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LOU DOBBS TONIGHT
McCain Blames Housing Crisis on Irresponsible Lenders and Americans; Democratic Candidates Still Attacking Each Other; Missile Fuses Sent to Taiwan by Mistake; Univision Under Fire for Political Contributions
Aired March 25, 2008 - 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.
Detroit's mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick today arraigned on felony charges including perjury and obstruction of justice. What's next for the embattled mayor and the two police officers whose careers were destroyed in the scandal? The prosecutor who filed charges against Kilpatrick joins us tonight.
Also a landmark ruling on death row rights, the Supreme Court upholding the state of Texas ruling against the Bush administration. Congressman Ted Poe, Michael McCall, both Republicans, both from Texas, breaking with their president and joining me here.
A growing number of states rebelling against a national standard for driver's licenses, even though it's the law. Some state officials calling the plan too costly, too complicated, an invasion of privacy, national security, not a concern in their view.
All of that, all the day's news, much more, coming up, straight ahead tonight.
ANNOUNCER: This is LOU DOBBS TONIGHT: news, debate, and opinion for Tuesday, March 25. Live from New York, Lou Dobbs.
DOBBS: Good evening, everybody. Senator John McCain today acted to fend off criticism of his economic credentials, unveiling his proposals to deal with the nation's mortgage crisis. Senator McCain said the government isn't in the business of saving and rewarding banks or individuals who behave irresponsibly.
And the Democratic infighting continues. New criticisms from Senator Clinton over Senator Obama's former pastor, this after the senator admitted she, "misspoke" about her trip to Bosnia in 1996 after video from her trip contradicted her account. We'll have extensive coverage of the campaign tonight.
And we begin with Dana Bash in Santa Ana, California.
It just keeps getting better and better, Dana.
DANA BASH, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Lou, that's right. The McCain campaign actually is already planning to unveil a major economic plan next month, but advisers realize this issue is just too critical to ignore until then, especially the housing crisis.
BASH (voice-over): John McCain pointedly blamed the housing crisis on both irresponsible lenders and Americans who borrowed more than they can afford and said it's not Uncle Sam's job to save either.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I've always been committed to the principle that it's not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether they are big banks or small borrowers.
BASH: McCain's carefully crafted speech delivered with the help of a teleprompter were the most extensive remarks to date from the GOP candidate who admits he knows far more about national security than economics.
MCCAIN: In this crisis, as in all I may face in the future, I will not allow dogma to override common sense.
BASH: But his address was more of a framework for what he would not do to remedy the housing crisis than what he would do.
MCCAIN: No assistance should be given to speculators. Any assistance for borrowers should be focused solely on homeowners, not people who bought houses for speculative purposes.
BASH: McCain spoke in California's historically Republican Orange County, where one local estimate projects 21,000 home foreclosures in the next five years.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean issued a statement chastising McCain saying, "instead of offering a concrete plan to address the crisis at all levels, McCain promised to take the same hands-off approach that President Bush used to lead us into this crisis."
McCain did offer little in terms of proposals for immediate assistance. His short-term ideas, a meeting of accounting experts and a pledge to help from mortgage lenders.
MCCAIN: They've been asking the government to help them out. I'm now calling upon them to help their customers and their nation.
BASH: Now McCain advisers say he didn't give some specific government solutions because he's a conservative who fundamentally believes that market forces should play out. But Hillary Clinton on the other side of the country in Pennsylvania today, Lou, she said that there is very much a role for government.
She even called McCain Herbert Hoover who, of course, was president at the dawn of the great depression. Now, this, if nothing else today, Lou, shows the deep and sharp philosophical divide between John McCain and the Democrats on this issue.
DOBBS: It does, indeed. Thank you very much, Dana Bash.
Former first lady Nancy Reagan formally endorsed Senator McCain today, Mrs. Reagan praising McCain's record and his experience.
While Senator McCain was addressing the economy today, the Democratic candidates continued to address one another and not in the most pleasant of terms. Senator Clinton blasting Senator Obama over his relationship with his former pastor. Her criticism coming on the heels of her own controversy over misstatements she made describing her 1996 trip to Bosnia. Misspeaking as she put it.
Dan Lothian has our report from Philadelphia.
DAN LOTHIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Senator Hillary Clinton jumped into the controversy over Barack Obama's former pastor with both feet.
SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think given all we have heard and seen he would not have been my pastor.
LOTHIAN: This comes a week after Obama gave his race speech in which he condemned the words of reverend Jeremiah Wright but not the man. Clinton seemingly tried to deflect attention from her recent missteps was critical of Obama's choice when asked what she would have done.
CLINTON: You know we don't have a choice when it comes to our relatives. We have a choice when it comes to our pastors and the churches we attend.
LOTHIAN: The Obama campaign was quick to fire back. Spokesman Bill Burton saying, "It's disappointing to see Hillary Clinton's campaign sink to this low." All this happened on the day Clinton was trying to backtrack on this remark about a 1996 trip to Bosnia.
CLINTON: I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.
LOTHIAN: But video shot that day seemingly contradicts her version of events. No one seems to be running or ducking. And their does appear to be a ceremony. Clinton says she was sleep deprived and misspoke.
CLINTON: I made a mistake. That happens. It proves I'm human which you know for some people is a revelation.
LOTHIAN: The question is how will this impact her credibility?
JENNY BACKUS, DEMOCRATIC CONSULTANT: I think it could hurt her credibility. But what I think hurts most is her claim that she is the candidate of more experience and she's got more foreign policy -- foreign policy experience and commander in chief experience than Barack Obama.
LOTHIAN: One other problem? The more time that Clinton spends dealing with these missteps is the less time that she gets to spend on message -- Lou.
DOBBS: And we were talking about taking on Senator Obama. That was a -- she was responding to a question, was she not, when she brought up the issue of the relationship with the minister?
LOTHIAN: She was. That's right. Someone, a reporter, did ask her a question about what she would have done, and she said in response to that she said listen, it was a personal question, he was asking me what I would have done and that's how I answered it.
DOBBS: And the idea of the misspeaking, that was the answer on the part of the campaign, she was sleep deprived?
LOTHIAN: That -- exactly. She was -- in fact she made that statement in an interview with a reporter, a newspaper reporter, today. She has kind of given different kind of statements. It all boils down to these misstatements or mistakes that she has made.
But, yes, she did say that. She said she was sleep deprived. And, in fact, you know, what was interesting in another interview, she said listen, last week when I made that statement that was the first mistake that I've made in 12 years. So, you know, that's what she's saying.
DOBBS: What's really terrific is that none of us in this craft ever make a mistake, so we're in good shape, right? Dan, thank you very much.
LOTHIAN: That's right.
DOBBS: Dan Lothian.
Time now for our poll. The question tonight is: Which presidential candidate do you trust most to represent middle-class Americans, Senators McCain, Clinton, Obama or not a senator, Ralph Nader?
Cast your vote at loudobbs.com. We'll have your results here later in the broadcast.
Senator Obama today said the death of 4,000 of our troops in Iraq represents what he called a tragic marker. Senator Obama spoke to reporters while vacationing in the Virgin Islands. He plans to focus on the economy and Iraq when he resumes campaigning tomorrow. Obama saying he'll continue talking about plans for what he called a responsible and honorable withdrawal from Iraq.
A cease-fire stalled by a key Shia militia leader in Iraq showing signs of crumbling tonight. Anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al- Sadr ordered the cease-fire back in August, but his militia forces battled Iraqi security forces today in the southern oil port of Basra, Iraqi government forces have been responsible for security in that region since British troops withdrew. There were also militia attacks in several Baghdad neighborhoods today.
The Pentagon admitting a serious shipping mistake, the U.S. Air Force sent intercontinental ballistic missile parts to Taiwan instead of the helicopter batteries that Taiwan had requested. And the Taiwanese have been complaining to the Pentagon for more than a year now that they didn't receive the correct parts.
Barbara Starr has our report.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Pentagon says it mistakenly sent fuses, crucial parts for Minuteman III (ph) intercontinental ballistic missile to Taiwan in 2006 and the U.S. just figured it out last week. Components for nuclear missiles are the most heavily guarded items in the U.S. military inventory. No nuclear material was sent to Taiwan.
MICHAEL WYNNE, AIR FORCE SECRETARY: Fuse assembly is a battery- powered electrical fuse. I'd like to point out that the assembly is classified when it's real.
STARR: Four of the fuses were shipped. The Minuteman is topped by up to three nuclear warheads, each containing a fuse device of the type sent to Taiwan. The device sends an electrical signal to trigger the nuclear warhead. Aides say a furious Defense Secretary Robert Gates has ordered an unprecedented inventory of all nuclear weapons and equipment. Ryan Henry is deputy undersecretary.
RYAN HENRY, DEPUTY UNDER SECY. OF DEFENSE: In an organization as large as DOD, the largest and most complex in the world, there will be mistakes. But they cannot be tolerated in the arena of strategic systems.
STARR: It was just six months ago the Air Force accidentally flew six nuclear-armed missiles across the country. After that, Gates was assured by the military it had fixed its problems. Defense officials tell CNN the fuses should have been accounted for in any one of 10 Air Force inventories.
Instead, they went to Taiwan, which actually had ordered helicopter batteries. When the mistake was finally realized, alarm bells at the highest levels.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When informed this past Friday morning, the secretary directed the immediate return of the equipment to U.S. custody, and (INAUDIBLE) control. The president was subsequently notified that day.
STARR: Taiwan, Lou, did try and tell the Pentagon for months that they had shipped them the wrong parts. And even equally embarrassing, yesterday the Pentagon had to call in the ambassador from China and explain to the Chinese about this mistake.
Of course, that could not be more difficult for the Pentagon. It already has a strained relationship with the Chinese and, of course, the Chinese are constantly upset about U.S. arm sales to Taiwan -- Lou.
DOBBS: So, if I understand this correctly, I guess there wasn't really a big urgent need on the part of Taiwan for those helicopter batteries if it took this long to figure it out?
STARR: Well, you know, according to the sources we have spoken to, there had been fairly constant communication with the Taiwanese for months.
DOBBS: Just curious. Does the top Pentagon -- did those top Pentagon officials, do they have like a receive or is it just transmit on their telephones?
STARR: You know, Lou, the bottom line is some days you just shake your head about what goes on around here.
DOBBS: And they had to tell the Chinese about this. Now, that must have been a big deal. Why did they feel they had to tell the Chinese about this?
STARR: Well, that is really the very significant issue, to cut to the bottom line here. The U.S., of course, already has a very strained relationship with the Chinese military. There has been some level of mistrust between both sides. And the Chinese, of course, constantly are very concerned about U.S. security policy towards China and towards Taiwan.
DOBBS: Well, what I'm confused about, are they concerned that the Chinese would have taken it as threatening that we sent these ICBM (ph) parts to Taiwan or were they concerned that the Chinese might think that the United States military, in particular, the U.S. Air Force, was so stupid as not to know what was going on with its strategic assets and therefore might constitute a threat to not only China but indeed the world?
STARR: I might step out on a limb here and suggest the China might have been worried about both of those cases. But the fact is the U.S. felt it had an absolute obligation for transparency to the world community that it made this mistake. The really serious issue now is what does Bob Gates do about this and are heads going to roll?
DOBBS: And how many levels of officers should be fired? I think that would be the open question here. That accountability thing, one would think.
Thank you very much, Barbara Starr, as always. Barbara Starr from the Pentagon.
Coming up here next, home prices continuing to fall. That's cutting into state and local tax revenue. It's having a drastic effect on local budgets in particular.
Kitty Pilgrim will have our report -- Kitty?
KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lou, Americans are going to see a drastic cutback in the service they expect from local governments. States are being forced to freeze spending on highways and schools and other projects.
DOBBS: Thanks, Kitty.
And also a political action committee for Univision caves into pressure from special interest groups, asks for a refund from an elected official. We'll tell you why.
And Detroit's mayor arraigned on eight felony counts today. The prosecutor who brought those charges joins us here.
Stay with us. It gets better and better in American politics.
DOBBS: The nation's largest Spanish-language broadcast network Univision is under some criticism from pro-amnesty groups for some donations it made to two lawmakers. The contributions were made through Univision's political action committee, and the lawmakers to whom their money was given are all opposed to illegal immigration and those open borders. Now the open borders lobby is demanding those contributions be returned to Univision.
Louise Schiavone has our in-depth report.
LOUISE SCHIAVONE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Univision network is under fire from some of its friends in the Hispanic community over political contributions to lawmakers fighting illegal immigration. One, Roger Wicker (ph) of Mississippi, just appointed to the Senate was actually asked to return $1,000 donation.
A Wicker spokesman telling LOU DOBBS TONIGHT, "Univision Communications PAC asked for Wicker for Senate to return their contribution and we did."
Some political observes say at first the Spanish-language broadcasters clearly had in mind Wicker's seat on the Senate Commerce Committee, which among other things handles broadcasting issues.
SHEILA KRUMHOLZ, CENTER FOR RESPONSIVE POLITICS: This contribution is probably just get-to-know you contribution. He's new to the Senate. They are making an introduction with this and hoping that it gains them access to plead their case on likely a variety of issues.
SCHIAVONE: Also in line for the generosity of Univision's political action committee, lawmakers like Democrats Ken Salazar of Colorado, Lois Capps of California, Republicans Lincoln Diaz Balart, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen both of Florida all in favor of amnesty for illegal aliens, but Latino groups are angry that Univision gave $1,000 to a defender of crackdowns on illegal aliens, Congressman Cliff Stearns. Univision is not asking for the return of that one.
BRIAN DARLING, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: Cliff Stearns is very influential in the House. He's the ranking member on the committee of jurisdiction that oversees the industry that Univision is in. So, he's very important, and somebody like Roger Wicker who is a back- bench senator, the most recently sworn in United States senator is less important to Univision.
SCHIAVONE: Univision told LOU DOBBS TONIGHT, "it is Univision's policy not to comment on our PAC contributions."
SCHIAVONE: Lou, analysts say that contributions are given back all the time, although it's quite rare for the return to be prompted by the donor.
Perhaps in this case the donor was motivated by the advice of a critic who said, "they should ask for their money back from anyone who wants to deport their audience" -- Lou.
DOBBS: Well, I have to say, the idea that Univision would not ask the money back from Congressman Cliff Stearns and they would take it back from poor Senator Roger Wicker just because Roger Wicker does not have an important seat anywhere that could influence Univision. I mean, that just -- that's tacky.
SCHIAVONE: Let's see what they would do next year if he got elected.
DOBBS: Well, they better -- they better hope he doesn't. Thanks a lot. Louise Schiavone.
Well, a rebellion by a number of states tonight against the Real ID Act, the federal law mandating new secure driver's licenses. Those states are saying those new licenses will cost too much and far too complicated and are an invasion of privacy to boot. But the Department of Homeland Security is warning those states that they probably won't like the consequences.
Bill Tucker has our report.
BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Six states have put into law the fact that they have no intention of ever complying with the federal Real ID Act, Maine, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Montana, and Washington are just saying no, sort of. Of those six, only two, Maine and South Carolina have yet to ask for an extension of the deadline, which is May 11. An extension appears to be in South Carolina's future.
LARRY MARTIN, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE SENATE: We've asked (INAUDIBLE) has passed a resolution to ask our governor to request an extension. Not that we intend to comply, but that we would like more time. You know, the DMV tells us today that we're 16 of the 18 benchmarks compliant or materially compliant for Real ID.
TUCKER: Without that extension, residents in those states will not be able to use their driver's licenses to enter federal buildings or board airplanes. Ironically, both South Carolina and Montana are in a similar situation. Both states are widely acknowledged to have secure driver's licenses and in the case of Montana, one of the most secure.
A lot of the resistance to Real ID comes down to a fundamental distrust of the federal government at the state level. Montana's governor saying he doesn't want to share his residents' data with the federal government, an argument that falls short with supporters of Real ID.
BRIAN ZIMMER, COAL. FOR A SECURE DRIVER'S LICENSE: Well, of course, the feds already have that information courtesy of the Internal Revenue Service, the Social Security Administration and three or four other databases that have been maintained for 40 or 50 years. But we'll just forget about those systems.
TUCKER: There is also the issue that states are afraid of what it will cost to comply.
Bill Tucker, CNN, New York.
DOBBS: Well, today the governor of Maine, John Baldacci, sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security saying his states driver's licenses are secure enough. And he wants to continue using them for federal purpose and no response yet from Washington to that idea. And the governor forgot to talk about driver's licenses for illegal aliens. I think the governor forgot that.
Let me be really clear to all of the governors who do not want to have secure I.D.s for their citizens. You're full of it, and it's time to get in line with the common good, the national interest and you're playing with fire. This is a critically important issue to the nation.
Coming up next -- falling home prices are having a drastic effect on local budgets. We'll have that special report.
And the mayor of Detroit today was arraigned. He is promising his constituents, however, not that he would leave office, but that he'll never quit. I'll be talking with the prosecutors who brought charges against the mayor. All of that and more coming up, stay with us.
DOBBS: A new report today showing home prices down more than 11 percent in January, the steepest drop in more than 20 years. And as Kitty Pilgrim now reports, the worst may be yet to come.
PILGRIM (voice-over): In 20 cities in this country home prices are down more than 10 percent over the past year. And Standard and Poor says prices are likely to fall another 20 to 30 percent from the peak prices.
Miami, down 19 percent; Phoenix, down 18 percent; San Diego, down 16 percent; Los Angeles, down 16 percent; Detroit, down 15 percent; Minneapolis, down 10 percent; Cleveland, down eight percent; Chicago down seven percent; Atlanta, down nearly five percent.
DAVID BLITZER, STANDARD AND POOR'S: We're now down for 19 straight months. And the declines are as deep as any we've seen in more than two decades. There's no sign in the data at this point that we've hit the bottom yet.
PILGRIM: Local communities are starting to feel the fall-off in tax revenues from foreclosures and declining prices. And it's not just real estate. Layoffs in construction and housing-related industries such as furniture and home goods, retail sales, means people are no longer drawing wages and salaries, which means tax revenues decline.
The six hardest-hit states are Arizona, Nevada, California, Michigan, Florida, and Ohio. And because of declining tax revenues, states are putting freezes on capital investments, highways, schools and cutting other services.
RAY SCHEPPACH, NATIONAL GOVERNORS ASSOCIATION: You're already seeing budget cuts take place and we're probably going to see a lot more. So, we expect now to have 35 to 40 states have shortfalls and have to make significant reductions really over the next 18 months.
PILGRIM: The National Governors Association says most states will try to make their budgets stretch without raising taxes.
PILGRIM: Now, 49 out of the 50 states have some type of balanced-budget requirement. Some of the states are basically forced with two choices -- they either have to raise taxes or cut services to balance their budgets -- Lou.
DOBBS: How many states?
PILGRIM: Forty-nine out of 50 have to balance their budgets.
DOBBS: All right, appreciate it, Kitty. Thank you. Kitty Pilgrim.
The Federal Reserve today injecting another $50 billion, this is starting to add up, isn't it? Another $50 billion into cash strapped financial firms in the latest effort to help banks recover from the mortgage and credit crisis. Since December the Fed has provided the nation's banks with a total of $260 billion in short-term, low- interest loans. The punch bowl is still there, it looks like.
Time now to look at some of your thoughts. Thousands of you e- mailing to us, a response to my comments last night concerning racism and Barack Obama's church.
Victoria in Oregon wrote in to say: "Lou, you were right on. It was so refreshing to have a reporter come out and disagree with the comments of Reverend Wright's and Obama's new pastor. He doesn't get it, does he?" My guess is he's going to get something here.
Telena in Missouri wrote to say: "Lou, I have never been so proud as an American to hear the stand you took against racism."
And Beverly in Georgia writes: "Pastor Wright to me seems to have a pretty good account of American history in regard to all minorities. Lou, I urge you to listen to the sermon. Then maybe you along with other Americans can see why Pastor Wright said (EXPLETIVE DELETED) America. I still love your show and watch you just about every day despite disagreeing with you on certain issues. I will not disown you."
And for that, God bless you and thank you.
We'll have more of your thoughts here later in the broadcast. Each of you whose e-mail is read here receives a couple of my book, "Independents Day."
And please join me on the radio each afternoon Monday through Friday for "The Lou Dobbs Show", a new three hour radio show. If you want your local listing, please go to loudobbs.com for "The Lou Dobbs Show" and that will give you the listings.
And up next Detroit's mayor arraigned on felony charges today. I'll be talking with the prosecutor who brought those charges.
And the Supreme Court ruling against the Bush administration on this issue of Texas, two GOP Congressmen who broke with the president over this case will be my guests.
And the Democratic infighting is intensifying. Imagine that. I'll be joined by three of the country's best radio talk show hosts.
Stay with us. We'll be right back.
DOBBS: Detroit's mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, today pleaded not guilty to felony charges that included perjury, obstruction of justice, misconduct in office. Kilpatrick and his former aide accused of lying under oath about their alleged affair, their role in retaliating against two police officers investigating.
Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy says this case is not about an affair, it's about lying under oath. Kym Worthy joins me tonight from Detroit.
Good to have you with us.
KYM WORTHY, WAYNE CO PROSECUTOR: Thank you.
DOBBS: Let me ask you, this -- these charges, I'm -- having followed that the case that the "Detroit Free Press" broke, did your initial information on this case come from the "Detroit Free Press?"
WORTHY: Yes, it did. The "Detroit Free Press" are the ones that broke the story and we began an investigation shortly thereafter.
DOBBS: And as we have watched this case unfold, it seems pretty clear, that there is, at least on the civil side, a clear statement that this mayor carried out an adulterous affair with his chief of staff, that an investigation into his conduct by two police officers resulted in their termination and their careers were destroyed and the city had to spend $8 million, $8.4 million, to settle that case. Is that part of this -- correct to this point?
WORTHY: That's part of our case and certainly we charged four perjury cases, two counts are based on lying under oath at the trial, based on the relationship, and two counts are based on the lying about the firing of Gary Brown.
DOBBS: And as I watched you enunciate these charges against those -- those folks, I have to tell you, Kym Worthy, I -- my thought was, I would not want you after me. I mean you were -- you are straightforward, you're very businesslike. Is there any political ax in this thing whatsoever?
WORTHY: I don't think -- no, there's not. Wayne County, which is 43 cities, Detroit is the largest city. I have no ax to grind with anyone. We were simply doing our job. It happened in my jurisdiction, so we investigate it and we'll prosecute in my jurisdiction.
DOBBS: Then if you would help us all out understand the politics of Detroit. This mayor is on the record as having been adulterous, having carried out an affair an employee of the city of Detroit, destroyed the careers of two law enforcement agents. It cost the city $8 million and this mayor is promising not to quit, when one would think --
WORTHY: Well, that's part and parcel of what this is about and I have no say, and nor should I have any say, on whether he resigns or not. But, it's an unusual stand, but it's something we have to deal with. Whether he's the mayor or the ex-mayor, we have to go along with the charges.
DOBBS: And the defense attorney says point-blank those text messages between Ms. Beatty, his lover and the chief of staff, and the mayor were -- you gathered them up illegally.
WORTHY: Well, I can't speak out for how anybody else got them. I don't think he suggested, at least I hope he's not suggesting that we obtained them illegally, because we certainly didn't. We're a law enforcement legal entity with broad subpoena power and we obtained them legally.
DOBBS: And you have no doubt that they will stand up in court?
WORTHY: I'm not worried about that at all.
DOBBS: All right. And the idea of the jury pool here, because of the notoriety of the mayor, he is a part of a -- he's a very prominent political family, including Congresswoman Kilpatrick, the head of the National Black Caucus --
DOBBS: My gosh, how -- how can you find a jury pool that is not tainted by this case in Detroit?
WORTHY: Well, as you can imagine, this is not our first high- profile case.
WORTHY: And I'm confident that we'll be able to find a jury right here within Wayne County. And if we can't, we'll have to deal with that in the future, but the law states that we have to try and seat a jury within that county, if we get that far. And I'm confident that we'll be able to do that.
DOBBS: And how soon do you expect to be at trial?
WORTHY: You know, it's hard to say. We received an examination date, today, of June the ninth. I anticipate that that may take a little bit of time. And here we have a 91-day track, and that means that within 91 days after the arraignment on the information, we expect this case to be tried. So, it should be fairly quickly. But, of course, I can't guarantee when it will be tried.
DOBBS: Kym Worthy, thank you very much, for being with us. We appreciate it. Wayne County prosecutor, Kym Worthy.
Also tonight I'll be talking about Detroit radio talk show host, who's long followed the career of the mayor. She's among three of the best radio talk show hosts who will join me here next.
And the Supreme Court ruling against the federal government and in favor of the state of Texas.
Yeehaw! We'll be right back.
DOBBS: Important legal victory for the state of Texas. The United States Supreme Court today ruling that president Bush exceed his authority when he tried to intervene on behalf of an illegal alien convicted of raping and killing two teenage girls in Texas. President Bush sided with the Mexican citizen. The case focusing on the fight over states' rights, the jurisdiction of international courts and the sovereignty of the United States.
Two Republican lawmakers from the state of Texas join us here tonight. Congressman Ted Poe from Houston and from Austin, Texas, Congressman Michael McCaul.
Gentlemen, thanks for being with us. This is a six-to-three vote.
Tell us your feelings tonight, and the importance, if you would -- Congressman Poe, first, if you would, the importance of this judgment of this case, this ruling.
REP. TED POE (R), TEXAS: It's important for the reasons you mentioned, this was a brutal killing. The individual that committed this case -- crime confessed, he was proud of it, murdered two teenage girls in 1993. Jury gave him the death penalty. It was upheld by the Supreme Court, the first time it went through the court system.
The Mexican government sued the United States in 2003 and said, wait a minute, we don't want him executed because he wasn't allowed to talk to his consulate, the world court ruled in Mexico's favor, the president of the United States told the Texas courts to review this case. Give the defendant a new hearing, Texas court said, sorry, we're not going to do it, the president has no jurisdiction over Texas and the supreme court agreed and said the Texas courts don't have to uphold a world court opinion.
DOBBS: As both of you know, Congressman McCall, I don't have much use for this president, I don't think he's right on much. But, the idea that he would say, of the state of which he was governor, that that state's laws and U.S. law would be subordinated to a world court or an international tribune of any kind. Does that just stick in your craw?
REP. MICHAEL MCCAUL (R), TEXAS: I think it does in many craws. This is about sovereignty of the United States; it's about sovereignty of the state of Texas. The Supreme Court held that the president actually operated outside of his authority. He did not have authority under the Constitution or in act of Congress to impose this as a law of the state of Texas.
Basically, 15 years later, after this brutal rape and murder has occurred, justice will be served, and it will be -- it will be served Texas style, and under Texas law. It's a great day for the state of Texas.
DOBBS: It is also, in my opinion, a great day for the United States. Because, does it not, Congressman Poe, also mean that the United States has, at least one case, establishing its sovereignty independent of an international court?
POE: No question about it. This was a tremendously important case and how the Supreme Court ruled down. Was the Supreme Court let the world court tell courts in the United States what to do or not? And the Supreme Court said, no, the world court doesn't have jurisdiction over Texas courts.
As you know, as a former judge, this -- when this case was tried, we took that position, and now the Supreme Court has ruled with us. I think it's a great day, first of all, and most importantly, that the Constitution rules the law in this country, not the world court and really not the president of the United States.
DOBBS: Even though the president of the United States apparently would be thrilled to be outside that Constitution and serving under -- under -- a world court. Congressman McCaul, what's the reaction amongst the constituents there in Texas?
MCCAUL: Well, I think there was great anger about the case being brought in the first case that the Bush administration didn't side with the state of Texas. But, I think there's great relief that the Supreme Court has ruled that a world court cannot impose federal or state law in the United States or have any jurisdiction over that.
And let's remember, there are 51 other convicted death-row inmates, illegal aliens, in this country, whose cases are impacted by this decision. I think that's a very important point to make. Our constituents were quite relieved, today.
DOBBS: Let me ask you also, Ted Poe, on the issue of Ramos and Compean, still in prison, still awaiting a decision from the appellate court, your thoughts tonight.
POE: This circuit is going to rule shortly, probably within the next 30 days. I think that we will see the same thing by the fifth circuit that we saw by the Supreme Court. I expect Ramos and Compean, border agent cases, to be reversed because the federal government, the federal prosecutors, hid evidence from the jury and they will be -- hopefully get a new trial within the next 30 to 60 days.
DOBBS: Congressmen, thank you very much, congressman Mike McCaul, thank you for join us and Ted Poe.
A reminder to vote in the poll, tonight. The question is: Which presidential candidate do you trust the most, to represent middle- class Americans, you know, the majority -- McCain, Clinton, Obama, or Nader?
Cast your vote at loudobbs.com, we'll have the results here in just a few moments.
Up at the top of the hour the "ELECTION CENTER" with Campbell Brown.
Campbell, tell us all about it.
CAMPBELL BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Well Lou, in the "ELECTION CENTER" tonight, Senator Hillary Clinton backtracks on Bosnia. She's also on the attack, though, over the comments by Barack Obama's minister. And where is Senator Obama during all of this? Well, he is on vacation, but we're there, too.
Also Nancy Reagan is going to endorse John McCain, tonight. We'll be watching that. Got it all at the top of the hour -- Lou.
DOBBS: We're looking forward to it. Thank you, Campbell.
Up next, more world leaders consider boycotting China's Olympics.
And the Democrats, well, they just can't get enough of fighting each other. I'll be talking to three of the best radio talk show hosts in the country.
Stay with us we'll be right back.
DOBBS: Joining me now, three of the best radio talk show hosts in the country, in Detroit, we are joined for the first time, I am delighted to say, by Mildred Gaddis of WCHB.
Mildred, we're delighted you can be with us tonight and hope you'll join us often in the future.
MILDRED GADDIS, WCHB: Well, thank you very much.
DOBBS: Here in New York, Joe Madison of WOL in Washington, D.C., and XM Radio and now I guess I can say Sirius radio. Anything else I should say?
JOE MADISON, WOL AND XM RADIO: I guess it will be one.
DOBBS: And Laura Flanders of Air America. Laura, good to have you here.
LAURA FLANDERS, AIR AMERICA: Good to be with you.
DOBBS: Let's start with, first, the idea that the president of the United States is siding with the world court against the Constitution of the United States, the United States government, and the state government of which he was once governor.
FLANDERS: You are surprised this president is showing a lack of regard for the Constitution? I mean, in this case, I'm for the international law on this.
DOBBS: Notice how she dragged me into that?
FLANDERS: But, I'm surprised that anyone's surprised by this administration's disregard for the Constitution.
DOBBS: I'm stunned -- Joe.
MADISON: I'm stunned, too, but, you know, again, I'm with you. What's new? I mean, he's been circumventing the Constitution and we've been arguing about it and arguing about it. This is just one more effort on his part and, as you say, here's the man whose the former governor of the very -- of the state he, you know, that he's from, it's...
FLANDERS: But, I don't think it is total fault of the world court having a say on the U.S. capital crackdown.
DOBBS: Oh, for crying --
DOBBS: Laura did that. Now, she's taken her shot at Bush and now she's ready to throw the Constitution under the bus.
FLANDERS: Not the Constitution, but the question of --
DOBBS: Then tell the world court to go to hell.
FLANDERS: The world has a role in judging our positions of capital punishment --
DOBBS: Mildred, get in here, save us. Save me from these two.
FLANDERS: We are along on the planet.
MADISON: But, oh now, wait a minute, now. I agree with you.
DOBBS: OK, never mind, Mildred. Go ahead, Joe.
MADISON: No, I agree with you, the world court cannot override the U.S. Constitution.
DOBBS: All right.
FLANDERS: But the U.S. should not be a leper in the world opinion...
DOBBS: We're not a leper in the world -- Mildred, save me again, because Laura's not going to quit until you jump in here.
GADDIS: Well, you know, the president is -- is -- has been consistently inconsistent, and I don't know why anybody's surprised by this. One would think that the leader of the country certainly would not be siding with any Mildred, save me again because Laura's not going to quit until you jump in here.
Well, you know, the president is -- is -- has been consistently inconsistent, and I don't know why anybody's surprised by this. One would think that the leader of the country certainly would not be siding with any organization against the U.S. Constitution, but after all, this is George W.
DOBBS: This is George W. and this is America. We're in a state where we have just had a new governor installed for a little over a week, who's now admitted to affairs, cocaine, marijuana and a couple others.
MADISON: He's smart. He's very smart.
DOBBS: He's very...
MADISON: He's very smart. Get it out now. You know, get it all out now. You didn't elect him, you can't do anything about it. You know, it's like -- I can't wait. He may -- you know what, he might end up telling everybody he's not blind.
DOBBS: That's a great thought. You think there's a danger...
MADISON: He's been able to see all this...
DOBBS: There's no one, however, yet pining for the missing Eliot Spitzer.
FLANDERS: No. No, I mean, I'm all for Paterson. I think we should deploy more sex workers, frankly. But no, the sad thing about the Kilpatrick story, I mean, obviously it's sad on lots of levels -- sad for the city of Detroit, got a lot of other issues, there's good stuff going on there.
DOBBS: I think Laura's changed the subject on us.
FLANDERS: I want to change the subject and go back to the sex scandals, because I think it's sad that we give mayors so little attention in this country. I was looking at the coverage of this story and thinking, you know, this country's mayors are advancing some of the most smart policy around healthcare, around enlightened immigration reform, around fair domestic partnership laws, sustainable development, green jobs and yet the only time we cover mayors is when there's a scandal. I think we're missing some good stuff.
MADISON: What does it have to do with -- I don't get it.
FLANDERS: We're talking about sex scandals. (INAUDIBLE) other scandals, I really don't.
MADISON: I mean -- here's -- Mildred is from Detroit. Now, let me tell you, if I were advising Kwame Kilpatrick, today, and it was a kitchen table or kitchen cabinet, I would say, if you really love this city, step down, now.
FLANDERS: Yes, absolutely.
GADDIS: Joe, you're -- you're -- first of all, you know, first of all, Kwame Kilpatrick loves Kwame Kilpatrick. You know -- you know that this is not the first time that his reckless behavior has come to the front burner. Two years ago "Time" magazine dubbed him as one of the nation's worst mayors. We have had incident after incident. We've never had, however, things getting as catastrophic as they are now. Detroit is a city in crisis. This guy used $9 million of taxpayers' money to cover up an affair with his mistress who was on the city's payroll. He destroyed the careers of police officers.
DOBBS: Mildred, that's what blows my mind, that this guy has apparently no compunction about destroying the careers of those two law enforcement officers.
GADDIS: Well no, he doesn't and he obviously lied about it. The Wayne County prosecutor, Kym Worthy, outlined her case yesterday. It's a very strong case. We're talking about a very competent group of individuals led by this prosecutor. Joe Madison, you know her track record.
GADDIS: You know that she knows what he's doing. The mayor is in trouble.
DOBBS: We're talking about Kym Worthy.
GADDIS: We're talking about Kym Worthy, absolutely. Incredible, competent, supreme integrity. And, Lou, you were right, you wouldn't want her coming after you.
DOBBS: And I said this yesterday, watching her, as she was carrying out the press conference, enunciating, articulating those counts, I'm sitting there thinking: this woman is too serious to be after me. If Kwame Kilpatrick thinks he can stand up to that lady, I can tell you from looking, that woman had such intensity, I wouldn't -- she scared me. I want to just put it very simply.
MADISON: Mildred, wasn't there a poll taken recently by a news organization --
GADDIS: Last night, you all will not believe this -- last night an NBC affiliate, here, conducted a poll among the voters what should Kwame Kilpatrick do? A whopping 94 percent said he should step down from office, three percent undecided, only two percent said that he should remain.
MADISON: Sounds like a Lou Dobbs' poll.
DOBBS: Hey, hey. Joe Madison just got back from the Sudan. We're going to have to have a little discussion here, just a little...
GADDIS: You know, the truth of the matter is if some of the other law enforcement entities had done their job, the Wayne County prosecutor would not have had to do what she's done.
GADDIS: Lou, there have been a litany of things over seven years. We have friends and relatives on the city's payroll, we have relatives who one -- his uncle, walked into a local bank, cashed a city check for $18,000, cashed it, it was a neighborhood organization fund, a city fund. I mean, there's a litany of things. There have been so many instances in which this could have been averted.
DOBBS: And we left out one part, too. The city council voted for the mayor.
GADDIS: Yes, you know what --
DOBBS: Right, non-binding, but --
MADISON: They voted.
GADDIS: Yes, but they waited until public pressure became so horrendous. It became immensely horrendous and then they responded under pressure.
DOBBS: Mildred, we're going to continue in just one moment with Joe and Laura, and we're going to be back with our panel. And Joe Madison and I are going to have it out over an issue that has been simmering on this.
MADISON: Oh lord.
DOBBS: Stay with us.
DOBBS: We're back with Mildred Gaddis, Joe Madison, Laura Flanders.
Laura, Senator Hillary Clinton misspoke when she talked being under fire in Bosnia 12 years ago.
FLANDERS: You know, there's a lot of wishful thinking in the Clinton campaign. No. 1, they're wishing that they can win this nomination, they can't. There's also, though, I mean, they weren't crazier to believe that the media would go along with this Bosnia myth than they were to believe that the media would go along the myth that she was some kind of secret NAFTA critic or that she didn't want to vote for the war...
DOBBS: What was the point of this?
FLANDERS: The point is the media mostly did go along. Sinbad, the comedian, came out two weeks ago. This was a story that took the press forever to catch on.
MADISON: The only thing he was worried about where the next meal was going to come from.
DOBBS: Well, I'm a little bit like Sinbad in that regard. I got to worry about those -- my body weight.
MADISON: She didn't have to do this...
FLANDERS: But, until the YouTube came out, she was kind of getting away with it and she's gotten away with a lot of stories for lack of digging.
DOBBS: Did she get away with changing the subject today when she was asked about Senator Obama's long-time minister and she held forth that that gentleman would not have been her minister?
FLANDERS: Well, she has some unsavory ministerial connections of her own.
MADISON: She does.
FLANDERS: The Family Circle, there in Washington, D.C. She's hanging with some people who, if you want to talk about bias and bigotry, there are some folks who aren't African-American who fall into that category and wear clerics --
DOBBS: Well, let's name names, here. I mean, if we've got it.
FLANDERS: Clerical collars. Well, I mean, there's a whole circle.
MADISON: Well see, what bothers me is that when Bob Jones University was telling people you couldn't have interracial dating, no one asked these candidates to give up their endorsement of Bob Jones. You know, as I told you in the Green Room, we're on the same...
DOBBS: You didn't tell me, he lectured me. Don't let say that. He was lecturing me.
MADISON: We are on the same planet, but sometimes we are in different worlds.
DOBBS: I'm coming over there.
GADDIS: You know something, Joe? Excuse me.
GADDIS: I think that it's important for us to note that the Hillary Clinton team has, I think, done some underhanded race-bating that I think is going to cost her ultimately, especially with African- Americans across the country.
The whole spiritual community, from a cultural standpoint, resents the Clinton campaign for using Jeremiah Wright to attack Barack Obama. Now, I find it interesting that we spent more than a week on this -- on this Jeremiah Wright thing. It seems like forever. And now, we are talking about how Hillary Clinton misspoke. No, she didn't misspoke. She did a little like what Kwame Kilpatrick did; she just flat out did not tell the truth. And the media right now is allowing her to get away with the statement she misspoke. She misrepresented the facts.
DOBBS: Well, I was talking to Fran Lebowitz (ph) today, the comedian, humorous -- and she said in her lexicon, misspeak is an English word for lie, which I thought was pretty good.
Now you were about to lecture me before Mildred decided to interject substantial thought over there --
MADISON: Well I heard your show the other day -- I do watch even when I'm not here.
DOBBS: Well bless you.
MADISON: Well, I heard you say in the last 40 years we haven't had this type of thing. Lou, I wanted to remind you -- you know we had two secrets --
MADISON: We had two secret service agents that couldn't get served in Denny's when they went to Annapolis to protect the president of the United States. I know the kind of world you want and I want that same world. I want it for commerce purposes. I think our diversity should be celebrated.
DOBBS: I want it just because it's a better world.
MADISON: And I know -- and we both want that. But there are two perspectives.
FLANDERS: And that was the powerful thing about what Barack Obama said last week.
DOBBS: Well, it's also -- very powerful what we're all starting to talk about.
DOBBS: And what I'm not going to let is a partisan politician be the moderator, we're either Democrat or Republican in this discussion about race because we're all going to have --
MADISON: No. We should be the moderators.
DOBBS: Well, you know what? Whoever. But let's have the daggone discussion.
MADISON: No we should me.
DOBBS: Just you and me.
FLANDERS: Everyday, all the time.
GADDIS: Lou, can I ask you a question?
DOBBS: I apologize -- we've done what we often do when Joe is here. We've run over, and I apologize. Mildred Gaddis, thanks a lot.
Joe Madison, Laura Flanders, thank you.
Our poll -- 39 percent of you responded the our poll saying that Obama will best represent the middle class. Clinton, 35 percent, 18 percent for Nader. John McCain had a bad night, nine percent.
Thanks for being with us tonight. Good night from New York.
The "ELECTION CENTER" with Campbell Brown begins rights now -- Campbell.
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