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Lou Dobbs Tonight
Clinton Will Fight to the Finish; McCain Courts Democrats & Independents; Amnesty for Illegal Aliens; Border Boondoggle: Virtual Fence is Ineffective
Aired April 23, 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: Thank you, Wolf.
Tonight Senator Clinton says she'll fight to the finish against Senator Obama after her convincing impressive victory in Pennsylvania, but is the main streamed media biased against Senator Clinton? Is the media guilty of gender bias? We'll have complete coverage tonight.
And Senator McCain tries to present himself as a different kind of Republican in his effort to sell himself as a populist. We'll have that story.
And the president of Mexico, Felipe Calderon says he has a personal interest in pushing amnesty for illegal aliens. Calderon on American soil saying he has friends and relatives living in this country illegally.
All of that, all the day's news and much more straight ahead here tonight.
ANNOUNCER: This is LOU DOBBS TONIGHT: news, debate, and opinion for Wednesday, April 23. Live from New York, Lou Dobbs.
DOBBS: Good evening, everybody. Senator Clinton today declared she is the best candidate to defeat Senator McCain in November. Senator Clinton won nearly every county in Pennsylvania, defeating Obama by 10 percentage points overall in the primary election. Tonight the Clinton campaign is reporting a surge of donations, up to a record $10 million in 24 hours.
Senator McCain today intensified his effort to win the support of undecided Democrats. Senator McCain said he wants to be the candidate of Democrats and Independents, not just Republicans.
We have extensive coverage tonight from the campaign trail and we begin with Suzanne Malveaux in Indianapolis -- Suzanne.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Lou, there are 72 delegates that are up for grabs here in Indiana. You look at the demographics that it is similar to Pennsylvania. There is an industrial base, a lot of rural voters, which would tend to look at Senator Clinton favorably, but then also what is unique here the northwest part of the state, about 20 percent of people who live in that portion there, the Chicago media market, that is where that is based and essentially that would indicate or favor Barack Obama, the Illinois senator. Either way you take a look at this, Lou, it is going to be very competitive.
MALVEAUX (voice-over): The next battleground state, Indiana.
SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I just love Indiana.
MALVEAUX: Savoring her Pennsylvania victory, Senator Hillary Clinton charged ahead with new zeal, making the case that despite the odds against her she can still win the Democratic nomination.
H. CLINTON: I'm very proud that as of today, I have received more votes by the people who have voted than anybody else. I am proud of that because it's a very close race.
MALVEAUX: Barack Obama countered he would perform better in Indiana than the big states he lost like Pennsylvania and Ohio, because of his status as the senator of neighboring Illinois.
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There's a big difference between Indiana and those other two states and that is that people are a little more familiar with me here in Indiana.
MALVEAUX: And despite Clinton's dominance in winning Pennsylvania's working class voters Obama said his greatest challenge was not getting blue-collar workers, but winning over the elderly.
OBAMA: We want to make sure that they know that on issues that are importance to them, like prescription drugs or pension and retirement security, that I have got a strong track record on those issues.
MALVEAUX: In a campaign that many Democrats openly worry has gotten increasingly nasty Senator Clinton brushed off the criticism.
H. CLINTON: They were positive about their opportunity to have their voices heard and their votes counted and they chose me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.
MALVEAUX: Obama mocked Clinton's assertion that he wasn't tough enough to compete.
OBAMA: Nobody has complained more about the press, about questions at debates, about being mistreated than Senator Clinton has or President Clinton. And so we have been pretty tame in terms of you know taking our shots and just rolling with them.
MALVEAUX: And, Lou, the Clinton campaign says that it is well on its way to fund-raising, $10 million in the last 24 hours since the Pennsylvania primary results were announced. They say this is really historic grassroots for them. Obviously her campaign has been struggling to raise that kind of money that quickly. It is some 60,000 donors, they say 50,000 of them are new -- Lou.
DOBBS: Suzanne, thank you very much. Suzanne Malveaux.
Senator Clinton's victory in Pennsylvania illustrates the huge challenge that now faces Senator Obama. Senator Clinton won the support of pivotal groups such as blue-collar whites, small town residents and older women despite the fact that Senator Obama outspent Senator Clinton in Pennsylvania by a huge margin.
Jessica Yellin has our report from Philadelphia.
JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): To Senator Clinton the future is looking rosy.
H. CLINTON: I think the tide is turning.
YELLIN: Seating (ph) her optimism, her margin of victory among Reagan Democrats, crucial swing voters.
JOEY HICKS, DISC JOCKEY: I voted for Hillary Clinton, because of the Bill Clinton association and also because Barack Obama seems to have a little bit of a chip on his shoulder.
SANDY LANGDON, PHILADELPHIA RESIDENT: And I don't really know too much about Obama, so I just went with who I knew.
RICK VANTASSELL, BARTENDER: She's going to hit the ground running. She's going to have -- (INAUDIBLE) White House for so many years with Bill. She's been surrounded for most of her career by people in power and I think she's going to be more comfortable dealing with these folks.
YELLIN: Exit polls suggest in Pennsylvania Clinton won 70 percent of the Catholic vote, 58 percent of voters who did not go to college, and 54 percent of those who make less than $50,000 a year, all of this feeds camp Clinton's argument that Obama would have trouble with these crucial voters come November.
STUART ROTHENBERG, EDITOR AND PUBLISHER, "THE ROTHENBERG POLITICAL REPORT": It's not whether blue-collar voters will decide, Barack Obama he's not one of us. He doesn't care about us. He doesn't understand us. He has different values. We're going to go to the Republicans the way we did 20 years ago. That could happen.
YELLIN: But Barack Obama sees a silver lining.
OBAMA: Among all these groups that people have been focused on, you know blue-collar workers or you know white working class folks, we did better in Pennsylvania than we did in Ohio, so we're continually making progress.
YELLIN: And there's this from Clinton supporters. If Obama becomes the nominee, will you vote for him in November?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
YELLIN: Would you vote for him over McCain in November?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No doubt, that's hands down.
YELLIN (on-camera): Barack Obama has won the white blue-collar vote in a number of key states including California, Virginia, Wisconsin, New Mexico and Illinois. His campaign believes that even Clinton supporters will go with their party in the general election. Or as Obama's campaign manager puts it, Democrats will come home in November -- Lou.
DOBBS: Thank you, Jessica Yellin from Philadelphia.
Later here we'll exam the nine remaining primaries in this Democratic presidential contest to determine whether or not Senator Obama may be losing momentum.
Time now for our poll. The question is: Do you believe there is a gender bias in the media against Senator Hillary Clinton?
Yes or no. Cast your vote at loudobbs.com. We'll have the results here later in the broadcast.
Senator McCain today declared he wants the support of Democrats and Independents, as well as Republicans. Senator McCain campaigned in traditionally pro Democratic areas of Kentucky and meanwhile McCain asked North Carolina Republicans to withdraw a television ad highlighting Senator Obama's links with his controversial former pastor, Jeremiah Wright.
Dana Bash with the McCain campaign has our report.
DANA BASH, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A drive through the rolling depressed hills of Appalachia and a stop at the same Inez, Kentucky porch where Lyndon Johnson declared a war on poverty 44 years ago. Yet John McCain said his way of helping would not be the same as that Democrat or those running today.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Government can't create good and lasting jobs outside of government.
BASH: Still McCain came hoping to create an image as a different kind of Republican, one also promising to run an above-the-fray campaign. Meanwhile, his own party in North Carolina launched this TV ad against local Democrats.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For 20 years Barack Obama sat in his pew listening to his pastor.
REVEREND JEREMIAH WRIGHT, FORMER PASTOR OF BARACK OBAMA: And then wants us to sing God Bless America, no, no, no. Not God Bless America. God (EXPLETIVE DELETED) America.
BASH: McCain's campaign released an e-mail he sent North Carolina's GOP chairwoman, asking her not to run it.
MCCAIN: It's not the message of the Republican Party. It's not the message of my campaign. I pledged to conduct a respectful campaign.
BASH: North Carolina Republicans refused to pull the ad. McCain jumped on that as a political opportunity.
MCCAIN: I can't dictate to them, but I want to be the candidate of everybody. I want to be the candidate of Republicans and Democrats and Independents.
BASH: But even as McCain promised to stick to issues, a question from a Kentucky GOP senator about Barack Obama suggesting (INAUDIBLE) rural voters cling to God and guns, again political opportunity.
MCCAIN: Do you think that those comments reflect the views of your constituents?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it reflects the views of somebody who doesn't understand this neck of the woods is what I think it reflects.
MCCAIN: So yes, I think it is -- those are elitist remarks to say the least.
BASH: Now riding on his bus with reporters, McCain insisted it's not a contradiction to go after Obama on those so-called bitter remarks because he said Obama has really stood by the sentiment of that whereas he has really disavowed those controversial comments by his pastor, Jeremiah Wright. But Lou it really is a fine line for McCain because he has set the bar so high for himself when it comes to running what he called a respectful campaign -- Lou.
DOBBS: All right, thank you very much, Dana Bash.
Senator McCain is a strong supporter of the U.S. commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus and his surge strategy. Today the Pentagon announced that General Petraeus will be nominated as the next commander of U.S. Central Command, which oversees the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The Pentagon wants this promotion to take effort in late summer or early fall. General Petraeus will replace Admiral William Fallon who resigned amid speculation of his disagreements with President Bush on policy toward Iran.
The Pentagon also announced that General Ray Odierno will be nominated to be the next commander of our troops in Iraq. Insurgents in Iraq killed four more of our troops, three Marines and one soldier; 35 of our troops have been killed so far this month; more than 4,000 of our troops have been killed since the war began, 4.047; 29,829 of our troops have been wounded; 13,309 of our troops seriously wounded.
Up next here, a remarkable admission by the president of Mexico, Felipe Calderon, that may explain his sometimes aggressive pro-amnesty open borders agenda.
Casey Wian will have our report -- Casey.
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lou, perhaps now we know why Mexican President Felipe Calderon is pushing so hard for illegal alien amnesty in the United States. It's apparently a family affair. We'll have details coming up.
DOBBS: A remarkable story.
Thank you Casey. We look forward to your report.
Also, the Department of Homeland Security abruptly reversing course on its much ballyhooed virtual fence along our border with Mexico.
And troubling charges of a conspiracy over dangerous stun grenades, grenades that endanger the lives of our law enforcement officers. We'll have that report and a great deal more up here next.
DOBBS: Some outrage tonight, some disbelief, I suspect over the latest comments from Mexico's president, Felipe Calderon. Calderon speaking in Dallas last night said he has relatives and friends who live in this country illegally. That's right. The president of Mexico admitting as it turns out again that he has relatives in this country who are illegal aliens.
But President Calderon said he wouldn't say who or where they are until the United States passes what he called comprehensive immigration reform granting amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. You will note he didn't say until Mexico, under his leadership, can bring his citizens back to his country assuring them of both peace and prosperity.
Casey Wian has our report.
WIAN (voice-over): Mexican President Felipe Calderon traveled to New Orleans this week to discuss closer economic and security ties between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. He also visited Dallas and he spoke to the Institute of Mexicans Abroad where he acknowledged that he has relatives living illegally in the United States.
FELIPE CALDERON, PRESIDENT OF MEXICO (through translator): We all have someone on this side, cousins, brothers-in-law, friends, aunts and uncles, some of them we know we never see again while laws don't change here. They cannot move from where they are.
WIAN: Two years ago while campaigning in Mexico, Calderon disclosed he had a brother-in-law and cousin in the United States. He did not reveal their legal status. But now while on American soil, he appeared to flaunt the illegal presence of his relatives and shared a laugh with hundreds of countrymen apparently in on the joke.
CALDERON (through translator): Many times the press asks me well where are your cousins, your friends? I greet them every day each time that I am able and I tell them the day there's an immigration reform I'm going to tell them where my cousins and my friends are.
WIAN: Earlier, President Bush joined Calderon at a ceremony marking the reopening of the Mexican Consulate in New Orleans. Calderon continued to advocate amnesty for an estimated seven million Mexican illegal aliens.
CALDERON (through translator): May all Mexicans who live in the U.S. know that my administration will continue to watch over their security and their rights.
WIAN: Mexico now has 48 consulates in the United States, New Orleans being the fifth to open during Calderon's administration.
WIAN: A Zogby poll in 2002 found that Mexicans by more than a two to one margin believe the southwestern United States rightfully belongs to Mexico, so it's perhaps a bit surprising, Lou that Calderon said he admires the courage and bravery of his countrymen to risk it all to go to a land that is not theirs -- Lou.
DOBBS: You know the other that that is amazing to me is to hear a head of state, this -- Calderon reminds me so much in so many ways of George Bush. But the very idea that he would sit there and say that his countrymen he would name them once immigration reform was passed, and not take the opportunity as the leader of Mexico to say that he would like to have his family and his cousins and his friends back in Mexico, where they could work and secure prosperity and a quality of life for themselves and their children. That failure of leadership, that failure of national pride on the part of a man who is the president of his government is simply astonishing.
WIAN: Yes, it is, Lou.
He did say that he hopes to be creating more jobs in Mexico. He said he's working to that end so that Mexicans don't feel that have no choice but to leave to the United States. He says he's trying to crack down on corruption and the gang violence that is going on throughout Mexico and hurting the economy there.
But the fact that he and that audience were just laughing about the fact that so many Mexicans are violating U.S. immigration law was really kind of a slap in the face, especially given that he did it on U.S. soil -- Lou.
DOBBS: Yes and a slap in the face frankly though is that of Mexico. I mean he is a -- you would think that there would be some pride, some honor on his part that would speak to repatriating the people who have had to flee Mexico's governmental incompetence, corruption and a failure to provide for their own citizens. I mean it is really a -- just an unconscionable betrayal of government responsibilities this time on the part of the Mexican government.
WIAN: Yes and quite the contrary, Lou. The Mexican government in some quarters -- some of the state governments have complained about the difficulty they've had repatriating some of the countrymen who have left places like Arizona where immigration laws are actually being enforced, so they're complaining about their countrymen coming back -- Lou.
Thank you very much. Casey Wian.
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus today, well they decided to blast fellow House Democrats as spineless because those Democrats, particularly Democratic leaders in the House failed to push through so-called comprehensive immigration reform. Members of the Hispanic Congressional Caucus also said the leadership was simply no better than Republicans for scheduling hearings on enforcement and visa issues but not dealing with the overall issue of comprehensive immigration reform.
A statement from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office blamed the Bush administration and Republicans for delaying that so-called immigration reform. And did not respond to the charges leveled by the Hispanic Congressional Caucus.
Well as we've reported extensively on this broadcast, that so- called virtual fence doesn't work. Now, after insisting for years that the fence does work, the Department of Homeland Security announced it is scrapping its border boondoggle, a $20 million virtual fence installed along part of the Arizona-Mexico border.
Lisa Sylvester has our report.
LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Department of Homeland Security praised the virtual fence in Arizona just two months ago saying earlier kinks had been worked out and the virtual fence was now operational and effective.
MICHAEL CHERTOFF, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: We've actually had operational value come out of the system, people being detected and apprehended, I actually saw it with my own eyes.
SYLVESTER: But now DHS officials acknowledge that the $20 million radar and ground sensor system has to be replaced. And the infrastructure is not optimal given the terrain. That does not surprise rank and file agents.
T.J. BONNER, NAT'L BORDER PATROL COUNCIL: There were problems associated with the technology which would have been readily apparent before they ever constructed this had that bothered to talk to the people who do the job day in and day out. Dust storms for example decrease visibility.
SYLVESTER: This broadcast has been pointing out holes in the virtual fence for the past two years.
DOBBS: But as we have repeated on this broadcast many times before, technology has already proven completely ineffective in securing our borders.
SYLVESTER: DHS says quote "the virtual fence was never intended or purported to be the perfect end-state solution, it is a prototype. We anticipated a need for some changes". But Representative Ken Calvert says DHS needs to stop wasting taxpayer money for an unproven system.
REP. KEN CALVERT (R), CALIFORNIA: The virtual fencing is still a theory, an idea, and different types of technologies are better than others; what we need to do is go to what works first.
SYLVESTER: For Calvert that's to build not a virtual fence but a real one.
SYLVESTER: DHS says the equipment from the 28-mile virtual fence in Arizona will be used in other places along the border. And the agency still is insisting that the virtual fence is not being scrapped all together. But consider this the taxpayers have already paid some $20 million for this program and will likely have to pay even more to put in a new replacement system -- Lou.
DOBBS: Lisa, thank you very much, Lisa Sylvester from Washington.
Coming up here next a defense contractor standing accused of selling defective stun grenades to the FBI. We'll have that special report and the strong Pennsylvania finish for Senator Clinton, now the battle with Senator Obama moving to Indiana. Which candidate holds the upper hand? We'll have that story.
Stay with us. We'll be right back.
DOBBS: A military contractor tonight is under indictment for selling defective stun grenades to the FBI. Federal investigators say Pyrotechnic Specialties Incorporated relabeled and then sold faulty flash bang grenades to the FBI after the U.S. military had rejected those grenades. And according to the indictment three FBI agents were seriously wounded by those grenades.
CNN special investigations correspondent Abbie Boudreau reports.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, here we go.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Three, two, one.
ABBIE BOUDREAU, CNN SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): That was a flash bang grenade, being tested, a bright flash and a loud bang often used during war, or by SWAT teams to confuse and disorient. No, they're considered non-lethal. If they detonate early they can be very dangerous. The U.S. Attorney's Office announced an indictment against Pyrotechnic Specialties, Incorporated, also known as PSI and its top officials.
PSI had a $15 million contract with the Department of Defense to supply the flash bang grenades. The indictment charges that some of those flash bangs were defective and that they could have been fixed for $3.72 per unit. But instead, investigators say PSI relabeled the defective grenades and sold them to the FBI and other local law enforcement agencies claiming they were safe, and that they met the Depart of Defense safety standards. The indictment also charges that at least three FBI agents suffered quote "serious injuries" when defective flash bangs went off prematurely.
REP. TRENT FRANKS (R), ARIZONA: We're going to do everything we can on the Armed Services Committee to make sure that we add teeth and clarity and transparency.
BOUDREAU: Congressman Trent Franks of Arizona is a member of the Armed Services Committee. Today he expressed outrage and disappointment at these allegations.
FRANKS: We have a tremendous responsibility to make sure that they are the best equipped, best trained force in the world and to somehow for financial gain to repackage faulty equipment that endangers their lives and their mission is an unthinkable tragedy.
BOUDREAU: Lou, you may wonder how PSI convinced government agencies to buy their product. Well federal investigators say PSI's CEO, David Karlson took a Marine official for a quote, "free visit to the Gold Club", a now closed gentlemen's club in Atlanta. Prosecutors say that official later tried to get the Navy under contract with PSI. We have repeatedly reached out to PSI for comment, so far no response.
DOBBS: And this investigation going forward with the prosecution, hopefully we'll see justice served here in short order.
Abbie, thank you very much. Abbie Boudreau.
Time now for some of your thoughts.
John in New York said: "Lou, so the virtual fence is as effective as virtual prisons, virtual doctors, virtual jobs, and virtual money. It seems Washington is full of virtual idiots that don't work very well either." And Alfred in Georgia said: "Dear Lou, after many years of patiently waiting and jumping through all the legal hoops, I have finally become a legal U.S. citizen. And I can vote in this election. Can you imagine my dismay after all these years of waiting to find that these are my choices? This country deserves better and so do its citizens."
Desmond in Georgia said: "Lou, I started watching your show at the start of the election. You've had my attention since. You continue to enlighten the middle class American on issues that should hold first priority in our everyday lives. Continue to do what you do and keep shaking them up."
We're going to sure keep trying. We will have more of your thoughts here later in the broadcast.
And please join me on the radio each afternoon, Monday through Friday for "The Lou Dobbs Show". Go to loudobbs.com to find local listings for "The Lou Dobbs Show" on the radio in the afternoons. Please join us.
And up next here Senator Clinton launches a new offensive against Senator Obama after her impressive victory in Pennsylvania. We'll have a special report on the tough primary contests that lie ahead.
And rising concerns tonight about gender bias in the national media against Senator Clinton, I'll be joined by three of the best political analysts and strategists.
And Senator McCain stepping up his efforts to sell himself as a populist, will he succeed? Three of my favorite radio talk show hosts will join me.
Stay with us. We're coming right back.
DOBBS: Senator Clinton, tonight, is vowing to fight to the finish after her decisive victory in Pennsylvania. Now both senators are focusing their energy on Indiana, the next key battleground in the Democratic Race.
As Kitty Pilgrim now reports, Senators Clinton and Obama are in a dead heat.
KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Campaign showdown, Indiana, May 6th, with 72 delegates and 13 superdelegates, a big prize. The Clinton campaign aggressively pursuing voters there for weeks. Today the candidate was in Indianapolis. And Indiana is so important to Senator Obama, he took off for the state last night, before the results were counted in Pennsylvania.
AMY WALTER, THE HOTLINE: The demographics favor Hillary Clinton in that it is a state that has a lot of blue collar workers. It's a state that has significant rural population and at the same time, Barack Obama has some advantages here because a big constituency in Indiana gets their TV from Chicago. He's familiar to voters in the eastern part of the state.
What we've seen from the polls is that this is basically a dead- even race at this point.
PILGRIM: With a packed schedule of primaries in seven states plus Puerto Rico between now and the beginning of June, the campaigns are in the final stretch.
Political analysts like Amy Walter look at demographics for clues on who might win the key states. By that criteria, North Carolina, with more than 20 percent of the population African American, and upscale urban areas, is a state that may favor Obama, and it has 115 delegates, more than Indiana. West Virginia and Kentucky, voting a week later, are both rural states and likely Clinton's strongholds.
JOHN DICKERSON, CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, SLATE: Particularly these blue collar voters that she's done well with and these working class folks where she basically says, look, you've had a tough time, I've had a tough time, we're in this sort of together. And so she'll keep pushing on that message.
PILGRIM: And then there's Oregon with a large pocket of affluent voters. It could go to Obama.
PILGRIM: You can analyze by demographics, districts or states, but the one thing political analysts this will venture to predict is this will be a very likely a closely fought race, no clear advantage through the primaries and up until the convention -- Lou.
DOBBS: Or perhaps up until and through the convention. Kitty, thank you very much, Kitty Pilgrim.
Joining me, three of the best political analysts, Republican strategist, LOU DOBBS TONIGHT contributor, Ed Rollins. Ed recently chairman of Mike Huckabee's presidential campaign, also former White House political director under President Reagan; "New York Daily News" columnist and LOU DOBBS TONIGHT contributor, Errol Louis; Democratic strategist Robert Zimmerman and LOU DOBBS TONIGHT contributor.
Far more important than any of the rest of that stuff but not as important perhaps as Robert being also a Senator Hillary Clinton support and superdelegate.
Good to have you all here.
Let me begin tonight, you nailed it. You said that Senator Clinton would win by a margin of between nine and ten points. You had it on the button.
ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Thank you for remembering that. It was a I'll say just a fortunately a lucky and educated guess, hopefully. It was based upon advice I got from both campaigns, friends in both camps as to what brought me to the conclusion.
DOBBS: You have friends in the Obama camp?
ZIMMERMAN: Everyone talks. Everybody does business with everyone as Ed knows and a lot of friends in both camps. We have to stay that way, too.
DOBBS: It doesn't seem that you're doing too well at that though, at least your candidates they can't stand each other, can they?
ZIMMERMAN: Well, let's say it's -- hopefully - I think it will come together. Maybe a little bit of counseling will help.
DOBBS: I'm sorry. I couldn't help it.
ZIMMERMAN: They'll come together eventually.
DOBBS: Well, are they going come together or are we going to see it be a battle all the way into and through the convention?
ERROL LOUIS, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Well, certainly through the end of June. There's no reason at all especially after something like what we saw yesterday in Pennsylvania. There's no reason Hillary Clinton should drop out after what happened yesterday. There's something to be gained. There's nothing to lose by staying in. The party seems to me - the party elders seem to be patient enough. There's no outcry, nobody saying ...
DOBBS: The party elders have been satisfied to see it go on all along. It's been the Obama supporters who have been calling for Senator Clinton to get off.
LOUIS: And interestingly enough, it's not the candidate himself. I mean he's not indirectly suggesting that she just go away. I mean I suppose he would like it to happen. But when asked, he says he's planning and expecting and staffing up in every remaining state and they're planning to see this go the distance.
DOBBS: So what are we going see at the end of this? I mean Senator Clinton today I mean she had a heck of a victory in Pennsylvania, ten points, rounding up. And the fact is that the national media didn't give her her due. I mean we had more columns about what she should do maybe in Indiana or when to get out of the race than we did of the terrific victory she won in our national newspapers. I would include "The New York Daily News" there as well national news organizations.
LOUIS: Well, there's some reason for that. I mean when you look at -- there are national polls when asked whether or not they think she's going to become the nominee in the end, most voters say they don't expect her to come through this. There is this little matter of these delegates which is the way the nominee is supposed to be selected. DOBBS: What I can't get through my head is she needs, he needs, both of them need 2,025 delegates and neither one of them, based on what we're seeing now, is going to have them. So what is this nonsense about she should drop out? What is this nonsense about this thing is decided? Do we really expect these superdelegates -- the Democrat Party has been marked I think in this season at least as being hardly the most loyal of folks. Why would we expect these superdelegates to remain committed?
ED ROLLINS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: The whole idea of the superdelegates was to basically, in a situation like this, to basically make independent judgments. Whether they will or not, we'll have to see but neither are going to have sufficient delegates to be the nominee. She had a tremendous victory yesterday and she reinforces far bigger than I thought particularly the kind of money that's spent against her but the important thing here is her argument is he can't win. He can't win the states that we have to win. Pennsylvania is going to come down to be the most important state again and if he can't even win the primary, then I think her argument is a good argument.
Now he's going to come back and he's going to win North Carolina. The truth of the matter is Republicans are going to win North Carolina in the fall and I think the reality is that she has shown an ability to attract the kinds of voters that Democrats need to be competitive in those states. So I think she's got a good argument. Whether the Democrats are going to listen to her or not, I have no know. I don't care.
DOBBS: The signature odyssey of Ed Rollins. Well, I do care about it because one of the reasons I care about is I want to see some of the most interesting political news of the century this year. We're not getting it. This is - I mean we've got the first woman, the first black to possibly be running ...
LOUIS: And the first old man.
DOBBS: Right and the oldest old man. We've seen the old man thing before. But you know I don't -- this is a peculiar feeling, tasting, smelling sort of operation here. There's not the excitement. We're getting worn down by gender, by race, by socioethnocentric demographic group voting for whomever.
I mean this is not longer an uplifting experience. I think for many Americans, this is a wearing down experience coming from we started out with the audacity of hope and now we have sort of the straightforward sensation of just will it ever end.
ZIMMERMAN: Well you know Lou, I have a different perspective than you on this and by the way, after last night, I have a very different perspective than you do. I mean you look at the record turnout each of these primaries is producing, if you look at the heightened voter registration that's being created.
DOBBS: OK. I'm excited. That's fine. What are we getting excited about is what I can't figure out. ZIMMERMAN: We're getting excited about two issues in my opinion. One is of course the history that the two candidates represent but more than that, we're getting excited about the need to change the direction of the country.
DOBBS: Let's be straightforward. I was talking to somebody on my radio show this afternoon about this. You know you talk about experience. These people want to - these candidates want to be regarded as the candidate of experience.
Which one would you say has the greater experience and by how much?
ROLLINS: John McCain, by 20 years.
DOBBS: But he's never been - he has never been a chief executive of anything.
ROLLINS: Neither have any of the other two. There's not going to be a chief executive.
DOBBS: That's my point and the point of my caller.
ZIMMERMAN: It's a much bigger issue than who's got the most experience. It's about who is going to change things.
DOBBS: What the heck is the issue here?
ZIMMERMAN: I will tell you. It's about whether we want John McCain who represents from my perspective the status quo and a third term of the Bush administration?
DOBBS: You're campaigning. You're not answering the question, Robert.
ZIMMERMAN: I sure am.
DOBBS: The fact of the matter is these are some of the most inexperienced people to ever buy for the presidency in the history of electoral politics in this country.
LOUIS: Lou, that ship sailed a long time ago. That ship sailed when Dodd dropped out, when Biden dropped out.
DOBBS: I can see the sails on the horizon. Can we stay with that metaphor?
ZIMMERMAN: First of all, it depends how do you define experience. I would argue that Hillary Clinton is more experienced for this office that Bill Clinton when he ran.
ROLLINS: He was a governor for 12 years.
ZIMMERMAN: She has been a senator for eight years.
ROLLINS: But there's a big difference in running a government. DOBBS: OK. Folks, we're going to have to continue this in one moment.
When we return, you were about to admonish and to straighten the record out for Mr. Zimmerman.
ROLLINS: Yes I was.
DOBBS: Errol was about to jump in and interrupt you. We'll be back with that and more. I'll be talking with three of the country's best radio talk show hosts as well. We'll be talking about those radio show hosts about why Obama can't close the deal.
Stay with us. We're coming right back.
DOBBS: We're back with some of my very favorite people. We're talking about one of my favorite newspapers, "The New York Times."
Now "The New York Times," as you may recall, endorsed your candidate, right, Senator Hillary Clinton?
DOBBS: So I anxiously opened the editorial page this morning to be greeted by this headline. The headline was low victory or low road to victory.
But here's what she said: "Clinton became the first Democratic candidate to wave the bloody shirt of 9/11. By using negative campaigning, she undercuts the rationale for her candidacy that led this page and others to support her: that she is more qualified, right now, to be president than Mr. Obama. Mrs. Clinton once had a big lead among the party elders, but has been steadily losing it, in large part because of her negative campaign."
ROLLINS: That's absurd. That's one of the more absurd editorials of the "New York Times" which that I think have absurd editorials most of the time. First of all what she was doing in her ad which is a pretty effective ad when she's talking about who should be the commander in chief and who basically it's a security issue. It's what Democrats have been beat on the last two elections and I think to a certain extent, for them to say, reminding people that you need to be a commander in chief is very important.
DOBBS: I love the bloody shirt remark as if "The New York Times" somehow had through the auspices of its editorial page the right to trivialize 9/11 even in condemnation I'll say this to you "New York Times" editorial writers, all of you together, huddle around your set because I think that that is -- you owe everybody an apology for stooping to that level.
What do you think, Errol?
LOUIS: I think what they were reacting to which I think is a legitimate issue is the use of the image of Osama Bin Laden.
DOBBS: Then say it. Say it.
LOUIS: If you're suggesting it was poorly written, as a member of a rival editorial board, I might have to agree. But I think though that the deeper question that they were getting at, not very well in my opinion is that you can't go around scaring voters. It's is not the right way to campaign.
ZIMMERMAN: I have a lot more respect for the voters, Errol, in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Texas than to assume that they just all came rushing to Hillary Clinton out of fear. She had a message that resonated to them. She campaigned and Ed's right. Democrats have lost ground on national security. We can't be afraid of that issue.
DOBBS: I think between "The New York Times" and Senator Obama, the question of just how tired the Democratic voters of Pennsylvania are of being looked down upon.
LOUIS: But let's leave the "Times" out of it, in the closing hours of critical campaigns, what she has done, this is where we saw the 3 a.m. ad. She has done these kind of gripping, kind of a scare them, sort of trying to herd the voters at the last minute.
DOBBS: Be careful. The editorial office said that Obama was stooping pretty low himself.
LOUIS: He's not been doing that.
DOBBS: Here's one I got to hear from you guys on. This is --
ROLLINS: I have to go on this one.
DOBBS: This from the Obama campaign's top strategist David Axelrod saying this on national public radio today. Are you ready?
"The white working class has gone to the Republican nominee for many elections, going back even to the Clinton years. This is not new that Democratic candidates don't rely solely on those votes."
What do you think of that? Ed, you were ready to jump out of your chair.
ROLLINS: Well first of all, the majority of Americans are white working voters and if you don't get a majority of voters, you're not going to win. If Axelrod's strategy is to basically get nothing but African-American voters and thinks he's going to win, he's sadly mistaken.
LOUIS: A dumb piece of spin that's at odds with the stated message of the campaign. This is supposed to be the campaign that doesn't slice and dice and put them in demographics.
ZIMMERMAN: What a shock that is Errol but the bigger issue is it's historically wrong. Bill Clinton was elected twice because he was able to appeal to white working class voters and if the Democrats can't do that, we're not going to win again.
ROLLINS: Especially in Pennsylvania.
DOBBS: I'm sorry.
ROLLINS: Especially in Pennsylvania.
DOBBS: I thank you, gentlemen, for your analysis, your passion, your fervor and for restraining yourselves throughout the remainder of the time we had together. Thank you.
A reminder to vote in our poll. Do you believe there is a gender bias in the national media against Hillary Clinton? Yes or no? Cast your vote at loudobbs.com. We'll have the results here in just a few moments.
But next, we'll be talking with our radio talk show hosts.
And at the top of the hour, "THE ELECTION CENTER" and Campbell Brown.
Campbell, tell us about it.
CAMPBELL BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Well, Lou, at the top of the hour we're going start looking ahead to the next round of make or break primaries. We're going to see what worked for Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania, what Barack Obama needs to fix and what it all means for contests in Indiana and North Carolina coming up. We're going to get analysis from the best political team on television, a lot to hash out all at the top of the hour on "ELECTION CENTER" -- Lou.
DOBBS: OK. Campbell, thank you. Look forward to it.
We'll hear also what people around the country are saying to some of the top radio talk show hosts in the country.
Stay with us. We're coming right back.
DOBBS: Joining me now, three of the best radio talk show hosts and some of my very favorites. In our Washington bureau, Joe Madison, WOL and XM Radio. Here in New York, Mark Simone, WABC Radio, in Philadelphia Dom Giordano of WPHT Radio.
Good to have you with us, Dom.
Let's turn to the impressive victory. I was stunned to see "The New York Times" editorial this morning when I picked up the paper.
I don't know about you, Mark, but they endorsed her, did they not? MARK SIMONE, WABC RADIO: Yes.
DOBBS: I mean what's going on?
SIMONE: Well, they endorsed McCain then they announced that he was in some scandalous relationship with some woman.
DOBBS: They said they didn't.
SIMONE: But according to their dates, they would have known that when they endorsed him. Don't be surprised by anything you read in that paper.
DOBBS: I just can't believe the way there was a deafening silence, if you will, in the national broadcast media about what was an impressive win for this senator.
SIMONE: It's not the great victory it appears to be. There's no way she's not going win on delegates no matter what happens here.
DOBBS: We shouldn't even bother?
SIMONE: No, we should bother but you can always tell who is winning. They're the one not trying to debate. She's demanding debates left and right and that's always the one who is behind.
DOBBS: Well Dom's sitting there in the heart of Pennsylvania central. Give us your read on it.
DOM GIORDANO, WPHT IN PHILADELPHIA: I think Lou you're right in that it was a big win. She was outspent, two and a half, 3 to 1, and she won by ten points in Pennsylvania. Six I think is what we usually use as a standard of a good victory. I was in the spin room after the debate and my theory is the national media is giddy over Barack Obama, any number of them, we see it all the time in cable and otherwise and I was doing a live radio show walking around, they came after me because I liked the questions in the debate and think people in Pennsylvania wanted those, how dare I suggest that?
DOBBS: Joe, what do you think?
JOE MADISON, WOL IN WASHINGTON: Well, I don't think that they're giddy over Barack Obama. I mean he really caught hell over many missteps that he did make. I mean there were missteps. I think the situation is that everybody knows that he's ahead in delegates, he's ahead in money, he's ahead in the popular vote. He is the one who, if this were Hillary Clinton, quite honestly, we would be asking Barack Obama to step out. This thing is going to go until June. So we might as well get used to it.
The thing I have against "The New York Times" and all these other news media outlets is that ...
DOBBS: Except for CNN.
MADISON: To a degree, CNN. They ought to grow up. This is politics. It is hard nosed politics.
DOBBS: You mean you reject the precious darlings that don't think that they should say unkind things about one another.
MADISON: I'm from Detroit; I learned my politics from Coleman Young. My god.
DOBBS: Joe, whatever I've ever said to offend you or insult you in any way, I was kidding. If you learned from Coleman Young, give me some room.
GIORDANO: But Lou, I would interject. My headline today is a good one I think for across the board across the board whoever you support is why cant Barack Obama close the deal, put Hillary Clinton away. He's had her on the ropes all these times, that's where the superdelegates have a good question. What is it that's preventing him from doing it?
SIMONE: You know why he can't close the deal, he's an unbelievable speaker, he's a great candidate. For some reason when he debates, he's just flat. He can't wipe her out in a debate. It's the one skill he never taught himself.
MADISON: That's because she's good, she's smart, and they're both very smart. I think they're a lot smarter than some of the people asking the questions.
DOBBS: Are you talking about here tonight, right this moment? What do you mean by that?
MADISON: I'm talking about the debate. They should have us at the debates.
DOBBS: You know that's going to happen. We have the ugly attitude, we get to follow up with follow-up questions. None of us is going get embraced on this panel for that. We'll be right back. Our panel, I'll embrace them right after this.
Stay with us.
DOBBS: We're back with Joe Madison, Mark Simone and Dom Giordano.
Gentlemen, let me turn to some comments made by Felipe Calderon, the president of Mexico.
First let's just start out with what Bush said. He said: "The SPP, Security and Prosperity Partnership, complements the success of the North American Free Trade Agreement. NAFTA has helped to create millions of new jobs in all three countries and NAFTA is key to maintaining North America's competitive edge."
Is George Bush - what is he thinking about? Mark?
MADISON: He isn't thinking.
SIMONE: He's thinking about January when he can go back to the ranch and just the title security and prosperity partnership, which did we get out of that?
DOBBS: Well ...
SIMONE: We haven't got security or ...
DOBBS: Seventy four billion dollar deficit with Mexico, $65 billion with Canada and then he says -- Felipe Calderon says he will at some point -- he mentions that he has family living now in the United States illegally. He said this before. He says that after the United States passes comprehensive immigration reform that then he'll tell someone where his -- you know he was making something of a joke.
DOBBS: ...where his relatives are. This is ridiculous.
MADISON: In my neighborhood, Lou, we call that -- he's pimping us. And that's exactly what he's doing. And people aren't stupid.
We had a lot of people call in and talk about this superhighway. I know that had to be a part of the discussion; I know that common currency probably had to be a part of the discussion. They're not fooling anybody with this. And -- what an insult to stand on the soil of the United States and then just crack jokes at our expense. And that's what you call pimping us, and we're allowing --
GIORDANO: Hey Lou, I would add to it, though Lou, that I don't get as upset about this because I think the joke is on President Bush and the Mexican president in that we've stopped them, they haven't gotten what they want, they haven't won on this. They have realized the Democrats are unable to deliver it. You don't hear immigration talked about, though, in this presidential debate between the three candidates, because they're all on the same page.
MADISON: Because the media isn't bringing it up, though. They're not talking about it. They're not asking them the questions.
GIORDANO: Well -- that's absolutely true.
SIMONE: There's nothing you can do. Both parties are in collusion on this. They both agreed to do nothing.
SIMONE: And as long as that's the case, there's no where to turn.
DOBBS: Wait, I got to say one thing -- there is a way to turn. We've already seen what happens when the people watching this broadcast, when the people listening to your broadcast, people all around this country, make their voices heard in Washington. The first thing is, folks like Bush and Calderon, they don't have the stomach for real, real stand up, straightforward discussion of issues. And when the American people take them on, they're going to fall like -- like
DOBBS: -- like the cheap cards that I think they are.
All right. Thank you very much, Dom.
Thanks for being with us.
GIORDANO: Thank you very much, Lou.
DOBBS: Thank you very much Joe.
MADISON: Thank you.
DOBBS: Thank you very much Mark.
Our poll results tonight -- 74 percent of you say there is a gender bias in the national media against Senator Hillary Clinton.
Thanks for being with us tonight. Join us here tomorrow.
For all of us, thanks for watching. Good night from New York.
The "ELECTION CENTER" with Campbell Brown begins right now -- Campbell.