updated 4/22/2005 2:32:58 PM ET 2005-04-22T18:32:58

Guest: Enrique Morones, Flash Sharrar, Matthew Sharrar, Marc Klaas, John Spencer, Raymond Arroyo, Matthew Bunson, Jim Martin

PAT BUCHANAN, GUEST HOST:  You‘re looking at Vatican City, live.  It is 4:00 in the morning on Tuesday.  The cardinals are just hours away from a second day of voting for the new pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

               

BUCHANAN (voice-over):  A puff of black smoke.  No pope is chosen today, as a billion Catholics wait and wonder what a new pontiff will mean for the church. 

And outrage in Florida.  A convicted rapist appears in court accused of murdering a little girl, whose mother he once dated.  What we can do to keep our children safe from these predators. 

Plus, citizens trying to protect America‘s borders.  One father is so angry about what happened to his son, he‘s leading a group of volunteers to protect the homeland. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) 

ANNOUNCER:  From the press room, to the courtroom, to the halls of Congress, Joe Scarborough has seen it all.  Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.

BUCHANAN:  Good evening and welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  I‘m Pat Buchanan, sitting in for Joe tonight. 

As thousands looked on from St. Peter‘s Square today, a black plume of smoke floated skyward, signaling that the cardinals had not yet agreed on a new pope. 

NBC‘s David Shuster is live tonight in Vatican City. 

David, what is the very latest? 

DAVID SHUSTER, NBC CORRESPONDENT:  Well, Pat, in just five hours, the College of Cardinals will meet again for their second day. 

This is a day that will follow the first day, in which there was a little bit of confusion, at least for those of us on the outside of the conclave, as to what was going on when the smoke first started coming out of the chimney.  At first, it seemed white, at least to many of those in the crowd.  And then it suddenly started to become black. 

But other than that sort of glitch, which was, of course, no fault of the College of the Cardinals, it was just as majestic a day as everyone had expected. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SHUSTER (voice-over):  This afternoon, the cardinals gathered in the Hall of the Benediction.  They prayed and sang a hymn invoking guidance of the Holy Spirit.  Then they began their procession. 

The 115 cardinals from 52 different countries walked solemnly to the Sistine Chapel.  The chapel has been set up with two rows of tables and chairs.  The seating is based on seniority and protocol.  The conclave began with the master of liturgical ceremonies clearing the room of all assistants and aides, declaring in Latin, “Everyone out.”

Starting Tuesday, there will be as many as two ballots in the morning and two in the afternoon.  The top of each ballot card says in Latin, “I elect as supreme pontiff.”  Each cardinal will fill out the bottom using disguised handwriting.  Each cardinal will then deliver his ballot to a silver plate in front of the altar and then tip the plate so the ballot falls into a large urn. 

Three cardinals, randomly selected, will count the ballots.  Three more will check the count and three more will collect ballots from cardinals who are sick.  If no cardinal receives two-thirds, or 77 of the 115 votes, the conclave continues.  At the end of each two-ballot session, the ballots and all notes from the cardinals are burned in this furnace, which leads to this chimney. 

Like today, when the first ballot produced no selection, chemicals are added to make the smoke turn black.  When a pope is chosen, other chemicals will turn the smoke white and then bells will ring out. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SHUSTER:  If the last three conclaves are a guide, this process should take between two and three days or between four and eight ballots. 

But, Pat, a couple of changes from 28 years ago.  First of all, the living arrangements are much better than they were back then.  And, secondly, there is now this sort of time of window, which, if they wait for 12 days, the rules change.  It then becomes, instead of two-thirds injury, then it just becomes a majority wins.  That holds out the possibility that some may try to run out the clock in order to get the votes they want for their candidate—Pat.

BUCHANAN:  David, quick question.  Over here in the United States, we were hearing about Tettamanzi and Arinze before, cardinals.  We now hear in “The New York Times” big reports the possibility of Cardinal Ratzinger, the German cardinal, very close to John Paul II.  Have you heard anything on that? 

SHUSTER:  The only thing we‘ve heard, Pat, is that it was quite a statement that Ratzinger made during his homily today during mass.  And that is, he restated his criticisms of the threats to the church, the idea of relativism, that people can sort of do whatever the winds tell them to do. 

That may essentially embolden those cardinals who are looking for a conservative voice.  By actually seeing Ratzinger deliver those messages during the homily, it may embolden them.  It may also embolden some of his critics.  But, clearly, Ratzinger is the one that all of the cardinals know. 

Remember, going into this, many of them simply don‘t know each other.  They may look to the senior cardinal, the dean of the College of Cardinals, for guidance when they have question marks about everybody else—Pat. 

BUCHANAN:  OK, thank you, David.

Here now to talk about what is at stake in this conclave and what it means for the future of the church in America and the world are Father Jim Martin, author of “In Good Company: The Fast Track From the Corporate World to Poverty, Chastity and Obedience,” Dr. Matthew Bunson, author of “The Pope Encyclopedia,” and in the center of the action in Vatican City, Raymond Arroyo from the Eternal Word Television Network. 

Let me start with you, Raymond.

What do you hear about these reports that Cardinal Ratzinger will be very strong in the early balloting? 

RAYMOND ARROYO, ETERNAL WORD TELEVISION NETWORK:  You know, Pat, there was a lot of speculation for the last week in the Italian press that Cardinal Ratzinger would have a strong showing and he indeed may.  He was very close to John Paul II, certainly embodied the theological notions of this past pope. 

The question is, is he a populist figure or seen as a populist figure by his fellow cardinals?  Now, we interviewed a few days ago two African cardinals who broke the gag rule that was this silence, grand silence, concerning the media.  And one of them claimed that he felt estranged from the process.  Cardinal Wako from Sudan, the archbishop of Khartoum, he said he didn‘t know many of these cardinals going into this conclave, and aside from a few meetings here at the Vatican a few years ago, didn‘t know one from the other and felt ill-equipped to really cast his vote. 

There apparently from other sources was a lot of divisiveness in some of their meetings.  And this is not necessarily a unified body of cardinals going into this conclave.  So, that‘s kind of the groundwork.  Ratzinger is only the central figure known internationally, as far as these cardinals are concerned. 

BUCHANAN:  All right. 

ARROYO:  So, he would naturally emerge as a candidate.  The question is, does he have the personality and the theology to carry through?  He certainly has the credentials. 

BUCHANAN:  All right.  Father...

ARROYO:  But the other thing is an open question.

BUCHANAN:  All right, Father James Martin, aside from holiness and aside from the fact they‘re going to be looking for obviously an orthodox, someone in the tradition, I believe, of Pope John Paul II, what are the other considerations that are likely to divide the conclave?  And my question goes to this.

Are there likely to be geographic or ethnic or ideological, in other words, Third World vs. First World, do you see those kinds of differences coming to the fore, and what do you see emerging? 

FATHER JIM MARTIN, AUTHOR, “IN GOOD COMPANY”:  Well, it‘s interesting. 

I wouldn‘t say exactly that they would be pitted against one another, but I‘d say that the cardinals who had come—who come from different parts of the world will come with different concerns.  Certainly, as Raymond Arroyo pointed out, the fellow from Sudan is going to be coming with concerns about poverty and social justice in his country, whereas someone from the West, from Europe, from the United States, might come in with more of a concern about secularism, about the sexual abuse scandal, about women‘s issues and lay participation. 

So, it‘s not so much that they‘re pitted against one another.  It‘s that they bring a very different world of experience to the election when they step in those doors. 

BUCHANAN:  OK, Dr. James Bunson—excuse me, Dr. Matthew Bunson, everyone agrees on one thing.  It‘s not going to be an American.  Why? 

MATTHEW BUNSON, AUTHOR, “THE POPE ENCYCLOPEDIA”:  Well, I think Cardinal Roger Mahony summed it up pretty well a few days ago, when he was still giving interviews, before the unanimous ban on press discussions by the cardinals, that an American pope would pose certain international problems for the papacy, in that a pope elected from the United States would be perceived, rightly or wrongly, as more or less an instrument of the world‘s last great superpower. 

The United States is a dominant force in the world as a cultural, economic and a political entity.  And tying the papacy to what might be seen as American interests could not be in the best interests of the Holy See. 

BUCHANAN:  All right, Raymond, let me go to you on that.  Do you see a

·         you know, hear talk, as Father Martin says, you know, the Third World has a different view of what the church ought to be focusing on and where it ought to go than the First World might or the Europeans might?  What do you see as the dominant consideration...

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  The dominant consideration in choosing this pope? 

ARROYO:  I think, certainly, it is reconciling the East with the West and the Northern Hemispheres with the Southern, the very poor Southern Hemispheres. 

Remember, the church is growing by leaps and bounds in Africa, in Latin America.  The question is, how deep are those Catholic roots and can you maintain those numbers?  Can you keep those people in the pews?  That‘s one of the challenges facing the next pope.  And I think it‘s an issue being bandied about, how to best do that?  Do we need to change approach?  Do we need a Latin American or an African pope to do that? 

But, again, Ratzinger seems to be the front-runner at this point.  The question, will the cardinals—are there enough cardinals to support him?  Certainly, he has the theological credentials.  And, as you heard today, he believes the great battle facing the church is relativism and that that needs to be set aright and, if you take faith into the world with a little more force, all can be balanced out in time. 

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  All right, Father Martin, I want to read you something that Sister Chittister said.  As the cardinals deliberate and they seek to discern the will of God, some Catholics believe there‘s a need for renewed openness when it comes to debating controversial issues such as female priests and contraception.

And Sister Chittister says: “Suppression of  thought, loss of ideas, closing down of discussion, that‘s not an act of faith.  That‘s not of the Holy Spirit.  Unity is good, but it has a dark side.”

Is not this issue of female priests a dead letter, a dead issue in the Catholic Church? 

MARTIN:  Well, I think it‘s important to see what she‘s actually saying. 

The magazine I work for, “America” magazine, said the same thing in an editorial this week.  I mean, Sister Joan is calling for discussion, basically.  And I think one of the important features of that call from her is that the Holy Spirit works not only in the hierarchy, but also in the laypeople.  So, it‘s this idea, the sensus fidelis and the sense of the faithful. 

So, I would support what she‘s saying, that it is important to discuss these things.  And I think taking certain things off the table for discussion I think really only hurts the church.  So, I would agree with that call for discussion. 

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  Dr. Bunson, haven‘t these issues, at least the issues of female priests, have been off the table for 2,000 years, according to Pope John Paul II? 

BUNSON:  Precisely. 

This was a matter that was visited quite extensively in the pontificate of Pope John Paul II and was investigated, for example, by the International Theological Commission, which reached essentially the same conclusion that had been reached for, as you say, some 2,000 years. 

And we need, I think, to differentiate, most importantly, what is church discipline, which would permit, for example, an end to priestly celibacy, which is a part of church law, and the ordination of women, which is part of church doctrine.  Those sort of very careful separation of those particular issues needs, I think, to be enunciated more clearly.

BUCHANAN:  All right. 

BUNSON:  And Catholics, I think, need to be better inculcated in what exactly the church is preaching. 

BUCHANAN:  OK.  OK. 

Father Jim Martin, Dr. Matthew Bunson, many thanks for your insights.

Raymond Arroyo, thank you as well. 

Once again, a live look at the Vatican. 

For complete coverage of the election of the pope, stay with MSNBC. 

Now, coming up next, it‘s happened again.  A released sex offender kills an innocent child.  Can these sex offenders be rehabilitated?  If not, what do we do with them?  A SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY showdown next. 

And a father takes desperate measures after his son is attacked. 

He‘ll tell us why he‘s leading a group of volunteers on the Mexican border. 

Stay with us. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BUCHANAN:  Are lax laws on sexual predators putting America‘s children at risk? 

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWS BREAK)

BUCHANAN:  Once again, the nation is sickened by a brutal attack on an innocent child. 

As you may know, the search for 13-year-old Sarah Lunde came to an end this weekend.  And it appears this little girl‘s life was cut short by a sex offender.  David Onstott, a convicted rapist, Onstott has confessed and been charged with first-degree murder and he‘s being held without bond. 

The painful reality in this case, as in the case of Jessica Lunsford and so many others, is, this could have been prevented.  Onstott was in police custody in March and, despite having two warrants out for his arrest in Michigan, was released on $1,000 bail. 

Joining me now, Marc Klaas of Klaas Kids Foundation, and Dr. John Spencer, a forensic psychologist. 

Marc, let me start with you.  It seems like, every week, we‘re doing one of these stories on some girl or even some boy who is the victim of some predator who‘s been let out of prison and folks don‘t know he‘s in the neighborhood or in the vicinity.  What do you do about it? 

MARC KLAAS, KLAAS KIDS FOUNDATION:  Well, I think we have 500,000 registered sex offenders in this country, and if we‘re making the determination that, instead of keeping them or the predators behind bars, we‘re going to put them back into the community, we‘re going to have to find much better ways to manage them. 

That begins with compliance.  That begins with forcing these guys to register on a regular basis.  And I think the only way you can do that is make the penalties for noncompliance much harsher than they are, not only make them, but enforce them.  As you and I both know, this guy Onstott was a noncompliant sex offender.  The penalty for noncompliance in the state of Florida is a five-year felony, yet they allowed him to walk on $1,000 bail. 

The second thing you have to do, Pat, is you have to give law enforcement an ability to verify these guys and track and monitor them.  Now, there are ankle bracelets, GPS ankle bracelets that even have memory in them, so that they can trace them back for a 24-hour period of time.  Now, if this kind of device is good enough for an icon like Martha Stewart, why in the world aren‘t these individuals who would want nothing more than to harm children wearing the same kind of a device? 

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  All right, John—let me take that to John Spencer, Dr.

Spencer.

KLAAS:  Sure.

BUCHANAN:  Dr. Spencer, look, you know, everybody‘s got rights.  And when people do their time in prison, they‘re supposed to be able to come back into society.

But there‘s a recidivism rate with these sex predators.  They go after little kids.  And don‘t the rights of children come ahead of the rights of these people?  And is that not a good idea that Marc Klaas has, put these people in a bracelet for life?  I mean Martha Stewart doesn‘t need it.  These people do. 

DR. JOHN SPENCER, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST:  Well, that‘s a social issue.  And every situation like this is a balance of freedom, our freedom as Americans vs. the protection of society.  And that‘s a larger social issue. 

When you say that you should put a bracelet on somebody for life, there may be conditions under which that would be appropriate.  And I certainly wouldn‘t be opposed to some of those—to a debate about that.  But I think more important is the zero tolerance that should be observed when dealing with potentially violent predators. 

BUCHANAN:  All right.  Well, the Florida law enforcement agencies have lost track of at least 18,000 sex offenders statewide. 

Marc Klaas, what does that tell you about Florida? 

KLAAS:  Well, you know what?  Florida is not unlike the rest of the country.  On average, 25 percent of the registered sex offenders—and there‘s 533,000 of them -- 25 percent are not compliant.  You know, the determination was made about 10 years ago, when President Clinton signed the National Megan‘s Law bill, that the safety of children is a higher priority than the privacy of the offenders.

But we‘re not enforcing the laws that are out.  We don‘t have the tools to enforce them.  Therefore, we have to strengthen them.  And I think two of the ways that I mentioned doing that are ways that we can absolutely cause more compliance and create a safer society.  I think to take it to the next level, we need a national sex offender database that‘s easily searched by anybody that wants to go onto the Internet and look through the various categories. 

BUCHANAN:  All right. 

Dr. John Spencer, isn‘t that, at the least, a good idea?  Get the names of all these rapists, sexual predators, convicts, the whole gang, and put them in a computer and let people access that computer? 

SPENCER:  Well, once again, we have certain rights of citizens of the United States. 

BUCHANAN:  I know we do, but can you balance those rights of people to be protected from these characters and the rights of these individuals to walk around unknown? 

SPENCER:  Well, it depends upon the depth of the database. 

I think that one of the other things that happens, of course, is that when offenders become identified in their community, it sometimes creates a problem. 

BUCHANAN:  What?  What problem?

SPENCER:  Well, I believe that the public has a right to know who lives around them, especially people who have committed violent crimes or crimes against children.

But, on the other hand, there are cases wherein people feel that they have nothing to lose.  They‘ve been tagged.  They‘ve been branded for life.  They‘ve had Hester‘s scarlet letter emblazoned upon them and they have nothing to lose. 

KLAAS:  No.

(CROSSTALK)

SPENCER:  Some of these people, there has to be some incentive.  If you‘re going to return these people to the community, there has to be some incentive for them to work. 

BUCHANAN:  All right, what about that, Marc Klaas? 

KLAAS:  Well, I think there‘s a couple of things. 

First of all, what he‘s doing is, he‘s turning the victimizers into the victims.  They‘re the guys that have committed the crimes.  We shouldn‘t be feeling sorry for those guys.  Here‘s a problem.  If you take a sex offender that lives near a state border and you don‘t make that information readily available to people that are in the adjoining states, then you‘re penalizing people simply for living on the border. 

We‘re dealing with not only a highly recidivist segment of the community, but also a very transient segment of the criminal community. 

BUCHANAN:  All right, Doctor, let me—Dr. John Spencer, look, Dr.  Spencer, suppose you had a couple of daughters, 6 and 8 or 10 years old, and you found out that down the street is some character that‘s been, maybe 20 years ago, he was convicted of a couple of counts of sexual abuse of children.  What would you do? 

SPENCER:  I would do what I‘ve done with my children in any case.  And I think the parents are the greatest safeguard that we have in our society, educating our children about how to be safe and doing drills. 

BUCHANAN:  Yes.  There‘s a lot of single moms out there that work. 

SPENCER:  Well, they work, but that doesn‘t prevent them from having a family time together and discussing situations, discussing strategies if you get lost at the mall, discussing having a private code word.  Don‘t go with just any adult. 

BUCHANAN:  All right. 

Let me ask Marc Klaas quickly.

What would you do, Marc? 

KLAAS:  Well, I would certainly do what the vast majority of citizens do.  And that‘s use that information to protect my children and to protect myself. 

Here‘s the thing.  We are not a vigilante society.  But they bring up this issue of vigilantism and branding these guys time after time after time for other reasons as well.  These individuals have to be outed.  It works as an external... 

BUCHANAN:  OK. 

KLAAS:  Well, it works as a lot of things.  There‘s many reasons to do it.

BUCHANAN:  Thank you very much.  Marc Klaas, thank you very much. 

KLAAS:  Sure.

BUCHANAN:  Thank you, Dr. John Spencer. 

One on one with President Bush coming up.  Gas prices and taxes, what the president is saying about the issues important to your family. 

But, first, we‘ll talk live with a father who‘s turning his rage over what happened to his son into a mission to protect the homeland. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BUCHANAN:  Straight ahead, we‘ll talk to one man who says, if the governor can‘t—government can‘t secure your borders, he will. 

But, first, here‘s the latest news your family needs to know. 

(NEWS BREAK)

BUCHANAN:  You‘ve heard about the Minutemen, volunteers who say they are protecting our wide-open borders from an invasion by illegal aliens.  Critics say they are overzealous, power-hungry super-patriots who are exploiting fear. 

Well, whatever they are, there are now more of them.  A new group called the Yuma Patriots started patrolling the border between Arizona and Mexico this weekend.  There‘s a twist with this group.  Unlike the Minutemen, these volunteers are on a mission sparked by an act of violence against one man‘s son. 

Joining me now, Flash Sharrar and his son Matthew. 

Welcome. 

Flash, you started this a few weeks ago and you‘ve already had 50 volunteers or more.  Have you caught anybody trying to sneak into the country? 

FLASH SHARRAR, YUMA PATRIOTS:  Absolutely.  We have a lot of traffic coming across our borders at this time. 

As we speak, probably 400 or 500, plus reports from quite a few citizens throughout the area reporting to us, instead of the authorities. 

BUCHANAN:  All right, let me ask you, is Matthew there? 

F. SHARRAR:  Yes, sir, he is. 

BUCHANAN:  Matthew, tell us what happened to you. 

MATTHEW SHARRAR, ARMY NATIONAL GUARD:  What happened to me is, I came home from a weekend of visiting my friends in San Diego and went out to the Imperial Sand Dunes to visit with my aunt, who I hadn‘t seen since I‘d been home.  And I ended up getting robbed at gunpoint by a car full of illegals.  They took my new vehicle I just bought when I got home from Iraq.  They took my cell phone.  They took $700 cash that I had on me as well. 

BUCHANAN:  You mean to tell me you served in Iraq and against the terrorists and the Iraqi irregulars, you‘re fighting against them, and then you came home, and people who had broken into your country held you up, a gang of them, and stole your car? 

M. SHARRAR:  Yes, that‘s exactly what happened. 

BUCHANAN:  At gunpoint? 

M. SHARRAR:  Yes, two of them had guns. 

BUCHANAN:  Uh-huh. 

This was—and this is what motivated your father; is that right? 

M. SHARRAR:  This is exactly what motivated him. 

BUCHANAN:  Flash, well, tell us—tell us how many people you have now with you and what you‘re doing out there. 

F. SHARRAR:  Well, first of all, we‘re taking a surveillance of the area and checking where the traffic—the high-trafficked areas are in our community. 

And it really amazed not only myself, but the entire group, on the amount of traffic that is coming across daily, as well as hourly, and especially some of the reports from the citizens who have contacted the Border Patrol, the sheriff‘s department time and time again and nobody showed up to their needs.  We have one report right before I came down here was at least 400 illegal aliens between 11:00 and 4:00 p.m. at a rest stop loading into vehicles and then heading east to go in the direction of Phoenix and things like this. 

It just amazed me.  The whole group was appalled at what we saw.  You ought to see the health issues down on the border. 

BUCHANAN:  All right.  

Let me bring in now—let me bring in Enrique Morones, president of the Border Angels, a group that gives aid to people crossing the border. 

Enrique, do you have a problem with citizens like Flash and Matt helping out the Border Patrol, helping out law enforcement? 

ENRIQUE MORONES, BORDER ANGELS:  Pat, the issue is, I have a problem with people taking the law into their own hands.  And there‘s been a lot of abuse by people on both sides of the border.

And we just had an issue of a veteran from Iraq that held five people at gunpoint and detained them until the Border Control came.  And I think that is the wrong thing to do.  And, usually, it‘s the migrants that are getting the worst end of the deal when it comes to being held up by gunpoint.  And I don‘t know how they were able to identify that these people who had this unfortunate incident, with this veteran from Iraq knew that they were undocumented. 

It‘s terrible that that happened.  But that is the exception.  It‘s not the rule.  And I do have a problem with vigilantes going to the border.

BUCHANAN:  Why do you say that?  Enrique, why do you say that is the exception?  I think I just saw statistics.  In Oklahoma, 25 percent of the prisoners are illegal aliens.  In Los Angeles, 95 percent of the outstanding warrants for murder—I think there‘s about 1,500 of them—are illegal aliens. 

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  Two-thirds of all the outstanding warrants are for illegal aliens.  How can you say there‘s not a higher incidence of crime against people who commit crimes to get into the country when you‘ve got those kinds of numbers? 

MORONES:  Because those types of numbers reflect that their crime has been crossing the border without documents.  And that‘s why they‘re in jail.  They‘re not in jail for violent crimes.  Those are exceptions. 

And those numbers have been distorted.  They don‘t tell you exactly why they are in jail.  And in the overwhelming majority of those cases, their crime has been crossing the border without papers.  And that‘s why they have a criminal record, not for a violent act, not for anything like what you‘re implying by making that statement or the media has been implying.  And I think it‘s important that we tell the truth about this.

BUCHANAN:  But, Enrique, you‘re not telling me that the crime rate is not higher among illegal aliens than it is among American citizens, are you?  Because every number I‘ve ever seen shows it‘s far higher among illegal aliens who have broken into the country than it is among American citizens. 

MORONES:  If you take out the crime of breaking into the country, like you say, then, without a doubt, the undocumented people are not here committing crimes.  It‘s the exception to the rule.  They don‘t want to attract attention.

They‘re here looking for work.  When was the last time you saw a Latino on the corner with a sign that says, will work for food?  You don‘t see it.  The people are here to work.  They‘re economic migrants.  That‘s why they cross the border.  You‘ll always have an exceptional case.  And that‘s wrong.  It‘s wrong to have violence in either direction.

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  All right, let me go back to Flash. 

Flash, President Bush, he met with Vicente Fox three weeks ago.  And he had this statement to make about groups like yours, the Minutemen.  Let‘s listen. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  I‘m against vigilantes in the United States of America.  I‘m for enforcing the law in a rational way.  That‘s why we‘ve got a Border Patrol.  And they ought to be in charge of enforcing the border. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BUCHANAN:  Flash, do you think you‘re a vigilante?  Do you think the president is talking about you? 

F. SHARRAR:  No, sir, I don‘t.  I‘m not a vigilante of any kind. 

Also, I‘d like to comment on the fact of what‘s coming across our borders, like the gentleman said, first of all, we should change our border policies 100 percent.  The migrant worker that‘s coming in into our area to work are very harmless.  What we have is the people who are bringing them here that are creating the violence, the money-making, the drugs.  Those are the problems.  And they‘re not an exception to the rule.

They are becoming more broad and more brazen.  If you think about a trailer being shot through with two bullet holes to steal an Ford F-450 and my son being held at gunpoint after serving his country, I think the gentleman‘s wrong.  Personally, I think the president‘s wrong.  I‘m not a vigilante. 

I voted for you, Mr. Bush.  You need to change your policies on the border.  We need to get some paperwork for the migrant workers.  Take the money out of the situation, and you‘ll stop the crime immediately. 

BUCHANAN:  All right, Enrique, let me ask you this. 

Look, I understand why you would want to help people in the desert. 

And I know some of these Minutemen saw some of them.  They were thirsty.  They took them food and water, as any human being would do.  But why do you oppose citizens helping law enforcement?  I‘m sure, in your neighborhood, if there‘s suspicious people around and you‘ve had burglaries, you‘d call the cops.  Would you—I mean, if you saw a bunch of people sneaking into the country, would you turn them in? 

MORONES:  If I saw people in my neighborhood committing a crime, I would call the cops.  I would not go out there with guns and call my neighbors to go out there with guns and turn this into a vigilante situation. 

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  Do you think—why do you say the Minutemen are vigilantes when many of them are not carrying guns?  There‘s not been a violent incident involving one of them.  And from everything I know, Matthew and Flash have not been involved in a single violent encounter.  They‘re helping the Border Patrol. 

MORONES:  I know nothing about Matthew and Flash, besides what you‘ve told me.  And I think that was horrible, what took place, the way that they described it.

But as far as violent incidences, there‘s been that have several reported.  And not all of the people that are going out there are vigilantes.  I think some people are going with good intentions.  But it‘s that one person that is a recipe for disaster.  And, unfortunately, it‘s not one.  About a third of the people going out there, the Aryan Alliance, the National Alliance, the Aryan Brotherhood, those are not good groups. 

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  Enrique, is the problem even the Aryan Alliance going out there, is it 500,000 people breaking into the country without being stopped every year?  Is not that the problem?  People are invading your country and these folks are trying to point them out to the Border Patrol.  Why don‘t you come down hard and say, president of the United States, I agree with you; we shouldn‘t have the Minutemen, but you should defend our border? 

MORONES:  The United States invaded Mexico in 1846, stole half of its territory.  That‘s the only invasion that‘s taken place in the last 150 years.

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  What do you mean?  The Mexicans across the border into Texas first?  What are you talking about?  They signed the agreement.  They gave it away.  Then they sold us that purchase right down there on the Mexican border.  They sold it to us, 1853.  They got $10 million, Gadsden Purchase. 

(CROSSTALK)

MORONES:  That‘s not the way it works.  The victors always write the history books. 

But, if you look at the real case history, if you look at the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, these people have the right to be crossing into these territories.  To have Spanish as a second language, there‘s historical precedence for this. 

BUCHANAN:  OK. 

(CROSSTALK)

MORONES:  But I believe in the sovereignty of one‘s nation.

BUCHANAN:  Let me give Flash the last chance.

Flash, he says they‘ve got a right to come into your country.  What do you say? 

F. SHARRAR:  You only have a right to come into my country if you do it properly and you do it honorably.  There‘s not one person—we‘re all immigrants and we did it the right way.  Why don‘t we turn time back and see how every immigrant that came to this country 100 years ago?  If we were to do it today like we did then, then our borders would be safe. 

But until we change the border rules and the immigration laws, we will continue to have this problem.  We can only stop so much.  But we will be there every day of the week, whatever it takes. 

BUCHANAN:  All right. 

Let me want to talk to Matthew for a second here. 

Matthew, you are in the California National Guard? 

M. SHARRAR:  Yes, sir.  That‘s right. 

BUCHANAN:  And how long did you serve in Iraq? 

M. SHARRAR:  I was there for almost 12 months. 

BUCHANAN:  Twelve months.  What were you doing there? 

M. SHARRAR:  I can‘t really talk about that with you. 

BUCHANAN:  You were serving in a combat unit; is that fair to say? 

M. SHARRAR:  That‘s fair to say. 

BUCHANAN:  And you‘re not allowed to talk about what you did.  OK. 

How do you feel about how you were treated when you came home? 

M. SHARRAR:  I was treated great until I was robbed out in the sand dunes.

F. SHARRAR:  Terrorized in the sand dunes. 

MORONES:  How do you know they were undocumented?  And why did they have a vehicle and a weapon?  Very unusual. 

F. SHARRAR:  Yes, very unusual, seeing as how they found the car on the Mexican side and they haven‘t—they‘ve recovered the car.  We‘re just waiting for the Mexican authorities to release it to us.  And...

BUCHANAN:  Enrique, it sounds as though they robbed Matthew, stole his car and took it across the border. 

MORONES:  And that‘s wrong. 

F. SHARRAR:  That‘s exactly what happened.

MORONES:  And that‘s wrong.  And that‘s wrong.  But don‘t give the impression that...

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  Why would you—when people are doing that—Enrique, that‘s what I don‘t understand.  Why would you not help put a stop to that? 

MORONES:  We‘re putting a stop to the vigilantism that is taking place. 

F. SHARRAR:  There‘s no vigilantes. 

MORONES:  Also, we believe that there should be bridges of communication, not these triple fences of separation, 3,200 deaths, 1,600 people incapacitated. 

BUCHANAN:  All right. 

MORONES:  This has been going on for the last 10 years.  We need a new policy, I agree.  But this isn‘t the way to do it.

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  We do have to break.  We do have to take a break now. 

Enrique, Flash, Matthew, all of you, thanks very much for coming on. 

It‘s a controversial and hot issue.  We‘ll be dealing with it more. 

Coming up next, the president one on one with CNBC‘s Ron Insana, what President Bush is saying about pocketbook issues like out-of-control gasoline prices and his tax cuts. 

We‘ll be right back, Ron Insana.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWS BREAK)

BUCHANAN:  The president was in South Carolina today pitching his Social Security plan, but he found time to get a burger and to sit down with CNBC‘s Ron Insana in Washington to talk about the stock market, tax cuts and gas prices. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) 

RON INSANA, CNBC ANCHOR:  Some of your loyal opponents on Capitol Hill today made some cynical comments suggesting that you don‘t mind higher oil prices because they help some of your friends in the oil business.  How would you respond to a statement like that? 

BUSH:  I‘m the president of everybody.  And I—look, I go to Fort Hood, Texas, and I down at a table with a young soldier and we‘re talking about his tour of duty.  And one of the first questions he asked me is, what are you going to do about gasoline prices, Mr. President? 

I mean, here‘s a kid who has put his life on the line for our nation‘s freedom and for peace and he‘s worried about gasoline prices.  Of course I‘m worried about gasoline prices.  And the high price of crude drives the price of gasoline.  And, listen, I‘ve been talking to Congress for three or four years now about getting a plan in place, getting a bill to my desk that reflects a comprehensive energy plan. 

INSANA:  We sat down about 18 months ago last time to talk about the economy.  And things were starting to take on a much better tone than they had in years prior.  And I asked you at the time why Americans should rehire you as the CEO of the United States. 

Right now, only 41 percent of Americans in an NBC News poll—I know how much you love polls—are having a favorable reaction towards your handling of the economy. 

BUSH:  Yes. 

INSANA:  How do you reassure them that their decision to rehire you was the right one? 

BUSH:  Well, to keep pro-growth policies in place, keep taxes low.  It would be a disaster to raise taxes, in my judgment.  It would take money out of the economy.  It would give it to the government to spend.  It would hurt small businesses and entrepreneurs. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BUCHANAN:  Here with me, Ron Insana, host of CNBC‘s “Street Signs” and the individual who interviewed the president of the United States today. 

Ron, tell me, when you mentioned the president, that folks were talking about how the gas prices were helping his oil buddies, what did his body language tell you, besides the words? 

INSANA:  You know, he was surprisingly calm and found it rather amusing. 

I mean, I expected him to bristle a little bit at that one, but he took it very much in stride.  I was kind of surprised that he was—that it didn‘t irk him in some manner.  And it really didn‘t.  He just said, look, you know, I‘ve been talking about this for four years.  You know, instead of fighting me, why don‘t you work with me?

And I thought, you know, actually, to a certain extent, that was a pretty reasonable answer to give.  I mean, you can quibble with whether or not you agree with the energy policy or not, but, you know, most people who engage in these conspiracy theories about ratcheting up the price of oil just to help out your buddies when you‘re the president of the United States might be going a little bit too far. 

BUCHANAN:  Yes, I think so.  But I think your needling—your questions were good, Ron. 

INSANA:  Thank you, sir. 

BUCHANAN:  I have to say, you were—it‘s the type of interview where you‘re not going to get another one.  

(LAUGHTER)

INSANA:  Well, I guess, as a journalist, I should be happy about that, but, you know, I‘m not...

BUCHANAN:  I was saying, I wouldn‘t—I don‘t think I‘d talk—well, I didn‘t—at least I didn‘t when I was in the White House, didn‘t talk that tough to presidents I was asking questions to or talking to. 

But let me ask you this.  He talked about taxes.  Did he indicate what he is going to do on this estate tax?  Republicans are trying to eliminate the whole thing in the House.  They might cut a deal in the Senate.  Did he indicate total opposition to any new taxes? 

INSANA:  You mean to any new tax hikes? 

We didn‘t discuss that particular item during the conversation.  I mean, one of the interesting things about a presidential interview is, you get a set period of time.  And Social Security and energy dominated the conversation, as did the trade deficit, the value of the dollar and whether or not China would float its currency.  So, we didn‘t get specifically to the estate tax. 

I mean, I suspect that, you know, if they can cut some reasonable deal, he might go along with it, although he said, with respect to Social Security, for instance, he will not at all approve of any increase in the payroll tax to help fund Social Security. 

BUCHANAN:  My goodness.

(CROSSTALK)

INSANA:  So, he said, look, that‘s where I am, no new taxes. 

BUCHANAN:  Boy, that‘s—took that off the table. 

INSANA:  Yes. 

BUCHANAN:  Ron, you ribbed the president a little bit about the stock market‘s big fall last week.  Let‘s take a look. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) 

INSANA:  Someone joked earlier that, you know, the bad news is, the stock market is going down.  The good news is that my Social Security isn‘t in there. 

BUSH:  Yes. 

(LAUGHTER)

INSANA:  Is this the wrong time to be talking about putting Social Security money into the stock market? 

BUSH:  No. 

Listen, now is the right time to talk about permanently fixing Social Security, because, every year we wait costs $600 billion more for the next generation.  In other words, it‘s going to cost that much more money a year. 

(END VIDEOTAPE) 

BUCHANAN:  OK, Ron, let me ask you again, you were needling him good there.  Does he—do you sense he‘s confident that he can get anything passed on Social Security? 

INSANA:  I think there‘s a lot of room for compromise. 

He was pretty adamant on a couple of things, one, that personal savings accounts have to be part of any final program that gets passed and that they need to be or that they will be voluntary, and that anyone who does not want to involve themselves with these so-called PSAs doesn‘t have to.  They‘ll have to live with whatever Social Security looks like after they fix the solvency issue, but it will be entirely an voluntary program. 

You know, “The Washington Post,” Pat, was out this morning with a piece about how the working poor are a little too afraid and overwhelmed to make those investment choices themselves and would prefer to let the government do it for them, as the government has for 70 years. 

BUCHANAN:  Right. 

INSANA:  But he said, hey, listen, it‘s a voluntary program.  If you don‘t want to do it, you don‘t have to.  But he feels it‘s a vital component of any kind of reform effort that he‘s going to undertake and ultimately sign. 

BUCHANAN:  OK.  He‘s holding the line. 

INSANA:  Yes. 

BUCHANAN:  Good for you, Ron.  Thanks very much for coming on and telling us about your interview. 

INSANA:  Always a pleasure, Pat. 

BUCHANAN:  You can see more of Ron‘s interview with President Bush tomorrow on “Today” and at 5:00 p.m. tomorrow night on CNBC, or tomorrow afternoon. 

We‘ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BUCHANAN:  Want to check out more about any of tonight‘s topics?  Be sure to check out Joe‘s Web site at Joe.MSNBC.com.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BUCHANAN:  Tomorrow night on SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, the 10th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. 

A 1-year-old girl became the symbol of the 168 innocent lives lost.  We will talk to her mother about how she and her city managed to heal and how our country has changed since that fateful day—that and much more tomorrow night on SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. 

Keep it tuned to MSNBC all night.  The College of Cardinals meets again at 3:00 a.m. Eastern.  And we will break in with any news out of Rome. 

Be sure to watch Imus tomorrow morning.  His guests include Senator Rick Santorum. 

Got something to say?  Send us an e-mail at Joe@MSNBC.com

“HARDBALL” is next.  Good night. 

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

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