Guest: Frank Morales, John Timoney, Roy Innis, Julian Epstein, Adam Smith, Duncan Hunter, Craig Unger, Peter King
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST: Tonight‘s top headline: Michael Moore is infecting the Democratic Party. The “Real Deal”? Kerry and company should cut their ties before it‘s too late.
Hey, welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, where no passport is required and only common sense is allowed.
SCARBOROUGH: Michael Moore and his Hollywood pals are whipping the anti-Bush crowd into a frenzy. But at home and abroad, it‘s started to look like it is going to backfire. And we‘ve got some numbers to prove it.
And did the gloves come off? Bush and Cheney blast Kerry and Edwards on Iraq, saying, you shouldn‘t vote to send troops to war and then vote against funding them. But the two Johns hit back, saying they are proud of their Iraq records. It‘s a SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY showdown tonight.
Then, can you believe anarchists are planning to do fake terrorist attacks in New York City to disrupt the GOP Convention? They call it civil disobedience. But will their protests aid al Qaeda? We‘re going to be asking one protester how far they plan to go.
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: Welcome to our show.
You know, Michael Moore is a virus that‘s infecting American politics and it looks right now like he may infect the Democratic Party next. It‘s time for tonight‘s “Real Deal.”
Now, I have been predicting for weeks that Michael Moore‘s movie, “Fahrenheit 9/11,‘ would backfire on Democrats if they were actually seen embracing the radical director. A “Washington Post” poll released today suggests that I may be right. After weeks of Democratic leaders parroting Moore‘s baseless conspiracy theories on 9/11, on Afghanistan and on the war in Iraq, today‘s “Post” poll shows that Americans‘ approval of the president‘s handling of the war on terror has actually shot up since the release of “Fahrenheit 9/11.”
And John Kerry‘s numbers have gone down during that same time period. The Kerry camp can‘t say that I haven‘t warned them. I have tried to be a good friend, but Americans are repulsed by political hate speech and by those who promote it. Democrats flocked to the premier of Moore‘s movie. And it paints U.S. soldiers as uncaring beasts who brag about shooting at anything that moves while listening to heavy metal in their tanks.
And, of course, Americans are equally concerned that Michael Moore the man has equated Islamic terrorists in Iraq to our founding fathers and even suggested that more Americans need to die in Iraq before God and the Iraqi people can forgive us.
You know, John Kerry, Whoopi Goldberg didn‘t help your cause last week
and you didn‘t help yourself either by calling her and other movie stars
who called our president a killer and a thug, and you called them—quote
· “the best America has to offer.”
But, mark my words, you will lose the presidency if you continue to condone a filmmaker whose own statements suggests that he may be cheering for our enemy and who is calling for the killing of more Americans for sick redemptive purposes.
Hey, John Kerry, this is your Sista Souljah moment. The only question is, will you be as smart as Bill Clinton to turn your back on radicals in your own party while convincing people like me that you will provide America the type of steady leadership that we so desperately need in times of crises? Saying no to Michael Moore‘s brand of hate speech will be a great step in that direction. And I personally hope that you take it. And that‘s tonight‘s “Real Deal.”
Now, Congressman Peter King is a New York Republican. And Craig Unger is the author of “The House of Bush and the House of Saud.”
Craig Unger, you and Michael Moore suggest that George W. Bush is bought and paid for by the Saudis. I want to know what your read is on al Qaeda terrorist al-Makky‘s surrender to Saudi officials today. Why did he it? And should the Saudis have offered amnesty?
CRAIG UNGER, AUTHOR, “HOUSE OF BUSH, HOUSE OF SAUD”: Well, I‘m not sure whether he should have or not.
I think what you see going on in Saudi Arabia is that they do make concerted efforts to stop terrorism, but for each time they do that, they move in the other direction at once—at the same time. That is, for example, Crown Prince Abdullah recently blamed all the terrorism in Saudi Arabia on Zionists. So you see the whole country being pulled in two directions at once. It‘s really sort of a low level civil war that‘s going on there now.
SCARBOROUGH: Congressman King, I want to ask you the same question.
And, obviously, a lot of Saudi leaders have said some despicable things in the past. Are the Saudis our friends here or are they our enemies?
REP. PETER KING ®, NEW YORK: Joe, I think the jury is still out.
I think the Saudis are getting much better and they‘re doing it for their own survival. For too many years, they tried to play both ends against the middle. They were allies with us, but they were also funding the madrasas and they were funding bin Laden and they were really again playing both ends against the middle.
But ever since the severe attacks by al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia, they have gotten much better. They are not doing it because they have seen the light. They‘re doing it because they want to survive. And again, you would like real redemption, but if they are doing it just for survival, it‘s good enough, because right now they are working much more closely with us than they ever have before.
SCARBOROUGH: And, of course, they are making the anti-Semitic remarks that Craig Unger talked about.
But, Peter King, your congressman—your senator, actually, Hillary Clinton, is embracing Michael Moore. She introduced the movie last week. But I want to read to you what Michael Moore said about American troops.
He said—quote—“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.”
Peter King, it sounds like Hillary Clinton is embracing a man who is calling for the death of more American soldiers. Am I reading something more into this statement than is actually there?
KING: Well, I think you are seeing it right. I don‘t know if Hillary Clinton sees it the same way. And that is part of the myopia that people like Senator Clinton and Terry McAuliffe and Charlie Rangel and other Democrats are suffering from.
They are so obsessed with defeating George Bush that they are losing
sight of the fact that Michael Moore is a moral lowlife who has really gone
SCARBOROUGH: Peter, but I don‘t understand, OK? I don‘t understand how anybody can read this statement other than what it says. It says, “The 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.”
Shouldn‘t somebody call Terry McAuliffe, Hillary Clinton, and these other Democratic leaders on the carpet for endorsing a man that is calling for the letting of more American blood so God and the Iraqi people will forgive us?
SCARBOROUGH: Seriously, I have never heard anything like this in American politics before.
KING: No, Joe, I agree with you 100 percent. I agree with you 100 percent.
My only point is, these people are so obsessed with getting George Bush that they lose sight of it. And it‘s wrong. They are going to end up losing votes for John Kerry. They‘re going to end up losing votes for the Democratic Party. And they are going really I think undermine democracy in this country to have major mainstream politics aligning themselves in any way with somebody such as Michael Moore. It‘s disgraceful.
SCARBOROUGH: Craig Unger, let me bring you back in here.
Now, and I told you the other night when I had you on here, obviously, I think you and Peter King and I can agree on many things. We can agree that this administration and past administrations have been too close to the Saudi government while they were playing Osama bin Laden. During the ‘90s, obviously, they were funding some of his organizations through some of their networks.
But aren‘t there some things in Michael Moore‘s movie that embarrasses you? And these statements that I have read, don‘t they embarrass you when Michael Moore suggests that more Americans need to die so God and the Iraqi people will forgive us?
UNGER: I actually think it‘s ridiculous to interpret it that way.
I think when he is saying is that, unfortunately, sadly, that‘s the price we‘re paying right now and that may be what it takes before America becomes politically aware of the mistake that we have made. When it comes to terrorism, the war on terror is not in Iraq. They went the wrong direction there. The real war should have started with the Saudis.
And to me, the elephant in the living room has been this relationship the Bush family has had with the Saudis. Let‘s go to September 13. Prince Bandar is in the White House with George W. Bush. And what is not going on is, Bush should have said, hey, 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi. Osama bin Laden is Saudi. Al Qaeda was founded and funded by Saudis. We have got to crack down. We should had been investigating the people on those planes.
SCARBOROUGH: Craig, I agree with you.
SCARBOROUGH: Craig, I have got to go back, though, because you say you think it‘s ridiculous to interpret it as Michael Moore calling for the death of more Americans. In his April 24 newsletter on his Web page, he said he opposed the United Nations going into Iraq and helping Americans out because, 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.”
If that‘s not Michael Moore saying Americans need to die, then what is he saying?
UNGER: He is saying that‘s what is happening, sadly.
SCARBOROUGH: No, no, no. Yes, sadly, 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, listen, Craig, I respect what you have done in the past. And I want to respect what you say in the future. I just don‘t know how you can defend a statement like this. It‘s OK for you just to say to us he shouldn‘t have said that. That was irresponsible.
UNGER: I think reasonable people can disagree on this. I interrupt it differently.
I think the real issue here is who is president of the United States and what he is doing about terrorism and that there, you had an episode right after 9/11 when the president of the United States should have been focused on our national security. He should have began a massive criminal investigation. And instead, he waved people out of the country.
KING: That is totally untrue. The fact is, it was Richard Clarke who gave the approval for every one of those people to go.
And it is absolutely disgraceful for someone like Mr. Unger to try to suggest otherwise. We can have honest disagreements about policy. But to suggest that the president of the United States would allow potential murderers of 3,000 Americans to leave this country because of some imaginary financial links that you have conjured up in your imagination is an absolute disgrace.
SCARBOROUGH: You know what else, though? You know the side of the story that is not being told also is, Michael Moore is going out there saying, oh, the president let the bin Ladens leave the country when he should have kept them there, despite the fact we know that‘s not the truth. It was Richard Clarke.
And yet, a year later, a year after 9/11, in a debate in Telluride, Colorado, with Christopher Hitchens, you know what he said about Osama bin Laden? He said Osama bin Laden was innocent until proven guilty. Again, nobody is calling Michael Moore on these inconsistencies, are they, Peter King?
UNGER: I don‘t know if I can get a word in edgewise, but the idea
that Richard Clarke has more power than the president of the United States
is absurd. Dick Cheney was saying that Richard Clarke was totally out of
the loop. Suddenly, you‘re putting him in a position where he‘s more
powerful, has more control over national security
SCARBOROUGH: Hold on a second, Peter King.
SCARBOROUGH: Hold on a second. I know you don‘t want me to get this information out, but I got to get it out because our people need to know the true story.
In an interview in the end of May with “The Hill” newspaper in Washington, D.C., Richard Clarke said: On September 12, September 13 September and 14, it didn‘t get any higher than me. I made the decision to let the Osama bin Ladens out of the country and I would do it again.
UNGER: Well, I interviewed him on exactly the same subject. And he said he approved it pending approval by the FBI. And I asked him if the FBI vetted the people on the planes. He said he didn‘t know. And that‘s in an interview I had with him that was published in “Vanity Fair” and in my book.
UNGER: The question is—I mean, let me ask you this. Do you know who was on those planes? Do you know whether they had ties to terrorism? If they did, is that fine to let them out? Should none of them have been detained as material witnesses?
KING: No, because Richard Clarke himself has said as recently as two months ago that he has not heard of one person on those planes who should have been kept, or there was anything suspicious about them at all.
This is entirely—entire nonsense you are making up and it‘s scandalous to be saying that about the president of the United States. Dick Clarke, who is the hero of all the liberals in the United States, he has come forward and said this was decided entirely by him. And to this day, he has not heard of one person on those planes who should have been kept.
So this is with the hindsight of almost three years. And he is not aware of anyone that should have been detained. So for you to be keep peddling that nonsense, you should be ashamed of yourself. You really should, but not nearly as bad as Michael Moore.
SCARBOROUGH: Congressman King, thank you so much. Craig Unger, thank you.
And, of course, one other thing we don‘t hear about is, Richard Clarke said the whole Osama bin Laden issue was just a tempest in a teapot. You‘re not going to be hearing that from friends of Michael Moore either, are you?
Coming up, as the John-John ticket hits the campaign trail, will voting records in the Senate be their downfall? More on the potentially fatal flip-flopping straight ahead on SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
And later, President Bush declined an invitation to speak to the NAACP convention. But when they accuse him of lynching a black man and being a salve master, can you blame him?
Plus, Florida residents can rest easy, as a 600-pound tiger that escaped has been located. And we have got the full story and some amazing footage still to come.
SCARBOROUGH: John Kerry for the war, John Kerry against the war. John Edwards for the war, John Edwards now against the war. It‘s so confusing. So we‘re going to clear it up for you when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My opponent said he is proud that he and his running mate voted against funding the troops. Members of Congress should not vote to send troops into battle and then vote against funding them.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
BUSH: And then brag about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: President Bush comes out swinging against Kerry-Edwards‘ flip-flopping support the war on terror. But will the Democratic ticket be taken to the mat because of their own voting records on the war?
With me now, we‘ve got Congressman Duncan Hunter of California. He is of course the chairman of the Armed Services Committee. And we also have Congressman Adam Smith of Washington. He‘s a member of the House Armed Services Committee also.
Thank you, gentlemen, for being with us.
Adam Smith, before we get to the president‘s comments today—I know you heard the first segment. I wonder—and I know you—you‘re a very responsible guy. I found you to be just one of the better thinkers on either side of aisle. I‘m curious. Do you disassociate yourself with comments that Michael Moore makes regarding more troops needing to be killed so the Iraqis and God can forgive us and comparing of course, comparing, of course, the—the Iraqi terrorists to our Minutemen?
REP. ADAM SMITH (D), WASHINGTON: Certainly, yes, I disassociate myself with those comments. Michael Moore is a filmmaker. He is doing what he is doing. But I haven‘t seen the movie, so I shouldn‘t talk specifically about that. But the comments that you‘ve been reading that he posted on his Web site are something certainly I don‘t support.
SCARBOROUGH: Should John Kerry also do the same thing?
SMITH: Well, there‘s a lot of people talking about a lot of issues.
John Kerry is running for president and he has got a lot of things that he‘s trying to get out and get a message out.
I think it would be a distraction to drag him into what Michael Moore has said or what any of these books have said on either side. He has got to focus on the issues and what he wants to do for the American people. And that‘s what I hope he will focus on.
SCARBOROUGH: I hope he will focus on this issue, too, because it‘s become a bigger issue.
I want you, though, to respond to the president‘s comments that John Kerry should not be bragging about supporting the troops going to war and then not funding them.
SMITH: Sure. It‘s a total mischaracterization. It is absolutely wrong to say that John Kerry wants the troops to not have funds.
He voted against a version of the funding for the troops. He made it clear that there were other versions that he supported. The president himself said that if the funding package was different, if, for instance, it included loans, if, for instance, it included some additional funding for our National Guardsmen in terms of benefits, the president would he would veto it.
So there were versions of the funding for troops that the president himself would oppose. John Kerry wanted this paid for. He wanted to take this $87 billion—he personally wanted to take it out of the tax cuts—but you could take it out of other spending priorities. It is just wrong to be spending this money on the war, cutting taxes dramatically, massively increasing spending and dumping this debt on future generations.
It‘s dead wrong, it‘s dead wrong to say that John Kerry doesn‘t support funding the troops.
SCARBOROUGH: Congressman, how did you vote on the issue?
SMITH: I voted the same way that John Kerry did for the same reason.
I am fiscally responsible. I also voted against the Medicare prescription drug bill. I voted against a number of other spending priorities, because I think the books have to balance. I don‘t think we can keep putting it on a credit card.
SCARBOROUGH: Duncan Hunter, let me bring you in here.
We have record deficits. We‘ve got a record federal debt. It sounds like John Kerry is just being fiscally responsible here.
REP. DUNCAN HUNTER ®, CALIFORNIA: Well, Joe, when you have troops in battle and they‘re having firefights on a daily basis, which they were having when John Kerry voted against the bill that gave—and let‘s look at what it gave. It gave bullet-proof vests to our troops. It gave the heavy armor that we put on Humvees to keep those rocket-propelled grenades from going through and detonating and blowing the occupants into shreds.
It gave munitions, ammunition, to the troops. So the idea that we‘re going to latch on to that very important package a debate over—an economic debate over whether we have tax cuts or not doesn‘t make a lot of sense to me. I think that the American people are going to look at that vote and say, you know, when we‘re in a shooting war, the tie goes to the troops and you guys can argue out your philosophy at a later basis, at a later date on whether or not you like tax cuts or you like to fund up front.
But that was money for the troops. It was for the protection of troops. And they were in contact, in firefights on a daily basis when that vote was taken.
SCARBOROUGH: Duncan Hunter, when John Edwards was running for president last year, he sounded a lot more like a supporter of President Bush than a supporter of John Kerry. I want to listen to some of the things he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN EDWARDS (D-NC), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think we couldn‘t let those WHO could veto in the Security Council hold us hostage. And I think Saddam Hussein being gone is good.
I take responsibility for my vote, period.
There is strong, powerful evidence which I still believe is true, that Saddam Hussein has been trying to get nuclear capability, either from North Korea, from the former Soviet Union, getting access to scientists, trying to get access to raw fissile material. That, I don‘t have any question about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: Congressman Adam Smith, it certainly looked there like your candidate had the political amnesia that Dick Cheney was accusing him of having earlier today.
SMITH: Well, I don‘t think that he did and I don‘t think there is anything inconsistent about saying that it‘s good that Saddam Hussein is gone and it‘s good that we stood up to make sure that the U.N. resolutions were enforced, and also saying that President Bush has conducted this war in many ways that were mistakes in a number of different areas in the way he got into it.
And just one final comment on Duncan‘s comment. If we had voted down the $87 billion package, the idea that voting down that package would have meant that we would not have funded the troops, that‘s what is ridiculous. What it would have meant was, we‘ve got to fund the troops. Now let‘s do it right. And we would have done it, no matter what. And I think that‘s the big point here. John Kerry, John Edwards, myself, we all support funding the troops. We want to do it the right way.
SCARBOROUGH: Duncan Hunter, I want to play for you what Vice President Dick Cheney had to say. He is out on the campaign trail, as you know, and he is calling against to the Kerry-Edwards‘ voting record. And he‘s accusing them of flip-flopping. Take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Senators Edwards and Know reviewed the intelligence and concluded that Saddam Hussein was a threat. They voted to authorize the use of force. But now they have developed a convenient case of campaign amnesia.
CHENEY: I have watched them on TV the last few days waffling, weaving, backing and filling. They seem to have forgotten that they looked at the same information the president did and that they came to the same conclusion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: Do you agree with the vice president that these two gentlemen can‘t have it both ways?
HUNTER: And, Joe, listen, I have got a list here of statements that are made by members of the Clinton administration, backed by Kerry.
Here is one statement that President Clinton made in 1998 after he ordered airstrikes, and he said: “Earlier today, I ordered America‘s armed forces to strike military and security targets in Iraq. Their mission is to attack Iraq‘s nuclear, chemical and biological programs.”
So here is Bill Clinton in 1998 ordering airstrikes against what he
thinks are nuclear and biological and chemical programs. And he along—
and I presume the entire team. He had Madeleine Albright out there working
the issue. He had
HUNTER: ... holding up anthrax packages.
SCARBOROUGH: And, Duncan, you had quotes from Al Gore. You had quotes from Ted Kennedy. You had quotes from most Democrats.
I want to finish up, Adam Smith, by going to you and reading you a poll from “The Washington Post” today. It says 55 percent of Americans approve of the president‘s war on terror, that up five points in the past three weeks. And also 42 percent are now saying—well, actually, it‘s 51 percent approval. They trust George Bush. Only 42 percent now trust John Kerry. And just a few weeks ago, those numbers were even.
Do you think George Bush is starting to gain ground on this vital political issue?
SMITH: There are so many polls in so many different directions.
There was a poll that just came out today that had Kerry and Edwards up six points. I saw one that had them up four. I saw one that had them own three. I think the polling is all over the map. And I think what is really interesting about this election is that the next, what have we got, three and a half months here are really going to tell the tale.
I think there is that chunk of undecided voters out there that are bouncing back and forth. And how the candidates conduct themselves, the issues they put before the American people and the stands they take in the next three and a half months I think are really going to decide this. And I think John Kerry and John Edwards have a great message and a great agenda for this country that people are going to respond to.
SCARBOROUGH: All right, Adam Smith, I want to thank you for coming on the show. I want to thank you for being one of the good guys. We may not agree on every issue.
SMITH: Thanks, Joe. I appreciate that.
SCARBOROUGH: But you know what? That‘s what Congress is about.
That‘s what American politics is about, where reasonable people can differ. They can come to the table. They can debate and they can make this country better for it. That‘s the way it was when you had George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton debating. That‘s the way it is today. Thanks for being here.
Duncan Hunter, I always agree with you, so I‘m not going to say the same nice things to you. But, Mr. Chairman, thank you for being here and thanks for your leadership in Washington.
HUNTER: Good to be with you.
SCARBOROUGH: All right.
And coming up next, President Bush isn‘t going to be attending this year‘s NAACP convention. Instead, he is going to try to reach out to minorities directly, bypassing the organization that seems to trash him every chance they get. We‘re going to be discussing that strategy coming up.
And it was a grisly end for the 600-pound tiger that escaped from its home with a former Tarzan actor yesterday. We‘ll tell you the not-so-happy ending a little later.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, the chairman of NAACP said George Bush came from the Taliban wing of the Republican Party. And then he is upset because the president won‘t come talk at his little party. We‘ll talk about why he wouldn‘t do that.
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: I know it‘s my home state, but how do you confuse a tranquilizer gun with a shotgun?
Anyway, President Bush declined an invitation to speak at this week‘s NAACP convention after the organization accused him, basically, of being responsible for the lynching of a black man, having the ideology of a slave holder and being a member of Taliban wing of American politics.
We‘ve got Roy Innis with us. He‘s the national chairman of the Congress of Racial Equality. We also have Julian Epstein. He is a Democratic strategist.
Roy, let me begin with you.
Should the president have gone ahead and spoken to the NAACP convention despite these insults?
ROY INNIS, NATIONAL CHAIRMAN, CONGRESS OF RACIAL EQUALITY: Let‘s be serious. Let‘s be sensible. Let‘s be fair.
For him to go to the NAACP after he went there four years ago, for that visit to be followed by a scurrilous ad that linked him with the murder of James Byrd in Jasper, Texas, despite the fact that the people in Jasper, Texas, Jasper, Texas, with a black mayor, with a white prosecutor, a white sheriff that caught the perpetrators, got two death penalties out of that arrest with a white jury.
The NAACP accused and implied that Bush was involved in this murder and this savage...
SCARBOROUGH: And, Roy, just for people that don‘t know what you are talking about, I want to play this ad for them now, because I have got to tell you, I have seen some despicable campaign ads. This may have been the worst I ever seen. Let‘s roll the rape.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, AD)
RENEE MULLINS, DAUGHTER OF JAMES BYRD: I‘m Renee Mullins, James Byrd‘s daughter. On June 7, 1998, in Texas, my father was killed. He was beaten, chained and then dragged three miles to his death all because he was black. So when Governor George Bush refused to support hate crimes legislation, it was like my father was killed all over again.
Call George W. Bush and tell him to support hate crimes legislation.
We won‘t be dragged away from our future.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: All right, Julian Epstein, and I want to read you what NAACP Chairman Julian Bond had to say about President Bush soon after that:
“George W. Bush has selected nominees from the Taliban wing of American politics, appeased the wretched right wing and chosen Cabinet officials whose devotion to the Confederacy is nearly canine in its uncritical affection.”
Julian, that is nothing short of slander and political hate speech. And why should any politician, Republican or Democrat, go speak to a group that says such hateful things about him?
JULIAN EPSTEIN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, first of all, to put the record straight, the ads, I didn‘t particularly like the ads myself in the year 2000. But the ads were making the point that even in the aftermath of that terrible death, that Governor Bush at that time would not support hate crimes legislation.
SCARBOROUGH: That doesn‘t mean he supported the murder of Mr. Byrd.
EPSTEIN: I don‘t think the ad said that.
SCARBOROUGH: It certainly suggested that.
SCARBOROUGH: I‘m not mischaracterizing that. It‘s a disgusting ad and you know it is, Julian.
EPSTEIN: Secondly, let‘s get to the point. I said the ad was not to my taste, if you were listening, Joe.
Julian Bond‘s point I think is a bit of hyperbole to say that President Bush caters to the right wing of the party. But your question is, why should Bush go? Because Karl Rove said after the election in 2000 that if Bush had any chance of winning in ‘04, he would have to get more African-American votes. The NAACP is the oldest and most preeminent civil rights organization in this country.
For President Bush to say no thanks is basically like saying he is not interested in the African-American vote and it‘s very consistent with what this Bush administration has done for African-Americans under the Bush administration watch. Almost every single indicator, whether it‘s unemployment, whether it‘s poverty, whether it‘s welfare, any of these indicators, they all improved under the Clinton administration.
They have all dramatically declined under the Bush administration. So the Bush-Cheney team continues to say to African-Americans we‘re basically not interested, which is the cause and the source of much of the anger much of the rhetoric you hear coming out of the African-American community.
SCARBOROUGH: All right, Roy, I‘ll have you respond, but I want you to look at what was on “HARDBALL” last night. NAACP chairman—the chairman actually said President Bush has neglected the NAACP these ways. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “HARDBALL”)
KWEISI MFUME, NAACP PRESIDENT: He came into Baltimore four years ago as a candidate, was received graciously, got many interruptions for applause. He spoke for about 20 minutes, talked about the failure of the GOP in the past to work closely on the issue of Civil Rights and African-Americans, but said those days were over and the party of Lincoln was about to become the party of Lincoln again. And that was pretty much the last that we heard of George Bush.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: Roy, does Kweisi Mfume have a point?
INNIS: He doesn‘t.
The NAACP is not a monolith. Certainly, the black community in America, 35 to 40 million blacks, are not a monolith either. For him to assume that, if he doesn‘t speak at the NAACP, he cannot speak with Bob Wilson (ph), with Walter Williams, with Tom Sewell (ph), with myself, with my son, with so many other good intelligent, eloquent black people in America.
SCARBOROUGH: All right, Roy Innis, we‘ll have to leave it there.
Thanks for being with us.
Julian Epstein, as always, we appreciate you being here, too.
And coming up, do protesters hate George Bush so much that they are willing to put all of New York City to risk? From the plans we‘ve seen, the answer may be yes. We‘re going to ask one of them how far he is going to go to disrupt the GOP convention right after this short break.
So don‘t go away.
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, I‘m Joe. I‘m a fan of the Bush sisters. And I‘ve got issues.
Now, we have come across some shocking video of Palestinian fighters training young children to follow in their footsteps. These kids you‘re looking at are age 10 to 16. And instead of playing sports or sitting around campfires this summer, the youngsters at this camp in Gaza are learning how to kill Israelis using real bullets in live-fire drills.
With the blessing of the children‘s parents and the Palestinian Authority looking the other way, the organizers say the goal of these camps, which have been getting more organized over the past few years, is to train the next generation of militants to battle Israelis. The kids who graduate are awarded with certificates of merit and prowess and can‘t wait to hit the front lines.
You know what? With images like these, it‘s no wonder that the chance of peace in the Middle East seems as remote as ever.
And here‘s a surprise. I‘ve got issues with “The New York Times.” John Kerry and John Edwards apparently stopped to chat with “The Times”‘ reporters on board their campaign plane last Friday. Now, it‘s not going to surprise anybody in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY that it seems that even John Kerry thinks “The New York Times” wants him to win in November.
In the interview transcript on “The Times” Web site, Kerry says—quote—“I believe if you talk with Warren Hoge or you talk to David Sanger, they will confirm to you, I believe, that it may well take a new president to restore America‘s credibility on a global basis.”
But you know what? Sanger and Hoge, these people that Kerry cited, are actually “New York Times” reporters. And Kerry has reason to believe that they agree with him that America needs a new president. And you know what? Everybody knows that “The New York Times” is no fan of George W. Bush. But they really need to try a little bit harder to keep it on the editorial page and out of their news coverage.
And, finally, “The New York Daily News” is reporting that anarchists are organizing protests for the Republican National Convention. They‘re going to beyond the typical smash-and-destroy missions. And now they want to trick New York‘s finest into thinking that real terror attacks are happening. One plan calls for getting the scent of gunpowder on their clothes to fool police dogs into thinking bombs are on trains.
One Web site instructs the following—quote—“It is important that the police call in all possible resources to investigate the situation. This will result in the maximum disruption. With any luck, Madison Square Garden will be evacuated.”
If a rowdy gang of brats or trustafarians want to challenge the best police force in the world in a battle of wits, my money is still on the NYPD.
And with me now to discuss the possibility of anarchy in NYC is Miami Police Chief John Timoney. He of course served with the NYPD for more than 25 years, rising to become the second in command of the 40,000-officer police department. And we also have Frank Morales. He‘s an Episcopal priest who is working with several groups that are planning civil disobedience demonstrations during the Republican National Convention.
Frank, let me ask you, do you believe it advances your cause or anybody‘s cause to try to create mayhem while police officers are trying to stop possible terror attacks in New York City?
FRANK MORALES, EPISCOPAL PRIEST: No, we‘re not interested in creating mayhem.
What we‘re interested in doing firstly is to dispel the notion that protest is violent and that protesters are violent anarchists coming to create mayhem. That‘s a lie that is being perpetrated by agencies like Mr. Timoney‘s who are interested in rationalizing and justifying their brutal suppression of constitutionally protected dissent.
In other words, this whole mythology of the violent protester and so forth, it is exactly that. It‘s a lie. It‘s being perpetrated in order to justify repression of the kind of dissent—it was Jefferson who said that dissent is the highest form of patriotism.
MORALES: So we‘re tired of the police and organizations—if David, when he went up against Goliath, right, you guys would be calling him a terrorist, you probably would for the right amount of money.
SCARBOROUGH: Let‘s get specific here.
MORALES: The overwhelming numbers of protesters are decent people who are nonviolent.
SCARBOROUGH: Sir, listen, we have your point. You are going to have to answer a question, though, once in a while. And I want to get specific, because it‘s important to know what you believe. You need to let our audience members know.
MORALES: Well, I‘m telling you what I believe.
MORALES: People have a right to protest. People, they have a right not to be violated like they were in Miami.
SCARBOROUGH: We‘re going to have to cut your microphone right now. And I‘m going have to ask you this question. I‘m going to ask you to listen to me. The question is this.
Do you agree with those protesters coming to New York City who want to cause evacuations of Madison Square Garden, who want to put gunpowder on their clothes, so they will get police dogs sniffing them and believing that they are going to blow up Madison Square Garden? Is that a legitimate form of protest, in your opinion?
MORALES: I don‘t believe the whole story. I think it‘s disinformation.
SCARBOROUGH: I‘m just asking, is that a legitimate form of protest, in your mind?
MORALES: A legitimate form of protest is what we‘re calling for,
MORALES: What we‘re calling for is nonviolent civil disobedience.
SCARBOROUGH: OK. Is putting gunpowder on protesters and trying to
cause the evacuation of Madison Square Garden
MORALES: No. Nobody in their right mind would be calling for that.
SCARBOROUGH: OK, good, very good.
Let me ask you, Police Chief, to respond to some of the things that you have just heard. Are you out there trying to create unrest, trying to give the police officers a chance to go after protesters and stop them from participating in their First Amendment rights in New York City?
JOHN TIMONEY, MIAMI POLICE CHIEF: No. And that‘s not going to happen in New York City. People that come to protest, do it peacefully, they can yell and scream and say anything they want.
The issue is when there is a certain segment—it‘s a small segment, but there‘s a segment nonetheless—that come in with the sole purpose of engaging in property damage, assaulting police officers. They train ahead of time.
And for Mr. Morales to deny that is just incredulous.
SCARBOROUGH: Mr. Morales, I‘m going to ask you, again, if you will, please allow...
SCARBOROUGH: OK, if you can do it again, please. We‘re going to have to cut the mike for him. I want to have a civilized conversation.
MORALES: I‘m trying to respond.
SCARBOROUGH: I want to follow up, Police Chief, and ask you, what happened in Seattle several years ago at the WTO, where there was demonstration, a lot of property damage, do you believe that may happen again in Boston or New York City or do you think it may be worse?
TIMONEY: It could happen again.
There is a certain segment, no matter what Morales says, that comes in, the so-called anarchists, who will arm ahead of time. They come in with slingshots, golf balls, a whole variety of weapons to be used against police officers. They will engage in vandalism.
They will use peaceful protesters for cover so they can go out and commit their criminal acts again the police, against symbols of corporate America, banks, Starbucks and what have you. They did it in Miami. I was there. It wasn‘t labor people. It was anarchists that come in, assaulted police officers, engaged in property damage, threw rocks, bottles at police officers, and then set fires before any arrests were made.
SCARBOROUGH: Mr. Morales, I‘ll give you the final chance to speak here. Do you believe that there are—and we‘re not saying you are. We‘re certainly not saying the majority are. But don‘t you agree that there are small bands of anarchists that come in and create mayhem, not only at WTO meetings in Seattle, but also in these type of political conventions?
MORALES: The small segment of people who act out in a violent way in terms of expressing their outrage at the current administration and so forth is exactly that. It‘s a small segment.
When whole groups of people, like Mr. Timoney‘s police in Miami did, target whole groups of people with tear gas and rubber bullets, it‘s indiscriminate. It‘s clear it‘s a fantasy for them to talk about going after the anarchists when it was clear that innocent people doing nothing more than expressing their right to dissent were brutalized.
It was a tactical brutality. And it was orchestrated by that gentleman who is now giving us some advice as to how we should manage protests here during the RNC. This is why we have concern. We are for expressing our dissent in a nonviolent way. Therefore, we do not expect to be treated as so many objects of—to be violated at the behest of a police agency that has become the militarized arm of the Bush administration.
SCARBOROUGH: All right, Frank Morales, Chief Timoney, we‘re out of time.
Chief Timoney, I want to get you back in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY and have you two debate again and give you a chance to respond. Thanks for being with us.
And still to come, we‘re going to tell you what happened to that 600-pound tiger that was on the loose just miles away from tony Palm Beach, Florida. And we‘ll tell you what happened. Tragic ending, but we‘ll have it for you in a minute.
SCARBOROUGH: Jenna and Barbara Bush are opening up about their father, the election and life in the spotlight. And we‘re going to have the full story for you tomorrow night. You‘re not going to get it anywhere. It‘s going to be our cable exclusive with “Vogue” magazine‘s Julia Reed. That‘s tomorrow night at 10:00 p.m. Eastern.
But we‘ve got much more straight ahead on SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, last week, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge warned that al Qaeda has its sights set on disrupting the U.S. presidential election.
Now “Newsweek” reports that Ridge has asked Justice Department officials what legal steps need to be taken to postpone the election in the event of a terror attack. In tonight‘s “Here‘s the Deal,” we‘ve got the facts.
Not a single U.S. presidential election has ever been postponed, though the closest call probably came in 1864 during the Civil War. But then President Abraham Lincoln decided against it, saying, if he delayed the election, the rebellion—quote—“might fairly claim to have already conquered us.”
Elections on the state level, of course, have been postponed a few times, most recently on September 11, when New York delayed its primary by two weeks. That decision was made by the state‘s board of election. Now, the problem for presidential elections is, there‘s currently no agency with the authority to postpone a federal election. The only way a poll date can be changed is by order of the U.S. Congress. But the newly created U.S. Election Assistance Commission is hoping Congress will give them that power.
Now, for more information on this year‘s election, you can log on to MSNBC.com.
And it was a sad day for Bobo, the 600-pound tiger owned by former Tarzan actor Steve Sipek. After escaping the actor‘s Florida compound yesterday and spending the past 24 hours on the lam, a wildlife expert trying to catch Bobo said the animal lunged ferociously, forcing him to forgo tranquilizers and instead stopping the tiger with a bullet, killing the animal.
But you know what? We at SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY don‘t want to end the night with bloody footage of death. Instead, we‘re going to show you an animal captured on a lighter note. This time last year, a black bear escaped, was found in a tree, was shot by tranquilizers. The bear recovered and made it home, a happy ending for all in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
We‘ll see you tomorrow night. And, hey, don‘t forget, by the way, to see my good buddy Don Imus tomorrow morning at 6:00 a.m.
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