Home

Iowa Press Transcripts

Iowa Press Links

SENATOR JOHN KERRY

(#3109)
October 31, 2003

Click to listen to the streaming audio file. Listen to this program
(Requires RealPlayer)

IOWA PRESS #3109 >>

Borg: AS IOWA'S PRESIDENTIAL PREFERENCE CAUCUSES NEAR, DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES SHARPEN AND TARGET THEIR MESSAGES. WE'LL QUESTION MASSACHUSETTS SENATOR JOHN KERRY 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, OCTOBER 31 EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS." HERE IS DEAN BORG.

Borg: NEW POLLS SAMPLING DEMOCRATS WHO SAY THEY'LL BE AT THE IOWA PRESIDENTIAL PREFERENCE CAUCUSES ON JANUARY 19 SHOW A TIGHT RACE AMONG THOSE CANDIDATES IN THE UPPER TIER. MASSACHUSETTS SENATOR JOHN KERRY IS IN THAT GROUP. SENATOR KERRY HAS SERVED AS MASSACHUSETTS' LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR. HE'S NOW IN HIS FOURTH SIX-YEAR TERM, HIS NINETEENTH YEAR, IN THE U.S. SENATE. SENATOR KERRY, WELCOME BACK TO "IOWA PRESS."

Kerry: I'M THRILLED TO BE HERE. THRILLED TO BE HERE. I HAD A GREAT DAY IN IOWA TODAY, WONDERFUL. I GOT TO GO PHEASANT SHOOTING ON THE MCKINNEY FARM OUT IN COLO, AND WE HAD A WONDERFUL TIME.

Borg: WE'LL ASK YOU ABOUT THAT. ALSO HERE AT THE TABLE: "DES MOINES REGISTER" POLITICAL COLUMNIST DAVID YEPSEN AND "ASSOCIATED PRESS" SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER MIKE GLOVER. >>

Glover: SENATOR KERRY, IF WE COULD TALK ABOUT THAT PHEASANT HUNT AND SOME OF THE THINGS YOU HAD TO SAY TODAY. YOU WERE NOT ONLY SHOOTING AT PHEASANTS, YOU WERE SHOOTING AT ONE OF YOUR RIVALS.

Kerry: WELL, THAT'S THE WRONG WORD, MIKE.

Glover: VERMONT GOVERNOR HOWARD DEAN, YOU HAD SOME VERY CRITICAL THINGS TO SAY ABOUT THE GOVERNOR'S POSITION ON GUN CONTROL AND GUN CONTROL ISSUES. WHAT'S YOUR COMPLAINT ABOUT HIM?

Kerry: GUN SAFETY. GUN SAFETY, YEAH. WELL, I'M A FORMER LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER. I RAN ONE OF THE LARGEST DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICES IN AMERICA, ONE OF THE TEN LARGEST COUNTIES. I'VE WORKED HARD TO DELIVER JUSTICE, PUT PEOPLE BEHIND BARS. AND EVERY LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY IN AMERICA, ALL THE POLICE CHIEFS, ALL OF THE LOCAL POLICE HAVE BELIEVED FOR YEARS WE SHOULD KEEP ASSAULT WEAPONS OUT OF THE MARKETPLACE IN AMERICA. WE DON'T SELL ASSAULT WEAPONS IN THIS COUNTRY. WE SHOULDN'T. AND AS A HUNTER, I'VE NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT HUNTING WITH AN AK-47. I BELIEVE IN THE SECOND AMENDMENT, BUT I ALSO BELIEVE THAT WITH RIGHTS COME RESPONSIBILITIES. ONE OF THOSE RESPONSIBILITIES IS NOT TO HAVE ASSAULT WEAPONS. HOWARD DEAN, ON THE OTHER HAND, WHILE WE WERE FIGHTING TO GET RID OF ASSAULT WEAPONS, HOWARD DEAN WAS GOING TO THE NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION AND SEEKING THEIR ENDORSEMENT, EVEN AS THEY OPPOSED AND HE OPPOSED ASSAULT WEAPONS BAN AND REASONABLENESS IN HOW WE TRY TO MAKE OUR COUNTRY SAFER. I THINK THAT'S A VALUE ISSUE. I ALSO THINK IT'S A SPECIAL INTEREST ISSUE. I DON'T THINK WE SHOULD GIVE IN TO SPECIAL INTERESTS IN THIS COUNTRY. I DON'T WANT TO BE THE CANDIDATE OF THE NRA, MIKE. I DON'T THINK WE SHOULD REPRESENT IT. AND PRESIDENT BUSH, INCIDENTALLY, RESIGNED FROM THE NRA BECAUSE THE NRA CALLED FEDERAL AGENTS JACKBOOTED THUGS. AT THAT VERY MOMENT HOWARD DEAN WAS SEEKING THEIR ENDORSEMENT. I THINK THAT'S WRONG.

Glover: ONE OF THE THINGS GOVERNOR DEAN SAID IN RESPONSE TO YOUR COMMENTS WAS HE ADMITS THAT HIS POSITION ON GUN CONTROL IS NOT THE TYPICAL DEMOCRATIC POSITION, BUT HE SAYS DEMOCRATS MAY WELL HAVE LOST THE LAST ELECTION BECAUSE OF THEIR POSITION ON GUN CONTROL IN SOME IMPORTANT STATES LIKE TENNESSEE AND WEST VIRGINIA.

Kerry: WOW, THERE'S A POSITION OF PRINCIPLE. LET'S PLAY POLITICS WITH GUNS. YOU DON'T PLAY POLITICS WITH THESE THINGS, MIKE. PEOPLE WANT A PRESIDENT WHO IS GOING TO STAND UP FOR COMMON SENSE. COMMON SENSE IS IF YOU WANT TO HANDLE AN ASSAULT WEAPON, WE'VE GOT PLENTY OF PLACES IN THE U.S. MILITARY FOR YOU. YOU CAN GO TO BAGHDAD. YOU CAN GO ANYWHERE ELSE. WE SHOULDN'T SELL THOSE GUNS IN AMERICA. YOU KNOW, IT WAS INTERESTING WHEN I WAS AT THAT PHEASANT SHOOT THIS AFTERNOON, THE SHERIFF -- I WAS WITH PAUL FITZGERALD AND WITH THE COUNTY ATTORNEY, STEVE HOLMES, AND THEY POINTED TO A HOUSE THAT WAS RIGHT LODGED IN NEAR HIS FARM THAT THEY JUST RAIDED AND SHUT DOWN. IT WAS A METHAMPHETAMINE HOUSE, A CRACK HOUSE. AND THE GUY THEY ARRESTED THERE WHEN THEY RAIDED IT HAD A LOADED AK-47 BESIDE HIS BED. NOW, I'VE GOT TO TELL YOU, I'M FOR GETTING RID OF -- BANNING -- I'M FOR BANNING ASSAULT WEAPONS. THEY SHOULDN'T BE SOLD IN AMERICA. IF HOWARD DEAN THINKS HE WANTS TO GO OUT TO AMERICA AND SELL SOME KIND OF FANCY POSITION, THAT'S, I THINK, NOT THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY VALUES. I DON'T THINK THOSE ARE AMERICAN VALUES, AND I DON'T THINK WE SHOULD BE CONNIVING POLITICALLY TO UNDERMINE PRINCIPLES.

Yepsen: WELL, SENATOR, YOU KEEP TALKING ABOUT THIS HUNTING TRIP. IT BEGS THE QUESTION HOW MANY OF OUR PHEASANTS DID YOU SHOOT TODAY.

Kerry: I MANAGED TO TAKE TWO WONDERFUL ONES, AND I'M APPRECIATIVE. AND MY WIFE IS SO EXCITED. SHE SAID, "GOD, YOU'VE GOT TO BRING THAT HOME."

Yepsen: AND YOU BOUGHT THE APPROPRIATE LICENSES, I ASSUME.

Kerry: YES, SIR. I BOUGHT IT OUT OF STATE, A BIG WHOPPING FEE LICENSE. BUT WHAT A PRIVILEGE. I'VE GOT TO TELL YOU, YOUR LAND IS SO BEAUTIFUL, AND I APPRECIATE IT.

Yepsen: BACK TO MIKE GLOVER'S QUESTION HERE ON HOWARD DEAN. IS YOUR ATTACK ON GOVERNOR DEAN TODAY, YOUR CRITICISM OF HIS POSITION ON GUNS, IS THAT A SIGN OF GOVERNOR DEAN'S PROGRESS IN THIS RACE?

Kerry: NO, IT'S A SIGN THAT THEY ARE OBVIOUSLY -- LOOK, EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT THE RACE HERE IN IOWA IS GOING TO BE CONTESTED, AND IT WOULD BE SILLY OF ME -- I MEAN IF WE'RE GOING TO HAVE STRAIGHT TALK -- INCIDENTALLY, HE'S BEEN SAYING HE'S MR. STRAIGHT TALK. I DON'T THINK THAT'S STRAIGHT TALK, MIKE. I THINK PEOPLE DESERVE REAL STRAIGHT TALK. LET ME GIVE YOU SOME STRAIGHT TALK. THE GOVERNOR WANTS TO GET RID OF -- AND SO DOES DICK GEPHARDT. THESE ARE NOT ATTACKS. THESE ARE DIFFERENCES. THEY HAVE A VIEW. I HAVE A VIEW. THEY WANT TO GET RID OF THE WHOLE BUSH TAX CUT. I WANT TO KEEP THE DEMOCRATIC PART OF THE TAX CUT. I DON'T WANT TO GET RID OF THE 10-PERCENT BRACKET SO THAT PEOPLE ARE AUTOMATICALLY TAXED AT 15 PERCENT IN IOWA. PEOPLE CAN'T AFFORD THAT. I DON'T WANT TO TAKE AWAY THE CHILD TAX CREDIT SO A FAMILY OF FOUR -- TWO KIDS, PARENTS -- ARE GOING TO PAY AN ADDITIONAL $2,000 OF TAXES. OR YOU GET RID OF THE TWO CHILDREN, AND THAT'S $1,000 RIGHT THERE. I DON'T WANT IN AMERICA WHEN YOU GET MARRIED THAT WE'RE GOING TO SAY THAT WE'RE GOING TO TAX YOU HIGHER FOR THE PRIVILEGE OF GETTING MARRIED. THAT'S CRAZY. WE FOUGHT TO GET RID OF THOSE THINGS. BOTH HOWARD DEAN AND DICK GEPHARDT ARE COMING BACK AND SAYING "HERE COME THE DEMOCRATS. GET MARRIED IN AMERICA AND WE'RE GOING TO TAX YOU MORE. IF YOU'RE A FAMILY THAT'S A MIDDLE-CLASS FAMILY TRYING TO MAKE ENDS MEET AND RAISE YOUR KIDS, WE'RE GOING TO RAISE YOUR TAXES." I WANT TO DO WHAT BILL CLINTON DID, DAVID. WE REDUCED THE DEFICIT IN HALF. THAT'S MY PROMISE TO AMERICA. I'M GOING TO CUT THE DEFICIT IN HALF. I'M GOING TO ROLL BACK THE HIGH END OF THE BUSH TAX CUT SO THAT WE CAN INVEST IN EDUCATION, INVEST IN HEATLH CARE, AND MAKE OUR WORKPLACE FAIR AGAIN AND CREATE JOBS. AND IT'S A SMARTER WAY TO GROW THE ECONOMY AND LEAVE MONEY IN THE POCKETS OF CONSUMERS SO THAT WE CAN ACTUALLY CREATE THE JOBS WE NEED AND SPEND THE MONEY.

Yepsen: SENATOR, DEAN BORG MENTIONED THE POLL IN THE INTRODUCTION TO YOU. THE LAST POLL I SAW, YOU'VE GOT 15 PERCENT. SO I WANT TO ASK YOU A REAL INSIDE BASEBALL QUESTION. THERE'S A THRESHOLD IN THE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS IN IOWA THAT YOU'VE GOT TO GET 15 PERCENT BEFORE YOU GET ANY DELEGATES AT ALL. YOUR POLL RATINGS WOULD INDICATE TO ME THAT IN SOME PRECINCTS IN IOWA, YOU WON'T HAVE -- YOU WON'T BE AT THAT VIABILITY THRESHOLD. IF A JOHN KERRY SUPPORTER IS WATCHING TONIGHT AND HE'S IN A CAUCUS WHERE THERE'S NOT 15 PERCENT, WHO DO YOU WANT THAT PERSON TO CAUCUS WITH?

Kerry: JOHN KERRY BECAUSE --

Yepsen: YEAH, BUT YOU'RE NOT VIABLE, SIR. WHERE DO THEY GO?

Kerry: NO, NO, NO, NO, DAVID. YOU KNOW HOW THIS WORKS. THIS CAMPAIGN IS JUST GETTING GOING. I'VE ONLY BEEN HERE HALF AS MUCH AS A COUPLE OF MY OPPONENTS AND MAYBE WAY LESS THAN HALF OF THAT AGAINST SOMEBODY LIKE GEPHARDT, WHO HAS BEEN HERE FOR TWENTY YEARS. MY CAMPAIGN IS GROWING EXTRAORDINARILY. I HAVE MORE LEGISLATORS COMMITTED TO MY CAMPAIGN THAN DEAN AND GEPHARDT PUT TOGETHER. NOW, WHAT DOES THAT TELL YOU? I'VE BEEN HERE LESS TIME. WE'RE GROWING FASTER. SO THE MEASUREMENT IS NOT WHERE WE ARE TODAY; THE MEASUREMENT IS WHERE WE ARE ON JANUARY 19.

Yepsen: SO YOU DON'T WANT YOUR PEOPLE TO CAUCUS FOR DICK GEPHARDT IN ORDER TO DENY HOWARD DEAN A WIN.

Kerry: I WANT MY PEOPLE TO KEEP WORKING AS HARD AS THEY'VE BEEN WORKING, AND I LOOK FORWARD TO HAVING DICK GEPHARDT'S AND OTHER PEOPLE'S PEOPLE CAUCUS FOR US.

Glover: AND HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO A COMMENT THAT GOVERNOR DEAN MADE THIS WEEK, THAT IT'S TIME FOR HIS CRITICS TO PUT THE GUN IN THE HOLSTER, THAT ALL YOU'RE DOING NOW IS GIVING REPUBLICANS AMMUNITION TO USE IN THE FALL?

Kerry: THIS IS COMING FROM SOMEBODY WHO HAS BEEN RUNNING FOR SIX MONTHS, CALLING US "BUSH LIGHT." THIS IS COMING FROM SOMEBODY WHO HAS BEEN RUNNING AROUND AT EVERY MEETING IN THE STATE, CRITICIZING US ON OUR POSITION OR OUR VOTE ON THIS OR THAT. I THINK THE PROBLEM WITH HOWARD DEAN IS THAT HE CAN'T STAND THE HEAT WHEN IT STARTS GETTING TURNED UP. THIS IS NOT BIG STUFF. WE'RE COMPARING TAX PROGRAMS. WE'RE COMPARING HIS POLICIES. PEOPLE WANT TO KNOW WHO WE ARE. THEY WANT TO LOOK IN OUR EYES. THEY WANT TO JUDGE OUR CHARACTER. I CAN MAKE AMERICA SAFER. LET ME GIVE YOU ANOTHER DIFFERENCE. HOWARD DEAN HAS ZERO -- I MEAN ZERO FOREIGN POLICY, NATIONAL SECURITY, AND MILITARY EXPERIENCE. WE'RE AT WAR. WE ARE AT WAR TODAY. WE HAVE ENORMOUS CHALLENGES WITH NORTH KOREA, ENORMOUS CHALLENGES IN THE MIDDLE EAST, WITH RUSSIA WHERE WE HAVEN'T DONE THE JOB WE NEED TO DO TO SECURE THE NUCLEAR WEAPONS. THIS ADMINISTRATION IS BUILDING A NEW ROUND OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS. I'M ON THE ARMS CONTROL OBSERVER GROUP OF THE SENATE. I'VE FOUGHT FOR THIS -- AGAINST THIS FOR YEARS. I DON'T WANT AN AMERICA IN WHICH WE HAVE MORE USABLE NUCLEAR WEAPONS. I BELIEVE I CAN DO A BETTER JOB THAN HOWARD DEAN IN MAKING AMERICA SAFER. AND WE'RE NOT GOING TO ELECT A PRESIDENT WHO NEXT YEAR COULD BE SUSCEPTIBLE TO CARL ROVES' GAMES THEY'LL PLAY WITH THE WAR AND THE OTHER PROCESS, WHERE WE NEED TO HAVE A PRESIDENT, A CANDIDATE WHO HAS THE ABILITY TO CONVINCE AMERICA THAT THE DEMOCRATS ARE GOING TO MAKE THIS NATION SAFE AND SECURE. AND I CAN DO THAT.

Borg: SENATOR --

Kerry: YES, DEAN.

Borg: UNFORTUNATELY, THIS ISN'T THE SENATE FLOOR.

Kerry: SORRY ABOUT THAT. I APOLOGIZE.

Borg: BUT I WAS INTERESTED IN GOING BACK TO THE COMMENT YOU MADE: IT'S NOT WHERE YOU STAND RIGHT NOW IN THE POLLS; IT'S WHERE YOU'RE GOING TO STAND ON JANUARY 19. REALISTICALLY, I SEE YOU'RE IN THE UPPER TIER RIGHT NOW, SAY HOWARD DEAN, RICHARD GEPHARDT, YOURSELF, AND MAYBE JOHN EDWARDS CREEPING VERY CLOSELY RIGHT NOW. WHERE DO YOU HAVE TO FINISH ON JANUARY 19, REALISTICALLY, IN ORDER TO KEEP YOUR CAMPAIGN VIABLE?

Kerry: DEAN, LET ME JUST SAY, FIRST OF ALL, WE'RE UP ON TV NOW THIS WEEK. OTHERS HAVE JUST HAD VERY LARGE TV BUYS. WE HAVEN'T. SO I'M VERY CONFIDENT ABOUT WHERE MY CAMPAIGN IS GOING AND WHAT WE'RE DOING. THIS MAN HAS WRITTEN A LOT ABOUT THE CAUCUSES, KNOWS MORE ABOUT IT THAN I DO, AND HE SAYS THERE ARE ONLY THREE TICKETS OUT OF IOWA. I'LL TAKE ANY ONE OF THEM. BUT I'LL TELL YOU WHAT, IT WOULD BE GREAT TO HAVE A FIRST-CLASS ONE.

Glover: SENATOR, THERE IS A LOT OF BUZZ AND WE'VE NOTICED, IN THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS, JOHN EDWARDS FROM NORTH CAROLINA HAS STEPPED UP HIS APPEARANCE SCHEDULE IN IOWA. HE'S STEPPED UP HIS SPENDING HERE. HE'S CLEARLY PUTTING SOME FOCUS ON IT. DO YOU FEEL SOME HEAT FROM HIM FOR THAT COVETED THIRD PLACE?

Kerry: NO, I DON'T FEEL -- LOOK, I'M GOING TO CAMPAIGN HARD OUT HERE. I'M GOING TO DO THE BEST I CAN. MY CAMPAIGN IS GROWING. WE'RE GROWING HARD AND FAST. IN FACT, JOHN EDWARDS'S OWN POLLS SHOWED ME CLOSELY TIED WITH GEPHARDT AND DEAN, AND ALMOST A VIRTUAL TIE. YOU KNOW, WE'RE GOING TO DO GREAT. THIS IS NOT ABOUT POLLS. WE HAVE TO GET ALL OF YOU TO STOP WRITING ABOUT THE POLLS AND WRITE ABOUT THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN US. AMERICANS WANT A PRESIDENT. THEY DON'T WANT A POLL. THEY WANT A PRESIDENT AND THEY NEED TO KNOW WHERE WE STAND. I BELIEVE THAT I CAN MAKE OUR COUNTRY SAFER. AND I'LL TELL YOU WHAT, I HAVE THE STRONGEST RECORD OF ANY OF THESE CANDIDATES OF FIGHTING AGAINST THE CORPORATE INTERESTS, THE SPECIAL INTERESTS THAT ARE KILLING IOWANS, WHETHER IT'S SMALL FAMILY FARMERS OR WORKERS IN THE STATE, OR PEOPLE WHO NEED PRESCRIPTION DRUGS. THE CORPORATE GREED OF THIS ADMINISTRATION IS HURTING PEOPLE IN IOWA, AND I'VE TAKEN THEM ON FOR YEARS. AND I HAVE AN UNBLEMISHED RECORD OF DOING THAT, AND I WILL CONTINUE TO DO THAT.

Glover: IN THAT VERY VEIN, LET ME ASK YOU A POLL QUESTION.

Kerry: SURE.

Glover: WHY DO YOU SEE SO MANY UNCOMMITTED VOTERS IN ALL THESE POLLS?

Kerry: IOWANS ARE -- LISTEN, WAS IT MO UDALL WHO WAS OUT HERE AND HE WENT -- I SUPPORTED MO UDALL. HE WAS A GREAT GUY. AND HE TOLD A STORY ABOUT HOW HE MET THIS WOMAN OUT IN IOWA AND HE WENT UP TO HER AND HE SAID, "GEEZ, I'D REALLY LIKE YOUR SUPPORT." SHE LOOKED AT HIM AND SAID, "I'VE ONLY MET YOU FOUR TIMES." I MEAN IOWA IS SERIOUS ABOUT THIS. MY WIFE AND I HAVE NOTICED IT AND RESPECT IT. YOU FOLKS ARE TERRIFIC. YOU PUT US THROUGH THE HOOPS. YOU PUT US THROUGH THE TEST, AND PEOPLE ARE LOOKING. AND THAT'S WHY I'M HERE TONIGHT, AND THAT'S WHY I'LL BE HERE OVER THESE NEXT MONTHS.

Yepsen: SENATOR, QUICK PROCESS QUESTION. HAVE YOU DECIDED YET WHETHER YOU'RE GOING TO ACCEPT PUBLIC FUNDS OR FORGO THEM?

Kerry: NO, I HAVEN'T DECIDED.

Yepsen: WHEN WILL YOU DECIDE?

Kerry: DOWN THE ROAD.

Yepsen: NO INDICATION TONIGHT OF WHERE YOU'RE HEADED?

Kerry: NO, I'VE GIVEN NO INDICATION.

Yepsen: I WANT TO GO TO THE QUESTION YOU BROUGHT UP A MOMENT AGO WHERE YOU CITED YOUR LEVELS OF EXPERIENCE. A LOT OF DEMOCRATS WANT SOMEBODY WHO CAN WIN. THAT'S WHAT I HEAR WHEN I TALK TO THEM. THEY WANT SOMEBODY WHO CAN BEAT GEORGE BUSH. HISTORY SHOWS THAT FOUR OF THE LAST FIVE PRESIDENTS HAVE BEEN GOVERNORS -- FORMER GOVERNORS. NOT A LOT OF U.S. SENATORS HAVE BEEN ABLE TO MAKE IT TO THE PRESIDENCY. WHAT DO YOU SAY TO A CAUCUS-GOING DEMOCRAT WHO IS SIMPLY WORRIED ABOUT YOUR ELECTABILITY?

Kerry: I SAY TO THEM THAT THE REAL TEST OF ELECTABILITY IS WHAT YOU STAND FOR AND WHAT YOU FIGHT FOR AND HOW WELL YOU CAN ARTICULATE THE VISION FOR OUR PARTY. THE LAST PRESIDENT WE HAD FROM MASSACHUSETTS PEOPLE HERE LIKED A LOT. I BELIEVE THAT I CAN OFFER THAT ABILITY TO WIN, AND I FOUGHT THE FIGHTS THAT HELP US TO WIN. SECONDLY, WE'RE IN A VERY DIFFERENT TIME NOW. SEPTEMBER 11 WAS OUR GENERATION'S DECEMBER 7. PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FOR A LEADER WHO CAN LEAD THE FREE WORLD IN WARTIME. I BELIEVE THAT A NOMINEE WHO HAS NO EXPERIENCE IN FOREIGN POLICY WILL BE EVISCERATED BY THE REPUBLICAN PARTY NEXT YEAR. WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF THEY FOUND WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION NEXT YEAR? WHAT HAPPENS IF THERE'S A FLARE-UP SOMEWHERE IN THE WORLD? YOU KNOW, EVEN BILL CLINTON WOULD TELL YOU THAT THE WORLD HE RAN IN AGAINST GEORGE HERBERT WALKER BUSH, WHERE THE ECONOMY WAS THE ISSUE, WHERE WE WEREN'T AT WAR, IS A VERY DIFFERENT WORLD FROM TODAY. AND IN MY JUDGMENT, I BELIEVE I BRING THE BREADTH OF EXPERIENCE, THIRTY-FIVE YEARS OF FIGHTING ON THE DOMESTIC ISSUES, HEALTH CARE, EDUCATION, TRANSPORTATION, INFRASTRUCTURE, CHILDREN, THE ISSUES THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO OUR SCHOOLS. I KNOW HOW TO FIX NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND. I KNOW HOW TO RESPECT TEACHERS. I HAVE FOUGHT FOR EDUCATION REFORM. I'VE GOT A HEALTH CARE PLAN THAT WILL PROVIDE HEALTH CARE TO EVERY AMERICAN, CHILDREN IMMEDIATELY. EVERYONE WILL BUY INTO THE SAME HEALTH CARE PLAN AS SENATORS AND CONGRESSMEN. BUT I ALSO, DAVID, I KNOW HOW TO MAKE OUR NATION SAFER AND STRONGER, AND I CAN STAND UP TO GEORGE BUSH. YOU KNOW, I KNOW SOMETHING ABOUT AIRCRAFT CARRIERS FOR REAL, AND I THINK I CAN GO AT HIM IN A WAY THAT OTHER CANDIDATES IN THIS FIELD CANNOT, AND I WILL CONVINCE AMERICA OF MY ABILITY TO MAKE OUR NATION SAFE.

Glover: LET'S BRING IT BACK HOME AGAIN. AS YOU'VE NOTICED CAMPAIGNING IN IOWA, IOWA IS A PRETTY UP-CLOSE-AND-PERSONAL STATE WHERE YOU HAVE TO GET YOUR SUPPORTERS ONE SUPPORTER AT A TIME, FACE TO FACE IN LIVING ROOMS ALL OVER THE STATE. YOU'RE A BOSTON POLITICIAN. YOU'RE A WELL-OFF PERSON. YOU'RE NOT FROM THE MIDWEST, NOT FROM THIS REGION. HOW DO YOU RELATE TO IOWANS?

Kerry: JUST BY BEING HONEST, DIRECT, TALKING COMMON SENSE, MIKE. I MEAN WHEN I WAS WITH GLORIA GALL ON HER FARM, YOU KNOW, IN KLEMME, HANCOCK COUNTY, WE WERE OUT THERE NEAR ONE OF THOSE HOG LOTS. I UNDERSTAND WHAT THAT SMELL DOES TO PEOPLE. I UNDERSTAND WHAT THAT RESIDUE DOES TO YOUR ENVIRONMENT. WHEN I WAS WITH BOB ANDERSON IN WATERLOO THE OTHER DAY AND HE WAS TELLING ME HOW HIS WIFE HAS MS, HE'S BEEN OUT OF WORK FOR TEN MONTHS, HE CAN'T PAY FOR INSURANCE, HE'S SOUGHT JOBS, CAN'T FIND ANOTHER JOB, CAN'T PAY HIS HEALTH COBRA, I KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS. I FOUGHT FOR THOSE THINGS ALL MY LIFE. WHEN I SERVED ON A BOAT IN VIETNAM, NOBODY ASKED ME WHERE I WENT TO SCHOOL, NOBODY ASKED ME WHAT MY PEDIGREE WAS. NOBODY CARED ABOUT ANYTHING EXCEPT THAT WE WERE BROTHERS IN ARMS CARING ABOUT EACH OTHER. WE TOOK CARE OF EACH OTHER. AND I CAME BACK HERE WITH LESSONS LEARNED THAT ARE A LIFETIME OF LESSONS ABOUT HOW YOU STAND UP AND FIGHT FOR THINGS OF VALUE. SO MEASURE ME BY MY RECORD. DON'T MEASURE ME BY WHERE I COME FROM. MEASURE ME BY WHAT I FIGHT FOR. AND THOSE PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THAT I'M A FIGHTER, AND I'M GOING TO TAKE ON THE INTERESTS THAT I THINK ARE PLUNDERING THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

Yepsen: SENATOR, PLAYING OFF MIKE'S QUESTION ABOUT ISSUES IMPORTANT TO IOWANS, WHAT WOULD PRESIDENT JOHN KERRY DO FOR RURAL AMERICA?

Kerry: HELP RURAL AMERICAN BE ABLE TO HOLD ON TO ITS OWN VALUES. AS I MEET PEOPLE IN RURAL IOWA AND ELSEWHERE, PEOPLE ARE DESPERATE ABOUT KIDS WHO HAVE TO LEAVE HOME --

Yepsen: HOW DO YOU DO THAT, SENATOR?

Kerry: I'LL TELL YOU HOW. LET ME JUST SAY THAT THEY'RE DESPERATE ABOUT THE LACK OF SERVICES. IOWA IS LAST IN MEDICARE REIMBURSEMENTS IN THE COUNTRY. YOU'VE GOT THE SECOND LARGEST PERCENTAGE OF PEOPLE OVER EIGHTY-FIVE HERE. THEY'RE GETTING SECOND-CLASS TREATMENT. AND THE PARENTS I MEET IN THOSE RURAL COMMUNITIES, THEY WANT JOBS IN THAT COMMUNITY. THEY WANT THEIR KIDS TO BE ABLE TO STAY WHERE THEY WERE RAISED. YOU DO IT BY BRINGING THE MODERN ECONOMY TO THOSE COMMUNITIES AND BY FIGHTING TO MAKE IT FAIR FOR THEM TO HOLD ON TO THEIR FARMLAND, HOLD ON TO THEIR HERITAGE, BY FIGHTING AGAINST THE CORPORATIZATION THAT IS STRIPPING THEM OF THAT ABILITY, AND GUARANTEEING WE BRING MODERN ECONOMY TO THEM THROUGH THE INTERNET. I'LL GIVE YOU AN EXAMPLE. IN THE 1930S AMERICA HELPED DELIVER ELECTRICITY TO ALL OF RURAL AMERICA. I'M GOING TO HELP DELIVER THE INTERNET TO ALL OF RURAL AMERICA. IT'S THE MODERN EQUIVALENT. AND WE'RE GOING TO PROVIDE AN AFFORDABLE EDUCATION FOR THEM TO BE ABLE TO DEVELOP THE JOBS IN THOSE REGIONS AND KEEP THEM THERE. WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A MANUFACTURING CREDIT. I'M GOING TO DO THINGS TO HELP RURAL AMERICA.

Yepsen: SENATOR, ONE ISSUE IMPORTANT TO A LOT OF PEOPLE IN RURAL AMERICA IS TRADE. A LOT OF THIS STUFF YOU SEE GROWING AROUND HERE, WE SELL OVERSEAS. YET A LOT OF AMERICANS ARE HAVING CONCERNS ABOUT WHETHER FREE TRADE IS REALLY AS NEAT AS THEY THOUGHT IT WAS GOING TO BE. YOU VOTED FOR A LOT OF FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS. WHAT WOULD YOUR TRADE POLICY BE?

Kerry: MY TRADE POLICY WOULD BE SMART TRADE, FAIR TRADE, TRADE THAT REALLY STANDS UP FOR THE INTERESTS OF PEOPLE GETTING HURT TODAY. I MEAN, LOOK, YOU'VE LOST 37,900, JOBS HERE IN IOWA. YOU'VE LOST A HUGE NUMBER OF PEOPLE TO OUTSOURCING, JOBS GOING TO LATIN AMERICAN, TO CHINA, TO INDIA.

Borg: WHAT NEEDS TO BE CHANGED?

Kerry: I'LL TELL YOU WHAT WE HAVE TO CHANGE. NUMBER ONE, WE HAVE TO HELP KEEP THOSE JOBS HERE BY PROVIDING A CREDIT IN THE TAX SYSTEM FOR COMPANIES THAT STAY HERE, BY PROVIDING A TAX CREDIT FOR COMPANIES THAT CREATE THE JOBS. SECONDLY, WE NEED TO HAVE FAIR TRADE AGREEMENTS. I'VE ALWAYS BEEN FOR NEGOTIATING FAIRNESS IN THAT AGREEMENT, BUT I AM FOR TRADE. WE HAVE TO TRADE BUT TRADE SMART AND FAIR. GIVE THE AMERICAN WORKER A FAIR PLAYING FIELD, AND THERE'S NOBODY THE AMERICAN WORKER CAN'T COMPETE WITH. WE HAVEN'T DONE THAT. SO WE NEED LABOR AND ENVIRONMENT STANDARDS IN OUR TRADE AGREEMENTS, AND I WILL NOT SUPPORT A TRADE AGREEMENT THAT DOESN'T DO THAT. THE THIRD THING WE NEED TO DO -- AND THIS IS CRITICAL -- CREATE THE NEW JOBS. PRESIDENT BUSH HAS THE WORST JOBS RECORD OF ANY PRESIDENT SINCE HERBERT HOOVER. WE HAVE TO CREATE JOBS BY: ONE, INVESTING IN OUR COMMUNITIES, BUILDING THE ROADS, THE SCHOOLS, THE PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE; NUMBER TWO, BY INVESTING IN SCIENCE AND RESEARCH AND DEVELOPING THE NEW JOBS OF THE FUTURE. WE DID IT UNDER BILL CLINTON. WE CREATED 23 MILLION NEW JOBS. I PLEDGE TO CUT THE DEFICIT IN HALF, AND I WILL CREATE THOSE NEW JOBS IN THE PROCESS.

Borg: MIKE?

Glover: SENATOR, LET'S GO BACK TO IRAQ. THERE'S SOMETHING THAT CAUSES A FUNDAMENTAL DISCONNECT WITH A LOT OF PEOPLE WITHIN THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY, AND THAT IS (A) YOU VOTED FOR A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING HOSTILITIES IN IRAQ, AND (B) YOU VOTED AGAINST A MEASURE WHICH WOULD PROVIDE THE FUNDING FOR IRAQ. HOW DO YOU RECONCILE --

Kerry: ABSOLUTELY CONSISTENT BECAUSE I VOTED TO DO IT THE RIGHT WAY. I VOTED TO DO IT THE RIGHT WAY. I VOTED -- WITHOUT MY VOTE AND WITHOUT OUR VOTES, WE NEVER WOULD HAVE HAD HANS BLIX AND THE INSPECTORS IN IRAQ. BUT THEY COULD STILL BE THERE, MIKE. WE COULD STILL BE DOING WHAT WE NEED TO DO TO HOLD SADDAM HUSSEIN ACCOUNTABLE. THE PRESIDENT PROMISED HE WOULD USE THE U.N., GO THROUGH THE PROCESS, PROMISED HE'D BUILD A COALITION, PROMISED HE'D GO TO WAR AS A LAST RESORT. HE BROKE EVERY PROMISE. IT WAS THE RIGHT THING TO HOLD HIM ACCOUNTABLE. IT WAS THE WRONG THING TO DO IT THE WAY THE PRESIDENT DID IT. NOW, HAVING DONE IT THE WRONG WAY -- I LEARNED IN VIETNAM, IF YOU'RE ONE OF THOSE TROOPS ON THE FRONT LINES, YOU WANT PEOPLE BACK HOME WHO ARE FIGHTING TO GET IT RIGHT. I'M NOT GOING TO GIVE THIS PRESIDENT THE ABILITY TO GIVE HALLIBURTON AND A BUNCH OF HIS CRONIES A WHOLE BUNCH OF MONEY WHILE MAKING OUR TROOPS BE AT GREATER RISK THAN THEY HAVE TO BE. THIS PRESIDENT SHOULD HAVE GONE TO THE U.N., SHOULD GO TOMORROW, SHOULD GO AND GET THE SUPPORT OF COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD TO TAKE THE TARGET OFF OF AMERICAN TROOPS AND TO BE SUCCESSFUL AT WHAT WE NEED TO DO.

Yepsen: SENATOR, THAT LEADS INTO THE NEXT QUESTION. REGARDLESS OF HOW WE GOT WHERE WE ARE, WE'RE HERE IN IRAQ.

Kerry: YOU BET. AND WE HAVE TO WIN.

Yepsen: WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? I MEAN YOU SAY YOU WANT OTHER COUNTRIES BROUGHT INTO IT. IT LOOKS TO ME LIKE A LOT OF COUNTRIES DON'T WANT TO HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH IT. THEY'RE SAYING, "UNCLE SAM, YOU GO STEW IN YOUR OWN JUICE THERE IN IRAQ."

Kerry: DAVID, I'VE MET WITH THE SECURITY COUNCIL. I'VE TALKED TO SOME OF THOSE COUNTRIES. I'VE TALKED TO THE SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS ABOUT THIS. AND I AM CONVINCED THAT A PRESIDENT WHO GOES PROPERLY TO THE U.N. AND IS PREPARED TO TRANSFER THE PROPERTY AUTHORITY TO THE U.N. FOR THE CIVIL CONSTRUCTION, FOR THE HUMANITARIAN MISSION, AND FOR THE GOVERNANCE, IF WE DID THAT, OTHER COUNTRIES WILL THINK DIFFERENTLY. BUT IF WE'RE JUST GOING TO GO AND SAY, HEY, COME AND HELP US SO WE CAN TAKE CARE OF HALLIBURTON, COME AND HELP US BUT WE'RE GOING TO RUN THE SHOW, YOU PUT YOUR TROOPS ON THE LINE BUT WE'RE THE WHOLE DEAL, PEOPLE ARE GOING TO LAUGH AT US, WHICH IS WHAT THEY'RE DOING NOW. THIS ADMINISTRATION HAS CONDUCTED THE WORST DIPLOMACY THAT I'VE SEEN IN YEARS. JOE BIDEN AND I BROUGHT AN AMENDMENT TO SAY THAT THE WEALTHIEST PEOPLE IN AMERICA OUGHT TO DO SOME SHARED SACRIFICE. IF WE'RE ASKING THE NATIONAL GUARD TO GO SPEND ANOTHER YEAR THERE, WE CAN ASK THE WEALTHIEST PEOPLE IN AMERICA TO HELP CARRY THAT $87-BILLION. GEORGE BUSH AND HIS REPUBLICAN CRONIES REFUSE TO ASK THE WEALTHIEST PEOPLE TO GO FROM $690 BILLION OF TAX CUT IN THE NEXT TEN YEARS DOWN TO $600-. THAT'S WHY I VOTE NO, BECAUSE IT'S NOT SHARED SACRIFICE, IT'S NOT THE RIGHT WAY TO DO IT, IT'S NOT TAKING THE TARGET OFF AMERICAN TROOPS, IT'S NOT BRINGING THE WORLD TO OUR SIDE. AND I'M NOT GOING TO VOTE FOR SOMETHING THAT PUTS OUR TROOPS AT GREATER RISK AND NOT LESS.

Glover: BUT IN DEMOCRATIC PARTY POLITICS, AREN'T YOU IN A LOSE-LOSE SITUATION HERE? IF I'M AN ANTIWAR DEMOCRAT, I'VE ALREADY GOTTEN MY CANDIDATE, AND IT'S CALLED HOWARD DEAN. IF I'M A PROWAR DEMOCRAT, I'VE GOT MY CANDIDATE IN JOE LIEBERMAN. AREN'T YOU IN --

Kerry: IT'S NOT THAT SIMPLE, MIKE. AMERICANS WANT LEADERSHIP. THE VAST -- THE MAJORITY OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY WANTS SOMEBODY, IN FACT, WHO VOTED FOR THE WAR, WHO KNOWS HOW TO DO THIS CORRECTLY, BUT WHO VOTED IN A WAY AND SAID THAT WE NEED TO DO THIS RESPONSIBLY. I LED THROUGHOUT THIS PROCESS BY SAYING, YES, WE SHOULD HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE, BUT YOU HAVE TO HAVE A PLAN TO WIN THE PEACE, BUT YOU HAVE TO EXHAUST THE REMEDIES AVAILABLE TO YOU. THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA SHOULD NEVER GO TO WAR BECAUSE WE WANT TO. WE SHOULD ONLY GO TO WAR BECAUSE WE HAVE TO. THIS PRESIDENT VIOLATED THAT RULE, MIKE. NOW, IT WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO TO HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE. IT WAS THE WRONG THING TO DO TO DO IT THE WAY BUSH DID IT.

Yepsen: SENATOR, I WANT TO ASK YOU ABOUT THE ECONOMY. DEMOCRATS HAVE BEEN COMPLAINING A LOT ABOUT THE ECONOMY, ABOUT YET TODAY THE DOW FINISHES ABOVE 9800. WE HAD RECORD GROWTH IN THE THIRD QUARTER. ARE DEMOCRATS IN DANGER OF LOSING THIS ISSUE? IS THE ECONOMY GOING TO BE BOOMING BY THE TIME THE NOVEMBER ELECTIONS ROLL AROUND A YEAR FROM NOW?

Kerry: WELL, FIRST OF ALL, DAVID, I HOPE IT IS. I WANT THE ECONOMY TO BE BOOMING, AND ANYBODY WHO WISHES IT OTHERWISE SHOULDN'T BE RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT. BUT IF IT IS BOOMING, THERE ARE SUCH AN EXTRAORDINARY NUMBER OF ISSUES THAT WE NEED BE WORKING ON. WE NEED TO FIX OUR SCHOOLS. THIS ADMINISTRATION WON'T DO IT. THEY ALREADY WALKED AWAY FROM OUR CHILDREN. WE NEED HEALTH CARE FOR ALL AMERICANS. THIS ADMINISTRATION HAS NO PLAN. WE NEED A DECENT TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM IN AMERICA. THIS ADMINISTRATION IS CUTTING IT. WE NEED TO CLEAN UP OUR ENVIRONMENT. YOU HAVE FARMERS OUT HERE WHO ARE WAITING IN LINE FOR $100 MILLION OF CONSERVATION MONEY. THIS ADMINISTRATION IS CHEATING THEM. WE NEED TO PROVIDE IT. THERE ARE SO MANY PRIORITIES TO BE SETTING THAT I HOPE WE HAVE A GREAT ECONOMY BECAUSE THAT WILL HELP US DO IT. BUT LET ME SAY ONE OTHER THING TO YOU. THIS ONE-QUARTER RISE IN THE ECONOMY IS NOT A JOB CREATING RISE. AND WE'RE NOT GOING TO MAKE AMERICA BETTER AND STRONGER BY JUST HAVING BANKS BY EACH OTHER. WE NEED TO CREATE JOBS IN AMERICA. EVEN AS THEY SAW 50,000 JOBS CREATED LAST MONTH, 250,000 AMERICANS STOPPED LOOKING FOR WORK. THE SAME THING HAPPENED THE MONTH BEFORE. SO I'M NOT WORRIED ABOUT THE TRANSITION. I THINK WE NEED NEW PRIORITIES FOR OUR NATION AND THEY'RE IN THE GRIP OF SPECIAL INTERESTS AND I'M GOING TO FIGHT THEM.

Borg: LAST QUICK QUESTION, MIKE.

Glover: SENATOR, WE HAVE ONLY A FEW SECONDS LEFT. WHAT DO YOU WANT IOWA DEMOCRATS THINKING ABOUT WHEN THEY WALK INTO THEIR CAUCUS?

Kerry: I WANT THEM TO THINK ABOUT LEADERSHIP. I WANT THEM TO THINK ABOUT WHO CAN BEST BEAT GEORGE BUSH. I BELIEVE, BECAUSE OF MY EXPERIENCE IN FOREIGN POLICY, MY LEADERSHIP THAT I'VE SHOWN OVER ALL THE YEARS I'VE BEEN IN THE SENATE -- I'VE BEEN CHAIRMAN OF THE NARCOTICS AND TERRORISM COMMITTEE. I'VE WRITTEN A BOOK ABOUT THIS CALLED "THE NEW WAR." I KNOW HOW TO MAKE AMERICA SAFER.

Borg: I HAVE TO STOP YOU RIGHT THERE.

Kerry: I ALSO KNOW HOW TO FIGHT AGAINST THE SPECIAL INTERESTS AND MAKE LIFE BETTER FOR PEOPLE. >>

Borg: THANK YOU, SENATOR KERRY.

Kerry: THANK YOU.

Borg: AND THAT'S IT FOR THIS WEEKEND'S EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS." I HOPE YOU'LL WATCH NEXT WEEK: 7:30 FRIDAY AND SUNDAY AT NOON. I'M DEAN BORG. THANKS FOR JOINING US TODAY. 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.