And, Karl, if they are asking to eject these foreign fighters, where will they go?

VICK: Well, that's a good question. I mean, the one advantage of having everyone in Falluja, is you know where everybody is. When I say everyone I'm talking about the sort of most hardcore sort of terrorist elements. If they are already -- we heard reports that Zarqawi was aware that they -- there was danger in the clustering in Falluja, and that's why a front opened in Baghdad about a month ago, and Haifa Street suddenly became dangerous, and why Samarra and Baqubah and other sort of cities in the Sunni Triangle flared, because he was dispersing his forces. Now we're seeing other fighting around Ramadi and north of there, and that may be some dispersion of forces.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: Karl Vic for us from "The Washington Post." He's a correspondent in Baghdad.

(WEATHER REPORT)

COLLINS: Still to come on AMERICAN MORNING, Andy Serwer's "Minding Your Business. " He'll tell you why Congress wants to give Tiger Woods a tax break.

Plus, the lines are long, but the supplies low. What do you do if you can't get a flu shot? We're Paging Dr. Gupta for some tips on that.

Plus, a high-profile case of he said, she said. Graphic allegations of sexual harassment against Bill O'Reilly, but the talkshow host is fighting back.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COLLINS: The serious shortage of flu vaccine puts many high-risk patients in danger of not getting inoculated. So what to do if you can't get a flu shot. Sanjay Gupta is in Los Angeles this morning with a little bit of advice on this. A lot of people getting pretty frustrated here, Sanjay.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, they are getting frustrated, and this price gouging as well that you've been talking about with Andy, really reprehensible as well.

A couple of things to put in perspective. There's About 22.4 million doses out still that have not been sent out yet. They're going to divert those flu shots to areas of the country that haven't received enough of the flu shot as of yet. They are going to be reserved now we've heard so many times for people who are young, who are elderly, and people who have chronic medical conditions. These are considered the high-risk people.

Everyone is coming to terms now, Heidi. We've talked to the CDC and a lot of other public health officials about this. People are coming to terms to the fact that there are going to be high-risk people that don't receive the flu shot this year. So that does pose a few questions.

First of all, if you are one of the healthy people you might be eligible for something known as flu mist. That's something we've talked about before. You actually spray it into your nose. We're talking about the people between the ages of 5 and 49, and you can't take it if you're pregnant as well.

But if you are someone who does develop the flu, have not had your flu shot this year. There are some other options as well. There's a medication called Tamiflu out there. This is a medication that's not going to cure you of the flu, it's not going to take care of the virus, but what it's going to do is shorten the duration of symptoms. Tamiflu is the name of one of them. Some of the other ones, Relenza (ph) Simetril (ph) and Flumadeen (ph). Those are some other medications again that you can take possibly to shorten some of those aggravating symptoms of the flu -- Heidi.

COLLINS: Well, hopefully, though, you know, with the shortage, people won't say, oh, I don't really have the flu. I mean, how do you know if you do actually have the flu versus just a cold.

GUPTA: Yes, that's a really good point actually. I think people are going to be more vigilant this year, and a lot more people are going to think they have the flu when in fact they might have the common cold instead of the full-blown flu.

Take a look at some of the differences in symptoms when you are talking about the cold versus the flu. First of all, sneezing is going to be something that you see with both of them. That's not unusual. Fever, though, is rare with a cold. I think I should say fever. Fever rare with a cold, high with the flu. Headaches again rare with the cold, prominent with the flu. Aches and pain, exhaustion. You can see the differences there. So really, you know, get a sense of your symptoms. More likely, statistically, you're going to have the common cold versus the flu -- Heidi.

COLLINS: Fever, fever, whatever.

Quickly, though, remind us, Sanjay, how do we protect ourselves? I mean, we get this every year, but people really need to be reminded.

GUPTA: Yes, I think they do. You know, it's 19th century medicine all over again. But you're talking about a virus that can spread through the air from person to person, and that's what makes it so important that people, if they get sick, that they stay home from work. You don't want to get many people, you know, at work sick as well. Wash your hands as much as possible. That's going to be important, avoiding the close contact, washing your hands and then avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Avoid doing that so that you don't make yourself sick, even if you do have some of the virus on your hands, for example.

19th century medicine, Heidi. Let's hope for everybody's sake that it doesn't end up being a really significant flu season. If it's a mild flu season, hopefully everyone's going to get through it just fine -- Heidi.

COLLINS: Yes, definitely. The next time we talk, I want to hear about tips to teach your 3-year-old to do all those things, OK.

Sanjay, thank you.

GUPTA: Thank you.

COLLINS: A high-profile case of he said, she said. Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly is suing an employee of Fox News and her lawyer, charging extortion. That suit filed just hours before Andrea Mackris, an associate producer for "The O'Reilly Factor," and a former CNN employee, sued her boss and Fox, alleging O'Reilly on several occasions made sexually explicit comments to her in person and over the phone.

The lawsuit contains graphic accounts of what O'Reilly allegedly said and did. Her lawyer is not saying whether she has recordings.

A Fox lawyer said he doesn't believe any of the actions rise to the level of unlawful activity. While O'Reilly did not specifically deny the allegations on his show, O'Reilly said he had no choice but to file the extortion complaint because of some people who are demanding 60 million or they will punish me and Fox News, what he said there. Mackris' attorney said the extortion claim is without merit.

COLLINS: Well, still to come, a new report with details behind one country's decision not to support the invasion of Iraq, and they are not flattering. "The Cafferty File" just ahead on that here on AMERICAN MORNING.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: Welcome back. JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: Pork is spelled P-G-A, and there's some economic data out that'S probably not going to help a struggling stock market. Andy Serwer is here "Minding Your Business."

Good morning.

ANDY SERWER, "FORTUNE" MAGAZINE: Indeed, good morning to you.

Let's talk about that econ first, shall we? Trade deficits out, $54 billion for the month of August. Second higher ever. We're on pace for a record. Why? China and oil. Oil -- importing oil, that's making the trade deficit go up, jobless claims up, and they've been going up the past couple of weeks, 352,000. Futures are a little bit mixed to down right now. One stock on the move is Apple. We talked about them having a blowout quarter. That stock is up about 4 percent in premarket trading.

Going through this new tax bill they passed earlier this week, what did Will Rogers say? I just report the facts. And getting through it a little bit here, we noticed something about the PGA golfers. What they try to do is reform deferred compensation plans where wealthy people put money into a pool and then it grows tax free. They try to reform a lot of loopholes.

Now listen to this, on page 598 of the tax code, the new tax plan, it says that exempted from this reform is, quote, "Any plan established or maintained by an organization incorporated on July 2, 1974." Well, guess what? That's the day that PGA event, Booze Allen (ph) Classic at Avenall in Maryland in June, and they played with the pros.

Listen to this, 26-year-old player started in 2001, 17 seasons, ranked 75th in the country, no major wins, no wins, would get $43 million.

CAFFERTY: Yes, I was going to say, Vijay Singh has earned $8 million this year, and they're doing this guy a favor, but the ordinary guy whose job went to India and is now working at McDonald's for 8 bucks an hour, they never heard of. I mean, it's obscene what they do.

SERWER: That's bad stuff.

CAFFERTY: Unbelievable.

All right, thanks, Andy.

The "Cafferty File" as follows. The Duelfur Report has some revealing insights into why France didn't want to go to war with the United States against Iraq, and it has nothing to do wit a WMD. This report claims powerful French officials and their profiteering friends were raking in billions of dollars in payoffs from the corrupt U.N. oil-for-food program. Duelfer named Charles Pasqua, France's former interior minister -- there he is; looks like he's eating well -- as being involved in the payoffs. Pasqua denied the allegations, but did point fingers at some of his ex-associates. France's diplomats here in the U.S. are furious, calling the report unacceptable.

U.S. companies are probably not without guilt in this as well. Judith Miller of "The New York Times" names Chevron, Mobil, Texaco, Bay Oil and Oscar Wyatt Jr. as possibly profiting as mush as $23 million from the corrupt U.N. oil-for-food program.

Men in Shanghai are attributing the unhappiness in their lives to having weak chest muscles. And as a result, they have small breasts, so they're getting breast implants, these guys are.

SERWER: No, no they're not.

CAFFERTY: "The Shanghai Daily" reports most of the male patients seeking breast implants want to impress women, clients, and in some odd cases, their boss. Male breast implants do carry the same warnings for men as for women.

SERWER: Would that impress you, I have to ask?

CAFFERTY: I have no intention of getting that close to a Shanghai male any time soon where I would have to make a decision on it.

SERWER: Shanghai surprise, yes.

COLLINS: Talking about Shanghai men's breast implants.

SERWER: How did we get there, Heidi?

CAFFERTY: Aren't you glad you came up from Atlanta to join this little deal?

COLLINS: I am thrilled.

All right, and on that note, we're going to turn it back over to Bill now once again in Columbus, Ohio.

Bill, you staying warm out there?

HEMMER: I'll tell you, I'm a lot safer here in Columbus after listening to that.

CAFFERTY: Bill, you got to come back to New York. You can't go directly to Chicago. You promised to carry my luggage at the airport.

HEMMER: If you're lucky.

In a moment here, the flash polling last night seems to indicate a clear winner in this debate. We'll check in in a moment here. Our Carlos Watson joins us in a moment, Jeff Greenfield, his take from last night. Who do they believe did a better job? And what happens now with 19 days to go? The homestretch, on this AMERICAN MORNING, campaign 2004.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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