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Lynne Cheney Discusses Hollywood Violence; Bill Bradley Talks Presidential Politics; What Role Will Gender Gap Play in Election?Aired September 17, 2000 - 12:00 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: It's noon in Washington, 9:00 a.m. in Los Angeles, 7:00 p.m. in Athens, and 3:00 a.m. Monday in Sydney, Australia. Wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks for joining us for this 90-minute LATE EDITION.
We'll get to our guests shortly, but first, a quick look at the hour's top stories.
BLITZER: Turning now to the race for the White House. The latest CNN/"USA Today" Gallup tracking poll, which we're releasing at this hour, shows Vice President Al Gore continuing to lead Texas Governor George W. Bush, 49 to 41 percent. Green Party candidate Ralph Nader trails with three percent and Reform Party candidate Pat Buchanan is brining in one percent of the vote.
And joining us now to talk about the presidential race and this week's report on Hollywood's marketing of violence to children is Lynne Cheney. She is the former chairman of the National Endowment of the Humanities and the wife of the Republican vice presidential candidate, Dick Cheney. She joins us live from Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Lynne Cheney, welcome to LATE EDITION.
LYNNE CHENEY, WIFE OF DICK CHENEY: Thanks, Wolf.
BLITZER: And I want to get to the whole issue of Hollywood and violence in a second. But you're quick reaction to our latest poll, 49 to 41 percent. That seems like it's almost a complete reversal of where the poll numbers were about a month ago.
CHENEY: Listen, Wolf we are the underdogs in this race and it is a very close race. When you look at other polls, you will have us up. Look at battleground polls. When you look at it on a state by state basis, it is very close. Rick Berke -- Richard Berke had an article in "The New York Times" this morning calling it the closest presidential race in history. It is close.
BLITZER: So you are not showing what some in Republicans here in Washington seem to be showing and which has been widely reported, a little sense of nervousness, panic or anything along those lines right now? CHENEY: Well, I would invite -- I would invite them to come out on the road with us where the crowds are large and enthusiastic and the message is very well received. It is a great campaign going on out here. Wolf, you should you come out with us.
BLITZER: All right, maybe I will, you never know. It's -- stranger things have happened.
Let's talk a little bit about Hollywood and violence. You testified before the Senate this past week. Joe Lieberman, testified as well. The point that the Gore campaign is making, and Bill Daley, chairman of the Gore-Lieberman campaign was on "Face The Nation" earlier today.
The point that they are making is that -- take a look at what -- Vice President Gore says. He's going after one of the core constituents of the Democratic Party, namely the entertainment industry. Listen, for example, to what Bill Daley said earlier today.
I guess we don't have that sound bite from "Face The Nation." But the point he was saying is...
CHENEY: I can tell you what he said. He said, oh, well, we're telling our friends in the entertainment industry that we really don't like this very much.
They're, with a wink and a nod, letting the entertainment industry, getaway with poisoning the minds of our kids. Al Gore, I think, must have extraordinarily, low concept of the American people's intelligence to think that he can in the day time ride around in school bus and talk about values, and talk about how important it is to raise the culture, so that our children can thrive.
And at night, go to a party with the entertainment industry, raise millions of dollars, listen to scatological jokes about people who are concerned about the entertainment industry marketing adult products to our children. Sit there and listen to jokes so -- how shall I say this politely, X-rated that I can't think of anyone I could tell them to. Sit there and listen to name calling and people making fun of those who are concerned, making fun of the moms and dads that are concerned about what the entertainment industry is doing.
I think he has an extraordinarily low valuation of how smart the American people are, if he thinks we're not going to see through this.
BLITZER: Well, what would you do differently, let's say, the governor -- Governor Bush and Dick Cheney win, what could you do differently to change what's going on right now?
CHENEY: Well, for one thing I will keep talking about this issue, keep holding these people up for shame. And I can tell you one thing, Dick Cheney and governor are not going to go around and apologize to the entertainment industry for what I'm saying.
Mrs. Gore took a rather heroic stand in the mid-80s against violence and sexuality in the lyrics of some music, a lot of music that kids listen to. In '87, before he ran for president, Al Gore went to Hollywood and took his wife along, and they apologized to the entertainment industry. They said this tact had been a mistake. Some clever person took a tape-recorder to the meeting. This was all reported in "Daily Variety." This is a pattern and a practice. Al Gore will say one thing when it's time to raise money and he'll say another thing when he wants the moms and dads of this country to think he is on their side.
BLITZER: But you have been saying all along that there is no real legislative solution to this, no regulation that you could see, would withstand the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. So in other words what you are saying the only thing that the president or the vice president or you or anyone else could do would be to use the bully pulpit, in effect, to try to put pressure on Hollywood to change the tone of the music industry, the film industry.
CHENEY: But it is more than just, you know, standing up and saying oh, my isn't this too bad. What I did in my Senate testimony is suggest that the time for that has passed. We need to name names. We need to hold people up for public shaming, who are so reckless, that for a few dollars they will market adult products to our kids.
In the Senate hearings passed out lyrics to the rap singer Eminem's song "Kill You." You're talking about women in these segments. These lyrics are so demeaning to women. He talks about raping and killing his mother; he talks about killing women's slowly, so that they will scream for a long time. He talks about painting the forest with their blood. If you want to talk about a culture in which women are not valued, then you should talk about these lyrics. The idea that Al Gore is saying that he is on the side of women, while he is giving a wink and nod to this kind of thing being fed into our culture, is frankly astonishing for the audacity involved.
BLITZER: You are probably familiar with the story that Associated Press moved this week, a story by Pete Yost, one of their investigative reporters that suggests that Governor Bush perhaps himself was involved in the entertainment industry in an embarrassing way when for 10 years he was on the board of a company, a silver screen management company which used to produce a lot of these kinds of movies which you are deploring.
One movie in particular entitled ...
BLITZER: ... Let me just point out one movie in particular entitled "The Hitcher," which we tried to get a clip from that. We saw some of the clips.
We couldn't air it on this program given the very graphic, violent nature of rape and murder in this kind of movie. Isn't there a...
CHENEY: Now, wait...
BLITZER: Go ahead. CHENEY: Let's draw some distinctions, Wolf. I mean, you really do need to draw distinctions carefully. You can't condemn the whole entertainment industry. You have to point out that they do some things that are wonderful and beautiful.
I have been talking about Harvey Weinstein and Miramax for having produced a really dreadful film called "Kids" that -- well, it's based on a book that's pornographic, that you can't buy, because it shows underage kids having sex. They try to get around this by showing underage kids having sex in the movie but using actors that are 17 and only look young. But, Miramax has also produced "Shakespeare in Love." Let's not fail to draw distinctions.
To get back to the Governor Bush issue for a second, he was on the board of this company, a company that produced many fine products as well. Well, some lovely ones for children like "The Little Mermaid." And some great ones for adults. Though R-rated, "Good Morning Vietnam" is a terrific film.
In any case, people sitting on boards don't know the details of what's going on, don't know what's happening in terms of production, which is exactly why this week in the Senate testimony, I wrote to two women directors of the board of Seagram assuming and saying in my letter that I was sure they did not know the lyrics that Eminem was singing. Assuming they didn't know that.
BLITZER: But on this point...
BLITZER: Should Governor Bush between -- the 10 years that he was on the board of this company, should he have been more aggressively involved. We're told in this report he did take about $100,000 in directors fees. Should he have been more aggressive in trying to convince the film -- the company not to go forward with these kinds of movies?
CHENEY: Well, Wolf, I serve on the board of -- until I took a leave for this campaign, I served on the board of a number of corporations. What directors do is provide overall guidance. But in any case, please, do not let the Democratic attack machine blur this issue.
Governor Bush sat on the board of directors providing overall guidance. The Democratic candidates for president and vice president are standing at Radio City Music Hall next to some of the worst offenders, who are taking products that are only suitable for adults and marketing them to Camp Fire Girls and 10-year-olds.
This is completely inexcusable for a president and vice presidential nominee to do this. And it is even worse for Al Gore to have such a low regard for the memory and intellect of the American people that he thinks we're going to forget that in the morning he says one thing and at night he does another.
BLITZER: All right, Lynne Cheney, we have to take a quick break. When we return, the presidential campaign is entering a critical stage. We'll talk campaign issues and ask Lynne Cheney why the Bush- Cheney ticket is apparently having so much difficulty connecting with women voters.
LATE EDITION will be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AL GORE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Local control of education is no excuse to pass the buck on education. And I sure don't believe we should spend all those bucks -- the entire federal surplus -- on a huge tax cut for the wealthy at expense of everyone else.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Vice President Al Gore criticizing Governor George W. Bush this week on the education issue.
Welcome back to LATE EDITION. We are continuing our discussion, now with politics, with Lynne Cheney.
Lynne Cheney, one poll that sprung to light this past week, in Florida, key battleground state, a lot of people thought this was a lock for Governor Bush, given the fact that his brother Jeb Bush is the governor of Florida. But the "Florida Sun Sentinel" poll has Gore at 44 percent in Florida; Governor Bush at 42 percent. Making it a toss-up state, statistically a dead heat. A lot of people are saying one of the reasons is because women simply are not supporting Governor Bush. They are flocking to Vice President Gore in huge numbers. Why is that?
CHENEY: Well, we have said from the beginning this is going to be a close race. It may be the closest race that we have had in many decades. It is a close race.
The gender gap of course goes two ways. You could ask why is it that men seem to prefer Governor Bush. I think, though, that that gap as far as women is concerned is going to close when Governor Bush's message begins to be heard ever more loudly, as it will in these closing weeks of the campaign.
About education, for example. If you look at what's happened in the last eight years, there has been absolutely no improvement in reading scores in this country. Bill Clinton and Al Gore have talked a good game. They are good at talking, but when it comes to action, when it comes to walking the walk, they don't do anything. Reading scores have not improved in the last eight years according to the national assessment of education progress. Math scores have only improving slightly.
The gap between minority and non-minority kids is as large as it has ever been. We are consigning hundreds of thousands of kids growing up in the inner cities to lives of failure because we are not teaching them to read. This is -- this is a disgrace. And I think as we take up this issue as the campaign advances, this is very important to women. It's very important to men, too.
BLITZER: You've seen all the commentary in the media that Joe Lieberman is described as the happy warrior. He's happy to be on the campaign trail. But your husband, Dick Cheney, doesn't seem to be so happy. That he may be -- he may be even having some second thoughts about the entire decision that he made to go forward with this. Any truth to any of that?
CHENEY: No. Of course not. Now, you know Dick, Wolf. You've known him for a long time. You covered Dick when he was secretary of Defense during one of our nation's most trying times, the Gulf War.
Dick is not frantic. Dick is not the kind of politician that flings his arms around. He is not the kind of politician that runs up and grabs your baby and kisses it. He's a serious guy. And this is -- this is a serious election.
BLITZER: And he's had...
CHENEY: We're talking -- well, let me just finish. We're talking about whether we are going to continue in office an administration that has failed us in so many areas, education being the prime one.
But one other thing -- because I love Dick and so many people do love him, I think that, you know, he's a laidback guy. But he is exactly the kind of guy that you want in a crisis. This is not the guy that, you know, runs around the room breathing fast when things are going wrong. This is the man -- this is the man you want to help guide the president at the helm of this country.
BLITZER: Lynne Cheney demonstrating once again why she was such a good co-host of "CROSSFIRE" in a recent life of hers. You don't miss those days, do you?
CHENEY: Well, it was a little trying. I was living in Texas and coming to Washington every weekend and fighting, fighting, fighting with Bob Beckel on camera at least, he's not a bad guy at all off camera. But it was a little exhausting. I'm much happier to be doing what I'm doing now. Though I've got to say, campaigning can be a little exhausting too, exhilarating at the same time. It is really wonderful to travel this country and meet the people who have their hopes invested in the Bush-Cheney ticket.
BLITZER: All right, Lynne Cheney, thanks for joining us.
BLITZER: I know you're anxious to get back on the campaign trail and we'll be watching.
CHENEY: You bet. Thanks.
BLITZER: Thank you. In many ways, campaign 2000 is becoming a ballot of the sexes with women voters emerging as a critical voting block this election. When we come back, we'll be joined by two senators to discuss the campaign's issues and the growing gender gap, Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and California senator Barbara Boxer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOVERNOR GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: They stand on the side of big government. We stand on the side of the American families.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GORE: Let's cut the wage gap between men and women. In fact, let's cut it in half.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Texas Governor George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore battling for critical female swing voters on the campaign trail.
Joining us now to talk about what role the gender gap may be playing in this year's election are two U.S. Senators. Kay Bailey Hutchison joins us from Dallas, and Barbara Boxer joins us from San Francisco.
Senators, welcome back to LATE EDITION. And I want to begin with Senator Boxer, and give you a chance to respond to what Lynne Cheney said. She was very tough in accusing Vice President Gore and Joe Lieberman of being hypocrites when it comes to whole issue of Hollywood and violence, saying one thing, but then taking the money from these same people at the same time.
How do you respond to that?
SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D), CALIFORNIA: I would only say that the record is clear it was the Clinton-Gore administration that ordered the FTC to do this study, the very study that Lynne Cheney is talking about, in terms of the marketing efforts of Hollywood. And I can tell you, because I represent the state that has the entertainment industry here, that they are making a lot of waves. Yes, they have friends, but they're not afraid to tell their friends when they're wrong. I think that a good quality that Al Gore has.
BLITZER: What's wrong with that, if anything, Senator Hutchison?
SEN. KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON (R), TEXAS: Well, I think that it is very important that we have somebody that uses the bully pulpit of the White House that will say, this is wrong, we should not be marketing poison to our children. And we have had the Clinton-Gore White House for the last eight years saying virtually nothing. And I think it is time for us to say, we are going to empower parents to do what they can do to keep their children from having the kind of just violence and inappropriate material in videos and video games and movies.
BLITZER: All right. I want to move on, because, I think, a key factor in this election that's emerging right now is the whole issue of the so-called gender gap. Our newest CNN/"USA Today" Gallup poll -- I want to just read these numbers -- shows that when it comes to women voters out there, Al Gore is at 53 percent, compared to George W. Bush at 36 percent. A huge gap, Senator Hutchison. Women seem to be supporting Al Gore in huge numbers, when compared to Governor Bush. Why?
HUTCHISON: Well, first of all, I want to say that there is a gender gap for the Gore campaign, and that is with men. But I think what you have shown is that there is a gender gap with women, and in looking at the polls carefully, we find that married women tend to be either evenly split or a little more for George Bush. But it is single women and older women where we're having the problem.
And I think what we need to do is show more of what Governor Bush is trying to do in education, that no child would be left behind. That we are not going to wait until a child drops out of high school to deal with education, but go to the third grade, where, if a child isn't reading at grade level, we give them the help they need right then. We need to talk about retirement security ...
BLITZER: Well, let me just bring in Senator Boxer, because I know she is anxious to comment, as well, on the -- as far as the men -- the male gap that is in our newest CNN/"USA Today" Gallup poll. It's 47 percent for George W. Bush, 44 percent for Al Gore, a three- point difference. But there's a 17-point difference among women, of course. And there are more women voters out there than men voters.
Why do you think that is the case that Bush -- that Gore is doing so much better than Bush right now, Senator Boxer?
BOXER: Well, three reasons: issues, issues, and issues. Women really tend to focus on their families. We like to protect our families. We look at children, and we look at our grandparents and our parents. And if you look at the issues that Al Gore and Joe Lieberman have put out on the table, protecting Social Security and Medicare, compared to some of these risky ideas that George Bush has, that women seem to step back and say, you know, we think those programs work. They want to keep this economic recovery going. They want to invest in education. And, yes, they want to see us continue to reduce the debt, and they feel it is risky to give huge tax cuts to people who don't need them. They prefer the middle-class-targeted tax cuts of Al Gore and Joe Lieberman. So I give women a lot of credit.
HUTCHISON: I think in the beginning, they weren't sure about Al Gore, could he be his own man and I was at convention when he made that statement, and I think women believe it and I think they like him now.
BLITZER: Senator Hutchison, what some women are suggesting is that this gap is at least in part perhaps significantly, in part the result of the fact that Gore and Lieberman support a woman's right to have an abortion whereas, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney oppose abortion rights for women.
How important is the issue of abortion when it comes to appealing to women voters?
HUTCHISON: Well, I think women are split on that issue, and I think it's very important that, that you say that reasonable people can differ on this issue. But I think just to speak to Barbara's point about Medicare and Social Security, first of all, Governor Bush is putting forward a plan that would give every working American the opportunity to have a piece of the investment in Social Security that is the economy that they are creating. Not a mandate, but certainly a choice to have some part of their investment under their own control.
In Medicare, Governor Bush is coming forward with a prescription health care plan, and I think the marriage tax penalty is one of the very important differences between Governor Bush and Vice President Gore. People who get married, two school teachers are not rich and they do deserve to keep $1,400 they're paying in taxes just because they got married. And President Clinton has vetoed marriage tax penalty relief twice, so I think there are some very real differences here.
BLITZER: On that specific issues of the marriage tax penalty which President Clinton of course, vetoed the passage in the House and the Senate, how do you respond to that, that is an issue that a lot of women are looking at.
HUTCHISON: Let me say that women get it. They understand that middle class targeted tax cuts make sense. For example, you should be able to get a good solid deduction when you're paying for these very high costs of college tuition, that's something that Al Gore supports very strongly as well as Joe Lieberman and the Democrats. But they also look at the totality of the Republican tax cuts, they are more than our surplus, they are risky and if you look at all of them, all of them are skewed toward the upper income people.
For example, the George Bush tax cut is amazing if you look at it. It'll be $50,000 a year back to those who make over $300,000 and a few hundred dollars to those who make $30,000. American women understand and men are beginning to get it too, you see that gap is closing among the men, that that's just not the right way to go.
BLITZER: Senator Boxer, Senator Hutchison, we have to take a quick break. Just ahead, Senators Hutchison and Boxer will be taking your phone calls.
Plus, the budget battle in Washington. Could a government shutdown be looming?
Stay with us.
BLITZER: You are looking at a live picture of the United States Capitol. It's quiet today here in Washington, but things are about to heat up with the budget deadline looming and many spending bills still up in the air.
Welcome back to LATE EDITION. We're continuing our discussion with two U.S. senators, Kay Bailey Hutchison and Barbara Boxer.
What about that, Senator Hutchison? The fiscal year ends at the end of this month. Still a lot of appropriations bills that have yet to be signed into law. This talk that some of your Republican colleagues are suggesting that the Democrats, especially President Clinton, is itching for a government shut down, trying to score political points.
How realistic, if at all, is that?
HUTCHISON: President Clinton said that he was bracing for a showdown and I don't think we have to have a showdown. If we stay within our budget caps that Congress has voted for and the president has agreed to, then I don't think you will see any kind of altercation. If we are looking at not being able to have a budget agreement, then we will pass continuing resolutions and do our part to keep government going and make the responsible decision just to go day to day, week to week, just to make sure the government does function.
But we are not going to go into the Social Security surplus and start on a spending binge. We are going to keep Social Security in tact. And we are going to keep that budget surplus that we have worked so hard to get, so that the American people can have some relief from taxes and also make sure that we have enough for a rainy day fund in the future.
BLITZER: Very briefly, Senator Boxer, is there going to be a government shut down or is that out of the question?
BOXER: I think there'll be a showdown but not a shut down. I think there's huge differences on what this budget ought to reflect. How much we should invest in education, in fixing up those crumbling schools, in putting more police on the streets. I think we are going to see a showdown. I think President Clinton does hold a lot of cards, but I don't think anyone wants to shut the government down. It would be wrong to do that.
BLITZER: Let's take a caller from Cleveland, Ohio. Please go ahead with your question.
CALLER: My question has to do with really clarification. Do the tax -- does the tax cut under Bush's plan, don't the percentages of tax cuts apply equally to the wealthier tax payers as well as the less wealthy taxpayers?
BLITZER: Senator Hutchison?
HUTCHISON: Yes, well, Governor Bush's tax plan ...
BLITZER: Oops, we just lost Senator Hutchison, unfortunately. But let's bring in Senator Boxer. This whole issue of tax cuts which the caller raises, if wealthier taxpayers pay most of the taxes, why, if there's a surplus, shouldn't they get some sort of tax relief, since they're the ones who pay the most taxes to begin with?
BOXER: First of all, we have a progressive tax system in our country and it works. Taxes should be fair. And when the caller says isn't it the same percentage, you know, if you're earning a million dollars a year in terms of the high cold dollars when you apply a ten percent cut, it's huge dollars. And the fact of the matter is, I always thought this country was about bringing everyone along. And the people that I represent in California, some of them have done very, very well. And frankly, they tell me, Barbara, we don't want a tax cut. We want to see this money go to debt reduction. We want to see this money go to investments in education so that all of our children can have the chance that we've had. And I really admire that. That's -- a lot of the folks in Silicon Valley are telling me that.
BLITZER: You know, yesterday, the Texas governor, the Republican candidate, George W. Bush, was on "EVANS, NOVAK, HUNT & SHIELDS" and he made an argument why his suggestions on health care are the better for the country and that the Democrats really don't work. I want you to listen to what Governor Bush said yesterday and I'd be anxious to get your reaction.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: Health care is very important, particularly important amongst those poor and middle-income seniors who have got no prescription drugs. They have been waiting ever since Gore and Clinton folks have gotten up to Washington, D.C. for the promises that they were told in 1992.
These folks have not delivered on the promises. I will.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: You remember in 1992, President Clinton, at that time candidate Clinton and candidate Gore promised health care reform. Promised a lot of the same things that the Democratic ticket is promising right now. Well, the Republicans argue they've had eight years in office and they haven't delivered.
Why trust them?
BOXER: Let me just say, we've had huge fights over health care. We have a real patients' bill of rights we've been trying to get through for years now. And the Republicans simply won't allow us to get it through. Actually did pass the House, we had 42 brave Republicans join with the Democrats there for a real patient's bill of rights. And we're shy one vote over on the Senate side. So, we have been trying.
But, with all due respect, Governor Bush in that clip sounds very good and very believable. But the court just ordered him to make sure that he delivers health care to the poorest of the poorest children. Says that he's been failing in the state of Texas to help the most vulnerable children get health care. So I don't think he comes to the table with that much credibility.
BLITZER: All right, Senator Boxer, we unfortunately have to leave it right there. I want to thank you. I want to thank Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, apologize to her. Unfortunately, we lost that satellite from Dallas, but we'll have her back on LATE EDITION no doubt many more times. Thanks to both of our senators for joining us.
And just ahead: After the nasty battle for the Democratic presidential nomination, former senator Bill Bradley and Vice President Al Gore are now working together for a Democratic victory this November. We'll talk to Senator Bradley about election 2000 and his new book, "The Journey from Here."
Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GORE: I am honored tonight by the support of a leader of high ideals and fundamental decency who will be an important part of our country's future: Senator Bill Bradley.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Vice President and Democratic candidate Al Gore giving praise to his one-time opponent, former Senator Bradley, during the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles. After that hard-fought contest, the two men say they are back now on the same team.
Here to talk about the presidential race and much more is Bill Bradley.
Senator, welcome back to LATE EDITION.
BILL BRADLEY (D), FMR. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Good to be with you, Wolf.
BLITZER: I know you have written a new book that ha just come out, "The Journey From Here." It's a very personal memoir of what not only has happened recently but what's happened in your whole political life. Tell us why you wrote this book right now.
BRADLEY: Well, Wolf, I wrote it because I wanted people to have a record if they asked the question, "What was that Bradley campaign of 2000 all about?" This is what it was about, this is why the campaign was made, this is what the issues were we fought for, and this is where I hoped the country would go.
BLITZER: In the book, you write early on, you say this: "It had all happened so fast and it felt as if it had ended so abruptly, it was like losing in the NBA playoffs on a final shot." Is that the way you felt?
BRADLEY: That's exactly right. I mean, you know, as I said...
BLITZER: You have been in the NBA so you know what it feels like to lose on a final shot.
BRADLEY: ... and I know how it feels to lose here. Yes, it happened so quickly. I mean, you work 15 months and then suddenly, within 3 or 4 weeks it ends.
BLITZER: Super Tuesday, the New Hampshire, and all that.
BRADLEY: Super Tuesday and it ends.
BLITZER: And that was it.
BRADLEY: And you continue on because you hope that things will turn around but, really, it was a very short period of time. And it was so intense and so many events followed each other on the heels that you didn't really -- it was like a blur.
BLITZER: And writing this book made you go back and rethink a lot of what happened, what didn't happen. Why did you lose?
BRADLEY: Well, I think that the reason that I lost was because we were unable to get across to the American people exactly what I wanted to get across to them. I think Al Gore also ran a very good primary.
BLITZER: When you say you couldn't get across to American people, suggesting perhaps the media was unfair, or something like that, there's...
BRADLEY: No, no, no...
BLITZER: I want to read another excerpt from the book on that point because we can then discuss it. You say in the book, "If you want to live politically you have to be on evening television news. If you want to be on TV, you have speak in phrases not in well thought- out sentences that adequately convey your ideas. If you want phrases to be remembered and repeated by the media, you have to keep in mind that the negative always lasts longer than the positive."
BRADLEY: Well, that's not an observation I made for the first time, but that is not why I lost. I mean, I ran for very specific reasons, which first, I thought we were living in a time of unprecedented prosperity in this country and we could afford to do some things that would make us stronger in long term in terms of investing in education and health, in countering poverty in this country, and also it was kind of unabashed appeal to idealism, to the belief that good can triumph over bad and that principle can defeat expediency, and I think that I could have done a better job of getting those messages out than I did.
The media is a filter, and you have to understand how the media filters, and so there's no complaint about the media, it's just the way it is.
BLITZER: And you remember, of course, the criticism early you weren't negative enough. When Al Gore was making the attacks against you, you sort of if not turned other cheek you didn't respond as harshly as you did later in the campaign. Was it too late when you finally did decide to respond in kind?
BRADLEY: Well, I think that the key thing was that I was unable to get these two things across. Sure, I wanted to run a campaign a certain way, I chose to run a certain way, I live with the consequences.
And really, the book is a reflection of what the aspirations and hopes were of all the people who joined in the effort, very intensely and very committedly.
BLITZER: Campaign finance reform is one of the big issue that you tried to articulate during your campaign. Another excerpt from the book, let me read this: "Money is to politics what acid is to cloth. It eats away at the fabric of democracy. There's no reason we can't have a political process in which everyone's voice can be heard, in which dissent is respected, and in which candidates run on the strength of their ideas, not the weight of their wallets."
So you must be very disappointed right now that campaign finance reform, as far as I can tell, is not even an issue, at least right now, between Bush and Gore. Neither campaign is really making this a major issue.
BRADLEY: Well, I'm disappointed. It is very clear that Al Gore supports campaign finance reform and that George Bush does not. That is one clear difference in the campaign.
But, yes, I think that the urgency for campaign finance reform needs to be underlined every day because, as I said, it eats away at our political fabric like acid at cloth.
And I think that you see that every day, out there. You see that when very large money is raised. When you live in country where we have one person/one vote, but we know that people who contribute more money have more clout, it's tough to say you buy somebody for $1,000 contribution, but it becomes more difficult to prove if they're making $500,000 or $1 million contribution in soft money to political parties in the name of a particular candidate.
And I think that that's why campaign finance reform is the key to unlock the possibilities of our democracy. If we don't do campaign finance reform, then we will not begin to do the things we need to do on health care, on poverty, on education, because special interests, people who are reporting the status quo have money backing them up, will prevent those things from happening, and the American people will not have their voice heard.
BLITZER: Bill Bradley, sounding very much like John McCain, and we well remember that extraordinary event that you had with John McCain, the Democrat and the Republican. We'll get back into that in a moment.
We have to take a quick break. A lot more to talk about with Senator Bradley. We'll get him to handicap the presidential race. And he'll also be taking your phone calls from around the world.
Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRADLEY: I think that the numbers illustrate that the people are listening and they're hearing and they're believing that my candidacy might actually be a way for them to reclaim their government from the special interests that are in Washington.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: A confident Bill Bradley appearing on LATE EDITION from Madison Square Garden last November during his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. Welcome back to LATE EDITION.
Senator Bradley, you remember that day at Madison Square Garden, remember those pictures. We have some of those pictures, we want to remind our audience, that may have been the high point of your campaign. You saw some of your old friends from your days in the NBA, you went through you're giving them high five -- it's, I mean is there a letdown after that, like right now for example, you're not directly involved obviously, in this campaign.
BRADLEY: Well no, I am involved in this campaign, I'm out campaigning for Al Gore.
BLITZER: Are you actively campaigning for Al Gore right now?
BRADLEY: Yes, for Al Gore and for Democrats across the country because I think it's important we have Democratic conscience in the White House, the new Congress, and I believe that -- I'm enthused to be out, I like people, I feel good about this candidacy. I believe that in terms of the things that are important to me, whether it is the Supreme Court composition, whether it is Social Security, or whether it is how we handle budget surplus that Al Gore is much better than George Bush.
BLITZER: No hard feelings, remember during the Democratic primary, there were some tough words exchanged between you and Al Gore, in fact we have a clip, I want you to listen to this and it will -- we'll talk a little bit about it, listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRADLEY: I think very deeply that if a candidate doesn't trust the people enough to tell them the truth when he's a candidate, then why should the people trust the candidate who becomes president to tell them the truth when he is president?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: That may have been the harshest thing you said about Al Gore during the campaign.
BRADLEY: Well you know Wolf, I'm just not going rehash the whole primary campaign, I think we're in a general election now and as I said, I think that on issue of Social Security, Al Gore is strong and George Bush is going to experiment with Social Security.
I think that on the issue of the budget surplus, George Bush is going to give away the bulk of the budget surplus, the tax cut, the people don't need it, and Al Gore's going to spend it on the things I think we need in terms of investing in health, education and welfare of the American people, and in terms of the composition of Supreme Court.
So for me, you know, whatever the primary was, it was, but I'm not rehashing it, it's time to look forward because we're looking forward to a campaign where Al Gore is increasing his lead and I think will day-by-day.
BLITZER: Let's look forward now to a phone call from San Diego, California, please go ahead with your question for Senator Bradley.
BLITZER: Go ahead.
CALLER: Yes, Senator Bradley after what you said about Al Gore in the primaries that resonates with so many people, ultimately at the end what does that say about your own credibility of flip-flopping on what's your comments were?
BRADLEY: I haven't flip-flopped on anything, I just said I wasn't going to rehash the primary and we're now in a general election and between these two candidates, I think the choice is clear, Al Gore.
BLITZER: You've had an experience that George W. Bush is about to have, you've debated Al Gore and most people recognize, he's a pretty good debater.
How nervous should George W. Bush be right now, as he looks forward to three presidential debates against Al Gore?
BRADLEY: Well, I think that Al Gore's a very skilled debater and George W. Bush will have to approach it the way suits his personality. I think that the vice president will be prepared and he'll be ready with a plan that he'll execute, I think well.
BLITZER: Is there any advice you want to share to give George W. Bush right now, as he prepares for this...
BRADLEY: Well, if I had any that helped him, do you think I'd share it with him? BLITZER: That depends on how much you want Al Gore to win this election. What you're basically saying is, as perhaps as much as the differences that you had with Al Gore during the primary, the differences between Al Gore and George W. Bush as far as the vision for the country is concerned, are overwhelming and it's not even a close contest as far as you're concerned.
BRADLEY: There is no question about that, Wolf. I mean, in "The Journey From Here," this book I wrote, I talk about different areas of importance to me, in terms of health care, in terms of education, in terms of race, in terms of the overall economic condition, and in terms of international relations. And I believe that on almost all of those, Al Gore is better than George Bush. That's why I'm supporting him.
BLITZER: What about those who may have supported you and are now supporting Ralph Nader. That could be a drain, especially in some key battleground states, as far as Gore winning this contest.
BRADLEY: Well, I think, everybody has to make their own decision. I've made mine, and I have given reasons why I've made mine. And my supporters out there really were committed to the issues that I have espoused today. I think that the vice president has moved toward those issues since the end of the primary campaign in a very real way.
BLITZER: All right, Senator, stand by. We have to take a quick break.
For our international viewers, World News is next. For our North American audience there is still another 30 minutes of LATE EDITION. We'll have the latest as Hurricane Gordon heads towards the Florida coast, then more questions and phone calls for Senator Bill Bradley.
Plus, our LATE EDITION roundtable and Bruce Morton's "Last Word." It's all ahead when LATE EDITION continues.
BLITZER: Welcome back to LATE EDITION. Still with me here in Washington is Senator Bill Bradley. Let's take a phone call from New York, New York. Please go ahead with your question.
CALLER: Hi, Senator Bradley.
BRADLEY: How're you doing?
CALLER: I just wanted to say I thought you ran a very inspiring campaign for millions of Americans. My question for you is two parts. The first is, now that the primaries are over, I just wanted to see if you had time to reflect on what you want to do from here?
And secondly, if Gore were to win, would you consider a spot in the administration?
BLITZER: Those are two excellent questions. BRADLEY: Well, I'll be out campaigning for Democrats across the country, both Al Gore and Democratic candidates for the remainder of this race. What I'm going to do is I'm going to find a way to stay true to the values that were -- underpinned my campaign. I'm going to try to find ways to raise people's living standards worldwide, to make sure that we move forward on racial and ethnic diversity. And that the American people and people generally see that they're really better than they ever thought they'd be.
In terms of something after the election, I'm focused only on the election. Let's see what happens.
BLITZER: All right. Maybe some day a member of the cabinet. Who knows? You don't have to make a comment on that.
BRADLEY: Well, I think that, you know, when I was in the public sector I wanted to change the world. And I think I'll head to the private sector and want to change the world there.
BLITZER: All right. Well, let's see what happens.
Let's take another caller from Florham Park, New Jersey. Do you know where Florham Park...
BRADLEY: I certainly do.
BLITZER: Let's have your question. Please go ahead.
CALLER: Hi. This is a question that I don't think has been getting a lot of play lately in the campaign and it relates to the Supreme Court. I'd like Senator Bradley to talk about what he thinks each candidate, if elected, would -- how they would impact the Supreme Court. And why he feels that Vice President Gore would be a better choice based upon that Supreme Court.
BRADLEY: Well, I think that someone who thinking about selecting a Supreme Court justice, you first of all want somebody with competence, with unimpeachable integrity. And third, you want somebody, I think, who has a view of America that isn't static, that moves and grows over time. I think Al Gore does that, which means on issues such as choice, I think he'll be much better than George W. Bush in terms of Supreme Court appointments.
I think that both of them would seek people of integrity.
BLITZER: You know, 36 years ago you were a member of the U.S. Olympic team.
BRADLEY: Long time ago, Wolf.
BLITZER: In Tokyo, you were on the basketball team. You won a gold -- a gold medal. As you're looking at these games now in Sydney, the whole commercialization. When you were there in Tokyo, there were no professional athletes, there were amateurs. You were a college star.
Is this wrong to see NBA players on the U.S. team right now?
BRADLEY: Well, the whole thing has changed since I was there, no question about that. I think you want the best in the world. They're professionals, let them go. But I also think that there should be a reemphasis on what is the original purpose of the Olympic games.
I've argued for a long time, it shouldn't be just a place where the fastest, most agile and strongest of the world's youth go and compete, but it ought to be a youth festival broadened so that you bring in also things like poetry, dance. So that you bring in some of the dramatic presentations so that you can truly have a world youth festival. I think that's what it is.
And I think ultimately the Olympic games are important because they are an example of excellence. I mean, when the 17-year Australian wins a race yesterday, he wins it because he's put in all the hours training, because he's got his mind to the point where he's going to be a keen competitor, and because he just will not lose.
BRADLEY: And that will to win is what we see every day in these Olympic games, notwithstanding what the commercial aspects are.
BLITZER: And that explains why you were a gold medal winner, as well, Senator Bill Bradley.
BRADLEY: Yes, I still have it in my closet.
BLITZER: And he's got a new book, "The Journey From Here," an excellent book. I read it. It's a fast read. I'm sure you'll want to read it as well. Thanks for joining us.
BRADLEY: Thank you, Wolf.
BLITZER: Thank you.
And up next, we'll go round the table, Roberts, Page, and Carlson. Is the Bush campaign back on track? Plus, fireworks in the New York Senate race. LATE EDITION will be right back.
BLITZER: Welcome back. Time now for our LATE EDITION roundtable. Joining me, Susan Page, Washington bureau chief for "USA Today," Steve Roberts, contributing editor for "U.S. News & World Report," and Tucker Carlson, political writer for "The Weekly Standard."
All right. This week, we saw something highly unusual, I thought, in the early part of this week. The word "rats" emerging as an issue, that subliminal, supposedly, little word that appeared for a 30th of a second in a Republican ad that caused a furor for 24 hours.
STEVE ROBERTS, "U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT": Well, it caused it for more than that, and I don't know the explanation, but I do think that the Republicans handled it badly. They didn't come clean. They sort of said it didn't happen, it was by accident, or we're not sure how it happened. Obviously, they knew how it happened. It doesn't get there by accident. And it is part of a pattern, though, and the story line, now, is Bush screwing up. Bush talking to an open mike. Bush can't pronounce "subliblebleble," or whatever, however that word is pronounced.
BLITZER: Subliminable (ph).
ROBERTS: Yes, subliminable (ph). And that's a hard story to change, because it is now gathering a life of its own, and everything feeds that. And Bush has got to find a way to change that, because, in the end, one of the single biggest reasons why he might not be elected president, is this belief he's not quite up to the job. This becomes a metaphor for that.
BLITZER: How unfair is that to George W. Bush, Tucker?
TUCKER CARLSON, "THE WEEKLY STANDARD": It's probably -- I mean, well, I mean, it's fundamentally unfair in one way. I mean, he has been saying subliminable (ph) forever. I mean, I was at that press conference on Kosovo a year and a half or almost two years ago when he called them could Kosovaneans (ph), and referred to the Grecians. So, I mean, yes, all of a sudden everyone is noticing. If I had to see one thing (ph), I think we should have a moment of silence to ponder Bill Bradley's recommendation that poetry and dance be added to the Olympics.
I think this tells us that primary voters are smarter than we give them credit for being.
SUSAN PAGE, "USA TODAY": You know, both Tucker and I were with Al Gore the day this story broke in "The New York Times," and it's interesting to see how he handled it. He followed Lee Atwater's maxim that you shouldn't get in the way of your opponent if he seems to be shooting himself in the foot. Gore met with his press secretary that morning, and they figured out he would say three things about this.
Let's see, that he was disappointed, he'd never seen anything like it, and the ad spoke for itself. That was all he said about it all day to give this story maximum life on the other side. And that shows you the kind of discipline the Gore campaign has, that they have been showing since Labor Day. They've really had a focus and a discipline that is serving them well.
ROBERTS: Also it also shows the inexperience on the other side. This is the big leagues, and I don't care whether your father has run for president. I don't care whether your husband has run for president. It's never the same until you've done it yourself. You've got to remember, Al Gore has run nine political campaigns, three on a national level. George Bush has run three political campaigns, never on a national level.
The difference in experience, the difference of having been through it before, is really showing, and when you get into the final six, seven weeks, I think of it as a microscope. The power gets turned up and up and up. Words you might have said back in May or March that didn't matter, matter a whole lot more today.
BLITZER: You know, and we now know the debate issue -- the debate over the debates is over with. There's going to be three presidential debates in October, one vice presidential debates. It's interesting what George W. Bush had to say about the whole way this played out yesterday on "Evans, Novak, Hunt, & Shields."
So listen to what Bush had to say about that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: Forget capitulation in the debate on the debates. What matters is getting on national TV and debating. And, you know, I don't know what the spin is coming out of Washington, D.C., but I told our negotiators, let's just get this over with and get the debates on. I look forward to them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Does he look forward to those debates, Tucker?
CARLSON: It's hard to get into the heart and soul of a presidential candidate. I think he has to act like he looks forward to them. I mean, in this, the debate on debates did matter, actually. You know, it made Bush look bad and that's a shame for the Bush campaign. I think everyone agrees that Bush needs to do something very quickly to turn the, kind of, feeling around, and the debates are an obvious place to do it. I think the Bush campaign could benefit a lot by saying, gee, not only are we going to have these three debates, but how about five more.
BLITZER: Usually, the underdog -- and Bush, presumably, right now, is the underdog -- wants the debates, because that's the opportunity to become the leader of the pack.
PAGE: Well, you know, when Bush looked comfortably ahead, he didn't -- it didn't serve his interest to have debates, and I think they thought they might get away with just having one debate. But that's changed now. I think it would be fair to say, that George Bush is now underdog, for whatever that means, and he now needs the debates, which is why he decided to fold and agree to them. I do think the debates are a huge opportunity for Bush, maybe the main opportunity he is going to have to change the dynamic of a campaign that hasn't gone his way.
ROBERTS: He decided to fold for another reason, and as Tucker said, the debate on debates was really hurting Bush. And in an interesting way, one Republican pollster told Cokie and I this week -- we wrote it in our column -- that it was starting to create a wimp factor for George Bush. He was starting to look weak. For all this talk about the last couple weeks Gore wasn't the one who wanted to debate, no one believed that.
ROBERTS: And he did start to look weak. And you start to see him lose strength among men. Now, we know that he's got a gender gap, as you talked to those women, but if he is starting to lose strength among men, then that is real serious. And that was starting to happen and polls were showing that this was a dead loser. And that was why he did cut his -- he did capitulate, no matter what he just said.
BLITZER: James Carville was on "Meet the Press" earlier today, Tucker and he had some advice on the whole strategy issue, right now, where these campaigns should be going. Listen to James Carville.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES CARVILLE, FORMER WHITE HOUSE STAFFER: What's the Bush strategy today? He's had about seven. He's had more changes in strategy,
MARY MATALIN, FORMER GEORGE BUSH CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Oh, that's not -- don't even ...
CARVILLE: He's had more changes in strategy than the vice president has had changes in wardrobe. My message to Democrats around the country is let's don't get cocky; let's just get elected hear.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Should Al Gore start getting cocky right now.
CARLSON: I'm not sure Gore should being cocky though it's interesting, earlier this week you saw Gore say a number of almost nice things about Bush in his education rap. He said you know, Governor Bush and I agree on a lot of things in education. It was the same tone he used when Bill Bradley's campaign started to blow up. He said, you know, actually Bill Bradley is not as evil as I said he was. We kind of have a lot in common. It is the Mafia kiss of death. And that would make me nervous if I were the Bush people.
PAGE: Although you know, whenever we all agree on something it's almost certainly going to be wrong. And I think there's this general agreement now that Gore is just this fabulous, the world's greatest debater. And that George Bush, let's hope he can just manage to stay in the contest. You know, Bush has a guy with a certain steadiness and appealing personality. And I think it is a little early for us to come to any conclusions that this race is over.
BLITZER: It certainly is not over yet. One point though, the next two weeks, there are going to be these Olympic games that are presumably going to focus a lot of attention away from the campaign. These are critical days for George W. Bush.
CARLSON: Yes, he's lost time, by stepping on own message with a series of mistakes. Now you are into the Olympics and that is not a good time to try to catch up. And I think that does work against him and that is why I do think the debates are important. And I agree with Susan. It is much too early to write George Bush off. In many ways, given all the natural advantages that Al Gore has -- with the strength of the economy, the incumbency, the experience he has, to only be as far along as he is and only be as far ahead as he is, I think that in many ways the glass is half full for George Bush not half empty -- and anybody who thinks this is over is dead wrong. ROBERTS: And a lot of Republicans do think it's over and it's hard to understand why at three points down the Republicans are all of a sudden think the race is gone.
BLITZER: All right. We'll pick that up when we get back. We have a lot more to talk about. In addition, when we get back, we'll talk about the presidential debates. We've already talked a little bit about that. We'll also talk about what happened in New York state this past week. Hillary Clinton faced off against Representative Rick Lazio. When the dust settled the question was this: Who won? We'll ask our LATE EDITION judges when we return.
BLITZER: Welcome back to our roundtable.
Let's talk a little bit about the race for the Senate in New York state, the second most closely watched election this time around. There's a new New York Daily News/WCBS poll just out with Mrs. Clinton at 48 percent, Rick Lazio at 43 percent. She still can't break that 50 percent barrier.
Is this going to be as close as it looks like it's going to be?
PAGE: Looks like it's going to be a very close race. But I've got to say I think Hillary Clinton has a secret weapon who's name is Al Gore, because Al Gore is now about 20 points ahead in New York. That means he'll carry the state by more than a million votes. It's a lot to expect a million voters to vote for the Democrat for president and then switch and vote for the Republican for Senate.
You know, this is the same thing that happened in 1964 when Robert Kennedy won the New York Senate race. Tarred as a carpet bagger, but LBJ won the state by so much that he was able to be elected senator. We might see the same thing this year.
BLITZER: The spinners, if you want to call them that, the supporters for Mrs. Clinton and Congressman Lazio were out in full force earlier today offering their predictable assessments, who won, who lost. Listen to Mandy Grunwald and Mike Murphy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE MURPHY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: We think Rick really broke through as somebody who's tough, able to deliver for New York. I mean, this isn't high tea, this is a New York Senate race about who's going to be a tough, effective advocate for the state. He made that case very well.
MANDY GRUNWALD, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: This is about issues, not insults. And I think the polls today, which have Hillary still ahead 48 to 43, show that people don't like that kind of nastiness, that he really did go too far.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BLITZER: Did he go, Tucker, too far when he sort of invaded her space on the podium up there and handed her this letter and was berating her?
CARLSON: Oh, gosh. Well, first of all, I'm always in favor of going too far. But in this case, it's particularly disconcerting to say the Hillary people say, gee, he was rude. I mean, Hillary Clinton is a feminist. I mean, this is like saying, you know, he didn't, you know, hold the door for her or pull her chair out for her. I mean it's -- this is ludicrous.
And I think Mike Murphy is absolutely right. It's a Senate race in New York. People are rough with each other. And for Mrs. Clinton to sort of hide behind her, you know, sort of manners, is beneath what I thought she would do.
ROBERTS: I thought Lazio was pretty effective. And -- but I do think at one point finally I heard myself saying, will you please shut up. I mean, after he asked her about the fourth time, will you sign it, will you sign it, you know, I think he was good up to that point.
But I think in many ways, given the point that Susan makes, the Lazio people have to be pretty happy, the fact that they're only five points behind, given the fact that Gore is running so well in that state.
And I have this very perverse view that whoever does not win the presidency is going to retain control of the Congress. And I think you could -- as people -- if Gore continues to lead, I think Lazio's going to get some votes from people who say, OK, if Al Gore is going to be president, I don't want Hillary there, I want Lazio there to keep an eye on him.
PAGE: You know, I think Hillary Clinton's worst moment in that debate was also her best moment. And that's when she got the tough question about what she said in the aftermath of the start of the Monica Lewinsky affair when she went on TV and talked, you know, said her husband was telling the truth and talked about a right-wing conspiracy. I'm sure that was an intensely uncomfortable time for her. But she came of as really human. And I think she helped put to rest the idea that she should be held responsible for untruths told by her husband.
BLITZER: OK. Susan, Tucker, Steve, thanks for joining us.
And just ahead, we'll reveal what's on the cover of this week's major news magazines, plus Bruce Morton's "Last Word."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): All those gas lines back in the '70s had consequences too, car pools, smaller cars, the 55 mile an hour limit.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BLITZER: As rising oil prices cause a crisis to grip Europe, Bruce reminds us the United States has it's own history of long lines at the pump.
Stay with us.
BLITZER: Time now for Bruce Morton's "Last Word." There are long gasoline lines in Europe.
Is the U.S. far behind?
MORTON (voice-over): The United States rationed gasoline during World War II. Most Americans obeyed the rules, they wanted to save their old cars anyway, you couldn't buy a new one. The gas lines most Americans still remember started in 1973 when OPEC, the organization of petroleum exporting countries, decided to raise prices and Arab oil producer reacted to the Middle East war by slapping an embargo on oil sales to the U.S. Oil prices shot up and drifted down.
Round two came in 1979 when revolutionary Iran stopped exporting oil. Long lines, even violence sometimes. And Don Maclean saying, "Bye-bye Miss American Pie, drove my Chevy to the levee and the levee was dry."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIMMY CARTER, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The energy crisis is real, it is world wide, it is a clear and present danger to our nation. These are facts, and we simply must face them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORTON: But the gas lines along with Iran's refusal to release American hostages it held were major reasons why President Jimmy Carter lost his reelection bid to Ronald Reagan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most Americans know instinctively why we are in the Gulf. They know we had to stop Saddam now, not later. They know we had to stop Saddam now, not later. They know we must make sure that control of the world's oil resources does not fall into his hands.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORTON: And when Iraq invaded Kuwait with its oil at stake, Reagan's successor George Bush assembled a coalition which drove Iraq out kept and kept Kuwaiti oil for the West.
All those gas lines back in the 70s had consequences, too. Car pools, smaller cars, the 55-mile-an-hour limit, but as the years passed, America went back to its old love, bigger was better. Speed limits went up, cars turned into mammoth SUV's, "hey, does yours have the anti-rhinoceros, how about the lion's scoop." How many gallons to a mile, and here we are again.
I'm Bruce Morton.
BLITZER: Thanks, Bruce.
Time now for a look at what's on the cover of this week's major news magazines. "Time" magazine reports on what divorce does to kids should unhappy parents stay hitched, on the cover.
"Newsweek" has the bitter pills, prescription drugs, why they cost so much on the cover. And on the cover of "U.S. News & World Report," why computers fail as teachers, too much screen time can harm your child's development.
And that's your LATE EDITION for Sunday, September 17. Be sure to join us next Sunday and every Sunday, at noon Eastern for the last word in Sunday talk.
Tune in tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern for "THE WORLD TODAY." Coming up next on "CNNdotCOM," pursuing a college degree through cyberspace and of course stay with CNN for the latest on Hurricane Gordon.
For now, thanks very much for watching, enjoy the rest of your weekend, I'm Wolf Blitzer in Washington.
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