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LOU DOBBS TONIGHT
Bush, Kerry Hammer Each Other on Iraq, War on Terror; Another U.N. Scandal
Aired October 20, 2004 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU DOBBS, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, President Bush and Senator Kerry hammer each other on Iraq and the global war on terror.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN K. KERRY (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: On George Bush's watch, America is more threatened that we were before.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Iraq is no diversion, but a central commitment in the war on terror.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOBBS: The White House says there's no problem with the national security adviser being on the campaign trail.
And the White House insists Congress drops September 11 commission border reforms that would make it easier to stop the traffic of illegal aliens. We'll have a special report.
In Face Off tonight, the escalating battle over a ballot initiative to make Arizona less attractive to illegal aliens. We'll have a debate.
And you've got to love the United Nations. Bungling U.N. bureaucrats give a former employee accused of genocide in Rwanda a year's back pay.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TONY GREIG, FORMER WAR CRIMES INVESTIGATOR: He set about shutting down and killing these Tutsi colleagues and their families.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOBBS: Tonight, our special report.
ANNOUNCER: This is LOU DOBBS TONIGHT for Wednesday, October 20. Here now for an hour of news, debate and opinion is Lou Dobbs.
DOBBS: Good evening. Senator Kerry today declared the president's policies have made this country weaker, not stronger, and Senator Kerry said President Bush has failed to build the strongest alliance possible to defeat terrorism.
Frank Buckley reports from Pittsburgh.
FRANK BUCKLEY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Senator John Kerry went after President Bush on what polling shows is still a strength for the incumbent president, his ability to lead on Iraq and in the war on terror.
KERRY: You know, the president says he's a leader. Well, Mr. President, look behind you. There's hardly anyone there. It's not leadership if we haven't built the strongest alliance possible and if America is going almost alone.
BUCKLEY: Kerry's criticisms coming amid a steady stream of pointed jabs from President Bush on Kerry's national security credentials and on his proposals for Iraq.
KERRY: Last month, I spelled out my specific strategy for how we could be successful. Now President Bush is running around the country trying to claim that my plan is what he's already doing. Well, ladies and gentlemen, he could not be more wrong or more out of touch with reality.
BUCKLEY: Kerry said, for one, he would establish an international advisory group for Iraq that would include key allies and Iraq's neighbors, something Kerry claims Bush cannot do because of the way other countries have been treated by this administration.
After the speech, Kerry left Iowa for another battleground state, Pennsylvania, a place Kerry visited just yesterday, a state he'll be visiting again next Monday, this time with former President Bill Clinton. Mr. Clinton, recuperating from recent quadruple bypass surgery, expected to speak at a rally in Philadelphia.
BUCKLEY (on camera): The Kerry campaign hopes President Clinton will excite Democrats and encourage them to turn out, while also reminding swing voters of the prosperity of the 1990s.
But Bill Clinton is still a recovering heart patient and this appearance is described as a one-shot occurrence, but advisers say they'll welcome President Clinton at future rallies if his doctors will allow it.
Frank Buckley, CNN, Pittsburgh.
DOBBS: President Bush immediately struck back at Senator Kerry today. President Bush said Senator Kerry's views on national security are so misguided that Senator Kerry would be unable to defeat terrorism. President Bush made his comments as he campaigned in three critically important swing states in the Midwest.
Dana Bash reports from Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
DANA BASH, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With his opponent some 80 miles away saying the Iraq war proves the president is not the leader he claims to be, Mr. Bush veered from his speech on the economy and health care in rural Iowa to fire back.
BUSH: Iraq is no diversion, but a central commitment in the war on terror.
BASH: Diversion is what Senator Kerry calls Iraq. Trying to prove him wrong, the president seized on a new statement from Abu Musab al-Zarqawi who many call responsible for terror attacks in Iraq now.
BUSH: The other day, Zarqawi publicly announced his sworn allegiance to Osama bin Laden. If Zarqawi and his associates were not busy fighting American forces in Iraq, does Senator Kerry think he would be leading a productive and peaceful life?
BASH: Kerry aides say the president is missing the point, that terrorism is rampant in Iraq because of Mr. Bush's poor post-war planning. Mr. Bush also jumped on an oft quoted "New York Times" article where Kerry adviser Richard Holbrooke called the war on terror a metaphor like the war on poverty.
BUSH: Confusing food programs with terrorist killings reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of the war we face, and that is very dangerous thinking.
BASH: All this at the first of three stops in blue states the president is determined to turn red. The last time Iowa and Wisconsin went Republican was 1984. Minnesota picked Jimmy Carter in 1976 and hasn't voted GOP since.
But the Midwest trio adds up to 27 electoral votes, the same number as the coveted Florida, seven more than all-important Ohio, and polls show each state very close.
BASH: And the president's aides were well aware by responding to Senator Kerry on national security, they were stepping on their own message of the day which was supposed to be domestic issues, especially health care, but the president's political aides say that if Senator Kerry wants to talk about national security, it's something that they believe is their turf so they're happy to engage -- Lou.
DOBBS: Dana, thank you.
Tomorrow, President Bush will be in Pennsylvania where Senator Kerry is tonight. It's one of three states that could well decide this election.
Bill Schneider reports.
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST (voice-over): Among the 14 battleground states, three stand out: Pennsylvania, Florida and Ohio. They're the biggest, each with 20 or more electoral votes. Political insiders say whoever wins at least two of those three states will win the election.
In 2000, George W. Bush carried Ohio and Florida. Al Gore took Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania has a lot of socially conservative voters -- anti-abortion, pro-gun rights.
BUSH: It's good to be a part of the world where people like to hunt and fish.
SCHNEIDER: Pennsylvania also has a large population of seniors. John Kerry is counting on them.
KERRY: My fellow Americans, on November 2, Social Security is on the ballot.
SCHNEIDER: Four nonpartisan polls taken in Pennsylvania this month all show Kerry in the lead. Average the four polls, and you get Kerry 49 percent, Bush 45 percent.
Florida has a popular Republican governor named Bush and a good economy.
JOHN MERCURIO, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: They have one of the best job markets in the country.
SCHNEIDER: The devastating hurricanes this year enabled President Bush to campaign without seeming to campaign, but Florida remains a wild card because of the state's rapidly growing ethnic minorities.
KERRY: (Foreign Language)
SCHNEIDER: In six Florida polls taken this month, Bush leads in four, Kerry in one, and one shows a tie. The average: Bush 48 percent, Kerry 45 percent.
That leaves Ohio where the economy over the last four years has not been good.
KERRY: The net bottom line is 1.6 million private sector jobs lost, 237,000 of them right here in Ohio, 173,000 manufacturing jobs.
SCHNEIDER: In 2000, the Gore campaign pulled out of Ohio in the last few weeks. Kerry doesn't intend to do that.
MERCURIO: The Kerry campaign, on the other hand, last week was running this bus tour through some very rural southern conservative parts of Ohio.
SCHNEIDER: Five nonpartisan polls in Ohio this month all show a close race. The average: Kerry 48 percent, Bush 47 percent, statistically a dead heat.
SCHNEIDER: So, if you want to spend the last weeks of this campaign at political ground zero, buy yourself a ticket to Ohio because it may all come down to the Buckeye State.
Lou, I'll see you in Toledo.
DOBBS: Well, I don't know if it will be Toledo, but you will -- it's not unlikely you will see me in Ohio. Thanks a lot.
This election faces unprecedented security not only from the thousands and thousands of attorneys, both Republican and Democrat, but also from international observers. As many as 100 observers from a little known European security organization soon arrive in this country to watch over our election.
Critics say that it is simply ludicrous that foreigners will be monitoring elections in one of the oldest and most successful democracies in the world.
Kitty Pilgrim has our report, Democracy at Risk.
KITTY PILGRIM, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): St. Louis, Missouri, had a problem in the year 2000. People who had moved couldn't verify they were really registered. So this time around, city officials hope election monitors will pronounce the process glitch-free.
GARY STOFF (R), ST. LOUIS DIRECTOR OF ELECTIONS: It's extremely important in the City of St. Louis that we have a very efficient, well-run election so that we can get past that perception that the City of St. Louis can't do its job in that regard.
PILGRIM: But some object to inviting international observers to put their seal of approval on elections in the world's oldest democracy.
REP. JEFF MILLER (R), FLORIDA: I do contend that our electoral process is the best in the world, and we do have redress for those that do have problems in that process.
PILGRIM: Earlier this year, 11 Democrats sent a letter to U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan asking for the United Nations to provide election observers.
KELLY BATES, ECONOMIC HUMAN RIGHTS PROJECT: We need an outside, you know, neutral body that can come in and make sure that the elections are monitored and evaluated and that they're fair.
PILGRIM: The United Nations says the only way they would do it is if the president asked for it, but another organization, the Vienna-based OSCE, a group that monitors elections in emerging democracies, is sending 100 observers.
Some say that is highly inappropriate. The group observes deeply flawed elections in Third-World countries, but, in the U.S., the rule of law is established, and the election system has its own checks and balances.
JOSHUA MURAVCHIK, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE: That they should come and supervise our election is -- is silly at best, and, at worst, it's quite destructive because it perpetuates this myth that it's impossible to tell a democratic country from a nondemocratic country.
PILGRIM: Now another objection is international monitors cannot possibly observe all the voting, and, at best, the process will be spotty. Any results written up after the election will not be comprehensive or conclusive -- Lou.
DOBBS: So what in the world is the point of this?
PILGRIM: It seems totally gratuitous, but...
DOBBS: But underway.
PILGRIM: But demanded for in certain quarters.
DOBBS: But that's sort of the way things are working right now in America.
Kitty Pilgrim, thank you very much.
Still ahead here, Teresa Heinz Kerry apologizes to the first lady. We'll have that story just ahead.
Also tonight, incredible incompetence and bungling at the United Nations. Imagine that. A U.N. employee accused of genocide has never faced trial, and the United Nations even saw fit to provide him with back pay. We'll have that story.
And the White House demands Congress kill border security reforms that would help kick illegal aliens out of this country.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOAN MOLINARO, 9/11 FAMILIES FOR A SECURE AMERICA: If you can't close the borders, then you can't protect our borders the way they're supposed to be. We'll never be safe in this country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOBBS: We'll have a special report for you.
And fear factor on the campaign trail. Both President Bush and Senator Kerry accused of using scare tactics trying to win votes in the final days of this campaign.
That story and a great deal more still ahead.
DOBBS: The White House tonight has stepped up its pressure on Congress to remove controversial measures on border security from the intelligence reform bill. Those measures would increase the number of border agents in this country and expedite the deportation of illegal aliens.
The White House pressure on Congress has angered some relatives of the 3,000 Americans who were killed on September 11.
Lisa Sylvester reports.
LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The House bill calls for the expedited removal of illegal aliens who have been in the United States five years or less, bans the federal government from accepting foreign-issued consular cards and expands the number of agents patrolling the border.
But the Senate version does not contain the same provisions. Immigration reform advocates argue it's impossible to ensure the country's safety without protecting the borders.
ROSEMARY JENKS, NUMBERSUSA: To think that we can address the 9/11 terrorist attacks without addressing immigration is putting our heads in the sand, which we have been doing for decades now with this out-of-control immigration policy.
SYLVESTER: But the Bush administration is pressuring Congress to remove those provisions.
In a letter to Congress, the White House says it strongly opposes the overbroad expansion of expedited removal, it "should be modified or dropped altogether" and "has concerns with the overbroad alien identification standards."
That's angered some of the 9/11 victims' families who say they don't want a watered-down version of the final bill.
MOLINARO: The Senate bill is comparable to a Hollywood set, all fronts, no sides, no backs, no roof. The failures were there before 9/11 in immigration, and they're still there. If you can't close the borders, you can't protect our borders the way they're supposed to be. We'll never be safe in this country.
SYLVESTER: Some lawmakers say the 9/11 bill is being used inappropriately to overhaul the immigration system. REP. ROBERT MENENDEZ (D), NEW JERSEY: These controversial and dangerous provisions, many of which have not even undergone a hearing and are opposed by the White House, and the statement of administration policy encompasses the largest rewrite of immigration law since 1996.
SYLVESTER: But other congressional members say they are fulfilling a promise to the 9/11 families.
REP. JAMES SENSENBRENNER (R), WISCONSIN: How can we face grieving families in the future and tell them while we might have done more, the legislative hurdles were just too high.
SYLVESTER: The differences are being worked out in conference committee. Lawmakers are trying to get something passed before the election, but that's not a guarantee -- Lou.
DOBBS: Not a guarantee and one suspects every effort being made to avoid that passage before the election by both parties.
Thank you very much.
The presidential candidates and their running mates are using, of course, every tactic possible to win this election, even fear. Hardly a day goes by without a new round of charges and countercharges on highly sensitive issues, whether Social Security, the draft or nuclear terrorism.
Bill Tucker has our report.
BILL TUCKER, CNN FINANCIAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Halloween is more than a week away, but the presidential campaigns are already in the mood. The Republicans are fond of the terrorist bogeyman.
RICHARD CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The biggest threat we face now as a nation is the possibility of terrorists ending up in the middle of one of our cities with deadlier weapons than have ever before been used against us.
TUCKER: Senator Kerry likes to scare up support with the dreaded draft threat.
KERRY: Given the way that he has gone about this war and given his avoidance of responsibility in North Korea and Iran and other places, it is possible. I can't tell you.
TUCKER: Not all threats are military.
KERRY: Under his plan, you don't have a prayer of getting a flu shot, ladies and gentlemen. TUCKER: And, of course, there is the tried-and-true Social Security threat.
KERRY: His four-year spending spree on tax giveaways for millionaires has undermined the hopes of middle-class families, and it has put Social Security on a dangerous road.
TUCKER: Not to be outdone, the president coupled Social Security with taxes.
BUSH: He has voted to raise taxes 98 times. I want to remind you he voted to tax Social Security benefits.
TUCKER: And leave it to late-night TV to express the greatest fear of all.
DAVID LETTERMAN, "THE LETTERMAN SHOW": Both candidates are now using fear tactics, and, you know, my fear -- honest to God, my fear is that one of them will get elected.
TUCKER: Perhaps it's fitting then that the most accurate presidential poll is the fright mask poll, which says simply the candidate whose mask sells the most by this Halloween wins the election.
Now it's crazy, Lou, but it's been right in every election since 1980.
DOBBS: In this election, you've got to be careful what you call crazy.
TUCKER: That's true.
DOBBS: Bill Tucker.
Tonight's thought is on fear. "In politics, what begins in fear usually ends in folly." Those are the words of British poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
Still ahead here tonight, another scandal at the United Nations. A U.N. employee accused of committing the most atrocious crime of all.
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MARK MALLOCH BROWN, U.N. DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM: It's terrible. It's unspeakable, and it's a reflection of a system where the secretary general and myself as the top managers have -- don't control it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOBBS: We'll have that special report for you tonight. And then in our Face Off, a debate over the illegal alien crisis and a controversial ballot initiative that aims to stop illegal aliens from crossing the border and enjoying the privileges of citizenship. Critics say it costs too much.
And growing concerns tonight about a dangerous flu shot shortage. I'll be joined by Dr. Anthony Fauci. He's director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He'll be here.
All of that and a great deal more coming right up.
DOBBS: And now an extraordinary story tonight about the United Nations and a U.N. employee who is accused of genocide. A war crimes investigator charged the United Nations employee with murdering as many as 20 people in Rwanda.
But, incredibly, the U.N. employee never faced trial, and, in fact, he received a year's back pay from the United Nations. In this report, I want to warn you now, there are graphic and disturbing images.
Richard Roth has the report.
RICHARD ROTH, CNN SENIOR U.N. CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ten years ago, genocide erupted in Rwanda. Investigators still believe one of the killers was a United Nations employee. Callixte Mbarushimana, a Rwandan Hutu, had been hired as a computer technician, but a U.N. investigator says when the slaughter began, Mbarushimana took over the U.N. aid compound and then joined in the killing.
GREIG: He armed himself. He was seen walking around with a rifle, pistol and possibly a grenade in his belt, and then he set about tracking down and killing his Tutsi colleagues and their families.
ROTH: Tony Greig was the lead investigator for U.N. War Crimes Tribunal on the Rwandan genocide. He says Mbarushimana knew exactly where his Tutsi coworkers were hiding.
GREIG: The evidence was quite clear that he had killed at least two -- we had eyewitness accounts to at least two colleagues -- plus their families, which put it up to about 15 or 20 people.
ROTH: But what really now stuns the United Nations is that Imbarushimna has just successfully sued for a year's back pay on grounds he was unfairly fired.
CALLIXTE MBARUSHIMANA, FORMER U.N. EMPLOYEE: I want to say first is that I was not involved in any kind of massacre in 1994.
ROTH: Eyewitnesses disagreed, but Moarushimana was never indicted by the U.N. Tribunal. Instead, the case was dropped. After the Rwanda genocide, Moarushimana went on to get two more United Nations jobs, landing in Kosovo for the United Nations Development Program.
(on camera): Mbarushimana was dismissed in 2001 after an arrest warrant arrived from the Rwandan government, but a judge in Kosovo refused to extradite him. Mbarushimana then went to France where he sought back pay from the U.N. A panel, which handles disputes between the U.N. and its staff members, ruled he was entitled to six months pay, and, last month, an appeal awarded him a 13 months' salary.
BROWN: It's terrible. It's unspeakable, and it's a reflection of a system where the secretary general and myself, as the top managers, have -- don't control it.
MBARUSHIAMANA: I have been persecuted for a long time. I have suffered enough. My family has suffered enough as well.
ROTH: But a senior U.N. official said, "Anyone with that serious a charge shouldn't be eligible to get pay until the charges are cleared up." Both the United Nations and the Rwandan government say they want the case revived.
Richard Roth, CNN, United Nations.
DOBBS: Coming up next, they are in this country illegally, but some say illegal aliens should have the same privileges as American citizens. Now it's up to the voters in Arizona to decide what they want for their state and whether they will pass a ballot initiative that could be a model for other states. Proposition 200 is at the center of tonight's debate in our Face Off.
And Condoleezza Rice on the campaign trail. The national security adviser facing criticism for making speeches in key battleground states. The White House says what's the problem.
And the flu vaccine shortage. What is being done to help those most in need. I'll be talking with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases next.
Stay with us.
ANNOUNCER: LOU DOBBS TONIGHT continues. Here now for more news, debate and opinion, Lou Dobbs.
DOBBS: We've reported extensively here about the critical flu vaccine shortage in this country. For more on what we can expect this flu season, I'm joined by Dr. Anthony Fauci. He's director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
And it's good to have you with us.
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: Good to be here, Lou.
DOBBS: Doctor, let me begin first. The idea that Congress is going ahead and getting flu shots, reports that prisoners are receiving flu shots all across the country, is this, in your judgment, an appropriate protocol, I think, as you might put it?
FAUCI: Well, we suggest that people adhere to the CDC guidelines, which are guidelines that say that you should vaccinate first right now the people who are in the high risk-categories and forestall the vaccination of people who are otherwise healthy and well and young. Those guidelines need to be followed voluntarily.
Individual physicians will make their own judgment calls, and I don't know the precise circumstances of those calls, but, in fact, I don't want to second-guess them. But what we feel is that the CDC guidelines should be followed right now until we get the people who are in the risk category vaccinated.
But, again, individual physicians will make their judgment calls.
DOBBS: And individuals making their individual judgment calls, if you will, not surrendering to the politics of the moment here, Dr. Fauci, Congress deciding to get flu shots apparently, many in the Congress. The president saying that he will not.
DOBBS: What do you think is the -- give us your best clinical counsel on this as well as that of public policy.
FAUCI: Well, I -- well, again, Lou, I have to -- I'd have to stick to the public policy and not try to, you know, second-guess the Capitol physician. The White House and the Department of Health and Human Services have made their decision to strictly adhere to the guidelines of the CDC, which means that if you're young, healthy and not in a risk group. The Capitol physician made a judgment call. I don't want to second guess him. That was the call that they made. And again, physicians are called upon to voluntarily adhere or under certain circumstances make their own call.
DOBBS: Doctor Fauci, that was carefully done and I compliment you for that.
Turning to the broader issue and more important to those people who have not received their flu shots, is there a possibility, your best judgment, of augmenting the short supply of vaccines in this country in time to be of use during this flu season?
FAUCI: Yes. And a couple things are going on that the general public should know about. First of all as announced in the press conference yesterday, Secretary Thompson was able to get a commitment from Aventis Pasteur for an additional 2.6 million doses of vaccines, so we now -- the totality of what we had, we thought it was a little more than 50, 53-4, we now have up to 60 million. The other thing that's important is that the CDC is very actively negotiating now with the Aventis Pasteur for the remaining 22 million doses to try to get a more equitable distribution so you don't see the kinds of lines with elderly people standing in line getting exhausted.
DOBBS: That's good news.
FAUCI: Yes, that is. We're going to try to stop that.
DOBBS: Are there steps now been taken by your organization, by the CDC, by the Department of Health and Human Services to make certain the United States -- Aventis Pasteur, obviously, a French company with production facilities, factories in this country. But is there now an understanding on the part of the medical community that we can't be dependent on others for the manufacturer of vaccines in critical elements of our national healthcare?
FAUCI: Well, it goes beyond that, Lou. It isn't just others. It's that there are so few pharmaceutical companies who even want to get involved in vaccine development that in some respects we're lucky we got the companies that we're able to get. This is a system that...
DOBBS: But if I may, doctor -- if I may, doctor, I understand markets and I know you do, but the fact is this is a matter of public policy.
DOBBS: And the United States surely our medical community understands we can never again be dependent, irrespective of markets, on supplies of vaccines not available to American citizens. Surely they're beginning to understand that?
FAUCI: Yes. They're beginning to understand that, but like I said you're correct in what you're saying. It goes even beyond that. This is a system that's been broken for a long time, literally for decades to not have the availability of having enough companies involved in this so we could have some certainty as to the supply. You're absolutely correct. The system has been broke for a while.
DOBBS: I'm not trying to lay political blame.
FAUCI: No. And I don't think there is political blame. I think it's the system.
DOBBS: I'm just saying, surely we're learning.
FAUCI: You bet. This is a public health issue, not a political issue, Lou.
DOBBS: Thank you very much, Dr. Fauci, as always. Your insight appreciated.
FAUCI: You're welcome.
DOBBS: Another issue of concern, of course, to Americans the invasion of millions of illegal aliens into this country. Three million illegal aliens expected to enter this country this year alone. The issue at the center of a heated political debate in Arizona over a proposed ballot measure, proposition 200. That measure would require proof of citizenship to register to vote in Arizona, a photo I.D. to cast a ballot. Proposition 200 would also make it a criminal offense for any government official to fail to report illegal aliens who apply for state benefits. Opponents say the measure simply would cost too much and do nothing to stop illegal aliens.
In tonight's "Face-off," I'm joined by one of the most vocal supporters of proposition 200. Randy Graf the majority whip in the Arizona House. Good to have you with us, Randy.
RANDY GRAF, ARIZONA HOUSE MAJORITY WHIP: Pleasure to be here.
DOBBS: And fighting against the proposition is Grant Woods. He's chairman of the no on proposition 200 and is the former attorney general of the state of Arizona.
Good to have you with us, sir.
GRANT WOODS, FMR. ARIZONA ATTORNEY GENERAL: Thanks, Lou.
DOBBS: Let me begin, Randy with you. This -- the polls show a narrow narrowing on this issue. Are you at this point concerned that you would have the votes to pass this proposition?
GRAF: I believe, Lou, that prop position 200 will pass rather handily at the polls. Even though the support level seems to have dropped in a couple recent polls, a little bit, the opposition has not grown. So I believe the voters in Arizona will vote for this.
DOBBS: And your thoughts on it?
WOODS: Well, you're right. You reported yesterday, I think, the latest polls shows that this has gone from somewhere in the 80s support down to 42 in the latest poll. I think if you ask people just the question, do you think that illegal aliens should be able to vote or be able to get welfare benefits, we all agree that they shouldn't. That's -- the law already prevents that. Prop 200 is just so poorly written that as people have started to focus in on what it really means, they see it's not just that, it's really much more and so they're saying they're going to vote no now.
DOBBS: And your -- Randy, what do you say?
GRAF: I disagree with the fact it's poorly written. The concerns that Mr. Woods and his organization and some of the other groups that have joined them, including the communist party in opposition to this, are for whatever reason they seem to have a problem with trying to prevent fraud. And proposition 200 is designed to prevent fraud in our elections and fraud in our welfare system by simply requiring proof of eligibility. The opponents aren't arguing the fact that we have the right to have eligibility requirements, including citizenship or legal residency for welfare and citizenship for voting. But for whatever reason they want to maintain the status quo. And Mexico has provisions similar to what we have here. Their election voter I.D. card has thumb prints and fingerprints on it and is verified. Requiring that of our citizens in Arizona is not asking too much. DOBBS: Grant, sounds like Mexico is an advanced nation as compared to the United States in terms of maintaining the integrity of their voting system. What's wrong with what Randy is saying, Grant?
WOODS: Well, Lou, we really don't use Mexico as our guide of how to run our society. If we wanted to be Mexicans we'd live in Mexico.
DOBBS: Specifically, allow enough of them to cross our borders so the trip is unnecessary.
WOODS: Let's make it clear here, Lou, I think -- I know you've been outspoken. I watch your show all the time. You've been outspoken that we -- that system is broken and we need real reform. There is a -- and we agree with that. There's a reason why. If you look at why is -- why is -- does this now failing to get even 50 percent in Arizona when it seems so obvious that we need reform.
It's because anyone who's looked at it, the key people our entire Congressional delegation, Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, the hospitals and hospital workers, the Chamber of Commerce and the unions, our governor who is a Democrat, myself as a Republican former attorney general, we all say we need to get serious here about immigration reform. This is a very complicated, difficult issue. Now is the time to do it. What this does, Senator John McCain is telling people vote no, because this will hurt our efforts in Congress. Politicians will continue to duck.
DOBBS: Let me ask you this or Randy maybe I should turn to you, you have a question or comment, Randy?
GRAF: Yes. Congressman Trent Franks is supportive of proposition 200, so it's not our entire Congressional delegation. But once again, we're talking here about what we can do in Arizona and we need to prevent voter fraud. Voter fraud is a big issue around the country. I mean, you've talked about it before. John Funds new books "Stealing Elections," he talks about a Rasmussen Research poll, that shows an 82 percent of Americans, including 75 percent of Democrats, support the idea of showing an I.D. card when you go to the polls to vote. So, this isn't radical.
WOODS: And if that's all it did, we wouldn't have a problem with it. But the reality is that voting by illegal aliens in Arizona or any other state is not a problem. You can't find -- I'm a former attorney general. You can't find a current or past attorney general, county attorney, county recorder who will tell you this is why people come over to the border or that it's a real problem. People don't come over the border to vote in our election. Apparently we have a lot of illegal aliens who are very conservative in Arizona, because they're voting conservative for people like Randy Graf I guess.
DOBBS: And your governor is what party?
WOODS: Our governor is...
WOODS: Our governor is a Democrat. Both our senators are Republicans, Senator Kyle and McCain. And they are all in agreement that we should vote no on this.
GRAF: Once again, a very generous welfare benefit program that we have in Arizona has to be controlled. And the legislature has tried to put things in place, and yet our welfare rolls are growing quickly. And we need...
DOBBS: You predict.
WOODS: We're all for that, but not for some knee jerk, poorly written proposition that in the end is going to affect all of us by increasing the cost of government, and increasing the level of government intrusion in our lives. It's a bad idea. That's why people are starting to vote no.
DOBBS: I have to leave it there, gentlemen. We thank you for being here. Grant Woods and Randy Graf. Proposition 200, Randy Graf says it will pass, Grant you're saying it shouldn't or are you saying it won't?
WOODS: You know, I think you see when something goes in six weeks from 80 plus percent to 42 we're on the right track.
GRAF: That 42 percent...
DOBBS: My mistake. I shouldn't have reintroduced the discussion after having concluded it. Thank you both gentleman.
GRAF: It will pass with 65 percent.
DOBBS: You're on the record. We appreciate it, gentlemen.
GRAF: Thank you.
DOBBS: We want to hear from you on this subject. Should Arizona, in fact, pass proposition 200, yes or no. Cast your vote at cnn.com/lou.
We'll have the results later here in the broadcast.
Coming up next, separating politics from policy. It's done all the time. Democrats say national security adviser Condoleezza Rice has blurred the line. The White House disagrees as you might expect. We'll have that report. And the final sprint to the finish: the presidential candidates narrowing their focus on critical battleground states. I'll be joined by three best political journalists in all the country.
And Teresa Heinz Kerry tonight says, I'm sorry to First Lady Laura Bush. We'll tell you why.
All that and a great deal more coming right up. Please stay with us.
DOBBS: National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice under fire tonight from Democrats who say she's campaigning for President Bush. The critics saying Rice has strayed too far from matters of national security and in to campaign politics. The White House insists there is no problem. Bob Franken reports from Washington.
BOB FRANKEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): By definition of the job, the president's national security adviser focuses on matters international, including the world's battlegrounds. But Condoleezza Rice's boss is facing a serious re-election challenge. Now critics are focusing on her appearances in domestic battlegrounds, battleground states.
CONDOLEEZZA RICE, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: And because of the president's plainspoken and resolute leadership in combatting WMD.
FRANKEN: This was Rice last week at Cleveland City Club. Cleveland, as is in Ohio, the much heralded, all-important to the election, Ohio. She's also spoken since Labor Day in Oregon, and is expected twice this week in Pennsylvania. Then still going.
The thing is, critics charge, it's unprecedented. Blatant politics in a time of so many crises. The White House and campaign point out Rice was invited to deliver these speeches, and insists that her appearances are appropriate.
UNIDENTFIED FEMALE: I know how careful she is to try to stay away from political events. It is part of her job, however, to explain the national security situation.
FRANKEN: Clinton national security adviser Anthony Lake gave two speeches during the 1996 election season. Both in Washington. And his successor Sandy Burger, gave one during the 2000 campaign, also in D.C. Zbigniew Brizezinski, who held the job for President Carter made two out of town. But speaking for the Kerry campaign in a conference call, Brizezinski told reporters that Condoleezza Rice has gone too far, too often.
ZBIGNIEW BRIZEZINSKI, FRM. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: I'm afraid that represents, at least in my book, excessive politization of an office which is unusually sensitive.
FRANKEN: For their part, secretaries of defense and state, Rumsfeld and Powell, have pretty much cooled their domestic jets about the president's world view during the election season. Pretty much.
COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: We're confident in our course, because we've worked hard to understand the world that is taking shape before us. And with this administration, with President Bush, there's no mystery about what we think. FRANKEN (on camera): But that speech was made in Washington. Condoleezza Rice has hit the road. And critics charge she strayed too far from the house, the White House. Bob Franken, CNN, Washington.
DOBBS: Still ahead, the battle for the Midwest. President Bush, Senator Kerry blasting one another's record in critical battleground states. I'm joined by 3 of the country's top political journalist.
And apology to the first lady: What Teresa Heinz Kerry said before she said I'm sorry. Stay with us.
DOBBS: Teresa Heinz Kerry tonight apologized for saying first Lady Laura Bush never had a real job. In an interview published in "USA Today" Heinz Kerry said, quote, I don't know Laura Bush, but I don't know that she has ever had a real job, I mean since she's been grown up. So her experience and her validation comes from important things, but different things.
Laura Bush in fact worked as a librarian, taught in Texas public schools for 9 years. Teresa Heinz Kerry is the CEO of the Heinz Family Foundation, a charity.
Let's turn now to our panel of top political journalists. Joining me Ron Brownstein from the "Los Angeles Times," Karen Tumlty of "Time magazine, Roger Simon of "U.S. News and World Report," all three in Washington today.
Now folks, we agreed here last night that these polls are effectively meaningless at this point. So, we're going to dismiss all those today. They're still relatively tight. The fact is, what is not tight is -- is the constraint on the part of these campaigns in scare tactics, both campaigns using them. Is this -- is this reaching a level we haven't seen in some time, Karen?
KAREN TUMULTY, TIME: I do think so, and it's more than just the Halloween season that is upon us. This election comes at a time when the country is very, very jittery about its physical security, about its financial security, and I think that the reason the campaigns are using these tactics are that they work.
DOBBS: They work, but, you know, the fact is, Senator Kerry referring to President Bush cutting Social Security benefits, suggesting that he would bring back the draft. Vice President Cheney talking about terrorism succeeding under President Kerry should he be elected. Roger, this is going a little bit beyond the pale, don't you think?
ROGER SIMON, "U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT": I wish it were beyond the pale. The fact is presidential elections are almost always about fear. Vote for Michael Dukakis and he'll let black people out of prison to rape and murder us. Vote for Barry Goldwater and we'll be in a thermo-nuclear war and our children will be incinerated. Vote for Bob Dole and he'll do away with Social Security.
DOBBS: You're depressing me, Roger. Are we really that stupid in this country?
SIMON: It's not a matter of stupidity. It's a matter I think of what Karen says is the hope is there among campaigns that fear will work, that if their positive message has not worked a negative message will work. And there seems to be evidence it works enough of the time to be worth the risk.
TUMULTY: Roger, it's always against -- it's about fear at the end. I can't recall an election when we have seen the two sides throwing so many things at the wall at once to see what would stick.
RON BROWNSTEIN, "LOS ANGELES TIMES": And not only that, this also adding to sort of the disparity aspect at the end of it. I find is like the "got you" element of it. All of this taking of quotes out of context on both sides and blowing them up into major campaign issues and kind of obscuring what are real and fundamental differences between the candidates. They have plenty to argue about legitimately. I just find it stunning that they are each choosing to close out this campaign on a kind of a "got you" nitpicky "John Kerry said terrorism is a nuisance," "what did President Bush say about Social Security." The fact is what their real views on Social Security and terrorism are different enough that you could have a legitimate and certainly pointed enough argument about that but they've descended in my mind into trivia.
DOBBS: Let's talk about some other trivia but it looks like it's having some resonance already, that is, Pat Robertson on this network telling Paula Zahn that he cautioned President Bush that there would be casualties in Iraq and the president rejected that. The White House says it's categorically untrue. Teresa Heinz Kerry apologizing for her remark that Laura Bush, the first lady, had never had a real job, but, in fact, she had been a teacher, a very important job. How is all of this playing out?
BROWNSTEIN: Can I talk quickly about -- I'll jump in on Teresa Heinz Kerry. I thought the problematic implication of that was that being a mother was not a real job and, obviously, that's a very important real job. She seemed to qualify that later in the statement when she said she has other important things that she's done for her validation. It seemed to open that kind of divide that Hillary Clinton wandered into in 1992. In the end I just can't imagine -- I still hold to my naive optimism that with troops in the field in Iraq and the budget deficit and trade deficit, that in the end virtually all voters are going to decide on consequential matters despite the kind of sandstorm that both sides are throwing up here at the end. But, you know, that optimism is being challenged in the press.
TUMULTY: I must say I was impressed by the fact that the Kerry campaign seems to have learned from the Mary Cheney flap and what we had with Teresa Heinz Kerry apologizing in the same news cycle so in this first round of stories her apology, which was a complete apology, makes the same story. SIMON: I suppose that is progress that you can smear a person and apologize in the same news cycle. This election isn't making new strides. But I find that -- we were talking about fear just a second ago. The real danger of the fear campaign is not a fear that Bush will have a draft or destroy Social Security, but it's that both sides are dealing with the fear of attack in the United States. Another 9/11. And that fear is...
DOBBS: Roger, let me interrupt you just for a second and then continue. But I wanted to -- we're looking now at live pictures of Senator Kerry campaigning in Pittsburgh as you are speaking. Go ahead, Roger.
SIMON: The reason that fear is different than past elections is that it's realistic. There are few Americans, I believe, that we are -- it's impossible for us to be attacked again, and for both -- both sides have made that their main message. John Kerry will make us less safe. No. George Bush will make us less safe. And the American public is left to choose.
BROWNSTEIN: There's one other element, quickly, Lou, which is that when you get to the end of a campaign, the voters who are left, we're talking about very small numbers at this point but ones that could tip this thing one way or the other, tend to be people who are pretty cynical about politicians, negative on Bush's job performance but also dubious on whether John Kerry can fulfill the promises he's making.
So when you are addressing this final sliver of the electorate, they are probably a group that is more receptive and more likely to believe a negative message than a positive message and that may explain why we're seeing so much of this at the very end.
DOBBS: You think they'll believe a negative message more than a positive message?
BROWNSTEIN: Absolutely. Because I think that when you are -- when you are cynical about politicians...
DOBBS: Just now I thought optimistic, Ron.
BROWNSTEIN: I'm saying my optimism is being challenged here at the end. But I do think that's been generally a trend in the last, you know, really going back several decades as trust in politicians has eroded since the 1960s, that's the view among political intelligence. It's especially true when you get down to the last few percent of voters, the people who are really untethered to either party.
SIMON: I'm not sure I agree with that. I think that we're seeing an overheated rhetoric not because both sides are going after voters in the middle that are undecided but they're trying to jazz up their base. They're both convinced their bases will either do the job or not do the job on election day in terms of turning out a vote, and that's why the rhetoric has become so heated. DOBBS: Roger, thank you very much. Karen Tumulty, Ron Brownstein, Roger Simon, we thank you all. Tomorrow, we'll take up the issue of what the real differences are between these candidates going into the final days and what will motivate the base. Thank you, guys.
Still ahead here, the results of our poll tonight and a preview of what's ahead tomorrow. Please stay with us.
DOBBS: Now the results of tonight's poll. 81 percent of you say Arizona should pass Proposition 200 eliminating the benefits of illegal aliens achieving the privileges of citizenship in this country. 19 percent of you say you do not.
Thanks for being with us here tonight. Please join us tomorrow. Senator Susan Collins of Maine is helping lead negotiations on the massive intelligence reform legislation now in conference committee between the Senate and the Congress. She will be here tomorrow to talk about the White House demands to drop critical immigration and border security reforms within that legislation. As I speak her name, she is in negotiations as a matter of fact.
Also tomorrow here, democracy at risk. Voter intimidation. Provisional ballots. Legions of lawyers lining up for a fight over the integrity of our election system. We'll have two experts debating on face-off.
And outrage in Iowa over controversial campaign billboards. They use the words "illegal aliens." I'll be joined by Matthew Hayes (ph), the sponsor of those billboards. For all of us here, thanks for being here. Good night from New York. "ANDERSON COOPER 360" is next.
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