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JUDY WOODRUFF'S INSIDE POLITICS

Intel Blame Game; Bush's Agenda; Taxing Questions

Aired November 22, 2004 - 15:29   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
ANNOUNCER: While sports fans buzz about this brawl, official Washington is fixated on another fight.

JOHN F. LEHMAN, 9/11 COMMISSION: This is the classic confrontation you see in Washington that they can sell tickets for.

ANNOUNCER: There's growing heat on the Hill to get intel reform passed ASAP after some House Republicans blocked the bill.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When I get home, I'm looking forward to working it.

ANNOUNCER: With the intel embarrassment apparently on his mind, President Bush tending to international business in Colombia.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you read this document?

ANNOUNCER: Between the lines of the mega-page, megabuck spending bill. Did lawmakers know what they were getting into?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: Now, live from Washington, JUDY WOODRUFF'S INSIDE POLITICS.

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you for joining us.

Members of Congress may have left town, but there is still plenty of anger and frustration here in Washington over the fate of intelligence reform. Two days after the bill was blocked in the House, its supporters want President Bush to spend political capital and make some fellow Republicans pay. But are the bills opponents willing to budge? Here now, our congressional correspondent, Ed Henry.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ED HENRY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Congressman James Sensenbrenner, one of two Republicans to hold up the intelligence bill, says he's more determined than ever to block what he considers meaningless reform.

REP. JAMES SENSENBRENNER (R), WISCONSIN: Well, I'm not going to cave. HENRY: Sensenbrenner wants to ban states from giving drivers licenses to illegal immigrants. He says Senate negotiators are too scared to challenge powerful lobbyists who oppose the provision.

SENSENBRENNER: I don't like to vote for things on serious issues that might look good on bumper sticker but which I know have so many loopholes that they won't work.

HENRY: Not even President Bush calling from Chile on Friday night could stop Sensenbrenner. Observers say it's up to the president to face down fellow Republicans.

LEHMAN: The president now has been challenged directly by the leadership of the -- of the Congress and by the lobbyists and by the bureaucracy. Now he's got to show who's in charge.

HENRY: The other Republican who refused to be rolled was Congressman Duncan Hunter. Despite a call from Vice President Cheney, Hunter insisted on protecting the Pentagon from losing power to a new director of national intelligence. Some believe the window of opportunity has closed, but top Republicans think they can salvage this after Thanksgiving.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MAJORITY WHIP: The president's on his way back from South America. He's going to lobby some more. I'm optimistic that we're going to come back together December the 6th and 7th and pass this bill.

HENRY: Former 9/1 commissioners are warning of inaction.

TIMOTHY ROEMER, 9/11 COMMISSION: We saw intelligence failures, FBI mistakes, border patrol and visa problems leading up to 9/11, and we lost 3,000 people. How many more body bags are we going to need to see?

HENRY: Sensenbrenner fires back, commissioners should not be satisfied with half the job.

SENSENBRENNER: We ought to pass a package of all their recommendations rather than some that are politically correct and forget about the other ones that step on the toes of powerful lobbies.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HENRY: About an hour ago Vice President Cheney came to the Capitol to meet with Mr. Sensenbrenner. That meeting broke up, though, with no deal.

Separately, Mr. Sensenbrenner is also saying -- he told me that that phone call he received from the president on Friday night, that it's been misreported a bit. He said it was not contentious, the president did not tell him to stand down, and said -- Sensenbrenenner says that they actually were working out a deal where Mr. Sensenbrenner would have dropped that drivers license provision in exchange for six other immigration provisions. The problem, however -- the president was on board for that, according to Sensenbrenner. The problem is that when the deal was brought by White House officials to the other negotiators on the Hill, sources tell us that they laughed it of because those six provisions were too objectionable -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Very interesting. A lot of questions here.

Ed, we know that if Democrats -- there were enough Democratic votes to get this passed. So why didn't Speaker Hastert go ahead and bring it to the floor and pass it that way?

HENRY: Well, a spokesman for Speaker Hastert says that he did not want to split the Republican conference. He instead wanted to get a majority of the majority Republicans on board for this.

Democrats say the real problem is that Republicans did not want to share the credit in passing this bill. They don't want Democrats to get any praise. And, in fact, Democratic Congressman Rahm Emmanuel is going further by saying that the Republicans are just playing politics here. And what he charged today is that the Republicans are now providing comfort to terrorists around the world. So you can see the rhetoric is getting pretty hot -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: If it weren't so serious, it sounds like a brawl on the kindergarten playground.

HENRY: That's right.

WOODRUFF: OK. Ed Henry, thank you very much.

And just ahead, I'll ask Congressman Duncan Hunter about his role in blocking the intelligence reform bill and whether there is any hope for the legislation.

And later, I'll talk about the wrangling over the bill with Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Pat Roberts.

Well, President Bush does say he plans to get to work on passing intelligence reform once he returns to Washington. Mr. Bush stopped in Colombia today en route back to the United States from the Pacific Rim Summit in Chile. Our White House correspondent, Dana Bash, is with the president in Cartagena.

Hello, Dana.

DANA BASH, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Judy.

And White House officials say President Bush was invited here to Colombia by his host, the president, Alvaro Uribe, during a congratulatory phone call when he said that he was excited and happy that Mr. Bush won reelection. The president of Colombia is somebody who was really one of the few from this region who supported the president in the Iraq war. But today, the war against drugs top the agenda., and a $3 billion U.S. aid program called Plan Colombia to fight drugs. Now, Mr. Bush today just in a press conference with his host vowed to renew that costly anti-drug program started by President Clinton.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: Look, here's what you've got to do with the Congress. You say, first of all, it's an important issue. And the issue is whether or not we're willing to stand with a friend to help defeat narco trafficking. Most members of Congress understand it is important to help Colombia defeat the narco traffickers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BASH: Now, there you heard the president vowing to work with Congress on this. Earlier, over the weekend, Mr. Bush was in Santiago, Chile, at an APEC summit where he vowed to push Congress on another issue. That is immigration.

He was with his friend, the president of Mexico. And he said he would renew his push to get temporary legal status to illegal immigrants. That is something, Judy, that Mr. Bush proposed nearly a year ago but -- proposed nearly a year ago, but didn't really push during the campaign year because conservatives he needed for reelection did not like the idea. And they still don't.

So the president is going to have to fight his fellow Republicans on that. That, of course, against the backdrop of what Ed Henry was just reporting. That is the president was disappointed over the weekend.

He said that he did not get an intelligence reform bill that he thought was actually going to get passed, one that he actually made some calls on over the weekend, as Ed was reporting. But perhaps some Republicans say those calls were too late.

Now, Mr. Bush was asked directly a question yesterday, whether or not he was undermined by his own defense secretary because perhaps Donald Rumsfeld does not want this intelligence reform bill to pass because he wants to keep the funding under his authority. Mr. Bush didn't answer that question but did vow to come back to Washington and fight this.

And, Judy, all of this is sort of underpinning the idea and underscoring the idea that Mr. Bush clearly has majorities, bigger majorities in Congress, but perhaps some of the things that he's going to fight for means he might have some problems, or at least some difficult times with his fellow Republicans up there -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: It sure sounds like that. Dana, we know the president's only going to be in Colombia for a few hours. What else is on the agenda today?

BASH: Well, before he had that meeting with the president here, he actually got to do something that was near and dear to his heart, Judy. The president got to have a meeting with some baseball players, and one that many in the United States will certainly recognize, the star shortstop player for the Boston Red Sox, Orlando Cabrera.

He is somebody who is from Colombia, and he is involved in helping the youth down here. So Mr. Bush met with him, met with some of the children, little league players here in Colombia, and was presented by Cabrera with a jersey, his jersey, which, of course, has the number 44. And Mr. Bush joked that it was just one off, of course referring to the fact that he's called 43, after being the 43rd president -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right. Dana Bash reporting from Cartagena. Dana, thank you very much.

BASH: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: Well, it turns out President Bush's post-election approval rating still appears to be on the rise. Our new CNN-"USA Today"-Gallup poll shows 55 percent of Americans say they approve of the way Mr. Bush is handling his job. That is up a couple of points since the days immediately after the vote, and up seven points from late October.

But do Americans think Mr. Bush has a mandate to advance his party's agenda? Our Bill Schneider has more on the poll at the top of the hour.

The spending bill that cleared Congress this weekend is on a slow track to the president's desk, while lawmakers work to remove an embarrassing provision. It would have allowed certain politicians access to the tax returns of every American. The Senate passed a resolution to wipe out that idea and the House is expected to follow suit. And only then will the bill go to the president.

In the meantime, lawmakers are looking back at how this happened, and so is CNN's Bruce Morton.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you read this document?

BRUCE MORTON, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Well, no, Congressman. It's a 1,000-page spending bill. And no one has time to read it. And that's why Senate staffers stumbled on a paragraph that seemed to say the House and Senate Appropriations Committee chairs could get your tax return, anybody's tax return from the IRS.

SEN. CHARLES GRASSLEY (R), IOWA: It's a very troubling position that will potentially take away American taxpayers' rights to privacy.

MORTON: The congressman who put the provision in, Ernet Istook of Oklahoma, said nobody's privacy would be jeopardized. But the language is clear: "Upon written request to the chairman of the House or Senate Committee on Appropriations, the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service shall allow agents designated by such chairman access to any tax returns." Whoops. SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA: This is somebody's innovative thinking of how they could get their minions into taxes of individuals who might be political -- political opponents or who might come up against them in some way.

MORTON: Bill Young, the Republican appropriations chairman, says the IRS drafted the language and that it's being misrepresented. He says access to how returns were process was needed to oversee the IRS budget. And that there was no intention to review or investigate individual tax returns.

SEN. TED STEVENS (R), ALASKA: It's absolutely a mistake. I apologize to the Senate.

MORTON: The tax language got derailed by last-minute maneuvering, but it's a symptom of a much bigger problem. Congress passes enormous bills all the time, which nobody's really read. A side of pork for this district, a honey pot for that one.

STUART ROTHENBERG, ROTHENBERG POLITICAL REPORT: Absolutely. And the truth -- and it's a sad, sad truth -- is that this happens all the time. Big appropriations bills, nobody knows what's in them. Thousands of pages. It doesn't say a lot for representative democracy.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: If there's every a graphic example of the broken system that we now have, that's certainly has to be it. How many other provisions didn't we find in that 1,600-page bill?

MORTON: Good question, Senator. Very good question.

Bruce Morton, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: Still ahead, GOP Congressman Duncan Hunter on his fight to block the intelligence reform bill and whether the president could change his mind.

Plus, Democrats going head-to-head for the DNC chairmanship. One often named contender has taken his hat out of the ring.

And later, how blue are African-American Democrats after the presidential election? I'll ask the Reverend Jesse Jackson about his talks with fellow black leaders.

This is INSIDE POLITICS, the place for campaign news.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter helped lead the effort to keep the intelligence reform bill from the House floor. The California Republican is with me now from Capitol Hill. Chairman Hunter, good to se you. Thank you very much for talking with me. Is President Bush wrong to want this intelligence reform done?

REP. DUNCAN HUNTER (R-CA), ARMED SERVICES CHAIRMAN: No, and I think we all want intelligence reform. And there's a lot to this bill.

Obviously, the fumbling of the football between the CIA and the FBI and how the -- how the attackers got into the United States before 9/11 and moved through the country and staged and ultimately carried out the attack is something of great concern to all of us. The problem is that from a -- from a defense standpoint, there's a profound change on the way we use intelligence coming from satellites to our combat troops in places like Falluja and Mosul and Afghanistan and other places.

So even though that wasn't part of the mix in the -- in the 9/11 event, how the military uses its intelligence, somehow that is now being changed. And in my judgment of what the Senate sent over was this -- was this plan that would cut that lifeline between our satellites that are giving intelligence all the time to our troops, telling them where the bad guys are, what the targeting should be, what's happening, then you need to move. That would be cut or severed by the Senate position.

WOODRUFF: But Congressman, if -- you know, that may be, but the president -- if the president, if the White House and the leadership of your party in the House wanted this to pass, why not defer to them?

HUNTER: Well, in this case -- and incidentally, the leadership, the House Republican leadership -- I'm just one person. And so they -- I think they were concerned, also, about the fact that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, our top soldier, has said that this will be bad for the troops, and that -- that -- in so many words, and that he liked the House position.

And that was - that position was backed up recently by the Army, the Air Force, the Navy and the Marines. So while we're in a shooting war, Judy, the idea that we're -- we're putting together a fundamental and profound change on how our military uses intelligence, or has access to this intelligence, while we're in a war, and the leadership of the military is saying we have a problem with this, we on Capitol Hill should -- should listen very carefully to them.

WOODRUFF: But, I mean, essentially the Pentagon right now controls something like 80 percent of the government's $40 billion intelligence budget. Isn't that right?

HUNTER: Well, that's simply -- that's simply because they...

WOODRUFF: And so much of that intelligence is not military.

HUNTER: No, but that's simply because they own these -- these big satellites are very expensive. So the big apparatus that will warn us in terms of whether or not we're having an attack on the United States is big, complex systems. They're big pieces of hardware. That's why the ticket or the price is so high on the military side as opposed to the CIA.

WOODRUFF: The president said he made his opposition -- or support rather for this bill very clear. Are you clear that the president's for it?

HUNTER: Well, the president's for it. He's for having a good bill. But the president is not down in the details.

The president wants to get a bill. I've talked to him and he's -- he's -- and let me tell you, we could probably pass the bill, even as the Senate had proposed it. If you were going to have a bill that was carried out only under a Bush administration, because a Bush administration is very pro-defense, they would write regulations that would ensure that the military was protected.

But this bill is going to be a 40-year bill. And when it takes away the chain of command -- and that's the -- that's this close working relationship between our satellites and the people on the ground in Falluja, in Mosul and other places -- those soldiers whose lives depend on that lifeline, when it has the prospect of taking that away, adding to confusion and maybe translating into combat casualties, that's not good for the country.

WOODRUFF: Chairman Hunter, let me cite to you what some family members of the victims of 9/11 are saying. I mean, one of them said, "These guys are going to have blood on their hands because of the next possible attack on the United States." They are saying it is dire the need for intelligence reform.

HUNTER: Well, we do need to have intelligence reform. But I would refer to at least one of the members that I talked to this morning who's a Marine, who had a brother who was lost in 9/11, who said, "You know, if our reaction to 9/11 is to mess up this lifeline between the platforms overhead and our people who are fighting in Falluja, then we will have done a disservice to those people."

So my point is, you can have a good reform, but in doing that you don't want to hurt the troops that are in the field. And I have a real concern, a continuing concern. And I think all the 9/11 families would agree with that.

We all have the same objectives. That's to secure this country. But when you have the president's top military adviser, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs weighing into this conference so late, obviously having a concern, we should listen to him.

WOODRUFF: Yes or no, will this pass in December?

HUNTER: There's a good chance it could. The Senate simply has to come across the finish line on this issue.

Now, there are other issues, the driver's license issue, keeping terrorists from getting drivers licenses, those things. But in my shop, having and maintaining the chain of command and serving our people in uniform is paramount.

WOODRUFF: Chairman Duncan Hunter of the House Armed Services Committee, thanks very much.

HUNTER: Well, thank you.

WOODRUFF: We appreciate it. Thank you for talking to us.

HUNTER: OK.

WOODRUFF: Question, who will lead the Democratic Party in the future? Just ahead, Chuck Todd joins me to talk about the ongoing search for a new DNC chair. And he'll tell us what DNC members are saying about the search.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: After failing to win back the White House, the Democratic Party is in search of a new leader. Chuck Todd is with me now to talk more about the search. He's the editor-in-chief of "The Hotline," an insider's political briefing produced daily by "The National Journal."

So Chuck, big field of candidates for DNC chair, but it shrank by one today. Talk about that.

CHUCK TODD, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, "THE HOTLINE": Actually, the field of non-candidates seems to be growing is the one that's throwing us a field of candidates. Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, who had sort of been maneuvering to become sort of the consensus compromise choice among a lot of the party leaders, including John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, he's announced that he's not going to be a candidate.

He's getting a lot of press criticism at home for this idea that he might split the last two years of his job as governor and be DNC chair. And it's my understanding that basically he knew that he couldn't -- he wouldn't have gotten things done in Iowa state legislature because the state Republicans would have been forced to stonewall him on everything because he would have been the national party leader, and nothing like embarrassing the national party leader at home.

WOODRUFF: So his allegiance is pretty clear. It's back home in Iowa.

TODD: It's got to be back in Iowa.

WOODRUFF: Where does that leave the contest for chair?

TODD: Well, basically, there's really only a couple of candidates that are more active than others. Howard Dean is probably as active. And Wellington Webb is currently the DNC vice chair, former mayor of Denver. He's as -- is making some calls, from my understanding. But it seems to be pretty wide open, and it seems to be Dean and...

WOODRUFF: We're showing this poll, by the way, that "The Hotline" has done.

TODD: Well, we did a survey of DNC members over the last week when Vilsack was a candidate. Dean was sort of the consensus first choice among a plurality of voters, not a majority.

We talked to about 155 members of the DNC out of -- out of about 450 actual pool of DNC voters. Dean led the open-ended field. He led a field when we narrowed it down to about eight or 10 names.

But then we did a head-to-head with Dean and Vilsack. Because at the time, that seemed to be what the two camps were. And that's the only time Vilsack led Dean.

And it seems to show that there is -- that while there is a Dean move, a Dean stronghold inside the DNC, there's also an anybody but Dean stronghold inside the DNC. And I think that that's sort of now what's going on, is there's now a search for who's going to be the new anti-Dean candidate. Martin Frost is a name we've been hearing lately.

WOODRUFF: Texas -- congressman from Texas. Very quickly, Terry McAuliffe took some criticism while he's been DNC chair. But looks like he did well. I mean, in terms of when you asked people what they thought about him.

TODD: To me, that was the biggest surprise. I thought, you know, anonymous poll, we've been hearing the same grumbling about Terry McAuliffe as chair. And he is enormously popular among the folks we talked to.

In fact, we asked -- the choices were to rate his job performance. The choices were excellent, good, fair or poor. More than half of the people we talked to said he did an excellent job. And then another third said he did a good job.

He's got a huge constituency that even some people floated him running one more time. If there's a deadlock, don't be surprised if there's a Terry movement.

WOODRUFF: Really? Is he an influential figure in this selection?

TODD: I think he's more influential than I think some of us realize, particularly showing how popular he is with some of these state delegations. Wellington Webb is a vice chair. If, for some reason, Terry McAuliffe stood up for one of his vice chairs, that probably could go a long way in deciding who the next DNC chair is.

WOODRUFF: All right. We're going to count on you to keep us filled in.

TODD: OK.

WOODRUFF: Chuck Todd, thank you very much. "The Hotline," we know, an insider's political briefing produced every day by "The National Journal." You can go online to nationaljournal.com for subscription information.

Thank you again.

It is a november to remember for the GOP. President Bush won reelection and his party picked up seats in both the House and Senate. So do Americans think the country is still divided after this bruising campaign? Results from our new poll moments away.

Plus, did John Kerry and the Democrats take the black vote for granted? Coming up, I'll speak with the Reverend Jesse Jackson.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: It is just before 4:00 in the East. And as the markets get set to close on Wall Street, I'm joined by Kitty Pilgrim in New York with "The Dobbs Report."

Hi, Kitty.

KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Judy.

Well, stocks managed to post modest gains as the dollar and oils, they steadied after big moves last week. Now with the final trades still being counted the Dow Industrials are up 34 points, the Nasdaq adding about two thirds of one percent. Shares of Apple Computer led the gainers. They're up more than $6. That's about 11 percent. A brokerage nearly doubled its price target on the stock.

Oil prices edged slightly lower. The dollar does continue to drop. It's near an all-time low against the euro and a four-year low against the Japanese yen.

Now in corporate news, a bad run of luck for Donald Trump. Hotels and Casino Resorts has filed for bankruptcy protection. There's no real surprise because the company which owns three casinos in Atlantic City announced last August that the move would be part of a refinancing deal between Trump and his bond holders. Trump gets to keep his job as chairman and CEO and the bond holders get a bigger stake in the company. This is the company's second trip into bankruptcy. It does not, however, affect the rest of Trump's businesses.

Finally, pretty good news for turkey lovers. Your turkey dinner this Thanksgiving has fought inflation to a standstill. According to the American Farm Bureau, the average cost of a traditional dinner for ten people will be $35.68. That is down 60 cents from last year. So there's really something to celebrate there. It's the turkey really, not the rest that's a lot cheaper. Average turkey prices are 8 percent lower this year.

Tonight at 6:00 p.m. Eastern on "LOU DOBBS TONIGHT" we'll have a report on Congress failing to pass the intelligence reform legislation. The bill was based on recommendations from the 9/11 commission. Lou will speak to Representative Jim Sensenbrenner who led the fight to stop the passage of that bill. He demanded that the bill also deal with illegal immigration. And also former deputy CIA director Admiral Bobby Inman will be with us. And the chairman of the House intelligence committee Pete Hoekstra will discuss the bill's chances of passing next month. Now back to you, Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right. Kitty, thanks very much. INSIDE POLITICS continues right now.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: It's been 20 days since the election, so do Americans still think the country's divided? We've got new poll numbers out this hour on the state of the nation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was Yogi Berra who once said it ain't over until it's over, and we're coming back December 6 and 7.

ANNOUNCER: Congress keeps its doors open but will lawmakers have better luck next month when it comes to passing intelligence reform?

GOV. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER (R), CALIFORNIA: I think it's a good debate to have. I think it's good that America is talking about it.

ANNOUNCER: But do Americans want to change the constitution so foreign-born citizens like Arnold Schwarzenegger can become president?

Now, live from Washington, JUDY WOODRUFF'S INSIDE POLITICS.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: Welcome back. Just days before Thanksgiving Americans may be getting into the holiday spirit but they have not apparently entirely let go of their early November passions. Our senior political analyst Bill Schneider has an update on the post-election partisan divide.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST (voice-over): How do Americans feel after the long bruising election campaign? Divided. Asked whether Americans are united or divided about basic values, 3/4 declared the country united in November 20, '01 shortly after the terrorist attacks. By January of that year a majority thought the country was divided. Now nearly two-thirds say the country is divided. When he conceded defeat, John Kerry called for a time of healing.

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I pledge to do my part to try to bridge the partisan divide.

SCHNEIDER: President Bush echoed those sentiments.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm fully prepared to work with both Republican and Democrat leadership to advance an agenda that I think makes a big difference for the country.

SCHNEIDER: But many Democrats see the White House and the Republican majority in Congress betraying that pledge. On Friday, Kerry sent a message to his supporters saying despite the words of cooperation and moderate sounding promises, this administration is planning a right wing assault on values and ideals we hold most deeply.

What are Americans divided over? Religion, for one thing. About half the public believes organized religion has too much political influence. About half say it has too little or the right amount. Democrats and Republicans hold polar opposite views. Two-thirds of Democrats say religion has too much influence. Two-thirds of Republicans say it doesn't. But one myth about the election can be dispelled. There is no evidence of a lurch to the right in public opinion, or a panic over moral values. Sure, only a quarter of Americans think the country's moral values are in good shape, but that's actually a little higher than it's been in recent years. In fact, there's evidence of a shift towards greater tolerance.

In 1993, after president Clinton proposed allowing openly gay men and women to serve in the military, most Americans were opposed to the idea. That view has completely turned around. Now, by nearly 2-1, the public feels gay men and lesbians should be allowed to serve.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(on camera): Americans are still looking for a leader who can deliver what President Bush promised in 2000, someone who can be a uniter and not a divider. So far, they haven't got it. Judy?

WOODRUFF: All right. Bill, thank you very much.

Well, apparently Americans also remain divided over the war in Iraq, although almost two-thirds say that the Falluja offensive will make things better there. And our new poll shows that 51 percent of Americans say they believe that Iraqi elections will be held as scheduled in January. But they say they are less confident about what happens after that. 52 percent of those surveyed say that they do not believe the Iraqis will accept the election results as legitimate.

Now, we turn back to the future of intelligence reform in this country. As we heard earlier, two House Republicans who blocked the bill say that they will not cave in to pressure from the president or anyone else. But some other lawmakers say they still hold out hope that a reform bill can be passed this year. I'm joined now by the chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, Pat Roberts. Senator, did President Bush really push for this bill to pass?

PAT ROBERTS (R), INTELLIGENCE CHAIRMAN: I don't think there's any question about it. The good news is that he issued an executive order calling for a director of national intelligence and setting up the national counterterrorism center, which are the two big things we have in our intelligence reform bill. So I think his support is very clear. I do think the administration has to speak in one voice to tell the Congress of their support of intelligence reform and conversely, it would be nice, for a change, if the Congress would speak with one voice to work out our differences so we could support the bill that was passed by the Senate 96-2. WOODRUFF: So when you say the administration needs to speak with one voice, you're referring to the White House being for this and the Pentagon against? Or is it more complicated than that?

ROBERTS: Oh, no, I didn't get into any names but I think everybody understands that there are those in the Pentagon, those in the military, my good friend Chairman Hunter, Duncan Hunter who I've worked with...

WOODRUFF: Who we just talked to a few minutes ago.

ROBERTS: Many many years, I served with him in the House. He's a great chairman. He views himself as a champion of the war fighter. So do I. I am a former marine. I'm on the armed services committee in the Senate. I think the point I'm trying to make is that the principal user of intelligence is not the military. The principal user is the president of the United States. It's called national intelligence. Then Congress is next and then the military is the majority user. And there is nothing in these bills that have been introduced in all the varying amendments we have talked about that endangers that lash up between the intelligence community and the war fighter.

WOODRUFF: Congressman Hunter, Chairman Hunter clearly believes that it would because he passionately argued on this program just a few minutes ago, he talked about messing up the platform between intelligence and the military.

ROBERTS: Well, the platform he's talking about is the national foreign intelligence program made up by a whole bunch of acronyms but it's the National Reconnaissance Office, the Geospatial Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the NSA. But they also serve a national purpose as well. And we were very careful to keep the tactical intelligence separate from that. There isn't anybody in the Congress that I know of that wants to do anything that would harm that actionable intelligence to the war fighter especially during this difficult insurgency that we're fighting in Iraq.

WOODRUFF: So is this mainly about turf?

ROBERTS: Well, I guess you could call it turf, but you know, Duncan, no doubt, feels the armed services committee has a responsibility to war fighter, and it does, as does the Senate armed services committee. I just think it is a very sincere belief on his part and our part that if we can fix the systemic problems of intelligence it will serve everybody well as well as the war fighter.

WOODRUFF: But I hear Chairman Hunter and what I believe I understand Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner, their position to be that they're not going to change their mind no matter what the president comes back and says to them.

ROBERTS: Well, the first principle in Congress is the principle to be flexible. And so consequently what Jim Sensenbrenner, who I also know and I have also served with and you can't find a tougher nut to crack than Jim Sensenbrenner, he wants immigration reform. Immigration reform and it has lot to do with our national security, should be considered separately if you want to get this bill done that reflects exactly what the executive recommendations are of the president. That's the -- that's the whole thing in a nutshell.

WOODRUFF: But one does get the sense, Senator, that the president or the White House has not been abundantly clear in pressing its support for this bill.

ROBERTS: I don't know if abundantly is the proper word...

WOODRUFF: Because Chairman Hunter just said to me a few minutes ago, he said the president doesn't want a bad bill here.

ROBERTS: This is not a bad bill. The president has expressed his support for the Senate bill. Now, what we had was a whole series of amendments that were controversial. Our recommendation was when we signed that conference report, get rid of all of that underbrush and I shouldn't say underbrush because there are some things in there that I wanted as well, do the director of national intelligence, do the national counterterrorism centers, that's exactly what the president has proposed by executive power, amplify on that, leave the rest until the next session of Congress. They're important. They're very important. And they should be addressed. But let's get this done.

WOODRUFF: Yes or no, do you believe this can be turned around in December?

ROBERTS: Well, in Kansas we have a saying out in farm country that is you never put the seed in the ground unless you didn't think there was going to be a harvest. Yes, I think we can get it done because it's in our national security interest to do so. It took us three to five years to get the Goldwater/Nichols reform passed. This is the 24th year we've tried on intelligence reform. Shouldn't be the 25th.

WOODRUFF: Senator Pat Roberts, chairman of the Senate intelligence committee. Thank you very much.

Fighting members of your own party to get this done.

ROBERTS: Well, both sides. There are some, you know, there are some strong -- some strong opinions on both sides.

WOODRUFF: We hear you. Thank you very much for coming over. We appreciate it. Thank you.

ROBERTS: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: Some African-American leaders are looking back at election 2004 with frustration and concern about the future. Up next, I'll ask the Reverend Jesse Jackson about his recent talks on the subject and his prognosis for the Democrats.

Also ahead, are voters throwing cold water on the idea of a president Schwarzenegger?

And later, what's in a name? Find out who is rooting for and protesting against Washington's new home team.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: On election day President Bush picked up more support from African-American voters than he did four years ago. And that is a big concern for the Democratic party. Reverend Jesse Jackson, an adviser to the Kerry/Edwards campaign led a post-election leadership summit last week. He joins me now in Washington. Reverend Jackson, first of all, the Democratic National Committee looking for a new chair. Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack out of the running. Who's your favorite?

REV. JESSE JACKSON, RAINBOW PUSH COALITION: I have no favorite but there are two names cropping up. One is Howard Dean who has in my judgment all of the right stuff. First he is free to do it. He's very articulate. He can raise money. He ran a race that attracted a lot of new energy.

There is from -- Wellington Webb, former mayor of Denver, likewise, very credential. He is a vice chair. At this point the two of them are emerging real strong. And maybe a combination could be the way to go. Vilsack is out. If Alexis does not want to run...

WOODRUFF: Alexis Herman.

JACKSON: Alexis Herman does not want to run. Howard Dean and Wellington Webb are very formidable and they are incredible.

WOODRUFF: Let's talk about the election. President Bush did increase his vote from 8 percent to 11 percent nationally. But you look at Ohio, he raised his percentage to 16 percent from 8 percent, 9 percent four years ago. Florida, he almost doubled his percentage of the African-American vote from 7 to 13 percent. Why did George Bush do so well?

JACKSON: Because he focused on it and worked at it in a way that Democrats did not. Bush developed over four years some relationships which Kerry did not. The faith-based money had some impact. The gay issue had some impact. The IRS intimidation had some impact. So a number of forces that led to an increase. But the big issue was not his penetration.

WOODRUFF: But he won fair and square. You're not challenging that, are you?

JACKSON: Well, won fair and square. That's just among counting the votes in Ohio but apart from that, the big deal here for Democrats, is when you run off the south, you run off -- it's economics, it's cultural identity and its theology. How does one tackle that issue? Fourteen million black votes, we pull our weight. For example, if Bill Clinton were to really pull Arkansas and Edwards were to pull North Carolina and Gore to pull Tennessee. If our White allies pull their weight, if labor convinced people to vote economic interests over cultural identity that coalition could be a winning coalition. I'm convinced that we must, in fact, take on the south economically, culturally and theologically. WOODRUFF: But how does one do that in an environment where apparently increasingly moral values are now part of the political discussion and it's clear that many African-American voters and many Americans are not comfortable, for example, with the idea of gay marriage and other positions on abortion?

JACKSON: But you know what the issues have been? A one-third cutback in black admissions to universities, raising the ball on Section 8 public housing, not keeping force on civil rights provisions, expanding war in Iraq. That issue was really lack of diversion. Raising the minimum wage is a moral issue. Over time, people (UNINTELLIGIBLE) an moral issue. Affordable housing is a moral issue.

WOODRUFF: But those issues were not front and center in this race.

JACKSON: And that's why the candidate and the party must in fact have the capacity to address those issues with moral authority. One cannot be afraid to associate rich, young rulers, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) down politics. The morality is how you treat the least of this. We must argue the moral arguments and make them stick.

WOODRUFF: So you do you fault John Kerry for not having done that?

JACKSON: There was a certain detachment from that...

WOODRUFF: What do you mean? Should he have done what you're saying?

JACKSON: Of course. I mean, the issue in Iraq is a moral issue. We were hit by al Qaeda and the Taliban, and we had a war of choice and we're not killing people relentlessly just killing people and being killed. That is moral. That is illegal. We cannot be apologetic about that. Most people choose us to give tax cuts top down. They will not raise minimum wage. That's a moral issues. If you want to see even more tax cuts to the wealthiest, I think that what Democrats must do now in a big way, Judy, is look at the south and the southwest and take those (UNINTELLIGIBLE) on economically, culturally and theologically. If you have people voting against their economic interests for their cultural identity that is a big issue that must be taken on and can be taken on but it must be done so unapologetically.

WOODRUFF: It's one of things Democrats are going to be spending a lot of time thinking about and working on...

JACKSON: I think if we redistribute our resources. I think the point is, if say Clinton/Arkansas, Edwards -- my real point is here we must spread out our forces. So it's not so much we would lead the top down, so we'd broaden our base bottom up, economically, culturally, and theologically.

WOODRUFF: We hear you and we thank you for coming by.

JACKSON: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: Appreciate it. Good to see you always. Thank you.

Looking ahead to 2005, we'll find out what's on the horizon in the Garden State governor's race. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Checking the headlines now in our campaign news daily. Eight of Washington state's 39 counties have now filed their recount totals in the governor's race. Democratic Christine Gregoire has picked up 7 votes in those counties over Republican Dino Rossi. Now Rossi was head by 261 votes before the recount. All counties must post their recount numbers by late Wednesday.

There are reports that Senator Jon Corzine is expected to announce his plans to run for governor of New Jersey sometime after Thanksgiving. A Corzine announcement will put the race into high gear, not to mention triggering a campaign to replace him in the Senate. It's still not clear if fellow Democrat and acting New Jersey governor Richard Codey intends to run. At least one Republican is ready to run against Corzine. Business man Doug Forrester formally announced his candidacy for governor today.

Are the American people behind efforts to permit foreign-born citizens such as Arnold Schwarzenegger to become president? Well, that depends to some degree on how you ask the question. When asked about the measure without mentioning Schwarzenegger's name, 67 percent of Americans polled said they oppose the idea. But when Schwarzenegger is mentioned, the idea gets slightly more support. But a majority of those polled say they still oppose it.

Hillary Clinton cautioned a stir with her cookie and tea comments 12 years ago. Now you can sample the former first lady's chocolate chip cookie recipe. We'll tell you how when we return.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Baseball fans here in the nation's capital now have a name for our new team, the Washington Nationals. The team and -- rather, the name and the team logo were unveiled today. The name actually has a long history in Washington. Baseball teams in the late 1800s and early 1900s were also known as The Nationals. A protester was whisked away by security after he interrupted today's ceremony as part of a group demonstrating against taxpayer financing for a new baseball stadium.

Visitors to the cafe at the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock can now sample chocolate chip cookies from former first lady Hillary Clinton's recipe. We all remember an interview back in 1992 when she said famously, quote, "I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas." Now we know she had the recipe anyway.

That's it for INSIDE POLITICS. I'm Judy Woodruff. Thanks for joining us. "CROSSFIRE" starts right now.

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