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LOU DOBBS TONIGHT
McCain's Momentum; Lipstick Politics; Gaping Holes in Border Security; No Amnesty for Illegal Aliens; Visa Policy Hurts American Workers
Aired September 10, 2008 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU DOBBS, HOST: Wolf, thank you. And welcome to day three of the first televised Independent Convention. Tonight, we're at the "Hold Their Feet to the Fire" rally here in Washington, D.C., almost 50 radio talk show hosts are here in Washington, D.C. focusing on the federal government's outright failure to secure our borders and enforce our immigration laws.
Why? All this week we're taking on issues that these presidential candidates are trying to avoid, trying to ignore, and trying to get you and me to forget about. We're not going to do that. And for their part, the Obama and McCain campaigns today were so busy exchanging insults and protests, they have hurt feelings, both of them you know, after Senator Obama's comments about putting lipstick on a pig.
You know this politically correct nonsense is nauseating, isn't it, at least we're sick of it, but we're going to have some fun with it anyway. The McCain campaign is outraged, accusing Senator Obama of a smear campaign against Sarah Palin. They have just discovered this, by the way. Obama said Republicans are using what he called swift- boat tactics declaring enough is enough, no, we're just getting started, and we'll have complete coverage.
And away from the campaign trail today, a very troubling acknowledgment by a top Bush administration official today. The official saying what we have been reporting here for some time now. Efforts to build that fence along our border with Mexico are in serious trouble. We'll have that story for you and a great deal more; all of the day's news right here on "The Lou Dobbs Independent Convention" this evening, straight ahead, tonight.
ANNOUNCER: This is a special edition, "The Lou Dobbs Independent Convention": news, debate, and opinion for Wednesday, September 10. Live from Washington, Lou Dobbs.
DOBBS: Good evening, everybody. Rising tempers on the campaign trail today. One day after Senator Obama talked about putting quote, "lipstick on a pig." Can you imagine? The McCain campaign today accusing Obama of making a sexist comment about vice presidential candidate Governor Sarah Palin. Senator Obama accusing the McCain campaign of using what he called lies and phony outrage.
Meanwhile, there's new evidence today of Senator McCain's rising support among Independent voters. A FOX News poll showing 50 percent of Independents now believe McCain is very qualified to be president compared with 24 percent who say Obama is very qualified. But both of these candidates continue to ignore vital issues to working men and women in this country and their families, such as illegal immigration and border security.
Today, a top homeland security official in fact said the Bush administration in all likelihood will be unable to complete a fence along part of our southern border by the end of this year as scheduled and as promised. Only half of the 670-mile fence has been completed so far. The project faces a budget shortfall of nearly half a billion dollars.
It means the next administration will be deciding whether or not to finish that fence. Many lawmakers on Capitol Hill strongly opposing the construction of any kind of fence along our border with Mexico. By the way, as we evaluate that statement, let's remember that not only do about a million illegal aliens cross that border, but so do the majority of all of the heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines and heroin entering the United States.
All of it -- nearly all of it originating in Mexico. The administration now says it's something like the iron curtain that divided people in the Cold War. The lawmakers also demanding amnesty for illegal aliens, one leading pro amnesty member of Congress joins me here later in the broadcast.
Well, no talk of a border fence on the campaign trail today. No talk of illegal immigration or its consequences. The top issue: gender politics now in this presidential campaign, specifically the political fallout today from Senator Obama's comments about putting lipstick on a pig.
Suzanne Malveaux with our report.
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Enough is enough.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Barack Obama has had it with what he says are the lies and distortions coming from the McCain campaign.
OBAMA: They seize on an innocent remark, try to take it out of context, throw up an outrageous ad because they know that it's catnip for the news media.
MALVEAUX: The remark he's talking about was delivered at a town hall meeting in Virginia the day before, criticizing McCain.
OBAMA: I'm talking about John McCain's economic policies. I say it's more of the same. You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig. And suddenly they say oh you must be talking about the governor of Alaska.
MALVEAUX: The McCain campaign put out former Massachusetts' Governor Jane Swift to make the charge.
VOICE OF JANE SWIFT, MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR: Well as far as I know she would be the only one of the four presidential candidates or vice presidential candidates who wears lipstick.
MALVEAUX: A Web ad from Camp McCain quickly followed.
OBAMA, CAMPAIGN COMMERCIAL: You know, you can put lipstick on a pig.
MALVEAUX: And then a former supporter of Hillary Clinton, now in McCain's camp, repeated the accusation at a McCain event and scolded...
LYNETTE LONG, FORMER CLINTON SUPPORTER: Mr. Obama, calling girls names is something you do in fifth grade.
MALVEAUX: Obama aides called McCain's accusation a pathetic attempt to play the gender card from an increasingly dishonorable campaign and pointed out that McCain himself used the expression to criticize Hillary Clinton's health care plan.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The latest proposal I see is putting lipstick on a pig.
MALVEAUX: But when Obama's aides saw the charge catching fire in the media, Obama decided to take the lead in putting it out.
OBAMA: Everybody knows it's cynical. Everybody knows it's insincere. The media knows it. I mean this is a game that we play. It's a game. It's a sport.
MALVEAUX (on camera): The McCain camp responded by calling Obama's comments schoolyard insults. Neither McCain nor Palin have commented on the controversy so far, and a Web ad put up by the McCain campaign repeating the lipstick pig accusation has been taken down from YouTube because CBS objected to the ad because it used Katie Couric in it. A spokesman from the McCain campaign says they will keep the ad up on their Web site.
Suzanne Malveaux, CNN, New York.
DOBBS: Very elevated discourse on the presidential campaign trail. I personally haven't heard language like that since I was in I think it was perhaps middle school, maybe elementary school. But it's interesting to watch grown men behave this way.
Senator McCain tonight accusing Senator Obama of negative personal attacks by talking about lipstick on a pig. Earlier doing a campaign stop in Virginia, Senator McCain and Governor Palin focused on our worsening economy, taking time away from some of the theater. This as the McCain/Palin ticket continued to grow strong momentum among voters. Ed Henry has our report.
ED HENRY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A new sign of momentum for John McCain, the largest crowd he's ever had on the campaign trail, 23,000 people in a Democratic area of Virginia, but McCain knows the star of the show right now is Sarah Palin.
UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: Sarah, Sarah, Sarah!
MARGE EALES, MCCAIN/PALIN SUPPORTER: I'm so delighted to be here, I would have stood on my head to come.
HENRY: Self proclaimed hockey moms and other women here said it was Palin who drew them to the rally.
MARY KITCHEN, MCCAIN/PALIN SUPPORTER: I'm impressed with her because she took on her on Republican Party and cleaned them out.
JO LYNN HERNDON, MCCAIN/PALIN SUPPORTER: She's going to rock and then shake them up and I think it's awesome. It's going to bring other people in.
HENRY: While some in the crowd found ways to slam Barack Obama's use of the phrase lipstick on a pig, McCain and Palin stayed above the fray. Despite Obama's claim that only he's zeroing in on the issues, the Republican ticket focused almost entirely on policy including bashing the federal rescue of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
MCCAIN: We can't allow this to turn into a bailout of Wall Street speculators and irresponsible executives.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
MCCAIN: The CEOs, the CEOs that led us into this mess are walking away with over $20 million.
HENRY: Palin is still not deviating from her carefully prepared remarks.
SARAH PALIN (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I reminded people that no, government is not always the answer. In fact, too often government is the problem.
HENRY: But it was the first time this crowd heard the script, and one working mom with three kids said it helped her decide to vote McCain/Palin.
DELORES GEHA, MCCAIN/PALIN SUPPORTER: I also think that the issues are very important to people. And we all know that the economy is suffering. And they are speaking to cutting the budget.
HENRY: Now Democrats who have not carried the state of Virginia since 1964 have high hopes of winning it in November, but a new CNN/"TIME" magazine battleground poll out today shows McCain has a slight edge in Virginia of a few points. It's still close, but it's interesting because the McCain camp feels they do have momentum, Lou, with Palin on the ticket now. And they're going to use her a lot more in states like Virginia, these close states where they think she's going to especially help with suburban women.
DOBBS: That's interesting because Obama, I believe, was ahead in the most recent poll that I had seen in Virginia, one of the battleground states, whether it's acknowledged as such or not. And but what has to strike terror into the hearts of that Obama campaign, which has been I think the slickest, most sophisticated, most effective campaign until about three weeks ago, is that crowd, 23,000 people, you say? I mean that's incredible.
HENRY: Yes. Just a few weeks ago I was in Ohio with John McCain. And he literally had just a few hundred people at a rally. Mostly that's because he did it in indoor places. He likes a town hall format. But now they're opening it up to outdoor rallies largely because of Sarah Palin. A lot of the women I spoke to there, but also some of the man said they were excited to see her, not even so much McCain, she's brought some energy to the ticket. The question, though, can they sustain this for the next few weeks.
DOBBS: You know that's the question for everything, you know and especially when you've got two months to go, but or almost two months to go. But Ed, I mean, this is a big deal to see those kinds of campaign rallies. We haven't seen -- I mean that's Obama-like, if you will, from a few months ago. We haven't seen Obama's crowds get to that level here of late.
HENRY: A lot of Democratic strategists right now are very nervous about the situation. They're starting to panic just a little bit. The Obama camp is trying to tell them to calm down. But let's face it. The Obama camp has faced a lot of other panic moments in the primaries with Hillary Clinton. And as you said, they ran a strong operation.
HENRY: They were able to make it through those other episodes, but now is where it really counts.
DOBBS: It's striking to me that Obama went on vacation in Hawaii and it's as if his whole campaign staff top staff went on vacation and didn't come back. They've been out maneuvered, out maneuvered over the last three weeks. It's striking. Is there any sense that they're going to do something about it? Because he is -- he's getting hammered?
HENRY: They haven't come up with any sort of a plan to do anything drastic, but I think certainly it does seem like since the middle to late part of the summer, at the very least Barack Obama's momentum has been stopped, and that's why you're starting to see McCain edge him out slightly and I stress slightly in front.
DOBBS: Do you think we're going to still see these sort of schoolyard, childish politically correct pieces of nonsense about you know phony outrage and lipstick on a pig and all of this politically correct nonsense?
HENRY: In a word, yes.
HENRY: I mean look...
DOBBS: I shouldn't have asked. I knew the answer. But I appreciate it. Thanks, Ed. Appreciate the report.
Both Senator McCain and Senator Obama refuse -- absolutely refused unequivocally to rule out amnesty for illegal aliens. The candidates refuse to recognize the true scale of our border security and illegal immigration crisis in this country and they refuse to acknowledge the impact of that crisis on Americans everywhere. Casey Wian has our report.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm angry as hell. Of course, I am.
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Danielle Bologna's husband and two sons were killed this summer in San Francisco allegedly by an illegal alien gang member.
DANIELLE BOLOGNA, WIDOW/MOTHER OF MURDER VICTIMS: And none of us never want to lose our kids. But damn it I lost my family.
WIAN: In part, it's a consequence of San Francisco's illegal alien sanctuary policies and slow federal progress on border security and immigration law enforcement. More fencing and thousands of new border patrol agents have helped reduce illegal crossings, but it's not enough.
MICHAEL CHERTOFF, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: We continue to face a range of threats at the border from smugglers and criminal organizations that are competing with each other to gain control of illegal activities and that are pushing back against increased law enforcement efforts on both sides of the border.
WIAN: ICE is capturing more fugitives, deporting and prosecuting more illegal aliens and raiding more illegal employers than ever, yet in Arizona, activists set up hidden cameras last week and produced more evidence that drug smugglers and illegal aliens continue to cross our borders every day.
WIAN: Complicating the job of border security, every success is met by lawsuits and protests by people who support expanded rights for illegal aliens. They want an end to all deportations in this country. They want a stop to worksite enforcement action. They have compared the border fence to the Berlin wall and they've even compared immigration law enforcement, Lou, to terrorism.
DOBBS: Yeah, it's a fun group of people, highly rational, committed to the American national interests, the common good of American citizens, all of them. This is a propaganda fire storm created by ethnocentric interest groups, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the right wing and the left wing combining in this country to go about absolutely debasing the value of citizenship in this country, debasing the value of work in this country by American citizens.
The -- and one of the things that we're focusing on down here during the "Hold Their Feet to the Fire" rally for the benefit of Congress and this president -- one of the things we're focusing on is what is the reality? And the reality is that the four industries in which illegal aliens are hired in the largest measure. That is hospitality, leisure, read hotels, restaurants, landscaping, and construction. In all four of those industries, wages have declined over the past five years. Now, I want to hear more from these fools saying that the reason is a shortage of labor, that they encourage open borders and amnesty. Casey, thank you very much.
Well joining us now to talk about all this "feet to the fire" rally, one of the rally's leaders, radio talk show host Roger Hedgecock. He's one of the brains behind this rally. He's with KOGO in San Diego. The program also being simulcast I'm told over his station. Good to have you with us.
ROGER HEDGECOCK, KOGO IN SAN DIEGO: Thanks so much, Lou. I appreciate it.
DOBBS: Well Roger, you came up with quite an idea. I hope you're pleased with the turnout and the reaction of some of your fellow radio talk show hosts all around the country.
HEDGECOCK: It's been an incredible thing. I started a couple of years ago with me and a couple of hundred listeners paying their own way to come here and lobby Capitol Hill for sovereignty of our country, for controlling the borders, for jobs for Americans. And now we have nearly 50 talk show hosts here. We have got a lot of alliances built. We've got a lot of citizens coming forward to lobby. We've got in effect a "we the people moment" in American history.
DOBBS: Absolutely. And you're to be commended. The Federation for American Immigration Reform is to be commended. I know that you and I, our fellow radio talk show hosts, all of us who have been involved at the forefront of this issue for years now have taken a lot of heat. We have been called racists, xenophobes, all sorts of nastiness from groups that -- like the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has become a hate group of its own, referring to fair as a hate group simply because they want illegal immigration stopped and border security, port security put in place. How are you being received now?
HEDGECOCK: Well nationally, we both run up against this. And I'll tell you, it's a measure of our effectiveness. It's a measure of the unhappiness of the average American. The pragmatic middle of the road, problem solving, can-do American who has had it with the impacts of illegal immigration in their community.
The deteriorating schools, the filling prisons, the social costs, all the horrible stories that you know we have all talked about, and so I -- you know I wear the badge of their -- of their lies about us as an honor because it is an honor to see how much we are troubling these people who are enemies of sovereignty, who are enemies of our country, who want to open borders to the most -- in a national security moment, an open border is an invitation to suicide.
DOBBS: And unfortunately, the great enablers of that are the president the United States, George W. Bush, the Republican Party, the Democratic Party, the U.S. Congress now led by Democrats as well as the Republican-led Congress that preceded it, and of course both presidential candidates. Roger, thanks. Roger Hedgecock will be back with us this hour. And we look forward to that.
Also, pro illegal alien lawmakers stepping up their fight for amnesty, wide open borders. They have the outright support of corporate America and socio ethnocentric special interest groups. One lawmaker who opposes amnesty will join me. His is a lonely voice in this town as we continue our Independent Convention from "hold their feet to the fire", the rally here in Washington, D.C., put on by the Federation for American Immigration Reform, and they're not talking comprehensive. We'll be right back.
DOBBS: Welcome back to our Independent Convention. Pro-illegal alien members of Congress are determined, it seems, to ram amnesty down the throats of their colleagues in Congress and the American people. With the complete outright support of corporate elites, ethnocentric special interest groups, and some lawmakers are refusing, however, to be intimidated. Among those lawmakers is Jeff Frederick, he's the chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, a member of the Virginia General Assembly, and it is great to have you with us.
JEFF FREDERICK (R), CHMN., REP. PARTY OF VIRGINIA: Glad to be back.
DOBBS: Let me just ask you, first of all, as the head of the Republican Party of Virginia, to look at 23,000 people turning out for McCain and Palin, would you have imagined that a month ago?
FREDERICK: No, and it was pretty remarkable, I was there. It was a great event an the excitement that is now behind the Republican ticket is incredible. You know we are very excited about Governor Palin and the things that she's been able to do. We're very excited about John McCain and the things that's he's pushing...
DOBBS: One of the things I'm not excited about with John McCain is the fact that he is squirrelly as it can get on illegal immigration and border security.
FREDERICK: I talked to some of his campaign the other day about that. His position is that he heard from the American people last year when we had that debate here on Capitol Hill. And his position now is let's enforce our current laws. Let's do what the American people have asked us to do. And then before we do anything else.
DOBBS: Well, I was talking with Chris Plante here, one of the hosts here at the "Hold Their Feet to the Fire" rally. He talked with McCain and McCain said he has -- he insists on the pathway to citizenship, isn't insisting on border security first, and as I say is squirrelly.
I mean he's saying several different things. And I got to tell you John McCain isn't getting my vote because the man is not standing up on the issue of border security, port security, and he's continuing to serve the interests of corporate America that demands cheap labor and is disregarding American workers and their families in doing so.
I don't see how anybody can support John McCain or Barack Obama given their position against the American people because it is straightforwardly against the American people.
FREDERICK: Well again, like I said, John McCain's position right now that I have been told from his campaign is let's enforce our laws, let's get the laws on the books. Let's get the American people satisfied.
DOBBS: Jeff, no offense, I want to hear it from him. I want to hear it...
FREDERICK: I understand.
DOBBS: ... illegal immigration. The man is avoiding it, Obama is avoiding it on the campaign trail. And they are not showing any kind of leadership or courage or character necessary to take on the tough issues.
FREDERICK: Well and...
DOBBS: And that's a scary...
FREDERICK: But it's important to look at John McCain heard from the American people and he's now...
DOBBS: It's one thing to hear from, it's another to listen...
FREDERICK: That's true, but what has Obama done?
DOBBS: The same -- don't look at me. I mean these -- this is not my choice.
FREDERICK: Obama is very much in favor of amnesty. He's very much in favor...
DOBBS: Oh absolutely. What have we got? Degrees of how much they're in favor of amnesty? I want to hear better from leadership of both of them.
DOBBS: Let me turn, if I may, Jeff, to the next issue here and that is what in the world is going on with the Hispanic community in this country that they are allowing -- and we've got millions and millions of Hispanic Americans.
DOBBS: I'm with you.
DOBBS: Let's start with you. You know why are they permitting LULAC, La Raza, MALDEF, these organizations, they don't even have a half a million members amongst them all, to represent them as if the Hispanic community in this country, Hispanic Americans were somehow monolithic and completely wedded to what is an ethnocentric agenda.
FREDERICK: Well they're not monolithic. And that's part of the problem, is that you know you talk to a Mexican about an Argentine or vice versa and they are going to have probably...
DOBBS: A Mexican American or an Argentinean American.
FREDERICK: Well yes, they're probably going to have very little in common, and they'll admit to that. And the fact is that the Hispanic, the Latino community is not monolithic and these groups that come forward that try to speak...
DOBBS: This is no part of America. None of us are monolithic...
FREDERICK: Well but -- and these groups that come forward and try to speak on behalf of all Latinos in America, it's pretty absurd because they can't do it. And that's -- as I said...
DOBBS: That's what makes this country -- this little town work is because they pretend.
FREDERICK: That's right.
DOBBS: They pretend...
FREDERICK: That's exactly right. And as I said on your show the last time I was on, these groups as a Hispanic legislator in Virginia, I very rarely hear from these groups, I don't participate in these groups. They're not entity as a Hispanic American, as a legislator, as a state party chairman, they're a non-issue for me, non entity.
DOBBS: Well, Jeff, we appreciate you being here, as always. Thank you very much.
FREDERICK: Glad to be here.
DOBBS: We are crushed on time tonight, so thank you very much...
FREDERICK: Thank you for having me.
DOBBS: Up next here, Senators McCain and Obama refusing to defend American workers from the threat of cheap foreign labor. Not only illegal aliens, but oh, yeah, there are some folks who want about a half million new visas as well. We'll continue in one moment. Stay with us.
DOBBS: Welcome back. One thing the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates agree upon is cheap foreign labor. Both presidential candidates support expanding guest worker visa programs, programs that bring in cheap foreign labor at the expense of American workers. Bill Tucker has our report.
BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There is no shortage of programs to import foreign workers into the American economy. It's an alphabet soup. There's the B-1, the H-1A, the H-1B, the H-1C, the H-2A, the H-2B and the H-W. Then there's the O-series, 1, 2, and 3. The P's, 1, 2, 3, 4, and the Q's, 1, 2, and 3. And the R series, R-1 and R-2.
RON HIRA, ROCHESTER INST. OF TECHNOLOGY: What's happened is you have had this sort of visa creep, you know guest worker visa creep where ever time a constituency, a lobbyist, a special interest group is interested in you know getting cheaper workers, what they do is they invent a new visa category.
TUCKER: Which is how we got the TN visa included in the NAFTA trade agreement. The Chilean and Singaporean trade agreements created the H-1, B-1 visa and then there's the E-3 visa, exclusively for Australians. That's a total of 23 guest worker visa programs and at least one outstanding question.
PAUL ALMEIDA, AFL-CIO: So what advantage does a U.S. worker you know stand in this market?
TUCKER: And there is not a single study documenting the fact that we need all of these guest worker visa programs. But what we do have is eight straight months of rising unemployment and we have, Lou, a Congress ready to add more visas into this mix. Zoe Lofgren yesterday introduced a bill into the House to do what they call recapture 550,000 visas at a time when the unemployment rate in this country is 6.1 percent. They want to add another half million foreign workers into this economy.
DOBBS: Let me be as clear and emphatic as I possibly can be. This is my opinion. Your Congress is lying to you about the reason for these Visas. Your Congress is acting in absolute disregard of the national interests and the interests of working men and women in this country, and I think every one of them should be held accountable because this is duplicitous. We had a president parading around this country for years saying we need a guest worker program when we knew at the time there were 10 of them and the subsequent years we have been reporting on this, the list is now, what, 23? Twenty-three and I'm not even sure that's complete. A week going back and forth with the State Department who says Lou - the State Department says we don't know.
DOBBS: Well what this administration and what this government don't know would fill up this broadcast and many hours of programming on any network. The reason they don't know is it's inconvenient for them to let that information out. Let me be clear. This is unconscionable. This Congress and Zoe Lofgren, Nancy Pelosi should be held absolutely responsibility for what's happening. Also, the same bill that is moving through the United States Senate, I mean, folks, it's time to stop it. Either you care about this country, the American dream and fulfilling it for an entire generation of the next Americans, or you don't. This is the time to make it clear what you think. Bill, thank you very much. It's infuriating, absolutely infuriating.
Well last year, eight of the top 20 companies that requested those H1B visas were based in India. Those companies are in the business of outsourcing middle class jobs to bring in cheap labor from overseas and exploit the American worker. You can understand why they really need more of those visas. Time now for tonight's poll. Our question is, do you believe the presidential candidates' position on border security should be more important in this campaign than say, their race, religion or their gender? Yes or no. Cast your vote at LouDobbs.com. We'll have your results upcoming here.
And coming up next, insults and partisanship on the campaign trail. The presidential campaign, well, both campaigns focusing on gender and politics and ignoring the real issues facing the American people. Ignoring, avoiding, evading. Three radio talk show hosts here at the fair, hold their feet to the fire rally, will tell us what they think. We'll continue in one moment. Stay with us.
DOBBS: Joining me now, three of my favorite radio talk show hosts in the country. We're all here with about 50 of us, I guess, at this hold their feet to the fire rally, being which is under the auspices of the Federation for American Immigration Reform. I'm joined by Joe Madison, XM Radio. Joe, good to have you here. Fred Flannigan of WKRF in Waukegan, Illinois. The program also being simulcast over WKRF. So good to have you here. And back with us, Roger Hedgecock in San Diego. Roger, thank you for sticking around and thank you for organizing this.
You know, tomorrow, it's seven years since September 11th and this town acts like there's nothing -- nothing of a disconnect in the fact that our borders remain wide open, our ports wide open, that a million people cross our southern border illegally every year. Roger, what do you listeners think about the madness of the reality?
ROGER HEDGECOCK, KOGO IN SAN DIEGO: That it is that, madness. And I think we have been lucky, as Chertoff, Secretary Chertoff has said, we have been lucky, but we've also been proactive. I think the Bush administration has broken up a lot of these terrorist rings, but you've got to admit and I think Chertoff does, there's an element of luck when you leave you borders open, when you leave your ports open, when you aren't as vigilant in these areas as we have been, for instance, at the local airport.
DOBBS: What are we to make, Fred, of these two presidential candidates, Obama and McCain, and neither one of them has the guts to stand up and say, we have to stop illegal immigration, we've got to secure our borders, we have got to secure our borders?
FRED FLANNIGAN, WKRF IN WAUKEGAN: If you're looking for answers from the Republican or Democratic Party, you're wasting your time. The answer is an Independent candidates. Where that Independent candidate is, who he is, I don't know. If the question is immigration, immigration enforcement, immigration on a local basis, neither of these candidates are the answer.
JOE MADISON, XM RADIO: and the answer also is that the media has to really hone in on this issue. This dumbing down of America, this whole thing about the lipstick controversy was obviously the dumbest thing we could have spent our time on.
This issue of immigration, when I bring it up on my show, I can tell you I can spend four hours. People understand their wages are being undercut, they understand unemployment is being impacted. It is really the economic issue as well as a national security issue in the minds of most people out here, Republican, Democrat or Independent.
DOBBS: At the same time, Zoe Lofgren, the Democratic Party, Nancy Pelosi, the leadership of this Congress and Senator Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, advancing program initiative in this Congress to add another 550,000 visas that would bring in cheap foreign labor. By the way, those visa holders typically make 20 to 25 percent less than the American worker they replace. We know that most -- the largest number of companies seeking those visas are Indian companies based in India but who have offices here that are outsourcing work from American companies, taking those American jobs from the middle class. And we don't have congressmen, senators or a president with the guts or the care to say a word.
MADISON: And can I add one other thing? The impact that it's had on foreclosures, people losing their homes, and do you know today, I received an e-mail where in Michigan, I believe Macomb County, not too far from Detroit, there's a Republican leader suggesting that if your home was foreclosed on, you can't vote?
DOBBS: That's brilliant.
FLANNIGAN: Incredible on a local basis. I mean we literally in Cook County have a sanctuary county in Cook County. We have a de facto sanctuary state in the state of Illinois and no one has addressed this issue. The mainstream media won't touch it. We watched eight days of political conventions eight days. Did you hear this issue mentioned one time in those eight days, a single time?
DOBBS: Fred, that's why we're here. It's one of the reasons we're focusing on these issues. And I happen to agree with you. Until people understand that these two political parties are simply opposite wings of the same bird, we're in a lot of trouble in this country because these two parties are selling out to the highest bidder. And I'll say this for them, Roger, they're not going cheaply. About $3 billion a year are being spent in this town to crowd out the American people and deny them a voice and representation here.
HEDGECOCK: That's exactly right, Lou, and I think what the only thing we can do is we the people is to do what we did to the McCain/Kennedy amnesty bill, is whoever is in office, it doesn't matter. What we've got to do is say we the people are not going to put up with those kinds of invasions. We're not going to put up with the social problems. We're not going to put up with the community costs and the crime rates. We're going to demand that this government do what it should do. And that is constitutionally do, and that is protect our borders, our sovereignty, and our jobs.
MADISON: And you know, we all may not agree on everything. I mean, the two of us may have disagreements on certain things. But the one thing that we all agree on, it's funny, labor, Republicans, Democrats, big business, Chamber of Commerce are all in the same pile for the amnesty. And here's the reason why. They want the lowest wages they can find at our expense.
FLANNIGAN: This is a single issue, the single political issue that cuts across every demographic in the country. And we continue to be ignored by the national leadership.
DOBBS: And I think we all sense something is happening. There's a change of attitude on the part of the American people. They're awakening to a new reality here, a reality - well, the awakening is new, the reality has unfortunately been with us for a long time. It's been with us for a long time. Fred, thank you very much. We appreciate it. Thank you for putting all this together. You're to be commended and are commended from all of us. Thanks, Roger Hedgecock, thank you Fred Flannigan, Joe Madison.
Up next, the maverick mayor whose crackdown on illegal immigration in his town has made him a national hero. We'll be talking with Mayor Lou Bartella of Hazleton, Pennsylvania. By the way, he's running for Congress. And guess what? He's ahead. We'll be right back.
DOBBS: Welcome back. Mayor Lou Barletta of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, is one of the first to step out and insist that his community deal with the issue of illegal immigration because in his community, it was indeed a crisis. Mayor Barletta joins us here tonight. Good to have you with us. Let me start by saying that the legal appeals are about to be rendered in your case at the end of next month. What do you expect the judgment to be?
MAYOR LOU BARLETTA, HAZLETON, PA: October 31st and we're very excited. I believe the city of Hazleton will be vindicated and the cities -- many cities across the country will follow Hazleton's lead. We're very confident. DOBBS: Your community is in sharp contrast to say, San Francisco, to Hartford, Connecticut, to Los Angeles, sanctuary cities. What do you think the federal government -- you're running for Congress, what would you in Congress do about sanctuary cities?
BARLETTA: Well one of the first things I would do, Lou, is stop any federal funding to any city that declares itself a sanctuary city. This is anarchy for a mayor to take it upon himself to defy federal laws. We take an oath of office to protect and defend the people. That was one of the first things that we need to do. There should be no save havens for illegal aliens in the country.
DOBBS: It's sobering to think that Mayor Lou Barletta of Hazleton, Pennsylvania tries to deal with illegal immigration crisis, puts forward ordinances and is challenged by the ACLU, every special interest group in this amnesty open borders debate, and Hartford and San Francisco and L.A., there's not a legal challenge to them on any basis when they're actually contravening the will of the people and federal law.
BARLETTA: And you know what's more amazing, Lou, is that the ACLU, who is defending the illegal aliens who are suing the city, the plaintiffs are many of them are illegal aliens, are working pro bono for the illegal aliens. But they want the court to award them over $2 million from the good people of Hazleton to pay their legal fees. Something is wrong there that a mayor that wants to stand up for the rule of law is drug through the courts and other mayors are defying the laws.
DOBBS: And your community's, the city's budget is smashed by those heavy court costs. It's a very clear strategy. So far, it's worked in too many communities. Let's hope it works very poorly in Hazleton, Pennsylvania. And you're ahead in the polls in your congressional race. How about that?
BARLETTA: I am Lou and that's a little message for anyone around the country who believes that illegal immigration is still not an issue in the country. I'm going up against a 24-year-old incumbent who's heavily funded by many people down here.
DOBBS: Amazing how money and politics work. Mayor Lou Barletta, thanks for being here.
BARLETTA: Thanks Lou, always nice to talk to you.
DOBBS: Great to see you.
A reminder to vote on our poll. The question tonight is do you believe the presidential candidates on border security should be more important in the campaign than, say, their race, their religion, or gender. We would like to hear from you. Vote yes or no. Cast your vote at LouDobbs.com. We'll have the results in just a few moments. And coming up at the top of this hour, "THE ELECTION CENTER" with Campbell Brown. What are you working on?
CAMPBELL BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Well tonight in "THE ELECTION CENTER," Lou, we're taking a no bias, no bull look at the new Republican strategy, playing the victim card. I'm sure you know what we're talking about. Barack Obama's remark, if you put lipstick on a pig, it's still a pug. The Republicans calling foul now. Obama pushing back hard, and guess what? John McCain has used this phrase a few times, too. So we're going to have our political panel debrief on it and they've got a lot to say, all coming up on "THE ELECTION CENTER." Lou?
DOBBS: Don't forget to ask them about illegal immigration, border security, national sovereignty and security. It would be nice to hear about that, too, Campbell.
BROWN: Top priority. You're here. I'm over here. We'll merge them at one point and we'll get them all together in one room and hammer them, OK?
BROWN: I love it. Please join me as well on the radio Monday through Friday for the "Lou Dobbs Show." My guest tomorrow include Congressman Ted Poe of Texas on solving the illegal immigration crisis in the country. He has some ideas. And go to LouDobbsradio.com to find the local listings for the "Lou Dobbs Show" on the radio. Please join us.
And when the Independent Convention here continues, what's on the minds of independent Americans? They're changing our minds? We'll talk with three of the nation's best radio talk show hosts about what their listeners are saying. Stay with us. We'll be right back.
DOBBS: Well, welcome back. Joining me now are three radio talk show hosts. Here, to celebrate, I guess, is a way to participate in this rally, as I have been, here at the fair's hold their feet to the fire rally in support of those who are fighting against illegal immigration and demanding border security in this country.
I'm joined now by Pamela Furr WVNN in Huntsville, Alabama. Go NASA. And Bill Manders of KKOH, in Reno, Nevada. Bill, that's quite a town you're in, too, I like it. And Jon David Wells, KLIF in Dallas, Texas. Who doesn't like Dallas?
JON DAVID WELLS, KLIF IN DALLAS: Oh, I absolutely love Dallas, and everybody else does too. You ought to come, it's great.
DOBBS: Let's start with Pamela. How are your listeners, how are they reacting to the fact that neither of these presidential candidates is demanding, insisting and leading on the issue of illegal immigration, border security, national sovereignty and security?
PAMELA FURR, WVNN IN HUNTSVILLE: Well, they're reacting like I think most people are reacting across the country, with disgust. We have had in Alabama, in Huntsville, Alabama, a tragedy that happened in 2005 where a Huntsville police officer was shot and killed by an illegal immigrant. In fact, he had been deported and came back to our area and ended up -- it was a domestic call that the police officer actually responded to. And he was killed. Bonito Alvarion was his name, and he's been sentenced to death, but it shouldn't have happened, it should have happened. Our lawmakers let us down, and they're disgusted, absolutely disgusted.
DOBBS: Your thoughts, Bill?
BILL MANDERS, KKOH IN RENO: Derelict in their duties, our Congress and our senators. I've been talking about a revolution happening in this country for years. And I think what's happening right now instead of muskets and cannons, we're seeing maybe high heels, skirts and lipstick. It's going to change the country and I'll tell you it's about time. Because if you want to agree with the Shaw family, which I just did, their son Jamil was shot and killed by a gang banger who was illegal in this country and he had been in jail 24 hours before this.
DOBBS: This tragedy taking place in Los Angeles. It's also taking place simultaneously in the sanctuary cities, special order 40. You know, the Mayor Villaraigosa, his city council, the leadership in that community, it's disgusting.
MANDERS: You know Lou, I've got to tell you something. I grew up a little bit in Los Angeles for about 20 years. That town has changed so much since when I was down there. We're being invaded. We've got a war in Iraq going on, we understand that and Afghanistan. But we also have a war, an invasion going on in our country that we need to stop because if we don't, it will be our sons and grandsons and daughters who are going to suffer the consequences of all this. And you hear a story like that, it just needs to stop. We need to hold their feet to the fire.
DOBBS: What is the reaction in Dallas?
WELLS: Well, there are two-fold. One of the daughters in Texas was killed in Portland, Oregon, by an immigrant. I called the mayor of Portland, Oregon and just read him the riot act live and in color on the Wells Report and that has to happen more, not less. These people running these cities, these sanctuary cities need to be run to earth and say, OK, what are you going to pay this family? You're liable for this, buddy. This is your program because you decided that Portland be this wonderful sanctuary city. Now it's not just Portland. I have to say that I've got Dallas as a sanctuary city. I've got Ft. Worth as a sanctuary city.
DOBBS: Houston is a sanctuary city.
WELLS: Austin, San Antonio. We're in a position here where we watch these guys continually pursue anarchy and our government and our country is just worth more than that, frankly.
DOBBS: That's the way the American people certainly are.
FURR: It's the job of the government is supposed to keep us safe and to protect us and they're not doing that. And unfortunately, one day, we might be back with the story of our children losing their lives. DOBBS: And what is interesting to me, the people I hear from, it's not about whether they're conservative or whether they're a liberal or Republican or a Democrat. There is a strong feeling of -- I sense from my radio listeners, from the audience in this television broadcast, every day, saying simply what in the world has happened to a country that cannot even maintain its sovereignty, its national security of its border and its ports?
MANDERS: And Lou, you brought it up just a minute ago. Why are none of these candidates, the four candidates that are running for the highest office in the land, president and vice president, none are talking about the issue. Why?
DOBBS: They're scared to death and they're telling you how courageous they're going to be, how smart they're going to be.
MANDERS: We're not buying it.
FURR: I don't believe it.
DOBBS: Except for one thing, they're not going to represent the interests of the American people. Thank you all for being here.
MANDERS: Thank you Lou and thank you for what you do on this issue as well.
WELLS: Just doing the hard work that American politicians won't do.
DOBBS: There you go.
MANDERS: Remember skirts, high heels and lipstick are going to change it.
WELLS: Not for you Billy.
DOBBS: We're going to leave these folks to settle this among themselves as we take a quick break.
Former border patrol agents Ramos and Compean are still in prison and there's no excuse for that. This president, this Congress, they owe the American people an explanation and those two former border patrol agents a profound apology. We'll be right back.
DOBBS: Well, welcome back. Just an incredible miscarriage of justice has been carried out by the U.S. Justice Department in the conviction and imprisonment of former border patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean. Joining me now is Chuck Baldwin. He's the Constitution Party's presidential candidate, who's calling for a complete pardon for Ramos and Compean. And Monica Ramos, she is the wife of Ignacio Ramos. Monica, great to have you with us. First, how is Ignacio holding up?
MONICA RAMOS, WIFE OF IGNACIO RAMOS: I think quite difficult. There's been quite a bit of changes at the prison he's located at. So there's a few challenges that we're trying to get through at this time.
DOBBS: As you know, we support him totally, and your family totally. I know this is a horrible time for you and the family of Jose Compean as well. And we wish you all the best. And Chuck Baldwin, trying to get something done here, this is such an outrageous miscarriage of justice. They're wonderful congressmen who are working on behalf of these three former border patrol agents, but there are forces at work here that are defeating all of us. What can we done?
CHUCK BALDWIN, CANDIDATE, CONSTITUTION PARTY: Well the one thing that can be done is people can vote for Chuck Baldwin of president of the United States in 2008. And Lou, the first day that I take office is the last day that this lady's husband stays in jail. I will issue a pardon immediately upon assuming the White House.
I would be glad to go personally and open the door for these gentlemen. I will restore their jobs, should they wish they return to work. And I will do more than that. I will fire Johnny Sutton. I will use whatever force is necessary on the border to secure our borders. Lou, I say that all over America, not just on your show. I'm the only presidential candidate in 2008 that has a commitment to secure our borders.
DOBBS: Well that's extraordinary that any candidate would because put it close to your mind. Monica, when you hear Barack Obama and John McCain, not even discuss these issues.
RAMOS: It's quite disheartening. I mean, this is something that has taken over our nation. And if we don't stand up for what we believe in, and this clearly is an immigration issue here. We're going to lose the country, and people don't want to be walking in my shoes.
DOBBS: I can't imagine what it's like right now to be a border patrol agent knowing that you've got these folks in this administration in particular, pandering, playing, and accommodating to the government of Mexico for serving interests of the American people. It's incredible. We're out of time. Chuck Baldwin, good to have you with us. You know what, it's a good reason to vote for you. I like that reason.
DOBBS: Thank you, sir.
DOBBS: And Monica, thank you very much.
Tonight's poll results, 98 percent of you say the presidential candidates' positions on border security should be considered more important in the campaign than their race, religion, or even their gender. Imagine that. Thanks for being with us tonight. Thanks for voting in the poll. Join us here tomorrow. For all of us, we thank you for watching. Good night from Washington, D.C. "THE ELECTION CENTER" with Campbell Brown begins now. Campbell?