The Web      Powered by
powered by Yahoo!


Return to Transcripts main page


Reaction in U.S. to Election of New Pope; Interview With Dan Bartlett

Aired April 20, 2005 - 07:29   ET


BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: It's just about 7:30 here in New York. Good morning, everybody. I'm Bill Hemmer. Good to have you along with us today. And you too, by the way.

HEMMER: I know.

COSTELLO: I'm Carol Costello, but I'm in for Soledad this morning.

HEMMER: You're sitting here.

COSTELLO: Usually I'm over there.

HEMMER: So, it's different.


HEMMER: Welcome.

COSTELLO: Thank you.

Coming up, we'll look at challenges the new pope is facing in America. Many divisions among Catholics in the United States, and some wonder if Benedict XVI will make them even deeper.

HEMMER: Also in a moment, the president's energy policy is now gaining some momentum in Congress. Many say, though, it will do nothing to lower the price of gasoline. One of the president's closest advisers, Dan Bartlett, is here to answer those critics. We'll talk to him in a moment here.

You're usually over there.

I am.

HEMMER: But today, Valerie Morris is over there with the news. And welcome, by the way.

VALERIE MORRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you very much.

HEMMER: Good morning to you.

MORRIS: Good to see you. Carol and I have had conversations earlier this morning. Good morning, everyone.

"Now in the News."

American troops coming under attack from suicide bombers in Baghdad. One of the blasts going off in southern Baghdad a short time ago. At least one U.S. soldier and several Iraqi civilians were injured.

Hours earlier, a car bomb went off in the western part of the capital city, killing at least two American soldiers and wounding four others.

A U.S. district judge is set to meet today with terror suspect Zacarias Moussaoui. Moussaoui says -- and indicated, in fact -- that he is pleading guilty to charges against him. The judge must decide whether Moussaoui is mentally competent. Moussaoui is the only person in the United States charged in connection with the September 11 terror attacks. The move would likely send him to death row.

Columbine High School is closed this morning in remembrance of this country's deadliest school shooting. It was six years ago today when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold shot and killed 12 classmates and a teacher before taking their own lives. A moment of silence is planned in the victims' honor later today.

And prosecutors say they expect to wrap up their case against Michael Jackson by the end of next week. The mother of Jackson's accuser finished Tuesday, after five days on the stand. The accuser's grandmother also took the stand. She claims the boy was distant after leaving Neverland Ranch for a final time. A half-day of testimony is expected today.

And that's the very latest news. Back over to you.

HEMMER: Valerie, thanks.

COSTELLO: Thanks, Valerie.

Initial reaction to the new pope is somewhat mixed here in the United States. According to a new CNN/"USA Today"/Gallup poll, nearly three-quarters of American Catholics say they are more likely to follow their own conscience rather than the teachings of Pope Benedict XVI. Sixty-one percent say the new pope will unite the church. Nineteen percent think he will divide it.

For more reaction to the new pope, national correspondent Kelly Wallace is live at St. Patrick's Cathedral this morning here in New York.

Good morning -- Kelly.


Well, a Mass just wrapped up here at St. Patrick's Cathedral, celebrating the election of the new pope, something we expect is happening in cathedrals across the country, as American Catholics get to know the new leader of the Catholic Church.


WALLACE (voice over): Not long after signs the cardinals had made their decision, word about the new pope spread from Sacramento to Southern California, to St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City, where we found tourists from Germany.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think he's very conservative, but I think he will be a good pope. I hope so.

WALLACE: Executives from Hungary.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I'm very glad that a fellow European got to be elected. I'm very excited about it.

WALLACE: And seniors from a Catholic high school in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It would be better if we had a more liberal kind of pope, but we didn't pick him.

WALLACE (on camera): Are you hopeful about this new pope?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Definitely. Maybe he'll try to be just like John Paul II.

WALLACE (voice over): Throughout the country, two views: That Pope Benedict XVI's conservative views on issues such as the ordination of women, celibacy for priests, and birth control make him the wrong man to lead the church into the future.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I guess I'm from the camp that would like maybe more of a moderate -- more moderate leadership.

WALLACE: And those who feel his strict views make him the perfect choice.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I think one thing we need is someone to continue that firm stand on church issues, because I think that's the problem with our church right now is it's become a little bit too wishy-washy.

WALLACE: Back at St. Patrick's Cathedral, we found mixed feelings within one family. Jim Howland (ph) of Massachusetts was hoping for:

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A change, radical change.

WALLACE (on camera): Do you think the church needs that right now?


WALLACE (voice over): His mother-in-law:

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think we have to support the decision and give him our support.

WALLACE: And the top issue they'd like to see the new pope deal with:

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I hope that he would continue to heal the church based on, you know, the scandal, the sex abuse scandal. I think that that is a very big issue and one that needs to, you know, continue to be worked on.


WALLACE: And something else we found as we talked to people yesterday. So many people just don't know that much about Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany. In fact, in our CNN poll, when asked an opinion of Pope Benedict XVI, 60% percent say they were unsure, Carol, still wanting more information before they can form an opinion about him.

COSTELLO: Well, they'll get plenty more information in the days to come, Kelly. Thank you. Kelly Wallace live in New York this morning.

HEMMER: Well, President Bush speaks later today about his new energy proposal. That's the focus for the White House today. But in Congress, some are focused, too, on John Bolton. He's the president's pick to be the U.N. ambassador.

Dan Bartlett is counsel to the president. He is my guest from the White House.

Good morning to you, Dan.


HEMMER: I'm doing well. I want to tick through three topics with you. First, John Bolton. Republican Senator George Voinovich yesterday said that he has some reservations, too. The vote has been put off a few weeks now. It's at least the second time that has happened. How much concern is there at the White House about this appointment today?

BARTLETT: Well, actually we're not concerned at all, because John Bolton has answered all of the questions during committee hearings and has demonstrated that he's well-qualified for the job as ambassador to the U.N. And we're more than happy to answer these questions. A lot of these accusations have been trumped up by opponents of the president or the administration. And Senator Voinovich missed those hearings last week. So, it will be easy for us to go to him and give him the answers to those questions. And we feel he'll be quickly confirmed.

HEMMER: Some are saying he's a bully, and he has shown that in past positions he's held. Is there any thought at the White House about pulling his nomination? BARTLETT: Not at all. In fact, we believe that all of those questions about these types of accusations have been answered, and John Bolton is the right person for the job at the U.N. right now. The U.N. is going through reforms. Somebody who has the type of background and experience as John Bolton, the type of person we want there, he could be an important aspect of articulating the reforms that need to take place at the U.N. and garner support in the United States Congress and elsewhere to make sure those reforms take hold.

HEMMER: All right, that's the first optic. The second topic is energy. The president is going to make another speech about it today, about proposal, his proposals for reform. The critics are already saying that he will say nothing and the proposals will do nothing to counter the rising gas prices for consumers across the country. Will there be a message today in that speech to address that, Dan?

BARTLETT: Well, Bill, I think most Americans understand that we didn't get into this problem overnight. We're not going to get out of the problem overnight.

Of course, the administration is concerned about rising gas prices. That's why President Bush has talked about an energy plan for the last three-and-a-half years. And what President Bush will argue is it's time for Congress to stop debating and get a bill to his desk. In fact, he'll call on Congress to get a bill to his desk this summer, which will be an important signal to send, as that is the peak driving season for Americans all across the country, to demonstrate that Congress understands the concerns.

On top of that, the administration in the short-term will continue to talk to the foreign countries who produce oil, as well as making sure the consumers are protected here at home.

So, we have been focused on this issue for the entire first term of the Bush administration. It's time for Congress to act. It's time for us to address the root causes that have gotten us into this position and gotten us to be more dependent on foreign sources of oil. And that's what President Bush will argue in his speech today.

HEMMER: Dan, here's the rub. Apparently, in this meeting at the White House yesterday, Democrat Max Baucus said, if you want your energy reforms to go forward, you cannot insist on changing the rules for how judges are confirmed through the U.S. Congress. How did the president react when he heard that from Max Baucus?

BARTLETT: Well, think about it. We're here to try and talk about an energy policy and somebody raises the issue of judges. Look, that is a separate issue. We think it's a simple principle. Judges ought to get an up or down vote on the floor of the United States Senate.

Let's talk energy. Let's talk about the issues before us. And that is, it's time for Republicans and Democrats to come together to start addressing the root causes of why we find ourselves so dependent on foreign sources of energy. Look, Bill, America has not had a comprehensive energy policy for almost 20 years. We haven't built refineries in America in more than 25 years. We haven't built a new nuclear plant in nearly 30 years. It's time for America to start facing the clear choices we have when it comes to becoming less dependent on foreign sources of oil, which will keep the price of gasoline down.

HEMMER: We'll listen for that speech later today. Third topic. In the interest of time, I'm going to have to hurry.

BARTLETT: No problem.

HEMMER: The pope, Benedict XVI, White House reaction is what? And are there any plans at this point to get together and meet?

BARTLETT: Well, he obviously was just elected yesterday. President Bush sent his congratulations yesterday to Benedict. And that's something that we will work out. I'm sure there's a delegation being pulled together for his inaugural ceremony that will take place. But we're allowing the new pope to get situated. And if he wants to entertain a meeting with the president, we would obviously accommodate that in the future. But it's way too premature to be talking about meetings. We're just here to congratulate the Catholic Church in picking its new leader.

HEMMER: Hey, Dan, thanks.

BARTLETT: No problem.

HEMMER: Dan Bartlett, counsel to the president from the White House -- Carol.

COSTELLO: We're going to talk judges now. If you thought he was talking tough before, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay is hitting harder at what he calls activist judges. DeLay has openly disapproved of the federal court system since it denied reinserting Terri Schiavo's feeding tube.

In a radio interview with Fox News, DeLay argued against judges who stray from the Constitution, singling out Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.


REP. TOM DELAY (R-TX), MAJORITY LEADER: We've got Justice Kennedy writing decisions based upon international law, not the Constitution of the United States. That's just outrageous.


DELAY: And not only that, but he said in session that he does his own research on the Internet. That is just incredibly outrageous. So...

SNOW: Would he be somebody whose behavior would be worth reviewing? DELAY: We're reviewing everything. The Judiciary Committee is looking at this issue. We've already passed six bills limiting the jurisdiction of the court in the last two years. They haven't gotten through the Senate, but we're starting this body of thought.


COSTELLO: DeLay also addressed the growing controversy around claims of his ethics violations, emphasizing he has done nothing wrong.

HEMMER: It's about 20 minutes now before the hour. Here in the Northeast, we're going to see just a bit of everything this week weather-wise.


COSTELLO: Big news for travelers. Two struggling airlines could be close to a merger. Andy explains in "Minding Your Business."

HEMMER: Also, Hollywood is getting ready to walk all over Ryan Seacrest, and he likes it. A special honor for the host of "American Idol." We'll talk about that in "90-Second Pop" a bit later this hour. Back in a moment here.


HEMMER: All right, it is all pope all of the time here at AMERICAN MORNING. Back to Jack and the "Question of the Day."


Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger may not have been the first choice of a lot of Catholics in this country. Pope Benedict XVI spent the last quarter of a century as a conservative watchdog for the Vatican, a staunch defender of traditional church doctrine and a fierce opponent of liberalism.

America's so-called cafeteria Catholics are likely to be disappointed. It's unlikely the new pope will yield on issues like women priests, gay rights, birth control and other points of contention over here.

The question is: What does the new pope have to do to unite the Catholic Church?

Matthew in Burlington, Vermont: "I believe that if Pope Benedict XVI remains true to the doctrines and beliefs of the church, the church will unite itself."

Steve in New York writes: "I think the best thing he can do is continue in the work of John Paul II to reach out to young people and keep them involved in their faith."

Weldon in New Market, Ontario: "Maybe cleaning out some of the sexual predators would be a good start." Gabriela in Brookline, Massachusetts: "Pope Benedict needs to see that discriminating against gays, women and other denominations is un-Christ-like. Jesus hung out with the fringe of society and showed compassion."

And Jerry in Georgia writes: "Pope Benedict XVI should follow the lead of the last great German church leader, Martin Luther, and remove the yoke of traditionalism and return to the basic teachings and examples of Christ."

COSTELLO: Wow! People are well-spoken.

CAFFERTY: We've got a very bright group that watches this program.

HEMMER: Yes, we do. Every day.

CAFFERTY: On Wednesday.

COSTELLO: Just on Wednesday.

HEMMER: You know, I think so much of this...

CAFFERTY: A lot of these people were not here yesterday.

HEMMER: So much of this is a nod to Pope John Paul II, I think, and what he has done for the past 26 years. In every speech that Ratzinger now...


HEMMER: ... Benedict XVI -- not easy to say, by the way.

CAFFERTY: How do they pick those names, Benedict XVI?

COSTELLO: They pick their own names.


CAFFERTY: I don't mean to interrupt you. You were going somewhere with that.

ANDY SERWER, "FORTUNE" MAGAZINE: You name it after someone whose faith reflects yours, right?

HEMMER: Correct, yes.

CAFFERTY: It's the choice of this man.

HEMMER: The last Benedict -- where's my brain, 1922.

SERWER: Oh, you mean Benedict XV?

HEMMER: Yes. And there was a Benedict who served in Europe. He served as a -- very good, Andy. He served as a unifier in Europe. So that's possibly why he chose this name. COSTELLO: And he was a moderate, some say. And Ratzinger wants to show people he's more moderate than conservative, and that's why he chose that name.

CAFFERTY: I wonder why they picked someone who is 78 years old. That's another question.

HEMMER: Yes. Well, you heard what I asked Mahoney earlier today. You know, do you want the guy to do exactly what John Paul II did, but don't do it as long?

CAFFERTY: Well, I don't know.

HEMMER: He had a birthday this past weekend, by the way.

CAFFERTY: Who did?

COSTELLO: We have to move along.

HEMMER: Benedict XVI.

SERWER: Carol?

COSTELLO: Not me. Not me.


COSTELLO: We do have to move along to business now.

CAFFERTY: Did you send him a card or anything?


COSTELLO: There is word this morning -- talk amongst yourselves.


COSTELLO: There is word this morning of a possible marriage in the skies. With that, plus a look at the markets, Andy Serwer is here "Minding Your Business" this morning.

SERWER: Thank you for that smooth transition, Carol.

COSTELLO: Sure, I try.

SERWER: For getting him off there, the discussion. Yes, here's a quote: "We'll do whatever is necessary to survive," so says US Air chairman David Bronner, and he's referring probably to merging this company that went into bankruptcy in September of last year.

Word is now that US Air is going to merge with America West. This deal might make sense, because US Air is primarily in the East and America West, of course, is primarily in the West.

COSTELLO: In the West?

SERWER: Very good.

CAFFERTY: Nothing gets by you, does it?

SERWER: No, it's pretty amazing.

And also, America West knows all about bankruptcy, because it went bankrupt in 1991. Most airlines, at some point, have gone bankrupt in this country.

America West was founded 24 years ago. And you can see here, America West doesn't really have hubs. Those are sort of locations. It's more of like a Southwest model where they fly point to point.

And the other interesting thing is, you wonder if America West heard about US Air's new $1.86 round trip ticket program. That was a mistake that they got in trouble for the other day.

Let's talk about the markets yesterday. A lot of green out there, which is nice to see. Stocks up across the board. Texas Instruments, Coca-Cola leading the charge. Inflation seems benign. And this morning, stocks could be higher because Yahoo and Intel, after the bell, reported some good stuff. So we shall be watching that.

COSTELLO: Thank you, Andy.

SERWER: You're welcome, Carol.

COSTELLO: "American Idol" goes back to the '70s. The final seven contestants take a stab at disco. Which one should have stayed quiet, though? "90-Second Pop" is next on AMERICAN MORNING.


COSTELLO: It's Ryan Seacrest all over the place. It's time once again for "90-Second Pop," and the gang is all here. Andy Borowitz from Karyn Bryant, co-host of "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT." And Toure, CNN pop culture correspondent.

Welcome to all of you.

Ryan Seacrest is getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


COSTELLO: That's just wrong, Karyn.

BRYANT: It's -- I'm going to say it's premature. I mean, you know, he has been in the -- he's getting it for his radio service, and he does host "American Top 40." And he's...

COSTELLO: Well, whoopty-doo (ph)!

BRYANT: And he's host of, you know, KISS FM's morning show in Los Angeles, which is very popular. And obviously he's also the host of "American Idol." COSTELLO: Yes, I listen to it all the time.

BRYANT: But, you know, it just takes some petitioning, some money, and five years of service. So...


BRYANT: Fifteen thousand dollars to get a star.


ANDY BOROWITZ, BOROWITZREPORT.COM: You know, when I heard that he got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the only two words that came to my mind were "long overdue." I think this is -- I mean, I think the pope story has kind of overshadowed this, but it's a big deal that Ryan Seacrest got it, because...

BRYANT: You know...

TOURE: He's a dweeb, right?

BRYANT: Thank you.

TOURE: Like, the definition of that word.

BRYANT: Thank you.

TOURE: If he can get a star, anyone can get a star. Radio show notwithstanding, might I point out that his television show lasted less time than...

BRYANT: Right.

TOURE: ... Tempest Bledsoe's show.

BRYANT: Right. No, "On the air" was not a huge success. All I'm saying was that he actually does a pretty good job on "American Idol," because that show...

TOURE: He's a dork!

BRYANT: Listen, that show is supposed to appeal to all kinds of age groups. I think older ladies...

TOURE: He doesn't appeal to me.

BRYANT: Well...

TOURE: He doesn't appeal to you.

BRYANT: No, but I'm just saying...

COSTELLO: This is what we should do. I have an idea. We should submit Bill Hemmer's name for a star.

TOURE: Yay! COSTELLO: CNN can pony up 15,000 bucks, and we'll see what happens.

TOURE: And Bill...

BRYANT: That would be fantastic.

TOURE: Bill deserves one more than this dweeb, Ryan Seacrest.

COSTELLO: Exactly. His can be...

HEMMER: So, at the end of the show, I can say, like, 'Hemmer out.'



COSTELLO: We're loving that. His star can be right next to Lassie's. OK, we have to move on.

HEMMER: You dog!

COSTELLO: I know. Let's talk about "American Idol" since we're on the subject of Ryan Seacrest. And the singers on there, all of whom I don't really know because they don't really excite me. But, Toure, you're tapped in.

TOURE: Well, actually there is one who actually excited me. Vonzell came out and did "I'm Every Woman," and gave me chills actually. I haven't gotten chills from the "American Idol" like ever. So, she really, really, rocked that song.

BRYANT: That's a tough song.

TOURE: It's a tough song. She performed the heck out of it. I feel like Randy now, "You did the right song, Dawg."

BOROWITZ: It is hard. I have sung "I'm Every Woman" many times, and it never really hits it.

BRYANT: I know. She...

TOURE: Also great, Constantine.

BRYANT: Constantine is...

TOURE: I like Constantine. He can really perform.

BRYANT: Last night, I think he really showed that he has a chance to win this, although I thought he looked a little bloated. I don't know. His face, you know, I am a fan. I don't know if some of these people are living a little hard now that the pressure is on. Some of them looked a little puffy this week, that's all.

TOURE: And let's go to, of course, what you're waiting for, the wackiest one of the night.


TOURE: Thankfully Karyn and I agree.


TOURE: Anthony, oh, my god! He looks like a light bulb. He dances like one, too. He's completely insipid.


TOURE: He's just howling. He's not singing.

BRYANT: He is so green.

TOURE: Yelling loud is not singing.


COSTELLO: Actually, that's what Simon...

BRYANT: You would (INAUDIBLE) if that were on.


COSTELLO: That's what Simon called him last night, insipid.

TOURE: Insipid.


BOROWITZ: I think that means he's got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame coming up.

COSTELLO: Right. Right next to Bill Hemmer, Lassie and then it's him. I'm just kidding. I'm kidding.

Let's talk about "Monday Night Football," Andy, because a tradition is actually moving.

BOROWITZ: It's changing. Well, it was on ABC for -- from the beginning. And now it's going to be on ESPN. And this is being played as kind of a big story. I think it's kind of bogus actually, because as a guy -- and you can vouch for this, Tour -- on Monday night, the guy controls the remote in the family. We change the channel every 1.4 seconds, so we are going to find it no matter where it is. They can move it to the Food Network. We will find.

BRYANT: Can I just say that that is so typical. I watch more football in my house than my husband does.


BRYANT: That is so obnoxious that you assume...



TOURE: Who is your team?

BRYANT: New England Patriots, baby. No matter what channel they're on, they're going to kick butt.

TOURE: Bandwagon rider.

BRYANT: Hey, I am from Boston. So you get off of the bandwagon.

TOURE: All right, all right.

BRYANT: I'll go back to Grogan and the guy in 3-point stance.

TOURE: Wow, Steve Grogan! Wow!

BRYANT: I know.

TOURE: That was...


COSTELLO: All right, we must wrap this up. Although we're having a great time, we must wrap this up. I can't control anything this morning!

You can see Karyn Bryant, by the way, and A.J. Hammer every night on "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT." Tonight, they talk to actress Pamela Anderson about her new TV show, "Stacked." That's on "Headline News" at 7:00 p.m. Eastern with replays at 10:00 p.m. and midnight.

Thanks to Andy, Karyn and Toure.

I'm exhausted, Bill. Back to you.

HEMMER: You sound worn out, and it's only 8:00. Lassie, though, Carol? I mean, really.


HEMMER: Cooler than Bengie, I guess, right?

COSTELLO: Exactly.

HEMMER: A break here. In a moment, a candid conversation with legendary executive Jack Welch. A new book called "Winning" shares his strategy for success and what he calls the biggest little dirty secret in business. He's live next hour on AMERICAN MORNING.


International Edition
CNN TV CNN International Headline News Transcripts Advertise With Us About Us
   The Web     
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. does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.
Add RSS headlines.