updated 3/31/2004 1:01:51 PM ET 2004-03-31T18:01:51

Guests: James Merritt, Jody Eldred, Tamar Jacoby, Ann Coulter, Rick MacArthur, Madeleine Albright

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  Tonight, the Rice reversal.  President Bush now says Condoleezza Rice can testify, but has the damage already been done? 

You‘re about to enter SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  No passport required, no foot-dragging allowed. 

The White House does an about-face and tells the 9/11 Commission the national security adviser will talk under oath.  But what took them so long?  Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright weighs in, in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  Plus, she‘ll tell us why she thinks President Bush should talk less about God in the war on terror. 

Then America is in the middle of an illegal immigration epidemic.  Is a new program that offers a second chance at amnesty to blame? 

And millions of Americans have been touched by “The Passion.”  Now some are claiming the movie has produced miracles.  Jody Eldred chronicled their stories in a documentary.  And he‘s here with some incredible video to tell us about tonight in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. 

But first, Condi talks, B.S. walks.  It‘s time for tonight‘s “Real Deal.” 

Now, sadly, as you know, Richard Clarke‘s 9/11 coming-out party has dissolved into the same blame game that the world has been playing since that fateful September morning in 2001.  America, George W. Bush, Christians, Jews, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice have all been lined up and tagged as the cause of 9/11.  In fact, for three years now, we‘ve had to endure Islamic extremists, liberals, right-wing conspiracy theorists, anti-Semites, and the blame-America-first burnouts who blamed everybody for September 11, except the terrorists who actually planned and carried out those attacks. 

You know, the most troubling blame-America-first speech came from none other than former President Bill Clinton.  While Americans were still recovering the body parts of their sons and daughter, husbands and wives, Bill Clinton went to Georgetown University and declared that 9/11 was the fault of Christians.  As crazy as it sounds—quote—“In the first Crusade, Christians took Jerusalem and proceeded to kill every woman and child who was Muslim on the Temple Mount. 

Well, you know what?  The American president, not the French president, mind you, but the American president went on to describe Christians with Muslim blood running up to their knees.  And for good measure, Mr. Clinton said America‘s treatment of slaves and Native Americans, as well as current day hate crimes, prove—quote—“that terror has a long history.” 

You know, those arguments are too sophomoric to even discuss, but they do illustrate how many on the left and the extreme right have ignored the cold, hard fact that we are a nation at war with an evil force who will do all they can do to kill our children, our spouses, and our way of life. 

You know, when Condi Rice straps on her helmet and goes to Capitol Hill to testify, like I told you she would do all along, she needs to keep that in mind and tell the commission that it‘s time to stop playing the blame game and start acting like a nation that‘s at war with a deadly enemy.  We are and we better start acting like it soon. 

Now, on a personal note, about Bill Clinton, while his words in 2001 enraged me and millions of other Americans, it‘s important to note that, over the past year, the former president has shown the world a united front with President Bush on most foreign policy issues.  That‘s extremely important, especially now. 

And I‘m one American who would like to thank an old political foe for doing what‘s in America‘s best interests and staying above the political fray.  And that‘s tonight‘s “Real Deal.” 

Now, I spoke earlier with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.  She gave a speech on religion and foreign policy at the Yale School of Divinity.  And I asked her if she thinks President Bush sees the war on terror as a religious crusade.  And this is what she had to say. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE:  Well, I think that what has happened is that the people in the administration in many ways have kind of decided that God is on our side, which I think complicates fighting a terror where the other side believes that God is on their side. 

So I think that while there clearly is a morality that needs to be observed here, I think that this has complicated issues in a very serious way, because all religions believe that they have a connection with God.  And so by making it Christian vs. everybody else, I think it‘s made it very much harder. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You brought up also several quotes that George Bush has used recently.  I want to read a few of them to you. 

You said the president has said our nation has a responsibility to history to—quote—“rid the world of evil,” also quoting Jesus and saying—quote—“You‘re either for us or against us.”  When Saddam Hussein was captured, he said America was delivering justice to a dictator who denied God‘s gift to the Iraqi people.  More recently, he said, “Freedom at fear have always been at war and God is not neutral between them.”

And you said that, by using those quotes, the president could actually be playing right into the hands of al Qaeda.  But of all those quotes, wouldn‘t you agree that probably most people in middle America would agree with the president? 

ALBRIGHT:  Well, I think we definitely find a lot of solace in thinking that God is on our side.  The truth is, we need to be on his side. 

And the question is how you make arguments like that without alienating even further this particularly difficult enemy who invokes God for their causes and for whom people are blowing themselves up.  So, it has added a whole layer of complication to what is already a very difficult struggle. 

And if you listen to what Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda say or how we now hear from those whose families made sure that somebody was a suicide bomber, it makes very difficult to decide that God is on our team and not on theirs. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, you know, somebody else that probably agreed with you obviously is your former boss Bill Clinton.  In a speech he gave to Georgetown University right after September 11, President Clinton placed part of the blame on the attacks on European and American Christians in that remarkable speech.  Let me play you what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAM J. CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  Those of us who come from various European lineages are not blameless.  Indeed, in the first crusade, when the Christian soldiers took Jerusalem, they first burned a synagogue with 300 Jews in it and proceeded to kill every woman and child who was a Muslim on the Temple Mount.  The contemporaneous descriptions of the event described soldiers walking on the Temple Mount, a holy place to Christians, with blood running up to their knees. 

I can tell you that that story is still being told today in the Middle East, and we are still paying for it. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Do you agree with Bill Clinton that, especially among al Qaeda members, that Christian in America and Europe shared responsibility for al Qaeda‘s terror attacks on 9/11? 

ALBRIGHT:  Well, I think that what President Clinton was saying was that we know very much that especially people who believe in Islam have a very long historical background in which—to which they refer all the time of.

And I think it‘s—you know, I think Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda are responsible for each other.  And I think that the U.S. is not responsible for the terror, but I do think that there is very much this sense that Islam was wronged and that they want to vindicate that.  And it was wrong from their perspective by the Crusades and various other ways that the Christians and Jews pushed the Muslims back. 

So this is a historical struggle.  And the tragedy of all of this—and I know a number of times that I was with President Clinton at prayer breakfasts and various events, he would say, isn‘t it the worst possible saddest irony that religion, which is supposed to bring us together, has, in fact, been the basis of most of the bloodiest wars in world history?  And so using God to vindicate or to justify killing other people, for me, is the opposite of what God‘s role in history should be. 

And that I think is what President Clinton was referring to. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Madam Secretary, moving from religion and foreign policy to foreign policy and politics, obviously, you know there‘s a firestorm on Capitol Hill that seems to be centered around Richard Clark‘s testimony, Condi Rice‘s possible testimony.  I want to know your take is on Richard Clarke‘s statement that the Bush administration dropped the ball on terror and that may have led to the events of September 11. 

ALBRIGHT:  Many of us were saying that while we understood how terrible Saddam Hussein was that this was a war of choice, not of necessity, and that it, in fact, slowed the process of dealing with the terrorists in Afghanistan and dealing with Osama bin Laden. 

SCARBOROUGH:  There‘s a lot of blame going around on Capitol Hill.  Everybody is playing the blame game.  Richard Clarke is blaming the White House for being diverted by Iraq. 

Republicans, of course, are coming back and blaming 9/11 on the Clinton administration.  And they point to an NBC report by Lisa Myers that suggested that America had Osama bin Laden in its sights and let him go.  What‘s the real story behind that bin Laden tape that we‘ve been seeing for the past few weeks?

ALBRIGHT:  Well, the story on that is that that Predator that took the pictures was unarmed.  And later, there were discussions about arming the Predator and the Bush administration decided not to do that.  But that particular tape is—and I saw it for the first time on television—was taken by this unarmed Predator, and by the time that it was possible to determine where he was, we never had that actionable intelligence. 

But I have to say something.  I think you probably noticed, I testified before the 9/11 Commission.  And I listened to other people‘s testimony.  And I had private interviews with them before.  And I think their most important mandate is to try to draw out the lessons learned.  I know that, if you listen to everybody, somebody said, well, this could have happened or couldn‘t have happened on their watch.  And there‘s a lot of finger-pointing. 

But, for me, the most important the 9/11 Commission has to do is to draw the lessons out of it.  You know, 20/20 hindsight is great, and from my perspective, the things we did, people have to remember what it was like before 9/11, very different mood in this country. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You‘re exactly right.  And if somebody had come to Congress, when I was out there in the ‘90s, suggesting that we take unilateral action against Afghanistan, even with the Taliban in power, it would have been very difficult to make that sell on Capitol Hill. 

The White House said today that Dr. Condoleezza Rice is going to testify under oath before the 9/11 Commission.  Do you agree that she should testify?  Or do you believe that may be a weakening of presidential privilege? 

ALBRIGHT:  This is a totally unique situation where, in fact, we know the horror of 9/11.  And beyond that, this is not a congressional committee.  It may have been mandated by Congress, but it is a committee of people who are former members and senators and various people, experts. 

So I think that it does not have to set a precedent.  You know, I hope we will never have an event like 9/11 again.  And I do think I‘m glad she has decided to do it.  I wish she had decided earlier, because I think it‘s made a case—you know, it‘s created a diversion from what needs to be done, is to find out what the lessons are. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I agree with you on that one, too. 

Well, thank you so much for being with us, Madam Secretary, and for sharing your insights.  We appreciate it. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCARBOROUGH:  And still to come, Madeleine Albright does think Dr.  Rice should testify, but not everybody agrees.  Tonight‘s SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY showdown heats up next. 

Plus, the man in charge of securing our borders with Mexico says he‘s got the situation under control.  So why does Arizona have a 34 percent increase in illegal immigration in just the past six months alone?  We‘ll get to the bottom of that. 

And later, too much stress at work?  Need a way to relax?  Try beaning a perfect stranger in the head with a rubber ball.  That‘s right, sports fans.  Dodgeball is back and with a vengeance. 

So stick around. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  President Bush finally says Condoleezza Rice can testify under oath for the 9/11 Commission.  But when she goes there, will she open up Richard Clarke? 

We‘ll talk about that in tonight‘s SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY showdown.  It‘s coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  After getting hammered in the press for a week, the White House did an about-face and said that National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice will testify in public and under oath to the 9/11 Commission. 

But President Bush and Vice President Cheney will also testify.  So why did the Bush White House take so long to stop the bleeding? 

We‘ve got Rick MacArthur of “Harper‘s” magazine here.  He‘s author of “Second Front: Censorship and Propaganda In the Gulf War.”  Also, Ann Coulter, who, of course wrote “Treason,” and David Frum, author of “An End to Evil,” and also, of course, a former Bush speechwriter. 

Rick MacArthur, let me begin with you.

Why did the White House finally cave in to Democrats and allow Condoleezza Rice to testify? 

RICK MACARTHUR, PUBLISHER, “HARPER‘S”:  Well, they needed time to write the script for her testimony.  I presume they have to get—gather up enough dirt on Richard Clarke so they can throw some back at him. 

The thing about the 9/11 Commission that I find sort of funny is the notion that this is going to get to the bottom of things.  You heard former Secretary Albright say that the point of the 9/11 Commission is to learn lessons.  I thought the point of the 9/11 Commission was to get to the bottom of the causes and origins of September 11, the attacks on the World Trade Center. 

And until we talk about things like the Saudi Arabian connection, the unholy alliance between both the Clinton administration and the Bush administration with the Saudi royal family and the basic funding of the terrorist networks, all these issues that are just not being discussed right now, it doesn‘t matter what Condoleezza Rice says.  And as far as Clarke‘s testimony goes, it was going to come out anyway in his book.  I don‘t understand the great significance of whether he testifies publicly or she testifies publicly. 

This commission is not set up to actually find out why the hijackers got away with what they got away with. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Let me bring in right now David Frum.

David, last night, on the show, I said that this was going to happen, that Bush was eventually going to back down and let Condi Rice speak, but President Bush says Congress and America shouldn‘t draw any conclusions from his flip-flop. 

Take a listen. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  Now the commission and leaders of the United States Congress have given written assurances that the appearance of the national security adviser will not be used as precedent in the conduct of future inquiries. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  David Frum, the White House could have gotten those assurances months ago.  Why did they wait so long to let Condoleezza Rice testify? 

DAVID FRUM, FORMER SPEECHWRITER FOR PRESIDENT BUSH:  Well, Joe, as I think you know, sometimes in politics, you do find yourself backed into controversies where you‘re in the middle of the controversy and you ask yourself, well, why did I get into this anyway?  Was it worth it? 

And I think the White House, they were drawing a point, an abstract constitutional point that probably made a lot of sense in other contexts.  This is such an extreme case that I think they found themselves in the middle of this battle saying, why, why are we doing this?  Because, after all, Condoleezza Rice is a very effective advocate for our point of view.  She has testified to the committee already.

She‘s going to say again what she‘s said before.  Now she‘ll say it on camera.  But she‘s been on camera.  Now she‘ll say it under oath.  But she was telling the truth before.  So she has no reason not to go under oath.  Why do we need this fight? 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  David, bottom line, it was the lawyers, wasn‘t it?  They listened to the White House lawyers and they paid the political price, didn‘t they? 

FRUM:  Well, President Bush has been very adamant about restoring what he sees as the prerogatives of the presidency that he believes were frittered away in some recent administrations, that America needs an active executive.  And he is worried that, if you allow Congress or creatures of Congress, to go barreling into the internal workings of the White House, you‘re going to paralyze the presidency. 

MACARTHUR:  That‘s nonsense.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Ann Coulter, I want you to talk about what Condi Rice is going to say when she goes up on the Hill.  Of course, Rick MacArthur said that they‘re making up on the script to throw dirt on Richard Clarke.  I would say that Richard Clarke has already written that script itself in his own words.  The question is, though, is Condi Rice going to go on the Hill and play nice or she is going to cut Richard Clarke open? 

ANN COULTER, AUTHOR, “TREASON”:  I think that is probably the reason they finally gave.  And I wouldn‘t be as dismissive of their reasons for not wanting Condoleezza Rice to testify to begin with.  They are right on the law, and this whole commission I think is a ridiculous waste of time.

What do people think they‘re going to find out, that the Swedes attacked us on 9/11?  This is just another synthetic scandal to try to attack the Bush White House.  But I think Condoleezza Rice was probably chomping at the bit, wondering why this angry, embittered, strange man with no personal life was in this misogynistic snit with her, for the only woman he worked for, I might add.

And I think she—I mean, you can see she‘s been all over the TV shows.  She‘s been responding.  As David said, she‘s incredibly thoughtful and articulate.  And I think she is the one who said, you‘ve got to hold these lawyers off.  You may be right on the law, but I‘m going to go in and testify. 

MACARTHUR:  It‘s funny you should say that about misogynism, because I talked to Coleen Rowley today, just to prepare for this show, the special agent in Minneapolis who‘s been giving everybody such a hell of a hard time ever since 9/11 about the government‘s refusal to really investigate Moussaoui and the hijackers and the pilot schools in Florida and Arizona. 

And she said, well, what they‘re doing to Clarke is what they did to me.  They‘re trying to make us look like cranks and weirdos.  It‘s very similar, what they‘re going to do the Clarke.

COULTER:  Could I say, I‘m glad you mentioned that.

(CROSSTALK)

MACARTHUR:  I wish the 9/11 Commission would call Coleen Rowley to testify, because that would be a lot more educational than hearing Condoleezza Rice. 

COULTER:  Well, I‘m glad you mentioned that, because, as I was saying, this commission is just a way of attacking the Bush administration.

(CROSSTALK)  

MACARTHUR:  No, it‘s a way of whitewashing what happened. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hold on a second.

COULTER:  What the Democrats are complaining about here is that the Bush administration did not do before 9/11 what they won‘t let us do after 9/11.  Coleen Rowley noticed a lot of Arabs in flight school, had alerted the FBI to this, but the FBI was worried about racial profiling.  Now who‘s worried about that now after 9/11?

MACARTHUR:  They weren‘t worried about racial profiling.  They worried about the Saudi Arabian pressure on the State Department. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Now, Rick MacArthur, Rick MacArthur, you and I both agree on the Saudi issue, I think.  And I think most of us agree that the U.S. policy towards Saudi Arabia has been shameful over the past couple of years.

But I want to get a reaction from you from a Kerry campaign spokesman, what he said about this.  He said: “The question is why this White House only does the right thing under political pressure.  Their first instinct should be to answer questions about our security rather than launch a public relations offensive, and when that fails, do what they should have done from day one.”

Are you suggesting, from the very beginning, that the president should have waived executive privilege and let Condoleezza Rice testify on the Hill? 

Rick? 

MACARTHUR:  Oh, yes, absolutely.  And it‘s absurd to say that there‘s no precedence for this.  Brzezinski, lots of other national security advisers have testified in front of Congress. 

(CROSSTALK)

MACARTHUR:  This executive privilege nonsense goes back a long time.  Richard Nixon tried to use it.  It should have been absolutely destroyed after what Nixon used it for, which was to cover up Watergate.  And, by now, people should see through that nonsense.  Executive privilege is just a way to suppress the truth., although, as I pointed out at the beginning, I don‘t think the 9/11 Commission is really set up to get at the truth. 

COULTER:  Actually, Richard Nixon was the first one to raise it and the Supreme Court recognized it for the first time under Richard Nixon. 

MACARTHUR:  Right.  But it was a way to hide—it was a way to suppress the investigation. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, let me bring in David Frum. 

David, the 9/11 Commission‘s chairman made a joke about President Bush and Dick Cheney coordinating their stories when they testified together.  And this is what he said. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

THOMAS KEAN, CHAIRMAN, 9/11 COMMISSION:  Well, we recognize that Mr.  Bush may help Mr. Cheney with some of the answers.  But it was the suggestion of the White House.  And it seemed to us, in exchange for getting all 10 commissioners to be able to ask any questions they wanted to, member of the staff as well, that we would get the answers to the questions we needed to write the report. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Does that joke about George Bush and Dick Cheney trouble you, that the chairman is making a crack that seems to reinforce his belief that Dick Cheney is George Bush‘s puppet master?

FRUM:  Well, I don‘t know that‘s exactly what he said.  I think he was sort of spoofing that view, but maybe it‘s just a bad week for jokes. 

Look, the commission has important work to do and the precedent here ought to have been the Pearl Harbor commission, where, after Pearl Harbor, the United States tried to find out how did this happen.  And we were still arguing about that for 20 years after Pearl Harbor.  And that‘s the kind of thing that ought to happen now. 

But the idea that we‘re going to sort of go back in time and hypothesize that, had President Bush gone to Congress in May or June of 2001 and said: “You know, we need the Patriot Act.  I want to detain 900 illegal aliens who I think may be suspect in terrorism and I want to question them.  I want to send troops to Afghanistan.  I want to have a giant increase in the defense budget and homeland security,” and that Congress would have sat still for that, the country would have, or Rick MacArthur, for that matter, is ludicrous. 

The whole country has been unready on the subject for a decade.  And it took 9/11 to shock the country into it.  And, yes, yes, absolutely we should get to the bottom of what went wrong, but we should also recognize that this administration picked up the ball when other administrations laid it on the ground. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  As always, thanks for being here, David Frum, Ann Coulter, and Rick MacArthur.  We greatly appreciate it. 

And tomorrow night, Richard Clarke sits down with Chris Matthews to play “HARDBALL.”  You‘re not going to want to miss that one.  That‘s tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.

And just ahead, illegal immigration is out of control.  So what does the federal government do?  Give 60,000 illegals a second chance at amnesty.  We‘ll be debating that and much more. 

And later:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “CHANGED LIVES”)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Satan was trying to steal our peace.  He was trying to destroy our lives.  He was trying to steal our daughter away from us. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  A moviemaker tells you how “The Passion” helps this man get through the worst day of his life. 

But, first, let‘s get the latest headlines from the MSNBC News Desk. 

(NEWS BREAK)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  “The New York Times” just reported that illegal immigration is exploding in the Southwest of America.  Illegals and their smugglers have America‘s Southwest in their sights and are racing across the border at a record pace. 

Federal officials estimate that, in Arizona alone, there‘s been an increase of 34 percent in just the last six months.  And 40 percent of the illegal crossings are happening on the Arizona border.  The cost?  Extortion, drug trafficking and scores of dead victims in the desert. 

With us tonight to talk about the epidemic and how it‘s just getting worse by the day is Pat Buchanan.  He‘s an MSNBC political analyst and the author of “The Death of the West: How Dying Populations and Immigrant Invasions Imperil Our Country and Civilization.”  And we have Tamar Jacoby.  She‘s senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of “Reinventing the Melting Pot: The New Immigrants and What it Means to Be American.”

Pat Buchanan, let me go to you. 

It looks like, according to this “New York Times” article, that illegal immigration is exploding in Arizona and across the Southwest.  Do you think President Bush‘s amnesty work program for illegals may be to blame? 

PAT BUCHANAN, NBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  Oh, I think that probably has some responsibility.  I would guess that the Mexican situation probably has some, Joe. 

But, look, the fundamental problem is, we have a president of the United States who refuses to enforce the immigration laws of the United States.  He says, I can‘t enforce them.  I won‘t enforce them.  The only thing I can do is give amnesty to the people who break them.  And if I were them, if I were a Mexican fellow and I lived down there under Vicente Fox and I‘m making a buck an hour, and my family of five or six kids is having trouble, I would come to the good old USA as well, Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Pat, why does the president of the United States, why do members of Congress that I served with, why do we have governors all across America saying we can‘t enforce our immigration laws?  Are we that weak as a nation? 

BUCHANAN:  In a way, it is political cowardice of both parties. 

The Democrats are delighted to have the immigrants come, because, when they are registered and when they vote, as they did in 1996, first-term Hispanic voters went 9-1 for Bill Clinton.  The Democrats like it.  The Bush people see the old Reagan Democrats dying out.  And they say the only new broad group we can possibly get, we can‘t get the African-American minority.  We haven‘t been able to do that since 1960. 

The only one we can get is the Hispanics.  If we come down hard and enforce the immigration laws, then we‘ll be called racists and xenophobes and we won‘t get them and we‘re finished.  Both political parties are conspiring to let the America‘s immigration laws be trashed and broken.  I think we‘re going to lose our country. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Tamara Jacoby, let me bring you in here. 

And I want to read what Robert Bonner, who is the commissioner of customs and border protection, told Congress today.  He said—quote—

“We are, I believe, getting control over our border.”  But despite his testimony, border agents are catching fewer illegals every year.

Last year there was 931,000 arrests, which is down from 955,000 in 2002 and 1.3 million in 2001.  Tamar, regardless of how you feel about immigration, we‘re losing this war against illegal immigrants, aren‘t we?

TAMAR JACOBY, MANHATTAN INSTITUTE:  It‘s not a war.  These are people coming to do work that we need done in this country, jobs that keep our economy growing. 

We shouldn‘t be trying to keep people who are coming to contribute to the country out.  We should have realistic immigration ceilings and immigration quotas that allow the number that we need to come to work. 

(CROSSTALK)

JACOBY:  Sure we should enforce the law.  We should enforce the law.  And the president is trying to enforce the law.  That‘s why he‘s talking to Mexico about a repatriation program.  But the real way to get the system working is realistic ceilings, realistic quotas.  What we have now is like prohibition.  It‘s so unrealistic that it‘s impossible to enforce. 

SCARBOROUGH:  But, Tamar, you know what bothers me and why this is so unfair, everybody thinks, oh, gee, you know, if you‘re against illegal immigration, especially coming from Mexico, then you‘re against immigration.  I‘m not.  I‘m for legal immigrants. 

JACOBY:  Good. 

SCARBOROUGH:  But there are immigrants, people that want to be Americans in Europe, in Asia, all across the world.  And when we let two million to three million Mexicans step in front of them illegally with some amnesty program, then we‘re actually penalizing people that want to come to America by playing by the rules. 

(CROSSTALK)

JACOBY:  No, we‘re rewarding the enterprising people who have gotten here and gotten jobs.  And it‘s unrealistic to deport them and send them home. 

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  All right, Joe, let me get on this. 

Look, it‘s not two million or three million.  You‘ve got 8 to 14 million illegal aliens in this country.  By the year 2050, you‘re going to have 105 million Hispanics in the American Southwest.  Every American city is going to look like L.A.  L.A. will look like Mexico City.  You will have overwhelmingly Mexican population in all the Texas, Arizona cities.  You‘re going to lose your Southwest.  These folks come in.  They speak Spanish.

(CROSSTALK)

JACOBY:  That is a lot of fear mongering. 

BUCHANAN:  Look, you‘re losing your country here.

JACOBY:  These people are assimilating, just like every wave of immigrants has assimilated. 

BUCHANAN:  They‘re not assimilating.  They‘re speaking Spanish. 

(CROSSTALK)

JACOBY:  They‘re learning English.  Their kids all learn English in the third generation. 

BUCHANAN:  Ms. Jacoby, let me ask you this.  Why do the Mexican folks when our team goes down to play soccer chant “Osama, Osama” every time they score? 

JACOBY:  They don‘t.  That‘s ridiculous.

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  Why do they boo our team right in Los Angeles Coliseum?

JACOBY:  That happened once. 

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  You think they‘re assimilating?

JACOBY:  That‘s sports enthusiasm. 

People are learning English.  They‘re getting on the ladder here.  They‘re contributing to the economy.  They become middle class.  In the third generation, two-thirds can‘t even speak Spanish anymore.  They can speak only English. 

BUCHANAN:  Look, this is a country, Ms. Jacoby.  This is not an economy.  It is a country.  It is a homeland.  It is a nation.

JACOBY:  And they buy into the country. 

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  They don‘t consider themselves Americans any more than if Joe and I went to Mexico. 

JACOBY:  Why are they signing up for the military and dying in Iraq if they don‘t consider themselves American? 

BUCHANAN:  They‘re signing up for the military because it‘s the best job these poor people ever had.  And it‘s a fast track to citizenship.  That‘s why.

(CROSSTALK)

JACOBY:  People don‘t go and die for their country for cynical reasons. 

BUCHANAN:  Well, let me tell you, what do you think the mercenaries fought for Rome for, for heaven‘s sakes?  The best deal they ever had in their lives.

(CROSSTALK)

JACOBY:  It‘s a really appalling thing to say about people who are dying for this country. 

BUCHANAN:  Look, I don‘t deny their bravery.  I don‘t deny their desire to come here. 

I would come here, too.  I would join the military, too.  But if you‘re going to keep a homeland and a family and a nation, you‘re going to have one language, one culture.  And we don‘t have that.  We‘re developing into two countries very rapidly.  And you folks don‘t seem to give a damn about your country.  You‘re worried about the size of the GDP.

JACOBY:  I agree that we need a homeland, we need a nation, we need a sense of what it means to be an American, and we need it to be in one language.  But I don‘t see—what you‘re so worried about I don‘t see happening. 

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  They‘re teaching in 200 languages tomorrow in Chicago in the schools right now. 

JACOBY:  Political are learning—America is a graveyard for languages.  It was 100 years ago and it is today. 

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  They‘re not coming to the same country.  You know as well as I do, we‘re into multiculturalism now, ethnic entitlements. 

JACOBY:  Sure.  Sure.  Sure.

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  Out in California, you‘ve got separate graduations for Hispanics, Asians, white, blacks. 

JACOBY:  But that influence is a tiny little percentage of middle class activists.  Your average Mexican worker has no interest in that.  He sees that, for his kids, the way is to learn English, get on the system, get on the escalator everybody has ever gotten on, get a job and get into the middle class, buy a home. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  All right, Tamar Jacoby, I‘m sorry we‘re going to have to leave it there. 

Pat Buchanan, thank you also for being with us tonight for an explosive SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY showdown. 

And coming up, what do you call a dozen or so adults hurling big rubber balls at each other?  Dodgeball, of course.  And it‘s not just for kids anymore.  And it‘s only fun if somebody loses an eye?  What? 

But first, a filmmaker reveals how Mel Gibson‘s film changes people‘s lives and documents the miracles that are performed since its release. 

Stay with us for that story.  It‘s coming up next.

ANNOUNCER:  Tonight‘s SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY challenge, Willem Dafoe played Jesus in “The Last Temptation of Christ” after who turned down the role?  Was it, A, Robert De Niro, B, Daniel Day-Lewis, or, C, Mel Gibson? 

The answer coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANNOUNCER:  In tonight‘s SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY challenge, we asked: 

Willem Dafoe played Jesus in “The Last Temptation of Christ” after who turned down the role?  The answer is, A, Robert De Niro.

Now here‘s Joe.

SCARBOROUGH:  What a Christ figure Robert de Niro would make.  Love that guy.

“The Passion” has been embraced by a record audience worldwide, as you know, earning more than $300 million so far.  And a new documentary shows how Mel Gibson‘s documentary about the last 12 hours of the life of Christ has actually changed people‘s lives and maybe even inspired a few miracles. 

Jody Eldred is the executive producer of “Changed Lives: Miracle of the Passion.”  And he‘s with us tonight.

Jody, thanks a lot for being with us. 

And why did you make this documentary about people‘s reaction to “The Passion”? 

JODY ELDRED, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, “CHANGED LIVES”:  You know, Joe, not to sound super spiritual and try to spiritualize everything, but this is really one of those things that in the 30 years I have been working in this business, I really felt a strong impression from God that I needed to tell those stories. 

I heard Steve McEveety, the executive producer, speak about some of the things that happened during the filming of it.  And then I saw the film that night, which was about two months ago at one of the Icon screenings.  And like so many people, I was just stunned.  And it immediately hit me, there are going to be amazing stories of transformed lives that are going to come out of this film.  And I thought that those stories need to be told.  It‘s going to be compelling.  It‘s going to encourage other people.  It‘s going to build up other people.  It‘s important.  So...

SCARBOROUGH:  I‘ll tell you, one of the most remarkable parts of your movie had to do with audience reactions.  Let‘s take a look at some of those reactions that you taped. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “CHANGED LIVES”)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Everybody has to go see it.  That‘s all I can say.  It is life-changing. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  It‘s changed my whole way that I would view my faith. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  What Jesus done has for us, wow. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I guess there‘s just not words to describe how I‘m feeling.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  He did it for me.  And I saw it.  I didn‘t just read it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  And some of the most interesting footage you shot with technology that was developed for use during the Iraq war.  And you were actually able to capture the audience‘s reactions as they watched “The Passion.”  Were surprised by what you saw through lens of your camera? 

ELDRED:  I wasn‘t so much surprised, as I was just really emotionally impacted by it.  I had already seen the movie twice.  And I had a pretty good idea of other people would be reacting, just based on my reaction and those of my friends who had been. 

And it was very moving for me shooting those images.  I was choked up many times.  I had to wipe tears out of my eyes just looking at the faces of people as they‘re watching the movie, because I knew what was going on in their hearts.  I knew that there was that was change going on in people.  I knew that maybe there were people that were going to be set free from problems and things that have been holding them down in their lives as a result of what God was going to do in them as a result of seeing that movie.  So I was possibly seeing people being set free right then and there.  It was very, very moving for me. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Your film also features miracles that people say they experienced after seeing “The Passion.”  And we have one from a father whose daughter was unconscious after drowning.  And he says he felt Satan was trying to take his daughter from him, but “The Passion” helped him and his daughter.  This is what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “CHANGED LIVES”)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  He was trying to utterly destroy us.  And so that scripture, those scenes from the movie kept coming to my mind over and over again, the flogging scene.  By his stripes, we are healed. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Paramedics arrive.  The baby is saved and she‘s fine now.  Tell us about the miracles that you documented. 

ELDRED:  Well, that‘s one of them.  And that‘s a huge one.  I mean, that was a baby that was dead.  And the paramedics and everybody said, we have seen this before.  We‘ve seen dead babies before, and this was one of them.  And that dad prayed in a way he never would have had he not seen the film.  And it‘s just an amazing, incredible miracle. 

We have got the story down in Texas of a guy who had killed his girlfriend.  The coroner had ruled it a suicide.  He was scot-free.  And he went to the film, and God had been working on his heart.  And after seeing the film, he realized, I can‘t live this way.  And he went and turned himself in.  He was a murderer who was home-free turning himself in, and because God worked, did something during the time that he was watching that film and changed this guy‘s heart. 

I‘ve got another great story of a guy, two guys who were really on the outs.  One guy fired this guy and his mom.  And they got in an altercation.  The guy who got fired broke the guy‘s jaw.  Many months go by.  And they happen to be all in the same screening of the movie.  The lights come up.  And the guy who was part of this altercation sees the victim, comes up to him after the film and asks for forgiveness. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, I‘ll tell you...

ELDRED:  And these are tough guys.  And we got the reconciliation between the guy who actually broke his jaw and the victim.  We got that on camera.  And this is—it just—it‘s remarkable. 

SCARBOROUGH:  That‘s remarkable stuff. 

Let‘s bring in Dr. James Merritt.  He‘s the former president of the Southern Baptist Convention. 

And, Doctor, I want to ask you, why do you think this film has had such a profound effect on people‘s lives? 

DR. JAMES MERRITT, FORMER PRESIDENT, SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION: 

Well, Joe, I think that is the question. 

And I‘ll tell you why.  It‘s because of who the story is based upon.  If people had watched—if this had been a story about Custer or the “Charge of the Light Brigade” or some other person dying, there wouldn‘t have been this transformation.  But when you go to see this movie, as I have seen it, you realize that what you‘re watching is really a true story about a real man named Jesus Christ, who wasn‘t just an ordinary human being. 

He was the son of God who did die for our sins.  And the reason why there has been such a visceral reaction, as was captured just a moment ago, is because, when you see the movie, you realize this is what my sins have done to Jesus.  And, Joe, I would just say this.  I know there have been a lot of attacks on the movie, people saying it‘s anti-Semitic.  It‘s not anti-Semitic, but it is anti-sin. 

And I think that‘s why the movie has such a powerful impact. 

SCARBOROUGH:  What‘s your response to these stories of miracles occurring after people went to see “The Passion”?  Obviously, a lot of people are going to be very skeptical about anybody coming forward saying that a movie can led to miracles. 

MERRITT:  Well, Joe, I‘m living proof, because, in 1962, I went to see a movie called “King of Kings” starring Jeffrey Hunter as Jesus.  And it was in that movie watching the story of Jesus Christ dying for my sins that I personally accepted Christ into my heart.

And what you‘re simply seeing on the movie is just a depiction of what has been happening for 2,000 years, because when people come to the story of Jesus Christ, who died on the cross, who was raised from the dead, and realize, he did it for me, it is the most life-changing story in the history of mankind. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.

ELDRED:  That‘s true.  And it‘s not the movie that‘s changing people.  It‘s God that is changing people.  The movie is just simply the vehicle that he‘s choosing to use. 

MERRITT:  That‘s exactly right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, Jody Eldred and Dr. James Merritt, we appreciate you being with us tonight in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  Thanks a lot. 

MERRITT:  Good to be with you. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right. 

And still to come, why spend thousands of dollars on a shrink to get in touch with your inner child?  Why not pick up a big rubber ball and chuck it around at somebody? 

Stick around for a SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY therapy session coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Tomorrow night in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, the final book in the “Left Behind” series came out this week.  And actor Kirk Cameron, star of the “Left Behind” movies, is here to talk about the resurge in the popularity of that book and Christian books and films.  That‘s tomorrow night.  Also, Rabbi Shmuley on SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.

More SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, though, straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Opening day for Major League Baseball may have taken place in Japan—Yankees lost, Yankees lost, Red Sox half-game ahead in first place—but much closer to home, fully grown adults are playing pickup games of dodgeball. 

Now, you remember the game.  You probably played it—I know I did— during grade school in P.E. class.  You throw the ball as hard as you can, hoping to hit your opponent, if you‘re a guy, in the head, to knock him out of the game.  Quick note:  It wasn‘t invented by Roger Clemens, but it‘s becoming very popular with people who hate their jobs and prefer to take out their rage on perfect strangers. 

Now, Ben Stiller is even making a new movie about the so-called titled “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story.”  All right, I‘m not going to want to miss that one. 

And, tomorrow, we‘re going to be talking with actor Kirk Cameron, who is not in “Dodgeball.”  He stars in the popular Christian “Left Behind” series.  And the latest and last book on the series was released today and is headed to the top of the best-sellers list.  What‘s behind the popularity of these series and movies like “The Passion”?  We‘ll talk about that tomorrow night on SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. 

Hope you have a great night.  See you tomorrow.

END   

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