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LOU DOBBS TONIGHT

Socialist Showdown; Obama's Warning; Security Breaches in Ohio

Aired October 21, 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.
Tonight the political confrontation over economic policy and taxes on the campaign trail escalating as Obama pursuing a spread the wealth socialist agenda, three top economic figures join me.

And tonight troubling new concerns about the security and the integrity of our voting system, particularly in critical swing states, we'll have that special report.

And tonight, President Bush apparently determined to ram his so- called free trade agenda down the throats of the American people in the final days of his administration. Is anyone standing up for our middle class?

All of that, all the day's news and much more tonight from an independent perspective straight ahead here tonight.

ANNOUNCER: This is LOU DOBBS TONIGHT: news, debate, and opinion for Tuesday, October 21st. Live from New York, Lou Dobbs.

DOBBS: Good evening, everybody. The McCain campaign today launching an all-out attack on Senator Obama's ability to lead, McCain blasting Obama for being what he calls a job-killing socialist. McCain said America can't afford a president who needs to be tested on the economy or national security.

For his part, Senator Obama accused McCain of pursuing an outdated economic policy based on wishful thinking. We have extensive coverage tonight beginning with Dana Bash with the McCain campaign in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: USA...

DANA BASH, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): John McCain on a three-stop day in Pennsylvania, with an urgent plea to supporters.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We need to win in Pennsylvania on November the 4th, and with your help...

(APPLAUSE)

MCCAIN: ... with your help, we're going to win. BASH: McCain sources say winning Pennsylvania is a must because of alarming trends elsewhere. It looks increasingly tough for McCain in three recently Republican states, Colorado, New Mexico and Iowa. Together, those add up to 21 electoral votes. To make up for any losses there, he would have to win the 21 electoral votes that Pennsylvania delivers. A huge challenge, considering a Republican hasn't won the state in 20 years and an average of polls show McCain trailing Obama by 13 points.

MCCAIN: As he told Joe, he wants to, quote, "spread the wealth around".

BASH: Aides insist the tax message he's been pounding Obama with is resonating.

MCCAIN: Barack Obama's plan to raise taxes on some in order to give checks to others. It isn't a tax cut. It's just another government giveaway. We've got too much of that already.

BASH: And he's hitting his new theme, too. About Joe Biden telling donors that America's enemy would try to test Obama, like JFK during the Cuban missile crisis. McCain recalled sitting in his war plane on a Navy ship during that very crisis.

MCCAIN: I had a target. My friends, you know how close we came to a nuclear war. America will not have a president who needs to be tested. I've been tested, my friends.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BASH: And McCain aides insist their internal data shows that Pennsylvania is a lot tighter than what public polls show. That a lot of Democrats simply won't say who they're voting for and that bodes well for John McCain here because he is really relying on Hillary Clinton voters, those voters who voted for Clinton in the primary who simply may not want to vote for Barack Obama.

And Lou, Gloria Borger is reporting tonight that the Democratic governor of this state has actually written two memos to the Obama campaign saying that he really wants Obama to come back and campaign in this state and to bring the Clintons with him because Ed Rendell says that he's a little nervous about the fact that the polls may be tighter than they looked at least in a lot of these public polls that show that there is a very, very, very wide gap here -- Lou.

DOBBS: Well, is that a very, very wide gap or is Ed Rendell so nervous that he wants them back campaigning because internal polls show that it's closer?

BASH: Believe it or not, it's both. There is a wide gap. But I think the concern is that internal polls and frankly, there's concern that the polls aren't necessarily showing the reality here, particularly in western Pennsylvania. You talk to some McCain aides and others in the state and they say that the fact of the matter is that people in the state may not necessarily be telling pollsters the reality of how they're going to vote or maybe how they're not going to vote.

DOBBS: A refreshing inhibition on the part of those people being surveyed. Thank you very much. Appreciate it, Dana Bash.

Republicans tonight outraged by what they say is new evidence that Senator Obama and top Democrats are pursuing a socialist agenda. Congressman Barney Frank who chairs the House Financial Services Committee said he supports higher taxes to pay for a new stimulus package.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. BARNEY FRANK (D), FINANCIAL SERVICES CHMN.: Personally I think there are a lot of very rich people out there whom we can tax at a point down the road and recover some of this money.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOBBS: Those tax -- those new taxes, of course, were for wealthy people. Frank's comments follow remarks by Senator Obama to plumber Joe saying he wants to spread the wealth as he put it. And Obama's running mate Senator Joe Biden says it would be patriotic for wealthier Americans to pay more taxes. All of this say the Republicans evidence of Obama's tax and spend socialist policies.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCCAIN: Senator Obama is measuring the drapes. And planning with Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid to raise taxes, increase spending...

(BOOING)

MCCAIN: ... take away your -- your right to vote by secret ballot in labor elections.

(BOOING)

MCCAIN: And concede defeat in Iraq.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH PALIN (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Barack Obama calls it spreading the wealth. And Joe Biden calls higher taxes -- he calls that patriotic. But "Joe the Plumber" said -- "Joe the Plumber" said it sounded to him like socialism.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOBBS: "Joe the Plumber" must have never dreamed he'd be the one being quoted primarily on this campaign trail. Obama, however, insists he's not a socialist and his economic plan he says will give 95 percent of working Americans a tax cut. Republicans say that's spreading the wealth.

Well Pennsylvania Democratic Congressman Jack Murtha tonight facing a new controversy of his making just a week after he called his own constituents racist. Murtha apologized for those remarks, but now in a new television interview, Murtha said southwest Pennsylvania is "red neck" territory or at least it was until a few years ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN MURTHA (D), PENNSYLVANIA: This whole area years ago was really "red neck". I think the older people, they're hesitant. You know they don't want -- they want change, but they don't want to see things go too far.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOBBS: Murtha said some people will have a real problem voting for Obama in this election. One reason he says Obama's comments in April about small town residents in Pennsylvania and other states. Obama calling them bitter people who cling to guns and religion when they -- when he was speaking at a private fund-raiser in front of liberal donors in San Francisco.

Senator Biden today launching a scathing attack of his own on the McCain campaign for bombarding voters with pro-McCain phone calls. Biden said the calls distract voters from the very serious issues facing this country.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOSEPH BIDEN, (D-DE) VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I say, John, stop your ads. Bring down those robo-calls. If it's about the economy, argue about the economy. Not about Barack Obama's character. Not about these scurrilous ads. John, stop these calls.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOBBS: Meanwhile, Senator Obama today issued a blunt warning about Senator McCain's economic policies as he campaigned in Florida for a second straight day. Candy Crowley has our report from Miami.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Florida, day two, the economy, 24/7, Bush/McCain as one.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They've offered a little more than willful ignorance, wishful thinking, out- dated ideology. CROWLEY: Mostly in these final weeks in the campaign, Barack Obama has moved from rally to rally in front of big crowds, but with foreclosures and joblessness way up in Florida, the economy is particularly potent here so Obama changed it up. In an overheated gym in Palm Beach County, he hosted a panel with former Fed Chief Paul Volcker and a bevy of battleground governors to discuss short and long term economic solutions laced with assaults on McCain.

OBAMA: ... I heard Senator McCain say I'm more concerned with who gets your piece of the pie than with growing the pie. But make no mistake about it, after eight years of Bush/McCain economics, the pie is shrinking...

CROWLEY: While Obama went wonky in heavily Democratic territory, his wife was dispatched to Republican land, the conservative northwestern panhandle. She sells hope, casting a wide net, courting Pensacola's military voters, young people from nearby University of West Florida.

MICHELLE OBAMA, BARACK OBAMA'S WIFE: And I want to hear it from the not so young folks.

(APPLAUSE)

CROWLEY: Seniors.

M. OBAMA: This happens to me everywhere I go, you see somebody in their 80s. And they -- sometimes with tears streaming from their eyes, they look at me and they grab my hand and they say, Michelle, I never thought I'd live to see the day.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CROWLEY: Lou, as you might be able to see, Barack Obama moved from that economic panel here to Miami where he had a huge rally. And I have to tell you because you've been so on this story, he did say tonight that he -- despite what Senator McCain says, he, Obama, has nothing but love for "Joe the Plumber".

DOBBS: OK. Well, I think everybody's starting to love "Joe the Plumber". He's the most articulate of all the candidates in this race in my humble opinion. OK, it's not so humble. But it's still my opinion. Candy, how big was the crowd there today?

CROWLEY: You know, we haven't gotten the official numbers, but I can...

(CROSSTALK)

CROWLEY: ... it was huge. It's hard to tell where we are...

DOBBS: Right.

CROWLEY: ... just because we're kind of on the ground level, so you wait for those aerial shots and then the sheriff or somebody tells you. But there were plenty of people here.

DOBBS: OK. Thanks a lot, Candy -- Candy Crowley reporting with the Obama campaign in Miami tonight.

Coming up next here, more on the presidential campaign, pro- amnesty, open border groups intensifying their campaign to influence the outcome of this election and startling new evidence of possible election fraud in a critical swing state -- imagine that -- and I'll be joined by three top radio talk show hosts to assess what is happening to us in this country as we wind down toward Election Day. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: Officials in Ohio tonight saying hackers broke into the secretary of state's Web site. Ohio state officials reported several security breaches of the Web site that contain sensitive election and voter data in the secretary of state's office. As Kitty Pilgrim now reports, this is only the latest evidence of possible election fraud in this critically important battleground state.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Take your driver's license...

KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Two weeks before the election in Ohio, the secretary of state's database has been hacked and there are increasing allegations of voter fraud. This morning, the secretary of state's Web site was down with this notice.

Full functionality will be restored when we are assured that all data has been protected and restored to acceptable levels of security. Today, the secretary of state did not explain what information had been compromised in Monday's hacking, but late today, a spokesman said they do not believe the hack compromised the voter registration base.

Voter activists say there are no federal requirements for testing or regulations on how secure voter databases have to be. Each state sets their own standards.

CANDICE HOKE, CENTER FOR ELECTION EXCELLENCE: We're very much concerned about the security of the database for voter registrations, not only in Ohio, but nationwide. These voter registration data bases were not designed with the kinds of security protections that are expected of high assurance systems.

PILGRIM: Some cyber security experts say it's impossible to tell so soon what was compromised in Ohio.

JEREMY EPSTEIN, CYBER SECURITY EXPERT: This isn't the sort of thing that you answer in 15 seconds or in 15 minutes to find out whether there's been a serious problem. It takes a detailed forensic investigation to figure out what happened and what the damage was.

PILGRIM: This is just the latest in a series of computer-based voting record problems in Ohio. State wide, an estimated 200,000 voting records don't match Social Security records or driver's licenses.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PILGRIM: And now Hamilton County (ph) has appointed a special prosecutor to investigate allegations of voter fraud with records of people who registered and voted on the same day during the early voting period. That ended on October 6th. Secretary of State Brunner's message is she has full confidence in Ohio voting, Lou.

DOBBS: Well that must be of immense reassurance to the people of Ohio. Thank you very much, Kitty -- Kitty Pilgrim.

Well, Ohio is one of 33 states mandating paper ballot audit trails. That leaves 17 states at risk. Six states and you see them there in red do not use individual paper ballot audit trails at all. That means good luck with the recount. The other 11 states use a mix of paper voting ballot systems and electronic voting systems that don't have paper trails either. Again, good luck with any necessary recount. You can find a full list of states that do and do not have voting paper trails on our Web site at loudobbs.com.

In early voting in West Virginia voters are now reporting electronic voting machines changed their votes from Senator Obama to Senator McCain. These machines are the very same machines that had problems in Ohio in 2004. Brian Todd has our report from Ripley, West Virginia.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Calvin Thomas has voted in West Virginia since Truman beat Dewey. He's 81 years old now and his eyesight is deteriorating. But when he tried to vote early in his home town of Ripley and brought his daughter Micki Clendenin into the booth to help him, Thomas' vision wasn't the problem.

CALVIN THOMAS, JACKSON CO., WEST VA. VOTER: I went in there and pushed the Democrat ticket and it jumped to the Republican ticket on the president of the United States.

TODD: Micki helped her dad touch the screen a couple of times, but his vote for Barack Obama still clicked on John McCain. Then it happened to Micki. Each time, poll workers had them repeat the process.

MICKI CLENDENIN, JACKSON CO., WEST VA. VOTER: And the lady came in and she just -- she very nicely, she just said, oh, she said it's just been doing that. (INAUDIBLE) just hit it again, so we hit it again and this time it did go to Obama.

TODD: At least five voters reported the same problem in two West Virginia counties. State and local officials tell us these were isolated cases that each time poll workers fixed the problem and the correct vote was cast. The machines manufactured by a company called ES& S (ph) will be used in several states this year and were among those that had problems in Ohio in 2004. Company officials tell us they've inspected the machines in West Virginia and nobody has cast an inaccurate vote. In Ripley, West Virginia, we weren't allowed to film the actual machines that had problems but Jackson County clerk Jeff Waybright took us through the process with an identical machine and zeroed in on what he thinks happened.

VOICE OF JEFF WAYBRIGHT, JACKSON CO., WEST VA. CLERK: They touched on Barack Obama or they thought they were touching, but their finger may possibly rolled up. Now if I roll my finger down, you can see that it looks like my finger is definitely on Barack Obama's box.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TODD: Now, the West Virginia secretary of state's office tells us it believes some of these problems may have stemmed from these machines not being calibrated properly. Essentially that means the electronic boxes not being aligned correctly. Jeff Waybright disputes that notion, saying in this county, in Jackson County, all his machines were calibrated perfectly. He says in the end he believes this was voter error and he completely rejects the insinuation that these machines are being manipulated along political lines -- Lou.

DOBBS: Well my goodness if -- well he's got such obviously an objective and impartial position from which to categorically make such a statement, right?

TODD: He is a Republican but and so is the gentleman who runs the voting in the next county, in Putnam County. They both have told us that's absurd to think that they are manipulating this along political lines. I mean Jeff Waybright told us if I tried to you know kind of jigger this machine in one way or the other, he said I wouldn't even know how to do it. And he said he would be caught essentially if he did it. He said he'd be prosecuted. There would be no reason for him to do it.

DOBBS: Well, there are all sorts of explanations as to why these voting machines are not working properly in state after state across this country, the number of incidents. Is the secretary of state there in West Virginia, what are they doing to assure the integrity of the election?

TODD: Well, they say that they're coming to all these precincts where there have been problems reported. They're checking it out. They're trying to calibrate the machines properly, make sure they're calibrated OK. They're telling us that these are really isolated, that in their checks of these machines, everything checks out.

But Lou, as you know, with voter turnout expected to be what it is, even in a remote state like this, you know some of these machines could cause problems if there is a big backup. And there aren't enough poll workers to kind of correct the problems it could really back up in a lot of areas.

DOBBS: Brian, hank you very much -- Brian Todd, appreciate it. Well, early voting is under way in many other states as well. And long lines at many polling places in Florida. Some voters are waiting more than three hours to cast those early ballots. One congressman, Kendrick Meek, is demanding that Florida's state government install additional voting machines because of those long lines.

And in Texas, a big increase in early voting that started yesterday, compared with the last election four years ago. More than 340,000 people voted in Texas' 15 largest counties, nearly twice as many as in the first day of 2004.

In California, some early voters there didn't have to stand in line. They did it the California way. They didn't have to leave their cars. That's right, an electronic drive-thru polling station. It doesn't get better than that.

Orange Country -- Orange County voters could either register or they could cast ballots. Election officials say it was a one-day offer to help offset the crowds expected next month. And if you notice any trouble at your polling place on Election Day, we want to hear about it. Please call CNN's voter hot line, 1-877-462-6608. And you can find the number on our Web site at loudobbs.com.

Up next, more American jobs at risk, President Bush pushing free trade in the final days of his presidency. We'll have that story.

And pro-amnesty special interest groups going all out trying to influence the outcome of this election, we'll have that special report and a great deal more next. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: Ethnocentric special interest groups working overtime trying to advance their amnesty agenda in the final days before the election. Advocates of amnesty for illegal aliens this week are holding protests, rallies, demonstrations, news conference and hunger strikes as well. They're demanding rights for illegal aliens trying to influence as well the outcome of this election. Casey Wian has our report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): About 50 people are camped out in downtown Los Angeles in the seventh day of a hunger strike -- their goal, to persuade a million people to sign a pledge to vote for amnesty for illegal aliens.

PASTOR ABEL LARA, LA PLAZA METHODIST CHURCH: What's wrong with our system right now is that basic human rights are being ignored. People are being abused. You know we see families that are being ripped apart.

WIAN: Hunger strikers are also demanding an end to work-site raids and other federal immigration law enforcement efforts. RAUL ANORVE, IMMIGRANT COMMUNITY ORGANIZER: It doesn't matter how much enforcement you do, people are still going to come because of the displacement of their hometowns by the global economy.

WIAN: Both presidential candidates have mostly avoided talking about immigration reform. Still, protesters say they can influence policy after the election by sparking a large Latino voter turnout.

DOLORES HUERTA, CO-FOUNDER, UNITED FARM WORKERS: We're calling on the president and the Congress to listen to the please and understand the anguish that our community has gone through and we're asking them to please give us a legalization bill.

WIAN: Dozens of pro-amnesty groups are mobilizing this week to encourage America's newest citizens to vote. The "We are America" alliance which declined our request for an interview says it has registered over a half million new immigrant voters since last year.

In 2006, hundreds of thousands of amnesty advocates marched in opposition to a proposed federal law seeking to crack down on illegal immigration. Their rallying cry, "Today we March, Tomorrow we Vote". Now they say tomorrow has arrived.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WIAN: Even left-leaning ACORN which is under fire for registering nonexistent voters, including Mickey Mouse, is holding a press conference tomorrow with a Latino advocacy group called (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE) or "My Family Votes". They claim there's a concerted effort in key battleground states to suppress the votes of what they call communities of color -- Lou.

DOBBS: All right, thank you very much, Casey -- Casey Wian.

Well, a dead gold fish offered the chance to vote in Chicago. Beth Noodleman (ph) says she received voter registration material for her dead fish Princess. Noodleman (ph) says she thinks Princess landed on a mailing list because she used the pet's name to get a second telephone line.

It's believed the paperwork somehow came from the Women's Voices, women vote project which admits using a list that they say may have included pets. That mailing has already generated more than 63,000 returned voter registrations.

Time now for some of your thoughts; Brad in Michigan, "Thank you very much for reporting in a nonbiased way. It was so nice to see your story about 'Joe the Plumber', as he represents not only me but millions of other working middle class Americans. Go 'Joe the Plumber'." You bet.

And Robert in Connecticut, "Lou, your independent approach to the serious issues affecting the American impacting the American people has won over both me and my wife. We tune in every night to hear the truth and get a good laugh as we agree with your honest bashing of the idiots and government and business. Please keep up the great work." Thank you.

We'll have more of your thoughts here later. Each of you whose e-mail is read here receives a copy of my new book "Independents Day: Awakening the American Spirit" now available in paperback.

Up next, the battle over Senator Obama's push to spread the wealth, three of the best economic thinkers join me to see whether that makes sense at all.

And Senator Biden says President Obama could be tested by an international crisis within six months of taking office. Three of my favorite radio talk show hosts join me.

And the Bush administration at it again, never too late apparently for this administration -- the Bush administration pushing so-called free trade, hoping, I suppose, that no one will notice. We did. So will you. We'll have a special report next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: President Bush is at it again, playing free trade as president. When President Bush took office, there were three free trade agreements. Today, there are agreements with 14 countries, president Bush hoping to add to that list before he leaves office but what could be at a high cost. The free trade agreement has cost millions of Americans jobs. Lisa Sylvester has our report.

LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Bush has less than 100 days in office. His remaining time, he and his cabinet members are actively pushing to enact trade agreements with Columbia, South Korea and Panama.

Last Thursday at a White House signing ceremony ...

PRES. GEORGE BUSH, UNITED STATES: The trade agreements will strengthen our relationship.

SYLVESTER: Today at a summit on national development.

BUSH: I believe the world ought to send a clear signal that we remain committed to open markets.

SYLVESTER: Recent job markets have pushed unemployment up. In some states, unemployment is hovering near 8 percent. The current crisis has not stopped the administration's relentless push for trade agreements. Supporters say these trade deals will help the U.S. economy grow and provide new markets for U.S. exports. The Columbia trade deal is currently before the House Representatives. And the white house hopes for a vote when congress returns after the election.

AUGGIE TANTILLO, MANUFACTURERS TRADE ACTION COA.: And it's a legacy vote, so to speak, for President Bush. He would like to have that agreement done on his watch.

SYLVESTER: These trade agreements beginning with the North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA have led to thousands of American jobs being sent overseas. Teamster general president Jim Hoffa held a news conference outside a shattered factory where the Mr. Coffee maker was once produced.

JIM HOFFA, TEAMSTERS: We're sick and tired of American jobs being shipped overseas. This box shows you what's going on. Mr. Coffee, look what it says on the bottom. "Made in China." That's what's wrong. We need it made in America by Americans for Americans.

SYLVESTER: Hoffa says at a time when middle class families are being crushed by the current financial crisis, now is not the time to ship more jobs offshore.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SYLVESTER: But with Mr. Bush leaving the office, the trade issue will fall to the next president. Senator McCain says the U.S. should engage in multi-lateral and bilateral efforts to reduce barriers for trade. Senator Obama has questioned the trade deals saying they have led to job losses in the United States. And he says he wants to have labor and environmental protections included in future trade agreements. Lou?

DOBBS: Lisa, thanks very much. Lisa Sylvester from Washington.

Well, joining me now, three of the country's best economic thinkers. David Smick, author of "The World is Curved, Hidden Dangers to the Global Economy," Peter Morici professor at the Robert A. Smick University of Maryland, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, David Cay Johnston "Author Of Free Lunch, How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government's Expense." Good to have you here.

Let me turn to you here. First of all, we're hearing talk of a $300 billion additional economic stimulus package, another half trillion dollars going out from the fed. David, is all of this a really grade idea economically?

DAVID SMICK, AUTHOR, "THE WORLD IS CURVED": Well, it's funny, if they come up with a stimulus package that they did recently with that $150 billion for tax credits for Hollywood and the rest of the taxpayers ought to be with pitchforks marching on Washington. I think the only argument in favor of any stimulus right now is if it went directly to help people borrow and to help small businesses borrow. Other than that, the pork and all the other public works stuff, it wouldn't arrive in time and be an expansion of the deficit.

DOBBS: David Cay Johnston?

DAVID CAY JOHNSTON, PULITZER PRIZE WINNER: I'm beginning to wonder if our parents lied to us when they told us there was no money tree in the backyard. If we're going to have another stimulus, I certainly dislike this idea. The worst thing we can do is write people $300 checks again. There are points that are pinch points that are damaging the economy, and we need to fix those. But that's sort of not the first order of business that we need to focus on.

DOBBS: What is the first order? JOHNSTON: Well, wages and incomes in this country. That's the fundamental problem.

DOBBS: And Professor Morici, what can we do about it?

PROF. PETER MORICI, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND: Well, if we want to do something about wages and income, I can see a stimulus package as a down payment on a larger infrastructure program. If we're really going to get it in the business of building out new energy sources, both conventional and alternative we need both, rejuvenating the automobile industry, strengthening our schools. A lot of schools are in very bad shape. And a stimulus package is a down payment on that while the government gets engaged on an extensive program. That makes sense. People bought a few restaurant meals and it's gone. If we're going to do something, let's do something with a legacy that creates employment.

DOBBS: All right. Let's talk about that. We've got a president running around for eight years that is telling us we've got to have an illegal population of 20 million people because Americans don't want to do those kinds of job. We've got a congress talking about infrastructure spending, and I don't think people can argue with much at least in terms of the merits until you think, well, who's going to be filling those jobs? American citizens or illegal aliens? What's going on here? And who is going to resolve that? David Smick, why don't you take the first crack at it?

SMICK: Yes, I've got to tell you, if you do a back of the envelope assessment of what's going on, if you add the bank bailout, the Wall Street bailout, and the first $300 billion package and another $300 billion stimulus package then you factor in a bailout for the auto industry. And then with you a recession likely next year, you can see easily a deficit of $1.5 trillion. How that's not going to affect long-term interest rates, I don't know. I think long-term interest rates are going to go. You I'll tell you the danger for the United States is we repeat the Japan scenario of the 1990s. Where the banks, instead of lending, they borrow money from the fed for next to nothing on the short end. And the long rates stay high. And they buy government debt and they take that spread as their profit and they don't lend to the private sector. It happened in Japan. When you're talking a $1.5 trillion deficits in one year.

DOBBS: We're already it looks to me as you put it back at the envelope calculation, we're already at $2 trillion right now in new spending.

David Cay Johnston, you did an analysis of new wage data. You found a third of workers in this country make $15,000 or less. 76 percent of workers in the United States make less than $50,000. I mean, what in the world are we doing with middle class jobs in this country?

JOHNSTON: Well you hit upon, Lou, this core problem. It turns out, this data set, none of us who studied this knew it was around, shows how concentrated the gains have all been at the top. And the reason that a lot of Americans won't do various kinds of jobs in various kinds of factories is the wages are so low. There are all sorts of employers not paying the minimum wage because they have this pool of labor. We need a strategy that reward people based on the value they add to the enterprise. Think about that, one half of American workers, basically, make less than $500 a week.

DOBBS: It's incredible. Professor Morici, you get the last view here. The fed putting up another half a trillion dollars to shore up our credit markets. Will it work this time? I mean, where in the world is this going to end?

MORICI: It's not going to work again until they do something to make the banks responsible and start making loans again so that the New York banks make it possible for the regional banks to access credit.

But if we're going to have a stimulus package, then we need to emphasize those industries that are arrest high-quality jobs that Americans really want to do. If we did things to rejuvenate the energy sector, we'd be creating the kinds of jobs that autoworkers are losing right now, if we did things in the auto sector, gee, they pay pretty well. Even in the Nissan factories they pay well.

DOBBS: All right. Thank you very much. David Smick, David Cay Johnston, Peter Morici, thank you, gentlemen.

Up next, we'll be exploring the charges of socialism on the campaign trail. Three of the best radio talk show hosts in the country will assess that charge.

And falling behind in the space race? We're not even close. India on its way to the moon. We'll be right back with that. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: A new global space race in the United States not invited, apparently. Communist China had its first space walk recently. Russia renewing its commitment to space exploration. India planning a map of the surface of the moon. One nation conspicuously absent, of course, United States. Bill Tucker with our report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: India is on its way to the moon. The goal to provide a three-dimensional chemical and mineralogical map of the entire lunar surface partially to seek new energy sources. The Chinese who also have a probe orbiting the moon have a similar mission. They're pushing towards putting a man on the moon. Just last month, they successfully completed their third mission in space. Observers say the Chinese and the Indians see their space programs as a way to achieve international prestige but it's more than that.

GORDON CHANGE, AUTHOR, "COMING COLLAPSE OF CHINA": The Chinese have a very strategic view of space. On the list of space priorities, the harnessing of minerals on the moon is dead last for us. For China, it's pretty close to the top. TUCKER: The strategic view also has a military edge with the Chinese pointedly shooting down one of the weather satellites last year to underscore the growing expertise and potential threat in space. At a time when the Japanese are launching lunar probes of their own and the Russians are publicly committing themselves to further manned space missions, the United States space program appears in decline.

JOHN TKACIK, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: The last shuttle mission will be 2010. It does not look to me like the next administration, whether it's going to be Obama's or McCain's is interested in spending the vast amounts of money that would be needed to keep the shuttle running until we get the next manned missions up.

TUCKER: This could mean the U.S. would be without manned missions for nearly a decade after the last shuttle flies. Experts say it creates the appearance that the United States is losing its edge in space development.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TUCKER: Now, the United States, for now, is the clear leader in space exploration. What concerns observers, however, is that we are not as focused on goal achievement as we once were and that the will which propelled the United States to be the first in space, the first in the moon has given way to a sort of "been there done that" attitude. It could prove costly in maintaining our lead, Lou.

DOBBS: Been there, done that 40 years ago with the landing on the moon almost. The sad part is, we're dependent on the Russians to get up to the space station. Over $2 trillion to stimulate this economy, what could we have done with all the investment in space technology and all the benefits that accrued from that investment over the past century? It's short sightedness and a sad eclipse of a wonderful space program. Thank you very much, Bill Tucker.

At the top of the hour, Campbell Brown, no bias no bull. Campbell, what are you working on?

CAMPBELL BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Hey there Lou. Well things are happening out there. Never mind what the polls show, John McCain says he has a real shot at turning this around. Pennsylvania being the key to this. Democrats from Pennsylvania starting to get a little worried. We'll take you inside the McCain strategy.

Also coming up at the top of the hour, CNN's exclusive, Sarah Palin sits down for her first in-depth CNN interview. Our special investigations correspondent Drew Griffin asked her, point blank, is Barack Obama a socialist. We're going to see you in just a few minutes.

Lou?

DOBBS: Thank Campbell.

And a reminder to join me on the radio Monday through Friday for the Lou Dobbs Show. Tomorrow, my guests include Professor Paul Rubin from Emery University. We'll be talking about the economy and this evening's poll ratings, likely President Obama, get ready for the new new deal. Go to loudobbsradio.com to get the listings in your area.

And up next, voting registrations might somehow influence the outcome of the election.

And Joe Biden warns the world will test Senator Obama if he wins the presidency. What was Senator Biden thinking? I'll be talking about that and more with three of the country's best radio talk show hosts. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: Joining me now, three of the best radio talk show hosts in the country. From WOR in New York, John Gambling, Sirius XM Radio's Joe Madison. And Texas State Senator Dan Patrick heard on KSEV 700 a.m. in Houston and KBCE, 1160 am in Dallas. Good to have you.

SEN. DAN PATRICK (R), TEXAS STATE SENATE: Good to be here, Lou. Thank you.

DOBBS: Well, it looks like this race is over. On a given day, you look at these polls; I mean it looks like this is a done deal, kept for the battleground poll which shows a one-point lead for Obama. What's going on?

PATRICK: It's a long way from over, Lou. I think we'll have a closed vote at the end of the day, electorally, we'll see one or other break out and be close to 300 electoral votes. I believe it will be John McCain. I believe America is embracing Barack as a socialist. They now see this plan of Joe the Plumber. I'm going to take your money, Joe, and give it to people who dropped out Joe, and give it to people who dropped out of school, don't have a job and don't pay taxes. That's not the American dream. Barack is redefining the American dream as drop out of work and get a check from someone else who does and McCain will win this in the end with a late surge, I think.

DOBBS: John Gambling, do you see it exactly the same way?

JOHN GAMBLING, WOR: I'm not sure I do. I'm a McCain supporter and I would hope that it would go his way, but I have to look at the numbers and you have to look at what's going on here, and I think it looks at this point that Barack Obama could very well be the next president of the United States.

DOBBS: Or you think 300 electoral votes for him rather than McCain?

GAMBLING: It could be that way.

JOE MADISON, SIRIUS XM RADIO: I'm out of breath. I mean, I'm sitting here. Did I hear someone say drop out of school? Where did Barack Obama -- every speech I've heard he's emphasized in -- Don't interrupt me. He's emphasized the importance of education and staying in school. Look, stick a fork in McCain. He's done.

PATRICK: Joe, you're so wrong. He's not done and the reason he's not done is because Barack has continued to over poll. He did so against Hillary. He was even ahead and would end up losing those states to Hillary. He barely got across the finish line. McCain has made a lot of mistakes.

MADISON: That's an understatement.

PATRICK: Joe, the fact that Barack Obama has not been able to open up a solid 10, 12, 15-point lead says America is not ready to embrace socialism or inexperience. Colin Powell talked about --

MADISON: America has embraced socialism when they helped to bail out Wall Street.

PATRICK: I didn't think that was a good vote, Joe.

MADISON: Well, your candidate voted for it.

PATRICK: I -- look, I agree, Joe --

DOBBS: But let John get in here. He's got a dog in this hunt, too.

GAMBLING: I would agree with Dan on the point that Obama has not been able to break away. If he is the candidate that he says he is and his supporters say he is, he would be further ahead than he is.

DOBBS: That's an interesting -- that's a very interesting point and one they think is -- historically, it says that and one they're trying to come to terms with. We're watching a man spend four times as much money as the other fellow in this race. We've never seen anything like that. That's never been done.

PATRICK: It's a fair question. Why hasn't he been able to break away? It's because America is not comfortable with his inexperience and his socialist policies and Joe the plumber walked up the wrong driveway.

MADISON: I don't even think -- when people use this word socialism I wish they would define it because if you look in the dictionary you'd see Wall Street. You know? And let's be -- let's -- well, let's be quite honest about this. Look, I have -- I've warned my audience, be very careful and I just broke my own rule. Don't get comfortable saying it's over because --

DOBBS: You just warned your audience. You just said stick a fork in it.

MADISON: Only in defense of this foolishness.

PATRICK: What's foolish? MADISON: Any time anybody gets on national television and says Barack Obama is encouraging kids to drop out of school to get a welfare check.

PATRICK: Don't be a liberal and put words into my mouth. What I said is Barack Obama is redefining the American dream.

MADISON: Would we hit replay?

PATRICK: He's redefining the American dream that you can get a check --

GAMBLING: Will you get into this conversation? You'll get into it at least.

GAMBLING: Well, good. I'm glad to hear that, at least because I think Barack Obama is not putting an end to the American dream. He has some ideas that I completely and totally disagree with when it comes to economically. When he wants to raise taxes on anybody considering our financial institutions and where we are today it makes no sense to me whatsoever on any level. He's not the devil that Dan is trying to paint him to be.

DOBBS: Maybe he is the devil. We're not going to rule that out yet.

PATRICK: I'm not saying it's a bad idea.

DOBBS: Dan -- calm down everybody because we'll take a commercial break and we'll be back with this panel and I'm going to be so in charge. Stay with us. Will be worth waiting for, believe me.

PATRICK: I'll be waiting.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: We're back with Joe Gambling, John Madison and Dan Patrick.

John, I want to turn to you first. We now have this president coming out for free trade, pushing the Colombian free trade agreement. It was quiescent. Obama surging in the polls approximate. Is this designed to further damage John McCain's chances?

GAMBLING: Well, I don't know. I don't think it will help John McCain at all because, of course, they've been hammering -- Obama has been hammering away at McCain the whole time that his pet name is George Bush and I don't think it's going to bode well for John McCain.

DOBBS: The very idea --

GAMBLING: I can't imagine why he would do this.

DOBBS: We have some really screwy things happening in the election and one of them is Jack Murtha talking about the residents in western Pennsylvania are racist and now he's backed off apologizing saying they're rednecks.

GAMBLING: He's a poster child for term limits. He will be one of the reasons McCain could win Pennsylvania. Some of Barack's friends aren't exactly helping him by their -- including his vice presidential running mate. He's going to be tested in six months.

DOBBS: Where are John McCain's friends been? I mean I have not seen anybody out on the campaign trail. I've seen Lieberman out there a little. We saw Giuliani today say something, Mitt Romney, but there's no one else.

PATRICK: They're concerned, Lou, he might lose and people don't want to be attached to a loser. I'm not suggesting -- it would be foolish to suck suggest that McCain would win this race, but those who think this is over are mistaken. You get the last word.

MADISON: Think what will happen after November 4th, I think we will also have a voting machine and voting precinct and voting meltdown. It will not be over November 4th, I guarantee you it will not be over.

GAMBLING: There are hundreds of lawyers in Ohio already.

DOBBS: That's what we always -- please us all, right? Wait a minute, Dan, please. We all agree that anything that provides employment for lawyers is a good thing, right? John, thank you very much. Dan Patrick, thank you very much. John Madison, thank you.

And real quickly, just a few thoughts from our viewers.

Lori in Florida saying, "Lou I'm hooked. I watch your show every night. I appreciate your opinions. You say what I wish I could say."

And Razvan in Minnesota, "I'm a high school student and I love watching your shows for a fair political perspective for my AP government class. I appreciate that some reporters have kept an independent view on the issues we all care about."

Sterling Tennessee, "Lou I get to see your shows in re-runs at night and I have to say I didn't realize how independent I really was. I enjoy the way you bash all sides because there are so many at fault in the crisis that's befallen us. Keep speaking the truth when others don't." It's easy to do. We love hearing from you. Send us your thoughts at loudobbs.com. We thank you for being here. Join us here tomorrow. For all of us here, thank you for watching. Good night from New York. Campbell Brown, "no bias, no bull" starts right now.

Campbell?

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