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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Funerals for Five Slain Girls Tomorrow; A Look Ahead to Midterm Elections
Aired October 4, 2006 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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LARRY KING, CNN HOST (voice-over): Tonight, as a quiet, close- knit Amish community prepares to bury five of its daughters murdered in a shocking rampage at their one-room schoolhouse, heartbreaking insights with a friend of the killer's widow, who prayed with her on Monday; a midwife who helped deliver several of the victims and more.
And then, new shocking claims in the Foley scandal, will it bring down the speaker and the whole Republican House? What about those bombshells Bob Woodward has been dropping on the Bush administration? Who better to ask than the best political team on television?
CNN's Washington insiders with all the latest on these explosive stories still developing as we speak, it's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.
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KING: We begin with the tragedy in Pennsylvania. We'll be meeting various folks in Harrisburg and Georgetown, Pennsylvania. We're anchored here in Washington by Reverend Bob Schenck, president of the National Clergy Council, president of the D.C.-based Faith in Action Ministries, met with relatives of the Amish school killer and his wife. He was with us last night. Has it sunk in yet?
REVEREND ROB SCHENCK: For me?
SCHENCK: No, Larry, coming back from Lancaster I was dealing with the aftermath of it and I would say for me it ranks on the same emotional scale as 9/11 did, as going to the New Orleans area after Katrina. It has the same kind of impact on you.
KING: You're still counseling then?
SCHENCK: Yes. I'll be back there again in the next couple of days.
KING: In Georgetown, Pennsylvania is Barb Beiler. Barb is a member of the mother's prayer group, Moms in Touch International. She prayed with Marie Roberts, the wife of the Amish school killer on Monday. Barb, what was that like? BARB BEILER, MOMS IN TOUCH INTERNATIONAL: Our prayer meeting was as it normally is. We meet together. We lift up the children in prayer to our eternal God. Marie was there. We had a wonderful prayer time together.
KING: How did Marie handle it?
BEILER: Marie was Marie. She's a very gracious person. She leads the group very well. She honors Jesus Christ and Marie was Marie on Monday, the same as she has always been.
KING: Michele Beyer is a friend of Marie Roberts and also a member of that prayer group. She prayed with Marie on Monday. Michele, has the community, any in the community blamed her?
MICHELE BEYER, MOMS IN TOUCH INTERNATIONAL: To my knowledge no, no not at all.
KING: Has she remained steadfast?
KING: How do you explain that?
BEYER: Her faith in God, her faith in Jesus Christ. He's what's going to carry her through this. He is her hope and her rock and her fortress and he will carry her through this and she believes that with all her heart as we all do.
KING: Did you -- did either of you have any doubts after this tragedy in your belief?
BEILER: We question. We search. We talk. We have emotions of anger, pain, hurt but our faith remains strong in God, in our savior Jesus.
BEYER: God is still God.
KING: Rita Rhoads is a midwife in the Amish community. She helped deliver several of the girls who were killed in Monday's school shooting. What has this been like for you, Rita?
RITA RHOADS, MIDWIFE: Well, first of all, you know, having delivered some of the children who were involved, I mean first of all it was a shock and really hoping that none of the children that I personally knew would be involved. And then the sadness and additional shock to find out that four of the children I knew were involved and that two of them that I had delivered had, in fact, died.
KING: You're not going to get over this.
RHOADS: It will take a while. It's like any loss. When you lose somebody you love, somebody you care about, it takes a while to get over it. I think the biggest thing that helps me to get over it is I've been with the families and grieved with them and being able to share that grief personally with them has certainly been helpful to me.
KING: How do you explain, reverend, the Amish's forgiveness of the killer?
SCHENCK: Well, Larry, the Amish community is a very interesting study. Of course, the Amish were born in the 16th Century out of persecution. They were persecuted in Europe. And very early on they took the Sermon on the Mount as their core really doctrinal statement.
They don't really have a formal set of doctrines but the Sermon on the Mount is really their code, their Christian code. And, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus admonished us in that sermon.
He said that we needed to forgive others as God forgives us that we have to be careful to forgive others their sins against us or God will not forgive us of our sins. It's a circle. You have to keep giving in order to get forgiveness and that's a the heart of the gospel.
KING: What do you find extraordinary about the Amish, other than this forgiveness aspect which is (INAUDIBLE).
SCHENCK: Well, of course, there's their lifestyle. I mean they do eschew anything that's modern technology. They live separate from the world. That's one of their core tenets is to live differently than other people. But that's really only the obvious.
When you look at the core of the Amish, while not every Amish person is religious, and I think that's a misunderstanding, some think because of the way they live they're all religious, not entirely true. But at the heart of the Amish culture is the gospel. It is a Christian culture and they live out the principles of the New Testament.
KING: Barb, Michele, and Rita, thank you. Reverend Schenck will remain with us.
And when we come back, we'll be joined by Colonel Jeffrey Miller, by Donald Kraybill. Colonel Miller is the police, Pennsylvania State Police commissioner; more on the tragedy in Pennsylvania when we come back.
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ENOS MILLER, GRANDFATHER OF TWO VICTIMS: I didn't sleep last night as others done. This is my son and this is my son and daughter- in-law down (INAUDIBLE) hospital and they saw her die down there. Then the other (INAUDIBLE) and we went up at two o'clock in the morning. We saw her die up there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you guys were with both of the girls as they passed away? (END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Reverend Rob Schenck remains with us.
Joining us in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is Colonel Jeffrey Miller, Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner. Colonel, what's the latest on the two young relatives Charles Roberts said that he molested 20 years ago?
COL. JEFFREY MILLER, COMMISSIONER, PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE: Well, Larry, we've been able to locate those two relatives and conduct interviews with them. And what we've learned is that neither one of them, they were ages four and five at the time that this allegedly occurred, neither one of them has any recollection of any molestation by Charles Roberts.
Now, we don't know if they were too young to recall or if this never happened or perhaps it was something less than perhaps would have been like a sexual assault type of situation and perhaps it stayed with him but they don't have any recollection of it.
KING: Reverend Schenck, we were talking during the break, when you have a suicide it's such a -- not only a guilt trip, it leaves you with no knowledge, right? All we have is speculation.
SCHENCK: Yes, in a way the individual who does that really continues the suffering by leaving behind all those unanswered questions and that's what makes suicide really a double tragedy. It's not just a death.
KING: In Georgetown is Donald Kraybill, author of numerous books on Amish life and culture, including "The Riddle of Amish Culture" and "The Amish and the State." He's a senior fellow and distinguished professor at Elizabethtown College. What in a nutshell is the riddle of Amish culture, Donald?
DONALD KRAYBILL, AUTHOR, "THE RIDDLE OF AMISH CULTURE": Well, the riddle of Amish culture is how in the world does a traditional group that rejects a lot of technology and doesn't go to high school and doesn't use electricity or television, how in the world are they growing so rapidly? They're doubling every 20 years. That's the riddle.
KING: Do you have an answer?
KRAYBILL: I do. They have specific practices that help them have a sharp identity as a community, their way of dressing, their schools and so on. But in addition to that they also negotiate with the outside world. They make a lot of compromises in their use of technology and do a lot of creative things that enable them not only to maintain their identity but also to grow and to change and to adapt to the outside world.
KING: Colonel Miller, have they at all been helpful, can they be helpful in the investigation?
MILLER: The Amish community, Larry?
MILLER: Well they have been very helpful in the sense that they've -- they've worked closely with us. We've been trying to be very respectful of their customs and all of the things that are affecting the community right now and we're going to be assisting them with the funerals tomorrow and Friday.
But, they've been as helpful as they can be. They've been very cooperative. Everybody has consented to interviews and has provided as much information as they have.
KING: Rob, you've met with relatives of the killer right?
SCHENCK: Yes, I did.
KING: How do they deal with it?
SCHENCK: Well, I thought the most stunning thing about it, Larry, was the fact that this family so torn apart, the Roberts, I spoke mostly with his parents and the brother-in-law, but the other family members were present in the household. The children were there.
And what impressed me more than anything this is a Christian family. They are very loving people. They care about one another. The family is close. But what impressed me was the fact that they were actually receiving the forgiveness from the Amish community, which was offered generously from the very beginning and that's impressive.
KING: Will they go -- will they go to the funerals?
SCHENCK: I don't know that they'll go to the funerals. They've been invited to go. They certainly feel very warm towards the Amish community. And what's important here is that, you know, you can stop the cycle of forgiveness by rejecting it and often people who feel guilty or ashamed do that.
But in this case, they have received it and that's really what the heart of the gospel is all about receiving forgiveness from God and sharing that with others. We have to accept it first and they are doing that and it's keeping the cycle of forgiveness going.
KING: Donald, this is a real test of that concept isn't it?
KRAYBILL: It certainly is. It really is an example of where the Amish really put their faith into action. They take Jesus as the model. When he is hanging on the cross he says, Father, forgive the people that have tortured me. When he talks to the disciples about how often do you forgive someone, he said "70 times 7." And so the Amish really believe in this concept of forgiveness. I frequently hear them saying "It's important that we forgive and we forget." KING: Yes.
KRAYBILL: And so that's what they are trying to do in this situation.
KING: Colonel, we're never going to find out the real answer are we?
MILLER: No, Larry, we're not. I mean we have some speculation. You know I read something today that a forensic psychologist wrote that kind of rang true with me. He said that, you know, we'll never know and we know that.
But it's almost as if this suspect was so fixated on what had happened in his life 20 years earlier, what he perceived the impact of that was, living with that guilt, living with that shame that when his first child was -- was -- died after living only 20 minutes, it's almost as if he blamed God for punishing him.
And he had hatred towards God and he had hatred towards himself. And it was almost as if he went into this school and he targeted these young female students in an effort to strike back revenge for that.
KING: And Reverend Rob, the mothers prepare the bodies, the mothers do the preparation?
SCHENCK: Yes, they do. I had a rare privilege of being a non- Amish present to see that, to see the family preparing the body of their child. I don't think I'll ever forget the tender moments. But the grandfather stood there over the body of his own granddaughter with her wounds quite visible and spoke about the importance of forgiving and not thinking evil of the man who did this and I'll never forget that.
KING: I wouldn't imagine you would. Reverend Schenck, Colonel Miller, Donald Kraybill, thank you.
By the way, we have an address. If you want to help the victims' families, you can support it at The Nickel Mines School Victims Fund, there you see it, The Nickel Mines School Victims Fund, c/o HomeTowne Heritage Bank, P.O. Box 337, Strasburg, PA 17579.
When we come back, the best political panel on television, Washington's scandal, can Hastert survive? Woodward's book, Bush, Iraq, the upcoming elections, we'll try to get it all in, the hot topics next.
KING: Let's meet the best political team in broadcasting. They are Wolf Blitzer, the anchor of CNN's "The Situation Room," host of "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer;" John King, CNN's Chief National Correspondent. He's been on the road covering Vice President Cheney.
Candy Crowley, CNN's Senior Political Correspondent; J. C. Watts, the former Republican Congressman and CNN political contributor, and one of the great collegiate football players of all time; and James Carville, Democratic strategist, CNN political contributor.
OK, the Foley scandal, we'll start with that. We'll start with Wolf, is Hastert done?
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Well, I'm not ready to say that. I think he's got a lot of problems and there are a lot of Republicans now asking some really serious questions.
If what this aide suggests, Kirk Fordham, who used to work for Mark Foley for ten years, more recently has been working for Tom Reynolds, the Republican Congressman from Buffalo, my hometown, if in fact what he's saying is that he alerted key members of Hastert's staff three years ago that there was a problem involving former Congressman Foley and nothing happened, then he's in serious trouble.
KING: In other words, if that's true and it pans out?
BLITZER: If that's true.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think Republicans have a problem here and the problem is, you know, I mean that's why they pay me the big bucks. The problem here is that if you push Denny Hastert overboard you make this story go on for the next five weeks when what you need to be talking about is, I don't know, the war on terror or the economy.
So, I think what you're seeing is sort of an every man for himself kind of approach, which is, you know, well gosh if he did anything wrong he shouldn't be there and then go off to, you know, campaign in your own district. I think they have a big problem if they push him overboard.
KING: Are they very angry, John, at Foley?
JOHN KING, CNN SR. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They're furious at Foley but their bigger problem is, he's gone now, Larry, and he's going to face the criminal justice system and that seat is probably gone. Their bigger question is this is the Republican Party that came to Washington saying the Democrats were corrupt. We are closer to your values. We will run a cleaner, more efficient government.
Now they're saying keep us in power when all they're talking about is sex crimes, or alleged sex crimes, by one of their own members. It's a huge problem. And Candy is right the calculation has been if we dump the speaker now we prolong this story. But as today has progressed, people have said, "You know what, we need to stop it somehow."
And it's almost even if these facts aren't true, the speaker has to stop this and stop it soon because the perception has taken hold that this has been mishandled. Anyone can define this any way they want.
KING: James, when you get information like this, and you've been around politics a long time, why don't you release it right away?
CARVILLE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: You know, just people never learn. It always leaks out. Time and time again, you know, we sat on this set you and I in August of 1998 and we've all been -- we've all been there. But, yes, they're going to throw the speaker overboard and, yes, he's going to make a big splash when he hits the water but he's not going to be here through the week. They got to try to do something to stop it.
KING: Through the week?
CARVILLE: Because they got to stop it and then they can say it's under investigation and try to move to something else. There will be some damage but they got to try something right now.
J.C. WATTS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Larry, I think the sad thing about the circumstance, we're talking about dumping Denny Hastert overboard. A week ago we all know for those of us that keep up with the Hill, whether we like Denny or not, whether one likes Denny or not, Denny Hastert was one of the most respected members of Congress on the Republican side, had great respect from many Democrat members as well.
And to show you what an I, me, my, and mine culture Washington is, when things go wrong there's a feeding frenzy by individual members of Congress. We're talking about throwing this guy overboard.
Now, the politics of it is there's a problem. I mean they've got to try to work through this and try to resolve this but I think the speaker, my advice to him would be continue doing what you've done for the last two or three days. You can't over communicate in times like this.
You need to be out there talking to people, answering questions, don't take on that bunker mentality and we'll see what happens but don't be surprised if the speaker survives this.
BLITZER: One point about the speaker and everybody likes the speaker and by all accounts very decent, former high school teacher, a high school wrestling coach, but especially because of that background a lot of people are suggesting, J.C. he should have been so much more sensitive.
If it was a year ago, two years ago or three years ago when he heard that there may be a problem with 16 and 17-year-old male pages and a United States Congressman, who happens to be a Republican, you know, he should have gotten to the bottom of this a lot earlier.
WATTS: And, Wolf, I think that's the irony of it. And, Candy and I were talking about this earlier off the set. Denny Hastert before he came to Congress his life was gives. He was a coach. I mean he -- that's who he was. And now, you know, they're trying to hang him with this not being concerned. I think what -- I think what happened he turned it over to somebody to say, you know, investigate this, look into it again. They said they're over friendly...
KING: And somebody didn't?
WATTS: Yes, over friendly e-mails. But I do think this. Anybody should have been sensitive enough to know in a political atmosphere like this if a 52-year-old guy is e-mailing even overly friendly e-mails to a 16-year-old that should raise red flags.
KING: Is there a big danger now for the Republicans that the Democrats might take the House, John?
J. KING: Well, the Democrats were probably in most eyes going to take the House anyway. The Republicans were counting on getting it back in the end with their money advantage and by emphasizing, "Look, maybe you're mad at us but if you elect the Democrats they will raise your taxes and they will be weaker in the war on terror."
The Republicans now are in full panic. Let me read you this. This is an excerpt from an e-mail from somebody inside the White House within the past hour.
The White House thinks, "the rank and file wave is coming. That's based on what we're getting from our folks around the country and our field people. The local chairs, Republican chairs and committeemen are in full panic about a number of races." That's what's happening. That is why as decent as Denny Hastert might be, they're thinking they need to do something.
KING: Surprise you, Candy?
CROWLEY: No. Again, I mean these people are out there and can't get a word out about anything but this. It's every reporter in the district or every reporter in the state and every voter they meet. They need to get off this subject. I just think that there is some question as to whether Denny Hastert stepping down is going to get them off this subject.
CARVILLE: I think we're missing the point here. I mean about Denny Hastert, about a fine guy, I'm sure he's a popular guy. They've had every kind of different story come out of the speaker's office about, well I remember this. Then I don't remember this. Maybe I remember this.
You have Baynor who is the majority leader saying "I told him. Well maybe I didn't. But, yes I did." You have the Chief of Staff Reynolds, who is the head of the National Republican Campaign Committee just being in this complete disorganization.
I don't care how decent a guy he is. If I'm a Republican Congressman out there saying somebody's got to be able to run the railroad. This guy can't and that's why he's not going to survive.
KING: Who grabs the mantle? CARVILLE: I don't know but it's not going to be Baynor and they probably won't have one. They'll appoint an interim person. What they'll try to do is have him agree to step down if they retain their majority but I don't know if that's going to be enough.
BLITZER: Larry, on this point, I notice in this latest Associated Press story, Roy Blount, who is the number three Republican in the House of Representatives, he's now saying and telling reporters he would have handled the matter differently than the speaker and so.
WATTS: The reality is everybody is going to be for themselves right now.
J. KING: Oh, wow.
WATTS: But, again, I think that shows you the sick culture of this place because a week ago Denny Hastert was well respected by every member in the Republican Congress and now they're, you know, throwing him overboard.
KING: I gather you're not sorry you left.
WATTS: Can you see through that Larry, about that sorry.
CARVILLE: (INAUDIBLE) I said on Wolf's show today that my (INAUDIBLE) Alan Simpson said in Washington one day you're the toast of the town and the next day you're toast and I mean he's toast.
KING: Let me get a break. As we go to break, here's President Bush in support of Speaker Hastert. Watch.
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GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You know, I know Denny Hastert. I meet with him a lot. He is a father, teacher, coach, who cares about the children of this country. I know that he wants all the facts to come out and he wants to ensure that these children up there on Capitol Hill are protected. I'm confident he will provide whatever leadership he can to law enforcement in this investigation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Over the years it's been a familiar drill, when the going gets tough, politicians and celebrities go to rehab.
Just this year, Ohio Congressman Bob Ney checked into rehab for alcoholism, after admitting he accepted inappropriate gifts and Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy retreated to a clinic after crashing his car on Capitol Hill. Mel Gibson blamed the booze after his drunken anti-semitic tirade and checked in for treatment, as did TV personality Pat O'Brien, who went into rehab after his sexual phone messages were leaked to the media.
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L. KING: Rehab is the keyword, and that question, gentlemen and ladies, an e-mail question from Mindy, in Palm Beach Gardens: Is it true that because Mark Foley resigned, he will continue to receive health insurance, paid for by our taxes, as well as be fully entitled for his entire pension. In essence, aren't the tax payers picking up the tab for his rehab right now? Candy?
CROWLEY: Maybe right now, but my guess is that won't be for very long.
L. KING: Who will take it away?
CROWLEY: Congress, yes. They're not around at the moment, so it's -- but they're going to take that away.
BLITZER: You know, there's one thing on the money that is hovering over this, and I suspect we'll be learning more about. Mark Foley raised a lot of money for Republican candidates. And in recent months, he gave $100,000 to Tom Reynolds' committee, which is in charge of getting Republicans elected or reelected.
He raised more than $2 million, so people are going to start asking, even after Tom Reynolds and the speaker and John Boehner knew that there might be a problem with the inappropriate contact with young people, the pages, he was still giving them a lot of money, and people, I think, are legitimately going to say was that part of the calculation why he was kept and wasn't forced out earlier?
CARVILLE: My understanding is that he had over $2 million still in his account. You can bet that the Democrats are very aware of that and be iron clad that he should give it to some child abuse program or something to that effect.
L. KING: Move now to the impact of the Woodward book, which will be what John?
J. KING: Well the impact of the Woodward book was part of this trickle, if you will, of the events that had the Republicans back on their heels. You had the new National Intelligence Assessment, that said Iraq is not a victory or not progress in the war on terrorism. It's, in fact, causing a whole new generation of jihadists to rise up and to rally around Iraq. Then you have the Woodward book, which paints an administration in disarray.
Now a lot of us knew there were fights within the administration, but it offers new anecdotes, new details, and it has the White House out there, after saying the first two Woodward books were pretty good, saying this one is a piece of trash. And it's hard for the White House to make that argument. What does it do cumulatively? Again, it has the White House back on their heels. Again though, they would much rather be having that debate, Larry, talking about the war on terrorism and taking their chances in that debate, than talking about the current thing about Foley, but it adds to a bad climate for Republicans.
L. KING: Here's Woodward on this show talking about Rumsfeld. Watch.
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BOB WOODWARD, THE "WASHINGTON POST": One of the things I report in the book is that Andy Card, when he was chief of staff, at least three times really went to the president and recommended specifically that Rumsfeld be replaced, and Card just didn't say it that way. He said and I think you should put Jim Baker, who's the former secretary of state, in as defense secretary.
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L. KING: Wolf, how does Rumsfeld keep surviving.
BLITZER: Because the president of the United States lets him survive and the vice president of the United States. Those are the guys who make these kinds of decisions. Even if Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice and Andy Card, and a whole bunch of others within the administration thought that Rumsfeld should either be pushed out or should resign or whatever, as long as the president and the vice president say he should stay, and he wants to stay, he stays.
CROWLEY: Let me tell you something about George Bush which I think everybody knows. You saw it in the Denny Hastert statement. You see it in the sticking with Don Rumsfeld. This man wants loyalty and he gives loyalty. He's like trying to turn a freighter. If you're trying to get him to turn around -- and the more people go at someone that he likes, the more entrenched he gets.
L. KING: What about the repercussions of that, J.C.? A war gone bad?
WATTS: Well, there were feelings and thoughts with members of Congress and the administration that Rumsfeld should not have been the secretary of defense.
L. KING: In the first place?
WATTS: Yes. I mean, I don't think that's any surprise. You guys have reported that and have talked about that. That's no surprise. I just -- the way this sick system works up here, secretary Rumsfeld --
WATTS: Secretary Rumsfeld probably should have, you know, given the president a break and probably should have stepped down and given the president a fresh start. You know, there's no secret, I mean, he's been a drain on the president in terms of the politics of this place, and so -- so what Andy Card doing that, I don't think Andy was doing it necessarily facetious way. I think he was concerned and wanted to try, as chief of staff, try to resolve the problem.
L. KING: From a partisan standpoint, James, do you like him in there?
CARVILLE: Well, first of all --
CARVILLE: The only Republican in Washington that's glad about the Mark Foley thing is Donald Rumsfeld.
CARVILLE: (INAUDIBLE) But look, I like him in there. The war is just -- and it's clear that support for it has deteriorated. The combination of the Woodward book and just the awful news that we're getting from the N.I.E. to what's happening right now is a kind of a triple whammy for the White House.
What happens -- the Woodward -- the Democrats didn't have anything to do with Woodward's book. Everybody Woodward talked to were administration people and Republicans and the general. I mean what's happening to Rumsfeld is he's not getting -- I wish I could say it's some great effective Democratic strategy that's doing this. This is an uprising from within the Pentagon and within the administration that's causing Don Rumsfeld's problems.
BLITZER: Let me just -- because you became famous in '92, when you were running Bill Clinton's campaign, with the slogan "It's the Economy, Stupid.
BLITZER: Right now the stock market is doing great, the price of oil is going down, the economy in relatively good shape, but you no longer believe it's the economy, stupid.
CARVILLE: Well, first of all, the public doesn't buy that and the stock market has not even caught up with inflation, where it was at the high. It would have to go up to like 13,000 points, just to catch up with inflation. I don't think people really appreciate paying $2.40 for a gallon of gas. It's hard to convince them. It's certainly cheaper than it was six weeks ago, but I think that people look at the entire thing. They look at the war. They look at what's happening in Congress. They look at the bitterness and they say, you know, it's just time for a change.
J. KING: We're counting how many seats they'll lose in country, who's up and who's down. You go out in the country, Larry, you have now a member of Congress, somebody of authority, preying on children -- children, not only praying on children, but children in their custody, sent as pages into the custody of Congress, you have a lot of communities, the guy who runs the Piggly Wiggly and the National Guard, kids going back for a third or fourth deployment in Iraq -- they are tired -- people are tired, and they associate this with decisions made in Washington.
L. KING: I'm going to take a break, and when that turns, you're in trouble.
J. KING: Yes.
L. KING: We'll be right back with more. Don't go away.
L. KING: Now we taped it yesterday, so I can truly say we have an extraordinary interview tomorrow night with the 41st president of the United States George Herbert Walker Bush. And during the course of that interview, which I hope you watch, I asked him to comment on Venezuela's President Chavez's statement about his son, calling him the devil. Watch.
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L. KING: Any thoughts on Venezuela's President Chavez saying your son is the devil?
GEORGE HERBERT WALKER BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT: Well, I'm tempted to ...
L. KING: Oh, go ahead.
BUSH: He's an ass. And it's a joke for him to come up here and do that. And that demeans the UN. You were talking about the UN. For him to get up there and then some people applauding when he makes it personal like that. It's just sad. You've got oil at $60 a barrel, he's going to do what he wants to do. But somehow these tyrants have a way of falling.
L. KING: You worry about Iran?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
L. KING: Why is Chavez so angry, Wolf?
BLITZER: Because he really hates this president of the United States.
L. KING: Because?
BLITZER: Very close to Fidel Castro. You see the trips he's making to Iran, to Syria, coddling up with all those leaders that really don't like this president, don't like the United States very much at all. And I guess you've got to talk to Hugo Chavez, but I think the first President Bush is right. When Venezuela is a member of OPEC, it's a huge oil-exporting country, they're making a ton of money right now as is Iran, another member of OPEC. And as long as these guys have a lot of cash, they can go around and make the kind of statements they make.
CARVILLE: I've worked for the opposition of Venezuela for some time, so I'm pretty familiar with it and President Bush. And Wolf, we're exactly right. If he's sitting on $60 a barrel oil and he's giving what they refer to -- and you have a long history of neglect in Venezuela -- it wasn't like you had some pristine great government in there before Chavez came. He is a bad actor, not a small-d Democrat in any sense of the word. He is as autocratic as he can possibly be, but he's trying to ferment a lot of stuff around Latin America and around the world and he's being propped up by this high price of oil.
L. KING: Why did the president of Iran get so much attention?
J. KING: Why did the president of Iran get so much attention? Because he has a nuclear program that many think is on the verge of becoming a nuclear weapon program, and he has said that he thinks Israel should be wiped off the map.
L. KING: But he doesn't run Iran, does he? He doesn't really run that country.
J. KING: Well but why did they pick him? If he doesn't run that country and the religious leaders do, why did they pick him at this moment in time? That is the question the world is asking itself. And you have the United States, which has -- its position in the Middle East has been weakened because of the Iraq war, its leverage in the region has been weakened because of the Iraq war. This man steps out there and he's trying to assert himself in the region and so far with Hezbollah and with Syria, he's succeeding.
You go into Israel right now and they are worried. The Israelis are very worried that he's serious. They take him at his word that he wants to wipe them off the map.
L. KING: J.C., did Hezbollah win that war?
WATTS: No, I don't think so.
L. KING: It won the P.R. war.
WATTS: Well they got some P.R. brownie points out of it, but I don't think they won. The president of Iran, and the president of Venezuela, they both are small men with withered souls. And they're very dangerous people, and I do think the president of Iran is to be taken seriously, which I think this president has taken him seriously. And any time that he will make some of the crazy, ludicrous statements that he's made about Israel and even the United States of America. Again I think Hezbollah got some brownie points, I don't think they won the war.
L. KING: The problem is still Israel/Palestine, isn't it, Candy? The focus of all that?
CROWLEY: Absolutely. It always is. I mean, you know, the problem -- but it's just gotten worse again because, as John said, the diminution of U.S. power and U.S. influence in the area, on Chavez and the president of Iran,I mean, we're back to all politics is local. This helps them with the home team crowd. That's what this is about. It's -- you know, if you're a dictator, if you're a guy that has power through means other than democracy, you've got to play the hometown crowd so they don't run it up.
KING: When we come back, we'll talk about some key Senate races and can the Democrats take the Senate?
First, let's check in with Anderson Cooper, the host of "A.C. 360," who's in the Congo again tonight. Anderson, what's ahead?
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, Larry, we are deep in the broken heart of Africa, covering two major humanitarian crises going on right now. With the crisis in Darfur, we'll have the latest on that with live reports. Also, what is happening here in the Congo, major elections underway, with the largest U.N. peacekeeping operation, the largest U.N. election effort in their entire history. The future of this country very much hanging in the balance.
Tonight we're focusing on the problems of women in particular, the widespread use of rape as a tool against women, maybe hundreds of thousands have been raped here in the conflict here, a conflict which has killed some three-to-four million people over the last eight years. We'll be broadcasting tonight from the DRC, Larry.
KING: Thanks, Anderson. That's at 10 Eastern, 7 Pacific. We'll be back and talk about key Senate races right after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT: But at least I tried. That's the difference in me and some, including all the right wingers who are attacking me now. They ridicule me for trying. They have eight months to try, they did not try. I tried. So I tried and failed. When I failed, I left a comprehensive anti-terror strategy and the best guy in the country, Dick Clarke, who got demoted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Who won that clash, Jim?
CARVILLE: This is one of the amazing stories that I've seen. No one wanted it to go away. We wanted to continue. The talk (inaudible) wanted to -- no one was like calling you guys and saying, why aren't you talking about the real problems that people are facing and get off of this guy? Everybody -- I think it was good -- and what happened is that, you know, he had charm, and it comes out in Woodward's book that there is this July 10th meeting, and all of a sudden he looks a lot better. And then he says, well, Fox News never asked about why didn't they retaliate for the Cole, they didn't do it. So I felt very good about it. I was glad. I was doing interviews on it. But this was an amazing thing that it was a story that everybody liked.
BLITZER: I didn't understand whether it was spontaneous, or did he go in there saying to himself...
CARVILLE: I know, look, you would never tell Jake Austin that it was anything other than spontaneous, but I know what happened. It has been building up because of the Disney thing, and it was about that close to the surface, and it erupted.
L. KING: Let me...
CARVILLE: I wish I could take credit for it.
J. KING: (inaudible) tell Democrats, watch me fight.
L. KING: Can the Democrats take the Senate?
J. KING: Can they now? Because of the Foley environment, yes. It's much harder than the House. Much harder.
KING: Does our friend Mr. Lieberman win in Connecticut?
BLITZER: I think he's ahead right now. If I had to bet right now...
KING: Is he safe?
BLITZER: He's not safe, but I think he's slightly ahead, based on everything I hear from Connecticut.
L. KING: George Allen in trouble?
CROWLEY: Apparently, yes. I mean, you know, let me just say that who we've seen in that state since George Allen began to run into trouble about, you know, the names he's calling people or has in the past, Hillary Clinton has been there, President Clinton is going there. Suddenly this has shown up on the Democratic map as doable.
KING: Do you take offense, J.C., to some of the racist, supposed racist comments?
WATTS: Well, it's he said/she said. My thing is, prove it. I think that's a serious allegation, and you know, if, you have to prove it.
And Larry, again, I've said this about different people, that they're accused of saying racist things. I think it is unfair to take a Democrat or a Republican and take a snapshot of their life 25, 30 years ago, and then they run for city council or school board or U.S. Senate or whatever, and you try to project that that's who they are.
I had it happen to me in my campaign. You know, I heard nobody talking about that back in 1994 when...
BLITZER: It had resonance because of the macaca comment. WATTS: Well...
WATTS: And I do think the senator realized he stepped in it on that one. I mean, and that just -- it was -- it had no flavor to it whatsoever.
J. KING: ... explosion in Northern Virginia, population-wise, of moderates. He was going to have a tough race anyway, Larry.
L. KING: There's a man trying to get Oprah Winfrey to run for president. She was on this show, and I asked her. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
L. KING: And any comment on this movement to make you president?
OPRAH WINFREY: Is there a movement?
L. KING: This guy has got a movement.
WINFREY: I don't know if that's a movement or not.
L. KING: He's got a Web site.
WINFREY: You know what I would say to him? I would say, take your energy and put it in Barack Obama. That's what I would say.
L. KING: Is that your favorite guy?
WINFREY: That would be my favorite guy.
L. KING: Are you still an Illinoisan?
L. KING: So even though you have a home in California...
WINFREY: Yes, I'm very much an Illinoisan.
L. KING: So Senator Obama is your senator?
WINFREY: He is my senator.
L. KING: And your choice.
WINFREY: And my choice. And I hope that he would run for president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
L. KING: Candy, how powerful is he going to get?
CROWLEY: He's looking good. I wouldn't look for him to run this time, but you know, he has time. He's young, he's dynamic. Ever since he made that great speech at the Democratic convention, he's been on everybody's radar. He's a very talented politician.
BLITZER: Some of his political advisers tell me, though, that he sees this as his window. That's why he's going to Iowa and places like that, right now, because if he waits four years -- let's say the Democrats win in 2008, then that Democratic president incumbent presumably will run again, and by the time he's ready in 10 years, he'll have been a United States senator for a long time, and it's not necessarily the best job for...
CROWLEY: He's going to be a lot...
L. KING: Jim, quickly?
CARVILLE: The question is, if Ford wins in Tennessee, which is not impossible, then Obama will become -- he will become so hot, you just won't be able to touch him. I mean, because people say, gee, if an African-American can be elected a United States senator from Tennessee, look what this does. That is going to just add to the entire thing.
KING: We've got to get a break in and we'll come right back, J.C. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JON STEWART, HOST, DAILY SHOW: He's spent most of his career defending children from Internet stalkers. As it turns out, he was doing it so he could have them all to himself.
CONAN O'BRIEN, TALK SHOW HOST: Former Congressman Mark Foley once engaged in Internet sex with a former page while a vote was being taken in the House. Apparently instead of voting aye, Foley voted oh God, yes!
JAY LENO, HOST, TONIGHT SHOW: The GOP stands for Gay Old Pedophile, pretty much. It's not helping the party at all.
DAVID LETTERMAN, TALK SHOW HOST: Well, the ex-congressman is nothing if not contrite. As a matter of fact, he says when he gets out of rehab, he wants to have a fresh start and turn over a new page. And I said to myself...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
L. KING: You know you're in trouble when the late nights take off, right?
BLITZER: These guys are good, though. They're really clever.
L. KING: Well written lines.
CARVILLE: You know, every time these guys go to rehab -- you know, I'm 61 and I went to LSU, I've gotten pretty loaded -- I have never wanted to hit on a 16-year-old boy, as drunk as I got. It just (inaudible).
L. KING: We only have a minute left. Is Hillary far and away the front-runner?
L. KING: You would agree?
J. KING: Far and away, which is why someone will go after her.
CARVILLE: Not far and away, but I think she's a front-runner. I wouldn't say far and away.
L. KING: Many are going to take her on?
CARVILLE: There will be a lot of people running for the Democratic nomination. I promise you.
L. KING: On Republican front?
BLITZER: McCain right now and Giuliani. Those two guys are clearly ahead. The question for Giuliani is, while he would do well in a general election, how would he do in the Republican primary?
L. KING: And somebody mentioned Pataki?
CROWLEY: Let James take that one. (inaudible).
CARVILLE: People -- again, people coming back to me and saying he's got a lot deeper support. And I say, what about the abortion thing? Well, Mitt Romney had the same abortion -- he was pro-choice, just like -- they're going to change. I think Giuliani is going to change his abortion position to run for president.
J. KING: ... change that close to the election, especially with so many other people out there.
BLITZER: What about his support for gay marriage?
CARVILLE: He'll have to switch. He's got to switch.
BLITZER: What about his support for gun control? Affirmative action? (CROSSTALK)
L. KING: We're out of time, guys. You've been witnessing the best political team on television. And they are Wolf Blitzer, John King, Candy Crowley, J.C. Watts and James Carville. We love to do this kind of show.
Before we go, a quick reminder. Tomorrow night, former President Bush and his daughter Doro. It's a great hour you will not want to miss. Former President George H.W. Bush tomorrow night on "LARRY KING LIVE."
Right now, let's turn it over as we head to the Congo, Anderson Cooper and "AC 360."
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