CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Coverage of State of the Union Address
Aired January 29, 2002 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: From Washington, this is CNN's coverage of the state of the union and the Democratic response. Reporting from Capitol Hill, Aaron Brown, Judy Woodruff and Jeff Greenfield.
AARON BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone from Capitol Hill. In just about an hour, President Bush will walk into the House chamber to make what is his first official state of the union speech. Rarely has an American president come to this moment in a time of war and perhaps no president has come with this set of circumstances, the attack in September, the recession that followed, the surplus that became a deficit in a heartbeat. They are all issues the president will deal with in one way, shape or form tonight.
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: And Aaron, as he talks to the American people, his popularity ratings are sky high, largely thanks to the successfully waged war on terrorism. Tonight, though, he must take his leadership of that war, turn to the American people and give them his vision, where he wants the country to go in the next year, domestically and internationally.
And now let's check in with some of the correspondents who are going to be with us throughout this next hour. First to our Jeff Greenfield here at the Capitol.
JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Judy, the message is more or less required by the Constitution, but the pageantry and spectacle is the product of a century long tradition of the president seeking center stage. That has turned the state of the union into the all but official opening day of the political season. It is a season with a dominant political question this year being, as you said, can the president take his transformed stature, his sky-high approval and turn it into an effective domestic political weapon?
BROWN: For a week the president has been previewing what we suspect he will say. He has been -- the speech has been written add rewritten add rewritten again. Senior White House correspondent John King.
John, your quick take on what you expect to hear tonight?
JOHN KING, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Aaron, the president said to be in very jovial spirits around the White House today as he went through the final rehearsal, but his message tonight quite sober. The president tells the American people for all the success in Afghanistan, the war against terrorism is a worldwide war and it is just beginning. He puts three countries, North Korean, Iran and Iraq on notice that they could be potential, future targets. And he tells the Congress that to pay for all this, the United States Congress and the Republican administration must work together to get the economy back on track.
WOODRUFF: Our Candy Crowley has covered George W. Bush from the earliest days of his campaign.
Candy, you've seen this man go from governor of Texas to where he is today.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely and where he is today, as you mentioned, is sitting pretty high in those polls. What people will be looking for tonight is, as Jeff mentioned, what the state of politics is. We are, after all, in the middle of an election year, at the beginning of an election year, where the House and the Senate are at stake. So this speech tonight will be looked at as much for the state of politics as for the state of the union.
BROWN: Candy, thank you. It's not just the president's popularity that's reflected in the polls, his popularity, the way he's handled the war has reflected well on his party, too. Bill Schneider will looking at numbers and have thoughts too.
Bill, a quick headline from you now.
BILL SCHNEIDER, SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, what's on the public's mind? Three words -- war, recession, Enron, all bad. So how can the president make Americans feel good about the state of the union? That's what we'll be listening for.
WOODRUFF: All right, thanks, Bill. And now, let's go back to John King.
You gave us a tease a minute ago, John, about what's in this speech, that it is an extension on the war on terrorism. Tell us more.
KING: Three major goals, Judy - the president first and foremost wants to give an update to the Congress and the American people on the status on the war on terrorism. He also will discuss what he proposes, doubling federal spending on so-called homeland security, the domestic front of the war, if you will. And the president will try to connect the dots and, if you will, transfer his wartime popularity to the biggest domestic crisis, the struggling U.S. economy. Mr. Bush will tell the Congress to pay for homeland security, to pay for the war and to keep the terrorists believing that America is strong; they must work together to revive the economy.
We have some excerpts of the president's speech. First and foremost, the president will tell the people of the United States - quote -- "What we have found in Afghanistan confirms that far from ending there our war against terror is only beginning. Most of the 19 men who hijacked planes on September 11 were trained in Afghanistan's camps and so were tens of thousands of others." The message from the president, of course, that many of those terrorists spread still around the world. He will discuss diagrams of nuclear power plants in the United States found in the caves and camps of Afghanistan, to continue to keep the American people on alert.
And even as the operation continues in Afghanistan, Mr. Bush will talk about future fronts of this war and he will specifically note three countries, North Korea, Iran and Iraq. And in his remarks, the president will say - quote - "The United States of America will not permit the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's most destructive weapons."
As I noted earlier, the president was said to be in high spirits today. He understands the challenge facing him and he will urge the Congress-- remember, back in December, partisanship came back to Washington for the first time since the September 11 attacks -- because of the disagreements on how to get the economy back on track, what Washington should do about that. The president will again tonight urge the Democrats to work with him in - quote -- "The same spirit of cooperation we have applied to our war on terrorism."
Obviously, all this done very high takes, a high security environment in Washington, but look behind the president when he speaks tonight, you will see the vice president. The vice president was not there before the Congress when the president went up just after the September 11 attacks. The administration trying to send one reassuring message to the American people that the president is with the vice president tonight - Judy.
WOODRUFF: John, politically though, is there - is there any thinking in the White House that there's some risk in not spending more time on some of the domestic concerns on the minds of the American people, the fact that this country still is in an economic recession?
KING: Mr. Bush will say in his speech -- and he will spend quite a bit of time on the economy, we are told, and again, connecting it to both homeland security and the war on terrorism - he will tell the Congress that even though this an election year, he wants to get about some of the unfinished business of last year, a patients' bill of rights, that HMO reform, also a Medicare prescription drug benefit for senior citizens.
We are told, in one bipartisan outreach, he will single out for praise perhaps one of the more liberals in the Senate, Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, praising him for cooperation on the education bill, concluded late last year. Senator Kennedy now negotiating with the White House on that patients' bill of rights.
But the president will only touch on those issues for now. Aides say in his future travels, in the weeks ahead - -and he will be traveling quite frequently -- the president will flush out those ideas. They want, in this speech, which they say will run about 45 minutes, to spend most of the time on the war, homeland security and the economy - Aaron.
BROWN: John, how do you balance - how does the president balance the nation's mood in this way? You start talking about talking diagrams of nuclear plants, American nuclear plants and the country's anxiety goes up, and in fact, part of what the president needs to do is calm the country down.
KING: The Super Bowl is Sunday. The Olympics follow not long after that. The vice president said in an interview with us just yesterday, the threat remains quite high. What the president wants to say is on this point, he will be quite consistent, saying the country needs to be alert, that the United States, every day from the intelligence gathered in Afghanistan and elsewhere is learning more about how the terrorists operate. But you're right, even as he says so and discusses future fronts, a long military campaign, the continued threat here at home, all of this in the middle of a recession.
The bar is quite high for the president. The administration understands there are often conflicting signals. That's one reason they wanted the vice president there tonight. They want to show the American people that to some degree things are getting back to normal. At the same time though, the president will tell the American people they need to stay on alert, they should not get complacent.
BROWN: And Bill Schneider, John mentioned Enron as being an issue on the voters' minds. How or if -- will the president deal with Enron in the speech tonight if at all?
KING: He will deal with it, but you will not hear him speak the word "Enron." The administration telling us that the president will talk about the need for Congress and the White House to get together to perhaps reform disclosure laws, pension laws, those laws governing 401(k)s, that of course, the fallout of the Enron scandal. Mr. Bush will also deliver a line that corporate America needs to show civic responsibility and corporate responsibility.
But they decided here at the White House not to mention Enron at all. They say it is because of ongoing criminal investigations. They did not believe the president should lean into that specifically one way or the other. Others will say, of course, that they're trying to perhaps, blanket themselves, protect themselves from what is an emerging political debate, perhaps a political controversy.
BROWN: John, thank you. Our senior White House correspondent John King and John will be back with us in just a little bit.
One small note and then we'll move on here -- over there -- whenever the state of the union, whenever the president comes to the Hill, all of the government essentially comes with him, the Supreme Court justices, the whole Cabinet is there, except for one member of the Cabinet, and this time the member of the Cabinet who will not be in the House chambers is Gayle Norton, the secretary of the interior. She will be elsewhere.
When we come back, we'll talk more with Jeff Greenfield and a number of other people will join us as we lead up to the president's state of the union speech. Our coverage continues here on CNN in just a moment. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
WOODRUFF: We're just a little more than 45 minutes away from President Bush's first state of the union address in the Capitol Building, not too far from where we're sitting across the street. Our Jeff Greenfield joins us now.
Jeff, you were saying a minute ago, the president, two big challenges tonight, one of them clearly to take the popularity that he's garnered for himself and his conduct of the war and to turn it into all the other things the president has to do.
GREENFIELD: And it's remarkable how those two issues split. War and national defense, for -- probably for 30 years, has been essentially good for the Republicans. The country generally thinks they are better at that than Democrats, but recession puts the classic Democratic issue on the table. Namely, people think Democrats kind of care more about the average person.
Think back to 10 years ago tonight, when George W. Bush's father had the challenge of trying to take the Gulf War victory -- people were worried about the recession -- and turn it into a statement that we will prevail over the war. That message didn't resonate. The difference, of course, is that since this war is in its first formative stages the president has all of that energy and all of that anxiety and all of that desire to win that had faded for the senior Bush by 1992.
WOODRUFF: But this war has been a war that everybody's felt in his gut or her heart, and we've ingested this war, unlike the Gulf War, which seemed to...
GREENFIELD: This war's taken - this war hit home in a way that you can't get more literal than. I mean a few miles from here, they're still --- the Pentagon still not under appear. And in my hometown, we are still living with the horrific sight of Ground Zero.
And so, this was a war where probably for the first time ever, maybe ever, there was never a moment of descent for what we should do. Even in World War II, remember, was fought out over whether we should enter, not this one. And that's one of the reasons, I think, why the president retains the enormous support that he does.
BROWN: And I suspect that it's one of the reasons why when we make comparisons to President Bush I, 41 as he's called at White House, and this president and the recession and the issues they face, it, in fact, is dramatically different because there was no September 11.
GREENFIELD: No September 11 and by the time George Bush, 41, spoke in this scene 10 years ago, the war had been over for nine months, and while the recession had been officially over, people didn't know it. And you're right, I mean, the power of that war, the power of September 11, to concentrate this country and to want to wish this president to succeed I think is unprecedented. WOODRUFF: And there probably aren't many lessons that are more powerfully learned than a son from a father. This is a son who saw his father lose an election that was painful to every member of that family, but probably to no one more than George the son.
GREENFIELD: I tell you the irony, if I may, quickly. We've all heard from Bush's biographers and from people close to him how much he learned, internalized that lesson, of what happened to his father. Yet, if John King's reporting as he almost always is right, they are going to stress the war more because the war isn't over and that makes another huge difference. I mean, we have a tradition, the British have a tradition, a war ends and then they throw out the guy that won it. The British did it to Churchill. This war is -- we don't know where it is, but it sure isn't over.
BROWN: All right, Jeff, hang on. We've got -- you're with us the whole night long. Also, with us, for a while now, former education secretary William Bennett, former drug czar William Bennett, thinker William Bennett and essayist Anne Taylor Fleming joins us as well. She's in Los Angeles tonight. It's nice to see you both.
Secretary Bennett, what do you want to hear from the president tonight?
WILLIAM BENNETT, CO-CHAIRMAN, EMPOWER AMERICA: Well, what I want to hear and it's where we are mainly in the war, what's next? I think part of the task here is to maintain the momentum of this war, and maintain the public support for the war.
I think -- I agree with what you were saying in the last segment. I would be careful about comparing this time to earlier times, even though they're both named Bush. This is a different Bush. This is a different time. And I think most important; it is a different country than it was before 9/11.
The president has many things to say, which are, you know, unhappy about terrorism. We've done well in Afghanistan, but, obviously, there's a lot more to do. There are economic problems. At the same time, this president has continually hinted at how strong he thinks the country is. That something has come to the surface here that's very, very important. It certainly buoyed him, but it's also, I think, something that's important about the country. We seem to have a purpose and a direction that we did not have before. And my guess is he will talk about that -- I hope he will talk about that as one of the great strengths of the state of the union.
BROWN: And Ann, as someone somewhat more liberal than Secretary Bennett, what would you like to hear in the speech? What can the president say that's going to make people, perhaps, left to center feel better?
ANNE TAYLOR FLEMING, ESSAYIST, AUTHOR: You know, I was thinking what he said, he wants the president to say where we are. I guess I want to know where we're going.
I think everybody bears George Bush a great deal of goodwill, and I think he's carrying that to the speech even those of us who are left and centers. You characterized me. But I think that - what I'd like to hear and I think people want to hear is OK, now what? Does he understand the extraordinarily nuanced position we now hold in the world not just vis-a-vis Afghanistan and the war on terrorism, but all of the other places, like, you know, Israel, Colombia, et cetera. What kind of broader vision has he gained from the experience? That would be on the international front.
And certainly, on the domestic front, I think he has to disabuse people of the notion that he's the president of the rich. Certainly, the Enron scandal and attendant things have reinforced that idea. And I think he's really going to have to go a ways towards disabusing people of that idea.
And also, you know, I think, one of the things that he has done well is not seem to get us back into the petty partisan squabbling.
Now, if you've been listening to the television today as I have, you've heard people lining up the Democrats, trying to score, the Republicans trying to score. I don't think the country's interested in that. I think they have been grateful for the opportunity to feel united by the war on terrorism. But I think they're really waiting to see how George Bush takes the next step. In some ways, he got almost a terrible, perverse gift from September 11. Now, who is he and what is he going to do?
WOODRUFF: Bill Bennett, does the president understand, as Anne Taylor Fleming just put it, the extraordinarily nuanced position the United States now finds itself in in the world?
BENNETT: Yeah, it's partly nuanced and it's partly not nuanced. It's partly perfectly clear. Moral clarity, I think, was achieved on September 11 or maybe September 12. There are those who have long believed that the American role in the world was diminishing, that we needed all sorts of other countries to step up to help America meet its responsibilities, but it's quite clear that America is still, as Lincoln said, the last best hope.
There are nuances here, but essentially what we saw on September 11 and September 12 may be for the first time for some folks rather clearly, was the distinction between right and wrong and good and evil, nations that stood for things that were good and nations that stood for things that were not.
By the way, I understand your need to put political labels on me and Ms. Fleming, but I don't think that's a particularly conservative statement. I think that's what most Americans believe and if it were only a conservative view of the world, I don't think George Bush would be at 82 percent. He is connected with the American people in what is the most important thing to happen to this country in a very long time, and I really think we should be reluctant to view this in a traditional political lens. I think it would be a mistake.
BROWN: I think that's a fair point to make. And if the president tonight, as we expect him to do, talks about countries like Iraq or Iran or North Korea, countries with no -- at least as far as we know, direct responsibility or even indirect responsibility for September 11, but says the war must be carried to them. Do you think he'll see the same kind of unanimity of feeling in the land that you do now?
FLEMING: No, I think they'll be a certain amount of trepidation about that. I think that the one thing the American people understand, there was clarity, I agree with Bill Bennett about that on September 11. And yes, it presented itself in a fairly stark, if we will, good versus bad scenario. I think the idea of going into Iraq, taking this war into terrorism into other places is a much more complicated sell. I'll defend my sense of the nuanced state that that would all, you know, require.
I don't think that the American people are ready to do that, especially given the recession.
And what I'm hearing people around me talk about now is much more that and the economy and, you know, we pick up the paper and we see the so-called experts are telling us, you know, the recession is lifting, but 5,000 people are out of work here and another big company, Global Crossing, declares bankruptcy. I think the uncertainty -- there's a great deal of economic trepidation that would certainly make a further plowing into another country very suspect to the American people. I don't think the American people are ready to do that.
This is not going to be a...
BENNETT: They're absolutely ready - they are absolutely ready to go. They are absolutely behind George Bush and look at the polls. If you don't want to take the polls, watch when he moves, who follows him, and it will be most of the American people.
FLEMING: I just don't think they're ready to go into Iraq.
BENNETT: They're there.
WOODRUFF: Well, we have a little bit longer tonight to work this out.
WOODRUFF: It's not going to be a dull...
BENNETT: It's not for us to decide.
WOODRUFF: We have Anne Taylor Fleming and Bill Bennett with us through this time coming up until the president's speech and a little bit after. Our coverage continues in just a moment.
WOODRUFF: Well, unlike now, back nearing the presidential campaign of 2000, Americans were pretty split over who they were going to support in the presidential election. Our John King to take the temperature of some of that indecision visited several times, in the St. Louis suburbs, with so-called "soccer moms," young mothers with children. He went there several times and just last week, John King went back again to see what those soccer moms are saying about George Bush as president. Here's his report.
KING (voice-over): Morning in suburbia, fear seems so far away, but it was here where Elizabeth Mesker, making breakfast for the kids, a TV on in the background realized life would never be the same.
ELIZABETH MESKER, BUSH VOTER: I mean it was unfolding in front of us. Because my son is five, I - all of a sudden, I just switched the channel quickly because I didn't want him to see what was going on.
KING: The new reality hit the McGraws about a month after the attacks. October's Disney World vacation is a priceless memory now.
SUSAN MCGRAW, BUSH VOTER: It was a magical place because you didn't think about, you know, bin Laden or anthrax or anything and just had fun, no worries.
KING: But meeting Mickey almost didn't happen. Eight-year-old Emily worried the night before about a bomb on the plane.
MCGRAW: When she came and said to me, "Mom, I'm afraid to fly to Disney World, I don't want to fly, then I knew that even -- I couldn't even protect her. You know, so I just wanted her to feel as safe as she could and kind of sheltered her for most of it.
KING: These upscale St. Louis suburbs are far from Ground Zero and the Pentagon, yet even here there is lingering shock and signs of change, some, perhaps, for the better.
Every vote in this group went to George W. Bush in the last campaign, although some were conflicted to the end. This chat was three weeks before election 2000.
MCGRAW: It's terrible! One minute I'm Bush, then I'm Gore, then I'm Bush, then I'm Gore!
KING: All take pride in their choice now.
MAUREEN HELFERS, BUSH VOTER: When I heard that the Pentagon had been attacked, I got in my car. I was at a meeting and I drove home in tears and I just thought -- I thought, I'm so glad I live in St. Louis, Missouri. And I am so glad that George Bush is president. I mean, I just was like, you know, I've had -- I've had faith in him, tremendous faith in him that he would bring us through this.
KING: Most of the president's state of the union priorities win praise here.
MESKER: Well, I wholeheartedly support the increase in defense spending and beefing up the military, which we sort of took for granted, and you know I support him on that. KING (on-camera): Even if it means going back to deficits instead of surpluses?
MESKER: At this point, yes.
KING (voice-over): But, as in Washington, the Bush tax cut is a dividing line, even among some Republicans.
LORI MERSMAN, BUSH VOTER: Well, all I know is that I got a $500 rebate check in the mail and loved it!
HELFERS: Everybody got one of those.
MERSMAN: I know, but isn't that great?
HELFERS: Yeah, I could have lived without that, you know. And I know that that -- you know, it was about -- money was probably really crucial to so many people, but it's like putting a band-aid on a -- you know, on a big, big, big sore and I don't know that it meant anything, really.
KING (on-camera): So you disagree with the president on that one point, but you're still glad that you stayed with him and not the other guy?
HELFERS: Oh, yes, absolutely.
MESKER: Because the other guy's glad he's not there either.
KING (voice-over): Out Democrat, Liz Ryan (ph) voted for the other guy. She chose Gore over Bush without hesitation, picking a new color for the kitchen is another matter.
LIZ RYAN, GORE VOTER: No, that's too white.
KING: Patty Hannum also is a lifelong Democrat. She says she is pleasantly surprised by the post September 11 performance of a president she didn't vote for.
PATTY HANNUM, GORE VOTER: I have to admit; I think he's done a great job so far. And I'm so happy that Cheney's there, that Rumsfeld's there, that Colin Powell is there because I think that's what made him do such a good job.
KING: She is alone in this group of Gore voters in saying she will consider voting Bush next time, not that there is any appetite for a rematch.
(on-camera): How many would like to see Al Gore run again? What's this mean?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know I would look for a new face. I would prefer to see a new face.
KING (voice-over): Eileen McLoughlin says win the war, but not at any price.
EILEEN MCLOUGHLIN, GORE VOTER: I read today that Bush is proposing $48 billion increase in the military budget. I think that sounds like Reaganomics. I think it sounds very backward and I think that this president lacks vision.
KING: All six see a hidden cost of an expensive military campaign combined with a stalled economy.
NIKKI GOLDSTEIN, GORE VOTER: I work with elderly and I'm concerned ultimately, is there going to be affordable housing for them? What are the prescription medication benefits going to be? You know, how are people going to live day to day?
KING: It took just a few minutes before the new word and new wildcard in the nation's political vocabulary came up, Enron.
RHEA OELBAUM, GORE VOTER: It makes me very concerned for the amount of power that corporate America has over our lives that we cannot control.
KING: It all makes Maureen McDonald wish the last election had gone the other way and not the way she voted.
MAUREEN MCDONALD, GORE VOTER: I wish John McCain was president right now. I think he would probably be the best president given his military background and I am firmly, firmly believe, particularly in light of Enron falling apart, that we really need campaign finance reform.
I have grown to dislike George Bush more than I thought I would when he was first elected.
KING: Like in the Republican group, all here have vivid memories of where they were on the morning on September 11, children not politics is a common theme of the reflections.
LIZ FORRESTAL REINUS, GORE VOTER: They're in a war world now and I worry if my children have to go to work, of course, but I worry that their security and their trust in their fellow human beings has been shaken so badly. Maybe it's good. Maybe it's good that they don't have that trust.
KING: And wartime makes politics difficult to navigate. Eileen McLaughlin views Bush as too cozy with big business, but the news brings daily reminders he is also a wartime commander in chief. So while she didn't vote for George W. Bush and probably won't next time, as she walks the path to bible study, she puts partisanship aside and wishes the president well in her prayers.
KING: These voters among the many I try to keep in touch with between campaigns and during campaigns, real people if you will, to make sure we're not a bit off our rocker here in Washington, in deciding what matters and what doesn't. Striking the roller coaster they are on and other voters I spoke with on that trip last week on the one hand, they're beginning to laugh a bit more, beginning to get a bit more upbeat.
But when you ask them about September 11th, their moods change in a heartbeat. Most of them worried about their kids, all of them, Democrats and Republicans at the moment right now, rooting for the President -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: John, how much were you able to talk to them about where this war on terrorism goes next? Because we know tonight, that is a large part of what the President's going to be addressing.
KING: Many of them, Republicans and Democrats alike, said they were frustrated that the President could not answer the most simple question, where is Osama bin Laden? Democrats and Republicans all said that was a problem for them. How could that be?
Many of them said they supported the President, again this very bipartisan. They believe the war had to continue. They believed and understood it would go well beyond Afghanistan, a bit frustrated that they weren't getting more information out of the administration. But on that point, very broad, very deep support for the President.
Some of the Democrats don't like this President. They didn't in the campaign. They don't know, for either personally or for certain political reasons. But when it comes to the war, remarkable how all of them said, we must carry this through.
There were some questions about how much will it cost? How long will it take? And again, most frustrating, they said we're the world's super power, why can't they tell us where Osama bin Laden is? So a bit of frustration there, and in the President's speech tonight, of course, he still can't answer that question.
WOODRUFF: Fascinating. All right, John King at the White House. You know, Aaron, it is smart for any of us who do live in Washington to get out there and talk to real people, like New Yorkers.
BROWN: You mean, we're not real people? We're pretty real, more real than most lately. If they're frustrated, John's voters are frustrated that the President hasn't been specific enough about where this War on Terrorism, America's New War is headed. They will find some comfort in the speech tonight.
The President in very strong terms talks about other countries, other groups in those countries. There's a naming of names, and there is an implied threat in the President's talk, which is coming up in about a half hour from now. Our coverage continues in just a moment.
BROWN: The President is making his way towards the Capitol Building from the White House. You see the motorcade, the stream of cars coming down, in a city and a capitol that is more secure than it has ever been before. One of our Congressional correspondents, Kate Snow, the other night reported on the problems, not simply of keeping the capitol secure. That's relatively easy. But keeping it secure without turning it into a prison or a fortress.
It is much more of a fortress tonight, with the President on the move, making his way to deliver his State of the Union Speech, a little less than a half hour from now. The President, among other things, in that speech and later in his formal budget message, will call for significant increases in the amount of money the Pentagon has to spend.
It was always clear that the administration wanted to change the way the Pentagon spends money, because it believes the way wars are fought are going to change in the 21st Century. We asked our Pentagon Correspondent Jamie McIntyre to take a look at how this new money might be spent.
JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): When President Bush took office, he immediately put a lot of the Pentagon's pet projects under review, big ticket programs like the Marine Corps troubled $40 billion V-22 tilt rotor aircraft, the Army's overweight $11 billion Crusader Howitzer; and the Air Force's pricey $43 billion F-22 Stealth fighter.
But all have escaped the budget axe in the wake of September 11th. The President is now proposing the biggest boost in Pentagon spending in 20 years, more than $48 billion more to pay for what he calls the tools of modern warfare.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Mind these tools may put a strain on the budget, but we will not cut corners when it comes to the defense of our great land.
MCINTYRE: About $10 billion of the increase is for a reserve fund to pay the day-to-day costs of waging war, fuel, ammunition, spare parts, and people. Expenses have been more than $1 billion a month.
But in an interview with CNN, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs said the Pentagon wants to invest in more high tech equipment, the kind of technology that allowed a small number of U.S. Special Forces and local fighters on the ground to route Afghanistan's ruling Taliban in just a few months.
GENERAL RICHARD MYERS, JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN: In some cases, unmanned aerial vehicles. In some cases, manned vehicles over the battle space, surveiling in a persistent way and we could track the types of targets we were interested in continuously, a big lesson - a big difference and a big lesson learned for us.
MCINTYRE: And it's not just unmanned planes.
MYERS: Some of the things that we want to look at very seriously are unmanned vehicles, and I didn't say unmanned aerial vehicles. I think they can be applied to land and underwater.
MCINTYRE: Not all the money is for weapons. Several billion dollars will fund lifetime healthcare for military retirees, which was mandated by Congress.
MCINTYRE (on camera): After initial concern whether President Bush would follow up on his campaign pledge to boost military spending, the brass here seems pleased that he has loosened the purse strings to fund the War on Terrorism. But top commanders say, despite the record increase, in the years ahead, they'll still need even more money to modernize the force -- Aaron.
BROWN: Jamie, I saw one story that indicated the Pentagon was, in fact, getting more money than it wanted. Is that the view from where you are?
MCINTYRE: Well no, some of the top leaders here tell me that this is the best readiness budget they've ever had; that is, it funds the things they need to do right now, including money for recruiting and money for health benefits.
But they're still worried about that down the road at this pace, particularly with all the new missions they're taking on, that they're wearing out equipment and they got to start buying things to replace it now. I haven't hard anybody here say that they're getting too much money.
BROWN: Jamie, thank you. Our Pentagon correspondent, Jamie McIntyre on just how the Pentagon will spend some of the money that the President, at least, is proposing that the military gets, that will come in his formal budget announcement.
People are making their way into the House Chamber. The President is en route. This is a historic night because the nation is at war, and we'll talk about the history of nights like this, when CNN's coverage of the President's State of the Union Message continues after this short break.
WOODRUFF: A brilliant night in the nation's capitol. Presidents make State of the Union addresses in times of peace, in times of war. No matter what the situation is, these addresses come.
This time, the nation has been through a time of crisis. It's possible to say, Jeff Greenfield, that it's lifting somewhat. I think Americans feel a little bit better about the war in Afghanistan. But as the President will remind us tonight, it's only just begun.
GREENFIELD: One of the ironies is that most people - most Presidents want to tell the country things are calming down. This President clearly wants to tell us we're in for rough times.
I saw a newspaper account of the lingering War on Terrorism, as though it's gone. But the point you make, I think, what fascinates me about it is that a lot of times when Presidents speak in times of crisis, they're not wartime crises, they're political crises, and under those circumstances, the other party is perfectly happy to see the President sweat.
You know, Nixon during Watergate; Reagan during the Iran Contra.
WOODRUFF: Bill Clinton.
GREENFIELD: Bill Clinton forever, Monica, impeachment. But even in a time of impending war, back in 1941 when Franklin Roosevelt proposed (UNINTELLIGIBLE) we were pretty much an isolationist country. The Republicans in Congress hated that part of the speech, because they were still kind of thinking that we didn't have to get into this war.
This President, I think, comes to the country with a crisis that has gotten as many people behind him as it is humanly possible in this country to get behind him.
BROWN: That's probably true. Historian Douglas Brinkley is with us as well. Doug, is there a parallel that you could think of in American History? Is there a moment quite like this moment?
DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well, not really. I think you have to consider George W. Bush a wartime President now, and I would have to think, as Jeff Greenfield mentioned, of Franklin Roosevelt. But it was a different scenario, at least with his Four Freedoms speech, when Roosevelt was trying to lead the nation to understand what a dangerous world we are in.
This year we were smacked hard and hit hard on September 11th, and it's a President with the most extraordinarily high public opinion ratings. I think one of the key things he doesn't want to do tonight is lose that. But I think he wants to separate two things that have occurred.
One is the war in Afghanistan. I think historically, he wants to claim victory for the war in Afghanistan and thank our troops and thank the American people for supporting it. And then, as Jeff said, then warn us of the great dangers and perils that are facing us in places like Iran or Iraq, in North Korea, and in that scary world beyond.
So you want to get - I think he wants to claim credit now as a wartime Commander-in-Chief, but also say that his job is really just beginning.
WOODRUFF: Well, in order for him to do that, and I'm reminded of what John King said a moment ago about the moms in St. Louis concerned that Osama bin Laden, why hasn't he been found? In a way, that works to the President's benefit, because he can say, because Osama bin Laden is still out there and others like him, we have to keep up, keep on with this war.
BRINKLEY: You know, during Vietnam they used to say, all Lyndon Johnson needed to do was ring the Korean War bell, which meant ring the bell that said hey, we still have a communist menace.
I think throughout the duration of the Bush Administration, they're going to ring the terrorist bell, and I'm not saying that's inappropriate or they're not real dangers. But I think it's very hard to reject or disagree or have dissent with a President who's telling us he's trying to do away with weapons of mass destruction from rogue governments like Saddam Hussein's Iraq.
So in those ways, he keeps the public opinion going. The challenge tonight is that he's going to also have to be coming out as the leader of the Republican Party. We had mid-term elections that are starting to come into focus, and he's going to have to address those things that have been put on the side, such as Social Security, or finding new oil resources, Medicaid, Medicare and those issues will, of course, create a lot of clamor in the coming weeks and months.
But he may be able to fight those and always keep that war bell ringing and I think that's what we'll see, that balance this evening.
BROWN: We're watching the President's Chief of staff here working the room a little bit, in anticipation of the President's arrival, and the speech itself. There is, at least to us, every time we watch one of these moments, where you see all of the U.S. Government essentially in one room like that. It's very powerful.
WOODRUFF: And in fact, the man that Andy Card is talking to, Congressman Tom Davis, is in charge of the Republican efforts to hang on to their majority in the House of Representatives.
GREENFIELD: J.C. Watts, who is the fourth ranking Republican leader of the House conference. One person we will not see tonight is one of the more significant political figures in Washington, House Majority Whip and likely next House Republican Majority Leader, Tom DeLay. The continuity in government concern has impelled him to stay home tonight.
BROWN: He'll sit this one out. Bill Schneider, you can sit this one in. Why don't you join this conversation that Jeff and Doug Brinkley started. Your thoughts as we approach the President's speech?
SCHNEIDER: Well, my thoughts are mainly that Americans are very optimistic, despite all the bad news for the last six months. Americans feel good about the economy, confident that we'll turn the corner, that recession is coming up.
In fact, the President may talk about an economic stimulus plan, but Americans are not clamoring for it, because they think the economy is more or less improving on its own. As far as the war is concerned, so far, so good and success you know breeds ambition. And right now, Americans are very gung ho. They're ready to take on terrorist threats all over the world.
This is not a very isolationist country right now. Americans are ambitious. They're optimistic. They think we can turn the corner, and they have a lot of ambition for this President and his agenda.
BROWN: Bill, how does that show up in the polling? What is the question that we ask, or that pollsters ask, that leads you to believe that the country is seriously ready to move onto other fronts? And fronts, honestly that aren't as easy perhaps to deal with as Afghanistan has been?
SCHNEIDER: Let me give you a simple example. Do Americans feel - how Americans answer the question, would you like to see the United States send ground troops into combat in Iraq for the purpose of overthrowing Saddam Hussein? Over 70 percent of Americans, over 70 percent say yes.
Now they may not realize how difficult a proposition that is, how perilous it may be, but it does say Americans are very ambitious to finish the job that George Bush's father started.
BROWN: I think that's a great example. I think there has been, for ten years in many ways, a sense in the country that that business for whatever reason was unfinished.
SCHNEIDER: Exactly and on the economy, people believe that the recovery will happen before the end of this year. They think things are going to get better. There is a full expectation, not only that the economy will get better, but that their own finances will improve. This is a very different political environment from that faced by George Bush's father in 1992, when he was a hero after the Gulf War, but was seen as not paying a lot of attention to the economy and people were not very optimistic.
WOODRUFF: Well, speaking of politics, and the fact that this is 2002, an even-numbered year. It's a year for Congressional elections. Our Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley did some thinking about just what the implications are, to what extent does this President at this point have to think about his job performance and the effect it's going to have on Republicans running for reelection for office this year. Here's Candy.
CROWLEY (voice over): Warning, State of the Union speeches are one part policy, one part theater, and all parts politics. Even if you can't tell a Republican from a Democrat, you can figure it out from who's on their feet clapping and who sits glumly on their hands.
An ongoing war will round the partisan edges of this evenings event, but people, this is an election year which, perhaps you did not notice, has begun.
KARL ROVE, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE ADVISER: To win the war, protect the homeland and revive our jobs and economic growth in America, and this is the message of the Republican Party as we go into the 2002 elections.
REPRESENTATIVE NITA LOWEY (D) NEW YORK: People want to work. They want to make their own way. They want to earn their own bread. And so, what we're going to focus on as Democrats is creating jobs.
CROWLEY: This evening is a key election event for a wildly popular President who would dearly love to regain control of the Senate and keep it in the House.
WILLIAM BENNETT, CO-CHAIRMAN, EMPOWER AMERICA: He will get the attention of a large part of the country. Is that political capital? Sure it is. Should it be used? Of course it should be used, and it can be used. But it must be used in ways that are consistent with the gravitas and standing that he has. It should not be, nor should it appear to be used in a way that seems cheap or tawdry or for political marrow, political purpose only.
CROWLEY: Translation, President Bush needs to find a way to use his war born popularity to bolster his party's political prospects, without looking like that's what he's doing.
Democrats will respond this evening in the person of Minority Leader Dick Gephardt, who would like to be Speaker Gephardt, and in two years Democratic Presidential Nominee Dick Gephardt, but we digress.
Democrats need to clap wildly, smile broadly, and talk about how much they want to work with the President on everything.
SENATOR JOE LIEBERMAN (D) CONNECTICUT: I'm proud that Democrats in Congress have given great support to the President in almost everything he's asked for from Congress.
CROWLEY: This is the President's night. They are pretty much props. But it's not time to look nasty. Voters are watching and the President's poll numbers are astronomical. There will be plenty of time to look for running room. Trial heats are underway.
TERRY MCAULIFFE, CHAIRMAN, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE: What Enron is, is a metaphor for the Bush Administration. You had deficit spending. You had them using faulty projections on their numbers. You had the wealthiest people taking their money off the table and making money, and you had the folks with their 401 (k)s losing all their money.
CROWLEY (on camera): One note of interest, Minority Leader Gephardt late this afternoon put out a press release noting that tomorrow he will meet with former employees of Enron. There will be press coverage. Judy.
WOODRUFF: Candy, does some of this sort of blatant political noise from the other side work to the White House benefit?
CROWLEY: Well, you know, what's interesting is so far, I mean the one thing that we've seen is when Carl Rove, I think as you saw the President's political adviser, came out about a week ago at a meeting in Austin and said, look you know, we can take the war to the American people. You saw in that byte there. Democrats were all over it saying, look you know, he can't do this. The war is a bipartisan issue.
I think both sides are in some peril here. They need to act on politics without seeming as though they're acting on politics. So both sides have some trip wires that they need to watch out for.
WOODRUFF: All right. Candy Crowley in Washington. Thanks, Candy and we'll be talking to you a little bit later. We're getting closer to the President's speech. Number two, Vice President Dick Cheney making his way into the House Chamber. As we watch this, we'll take a quick break and be right back.
BROWN: Members of the U.S. Senate coming into the House Chamber. There is an elaborate protocol on nights like this, order of people coming in. The Senate making their way, the former first lady, New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton coming into the hall itself.
Perhaps a few minutes behind schedule, which is not surprising. Schedules, although they're timed to the second, rarely come off that way.
Among the people we've asked to join us tonight, a couple of pretty good thinkers, Charles Krauthammer the columnist joins us from Washington, and Michael Kinsley joins us from Washington State in Seattle. It's good to see both of you. Charles, I'm interested in your take on this question of, is the country prepared really to expand the war beyond Afghanistan into a place where the going is likely to be a bit tougher?
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST, WASHINGTON POST: I think it is. What we heard were those extraordinary poll numbers, where you have three-quarters of Americans prepared to commit ground troops in Iraq. I think Iraq, Iran, and Korea are the most important words we are going to hear in the State of the Union.
We're not going to remember Enron in years to come. We're going to remember this. I think that between this State of the Union and next year's State of the Union, we will have a war in Iraq, and I think the President's mission, as he understands it, I think as he sees it, as he feels it, is to prepare the country for that.
He sees his mission as the mission of September 11th. It's his mission, his moment. This is a wartime President. This will be a wartime speech.
BROWN: And can he put a coalition together again, absent any direct or even indirect connection to September 11th? Can the President put the kind of coalition together that his father put together a decade ago to carry the war to Iraq or does he have to go it alone?
KRAUTHAMMER: You don't need a coalition. We had a coalition in name in Afghanistan. It was essentially the United States and some allies on the ground in Afghanistan, and that's precisely what it will be like in Iraq. It will be the United States and whatever allies, the Kurds, Shiites in the south, the Iraqi opposition.
We will have people holding our coats. The Europeans will be standing on the sideline and encouraging us, but it will be us alone as it always is.
WOODRUFF: Michael Kinsley, do you see us sliding so easily to Iraq?
MICHAEL KINSLEY, EDITOR, SLATE.COM: No. No, Judy, I don't. I think that if the President has that kind of thing in mind, he has a lot of work ahead because poll numbers show that people are ready for this.
We've had an extraordinary run of military episodes, which have been essentially or nearly costless and I think the American people's willingness rightly or wrongly to get involved in something that may actually have a serious cost, is unproven.
WOODRUFF: And Charles Krauthammer, how do you respond to that? Because I hear people, even people who have been very enthusiastic of supporting this President in Afghanistan, saying Iraq is something else all together.
KRAUTHAMMER: Well, we heard the same voices saying at the beginning of the Afghan war, well this is not going to be as easy as the Gulf War was. It's so much farther away. It's in the mountains that these guys are going to hide. We have no allies in the area, et cetera.
You always hear that before a war. I agree with Michael that the American people are far more gung ho in the abstract than they will be when the going gets tough, but that's precisely why I think the President sees this speech and speeches he'll make in the future as extremely important.
As the memory of September 11th fades, as the memory of anthrax fades, I think the enthusiasm will wane. He sees his mission as trying to maintain that enthusiasm, if you like that seriousness about the threat, and carrying a country that may in the future be more reluctant.
BROWN: Briefly Michael, and then I'll let you jump in. I just want to again point out that the Vice President is in the chamber. On the 20th of September, I'm pretty sure my date is right here, when the President came just after the attack.
Of course, that was a time when the Vice President was not in the building, and in fact, for a long time it seemed we didn't know where the Vice President was. We just heard the term "secure location." It is symbolic and important that the Vice President is seated behind the President tonight. Now, Michael, you were about to say?
KINSLEY: Well, I was about to say that if this country was serious about new military adventures, we would at least pay in taxes for the increase in defense spending. But the President doesn't have, I don't want to say the courage, he has the political sense not to ask people to pay for this defense increase, but to throw away the years of discipline that achieved a balanced budget and start running deficits again. And to me, that's a sign that he understands that the American people may not be as ready for even a timely sacrifice as even they think they are.
WOODRUFF: Charles Krauthammer, it's a natural for you, I mean, what about that? I mean, as we watch the chamber, the president will be in there any minute. Why isn't he asking us to pay for this war? If it's already cost us what is it, a billion a month, is that what the number is?
WOODRUFF: One can only imagine what it would be in Iraq.
KRAUTHAMMER: Well, I mean, a simple answer is to say that in the time of recession, you don't want to increase taxes. Secondly, I think the deficit, historically, that we're going to have in the next year or two is rather small. It will be about one percent of GNP. And thirdly, I mean, the test of the country's readiness to face difficulties is not if it's going to have a 30 percent tax rate or a 29 percent. It's going to be whether it's willing to commit its forces in war, a war that could be chancy.
Remember, at the beginning of the Afghan war, we were hearing all the experts saying how difficult it would be, it would be all through winter, it would be a quagmire, et cetera, et cetera. I think the country after September 11 is dead serious about the threat. It understands it and as long as the president keeps that in the front of people's consciousness, as I think he will tonight, he'll be able to carry the country with him. And I think he wants to. He's not a president who will rest on the laurels and say, I won the war in Afghanistan, and now I'm going rest on that. He knows the war has only begun.
KINSLEY: But, Charles, it's precisely because the do-sayers turned out to be wrong in Afghanistan, but it's unproven that future episodes will turn out so pleasantly.
KRAUTHAMMER: Well, I'm not saying it will be a pleasant adventure. But I'm saying that we have heard the voices of doom before the Gulf War, before the Afghan war, before every war, and it's the same mantra.
KINSLEY: Well, is your argument that the American people will put up with it because it will be essentially costless or are you saying that the American people will put up with it even if it does not cost less?
KRAUTHAMMER: It's ready to sacrifice. Absolutely, it's ready to sacrifice. After September 11, they're ready to sacrifice practically anything.
KINSLEY: But not one percent of GDP to pay for it?
KRAUTHAMMER: That's not an issue. And in a recession, you don't want to raise your taxes.
KRAUTHAMMER: I think it's an irrelevancy in this discussion. Taxes is not a test of the country's seriousness. And our increase in defense spending is rather minor. It's $50 billion. It's half as much as our GNP.
KINSLEY: But that's the point. That's the point. That's the point. The fact that it's so trivial and we were unprepared to swallow it. The president decided, I think correctly, as a political matter, suggests to me that less trivial things will be harder to swallow.
KRAUTHAMMER: Look, Michael, it's a matter of economics. In a recession, you don't want to raise taxes. Makes no sense. Even you would agree to that.
KINSLEY: I -- I don't -- I don't -- in this particular case.
BROWN: What I think we'll all agree on, as the hour gets closer here, the leader of the interim Afghan government, Chairman Karzai, coming in. The man next to him is a special forces soldier, Purple Heart winner who lost his arm in Afghanistan, in the fighting in Afghanistan. The first lady.
This war has been -- we have been blessed by so few American casualties, so few Americans wounded, hurt in accidents or by hostility in this. It's not surprising, the president though will ask one of them to stand today. Michael, Charles, thank you for joining us here.
KRAUTHAMMER: Pleasure to be with you.
BROWN: Thank you both.
KRAUTHAMMER: Pleasure to be with you.
BROWN: And for those of you just joining us, you're watching CNN's continuing coverage of President Bush's State of the Union speech.
As now this procession of people starts to come in, the Senate leadership, the speaker of the House standing next to the vice president. Jeff Greenfield is with us among others. Jeff, you have been listening to the polite discussions that have been going on...
BROWN: ... and differences of opinion. What do you think?
GREENFIELD: The one thing that has struck me from the very beginning of this war is what history says. And history says that the president who gets us into a war, his party suffers politically at the polls the next election. I think that's counterintuitive. I think I was surprised when I learned that. And part of the reason is, wars tend to bring on harder economic times. They tend to bring on difficulties, casualties, sometimes more government control, which gets people angry.
And one of the great unknowns, because this is so unprecedented, it's not a war that we're used to, is whether, by November, this enormous support for the president of the United States will somehow turn and resemble a more traditional American political response. And that, I think, is at the heart of some of what Charles and Michael were talking about. Whether or not, for instance, if we continue in economic hard times or the deficit rises or interest rates rise because the deficit rises, there will be political fallout.
WOODRUFF: So much depends on how much pain the American people are feeling, doesn't it, Jeff? I mean, if they're feeling economic pain, if they're feeling too much pain in terms of military sacrifice.
GREENFIELD: Exactly. If casualties rise, if the economic pain is worse than we now think it will be, then I think the easy notions of, well, the president has an enormous popularity rating get put aside. The neat thing about it from our point of view watching it, and I say neat only in terms of its interest is, we don't know.
BROWN: Bill Schneider, I can almost feel you chomping at the bit here.
SCHNEIDER: Well, I just wanted to make note of one interesting thing about that chamber tonight. We're going to see a massive display of unity. The president is going to try to be bipartisan, hold out an olive branch to the Democrats. I believe in his response, the minority in the House, Dick Gephardt, is going to talk about bipartisanship.
And yet, historically, this chamber is about as closely and sharply divided as it has been at any time in American history. The Democrats have a one-vote majority in the United States Senate. And in the House of Representatives, with over 400 members, there's a 10- vote majority for the Republicans. It's a very sharply divided Congress following an election that divided America right down the middle. Remember, the red states and the blue states. Coming out of 2000, we asked the question, how divided is America? But now, the question is how united is America?
WOODRUFF: Yes. You'd hardly know it from the way America has acted over the last four-and-a-half months.
SCHNEIDER: A total transformation of American politics, but yet, underneath it all, that division is still there and you can see it physically in the very close division on the floor of this Congress.
BROWN: It is the great tragedy, Bill, of September 11 that made a lot of the partisan fights seem so petty. The issues are important. Some of the fighting itself -- as the cabinet comes in, the president's cabinet. Again, the one missing cabinet member tonight will be the interior secretary, as Treasury Secretary O'Neill coming in, Secretary of State Powell shaking hands, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, who perhaps many Americans did not know well prior to September 11.
WOODRUFF: Now he's the rock star.
BROWN: He has become extremely well known. A man who didn't much like talking to the press, has become the star, if you will, of the daily press briefings; very plain spoken midwesterner, to the point. We saw the attorney general coming in, John Ashcroft.
WOODRUFF: Somebody who rose from the ashes as well. I mean, he ran and did not win in his race for the Senate.
GREENFIELD: Beaten by Governor Mel Carnahan. His wife, Jean, is now in the seat.
WOODRUFF: And he's come to hold a critical position in this cabinet.
BROWN: So as the cabinet comes to take its seat, the president now, we're told, is moving towards the door where he'll walk through. He will be announced as he always is by the sergeant of arms and make his way down. And one can only imagine, and you won't have to imagine for very long, how long and loud the applause will be when President Bush enters this room.
It was long and loud on the 20th of September, but the 20th of September was a very different time. And the nation was still very much in shock. Things have changed a lot since then. The president will say there is much to be done, but it is a very different country, it seems to us, than it was when the president walked in there on the 20th.
WOODRUFF: One other moment when there was extraordinarily sustained applause was when Ronald Reagan came to this chamber, not for a State of the Union, but for a joint address after he had been shot and wounded and almost died, we learned later. He came to this chamber and was, I think they applauded for five minutes straight.
GREENFIELD: And Ronald Reagan brilliantly took that applause, made a light joke about a voice saying I hope you don't have to give the speech in your pajamas and then turned that into a very effective argument for his tax policy. That was a relatively easy turn to make compared to trying to take this one.
BROWN: John King at the White House, you've been listening in. Do you want to weigh in at this moment? And be forewarned we may interrupt as we see the president.
KING: I understand that. We talked quite a bit about the substance and we will hear from the president momentarily. From the White House perspective, the big challenge here from a political standpoint -- and I hate to use that term -- is so much of the (AUDIO GAP) in Afghanistan. Firefighters, the new heroes of America, he will say.
And here you have the announcement.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Speaker, the president of the United States.
GREENFIELD: Just a few weeks before September 11, when the country was told what they would do if the election were run again, it was another dead heat. You want to talk about seeming like another country, that's just one perhaps relatively minor measure of what's happened.
WOODRUFF: Every time we see the Supreme Court justices, we remember just how close that election was.
BROWN: The president with the joint chiefs of staffs who are there. How different this moment seems from the president's budget speech on the 27th of February a year ago. How different the country seems.
GREENFIELD: Now a moment that must strike most Americans as somewhat unusual. After all this applause, everybody sits down. The speaker takes five seconds to introduce them and they get right up and start in again.
BROWN: And do it all over again.
BROWN: But this moment is not over yet.
WOODRUFF: A lot of tradition. A lot of tradition here.
BROWN: Someone said to us the other day as they were watching President Bush, said he doesn't even look, in many ways, the same as he stands taller, stronger, speaks more certain.
REP. DENNIS HASTERT (R-IL), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Members of Congress, I have the high privilege and the distinct honor of presenting to you the president of the United States.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you very much.
Mr. Speaker, Vice President Cheney, members of Congress, distinguished guests, fellow citizens, as we gather tonight, our nation is at war, our economy is in recession and the civilized world faces unprecedented dangers. Yet the state of our union has never been stronger.
We last met in an hour of shock and suffering. In four short months, our nation has comforted the victims, begun to rebuild New York and the Pentagon, rallied a great coalition, captured, arrested and rid the world of thousands of terrorists, destroyed Afghanistan's terrorist training camps, saved a people from starvation and freed a country from brutal oppression.
The American flag flies again over our embassy in Kabul. Terrorists who once occupied Afghanistan now occupy cells at Guantanamo Bay.
And terrorist leaders who urged followers to sacrifice their lives are running for their own.
America and Afghanistan are now allies against terror. We will be partners in rebuilding that country. And this evening we welcomed the distinguished interim leader of a liberated Afghanistan: Chairman Hamid Karzai.
The last time we met in this chamber, the mothers and daughters of Afghanistan were captives in their own homes, forbidden from working or going to school.
Today women are free, and are part of Afghanistan's new government. And we welcome the new minister of women's affairs, Dr. Sima Samar.
Our progress is a tribute to the spirit of the Afghan people, to the resolve of our coalition and to the might of the United States military.
When I called our troops into action, I did so with complete confidence in their courage and skill. And tonight, thanks to them, we are winning the war on terror.
The men and women of our armed forces have delivered a message now clear to every enemy of the United States: Even 7,000 miles away, across oceans and continents, on mountaintops and in caves you will not escape the justice of this nation.
For many Americans, these four months have brought sorrow and pain that will never completely go away. Every day a retired firefighter returns to ground zero to feel closer to his two sons who died there.
At a memorial in New York, a little boy left his football with a note for his lost father: "Dear Daddy, please take this to Heaven. I don't want to play football until I can play with you again someday."
Last month, at the grave of her husband, Michael, a CIA officer and Marine who died in Mazar-e Sharif, Shannon Spann said these words of farewell: "Semper fi, my love."
Shannon is with us tonight.
Shannon, I assure you and all who have lost a loved one that our cause is just, and our country will never forget the debt we owe Michael and all who gave their lives for freedom.
Our cause is just, and it continues. Our discoveries in Afghanistan confirmed our worst fears and showed us the true scope of the task ahead. We have seen the depth of our enemies' hatred in videos where they laugh about the loss of innocent life.
And the depth of their hatred is equaled by the madness of the destruction they design. We have found diagrams of American nuclear power plants and public water facilities, detailed instructions for making chemical weapons, surveillance maps of American cities, and thorough descriptions of landmarks in America and throughout the world.
What we have found in Afghanistan confirms that, far from ending there, our war against terror is only beginning. Most of the 19 men who hijacked planes on September the 11th were trained in Afghanistan's camps. And so were tens of thousands of others. Thousands of dangerous killers, schooled in the methods of murder, often supported by outlaw regimes, are now spread throughout the world like ticking time bombs, set to go off without warning.
Thanks to the work of our law enforcement officials and coalition partners, hundreds of terrorists have been arrested, yet tens of thousands of trained terrorists are still at large. These enemies view the entire world as a battlefield, and we must pursue them wherever they are.
So long as training camps operate, so long as nations harbor terrorists, freedom is at risk and America and our allies must not, and will not, allow it. Our nation...
Our nation will continue to be steadfast, and patient and persistent in the pursuit of two great objectives. First, we will shut down terrorist camps, disrupt terrorist plans and bring terrorists to justice. And second, we must prevent the terrorists and regimes who seek chemical, biological or nuclear weapons from threatening the United States and the world.
(APPLAUSE) Our military has put the terror training camps of Afghanistan out of business, yet camps still exist in at least a dozen countries. A terrorist underworld -- including groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and Jaish-i-Mohammed -- operates in remote jungles and deserts, and hides in the centers of large cities.
While the most visible military action is in Afghanistan, America is acting elsewhere.
We now have troops in the Philippines helping to train that country's armed forces to go after terrorist cells that have executed an American and still hold hostages.
Our soldiers, working with the Bosnian government, seized terrorists who were plotting to bomb our embassy.
Our Navy is patrolling the coast of Africa to block the shipment of weapons and the establishment of terrorist camps in Somalia.
My hope is that all nations will heed our call and eliminate the terrorist parasites who threaten their countries and our own.
Many nations are acting forcefully. Pakistan is now cracking down on terror, and I admire the strong leadership of President Musharraf.
But some governments will be timid in the face of terror. And make no mistake about it: If they do not act, America will.
Our second goal is to prevent regimes that sponsor terror from threatening America or our friends and allies with weapons of mass destruction.
Some of these regimes have been pretty quiet since September 11, but we know their true nature. North Korea is a regime arming with missiles and weapons of mass destruction, while starving its citizens.
Iran aggressively pursues these weapons and exports terror, while an unelected few repress the Iranian people's hope for freedom.
Iraq continues to flaunt its hostility toward America and to support terror. The Iraqi regime has plotted to develop anthrax and nerve gas and nuclear weapons for over a decade.
This is a regime that has already used poison gas to murder thousands of its own citizens, leaving the bodies of mothers huddled over their dead children. This is a regime that agreed to international inspections then kicked out the inspectors. This is a regime that has something to hide from the civilized world.
States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world. By seeking weapons of mass destruction, these regimes pose a grave and growing danger. They could provide these arms to terrorists, giving them the means to match their hatred. They could attack our allies or attempt to blackmail the United States. In any of these cases, the price of indifference would be catastrophic.
We will work closely with our coalition to deny terrorists and their state sponsors the materials, technology and expertise to make and deliver weapons of mass destruction.
We will develop and deploy effective missile defenses to protect America and our allies from sudden attack.
And all nations should know: America will do what is necessary to ensure our nation's security.
We'll be deliberate, yet time is not on our side. I will not wait on events while dangers gather. I will not stand by as peril draws closer and closer. The United States of America will not permit the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's most destructive weapons.
Our war on terror is well begun, but it is only begun. This campaign may not be finished on our watch, yet it must be and it will be waged on our watch.
We can't stop short. If we stopped now, leaving terror camps intact and terror states unchecked, our sense of security would be false and temporary. History has called America and our allies to action, and it is both our responsibility and our privilege to fight freedom's fight.
Our first priority must always be the security of our nation, and that will be reflected in the budget I send to Congress. My budget supports three great goals for America: We will win this war, we will protect our homeland, and we will revive our economy.
September 11 brought out the best in America and the best in this Congress, and I join the American people in applauding your unity and resolve.
Now Americans deserve to have this same spirit directed toward addressing problems here at home.
I am a proud member of my party. Yet as we act to win the war, protect our people and create jobs in America, we must act first and foremost not as Republicans, not as Democrats, but as Americans.
(APPLAUSE) It costs a lot to fight this war. We have spent more than a billion dollars a month -- over $30 million a day -- and we must be prepared for future operations. Afghanistan proved that expensive precision weapons defeat the enemy and spare innocent lives, and we need more of them. We need to replace aging aircraft and make our military more agile to put our troops anywhere in the world quickly and safely.
Our men and women in uniform deserve the best weapons, the best equipment and the best training and they also deserve another pay raise.
My budget includes the largest increase in defense spending in two decades, because while the price of freedom and security is high, it is never too high. Whatever it costs to defend our country, we will pay.
The next priority of my budget is to do everything possible to protect our citizens and strengthen our nation against the ongoing threat of another attack.
Time and distance from the events of September the 11th will not make us safer unless we act on its lessons. America is no longer protected by vast oceans. We are protected from attack only by vigorous action abroad and increased vigilance at home.
My budget nearly doubles funding for a sustained strategy of homeland security, focused on four key areas: bioterrorism, emergency response, airport and border security, and improved intelligence.
We will develop vaccines to fight anthrax and other deadly diseases. We'll increase funding to help states and communities train and equip our heroic police and firefighters.
We will improve intelligence collection and sharing, expand patrols at our borders, strengthen the security of air travel, and use technology to track the arrivals and departures of visitors to the United States.
Homeland security will make America not only stronger but in many ways better. Knowledge gained from bioterrorism research will improve public health. Stronger police and fire departments will mean safer neighborhoods. Stricter border enforcement will help combat illegal drugs.
And as government works to better secure our homeland, America will continue to depend on the eyes and ears of alert citizens.
A few days before Christmas, an airline flight attendant spotted a passenger lighting a match. The crew and passengers quickly subdued the man, who had been trained by Al Qaeda and was armed with explosives. The people on that airplane were alert, and as a result likely saved nearly 200 lives. And tonight we welcome and thank flight attendants Hermis Moutardier and Christina Jones.
Once we have funded our national security and our homeland security, the final great priority of my budget is economic security for the American people.
To achieve these great national objectives -- to win the war, protect the homeland and revitalize our economy -- our budget will run a deficit that will be small and short term so long as Congress restrains spending and acts in a fiscally responsible way.
We have clear priorities and we must act at home with the same purpose and resolve we have shown overseas. We will prevail in the war, and we will defeat this recession.
Americans who have lost their jobs need our help, and I support extending unemployment benefits and direct assistance for health care coverage.
Yet American workers want more than unemployment checks. They want a steady paycheck.
When America works, America prospers, so my economic security plan can be summed up in one word: jobs.
Good jobs begin with good schools, and here we've made a fine start.
Republicans and Democrats worked together to achieve historic education reform so that no child is left behind.
I was proud to work with members of both parties, Chairman John Boehner and Congressman George Miller...
... Senator Judd Gregg.
And I was so proud of our work I even had nice things to say about my friend Ted Kennedy.
I know the folks at the Crawford coffee shop couldn't believe I'd say such a thing. But our work on this bill shows what is possible if we set aside posturing and focus on results.
There's more to do. We need to prepare our children to read and succeed in school with improved Head Start and early childhood development programs.
We must upgrade our teacher colleges and teacher training and launch a major recruiting drive with a great goal for America: a quality teacher in every classroom.
Good jobs also depend on reliable and affordable energy. This Congress must act to encourage conservation, promote technology, build infrastructure, and it must act to increase energy production at home so America is less dependent on foreign oil.
Good jobs depend on expanded trade. Selling into new markets creates new jobs, so I ask Congress to finally approve trade promotion authority.
On these two key issues, trade and energy, the House of Representatives has acted to create jobs and I urge the Senate to pass this legislation.
Good jobs depend on sound tax policy. Last year, some in this hall thought my tax relief plan was too small, some thought it was too big.
But when those checks arrived in the mail, most Americans thought tax relief was just about right.
Congress listened to the people and responded by reducing tax rates, doubling the child credit and ending the death tax. For the sake of long-term growth, and to help Americans plan for the future, let's make these tax cuts permanent.
The way out of this recession, the way to create jobs, is to grow the economy by encouraging investment in factories and equipment, and by speeding up tax relief so people have more money to spend. For the sake of American workers, let's pass a stimulus package.
Good jobs must be the aim of welfare reform. As we reauthorize these important reforms, we must always remember: The goal is to reduce dependency on government and offer every American the dignity of a job.
Americans know economic security can vanish in an instant without health security. I ask Congress to join me this year to enact a patients' bill of rights...
... to give uninsured workers credits to help buy health coverage,...
... to approve an historic increase in spending for veterans' health...
... and to give seniors a sound and modern Medicare system that includes coverage for prescription drugs.
A good jobs -- a good job should lead to security in retirement. I ask Congress to enact new safeguards for 401(k) and pension plans.
Employees who have worked hard and saved all their lives should not have to risk losing everything if their company fails.
Through stricter accounting standards and tougher disclosure requirements, corporate America must be made more accountable to employees and shareholders and held to the highest standards of conduct.
Retirement security also depends upon keeping the commitments of Social Security, and we will. We must make Social Security financially stable and allow personal retirement accounts for younger workers who choose them.
Members, you and I will work together in the months ahead on other issues: productive farm policy...
... a cleaner environment...
... broader home ownership, especially among minorities...
... and ways to encourage the good work of charities and faith- based groups.
I ask you to join me on these important domestic issues in the same spirit of cooperation we have applied to our war against terrorism.
During these last few months, I've been humbled and privileged to see the true character of this country in a time of testing. Our enemies believed America was weak and materialistic, that we would splinter in fear and selfishness. They were as wrong as they are evil.
The American people have responded magnificently, with courage and compassion, strength and resolve. As I have met the heroes, hugged the families and looked into the tired faces of rescuers, I have stood in awe of the American people.
And I hope you will join me in expressing thanks to one American for the strength and calm and comfort she brings to our nation in crisis: our first lady, Laura Bush.
None of us would ever wish the evil that was done on September the 11th, yet after America was attacked, it was as if our entire country looked into a mirror and saw our better selves. We were reminded that we are citizens with obligations to each other, to our country, and to history. We began to think less of the goods we can accumulate, and more about the good we can do. For too long our culture has said, "If it feels good, do it." Now America is embracing a new ethic and a new creed: "Let's roll."
In the sacrifice of soldiers, the fierce brotherhood of firefighters, and the bravery and generosity of ordinary citizens, we have glimpsed what a new culture of responsibility could look like. We want to be a nation that serves goals larger than self. We have been offered a unique opportunity, and we must not let this moment pass.
BUSH: My call tonight is for every American to commit at least two years -- 4,000 hours -- over the rest of your lifetime to the service of your neighbors and your nation.
Many are already serving, and I thank you. If you aren't sure how to help, I've got a good place to start. To sustain and extend the best that has emerged in America, I invite you to join the new USA Freedom Corps. The Freedom Corps will focus on three areas of need: responding in case of crisis at home, rebuilding our communities, and extending American compassion throughout the world.
One purpose of the USA Freedom Corps will be homeland security. America needs retired doctors and nurses who can be mobilized in major emergencies, volunteers to help police and fire departments, transportation and utility workers well trained in spotting danger.
Our country also needs citizens working to rebuild our communities. We need mentors to love children, especially children whose parents are in prison. And we need more talented teachers in troubled schools.
USA Freedom Corps will expand and improve the good efforts of AmeriCorps and Senior Corps to recruit more than 200,000 new volunteers.
And America needs citizens to extend the compassion of our country to every part of the world, so we will renew the promise of the Peace Corps, double its volunteers over the next five years...
... and ask it to join a new effort to encourage development and education and opportunity in the Islamic world.
This time of adversity offers a unique moment of opportunity, a moment we must seize to change our culture. Through the gathering momentum of millions of acts of service and decency and kindness, I know we can overcome evil with greater good.
And we have a great opportunity during this time of war to lead the world toward the values that will bring lasting peace. All fathers and mothers, in all societies, want their children to be educated and live free from poverty and violence.
No people on Earth yearn to be oppressed or aspire to servitude or eagerly await the midnight knock of the secret police.
If anyone doubts this, let them look to Afghanistan, where the Islamic street greeted the fall of tyranny with song and celebration. Let the skeptics look to Islam's own rich history, with its centuries of learning and tolerance and progress.
America will lead by defending liberty and justice because they are right and true and unchanging for all people everywhere.
No nation owns these aspirations, and no nation is exempt from them. We have no intention of imposing our culture, but America will always stand firm for the non-negotiable demands of human dignity: the rule of law, limits on the power of the state, respect for women, private property, free speech, equal justice and religious tolerance.
America will take the side of brave men and women who advocate these values around the world -- including the Islamic world -- because we have a greater objective than eliminating threats and containing resentment.
We seek a just and peaceful world beyond the war on terror.
In this moment of opportunity, a common danger is erasing old rivalries. America is working with Russia, and China and India in ways we never have before to achieve peace and prosperity. In every region, free markets and free trade and free societies are proving their power to lift lives. Together with friends and allies from Europe to Asia, and Africa to Latin America, we will demonstrate that the forces of terror cannot stop the momentum of freedom.
The last time I spoke here, I expressed the hope that life would return to normal. In some ways it has. In others it never will.
Those of us who have lived through these challenging times have been changed by them. We've come to know truths that we will never question: Evil is real, and it must be opposed.
(APPLAUSE) Beyond all differences of race or creed, we are one country, mourning together and facing danger together.
Deep in the American character there is honor, and it is stronger than cynicism. And many have discovered again that even in tragedy -- especially in tragedy -- God is near.
In a single instant, we realized that this will be a decisive decade in the history of liberty; that we have been called to a unique role in human events. Rarely has the world faced a choice more clear or consequential.
Our enemies send other people's children on missions of suicide and murder. They embrace tyranny and death as a cause and a creed. We stand for a different choice, made long ago, on the day of our founding. We affirm it again today. We choose freedom and the dignity of every life.
Steadfast in our purpose, we now press on. We have known freedom's price. We have shown freedom's power. And in this great conflict, my fellow Americans, we will see freedom's victory.
Thank you all and may God bless.
BROWN: His speech running just a bit more than 45 minutes. The president said our economy is in recession, the civilized world faces unprecedented dangers, yet the state of our union has never been stronger.
WOODRUFF: And it seems to me, Aaron, that he defined America going forward by its enemy and its enemy he referred to it time and again as evil. He talked about an axis of evil. He was very specific in referring to three countries, Iran, Iraq and North Korea, their potential to obtain and build weapons of mass destruction. And then toward the end, he talked about evil is real and must be opposed. You very much got the sense of a good America standing off, facing off against evil.
BROWN: Congratulations as the president works his way to the back of the chamber. The president said as he has said before, America was attacked, it was as if the entire country looked into a mirror and saw our better selves. It is a theme that he started on just a week after the tragedy and brought it back again -- Jeff.
GREENFIELD: Without question, I think the headline that Charles Krauthammer predicted before the speech was dead on. I mean, to specifically warn by name Iran and North Korea and especially Iraq, if you keep up what you are doing, we will take action, is about as unambiguous a statement in this world as you can get. This was not diplomatic language. This was not cautious language. This was a direct frontal warning to those states.
The second thing which I think over time, when we get past the politics and the polls, that I found I must say the most remarkable in this speech was his invocation of what he called nonnegotiable values of free speech, the nonoppression of women, religious tolerance, private property. I mean, If you think about the criticism that people have made about presidents like -- well, like Bill Clinton, who have tried to assert humanitarian reasons for American power, he almost seemed to be -- he almost seemed to be talking the way Woodrow Wilson did, that there were these universal values and universal principles that we were at least going to stand on the side of. That's an extraordinary statement in the state of the union.
BROWN: He also said we will not seek to impose our cultural values on -- I mean, this is very sticky stuff, that allies like the Saudis, for example, have a very different view of the appropriate role of women in public life. And so it's not precisely clear to me...
GREENFIELD: If you put your finger on it, Aaron...
BROWN: ... what this president means when he says that.
GREENFIELD: That's what struck me. It was simply one of the more surprising, if you will, one of the more -- I think it's going to be one of the more noteworthy notes that he struck, when people try to figure out just what do you mean by that and what is the United States prepared to do?
BROWN: John King at the White House.
KING: Aaron, I think as Jeff was just noting, you have to consider this speech a major turning point. Compare this speech to any prior speech the president has given about the war. Not once did he mention Osama bin Laden. Only once did he mention al Qaeda by name. Instead, very much a forward looking speech. He mentioned Hamas and Hezbollah, other terrorist groups. He specifically noted, as you have noted, Iran, Iraq and North Korea.
The president said time is not on the United States' side. And that he -- ticking time bombs, enemies in the plural. This very much a forward looking speech in which the president trying to recast, if you will, the war on terrorism, clearly here seeking a mandate for a much broader war outside of Afghanistan.
Even here at home, recasting the language. He spoke of economic security. Yes, an economic stimulus package, but even in the debate about domestic politics, the president trying to connect it to the area where he is most popular, leading the country right now from a security standpoint, a nation at war dealing with homeland security and economic security, especially in the sense of leaning forward into new fronts in this war. A major turning point for this president tonight.
BROWN: He said at one point, John, the United States of America will not permit the world's most dangerous regime to threaten us with the world's most destructive weapons. And I suspect over the next several days, all of us and a lot of people in Washington around the country will try and figure out precisely where that takes the country, what that means.
WOODRUFF: And those distinctions, as Jeff was referring to, to Iran and Iraq and North Korea are three very different regimes, three very different governments with different goals, different methods of operation.
Candy Crowley, our senior political correspondent, is also with us. Am I doing the wrong thing, here?
BROWN: You can't do the wrong thing, but you can do it at the wrong time.
WOODRUFF: All right. Tell me the right time. We're going to take a break.
We're going to take a short break. Democrats have still to respond and so does Candy, as it turns out. Our coverage continues in just a moment.
WOODRUFF: About two and a half minutes away from the Democratic response to the president's State of the Union. Our Candy Crowley is with us. Candy, is the White House, is the president prepared to answer some of these questions that this speech raises?
CROWLEY: Well, I think they will in the coming days. There are a number of trips planned where he will sort of expand on some of these things that he brought out. I think what was interesting to me was we really saw a couple of states of the unions here. We saw the sort of standard one, where he went through here is what I want domestically.
We saw what really was a warning to the world and those particular countries that have already been mentioned saying we're not going to stand by and let terrorism go on in any of those states that won't take action. And then we saw, of course, the standard state of the union address as far as telling the country where we are at this point, Judy.
WOODRUFF: All right, Candy. And I think we now want to quickly turn to Anne Taylor Fleming and Bill Bennett. Bill, why don't we start with you. Did the president meet your expectations?
BENNETT: Yes, he did. It was a couple speeches, but it was a very interesting and powerful speech. He had to persuade, and I think he did. It was a speech replete with morality, morally confident. This president has no trouble talking about universal human values and the importance of them and the greatness and significance of them. But the center of the speech, the most important thing in the short term, medium term was Iran, Iraq and North Korea, and most especially Iraq. More time on Iraq than the other two countries and the statement, we will not wait on events and we will be indifferent to the timidity of any allies. This was a speech of moral confidence, of tremendous sense of commitment and forward looking. We were talking earlier about whether the American people would follow him. George Bush spoke as if even if the American people don't follow in large numbers, he knows his job. He knows his commitment.
BROWN: Mr. Bennett, thank you. Anne, we will get to you right after the Democrats respond. I always thought this is among the hardest things there must be to do in politics in any time, to be the person that has to follow the sitting president and do the response, in these times in particular. It must be enormously hard for Dick Gephardt to do tonight. We expect him to talk about ten minutes or so.
GREENFIELD: You've tried everything in the world in past speeches and they've never figured out what to do.
WOODRUFF: Keeping it short helps.
BROWN: Keeping it short helps. Ten minutes is about right. So here is Representative Gephardt.
REP. RICHARD GEPHARDT (D-MO), MINORITY LEADER: Good evening.
I want to commend the president for his strong and patriotic message tonight, and I can assure you of this: There were two parties tonight in the House Chamber, but one resolve. Like generations that came before us, we will pay any price and bear any burden to make sure that this proud nation wins the first war of the 21st century.
Tonight, we say to our men and women in uniform: Thank you for your bravery, your skill and your sacrifice. When the history of this time is written, your courage will be listed in its proudest pages.
To our friends around the world, we say: Thank you for your aid and support. True friendship is tested not only in treaties and trade, but in times of trial.
To our enemies, we say with one voice: No act of violence, no threat will drive us apart or steer us from our course, to protect America and preserve our democracy. And make no mistake about it: We're going to hunt you down and make you pay.
Now is not a time for finger-pointing or politics as usual. The men and women who are defending our freedom are not fighting for the Democratic Party or the Republican Party. They're fighting for the greatest country that's ever existed on Earth: the United States of America.
As Americans, we need to put partisanship aside and work together to solve the problems that face us. On the day after the attacks, I went to the Oval Office for a meeting with the president. I said, "Mr. President, we have to find a way to work together." I said, "We have to trust you, and you have to trust us."
Since that day, there has been no daylight between us in this war on terrorism. We've met almost every single week and built a bipartisan consensus that is helping America win this war.
We also know that to defeat terrorism, our economy must be strong. For all the things that have changed in our world over the past four months, the needs of our families have not. While our attention has shifted, our values have not.
We know that real security depends not just on justice abroad, but creating good jobs at home; not just on securing our borders, but strengthening Social Security and Medicare at home; not just on bringing governments together, but creating a government here at home that lives within its means, cuts wasteful spending and invests in the future. Real security depends not just on meeting threats around the world, but living up to our highest values here at home.
Our values call for tax cuts that promote growth and prosperity for all Americans. Our values call for protecting Social Security and not gambling it away on the stock market. Our values call for helping patients and older Americans, not just big HMOs and pharmaceutical companies, ensuring that seniors don't have to choose between food and medicine.
Our values call for helping workers who have lost their 401(k) plans and protecting pensions from corporate mismanagement and abuse. Our values call for helping the unemployed, not just large corporations and the most fortunate.
These same values guide us as we work toward a long-term plan for our nation. We want to roll up our sleeves and work with our president to end America's dependence on foreign oil while preserving our environment, so we don't see gas prices jump every year.
We want to work together to recruit high-quality teachers and invest more in our schools while demanding more from them. We want to say to every student who wants to go to college and every worker who wants to update their skills: The first $10,000 of your education should be tax deductible.
We want to work together to raise the minimum wage, because nobody who works hard and plays by the rules should be forced to live in poverty. We want to work together to create a universal pension system that follows a worker from job to job through life and protects employees from the next Enron.
We want to work together to build our new economy, creating jobs by investing in technology so America can continue to lead the world in growth and opportunity.
We want to work together to improve homeland security and protect our borders, to keep out those people who want to bring us harm, but also to celebrate our nation's diversity and welcome those hardworking immigrants who pay taxes and keep our country strong.
We want to work together, as we have over the last decade, to continue to build the best-trained, best-equipped fighting force on the face of the planet.
I refuse to accept that while we stand shoulder to shoulder on the war, we should stand toe to toe on the economy. We need to find a way to respect each other, and trust each other, and work together to solve the long-term challenges America faces.
I'm ready to roll up my sleeves and go to work. That's one of the reasons I have proposed that next month a group of leaders from both parties come together at the White House for an economic growth summit to figure out how we're going to help businesses create jobs, reduce the deficit, simplify the tax code and grow our economy.
To accomplish these goals, we need a political system that's worthy of the people of this country. In the next several weeks, the House of Representatives will once again consider campaign finance reform. If the nation's largest bankruptcy, coupled with a clear example of paid political influence, isn't a prime case for reform, I don't know what is.
The forces aligned against this are powerful. So if you've never called or written your member of Congress, now is the time. I hope the president will stand with us to clean up the political system and get big money out of politics.
Our nation's been through a lot the past four months. If it's even possible to suggest a silver lining in this dark cloud that's fallen over our nation, it's the renewed sense of community that we've seen across America. The more we're able to turn that renewed sense of purpose into a new call for service, to encourage more Americans, young and old, to get involved, join AmeriCorps, the Peace Corps, the military or other endeavors, the more we're going to make our nation a model for all the good things that terrorists hate us for: hope, opportunity and freedom.
It was brought home to me how Americans are already answering that call when I spoke to a friend of mine who's the head of a postal union. Shortly after we learned of the anthrax threat, I asked him how he was doing. "Not well," he said. "We've lost two workers, and some are sick." He said, "I went to New Jersey where they had some of the biggest problems. Because of anthrax, all the workers were working in a tent exposed to the cold, hand-sorting the mail."
He said, "I thought I was going to get an earful, but when I asked for questions, a man stood up and said, 'I've been a postal worker for 30 years. We're here, and we're going to stay here. And if we've got to be outside all winter, we're going to stay here. The mail is going out. The terrorists will not win.'"
As one American said, the terrorists who attacked us wanted to teach us a lesson. They wanted us to know them. But these attacks make clear, they don't know us. They don't know what we'll do to defend freedom, and they don't know what they've started. But they're beginning to find out.
As we look ahead to the future, we do so with the knowledge that we can never fully know what the men and women we lost on that day would have accomplished. We can never know what would have been the full measure of their lives or what they would have contributed to our world if they had lived.
But one thing is certain: It is up to all of us to redeem the lives they would have lived with the lives we live today and to make the most of our time here on earth. Let us be up to that challenge.
Thank you. God bless you, and God bless America.
BROWN: The House minority leader Richard Gephardt of Missouri. A difficult task. "We stand shoulder to shoulder with the president" he said, "on the war a terrorism. We don't expect to go to go toe-to- toe with him on the economy."
But then he listed a number of issues where the Democrats, both in the House and the Senate have very clear differences with Republicans, what is a patients' bill of rights, what should it include, what is energy policy, what is tax policy, who gets prescription drug coverage under Medicare, lots of differences, how those differences are resolved. The congressman promised in a bipartisan way, but that's battle ahead in this election year.
WOODRUFF: Aaron, I started to say that as tough as his job was, the fact that he kept it brief, the fact, as you say, he touched on those points of difference. But he also talked about American -- the patriotism that has come forth in this country, that he talked about unifying, having an economic security conference on economic security. You get the sense at least from him, that in part the Democrats want to work with the Republicans.
GREENFIELD: The one thing he talked about with the most relish was campaign finance reform because it was the was he could talk about Enron without having to directly talk about Enron, the biggest bankruptcy in history isn't a cause, I don't know what is, and that was probably the most clear political line in the sand of either speech tonight.
BROWN: Anne Taylor Fleming, the essayist is with us tonight. She is in Los Angeles.
Anne, you have listened now to both the Republicans and the president speak. What is your reaction to it all?
FLEMING: I think the president's speech was more sort of a war rallying speech than I had anticipated. I figured he would hit it hard and he is carrying the good will from that. But the idea to plunge forward into other places, that really was the headline to me. The fact that it was two speeches, which everybody pointed out, I think he was very strong on the war theme, full of if you want moral certitude. And the second speech, very vague on the domestic front. I mean, every suggestion -- everything was suggested, but not much definition. But I think the underpinning for people will be, we are going, and get ready. If Bill Bennett says this president is willing to go without the rest of us, that's a little unnerving to me. And the only other thing that was unnerving to me and as always in these speeches, is the sense that when we talk about it we don't talk about it as a moral commitment of the free world.
We talk about it as America the righteous, America the good. And I was conscious of looking at Karzai sitting there, whose own people have suffered a great deal and wondering how that hits him. I'm always wondering how speeches like this play in the world at large, not just at home, which is what we talk about. And as I said before, I think there is a global mindfulness, certainly if we are going to plunge forward, that we have to be much more careful about and that I wish there had been some more of. Certainly the bottom line is we are going pro-war onward and upward.
BROWN: Thank you, Anne Taylor Fleming, I didn't mean to interrupt. Bill Schneider, Anne has talked about the how world will react to all of this. Bill, first, will figure out how the country will react to all of this. I assume the pollsters are out on the phones now. What was your take on it all?
SCHNEIDER: We are interviewing people right now. We don't know the answers yet, but my view is that it will be a very positive response. And the reason is that this president has a particular strength and it is a strength of character. It's a strength of that, more than other presidents, when he makes as personal commitment and shows resolve, it's an example to the country.
And throughout his speech, particularly when he was talking about international affairs and when he was talking about values, he used himself as the example. "I will not wait on events." "I will not stand by."
His strongest appeal to Americans is his strength of character. At one point he called for a new culture of responsibility in the country. I think it was the president's personal commitment and personal resolve that stood as an example to the American people.
BROWN: Bill, thank you. Bill Schneider. Jeff, we are down to about 90 seconds or so. Take a third of it or more if you want.
GREENFIELD: Less. I can think of three transforming events that have given the presidents the power to really change the country domestically: the election of FDR, the election of Lyndon Johnson that led to the great society, and Reagan's election.
I think the political question tonight is to the power and passion and resonance of the first part of that speech, this unusual unprecedented cause, give this president the authority and political power to do what he wants to do in the second part of the speech.
BROWN: It is the great question: Will that popularity work it's way through policy, not just the war, but on all of those other things?
WOODRUFF: And I'm asking the question maybe just a slightly different way; when the president says, let's adopt the "let's roll" attitude as we tackle the rest of the country's problems, that sounds, OK, how can you disagree with that? But then you look at the fine point of OK, what are we going to do? Are we going to go after Iraq? If so, how are we going to do it?
GREENFIELD: Everybody wants the security message. Is security going into other countries? Is security what Dick Gephardt wants.
WOODRUFF: And the fact that only 1/6 of this speech was devoted I think to economic and domestic issues, I think is something that people will be examining in days to come.
BROWN: Larry King and his guests will be examining all of it coming right up. Among Larry's guests: Former -- still odd to say -- former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Shannon Spann, the wife of Mike, the CIA agent who was killed in Vietnam -- Vietnam -- in Afghanistan, will be with Larry as well, and former Republican presidential candidate Robert Dole.
All of that coming up on LARRY KING LIVE next.
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