Return to Transcripts main page

Lou Dobbs Tonight

CPSC Recalls More Chinese-Made Toys; Democrats Renew War Challenge; War Support at Lowest Level Ever

Aired November 08, 2007 -   ET


LOU DOBBS, CNN ANCHOR: Wolf, thank you very much.
Tonight, socio-ethnocentric special interests intensifying their efforts to stop our federal government from enforcement of U.S. immigration laws, those special interests trying to subvert the will of the people and law of the land. We'll have complete coverage.

Also tonight Democratic lawmakers breaking promises to stop pork barrel spending, promises made by both political parties. We'll have that report and a congressional committee says as many as 40 percent of all American jobs could be outsourced. We'll have that report and we'll tell you what your government is doing about it.

And the Democratic Party group, the Third Way (ph), wants to know why I am winning the war against so-called free traders and tonight I'll tell them.

And Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel will be here to tell us why he's under attack for links to the Virgin Islands and a few friends and supporters there -- all of that and a lot more, all the day's news straight ahead here tonight.

ANNOUNCER: This is LOU DOBBS TONIGHT: news, debate, and opinion for Thursday, November 08, 2007. Live from New York, Lou Dobbs.

DOBBS: Good evening, everybody.

Congressional Democrats are celebrating the first override of a presidential veto since President Bush took office. The Senate today followed the House of Representatives and voted to override President Bush's veto of a $23 billion water projects bill. Emboldened by that success, House Democrats today launched a new challenge against the president's conduct of the war in Iraq. This showed as a new CNN poll shows opposition to that war has reached an all-time high.

Jessica Yellin has our report from Capitol Hill. Jessica.

JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Lou tonight, Democrats are ramping up their latest effort to end the war in Iraq.


YELLIN (voice-over): This might sound familiar; Democrats are trying to force the president to pull troops out of Iraq by attaching strings to new war spending.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is not working. It is a war without end. There is no light at the end of the tunnel. We must reverse it.

YELLIN: Republicans accuse them of attempting to choke off funds to the troops.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), MINORITY LEADER: I think the proposal that we're beginning to hear about, about trying to handcuff our generals. And starve our troops in harm's way, is ill advised.

YELLIN: And the president, as he's done before, is promising a veto. It's all about a spending bill the House is poised to vote on Friday. It would give the Pentagon $50 billion more for the war but with these conditions. The president must start redeploying troops within 30 days with the goal of having all combat troops out of Iraq within a year and it would ban the government from using waterboarding to interrogate prisoners.

In a statement the White House accuses Democrats of attempting to "micromanage the war and tie the hands of commanders on the ground." Even Democratic congressional aides admit Democratic leaders don't expect to override the president's veto but they want another on an issue that's been a centerpiece of their agenda.


YELLIN: And Lou, Nancy Pelosi has said that if the president does veto this bill she won't give another new spending bill on Iraq this year, but both sides agree there's already enough money to fund the war until 2008, so really this is the Democrat's effort to show they haven't given up the fight to change the course of the war in Iraq. Lou.

DOBBS: But at the same time of little substance in changing or altering the conduct of that war through this year at least.

YELLIN: It's a political battle is what we're really seeing.

DOBBS: Jessica Yellin thank you very much from Capitol Hill.

The Democrats newest challenge to the president's conduct of the war comes as support for that war continues to fall. A new CNN Opinion Research Corporation poll shows support for the war has fallen to lowest level ever.

Bill Schneider has our report.


WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST (voice-over): The Bush administration says the troop buildup in Iraq is working but the American public doesn't see it. Last month 64 percent said things were going badly for the U.S. in Iraq and now, 65 percent say they're going badly. Some Republicans are blaming the media.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You won't know it from some of the media, my friends but we're making progress in Iraq. SCHNEIDER: But there's another explanation, partisanship. Republicans and Democrats seem to be hearing different news.

JOHN EDWARDS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My own view is that the war in Iraq has been an absolute mess.

SCHNEIDER: Seventy percent of Republicans believe things are going well in Iraq. Only 13 percent of Democrats agree. Independents tend to side with Democrats on Iraq. As a result, support for the war in Iraq has declined to its lowest point ever, 31 percent. Iraq is an intensely partisan war.

Seventy percent of Republicans favor the war and Democrats, seven. Iraq looks very different than Vietnam. Go back to January 1971 when Richard Nixon was president. Thirty-one percent of Americans supported the war in Vietnam, same as support the war in Iraq now. But there was no difference by party. Republicans, Democrats, and independents all opposed Vietnam. Partisanship affects views of Iran as well. Some Republicans are saying...

RUDY GIULIANI (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will not allow them under any circumstances to become a nuclear power. They are too...


SCHNEIDER: While some Democrats protest the administration's statements...

SEN. CHRISTOPHER DODD (D), CONNECTICUT: Clearly pointing in a direction that would call for military action in Iran. It is a dangerous move in my view.

SCHNEIDER: More than 60 percent of public opposes air strikes against Iran. Talk about ground troops and public opposition grows to more than 70 percent.


SCHNEIDER: Iran is as deeply partisan as Iraq. You know we live in a bitterly partisan environment. Far more partisan than the Vietnam War era and the voters, Lou, are fed up with it.

DOBBS: Well the voters are, poll after poll that we report on here shows fed up with both this presidency and this Congress and as well as this war. Interestingly, and if I may inject, the independents, increasingly, the group that is growing in this country faster than Democrats or Republicans, also are going to be determinant in the view on these issues during a campaign. Are they not?

SCHNEIDER: Yes, they certainly are. They certainly were determinative in 2006, they are the ones who switched from Republican to Democrats and gave the Democrats their majority in Congress and they are not seeing very much coming out of it. Mostly because the war is so partisan Republicans are sticking with the president and the Democrats simply don't have enough votes to make anything happen.

DOBBS: Bill, thank you very much. Our Bill Schneider from Washington.

In Iraq insurgents have killed another of our troops. The soldier was killed by a roadside bomb in Baghdad. Twelve of our troops and one Defense Department civilian have been killed in Iraq so far this month; 3,857 of our troops have been killed since the war began; 28,451 of our troops wounded; 12,770 of them seriously.

Five of our troops were also killed in Italy today, those troops aboard a Blackhawk helicopter that crashed in north eastern Italy. Six other troops in the Blackhawk were injured. That helicopter crashed near a major highway. It is not known yet why that helicopter went down.

Joining me now General David Grange, one of the country's most decorated former military commanders. General, let's turn first to Iraq, your assessment of the progress that's being made there because the number of deaths have been declining and rather dramatically.

BRIG. GEN. DAVID GRANGE (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: There is progress being made, and I say that Lou only because of what the commanders on the ground are reporting. They see it first hand every day. And that's my gauge at how well it's going.

DOBBS: At this point, is there, in your judgment, any better sense, any articulation of a better sense on the part of the general staff as to a strategy for success or even victory in Iraq for the United States and for the fledgling Iraqi government.

GRANGE: Well I hope we want victory, otherwise we shouldn't be there at all as we've discussed many times. I think the strategy that's in place right now is the right strategy. This should really be about two and a half years ago, but we started a bit late and we paid for that. But I think it's working now and the strategy right now is the right strategy for counter insurgency. The Iraqi capabilities are improving every day. There are peaks and valleys to that, but it is improving and so headway is being made.

DOBBS: Let's turn to the issue as Bill Schneider, our senior political analyst reported. This war is becoming increasingly unpopular. How soon, in your best judgment, as you talked with the general's staff and the Pentagon, get their best assessment and your own, as to when we can see significant reductions of American troops from Iraq?

GRANGE: It's a funny balance, Lou, because really, when you're successful, you don't want to reduce the numbers. You want to reinforce success. Normally in history, we reinforce defeat which is the wrong doctrine. You want to reinforce success. So, any rush of moving troops out too early during success will cause that success to diminish and so, that may not be the best measurement of that.

DOBBS: General, if I may that seems like a counter corollary to the rationalization from the Defense Department -- excuse me -- for some time saying that they did not want to reinforce in Iraq because our troops represented simply more targets. Isn't what you're saying contradictory and counter corollary to what was the Defense Department rationalization?

GRANGE: Yes, it is, Lou, but again there's a lot of political pressure on these military commanders to move troops out. Everybody wants to get out. Everybody wants to go home. That's the way you feel when you're in combat. I remember it well. But you want to reinforce success so you maintain momentum to victory.

DOBBS: I think that that, if I may say General, will be a very tough rationale to put forward to the American people given the mood of the nation and also given what we heard from this general's staff for three years about the idea of adding force and this president and this commander in chief about adding forces, and creating simply new targets, but we appreciate your thoughts, your insight, and we'll see, as the saying goes -- General David Grange, always good to have your insight. Thank you.

GRANGE: My pleasure, Lou.

DOBBS: The White House tonight is praising President Musharraf of Pakistan for his agreement to hold elections by next February. Musharraf made his announcement nearly a week of antigovernment demonstrations a week after those demonstrations and of course protests. Musharraf staging what is simply a second coup last Saturday, a coup that raised serious concerns and questions about the radical Islamist terrorist threat to Pakistan and its government.

Opposition groups today again in the streets fighting with riot police across the country saying Musharraf should step down now as army chief and reinstate judges dismissed by the military.

Coming up here next, the amnesty illegal alien open borders lobby at it again, trying to subvert the will of the people. Casey Wian will have our report. Casey.

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lou, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff says lawsuits, not illegal aliens or drug smugglers are the main reason our borders are not secure. We'll have more coming up.

DOBBS: We look forward to it. Thank you, Casey.

Also new outrage over the government's utter failure to protect us from dangerous imports. You won't believe now what is in some toys brought in from, you guessed it, communist China. We'll have the report and a startling new warning about the mess and threat to our middle class opposed by corporate outsourcing. We'll have a special report that you won't want to miss.

And in case you haven't noticed, some people are saying that I am winning the argument against so-called faith based and very costly free trade. I will explain to some of those special interests why we're winning. Stay with us. We'll be right back.


DOBBS: We just learned that a federal grand jury has indicted former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik in a case that could affect the presidential election -- the grand jury investigating bribery and tax evasion charges. No details of the charges have been releases as of this hour. Kerik was police commissioner under the Rudy Giuliani government when Rudy Giuliani, of course, was mayor of New York City.

Giuliani later recommending Kerik to be nominated to the homeland security secretary post; Giuliani, now of course the Republican presidential candidate, strongly defending his record as mayor.

We're also following of course what is a Senate debate now on the nomination of Michael Mukasey for the post of U.S. attorney general. We are now looking at the debate under way. The Senate Judiciary Committee, there is Senator Arlen Specter, the ranking Republican on that committee. Already that committee has voted in favor of the Mukasey nomination, moving it to the floor.

However, many Democrats remain opposed to Mukasey's nomination because of Mukasey's refusal to define interrogation techniques such as waterboarding as torture and we are expecting the Senate to vote on the Mukasey nomination in a confirmation vote tonight. And we of course will have that as it happens.

The Department of Homeland Security is of course fighting legal battles of its own. That agency is facing literally hundreds of lawsuits now, all of which are seeking to block homeland security from using its most important and effective tools in the fight against illegal immigration.

Casey Wian has the report.


WIAN (voice-over): Securing the border with hundreds of miles of fencing, quickly deporting some illegal aliens, prosecuting others instead of releasing them. Raids on businesses suspected of using an illegal work force, all are key strategies in the Homeland Security Department's efforts to enforce immigration law and secure the border. And all are being challenged in court.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They don't want us to have fences. They don't want us not to have fences. They don't want us to conduct, arrest (INAUDIBLE) run across people who are dangerous. There are probably 100 cases (INAUDIBLE).

WIAN: One of those ACLU suits has temporarily blocked the government's plan to send notices to companies with employees whose Social Security numbers are suspected of being phony or stolen.

LUCAS GUTTENTAG, ACLU ATTORNE: DHS does not have the authority to hijack the Social Security system to turn it into an immigration enforcement scheme.

WIAN: Also under attack immigration and customs enforcements increasingly frequently workplace raids.

JOSEPH HANSEN, PRES., UFCW: Today I am announcing the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, the UFCW, is filing suit in federal court to stop the government from this massive roundup of workers.

WIAN: Border fence construction has been slowed by environmental lawsuits and deportation orders are being challenged by advocates for U.S. citizens who are children of illegal aliens. Scores of other lawsuits are pending.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will fight every lawsuit. I will deal with every procedural roadblock. I will use every tool the law allows.

WIAN: Including lawsuits. Homeland Security itself is suing the state of Illinois to overturn a law prohibiting businesses from participating in the federal government's worker verification program.


WIAN: Now we asked the Department of Homeland Security how many immigration and border security lawsuits it is facing. They could not answer in time for this broadcast. However, Lou, Secretary Chertoff says litigation is precisely the reason it's been so difficult over the past 30 years to get control of the border. Lou.

DOBBS: Well you know I'd like to exceed to the secretary's statement and I assure you I am entirely sympathetic with the homeland security secretary's view of the ACLU's activist role. It is now -- it has moved well beyond its normal role. It is now an immigration activist, illegal immigration activist and advocate. Anybody posed a question why homeland security just doesn't sue the ACLU? It is getting -- how about obstruction of justice? Maybe they can make a complaint of that sort?

WIAN: You know we thought about asking them that, Lou, but they didn't get back to us in time for us to do it. It is a good question, though.

DOBBS: Well thank you, sir. If you wouldn't mind, go ahead and ask the good folks at the Department of Homeland Security. You know most of our viewers are writing in now saying the ACLU really needs to change its name because there's nothing American about any of the issues that they are involved in and it is an interesting, if you will, perspective. Thank you very much -- Casey Wian reporting from Los Angeles.

The 27 illegal aliens yesterday arrested at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport today were arraigned in court. Those illegal aliens nearly all of them from Mexico used fake security badges to gain access to work in restricted areas at O'Hare Airport. They were employed by a company called Ideal Staffing (ph). I love that name, Ideal Staffing (ph). Two managers from Ideal Staffing (ph) now facing felony charges. They are due to be in federal court tomorrow and of course we will keep you up to date on the progress of this case.

Let's take a look at some of your thoughts now. Edward in Virginia, "Lou, I am so glad you're now on in prime time. I have become an independent for I believe it is time we take our country back. Thank you. Please keep up the good work." We thank you.

And Linda in Texas, "Dear Lou, today is truly a day of independence for all of us and my whole family, including my two first time to vote 19-year-olds, have registered as independents. Your new book could not have come out at a better time. We love you and keep fighting for our country." Thank you and your country is very appreciative of that independent registration, I assure you.

There just may be something happening in this country, very positive. Perhaps there's an awakening that will really discomfort a lot of folks in Washington, D.C. I don't think any of us can wait to -- can't wait for that.

Gail in Tennessee says, "You make my day, Lou. I bet Governor Spitzer wishes the doctor had removed your vocal cords instead of your tonsils. You can add another independent to the list -- two after I waterboard my husband. Keep up the good work, Lou." Now, be careful here and -- but you got the right idea. Let's get those independent registrations up. We'll have more of your thoughts here later in the broadcast.

Those of you whose e-mails are read here receives a copy of my brand new book, "Independents Day: Awakening the American Spirit". It looks like that's exactly what is happening.

Time now for our poll question -- do you believe there's ever been a White House or a Congress that cared less about representing the will of the American people? Cast your vote at Yes or no. We'll have the results for you upcoming.

Up next, I take on a few critics who are accusing me of being a neo-populous alarmist for speaking up for the middle class and the welfare of the entire nation. They entitle it "Why Lou Dobbs is Winning"; at least they understand what's going on in that respect.

And many members of Congress say exporting jobs to cheap foreign labor markets hurts middle class Americans, so why is Congress insisting on more so-called free trade deals and another potentially lethal children's toy is being recalled just weeks after the toy industry promised the safest holiday season ever, so much for the toy industry, so much for your federal government, so much for consumer protection. We'll be back with that story and a great deal more. Stay with us.


DOBBS: Well, there are a lot of new questions tonight about this government's ability to protect us from dangerous imports. In fact, there are also some new answers. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is now recalling millions of Chinese made Aqua Dots (ph) toy sets. This recall announced today those sets containing a chemical converting into a date rape drug. Two children in this country seriously ill as a result falling into comas after swallowing those dots. And of course this latest recall comes less than two months after major toy brands promised that this would be our safest holiday shopping season ever. Christine Romans has our report.


CHRIS BYRNE, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, TOY WISHES: This one is something we first saw I guess last February and said, oh, my gosh this is wild. It's easy to use. It's fun to play with and it's very creative and it's called Aqua Dots from Spin Master (ph).

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With great fanfare, last month "Toy Wishes" magazine recommended a dozen must- have toys this season, among them the Aqua Dots toy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very excited about this one.

ROMANS: But now, the magazine has taken Aqua Dots off its list, because this toy is incredibly dangerous. If swallowed it metabolizes into the chemical equivalent of the date rape drug gamma- hydroxybutyrate (ph) or GHB. Now 4.2 million Chinese-made Aqua Dots toys have been ordered off store shelves in the U.S. The Consumer Product Safety Commission says quote, "Children who swallow the beads can become comatose, develop respiratory depression or have seizures."

Industry executives have said this will be the safest holiday season ever for toys, but this recall is a blow to that assertion and a reminder of the escalating import safety crisis.

DONALD MAYS, CONSUMERS UNION: You can push manufacturing overseas but you're going to now have to beef up your safety net and you have to have a system to catch unscrupulous business practices, which certainly sounds like the case in the case of Aqua Dots.

ROMANS: The problem was first discovered in Australia where the product was named "toy of the year". The manufacturer says a Chinese factory substituted a toxic chemical for a safe glue. Millions of these toys have already been sold in this country. Aqua Dots quickly climbed Wal-Mart's top selling toy list.


ROMANS: Regulators say get this toy out of your home. Toys "R" Us is refunding the dangerous Aqua Dots even if consumers bought it somewhere else. It's been on the shelves since April, so a lot of people don't even know where they bought it. A month and a half before Christmas, it really cast doubt on the toy industry's assertions, Lou that this recall import safety crisis, the recall crisis is behind us.

DOBBS: Well I -- let me say as an advocacy journalist and as one who puts his opinion straightforwardly, this broadcast has never bought into what the toy industry has been telling consumers, and the absolute arrogance and disregard for the safety of American consumers by the toy industry is going to require a lot more than these silly assurances coming from companies that are obviously indifferent to the welfare of their customers.

ROMANS: What are parents supposed to think when heavily promoted highly advertised toy that just last month people were saying this is the top toy for the season? Buy this one for your kids. It turns out to metabolize into the date rape drug. I mean you can't -- that's incredible.

DOBBS: Four and a half million of them being recalled...

ROMANS: 4.2 million, yes.

DOBBS: Talking about unscrupulous business people in this case, manufacturers bringing these products into this country, but what about the unprincipled business practices of outsourcing American jobs, off shoring production of these products to bring into this country. This is outsourcing. It is a simple -- I mean the suggestion -- I admire the consumer union folks for being that open minded to think that what we just need to do is put up safety safeguards. The fact is we need to get a control of this economy and in control of what we are doing to protect the American consumer.

ROMANS: How do you even test for something like that? I mean that's not like testing for lead which we're still struggling trying to figure out to do.

DOBBS: Yeah...

ROMANS: This is a whole different level of...

DOBBS: And the testing of lead isn't even being conducted...

ROMANS: Right.

DOBBS: ... by the Consumer Product Safety Commission or by the toy companies themselves -- in fact, well this is a mess, this administration. This Congress has to move on this and the Bush administration, which has been indifferent to -- I mean they think Mr. Market is the answer to everything. These free market based economists and this administration, they're absolutely derelict in their responsibility.

Thank you very much and we're going to continue to follow this toy industry that says that this will be the safest holiday shopping season.

I think there's a reason the president came out the other day assuring everybody about import safety. It must mean that we're seeing a lot of consumers quit buying those products. And that probably is a very wise course for people to follow. Caution here, is absolutely essential. Thank you very much Christine Romans.

An update now on the threat to our democracy from the foreign ownership, electronic voting machine companies in this country. We have been reporting on it extensively. As a matter of fact, no other broadcast in the country has covered the issue of e-voting machines more than this. And Smartmatic, an e-voting machine company with ties to the Venezuelan government of Hugo Chavez, today sold its American subsidiary, Sequoia Voting Systems. We reported frequently on that ownership issue particularly because of the link between an anti- American government and e-voting machines used in our elections. An investment group lead by the U.S. management of Sequoia bought the company and admitted today that public concerns, your concerns, of foreign ownership of critical equipment necessary to conduct our democracy led to that decision. It's nice to see the American people starting to make their voices heard. I have to believe it feels pretty good for everyone expressing themselves too.

Coming up next, would you believe there's been a lot of talk about me? An independent populous running for president? We'll have more than that.

And we have some people awfully excited on think tanks concerned. They're writing papers concerned about why I'm winning. My gosh. We'll be telling you about that.

And you won't believe what one of my guests tonight say about millions of illegal aliens crossing our broken borders. I'll be joined by Jorge Castaneda, the former foreign minister of Mexico.

And new free trade deal on its way. Opponents say it's a job killer. That isn't slowing Congress down. And I'll be talking with one of the most powerful law makers on Capitol Hill, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman, Charlie Rangel about that, higher taxes and why he supports both.

Stay with us.


DOBBS: The House Technology and Innovation Sub Committee coming to a stunning conclusion, a conclusion that we on this broadcast reached four years ago. The subcommittee now says that the rising trend of outsourcing American jobs to other countries is bad for America. The lawmakers working on a report that is expected to support calls to keep American jobs, imagine this, here at home. Bill Tucker, has our report.


BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's no longer just manufacturing jobs going offshore. Earlier this week, Ford announced it will be outsourcing research and development on its vehicles to China. General Motors already has a similar arrangement. Cisco is building an R&D Center in Bangalore, India and earlier this month, announced it will invest $16 billion in China over the next three to five years while working in partnership with the China Development Bank to develop small business in China. The company argument is simple.

ARIE LEWIN, DUKE UNIVERSITY: The companies are saying that there's a shortage because really, these engineers and scientists, we're talking about people with advanced degrees, masters and PhDs, not bachelors, or the equivalent experience, and these people are expensive so the companies really go elsewhere to find lower cost people. TUCKER: It may be good for companies but it's not a good trend for America concludes a soon to be released report from the Technology and Innovation Sub Committee in the House. The trend creates pressure to lower wages and therefore, standards of living says the report and it creates disincentive for students to pursue degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math or stem careers. The threat to American innovation troubles leaders in those fields.

CARL MACK, NATIONAL SOCIETY OF BLACK ENGINEERS: I want you to imagine, I want anybody to imagine this country without a sound, fundamental working middle class. If we imagine that, this is not the America that we all think it should be.

TUCKER: Mack says he already has experienced members of the National Society of Black Engineers with advanced degrees who can't find work and he says wages are stagnant.


TUCKER: But globalization is reality the corporate world argues. Companies, they say, are simply following rational money management. The committee however says the government must respond by creating a policy to counter that trend in order to save jobs or face the fact, that, Lou, 30 to 40 percent of all of our jobs will become vulnerable to outsourcing.

DOBBS: Forty percent of our jobs, if we take that as a top number, that's absolutely devastating. Carl Mack said it as well as one possibly can. This isn't the America that any of us imagined. It is the America, however, I feared when I wrote a book four years ago called "Exporting America." The idea that this country -- I just want the free traders, these faith-based Mr. Market Morons, to come to terms with one reality. And that is if they want to conduct themselves rationally in economic terms, then United States government and the American citizens should conduct themselves rationally and that is punish them for unconscionable business practices like outsourcing of middle class jobs and off shoring production for products for re-entry into the world's largest, greatest consumer market.

TUCKER: They are not making them over there. They are making them here to bring them here to sell them to us.

DOBBS: Whatever corporate America ever said about empowering employees and corporate responsibility and corporate citizenship. My god, I think back to all of the terrific leaders that I've covered and associated with in business, where are they now? They are led by the U.S. Chamber of Commercial, the Business Round Table, trade associations that are unconscionable, who are absolutely without interest in investing in this country or in our people. Corporate America, many terrific leaders in corporate America, but my god you got to not only find a conscious, you got to find a voice and the time is now.

Step forward. We will give you all of the time in the world on this broadcast to articulate a vision for responsible, corporate citizenship in this country for the 21st century. But enough of these unconscionable business practices because this government is going to have to act. Bill Tucker, we hope they act in time, either businesses leaders or this government. Thank you very much, sir.

Tonight, not for the first time, I'm under some attack by corporate supremacist and all of their good buddies and our Congress. The Democratic Party group called Third Way, it's a think tank, has conducted an extensive study, has entitled a new study "Why Lou Dobbs is Winning." In that study, they accuse me of being a neo-populist alarmist on trade because defending our middle class against the harsh effects of so called free trade is in their judgment alarmist.

Even more remarkable in this study, as first reported by, there is there report. The Third Way concedes that I am winning this argument entitling their study, "Why Lou Dobbs is Winning," but then the Third Way then sort of loses its way asserting that commentators like me present what it calls a unique threat to America's future and to free trade and the future of middle class. Hello. Folks you are corporatists. You are the free traders, the Mr. Market Morons who don't care about the quality of life in this country, who aren't investing in this country, who aren't investing in the education of our young people, who have absolutely abandoned your responsibilities to this society. Who are you kidding?

And I'm not against globalization. Don't you call me a protectionist you son of a guns and your little think tank beanie hats. The fact is for the past 31 years, we've run consecutive trade deficits in this country. Over the past six years, millions of manufacturing and good paying middle class jobs have been exported by corporate America to cheap overseas labor markets. There's little doubt where the blame lies.

You know the idea that you at the Third Way are concerned and that the Democratic Party are concerned about the fact I'm winning on the issue of free trade. I think you need to calm down a little bit and ask yourself why the American people are persuaded, that we have to have mutuality and reciprocity and reason in our trade policies and why they no longer are comfortable with the corporate elites in this country who basically think it's fine for this nation to be the world's largest debtor nation and to rape and pillage and plunder our economy. Folks, why I'm winning is very simple. I'm talking straight and you're not.

I want to turn to another issue that came up and this is why I am not running for president or why I am running for president. What is this about the presidency? Folks, I'm proud to be an independent populous. I'm proud to be an advocacy journalist. Next year's presidential election is a turning point, I believe, for our entire nation. Matt Cooper, who is by the way in my opinion one of the country's best political analysts, wrote on his blog, "Watching Monsieur Lou on Larry King last night, I couldn't help but think he might yet toss his name on the ballot even though he's indicated otherwise. He kept calling on some as yet unnamed candidate to come forward and trumpet his issues. Tom Tancredo and Duncan Hunter came about as close as any candidates, but they lack Lou's populism." Well Matt, let me be absolutely clear. I'm here to remain an advocacy journalist to speak, if you will, truth to power and to be a real annoyance to both political parties that have abandoned both the common good and the national interest in this country. I've got a job. We've got enough politicians. What we need are better candidates. What I really hope is that everybody watching this broadcast, I truly believe this. Let's reach out. I'm going to invite everybody watching this broadcast, think about who you want to be our next president. And let's disregard right now the current candidates. They are already, if you will, in play. But look around and think about a man or a woman who is -- who is not of a political family or a dynasty, who has independent notion of what constitutes public service, who has a real commitment to the people, who has a principled life, a vision for this country and in whom you would be confident, in whom we could all be confident of leadership of this nation through the 21st century.

We'd love to hear from you on this and we're going to build a special place on the website. I'm going to ask you to please think about it. It may be a mayor. It may be a carpenter. It may be a doctor. It may be someone. I would like to consider it not being an attorney. We have enough of those in my humble opinion running. But I'm not going to disqualify them. But I would like to say, I'd just like to see a representative American that we might get behind, a man or woman who really has a lot to offer this nation and a commitment to the people and not corporate America or special interest. Think about it. We would love to hear from you on this issue.

Coming up here next, free trade, threatening American jobs or are they opening new markets; questions about tax rates and more of one of the most powerful men on Capitol Hill. I'll be joined by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman, Charles Rangel. And you won't believe what one of our guests tonight says about fixing broken borders. I'll be talking with the author of the new book, "Ex Mex." Jorge Castaneda will join me, the former foreign minister of Mexico. We'll be right back.


DOBBS: On Capitol Hill today, the house approved a controversial free trade agreement with Peru. Opponents and critics calling the agreement a job killer that will open our borders to more dangerous imports. Supporters saying the agreement is a historic breakthrough that will open new markets for American goods. Joining me tonight, the powerful Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Congressman Charles Rangel. Mr. Chairman, good to have you with us.

REP. CHARLES RANGEL (D), NEW YORK: Good to be with you on primetime.

DOBBS: Well, thank you, sir. Good to have you here. This is -- you're calling this a market opener. It's going to produce jobs. Peru is the size - the economy is the size of basically Hartford, Connecticut. What's the deal?

RANGEL: The deal is that it's one thing to be against trade but you have to be against bad trade deals where you have the losers. This is one of the extraordinary cases that what happens is that we have to pay a tariff for everything we send into Peru and what we bring for them, the gold, the silver and the jewelry, they don't play a tariff in the United States. What they are so badly in need of engineering equipment, tractors, trailers, electronic, that this is going to be a boom for those people that in communities are producing this. It is a win-win for them.

DOBBS: Let me show you, and I'm sure you know but let me share with both you and viewers, Mr. Chairman, what Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, a democrat, a man with whom you have a great spiritual connection, it's also a state that's seen a significant manufacturing loss in Ohio. Here's what I said, "I'm disappointed that the House passed another job-killing trade agreement that will result in more unsafe food in our kitchens and consumer products in our children's bedrooms." What do you say to Senator Brown, what do you say to those who are already concerned about what is happening with imports right now?

RANGEL: I'm saying for those people who lost their jobs, lost their industry and some have lost their homes, you bet your life they should be anything that sounds like trade because we haven't given them a fair deal. We haven't protected those people that have lost jobs as a result of trade or those people who just don't find industry in their communities. It should be the government and the private sector that provides the safety net for these people when we go through these transitions. But for those people that come from communities that have farms that are producing the wheat, the soybean, and in New York State the dairy products and the cattle and other states, for these people you cannot tell them they are not getting a job expansion. And so if you're hurting, then it's a bad deal. But this is a good deal for anyone that's putting up the cranes, and putting up the equipment that is so badly needed in Peru.

DOBBS: Mr. Chairman, let me just put it straightforwardly to you. We've run 31 consecutive years of trade deficits. We're going to post another record trade deficit this year. What in the world is the difference between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party on the issue of free trade if you continue in these deals?

RANGEL: I don't think there's anything that you call about trade or free trade. The thing is, is it a good deal or bad deal? Ever since the civilization, people who overproduce what they can't consume, want to get rid of it and they sell it, and that's trade. And so what we have to talk about, is it NAFTA which I voted against, is it a CAFTA which I voted against, are there protection for laborers, a protectional right? If it's a good deal, go for it. If it's a lousy deal, reject it.

DOBBS: All right. The "New York Times," today, I want to turn to another issue, says that you want to give tax breaks to people who live and run businesses in the Virgin Islands, as the powerful chairman of one of the most powerful men in all of Congress for folks who want to run their businesses in Virgin Islands and happen to be campaign contributors. Your response, sir?

RANGEL: My response is when governor of Virgin Islands tells me and the I.S. agrees that they have a lesser degree of Statue of Liberty than we have on the mainlands, and they ask me to equalize it, you bet your life I did. But quite frankly, if I got contributions from those good people, the contributions I have received will take me a long time to find theirs, but this gives me an opportunity, if in fact they did send it, to say thank you.

DOBBS: And we appreciate you taking the time to tell us about the difference between the two political parties and the role of those big financial contributors out in the Virgin Islands. Charlie Rangel, it's always good to have you with us.

RANGEL: Good to be with you. Continued success.

DOBBS: You too, partner. If I can say partner to the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. I apologize for that.

RANGEL: You can say it.

DOBBS: Well, I apologize. I didn't mean to be quite that inform, sir. Thank you.

RANGEL: Thank you.

DOBBS: Still ahead, the former foreign minister of Mexico, we'll be very formal, Jorge Castaneda and the author of "Ex Mex." It's a fascinating book on the, if you will, the perspective from Mexico on illegal immigration, or if you're south of the border, migration. Stay with us.


DOBBS: The open borders pro illegal alien lobby, of course, says millions of illegal aliens should be allowed to freely enter this country regardless of our laws, regardless of the policies in this country. One of those advocates is actually Jorge Castaneda, Mexico's former foreign minister. He believes our immigration policies are deeply flaws which is, of course, set forth in his new book "Ex Mex." He says our policies don't account for what he calls 120 years of migration history between our two countries. He's the author of this proactive new book. I think it's an important book for the perspective it offers all of us in this national debate, "Ex Mex." Good to have you with us.

JORGE CASTANEDA, AUTHOR OF "EX MEX": Good to be back on the show, Lou.

DOBBS: All right. Let's talk with - first the idea, you and I have talked many times on the issue. What is the responsibility? I've accused the United States of being paternalistic and Mexico as being absolutely derelict in its responsibilities at the southern border. Your view?

CASTANEDA: Well, certainly, our southern border in Guatemala is a border we have to secure like I understand the United States wants to secure its border. We think in Mexico, I certainly think, is that that must be something based on cooperation between the two countries, not just one side doing it to the other. Why? Because like you just said, it's been 120 years, not the stuff before part of Mexico was part of United States and vice versa. No. This is something that's been going on since the 1880s and 1890s. It's important that we work on this together as opposed to trying to solve it unilaterally either in Mexico or in the United States.

DOBBS: You say for example in the book at one point, you ask the following question, "How do the Lou Dobbses of the world want young Mexicans whose ancestors have been migrating in one fashion or another to the United States, to understand and abide by what has largely been an American fiction, that the United States has always dealt with this issue respecting the law?

CASTANEDA: Well I think that's what you've always been saying, Lou, that American laws aren't always enforced. OK. So I think on that point we have a lot in common. What I'm simply saying is that if the United States wants to have enforceable laws that everyone respects, they have to be laws that are enforced and enforceable. But this has going on not just now, not the last few years, back since World War I. There was no border. There was no legal immigration. There was no illegal immigration, in World War I when millions of people came.

DOBBS: We can only go back to, say, 50 years ago and there certainly was, how do we look at deportation of 2.5 million Mexican citizens out of this country.

CASTANEDA: But they came back and United States looks the other way. Looks this way.

DOBBS: Not the United States. Corporate America looked the other way ...

CASTANEDA: And border control.

DOBBS: And border control under the Carter administration did precisely that.

CASTANEDA: Even Reagan administration until 1986.

DOBBS: Exactly. Amnesty was great. My question is this, why is the government of Mexico, which is so ineffective and so incompetent in so many ways, I think Felipe Calderon may change what has been a three decade ...

CASTANEDA: I certainly hope so.

DOBBS: But the idea that Mexico will export its poverty, that Mexico will, with pride, govern a country in which half the people of impoverished.

CASTANEDA: They want to come to the United States risking life, paying enormous sums of money to the people smugglers. Come across the desert and risk their life. Nobody wants to do that willingly. Not because there's better jobs in Mexico. There are. The only rational part of this ...

DOBBS: Of course they would. So would 5.5 billion other people who were more ...

CASTANEDA: There's only some of them on the border. There's only one country on the border, other than Canada, of course.

DOBBS: Why should that mean that the citizens of Mexico can violate the laws of the United States?

CASTANEDA: They shouldn't violate the law. The law should change.

DOBBS: You're saying American law should change?

CASTANEDA: Not to accommodate Mexico but to accommodate both countries. The laws change all of the time. Why not one more?

DOBBS: Because quite simply, it is Mexico that needs to correct its problems. Mexico has to become a mature and responsible government.

CASTANEDA: When we do -- I agree, and we're working on it ...

DOBBS: Mexico is the largest source of methamphetamines, cocaine, heroin ...

CASTANEDA: Let's say we begin to make more of an effort that we have not only on drug ...

DOBBS: You're a very bright man. Why would you say we should say Mexico should make more of an effort?

CASTANEDA: A great effort.

DOBBS: Why shouldn't they work cooperatively?

CASTANEDA: The point I make in the book I know we're leaving, this is a long historical progress. It didn't start yesterday and won't tomorrow. Why don't we view it that way instead of trying to find quick fix solutions, some on our side some on your side? Why don't we think about it more deeply? That's what the book is for.

DOBBS: That's one of the reasons ...

CASTANEDA: That's why I want to give it to you. I hope you have a chance --

DOBBS: Did you put a love note in the beginning?

CASTANEDA: Absolutely. Thanks a lot, Lou.

DOBBS: Thank you. And we want you to read the book, an important book, a perspective that I don't necessarily share but Jorge and I managed to get along without strangling each other over these issues. The debate is becoming far more honest. That's very important for both countries.

CASTANEDA: I think so. DOBBS: Jorge, thank you very much. The book is "Ex Mex, From Migrants to Immigrants," thank you very much.

Now the results of tonight's poll, 94 percent of you said there has never been a White House or a Congress that cared less about representing the will of the American people.