Iowa Public Television

 

James P. Hoffa on Organized Labor Issues

posted on January 16, 2004

LIVE FROM THE STUDIOS OF IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION, IT'S "THE CANDIDATES WITH DAVID YEPSEN." TONIGHT DAVID YEPSEN'S GUEST IS LABOR LEADER JAMES P. HOFFA, PRESIDENT OF THE INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS. HERE IS "DES MOINES REGISTER" POLITICAL COLUMNIST DAVID YEPSEN.

Yepsen: GOOD EVENING. THIS IS OUR FINAL PRESENTATION IN OUR TEN-PART SERIES RAMPING UP TO THE IOWA CAUCUSES OF 2004. FOR THE PAST TWO WEEKS, WE'VE BEEN TALKING POLICY AND POLITICS WITH THE CANDIDATES AND WITH THOSE WHO FOLLOW THEM. AND TONIGHT WE DISCUSS THE ISSUES AND THE POLITICAL LANDSCAPE FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF ORGANIZED LABOR. WHEN IT COMES TO IMPACT, IT'S BEEN SAID THAT LABOR DOESN'T HAVE THE CLOUT THAT IT ONCE HAD IN THE POLITICAL ARENA. PERHAPS. AT THE SAME TIME, IT MUST ALSO BE SAID THAT THE HOUSE OF LABOR CONTINUES TO BE A SIGNIFICANT FORCE IN THE HEARTS AND MINDS OF ITS LOYAL SUPPORTERS WHO DEMAND THAT THEIR VOICES BE HEARD IN THE POLITICAL ARENA. AND THAT'S BECAUSE ORGANIZED LABOR CONTINUES TO WORK ON ISSUES THAT AFFECT US ALL: WORKING CONDITIONS, WAGES, HEALTH CARE, TAXES, RETIREMENT INCOME, AND MOST RECENTLY THE EXPORTING OF AMERICAN JOBS. FOR THAT REASON, SEEKING THE ENDORSEMENT OF LABOR UNIONS CONTINUES TO BE A TIME-HONORED TRADITION IN DEMOCRATIC FAMILY FIGHTS LIKE THE CAUCUSES. JAMES P. HOFFA GREW UP IN THE LABOR TRADITION, AND TODAY HE'S ON THE FRONT LINES REPRESENTING WORKERS, TEAMSTER MEMBERS OR NOT, ON THE NATIONAL POLITICAL SCENE. MR. HOFFA, WE WELCOME YOU TO IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION.

Hoffa: NICE TO BE HERE.

Yepsen: THANK YOU FOR BEING WITH US. WELL, LET ME OPEN OUR DISCUSSION TONIGHT WITH THE SIMPLE QUESTION WHY DID THE TEAMSTERS ENDORSE RICHARD GEPHARDT.

Hoffa: WELL, IT WAS AN EASY CHOICE BECAUSE, NUMBER ONE, I DIDN'T MAKE THE CHOICE. WE WENT TO OUR MEMBERS, WE POLLED OUR MEMBERS, WE POLLED OUR LOCAL OFFICIALS, WE POLLED OUR EXECUTIVE BOARD, AND THE OVERALL CHOICE WAS DICK GEPHARDT. AND IT'S BECAUSE OF HIS 27 YEARS OF SUPPORT FOR WORKING FAMILIES, HIS GREAT EXPERIENCE ON CAPITAL HILL, AND THE FACT THAT HE HAS A PLAN FOR A NATIONAL HEALTH CARE PLAN. HE HAS A PLAN ON TRADE. HE'S THE ONLY PERSON THAT VOTED AGAINST NAFTA. HE HAS SPOKEN OUT OVER AND OVER AGAIN ON ISSUES THAT CONCERN WORKING FAMILIES THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES, NOT ONLY ORGANIZED LABOR BUT EVERYBODY WHO REALLY ARE CONSIDERING THEMSELVES WORKING PEOPLE OR MIDDLE CLASS. SO HE'S BEEN A CHAMPION AND THAT KIND OF A RECORD, I THINK, SHOULD BE REWARDED WITH OUR SUPPORT. ON TOP OF THAT HE'S, OVERALL, THE BEST QUALIFIED.

Yepsen: HOW SO?

Hoffa: WELL, LOOK AT THE EXPERIENCE. I MEAN, YOU KNOW, AS ONE CANDIDATE SAID, "THIS ISN'T TIME FOR TRAINING WHEELS." WE REALLY CAN'T SEND SOMEBODY IN LIKE -- THAT HAS NO EXPERIENCE ON CAPITAL HILL. THIS IS A TIME OF NATIONAL CRISIS. WE HAVE TERRORISM. WE HAVE THE ECONOMY THAT'S ABSOLUTELY FALLING APART. WE HAVE A TRADE DEFICIT THAT'S SPIRALING OUT OF CONTROL, AND WE REALLY NEED SOMEBODY THAT CAN COME IN AND TURN THIS THING AROUND. HIS EXPERIENCE DURING THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION, OF 27 YEARS, HAS CREATED A LOT OF JOBS, 22 MILLION JOBS UNDER PRESIDENT CLINTON. HE KNOWS HOW TO GET THE JOB DONE. HE KNOWS WHAT WE'VE GOT TO DO TO MAKE THIS ECONOMY RESPONSIVE SO THAT IT SERVES EVERYBODY. YOU KNOW, RIGHT NOW WE'RE CONCERNED ABOUT THE FACT THAT THIS -- YOU KNOW, THIS COUNTRY RIGHT NOW IS DIVIDING INTO TWO. IT'S GOING TO BE THE VERY RICH AND THE VERY POOR, AND WE ALWAYS SAY THE VERY RICH AND US. WE'VE GONE THROUGH A SERIES OF TAX CUTS FOR THE VERY RICH. WE CHANGED THE INHERITANCE TAX FOR THE VERY RICH. WE CHANGED THE DIVIDENDS FOR THE VERY RICH. WHAT DID THEY DO FOR THE LOWER CLASS AND THE MIDDLE CLASS AND THE WORKING CLASS? THEY DID NOTHING. AND THE ANSWER IS WE'RE BASICALLY DIVIDING INTO THIS SOCIETY. WE'VE GOT DEFICITS THAT ARE HURTING THE MIDDLE CLASS. WE'RE CUTTING ENTITLEMENTS ACROSS THE BOARD. WE NEED DICK GEPHARDT TO COME IN TO MAKE THIS AN AMERICA THAT TAKES CARE OF THE AVERAGE AMERICAN. THERE'S A POWER PYRAMID IN THIS WORLD, YOU KNOW, AND THERE'S A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT ARE NOT RICH THAT ARE OUT THERE DOING AN HONEST DAY'S WORK, WORKING HARD EVERY DAY. THEY SHOULD HAVE A SAY IN THIS GOVERNMENT, AND I'M AFRAID THEY DON'T HAVE A SAY IN THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION.

Yepsen: WHAT'S YOUR UNION DOING IN IOWA TO HELP DICK GEPHARDT? I SEE YOU'VE GOT A RIG OUT HERE THAT YOU'RE DRIVING AROUND.

Hoffa: OH, YEAH.

Yepsen: WHAT ELSE?

Hoffa: WELL, WE'RE DOING A LOT. WE'VE GOT -- WE'RE PART OF THE ALLIANCE FOR ECONOMIC PROGRESS, WHICH IS 21 INTERNATIONAL UNIONS THAT HAVE COME TOGETHER REPRESENTING OVER 90,000 MEMBERS HERE IN IOWA. IT'S 21 INTERNATIONAL UNIONS THAT HAVE BOUND TOGETHER TO WORK TO GET OUT THE VOTE, AND THEY'RE SUPER ORGANIZED TO MAKE SURE WE GET THE JOB DONE. WE HAVE OVER 600 FULL-TIME WORKERS HERE IN IOWA. WE HAVE OVER 300 TEAMSTERS. WE HAVE OVER 27,000 HOUSE CALLS THAT HAVE BEEN MADE, AND THEY'RE GOING ON RIGHT NOW AS PEOPLE COME HOME FROM WORK. PEOPLE ARE VERY EXCITED ABOUT THE RETURN THEY'RE GETTING ON IT. I MYSELF HAVE BEEN OUT TALKING TO PEOPLE. I'VE BEEN TO WATERLOO. I'VE BEEN TO IOWA CITY TODAY. I'VE TALKED TO TEAMSTER MEMBERS AT LEER AND ORAL-B AND DIFFERENT PLACES LIKE THAT, LARGE COMPANIES THAT ARE UNDER TEAMSTER CONTRACT, TALKING ABOUT HOW IMPORTANT IT IS THAT THEY PARTICIPATE IN THE CAUCUS. AND I BASICALLY TELL THEM THAT, YOU KNOW, IT'S NOT ABOUT DICK GEPHARDT, IT'S ABOUT THEM. ARE THEY GOING TO HAVE A JOB HERE IN IOWA? YOU KNOW, IOWA HAS REALLY TAKEN IT ON THE CHIN. THEY'VE LOST OVER 30,000 JOBS IN THE LAST TWO YEARS. I TALKED TO THE UAW PEOPLE. THEY USED TO HAVE 15,000 PEOPLE MAKING THOSE JOHN DEERE TRACTORS. WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT IOWA, YOU THINK ABOUT WHAT A GREAT EXPORT TO MAKE THOSE GREAT JOHN DEERE GREEN TRACTORS AND SEND THEM ALL OVER THE WORLD. AND BASICALLY, THEY'RE DOWN TO LESS THAN 4,000 PEOPLE HERE. THOSE JOBS ARE IN MEXICO. WE HAVE A COMPANY CALLED SQUARE D IN CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA. WE HAD OVER 500 TEAMSTERS THERE. THOSE JOBS WENT TO MEXICO. THEY DON'T HAVE JOBS ANYMORE. WE HAD GILLETTE IN IOWA CITY. WE LOST THEM. THAT WENT TO MEXICO. AND IT'S MORE AND MORE THAT'S THE TREND HERE IN IOWA. WE HAVE TO HAVE SOMEBODY THAT CAN MAKE TRADE AGREEMENTS TO KEEP JOBS IN AMERICA -- KEEP JOBS IN IOWA SO PEOPLE CAN HAVE AN EXISTENCE. THAT'S WHAT WE'RE CONCERNED ABOUT.

Yepsen: YOU'VE WATCHED POLITICS FOR A LONG TIME. WHAT'S YOUR GUT FEEL HERE ON HOW THIS RACE LOOKS IN IOWA? SOME OF THE POLLS -- A LOT OF POLLS AROUND SHOW IT GETTING TIGHTER. IS THAT YOUR SENSE OF HOW THE RACE IS GOING?

Hoffa: IT MIGHT -- I MEAN I READ THE PAPER LIKE YOU DO. I REALLY DON'T KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON. I MEAN I KNOW THE RESPONSE WE'RE GETTING FOR DICK GEPHARDT HAS BEEN GOOD. THEN I READ THE POLLS AND I THINK THERE MIGHT BE A DISCONNECT BETWEEN WHAT THE POLLS SHOW AND WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, IOWA HAS A VERY COMPLICATED SYSTEM OF -- WE HAVE 2,000 PLACES WHERE PEOPLE ARE GOING TO GO TO THE CAUCUSES, FROM A VFW HALL TO SOMEBODY'S BASEMENT. SO IF YOU JUST CALL UP 700 PEOPLE REGISTERED OR NOT AND GET A POLL, THAT MIGHT NOT REGISTER WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN ON MONDAY NIGHT. BUT I THINK DICK GEPHARDT IS GOING TO DO VERY WELL. I'VE READ THE POLLS ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE COMING ON. WE'LL HAVE TO WAIT AND SEE. IT'S REALLY TOO CLOSE TO CALL.

Yepsen: DO YOU THINK YOU'LL BE ABLE TO GET TEAMSTERS MEMBERS WHO ARE REPUBLICANS AND INDEPENDENT AND OTHER LABOR UNION MEMBERS, A FEW OF THEM WHO ARE REPUBLICANS AND SOME INDEPENDENTS, DO YOU THINK YOU'RE GOING TO BE ABLE TO GET THEM TO SHOW UP AT A CAUCUS? I MEAN THE STORY IS ALWAYS THAT LABOR UNIONS CAN'T DELIVER FOR DEMOCRATS LIKE THEY USED TO. DO YOU THINK YOU'RE GOING TO BE ABLE TO GET YOUR PEOPLE OUT ON CAUCUS NIGHT?

Hoffa: I THINK SO. I THINK THE EFFORT HERE HAS BEEN ABSOLUTELY THE BEST I'VE EVER SEEN. EVERYBODY IS TALKING ABOUT THE FACT THAT GEPHARDT, YOU KNOW, WITH THE HELP OF THESE UNIONS, REALLY HAVE AN ORGANIZATION THAT CAN REACH OUT TO PEOPLE. WE'VE RUN INTO REPUBLICANS THAT SAID, "I VOTED REPUBLICAN LAST TIME. I'M NOT GOING TO VOTE FOR BUSH THIS TIME. I'M GOING TO VOTE FOR GEPHARDT." THEY WERE FARMERS AND PEOPLE LIKE THAT, THAT ARE DISAPPOINTED IN WHAT'S GOING ON. THE DISPLACEMENT HERE IS HAVING AN EFFECT, AND I THINK THE ISSUE IN THIS RACE AND THE ISSUE EVENTUALLY IN THIS ENTIRE PROCESS, YOU KNOW, GOING ALL THE WAY THROUGH NEW HAMPSHIRE, IS GOING TO BE JOBS AND THE ECONOMY AND WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO OUR CHILDREN IN THE FUTURE. I THINK THAT'S THE BASIC ISSUE, AND DICK GEPHARDT IS THE MAN WHO SHINES ON THAT ISSUE. HE'S THE MAN THAT HAS A PLAN. HE'S THE MAN WHO STOOD UP AGAINST NAFTA. HE'S THE MAN THAT HAS A PLAN FOR A NATIONAL HEALTH CARE PLAN. THAT'S WHAT WE NEED. AND WHEN YOU TALK TO PEOPLE ABOUT THAT, THEY RESPOND. LIKE I WAS TALKING TO OUR PEOPLE AT LEER TODAY. I WAS TALKING TO ORAL-B. WE HAD 300, 400 PEOPLE THERE AND THEY RESPOND TO THAT. THEY SHAKE THEIR HEAD. THEY SAY, "YEAH, I'M WORRIED ABOUT IT." THERE USED TO BE A TIME IN THIS COUNTRY THAT IT WAS AN ASSUMPTION THAT YOUR CHILDREN WOULD ALWAYS DO BETTER THAN YOU DID, THAT THEY WOULD GO TO COLLEGE AND HAVE A BETTER LIFE THAN YOU DID. THAT'S NO LONGER -- NO LONGER ASSUMED. THAT'S WHAT HAPPENED. I MEAN SOMEBODY SAID THAT HORATIO ALGER IS DEAD. AND THINGS ARE TURNING AROUND IN THIS COUNTRY. IF PEOPLE HAVE A GOOD JOB THAT MAKE, YOU KNOW, GOOD WAGES WHERE YOU CAN RAISE A FAMILY, HAVE HEALTH CARE AND PENSIONS, THAT'S GETTING TO BE A RARITY. AND IN THE OLD IDEA THAT THE KIDS WOULD HAVE A BETTER JOB, THEY'D BE GOING TO COLLEGE, THEY'D BE DOING THIS, THAT ISN'T TRUE ANYMORE. NOW YOU'RE WORRIED ABOUT IF YOUR KID CAN GET A JOB AT MCDONALD'S, AND THAT'S GOING TO BE THE CONCERN.

Yepsen: YOU KNOW, I COULD TALK POLITICS WITH YOU ALL NIGHT, BUT I WANT TO SWITCH GEARS TO SOME OF THESE ISSUES THAT ARE FACING AMERICAN WORKERS TODAY. THERE IS THIS LOSS OF JOBS OVERSEAS. WHY IS THAT HAPPENING AND WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT IT?

Hoffa: WELL, I THINK WE'VE GOT TO CHANGE THE LAWS OF THIS COUNTRY. YOU KNOW, OBVIOUSLY WE'RE HEMORRHAGING JOBS RIGHT NOW, AND I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE SAYING THAT. EVEN SOME OF THE PEOPLE, YOU KNOW, IN BUSINESS, LIKE ANDY GROVE OF INTEL AND WARREN BUFFET ARE FINAL SAYING ENOUGH AND ENOUGH. WE'RE MORTGAGING OUR FUTURE. THERE ARE GOING TO BE NO JOBS FOR TOMORROW. THE SHORTSIGHTEDNESS OF AMERICAN BUSINESS IS JUST TO SHIP THESE JOB OUT AND LAY OFF LITERALLY TENS OF THOUSANDS OF AMERICANS. IT'S VERY SHORTSIGHTED AND IT'S GOING TO HAVE A DISASTROUS EFFECT ON THE ENTIRE FABRIC OF THIS COUNTRY. DON'T FORGET THOSE PEOPLE HAVE INCOMES, THEY CONSUME. AND IF THEY CONSUME, THEN THEY PAY TAXES AND THEY'RE THE FABRIC OF WHAT'S GOING ON. NOW, WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT IT? I THINK WE HAVE TO MAKE AN INTENSIVE WITH THE LAWS. WE CHANGE THE LAWS IN THIS COUNTRY SO THAT A COMPANY THAT SAYS I'M GOING TO CLOSE THE PLANT HERE IN IOWA AND MOVE IT TO INDIA OR CHINA CAN HAVE, MAYBE, A TAX CREDIT. YOU CAN'T TAKE AMERICAN MONEY HERE AND GO BUILD A PLANT IN INDIA OR CHINA. YOU CAN'T GET THE DEPRECIATION. YOU CAN'T GET THE DEDUCTIONS. AND YOU MAKE IT SO ECONOMICALLY YOU GET A TAX BENEFIT FOR BUILDING THAT FACTORY HERE IN THE UNITED STATES. I THINK THAT'S THE WAY YOU DO IT, THROUGH TAX INCENTIVES AND TAX ENCOURAGEMENTS. AND THEN THEY CAN SAY -- WHEN THEY SIT DOWN WITH THEIR BEAN COUNTERS AND SAY, "WE WANT TO LAY OFF THESE AMERICANS AND PUT THIS JOB IN CHINA," THEY'RE GOING TO SIT DOWN AND SAY, "NO, BECAUSE WE CAN'T DEDUCT IT, WE CAN'T DEPRECIATE IT." AND THIS IS THE WAY TO KEEP JOBS HERE. YOU CAN'T COMPETE WITH SOMEBODY MAKING 10 CENTS AN HOUR. SO I THINK THIS IS THE WAY YOU CAN LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD.

Yepsen: EVEN IF YOU DID THAT, WOULD THAT BE ENOUGH? I MEAN AREN'T JOBS NATURALLY GOING TO GO TO WHERE THE LOWEST WAGES ARE? WON'T BUSINESSES ALWAYS BE DOING THAT AS JUST A LAW OF ECONOMICS?

Hoffa: NO, I THINK WE HAVE TO HAVE AN INDUSTRIAL PLAN. I THINK THAT THIS LAISSEZ FAIRE ATTITUDE WE HAVE HERE IN THE UNITED STATES IS -- YOU DON'T HAVE THAT IN EUROPE. YOU DON'T HAVE PEOPLE JUST SHIPPING JOBS OUT. THERE'S A FEELING OF NATIONALISM THERE. THERE'S A FEELING OF, YOU KNOW, MAKING JOBS FOR THE PEOPLE IN FRANCE. THEY HAVE A PLAN THERE TO KEEP THE FRENCH PEOPLE WORKING AND THE GERMAN PEOPLE WORKING. THEY'RE NOT LIKE WE ARE THAT PEOPLE HAVE NO RESPECT OR THOUGHT FOR THEIR NEIGHBORS WHEN THEY LAY THEM OFF AND DESTROY THEIR LIVES. PEOPLE HAVE HOMES. PEOPLE HAVE CARS. AND I THINK, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE START TALKING ABOUT THE MORALITY OF IT. WHERE'S THE MORALITY IN THIS? AND THIS IS THE WAY WE TREAT OUR FELLOW CITIZENS? THERE HAS TO BE MORE THAN JUST A FEW PENNIES SAVINGS THAT MAYBE HELPS THE STOCKS GO UP A FEW POINTS. AND I THINK THAT'S THE PROBLEM. WE NEED TO HAVE A NATIONAL PLAN. WE HAVE TO HAVE A LEADER THAT WILL INSPIRE AND CALL IN THE BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE AND SAY "THIS IS WHAT I WANT YOU TO DO. THIS IS THE WAY WE'RE GOING TO DO IT HERE IN AMERICA. WE HAVE A NATIONAL PLAN TO MAKE THIS COUNTRY STRONG, KEEP JOBS IN AMERICA." THAT'S WHAT HAS TO BE DONE: INSPIRATION; LEADERSHIP.

Yepsen: BUT WHY DO YOU THINK BUSINESS WILL RESPOND TO THAT? I MEAN HENRY FORD HAD THE MODEL OF PAYING HIS WORKERS ENOUGH SO THAT THEY COULD AFFORD TO BUY THE CARS THAT THEY MADE. BUSINESS DOESN'T DID IT THAT WAY. I MEAN WHAT SORT OF MORAL SUASION IS GOING TO PERSUADE A SHAREHOLDER TO GIVE UP VALUE IN THEIR STOCK JUST TO PAY THEIR WORKER MORE?

Hoffa: WELL, I THINK THAT THEY'VE LOST SIGHT OF WHAT'S GOING ON. I MEAN THEY -- WHAT IS THE MORALITY OF THAT? I THINK THEY'RE JUST WRONG. I MEAN THE IDEA THAT YOU CAN MAKE A FEW MORE PENNIES BY LAYING OFF EVERYBODY IN IOWA SO THAT THERE ARE NO MORE JOBS IN IOWA SO THAT JOHN DEERE CAN MAKE A FEW MORE PENNIES BECAUSE THEY MOVED IT TO MEXICO, THAT DOESN'T WASH WITH PEOPLE. I THINK THAT IT'S WRONG. AND IF YOU ACTUALLY TALK TO THE CEO, I THINK HE'D HAVE A HARD TIME COMING ON THIS PROGRAM AND TELLING THE PEOPLE OF IOWA HE WANTS TO CLOSE ALL THE PLANTS. SO I THINK THAT YOU HAVE TO GO TO THESE PEOPLE AND TO PERSUADE THEM AND TO SHOW THEM THAT IT ECONOMICALLY IS GOOD BY CHANGING THE TAX LAWS SO THERE IS AN INCENTIVE TO KEEP GOOD JOBS IN THIS COUNTRY.

Yepsen: ARE YOU WORRIED THAT -- IS THIS A NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUE? ARE YOU WORRIED THAT SOME OF THESE JOBS THAT ARE MOVING AWAY FROM THE UNITED STATES ARE JOBS WE REALLY NEED TO HAVE HERE AS A MATTER OF NATIONAL SECURITY?

Hoffa: WELL, IT'S OBVIOUS WE DO. I MEAN WE'RE GETTING TO THE POINT WE CAN'T MAKE STEEL. I MEAN WE HAVE 18 STEEL COMPANIES THAT ARE ALL IN BANKRUPTCY. WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO, GO TO CHINA TO GET A TANK? AND ALSO YOU HAD THE PROBLEM WHEN YOU HAD THE DOCK STRIKE, ALL OF OUR MISSILES, THE COMPONENTS FOR OUR MISSILES, THESE HIGH-TECH SMART BOMBS, ALL THE ELECTRONICS ARE COMING FROM TAIWAN. AND SO WHEN WE HAD THIS DOCK STRIKE LAST YEAR, THEY COULDN'T GET THE PARTS FOR THE MISSILES. THERE'S SOMETHING WRONG WHEN YOU'RE MAKING THE BRAINS OF THE THINGS WE USE FOR NATIONAL DEFENSE IN TAIWAN OR CHINA OR INDIA. WELL, WHY DON'T WE HAVE A FACTORY IN CALIFORNIA THAT MAKES THOSE? I MEAN WHO'S THINKING WAS THAT? AND THERE HAS TO BE SOMETHING BY THE PENTAGON AND EVERYTHING ELSE TO DIRECT THESE BIDS FOR THIS WORK TO SAY, "NO, THESE WILL BE DONE IN THE UNITED STATES BECAUSE OF NATIONAL SECURITY. THE SMART BOMBS, THE TECHNOLOGY WILL NOT BE MADE IN TAIWAN, WILL NOT BE MADE IN CHINA. IT WILL BE MADE RIGHT IN CALIFORNIA. WE'LL MAKE IT HERE AND WE'LL HAVE THE FACTORY HERE." AND THAT'S WHAT YOU'VE GOT TO DO. IT'S ELEMENTARY THAT YOU DO THAT. NO ONE HAS EVER HAD THEIR NATIONAL SECURITY AND COMPONENTS FOR THEIR DEFENSE MADE IN SOME FOREIGN COUNTRY.

Yepsen: ALL RIGHT, MR. HOFFA, YOU'RE IN IOWA. ABOUT A THIRD OF EVERYTHING WE GROW IN THIS STATE GETS SHIPPED OVERSEAS. THERE WILL BE A LOT OF PEOPLE WATCHING US TODAY THAT WILL SAY THIS IS PROTECTIONIST. IF YOU START DOING ANY KIND OF TRADE BARRIER, THE FIRST VICTIMS IN A TRADE WAR ARE FARMERS, BECAUSE THAT'S THE FIRST THING OTHER COUNTRIES SHUT OFF ARE WHAT THEY BUY FROM IOWA FARMERS. HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THAT?

Hoffa: WELL, LOOKS WHAT'S GOING ON. LAST NIGHT DICK GEPHARDT TALKED ABOUT THE FACT THAT HE WAS TALKING TO FARMERS HERE THAT ARE SUGAR BEET FARMERS. AND THEY CAME TO HIM AND THEY SAID, "YOU'VE GOT TO STOP THESE DIFFERENT TRADE AGREEMENTS THAT ARE GOING TO BRING SUGAR BEETS OUT OF SOUTH AMERICA. THEY WILL RUN EVERY FARMER OUT OF BUSINESS IN IOWA AND IN SOUTH DAKOTA." THIS WAS THE STORY HE WAS TELLING, ABOUT HOW HE HAD VISITED -- AND THESE FARMERS CAME TO HIM VERY, VERY CONCERNED. AND LOOK AT ALL THE FALSE PROMISES WE'VE HAD ABOUT NAFTA, THAT THEY'RE GOING TO BUY ALL OF OUR PRODUCTS. I MEAN THEY HAVE A TRADE DEFICIT -- WE HAVE A TRADE DEFICIT WITH THEM, AND THEY'RE SHIPPING ALL THEIR STUFF HERE. THEY'RE NOT BUYING ALL OF OUR STUFF. AND I THINK THAT REALLY SHOWS WHAT'S HAPPENING. THE SAME THING WITH CHINA. ONE OF THE GREAT PROMISES WITH CHINA IS, OH, THEY'RE GOING TO BUY ALL OF OUR AGRICULTURAL -- THEY HAVEN'T BOUGHT ANYTHING BECAUSE THEY WANT TO BE SELF-RELIANT. THEY DON'T EVEN WANT TO BUY AMERICAN RICE. THEY BUY SOME STUFF BUT ONLY WHEN THEY NEED IT BECAUSE THEY HAVE THE IDEA OF BEING COMPLETELY SELF-SUFFICIENT. THEY ARE XENOPHONIC. THEY ARE SELF-CONTAINED AND THEY DON'T WANT TO BE DEPENDENT ON FOOD ON ANYBODY. THEY DON'T BELIEVE IN FREE TRADE.

Yepsen: HOW DO YOU -- HOW DO YOU RESTRUCTURE NAFTA? HOW SHOULD IT BE RESTRUCTURED? SOME PEOPLE ARE SAYING WE SHOULD JUST GET RID OF IT, GO TO TRADE AGREEMENTS ONE-ON-ONE WITH COUNTRIES. WHAT'S YOUR PRESCRIPTION FOR IT?

Hoffa: I WOULD GET RID OF NAFTA. I THINK YOU START OVER AGAIN. I'M NOT SAYING -- ONE THING I WANT TO MAKE CLEAR, I AM FOR TRADE. FOREIGN TRADE IS SOMETHING THAT WE'VE ALWAYS DONE. I'M FOR FAIR TRADE. PEOPLE WHO WORK WITH US AND DEAL WITH US HAVE TO BUY OUR PRODUCTS. AND YOU CAN'T HAVE THESE LOPSIDED DEALS LIKE WE DO WHERE CHINA SHIPS US ALL OF THIS MATERIAL BUT THEY DON'T BUY OUR PRODUCTS, AND SO THEY END UP WITH THIS SOARING, HUGE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLAR -- HUNDRED BILLION DOLLAR TRADE DEFICIT WITH THE UNITED STATES. THERE'S SOMETHING WRONG WITH THAT WHERE IT'S A ONE-SIDED DEAL WHICH ENRICHES CHINA BUT BEGGARS US. SO WE'VE GOT TO FIND A WAY TO CHANGE ALL THAT. I WOULD SCRAP -- YOU KNOW, RALPH NADER USED TO SAY THERE'S A PROVISION IN THE PROGRAM -- IN THE NAFTA AGREEMENT, YOU CAN CANCEL IT IN SIXTY DAYS. HE SAID I'D WRITE THAT LETTER AND START OVER AGAIN. AND THE ANSWER IS WE WANT TO TRADE WITH MEXICO; WE WANT TO TRADE WITH CANADA. THESE ARE OUR BIGGEST TRADING PARTNERS. THEY'RE NATURAL TRADING PARTNERS. BUT WE WANT TO DO IT ON AN EQUITABLE BASIS, WHERE THEY BUY OUR PRODUCTS AND WE BUY THEIR PRODUCTS, THERE'S A FREE FLOW BACK AND FORTH. NAFTA IS WRONG BECAUSE IT RESTRICTS OUR ABILITY TO GO DOWN INTO THAT COUNTRY. IT RESTRICTS US -- WE CAN'T EVEN OWN PROPERTY DOWN THERE. WE CAN'T GO DOWN THERE AND BUY FACTORIES. YOU BASICALLY HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING THROUGH A SHELL CORPORATION, AND THE ANSWERS ARE JUST NOT FAIR. WE CAN'T GO INTO THEIR FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS. WE CAN'T EXPORT A LOT OF THINGS FOR THAT COUNTRY BECAUSE THERE'S ALL THESE PROTECTIONS. AND THE SAME THING WITH THE CHINA TRADE AGREEMENT. SO WHAT WE'VE GOT TO DO IS TO TURN THAT AROUND. I WOULD SCRAP THE WHOLE THING AND SAY, "WE'RE GOING TO TRADE WITH YOU. WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A WONDERFUL TRADE AGREEMENT." BUT I WOULD MAKE IT FAIRER FOR AMERICAN BUSINESS AND AMERICAN FARMERS TO BE ABLE TO MOVE THEIR PRODUCTS DOWN THERE SO THAT THEY BUY THEM AND THAT THEY DON'T HAVE A CHANCE TO COME IN HERE AND INUNDATE OUR COUNTRY. ESPECIALLY A FARMING -- YOU KNOW, A TOWN OR A STATE LIKE IOWA SHOULD BE VERY CONCERNED ABOUT ANY TYPE OF AGREEMENT WITH SOUTH AMERICA -- OR WITH SOUTH -- WITH SOUTH AMERICA BECAUSE, LIKE I SAID, THESE FARMERS THAT TALK TO DICK GEPHARDT ARE SCARED TO DEATH OF ANY AGREEMENT THAT WILL ABSOLUTELY INUNDATE THEM AND RUN THEM OUT OF BUSINESS BECAUSE OF THE FLOOD OF CHEAP PRODUCTS COMING OUT OF MEXICO AND SOUTH AMERICA.

Yepsen: ONE OF THE CONCERNS ABOUT NAFTA THAT I'VE HEARD VOICED BY YOUR UNION AND OTHERS ARE THIS ISSUE OF TRUCK DRIVERS FROM MEXICO WHO DON'T HAVE THE TRAINING, THEY DON'T HAVE THE SAFETY EQUIPMENT. HAS THAT ISSUE BEEN RESOLVED OR IS THAT SOMETHING AN AMERICAN MOTORIST STILL NEEDS TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT?

Hoffa: WELL, IT'S BASICALLY -- WE WERE CONCERNED ABOUT THE HIGHWAY SAFETY. AND WE HAD HEARINGS IN CONGRESS AND WE WERE ABLE TO CONVINCE CONGRESS THAT THERE HAD TO BE A PERIOD OF TIME -- A STOP PERIOD WHERE WE BASICALLY HAD INSPECTORS HIRED THAT WE MADE SURE THAT THE TRUCKS COMING ACROSS FROM MEXICO ARE SAFE. MINETA, THE SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION, SAID IT WAS OKAY, IT WAS ALL DONE. WE WENT TO COURT AND STOPPED THAT, AND WE GOT AN INJUNCTION. THE NINTH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS HAS ENJOINED THE CROSS-BORDER TRUCKING RIGHT NOW, AND IT'S ENJOINED. THE SUPREME COURT HAS GRANTED -- BUT HE DID IT ON THE BASIS THAT THE GOVERNMENT DID NOT DO ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES, DID NOT DO A CONVINCING JOB WITH REGARD TO THE SAFETY OF THESE TRUCKS COMING ACROSS. AND SO RIGHT NOW WE HAVE IT ENJOINED, BUT IT'S GOING TO BE REVIEWED BY THE SUPREME COURT.

Yepsen: GIVE ME -- LET'S STEP BACK AND LOOK AT A LARGER PICTURE. GIVE ME AN AGENDA THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE CONGRESS ENACT FOR THE AMERICAN WORKER. I SEE THE TEAMSTERS ARE IN A VARIETY OF THINGS: MINIMUM WAGE, OVERTIME, PENSION REFORM. GIVE US A QUICK LIST OF THINGS TO DO FOR THE CONGRESS.

Hoffa: WELL, I MEAN IT'S A TREMENDOUS -- FIRST OF ALL, THEY'VE GOT A REPUBLICAN CONGRESS THAT I DON'T THINK WANTS TO DO ANY OF THESE THINGS. THEY JUST WANT TO CUT TAXES FOR THE RICH. I THINK WE HAVE TO HAVE AN AGENDA THAT -- ONE OF THE THINGS DICK GEPHARDT TALKS ABOUT IS TO HAVE A NATIONAL HEALTH CARE PLAN. I THINK THAT IS SOMETHING THAT'S VERY, VERY IMPORTANT. THE WALL STREET JOURNAL HAD AN ARTICLE, A REPORT ON A COMMITTEE THEY HAD PUT TOGETHER THAT BY 2010, WE NEED NATIONAL HEALTH CARE. THAT IS SOMETHING THAT EVERYBODY NEEDS IN THIS COUNTRY. IF YOUR COMPANY GOES OUT OF BUSINESS, WHY SHOULD YOU NOT HAVE HEALTH CARE? IF YOUR COMPANY GOES OUT OF BUSINESS OR YOU CHANGE JOBS, YOU DON'T HAVE HEALTH CARE. THAT IS NOT TRUE IN ANY OF THE GREAT COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD. CANADA, THE U.K., FRANCE, GERMANY, THEY ALL HAVE IT, SPAIN, ITALY. THERE'S A NATIONAL HEALTH CARE. AND THE PROBLEM IS THAT WHEN YOU GO IN AND YOU NEGOTIATE A CONTRACT, LET'S SAY IF YOU'RE A UNION, ALMOST ALL THE MONEY YOU GET GOES TO HEALTH CARE NOW AND THERE'S NO INCREASES BUILT IN. WE NEED A NATIONAL HEALTH CARE SYSTEM THAT BASICALLY WILL GIVE PEOPLE THE SECURITY OF KNOWING THEY HAVE HEALTH CARE. THAT IS WHAT DICK GEPHARDT HAS SAID THAT HE WANTS TO DO. HE WANTS TO TAKE ALL THESE TAX CUTS AND TURN THEM AROUND AND BUY NATIONAL HEALTH CARE. THAT MAKES SENSE TO ME. AND THAT'S SOMETHING, WHEN YOU TALK TO PEOPLE WHETHER AT LEER OR HERE IN IOWA, THEY SAY THAT'S WHAT WE NEED. I TALKED TO A WOMAN THAT LOST HER JOB AT THE IHOP, AND SHE'S SITTING THERE WITH A CANE. AND SHE SAYS, "WHEN I LOST MY JOB, THEY SAID THAT I COULD GET COBRA FOR $1,000 A MONTH." SHE SAID, "I DON'T EVEN HAVE A JOB. HOW WOULD I PAY THAT?" AND THAT WAS THEIR ANSWER TO HER, AND SHE HAD NO HEALTH CARE. SO I THINK THAT IS SOMETHING THAT THE TIME HAS COME, WE'VE GOT TO ADDRESS THAT PROBLEM, AND THAT WOULD TAKE CARE OF A LOT OF THE MANY, MANY PROBLEMS WE HAVE BECAUSE IT HELPS BUSINESS, BECAUSE IT TAKES THE BURDEN OFF OF BUSINESSES WHO ARE STRUGGLING WITH THIS, IT TAKES IT OFF OF UNIONS, AND IT BASICALLY GIVES US AN ASSURANCE THAT WE CAN FUND THROUGH THESE BILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF TAX CUTS THAT WE GAVE TO THE RICH PEOPLE.

Yepsen: IMMIGRATION... WHAT'S THE TEAMSTER POSITION ON IMMIGRATION?

Hoffa: WELL, WE HAVE MANY, MANY FINE HISPANIC PEOPLE IN OUR COUNTRY AND THEY ARE HERE AND THEY'RE GOOD CITIZENS AND THEY WORK HARD. I DO THINK THERE'S A PROBLEM OF BRINGING NEW PEOPLE IN. AND THE IDEA -- THE PRESIDENT'S IDEA OF OPENING THE BORDERS WHEN WE HAVE NINE TO TEN MILLION PEOPLE UNEMPLOYED IN THIS COUNTRY, THAT WE HAVE 45 MILLION PEOPLE WITHOUT HEALTH CARE, THAT WE HAVE MILLIONS OF PEOPLE LIVING BELOW THE POVERTY LINE, THAT WE'RE GOING TO OPEN UP OUR BORDERS AND JUST LET NEW WORKERS COME IN TO DEPRESS WAGES AND TO DO JOBS, WHO KNOWS WHAT THEY'RE GOING TO DO, I THINK IS ABSOLUTELY WRONG. AND MANY OF THE HISPANIC GROUPS THAT ARE HERE ARE SAYING THE SAME THING. PEOPLE ARE LOOKING AT THIS THING AND SAYING AT A TIME OF NATIONAL SECURITY, AT A TIME OF 9/11, HOW CAN WE POSSIBLY OPEN OUR BORDERS AND THEN THINK AFTER THREE YEARS, AFTER THESE PEOPLE COME HERE, BRING THEIR FAMILIES, THAT THEY'RE GOING TO GO POLITELY BACK TO MEXICO? IT'S JUST NOT CREDIBLE.

Yepsen: ENERGY. I SEE THE TEAMSTERS SUPPORT OPENING UP DRILLING IN THE ARCTIC NATIONAL WILDLIFE RESERVE. THERE ARE A LOT OF DEMOCRATS THAT DON'T LIKE THAT IDEA. WHAT'S YOUR ARGUMENT FOR DOING THAT?

Hoffa: WELL, OUR MAJOR REASON WHY WE WORKED WITH THE ADMINISTRATION ON THIS -- AND WE DID. WE WORKED VERY HARD ON IT BECAUSE WE COULD SEE THAT THERE WOULD BE A LOT OF JOBS CREATED BOTH IN CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES. WE HAD ESTIMATES OF HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF JOBS THAT WOULD HELP OUR UNION, AND THESE WOULD BE GOOD UNION JOBS DOING A GOOD JOB. WE ALSO HAD ASSURANCES THAT THERE WOULD BE VERY, VERY LITTLE IMPACT ON THE ENVIRONMENT. WE'RE ENVIRONMENTALISTS TOO. WE DON'T WANT TO DO ANYTHING THAT WOULD HURT THE ENVIRONMENT UP WHERE THEY WERE GOING TO DO THIS. AND WE WERE CONCERNED THAT WE HAD ANSWERED THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS, THAT THEY WERE GOING TO HAVE ICE ROADS, THAT THEY WERE ONLY GOING TO DO A VERY SMALL AREA OF THIS HUGE EXPANSE, AND THAT THERE WOULD BE A LOT OF JOBS CREATED. AND WE FELT THAT IS SOMETHING THAT ALSO WOULD HELP US BECOME LESS DEPENDENT ON FOREIGN OIL, WHICH WE KNOW RIGHT NOW, WITH OUR GAS PRICES GOING UP TO $2 AS THEY'RE SKYROCKETING DURING THIS WINTER, THAT WE NEED TO BE, YOU KNOW, LESS DEPENDENT ON FOREIGN OIL FROM THE MIDDLE EAST, THE UNSTABLE MIDDLE EAST. SO OUR IDEA WAS THAT WE WOULD KILL THREE BIRDS WITH ONE STONE: WE'D GET JOBS, WE'D PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT, AND WE ALSO BECOME LESS DEPENDENT ON FOREIGN OIL.

Yepsen: PENSION REFORM... I SEE A LOT OF TALK ABOUT THAT ISSUE IN THE CAMPAIGN. DICK GEPHARDT HAS A PLAN. YOU FOLKS HAVE BEEN ACTIVE ON IT. WHAT SHOULD THE CONGRESS DO TO GUARANTEE WORKER PENSIONS?

Hoffa: WELL, I THINK THEY'VE GOT TO, YOU KNOW -- THAT'S A BIG QUESTION. THERE ARE ALL KINDS OF BILLS OUT THERE. WE HAVE TO HAVE THINGS THAT HELP PEOPLE SPREAD OUT -- AMORTIZE ALL OF THE COSTS INVOLVED WITH PENSIONS AND GIVE US MORE TIME TO MAKE SURE THAT OUR PENSION FUNDS ARE THRIVING. A LOT OF PENSION FUNDS, WHETHER IT'S GENERAL MOTORS OR THE TEAMSTERS, ARE HURTING RIGHT NOW BECAUSE OF 9/11 AND THE STOCK MARKET CRASH. AND CONTRARY TO WHAT ANYBODY THINKS, THEY HAVEN'T COME BACK. I MEAN EVERYBODY THINKS THIS IS TRUE, AND EVERY DAY YOU PICK UP THE WALL STREET JOURNAL OR THE NEW YORK TIMES THAT THERE'S ANOTHER BIG FUND, WHETHER IT'S IBM, GENERAL MOTORS, CHRYSLER, IS TRYING TO POUR BILLIONS OF DOLLARS BACK INTO THEIR FUNDS TO KEEP THEM OPERATING. AND IT'S A BIG CRISIS WE HAVE RIGHT NOW. SO I THINK WE NEED ASSISTANCE. WE NEED RELAXATION OF SOME OF THE IRS RULES TO HELP US GET THROUGH THIS PERIOD OF TIME UNTIL WE CAN STABILIZE OURSELVES WITH REGARD TO HOW WE HANDLE OUR PENSION FUNDS. IT'S A CRISIS RIGHT NOW. PENSION FUNDS -- A PENSION IS ONE OF THE GREAT THINGS THAT UNIONS PROVIDE, BUT WITH ALL THE THINGS THAT HAVE HAPPENED, THEY'RE UNDER SOME STRESS. SO IT'S GOING TO TAKE TIME FOR US TO GET MORE MONEY NEGOTIATED INTO THOSE CONTRACTS, TO GET MORE MONEY FOR THE DIFFERENT PENSIONS SO THEY WORK OUT. IT'S GOING TO BE OKAY IN THE END, BUT WE NEED SOME ASSISTANCE RIGHT NOW.

Yepsen: IRAQ, YOU AND YOUR UNION SUPPORTED THE INVASION OF IRAQ. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT NOW? IS THAT -- HAVE YOU HAD ANY SECOND THOUGHTS?

Hoffa: WELL, I KNOW THAT DICK GEPHARDT SIGNED ON AND JOHN KERRY SIGNED ON TO THAT AFTER BEING TOLD ALL THESE THINGS BY THE ADMINISTRATION. YOU KNOW, MY FEELING IS -- MY FEELING, WHATEVER THEY'RE WORTH, I WOULD NOT HAVE INVADED IN IRAQ. I THINK YOU COULD HAVE PARTITIONED THE COUNTRY, YOU COULD HAVE BASICALLY PUT THEM INTO A SIEGE THAT WOULD HAVE BASICALLY TURNED HIM AROUND LIKE LYBIA. YOU SEE QADDAFI RIGHT NOW COMING AROUND SAYING, YOU KNOW, "I GUESS I WAS WRONG. I DID BOMB THE AIRLINER. NOW I WANT TO BE A GOOD CITIZEN. YOU CAN COME IN AND INSPECT MY PLACE." THERE WAS A WAY TO DO THAT WITHOUT INVADING. YOU COULD HAVE BASICALLY OCCUPIED THE KURDISH AREA TO THE SOUTH, THE SHIITE AREA. YOU COULD HAVE BOMBED OUT ANYTHING THAT WAS MILITARY UP THERE WITH SMART BOMBS, AND THEN BASICALLY PUT A SIEGE ON THE CITY AND SAY, "NOW WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?" AND IT WOULDN'T HAVE COST THIS HUGE EXPENSE, I MEAN BILLIONS OF DOLLARS THAT WE'VE SPENT. WE JUST SPENT $87 BILLION, WHICH IS PROBABLY ON TOP OF ANOTHER $100 BILLION THAT WE HAVE ALREADY SPENT TO FIGHT THE WAR. THERE WAS A WAY TO DO THIS TO SQUEEZE HIM THAT BASICALLY WOULD HAVE WORKED. NOW, THAT'S JUST MY ARMCHAIR GENERALING, BUT THAT'S WHAT I WOULD HAVE DONE. AND I THINK THERE WAS A WAY AROUND THAT. NOW, DICK GEPHARDT AND KERRY AND OTHER PEOPLE HAVE SIGNED ON WITH THIS BECAUSE THEY WERE SOLD A BILL OF GOODS. I MEAN WE WERE AT A TIME OF NATIONAL CRISIS. THEY WERE TOLD THAT HE HAD WEAPONS OF MASS CONSTRUCTION, THAT HE WAS WITH AL QAEDA, THAT THEY WERE SHIPPING THIS STUFF FROM AFRICA. AND MOST OF THAT STUFF HAS BEEN PROVEN NOT TO BE TRUE. SO, YOU KNOW, HINDSIGHT IS ONE THING. WE'RE THERE NOW. WE SUPPORT OUR BOYS A HUNDRED PERCENT. WE'VE GOT TO FINISH THE JOB NOW, BOTH IN AFGHANISTAN AND IRAQ. THERE'S NO GOING BACK NOW. WE'RE THERE AND WE'VE GOT TO FINISH THE JOB. BUT I THINK GOING BACK, THERE WAS A WAY TO AVOID THE WAR.

Yepsen: WE'VE GOT JUST --

Hoffa: NOW, THAT'S JUST MY OPINION.

Yepsen: I UNDERSTAND. WE'VE GOT JUST ABOUT A MINUTE LEFT. I LIKE TO GIVE A CHANCE -- PEOPLE A CHANCE TO HAVE THEIR SAY ON THIS PROGRAM. GIVE ME THE COMMERCIAL FOR DICK GEPHARDT. WHAT DO YOU WANT UNION MEMBERS TO REMEMBER AS THEY GO TO THE CAUCUSES ON MONDAY NIGHT?

Hoffa: WELL, I THINK THE ANSWER WITH DICK GEPHARDT IS THAT THIS COUNTRY IS NOW DIVIDED INTO TWO SECTION SECTIONS, THE RICH AND THE POOR, THE RICH AND "US," AS I SAY. AND THE ANSWER IS, GO TO THE POLLS. LET'S RECLAIM AMERICA. LET'S MAKE THIS COUNTRY STRONG AGAIN. LET'S STOP TRADE BILLS THAT GIVE OUR JOBS AWAY, THE JOBS OF IOWANS. LET'S HAVE A NATIONAL HEALTH CARE PLAN THAT MAKES SENSE. LET'S STOP PRIVATIZATION OF GOOD UNION JOBS TO PEOPLE THAT DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY'RE DOING. LET'S TURN THIS COUNTRY AROUND AND GIVE IT BACK TO THE AVERAGE AMERICAN WHO IS OUT THERE MAYBE WATCHING THIS PROGRAM. AND I SAY -- TO TELL PEOPLE -- I SAID, "LISTEN, DON'T GO VOTE FOR DICK GEPHARDT. GO VOTE FOR YOURSELF." THAT'S WHAT I TELL THEM. IT'S ABOUT YOU. IT'S NOT ABOUT DICK GEPHARDT. IT'S NOT ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE. IT'S ABOUT TAKING BACK THIS COUNTRY FOR THOSE PEOPLE THAT REALLY OWN THIS COUNTRY, WHICH ARE THE GREAT BACKBONE OF THIS COUNTRY, THE WORKING PEOPLE OF THIS COUNTRY.

Yepsen: MR. HOFFA, THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR BEING WITH US HERE AT IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION. I APPRECIATE YOU TAKING TIME TO BE WITH US.

Hoffa: THANK YOU, DAVID.

Yepsen: TONIGHT'S PROGRAM IS THE LAST IN A TEN-PART SERIES DESIGNED TO HELP OUR VIEWERS, SPECIFICALLY DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS GOERS, TO BETTER UNDERSTAND THE MEN AND WOMEN SEEKING THEIR SUPPORT. NOW, IN CLOSING, WE HAVE A REBROADCAST SCHEDULE TO TELL YOU ABOUT. ON SUNDAY WE'LL HAVE EIGHT PROGRAMS IN OUR TEN-PART SERIES COMING YOUR WAY, BEGINNING AT 1:00 P.M. AND CONTINUING UNTIL 5:00 P.M. SO IF YOU MISSED ONE OR MORE OF OUR PROGRAMS IN THIS SERIES, HERE'S A CHANCE TO CATCH UP. SUFFICE IT TO SAY, IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION AND THE DES MOINES REGISTER TAKE THE ELECTORAL PROCESS SERIOUSLY, AND WE HOPE YOU DO AS WELL. I'M DAVID YEPSEN OF "THE DES MOINES REGISTER." THANKS FOR JOINING US HERE ON STATEWIDE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION.

CAPTIONS BY: MIDWEST CAPTIONING DES MOINES, IOWA.

FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM WAS PROVIDED BY "FRIENDS," THE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION FOUNDATION... GENERATIONS OF FAMILIES AND FRIENDS WHO FEEL PASSIONATE ABOUT THE PROGRAMS THEY WATCH ON IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION.


Tags: campaign 2004 Iowa unions