Guests: Mike Rectenwald, David Hardy, Mark Brzezinski, Christopher Andersen, David Hardy, Dan Quayle
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST: Tonight‘s top headlines, some nervous Republicans are urging President Bush to dump Dick Cheney. The “Real Deal,” don‘t hold your breath.
Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, where no passport is required and only common sense is allowed.
John Edwards is being attacked for his youth and inexperience. How should he fight back? We‘re going to be asking somebody who has been there before. Former Vice President Dan Quayle.
And Homeland Security Chief Tom Ridge says al Qaeda is planning to strike to impact the November elections. But is the war on terror being used as a political tool here at home? We‘ll be debating that also.
Then, how has Michael Moore gotten away with distorting the truth for so long? David Hardy says he has got all the answers in his new book, “Michael Moore Is a Big Fat Stupid White Man,” and he‘s here to tell us all about it tonight.
Plus, Christopher Andersen on his new book, “American Evita,” about Hillary Clinton‘s rise to power.
ANNOUNCER: From the press room, to the courtroom, to the halls of Congress, Joe Scarborough has seen it all. Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, welcome to the show. I‘m live in Boston again.
Well, the chorus calling for Dick Cheney‘s head is reaching a crescendo. It‘s time for tonight‘s “Real Deal.”
Former New York Senator Al D‘Amato caused shockwaves throughout the national Republican Party when he suggested that President Bush dump his loyal vice president, Dick Cheney. Now, D‘Amato‘s suggestion would not have caused such an uproar if it wasn‘t for the fact that so many Republicans are quietly whispering the same thing.
The issue of Halliburton certainly is going to loom large in the fall campaign. And you can bet that every time there‘s another story in “The New York Times” about that company overcharging the Pentagon, Vice President Dick Cheney‘s face will be prominently displayed.
Some are suggesting that Rudy Giuliani, John McCain or maybe even Colin Powell be on the GOP ticket in 2004. But until the time that Dick Cheney decides to step down on his own, the president is going to be sticking with the one who brung him to the dance. A Cheney hatchet job would enrage the Republican base, as we saw here last tonight, and depress voter turnout among conservatives in the fall.
And, as we learned in 2000, every vote counts. That‘s why I‘m sure that George W. Bush isn‘t going to be pushing his No. 2 man overboard anytime soon. And that‘s tonight‘s “Real Deal.”
Now, former Senator Alfonse D‘Amato, again, angered fellow Republicans when he made these comments on Tuesday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AL D‘AMATO, FORMER U.S. SENATOR: This is an extraordinarily close race. This is an important race for the further of America and our direction. And I think if we as a party want to think seriously, we be thinking about strengthening the president‘s hand. And I think that Secretary Powell would be one of those. And then my good friend John McCain would be another who would bring independents, who would bring the so-called Reagan Democrats back to the ticket.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, we‘ve got former Vice President Dan Quayle with us now. He joins us.
It‘s exciting to see you again, Mr. Vice President, especially on this subject.
DAN QUAYLE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you very much.
SCARBOROUGH: Now, you certainly heard a lot of this in 1992. As we talked about at the Reagan funeral, what was so ironic about that was that most observers said in 1992 it was your speech at the Republican National Convention that was probably the highlight for that entire campaign, while everybody was saying, get this guy off the ticket. What do you think? Do you think George W. Bush should even consider getting rid of his vice president?
QUAYLE: It‘s not going to happen. It sort of goes with the territory.
People say, well, so and so might be a little bit better. Now, clearly Colin Powell, John McCain are all—both highly competent, good friends of mine, would be good national candidates, would they run for office. But Dick Cheney has done an outstanding job as vice president. He‘s going to be on the ticket. And if Republicans want to really get serious about this, which I think they should be, and that is, you know, quit all this nonsensical talk and rally around the president and talk about the president‘s opponents, rather than trying to do ourselves in.
It‘s usually your own team that does you in, Joe, as you well know that. It‘s not the opposition. It‘s your own guys. And I don‘t know why my good friend Al D‘Amato said what he did say, but be that as it may, we need to move on. Dick Cheney is doing a great job. He‘ll be on the ticket.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, Dan Quayle, anybody that‘s ever been involved in politics knows that it usually is uglier when you have this sort of infighting on your own side than when you‘re fighting against the other side.
I want to put you on the spot, though. You‘re from Arizona. There‘s a guy there that you know named John McCain. Obviously, you‘re from Indiana, but you‘re living in Arizona. Wouldn‘t you say that John McCain right now may be one of the most popular politicians in America and could provide a big boost to this ticket?
QUAYLE: If you actually believe that vice presidents are going to turn a lot of votes in an election. I think there‘s a significant role that vice presidents play, and I can tell you what that is. That‘s to support the president‘s agenda, and Dick Cheney will do that. John Edwards will do that. Al Gore did that. I did that.
They will go all over the country talking about the president‘s agenda. And when people go in the voting booth on November the 2nd, do you really think that they‘re going to vote for the vice president? That‘s not going to happen. The vice president is there to help, to serve, to emphasize certain things. The vice president can be an attack dog and be a very effective attack dog.
But when people go in that voting booth, they‘re voting for the president. They‘re not voting for the vice president. So no matter how much you talk about this, it really comes down to George Bush and John Kerry.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, Dan, yesterday, we showed a poll that NBC ran that showed that the Kerry-Edwards ticket was up 49 percent to 41 percent. But a new poll by Zogby is showing that the pick of Edwards didn‘t give John Kerry the big bounce when he predicted, but the Democratic challengers lead Bush-Cheney 48 percent to 46 percent, giving the Kerry-Edwards‘ ticket a slim two-point lead.
I‘m going to ask you, if McCain wouldn‘t make a big difference, what about somebody like Rudy Giuliani? Do you think he could pull in some votes in some of these swing districts, in some of these states that are also swing and tip the balance in the election? Or do you really believe that other than like 1960, when John Kennedy picked—obviously picked LBJ from Texas, you just don‘t think these days that a vice president can swing an election?
QUAYLE: Well, if you go to a specific state, I think that that—you could make a case for that. Lyndon Johnson clearly was very instrumental in delivering Texas to Jack Kennedy in 1960.
That‘s one of the reasons I thought that maybe John Kerry might pick Dick Gephardt, because Missouri is a swing state and Gephardt might have been able to deliver Missouri. But beyond that, look, Rudy Giuliani, if he‘s a vice presidential nominee, he‘s still talking about the George Bush agenda. This is the way it works. It‘s not going to be his agenda.
And that‘s why people really need to get off of this. And the Republicans really need to rally around the president and the vice president. We need to—here‘s what‘s going on, Joe. We have the most liberal Democratic ticket in the history of our country. I mean, John Kerry is the No. 1 ranked liberal in the Senate. John Edwards is No. 4. This is a far left extreme ticket.
Now, Republicans better step back and ask themselves, do you really want the far left to get into the White House? Well, then let‘s get going with our team. We‘ve got a great team. They did a good job in 2000 coming from behind and winning, and they‘ll do a good job in 2004.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, Mr. Vice President, we thought about you yesterday when John Kerry made his pick, because some are saying that Kerry‘s choice is reminiscent of 1988.
Let me read this—quote—“When Vice President Bush, rejecting candidates with more ‘gravitas‘”—and that is in quotes—“shows a fresh-faced young senator as his running mate, to be sure, this comparison is in some ways unfair to Quayle, who has twice as much experience as Edwards.”
In fact, Mr. Vice President, you were elected vice president at 41. John Edwards is now 51, but you had much more political experience. You had actually served 12 years in Congress, two terms in the House, eight years in the Senate, vs. only five years in the Senate for John Edwards. Now, I know John Edwards. I like John Edwards. But I think there‘s a double standard here. Are you surprised that John Edwards isn‘t getting pilloried the way you were in 1988 for your relative inexperience? Twelve years, 12 years in Congress.
QUAYLE: You bring up a very good point. And all of those that criticized me for my youth and inexperience back in 1988 and are trying to give John Edwards a free pass, they owe me a big-time apology. And I hope that you go out there and solicit that on my behalf.
But I would leave those issues aside and focus on ideology, focus on philosophy. I mean, you‘ve got two Democratic senators that have been in the Senate, in John Kerry‘s case, a long time, in John Edwards‘ case, a short period of time. They are Washington people. Do you really think United States senators are capable right now of leading this country in the war against terrorism?
What has John Kerry and John Edwards done? Cumulative, they‘ve done virtually nothing in the Senate. There‘s no accomplishments. There‘s no record of success. And we‘re talking about leadership. That‘s what we should be focusing on. They‘re not capable of going into the White House and leading. They come out of the United States Senate. They do not have an established record that was going to be attractive.
And if I was the president or the vice president, I would be focusing on their inactivity and their lack of accomplishment in the Senate. If they can‘t accomplish anything in the Senate, how do the American people think they‘re going to accomplish anything in the White House? They‘re not.
SCARBOROUGH: Are you surprised, again, by the firestorm that faced you in 1988 because of your youth and inexperience, again, being in the Senate 12 years, are you surprised that so few people, so few reporters in the mainstream media have even brought up all the issues that they were bringing up about you back in 1988? And why do you think it is that John Edwards is getting a free pass?
QUAYLE: Well, first of all—and you said it—it‘s a double standard. We all know that. We know the liberal bias and they‘re going to give a liberal a pass.
But, secondly, I think they realized that it wasn‘t an issue when I was running in 1988. It‘s not going to be an issue, in my judgment, with John Edwards running in 2004. The issues are, what is John Kerry all about? What has he been able to accomplish? He hasn‘t accomplished very much at all. And he has really—he‘s been the most liberal United States senator.
The country doesn‘t want to swing to the far left. I guarantee you they don‘t. And that‘s what we should be focusing on. That‘s what we should be talking about, plus, the positive agenda of George Bush, leadership in the war against terrorism. We haven‘t had an attack since 9/11. Look at the economy. Look at how it‘s growing. There are so many positive things that the president can talk about.
And I know that he will. I know the vice president will, and I‘m convinced that we‘re going to have a winning team.
SCARBOROUGH: And, of course, when you talk about the most liberal senator in the United States Senate, you‘re talking about “The National Journal” ratings, which is a very bipartisan operation out of Washington, D.C.
Now, you talked about John Kerry. I want to play you what John Kerry had to say tonight on “Larry King Live” defending John Edwards‘ experience.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “LARRY KING LIVE”)
SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: John Edwards has had six years as a United States senator, but he‘s had a lifetime of experience and judgment, a lifetime of fighting for things, a lifetime of family life, a lifetime of caring.
You know, Dick Cheney was only a few years in the Congress and then he held several different kinds of various positions, some executive, some public. Ronald Reagan came to the office as a governor with no foreign policy experience. George Bush came with zero foreign policy experience.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: John Kerry wasn‘t that gracious towards you in 1988, when you, again, had twice the amount of experience in the United States Senate when you were running against another liberal from Massachusetts, Michael Dukakis, was he?
I think what I did in 1988 was to focus on Michael Dukakis. I talked about him a lot. Michael Dukakis was a very liberal governor from Massachusetts, although Kerry is to the left of Dukakis. And that‘s why I really think that this youth and inexperience, these are nonissues. It really is philosophy. It really is ideology.
It‘s what you‘re going to do, what are you made of, how—and look at the votes in the Senate. That‘s very indicative of how they will lead. Do you really want to have this country lurch to the left? I don‘t think so. I think that they want steady, stable, progressive, conservative leadership that George Bush has exhibited in these last four years.
So my advice is, get off this youth and inexperience thing. I would rather have the questions go, why are you the most liberal senator in the United States Senate and you picked the fourth most liberal senator? Is it really good to have two far left senators running as the presidential and vice presidential candidates of the Democratic Party? Those are the questions that are really important. Those are the questions that matter, not this youth and inexperience business.
SCARBOROUGH: All right, Mr. Vice President, as always, thanks a lot for being with us. We greatly appreciate it.
QUAYLE: Thanks, Joe. Have a good night.
SCARBOROUGH: All right. You, too. We‘ll be right back in a second.
SCARBOROUGH: The director of homeland security warns that al Qaeda has a new target, American democracy. Could a successful attack sway November‘s elections?
We‘ll talk about that when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM RIDGE, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: Since September 11, 2001, we have had intelligence that al Qaeda intends to launch more attacks against the homeland. Credible reporting now indicates that al Qaeda is moving forward with its plans to carry out a large-scale attack in the United States in an effort to disrupt our democratic process.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: It‘s al Qaeda vs. democracy. The terror network used a bombing to change the outcome of the elections in Spain last March. Could a similar attack in America impact our elections?
With me now is former presidential candidate and MSNBC analyst Pat Buchanan. We also have Lawrence O‘Donnell here in Boston. He‘s MSNBC‘s senior political analyst and producer for NBC‘s “West Wing.” And we also have Mark Brzezinski. He‘s a former national security director for Southeastern Europe.
Mark, let‘s begin with you.
What lessons did al Qaeda learn from the attacks on March 11 in Spain?
MARK BRZEZINSKI, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL MEMBER: Probably very negative ones, that an attack calculated close to an election can actually shape that electoral outcome.
SCARBOROUGH: Pat Buchanan, how would an attack before an election in America impact our results compared to how it impacted Spain‘s results?
PAT BUCHANAN, NBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, we‘ve got three examples of something like that. Pearl Harbor brought a divided country together, totally united behind the president. We got the Cuban Missile Crisis, which union the country, which was divided, behind Jack Kennedy. And then, when they took the hostages when Jimmy Carter was president, the country initially for six months united behind Carter.
If they attack us, it won‘t be like Spain. The American people, I think, will rally behind the head of state, commander in chief, and they‘ll demand retribution.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, Lawrence, Jimmy Carter was extraordinarily unpopular. But when Teddy Kennedy in 1980 in the Democratic primaries actually went after him on the Iranian hostage crisis, a lot of voters in the Democratic primary turned against him.
Do you think we in America are far different from the Spanish voters and if there‘s an attack against us, it may not have the same impact as it had in Madrid?
LAWRENCE O‘DONNELL, MSNBC SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, you know, the Spanish voters were trending in the way they ended up voting anyway.
But this is a completely unpredictable piece of American politics. I mean, I‘ve just listened to the examples that Pat gave. They‘re interesting, but there‘s nothing that we have that‘s on point here. If there‘s a terrorist attack, does that mean that George Bush failed? Is that going to be the political reaction, he and Tom Ridge failed to keep the country safe, let‘s get rid of them, let‘s get new people in there?
Or is it a rallying around the president to go back and get these people who just came and did this to us again? That‘s completely unpredictable. There‘s no way of knowing which way that‘s going to cut.
SCARBOROUGH: My gut is, if it happens close enough to the election, the Americans, as they always have done, will support the president and probably rally around him, again, opposite of what happened in Spain. What‘s your gut?
O‘DONNELL: Also, there‘s a third possibility, which is that it has no effect whatsoever on the actual numbers in the race. It is a completely unpredictable thing. I don‘t have a gut on it, but I do know this, that this is what makes it ungameable by the Bush administration.
There‘s this talk out there of—and, you know, Michael Moore is the big champion of it—when Tom Ridge comes out and gives these warnings, isn‘t that just politics to try to scare the public so they‘ll rally around George Bush? If the White House somehow knew that that‘s the way this worked, you would have a right to that suspicion, but there‘s absolutely no formula that anyone in politics knows about how to game these warnings to make the public lean one way or the other politically.
BRZEZINSKI: ... for leaders to really take a sober approach to these terrorist threats. And if you read Ridge‘s statement today, and it‘s available on the Department of Homeland Security Web site, it basically conveys the following, that there‘s a threat, we don‘t have precise knowledge of it, and that America is doing all it can to protect the homeland, and there‘s a litany of steps that the administration is taking.
And it‘s that third part of that message today that I am concerned about, because, indeed, America is not doing all it can to protect our chemical facilities. It‘s not doing all it can to secure nuclear bomb material in Russia. It‘s not doing all it can to secure our ports or to fund first-responders.
BUCHANAN: But, Joe, let‘s get back to the politics of this.
Look, if there‘s an attack by al Qaeda, some of these criminals and thugs and they take credit for it, you will set up a situation where it is that thug and that killer against the president of the United States. Clearly, they want to see the president defeated. You put George Bush or the president of the United States in that environment, and I can tell you, the country will move right behind the president of the United States.
For three years, we have not had a major attack in this country, probably luck, but there‘s been a lot of good work done. And I think the American people understand that, and they know what these guys are after. They‘re trying to sink Bush. And, if they are, the country will turn the other way.
SCARBOROUGH: Now, let me read some documents that were obtained by the French press. They‘re shocking. Al Qaeda strategically targeted Spain to force a pullout of their troops in Iraq.
One passage, now this was distributed before the March attacks, read this—quote—“The Spanish government cannot suffer more than two to three strikes before pulling out of Iraq under pressure from its own people. If these forces remain after the strikes, the victory of the Socialist Party would be near-guaranteed and the pullout of Spanish forces from Iraq would be on its agenda.”
That is chilling, is it not?
O‘DONNELL: And it was very predictable politics, predictable enough even enough for al Qaeda.
We don‘t have a candidate running for president on a major party ticket saying, I‘m thinking about pulling the troops out of Iraq. There‘s nothing for al Qaeda to jump on in this election. They‘re not going to get some softer outcome with John Kerry if they pull some pre-election attack. If they pull an attack on this country, it‘s going to come down on them harder than it came down on them before.
So you‘re not going to get the reaction that the Spanish government
BUCHANAN: But you‘re also going to get this. You‘re going to get the reaction from the American government. The United States will be ordered by President Bush and it will be delivered by American armed forces. So I mean, what will Kerry—let‘s take Kerry. What does he say after this attack?
I mean, what would you—anyone say if you got some attack in October? This shows the president is not doing a good job? I mean, it would sound almost unpatriotic.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes, but, Patrick, but, Patrick, let me tell you this, though, Pat Buchanan. That‘s the way it used to be played.
But I remember during the Democratic primaries, actually before Iowa,
there were Americans and Saudis blown up in a terror attack. And while
they were still digging people out of there, my senator, Florida Senator
Bob Graham, was attacking the president. I mean, the world
BUCHANAN: How did Bob Graham do?
SCARBOROUGH: Mark, you also look—let me ask you this, Mark, and then answer.
SCARBOROUGH: You also look at the Democratic platform that was leaked this week. The Democrats are actually supporting the war in Iraq. So going on what Lawrence said, there‘s really not too much of a game for al Qaeda to play here, is there?
BRZEZINSKI: Well, that‘s why all Americans, Democrats and Republicans, should unify around a plan to truly secure our most vulnerable facilities, chemical plants, ports, securing nuclear materials abroad, funding first-responders.
Tragically, that is not happening right now, but we can do it during this year and we can unify around a strategy. But rolling out a litany of successes that don‘t pertain to that when describing a terrorist threat is not the way to handle a very serious, sober situation.
BUCHANAN: But, look, we have got a country of 290 million people. We all go to ball games and things like that. You‘re out there at night, Joe.
Look, any terrorist who got has a truck bomb and wants to massacre a lot of people can do it in the United States of America, quite frankly, but...
BRZEZINSKI: Pat, that‘s true, but, you know, we can take steps to minimize the threat right now.
You know that the EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency, has identified 123 chemical facilities in the United States that, if attacked, any one of which would release toxic materials that would threaten over one million people. Today‘s statement by Tom Ridge suggested that we should put cameras in those facilities. That is not securing the homeland.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, Lawrence O‘Donnell, tonight—I want to follow up on what Pat said—I went out to Fenway Park with my family.
O‘DONNELL: I‘m going out tomorrow night with my family.
SCARBOROUGH: It‘s just—there‘s nothing like Fenway Park. I just had to put that in there.
But you look around in that stadium and I was sitting there tonight thinking, we have so many points that are vulnerable, not just these chemical plants. But, you know, when I was in Congress, we had hearings. There are 58, 60 nuclear suitcases from the old Soviet Union that are floating around somewhere in possibly Eastern Europe, possibly in America.
Former KGB Agents said they may have already been dropped in America
somewhere in a warehouse. Bring it to Fenway Park, take out 50
SCARBOROUGH: So are Americans going—and Mark was about to say there are over 600 tons out there. Are Americans going to blame a Republican or a Democrat if al Qaeda nukes a sports stadium two weeks before an election?
O‘DONNELL: I don‘t think they‘re going to—my guess would be that they would not assign political blame for this. But the person who would be most exposed politically would be the president, who was supposed to prevent this. That‘s who I would worry about the most politically.
SCARBOROUGH: All right, Lawrence O‘Donnell, enjoy the game tomorrow night. Go, Sox.
Pat Buchanan, thank you so much. We appreciate you being here.
Lawrence, of course, Mike, thank you so much.
And coming up next, we‘ve been telling you about how Michael Moore distorts the truth for the past few months, but David Hardy has been tracking Moore‘s lies for 15 years. And we‘re going to be talking to him next.
Then, an inside look at Hillary Clinton‘s rise to power with author Christopher Andersen. You‘re not going to want to miss the author of “American Evita.”
SCARBOROUGH: We‘ve been complaining for the past several weeks that nobody is holding Michael Moore accountable for his remarks on the war and America. Well, we‘ve got somebody coming up in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY that has held him accountable for years and he‘s going to tell you all about the real Michael Moore.
But, first, let‘s get the latest headlines from the MSNBC News Desk.
ANNOUNCER: From the press room, to the courtroom, to the halls of Congress, Joe Scarborough has seen it all. Welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, welcome to the show.
I‘ll tell you what. It‘s going to be a very interesting vote on the Senate floor on Wednesday on the same-sex marriage constitutional amendment. Going to be very interesting, because I wonder if John Kerry is going to fly back in town to vote against that amendment. Probably not, but we‘re going to be able to get a good bird‘s-eye view into the Kerry campaign strategy on how he‘s going to position himself on some of these social issues as he moves towards November. So we‘ll be covering that next week and report to you what we find out.
Now, Michael Moore is promoting his “Fahrenheit 9/11” for European release by calling for a regime change in Britain, Australia, and Japan. Thousands lined up in France for its debut. What a surprise. And the terrorist group Hezbollah is running a marketing campaign for the movie in Syria, Jordan, Libya, and Egypt.
And but back home, where Moore set a box office record for his so-called documentary—and I do use that term loosely—not everybody is letting Michael Moore off the hook.
We‘ve got David Hardy here. He‘s the co-author of a new book that is critical of Michael Moore titled “Michael Moore Is a Big Fat Stupid White Man.” Also here, we have Mike Rectenwald. He‘s from Carnegie Mellon University. And he founded Citizens For Legitimate Government and believes that the Moore film is factually accurate and serves a valuable purpose.
Let‘s begin with you, David Hardy. You wrote the book about Michael Moore. Tell us, is he lying to the American people in “Fahrenheit 9/11”? And, if so, how?
DAVID HARDY, AUTHOR, “MICHAEL MOORE IS A BIG FAT STUPID WHITE MAN”: I
think there are some big areas in “Fahrenheit 9/11” where what he says cannot be defended as objective or fact.
For example, he makes the claim at the outset that President Bush spent 42 percent of his time on vacation—that‘s his terms—and says “The New York Times” bears it out—or excuse me, “Washington Post.” If you read “The Washington Post” article, they said he spent 42 percent of his time away from the White House. They included in that 38 days that the president spent at Camp David, where, among other things, he met with Tony Blair and President Putin.
In fact, in one frame of the movie where Moore shows him relaxing at Camp David, if you look closely, you see Tony Blair next to him. So this was not time spent on vacation, which is the words that Moore uses.
SCARBOROUGH: Why did you write this book?
HARDY: Well, it started out, my co-author and I, Jason Clarke, and myself, we both founded something over a year ago, a couple of Web pages. MooreLies.com is his. MooreExposed.com, a perfectly horrifying thought, is mine.
And from this, we got together and, you know, formed the idea for putting it together in book form.
SCARBOROUGH: Mike Rectenwald, let me bring you in here now.
I understand in your pre-interview that you say that you have been saying the things that Michael Moore has been talking about in “Fahrenheit 9/11” and on other subjects involving George Bush, that you‘ve been saying this for years. Tell me what you mean by that.
MIKE RECTENWALD, CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY: That‘s correct, Joe.
We‘ve been saying for basically 3 ½ years very much the same thing that Michael Moore is saying. In fact, we started a petition back in January of 2002 regarding the 9/11 -- we have 25,000 signatories asking for an investigations of the anomalies that took place on 9/11. And we have been saying—and, by the way, we‘re not the only ones that are saying this. This isn‘t just a left-wing type of an attack.
JudicialWatch.com (sic), which is Larry Klayman‘s group has been—was the first source of the question of the Bush-bin Laden connection in the Carlisle Group. That has been very well documented.
There are a lot of questions like, why was George H.W. Bush meeting with the a Laden family member on the morning of 9/11? Why was George W. Bush sitting in a classroom for over seven minutes after he heard about the second attack on the World Trade Center, not the first, but the second? Why did he go into the classroom in the first place after he heard about the first attack?
Why did he sit there and listen to a story about a pet goat for seven minutes after hearing about the second attack? These are things that are cited in Michael Moore‘s film and they are absolutely verified by numerous sources.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, Mike, though, obviously, the 9/11 Commission said that the president acted appropriately, that he didn‘t panic. He stayed there while they were setting up an operation headquarters. And I want to read you what Michael Moore wrote in an open letter in April and have you respond and see if you agree with him here.
He said: “The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not insurgents or terrorists or the enemy. They are the revolution. They are the Minutemen. They will grow in numbers. And they will win.”
And he went on in the same letter and he said: “The majority of Americans supported this war once it began and sadly that majority must now sacrifice their children until enough blood has been let that maybe, just maybe, God and the Iraqi people will forgive us in the end.”
Now, Mike, it‘s certainly shocking to me that Michael Moore would suggest that more Americans need to die. Why do you think he gets a free pass when he says this sort of thing?
RECTENWALD: Well, I don‘t think he‘s saying more Americans need to die, Joe. What I think he‘s saying is, the Iraqi people see themselves, as George Bush himself acknowledged, as an occupied country. Likewise, they see themselves as independence fighters, much as the U.S. patriots saw themselves as independence fighters. That is their...
SCARBOROUGH: Mike, let me read you that second quote, OK, because that‘s the one I really want to key in on. If we can put that back on the screen, where he talks about he didn‘t want the United Nations people to die. Let‘s put up—can you guys put the second full screen up, where he talks about more Americans need to die?
He said: “The majority of Americans supported this war once it began and sadly that majority must now sacrifice their children until enough blood has been let that maybe, just maybe, God and the Iraqi people will forgive us in the end.”
That has nothing to do with the resistance. That‘s Michael Moore saying that more Americans need to die. Do you...
RECTENWALD: No, no.
SCARBOROUGH: Do you—he said, they need to die.
RECTENWALD: He‘s saying, having been misled—unfortunately, having been misled by the president, the American public is now a victim to the policies of the Bush administration and now must watch their own sons and daughters, husbands and wives die in this war that we were misled into. So rather than worrying about Michael Moore‘s film...
SCARBOROUGH: But what Moore is saying, though, is—he said that. And before that, he said he didn‘t want the United Nations to get involved because he said, since the majority of Americans supported this war, they need to stay in and more American blood needs to be let.
RECTENWALD: I don‘t think that‘s a proper reading of that, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: My gosh.
Well, let me ask you, David Hardy. It‘s a clear reading. I want to put it up one more time, David Hardy, and have you respond to it, because I think this is critical. I think it goes to the heart of who Michael Moore is. Can we put that back up on the screen one more time? And here we go. Let‘s put it up. And I want you to respond to it, if you will, David Hardy.
“The majority of Americans supported this war once it began and sadly that majority must now sacrifice their children until enough blood has been let that maybe, just maybe, God and the Iraqi people will forgive us in the end.”
And, again, this is on his own Web site, when he‘s saying, David Hardy, he doesn‘t want the U.N. to get involved. Why does he get a free pass when he says something like that?
HARDY: There‘s no question he‘s popular, I think, because a large part of the media is in sympathy with his positions.
What‘s really disturbing, as you—this is basically war propaganda written by the other side. And, as you noted, Hezbollah has offered to help in the distribution of this film in the Mideast, which would be disturbing enough.
In fact, one of the Bali terrorist bombings in Indonesia which killed 200 people, mostly Australian tourists, the defense attorney quoted Moore‘s book “Stupid White Men” in his closing argument. And the terrorist himself used language that seems to be taken from the book.
So what you have is a propagandist for the other side, as it were, encouraging this sort of thing. And I find that profoundly disturbing.
SCARBOROUGH: It is, David Hardy. Thanks so much for being with us.
Mike Rectenwald, thank you.
It is so disturbing. And, again, the fact that Hezbollah is going throughout the Middle East using this film and trying to help distribute it, absolutely shocking. Well, actually, it‘s not, because when you have a guy that‘s comparing terrorists like Zarqawi with our Minutemen, it‘s putting them on the level. And Michael Moore is the one that is doing it, and yet “TIME” magazine puts him on the cover. “Entertainment Weekly” puts him on the cover holding American flags.
Hillary Clinton introduces him, introduces his movie at the NEA. What does that say about her judgment? Well, we‘re going to learn about her judgment and a lot more coming up next. There‘s a new book by Christopher Andersen that compares Hillary Clinton to Argentina‘s most famous and ambitious first lady known as Evita. And he‘s going to join me to discuss the similarities right after this short break.
So don‘t go away.
ANNOUNCER: Tonight‘s SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY challenge: What was Evita‘s career before becoming Argentina‘s first lady? Was she, A, an actress, B, a reporter, or, C, a dancer? The answer coming up.
ANNOUNCER: In tonight‘s SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY challenge, we asked, what was Evita‘s career before becoming Argentina‘s first lady? The answer is A. Eva Peron was a radio soap opera actress before marrying future Argentinian President Juan Peron.
Now back to Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: An easy question for those of us in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY that go to Broadway shows every once in a while.
Now, the director of John Kerry‘s vice presidential search team admitted this week that Hillary Rodham Clinton was seriously considered for the No. 2 job. My next guest says she had the No. 1 job in her sights all along and she lets little stand in her way.
With me now is Christopher Andersen. He‘s the author of “American
Evita: Hillary Clinton‘s Path to Power.:
Thank you so much for being with us tonight, Mr. Andersen.
CHRISTOPHER ANDERSEN, AUTHOR, “AMERICAN EVITA”: My pleasure, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: Tell us the central premise of your book “American Evita.”
ANDERSEN: Hillary Clinton wants to be president, is the first woman to have a shot at being president, and may well become president.
And there‘s an effort going on right now to make her president, ideally in 2008. That‘s what a lot of this vice presidential talk was about. I don‘t think people know, as I write in the book, that, behind the scenes, Bill Clinton was really pushing to get Hillary on this ticket. They don‘t want her to have to wait around until 2012 when she‘s 64 and have to battle somebody like John Edwards for the nomination then.
She can‘t afford to do that. Bill was trying to convince her, you know, this is your best shot. You‘ve got to take it. You won‘t be blamed if the ticket goes down, and you‘ll be in a perfect position to run in 2008 for president. She remains the elephant in the room in the Democratic Party. The Clintons have the power. They‘ve got the money, the influence, you know, and the star power. And everybody else in the party knows it.
One Democratic senator said recently, you know, she‘s bigger than the other 99 of us rolled together.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, Christopher, obviously, Bill Clinton was quietly working behind the scenes to try to get her on the ticket for some time.
SCARBOROUGH: I remember back in February—or, actually, January—he introduced her wife and also Wesley Clark, said they were the two biggest stars in the Democratic Party.
SCARBOROUGH: Why is Bill Clinton pushing his wife so hard towards the White House? Is he paying her back for the loyalty she showed him in 1988 and 1999 or does he just want to have both of them back in the White House again?
ANDERSEN: Well, who do you think is going to be co-president when she gets into the White House? They‘re going to share power, as they always have.
You know, I write about something called the plan. I wrote a book
about the Clintons, “Bill and Hillary” six years ago. And at that time, I
was hearing from White House people and from their friends in Arkansas
reference to the plan. I thought it was a little tongue-in-cheek. It
isn‘t. It‘s an arrangement whereby they have always agreed to share power, whereby she put her very promising political career on hold for him.
She bailed him out 1,000 times. She rescued him in all of the various scandals he was involved in. And now it‘s her turn to move forward. He makes these statements that are so revealing. He said Hillary is now where I was in 1988, you know, four years before he ran for president. She will say things to the foreign press that she won‘t say here.
She told “Bunte,” the German magazine, when they asked her why she‘s not running this year, she said, well, maybe next time. She told a British journalist that she‘s already picked out a title for her husband when she‘s president, not if she‘s president.
SCARBOROUGH: Holy cow.
ANDERSEN: And that is first mate, by the way, which I think is very nonsexist lingo.
SCARBOROUGH: That‘s interesting.
Well, and according to a Clinton friend that was sourced in your book, when confronting her husband‘s impeding impeachment, Hillary Clinton decided this—quote—“If he was going to go down, she had no intention of going down with him. Hillary wanted to play a public role in public life after they left the White House.”
And Hillary herself said this: “Right now, I don‘t know if he has a future, but I intend to.”
Are you really saying she was willing to throw him overboard if that‘s what it took to save her own political skin?
ANDERSEN: She played that so well. She turned it—that—Monica made Hillary‘s career, in the sense that Hillary was instantly seen as the wronged woman. She saw that she could capitalize on that.
And from that point on, she went back to the Tammy Wynette standing-by-her-man routine. She‘s the one who rallied the Congress behind her Texas. She‘s the one who led the fight. And so I think that she played that so well and skillfully behind the scenes. She removed herself for a brief time and then went right back into the fight.
She‘s always been the tough fighter in that family. You have to
remember that. I‘ve got many, many stories in the book about how, frankly,
mean-spirited she could be, even to people who worked well with her. Dee
Dee Myers, the presidential press secretary for Bill Clinton, said, Hillary
· no, Bill had a temper, but he would blow up and then it would blow over.
Hillary had a way of pushing you down and belittling you and then campaigning against you behind your back.
I mean, the staff was terrified of her.
SCARBOROUGH: One final question that talks about policy, very important. Your book is saying that Bill Clinton pursued a “Hillary says” foreign policy.
SCARBOROUGH: Quote: “When advisers split on the question of whether or not to launch airstrikes against bin Laden in 1998, it was Hillary who tipped the scales. She warned her husband that, with his presidency hanging in the balance, the political risk was just too great.”
So, Hillary Clinton is the one that told her husband not to go after Osama bin Laden?
ANDERSEN: Well, she is the one who he listens to.
You know, he said from the very beginning, when they asked him, who do you want in the room when you make the big decisions, and without skipping a beat, he said Hillary. In domestic and foreign policy questions, if she was in the meeting or not, it was always—Bill was constantly saying Hillary thinks, Hillary says. I refer to it as the “Hillary says” policy.
So everybody knew what she thought. She, in her own memoirs, brags about being very outspoken in her support of the bombing of Bosnia and Iraq, but she doesn‘t go on to say what her position was when it came to the wag-the-dog problem that Bill Clinton faced, when suddenly people were saying that, wait a minute, you‘re just trying to distract us.
ANDERSEN: And she said, look, as you said, your presidency is at stake and don‘t do it for now.
So, her impact on this nation has been incredible, and I think she wants to extend it well into this century.
SCARBOROUGH: All right, Christopher Andersen, author of “American Evita,” thanks so much for being with us. It‘s a fascinating book.
ANDERSEN: Thank you, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: And we‘ll be right back when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.
SCARBOROUGH: The “Girls Gone Wild” video empire that has made million and millions of dollars pushing women to take it all off now have set their sights on men. We‘ll tell you about men gone wild tomorrow night on SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
But stick around. We‘ve got more SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY tonight in a second.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, we‘re in Boston tonight, where the Red Sox just won in extra innings, home of this year‘s Democratic National Convention.
It may seem like conventions are just made-for-TV spectacles that allow each party to make headlines for a few days. That‘s because, now, they are. But it wasn‘t always that way.
In tonight‘s “Here‘s the Deal,” we bring you the facts. Before the days of the state primaries and caucuses, parties actually determined their nominees for president and vice president at the convention. Party leaders gathered to decide who they thought should represent the party, which sometimes took weeks.
You know, in 1924, it took the Democrats 17 days and 103 rounds of balloting to finally agree on John Davis as their presidential nominee. And, on the Republican side, the last close call came in 1976, when Gerald Ford beat out Ronald Reagan by just 117 votes. I still remember that one. What a convention.
Now, today, nominees on both sides are decided well before the conventions are based on the number of delegates they collect during the primary season. You can get more on the conventions at MSNBC.com.
We‘ll see you tomorrow.
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