updated 10/12/2004 10:59:11 AM ET 2004-10-12T14:59:11

Guest: Glenn Smith, John O‘Neill, James Dobson, Ilya Salkind, Tony Blankley, David Maraniss

PAT BUCHANAN, GUEST HOST:  Hi.  I‘m Pat Buchanan in for Joe Scarborough.  Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, no passport required.  Only common sense allowed.  Tonight, John O‘Neill and the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and Glenn Smith of Texans for Truth appear together for the first time on TV, in an exclusive SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY showdown.

Then, 71 evangelical leaders are urging voters to rely on biblical values when they cast their ballots in November.  Focus on the Families Dr.  James Dobson comes to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY to see if he can rock the Christian vote.

Plus, on screen, he was a chisel-faced Man of Steel.  Offscreen, he was a loving husband and a father of three.  But Christopher Reeve will be remembered most for his role as activist, for spinal cord research.  We will talk with “Superman” executive producer Ilya Salkind about Reeve‘s role of a lifetime, both on and off the big screen.

First up tonight, the battle between the Swift Boat Vets and the Texans for Truth.  It‘s a story that won‘t go away.  And tonight, the two principal battlers meet for the first time on television.  I am going to be joined by John O‘Neill, Vietnam veteran and author of “Unfit for Command, Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry,” and from the group Texans for Truth, Glenn Smith, author of the newly released, “Unfit Commander,” which is just out today.  All right, Mr. Smith, before we get into this, let‘s take a look at the third and latest ad from Texans for Truth.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ...love your country.  For him, being in the National Guard has always been about duty and honor, and commitment.  President Bush didn‘t complete his service to the National Guard, and now he is turning around and making that same Guard stay overseas in Iraq, after they finished their commitment to this country? The fundamental issue is integrity.  People are literally dying for the lack of integrity.

ANNOUNCER:  Texans for Truth is responsible for the content of this ad.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

BUCHANAN:  Mr. Smith, you suggest that George W. Bush is unfit commander.  I‘ve got a question.  Did you see the President of the United States in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, and up there in the site with the Twin Towers where it fell, did you see his speech to the Congress of the United States, and did you not at least agree at some time with the 80 percent of the American people who thought he was an outstanding commander of this country during the first six months after 9/11?

GLENN SMITH, TEXANS FOR TRUTH:  You know, I am happy for the country President Bush did a good job in those few days after 9/11, absolutely, and I would take nothing away from him for those days.  We needed somebody who could look into a camera and speak with feeling, and he did that and I think it helped all of us.  But I don‘t think that speaks to the main issue which is this is a fellow, when it was time to serve his country, walked away from commitment, and now he‘s asking young men and women serving with courage and honor in Iraq to not only met commitment but stay beyond, and that hypocrisy needs to be pointed out to voters.

BUCHANAN:  All right.  Mr. Smith, there‘s no question this allegation that George Bush, after four years, of excellent service in the Guard, where I believe he had 335 hours or so of flight time in the F-102, and the last year it appears he missed a number of meetings in Alabama in the Guard.  But when you weigh that up against his four years of outstanding service in the Guard and four years of President of the United States, do you not think it is an outrage to say he is an unfit commander?

SMITH:  Well, I don‘t think so.  What would we do today if our men and women serving in the armed forces could decide on their own when to leave service and not meet their commitments?

It‘s not a question he made four of six, that‘s a batting average, that‘s pretty good.  But military service is military service.  And we have to meet our commitments to that service.  He would have no one to send to Iraq today if everybody decided they could leave when they wanted to.  And that‘s what he seems to have done.

BUCHANAN:  All right.  Let‘s bring in John O‘Neill.  John O‘Neill, do you think the National Guard service of the President is fair game?

JOHN O‘NEILL, SWIFT BOAT VETERANS FOR TRUTH:  Glenn, I do, but I don‘t think this is a fair way to play the game.  I wrote this book, 274 of us from our little unit joined in.  Instead of answering the book, Mr.  Smith‘s, whose involvement in the military seems to be, according to his book, that he was afraid of being drafted, attempted to imitate the book.  He doesn‘t really deal with any allegations in “Unfit for Command,” instead, he simply tries to rip off our book, and to basically get people confused.  That‘s a very dishonest way of responding to “Unfit for Command.”

BUCHANAN:  Let me ask you, though, John O‘Neill, as someone who has challenged Mr. Kerry to release all his military records, has the President of the United States released all of his Guard records, and should he do more to get this information out, as well as John Kerry?

O‘NEILL:  I am totally in favor of every single military record relating to George Bush being released.  My understanding is that he has consented to the release of them.  In contrast, John Kerry has refused to execute standard form 180, and many of his military records remain a mystery.  For example, no one understands why his discharge only come many years after service.  All of that, none of us know.

BUCHANAN:  All right.  Mr. Smith, I want you to listen for a second, because I want to read you something from today‘s “Washington Times.”  It ran a story about the Swift Boat Veterans continuing their assault on John Kerry in the closing weeks of the campaign.  Major Bud Day, Congressional Medal of Honor Winner, who was shot down in 1967, captured, escaped, was captured again, to spend six years in the Hanoi Hilton, had this to say, and I quote.

“This is the first time-“  excuse me.  “I don‘t know if we‘ve got this or not up there.  All right.  It‘s on the monitor.  We don‘t see the monitor right here now.  Let me see if we got this.  No, I don‘t think we do.  Just yet.  OK.  Kerry—let me see.  There we go.

“Kerry betrayed us by telling the people we were committing atrocities.”  This is Bud Day, Mr. Smith.  “A man who does that is not fit to lead.  It is impossible to let this man masquerade as a war hero and as someone who has leadership.  To imagine this guy, Kerry, who betrayed us, becoming president and him being the leader of our armed forces is just unthinkable.”

Now, that‘s a Congressional Medal of Honor winner, a legendary hero along the lines of Chesty Puller.  Mr. Smith, what I want to ask you is this.  These Vietnam Veterans for Truth have scores and even hundreds of veterans, ex-POWs, decorated swift boat vets, Congressional Medal of Honor winners.  Does this not speak directly to the question of the integrity and the capacity of John Kerry to be commander-in-chief in the armed forces?

SMITH:  You know, we haven‘t done so yet, but let me take a quick second, and say quick hello to John O‘Neill, my fellow Houstonian.  We‘re talking together on (ph) but we‘ve never met and I want to say “Hi.”  It‘s only George Bush that seems intent on attacking heroes, Max Cleland, John McCain, John Kerry.  It‘s like President Bush has something against medal winners.  And I‘m not sure what it‘s all about.

BUCHANAN:  Hold it a second, Mr. Smith.  Hold it.  Look, it was not Mr. Bush who attacked Max Cleland down in Georgia.  It was his opponent in that race, and Mr. Bush has said repeatedly he will not raise the issue of John Kerry‘s service in Vietnam, it was honorable.  Can you answer the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth—Bud Day is not one of them but certainly agrees with them, who are making charges against John Kerry?

SMITH:  You know, I think it took courage for John Kerry to return to the United States from Vietnam and speak out against the war.  Many Americans at that time were opposed, after this they had learned a considerable amount of what was going on there.  And I think to point out some of our men were driven into extremes was important to the debate.  And I think he deserves a pat on the back for it and nothing more.

BUCHANAN:  All right.  O‘Neill.  Does John Kerry deserve a pat on the back for what he said when he came home?

O‘NEILL:  Not at all.  There were many people opposed to the war.  We would not be involved with any of them.  He met directly with the North Vietnamese, our enemies, in Paris.  He then said we were committing - we were murdering 200,000 South Vietnamese a year.  He said that we were committing crimes like rape, murder, and the like on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command, he analogized this to the army of Genghis Khan.  There was some talk about who attacked who.  He attacked us. 

And not only us, but the people who died there, 58,000 of them.  They were not that army of Genghis Khan.   And that‘s the reason why Bud Day, who is the most decorated American soldier since the Second World War, and so many hundreds of people, Swift Boat Veterans, including almost everybody that served with John Kerry have come forward.  It‘s unthinkable to us that a person who switched sides, who took the position Ho Chi Minh was like George Washington and that we were all criminals when we were in the field could actually be considered to be commander-in-chief at a time when the United States, we have had two big buildings vaporized, we‘ve lost 3,000 citizens, and we are dealing with menace clearly not just a nuisance, but serious menace to the United States.

BUCHANAN:  All right.  Glenn Smith, what would you say to the ex-POW who was in the Hanoi Hilton, and who said very graphically on television in that ad, he was being tortured in the Hanoi Hilton and refused to tell the kinds of lies about Americans in Vietnam that John Kerry told for free before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee? If that POW looked at you, what would you say to him?  Would you tell him you thought John Kerry did a great job when he came home?

SMITH:  Absolutely.  I would say John Kerry helped bring that awful war to a close.  It took courage to do what he did.  And then I would thank the gentleman for service to his country.  I don‘t think we Americans have embraced our Vietnam vets, to the degree we should and I would do that.

BUCHANAN:  How can you ask—John Kerry said these Vietnam vets over there were committing atrocities, perpetrating atrocities on a daily basis.

SMITH:  Well, Pat...

BUCHANAN:  With the full knowledge of their superior officers.  Does he still believe that is true, and if he does, why does he say “I defended my country as a young man and I will defend it as a president?”  If he was defending his country, why did he come home and throw his ribbons over the fence?

SMITH:  Well, listen, first of all, it turns out some of that was true, but there‘s only one of the two candidates with the courage to turn his boat into enemy fire to save his men, while the other was afraid to take flight physical.  And I think that‘s a measure of character...

BUCHANAN:  Let me take...

SMITH:  Wait a minute.  Wait a minute.  Let me finish.  George Bush was afraid to take flight physical, and grounded because of it, and never appeared again, for all practical purposes, in the last several months of his own military service.

BUCHANAN:  OK, let me take up your question.  John O‘Neill, is there not some truth in that, whatever you say about Kerry, maybe he didn‘t deserve all the medals or whatever, he did volunteer for combat in Vietnam, he did spend four months in combat, did see comrades killed, I guess, and engage in combat himself, whereas the President did not, and certainly Mr.  Cheney had five deferments.  Is there not something to be said for John Kerry‘s service?

O‘NEILL:  What actually happened, Pat, is he applied for a fifth deferment, Kerry did, to study in Paris.  That was denied, and only then did he volunteer for the Navy.  As he set forth in his own article in the “Harvard Crimson,” he volunteered for swift boats when they were way off-shore because he was opposed and wanted to report on it.  The unexpected happened.  He was plunged into combat.  He faked two purple hearts and got out as fast as he could.  And Pat, every single person in our unit was happy to see him go.  Whatever little good he did there, he vastly offset when he met with the enemy in May of 1970, when we lost three dead and 17 wounded, when he categorized us as war criminals recollect that‘s why he is in the war museum of the North Vietnamese in Saigon as a hero.

BUCHANAN:  All right.  Glenn Smith, how do you answer that? Even Jane Fonda said, I guess about 15 years later, look, I said things I should not have said.  I was wrong.  I apologize.  Kerry was 27 years old when he came back and he said these dreadful things that his comrades were doing.  You have got honorable men signing affidavits, hundreds of veterans, decorated veterans who are enraged and angry, why could not John Kerry at some point in this campaign have come forward and simply said, “Look, I turned against the war, and I said things I should never have said, and I did a couple of things that were stupid, and I apologize to the guys I left behind”?

SMITH:  Actually, I think Senator Kerry did say he spoke in the heat of the moment when he was testifying in the Senate.  He said that pretty early in his campaign.  Anytime, I expect the Swift Boaters to accuse Kerry of taking swift boat to the Boston Harbor and freeing Willie Horton.  It‘s hard to respond to the big lies.  Every newspaper in the country that has covered this has pointed out, the attacks are mostly based on lies and falsehood...

BUCHANAN:  Well with due respect...

SMITH:  ...wait a minute.  I‘m not done.

BUCHANAN:  ...I don‘t care if you are not done.  I have read the book and I‘ve studied the incidents, and I am telling you, Kerry has admitted he was wrong, or his people have, that he never went into Cambodia.  He has admitted he was at that Kansas City meeting.

SMITH:  That‘s not true.

BUCHANAN:  It is true.

SMITH:  No, no, no.  He said...

BUCHANAN:  Does Kerry still said he went into Cambodia?

SMITH:  He said he went at Christmas, and it turns out to have been in January.

BUCHANAN:  He went into Cambodia?

O‘NEILL:  That‘s not true.

SMITH:  That‘s not right? I believe that‘s right.  I think that he thought he was in Cambodia in Christmas when it was the next month.

BUCHANAN:  There is not a single person on his boat, even his buddies there...

SMITH:  There is not a single person on his boat part of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.  That‘s one thing.  10-1 the people that served under John Kerry are for him, how do you explain? I feel a little bit like Jack Johnson and the Great White Hope Fight, the referee is not exactly being a referee, but I am going to hang in here.

BUCHANAN:  All right.

SMITH:  Come on.  Let‘s talk a little bit about George Bush walking away from the service to the National Guard, and here is commander-in-chief keeping our young men and women in Iraq beyond their service commitment.  That‘s happening today, not 30 years ago.

BUCHANAN:  OK.  We are talking about your ads, and we are talking about the Swift Boat Vets ads, and this is the first time these gentlemen have had a chance to debate this issue.  And we will be back with more when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I defended this country as a young man in war, and I will defend it as president of the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BUCHANAN:  That was Senator Kerry talking about defending his country then and now.  We are back now with John O‘Neill of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.  Author of “Unfit for Command,” and Glenn Smith, head of Texans for Truth, and author of “Unfit Commander,” just out in stores today.  Gentlemen, let‘s go back to the beginning and look at the Swift Boat ad that started this whole thing back in early August.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Just spend three minutes with the men who served with him 30 years ago.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I served with John Kerry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I served with John Kerry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  John Kerry has not been honest about what happened in Vietnam.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  He is lying about his record.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I know John Kerry is lying about his first Purple Heart, because I treated him for that injury.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  John Kerry lied to get his bronze star.  I know. 

I was there.  I saw what happened.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BUCHANAN:  Mr. Glenn Smith, these gentlemen are veterans, they are swift boat veterans.  They served at the same time with Kerry.  Many of them knew him.  One of them was in his boat.  Do you think all these men are so bitter with how Kerry behaved when he came home that they are lying under oath in their affidavits?

SMITH:  I know it‘s curious.  First of all, many say I served with John Kerry, leaving impression they served on a swift boat, and they didn‘t.  And that was a lie that‘s been called out by every paper in the country.  Including the “LA Times,” which said these charges against Senator Kerry are false.  Period.  End of story.  I‘m not sure what their motivation is.  It‘s kind of a sad day, really, that they would go to extremes and invent such tales, even in the heat of a political battle.

BUCHANAN:  Tell me one that they have invented.

SMITH:  How about I served with John Kerry? They weren‘t on the boat.  How about the—wait a minute.  How about the doctor that says he treated the wound, and he is not the doctor whose name is on the affidavit, but let me tell you...

BUCHANAN:  How do you know he is lying?

SMITH:  I didn‘t come on here to talk—just to be a patsy you for you and John O‘Neill.  I want to get back to what I am here to talk about.  That is we have a president who walked away from his duty to the American military, and is now forcing kids to stay beyond commitment in harm‘s way.

BUCHANAN:  You don‘t know that, my friend, because he got an honorable discharge.  There are clear questions about Mr. Bush‘s service in Alabama, agreed, but you don‘t know what you are saying.

SMITH:  What do you mean? You know I offered $50,000...

BUCHANAN:  You say he walked away from his duty.  That‘s AWOL.

SMITH:  I have found no one that can say...

BUCHANAN:  That doesn‘t mean...

SMITH:  ...showed up on the base in Alabama, Pat, not one person with any credibility...

BUCHANAN:  You are doing exactly what you are accusing, falsely accusing these other fellows of doing, and they have signed sworn affidavits.  You don‘t know nothing about Bush‘s service in Alabama, do you?

SMITH:  Watch your grammar there.

BUCHANAN:  I can handle the grammar.

SMITH:  I am saying that not a single person has come forward to say Bush showed up and served on the base in Alabama when he was supposed to be there, and there‘s been ample opportunity for that to happen, so I am curious about where he was during that time.  His commanders in Houston then said several months later, when he was supposed to return there in November, they said several months later that they hadn‘t seen him in a year.  So the question, where was he?  He was not on the base serving as other Guardsmen were asked to serve.

BUCHANAN:  All right.  John O‘Neill, do you want to respond, John O‘Neill?

O‘NEILL:  Yes.  First of all, the only attack on our book in this latest rip-off book, and the only one I know, the only attack is that Dr.  Letson, who treated Kerry‘s first Purple Heart and refused to award him the Purple Heart, they claim because the treatment sheet is signed by his nurse, medic, a man name Jess Carreon, that Dr. Letson didn‘t treat him.  Dr. Letson was the medic in the area, Dr. Letson was known by everybody else in the division, and Dr. Letson described the treatment before any of the sheets came out.  I don‘t think that even they claim it anymore.

BUCHANAN:  Let me ask you, how, then, if Dr. Letson and his immediate commander did not approve Purple Heart, how did Kerry get the Purple Heart?

O‘NEILL:  Three months later, Pat, Kerry went to Saigon.  From an officer who knew nothing about it, after everyone had left, who had turned down the Purple Heart, somehow Kerry obtained a Purple Heart from that guy.  He will not talk, literally, will not answer the question of how.—His campaign says it may have been a self-inflicted wound.  That‘s from Hurley, his spokesman, and he refuses to release the records.  We know now that he (UNINTELLIGIBLE) that first Purple Heart.  We have people in the boat and everybody else.

BUCHANAN:  All right.  Glenn Smith, should John Kerry simply release these records, as John O‘Neill suggested, the President‘s National Guard records should also be released?

SMITH:  You know, I am a former journalist and I think every record about everything ought to be released all the time.  It‘s in my blood and I can‘t help it.  So if there‘s some records that haven‘t been released, they ought to be released.  Because I think the more knowledge, the better off everybody is.

BUCHANAN:  Why do you suppose Kerry, if he performed heroic service and got the medals, why not have the public see?  Why would he not, why would he want to withhold that kind of information?

SMITH:  You know, I don‘t know.  I didn‘t even know he hadn‘t done that, but here‘s one thing I do know.  We are arguing about John Kerry‘s medals.  Nobody is arguing about whether George Bush has any medals, we know he didn‘t any medals because he didn‘t complete service.  So John Kerry already has got an advantage there and I don‘t know why Mr. O‘Neill can‘t answer more about Bush‘s own service if...

BUCHANAN:  All right.  John O‘Neill, go ahead.

O‘NEILL:  All John Kerry has to do is execute Form 180, which is right on our Web site, swiftvets.com.  With respect to Bush, of course, Glenn, since you were never in the military, you don‘t know, but everybody has some medals from the period, and I am sure Bush has medals too, although we have made no examination of it.  As I indicated, I think anything—but if you are trying to morally equate being or not being in Alabama for a year, with somebody who meets with our enemy in time of war, the North Vietnamese in Paris and then calls us all war criminals and calls Ho Chin Minh the George Washington of Vietnam trying to bring a constitution, you are barking up the wrong tree.  That‘s why 300 or more of us are here.

BUCHANAN:  Glenn Smith?

SMITH:  Was everybody in Paris at the Paris peace talks a traitor?  There‘s a young man who went to Paris to find out what he could about the...

O‘NEILL:  He wasn‘t at the Paris...

BUCHANAN:  Glenn Smith?  Wait a minute, Glenn Smith, John O‘Neill, we are going to have to take a break here.  I‘m going to have to leave it there.  My thanks to both gentlemen for coming on tonight.  Maybe we can do it again.  Good luck the rest of the way.

Still ahead on this Monday edition of SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, can the right use religion to win this election?  Focus on the Family founder and chairman, Dr. James Dobson joins us live to talk about a grassroots effort to get voters to rely on biblical values in choosing our next president.  Can he succeed?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BUCHANAN:  You‘re watching SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  I‘m Pat Buchanan in for Joe tonight.  Still ahead, Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, talks about his grassroots effort to bring biblical truths to the voting booth.  But first, let‘s get the latest headlines from the MSNBC news desk.

(NEWSBREAK)

BUCHANAN:  Welcome back.  According to a Pew Research survey, 72 percent of Americans say the president should have strong religious beliefs.  And religious leaders are weighing in on the presidential election. 

Dr. James Dobson, founder and chairman of Focus on the Family, and author of “The New Strong-Willed Child” is one of 71 religious heavy weights who have signed an open letter to Americans asking for, “The thoughtful consideration of all who are interested in how the Bible might speak to the ethical issues in the current election”.

Welcome, Dr. Dobson.

DR. JAMES DOBSON, FOCUS ON THE FAMILY:  Pat, it‘s nice to be on with you, and I appreciate your introduction.

BUCHANAN:  Well, I have been on with you many times out there.

DOBSON:  You have.

BUCHANAN:  In Colorado.  Dr. Dobson, I want to ask you a question. 

Can a Bible believing Christian cast a moral vote for John Kerry?

DOBSON:  Well, I think that‘s a tough question.  I wouldn‘t hope to speak for all Christians.  Christians vary like those in any other category.  So I wouldn‘t say that.  I think most evangelical Christians, those of a conservative bent, feel very strongly about George Bush.  But, Pat, I really need to correct something.

BUCHANAN:  Sure.

DOBSON:  In your promo before the break, you implied people that like me are using Focus on the Family and their own organizations in order to get George Bush elected.  We are a 501C3.  We can‘t do that.  We won‘t do that.  But we certainly will address the moral issues that are involved here.

BUCHANAN:  OK.  Then that raises this question.  Should a nonprofit tax-exempt religious organization be giving political advice and counsel on politics or on choosing a president?

DOBSON:  Well, it depends what you mean by politics.  Some people use that word to include all public policy.  I obviously strongly disagree with that.  Just because you are a Christian and you have a Christian organization, does not mean that you don‘t have first amendment rights.

Of course you have a right to weigh in on the great moral issues of our day.  And we should.  But if by politics you mean parties, and individuals, candidates, and so on, and how to get them elected and all of that, the IRS is pretty clear about that.  You can‘t do that.

BUCHANAN:  All right.  But didn‘t you say Dr. Dobson, I just saw yesterday on television, John Kerry, it was Sunday, and John Kerry walking up to the pulpit of a black church in Miami, along with Reverend Sharpton, and Reverend Jackson.  And that looked pretty much to me like a political meeting, right up there at the altar of the church, or at the center of the church.

DOBSON:  Well, you got that right.  And somehow, the Democrats get away with that.  They push the envelope.  And they never get in trouble for it.  We have to believe that we are held to a higher standard, and we want to be.  We want to stay within the law.  And we will do so.  And we are doing so.

BUCHANAN:  All right.  Dr. Dobson, let‘s take a look at Friday night‘s presidential debate in St. Louis.  I was out there, as John Kerry described his faith.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KERRY:  I can‘t take what is an article of faith for me, and legislate it for someone who doesn‘t share that article of faith, whether they be agnostic, atheist, Jew, Protestant, whatever.  I can‘t do that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BUCHANAN:  Dr. Dobson, I am sure you believe that the idea of homosexuals marrying is anti-biblical and hostile to biblical teachings.  And you would oppose that based upon your moral and religious beliefs.  Do you feel...

DOBSON:  Absolutely.

BUCHANAN:  ... if you were in political life, that you would have a right to impose those views and those values on the larger community, and those who might disagree with you?

DOBSON:  Pat, you can‘t impose your views on anybody.  You can‘t even tell somebody else‘s dog what to do.  The notion that Christians are going to be in public office, and then they are going to shove their views down everybody else‘s throat, all they have the right to do is to work for what they believe.  And represent what they believe. 

And the notion that we just heard from John Kerry that you should not bring your moral perspectives and views into the public square is a copout.  And it‘s a very poor answer to such issues as same-sex marriage.  And I think what he was talking about there was partial birth abortion. 

When you are talking about murdering babies who are 80, 90 percent delivered by sucking their brains out and delivering a dead baby, and you say, I can‘t impose my moral views on others, there‘s something drastically wrong with that.

BUCHANAN:  Well, we certainly impose our moral views when we write laws against prostitution, and you write laws against drug usage.  These are moral views.  I guess in society, we have been imposing on people from time and memorial.

DOBSON:  Yes.  The only question is whose moral views?  Or whose interpretation of them?  Of course, law is based on morality.  And it must be, and should be.

BUCHANAN:  All right.  Dr. Dobson, let me ask you, who decides ultimately what the Bible says?  Now, I am a Catholic, and Catholics will tell you the marriage feast of Cana (ph) where Christ turned water into wine pretty much settled the question of whether you can drink wine or not.  But my fundamentalist Protestant brethren say not so, that wine is prohibited.  Who is the judge of what the Bible says and means?

DOBSON:  We are the judges of ourselves, Pat.  That‘s all we can do.  We can read the scripture.  We can come to an understanding.  And then we can fight for what we believe in and try to represent it in the culture.  But I can‘t go tell you how to vote or how to believe.  I can urge you to register and get informed and vote.  And I think if Christian people do that, the outcome will be pretty good.

BUCHANAN:  But you do believe you can go out and tell people that, look, abortion is killing.  It is murder.  It is wrong.  That this idea of creating embryos for stem cell research is creating life and to destroy it, and that‘s immoral?

DOBSON:  You can do that all day long, according to the IRS interpretation.  There‘s nothing wrong with that.  And, in fact, when you begin to tell the church and people of faith that they can‘t talk about the great moral issues of their day, you are in deep water.  Because you have invaded first amendment rights.  And you have taken away the rights of those who congregate.

So that is not what‘s prohibited.  What you can‘t do is get up in the pulpit and say, go vote for candidate “A”.  You just can‘t do that.  Although the Democrats do.

BUCHANAN:  Reverend Sharpton might dissent.

DOBSON:  Yes.

BUCHANAN:  Well thank you very much, Dr. Dobson.  It is always a pleasure speaking with you.

DOBSON:  Thank you, Pat.  It‘s a pleasure.

BUCHANAN:  When SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY continues, he was larger than life on and off the big screen.  Now fans around the world are mourning the passing of Hollywood super hero, Christopher reeve.  We will talk to the man who gave reeve his big break, as the man of steel.  And how he is remembering Reeve as he shares stories of the man behind the cape.

ANNOUNCER:  Tonight‘s SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY challenge, Christopher Reeve turned down the lead role in which of the following movies?  Was it A) “The Running Man”, B) “The Untouchables”, or C) “Platoon”?  The answer coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANNOUNCER:  And tonight‘s SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY challenge, we asked, Christopher Reeve turned down the lead role in which of the following movies?  The answer is “A”.  Reeve turned down the role in “Running Man” that Arnold Schwarzenegger eventually played. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KERRY:  Chris Reeve was a friend of mine.  Chris Reeve exercises every single day to keep those muscles alive for the day when he believes he can walk again.  And I want him to walk again.

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

BUCHANAN:  John Kerry mentioned Christopher Reeve in Friday‘s debate in St. Louis.  Reeve died yesterday at the age of 52.  Complications from an infection.  Reeve defined the term super hero for a generation, through his portrayal of mild mannered Clark Kent, and the man of steel.

Joining us from Hollywood, California, is the man who discovered Christopher Reeve, and gave him the role that defined his career.  Ilya Salkind, the executive producer of the “Superman” films, is live on the phone with us tonight.  Ilya, tell us about when you first found Christopher Reeve, and how he became “Superman”.

ILYA SALKIND, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, “SUPERMAN”:  Well, I mean, first, good evening.

BUCHANAN:  Thank you.

SALKIND:  And, well, it‘s an extraordinary set of circumstances.  Because the idea of the film came in 1974, and it took us until the end of 1978 to make it.  And we literally found Christopher three weeks before the starting of shooting.  So this is to tell you how fate must have been there for him to play this part.

BUCHANAN:  Did you follow him the rest of his career and through his - that decade of his illness?  Were you still close to him?

SALKIND:  Oh, absolutely, I was very close to him.  And not only that, I actually offered him a part in a new movie I just finished in March.  And we had found a way to have him play a Greek God, in the film, using blue backings and things.  So he didn‘t have to move, and we would have shot him actually in his house.

BUCHANAN:  When was the last time you spoke with him?

SALKIND:  Well, this was in March.  And he at that point said that it was—that he didn‘t think he could make it justice.  And, well, you know, it was obviously not a good sign.

BUCHANAN:  Ilya Salkind, thank you very much for joining us tonight.

SALKIND:  My pleasure.

BUCHANAN:  From a man who was a super hero, to the man who wanted to be president, John Kerry already on the defensive for saying he would fight a more sensitive war on terror, now tells the “New York Times,” “we have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they‘re a nuisance”.

Tony Blankley, editorial editor of the “Washington Times” joins us, along with Pulitzer Prize winner, David Maraniss, the author of “They Marched into Sunlight:  War and peace, Vietnam in America”.  October 1967 I knew David.  I was going to mess him up.  Get the wrong accent there. 

But let me start with you, if I could, briefly.  Kerry seems to have this—obviously they try to portray him as a girlie man at the Republican Convention.  But he seems to play into this with the phrase about sensitive war, and global test, and now terrorism is a nuisance.  Do you think this is reflective of the fact that he just does not basically agree with the approach of Bush on war on terror?

DAVID MARANISS, AUTHOR, “THEY MARCHED INTO SUNLIGHT”:  I think he does not agree with Bush on the war on terror.  I think there are differences there.  But I also think that Kerry has a tendency to speak in nuance.  And it‘s very easy to parse his sentences, and to find the parts of it that—you know, that seem the most outrageous.  Or that you might disagree with. 

So that‘s a danger of his.  But I think it‘s more in the way he says it than what he says.  I think he could say the same things more clearly.

BUCHANAN:  Mr. Bush is not nuanced, is he?

MARANISS:  No, clear, precise.

BUCHANAN:  Kerry, I mean, it seems to—it plays into an image of him  that the Republicans are trying to create that he is wishy-washy, and he‘s  soft on the war on terror and all the rest.

TONY BLANKLEY, WASHINGTON TIMES:  I think it‘s more than wishy-washy.  It seems to me that fundamentally, listening to everything he says, his heart isn‘t in winning a military war on terror.  And I don‘t think these are just nuances.  I think they suggest something more fundamental.  He really does see this as more of a crime kind of a problem, like prostitution or organized crime, and less like a military issue.

And it remains to be seen whether he is right, or Bush is right.  And he is not quite willing to spit it out.  But you can‘t help but get the feeling, after all of these kinds of  statements he has made, and then you look at his view over the last 20 years, which has always been, not a military solution, whether the first gulf war, whatever.  It just suggests, I think, that there‘s a fundamental difference between them.

MARANISS:  But how can you really ever win a war on terror?  How can you ever really stop it from happening?  That‘s a very human realistic thing to say.  It‘s preposterous to claim that you can stop terror from ever happening.

BUCHANAN:  You can defeat al Qaeda.  But you can‘t defeat terror.

MARANISS:  Yes.  And you can win the military victories you want, and still not stop it in the end.  You have to go beyond the military at some point.

BLANKLEY:  It‘s military plus.  But it‘s not perfect analogy, but piracy was stopped.  It took several decades, a few generations.

BUCHANAN:  It was stamped out.  But let‘s take terror.  The IRA terror was reduced, when they dealt with the Brits.  The Palestinian terror, when they dealt with the Jews and they dealt with the Palestinians, and Algerian terror, they had to deal politically with it.  Does there have to be political component here?  Is that what Kerry is saying?

BLANKLEY:  Yes.  But I think the zone where there is there is the biggest dispute is whether you go after nations that have weapons or rogue states, and may be supportive of terrorism.  Or whether you work through diplomacy to hem those countries in.  Sort of a combination of diplomacy, financial management, bank accounts, law enforcement.

And that seems to be maybe where the difference is.  Bush obviously—he has gone into Afghanistan.  He has gone into Iraq.  He has turned Libya.  He has turned Pakistan.  He is actually going after the nations that are dangerous.  I think Kerry is more likely to not go after the nations that are dangerous.

BUCHANAN:  David.

MARANISS:  I think that that is a distinction between them.  But I mean, Kerry—of the two nations they have really gone after, Kerry supported the war in Afghanistan.  He sort of supported the war in Iraq, but not the way it was carried out. 

BLANKLEY:  But you see, those are the only two they have really fought. 

BUCHANAN:  Let‘s go to the debate.  Did you see the debate in St.  Louis?  Because I was the most down person on the president‘s performance in Miami.  And I was the one person that thought he really just did a tremendous job.  Came out smoking like Joe Frasier in St. Louis. 

I thought (UNINTELLIGIBLE) was unfair to Kerry to throw out the very first question, why are you so wishy-washy?  But it seemed to me he won it clearly.  Do you think he stopped the hemorrhaging, and do you think he won the debate? 

BLANKLEY:  For me, I thought he won the debate.  I think at the minimum, he did a handsome job.  But if he had done that the first debate, I think this election would have been over.  But he didn‘t do it the first debate.  

He opened the door for Kerry, permitted Kerry to stand up there and look like a president.  And the second debate, while he did fine job, and he may or may not have won at some marginal level, I think it was sufficient to stop the hemorrhaging, but not sufficient to rebuild.

BUCHANAN:  Briefly, what do you think?

MARANISS:  I think what Kerry did was show that he could be president, in the first debate.

BUCHANAN:  First debate, clearly.

MARANISS:  That was the most important thing that‘s happened in the two debates overall.

BUCHANAN:  I think it is the most important thing, because I think he was almost dead in the water.  If he had failed in that first debate, I think the country was ready to conclude, well, we are going to have four more years of Bush.  I agree, with you.  I think the first debate, if Bush loses this; I think the first debate will have been decisive in the election.

The Kerry campaign, well, let‘s see.  We have got one more minute here I guess.  What are you looking for in Arizona?  I tell you what I am looking for is Bush to tone it back a little bit, but feeling he did very well in St. Louis, to repeat that performance.  I think Kerry is going to try to repeat Miami, so my guess is, you will get a dead tie in Arizona.

BLANKLEY:  I don‘t think you are going to see Bush pulling back.  I think you are going to see him—I don‘t know him or anything.  I think you are going to see him go very aggressively after Kerry‘s 20-year record, too liberal for America.  And I think that‘s the next piece of it.  I expect Bush to be every bit as aggressive as he was in the last debate.

MARANISS:   I think you are going to hear liberal, liberal, liberal.

BUCHANAN:  Just terrible.  We‘ll be right back with more SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY after this short break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BUCHANAN:  Scarborough country is off tomorrow night, but we have something special for you on Wednesday night.  After hours, Darrell Hall and John Oates join us to talk about their plans to get out the vote this election year.  That‘s Wednesday, starting at midnight Eastern Time, right here on MSNBC.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BUCHANAN:  That‘s it for this Monday night edition of SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  I‘m pat Buchanan in for Joe.  We will see you Wednesday night after hours, with run Reagan as we pick apart the final presidential debate from Arizona that begins at midnight eastern time, only on MSNBC.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

END   

Copy: Content and programming copyright 2004 MSNBC.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  Transcription Copyright 2004 FDCH e-Media, Inc. (f/k/a/ Federal Document Clearing House Inc., eMediaMillWorks, Inc.), ALL RIGHTS  RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material other than for research. User may not reproduce or redistribute the material except for user‘s personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon MSNBC and FDCH e-Media, Inc.‘s copyright or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,