The Web    CNN.com      Powered by
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SERVICES
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SEARCH
Web CNN.com
powered by Yahoo!
TRANSCRIPTS


 

Return to Transcripts main page

JUDY WOODRUFF'S INSIDE POLITICS

Battleground Pennsylvania; Ballot Blues; Kerry Continues Trying To Cast Doubt on Bush's Iraq Policy; Electoral Tips From Overseas for U.S.?; Battleground Hawaii?

Aired October 26, 2004 - 15:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
GEORGE W. BUSH (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: On good days and on bad days, whether the polls are up or the polls are down, I am determined to win this war on terror.

ANNOUNCER: President Bush tries to show a steady hand, while his aides grapple with the political football in Iraq.

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Mr. President, what else are you being silent about?

ANNOUNCER: Senator Kerry keeps casting doubt on Bush's Iraq policy with only a week left to ease some voters' doubts about himself.

Ballot blues -- could the U.S. take some tips from overseas?

RAJDEEP SARDESAI, MANAGING EDITOR, NDTV: If the Americans really want to outsource something from India, they should be outsourcing our Indian electoral system.

ANNOUNCER: A keystone on Election Day -- is Pennsylvania still up for grabs?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you for joining us here in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania's capital city in the geographical heart of this battleground state exactly one week before Election Day.

Two new polls suggest that John Kerry continues to have the edge here in Pennsylvania, Kerry leading Bush by three points in an ARG poll of likely Pennsylvania voters, while Kerry has a five-point advantage in the Keystone poll of likely voters, two separate polls. John Edwards has an event here in Pennsylvania later this hour.

As for the men on the top of the ticket, they both started their campaign days in Wisconsin.

We begin with the Bush camp and our White House correspondent Dana Bash.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DANA BASH, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The president came to Wisconsin to talk about the economy.

BUSH: My policies support and strengthen the small businesses.

BASH: But his campaign wanted to talk about something he never mentioned, why they believe Senator Kerry attacked the president a day earlier based on questionable information. After "The New York Times" reported 380 tons of high-level explosives were missing from an Iraqi storage facility, the senator said this.

KERRY: This is one of the great blunders of Iraq, one of the great blunders of this administration and the incredible incompetence of this president and this administration.

BASH: NBC News later reported the 101st Airborne arrived at the site nearly a month into the war. They did not see the explosives.

Bush officials initially bombarded reporters with e-mails, saying that report proved "The New York Times" and senator wrong. Not so, said camp Kerry. Regardless, the White House should have showed more urgency. The president's aides now concede there are many unanswered questions about when the explosives explosion disappeared and who is to blame and say that's why Kerry is out of line.

DAN BARTLETT, WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: I think when you see the facts being contradicted in some cases through some of these reports that are coming out, it shows the weakness in their strategy down the stretch of this campaign.

BASH: Defending the president's execution of war, of course, was not the pre-planned Bush strategy of the day. That was to spin the Wisconsin's bus tour as proof they are in offense, going to Democratic areas of a traditionally Democratic state, getting pictures like these on local news exuding confidence. The candidate stayed on message.

BUSH: Getting people to go to the polls, remind them of this, that under the Bush administration, the farmers are doing just fine. The income is up and people are making a living and that's good for people all across this...

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: CNN's Dana Bash filed that report. And we want you to know that after she did, Dana phoned in to say that CNN directly asked the president about the missing explosives story, and the president declined to comment.

Now, we turn to the Kerry campaign and its take on missing explosives story and the broader questions the Democrats are trying to raise about the president and his policy.

CNN's Frank Buckley is at Kerry's next stop in Las Vegas.

Hello, Frank.

FRANK BUCKLEY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Judy. And Senator Kerry's appearance in Nevada another indication that this state this year is not the flyover state that it has been in previous years, both candidates spending time and money here in Nevada. For Senator Kerry, this is part of his Southwest strategy, to pick up a few electoral votes in the Southwest to try to offset President Bush's apparent strength in the traditional Southern states.

Now, Senator Kerry, as you said, earlier today was in Green Bay, Wisconsin, delivering the last of a series of closing arguments, policy speeches, Wisconsin, of course, a state that went to Al Gore in 2000, a tossup state this year. He was there to deliver this closing speech on homeland security. Senator Kerry saying President Bush hasn't done enough to secure America's ports, chemical plants and borders.

But he also went after President Bush on Iraq about those missing explosives and about reports that the president will seek more money to pay for war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KERRY: And now this morning we have learned that the president wants an additional $70 billion of your money early next year for Iraq and Afghanistan, bringing the total cost to date to nearly $225 billion. This is the incredible price of rushing and going it almost alone in Iraq.

Mr. President, what else are you being silent about? What else are you keeping from the American people? How much more will the American people have to pay? The American people deserve a commander in chief who will tell the truth in good times and in bad.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BUCKLEY: A Bush campaign spokesman called today's speech a series of baseless attacks and distortions. And while the Kerry campaign is moving toward rallies and away from speeches like this, clearly they will keep Iraq on the front burner and we can expect to hear about Iraq on a daily basis, Judy.

Speaking of the rallies, we can give you a sense of what the schedule looks like for the next couple of days starting today, the senator waking up and beginning his first event in Green Bay, Wisconsin, from there, coming here to Las Vegas, Albuquerque, New Mexico later today. On Wednesday, he will be in Sioux City, Iowa, Rochester, Minnesota, and then back at the end of the day to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. And then on Thursday, we're looking at Toledo, Ohio, Madison, Wisconsin and Columbus, Ohio, overnight in Florida that night.

We can also tell you that, in Ohio and Wisconsin, we learned today that the Boss, Bruce Springsteen, will be performing on stage on behalf of Senator Kerry. Springsteen and other musicians have been raising money to get out the vote for Kerry in a series of concerts for the independent political group America Coming Together.

Judy, we know that group has raised a gross of some $15 million over the course of some 38 concerts -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Well, with Springsteen coming out, that tells you just how close they think this election is.

Frank, thanks very much.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

WOODRUFF: And here in Harrisburg, you can hear some enthusiastic voters driving by our location.

Well, the Kerry camp meantime may be buoyed today by the latest ABC News/"Washington Post" tracking poll. It shows the Democratic leading Bush nation wide for the first time since August, though by just 1 percentage point. It's a dead heat, meantime, in the new "Los Angeles Times" national poll of likely voters.

When you average those surveys with others released in the past several days, Bush does have a slight advantage, leading Kerry 49 percent to 47 percent. Bush is holding on to the two-point edge that he had last week in our poll of polls, reflecting the tightening of the race after the presidential debates.

Of course, the presidential race will be decided state by state, particularly in those too-close-to-call battlegrounds. Tonight, at 8:00 Eastern, CNN releases a new poll of the race in Iowa, one of those showdown states where turnout is considered crucial.

Our senior White House correspondent, John King, went to Iowa for a firsthand look at the ground war there.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN KING, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Door to door in the state where it all began, the war once again an issue.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are both Iraqi war vets and we're supporting John Kerry for the next commander in chief.

KING: It was here in Iowa that Howard Dean put his stamp on the race, criticizing President Bush and most of his Democratic rivals for supporting the war in Iraq. And it was because of Dean in Iowa, the president says now, that Senator Kerry's support for the war evolved into opposition.

BUSH: First, my opponent said it would be irresponsible to vote against the troops. Then he voted against the troops.

KING: For the president, it is the defining difference as the campaign comes to a close.

BUSH: It is fair to say consistency has not been his strong point.

KING: Iraq war veteran Patrick Murphy doesn't see it that way and is campaigning for Senator Kerry four years after voting for Mr. Bush.

PATRICK MURPHY, IRAQ WAR VETERAN: I don't think there's enough troops on the ground. And I think that we don't have a plan to win the peace.

KING: This house was not on their canvassing list, but the blue star banner in the window means it is home to someone on active duty.

MURPHY: Is he in Baghdad, ma'am? Do you know?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, he's supposed to be on his way to Falluja, unfortunately. So...

KING: Murphy and fellow Iraq veteran Jeff Hussy (ph) promised to say a prayer. The military mom promises to vote Democrat.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) Kerry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you know you are doing us...

KING: This household is not. Iraq vets John Soltz (ph) and Jeremy Brusard (ph) make the case for Kerry. But this military mom is unimpressed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't think that he would be a great leader.

KING: Her political advice comes from two other Iraq war veterans.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My sons support Bush all the way, 100 percent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I respect that.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And they were there and they were in harm's way.

KING: Iowa is one of several farm state battlegrounds, like Wisconsin and Minnesota, a Gore state four years ago, close now. Some Iowa Democrats say things would be different in farm states if Senator Kerry had picked their governor to join the ticket. Nonsense, says the governor.

GOV. TOM VILSACK (D), IOWA: We've got the A team. We've got the A team on the field. I'm very happy with this team.

KING: Governor Vilsack predicts a Kerry win here, wishes the focus was lesson the war and more on the home front.

VILSACK: Well, I think he is strongest and most effective in terms of this election on speaking about the economy, speaking about health care and speaking about the tone. KING: Iowa is farm country and a classic swing state, Democratic governor, Republican legislature, a Democratic senator and a Republican senator, the presidential campaign a dead-heat, turnout the focus now. Halloween marks the final weekend, to some a chance to make one last campaign statement.

John King, CNN, Davenport, Iowa.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: Thank you, John.

Well, for Democrats, the Teamsters labor union is a driving force for getting out the vote on Election Day. Up next, I'll talk to Teamsters President James Hoffa about John Kerry, the turnout and the union connection.

Also ahead, Bush and the economy. I'll ask Commerce Secretary Don Evans about consumer confidence in the economy and in the president.

And blue Hawaii -- could the longtime haven for Democrats be turning into a red state?

With just seven days until the election, this is INSIDE POLITICS, the place for campaign news.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Coming to you live today from the battleground state of Pennsylvania, the state capital of Harrisburg, where on the capital grounds the feature attraction is the water fountain. And no, it is not an optical illusion. The water is tinted pink this month in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We're glad to point that out to you.

We are in Pennsylvania today, but Senator Kerry, we know all across this country, is counting on the union vote not just here, but in other crucial battleground states. And thousands of union members are knocking on doors and manning the telephones for the Democratic candidate.

Among those hitting the road to campaign for Kerry, Teamsters Union President James Hoffa. He's with us from Las Vegas -- except I'm told that we just lost the satellite signal. My apologies. We're going to try to get James Hoffa on the line in just a minute or so.

In the meantime, we're going to take a quick break. Is he back?

OK, he is back.

James Hoffa, are you there? Can you hear me?

JAMES HOFFA, PRESIDENT, TEAMSTERS UNION: I'm here, Judy. How you doing?

WOODRUFF: All right, sorry about that and glad to have you with us.

All right, we know, Mr. Hoffa, the polls show that it's close, John Kerry ahead in some states, but nationwide George Bush has a little bit of an advantage. Tell me what you're hearing from your union members and all the others that you talk to about where this race is.

HOFFA: I'm hearing that in the battleground states we're doing very well. I'm here in Nevada, where in Clark County, they have over 150,000 people have already voted, and there is a good Democratic margin here in Clark County right here in Nevada, right here in Las Vegas. I think that's important.

Las Vegas and Nevada is a battleground state. And I think this deems well for us that we're going to do well. There's a tremendous turnout. And I'm at a rally that's going to take place in a few minutes. And we're going to have over 20,000 people to be rallying for John Kerry. There's a tremendous momentum here. I've been talking to our members. Other union leaders have been talking to their members. They want change. They want jobs in America. And that message is getting through.

And I think things look very good in the battleground states. And I think John Kerry is going to win. He has got the momentum.

WOODRUFF: So, you are feeling good about that Western state. But I gather you have canceled plans to visit another western state of Colorado today. Is Colorado slipping away from John Kerry?

HOFFA: No. Only because of scheduling. We have people there. We feel very good about the race up there. We think Colorado is still very strong. And we're especially very encouraged by what we're hearing from Ohio and Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin. All seem to be coming our way. There seems to be a big lift, especially yesterday, all the media saw what happened when Bill Clinton got involved.

We had record crowds in Philadelphia. These are all coming together to create a momentum, which I think is very important in the final days.

WOODRUFF: James Hoffa, I'm told that while half of Teamsters membership count themselves as Democrats, the other half evenly divided between Republicans and independents. What does John Kerry need to do to win over those members of the union?

HOFFA: Well, first of all, I don't think that's true. I think it's more like 80-20.

Everywhere I go to union meetings -- and I have been to eight states so far just recently -- people are overwhelmingly out there for John Kerry. And they are excited about his candidacy. Today, I attended a huge meeting. I said, how many people voted? They all raised their hands. How many people voted for John Kerry? They all raised their hands. And this is the early voting that they have out here. So, that's an indication of what we are seeing. It was the same thing in Washington state. It was the same thing in Oregon. And everything we go, we are seeing this momentum that is coming on right now. People want change and they want to get rid of George Bush. They want to put John Kerry in the White House.

WOODRUFF: Very quick question. Everywhere he goes, George W. Bush says that John Kerry is going to raise taxes, not just on the wealthy, but on other Americans.

How do you persuade people that John Kerry is not going to do this? Because George Bush says you look at John Kerry's record. He's voted for tax increases dozens of times.

HOFFA: Well, I think, that, basically, the Republicans are putting out these wedge issues. But we're talking about jobs in America. We have a different approach to this.

We have lost nine -- we have nine million people unemployed. We have got three million manufacturing jobs that have left. We have got an administration that is telling everybody that it's good to send American jobs to the Third World. I think that's our approach to it. It's not about taxes. It's about raising the taxes on the very wealthy, but it's also about having good jobs in America so people can live the American dream. That's where we're coming from.

WOODRUFF: James Hoffa, the president of the Teamsters, thank you very much, joining us today from Las Vegas. Good to see you. Thanks very much.

To a different story: 380 million voters can't be wrong. That's the message from election officials in India for Americans who are concerned about problems at the polls next Tuesday -- the story when we return.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: The fiasco in Florida -- by the way, we are here in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

The fiasco in Florida in the last presidential election is still casting a big shadow this time around. Lawyers in New Jersey are trying to persuade a judge this afternoon to pull the plug on electronic voting. New Jersey plans to use touch-screen voting in 15 counties on Election Day. But critics say the machines contain no backup paper trail, so there is no way to verify the votes in a recount.

A new Marist poll shows concerns that many Americans have; 50 percent of the respondents say they believe it is likely that voters will be confused about how to cast their ballots; 43 percent say they believe it's likely that many votes will not be counted at all. And 36 percent think many people will show up and be told they are not eligible to vote. About twice as many Democrats as Republicans were voicing those concerns in the Marist poll. Well, to avoid Election Day pitfalls, the United States, perhaps, should look east to the world's biggest democracy. That's a view in India, where a national election this year went off without a hitch. And voters across the entire country cast their ballots on electronic voting machines.

The story from CNN's Satinder Bindra in New Delhi.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SATINDER BINDRA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Wild celebrations after a surprise outcome in India's recent general election, the first time 380 million Indian voters, far more than the entire U.S. population, used electronic voting machines.

Unlike the United States, where all 50 states have their own election rules, India's national election with its carnival-like charm is regulated by one independent organization, the Election Commission. When the commission bought one million locally made electronic voting machines for the May election, it ended in what was widely agreed to be a fair, uncontested and quick result.

It also ignited a debate here, whether the world's most powerful nation could learn some lessons from poorer countries with a passion for democracy.

SARDESAI: If the Americans really want to outsource something from India, they should be outsourcing our Indian electoral system. It will make their system much more transparent.

BINDRA: Not only transparent but inexpensive. The Indian machines cost about $500, but the Election Commission says they do deliver.

M.S. GILL, FMR. CHIEF ELECTION COMMISSIONER: We are proud of it. We're happy. And not a single machine had a glitch.

BINDRA: Both the winners and the losers accepted the final verdict, because there's confidence the devices are almost tamper- proof. Unlike their more expensive U.S. counterparts, which are connected to the Internet and more prone to hacking, Indian machines are simply sealed after voting. They are then transported to counting centers, where results are tabulated within hours.

India has now won votes of confidence in orders from several emerging democracy. The makers say the machines can be easily modified for U.S. usage. So far, though, there seems to be little interest from the United States.

(on camera): Many here believe this U.S. election is going to be another squeaker, one that may hasten electoral reforms, opening up the possibility U.S. officials might elect to take a look at India's technology.

Satinder Bindra, CNN, New Delhi.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: If they can do it, surely we can.

Well, 21 electoral votes. Other than Florida, most analysts say Pennsylvania is the biggest prize still up for grabs come Election Day. Coming up, I'll talk with the Keystone State's governor, a top local Republican, and a Harrisburg political reporter about the battle for Pennsylvania voters.

Plus, are Americans confident about the economy? The answer could help determine who wins the White House next week. Commerce Secretary Don Evans is my guest.

(STOCK MARKET UPDATE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Battling for the Badger State. President Bush searches for votes today in Wisconsin, a state he narrowly lost to Al Gore four years ago. Senator Kerry started his day in Green Bay, Wisconsin, before heading West to campaign in two other showdown states.

Welcome back to INSIDE POLITICS. I'm Judy Woodruff live this Tuesday in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the capital city.

You know, it seems the state of Pennsylvania has been in the spotlight constantly in this year's battle for the Oval Office. And with a week to go, the race here is still a tossup. Earlier today, in fact a short time ago, I spoke with Peter DeCoursey of "The Harrisburg Patriot-News." First question, how does the race now stand in Pennsylvania.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PETER DECOURSEY, "HARRISBURG PATRIOT-NEWS": Right now, there's a group of four to six percent of voters who are mostly working moms -- they're spread out across the state -- who have been fluctuating all year, literally, since May polls. And they have been picking the winner all the way through this.

At some point, thank heavens, we are going to have an election. They won't be able to move anymore, and they'll be stuck with whoever they are voting for when the music stops.

Right now, they swung back to Mr. Kerry because they are more concerned at the moment about jobs and the economy and health care. But at several points in the last five months they have been with Mr. Bush when they have been more concerned about terrorism.

They are the folks that Mr. Bush is aiming for with his Friday surprise, when he's going to make the supposedly emotional speech about 9/11 and the consequences of terrorism. And those are the group that he is hoping that when the music stops on November 2, they will have lined up with him just long enough to vote. WOODRUFF: Well, let's talk about President Bush at this point. He's been in this state, what, 41 times? Why hasn't he been able to make the sale with these women and with voters across the board and hang on to that majority?

DECOURSEY: Because, remember, he lost last time. This is a very job-sensitive state.

We not only tend to trail the rest of the nation when jobs are lost, but we tend to worry about it more than other places. So, that even when we have a cold, Pennsylvania thinks it has pneumonia and wants antibiotics from the doctor. They want big federal government action for jobs.

A good example is that we got so worried about the manufacturing industry that this area pushed President Bush very hard for the steel tariffs. But the problem is that we never think we're well. And so, because we lost 70,000 jobs in this administration and because, again, net in western Pennsylvania and northeastern Pennsylvania, the two areas which trend Democratic over jobs the most, but are also the most socially conservative and most winnable by Bush, the jobs issue has been a big help to Mr. Kerry. And again, these -- what we call the Casey Femocrats, these working moms, who lined up with Bob Casey but also with Ronald Reagan...

WOODRUFF: Who is a Democrat.

DECOURSEY: Who is a Democratic pro-life governor, whose son now is a hero among this same group...

WOODRUFF: Right. Right.

DECOURSEY: ... because he emphasizes issues of interest to working women and works on jobs and health care. Now, that group is going to end up being a huge key to this election and has been.

And right now, the president has worried them because they are afraid he's going to take their kids to Iraq. And the president has worried them because after -- whether you give President Clinton credit or not for the jobs -- for the hundreds of thousands of jobs that came to Pennsylvania during his term, people liked seeing the new jobs, and some of them even made it to western and northeastern Pennsylvania.

WOODRUFF: But very quickly, to wrap up here, if all that's the case, why hasn't John Kerry been able to get these voters and hang on to them? Why is it so tenuous for him even here at the end?

DECOURSEY: Because the president has made a good job -- has done a good job in selling the terrorism, and because he has done an excellent job in showing doubts about John Kerry's character. Because if you don't trust a guy, then what he promises to do doesn't matter as much. And President Bush has managed to show a lot of doubts about whether Mr. Kerry will do what he says.

Plus, President Bush has done an outstanding job of appealing to the upper middle class and above in Pennsylvania, and has a lot more votes there because of the tax cuts and a lot more votes among people who expect to be there in the next 10 or 20 years among the middle class.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: Reporter Peter DeCoursey of "The Harrisburg Patriot- News" helping us understand the political lay of the land here in Pennsylvania.

In a few minutes, my interviews with state Senator Jeff Piccola. He's chairman of the Bush-Cheney effort here in central Pennsylvania, as well as the Democratic governor of this state, Ed Rendell.

We'll be right back.

We're continuing, checking the latest polls from the Florida battleground. A new survey by the American Research Group gives John Kerry a three-point edge over George W. Bush, 49 percent to 46 percent. Ralph Nader picking up 1 percent.

Our own CNN/"USA Today"/Gallup poll in Florida still, though, shows Bush in the lead, with an eight-point advantage among likely voters and a nine-point lead among registered voters. When these two most event surveys are factored into our poll of polls for the Sunshine State, the race remains as close as ever, Bush 47 percent, Kerry 46 percent.

Also in Florida today, former President Bill Clinton continues his travels on behalf of John Kerry. Clinton spoke just a few hours ago at a synagogue in Boca Raton. He praised Kerry's frequent promise to get more U.S. allies involved in Iraq, and he criticized a range of Bush White House policies, including the Bush tax cuts.

Two more battleground state polls we want to tell you about. The first one from Ohio.

New numbers from the American Research Group give Kerry a two- point edge with one week to go, 49 percent to 47 percent. And in Arizona, the results are reversed. A new Arizona State University poll gives the president 49 percent, John Kerry 47 percent.

With just days to go until the election, consumer confidence about the economy has slipped for the third straight month. The survey by the conference board found consumer confidence at its lowest level since March. Economists are blaming the decline on the rise in oil prices and concerns about the job market.

With me now from Washington to talk more about the economy and the president's election prospects, Commerce Secretary Don Evans.

Secretary Evans, good to speak with you.

DON EVANS, COMMERCE SECRETARY: Thank you, Judy.

WOODRUFF: What about those consumer -- what about those confidence numbers? These numbers down for the second month in a row. What does that tell you about the president's stewardship?

EVANS: Well, Judy, I tell you, I think you have to look at the direction of the consumer confidence over the last year or two. And it's been up considerably. In fact, from the low, consumer confidence is up some 30 points. And from a year ago it's up 10 points. So, consumer confidence is really been moving in a very positive direction over the course of the last couple of years or so.

You know, I think another area to look at consumer confidence, Judy, is home ownership in this country. We came out on Monday and said that we had record levels of existing homeownership. There's record home ownership in America today, some 69.5 percent.

And I don't think there's any better measurement of how the American people, middle class America, feels about this economy and how strong it is than their willingness to buy and purchase and own a home. And so, we're at record levels in that area right now. So, I think the American people feel very confident about the direction of this economy and that it is continue -- will continue to get stronger under this president's leadership.

WOODRUFF: But again, the consumer confidence number down for the second month in a row. Separately, though, simultaneously, I want to ask you about a survey of investor attitudes. This is showing investor optimism this month at its lowest level in 12 months, with investors citing their concerns about the price of oil and about jobs. Does the administration bear some responsibility here?

EVANS: Well, Judy, I think it's unfortunate that when the president went to the American people in the spring of 2001 with a national energy plan that it has been blocked in the Senate by obstructionists like Senator Kerry and Senator Edwards. The president realized immediately coming upon coming into office how important it is to have policies in place to make sure we have reliable and affordable energy to all of the American people.

And unfortunately, Congress, the Senate, has yet to get a bill to the president's desk in large part because it's been blocked by Senator Kerry and Senator Edwards. We are dealing with somewhat higher energy prices. They are a big concern of the -- of the president. And he's going to continue to fight for the kind of policies that he's presented to Congress already so that we can get this country on the right track to more energy independence and more -- and more affordable energy prices in this country.

WOODRUFF: Well, the other half of the issue, though, as I mentioned with these investors who were surveyed was jobs. They are worried about jobs not coming back on stream as fast as they would like. Again, does the administration bear any responsibility here?

EVANS: Well, Judy, I think, you know, it's important to look at the trends of the economy. And unemployment in this country peeked at about 6.3 percent a little over a year ago. And it is now at 5.4 percent.

Now, 5.4 percent unemployment is well below the unemployment average of the 1970s, well below the average unemployment of the 1980s and below the average of the 1990s. And so, you know, we're at a level right now where unemployment is well below the averages of the last 30 years. But listen, we always know we have more work to do.

The president knows if there's one person out there in America that needs a job, that doesn't have a job, we've got work to do, because we don't leave anybody out in America and we don't leave anybody behind in this country. But the worst thing you can do...

WOODRUFF: Secretary Don Evans, quickly...

EVANS: ... Judy -- let me say...

WOODRUFF: Let me -- well, I just quickly want to ask...

EVANS: Sure.

WOODRUFF: ... you about this report in "The Washington Post" today that the administration planning to ask for another $70 billion to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which would bring the total to over $220 billion. Where is that money going to come from?

EVANS: Well, Judy, listen, I think it's premature to even talk about that money. And it hasn't been presented yet.

Let me go back to your previous question real quick, though, Judy. I think there's another important point to make there. And that is the president will stay focused on job creation in this country by making sure our taxes are lower.

Senator Kerry wants to increase taxes on small business owners across this country and middle class working families across this country. And that won't do anything but destroy jobs.

And so, if you want more jobs in this country, you have lower taxes. If you want fewer jobs, you raise taxes, which is exactly what Senator Kerry has promised to do, is raise taxes in this country.

WOODRUFF: Well, we don't -- we don't have time to get into that, but we know that what John Kerry has said is that he would not raise taxes on anyone earning under $200,000. I wish we had more time to explore that now. I hope we'll get a chance to talk to you again before the election. It's always good to see you, Secretary Don Evans.

EVANS: Thank you, Judy. Always good to be with you.

WOODRUFF: Thanks very much.

EVANS: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: We appreciate it.

Question: which candidate has the wing strategy right here in Pennsylvania? Up next, the first of my two interviews with Keystone State advisors for both President Bush and Senator Kerry. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: INSIDE POLITICS coming to you live from Harrisburg, the capital of Pennsylvania, this Tuesday.

As we've said, new polls show John Kerry with a slight lead here in Pennsylvania. A short time ago I talked with state Senator Jeff Piccola, who is the chairman of the Bush-Cheney campaign in central Pennsylvania about the race in the Keystone State. My first question, what makes Pennsylvania such a tough nut for President Bush to crack?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEFF PICCOLA (R), PENNSYLVANIA STATE SENATE: Well, we have the two big cities. We have Philadelphia and we have Pittsburgh. And we need to outwork the folks in those areas so we can bring out the heavy Republican vote here in the central part of the state. We think we can do that this year.

WOODRUFF: Why? What makes you think -- what is it that voters are turning out for? And which issues are giving you a tough time?

PICCOLA: Well, the voters are turning out for the president actually literally, because we've had the president here in central Pennsylvania probably a half a dozen times or more since the beginning of the year. They like the president's policies on the economy, the tax cuts have done marvelous things for our employment situation here in the central part of the state. They like the president's foreign policy, strength against -- in the war against terror, and we think the president has done a magnificent job in that area.

WOODRUFF: And what are -- where -- with whom do you still need to make the sale? We were talking to a reporter with the Harrisburg newspaper today saying it's those moms who are married women, mothers who are sort of going back and forth between Bush and Kerry over security and over economic issues.

PICCOLA: Well, I think -- I think in the closing weeks we're going to make that sale with those undecideds based on both of those issues. They are going to see the unemployment rates are below the national unemployment rates here in Pennsylvania. And we haven't been attacked since 2001. We have made this country safe under the leadership of President Bush.

WOODRUFF: President Bush did an interview with ABC News in which, among other things, he said he disagrees with the Republican Party platform on the question of whether gay couples should have the right to form a civil union. Now, some people are saying this is coming out so late in the campaign.

Is this some sort of signal to moderate voters? We didn't know about this before? What is your sense of this?

PICCOLA: I'm not exactly sure. I don't believe that's the case.

I think the -- the issue is whether or not civil unions should be permitted. That is clearly not a federal issue. That's something that needs to be left to the states.

We here in Pennsylvania happen to believe that you can already engage in a civil union by matter of contract if you so desire. So, we don't need -- think it needs any special protection. But some states may feel that it does.

WOODRUFF: All right. So, for you it's not an issue.

Your Republican colleague in the state legislature, the House speaker, John Perzel, told "U.S. News & World Report" a few days ago -- he said, "The Kerry campaign needs to come out with huge numbers here in Philadelphia." He said, "It's important for me to keep that number down."

Do you agree with him? And how do you keep voting numbers down?

PICCOLA: Oh, absolutely. You don't keep the numbers down, you keep the margins down. I think that's what the speaker was referring to.

Typically, the Democrats will come out of the City of Brotherly Love with 200,000, 300,000, 400,000 vote margin. We've got to keep that down to a minimum. We've got to keep the Republican vote as high as we possibly can. The number of votes is not as important as the margin, and that's what the speaker was referring to.

WOODRUFF: How do you -- how do you keep -- how do you get your numbers up, though, and your margins?

PICCOLA: Well, I'll tell you how the speaker is doing it in Philadelphia. He hails from the city of Philadelphia. And he has energized -- energized that organization down there over the last two years.

He has appointed and recruited a lot of grassroots workers in the city of Philadelphia. And that will go a long way to keeping the margin as close as we possibly can.

WOODRUFF: One other thing here in Pennsylvania. Republicans -- and I believe you're one of them -- have asked for an extension of the voting...

PICCOLA: Yes.

WOODRUFF: ... deadline for members of the military. The governor, Ed Rendell, is saying he has taken a look at this, he doesn't have the power to do anything about it. But even if he did, he doesn't see a real need to do it unless he is presented with some information he doesn't have. Are you going to pursue this?

PICCOLA: Yes. I believe there's going to be a lawsuit filed in federal court that will ask the court to approve an extension for the counting of overseas military ballots as long as they are cast on or before the 2nd of November. The mails are very, very unpredictable. Several of our counties actually did get them out to the military folks late, beyond the deadline that federal law provides for. And we believe that every person serving in our active military forces overseas should have the opportunity not only to vote, but to have the vote counted.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: Republican State Senator Jeff Piccola. He is heading up the Bush-Cheney effort here in central Pennsylvania.

Coming up, Governor Ed Rendell gives me the Democratic view on the presidential race here in Pennsylvania.

One of Elvis Presley's movies called the 50th state, "Blue Hawaii." But just in time for Election Day, that island paradise may be changing colors. Bruce Morton will explain when INSIDE POLITICS continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Live here in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, this Tuesday. We know the candidates have been devoting most of their time and resources to the closely-fought battleground states. Hawaii, dependably Democratic in most presidential elections, though, may be experiencing a shift. Bruce Morton looks at whether there is trouble in paradise.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRUCE MORTON, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Paradise, which is certainly how some Americans think of Hawaii, paradise has always been a blue state. Al Gore won it by 18 points four years ago. It didn't vote for Walter Mondale in 1984, but only his own Minnesota did.

The congressional delegation led by Senator Dan Inouye, seeking an almost certain ace term, is solidly Democratic. Paradise is blue, but there are signs, just a few signs, it may be turning red.

The trouble started in the 1990s. The principal industry, tourism, was hurting. 9/11 made that worse. Corruption dogged the Democrats, and in 2002 Hawaii elected its first Republican governor since statehood, Linda Lingle. And now two polls out this past weekend show President Bush and John Kerry statistically tied for the island's four electoral votes.

What is going on? Well, the president has visited the state. This was last year. And in fact, as the governor told the Republican convention, things have gotten better.

GOV. LINDA LINGLE (R), HAWAII: My administration is just 21 months old, but in that short time, because of President Bush's tax cuts, and his pro-growth policies, along with our team's solid commitment to creating a more business-friendly climate, Hawaii's economy has turned around dramatically.

MORTON: Tourism is up. And though Asians are still the biggest population group, more and more Caucasian retirees are also coming to the islands. And they may be conservative.

On the other hand, some Hawaiians resent the disproportionate number of Hawaiian National Guardsmen sent to Iraq. And the state has the country's highest gasoline prices.

Democrats insist Kerry will carry Hawaii. And look, the dolphin is bouncing a blue ball. Is that a sign?

Bruce Morton, CNN, reporting.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: At this point, the campaigns will take any sign they can find. Seven days and counting. That's it until the election. How are the campaigns and voters responding to the news that the chief justice has cancer? That story ahead.

Plus, the lay of the land here in Pennsylvania from Democratic Governor and John Kerry supporter Ed Rendell.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: It's right about 4:00 Eastern and as the markets get set to close on Wall Street, I'm joined by Lou Dobbs in New York for the "Dobbs Report."

Hi, Lou.

LOU DOBBS, HOST, "LOU DOBBS TONIGHT": Hi, Judy. And thank you. The market rallying today thanks to insurance stocks as the final trades are now being counted. The Dow Jones Industrials are up 134 points, the Nasdaq Composite is up 11 points. All of these numbers of course not final as these trades are being consolidated. The final numbers won't be posted for several minutes but it's looking like a good 134-point gain at this moment.

Shares of AIG leading the gainers today. Up more than $4 a share. the industry-wide rally came on news that no criminal charges will be filed against the industry giant Marsh & McLennan for allegedly rigging its bids.

And today's gains coming despite higher oil prices as well. Crude oil again today reaching the record high of $55.17 a barrel. There was a disappointing report on consumer confidence today falling to the lowest level in seven months in the month of October.

A new study shows U.S. senators may have trouble balancing the federal budget but they're pretty good at picking stocks. During the bull market years of the mid-90s on average senators' stock picks beat the overall market performance by 12 percentage points each year. By comparison corporate insiders, so-called, did six points better than the market and the average investor underperformed the market by more than one percentage point.

In other news today, U.S. dollar is no longer welcome in Cuba. Cuba stops accepting the U.S. currency in businesses and stores next month. The State Department calls the move by Cuban President Fidel Castro draconian, saying it's yet another sign Castro refuses to do what is best for his people. That decision is in response to the U.S. government's tightening of sanctions against Cuba. Cubans and tourists must now convert their dollars for pesos.

Coming up here on CNN at 6:00 p.m. Eastern on "LOU DOBBS TONIGHT" just days before the election, "The New York Times" broke the story of the disappearance of hundreds of tons of explosives in Iraq. Now major questions are surfacing over the timing of the report and its substance. Tonight we investigate who shopped the story to the media, how a strained relationship between the Bush administration and the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency may have played a part.

Also tonight when did those explosives go missing? Former chief U.S. weapons inspector David Kay will join me along with former U.N. weapons inspector David Albright. And conservative comedian, talk show host Dennis Miller is my guest. He'll give us his perspective on this presidential campaign.

And homeland security is supposed to be the nation's top priority. But it now appears Congress will not pass the 9/11 commission's intelligence and homeland security reforms. Tonight we check out just who lacked the political courage and will to push that legislation through to completion. Now back to Judy Woodruff.

WOODRUFF: So, Lou, the story that you'll be talking about on your program at 6:00, this missing 380 tons of explosives in Iraq, what is your sense of the effect that that may have on the campaign?

DOBBS: Well, Senator Kerry as you know has chosen to make it a metaphor for the Bush administration's performance in Iraq. In fact a number of questions are arising. First the relationship and the timing between CBS' "60 Minutes" and the "New York Times." They had originally planned to post this story as evidenced by Elizabeth Jensen's report in the "Los Angeles Times" on effectively election eve, October 31.

And secondly, it is pretty clear that despite efforts it is unclear how extensive the efforts were, None of those explosives were found in the days immediately following the capture of Baghdad. So, tonight we're going to take a look at all of those issues talking with the men and women who know best what was going in Baghdad at that time and try to put this story in some perspective.

WOODRUFF: All right. We'll look forward to hearing it. Thank you very much, Lou. INSIDE POLITICS continues right now.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KERRY: One week from today America faces a fundamental choice.

BUSH: We're only one week away from the vote.

ANNOUNCER: Seven days and counting. What does each campaign need to do this last week to seal the deal with voters? From the Boss to the Terminator, both sides are bringing out the big guns. We'll take a look at what big names are on the trail this week.

Who do Americans blame for the flu vaccine crisis? We'll take a look at some new poll numbers.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

Now, live from the CNN Election Express in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, JUDY WOODRUFF'S INSIDE POLITICS.

WOODRUFF: Welcome back to the capital of Pennsylvania, a state that went to the Democrats in the presidential race in 2000. This year it is a major battleground again in a contest that couldn't be much closer.

With just seven days left to make his case to voters, John Kerry is campaigning in the showdown states of Wisconsin, Nevada, and New Mexico. In Wisconsin Kerry delivered what aides are calling his final policy speech before the election. He accused the president of keeping bad decisions about Iraq from the American people. He asked whether Bush was hiding anything else.

The president is spending most of this day on a bus tour of Wisconsin before an evening rally in Iowa. Bush is focusing in large part on the economy charging that Kerry would raise taxes and slow job growth. The president is again accusing the senator of being, quote, "consistently wrong on national security issues."

Both candidates are trying to make every minute count as the clock runs down on the 2004 campaign. Here now our senior political analyst, Bill Schneider.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST (voice-over): One week to go. What do the campaigns have to do? Rally the base. That's been the Republican strategy all along. Make the election a showdown. Us versus them.

BUSH: Most American families do not look to Hollywood as a source of values. I believe the heart and soul of America is found in communities like Jacksonville, Florida.

SCHNEIDER: But getting at your base is divisive. It gives John Kerry an opening to pursue an different strategy aimed at swing voters.

KERRY: None of this will happen, none of these dreams nor these ideals nor these values will be properly put in place and fully lived unless we come together as one America. An America that puts aside the politics of polarization, that puts it behind us.

SCHNEIDER: That's called outreach and the question is whether there are enough swing voters out there to make it work. So, Kerry has to pursue a base strategy at the same time. How do you get Democratic juices flowing? Attack Bush.

KERRY: Once again this president failed to fulfill the responsibilities of commander-in-chief.

SCHNEIDER: Which doesn't exactly sound like putting the politics of polarization behind us. No Democrat rallies the party base like Bill Clinton.

WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON (D), FMR. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They're trying to scare the decided voters away from the polls. We know about that, don't we?

SCHNEIDER: Does George W. Bush have an outreach strategy? There was a hint of one when the president appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America."

BUSH: I don't think we should deny people rights to a civil union, a legal arrangement if that's what a state chooses to do...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Republican platform opposes it.

BUSH: Well, I don't.

SCHNEIDER: The Bush campaign is also showcasing Rudy Giuliani who has appeal outside the conservative base. He's stressing a message of national unity not by moderation exactly, by solidarity against terrorism.

RUDY GIULIANI (R), FMR. NEW YORK MAYOR: We can't take a chance in going back to where we were before September 11, 2001, with someone who can't seem to make up his mind whether terrorism is serious or a nuisance.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCHNEIDER: A base strategy divides people, an outreach strategy unites them. The campaigns have to figure out how to do both in one week. But as a politician once said, a week is a lifetime in politics -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: These are talented guys out there running. All right. Bill Schneider, thank you very much.

Now an issue of concern to many voters. The shortage of flu shots. The pro-Bush group Club For Growth is launching a new ad campaign to spread the GOP line that trial lawyers and their allies in Congress should be held accountable for the vaccine shortage. But that is apparently not the way most voters see it. Our new poll asked Americans whom they blame for the problem. Most of them, 78 percent, pointed a finger at drug companies. Two-thirds say they blame government officials. 41 percent say they blame trial lawyers. A little more than one-third blamed President Bush.

So, what are Pennsylvania voters thinking as Election Day gets closer? Up next, we'll talk about this state and the presidential race with Governor Ed Rendell. Also ahead, a question before the court. Will the chief justice's health influence the presidential election?

Plus, Governor Schwarzenegger's game plan for helping the president.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Coming to you live today from the capital of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg. We know that the status of this state as a presidential battleground has meant repeated visits by the presidential candidates. President Bush has been to this state more than 40 times, although John Kerry still enjoys a slight edge in the latest polls.

A little while ago I spoke with Pennsylvania's Democratic governor, Ed Rendell, and I started by asking him what is to stop Republicans from overcoming the Democratic numbers here with a bigger turnout?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GOV. ED RENDELL (D), PENNSYLVANIA: Well, that's as real concern. The polls have us up anywhere from three to the KDKA just came out with a poll that had us eight up. But I'm really concerned because the Republicans are far better organized this year, Judy, than they were in 2000. The difference is incredible.

Leslie Gromis, their campaign manager, the whole crew has done a very, very good job. They have got a ton of volunteers. They're going to turn out their base. If we're asleep at the wheel, we're going to lose this state. I don't think we're going to be asleep at the wheel. The enthusiasm on our side is as high as I've ever seen it. But if we do, it could be trouble despite our lead. But the momentum is clearly going in Pennsylvania and John Kerry's favor. The domestic issues are really hitting home.

WOODRUFF: I talked to the Senate minority leader, Jeff Piccola -- I should say, Republican whip, I correct that, who said -- he said -- for Republicans, he said it is largely a matter of simply turning out the Republicans in the middle of the state. Is that what it boils down to for them?

RENDELL: Well, turnout of your base, and the middle of the state is -- I think it was categorized as one of the highest -- or most heavily Republican areas in the country. But that is not enough. The battlegrounds are going to be in the suburban areas: suburban Pittsburgh and suburban Philadelphia, which have traditionally been Republican but in the last three or four elections here have been voting Democratic. Right now the polls are showing that John Kerry has a solid lead in the vote-rich Philadelphia suburbs.

And if we can hold on in the suburbs, the vote in the city is going to be astounding. Kerry's margin in the city is going to be incredible. If we can hold on in the suburbs, it will make it awfully difficult for us to lose. WOODRUFF: Governor, I also talked with reporter Peter DeCoursey of the Harrisburg newspaper who says the shift in the polls in this state, he says, can largely be pinned on a group of mothers, moms, who he said have gone back and forth from believing the George Bush argument that he's going to better protect their security, and the John Kerry argument that he's going to be better for the economy and jobs. Is that how you see it?

RENDELL: Well, I think right after the Republican Convention, after all of the Swift Boat stuff, a lot of traditional Republican voters in the suburbs, who had been voting Democrat for Bill Clinton and Al Gore, were sort of leaning towards George Bush on the security issue.

But as events have unfolded in Iraq and we see the collapse in our security over there, and as the domestic agenda has come to the forefront, those voters have swung back. And right now, again, there's still a week to go. But right now John Kerry is doing well with that group.

WOODRUFF: Governor, we understand also you have got a plan to put government officials in each county -- or many county election offices, some of the Republicans are saying this amounts to an intrusion. Are you going to go ahead with this and how do you keep it from being something that sort of intimidates the people who are already working in these election offices?

RENDELL: Well, first of all, they are just there as observers and to report to us any breakdowns that happen early in the day. If a breakdown occurs at 10:00, we want to be responsible for responding and we want to learn about it at 10:00. That hasn't been the way it has been in the past.

But Judy, I find it sort of interesting that the Republicans are complaining about us sending out two teams into 67 counties when in fact, as you know, President Bush has dispatched over 1,000 federal workers to polls and we're not going anywhere near voting booths or polling places. And they're dispatching federal workers to polls. I assume the same Republicans would think that that was unfair.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, working the state hard for John Kerry. I talked to him just a short time ago, he was in Pittsburgh.

The makeup of the United States Supreme Court is always an issue in a presidential race. And with just days left in this year's contest, will the illness of Chief Justice William Rehnquist have an effect on the Bush and Kerry campaign? A closer look when we return.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Coming to you from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, this day. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist, we're told, could be back on the bench next week despite being treated for thyroid cancer. His illness has placed the issue of Supreme Court appointees in the spotlight in this presidential race.

Nina Totenberg with National Public Radio, their legal affairs correspondent, she joins me now from Washington.

Nina, what is your understanding of the state of health of the chief justice?

NINA TOTENBERG, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO: Well, the chief justice, according to the press release issued by the court, had a tracheotomy put in on Saturday to treat some previously diagnosed thyroid cancer. I should say that we didn't know about the diagnosis of thyroid cancer beforehand.

And if you talk to experts in this field -- surgeons, look at the literature -- you really come to the inescapable conclusion that there are a lot of red flags from having this procedure. This -- normally thyroid cancer is imminently treatable. The recovery rate is something like 90 percent. But having a tracheotomy is a dangerous sign, and to say anything else would be misleading.

WOODRUFF: Nina, if the chief justice were to step aside for health reasons or for whatever reasons, what would it mean for the court in terms of the cases that it is known or are going to coming before the court in terms of whether there is a Bush appointed to take his place or a John Kerry appointee?

TOTENBERG: Well, first of all, I think we ought to say that the president, President Bush, was quoted in a "New York Times Magazine" article -- in which President Bush was quoted as talking to a hundred of his top financial supporters as saying to them, "I will have a Supreme Court nomination sometime shortly after the inauguration."

And I wondered when I read that about 10 days ago what reporter Ron Suskind knew and what the president knew that I didn't know. And I think we now know what that is. And it is that the chief justice is seriously ill.

Now, if President Bush is reelected, and he appoints a replacement for Chief Justice Rehnquist, the likelihood is that there will not be a huge change on some of the most flashpoint issues -- abortion, gay rights, that kind of thing -- because Chief Justice Rehnquist has been in decent on a lot of those questions and another conservative appointee wouldn't change that.

If the elected president were John Kerry, it probably wouldn't change the outcome either, but it would change the outcome on some other 5-4 issues, like Congressional power over the states, ability to legislate for the states, in which the chief justice has held onto a narrow majority. In fact, William Rehnquist was the architect of conservative legal thought on the Supreme Court for over two decades now -- really over three decades. Originally he was something of a lone ranger, a lone decenter. And he now has a conservative majority on many issues -- one might even say most.

WOODRUFF: Nina, very quickly, is it your sense that voters are now, because of this, going to be paying more attention to the court and the consequences of its rulings?

TOTENBERG: You know, every four years people like to write stories about how this is such a big issue. But this year more than ever before, I think people for whom it is a big issue knew how they were going to vote from the beginning. Whether you were a conservative or a liberal, how you felt about gun control or abortion or church state separation, you knew if these are issues that are important to you, you knew how you were going to vote.

And so, I think this is only important as a get out the vote tool, as if we needed any more. But I can't imagine that it's going to change somebody's mind.

WOODRUFF: Nina Totenberg, who is the legal affairs correspondent for National Public Radio.

Thank you, Nina, very much.

TOTENBERG: Thank you, Judy.

WOODRUFF: We appreciate it. Good to see you.

As the clock ticks toward Election Day, the campaigns turns to some of their celebrity supporters. Up next, a look at the stars headed to the trail to make appearance for both Bush and Kerry.

(MUSIC -- BON JOVI - "WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE)

WOODRUFF: From Harrisburg, checking the headlines in our "Campaign News Daily." Democratic Vice Presidential Candidate John Edwards making stops in Minnesota and here in Pennsylvania today, while Vice President Cheney campaigning in Florida.

Cheney held rallies today in West Palm Beach, Lakeland, and Pensacola. The vice president was joined on the trail by former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, a Democrat who's endorsed the Bush/Cheney ticket.

Senator Edwards traveled today and yesterday with Iowa native and Hollywood actor Ashton Kutcher. Edwards attended an event this morning in Minneapolis, and then he headed here to Pennsylvania for two more campaign stops.

Other celebrity campaigners are expected to hit the trail in support of Bush and Kerry in the days ahead. Rocker Bruce Springsteen plans to campaign with Kerry on Thursday in Wisconsin and Ohio and again on the day before the election in Cleveland.

Singer Jon Bon Jovi also appearing on Kerry's behalf. He performed at rallies for Kerry in two states yesterday. He's expected to perform at more Kerry events later this week.

Meanwhile, it looks like California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger would campaign with President Bush this week after all. When asked about it yesterday, Schwarzenegger told "The L.A. Times," quote, "We haven't really made up our mind yet." Late today, however, the governor's office confirmed to CNN that Schwarzenegger will campaign with Bush on Friday in Ohio.

Well, surrounded by some friends for Bush and for Kerry. That's it for INSIDE POLITICS from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. I'm Judy Woodruff. "CROSSFIRE" starts right now.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com


International Edition
CNN TV CNN International Headline News Transcripts Advertise With Us About Us
SEARCH
   The Web    CNN.com     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser.
CNN.com does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.
Add RSS headlines.