Return to Transcripts main page

Lou Dobbs Tonight

Obama Steps up Attacks; McCain's Appeal; ACLU Fighting Enforcement; Bizarre Ballot Initiatives; Big Bailout

Aired October 22, 2008 - 19:00   ET


LOU DOBBS, HOST: Thanks, Wolf.
Tonight, a big disparity in the poll numbers for Senators Obama and McCain, Obama's lead ranging anywhere from 10 percent to one percent. What's going on with these polls? Three top political analysts will assess that and give us the answers.

And tonight the stock market, the Dow plummeting 500 pounds, Wall Street firms at the center of a financial crisis and receiving at the same time huge sums of taxpayer money to hand out $20 billion in executive bonuses this year.

And tonight, the ACLU on the offensive, putting the interest of illegal aliens ahead of the interest of American citizens once again. We'll have that special report.

I'll be joined by Governor Matt Blunt of Missouri, who will tell us how his state is trying to stop illegal immigration; all of that, all the day's news and a lot more from an independent perspective straight ahead here tonight.

ANNOUNCER: This is LOU DOBBS TONIGHT: news, debate, and opinion for Wednesday, October 22nd. Live from New York, Lou Dobbs.

DOBBS: Good evening, everybody. The latest opinion polls showing the presidential race is much more volatile than a lot of national media organizations have been suggesting. Two polls in fact give Senator Obama a lead of 10 percent, while one poll from The Associated Press says Obama is leading Senator McCain by one percent.

Another poll, the battleground poll, showing a lead of only two percent. Many in the national media have declared the McCain campaign to be ended. The McCain campaign is saying Obama supports higher taxes and spending and he's not ready to lead they say. We have extensive coverage tonight. We begin with Candy Crowley with the Obama campaign in Leesburg, Virginia.


CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a double challenge to John McCain's turf, Barack Obama marched through Virginia, Republican presidential territory for more than 40 years. At the same time, he challenged McCain's national security credentials, to McCain's argument that Obama is untested in a dangerous world, the Democratic nominee suggested McCain is outdated in a changed world.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're not going to defeat terrorist networks that operate in 80 countries through an occupation of Iraq. We're not going to deny the nuclear ambitions of Iran by refusing to pursue direct diplomacy alongside our allies. We're not going to secure the American people and promote American values with empty bluster.

CROWLEY: Obama's mini news conference came after a muscle flexing photo op with his national security brain trust, formers ambassadors, lawmakers and military brass and a little name dropping of an absentee.

OBAMA: General Powell is one of our finest soldiers and statesman. He has been a source of advice and I look forward to drawing on his counsel and the counsel of all these standing with me today if I am president.

CROWLEY: He also brushed back McCain/Palin criticism of Joe Biden's remark that Obama as president would be tested early in the global arena. Obama basked the gist of it if not the wording.

OBAMA: I think that Joe sometimes engages in rhetorical flourishes, but I think that his core point was that the next administration is going to be tested regardless of who is it.

CROWLEY: Back on issue one, Obama defended his plans to increase taxes on wealthy Americans. He once explained it as spreading the wealth around. The Republican team calls it growth busting socialism.

OBAMA: Was John McCain a socialist back in 2000 when he opposed the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans?

CROWLEY: McCain has since said he would preserve those tax cuts.


CROWLEY: Now, from Richmond, Barack Obama came up here to Leesburg, Virginia. This was very much Bush territory in 2004, and among some of the most unlikely places that we really expected to see a Democrat in the closing days of this campaign. It just shows how this map is shifting. And tomorrow, Lou, Barack Obama goes to Indiana.

Also a very Republican state, but where this campaign, at least, thinks they have a real shot. And as you know, after that Barack Obama is heading to Hawaii to see his ailing grandmother -- Lou.

DOBBS: And Candy, we put up on the lower third there, the CNN poll showing a 10-point gap between Senator Obama and Senator McCain. Yet, the Mason/Dixon poll, which came out right after our poll shows only a two-point lead for Obama in Virginia. What are we to make of these disparities in polls?

CROWLEY: We are to make of it that this is a very mercurial race. That you know pollsters in addition to that have different methodologies, I mean this is way above our pay grade, but we often see that in one day, a poll can find one thing, but the next day, it can change because they're looking at different things or they're in different places. So it's not unusual, but it does point to a race that is not yet settled at this point.

DOBBS: All right, Candy. Thank you very much. Candy Crowley from Leesburg, Virginia.

Senator McCain today appealing to voters to ignore the polls, showing that he's behind Senator Obama. McCain telling voters in the battleground state of New Hampshire to come out one more time on his behalf. McCain then went on to Ohio, another frontline battleground state. Dana Bash reporting from Cincinnati, Ohio, where Senator McCain and Governor Palin are holding a rally right now. Dana?

DANA BASH, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They sure are, Lou, and you can probably see and hear behind me that Sarah Palin is now on the stage speaking and definitely rallying this crowd, for the most part, who came out pretty much to see her. That certainly seems to be the case here.

It's a pretty large crowd. And what they're hearing Sarah Palin say is something that we have heard both she and John McCain say at pretty much every stop today. They are still pounding away on the issue of the economy and specifically using the person who they pretty much made famous in this state, "Joe the Plumber", to continue to hit Barack Obama on his tax policy.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This week, we learned that Senator Obama is concerned that his plan is seen as welfare, so he just added a work requirement. So now, if you're unemployed, Senator Obama's plan won't help you at all. That's the problem with Senator Obama's approach on taxes. He's more concerned about creating a tax plan that is quote, "fair" than creating a plan that creates jobs and grows our economy.



SARAH PALIN (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: And if you don't like the way our opponents have treated a guy who just asked a simple question, then you, too, you're "Joe the Plumber", too. Now it...


PALIN: Knowing that there are a whole lot of representatives of "Joe the Plumber" here, it doesn't sound like many of you are going to be supporting Barack, the wealth spreader, in this election.


(END VIDEO CLIP) BASH: And Barack, the wealth spreader, is a new line that Sarah Palin has been using all day long, Lou, and you heard Candy talk about the fact that Barack Obama is in the state of Virginia playing offense against John McCain because Virginia, of course, is historically, at least for the past 40 years a red state.

Well here in Ohio, John McCain is definitely playing defense because Ohio is a state as the cliche goes, but I think it bears repeating that no Republican has ever won the White House without winning Ohio. And in fact we have a brand new poll out from CNN Opinion Research on the state of Ohio today and I'll give it to you.

It shows that Barack Obama is ahead by 50 (INAUDIBLE) 50 and John McCain has 46, so Obama is ahead by four points. And not just that, if you look at the sort of the regional breakdown, right now I'm in the city of Cincinnati. This historically has been a Republican area in this state, and just the fact that John McCain is here, trying to rally his people, not necessarily going to what has been more traditional swing areas of the state, shows you the fact that they still believe that they have a pretty big challenge here in this very important state -- Lou.

DOBBS: All right, Dana, thank you very much. Dana Bash in Cincinnati.

New evidence tonight that most Americans have lost confidence in our political leaders irrespective of party. That according to a new survey by the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Merriam River Group (ph). The survey finding 80 percent of all Americans now say this country faces a leadership crisis.

That compares with 77 percent who said so a year ago, 65 percent back in 2005. These numbers reflect, of course, plummeting approval ratings for both President Bush and Congress, both at historic lows. The latest real clear politics average shows President Bush has an approval rating of 26 percent, the Congress, just 14 percent.

President Bush and members of Congress don't appear to be at all embarrassed by those ratings. They were -- there were, however, a few red faces at "The Wall Street Journal", the house organ of corporate America and pro amnesty business groups. "The Wall Street Journal" today published the same article on illegal alien mortgages on two separate pages in its early editions, but the articles had very different headlines.

On page A2, this headline, "The Journal's" headline, "Mortgages for Undocumented Workers Fade Away" and on page A3, the headline was "Illegal Immigrants, Mortgage Hopes dim", a startling difference in the labels there between the phrase undocumented workers favored by the amnesty lobby, and the phrase illegal immigrants.

"The Wall Street Journal" acknowledged it ran the same story twice and it corrected the error in later editions. By the way, the headline in those editions later referred to illegal immigrants and it is striking that the editors of "The Wall Street Journal" saw fit to run a story on the disappointment of illegal aliens in this country and not being able to get a mortgage now as opposed to a story say on two million foreclosures, homes owned by American citizens. Go figure.

Up next, you won't believe the bizarre ballot initiatives that face millions of voters in states all across the country. We'll tell you about them, at least some of them.

And the ACLU is at it again, saying efforts to enforce our immigration laws are unconstitutional. Now, why won't the ACLU defend the interest of Americans? We'll have that report next. Stay with us.


DOBBS: The American Civil Liberties Union claims the Department of Homeland Security's efforts to enforce immigration laws are unconstitutional. In point of fact, it is the ACLU actively trying to block enforcement of this nation's laws. Is that constitutional? Casey Wian has our report.


CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): By law, customs and border protection is permitted to operate check points up to 100 miles away from the border, but the ACLU is trying to strip that authority. It says constitutional protections are being ignored for two thirds of the nation's population living within 100 miles of a border.

BARRY STEINHARDT, ACLU: These are in fact the Constitution free zone of the United States where Customs and Border Patrol believes that it has the authority to conduct stops, questioning searches, demands for papers. And they can do this without warrant, without probable cause.

WIAN: At a news conference, the ACLU played this video of retired social worker Vince Peppard, who says he was stopped at a check point about 15 miles from the Mexican border near San Diego. Agents asked to search the trunk of his car.

VINCE PEPPARD, RETIRED SOCIAL WORKER: I'm thinking of these old B-rated Nazi movies where they pull over people at checkpoints and go papers please or something. I said I'm a member of the ACLU. I -- this is wrong. I'm not opening my trunk as a matter of principle.

WIAN: Customs and Border Protection spokesman says, "our authority comes from several Supreme Court decisions. That it is not unreasonable to stop and conduct brief searches of vehicles on the highway." In fact in U.S. v. Martini Suarte (ph), the Supreme Court ruled to require that such stops always be based on reasonable suspicion would be impracticable, yet the ACLU is considering a strategy very familiar to the Homeland Security Department, lawsuits.

MICHAEL CHERTOFF, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: I will tell you that with each step I have taken, my agency has taken to continue to enhance and increase enforcement of the law, we have had unbelievable obstacles thrown in our face. There are probably 100 cases entitled the ACLU v. Chertoff.

WIAN: The ACLU always says it's working with several members of Congress on legislation to limit interior Border Patrol check points.


WIAN: In 2004, the Border Patrol studied the effectiveness of its interior check points. It found they were responsible for nearly a third of the marijuana and nearly three-quarters of the cocaine seized by the Border Patrol nationally, so they work, Lou.

DOBBS: Well the ACLU would want that stopped, I'm sure. You know what do they say? I mean this is -- what is the point of what they're suggesting? They want the borders wide open? They want amnesty for illegal aliens and they want the drug war to continue to be decided in the favor of the drug traffickers, a simple deal, right?

WIAN: That would seem to be the inference and the amazing thing is, is the Supreme Court ruled back in the mid-1970s that the Border Patrol has the absolute authority to conduct these searches. So they're saying it's unconstitutional, but the Supreme Court has ruled on this long ago, Lou.

DOBBS: And there is no legal recourse for an American citizen against the ACLU, is there? Isn't that unconstitutional?

WIAN: I think that's a rhetorical question, Lou. I'll leave it at that.

DOBBS: How did you figure that out? Casey, thank you so much. Casey Wian.

On election day, voters will be deciding much more than their choices for president and Congress. Their ballots all across the country containing dozens of initiatives and referenda measures on everything from legalizing prostitution to giving farm animals more space. Lisa Sylvester has our report.


LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The oldest profession in the world could get some protection in San Francisco. A ballot measure Proposition K in the city would decriminalize prostitution, basically prohibiting police and prosecutors from stopping sex workers from doing the job they have chosen.

It's just one of many ballot initiatives that voters will decide on November 4th. A total of 152 questions are on statewide ballots this year, 59 of those were proposed by citizens who collected enough signatures to have their issue placed on the ballot.

PETE SEPP, NAT'L TAXPAYERS UNION: Those who qualify the measure have to do advertising. They have to do get out the vote drives. Pretty much the same things that candidates themselves have to do.

SYLVESTER: Funding, gambling, and health care are all top issues, but there are also some unusual initiatives. In California, voters will decide if egg-laying hens should have more room to stretch their wings. In Arkansas, the question before voters is whether to repeal part of that state's constitution that bans a quote, "idiot or insane person" from voting.

JENNIE DRAGE BOWSER, NAT'L CONF. OF STATE LEGISLATURES: In some cases it's local groups, it's grassroots movements demanding change and in other cases it's national groups pushing an agenda that they believe in, in other states.

SYLVESTER: There are also controversial measures. Michigan, for example, would allow marijuana for medical conditions. Colorado would give any fertilized egg inalienable rights, equality of justice and due process. Supporters say ballot initiatives are good for democracy, allowing citizens to bypass state houses to enact laws, but there are downsides. In many states, special interest groups with deep pockets are behind those initiatives, and voters can be inundated with ballot questions.

KAREEM CRAYTON, UNIV. OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: You get actually ballot fatigue on the part of the public. That you know the people get so sick of actually going to the polls and voting on stuff that they know very little about that ultimately they say forget it.


SYLVESTER: Another major complaint that those ballot questions are written in a way that is long winded and complicated so that it's hard for the average voter to discern what they are even voting on. This year, Colorado, Oregon and California have the most ballot measures -- Lou.

DOBBS: Well I want to go back to Arkansas. They want to change it so idiots and fools, what was it, can't vote?

SYLVESTER: Yeah, essentially that's the way they have this on their books, it's a part of their constitution that says no idiot or insane person is allowed to vote. They are now repealing that or at least that there's a ballot measure that would repeal that, Lou.

DOBBS: You know, I would be less worried about idiots and insane people voting than I would be -- you know I'd be more interested in jus nationally a prohibition against idiots and insane people running for office. That would be more helpful, wouldn't it?

SYLVESTER: I think a lot of people would be interested in that ballot measure, Lou.

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

Well if you notice any trouble at your polling place on Election Day, we want to hear about it here. Please call CNN's voter hotline, 1-877-462-6608 and you can find that number on our Web site at

Up next here sanctuary policies for illegal aliens being blamed in the shooting of two New York City police officers. We'll have that story and Mayor Bloomberg's reaction.

I'll be talking with the governor of Missouri. No sanctuary policy there, he wants to crack down on illegal immigration.

And remember, all of those promises about CEO pay being cut under that trillion dollar Wall Street bailout approved by Congress? Well, it turns out it's not worth the paper that it's written on. We'll have that report next.


DOBBS: One of the selling points of that massive Wall Street bailout was that runaway executive pay and bonuses would be cut. But Wall Street firms at the center of the nation's financial crisis are being propped up by your tax dollars and billions of dollars have been set aside, more than $20 billion, for you guessed it, executive compensation. Louise Schiavone has our report.


LOUISE SCHIAVONE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Wall Street may be in the tank, personal investments may have crashed, but at lots of corner offices life is still good. The expectation is recession or not, this year, the bonuses will flow.

BILL COLEMAN, SALARY.COM: Bonuses are where all the money is made in Wall Street. But you have a lot of people who will take home two, three, four, $5 million a year, but their annual salary is 100,000 to $250,000 a year.

SCHIAVONE: And while the 2008 aggregate will be less than last year's, there's an expectation that Wall Street has roughly $20 billion in bonus money ready to fly.

SARAH ANDERSON, INST. FOR POLICY STUDIES: They looked at the paper packages that were handed out to the CEOs of the nine major banks that are getting the equity capital infusion from the Treasury Department. And last year those nine CEOs received 289 million combined.

SCHIAVONE: But New York's attorney general is putting the brakes on executive compensation at mammoth insurer AIG, the company conceding that more than $500,000 in bonuses will not go out this year. Andrew Cuomo telling AIG quote, "rebuilding trust in our capital markets requires executive compensation packages that are rational, fair, and based on bona fide performance measures that are disclosed to the public", end quote.

Corporate watch dogs say executives who presided over debacles like Richard Fuld at Lehman Brothers should return their past bonus millions.

NELL MINOW, THE CORPORATE LIBRARY: People like Fuld at Lehman, who said well my performance was great for a long time until it wasn't, they want to keep all that money. That's just ridiculous. SCHIAVONE: A spokesman for Lehman tells CNN quote, "Mr. Fuld did not have an employment contract and received no golden parachute or severance. Most of his compensation over the years was in Lehman stock which he didn't sell and is now worthless", end quote. Fuld is still CEO of Lehman, earning a $750,000 salary. He got a four and a quarter million dollar cash bonus in March.


SCHIAVONE: Lou, of concern, where do Wall Street's habits of extravagant pay and bonuses stand? And like the billions now flowing from the Treasury to the banks, there's nothing in that $700,000 billion bailout legislation defining excessive compensation. And taxpayers won't know the size and shape of bonuses across the board until those checks have been written at the end of this year -- Lou.

DOBBS: Thank you very much. It's unimaginable that the Democratic leadership of Congress and Hank Paulson, the Republican administration's secretary of the Treasury, that they somehow might have misled us about that constraining of executive compensation. Unimaginable. Thank you very much, Louise. Louise Schiavone.

Some of the Democratic leadership in Congress, well they want to bring back the fairness doctrine. A former federal communications commissioned policy that required broadcast stations, radio and television to present so-called balance in their broadcasting, in effect. Liberals would use the fairness doctrine to muzzle the contrary and conservative points of view, particularly on talk radio, the one media outlet where liberals are in the minority.

In our poll tonight the question is do you support the Democratic Party's effort to reinstate the fairness doctrine? Yes or no. Cast your vote at We'll have the results here later in the broadcast.

Time now for some of your thoughts. Brandon in California said, "I never stop watching CNN and every day I await your show. I just got my absentee ballot because I'm away at college, but I was wondering, why aren't you on it? Well that's a nice question and I appreciate the thought, but I wouldn't want to be in that company, if I may say.

Matt in Illinois, "I'm watching this pre-election nightmare and I can't believe my eyes. How is it that we are supposed to be the beacon of democracy in the world, and yet we can't even hold a fair election?"

Ginny in Oregon, "Lou, you wanted our stories about early voting. We live in Oregon. Last night, my husband and I sat down with a cup of coffee and filled our ballots together in the comfort of our own home. I will mail them tomorrow knowing that my paper ballot says exactly what I want it to say with no electronic glitches or switches. Hooray for the Oregon mail-in vote!"

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

Up next, stocks plummeting today by more than 500 points. Three top political analysts join us to see just exactly what this means for the -- either presidential candidate.

Also, two police officers shot in New York City, troubling new example of what happens in sanctuary cities.

And Governor Matt Blunt of Missouri is showing the rest of this country and the presidential candidates how to deal with our illegal immigration crisis. He's among our guests. He joins us here next.


DOBBS: Welcome back. A criminal illegal alien facing attempted murder charges tonight in New York City after shooting two police officers in this sanctuary city. The shooting occurred yesterday as the officers tried to arrest Raul Nunez for entering a subway station without paying. Nunez was shot four times by police.

Nunez was an illegal alien from the Dominican Republic with a long criminal history. He was deported in 2001 on dug charges. Nunez reportedly telling the detectives he feared he would be deported if he was arrested. Therefore, he shot two police officers and ultimately a third police officer shot him four times.

We should note that New York City is one of more than 70 sanctuary cities all across the country that refuse to enforce U.S. immigration laws. Sanctuary laws protect illegal aliens, even those who have committed serious crimes.

In Missouri, Governor Matt Blunt is leading a successful effort to crack down on illegal immigration. Last year, the governor directed law enforcement to verify the immigration status of criminal suspects, that order leading to the arrest of more than 300 illegal aliens. Now Governor Blunt is launching a joint task force with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement to crack down on illegal immigration, specifically illegal employers.

Governor Blunt joins us from Jefferson City, Missouri.

Governor, good to have you with us.

GOV. MATT BLUNT (R), MISSOURI: Good evening.

DOBBS: Governor, the idea of going after illegal employers of illegal aliens that seems like a terrific idea, going straight to the heart of the issue. What has been the response in your state?

BLUNT: You have to turn off the magnets. And Missourians understand that. You have to turn off the magnets that attract illegal immigrants. One of the primary magnets is employers who hire illegal immigrants. You have to crack down on that.

That's why we have entered into these task forces, these joint task forces, with the federal Immigrations and Custom Enforcement in Springfield and in St. Louis and Kansas City to work together and to go after these bad actors.

Most employers play by the rules, but clearly, there are some that do not, and it needs to be dealt with and dealt with very strictly.

We have taken good steps in Missouri to do things like that as well as cracking down on sanctuary cities. We very specifically said you cannot be a sanctuary city, and made it illegal to refuse to cooperate with federal authorities.

DOBBS: And turning to another issue, English has been known as the common language in Missouri. Now a ballot measure would change that. The ballot measure reads in part English should be the part of all governmental meetings in which any public business is discussed, decided or where public policy is formulated. Obviously, you support that amendment. It's making English the official language, is it not?

BLUNT: Absolutely. I do support it. It is a step forward. We have had reports in Missouri of counsel meetings being conducted in a foreign language. There are opponents, and those opponents try to spread some misinformation about it. They'll suggest, for example, that they will ban translation. It doesn't do that. If somebody needs a translator, they'll have one. The public discussion of public votes, those will be in English. That's the language Americans used to follow in my pursuit.

DOBBS: For our friends at the St. Louis Post Dispatch, in a recent editorial, the paper urged Missourians to vote no on the constitutional amendment to make English language of all government meetings. In part it said, "The xenophobes should chill their Lou- Dobbsian rants and steer clear of the state constitution." I mean, aside from the fact --

BLUNT: Lou, on this issue and others, the Post Dispatch is out of touch with the sentiments of the people of our state. Missourians don't agree with the Post Dispatch very often. They don't agree with the Post Dispatch in insuring that English is our official language and public meetings of their democracy are conducted in English.

DOBBS: I would like to know what language they would like to have their meetings conducted in. I would like to have them have the guts -- I would love to hear them say what language they would like those meetings held in since English is a requisite for citizenship and involvement in public business. Governor, the idea that we're having these discussions in 2008 is mind boggling that there should be any division at all over this issue. We're the most welcoming society on the planet, yet we are going through a presidential election where the issue of illegal immigration has not even been treated as a glancing matter. It has been, the failure, in my opinion, of the national media, to insist that these candidates deal honestly and straightforwardly with the issue. What is your reaction?

BLUNT: The failure of Washington to address this issue and the presidential candidates and the national media means the states need to do more. We urge other states to do more, to take action, to combat illegal immigration. It undermines the rule of law, which is a central pillar of our democracy. We're the most welcoming democracy in the world. Illegal immigration undermines the rule of law.

DOBBS: All right. Governor Matt Blunt, thanks for being here. Appreciate it.

BLUNT: Pleased to. Thank you.

DOBBS: Up next, communist China increasing its advantage over American workers. Now that's something they needed to do. We'll have a special report here next. We'll be right back.


DOBBS: Treasury Secretary Paulson this week commended communist China for its role in insuring global economic stability, as he put it. Also calling on the next president to see China as a growth opportunity for American companies. But as Bill Tucker now reports, communist China is only increasing its unfair advantage at the expense of American workers.

BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson heaped praise on China in a speech in New York Tuesday night.

HENRY PAULSON, TREASURY SECRETARY: It's clear that China accepts its responsibility as a major world economy that will work with the United States and other partners to insure global economic stability.

TUCKER: But even as Paulson spoke, Communist China's leaders were busy taking action which showed the country's first priority is not the world but itself. China raised the subsidies on more than 3400 products that Chinese manufacturers export. Due to declining U.S. and European demand, that has led to lay offs and plant closings in China. The action helps give the Chinese producers an even greater price advantage, on top of the country's extremely low wages and lack of labor and environmental laws.

ALAN TONELSON, U.S. BUSINESS & INDUSTRY COUNCIL: Frankly, the Chinese must be laughing all the way to the bank. Paulson doesn't seem to recognize or doesn't want to recognize that the Chinese are playing a much different game than we are.

TUCKER: July a year ago, China cut its exports subsidies to calm its trading partners who were angry about the government aid. Now the Chinese economy is slowing, from 10 percent in the second quarter to an estimated 9 percent in the third. Critics of current U.S. Chinese policy say before we try to work it out with the world, we should take care of America first, just like China takes care of China first.

REP. THADDEUS MCCOTTER (R), MICHIGAN: The first responsibility of its government elected officials is not to have kumbaya moments with communist Chinese. It's to advance the benefits of the Americans. It's time for people to remember that especially those placed in positions of responsibility.

TUCKER: Critics like McCotter point out while communist China was growing at 10 percent, the U.S. economy was growing at less than 3 percent. (END VIDEOTAPE)

TUCKER: Now, the Chinese concerned about their slowing growth have decided to cut taxes on home buying, slash mortgage rates, and according to reports in the state run newspaper, the China Daily, a cut in the personal income tax is also under review.

DOBBS: Well, they're going to cut taxes over there because their economy is down to 9 percent growth. We're looking at global recession, and folks, we're talking about raising taxes. We're doing brilliantly here. I tell you, Bill Tucker, thank you very much.

A reminder to vote in our poll. Do you support the Democratic Party's efforts to reinstate the fairness doctrine which would muzzle contrary points of view on radio and television? Cast your vote at We'll have the results in a few moment moments.

A reminder to join me on the radio Monday through Friday for the Lou Dobbs Show. Tomorrow, my guests include Andy Zellic of Harvard Kennedy School of Government. We'll be talking about real leadership and the deficit thereof. Go to to find listings for the show in your area.

And up next, Barack Obama making changes to his tax plan two weeks before Election Day.

And New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to run for a third term, while ignoring the rule of most New Yorkers, three of the best analysts join me to talk about the presidential and political news. We'll be right back.


DOBBS: Well, joining me now, three of the best political analysts. Republican strategist, Ed Rollins, Ed also serving as White House political director under President Reagan, recently the chairman of Mike Huckabee's presidential campaign, Pulitzer Prize winning columnist, "New York Daily News" Michael Goodwin, Democratic strategist, Democratic National Committeeman, Robert Zimmerman.

You must be terrified tonight. Two polls showing Barack Obama with the lead of 1 point and 2 points. How are you holding up?

ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I think the polls that show him with a nine-point and ten-point lead have more validity with much better research. Ed has been doing polls for 40 years. He's a poll expert.

DOBBS: I was going to let you have a little fun here, Robert.

ZIMMERMAN: The AP poll, what is interesting is that it concluded the evening of Colin Powell's endorsement, the night after he endorsed. I don't think it gave the full picture, but I was intrigued by the 25 percent who were persuadable voters.

DOBBS: An interesting warning sign, what was that percentage again?

ZIMMERMAN: 25 percent.

DOBBS: 25 percent, that's a lot of undecided.

MICHAEL GOODWIN, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: There are a lot of undecideds. The thing that struck me the most, the Wall Street Journal or somebody else's poll, but they had independents moving in big numbers to Obama; older people moving to Obama. These are people that McCain thought he had a shot with, with the older people, should have had a real advantage with. They're moving to Obama. And everybody seeing Obama just as good as McCain on leadership. These are shifts that don't bode well for McCain at all.

DOBBS: Dismissing the 1 percent and 2 percent poll results?

ED ROLLINS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I don't dismiss them, but you know I haven't seen the internal ones. SO I don't know if they overrated the Republicans. Ed Gollus who does the AP poll has been McCain's pollster. He's a first-rate pollster, but you don't know what to make of this. The critical thing is that Obama in the key states now has the lead. It's not a national poll. It's state by state. There are three or four that matter that are within four points of each other. If somehow those shift in the next week, then you have a real horse race here.

ZIMMERMAN: Obama, the swing states, the critical swing states, Obama is now at 50 percent. That's a magic number. That's a very encouraging sign in the battleground states.

DOBBS: An encouraging sign, and I saw a poll in Virginia, Candy Crowley reported a 10 percent advantage for Obama. And then the Mason-Dixon poll came out, showing a two-point lead for Obama. They want to change our focus to the states and the votes, what are we to make of that?

ROLLINS: There's a big divergence. A whole series of polls came out today that CNN is involved in, first rate polling from firms that have good margins. There's another group of good pollsters that have them close. I think they are close. The advantages that Obama has is he's on message. He's got four to one money to spend. He's got this get out to vote. He's got all this early vote that's going on. And to a certain extend, McCain on the first time is on a message. I'm going to keep taxes down. I'm going to make sure social security people are protected. If he stays on the message, he may erode some of the support.

GOODWIN: On the question of message, I think Ed is absolutely right. The tax message, I thing, is the best message for McCain. It is about the economy. It's what people can relate to. He's bungled it by digressing it into calling him a socialist. I know what point he's trying to make.

DOBBS: He didn't call him a communist.

GOODWIN: That will probably be coming any day now. DOBBS: After the Congress voted on a trillion dollar bailout, socialist doesn't have the same ring that it once did.

GOODWIN: I think people want it. Please, give me some of that wealth. Give me some of the old time wealth.

DOBBS: What is it Governor Palin calls Obama the wealth spreader. It almost sounds like a compliment the way she says it.

GOODWIN: And name calling is a negative way of making a good point. I don't think negative works in this environment.

DOBBS: It's also a lot of fun to call names, I suppose. Let me turn to some adroitness on the part of the campaign, Senator Obama's campaign. His economist adviser telling after Senator McCain had been criticizing Senator Obama for his welfare program, I love the fact that they simply added a work requirement to it in one day. How long has this plan been out there?

GOODWIN: Since January of '07, something like that.

DOBBS: So you have got to give your candidate great credit for flexibility.

ZIMMERMAN: Think about it. Whether it's a welfare program, put a worker requirement in there.

DOBBS: What does it mean for the Republicans that John McCain didn't even notice it until two weeks before Election Day?

ROLLINS: It's on the computer. At the end of the day, this election is not about economic policy. It's not social policy. The people are going to make a judgment on who they think can lead. The government is going full scale down a railroad track about 150 miles per hour spending our money on things that they're not sure are right, wrong, or indifferent. And whoever the polls show gets elected on November 4th and he gets his first budget from his new budget director, which will be after January 20th, he will be hiding under the table for about four days, thinking, I'm not so sure I want this.

DOBBS: If he's a man of great strength. We'll be back with our panel in a moment. We'll decide who it is -- well, we'll determine how that money will be spent, beginning January 21st. We'll be right back.


DOBBS: We're back with Ed Rollins, Michael Goodwin, and Robert Zimmerman.

Michael, I want to turn to you. We lost 500 points today in the market. What's going on?

GOODWIN: It's interesting, I looked at it the other McCain and Obama had their first debate September 26th, the Dow was 11,100. Today, it's about 8,500. That's about 2,600 points down in the Dow. That's over $3 trillion in wealth that has vanished. One of the results of that and it's going on around the world is the European governments are taking stakes in companies that eventually as we saw with the airliner deal last year, these companies will start competing with American companies.

We're losing a lot for a long time in terms of our ability to compete on the international stage. Bill Tucker's piece on China is a fascinating example. There's a long range consequence to what is happening every day and the candidates just won't talk about it.

DOBBS: Is this a vote of no confidence in both of these candidates?

ROLLINS: I think it is. Thank goodness we didn't have the ten debates. We'd really been in trouble. I watched a documentary on Lyndon Johnson who said before the heart attack, he drank about two pint of scotch a day. I think the next president is going to have to drink about a case of scotch a day to deal with these problems. They are so serious, and I think no one has any concept of what's going on. I think we have never spent more money faster, without a plan, in our history.

DOBBS: There's no question and the idea that this Congress is talking about the fairness doctrine. Nancy Pelosi today and Senator Bingaman of New Mexico, coming out with the fairness doctrine, trying to shut down the idea that we would have somebody talking about a doctrine when it comes to the first amendment. These people are getting ignorant and I'm serious. I'm an independent populous, so it's not going to effect me. Conservative or liberal, it's ignorant. It should be of grave concern to voters.

ZIMMERMAN: You're going to see a lot of Democrats and Republicans stand up and argue this. The members that elect the leadership, the members of the majority come moderate and many of them conservative in both the Democratic members of the House and the Democratic members of the Senate. So quite frankly, they're not going to allow themselves to be in the position of supporting --

DOBBS: Senator Obama is not even on record here. Does your candidate support the fairness doctrine?

ZIMMERMAN: I don't know, but I certainly don't.

DOBBS: We can go through a few other issues, too.

ZIMMERMAN: Issues like border security have not been addressed in the campaign.

DOBBS: Not addressed in the campaign. Not addressed by the national media. You're talking about the money that's being spent. The remarkable thing is we're talking about $2.2 trillion in the crisis, $2.2 trillion, almost the federal budget, and not a single person in congress, leadership, will say this money will be spent for a specific purpose that will have this effect. Not a single person in this administration, not the head of the federal reserve, not the treasure secretary or the American people, you have to watch a $700 billion measure be passed by congress, but only after they said one of the aspects was some members of Congress, marshal law, the reality is, this is fear mongering. There is no responsibility. Our leaders don't know what we're doing, and we seem to be indifferent to it. It's crazy.

ZIMMERMAN: There's a study out by Harvard that points out a complete lack of confidence in our government at a record level. It's reached an all-time high this year. They do an annual study on how our community feels about its country.

DOBBS: Showing a lack, 80 percent saying we have a leadership crisis.

ROLLINS: The most important thing, because there are still a couple months in the administration --

DOBBS: Are you trying to scare us?

ROLLINS: Talking about a stimulus package when we had a stimulus package that went nowhere. We put $2.2 trillion back into the economy.

DOBBS: If it did not occur to anyone watching this broadcast tonight and looking at the reporting, just this evening, that neither the Democratic leadership nor the Republican leadership, whether it's represented by the white house or the candidates or campaigns for president, however your slice it, they don't know what they're doing. And this is a referendum on their leadership right now. This may all be well and good in terms of political terms. Elections have consequences. So do public policy decisions we have been following.

GOODWIN: What should be scary is that the candidates don't seem to be preparing. Let's assume Obama is going to win?

DOBBS: Let's assume that there's a big surprise.

GOODWIN: I don't hear from the Obama people any real plan to deal with this other than the plan they crafted 18 months ago when they first started running. They have not caught up to the reality of what is happening in the world economy.

DOBBS: They're not alone. And the unfortunate part is they're going to need a lot of help from a lot of directions.

ROLLINS: You ought to start your own column 101.

DOBBS: I wish 101 would cover what we need answers. Thanks very much, Ed, Robert, thank you very much, Michael.

Tonight's poll results, 69 percent of you would not support the Democratic Party's effort to reinstate the fairness doctrine.

Thanks for being with us. Please join us tomorrow.

Campbell Brown NO BIAS NO BULL starts right now.