||BROKAW: Good evening from Des Moines. In
just six weeks in the balmy closing days of January, out here in the nationís
heartland, the good people of Iowa, hundreds of thousands of them, will
gather in caucuses across this state ó Democrats and Republicans
alike. They will gather in city halls and in churches and in
school buildings, also in kitchens. Theyíll discuss politics and
they will decide who theyíd like to have be their next president of the
And tonight, on this stage for the first time
in Iowa in this electoral season, we have all six of the Republican presidential
candidates for what we know will be a spirited 90 minutes.
BACHMAN: Well the Iowa Caucuses are a unique part
of the American political process, and in more than 21 precincts ó 2,100
precincts across our state, neighbors will gather to conduct party business.
And as Tom said, to express their presidential preference. And because
these are the first in the nation caucuses, their influence extends well
beyond the Iowa borders, Tom.
BROKAW: And weíre going to try to do something
a little different tonight to engage all of you in this process,
and with the cooperation of the candidates as well, will not have any bells
or buzzers to signal the end of their time. We have asked them to confine
their questions ó their answers to one minute, and any follow-up response
to about 30 seconds. Now, there are no trapdoors beneath their seats
so if they go over that weíre going to have find a way to cut them off
and move on. And weíre going to move through this tonight by not going
just in auto-rotation. We will have questions for the various candidates.
Everyone will get a fair shake this evening, but weíre not going to go
in rote step.
BACHMAN: We have some questions from viewers and
we will work them in throughout the course of the evening. The candidates
will be able to ask one question of another candidate and each candidate
will have 60 seconds for a closing statement. And in the audience tonight
are guests of the Iowa Republican Party, and also guests of WHO-TV.
BROKAW: John, letís begin by introducing the people
that weíve all come here to hear tonight. Beginning at my left, Steve
Forbes, a well-known publisher who is running for a second time here in
Iowa; Alan Keyes, former assistant secretary of state and ambassador; George
W. Bush, the governor of the state of Texas.
BACHMAN: Next to him, the senior U.S. senator
from Utah, Orrin Hatch. Also with us, the senior U.S. senator from
Arizona, John McCain; and former Reagan administration official, Gary Bauer.
BROKAW: Gentlemen letís begin. Today Time
magazine, the newspapers and television and radio were filled with the
blood-chilling accounts of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold and the videotapes
that they left behind before they engaged in that cold-blooded massacre
at Columbine High School. In those videotapes, they invoke guns and
video games and movies. Now if past patterns are any guide, all three
of those industries will disclaim any responsibility for what happened
at Littleton High School.
Senator McCain, first of all, welcome to Iowa.
McCAIN: Nice to be back. [Laughter]
BROKAW: Do you think that the gun industry, the
video game industry and Hollywood have any role in what happened at Columbine
McCAIN: Absolutely. And thereís one other group of Americans and that
is families ó families and communities and neighborhoods ó because thatís
where the responsibility begins and ends.
But Iíve been saying for a long time, Tom, that itís not just the availability
of guns, although obviously it existing laws have to be enforced and we
have to do other things such as pursue technology that only allows the
owner of a gun to fire it.
But weíve all known that thereís very pernicious influences that are
being felt by our children. In this tapes you were describing they
talk about a specific video game and a specific character in that game.
That should chill us all. We parents should know what arechildren
are seeing. When Cindy and I come home, our kids are in their rooms
on the Internet. I canít tell you I always know why my children are
watching. I canít tell you exactly what theyíre seeing when they
go to the mall. Itís my responsibility.
But I believe that when weíre wiring every school and library in America
to the Internet, that each of those schools and libraries should have filtering
software to filter out that stuff. About a year ago there was a young
boy in the Phoenix library that was watching pornography at the Phoenix
library on the Internet. He walked out and molested a 4-year-old
There is an influence. We need to know what it is, and we need
to know why weíre robbing our children of the most precious treasure and
thatís their innocence.
BROKAW: Governor Bush, when your father became
president, he promised the nation that he would try to have a kinder, gentler
nation, and despite his best efforts, things are a lot worse off now than
they were when he took office. Is there anything specifically that
a president of the United States can do to interrupt what seems to be an
evolving cultural violence and rage in America?
BUSH: You know, one of the interesting parts of the question is that
thereís so much focus on the Dow Jones industrial average today, and thatís
fine. I mean, if you listen to folks in Washington they think everything
There is a problem with heart in America. One of the great frustrations
is being a governor is I wish I knew of the law thatíd make people love
another, because Iíd sign it.
But I do know that we can institute programs of faith and goodwill,
that our society ought to welcome the mentoring programs and after-school
programs ó people whose whole mission is in life to change hearts, to love
a neighbor in need, people who hear the universal call that Iím going to
love a neighbor just like I want to be loved myself.
And so while thereís a lot of focus on the economy, and thatís fine,
the next president of the United States must tap into the great strength
of America, which are the hearts and souls of decent Americans. You
see, thatís where the greatness of America lies, it doesnít lie in the
halls of government.
BROKAW: Ambassador, specifically, however, besides
engaging in that kind of discussion and invoking those kinds of mottos,
what do you think a president can do these days that would make a real
difference in interrupting this culture of violence that is so prevalent
in so many communities?
KEYES: I think the first thing we have to do is restore this countryís
allegiance to its basic moral principles. We express great shock
and outrage that we are bloodying the hallways of our schools with the
blood of our children. What about the blood of our children killed
in the womb on the basis of a doctrine that completely rejects the basic
principles on which this nation was founded?
If our rights come from God, then we ought to shape our childrenís consciences
in the fear of God. And I think that what weíre seeing in our schools
is the direct result of our failure to respect that heritage and to pass
So the first thing I would want to do is, is get us back to that road,
with a human life amendment that respects life and restores our respect
for the will of God. Then letís turn those schools back over to responsible
parents so that we can put faith and prayer back in the classroom.
And the shaping of the conscience and the fear of God will then become
once again the everyday business of our schools. I think we can clear
up the void only by filling that void once again with the faith this country
was founded on.
BROKAW: Senator Hatch, do you think that thereís
a direct connection between Roe vs. Wade and the violence that we see in
schools these days?
HATCH: Sure do. Thereís an insensitivity to the ó to the ó to
life in our society today. When you have 40 million babies that have been
aborted since Roe vs. Wade, there comes an insensitivity that affects all
of us. But Iíll tell you what Iíd do. I think the first thing the
president of the United States ought to do in order to try and change things
is not expect from the American people something that he, himself is not
willing to do. I think the president of the United States ought to
set a moral tone in this country, and ought to do whatís right. He
ought to be a person of integrity and decency. When he goes to the
movie industry ó a person like this. And thatís what Iíd try to bring.
And I go to the movie industry, and I go the video tape industry,
and I go the music industry, Iíll have a moral power to talk to those people
and say, ďLook, letís get together. Thereís too much obscenity, pornography,
violence, and crime in our society today, and itís about time you people
started living up to your responsibilities as well.
These young kids that have committed these murders ó let me tell you
something, one in particular mentioned that it was the videotape ďDoomĒ
ó video game ďDoomĒ that he was playing ó the kid in West Paducah, Kentucky.
He had never shot a gun before, to my knowledge. He went in there
and knew exactly what to do, because heíd been playing these video games.
They learn how to rape. They learn to murder. They learn how
to treat other human beings wrongfully. And Iíll tell you, Iíd set
an example. I think thatís the first thing that the President can
do and should do. And I think the American people will follow suit.
BACHMAN: Thank you, Mr. Hatch.
Mr. Bauer, you have talked about reshaping the
morals of this nation. When Iowans think about morality, they turn
to their churches and their synagogues for guidance. And here in
Iowa, the main-line churches have talked about tighter gun control restrictions
than you ó than really any of the six here. The top three churches
in Iowa ó the denominations ó Roman Catholic, ELCA, and Methodist all have
statements on this. And the United Methodists calling for a ban on the
possession, and manufacture, and sale ofhandguns. Are you asking
to reshape the morals of the churches?
BAUER: Well, I think the churches should leave to politicians, discussions
about the regulation of various industries.
The churches ought to be talking about the human heart, about the soul
of America. And I think part of the problem is that some so-called,
as you put it, main-line churches are passing resolutions about gun control
instead of asking the questions about whatís happened in American society
since that time so many years ago when the founding fathers said we were
a shining city on a hill, that our liberty came from God.
You had the reference to Time magazine. Eric and Dylan
were coming to school every day, and they were giving each other the Nazi
salute in the hallway. The teachers thought that was part of their
free speech to do that. But if a teacher at Columbine had come up
to those kids and said, you know what Eric, I know youíre going through
some problems, but God loves you. He has a place in the world for
you, that teacher would have been in trouble.
A president ó let me just say one thing ó a president can do something
about this. He can put judges on the court that understand that our
liberty comes from God, that heís the author of it. And that only
a virtuous people can remain free. And that ultimately will be a
lot more important than passing another gun law.
BACHMAN: Are you saying to the churches, though,
that gun control is not a moral issue?
BAUER: No, I think gun control ó who in America wants Eric and Dylan
to have a gun? They violated 17 gun laws that day. The deeper
question is why did two American boys do to fellow human beings what it
would be impossible to imagine an American child doing to cats or dogs.
What did we do in America to so undermine the sanctity of life that we
could raise a couple of kids with empty hearts? And I think that
part of it is that we undermine the sanctity of life by telling our children
that theyíve got a Constitutional right to take innocent human life if
itís in their way.
BACHMAN: Governor Bush, you are in favor of some
gun controls. Do you hear the concerns of the churches on relating
gun control to...
BUSH: Iím in favor of keeping guns out of the hands of people who shouldnít
have them, like felons and juveniles. But Iím for enforcing the laws
on the books. I think the churchmen here in Iowa ought to hear that
if we enforce the laws on the books, if we send a clear signal to people
that weíre going to hold you accountable for breaking the law, that theyíll
realize societyíll be safer.
In my state of Texas, weíve done just that. Weíve ó weíve armed DAís
with extra money to prosecute people who break the law. Thereís a
lot of laws on the books around the states and in the federal government.
And we need to send a signal to people.
Donít be illegally selling guns and donít be illegally using guns.
I think the best accountability for somebody who breaks the law with a
gun is called jail ó certain jail.
But I also know we need to have laws that keep guns out of the hands
of people who shouldnít have them. I mean, thatís why Iím for instant
background checks. I think thatís a system that when properly employed
will work, and work well. And thatís the kind of law and thatís the
kind of president Iím going to be if I win the vote.
BACHMAN: Mr. Forbes, I want to give you the opportunity
to speak on both of these questions ó go all the way back to Tom and your
FORBES: Well, obviously it does begin with us as parents, as neighbors,
as citizens ó teaching our young people a strong sense of right and wrong.
It also means giving parents choice to choose schools that they think are
best for their children, so they donít have to worry that what theyíre
trying to teach at home is being undermined in school in terms of morals
and values. And so that is a critical part of it, too.
And enforcement sends a very strong message. The Clinton-Gore
administrationís been full of pious palaver about the need, about doing
more about guns. But look what theyíve done. Prosecutions for
crimes committed with firearms ó federal crimes ó way down. What
message does that send? Felons who try to get guns ó they wonít let
them buy the gun, but they donít prosecute them for trying to get the gun.
So prosecutions are way down. You bring a gun to a school, John,
and there is only one chance in a thousand youíre going to be prosecuted.
What message does that send?
So it also, as Gary and others have indicated, and very forcefully said,
it also gets back to life. And not just life in the womb, not just
life as adolescents, but also life in the older years for the elderly and
the infirm. And as a father of five daughters, my wife Sabina and
I have been worried sick over the years of what the culture is doing and
undermining what weíre trying to teach at home. So it all combines
BACHMAN: But youíre saying to the mainline churches
here in Iowa that theyíre wrong in this.
FORBES: Iím saying to the mainline churches: You have a critical task
in making sure ó not making sure, but trying to inculcate with us a strong
sense of right and wrong, that life is indeed a God-endowed right.
If you believe that life is a state-created right or state-endowed right,
then what youíre saying is those who have the power determine who lives
and who doesnít.
And weíve seen in this century the bloody consequences of not realizing
thereís a higher authority, that there is God, and that life emanates from
God and God only.
BROKAW: Senator McCain, letís move on to health
care if we can. Medicare. Do you think itís broken?
BROKAW: And what would you do about it?
McCAIN: Well, thereís so many facets of the Medicare problem, including
the demographics of an aging baby-boomer generation. Weíve got to have
a place to start, and I think a great place to start would have been the
commission that John Breaux and Senate Congressman Thomas headed that had
the best minds of America in ó together. And they had a good blueprint
for a way that we could begin to address this multifaceted issue.
It would take ó we could have this town hall meeting just about those.
Let me talk to you about one issue thatís come up in town hall meeting
after town hall meeting that Iíve had, and thatís prescription drugs for
senior citizens. Weíre asking senior citizens now to make a choice
between their health and their income. They make too much money to
be on Medicare, and not enough to obviously pay for these drugs. Weíve
got to devise a program that when a senior spends a certain part of their
income on these prescription drugs that weíll have a state and federal
match for it. We canít do that to our senior citizens.
Another serious issue is 11 million children that are without health
insurance, that weíve got to expand the childrenís health insurance program.
Thereís a variety of areas that we have to work on, Tom, because Medicare
is probably the most difficult challenge that we face in the next century
because it has a lot to do with other things besides money. And Iíll
tell you what ó I have the guts to take the money where it shouldnít be
spent in Washington and put it where it should be spent, including10 percent
of the surplus.
BROKAW: Senator Hatch, why not have means testing
for Medicare? Why should someone who earns my kind of income, for
example, pay and get the same kind of coverage as a school teacher or someone
who works on a farm here in Iowa? Take an investment banker
and put him up against a cop. Why canít people who earn more money
help make it possible for older Americans who have real need to get prescription
drugs under their coverage?
HATCH: Well first of all, I donít think youíre going to ask for Medicare
with the amount of money you make. [Laughter]
In fact, I think you could take care of all of us right up here
on the dais with what you make, and maybe everybody in the audience as
well. You never know.
Let me just say this. There are 40 million people on Medicare.
By 2035, there will be 80 million people on Medicare. Medicareís
in trouble. This president had a chance to change it. He had
a chance to solve it. We would have passed the Breaux-Thomas recommendations.
They wouldnít have solved it all. Itís got to be much more well thought
out than that. And every possible consideration has to be placed
on the table.
What I would do as president, I would get together the very best people
in the industry ó the actuaries, the accountants, the doctors, the lawyers,
the experts that really understand the system ó get all the facts together.
And then I would lead the political types to try and come up with some
solution thatíll help us to resolve these problems.
But itís clear that we cannot continue to go with the current system,
because by 2011 when all the baby boomers start coming into existence ó
Iíve got to tell you, by that time Medicareís going to start to go bankrupt.
Itís gone from $3 billion in 1965 to $232 billion in 1998. It will
be $450 billion by 2008. We have to deal with it. And the next
president of the United States has to have common sense conservatism guts
to get it done. And youíre looking at the guy thatís worked in this
area all the way through, and Iíll get it done for you.
BROKAW: Mr. Keyes, let me ask you a question about
what Governor Bush did down in Texas. Theyíve got a lot of kids down
there who donít get health insurance. So Democrats in the legislature
said, look, thereís a lot of federal money thatís available. We can get
it up to twice the poverty level and we can put them under a program called
CHIPs. He didnít want to go quite as far as the Democrats did in
Texas, but eventually they did get the CHIPs program done. The governor
wanted to have more private agencies and churches and other people fill
in. Do you think that thatís a wise approach that we should have?
More of a combination of government and the compassion agencies, if you
will, churches and philanthropic organizations?
KEYES: Well, I think that the first thing we need to do is remember
that the best way to regulate these matters and the best way to achieve
results is not just to concentrate on how you pay for everything, but to
concentrate on how you keep the costs down.
I think one of the major problems that we have with this entire system,
were weíve shifted the burden of decision making, trying to police the
relationship between price and value in the medical industry, trying to
do that with bureaucracies, whether itís private bureaucracies in the insurance
companies or government bureaucracies. Itís not going to work.
We need an approach that will put the consumer of medical services in
the driverís seat. And that will not just help to pay for things.
If the costs keep skyrocketing, what good is it to keep throwing money
after those higher costs? We need a system that will bring those
And the system that brings the cost down in every other area of our
lives is a consumer policed system of competition, where people have the
right to make their own choices. And given that right, can then carry the
dollars that theyíre going to use in a way that achieves the best results
for them. Thatís what we need. And that means that wherever
weíre going to spend this money, we ought to voucherize it and let people
make their own choices as to their medical care so they can decide where
the most effective service and the best prices are.
BACHMAN: We need to turn to foreign policy.
Iím going to let you do that in just a second. But I want to get
one last question in here on domestic policy, Tom. I want to ask
You have said that one ó one best way to pay for
family tax relief is the cut in pork barrel spending that youíve advocated.
And yet, when you look at the pork list here in Iowa, you have said that
there should be some $2 million cut in the fight against methamphetamines.
And that is a huge priority here in Iowa. That doesnít seem like
pork barrel to us.
MCCAIN: It may not to you. But the fact is that many of these
programs may have great virtue, but weíll never know, because theyíre never
placed in competition with any other program. There may be a program
in Arizona that should have been considered. Instead, some powerful member
of Congress or powerful special interest, thanks to huge $100,000 checks
or multi-$100,000 checks got snuck in in the middle of the night in a conference
without any of us knowing a program.
I donít think you quite get it. The fact is, itís not the virtue
of the program, itís the way that itís inserted. Every program in
America should have the same right to compete with this program here in
Iowa for those tax dollars, because those tax dollars come from the citizens
of my state, as well as Iowa.
And on that subject, Iím here to tell you that Iím going to tell you
the things that you donít want to hear, as well as the things you want
to hear. And one of those is ethanol. Ethanol is not worth it.
It does not help the consumer. Those ethanol subsidies should be phased
out. And everybody here on this stage, if it wasnít for the fact
that Iowa is the first caucus state, would share my view that we donít
need ethanol subsidies. It doesnít help anybody.
HATCH: Thatís not true.
BACHMAN: Senator Hatch?
[Laughter, Applause, Boo's]
HATCH: Listen, Chuck Grassley came to me early. And I was in the
Senate before he came. But he was in the Congress before I came to
the Senate. He was one of the few people I went to, when I ran for
the Senate, to see what I should do. And Chuck Grassley convinced
me that here is a renewable resource that helps farmers, that literally
might help us when we have another energy crisis, like we did in the late-í70s.
I went through that. I saw it. And I can tell you itís crazy
for us to not do everything we can to develop renewable resources that
help farmers, and that help everybody. Now itís too expensive right
BACHMAN: Mr. Bauer? Very quickly, very quickly.
\BAUER: Look John, this is Iowa. Weíre leaving domestic policy.
And you guys havenít given us a question on probably the biggest crisis
facing this state. Youíve touched on it with ethanol. The family
farm in this state is being destroyed. Itís being destroyed across
BACHMAN: We will get to that.
BAUER: OK, good enough. I donít want to leave this stage, until weíve
had a chance to talk about that.
BACHMAN: I guarantee you, we will get to that.
BAUER: OK, there are broken hearts in this state, and we need to address
BACHMAN: Thank you. Tom?
BROKAW: Well, I ó we shouldnít leave that now.
Letís just stay with this. I mean, I want to ask Mr. Forbes, a publisher
and a man who pays a lot of attention to markets and what happens.
Ethanolís been around for a long time. Itís primarily of interest
to people in Iowa and a few other states in the corn belt, but primarily
of interest to here. Do you think that itís had a fair test in the marketplace?
And does there come a time when you say, weíve invested a lot of money
in that; it hasnít made it?
FORBES: I think the answer is of course. And thatís why Iíve supported
having a few years of a fair test, and in the year 2007, when this current
program expires, if it canít stand on its own two feet, then it ought to
In this day and age when you think of high technology, and you can get
literally write whole worlds on grains of sand ó the whole information
revolution, silicon ó I donít see why with research, getting rid of the
capital gains tax so you have risk-taking, that we canít find imaginative
ways to use foreign products.
So I think what we have here is bankruptcy, in a sense, of finding new
uses for agricultural products. And I think with a little investment
and imagination, we will find fantastic productive uses that will pay very
rich dividends. And Gary is absolutely right in terms you mentioned
markets. What is happening to farmers today in markets, with their
low commodity prices, is not a result of just supply and demand.
Itís also huge mistakes from Washington, D.C. ó everything from high interest
rates, the same thing they did in the mid-80s, theyíre doing today ó depressing
farm prices; to opening up foreign markets; to not hurting our existing
customers through the crazy economic policies of the International Monetary
Fund, which has already cost us over $30 billion of exports. It all
So yes, weíll let ethanol have its run to 2007. If it doesnít
work, cut it out. But I think there are a lot of uses for agricultural
products and we should do the research to find what they are.
BROKAW: Governor Bush, as so much of the American
economy is moving to the economy of scale these days ó we used to mom-and-pop
shoe stores and menís clothing stores on main streets and little drug stores,
now weíve got Costco and Wal-Mart and all the other big stores ó why should
the family farm ó and before anyone believes that Iím picking on them,
my family grew up in that tradition ó why should the family farm be any
more protected than the corner drug store, or the mom-and-pop shoe store,
or the little grocery store that we used to find on Main Street?
BUSH: Yes, I think if you asked the family farmer here in Iowa they
donít feel protected. People are hurting in this state. Family farmers
all across this state are wondering: How come we donít open more markets
for my corn and my hogs? And thatís exactly what Iím going to do
as president; Iím going to open up markets.
I support ethanol, and I support ethanol strongly, John. And Iíd
have supported ethanol whether I was here in Iowa or not. And the
reason I do... [Applause]
BROKAW: Just a reminder to the audience, you only
take away from the time that the candidates have when you do that.
I know that itís so tempting.
BUSH: I was ó I was just warming up.
BROKAW: Right. [Laughter]
BUSH: I support ethanol because itís good for our air. Itís good
for the air, itís good for the quality of the air. It also reduces
our dependency upon foreign oil. And if I become the president Iím
going to spend money on research and development to find additional uses
for agricultural products. This is a fantastic renewable resource.
Itís not only here in Iowa, itís all across the Midwest. In the state
of Texas. Forbes is right, Steveís right on that. We ought
to spend money.
BUSH: We ought to spend...
BUSH: We ought to ó no, we ought to spend money on finding out how to
ó on better and more uses for agricultural products. Who knows, maybe
someday we will be driving automobiles with ó with 100 percent corn product.
And guess what? We can grow it right here in Iowa.
BROKAW: Wouldnít we have more markets for Iowa farm products if we allowed
China to come into the WTO and opened up a 1.5 billion people to
the Iowa grain products and hogs?
KEYES: I want to address the question that you asked to Governor Bush
there because I ó I was reading The New York Times the other day, where
they were declaring the family farm dead. And I think it was then
repeated on one of the major news shows. And folks look at the family farming
system like the only thing we get from family farms is the food.
It has actually been the case since the republic was founded, that the
family farm, from Jefferson all the way forward, has been understood as
one of the bedrock sources of the moral character of this nation, of the
sense of the combination of individuality and commitment to community;
the ability to shoulder hard work, at the same that you value the achievements
of individuals in the context of their contribution to family and community.
That sense of individualism that also knows how to dedicate itself
to the good of others, has been born and has been nurtured and has been
sustained in Americaís family farming sector. We lose the family
farm, and we lose the nursery of Americaís moral character. We canít afford
that. And I think we therefore have a stake that goes beyond money.
It goes beyond food. It is vital to the future of this country.
Where did we get the young men and women who were willing to sacrifice
themselves in battle, rise to the extraordinary tests of war every time
we asked them to, have the courage that used to be supposedly restricted
only to aristocrats? We found them in the fields of America, behind
the plow, nurtured in the family farms of this country.
We cannot let that die anymore than we can let Americaís heart and
individuality and courage die, because itís not just a question of money.
Itís a question of Americaís moral decency.
BACHMAN: Mr. Bauer, I have to get you back to
farming, as well. [Applause]. The Freedom to Farm Act 1996,
removed restrictions on the production of major crops.
BACHMAN: And since then we have had a huge increase
in the production of those crops. We have had a plummeting of prices.
And weíve had a falling off of exports. Now you have said that perhaps
it should be reviewed, the Farm Act.
BAUER: Yes, absolutely. Look, the politicians in Washington pulled
another fast one. They came to Iowa, they went to farmers all over this
country and they said: Look, hereís the deal. Weíre going to put you more
risk in the international marketplace. We know thatís going to be tougher
you. But in exchange for that, weíre going to fight to open up markets
the world. And they did not keep their end of the bargain.
We let our European allies keep our beef out with this excuse about
growth hormones. We let them keep Iowa corn out because of genetic
engineering. All that is excuses because European governments fight to
We need a government in Washington that will fight to protectAmerican
farmers. I will do that as president of the United States. And by the way,
Governor Bush, I will stop allowing China to play us for suckers. Weíve
them most favored nation status 10 years in a row. They dump their goods
here. And Iowa farmers are selling less to China now than they did 10 years
ago. The time of them playing us for suckers will end in my presidency.
BACHMAN: Governor Bush and then Senator Hatch, I need to ask
BUSH: Iím glad you brought it up. Iím glad you brought it up. Youíre
not for China getting into the WTO.
BUSH: Iím not asking you a question, itís a rhetorical here.
BAUER: Oh, itís hard to tell with you sometimes, Governor.
BUSH: I am. I am. And let me tell you something ó let me tell you
something. The amount of corn thatíll be moved if China gets in the WTO
rise from 250,000 ó yes ó metric tons to 7.2 million metric tons.
BUSH: Opening up Chinese markets is good for our farmers ó yes, sir.
It is good for our farmers.
BAUER: Governor, hereís your fallacy. You believe the Chinese
government will keep their agreements. They havenít kept their agreements
BUSH: Thatís why we let them in the WTO. Thatís part of
agreement-keeping. That brings China into the ...
BAUER: That just gives them another agreement to break, governor.
BUSH: Yes, well.
BACHMAN: Let me take you quickly back to the Freedom to Farm
Act, because I ...
BUSH: If you want to isolate the farmer ...
BACHMAN: ... I donít want to drop that because Senator Hatch, you
voted for the Freedom to Farm Act.
HATCH: Thatís right. And it was the right thing to do. If farmers want
make better profits off of their farm commodities, the only way to get
to get into the free market. But having said that, we have not done a good
in helping in the transition. This has been a tough time for farmers. In
country, we only spend nine percent for food in this country ó the lowest
the world. And farmers are on the bottom of the totem pole as far as getting
recompense for their work.
We had 22 million family farms in 1990. Today, we have five million.
Some of that happens because of death taxes. The family farm has to be
to pay the 55 percent death tax. Thatís ridiculous. I think everybody up
against that, and Iíll lead the fight to get rid of it. and then doing
so, along with
Chuck Grassley on the Finance Committee.
With regard to WTO, I was in China in the late í70s, and early í80s, the
late í80s, the early í90s and the late í90s. The difference between the
í70s and the late í90s because of market and economics, and Hong Kong,
so stark. The best way to undermine that police state is to not isolate
and have them withdraw, but bring them into the WTO where theyíve got to
live up to norms of conduct like the rest of the world. And that will help
farmers. Itíll help farmers all over this land.
One other thing ó itís pathetic in this country ...
BROKAW: Senator ...
HATCH: ... Iíll finish with this ó itís pathetic in this country that
state-inspected meat cannot be sold outside of the state, while we take
meat in here and sell it all over the country.
Weíre going to change that, and Iím in the process of doing that now.
BROKAW: Iíve been reading the Iowa Republican Party platform.
Weíre here in the state of Iowa.
BROKAW: And I have for each of you some questions that arise out of
the very graphic language in that platform.
If I could begin with you, Mr. Forbes. It calls for the elimination of
minimum wage ó the Iowa Republican Party platform. Do you think thatís
FORBES: On a national level, on a state level, if they have a state
minimum wage, and I donít know if they do, if they want to get rid of it,
But they are under federal law, we have a minimum wage, and thereís no
they can opt out of that.
But in terms of minimum wage, Tom, I think the best way to raise wages
in this country is not through government decree. The Europeans have tried
that and the result is massive unemployment among young people.
The way to do it is remove barriers to people getting ahead, have
investment incentives, get more growth than we have today, which weíre
capable of doing in productivity.
In my part of the world, Tom, you canít hire people for less than $6 or
$6.50. Thatís the way to bring it up, not through fiat. The Europeans tried
BROKAW: Senator McCain, in the Iowa Republican Party platform
they call for the prohibition of women in any combat role. No one on this
or almost in America has more combat experience than you do. Do you think
thatís a good idea ó prohibit women from combat?
MCCAIN: No, I donít. And itís already been proven in the Persian Gulf
War that women performed extraordinarily, with heroism and skill and
courage, including in a POW experience.
I want to go back to ethanol. It was a program...
It was a program ó it was a program at the height of the energy crisis
that was brought in, was supposed to be phased out, and obviously 2007
quite a while ó 35 years.
But the fact is, we know why farmers have been hurting so much, itís
because the Asian markets went down and they were unable to export. And
the fact is, now we will be able to export.
I agree with George Bush that China will absorb these exports. Every
nation in the world should be open to our best products. The best and most
productive farmer in the world is the farmer of Iowa. And the people in
and Bangkok and Paris will be eating Iowa pork and theyíll love every minute
of it when Iím president of the United States.
BROKAW: If I could get back to the Iowa party platform. Mr. Bauer, it
says that creationism is a science, and evolution is a theory, and they
be taught equitably in the schools. Do you agree with the entire premise
statement in the Iowa Republican Party platform?
BAUER: Well, hereís what I agree with, Tom, that the majority of the
American people believe that God had a hand in the creation of life on
BROKAW: Do you think oneís a science, and oneís a theory, though?
BAUER: I think that certainly evolution is a theory, and yet itís taught
our schools as if it cannot be questioned. If you ask the American people
they want about this, they want their children exposed to both of those
Thatís what an education ought to be about ó presenting to young people
variety of choices, and let them make the decision. And by the way, as
a follow-up, let me just say, if you want to read a wacko platform, you
to try reading the Iowa Democratic Party platform.
BROKAW: I get the impression we have some Iowa Republicans in the
Senator Hatch, continuing with the Iowa GOP platform. They call for the
elimination of the Environmental Protection Agency. Do you think thatís
HATCH: No, I donít. I mean, I donít agree with environmental
extremism, that would make us uncompetitive with the rest of the world.
of the first things I said I would do ó I listed yesterday for everybody,
things Iíd do the first day I was in office. And one of them is, I would
the Kyoto Accords. The Kyoto Accords place environmental extreme
requirements on the United States, but nobody else. And in the final analysis,
thereís no real reason ó scientific or otherwise ó why that should occur.
It would cost the average family $30,000 more. It would cost our senior
citizens ó Iowa senior citizens, and you have of senior citizens in this
it would cost them $1,500 to $3,000 more for fuel costs alone, every year.
Can you imagine? And thatís why we would revert ó revoke that, because
itís environmental extremism at its worst.
Now I think the ó but having said that, all of us believe in clean air,
clean water, in a better quality of life.
HATCH: And the Environmental Protection Agency, properly run by a
Hatch administration, would do a job likes never been done before and I
everybody in Iowa will be darn glad about it.
BROKAW: Governor Bush, I have a kind of two-part question. I just
want to clarify one thing. The platform also calls for the elimination
phasing out of Medicare and Medicaid and privatize those programs entirely.
BROKAW: Bad idea?
BUSH: I think it is. I think Medicare is the responsibility of the federal
government. Itís a commitment weíve got to keep. The problem with
Medicare is itís run by 135,000, more or less, page document where all
where the government decides everything. They decide how the patient
chooses things and how the doctors perform.
I think we need to give patients more choice and doctors more flexibility.
I ó and so I think itís a bad idea.
BROKAW: You told my colleague and friend, Tim Russert, on ďMeet
the Press,Ē that you think that patients should have the right to sue their
BUSH: I do.
BROKAW: And then I looked at your Web site and it has a caveat,
ďfederally approved HMOs.Ē Did you mean for it to have that caveat? Or
does everyone who belongs to an HMO have the right to sue?
BUSH: Well, what I ó let me tell you what I told Mr. Russert. I talked
about a piece of law that ó that we enacted in Texas. And hereís ó hereís
the law. It says if youíve got a complaint with your HMO, you the patient,
can take your complaint to whatís called an independent review organization,
an IRO. Itís a group of objective-minded people that hear your claim, that
hear your cause.
If they decide ó if the objective folks decide that the HMO is wrong,
and the HMO ignores the finding, that then becomes a cause of action. And
Iím not exactly sure of the wording on the web site, but I am sure itís
about making sure federal law does not preempt the good piece of legislation
we have in the state of Texas.
You see, I believe ó I believe in ó I believe states should run most of
their business. I believe ó I believe strongly that the government closest
people is that which governs best.
BROKAW: Though as I read the web site, and as others have read it,
said ďfederally approved HMOs.Ē
BUSH: Well because ó thatís because we covered state ó
non-federally approved HMOís in my state of Texas.
BROKAW: But you would make this the national standard? You would
have ó you would have a national review board and make that possible for
BUSH: Yes, I would.
BROKAW: Alan Keyes.
BACHMAN: If I could quickly ó a related question on Medicare that a
lot of our viewers asked about, and we want to try to get one of those
questions in. Weíll ask Mr. Keyes ó Medicare payments to hospitals and
insurers and doctors are so inequitable when you look at various states.
what we received in many mails to us. Because here in Iowa, the payment
enrollee is under $3,500 and the national average is above $5,000. And
strains hospitals. Some hospitals are closing. Can it be made more equitable?
KEYES: I think one of the problems youíre faced with there is that
youíre making determinations in bureaucracies that ought to, in fact, to
made in the marketplace. Costs are different in different parts of the
They would be reflected in the marketplace if people have the opportunity
make the choices I think that they ought to have the opportunity to make,
rather than having those limits imposed upon them by bureaucratic
determination and fiat.
There are differences. You canít site a national average and then say we
should have uniform payments everywhere. It would make no sense. But at
same time, bureaucracies may not come up with the best answer.
I want to try one thing, because I have to draw a contrast here on the
trade issue between myself and I guess everybody else whoís sitting up
because theyíre busy arguing about whether China should be in the World
Trade Organization or out of the World Trade Organization. And I look at
an organization that is unrepresentative, elected by no one, where dictators
and tyrants have the same right to send representatives to make substantive
decisions that the representatives of this free people have ó making decisions
that will affect our jobs and our livelihood in a fashion totally contrary
I donít think the question is whether China should belong to the World
Trade Organization. I think the question is whether the United States should
belong to an organization that violates every constitutional principle.
BACHMAN: Mr. Forbes ó very briefly ó you believe that we should
be a part of the WTO.
FORBES: The what?
BACHMAN: The WTO.
FORBES: I believe we should, but I have no illusions about it. I have
compared the WTO, John, to a Woolly Mammoth without the charm.
It is so big ó it is so big that this next round of negotiations that they
wanted to kick off in Seattle ó the last one the Uruguay round, took 13
years. This oneís going to take probably 25 or 30 years. I think we should
take action on our own. And thatís why I proposed, for example, doing a
North Atlantic free trade agreement with Ireland and Britain, bringing
Pacific side, Australia, New Zealand and other nations. Do it ourselves.
canít wait for the WTO. Itís useless.
BROKAW: Mr. Forbes, thank you very much. Now we come to that
portion of the program, tonight, in which by drawing, the candidates get
each other questions. And for the second time tonight, Gary Bauer gets
begin by asking Governor Bush a question.
BUSH: Itís becoming a habit.
BAUER: Yes it is. Governor Bush, I believe strongly that the big civil
rights challenge going into the next century, will be whether or not we
another place at the table for Americaís unborn children. Americaís always
been about welcoming other people to the table.
Youíve said you donít want to leave one child behind, but 1.5 million
children a year are being left behind. My judges will be pro-life. I want
Wade to be overturned.
I want to ask you a simple yes or no question. Will you commit tonight
having a pro-life running mate? Iím willing to say that Governor Christie
Whitman of New Jersey, the pro-abortion Republican governor, doesnít need
to stick close to her phone. I wonít be calling her to be my running mate.
you willing to make a similar commitment for a pro-life running mate?
BUSH: I think itís incredibly presumptive for someone who has yet to
earn his partyís nomination to be picking vice presidents. Iíll tell you
will do. Iíll name somebody ó Iíll name somebody who can be the president.
That ought to be the main criteria for any one of us who has the opportunity
pick a vice president, Gary. Itís going to be can that person serve as
of the United States?
I also am going to ask the question, will the person be loyal? Thereís
nothing that can be worse than have a vice president be disloyal to the
president. And of course I would expect that person to share my conservative
BAUER: Governor, I ó we get a follow-up as I understand. Governor,
BUSH: You do?
BROKAW ??: No.
BAUER: Well, that was my understanding.
BAUER: We donít?
BUSH: But you can if you want.
BAUER: He wants me to give him a follow-up.
BACHMAN: No follow-up, no. In fact, Mr. Forbes, you now ask a
question of Mr. Bauer.
So you will receive.
FORBES: Well, Gary...
BAUER: Yes, Steve?
FORBES: ... one of the great destructive forces in the world today, I
think, is the International Monetary Fund and the disastrous prescriptions
give to countries, raising taxes, devaluing their money, wreaking havoc.
prescriptions, with ó along with our
Treasury Department, have cost farmers $30 billion in agricultural
exports. Theyíve brought about a huge disaster in Mexico.
Would you agree with me that the International Monetary Fund should
go to the political equivalent of ďJurassic Park,Ē and we have true free
enterprise, free market economic prescriptions for these countries, instead
this unnecessary austerity and devastation?
BAUER: Steve, I think thereís a whole group of these international
organizations, like the WTO, that Alan referred to, the International Monetary
Fund, a lot of the things, quite frankly, that the United Nations has been
engaged in. I think we need to review all of those things.
Weíre sacrificing too much of Americaís sovereignty. Weíre being
plagued by suckers, by international bureaucrats. And the good taxpayers
this state are having their hard earned money to not only subsidize the
politicians in Washington, D.C., but a lot of bureaucrats in these international
organizations that they canít touch through the election process.
So, yes, I would review it, and I would reform it or get rid of it.
FORBES: I hope you get rid ó I hope we make a pledge to get rid of it,
because I think itís beyond repair, and the farmers would agree.
BAUER: Now, that was a follow-up.
BROKAW: No provisions, as I remember, for a colloquy. But we, you
know, we like to have them.
Alan Keyes, you get to ask the next question. And as you ó as you
know, you get to ask the next question of Senator Hatch.
KEYES: Senator Hatch, I heard with some curiosity I think in the last
debate that you were defending the decision of the judge in the Microsoft
KEYES: And I have to confess that decision worries me. Because I think
itís a little bit of a departure to start defining the ownership of a product
has been produced by oneís own ingenuity, as a monopoly. Of course you
have a monopoly on products that you make yourself. And it has always been
understood that part of making a profit is to take advantage of that monopoly
to get the best deal you can, when you bring that product to the marketplace.
Arenít we just punishing Microsoft, because, in fact, it is a successful
product which the government now wants to step in and take over in the
socialist fashion imaginable?
HATCH: Not according to one of the best federal judges in the country,
who wrote an exhaustive opinion, showing how Microsoft is not just a
monopoly, but Microsoft has been using its monopoly power to stifle
innovation, and creativity, and opportunity for others. At least this what
judge seems to be finding.
And I have to say that we had literally hundreds, if not thousands of
people complaining to me, as chairman of the Judiciary Committee to look
this, because they felt that they were being snuffed out of business by
Microsoft. One in particular, testified that Microsoft put a bug in their
operating platform that they had to ó that he had to be on in order to
successful. And he happens to be the most successful business in the streaming
industry to begin with. The fact of the matter is, theyíve put a bug in
it, so his
program would be incompatible. That was testimony before our committee.
Thatís the type of stuff that this judge is finding.
You can be a monopoly, and you can fight as hard as you can to increase
your monopoly power. But you donít have the right to trample on the little
You donít have the right to use your monopoly power, owning the underlying
operating platform, to insist that all the OEMs, the original equipment
operators ó manufacturers, have to take only your program, to the exclusion
of everybody elseís, which is also one of the allegations.
Now, to be honest with you, thatís why the Endercrass (ph) laws are in
BACHMAN: Governor Bush, youíre directing a question to Senator
BUSH: Youíve been talking a lot about pork in Washington and I
appreciate that. Hereís my view: If you want to get rid of pork in Washington,
stop feeding the hog. Thatís why I have proposed a $450 billion-plus tax
ó tax cut plan, which you called excessive.
One of the features in my plan, John, says to the single mom with two
children making $40,000 a year, you get a 53 percent tax cut. For single
moms with children who make less than $40,000 a year get ó get bigger tax
cuts. My question to you is, in reviewing of your plan, that single mom
children ó two children, making $40,000 ó get no tax cut. And Iím
MCCAIN: Well, I think itís something ó itís worthy of consideration,
but I also believe that if you raise the 15 percent tax bracket to singles
couples who make $70,000 a year, that would go a long way in that direction.
Itís funny you mention about pork, because really what the American people
need is their money back.
And theyíre not going to get it back until we get it out of the hands of
special interests ó these huge six- and seven-figure donations; the $100,000
checks; the $200,000 checks that have basically taken the government away
from the people and put it into the hands of the special interests. And
all these young people so cynical and even alienated.
Iíll tell you what, in all due respect to my friends here, you and I can
that tonight. We can commit as nominees of the party that we will have
to do with soft money with these huge $100,000 checks. We can stop it now.
We commit to that, and we can get the special interest money out of American
politics. We can give the government back to the people. I hope youíll
that commitment right here tonight in Iowa.
BUSH: Iíll be glad to talk about it.
BROKAW: Want to talk about it any more right now? Or do you want
to wait (inaudible).
BROKAW: Weíre doing all right. Weíve got time, governor.
BUSH: Iíd love to talk about it. Hereís my worry with your plan: Itís
going to hurt the Republican Party, John, and Iím worried for this reason.
BUSH: Let me finish ó let me ...
MCCAIN: How did Ronald Reagan get elected in 1980?
BUSH: May I finish? Let me finish.
MCCAIN: There was no such thing as soft money back then.
BUSH: May I finish?
The Democrat Party is really the Democrat Party and the labor unions in
America. And my worry is, is that you do nothing about whatís called
paycheck protection. We do nothing about saying to the labor, you canít
a laboring manís money and spend it the way you see fit.
Thereís a lot of laboring people who are Republicans and conservatives.
And yet under the vision youíve got or ó I guess youíve got ó or people
Washington have, itís OK that they just take their money and spend it the
they want to spend it. I donít think itís fair. And I think thatís unilateral
I agree with you, we ought not to have corporate soft money and labor
soft money. But there better be pay-check protection. Otherwise our
Republican Party and our conservative values donít have a shot.
MCCAIN: I donít know how...
MCCAIN: I still donít know how we won in 1980 in the Senate and the
presidency of the United States.
BROKAW: May I? May I...
BROKAW: May I ó May I futilely try to get control here for just a
moment. Weíre going to get to you. You get a question coming up in a few
moments, then you can promise Al you get a chance to talk.
KEYES: One brief remark, though. Because if weíre going to have a
colloquy, we ought to have all options on the table. These folks actually
with irrelevant things. The government does not have the right to restrict
freedom of association, which should include the right to associate our
with they causes we believe in.
And I think that this whole idea ó the whole idea that everybody here
subscribes here that there should be regulated contributions. Itís very
No dollar vote without a ballot vote.
KEYES: And publicity for all contributions. We donít need the rest of it.
We can regulate the system through our ballot if we have the freedom to
what we should as individual voters with our money.
BROKAW: Senator Hatch, as I was saying ó Iím in total control here,
as you can tell. And itís your question now to Mr. Forbes.
HATCH: Well, Iím going to colloquize for a minute first.
Johnís seems ó John seems to think that every problem in America is
going to be solved by the McCain-Feingold bill, an unconstitutional bill
basically penalizes Republicans.
HATCH: Have any of you ever wondered why all the Democrats
support it and hardly any Republicans in the Congress?
Just think about it.
Now, let me ask Steve a question. And Iím going to give you a home run
ball, Steve. Look...
FORBES: That usually means hold your wallet.
HATCH: Steve, I couldnít even lift your wallet is all I can say.
FORBES: Senator, with...
HATCH: Iím running a skinny cat campaign...
HATCH: ... OrrinHatch.com. Go there and help me out.
FORBES: Senator, with a flat tax ó with a flat tax youíll have a better
wallet, and with my Social Security reform youíll have a secure retirement
not have that pension system of the United States Senate, which rips off
HATCH: Well, Steve, and with my experience of 23 years, Iím the one
that can get it through, and Iíll do it as president. Let me tell you.
HATCH: Now, let me ask you ó let me ask you a question ó let me...
FORBES: And Iíll be relying on you when Iím in the White House to get
these things through.
HATCH: Let me ask you a question.
HATCH: You know, weíre talking about a lack of values in this country.
We all know itís there. We know our kids donít have the right examples.
know that there are a lot of things that are denigrating to our children
people, in Iowa and throughout the country.
My only brother was killed in the Second World War. The most valuable
thing I own is the flag that draped his coffin when they brought him back.
the author of the anti-flag desecration constitutional amendment. And what
want to do is get two-thirds of the Congress to pass that amendment, and
go out to those 50 states and create a debate on values like weíve never
before. Will you join me?
FORBES: Senator, absolutely. I support the constitutional amendment
concerning the desecration of the flag. And I think thatís...
HATCH: Thanks. I knew you would.
FORBES: Thatís why, too, I vigorously support now, not three years
FORBES: Not as a gift from the federal government, but right now,
giving parents choice on choosing the schools they think best. So, again
morals and values back in the schools through parents, and not have to
But then thereís also ó you talk about values. In my home state of New
Jersey, thereís a proposal to read the Declaration of Independence, those
opening sentences, that weíre endowed by our creator with certain inalienable
rights, among these life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
You know thereís controversy about that because it mentions the word
HATCH: Mr. Forbes, the...
FORBES: ... and our governor Christie Whitman, says she may not like it
because it takes too much time out of the day.
HATCH: Thatís pathetic...
FORBES: Sheís ó sheís about to endorse Governor Bush. I think we
need to get back to basics.
But to bring ó Senator, you bring up ó you bring up something very,
very ó you bring up something very valid.
When people can question the constitutionality of reading the Declaration
of Independence in our schools, have the kids read it each day, you know
thereís something fundamentally wrong. And thatís why I think you sense
America the beginnings of a spiritual and moral renewal.
HATCH: I told you it would be a softball stage, right. I told you it would
be a softball, but if...
BACHMAN: Senator McCain, the final candidate question to
MCCAIN: Alan, thereís a terrible thing going on in the world right now.
And itís genocide and itís creating hundreds of thousands of refugees.
destabilizing the region. And a tragic commentary on our time is that because
itís not in our living rooms, on television, a lot of people are not aware
Iím speaking, obviously, of Chechnya.
The Russians have threatened mass bombings, have already carried out
artillery attacks. Itís destabilizing to the region. We know that the oil
reserves that are in the region are important to the future of our energy
We know that the Russian military is asserting itself in a way that theyíve
since the end of the breakup of the Soviet Union. And thereís a lot of
implications associated with whatís going on in Chechnya now.
It offends our Judeo-Christian values and principles.
MCCAIN: It also can, over time, offend our national interest. Mr. Yeltsin
the other day mentioned something about we forget that Russia has nuclear
weapons. No, we donít forget that. But letís address this issue. Letís
attention of the American people on this issue. The president of the United
States is neglecting it, and I want to know what your prescription is as
you, as president of the United States, would do.
KEYES: Yes, itís interesting because when you started off with that
description, I thought sure you were going to ask me about Sudan.
And of course, the reason I mention that is not ó no, Iím not going the
obvious place. Iím not going to point out that we have allowed the carnage
Sudan to take place totally oblivious to a death toll that now rises over
million; regularly hundreds of thousands every year. I am not going to
that we take no interest in that because the people who are dying are black.
That would, in fact, probably not be true.
I will suggest, however, that I find it very strange ó and you were one
those folks out there shilling for this Kosovo business ó I think it rather
undercut the position of NATO and the Europeans, who are now on their high
horse because the Soviets are threatening to bomb civilians. We forget
several months ago we were in that same position, and the attacks that
taking place in Kosovo were not attacks on American soil; were not attacks
on American targets by terrorists who are terrorizing our population. In
we had intervened in an internal conflict in another country.
So I think we better be careful. If we had been careful then, weíd have
more moral authority now. I do, because I opposed that surrender of our
moral position ó have them the moral authority to say what Iím about to
And that is that I think that even though the Russians right now are dealing
a problem technically internal to their country, I donít believe we should
committing aggression in order to deal with it, but I do...
KEYES: And I think we ought to do so now, sternly and clearly, in a
way that the Clinton administration doesnít have the prudence or the courage
BROKAW: Thank you, Mr. Keyes.
Thatís the appropriate transition to talk some about foreign policy.
Governor Bush, you have said that you supported the idea of rejecting
the test ban treaty, and you want to build a missile defense system. If
the president ó if you were President Jiang Zemin in China, or you were
President Boris Yeltsin in Russia, wouldnít you be saying to your military
personnel, and to your scientists, ďThey want to start it up again. Weíve
do everything that we can to go on a hair trigger. And weíve got to expand
our own nuclear arsenalĒ?
BUSH: No, theyíd be hearing a different message. Theyíd be hearing a
message that the United States is a peaceful nation ó that we intend to
the peace. But weíre not going to sit by and allow rogue nations to hold
our friends hostage. That weíre not going to allow for accidental launches.
And weíve got the technology necessary to keep the peace.
Mr. Yeltsin will here from President Bush that, ďI intend to give you a
chance to join us in the development of theater-based, and national
anti-ballistic missile systems. But after a short period of time, if you
to, weíll withdraw from the treaty.Ē Because, weíre a peaceful nation.
But weíre not going to miss an opportunity, Tom, if Iím the president,
say to our friends an allies, ďWeíre going to provide a shield so you wonít
blackmailed.Ē Weíre going to say to our friends, the Israelis, ďWeíll provide
you a shield and work with you, so you wonít become blackmailed by
Iranians or Iraqis.Ē
No, our country must not retreat. We must not worry about what the
Russians and Chinese think. What we need to do is lead the world to peace.
And thatís exactly the kind of president I intend to be.
BROKAW: Would you give that shield...
... would you give that shield to Taiwan, Senator McCain? And would
you say to the Russians, simultaneously, ďLetís jump to START III and get
down to 1,000 nuclear warheads,Ē at the same time?
MCCAIN: Well, you...
BROKAW: Operate on several fronts?
MCCAIN: You ask several questions. No, I would not go to SALT III,
because that would be dismantling one leg of the triad. And Iím not prepared
to do that yet ó START III. I would not give the Taiwanese a ballistic
MCCAIN: I would develop myself, have it sea-borne, and I would move
it into the area, if necessary in international waters. I would achieve
goal. But I would also help the Taiwanese acquire weapons systems if
They are a democratic, free government. The one-China policy is based
on the fundamental principal of peaceful reunification of China. It will
that violates the one-China policy if they commit aggression. And the fact
that these are not the bloody butchers of Beijing, as candidate Clinton
described them in 1992. And they are not our strategic partners as he
described them in 1998 when he put his arm around the Chinese leadership.
They are ruthless people hell bent on hanging on to power. They look
over their shoulder at the collapse of the Soviet Union and the loss of
the leadership there. But we can convince them that it is in their interest
enter the world as a superpower, which they will, in a peaceful, contributory
And I would go back to our old alliances, the strategic partner, which
the Japanese. And this part of the world is very, very critical, not only
global economy but to the farmers right here in Iowa. Itís a major place
they can export their products.
BROKAW: President Lee of Taiwan says that itís ďpernicious fiction,Ē
his phrase, to think that the Chinese have any claim on Taiwan, that they
only negotiate as a sovereign state. Does that mean that we just eliminate
idea of one China?
HATCH: Well, that was unfortunate language. But let me just say ó am
BROKAW: Youíre on.
HATCH: OK. Let me just say this, that I was one of the authors of the
Taiwan Relations Act, which means that weíre going to give Taiwan support
because as a free country, we donít want them walked all over.
But I also met with Jiang Zemin ó President Jiang Zemin, two years ago
in Shanghai. A half-hour courtesy call turned into an hour and a half call
because I said, I was one of the authors of the Taiwan Relations Act, and
it wonderful what has resulted from that?
And he went, oh. And I said ó and you could see he was very upset.
And I said: Well, just think about it, before that act, you didnít have
intercourse with Taiwan.
HATCH: You didnít have exchange students. You didnít have business
going back and forth. You werenít even in the game to get Hong Kong. He
leaned back in his chair and he went, ah. And then all of a sudden that
half-hour conversation turned into an hour-and-a-half conversation. The
American ambassador said, Iíve never seen anything like it.
But let me tell you, we owe an obligation to Taiwan. We have it in
writing. Itís in a formal act. And Iíve got to tell you, when we make an
obligation and a commitment we ought to keep it. And Iím for keeping those
And I think China, we can, through good diplomacy and toughness, we
can get China to back off on those type of activities.
BROKAW: Mr. Bauer, can I move you to the Middle East? Would
BAUER: Iíd rather not leave China. But let me just say one quick thing.
Iím glad to hear Senator Hatch say what he just said. But I have to say,
due respect to my colleagues, that Iím hearing a naivete up here about
leaders in Beijing that is breathtaking.
Does anybody in this arena think that if today in China thousands of
Chinese citizens gathered for the basic human rights that we take for granted
ó the right to vote for another political party other than the Communists,
right to have a child without government permission ó that anything different
would happen today than happened 10 years ago when Chinese students
waved copies ó as Steve mentioned a little earlier ó of the Declaration
Independence in the face of the Peopleís Liberation Army?
Gentlemen, we cannot trade ourselves out of this challenge. That nation
intends to replace the United States in the Pacific as the leading world
And to deal with it weíre going to have to do more than trade. Weíre going
have to have a Reaganesque foreign policy thatís willing to speak the truth
evil. Thatís what will make the people of China a free people, and worthy
be trade partners.
BACHMAN: Tom, I will pick up on your Mideast question.
FORBES: Tom, what all of this underscores is we donít have a foreign
policy today. What we have is appeasement and confusion. And with China,
we need to let the Chinese know what the rules of engagement are.
FORBES: So if they want a prosperous relationship, they want to evolve
towards democracy like Taiwan did, weíll be able ó weíll deal with them.
But we have to make it clear to them, among other things, we will not let
push us out of Asia. We will not let them take over Taiwan. And also, we
to make very clear that we will criticize them each step of the way for
human rights abuses in every international forum possible. And in terms
trade, it has to be two-ways. They have to reduce barriers, and they have
keep agreements which they havenít done in the past.
If you lay down firm rules, I think you can have a relationship. But if
go and drifting what we have done now, itís going to lead to disaster in
BACHMAN: Mr. Forbes, you criticize the Clinton administrationís
foreign policy, and yet, tonight, the prospects for peace in the Mideast
looking much brighter ó talks have resumed now, this week, between Israel
and Syria; talks resuming between Israel and Yasser Arafat. In the past,
youíve been very critical, saying that this administration has dictated
terms to Israel, has supported a Palestinian state. What ó isnít this working?
FORBES: Well, the real answer to that, John, is if they get an agreement
that stands the test of time. And one of the dangers that Israel faces
with a president who wants to leave a legacy, and is going to push Israel
make concessions they shouldnít make.
For example, you canít live with a neighbor whoís preaching hatred
against you. You look at Palestinian textbooks today. Theyíre full of vitriol
about Jews, the Protocols of Zion ó stuff that we saw in Nazi Germany in
í30s. And thatís whatís in the schools today; that blood libel Mrs. Arafat
about the Israelis causing cancer in water. That is common stuff there.
So you cannot have peace preaching that kind of hatred. Itís got to be
both ways. The Israelis are willing to make an agreement, but Arafat is
willing to make the fundamental shift thatís going to make a lasting peace
possible. And as president, Iím not going to twist Israeli arms to get
BACHMAN: Mr. Bauer, you have spoken of...
... the State Departmentís neutrality in the Middle East conflict.
BACHMAN: Pick it up.
BAUER: Well, look, we need an American desk at the State
Department. You know, weíve got bureaucrats there who are worried about
every other country in the world, except our vital interests. And our vital
interests in the Middle East are served by a safe and democratic Israel.
They have been our most reliable ally in the region. Theyíre surrounded
by hostile territory. And it is the height of arrogance for State Department
bureaucrats in the current administration to be pressuring that country
up more land for peace and security.
We wouldnít allow somebody to pressure us under similar
BACHMAN: You donít think the prospects tonight are good, though,
with the resumption of talks?
BAUER: Look, the thing that will preserve Israel is a strong military and
a reliable ally in the United States. If their enemies ever think that
commitment to them is wavering, Israel will be in the deepest trouble itís
in its existence.
We are friends, we are allies. They have stood with us, and as president
will be sure we stand with them.
BROKAW: I have a question then for John McCain. John, my friend
(ph), something thatís in the news. Youíve said that Elian Gonzalez, the
Cuban boy ought not to be sent back to Havana. Everybody on this panel
believes in the primary place of family, and yet, based on what Iím reading,
state knows better than his own father, and his own grandparents in this
MCCAIN: Well, Iím not Tom. Iím saying that his mother knows better.
His mother gave up her life in an attempt to give her son the freedom and
democracy, which this country is blessed, and which he never could have
if he remained in Cuba. Thatís whatís left out of this equation.
BROKAW: Do you leave his father out of this altogether? This is the
blood father of the son. He has no claim...
MCCAIN: No, like practically everyone here I would be glad if his
father came to the United States or a neutral country, and then declared
By the way, I have never seen a spontaneous demonstration in any
Could I return ó return one moment ó one moment to the Middle East.
I will give ó I would like to give the Clinton administration credit. I
to give President Carter credit.
MCCAIN: Iíd like to give a lot of people credit who worked for a long
time on peace in the Middle East. And I think itís important and weíre
Thereís a number of factors, but a major factor was the end of the Cold
War, which Ronald Reagan won, which no longer allowed for this divisions
along Cold War lines where these Middle East countries were client states.
Finally, Mr. Assad is growing old, he wants his son to take over, not his
But thereís a fundamental principle that we have to reach here, and that
free and democratically elected countries in the Middle East, besides Israel,
you want a lasting peace.
BROKAW: Iím surprised that weíve gotten to this point in the debate,
and we havenít talked at all about Social Security or some of the tax cuts.
You said as the front-runner you do have an obligation not to just throw
numbers around. Youíve talked about a $483 billion tax cut, about an
enormous amount of money for military readiness and for increasing pay
military. The Congressional Budget Office says that just is not going to
downstream, five years out, youíre going to eat up all the surpluses just
your tax cut. Are you willing to say tonight that if it gets to that point,
want to be in the position that your father was where he had to raise taxes
when he promised he wouldnít?
BUSH: Itís not going to get to that point. We took a very conservative
approach. We took all the Social Security money and left it for one thing:
Social Security. We took the budget additions that I think are important,
particularly strengthening the military, andput that in the budget. And
$100 billion left over and $100 billion in unspent money.
Itís important to cut the taxes, Tom, otherwise governmentís going to
spend it. And itís important to cut the taxes to keep the economy growing.
And when we cut the taxes itís important to remember, thereís a lot of
who are struggling on what I call the outskirts of poverty. I mentioned
John in the question, that the single mom with kids ó which, by the way,
judgmentís the toughest job in America.
Itís important for the Republicans to hear their call too. Itís important
when we make the tax code fair ó we hear people at the bottom of the
economic ladder, as well as the top. And so my plan says if youíre a mom
making $22,000 a year and youíre heading to the middle class, weíre going
tear down the toll booth so you can get to the middle class.
No, this is a responsible plan. The only way ó the only way to get rid
the so-called surpluses in the short term is to put Al Gore or Bill Bradley
president of the United States, and theyíll spend it all.
BROKAW: John Bachman, you have a question from the good folks of
BACHMAN: Well, I do. We have tried to take viewersí questions
tonight and point them in the direction of some of these issues weíve been
talking about. But Iíd like to run the table quickly with one individual
What political philosopher or thinker, Mr. Forbes, do you most identify
and why? Which gives the remaining five time to think ó Iím sorry.
FORBES: Well, I wonít say Iím reading a book by a philosopher, and
Iím not reading a book on Dean Acheson. But seriously ó sorry ó but
seriously, the philosopher that I think has had the most impact or profound
impact on this country is John Locke. Even though there are some flaws,
think he set the stage for what became a revolution. And then, after that,
Thomas Jefferson with what he wrote in the Declaration of Independence.
BACHMAN: We just (inaudible) for one.
FORBES: OK. OK ó Got Locke and then Jefferson is B.
BACHMAN: Thank you. Mr. Keyes?
KEYES: Well, I think overall the most influential thinker, and there are
many in my mind, but particularly on the issues we face as Americans right
now would be the founders of this country, who not only had interesting
thoughts, they actually translated them capably into functioning instruments
government that have preserved our liberty now for over 200 years. And
think we ought to get back to their thinking and not fiddle with this income
system, but return to the original Constitution they gave us ó abolish
income tax, fund the federal government with tariffs, duties, and excise
so the people of this country get back control of every dollar that they
instead of having to depend on nice politicians like Mr. Bush, or bad politicians
like Bill Clinton to decide how much of their own money they should keep.
BUSH: At least he called me ďnice.Ē
BACHMAN: Governor Bush ó a philosopher-thinker and why.
BUSH: Christ, because he changed my heart.
BACHMAN: I think the viewer would like to know more on how heís
changed your heart.
BUSH: Well, if they donít know, itís going to be hard to explain. When
you turn your heart and your life over to Christ, when you accept Christ
savior, it changes your heart. It changes your life. And thatís what happened
BACHMAN: Senator Hatch. Senator Hatch.
HATCH: I agree with that. But I think that goes without saying ó no
question in my mind.
But Iíll tell you. There are two that I really believe have had a profound
lasting imprint on America, among many. And of course, Abraham Lincoln
one of them, who fought for equality and freedom for everybody. And the
other one was Ronald Reagan, who ignored the
State Department, knocking out the Evil Empire in every speech until he
got a speech where it was knocked out. It got back and forth, and back
forth. And he said it anyway. And it was one of the most profound statements,
philosophically, that was said in our generation.
And those two people have really made a difference in all of our lives.
But I bear witness to Christ, too. I really know him to be the savior of
world. And that means more to me than almost anything else I know.
BACHMAN: Senator McCain.
MCCAIN: Obviously all of our founding fathers were probably the most
remarkable group of men ever assembled in history, in Philadelphia. But
modern-day role model and hero is Theodore Roosevelt. Theodore Roosevelt
was larger than life. Theodore Roosevelt believed in reform. He took the
politics of America out of the hands of the robber barons, and gave it
the people. He put the United States of America on the worldís stage, in
international arena, which made way for our ever-expanding role in the
He established our national parks system. He was an activist. He was a
reformer. And he was a man of great vision. He was larger than life. And
was a truly wonderful father and family man as well, who happened by the
way, to lose a son in World War I.
But Theodore Roosevelt, I think, is a modern-day role model for me,
and many other people who hold dear, conservative principles, and yet believe
thereís a role for government in our society.
BACHMAN: And finally, Mr. Bauer.
BAUER: I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me
drink. I was a stranger, and you welcomed me. Christ, with those words,
taught all of us about our obligations to each other, to the unborn child,
those living in poverty, the need for us to be together regardless of the
There is no figure in human history who, through his life, his death and
resurrection has changed the world for millions, billions, countless of
Americaís in trouble in the next century, it will be because we forgot
taught us, Tom.
BROKAW: Tell me ó we have time for ó what? ó one more
question, one more answer. One more question.
Governor Bush, Bill Buckley, an old bleeding heart liberal, commenting
on the law and order attitude of all of you, says that in 47 states possession
marijuana is illegal. If you believe in the aggressive pursuit of people
violating the gun laws, why not have the aggressive pursuit of violation
marijuana ó marijuana laws?
Do you think that we ought to be far more aggressive, in the state of
Texas and across this country, in pursuing those people who possess
BUSH: I think we ought to be far more aggressive at interdicting drugs
before they come in our country. And I think we need to be very aggressive
saying to children, drugs will ruin your life. If you abuse drugs, itís
going to ruin
your life. If you abuse alcohol, itís going to ruin your life. Baby boomer
generation needs to hear the call of responsibility. And part of that is
to say to
our kids: Donít be using drugs. Donít be using drugs.
Mr. Buckley actually believes we ought to ó I think he believes we
ought to legalize marijuana. I donít. I think thatíd be a big mistake.
BROKAW: I donít think he says legalization of it. I think what he does
BUSH: I think he does.
BROKAW: I think what he does say is not put everyone
in jail who is merely possessing marijuana.
BUSH: Well we donít do that in the state of Texas. We put the
dealers and the big users in jail. You know, we give people second
chances. We say to people: Youíve made a mistake. The judges
in our state have got a lot of discretion. And thatís the way it
should be. But the universal message from our societyís got to be
to our kids: Donít be using drugs. Drugs will ruin your life.
BROKAW: Governor Bush, thank you very much.
Weíre going to begin now the final round of the closing statements.
My how time flies when youíre having fun. (Laughter).
We begin with you, Mr. Forbes.
FORBES: Well, thank all of you very much here at WHO. This is where
Ronald Reagan got his start decades ago in his career.
Tonight, and with these other forums, youíre beginning to get an
opportunity to find out what each of us believes; what we think Americaís
opportunities are; and what the problems are. Iím an independent outsider.
believe in the conservative philosophy that comes from the Declaration
Independence, and I have deep convictions about what can be done to realize
Americaís full potential going into this new century and this new millennium.
And I believe that means putting power back in the hands of thepeople,
and not going along with politics as usual. Politics as usual says we have
keep the current tax code. I think the American people should say itís
to get rid of it, and allow you to keep far, far more of what you earn
something that is simple, honest and fair.
I believe a new birth of freedom means that you should be able to choose
your own schools for your own children; that you should be able to choose
your own doctors and not have to go through HMOs and other bureaucracies.
It all ties together, but I need your support; I need your vote. Thank
BACHMAN: Please hold your applause so we can get the final
statements in ó the closing statement now from Mr. Bauer.
BAUER: Thank you very much. The Republican Party was born in an
argument about whether black men and women, slaves, were citizens to be
protected under the law. It is a proud history of our party ó the party
Abraham Lincoln and of Ronald Reagan.
We are facing an issue today that is comparable, and that is whether our
unborn children ó rich or poor, black or white ó deserve a place at the
table; whether theyíre part of the American family.
For 25 years, Iíve worked on this issue. Iíve raised money for crisis
pregnancy centers while my friend Steve Forbes was raising money for
Christie Todd Whitman.
BAUER: This issueís important; we canít play any more games about it.
I will not leave any child behind. My running mate, Governor Bush, will
pro-life. Iím sorry you were not willing to make that commitment. My judges
will be pro-life.
And I want to make the most important promise I can make to you about
my presidency. In my presidency abortion on demand will end. I will not
sacrifice one American child for political gain. You can count on it.
BROKAW: Senator Hatch.
HATCH: Iím a person of very deep conviction, and my 23 years in the
Congress of the United States and the Senate proves that. As Iíve
gone around Iowa, Iíve found a great deal of similarity and companionship
and Iowa values compared to our Utah values. Weíre very much alike.
Iíve got to tell you, I wasnít born in wealth. We lost our home right
after I was born. As a matter of fact, I raised chickens as a young
man, sold eggs
door to door. When I went to college I worked as a janitor.
When Ted Kennedy found that out, he said, Orrin, you should have stuck
with it. (Laughter).
I learned a trade. I learned a skilled trade and worked for 10 years in
construction (inaudible) and I was a darn good worker, the best. And I
you to know that Iíve approached government that way as well.
Iíve been married to the same woman for 43 years, we have six children
and 19 grandchildren. Iím concerned about them and you...
BACHMAN: Senator Hatch...
HATCH: ... and Iíll do my best if Iím elected president.
BACHMAN: Governor Bush.
BUSH: I want to thank my friends here in Iowa. Iím honored to have
your support. I appreciate all the work youíre doing on my behalf.
I come to your state not from Washington, but from outside ó a state
called Texas. Iíve got a record not of rhetoric, but a record of results.
state I led our state to the two biggest tax cuts in the stateís history.
scores for our students are up. Iíve got fewer people on welfare. Texas
BUSH: Itís a great place to take risks.
My policies and my programs have been conservative with
compassionate results, and thatís the kind of president Iím going to be.
to keep our economy growing by cutting the taxes. I want to be a free trade
president so that Iowa farmers can sell their products all across the world.
want to strengthen and save Social Security. I want every child to be educated
and not one single child be left behind in this great country.
Iím running because I want the American dream to touch every willing
heart for people that work hard for it. I donít want people to feel left
our country as we head into the 21st century.
Iím asking for your vote. God bless you all.
BROKAW: Thank you. Ambassador Keyes.
KEYES: Well, I guess ó I guess I really do sometimes become
impatient with the euphemisms that we use in this society. Because the
the matter is, my friends, weíre not leaving unborn children behind, we
killing them. And we are killing them in total contravention of the most
fundamental principle of this nationís life, that our rights come from
not from human choice.
You can talk if you like about budgets and Social Security and every
other issue under the sun, but if we donít restore our allegiance to the
moral principles that this country was founded on, we are going to lose
And the thing I most dearly want to do is make sure that my children and
my grandchildren grow up in a country where they will be free human beings
instead of the slaves my ancestors were. And yet in so many ways, because
our lack of moral confidence, we are surrendering the liberties, the Second
Amendment rights, the First Amendment rights, the right to make our own
choices and decisions in schools and in our own futures ó we are
surrendering those rights today because we no longer believe that we are
kind of people who morally are capable of sustaining the weight of our
We must restore the principles that will give us that confidence and then
we will restore our country to its right path.
BACHMAN: Senator McCain.
MCCAIN: Itís great to be back here in Iowa. I will be on the ballot. I
hope that a hearty brand of ó band of brave souls will go out and vote
me. I would appreciate your support.
Iím running for president of the United States because I want to reform
MCCAIN: I want to reform the education system. I want to reform the
military. And I want to reform the tax code. I want to get us in tune with
information technology revolution. I canít do that when we have a flawed
campaign finance system ó the hundreds of thousands of dollar checks that
have taken away free speech, that have given the megaphone to the big-money
people, and made you whisper in Washington.
The cynicism which borders on alienation amongst young Americans
disturbs me. I need to reform this system. We need to give the government
back to the people. And then I can inspire a generation to commit themselves
to causes greater than their self interests. I am prepared to be president
United States. Please join me in this great crusade.
BACHMAN: Our thanks to all of the candidates. And our thanks to all
of the viewers on MSNBC. And a special thanks to our viewers across the
state of Iowa. We hope that tonightís discussion has helped you, as you
prepare for the caucuses now just six weeks away. And a final thanks to
Brokaw for coming back to Iowa.
BROKAW: Thank you very much, John. Thank you.
Let me just say something that you need ó you need to hear this from a
reporter. Let me just say that it takes a lot of courage, and it takes
a lot of
energy to run for president of the United States. We all owe all of these
great debt, as well as the Democrats who are running.
Itís a personal privilege for me to share this stage, not only in Iowa,
across the country, because there are few more important things that weíll
in our lifetime than pull the lever for the president of the United States,
especially as we enter a new century. Thereís no piece of software that
that for us. It requires our personal commitment with our mind and our
Your presence here tonight is a great tribute to your commitment as
citizens to this process as well. Thank you all very much.
BACHMAN: Good night.