Guest: Michael Forbes, Jack Kemp, Alan Keyes, William March, Steve Adubato, Joseph Kyrillos
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST: Tonight‘s top headline, new poll numbers show President Bush is gaining in key battleground states. The “Real Deal”, probably because voters still don‘t know who John Kerry is. Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY where no passport is required, and only common sense is allowed.
The battle for the White House is heating up. New polls in key battleground states giving President Bush a slight lead over Senator John Kerry. Will the economy be the deciding factor in November? And is Kerry‘s flip-flop on the war and his approach to the war on terror to blame for the president‘s recent surge?
Plus, Senate candidate Alan Keyes, coming to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY tonight. He tells us, he has a “moral obligation to run for office in Illinois”. He also tells us why Democratic rising star Barack Obama doesn‘t live up to the hype.
And with call to McGreevey to immediately resign. The governor is now defending his actions. We are going to have the very latest.
A lousy economy swept the first George Bush out of office. Will his son face the same fate? It‘s time for tonight‘s “Real Deal”. Bill Clinton bumped George Bush out of office in 1992 by telling voters that his campaign, was about the economy, stupid. Twelve years later, Bush‘s younger son appears to be captive to the economy that has been uneven, at best. Terror attacks, Wall Street scandals, and an inherited recession led to three years of bad economic numbers.
But 2004 opened with a bang, and the economy grew by a remarkable 8.2 percent in the first quarter. Last month, the economy hit another rough patch, but numbers released today by the Commerce Department shows that housing starts are way up. Consumer prices finally are going down. Productivity is up, and other key indicators, also up. Good news for the president, right? Well, maybe.
But the deficit is also way up, at over $450 billion this year, an all-time record for red ink. While the national debt is actually zooming toward record $7.5 trillion. Republicans serving in Congress back in my day would say such deficits and debts were harmful to the economy, but these days, both parties are conspiring to spend more of your tax money than ever before.
You know, it‘s a capital offense, but for now, few voters have raised their voices in protest. So perhaps Americans will continue to let D.C. politicians fiddle while Rome burns. The “Wall Street Journal”, the Heritage Foundation, and Cato all report that Republicans have had a shameful record on spending over the past four years. But sadly, it seems the Democratic Party‘s record has been no better.
Which leaves me asking, what politicians are going to do when the $7.5 trillion bill finally comes due, and America doesn‘t have the money to pick up the check? Expect higher interest rates. Expect a sagging economy, and two political parties that still don‘t have the guts to balance the budget. That‘s tonight‘s “Real Deal”.
Now, for more on the race between President Bush and Senator Kerry, and how the economy is going to affect it, I am honored to be joined by Former Vice Presidential Candidate, Jack Kemp, who is now the co-chairman of freedomworks.org. And we also have Kerry Advisor, Michael Forbes, a guy I served with in Congress. I believe, Michael, you were my next-door neighbor.
MICHAEL FORBES, KERRY ADVISOR: I was, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: That‘s right. Let me start with you, Jack Kemp. You know, things are looking fairly good for the president as far as the economy goes. But you look at the record of not only this president but the Congress, when it comes to fiscal matters, it‘s pretty shameful. The president cut taxes. But at the same time, the Congress has been spending money recklessly. Is that going to fuel the economy enough to get the president past the finish line in November?
JACK KEMP, FMR. VICE-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: well, first of all, Joe I am not exactly in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. I am in Laguna beach, California, and I just come from the Yellowstone club in Montana and Vail, so this is not exactly SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. Albeit I don‘t disagree with you, Congress is runaway spending.
But clearly, most of the spending is a result of the recession. Clearly getting us out of recession is the single most important thing Bush can do to get the economy growing, get more revenue, and bring down debt and deficits.
SCARBOROUGH: Michael Forbes, let me ask you the same question. Obviously we came in, in historic 1994 class. It was all about balancing the budget, paying off the national debt. Republicans used to believe in it, they don‘t appear to believe in it now. You look at your candidate, John Kerry, when you add up the numbers, he also increases the deficit and national debt.
FORBES: Actually, Joe, Senator Kerry has come up with the most comprehensive fiscal plan of any presidential candidate in modern memory. He has proposed a cut in half of the rising federal deficit. In fact, President Bush has had no fiscal discipline, and his allies in the Congress have supported his lack of fiscal discipline. They have done away with any of the pay as you go provisions. The spending caps have all been blown.
Senator Kerry has come up with a comprehensive plan that would make sure that we close the corporate loopholes, that we make sure that there‘s fiscal discipline, that the budget caps are put in place. He has called for a constitutional line item veto. He has called for paying as you go, making sure that we only spend what we are taking in, and allowing obviously for national security, Social Security, and Medicare.
He has got a very comprehensive plan to impose fiscal discipline. It was John Kerry when he came to Congress who cosponsored Graham-Rudman. He is somebody who believes in fiscal discipline.
SCARBOROUGH: But Michael, you also know though, that he has, according to the “The National Journal”, a nonpartisan operation. He also has the most liberal record in the United States Senate. And he has been known as a big spender since he first came to the Senate in 1984.
FORBES: I think you have to look at what Presidential Candidate Senator Kerry is talking about, and what he is prepared to do. He is prepared to give cuts in taxes to the middle class. President Bush has come up with a program, has shifted a greater burden of taxes onto the middle class. Last week, the Congressional Budget Office came out with a report that verified that the Bush tax benefit plan for the wealthy actually has imposed a greater burden on the middle class.
SCARBOROUGH: Jack Kemp, what about that?
KEMP: This is embarrassing. John F. Kerry doesn‘t come close to being John F. Kennedy. John F. Kennedy cut tax rates by 30 percent. Revenues went up. Jobs were created, and the budget came into balance. What Michael is saying, if you raise the cost of capital, we can create more jobs and reduce the deficit. Nonsense.
There‘s no way on this earth that you can raise tax rates on anyone over the income of $195,000 and not expect the cost of capital to go up, and jobs to go down, and revenues ultimately to go, in my opinion, to go down as well. So clearly John F. Kerry is not John F. Kennedy. He is George McGovern, Walter Mondale, and the liberal wing, the left wing of the Democratic Party.
SCARBOROUGH: Now, let‘s talk about polls, gentlemen, right now. By the way, Jack Kemp, those are fighting words that I am sure Congressman Forbes is going to want to respond to. But let‘s look at some new polls that are just out.
They show President Bush is gaining in some of these decisive battleground states we hear about. All-important Ohio, where Bush has actually been trailing Kerry for months, now shows George Bush has a 3-point lead, 47 percent to 44 percent. Al Gore carried Wisconsin in 2000, and the state is considered to be a must-win for Kerry, but Bush has actually closed in fast, trailing Kerry by only 2 percentage points, 49 to 47.
And latest nationwide Gallup Poll of likely voters, shows George Bush up 50 percent to 47 percent. Jack Kemp, what‘s happening?
KEMP: Well, in my opinion, he got no bounce out of the convention.
KEMP: Well, I will tell you why. Clearly, the rhetoric of the Democratic Party, particularly Bill Clinton and Kerry, suggesting that they apologize for getting rates cut by George Bush, they want to give it back. The class warfare theme of the Democratic Party has lost them votes. According to the Investor Business Daily Poll, they came down 9 points when they started attacking people who earn income.
Look, the purpose of America is to start out as a worker, and become an investor. And that is being stultified by the rhetoric and the results of the Kerry tax increase plans.
SCARBOROUGH: Michael Forbes.
FORBES: That‘s nonsense.
SCARBOROUGH: Let me ask you Michael Forbes, and respond to that. But I also want to ask you, isn‘t it disturbing to you, it certainly would be to me if I were a Democrat, that John Kerry has actually lost points since his own convention in Boston a few weeks back? I want to ask you that question. I think I know what the answer is going to be. But I also want you to try to explain, why is that happening? I thought he did a fairly good job. I thought the Democratic Party did a fairly good job staying on message in Boston. What‘s happening?
FORBES: Joe, what‘s happening is that across the country, as John Edwards and John Kerry reach out to Americans and they saw over 300,000 people in the last two weeks as they made their way across the nation, their crowds are record number. People are very, very unhappy with the volatile prices at the gas pump. They are unhappy with the rising cost of college tuition. They are unhappy with the inability to afford childcare.
SCARBOROUGH: Why is Bush gaining in the polls then? That‘s what I don‘t understand.
FORBES: Look, you know, snap shot, any given moment, is not a reasonable predictor. John Kerry and John Edwards are gaining ground all over this nation, and people are discouraged about the economy. They are not happy with the way the economy is. They don‘t like the fact that the treasury secretary earlier this month said that he was going to have to go back to Congress, because the United States is not going to be able to pay its bills, and they have to ask for more borrowing authority.
The president‘s budget calls for $5 trillion more deficit spending for debt a of over $13 trillion if he has his way over the next 10 years. That is just not acceptable.
SCARBOROUGH: All right, respond, Jack Kemp.
KEMP: This is zero sum accounting. It‘s only looking at debt and deficit without looking at the size of the revenue, and size of the economy. The pie, the GDP of America is over $11 trillion.
FORBES: Revenues are down 16 percent against gross domestic product.
KEMP: Revenues are up. The total deficit is percent of the economy, is a little bit over 4.5. The answer is to come out of this recession, get the economy growing, and you don‘t, Michael, get the economy growing by raising taxes, regulations, and tariffs on the American free enterprise system.
FORBES: That‘s right, and John Kerry doesn‘t want to raise taxes. He wants to actually cut the taxes for the middle class. So people can have credits to pay for childcare, for education, for health care. He is concerned about the fact that the middle class is being asked to pay more of the tax burden than the wealthiest Americans.
SCARBOROUGH: Jack Kemp, did you just say he was a protectionist?
KEMP: Listen, he has combined the protectionism of Herbert Hoover with the tax increase policies of Mondale, and the foreign policy of George McGovern, according to Democratic Senator, Zell Miller. Where is this great plan to bring America into budget?
SCARBOROUGH: Michael Forbes, I will give you the last answer. How is he going to balance the budget? How is he going to pay down the debt?
FORBES: He is going to follow a very strict discipline. The first order of business for John Kerry, when he came into the senate and cosponsored Graham-Rudman tax reduction proposals, when he is President Kerry, he is going to sponsor a very conservative plan to bring fiscal discipline to the federal budget that is now lacking.
SCARBOROUGH: All right. Thanks a lot, Jack Kemp, always an honor. Michael Forbes, great to see you again. I agree, fiscal discipline is lacking in Washington, D.C., and it has been for some time.
Now, for a bit of shameless self-promotion, talking about fiscal discipline, I just finished writing a behind the scenes expose on how Washington politicians are ripping you off and putting our country on the verge of bankruptcy. The book is called “Rome Wasn‘t Burnt in a Day”. You can get more information, www.joesbook.net.
You can also find a link to it on our web site at www.joe.msnbc.com. I will guarantee you, Washington politicians, from both parties, aren‘t going to like this book, but anybody who pays taxes to Uncle Sam will.
Coming up, Alan Keyes was an ambassador, he ran for president, and he hosted a talk show on MSNBC. So why would he want to be Senator from Illinois? Stick around, because we are going to ask him right after this short break.
SCARBOROUGH: Alan Keyes says that he has a moral obligation to run for senator, in Illinois. We will talk about that, and whether he was a carpetbagger when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.
SCARBOROUGH: My next guest is Ronald Reagan‘s ambassador to the United Nations, he‘s a former presidential candidate, now he is running against Barack Obama in the race for U.S. Senate in Illinois. Earlier, I asked him, why the U.S. Senate, why Illinois, and why now?
ALAN KEYES, (R-IL) SENATE CANDIDATE: The Illinois State Party asked me to come in. They felt I could help out, and what was at one level a serious crisis, the candidate that had won the primaries had withdrawn. But also, I think a serious opportunity, because given what Barack Obama represents, both in terms of his stances and in terms of what the Democrat Party appears to be trying to make of him, they needed someone who had a certain unique combination of capabilities, and national base and reputation.
So they turned to me. It posed a problem for me at one level, but I think at the end of the day, I felt like the principles that I care about are at stake in this election. And that I really had a moral obligation to answer the call of the people of this state, to come and help defend those principles.
SCARBOROUGH (on-camera): Now, you had talked about some of the stands of Barack Obama had. What are some of those positions that cause you concern?
KEYES: Well, I think the most important one is that on the deepest issue of principle, the one that I have often articulated in my life and my political career, which I believe involves the great fundamental principle of American life that we are all created equal, and endowed by our creator with unalienable rights.
He has taken the most extremist stand possible on the abortion issue. He is unlike even some of his Democrat colleagues. He has actually said that the heinous practice of live birth abortions should be allowed to go ahead. And that is different, by the way, than partial birth. You remember, we had a big debate, the bill was passed, and all that. No. Live birth is when during an abortion procedure, the baby is actually born alive, and they then just set it aside like garbage and let it die.
Even in the Senate of the United States, the vote was 98 to zero against that procedure. Some of the most hard-core pro-abortion senators did not countenance this procedure. And yet this man was willing to accept it, showing his deep commitment and utter rejection of the fundamental principles of our declaration, and his willingness to countenance the application of that rejection even in the most extreme case. It was really I think something that arrested my attention, and got me involved.
SCARBOROUGH: Alan Keyes, when did he say he would support a procedure like that, where he would set aside a live baby and let it die?
KEYES: Well, there was a vote in May 2002, as I recall, somewhere in that vicinity, and the Illinois legislature, in which there was a bill to stop this procedure, and he voted against it.
SCARBOROUGH: All right. We are going to ask him to come on this show, want to talk to him. We will certainly ask you about that. I want to ask you, though, about something you said in 2000. I am sure you have seen this quote many times. This is what you had to say, though, about Hillary Clinton‘s run for the U.S. Senate seat, from New York.
You said, “ I deeply resent the destruction of federalism represented by Hillary Clinton‘s willingness to go into a state she doesn‘t even live in and pretend to represent people there. So I certainly wouldn‘t imitate it.”
And yet, it seems that you are doing exactly that right now.
Imitating what Hillary Clinton did in New York. What is the difference?
KEYES: Quite the contrary. Hillary Clinton pursued an agenda of clear personal ambition. She fished around among the different states in the union, decided which state would be the best object of her personal ambitions, fermented interest in the state, for the sake of her personal agenda. She was a sitting first lady at the time, so there was even overtones of intimidation involved in all of that. And she simply used and abused the state as a platform of her personal ambition.
Quite the contrary, I had no thought whatsoever of running for the U.S. Senate in the state of Illinois. I have been called in by a decision of the people in Illinois, who say that they need my help. That is their choice, and that respects the sovereignty of the people, because they have made the determination that they need outside help. It also respects my own principles, because I am a strong believer in federalism, but as the Illinois motto indicates, there are two components, of federalism. State sovereignty and national union.
And Lincoln statesmanship, the man who came from Illinois and obviously fought on behalf of keeping our union on the foundation of the declaration principles that were at stake in the Civil War, he obviously set the example that when the national principles of our union are at stake, state sovereignty can take second place, and you stand up to defend those principles of our united integrity as a people. And that‘s what is at stake in this election in Illinois.
SCARBOROUGH: But Alan, a lot of people listening to you tonight, would ask the question, if Hillary Clinton‘s decision did violence to federalism, it doesn‘t really matter why Hillary Clinton was motivated to do what she did. You still had an Illinois native running in New York. What is the difference regarding federalism?
KEYES: I just explained it. The federalism principle, as clearly articulated, even in the motto of the state of Illinois, federalism has two components. State sovereignty, and national union. When the principles of national union are threatened with assault and damage, you step forward to defend them even if that means putting the issue of state sovereignty in second place. And Lincoln (UNINTELLIGIBLE) who clearly demonstrated that.
So I am actually acting right now in defense of federalism, because if Barack Obama is allowed to succeed, we will have somebody representing the state of Lincoln, who deeply rejects the principles of national unions, stated in the declaration, beginning with the principle that we are all created equal and endowed by our creator with unalienable rights. He rejects that principle, and that endangers the claim to rights and basis of all our institutions.
SCARBOROUGH: All right. Now, I want to read for you what Mary Mitchell had to say, of the “Chicago Sun times”. She said this about you candidacy. “In drafting Keyes the (Illinois Republican Party) ... has reduced the political race to a show. Whoever runs against (Obama) would be a sacrificial lamb for the party ... So what happened to all the white lambs? Why aren‘t they being sacrificed? If Keyes were not black, the Republican Party wouldn‘t be ... sending him a one-way ticket to Illinois.
Is this all about race?
KEYES: Frankly, Chuck, I don‘t feel any disposition to answer the stupid and cynical remarks of some columnist. She is not involved in the race. And I am not running against her. That‘s the first thing. Second, I think Barack Obama and everybody in the state of Illinois has by now in the past week learned that this race is a serious challenge.
First, to his rejection of declaration principles. And second, to his extremism and the phony hype that has built him up into something that I think he is not. He was a big, blustering braggart comparing himself to Abraham Lincoln and Steven Douglas, when jack Ryan was his opponent, promising six debates to the people of Illinois. I hadn‘t been in the race 24 hours when he stood forward and said, oh, no, only two, and was running for the exits as fast as possible.
The fact that somebody can give set piece speech at the Democratic National Convention, that the media hypes up without regard to it‘s real substance, doesn‘t mean he has what it takes truly to represent the people of Illinois in the toughest political forum in American politics short of presidential politics.
SCARBOROUGH: All right. Thanks so much, Alan Keyes, for talking to us. We have invited his opponent, Barack Obama, to come on the show, and hope he will come here. We are going to follow up on that and that race closely. If you would like to know more about it, you can learn about it by logging onto msnbc.com.
Straight ahead, terrorism is the top issue in the race to replace retiring Florida Senator, that senator being Bob Graham. But frontrunner Betty Castor is being haunted by her handling of suspected terrorist on her faculty when she was the president of the university. We are going to get to the bottom of that story when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.
SCARBOROUGH: A U.S. Senate candidate in Florida is accused of aiding and abetting terrorists while she was president of a Florida university. We will talk about that in a minute. First, let‘s get the latest headlines from the MSNBC news desk.
CONTESSA BREWER, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Hello. I am Contessa Brewer with the headlines. Some breaking news now, Los Angeles police confirm one or more players on the University of Southern California‘s top ranked football team are being investigated in connection with an alleged sexual assault. A statement issued by the LAPD says the alleged incident occurred in the early morning hours Monday. The university says it‘s aware of the investigation, and is cooperating fully.
The death toll in Florida from hurricane Charley has risen to 20. Meantime, power is slowly being restored, but almost half a million customers are still without electricity. Also, federal officials say $2 million in disaster aid has been distributed, and more money is on the way.
Oprah Winfrey was in court for a second day as a juror in a murder trial in Chicago. She was picked for the jury yesterday. Deliberations in the case could begin as soon as tomorrow. The billionaire talk show host and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) is being paid the same as the other jurors, $17.20 a day. Now back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
SCARBOROUGH: Can you believe that? Oprah gets paid actually the same amount you get paid for working at MSNBC, $17.20 a day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She looked like she was dressed to go to the Jackson trial.
SCARBOROUGH: I know, but I tell you what, there are a lot of people around here, that would be very excited to get $17.20 a day. It ain‘t a union shop, is it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
SCARBOROUGH: What are you going to do?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Happy.
SCARBOROUGH: Very happy. OK. I am going to show a tape to Rick Caplin (ph) tomorrow morning.
Welcome back. Now we are going to be talking about the race to fill the Florida Senate seat that is being vacated by Bob Graham. The primaries are two weeks from tonight, and the Democratic candidates have their claws out. The biggest issue, terrorism. Betty Castor, who polls are putting in front of the pack, was president of the university of South Florida, in the mid 1990‘s. It was then that the FBI first began investigating a professor there, named Al-Arian.
He was arrested in February 2003 and accused of terror activities. With us now from Tampa, Florida, William March, he is from the “Tampa Tribune”. He has been covering this story for years. William, thanks a lot for being with us. First of all, start by telling us how this became a campaign issue.
WILLIAM MARCH, “TAMPA TRIBUNE”: Well, Joe, it was a bitter controversy in Tampa at the time. And Castor‘s tenure as former president of the University of South Florida is one of the things she talks about as one of her main qualifications on her resume in the campaign. So it‘s natural to look at that record, and see what she may have done right or wrong.
SCARBOROUGH: But you all started investigating this, what, nine, 10 years ago? I understand there was a PBS documentary, 1994, that actually talked about this professor having possible ties to terror networks in the Middle East. Did Betty Castor have any opportunities to get rid of this professor after learning about his alleged activities?
MARCH: Well, Joe, that‘s really the heart of the question. That‘s really what the debate is about. What could she legally have done? You are correct, we did stories in early 1995, and subsequent to that, over a number of years, about the professor‘s links to an organization called the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. That‘s a violent terrorist group.
But whether Castor, or whether those stories that we did, or whether the suspicions of law enforcement officers—suspicions not backed up by any arrests, whether that gave her the authority to fire a tenured professor with a union contract is the question.
SCARBOROUGH: OK. William stay with us. I want to bring in right now, NBC News Terror Analyst, Steve Emerson. Steve, obviously you have been Al-Arian watching since 1994. I want to play you what Betty Castor had to say. Didn‘t say this to us, but said this to an NBC affiliate when asked about her activities involving this alleged terror suspect. Let‘s go ahead and play that tape.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BETTY CASTOR, (D) U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE: I reached out to the FBI. I cooperated and worked to try to get evidence, and during all the time that I was at the university I never received any information.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: Is that what you understand?
STEVE EMERSON, MSNBC NEWS TERROR ANALYST: Well, Joe, the fact of the matter is, what she is resting her defense on, is the fact that there wasn‘t indictment. And the FBI naturally would not reveal details of a criminal investigation. But there was so much material in the public domain, not just the documentary that aired in November of 1994 that I produced, but also the series of stories that Michael Fechter wrote in the “Tampa Tribune” in early 1995, that unequivocally and unambiguously demonstrated the ties between a professor at the University of South Florida and the Islamic Jihad. As well as his own radical rhetoric, calling for Jihad and death to infidels.
SCARBOROUGH: OK Steve, we have to nail this down. Because you have a Florida Senate race, a very important Senate seat, not only for Florida but for America, that may hinge on this issue. I want you to tell our viewers, give us a timeline, 1994, you produced this PBS documentary, talks about his contacts with this violent group. Give us specifics. What did Betty Castor know in 1994, 1995? And why do you believe she should have fired this professor, before he got tenure?
EMERSON: Let me say this. Joe, let me clarify one thing. There are things that could have been done in between firing and doing nothing. I understand it‘s very difficult to fire a tenured professor. But in fact, there are disciplinary hearings that could have been undertaken. There are investigations. She could have used her own bully pulpit as a way of sort of demonstrating her moral disfavor with this man.
Instead, all he was treated was, four months after the documentary aired in November of 1994, which showed Al-Arian directly involved with terrorism, she sent a letter congratulating Al-Arian and awarded him half-paid sabbatical for a year.
SCARBOROUGH: Wait, wait, what was she congratulating him for?
EMERSON: Congratulating him on being awarded this wonderful half-paid sabbatical, and wished him great success. Here‘s a guy that had called for death to Jews, was linked to Islamic Jihad. And the fact of the matter, it wasn‘t me interpreting it. It was actually on tape, as I had shown on PBS documentary. By the way, the film aired November 21, 1994. There was not one comment made by the university after the film aired.
They never even wanted to get a copy of the documentary. The only time they started paying attention, was after the “Tampa Tribune” did a series in May of 1995. Even then, until the end of Betty Castor‘s tenure, there was not one declarative decision made to finally suspend him without pay, to declare him a moral stain on the university, and to claim and to assert the fact they made a mistake in allowing his organization to be ensconced there.
Instead, the whole problem was shifted to the following successor, Judy Genshaft who finally had enough courage to get rid of him. But the fact of the matter is, Joe, if we are talking about courage, we are talking about leadership and accountability, the reason I am getting involved now, and making this statement, and I resisted until now, is that I see these statements made by Betty Castor, saying that I was unable to get one iota of information from the FBI.
When I said this to somebody from the Justice Department, who was working indirectly on this case, they said, now I am getting mad, that Betty Castor is going to basically hide behind the FBI‘s refusal to give them criminal data is the reason why she didn‘t do anything. She had a whole range of options to do it. She didn‘t do anything. And instead of accepting responsibility now, she is saying she did everything she possibly could, or the FBI didn‘t give her anything. That‘s a lie.
SCARBOROUGH: Steve, let‘s play a little bit of that PBS documentary that, again, you helped put together, in 1994.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Peace be upon you, is cable access show in Tampa that reaches 60,000 homes. It‘s host, is a professor of engineering, at the University of South Florida. He is also the president of the Islamic Committee for Palestine.
SAMI AL-ARIAN, PRESIDENT OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE COMMITTEE FOR
PALESTINE: Does not try to abolish our ideologism other than (UNINTELLIGIBLE) I have my religion, and you have yours.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sami Al-Arian‘s organization, according to law enforcement, serves as the primary support group in the United States for Islamic Jihad.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: The primary—this guy, you are saying in 1994 this is on PBS, that this guy was the primary leader of Islamic Jihad in the United States? You are saying that in 1994?
EMERSON: In November 1994, not only did I assert that, but the documentary had the actual linkages showing the connections to the Islamic Jihad publications out of Tampa with the exact same address out of the Middle East, as well as Mr. Al-Arian‘s own speeches, in support of killing the infidels and in support of Jihad.
Nothing was done by the university at that point, and nothing was done, in fact, during the entire period of Betty Castor‘s tenure. And I find the issue right now, after 9/11, especially the 9/11 report basically holding people accountable for what they didn‘t do, and the justified criticism of presidents Clinton and Bush.
The fact is, Betty Castor should not be immune from the same type of accountability, and she should own up to the fact she didn‘t do what she should have done, which was to take disciplinary action against a terrorist who was using University of South Florida as cloak for covering his activities in support of violent, radical Islamic group.
SCARBOROUGH: William March, let me give you the final question. How do you think this is going to impact the election two weeks from now?
MARCH: That‘s a little hard to say, Joe. At least one of Castor‘s opponents, Peter Deutsch, though he is not himself personally raised this in his campaign, a close friend and associate of his has formed an independent campaign group that is airing advertising, attacking Castor over the issue.
After the primary, though, it‘s going to be difficult for any Republican to raise this issue against Betty Castor. Partly because in the 2000 election, while George Bush was trying to get curry favor with Muslim voters, he had his photo taken with Sami Al-Arian in Tampa, and later invited him to the White House. So that is going to make it tough for any Republican to use this against Castor.
SCARBOROUGH: I would certainly say so. Thanks a lot for being with us. William March, we greatly appreciate it. Steve Emerson, we thank you also. We are going to continue following the story. I am sure we are going to be inviting both of you back later.
Up next, you are not going to believe what this guy is selling on eBay. Stick around. You are going to have to see it.
Plus, we‘ll give you the latest on the McGreevey gay sex scandal, and how he defended himself in the press today when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns on MSNBC.
SCARBOROUGH: Welcome back, I‘m Joe, and I have got issues. Now, you know I have got issues with New Jersey Governor, Jim McGreevey. Not because he likes men. Elton John likes men. Heath Townsend even admitted he liked men. My issue with the governor and the land of sopranos has to do with how reckless his administration really was.
According to the “Trentonian” newspaper, Governor Jim McGreevey snubbed former FBI Director Louis Freeh for the post of state anti-terrorism czar to appoint is alleged lover, Golan Cipel. Freeh offered to assume the post for free of charge. But McGreevey opted instead to put Cipel into the job with a $110,000 salary.
And Cipel had no qualifications for the job, and he isn‘t even United States citizen. We are going to have more on this troubling report in just a minute.
But, on to bigger news, big changes in the Hilton household. Twenty-year-old Nicky Hilton got hitched, 2:00 a.m. Vegas ceremony over the weekend, to her sometime boyfriend. Now according to family representative, this is a real serious, meaningful, loving relationship. Not a spur of the moment thing. The wedding was treated with such great sobriety and seriousness.
A friend of the couple said this, “Nicky wasn‘t that keen on the idea at first, but after a few drinks, she came around to it”. Gee, I would like to say that about my wife. Great sobriety and seriousness? Nicky isn‘t the only Hilton who flew the Hilton coup over the weekend. Little Tinker Bell, Paris‘s pet chihuahua is missing.
We told you 10 days ago, about how the pup was in therapy. But apparently Nicky‘s wedding may have pushed the poor pup over the edge. Tinker Bell has flown the coup. And understandably, stricken Paris has posted signs, offering thousands of dollars in rewards for her safe return.
Finally, I‘d like to introduce you to Cleveland‘s Jeremy Martin. He‘s an enterprising young man, who is willing to walk around in advertised (UNINTELLIGIBLE) products, but not on his sandwich board. Instead, you can put your ad on his head. Go to eBay, bid at least $60,000. Is that too steep? Jeremy doesn‘t think so.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEREMY MARTIN, SELLING AD SPACE: I will not take less than that, because I am going to have a tattoo on the back of my head for the rest of my life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, Mike, how much money do you have? I got an idea. When you absolutely positively need a talk show, SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY is the talk show for you. Isn‘t that a look?
Mike, you could do that also. Right here, we will pay you $60,000.
Let‘s get some light on that head. Right there. There we go. All right.
Now, with me now to discuss Jim McGreevey, New Jersey Republican State Senator, Joe Kyrillos who called for McGreevey to step down immediately. And also with us tonight, is Steve Adubato. He is a former New Jersey state legislator and political columnist, who has covered McGreevey‘s political career for years. Poor, poor, Steve.
Why don‘t we start with you. Since you have had to put up with this for years. Tell us, is McGreevey going to step down, or do you think this guy is going to try to fight it out, and stick around until the date he originally announced.
STEVE ADUBATO, SYNDICATED POLITICAL COLUMNIST: Joe, let me say this in all seriousness. I know it is easy to joke about McGreevey and say it is terrible to have to cover him. But let me just say this, before this thing hit, while there were scandals and problems in the administration, I liked and respect Jim McGreevey in a lot ways.
However, his judgment in this situation is abominable. The fact that the Golan Cipel thing in terms of whether he had relationship or not, I don‘t care. It‘s not our business. You know it, and I know it.
SCARBOROUGH: I agree with you.
ADUBATO: It‘s the Homeland Security issue. That is it. Beyond that, there‘s nothing else to talk about. The fact that Louis Freeh, you talked about that, from the FBI, a first class super guy, wanted to do the job. And this is the guy the governor wanted. This is about judgment. This is about the fact that the governor‘s personal relationship with Cipel apparently caused him to want him to be the Homeland Security czar, and the FBI nixed that, because he wasn‘t even a citizen. He is from Israel.
Bottom line is this, I really believe that the governor was going to resign before we did this program, meaning step down.
ADUBATO: I really believe that. But I will tell you what, there is a war, a battle going on within the Democratic Party. Don‘t think it‘s a slam-dunk that U.S. Senator Jon Corzine, is going to jump into this, and he is going to become the governor. There‘s a lot of pressure to let McGreevey play this thing out.
I called for McGreevey to step down yesterday, get out of it, stop this insanity. But let me tell you something. No matter how many journalists, or Republicans, or other people press, including some Democrats, this guy McGreevey is stronger than people think. He‘s got more resolve, and I believe he is going to hold on longer than I originally thought he would.
SCARBOROUGH: Steve, you obviously, you know New Jersey politics as well as anybody. You have been covering it for a long time. Tell me, this bears striking resemblance, doesn‘t it, what happened two years ago. Remember when Torricelli, there were a lot of Democrats also, pushing that guy over the ledge. Torricelli decided to leave, I guess for financial reasons. But you don‘t think that he is going to be swayed like Torricelli was in 2002?
ADUBATO: You know what, Joe? I originally thought he would. I thought the idea of if you take a look at video, you got our organization, you‘ve got MSNBC, you have the other cable networks, you have New York stations, national, cable, everybody, the networks. I think that the administration‘s belief is if they can hang out the rest of this week, the electronic media is going to lose interest because we have the interest—the attention span of a gnat, and we are out of there.
And then you have the New Jersey media, maybe “New York Times”. I believe they believe that if it‘s simply print folks, they can ride this thing out. I originally thought he wasn‘t going to stay for the rest of the week. I believe that McGreevey is tougher than anyone thinks, and the Torricelli where a couple years ago, they tried to dump McGreevey and get Torricelli in there. It was supposed to be the 800 pound gorilla, McGreevey showed people he is really, really tough. This is the thing he has wanted for his whole life. He is not moving out on anyone else‘s schedule but his own.
All right. Joe, let me ask you this. Joe Kyrillos, let me bring you in here. Do you think he is tough enough to stick it out, or do you think you can get him out of office?
STATE SEN. JOSEPH KYRILLOS, ® NEW JERSEY: Joe, what‘s the point? What‘s the point of being tough enough to stick it out? Stick it out for what? He has already resigned office. There‘s no debate about whether he should or shouldn‘t. Why put New Jersey through this drama? Isn‘t it embarrassing enough? Isn‘t it tough enough for the governor himself and his family, spare himself, get on with his life, and let New Jersey get on with its life. And move on from all this drama.
You know, there‘s a lot of political manipulation going on here. We all know that. There‘s a date certain here in New Jersey. The rest of America may not realize it. After which, there can‘t be election. There ought to be election for a governor here at home. That‘s what everybody tells me as I move around the state.
It‘s not like we have to open up the voting booths from scratch. Everybody in New Jersey and all across America is going to vote for president this November. And we ought to vote for a governor as well. And spare us all this drama on MSNBC tonight, and all the other networks all across the land.
SCARBOROUGH: All right. Senator, stick around with us. Steve, also stay with us. We‘ll be right back in a second.
SCARBOROUGH: Senator, let me go back to you. What‘s the next step for the Republican Party?
KYRILLOS: Well, the Republican Party wants what I think most people of New Jerseyans want. Joe, we really want a fresh start for New Jersey. This has been a very sad era for us. A tough three years of tax hikes, and more debt, and scandal, after scandal, after scandal. We need a new beginning. Governor needs to move on with his life, and New Jersey‘s Democratic leaders other than Jim McGreevey need to talk about what they are going to do differently.
We hear a lot about Senator John Corzine as perhaps a gubernatorial nominee for this year, or next year. How is he going to lead New Jersey differently, and what does he say about this McGreevey administration? About the way it‘s conducted itself, and where New Jersey is at this point in time?
These are questions that very shortly, Senator Corzine is going to have to answer as we begin to bring New Jersey forward in a way we can be proud of.
SCARBOROUGH: Steve, you know a lot about new Jersey Politics. How do you think this is going to play out? Any effect whatsoever in presidential politics this fall?
ADUBATO: Well Joe, it depends upon who the Republicans put up. If the Republicans put up strong candidate for the governorship, then this is a race. Some of the polls showing that the president is behind 10, 12, maybe 15 points or more. But all the sudden if you have—if Corzine isn‘t the candidate, I tell you what. If Corzine is not the candidate for governor on the Democratic side, and the Republicans put up a strong candidate, you have got a race in New Jersey.
But Joe Kyrillos knows this better than anyone else. Republicans have a hard time putting up strong candidates statewide. They haven‘t won in a while. If they put up someone who is not strong, it doesn‘t matter who the Democrats put up, then the Democrats are going to win. Because Republican candidates, usually just a little too far right. I think you can appreciate that, Joe Scarborough, right?
SCARBOROUGH: I am a middle of the road man Steve. Thanks a lot buddy. Appreciate you being here. Senator, thank you so much. We‘ll see you tomorrow night when we are going to be talking to former New Jersey governor, Christy Todd Whitman. Good night.
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