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LOU DOBBS TONIGHT
Special Report on Political Fallout of Spitzer's Driver Licenses Plan; Holes in Border Security
Aired November 5, 2007 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU DOBBS, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you, Wolf.
Tonight a new example of the utter political inaptitude of Governor Eliot Spitzer of New York -- the good governor's outrageous plan to give away drivers' licenses to illegal aliens leading to a voter backlash against the governor and members of the Democratic Party, some seeking the presidential nomination. We'll have that special report.
Also tonight startling new evidence that one of the biggest holes in our border security, incredibly the security checkpoint themselves. We'll have that report and religious conservatives frustrated and angry with many of the GOP's presidential candidates. The leader of one of the country's most influential conservative groups, Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, among our guests.
All of that, all the day's news and much more straight ahead here tonight.
ANNOUNCER: This is LOU DOBBS TONIGHT: news, debate, and opinion for Monday, November 5th. Live from New York, Lou Dobbs.
DOBBS: Good evening everybody.
U.S. policy toward Pakistan is in chaos tonight. And Pakistan is in a state of emergency. Pakistani police today arrested hundreds of people after President Musharraf declared that state of emergency Saturday. The crackdown, a major set-back for the president's efforts to, as his administration has put it, spread democracy around the world.
Pakistan's state of emergency also raises troubling questions about who is in control of Pakistan's nuclear weapons. President Bush today called upon President Musharraf to restore democracy, as he put it. But President Bush also praised Pakistan for its help in fighting radical Islamist terrorists.
Ed Henry has the report for us from the White House -- Ed.
ED HENRY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Lou, a bit of a mixed message, Mr. Bush offering Musharraf a lot of carrots in the form of U.S. aid, but little if any sticks to actually push the Pakistani president along.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) HENRY (voice-over): After meeting with the Turkish prime minister about one crisis, PKK terrorists in northern Iraq, President Bush turned to the chaos in Pakistan. Revealing he told Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to call Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and press him about the political crackdown.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We expect there to be elections as soon as possible. And that the president should remove his military uniform.
HENRY: But more significant is what the president said next. Rather than pressing Musharraf, he gave him a vote of confidence.
BUSH: Having said that, I did remind the prime minister that President Musharraf has been a strong fighter against extremists and radicals.
HENRY: Equally important is what Mr. Bush did not say. Failing to threaten to cut off America's billions of dollars in aid to Pakistan, so there are no apparent consequences if Musharraf ignores the White House.
BUSH: I certainly hope he does take my advice and the advice of the prime minister of Turkey and the advice of a lot of other figures.
HENRY: In a stinging rebuke, Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi charged the problem is the Bush administration has quote, "enabled Musharraf's delusion by ignoring his U.N.-democratic acts in exchange for his assistance in efforts against terrorism." Mr. Bush has often praised Musharraf's leadership, last year in Islamabad.
BUSH: I thank you for your extensive briefing today on your plans to spread freedom throughout your country.
HENRY: Democrats charged Mr. Bush has stuck with Musharraf too long.
WENDY SHERMAN, FMR. CLINTON ADMIN. AMBASSADOR: The president is neither moving towards democracy nor moving toward stability in Pakistan. The Pakistani people and the world at large are facing an explosive situation of a country that has more than 30 nuclear weapons in a very dangerous part of the world.
HENRY: Now U.S. officials privately say just because of that very possibility of those nuclear weapons getting in the hands of extremists is one key reason why they still support Musharraf. But of course the big question now is whether or not President Bush misjudged Musharraf and his commitment to democracy. The question I shouted at Mr. Bush in the Oval Office today -- he did not answer, Lou.
DOBBS: His commitment to democracy Pakistan hardly an emblem of democracy in the region or the world. The fact is that this administration, and the previous administration's policy toward Pakistan, has been tenuous and frankly I would think that we need to be straightforward about this. Very few options for U.S. policy in the region as far as Pakistan is concerned.
HENRY: Absolutely. And if you look at the Bush administration's own national intelligence estimate from a few months ago it said, in fact, that Pakistan has become a safe harbor for al Qaeda terrorists. The very terrorists the Bush administration is trying to go after. Said Pakistan has become a safe harbor for them, obviously gives that region, it makes it even more explosive, Lou.
DOBBS: Ed Henry from the White House. Thank you, Ed.
HENRY: Thank you.
DOBBS: As Ed just reported the chaos in Pakistan is raising serious, troubling concerns that radical Islamist terrorists could obtain some of Pakistan's nuclear weapons. Pakistan is believed to have at least 50 nuclear warheads. Some estimates range in fact even higher.
Jamie McIntyre has the report from the Pentagon.
JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SR. PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Pakistan joined the nuclear club in 1998. With underground tests culminating in arms race set off decades earlier by arch-rival India. Now experts say Pakistan's secret nuclear arsenal is believed to number as many as 50 bombs.
(on camera): How much do we have to worry about Pakistan's nuclear weapons?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right now, not very much. The worry is what's going to happen in the future.
MCINTYRE (voice-over): Physicist David Albright, a former nuclear arms inspector, says for now Pakistan's nukes are firmly under the control of its military and the warheads are stored unassembled, separate from the missiles that carry them. But if military control should break down Albright says insiders may not be able to resist selling off technology for hard cash.
DAVID ALBRIGHT, INST. FOR SCIENCE & INTL SECURITY: Pakistan unfortunately built its nuclear weapons program on the illicit procurement of items from developed countries. It's a culture that's based -- that has greed in it, dishonesty, and in fact the nuclear weapons program still depends on going out and buying items illegally from other countries.
MCINTYRE: The other big danger from a U.S. perspective is that a new regime could use its nukes as a threat, to undermine American goals and intimidate others in the region. A former U.S. ambassador to Pakistan says she's convinced whatever happens, Pakistan's nukes will likely remain under reliable professional control.
WENDY CHAMBERLIN, FMR. AMBASSADOR TO PAKISTAN: I'm not concerned about the security of the nuclear arsenal in Pakistan, because of his declaration of martial law. I think there's an urban myth out there, and that is that the military is penetrated by extremists. It's not.
MCINTYRE: In his memoir, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf says when he took over in 1999 his country was headed for a Taliban style Islamic government. And he says he's the one who instituted firmer controls over nuclear weapons and stopped proliferation of technology to Iran and North Korea. And Lou, that may explain in part why the U.S. is so nervous about any change in government in Pakistan, including to one that might be more Democratic -- Lou.
DOBBS: One that is democratic, at least being publicly urged, perhaps somewhat tepidly by President Bush, Jamie. But the fact is, as best we can discern it, is it not true that our intelligence agencies and the military are quite confident that the military retains absolute control over those nuclear weapons and their delivery mechanisms that they possess?
MCINTYRE: They do right now. They're pretty convinced of that. The question is of course the military in Pakistan is the key to everything, not just the control of nuclear weapons but also the key to power, which is why President Musharraf is so reluctant to give up that military role he has as well. If that were to change, though, if the military were no longer the center of gravity in Pakistan, then the whole equation could be different.
DOBBS: And it's important to be clear that the military remains a secular institution to this point in Pakistan. And that at least is the situation extant as you point out and as Ed Henry reported. The situation literally chaotic at this point with a state of emergency declared.
Thank you, Jamie. Jamie McIntyre reporting from the Pentagon.
Turning to the war in Iraq, three more of our troops and a Defense Department civilian have been killed. The civilian was an agent in the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. Four of our troops, one Defense Department civilian, have been killed so far this month in Iraq. Three thousand eight hundred fifty-two of our troops have been killed since the war began; 28,385 of our troops wounded; 12,831 of them seriously.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates tonight is in communist China, a visit that already appears to have failed in its purpose. Gates, traveling to Beijing, trying to convince the Chinese government to explain its aggressive military build-up, but the Chinese government refusing to give Secretary Gates any straightforward answers.
Kitty Pilgrim has our report.
KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): More of the same. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is in China talking. He praised dialogue between the two countries.
ROBERT GATES, DEFENSE SECRETARY: We have had quite detailed, quite candid conversations today on a wide range of subjects.
PILGRIM: Secretary Gates on his first trip to China is taking a much more conciliatory approach than did his predecessor, Donald Rumsfeld.
DEREK MITCHELL, CTR. FOR STRATEGIC & INTL STUDIES: Yes, they put a happy face on this. China talks about dialogue, dialogue, dialogue. There's no better approach to them than dialogue. It seems to an American eye forever. Of course, the United States says at a certain point, we have to go to the next step beyond dialogue, there have to be costs.
PILGRIM: That dialogue has been empty. Here's what Gates says China is not talking about. China conducted a ballistic missile launch to destroy a satellite in space last January, an aggressive demonstration of power to the U.S. military, which relies on satellites for defense and communications.
China had little to say about the purpose for its largest military budget increase in a decade. An 18 percent increase this year, to $45 billion. As for the progress on Iran, Gates says they talked about Iran's nuclear ambitions and how to resolve the problems diplomatically. But China has not supported the U.S. position in the U.N. China has commercial interests in Iran. A country that is supplying 12 percent of its oil for growing energy needs this year.
PETER BROOKES, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: China probably also sees Iran as a lever to use against the United States on a whole host of issues. The United States very much wants China to support U.S. efforts at the U.N. Security Council, to push back against the Iranian nuclear program. China has been unwilling to do that so far.
PILGRIM: China also continues to support rogue regimes in Sudan, Venezuela, and Myanmar.
PILGRIM: Secretary Gates stresses substance over symbolism but seems willing to accept symbolic photo ops while the Chinese supply little information. The Chinese, however, are pressing their interests. They are talking about military exchanges so the Chinese officers and cadets can come and study and train here in the United States -- Lou.
DOBBS: Kitty, thank you very much. Kitty Pilgrim.
Still ahead here, voters could make Governor Eliot Spitzer and the Democratic Party pay a large political price for his outrageous proposal to give away drivers' licenses to illegal aliens. Bill Tucker will have that report for us -- Bill.
BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lou, it is part of the state's elections and it is also beginning to drive a national debate on immigration. I'll have more coming up -- Lou.
DOBBS: Bill, thank you very much. Also, customs and border protection agents literally giving illegal aliens and potential terrorists a free pass to enter this country. We'll have that special report.
And federal, state and local law enforcement agencies demonstrating that it is possible to enforce at least some of those U.S. immigration laws. Imagine that. That story and a great deal more straight ahead, stay with us.
DOBBS: Stunning new evidence tonight of the federal government's outright failure to secure our borders and ports. Congressional investigators have found that some of the biggest security holes are at checkpoints -- yes checkpoints in our nation's airports, ports and border crossings. Some customs and border protection agents have literally given illegal aliens a free pass to enter the United States. Jeanne Meserve has the report.
JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Illegal aliens don't have to climb over fences or swim rivers to get into the U.S. Sometimes they can ride or walk right through an official U.S. border crossing. According to a new Government Accountability Office report, customs and border protection acknowledges "several thousand inadmissible aliens and other violators" entered the U.S. through ports of entry last year. According to a source who has seen an un-redacted version of the report, the number is 21,000.
RICHARD STANA, GOVT. ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE: If the agents and the officers at the border are not doing their job, we're all a little less secure.
MESERVE: When GAO investigators arrived at one port of entry there were no CBP officers at the inspection booth. At other locations officers didn't ask for travel documents. And according to the report, "alien smuggling organizations have trained operatives to take advantage of these weaknesses." The report says a CBP staffing shortage hurts its ability to carry out inspections and use new facilities and equipment intended to help fight terrorism, but the GAO also found more mundane explanations.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Either agents aren't paying attention, they're not focused. They're complacent. It's because supervisors aren't demanding that the agents do their job and ask the right questions and look at the right documents.
MESERVE: Customs and Border Protection says at busy ports of entry it has to balance security and commerce.
JAYSON AHERN, CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION: Today there is currently not a requirement, either statutorily or regulatory, requiring everyone to have a document coming across the border. So no, they're not all being checked. MESERVE: That means the bad guys can get in potentially?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That means potentially there is that vulnerability.
MESERVE: As a result of its own earlier investigation, CBP issued new policies and procedures to tighten up security at ports of entry, but months later the GAO found many of the same weaknesses persist -- Lou.
DOBBS: It is remarkable to hear a federal official say, yes, the bad guys can get in. That's just the way we do business, without seemingly any apology.
MESERVE: Well, he of course wishes that his agency could do a better job. He does point out that although, according to people who saw this report, 21,000 inadmissible people came through the ports of entry, that about 200,000 others were stopped at the ports of entry. But part of it has to do with that manpower issue.
Part of it has to do with documentation. And what CBP says is it hopes that the western hemisphere travel initiative, which will go into effect next summer will bring more consistency in the documentation, make them easier to read, and hopefully will help close this rather large loophole.
DOBBS: Not to mention the estimated half a million to a million illegal aliens who cross our borders away from those official border crossings and the ports of entry. Jeanne, a remarkable story, we thank you very much.
It -- we left out one other element, and that is of course the will of this government, this administration, to enforce the law and to secure our borders and ports, which you do a wonderful job of documenting. Thank you very much, Jeanne Meserve from Washington.
That brings us to the subject of our poll tonight. Are you surprised that more than six years after September 11th, so-called "inadmissible" illegal aliens are still able to walk right through supposedly secure ports of entry into the United States? Shocked? Surprised? Yes or no? Cast your vote at LouDobbs.com. We'll have the results here later in the broadcast.
Local and state governments and even the federal government are successful in places cracking down and detaining more illegal aliens than ever before, even though our borders remain wide open. The latest example, a group of alleged illegal aliens indicted in an Arizona crime spree.
Casey Wian has our report about effective government.
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These alleged illegal aliens are being held without bail in Arizona. Prosecutors call them the "zip tie bandits" because they're charged in a string of convenience store robberies where victims were held at gunpoint and handcuffed with zip ties. They're among the first defendants affected by Arizona's Proposition 100, which denies bail to illegal aliens arrested for violent crimes.
ANDREW THOMAS, MARICOPA COUNTY ATTORNEY: This is a pattern. We continue to see people who not only are illegal immigrants, but have been deported and coming back and committing additional crimes here. Now hat is a politically incorrect fact but it is a fact.
WIAN: It is also evidence of increasingly aggressive immigration law enforcement nationwide. ICE says the number of alleged illegal aliens in its custody surpassed 30,000 for the first time last month. That's a 52 percent increase over 2006. Locking up illegal aliens is the most effective way to ensure they're deported, because as ICE says in a statement, "the unfortunate reality is the majority of immigration violators who are not detained and are ordered deported, fail to leave the country."
Operation Streamline, now in effect in the border patrol's Yuma, Laredo, and Del Rio sectors, also has dramatically increased the illegal alien detainee population. In those places authorities say every person caught entering the United States illegally is prosecuted and if convicted, jailed before being deported.
REP. JOHN CULBERSON (R), TEXAS: Operation Streamline has resulted in an initial surge in demand for bed space, but that surge drops off pretty dramatically along with the drop in the crime rate. Once the illegals figure out that they're going to be arrested, prosecuted and thrown in jail.
WIAN: Arizona's U.S. attorney is considering expanding the zero tolerance policy statewide.
WIAN: The risk of not securing the border was underscored last week. Tuesday night border patrol agents apprehended a convicted murderer, who had been deported after serving his time trying to cross the border in Nogales, Arizona. About 36 hours later, another convicted killer was apprehended in the border patrol's Yuma, Arizona sector -- Lou.
DOBBS: Well is -- we're beginning to see some examples of some progress at the margin, but at least it is progress and certainly worthy of note. We should point out that where there is not a zero tolerance policy, as in the Laredo sector in Texas, I think people would be astonished to hear you recount the number of times before the border patrol and customs and border protection get very serious about illegal aliens who have crossed the border, in Texas they've -- they're permitted how many crossings before they're prosecuted?
WIAN: In Texas, Lou, the general policy is they have to be apprehended between seven and nine times before they're actually prosecuted. It's even worse in those parts of Arizona... DOBBS: Right.
WIAN: ... where they don't have the zero tolerance policy. Up to 15 times you can get caught crossing the border before you'll face any criminal charges in the United States, Lou.
DOBBS: And that is the kind of mentality that this country has to contend with in its administration. No wonder that the morale of the border patrol and customs and border enforcement in this country is so, so low. And this government has so much to apologize for, this administration. But as Jeanne Meserve reported and as we have documented for some time now on this broadcast, Casey, the balance between commerce and illegal immigration is an easily determined weighting on the part of this administration. Thank you very much. Casey Wian.
DOBBS: Let's take a look now at some of your thoughts.
Robert in Texas said, "Lou, this country claimed its independence over 200 years ago. Let's do it again now, one voter at a time." I like the way you think.
And Nick in Arkansas, "Lou, how long are we going to put up with these inept elected officials? I forgot. We're the ones who keep re- electing these idiots. Shame on us!" Indeed.
And Ann in New Jersey, "Kudos to you, Lou, for demoting that 'prince' of a man, Governor Spitzer, to the new role of joker, a job he is well qualified for."
We'll have more of your thoughts here later in the broadcast.
Coming up next, another defeat for the pro-illegal alien amnesty lobby, but socio-ethnocentric special interests, they're certainly not giving up, neither is corporate America and certainly not the Democratic leadership of Congress or this Republican White House. We'll have that special report.
And home foreclosures in this country are soaring. The government has noticed. But will the Bush administration do anything at all to help struggling Americans trying to keep their homes? Will the Democratic leadership? Or are both of these parties really, really simply arms of corporate America? We'll have that special report and a great deal more next. Stay with us.
DOBBS: Home foreclosures in this country are skyrocketing; they're double what they were a year ago. And until now, President Bush and this Congress have done almost nothing to help struggling working Americans. Now an administration that is always more concerned with saving financial institutions says it just might help out a few million homeowners. Imagine that. Christine Romans has our report. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Housing officials assure Congress the president is on top of the mortgage crisis. The Treasury Department point person on the issue, Robert Steele (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fortunately this market stress is occurring against a backdrop of healthy U.S. fundamentals and a strong global economy.
ROMANS: A HUD official says one million households will start the foreclosure process this year alone. The White House called an industry group to address the growing crisis. First step, a mass mailing; on November 19th, 200,000 letters will be sent to homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The industry works together it is possible to reinstate or refinance many of these loans, but only if borrowers respond to offers of assistance.
ROMANS: Montgomery (ph) says more than 40 percent of delinquent borrowers ignore letters and calls from their lenders. Some Democrats say the administration isn't doing enough.
REP. GWEN MOORE (D), WISCONSIN: What you all are doing in terms of using the bully pulpit to get these institutions more on board, that they sort of stop these foreclosures.
ROMANS: And for some, no love lost for Countrywide Financial, a mortgage giant that sold the exotic loans at the heart of this crisis.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you have some no doc (ph) loans?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we did.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you have some interest only loans?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 327s?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 228s?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's some culpability on their part, even though they're addressing it, for putting these products out in the first place. Is that your observation?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is culpability among all the lenders...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Including Countrywide? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every one of them. People in the industry three years ago, four years ago, knew that it was only a matter of time when these loans would go into default.
ROMANS: Countrywide defended its practices but has since made changes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Underwriting guidelines have tightened significantly, as you're probably aware. And so these products generally are not available anymore.
ROMANS: But the fallout from those products may be just beginning.
(on camera): Both the administration and Democrats are wary of anything that smacks of a bailout. But Congresswoman Moore thinks starting with a letter now, long after this crisis began in February, doesn't go far enough. She's worried the government's mass mailing will get lost in the sea of real estate scams targeting distressed homeowners.
Christine Romans, CNN, New York.
DOBBS: Middle class Americans being hit hard by soaring gasoline prices as well. AAA tonight saying the average price of gasoline in this country is now averaging more than $3 a gallon. Gasoline prices up 25 cents over the past three weeks.
Up next here, another defeat in Congress for the pro-amnesty lobby, the open borders lobby, corporate America and socio- ethnocentric special interests. We'll have that special, special report.
And many voters are furious with Senator Hillary Clinton for her support of Governor Spitzer's plan to give away drivers' licenses to illegal aliens. What will be the political cost? We'll have the story.
And religious conservatives, many of them are fed up with the GOP's presidential candidate list. Will they field a candidate of their own? Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, coming up next. Stay with us.
DOBBS: New Yorkers and indeed the nation going to the polls tomorrow. For New Yorkers, this is the first time that they'll be allowed to express their view about Governor Spitzer's outrageous plan to give away driver's licenses to illegal aliens. Many New York officials running for office have already distanced themselves from the governor's ill-conceived and ill-considered license give-away. Bill Tucker has our story.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fierce opposition to Governor Eliot Spitzer's plan to give illegal aliens driver's licenses is fueling election politics. In New York State, more than half of the county clerks with authority to issue driver's licenses oppose his policy.
BILL O'LAUGHLIN (R), COUNTY CLERK CANDIDATE: It truly is an anger point with the voters. 80 percent of the people in western New York are against giving driver's licenses to illegal aliens.
TUCKER: The issue is so hot his opponent switched herb position from supporting Spitzer to opposing him in making that opposition clear. In on letter to the governor, "I wish to inform you that I disagree with this policy change and ask that you reconsider implementation of this plan."
New York sheriffs, roughly a third of whom are up for re- election, last week stood up to the governor and voted as a group to break with Spitzer on the issue.
SHERIFF MICHAEL AMATO, MONTGOMERY CO., NY: This is concerning the fact that you're giving illegal persons, and I stress the term illegal, in New York State, a legal document.
TUCKER: It's an issue that's gone well beyond the borders of New York State.
HANK SHEINKOPF, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Whatever the governor of New York State does becomes national news. Eliot Spitzer says, let's give licenses to illegal immigrants. That becomes a controversial issue. Some democrats have been called on the table, how do you feel about what Governor Spitzer had to say? They're going to have to answer the question.
TUCKER: Which is where presidential candidate Senator Hillary Clinton found herself Sunday night in Iowa making herself very clear.
SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), NEW YORK: Therefore, I broadly support what governors like Eliot Spitzer are trying to do.
TUCKER: The pundits are all ears.
TUCKER: And they are all anxiously awaiting the next poll out in Iowa, to see how voters are going to react to Senator Clinton's position, Lou, which is not very clear.
DOBBS: We're getting some pretty good clear indication already in the national polls. She still maintains of course a lead but it is a weakening lead. And the fallout of this, of this position, and we should very clear this is not just senator Hillary Clinton even though she's the one who mocked up and muddled up the answer, with Senator Obama in hot pursuit. Each one of these candidates, with the exception of Senator Chris Dodd, they're going to have to explain to the voters why they're supporting basically amnesty and open borders, because that is the position of the democratic candidates right now.
TUCKER: It is very interesting what Governor Spitzer has done, Lou. He has pushed immigration into the forefront of this debate and it is now being talked about.
DOBBS: As critical as I've been of Governor Spitzer, we owe him some acknowledgement for the service he has at least provides the nation in driving forward the issue of illegal immigration and border security, a further notch into the national consciousness and national dialogue. Bill Tucker, thank you very much.
Hillary Clinton has clarified, as Bill Tucker reported, her support of the New York governor and his plan to give away those driver's licenses. But the senator, well, she may be waffling a little too much. And her standing with the voters could be in question. Bill Schneider has our report from Manchester, New Hampshire.
BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hillary Clinton got a lot of criticism for waffling in the debit last week, especially over New York Governor Eliot Spitzer's plan to give driver's licenses to illegal aliens.
SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), NEW YORK: Do I think this is the best thing for any governor to do? No. But do I understand the sense of real desperation, trying to get a handle on this? Remember, in New York, we want to know who's in New York.
SCHNEIDER: Her opponents pounced.
JOHN EDWARDS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you're asking me, did I hear things last night that would raise question for voters? I did.
SCHNEIDER: Is there any evidence of damage among democratic voters? Clinton is still leading the democratic field. But her lead over Barack Obama has slipped a bit from 30 points in October to 19 points now.
Clinton's momentum had been building steadily month by month since the spring. Last month, it reached 51 percent. Now, her forward momentum has halted.
Whatever damage Clinton suffered among democrats, she still has a slight lead over republican front-runner Rudy Giuliani, six points among all voters.
If republicans nominate Giuliani, some conservatives are threatening to put up a third party candidate who believes abortion should be outlawed. Is Giuliani concerned?
RUDY GIULIANI (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My analysis of it is that is more an attempt to try to keep the nomination from me. As, you know, as a tactic. It's a legitimate one. People have to think about that and consider it. SCHNEIDER: Here's something they might consider. 18 percent of voters say they would support an anti-abortion third party candidate against Clinton and Giuliani. Almost all of those votes would come from Giuliani. In that three-way race, Clinton's margin over Giuliani would jump from six points to 16 points.
SCHNEIDER: Here's a finding that might interest you in our poll. We asked people, are you generally content with the way things are going in the country? 18 percent said they were. And the alternative, are you angry about something? 81 percent of Americans said they were angry about something. That is the highest level of anger we have found since we started asking this question seven years ago.
DOBBS: That truly is -- that is stunning. 81 percent expressing dissatisfaction. Anger as you put it.
DOBBS: I mean the implications obviously are not necessarily partisan. But sound to me, at least, and correct me, this sounds like a very anti-incumbent election we're about to participate in.
SCHNEIDER: It certainly is. And that's why there's a lot of anger at Congress, which is nonpartisan. You find it among democrats and republicans. You find Americans deeply dissatisfied with the way things are going in the country. When we looked at the issues it turns out they're angry over a whole list of things. Illegal immigration, Iraq, health care, the economy and jobs, gas prices. They have a whole list.
DOBBS: And you know, you just used -- referred to illegal immigration. A year ago at this time, while this broadcast was focusing on it, excuse me, most of the national media was not. And yet we could tell rather clearly from our audience's reaction it was an important issue. This issue has moved up higher and higher in the concern of voters. With it would be border security, the war on terror, the economy. And these candidates, bill, of either party, just seem to be disconnected from these issues. In front of the voters at least to this point in the debates it seems to me.
SCHNEIDER: My view is it's similar to the mood of the country back in 1992. When the economy was terrible, they thought president bush was out of touch, they didn't really know or trust Bill Clinton. That's when Ross Perot rose to prominence on a populist message. The country is ripe for that kind of message again, I think.
DOBBS: As an independent populist, that cheer you hear is mine. And I think most of the viewers of this broadcast, certainly. Bill Schneider, thank you very much. We appreciate it.
Up next here, evangelical voters are in search of a presidential candidate who could lead perhaps a third party canned candidacy all the way to the White House. Another outrageous plan to grant illegal aliens amnesty has been defeated. We'll be telling you what pro-amnesty candidates are thinking about and planning.
Stay with us. It just gets better and better.
DOBBS: Another defeat for the pro-illegal alien amnesty, pro- open borders lobby tonight. Two weeks after the failure of the dream act, senators are running away from destruction of another piece of amnesty legislation, AG jobs. As Lisa Sylvester reports the pro- amnesty lobby isn't giving up altogether.
LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: AG jobs, a measure that would have given as many as 1.5 million illegal agricultural workers and their families amnesty, has been scrapped. The bill's primary sponsor, Senator Dianne Feinstein, was going to offer it as an amendment to the farm bill. Even though just two weeks ago the dream act, a bill to give illegal alien students a path to citizenship, went down in flames. Feinstein describing the change of heart said, "when we took a clear-eyed assessment of the politics of the farm bill and the defeat of the dream act and comprehensive immigration reform, it became clear that our support could not sustain these competing forces," among the opponents, Senator Jeff Sessions.
SEN. JEFF SESSIONS (R), ALABAMA: I don't think there's any doubt about it, that the voice of the American people is being heard more and more senators are telling me they understand that the American people want enforcement before we go into these amnesty type ideas.
SYLVESTER: Supporters of AG jobs included powerful special interest groups, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and agribusiness coupled with the country's biggest labor unions. They argue, without AG jobs the country could face a shortage of crop harvesters.
CRAIG REGELBRUGGE, AGRICULTURAL COAL. FOR IMM. REFORM: We believe it should be taken up, even as free-standing legislation. This year, very early next year. Because it's a critical problem that needs to be resolved.
SYLVESTER: AG jobs didn't have the 60 votes it needed. And had it been defeated it would have been the fourth amnesty bill to die in the senate in six months.
SYLVESTER: But Senator Dianne Feinstein and the special interest groups are not ready to give up entirely. Feinstein says she will reintroduce the measure either this winter or next year and will keep looking for another bill she could attach it to as an amendment. Lou.
DOBBS: It must be discomforting to many of those senators to find that their constituents actually are aware of what's happening there on Capitol Hill and are expressing and demanding that they be represented and their interests be represented.
SYLVESTER: I can tell you, Lou, it was very hard to get in touch, to get through to Senator Dianne Feinstein's office today. Her phone was constantly busy today. You know that many of those constituents were calling her to express their views.
DOBBS: It's becoming something of a pleasing, healthy national activity. Constituents actually demanding that their elected officials represent their interests. May they become even more vigorous.
Lisa, thank you very much. Lisa Sylvester from Washington.
Coming up at the top of the hour, "OUT IN THE OPEN" with Rick Sanchez. Rick.
RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: You were talking about Pakistan a little while ago. This is important because Pakistan is a nuclear power. We have been on the phone talking to one of those lawyers that's out there fighting in these scenes that you're seeing right here on the streets with the military. She's in hiding. But she's going to be on the phone talking to us, explaining what she's going through right now.
Also, a story about a farmer, a $50 million farmer who's decided to go south of the border. He says that he can't get enough workers here in the United States, so we're going to go and talk to him and tell his story.
And then of course the situation that's going on with driver's license. This is the story you've been talking about for an awful long time. You know they've got a system like this in Utah. So you know Deb Feyerick, we sent Deb Feyerick our correspondent down there to look at the pros and cons of that system to see what officials there are saying about it. By the way, you know what I'm going to call you every time I see you in the hallways from now on?
DOBBS: You mean besides Mr. Dobbs?
SANCHEZ: I'm going to call you prime time.
DOBBS: All right, partner. Thank you, Rick. We appreciate it. Look forward to it.
A reminder now to vote in our poll. The question is, are you surprised that more than six years after September 11th, inadmissible aliens are still able to walk right through the supposedly secure ports of entry into our country? Yes or no, LouDobbs.com. We'll have the results here in just a few minutes.
Up next, religious voters aren't satisfied with the current slate of presidential candidates. Will they back a third party, a third party candidate in '08? Tony Perkins, president of the family research council, joins me.
And the author of a terrific new book about a true American hero who provides perspective on our current political situation, Michael Corbett joins us.
All of that and more coming right up. Stay with us.
DOBBS: Some skittish voters, religious voters in particular, are having a difficult time finding a candidate among the GOP and the democratic list that they could support next year. They're looking for what they call a values voter candidate. If they don't find one in either party, religious voters, some of them might just decide to field a third party candidate in 2008.
Joining me now is one of the leaders of the conservative movement in this country, and certainly the religious right, Tony Perkins, president of the family research council. Good to have you with us. And first of all, let me congratulate you on the birth of your new child.
TONY PERKINS, PRESIDENT OF THE FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL: Thank you very much. Samuel's doing well and so is mama.
DOBBS: His name is Samuel Adams?
PERKINS: Samuel Adam.
DOBBS: I think that's a terrific and I must say that's about as patriotic a name you could have chosen. Congratulations to you, your wife of course, and your entire family. Is there a prospect here that we're going to see a third party candidate born of the aspirations of the conservative and religious voters in this country?
PERKINS: Well Lou, let me first say there's no effort afoot to create a third party, there's no real desire to create a third party. But there is discontent. The pew research poll confirmed what we've been saying last week. That suggested that, you know, a majority -- you know, a -- over 50 percent of social conservatives would seek a pro-life candidate, if it were between Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton.
DOBBS: 55 percent of republican white evangelicals saying they would consider voting for a third party candidate. We have seen Huckabee move up pretty smartly in some of the polls. He's a candidate that won favor in your values conference. Is he in your best assessment inadequate to the task? Or is he the -- he or he and Romney the only two who would be capable of forestalling a third party candidate?
PERKINS: No, I think there's several options on the table. I think what was being said here, Lou, and I heard earlier Rudy Giuliani commented on it, it's not an idle threat. I think it's very significant when you consider that 79 percent of evangelicals voted for president bush in 2004. Making up about a third of his voter base. If a third, or 55 percent of that third, leaves the Republican Party looking for another option, the prospects of victory are nonexistent. If you lost the majority of a third of your viewership you would not be the top-rated show on CNN. DOBBS: We don't want to even consider that possibility. And I'm sure that those candidates don't either. But there is a candidate who is -- strikes me at least publicly, he may not be converting, but he is certainly revealing a relationship with his faith that heretofore had been unexpressed. And that of course is Senator Barack Obama. Is he winning favor?
PERKINS: I think it's more than talking about faith. It comes down to positions on the issues. And I know there's been a lot of talk that the values issues are not prominent in this election. That's simply not true. When you look at evangelical voters, conservative evangelical voters, their issue set is pretty different than the vast majority. Which makes it a challenge for the candidates to address those issues. But if they walk away from it, if the Republican Party chooses to abandon the issue of life, I believe it will be the death of the conservative coalition that has made them successful.
DOBBS: You couldn't be much clearer than that. Tony Perkins, thank you very much for being here.
PERKINS: Thanks Lou.
Coming up next, I'll be talking with author Michael Korda about the story of an American hero and one who has been I think in many ways misreported and misrepresented, a fellow that -- who's somewhat stodgy in reputation but whose life Michael Korda brings into great color and relief. Stay with us. We'll be talking next about Ike.
DOBBS: Our 34 the president believed a president should take personal responsibility for his mistakes and give subordinates credit for success. My next guest says the Americans of today could well benefit from Dwight David Eisenhower's leadership. Michael Korda is the author of a book I think is fantastic, a wonderful read and illuminating.
Michael Korda, the author of "Ike, an American Hero" joins us tonight. Michael, good to have you with us.
MICHAEL KORDA, AUTHOR: Thank you for having me.
DOBBS: A wonderful book. The idea of leadership, and the way in which you reveal Eisenhower, the stodgy figure, and some of us particularly of my generation look back and remember the exciting, vigorous John F. Kennedy against the -- you know, the balding old fellow who was in the white house by the name of Ike. It really wasn't like that at all. He was fascinating.
KORDA: Not at all. I think Ike was first of all a brilliant man. And secondly, he had and I think it's one of the most interesting parts of the book, an absolutely ferocious temper.
DOBBS: I like that about him too. KORDA: He let both Bradley and Patton have it. And they remembered to the end of their life, when Ike lost his temper at Patton after the incident in Sicily, and brad against because against orders he moved his fuel dumps to the wrong side of the river. They could remember to the end of their lives and they turned white and tremendous belled.
DOBBS: Eisenhower had a long professional association with Bradley as you point out, a man with whom he probably had the most in common. Sociologically.
KORDA: Patton, who was an old friend.
DOBBS: You also reveal something that I had -- and I like to think I know something about military history and I know something about American history. I had no idea of Eisenhower's role in the conversion, the plans for conversion, of American manufacturing to a war footing. Had no idea of that role.
KORDA: He was very instrumental in it. And that's what's so interesting, is that the man who at the end of his presidency warned us against the military industrial complex. Who was the man who had in fact been instrumental in creating the military industrial complex and knew more about it than anybody else?
DOBBS: As you look at the current political scene, the back-drop -- we'll call it the back-drop instead of the forefront of these candidates in the republican and Democratic Party. You mentioned the names. Truman, MacArthur, Omar Bradley, George C. Marshall. These men are giants. You bring them to life. You give Eisenhower the color that's denied him in nearly every account. I think today of the generals in that pentagon, in Iraq, I think of the political leaders. Square it for us with your perceptions.
KORDA: In the first place, a four star general in Iraq today if he's lucky commands 160,000 troops. Ike on d-day commanded 3 million troops. 1.7 million of them American, 1 million of them British and Canadian, the rest French, Dutch, Belgian. Ike operated on a scale that is simply unthought of today and took responsibility, an enormous scale and took it fully. I think the most wonderful story in the book is that when Ike gave the order for D-day, he went back to his trailer and he wrote on a little piece of paper the size of a modern post-it what he would say on the morning of June 6th if the invasion failed. And then stuck it in his pocket and buttoned his pocket. So that if it did fail, he would know what to say to the press and the last sentence of it was that he took full responsibility for the failure and that it was nobody else's but our own.
We don't get people today, either in the armed forces, or I'm afraid in the White House who are willing to take that kind of personal responsibility. Ike did.
DOBBS: What are we to do? As we are sitting here so close to primaries and so far from a general election, with - and I will speak only for myself - I find these candidates to be uninspiring.
KORDA: I may have to agree.
DOBBS: This nation, 300 million people. My God, we have so much talent, so many wonderful people. Why can we not bring them to the forefront of our political system and to give us leadership in what is amongst the most challenging, if not the most challenging, times we've ever faced in our history?
KORDA: Well, I think you have to face, Lou, to begin with, the fact that leadership is something that you require training in. There are many defects in military education, but if there's one thing West Point and Annapolis teaches, it's leadership. And we now assume that leadership can be plucked out of thing air, that you can sort of step into it, but you can no more do that than you can play "Hamlet" if you've never been on the stage before. You have to learn leadership, and part of leadership is responsibility. And the other part of it is to have a vision and a plan for the future that you can excite people about, and that you can bring to a successful conclusion.
DOBBS: And like Ike, actually execute.
KORDA: Yes, make sure it happens.
DOBBS: Michael Korda, that, I have to just say again, thank you for writing just a tremendous book. A wonderful read, a wonderful, illuminating volume on Eisenhower. A great perspective for our times. Great to have you here to talk about it.
KORDA: It was a labor of love.
DOBBS: And I'll tell you, I appreciate it and I know hundreds of thousands of other folks will too. Thank you.
KORDA: Thank you.
DOBBS: The results of our poll tonight: 75 percent of you are not surprised that more than six years after September 11th, so-called inadmissible illegal aliens are still able to walk right through supposedly secure points of entry into the United States.
We thank you for being with us tonight. Please join us here tomorrow. For all of us here, we than you for watching. Good night from New York. "Out in the Open" with Rick Sanchez starts right now -- Rick.
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