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THE MCLAUGHLIN GROUP

HOST: JOHN MCLAUGHLIN

JOINED BY: TONY BLANKLEY, PATRICK BUCHANAN, ELEANOR CLIFT, AND LAWRENCE O'DONNELL

TAPED: THURSDAY, JULY 8, 2004
BROADCAST: WEEKEND OF JULY 10-11, 2004

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THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT.
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Issue one: John squared.

DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE SENATOR JOHN KERRY (D-MA): (From videotape.) I know his skill; I know his passion; I know his strength; I know his conscience; I know his faith. I've seen John Edwards think, argue, advocate, legislate and lead for six years now.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, let's take a look at what John Edwards advocates and legislates, which John Kerry thinks so highly of that he chose Edwards as his running mate. Here are 12 key votes selected as liberal/conservative diagnostics by the Almanac of American Politics, co-written by the encyclopedic McLaughlin Grouper Michael Barone. These bills Edwards voted on are clearly liberal or conservative:

Approve the Bush tax cuts: Edwards voted No. Expand patients' rights: Yes. Campaign finance reform: Yes. Permit oil production at the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge: No. Confirm John Ashcroft as attorney general: No. Keep gays out of the Boy Scouts: No. Provide funding for hate crime prosecution: Yes. Allow overseas military abortions: Yes. Deny cooperation with the international criminal court: Yes. Trade promotion authority, sometimes called fast track, an expediting enactment by Congress that gives the president the power to negotiate trade agreements with little red tape: Yes. Authorize force in Iraq: Yes. The Homeland Security Department -- give employees the right to unionize: Yes.

Based on these votes and others, the nonpartisan National Journal rated Edwards a liberal -- in fact, very liberal. On its 2003 liberal scale, Edwards comes in as the fourth most liberal of the nation's 100 senators. Number one on that liberal scale is John Kerry. So, Kerry is the nation's number one liberal senator; Edwards is the number four most liberal senator.

DEMOCRATIC VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE SENATOR JOHN EDWARDS (D- NC): (From videotape.) We're going to win this election. We're going to make America strong at home, and once again America will be respected around the world when John Kerry is the president of the United States. That's the America we'll build together.

Question: Why is it useful for the Bush-Cheney team to attack the liberalism of the Democratic ticket? Pat Buchanan.

MR. BUCHANAN: John, because no liberal has been elected president since 1944, and the Democratic party, unless it has nominated a Southerner, has not gotten the presidency in over 40 years, since JFK. Liberalism has been out ever since Ronald Reagan.

But the selection of John Edwards, I believe, was quasi-forced upon John Kerry. I think Kerry wanted Graham of Florida, who is a friend, or Gephardt of Missouri, but I think it was explained to him that he lacks the charisma himself and the energy and the fire, and so he had to reach out and take a gamble and take a risk. And I believe it is a gamble --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Who was squeezing him?

MR. BUCHANAN: The Democratic Party, I think --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The elders?

MR. BUCHANAN: Yeah. His campaign was running like a dry creek, frankly. He should have been 10 points ahead, given the president's problem.

So I think he has rolled the dice here. It may prove a brilliant -- frankly, if they win North Carolina, it will be a brilliant stroke. But if Kerry loses the election, I think this will be held accountable.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You agree with the elders?

MR. BUCHANAN: I agree with the elders. He needs a lot. But if I were him, I would have taken Gephardt.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

MS. CLIFT: Well, first of all, the Michael Barone almanac that you quote says that John Edwards ranks among the moderate to conservative voters in -- among the Democrats in the Senate. He is no wild-eyed liberal. He has a "two Americas" populism, which is a centrist populism. He unites the Democratic Leadership Council, which is the New Democratic wing of the party, and the left. And with Ken Lay being indicted this week, frankly, corporate conservatism, business conservatism, it's a nice contrast to John Edwards' populism.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, if you wan to attack the National Journal's ratings, I suggest you read it first --

MS. CLIFT: I --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- because they examine many, many issues besides the ones you saw on the screen.

MS. CLIFT: Well, The National Journal is somewhat distorted because both of these guys were out campaigning for much of this year and last, and they only came back when they had to cast votes, really, to raise the liberal flag. So it's somewhat distorted.

I don't think the liberal charge is going to work as well this time as it has in the past.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Why is it useful for the Bush team to attack the liberalism of the Kerry team?

MR. BLANKLEY: Well --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Pat tried, but no cigar.

MR. BLANKLEY: Well, it's a moderately useful device. Thirty- five percent of the country's self-identified conservative; 19 percent, self-identified liberal --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tony, Tony, you're on the wrong track.

MR. BLANKLEY: Well, but --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You want me to tell you?

MR. BLANKLEY: No, I don't.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Just so I can get it off my chest, okay? (Laughter.)

MR. BLANKLEY: Go ahead. Tell me.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: They're concerned about their disaffected conservative Republican base. That's what they're concerned about. So if they harp on the liberalism of this man --

MR. BLANKLEY: No, they've got --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- they help restore their base.

MR. BLANKLEY: No.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Don't you understand that?

MR. BLANKLEY: No. I understand that point. It's wrong.

If they want to restore their base, they have to articulate vigorously conservative values. If they fail to do that, calling the other side "liberal" is not going to solve the problem. But --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: It will rally the badly flagging GOP base.

MR. BLANKLEY: But this is much ado about little, because the vice presidential choice doesn't make a lot of difference. Nothing particularly good or bad about the Edwards selection.

The only problem with him is he's still largely an unknown factor, unlike Gephardt, who everybody -- has been fully vetted.

For instance, the story is coming out now that according to the Senate disclosure statements, that Edwards has a number of millions of dollars invested in European and Japanese equity funds, Asia equity funds. Here's a guy who's running as a populist, he's against job outsourcing, and he's putting his own money into equity investments abroad. That kind of thing -- it's not a big deal --

MS. CLIFT: No. (chuckles.)

MR. BLANKLEY: -- but that kind of thing will come out on a regular basis and will be sort of (duck blast ?) on him.

MR. BUCHANAN: Get the pitchforks! (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Lawrence, Bush spent $90 million trying to make out and establish clearly the fact that Kerry was a liberal. It didn't go anywhere. Is there any reason to think that now they are going to be able to portray this ticket as a liberal ticket --

MR. O'DONNELL: If it was going to have traction, it should have already, especially because of what you just said.

But you know, this National Journal thing -- they counted 62 votes out of thousands and thousands and thousands of Senate votes. Everyone who's ever worked in the Senate knows it's a complete joke. Ted Kennedy is by far the most liberal member of the Senate.

I worked in the Senate on a staff --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Ted Kennedy is liberal? (Laughter.)

MR. O'DONNELL: Well, John Kerry is on the right edge of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party in the Senate.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Would you accept the Americans for Democratic Action, the premier liberal rating system --

MR. O'DONNELL: No! No! They took five votes. It's even worse. They --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: They give him an 85 liberal rating this year.

MR. BUCHANAN: John --

MR. O'DONNELL: For example, they give a liberal rating to voting against the biggest new spending initiative in the government, which was the Bush prescription drug plan.

MR. BUCHANAN: Right. But here's the problem --

MR. BLANKLEY: The funny thing --

MR. O'DONNELL: And these people were accompanied by very strong conservatives who voted against that.

MR. BUCHANAN: The reason why Kerry-Edwards are probably not going to win a single Southern state, including North Carolina, whereas Clinton-Gore did, is that Clinton could portray himself as something other than a Northeast liberal or a liberal. That is the all-important reason. I agree with Tony to this extent. You can't just say "liberal." I mean, that thing about, you know, he's going to -- what is that vote on the Boy Scouts? Now that has resonance, but simply to call him a liberal anymore is not enough.

MS. CLIFT: I don't think you can denigrate John Edwards with the liberalism word. He can say, "Okay, is liberalism when I team up with John McCain to regulate HMOs? Is that called liberal?" Yes, it is. And I think that he is well within the New Democrat tradition in all his votes, and he's got the Clinton gift of --

MR. BUCHANAN: But you're saying he's not liberal.

MS. CLIFT: He's got the Clinton gift of being able to take economic issues --

MR. BLANKLEY: I think --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let her finish.

MS. CLIFT: -- and talk about them in the ways that people can understand. And that is an enormous gift in modern politics.

MR. BLANKLEY: I think it is interesting to note that Eleanor uses the word "denigrate" with the word "liberal."

MR. O'DONNELL: (Laughs.) Right.

MR. BLANKLEY: If you accuse Bush of being a conservative, he's proud of it.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Right.

MR. BLANKLEY: If you accuse Kerry or Edwards of being a liberal, you feel they're being slandered.

MS. CLIFT: Well --

MR. BLANKLEY: That is a problem for liberal --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, what a transformation since the earlier days, right?

MR. BLANKLEY: And a wonderful one at that, yes.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, are we going to get --

MS. CLIFT: I don't think they're going to run away from the liberal -- you were the guys --

(Cross talk.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let Eleanor finish.

MR. BLANKLEY: You said it was denigrating to call someone a liberal.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

MS. CLIFT: You are trying to denigrate liberalism -- (laughter) -- and going back to the days when it worked against Michael Dukakis. That was --

MR. BUCHANAN: But Eleanor, they are not going to say, "I am a liberal."

MR. O'DONNELL: That's right.

MR. BUCHANAN: "And so is John Edwards, and we are proud of it." They're not going to say that.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Hey, Pat --

MS. CLIFT: Well, that's because you guys have been so effective in your communication. (Laughter.)

MR. BUCHANAN: That's correct.

MS. CLIFT: But the country is where John Edwards and John Kerry are on the issues, and that's what's going to matter.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay. The president was asked on Wednesday what was the essential difference between Edwards and Cheney.

PRESIDENT GEORGE W BUSH: (From videotape.) Dick Cheney can be president.

(Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Later in the day, Kerry flung out his riposte, and the crowd just loved it. They wanted more.

SENATOR JOHN KERRY (D-MA, presumptive Democratic nominee for president): (From videotape.) He was right that Dick Cheney was ready to take over on day one, and he did, and he has been ever since, folks. And that's what we got to change. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Is this exchange a sign that the fast-on-his-feet Kerry will outperform Bush in a debate? I ask you, Lawrence.

MR. O'DONNELL: Oh, John Kerry's going to win the presidential debates, absolutely. And yeah, this thing he did yesterday on that response was perfect. They have a response to these experience issues. The experience issue plays very well for Kerry. Edwards, first of all, makes Kerry look more experienced, and it increases the value of Kerry's main asset as a candidate, which is experience. You then get to say that John Edwards is far more experienced on federal governance than George Bush was when he became president.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well --

MR. BLANKLEY: Wait! Wait! Wait a second! Wait --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Wait a minute. You know what Edwards says when the experience thing is thrown at him, especially this experience of Cheney, he says: Well, he's very experienced, look at where it's got us.

MR. O'DONNELL: Exactly. That's the vote that this ticket is trying to get --

MR. BLANKLEY: Wait a second!

MR. O'DONNELL: -- people who think that the experienced people in that White House have created havoc.

MR. BLANKLEY: But look, you say it's an advantage for Edwards to be inexperienced because it makes Kerry look more experienced. He should have got someone who has no experience at all --

MR. O'DONNELL: No, I'm saying they have good answers to it. It's not an advantage, but they have great answers to it.

MR. BUCHANAN: You know, John, my feeling is Kerry -- somebody fed Kerry that line.

MR. O'DONNELL: Yeah, sure.

MR. BUCHANAN: I mean, I bet one of his -- Shrum or one of those guys did. Because I've seen him in the debates, all the Democratic debates; he didn't come up with any clever lines like that, you know, right there on the stand. But it's a good line.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Pat, the GOP base is flagging.

MR. BUCHANAN: Yes it is.

MR. O'DONNELL: (Chuckles.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And 20 percent of Republicans have said they haven't decided for whom they're going to vote. The reason is immigration, and deficits, and what else?

MR. BUCHANAN: And jobs, manufacturing jobs. Here's where Edwards --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And Medicare.

MR. BUCHANAN: -- has the big advantage. If he can go into Ohio, West Virginia, Michigan, Western Pennsylvania and make the case that the corporate Republicans who cut taxes for their rich friends and sent the jobs of middle-class folks over to China, he can do it.

MS. CLIFT: And what we learned about Edwards during the primary, if he had the time to stay in a given place, people liked him better; he wore very well.

And also, on the debates, I don't want to join in this lowering the bar for George W. Bush. He's been president for four years. We shouldn't just give him a pass if he can go in and string a few words together.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let me pick up a point here. The point is Edwards and his longevity, his staying power. Not that he will give up his ambition, but that are his looks and his manner going to start to wear? Is it going to be a little too sweet? Is he going to be a little bit too smiley-faced? Or will it endure?

MR. BUCHANAN: (Laughs.)

MS. CLIFT: Listen, I think if you have somebody who brings optimism -- I've heard that word day in and day out out of the Bush White House -- there's something to it. He does bring an optimistic demeanor. He's plenty smart. The Southern drawl really helps. And the biography helps.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I want to ask you a question --

MS. CLIFT: He can get across a sense that he really does understand the life of middle class people, even though he's made it rich himself.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yes, and he has very high regard for people. That's one of his real strengths.

MS. CLIFT: His personal story, going to the death of a child, really conveys something about his personality.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor, if you have Bush and Cheney and then you put next to them Edwards and Kerry, what comes through is something generational, too. Have you thought of that?

(Laughter.)

MR. BLANKLEY: Look, Kerry is --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Have you thought of it?

MR. BLANKLEY: Kerry is a couple of years older than Bush, and looks it.

MR. BUCHANAN: (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Kerry is --

MR. BUCHANAN: Kerry's 60.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- 60 years of age.

MR. BLANKLEY: Yeah. I mean, to call Kerry the youth candidate, I think, is pushing it a little bit.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I'm talking about the way they look.

MR. BLANKLEY: But I want to go back to what you said about Bush has got trouble on his base, which I agree he has. But when you said 20 percent of Republicans are not sure they're going to vote for him, that's a higher percentage -- that's a lower number than the Democrats. In fact, a higher percentage of Bush supporters are certain they're going to vote for him than Kerry --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Are you saying they are not worried about a small GOP turnout?

MR. BLANKLEY: No, no, quite the contrary, quite the contrary.

MR. BUCHANAN: I think it's going to be --

MR. BLANKLEY: I agree with you that there's a base problem. All I'm saying is that right now a higher percentage of Bush supporters are sure they're going to vote for him than are Kerry supporters.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Exit question: Barring genuine medical misfortune, will Dick Cheney still be on the ticket in November, yes or no?

MR. BUCHANAN: He will be on the ticket. And he's going to get a new doctor, but he's going to be fine, John.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You know, no trips to the hospital for stents or whatever? Stents.

MR. BUCHANAN: Well, no. His doctor is, I think, an associate -- Eleanor knows his doctor, who's had a little bit of trouble, but --

MS. CLIFT: He's a very good doctor and he's had some personal issues, but I still defend him. And this is probably one issue where I agree with Vice President Cheney. (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, this is getting a little arcane now. What are we talking about?

MS. CLIFT: Well, you introduced the subject.

MR. BUCHANAN: Well, didn't --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Not everyone reads the paper -- (inaudible).

MR. BUCHANAN: Well, the vice president's doctor has a problem with abuse --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Writing prescriptions?

MR. BUCHANAN: Yes.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Ah.

MR. BUCHANAN: Taking prescriptions.

MR. BLANKLEY: To himself. To himself.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor, what's the answer to my question? Will Cheney be on the ticket?

MS. CLIFT: Yes, because to replace him would show absolute panic.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think that he's committed to Cheney all the way?

MR. BLANKLEY: Yes. I think it's almost absolutely certain he will be on the ticket.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Was that sealed when he said in that sound bite Cheney, because he can take over; Cheney has the experience? He's wed to Cheney now?

MR. BLANKLEY: He chose Cheney again months ago. He's never said anything to --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I know, but things are changing every day.

MR. BLANKLEY: No, no, you don't understand. The Bushes are not going to drop their man and they don't need to. It would look like panic. They're not panicked. They're going to stick with him. They're probably going to win.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: If you were objectively counseling the president, would you tell him to keep Cheney or dump him?

MR. O'DONNELL: I would have told him to dump him a while ago. And if Bush was as decisive and as sharp a politician --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You mean as --

MR. O'DONNELL: -- as John Kerry is, he would have gotten rid of Cheney already. He wouldn't be on this ticket.

You look at what Kerry did when he was having trouble in his campaign: get rid of the campaign manager, bring in Mary Beth Cahill. It's the best-run campaign in American politics that we've seen in a very long time since then. John Kerry knows how to take charge of these situations to win. George W. Bush does not know how to take charge of a campaign to win, and getting rid of Cheney would be step one to winning.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you approve of Kerry running a --

MS. CLIFT: Well, getting rid of a campaign manager and a vice president are a little different. (Laughs.)

MR. BUCHANAN: Yeah. (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you approve of Kerry running a centrist campaign?

MR. O'DONNELL: He's going to be running the campaign that Democrats win with, which is to the left of center --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Not much. Not much.

MR. O'DONNELL: -- and which is exactly where the entire -- about 70 percent of the country is.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: He's also invisible, for the most part.

MR. O'DONNELL: It's a referendum on Bush. Yes or no?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Exactly. Exactly.

MR. O'DONNELL: Kerry's the "no" section of the referendum on Bush. He's doing everything right for what this campaign really is.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The phantom candidate is ahead.

MR. O'DONNELL: And why he is on "The Today Show" two days in a row, opening today.

MR. BUCHANAN: But who would you Cheney with, for heaven's sakes, without tearing the base of the party apart?

MR. O'DONNELL: Well, that's the madness of that party. If you can't replace him with Tom Ridge --

(Cross talk.)

MR. O'DONNELL: Tom Ridge is a far better candidate. And if you can't replace --

MR. BLANKLEY: Look. When Kerry --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let him finish making his point. Address that point on Tom Ridge.

MR. BUCHANAN: He's not pro-life.

(Cross talk.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Are we going around now raising alternates to Cheney? Is that where we are?

MR. BUCHANAN: If you drop Cheney, who are you going -- (off mike).

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: When we come back, what are the jokers, the political wild cards, in the presidential election?

(Announcements.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue two: Jokers wild.

Two jokers in this election; political wild cards. The joker in George Bush's deck is "Fahrenheit 9/11," the critical and caustic film indictment of the president. The joker in Kerry's deck is Ralph Nader.

We'll get to Nader in a moment. First, "Fahrenheit 9/11."

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: (From videotape.) I call upon all nations to do everything they can to stop these terrorist killers. Thank you.

Now watch this drive. (The president, who is on the golf course, swings his club.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: In the last two weeks since its opening, Michael Moore's anti-Bush polemic has been seen by 8 million people and grossed over $60 million. But does this box office bonanza translate into Democratic votes on November 2?

Here are the possibilities: One, it rallies the base; two, it pushes swing voters; three, it both solidifies the base and pushes swing voters -- a "twofer"; and four, no impact at all.

Question: Will "Fahrenheit 9/11" rally the Democratic base or will it push swing voters to vote Democratic? Or will it do both, solidify the base and push swing voters? Or will it do neither?

I ask you, Lawrence.

MR. O'DONNELL: It will definitely push swing voters. Swing voters are mostly uninformed. That's what helps keep them swing voters, keeps them undecided.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And sane.

MR. O'DONNELL: Coming out of this movie, they're not going to have any ability to counter any of the inaccuracies in it, and it is a very, very effective piece of propaganda. It's definitely going to swing some votes, especially in the industrial states, Ohio, toward Kerry.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And Florida?

MR. O'DONNELL: And the problem is, we're in such a tight election that tiny numbers of votes -- and this thing is going to swing thousands of votes.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: As well as, obviously, rally the base.

MR. O'DONNELL: Well, rally the base is not that important as the swinging vote thing, and it's definitely going to --

MR. BUCHANAN: Kerry's staying away from it.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What?

MR. BUCHANAN: Kerry's staying away from it.

MR. O'DONNELL: He should.

MR. BLANKLEY: Look. At some magnitude Lawrence is right. But I don't think --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What does that mean? Are we using an altimeter, or what? (Laughter.)

MR. BLANKLEY: Whether it's going to be thousands of people who change their votes, or millions -- I think it's going to be thousands.

MR. O'DONNELL: Oh, it won't be millions. It doesn't have to be.

MR. BLANKLEY: And keep in mind --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: All you need is thousands.

MR. BLANKLEY: And keep in mind that the majority of people who go to movies are young people, and young people tend not to vote.

MS. CLIFT: Well --

MR. BLANKLEY: So you're getting a smaller and smaller number of potential swing votes --

MR. O'DONNELL: Yes.

MS. CLIFT: Yes.

MR. BLANKLEY: -- at the margin.

MR. O'DONNELL: Yep.

MS. CLIFT: Yes.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: All right quickly!

MS. CLIFT: It's a cultural phenomenon, and young people are flocking. And young people are much more interested in this election than they have been in the past. And it's going to --

MR. BLANKLEY: I'll bet you they vote at the same rate this time as they did last time.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay --

MS. CLIFT: Well, we'll bet on that! (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- the answer is both rally and push.

You agree with that?

MR. BUCHANAN: Yep.

MS. CLIFT: Yes.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay, another joker. Kerry's joker: Ralph Nader. Ralph is currently polling at around 4 percent -- easily enough to distort the election. Nader got 2.74 percent in 2000 and was blamed by Democrats for Al Gore's Electoral College loss. But this year, he failed to get the backing of the Green Party, calling into question whether he'll make it onto as many ballots -- 43 states plus the District of Columbia -- as in the last election.

Question: In his meeting with Kerry a few months back, Ralph said that Edwards was the best choice for vice president, which some interpret to mean that if Edwards were chosen -- as happened -- Ralph would quit the race. So, will he quit the race?

I ask you, Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: No, I don't think he's going to, as of right now. And, frankly, if he were running nationwide on 50 state ballots, he could sink Kerry.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: How many states is he on the ballot?

MR. BUCHANAN: From my knowledge, he lost 22 when he lost the Green Party. I don't know of more than seven as of right now.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Seven states.

MS. CLIFT: Yeah. And the Kerry campaign is aggressively contesting his efforts to get on the ballot elsewhere.

Look, Michael Moore supported Nader in 2000. Moore is supporting Kerry. He's made a pragmatic decision. He would rather be somewhere else, probably. But a lot of other Americans are going to decide they want Bush out more than they want to vote their convictions.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Will he pull out of the race?

MR. BLANKLEY: Well, he said he won't. But on the other hand, Ralph Nader has presumably being backed by trial lawyers over the years and his activities, now they've got the number-one trial lawyer on the ticket, so he might have some pressure from his private contributors.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah. Yeah. Or it could work the other way. He's got somebody else who's carrying the water now --

MR. BLANKLEY: His private contributors might push him a little bit.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- you know, mission accomplished for him.

MR. O'DONNELL: He does not have to pull out of the race, he's not really in it. This is a complete fake. He's not really running for president. He's not going to push his campaign actively anywhere where it matters.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: This is what's going to happen. At the Democratic Convention he's going to hear good speeches, speeches that appeal to him, that carry his anti-corporate philosophy to new heights. Okay? At the Democratic Convention. And then he takes a walk out. His mission has been accomplished.

MR. O'DONNELL: (Chuckles.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We'll be right back with predictions.

You heard it here. Use it.

(Announcements.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Predictions.

Pat?

MR. BUCHANAN: Crisis with Iran by year's end.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

MS. CLIFT: Disaffected Republican moderates will decide the election by staying home in November.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tony?

MR. BLANKLEY: Edwards will be forced to divest his foreign investments.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Lawrence?

MR. O'DONNELL: Edwards will win the vice presidential debate and eliminate the experience gap.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Can't you just wait for it?

MR. O'DONNELL: (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Can't you taste it?

The government in proving its case against Ken Lay will be unsuccessful.

Next week: The constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage will be debated on the floor of the United States Senate.

Bye-bye.

PBS SEGMENT

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue three: The law won.

(Music: "I Fought The Law, And The Law Won.")

Nevada rancher Larry Hiibel fought the law -- all the way to the United States Supreme Court -- and the law won. In May of 2000, Hiibel was pulled over and refused to give the police officer his name. The officer then arrested him under a Nevada law that says police may detain anyone, quote, "under circumstances which reasonably indicate that the person has committed, is committing or is about to commit a crime," unquote, and that "any person so detained shall identify himself."

Hiibel challenged the case, backed by privacy advocates who argued that forcing Hiibel to give police his name violates his Fourth Amendment protection from illegal searches, and his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination. But the majority in the U.S. Supreme Court rejected those arguments and upheld the Nevada law in a 5 to 4 decision, meaning that a person must now give his or her name when detained by a police officer.

Three of the dissenting justices -- Breyer, Souter and Ginsburg -- agreed with a 1968 opinion written by Justice Byron White, who in a related case stated there is no obligation to respond to police questions. A fourth dissenting justice, John Paul Stevens, wrote that since Hiibel's name could have been self-incriminating, Hiibel, quote, "acted well within his rights when he opted to stand mute," unquote, since the Fifth Amendment protects against self-incrimination.

Under this ruling, detained individuals are only required to identify themselves, by the way, and are not obliged to answer any other inquiry, including producing a driver's license.

Question: Should citizens be forced to give their names to police officers?

MORE



Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: I think if you're a citizen under suspicion of a crime and you don't give your name, I think the police have a right to hold you.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, should the police disclose why they want your name?

MR. BUCHANAN: Well, obviously, yes, they should.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, when they do that and they say you're under suspicion, that's all the more reason not to give them your name. You heard what the judge said there.

MR. BUCHANAN: (Laughs.) Then you lock him up!

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The judge said there --

MR. O'DONNELL: This guy didn't do anything.

MR. BUCHANAN: You lock him up!

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- you stand mute.

MR. BLANKLEY: There was a famous case, Terry v. Ohio, the street frisk, and that said the police have a right to detain people temporarily if there's some suspicion less than probable cause to arrest. That's been the foundation for police to be able to search people --

MR. O'DONNELL: But there was nothing suspicious about what this guy was doing. He didn't do anything suspicious.

MR. BLANKLEY: But let me say -- the focus has got to be on whether there was a reasonable suspicion. In this case --

MR. O'DONNELL: And there wasn't. There wasn't one.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You do not think that you have to tell the policeman your name, correct?

MR. O'DONNELL: Absolutely. I think the court got it wrong. I think the 5-4 --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You would stand mute.

Would you stand mute?

MS. CLIFT: I would say this was way too broadly drawn, but in a post-9/11 world, they're going to get away with it.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Are you with the dissenters on this decision?

MS. CLIFT: I'm with the dissenters.

MR. O'DONNELL: Yes.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You are?

You're not?

MR. BLANKLEY: I'm not with the dissenters.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I'm with the dissenters.

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