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U.S. Senator Bob Graham
(#3101)
September 5, 2003

IOWA PRESS #3101>>

Borg: DEMOCRATS WHO WANT TO BE PRESIDENT ARE BUILDING CAMPAIGN MOMENTUM. WE'LL DISCUSS THE RUN FOR THE WHITE HOUSE WITH FLORIDA SENATOR BOB GRAHAM ON THIS EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS."

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.

AND BY THE IOWA BANKERS ASSOCIATION... FOR PERSONAL, BUSINESS, AND COMMERCIAL NEEDS, IOWA BANKS HELP IOWANS REACH THEIR FINANCIAL GOALS.

ON STATEWIDE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION, THIS IS THE FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 5 EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS." HERE IS DEAN BORG.

Borg: HELLO AGAIN. THIS WEEKEND'S EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS," THE FIRST IN OUR 2003-2004 BROADCAST SEASON. IT'S OUR 32ND YEAR HERE ON STATEWIDE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION. THANKS FOR JOINING US. 136 DAYS AND COUNTING... THAT'S THE TIME BETWEEN THIS WEEKEND AND THE FIRST-IN-THE-NATION IOWA PRESIDENTIAL PREFERENCE CAUCUS. THAT'S ON MONDAY, JANUARY 19. NINE CANDIDATES ARE CONTENDING FOR THAT DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION FOR PRESIDENT. U.S. SENATOR BOB GRAHAM OF FLORIDA IS ONE OF THEM. HE'S A FORMER STATE LEGISLATOR, A FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR, AND HE'S NOW IN HIS THIRD SIX-YEAR TERM IN THE U.S. SENATE. ON CAPITOL HILL, HIS EXPERTISE IS IN BOTH INTELLIGENCE AND FOREIGN AFFAIRS, WHERE HE HAS CHAIRED THE SENATE SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE. SENATOR GRAHAM, WELCOME TO IOWA. WELCOME TO IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION AND "IOWA PRESS."

Graham: THANK YOU.


Borg: AND I KNOW THAT THE PEOPLE ACROSS THE TABLE HAVE BEEN ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL WITH YOU. THEY ARE "RADIO IOWA" NEWS DIRECTOR KAY HENDERSON AND "ASSOCIATED PRESS" SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER MIKE GLOVER. >>


Glover: SENATOR GRAHAM, YOU'VE BEEN CAMPAIGNING IN THIS STATE PRETTY INTENSIVELY IN RECENT MONTHS, BUT IT'S LIKELY THAT MOST OF THE PEOPLE WATCHING THIS SHOW DON'T KNOW WHO YOU ARE. GIVE US YOUR SOUND BITE, THE COMMERCIAL. WHAT'S THE SOUND BITE FOR BOB GRAHAM GETTING THE DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION?

Graham: BOB GRAHAM IS THE BEST PREPARED TO BE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF THE DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES. HE HAS EXTENSIVE EXPERIENCE AS AN EXECUTIVE IN THE FOURTH LARGEST AND VERY COMPLEX STATE AND NOW HAS SERVED SIXTEEN YEARS IN THE U.S. SENATE WITH A PARTICULAR EMPHASIS ON NATIONAL SECURITY AND FOREIGN POLICY ISSUES. I THINK THAT'S THE EXPERIENCE BASE THAT THE PEOPLE OF AMERICA ARE LOOKING FOR AS THEIR NEXT PRESIDENT. I ALSO AM PROUD OF THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS THAT I HAVE PARTICIPATED IN. AS AN EXAMPLE, WHEN I BECAME GOVERNOR, ONE OF OUR GOALS WAS TO EXPAND THE ECONOMIC BASE OF FLORIDA. EIGHT YEARS LATER WE HAD CREATED 1.4 MILLION NEW JOBS IN OUR STATE AND HAD BEEN ABLE TO RAISE THE PER CAPITA INCOME OF FLORIDIANS FOR THE FIRST TIME IN OUR HISTORY ABOVE THE NATIONAL PER CAPITA INCOME. SO THEY WERE NOT JUST JOBS; THEY WERE GOOD JOBS. MY JUDGMENT WAS ALSO TESTED WHEN WE HAD THE VOTE ON GOING TO WAR WITH IRAQ. I FELT THAT THE CRITERIA FOR GOING TO WAR WAS WHAT OF THE MANY EVILS IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND CENTRAL ASIA REPRESENTED THE GREATEST THREAT TO THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. IN MY OPINION, THE ANSWER WAS FAIRLY SIMPLE AND STRAIGHTFORWARD. IT WAS AL QAEDA AND THE OTHER INTERNATIONAL TERRORIST GROUPS. SO I VOTED AGAINST GOING TO WAR IN IRAQ BECAUSE I WAS CONCERNED THAT IT WAS GOING TO BE A DISTRACTION FROM THE WAR ON TERRORISM AND WOULD ALLOW TERRORIST GROUPS TO REGENERATE AND BECOME AN EVEN GREATER THREAT. AND UNFORTUNATELY, THAT IS WHAT HAS HAPPENED IN THE INTERVENING MONTHS. FINALLY, I THINK THE VALUES THAT I GREW UP WITH: I WAS BORN ON A DAIRY FARM IN SOUTH FLORIDA, RAISED AS A 4-H CLUBBER, ALL THE KINDS OF THINGS OF PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY AND SELF-DISCIPLINE. I BELIEVE THOSE ARE THE KIND OF VALUES THAT THE PEOPLE IN THIS STATE RELATE TO, AND I LOOK FORWARD TO SHARING THOSE WITH THE PEOPLE OF IOWA OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL MONTHS.


Henderson: SENATOR, LET'S BEGIN BY ASSESSING YOUR CANDIDACY. YOU GOT IN THE RACE LATE COMPARED TO YOUR RIVALS. POLLS WOULD INDICATE THAT FEW IOWANS KNOW YOUR NAME AND FEW IOWANS ARE SUPPORTING YOU COMPARED TO THE OTHER CANDIDATES. IS THERE A SERIOUS QUESTION ABOUT YOUR CANDIDACY WHEN YOU TALK TO POLITICAL FOLK? THEY KIND OF, YOU KNOW, SCRATCH THEIR HEADS AND WONDER WHY YOU'RE RUNNING.

Graham: WELL, I'M RUNNING BECAUSE I'M AN OPTIMIST. I THINK THE BEST DAYS FOR AMERICA ARE STILL AHEAD OF US, BUT I'M AFRAID THAT RIGHT NOW WE ARE IN A PERIOD IN WHICH WE ARE BEING LED IN THE WRONG DIRECTION, WHETHER IT'S IN THE WRONG DIRECTION WITH OUR ECONOMIC POLICY THAT'S LED TO THREE MILLION AMERICANS LOSING THEIR JOBS, 92,000 JUST THIS PAST MONTH, OR WHETHER IT'S IN FOREIGN POLICY WHERE INSTEAD OF BEING THE MOST ADMIRED COUNTRY IN THE WORLD, WE'RE ALMOST BECOMING AN OUTCAST IN THE WORLD. SO THAT'S WHY I'M RUNNING, TO PUT AMERICA BACK ON THE TRACK THAT I THINK IT SHOULD FILL IN ORDER TO REALIZE THE TREMENDOUS OPPORTUNITIES THAT WE HAVE.


Borg: BUT KAY'S QUESTION BEGS ANOTHER QUESTION, AND THAT IS WHEN DO YOU DECIDE WHETHER OR NOT TO PURSUE, BECAUSE I'VE ALREADY SAID RIGHT NOW YOU'RE IN A SECOND TIER OF CANDIDATES. YOU'RE NOT LEADING. YOU'VE NEVER LOST AN ELECTION, AND BACK HOME YOU HAVE A FLORIDA SENATE SEAT THAT IF YOU DECIDE TO GO FOR PRESIDENT IS GOING TO GO CAMPAIGNING TO SOMEBODY ELSE. WHAT DO YOU OWE THE STATE OF FLORIDA AND DEMOCRATIC PARTY THERE AS FAR AS DECIDING WHETHER OR NOT YOU'RE GOING TO BE A CANDIDATE THERE SO THAT THEY CAN GET THEIR OTHER DUCKS IN A ROW?

Graham: WELL, HERE'S WHAT I'VE TOLD THE PEOPLE OF FLORIDA AND THE CANDIDATES WHO ARE CONSIDERING RUNNING FOR THIS POSITION. FIRST, I AM ONLY RUNNING FOR ONE POSITION. I'M RUNNING TO BE THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. AND SECOND, I HAVE TOLD THE OTHER POTENTIAL CANDIDATES TO START YOUR ENGINES, BEGIN ORGANIZING AND FUND-RAISING BECAUSE I INTEND TO BE IN THIS RACE TILL THE END.


Glover: IS THERE A POINT BEYOND WHICH YOU CAN'T TURN BACK? IS THERE A POINT BEYOND WHICH YOU HAVE TO CONTINUE RUNNING FOR THE PRESIDENCY, RUNNING FOR THE SENATE IS NO LONGER VIABLE?

Graham: I'VE ALREADY MADE THAT EMOTIONAL DECISION, AND I AM COMMITTED FULLY TO BE THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

Graham: AND ONE QUESTION WHEN PEOPLE LOOK AT YOUR CAMPAIGN, YOU'RE CAMPAIGNING AS A SOUTHERN MODERATE MEMBER OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY BUT YOU'RE NOT THE ONLY PERSON COMING FROM THAT PERSPECTIVE. THERE ARE TWO OTHER CANDIDATES WHO ARE RUNNING AS MODERATES, SENATOR EDWARDS AND SENATOR LIEBERMAN. ARE THERE TOO MANY MODERATES IN THIS RACE DICING UP TOO SMALL A PIECE OF THE PARTY?

Graham: NO. I THINK THAT THE DEMOCRATS IN IOWA AND ACROSS THE COUNTRY ARE GOING TO BE WELL SERVED. THIS IS A VERY DIVERSE GROUP OF CANDIDATES. THEY'RE, IN MY JUDGMENT, A VERY ABLE GROUP OF CANDIDATES AND THEY WILL SERVE THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY AND THE NATION WELL TO HAVE THIS WIDE RANGE OF CHOICES. I AM -- DESCRIBE MYSELF AS BEING A PRAGMATIST, NOT AN IDEOLOGUE IN POLITICS. I HAVE HAD EXTENSIVE EXPERIENCE AS BOTH AN EXECUTIVE AND IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE IN FOREIGN AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS, SO I MODESTLY SAY THAT I AM THE BEST PREPARED TO BE THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.


Glover: MODESTY IS NOT A QUALIFICATION TO BE PRESIDENT. [ LAUGHTER ]

Graham: I HOPE NOT.


Henderson: YOU HAD OPEN HEART SURGERY. ARE YOU HEALTHY ENOUGH TO BE PRESIDENT IN THAT PRESSURE COOKER JOB?

Graham: YES, I DID HAVE OPEN HEART SURGERY. THAT WAS ONE OF THE REASONS THAT THE LAUNCH OF MY CAMPAIGN WAS DELAYED, BUT I FEEL BETTER. THE DOCTORS ARE GIVING ME BETTER RATINGS TODAY THAN AT ANY TIME IN THE LAST TWO OR THREE YEARS. I FEEL FORTUNATE THAT ONE OF THE FACTS OF GETTING READY TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT WAS THAT I HAD A THOROUGH PHYSICAL. THIS WAS DISCOVERED, DEALT WITH, AND NOW I'M BACK STRONGER, MORE ENERGETIC THAN EVER.


Glover: IN THE FIRST PART OF THIS RACE, YOU SET TARGETS FOR THE AMOUNT OF MONEY YOU WANTED TO RAISE. YOU HAVEN'T MET THOSE TARGETS, WHILE GOVERNOR DEAN HAS EXCEEDED HIS TARGETS. ARE YOU SATISFIED WITH THE AMOUNT OF MONEY YOU'VE RAISED, AND CAN YOU RAISE ENOUGH TO FURTHER --

Graham: FIRST, WE DID MEET OUR TARGET IN THE FIRST QUARTER OF THIS YEAR. WE DID NOT MEET OUR TARGET IN THE SECOND QUARTER, IN LARGE PART BECAUSE I MADE THE DECISION THAT WE HAD TO SPEND A SUBSTANTIAL AMOUNT OF TIME AND RESOURCES GETTING ORGANIZED IN THIS EARLY STATE. RAISING MONEY IS LIKE BUYING GASOLINE. THE PURPOSE IS TO MAKE THE CAR RUN, NOT BE THE CAR. BUT I THINK WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A GOOD FUND-RAISING QUARTER, THE ONE THAT ENDS AT THE END OF SEPTEMBER. WE HAVE AN EXCELLENT NATIONAL FINANCE CHAIR WHO IS HELPING US RAISE MONEY ACROSS THE COUNTRY. IN THE LAST FOUR OR FIVE DAYS, WE'VE HAD FUND-RAISERS IN NEW MEXICO, IN CHICAGO, AND IN OKLAHOMA. NEXT WEEK WE'LL HAVE FUND-RAISERS IN NEW YORK, SEVERAL PLACES IN FLORIDA, AND THEN NEW HAMPSHIRE. AND WE'LL BE HERE FOR THE TOM HARKIN STEAK FRY ON SATURDAY.


Glover: GOVERNOR DEAN SAYS HE'S GOING TO RAISE TEN MILLION THIS QUARTER. OTHERS THINK HE'LL RAISE AS MUCH AS FIFTEEN. CAN YOU MATCH THAT?

Graham: NO, WE'RE NOT GOING TO MATCH THOSE NUMBERS. I ADMIRE WHAT GOVERNOR DEAN HAS DONE. HE HAS NOT ONLY RAISED MONEY IN THE SORT OF TRADITIONAL WAY OF HAVING DINNERS AND RECEPTIONS AND OTHER FACE-TO-FACE ENCOUNTERS, BUT HE'S DONE A TREMENDOUS JOB WITH THE INTERNET. I THINK THERE WILL BE BOOKS WRITTEN ON HOW THAT HAS BECOME SUCH A SIGNIFICANT PART OF FUND-RAISING, PARTICULARLY IN THIS PERIOD OF MCCAIN-FEINGOLD WHERE SOFT MONEY IS NOT AVAILABLE TO FEDERAL CANDIDATES. YOU'VE GOT TO RAISE IT THROUGH A LARGE NETWORK, AND THE INTERNET HAS PROVIDED THAT NETWORK FOR DR. DEAN, AND I CONGRATULATE HIM.


Henderson: WHEN COVERING BOB DOLE'S CANDIDACY, I WAS CHATTING WITH A PERSON WHO WAS SEVENTY-TWO YEARS OLD, AND THEY TOLD ME THEY WOULDN'T VOTE FOR HIM BECAUSE SOMEONE THAT OLD SHOULD NOT BE PRESIDENT. THE LAST TWO PRESIDENTS WHO HAVE BEEN ELECTED HAVE BEEN BABY BOOMERS. HAS THE COUNTRY MOVED BEYOND YOUR GENERATION?

Graham: NO. I THINK THE COUNTRY IS LOOKING FOR A MATURITY, FOR AN EXPERIENCED PERSON WHO CAN DEAL WITH SOME VERY SERIOUS ISSUES. WHILE I SAID AMERICA IS LIVING THROUGH A PERIOD OF GREAT OPPORTUNITIES, IT ALSO HAS GOT TO LEARN HOW TO MANAGE ITS ECONOMY IN AN INCREASINGLY GLOBALIZING ENVIRONMENT. WE'VE GOT TO LEARN HOW TO MANAGE OUR INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS IN A WAY THAT WE'LL CONTINUE TO BE THE STRONGEST NATION IN THE WORLD BUT ALSO, WE'LL HAVE THE RESPECT OF THE WORLD. I THINK I CAN BRING THAT KIND OF LEADERSHIP TO AMERICA.


Borg: SENATOR GRAHAM, I'D LIKE TO TURN THE CONVERSATION NOW TO SOME OF THE ISSUES. THIS WEEKEND THAT YOU'RE SPENDING IN IOWA, PART OF IT'S GOING TO BE SPENT TALKING WITH EDUCATORS, EDUCATIONAL LEADERS. WHAT'S GOING TO BE YOUR MESSAGE TO THEM?

Graham: MY MESSAGE IS GOING TO BE THAT THE MOST FUNDAMENTAL THING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO DO RELATIVE TO PUBLIC EDUCATION IS TO ASSURE ITSELF THAT THE STATES AND LOCAL COMMUNITIES, WHICH HAVE 94 PERCENT OF THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR FINANCING EDUCATION, ARE IN A POSITION TO DO SO. ALL OVER AMERICA TODAY, INCLUDING IN STATES LIKE IOWA, THEY'RE HAVING SOME OF THE TOUGHEST BUDGETARY TIMES IN RECENT HISTORY. A BIG PART OF THAT, FRANKLY, HAS TO DO WITH FEDERAL ACTIONS. WHEN WE CUT TAX RATES IN ORDER TO BENEFIT PRIMARILY THE WEALTHIEST AMERICANS, WE'RE NOT ONLY CUTTING THE FEDERAL'S REVENUE, WE'RE CUTTING THE STATE'S REVENUE BECAUSE MOST STATES HAVE THEIR TAX STRUCTURE LINKED TO THE FEDERAL SYSTEM. AND SECOND, WE'VE PASSED A LOT OF MANDATES ON THE STATES IN AREAS LIKE HOMELAND SECURITY, LEAVE NO CHILD BEHIND, WITHOUT FUNDING THOSE MANDATES SO THAT THE STATES AND LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS HAVE GOT TO PICK UP A WHOLE SET OF NEW RESPONSIBILITIES BUT WITHOUT THE DOLLARS TO PAY FOR THEM.


Borg: WHAT WOULD YOU DO AS PRESIDENT, THEN, TO REVERSE OR REMEDY THAT?

Graham: WELL, THE FIRST THING I WOULD DO IS I WOULD REPEAL THOSE PORTIONS OF THE 2001 AND 2002 TAX CUT, WHICH WENT PRIMARILY TO THE RICHEST AMERICANS. IT WAS BAD ECONOMIC POLICY AND HAS BEEN DISASTROUS IN TERMS OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT THIS YEAR RUNNING THE LARGEST DEFICIT IN THE HISTORY OF THE COUNTRY AND IN TERMS OF FINANCIAL STATUS OF STATES. AND I WOULDN'T PASS NEW FEDERAL MANDATES WITHOUT AN ASSURANCE THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WAS GOING TO PAY FOR THOSE NEW MANDATES.


Henderson: THAT NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND ACT, YOU VOTED FOR IT, DID YOU NOT?

Graham: I DID, YES.


Henderson: DO YOU REGRET THAT VOTE?

Graham: I REGRET WHAT'S HAPPENED SINCE THE VOTE. THAT WAS PASSED WITH THE STRONG INDICATION THAT THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION WOULD RECOMMEND THE ADEQUATE FUNDING. THAT HASN'T HAPPENED. IN FACT, IT'S ALREADY BEEN HALF OF THE FUNDING THAT WAS ORIGINALLY CONTEMPLATED. THE PROBLEM, IN MY JUDGMENT, IS NOT SO MUCH WITH THE LAW ITSELF, BUT THE FACT THAT THE LAW HASN'T BEEN FINANCED, SO IT HAS BECOME A NEW RESPONSIBILITY WITHOUT RESOURCES.


Borg: SO YOU FEEL NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND IS FINE IF THERE'S ENOUGH MONEY?

Graham: I THINK THERE ARE SOME ISSUES WITHIN THE LAW ITSELF THAT NEED TO BE DEALT WITH, ONE THAT IS PARTICULAR HERE IN IOWA. IOWA HAS ONE OF THE BEST PUBLIC EDUCATION SYSTEMS IN THE COUNTRY, AND BECAUSE OF THAT, YOU HAVE MANY SCHOOLS THAT ARE PERFORMING AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL. UNDER NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND, EVERY SCHOOL, EVERY SCHOOL DISTRICT HAS TO SHOW CONSTANT PROGRESS. IT WOULD BE LIKE A RUNNER WHO IS ALREADY RUNNING THE 100-YARD DASH IN NINE SECONDS; THERE'S NOT VERY MUCH YOU CAN DO TO GET BETTER THAN THAT. SO I DON'T THINK THAT NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND GAVE ADEQUATE ATTENTION AND ACCOUNT TO SOME OF THE SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL ISSUES HERE IN THIS STATE.


Glover: SENATOR, LET'S TALK ABOUT SOME ISSUES THAT AFFECT FARMERS. A LOT OF FARMERS IN THIS STATE, IN THIS PART OF THE COUNTRY, WOULD LIKE TRADE WITH CUBA OPENED UP SO THEY COULD SELL SOME FARM PRODUCTS DOWN THERE. WHAT'S YOUR POSITION ON THAT?

Graham: I'M OPPOSED TO LIFTING ECONOMIC SANCTIONS AGAINST CUBA. CUBA HAS BECOME, IF ANYTHING, A MORE REPRESSIVE COUNTRY IN THE LAST EIGHTEEN MONTHS WITH THE EXECUTION OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE TRIED TO LEAVE, WITH LONG-TERM IMPRISONMENTS FOR PEOPLE WHO WERE EXERCISING THEIR BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS. I DON'T THINK WE OUGHT TO BE REWARDING CUBA WITH INCREASED ECONOMIC ACTIVITY. FRANKLY, CUBA IS A VERY SMALL PART OF THE WORLD INTERNATIONAL PIE. IT'S A COUNTRY OF ABOUT 11 OR 12 MILLION PEOPLE. WE'D BE BETTER USING OUR TIME TO TRY TO BREAK DOWN THE BARRIERS IN EUROPE TO GET OUR GENETICALLY MODIFIED CORN SOLD THERE THAN SPENDING IT ATTEMPTING TO OPEN UP A MINUSCULE MARKET IN CUBA.


Glover: AND TRADE HAS BECOME A BIG ISSUE AMONG THE NINE DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES. THERE'S SOME DISAGREEMENTS. CONGRESSMAN GEPHARDT SAYS THAT ISSUES LIKE NAFTA WERE A MISTAKE AND THEY SHOULD BE FIXED. WHERE DO YOU COME DOWN ON THAT WHOLE TRADE DEBATE?

Graham: AMERICA DOESN'T HAVE THE REAL OPPORTUNITY TO BECOME A PROTECTIONIST NATION AGAIN. WE ARE SO MUCH A PART OF THE WORLD ECONOMY. SO MUCH OF OUR ECONOMIC WELL-BEING, PARTICULARLY IN AGRICULTURE, IS TIED TO OUR EXPORTS TO THE WORLD. I THINK WHAT WE NEED TO DO IS NOT TO REPEAL THESE LAWS BUT TO ENFORCE THEM. FOR INSTANCE, THERE'S A GROUP CALLED THE INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION, WHICH HAS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF ENFORCING NAFTA RULES AS THEY APPLY TO THE UNITED STATES. THERE IS NOT TODAY AND HAS NOT BEEN IN RECENT HISTORY SOMEONE ON THAT COMMISSION WITH AN AGRICULTURAL BACKGROUND IN SPITE OF THE FACT THAT 20 PERCENT OF THE CASES THAT COME BEFORE THE INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION RELATE TO AGRICULTURE. SENATOR GRASSLEY AND I, WHO BOTH SERVE ON THE FINANCE COMMITTEE, HAVE BEEN URGING -- IN FACT, FOR A NUMBER OF MONTHS WE HELD UP ANY APPOINTMENTS TO THAT COMMISSION UNTIL SOMEBODY WITH AN AGRICULTURAL BACKGROUND WAS RECOMMENDED BY THE PRESIDENT.


Henderson: IN REGARDS TO FARM POLICY IN GENERAL, THE CURRENT FARM BILL IS SORT OF WEANING FARMERS OFF FEDERAL FARM PAYMENTS. WHAT'S YOUR VIEW IN REGARDS TO THE SAFETY NET FOR FARMERS? IS THERE A ROLE FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO PAY?

Graham: THERE IS A ROLE BUT WE HAVE TO DECIDE JUST WHAT THAT ROLE IS GOING TO BE. I VOTED FOR THE FARM BILL AS IT PASSED THE SENATE, THE BILL THAT SENATOR HARKIN LARGELY SHAPED. BUT WHEN IT CAME BACK FROM CONFERENCE COMMITTEE, I VOTED AGAINST IT. ONE OF THE REASONS I VOTED AGAINST IT IS THE SENATE BILL HAD A VERY CLEAR ORIENTATION TOWARDS THE FAMILY FARM PROVIDING ADDITIONAL SUPPORT AND ASSISTANCE. I WORKED WITH A FAMILY FARMER IN INDIANOLA LAST SATURDAY, AND HE SHOWED ME -- TALKED ABOUT HIS FINANCIAL SITUATION, WHICH IS FOR A TOTAL INCOME OF OVER $200,000 IN THE SALE OF HIS AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS. HE KEEPS ONLY A FEW DOLLARS AS REAL PROFIT. SO HE HAS TO WORK A SECOND JOB. HIS WIFE WORKS IN ORDER TO SUPPORT THE FARM. I THINK IT'S THE CONTINUATION OF THE FAMILY FARM, BOTH FOR ITS ECONOMICS AND FOR THE VALUES THAT IT REPRESENTS IN AMERICA THAT SHOULD BE THE FOCUS OF OUR FARM POLICY.


Glover: THERE'S A PROBLEM THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE RAISE ABOUT INCREASED CONCENTRATION IN FARMING, BIGGER AND BIGGER FARMS, LARGER AND LARGER OPERATIONS. AND ONE SUBASPECT OF THAT IS AN ISSUE HERE IN IOWA, AND IT'S GIANT LIVESTOCK CONFINEMENT OPERATIONS, HOG LOTS. IS THERE A ROLE FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IN REGULATING THOSE FACILITIES IN TERMS OF ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES, ECONOMIC ISSUES, ALL THOSE KINDS OF THINGS?

Graham: ABSOLUTELY. ONE OF THE REASONS THAT A FIRST ACT OF MINE AS PRESIDENT WOULD BE TO FIRE JOHN ASHCROFT IS NOT ONLY HIS RECORD IN THE AREA OF CIVIL LIBERTIES AND RIGHTS OF PRIVACY, BUT ALSO BECAUSE HE'S DONE A VERY POOR JOB OF CARRYING OUT HIS ECONOMIC RESPONSIBILITY, PARTICULARLY ENFORCING THE ANTITRUST LAW. I THINK THAT'S WHERE THE FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE AGAINST EXCESSIVE CONCENTRATIONS OF ECONOMIC POWER SHOULD OCCUR. SECOND, THERE WAS LEGISLATION IN THE SENATE RECENTLY WHICH WOULD HAVE PROHIBITED THE VERTICAL INTEGRATION OF MEATPACKERS DOWN TO REALLY THE DAY THAT THE ANIMAL IS BORN. AND IT'S IN HOGS TODAY BUT IT'S ALSO COMING RAPIDLY IN BEEF CATTLE. I HAPPEN TO BE A BEEF CATTLE FARMER, AND I KNOW SOMETHING ABOUT WHAT'S HAPPENED TO THE ECONOMICS OF THE CATTLE BUSINESS. SO I THINK THAT WE NEED TO HAVE STRONG ENFORCEMENT OF ANTITRUST AND, IF NECESSARY, A SPECIFIC PROHIBITION AGAINST A MEATPACKING FIRM OWNING THE ANIMAL TO THE DAY OF BIRTH.


Glover: WHAT ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES? SHOULD THERE BE NEW REGULATIONS, TOUGHER REGULATIONS, TOUGHER LAWS, MORE ENFORCEMENT ON ENVIRONMENTAL -- CLEAN AIR, THINGS LIKE THAT, CLEAN WATER?

Graham: AS AN EIGHT-YEAR GOVERNOR OF FLORIDA, I GIVE A LOT OF DEFERENCE TO STATES' RESPONSIBILITY TO DEAL WITH THEIR ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES. I THINK AS A GENERAL PROPOSITION, STATES KNOW BEST WHAT THEIR PEOPLE NEED TO PRESERVE A CLEAN WATER, CLEAN AIR ENVIRONMENT. BUT THE EPA HAS SOME RESPONSIBILITY HERE TOO IN TERMS, PARTICULARLY, OF WATER QUALITY STANDARDS. AND I THINK THAT THE CURRENT ADMINISTRATION HAS BEEN VERY RELUCTANT TO USE THE AUTHORITY IT HAS AND IN FACT HAS BEEN IN CASE AFTER CASE, SUCH AS THE RECENT ISSUE OF THE EMISSIONS FROM OLD POWER PLANTS, HAS BEEN ROLLING BACK THE STANDARDS, MAKING US EVEN MORE SUSCEPTIBLE TO BAD AIR AND BAD WATER.


Henderson: SENATOR, ON SUNDAY NIGHT PRESIDENT BUSH IS SCHEDULED TO SPEAK TO THE NATION AND TALK ABOUT IRAQ, TALK ABOUT THE MONEY HE'S ASKING FOR THE MISSION IN IRAQ. WHAT SORT OF STRINGS SHOULD BE ATTACHED TO THAT MONEY (A)? AND (B) WHAT SHOULD AMERICANS BE LISTENING FOR WHEN THEY'RE LISTENING TO THE PRESIDENT?

Graham: WELL, THE PRESIDENT OUGHT TO SAY THIS... HE OUGHT TO FIRST START WITH AN APOLOGY: "TO THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES, I APOLIGIZE FOR NOT HAVING GIVEN THIS SPEECH BEFORE WE WENT TO WAR IN IRAQ TO EXPLAIN WHAT THE LIKELY CONSEQUENCES OF THE WAR WOULD BE," BECAUSE NOTHING THAT HAS HAPPENED DURING THE OCCUPATION PERIOD IS A SURPRISE. IT IS EXACTLY WHAT THE MOST KNOWLEDGEABLE AMERICANS WERE SUGGESTING WAS LIKELY TO HAPPEN. BUT THAT DEBATE IS OVER. WE HAD THE WAR. WE WON THE WAR. WE ALL FEEL EXTREMELY PROUD OF THE VALIENT MEN AND WOMEN WHO DID SO. NOW WE'RE DEALING WITH THE OCCUPATION. WHAT DO WE NEED TO KNOW? THE AMERICAN PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW FROM THE PRESIDENT: WHAT IS GOING TO BE HIS PLAN FOR IRAQ; HOW MUCH OF A COMMITMENT ARE WE GOING TO MAKE; HOW MANY CASUALTIES ARE WE PREPARED TO TAKE. WE'RE NOW TAKING ONE DEATH AND TEN WOUNDED EVERY DAY THAT WE'RE IN OCCUPATION. WE ALSO NEED TO KNOW WHO ARE OUR FRIENDS, WHO ARE OUR ENEMIES IN THIS PART OF THE WORLD. I THINK THIS ADMINISTRATION HAS BEEN COVERING UP SOME OF THE ACTIVITIES OF COUNTRIES, IN THE MIDDLE EAST PARTICULARLY, AND HAS BEEN TREATING THEM AS FRIENDS WHEN THEY'VE BEEN ACTING AS VERY SERIOUS ENEMIES.


Borg: YOU'RE SAYING SAUDI ARABIA?

Graham: I'M NOT GOING TO NAME THE COUNTRY, BUT IT IS A -- IT IS ONE OR MORE COUNTRIES IN THE MIDDLE EAST WHICH PROVIDED DIRECT SUPPORT AND ASSISTANCE TO THE TERRORISTS WHO ENDED UP BEING THE HIJACKERS ON 9/11 AND HAVE CONTINUED THAT PATTERN OF ACTIVITY. FINALLY, THE PRESIDENT NEEDS TO TELL US WHAT'S OUR EXIT STRATEGY, HOW WE'RE GOING TO GET OUT OF IRAQ. MY OWN ANSWER TO THAT AND I HOPE WHAT HE WILL SAY IS THAT WE'RE GOING TO GET OUT BY INTERNATIONALIZING THE OCCUPATION, BRINGING, THROUGH A U.N. RESOLUTION, OTHER COUNTRIES IN. I DON'T THINK WE HAVE VERY MUCH TIME TO EXECUTE ON THAT POLICY. SUPPOSE YOU WERE THE PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA AND YOU GOT A CALL FROM PRESIDENT BUSH SAYING, "WOULD YOU MIND SENDING 5,000 OF YOUR MEN AND WOMEN OVER TO IRAQ TO GIVE US SOME RELIEF." I WILL TELL YOU, IT WOULD NOT BE VERY POLITICALLY POPULAR FOR THE PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA TO RESPOND POSITIVELY. SO WE BETTER MOVE AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE BECAUSE THIS QUAGMIRE IS GETTING DEEPER AND DEEPER AND WE'LL HAVE LESS CHANCE OF GETTING INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT THIRTY DAYS FROM NOW THAN WE WILL TODAY.


Glover: SENATORE, YOU'RE A PRETTY GOOD POLITICIAN. YOU'VE BEEN FAIRLY SUCCESSFUL OVER A LONG CAREER. WHAT'S YOUR SENSE OF WHERE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE ON THIS? HOW LONG CAN THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TOLERATE AN OCCUPATION IN IRAQ THAT SEES SOLDIERS KILLED EVERY DAY? THERE DOESN'T SEEM TO BE A LOT OF NOTICEABLE PROGRESS. HOW LONG WILL THE PEOPLE PUT UP WITH THAT?

Graham: WELL, NOT INDEFINITELY, PARTICULARLY WHEN THEY DON'T KNOW WHY WE'RE THERE. WE ORIGINALLY WENT TO WAR WITH IRAQ BECAUSE THEY HAD WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION THAT WERE AVAILABLE FOR IMMINENT USE. WE HAVE NOT ONLY BEEN UNABLE TO FIND THE WEAPONS, WE CERTAINLY HAVEN'T FOUND THEM IN A CONDITION THAT COULD HAVE BEEN USED, AS WAS AT ONE TIME SUGGESTED, ON A 45-MINUTE NOTIFICATION. I THINK THE AMERICAN PEOPLE'S PATIENCE WITH IRAQ IS BEGINNING TO RUN THIN, AND I FIRST SAW IT RIGHT HERE IN DES MOINES WHEN I WENT TO THE FARMERS MARKET OVER A WEEKEND. I HAD SEVERAL PEOPLE COME UP TO ME AND SAY, "SENATOR GRAHAM, THIS THING IN IRAQ IS GOING TO BE ANOTHER VIETNAM, AND WE NEED TO GET OUT OF THERE AND SAVE OUR YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN AND SAVE US A BILLION DOLLARS A WEEK," WHICH IS WHAT WE'VE BEEN SPENDING DURING THIS OCCUPATION PERIOD. SO THE PRESIDENT -- TIME IS NOT ON OUR SIDE. THE PRESIDENT NEEDS TO MOVE QUICKLY TO INTERNATIONALIZE THIS OCCUPATION OR WE MAY LOSE THE OPPORTUNITY TO INTERNATIONALIZE.


Henderson: MANY OF THE TROOPS WHO ARE THERE ARE GUARD AND RESERVE MEMBERS. THEY'RE PART-TIME TROOPS. DO YOU HAVE CONCERNS ABOUT THE TROOPS' STRENGTH OF OUR FULL-TIME MILITARY, AND AS PRESIDENT, WOULD YOU INCREASE IT SIGNIFICANTLY?

Graham: I DO HAVE THAT CONCERN AND I THINK IT SHOULD BE INCREASED. WE HAVE, FOR INSTANCE, IN THE ARMY, TEN DIVISIONS. ABOUT 7 TO 7 1/2 OF THOSE DIVISIONS ARE NOW DEPLOYED OVERSEAS IN PLACES LIKE AFGHANISTAN, IRAQ, NORTH KOREA, BOSNIA. WE NEED TO GIVE THESE PEOPLE SOME RELIEF SO THEY CAN RELY ON THE OPPORTUNITY TO COME HOME ON A REGULAR BASIS. I WAS COMING OUT OF A STORE HERE IN DES MOINES LAST SUNDAY AND THERE WAS A THIRTY-YEAR-OLD MAN THERE AND WE GOT TALKING. HE WAS AN ARMY RECRUITER. HE'D BEEN IN FORT WORTH, TEXAS. HE'S NOW BEEN REASSIGNED HERE TO DES MOINES. I SAID, "WHAT ARE YOU EXPERIENCING IN TERMS OF YOUR ABILITY TO GET YOUNG PEOPLE TO SIGN UP FOR THE ARMY?" HE SAID IT'S BEEN A VERY SERIOUS PROBLEM THAT PEOPLE READ ALL THESE STORIES ABOUT BEING AWAY FROM THEIR FAMILIES FOR A LONG TIME, THE NUMBER OF CASUALTIES. IT'S NOT AN ENVIRONMENT THAT INSPIRES A LOT OF PEOPLE TO WANT TO JOIN THE ARMY.


Glover: SOME IN AMINISTRATION HAVE SUGGESTED THAT PERHAPS NOW IS THE TIME TO DO THAT INTERNATIONALIZATION. THERE HAVE BEEN SOME PROPOSED U.N. RESOLUTIONS DRAFTED, THAT KIND OF STUFF. IS THAT AN ADMISSION, IN YOUR VIEW, ON THE PART OF THE ADMINISTRATION, THAT THEY MADE A MISTAKE BY NOT DOING THIS IN ADVANCE?

Graham: YES. BUT THIS IS A PATTERN OF THIS ADMINISTRATION AND, FRANKLY, IT HAS SOME PLUSES AND MINUSES, WHERE THEY RESIST ACTION THAT, FOR MOST PEOPLE, APPEARS TO BE VERY COMMON SENSE, UNTIL THE VERY END, AND THEN THEY SWITCH THEIR POSITION. THE PRESIDENT MADE A BIG POINT IN THE 2002 ELECTIONS ABOUT THE NEW DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. WHAT HE DIDN'T SAY IS THAT FROM OCTOBER OF 2001 UNTIL THE SUMMER OF 2002, HE HAD BEEN THE PRINCIPAL ADVERSARY AGAINST A NEW DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. BUT HE CHANGED HIS MIND, I THINK PROPERLY, AND BETTER LATE THAN NEVER. AND I THINK WE'RE IN EXACTLY THE SAME SITUATION WITH THE INTERNATIONALIZATION OF IRAQ.


Glover: SHOULD HE GET CREDIT FOR CHANGING HIS MIND?

Graham: I THINK HE OUGHT TO GET CREDIT FOR HAVING THE WILLINGNESS TO SEE THAT THE POLICY THAT I'VE BEEN PURSUING IS WRONG HEADED AND CHANGE, BUT HE ALSO CAN'T AVOID THE CRITICISM OF HIS INTIAL JUDGMENT, TO OPPOSE THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, TO OPPOSE THE INTERNATIONALIZATION OF THE WAR IN IRAQ.


Borg: JUST IN A SIMPLE YES OR NO BECAUSE WE'RE RUNNING OUT OF TIME: ARE WE BOGGED DOWN IN IRAQ TO THE DETRIMENT OF TAKING A STRONG STANCE IN NORTH KOREA?

Graham: YES. BUT EVEN MORE PRESSING TODAY IS TO THE DETRIMENT OF THE WAR ON TERROR. THE PEOPLE WHO REALLY HAVE THE ABILITY TO HURT AMERICANS TODAY ARE TERRORIST GROUPS WITH THE WILL, THE CAPABILITY, AND THE SIGNIFICANT PRESENCE IN THE UNITED STATES TO DO SO.


Borg: THANK YOU, SENATOR GRAHAM. >>

Graham: THANK YOU. >>

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