tv Road to the White House Rewind CSPAN February 21, 2016 6:30pm-8:01pm EST
ptsd. we have a lot of groups that do a therapy group. they make something and leave it up a wall -- leave it at the wall. we have a lot of things that give more information about a specific person's life. when you go to the wall bc all the names on the wall. of the collection kind of gives a little background history to those names. as long as somebody has left something for a specific person, we can tell just a little bit more about that person's life. that's really the purpose of the collection. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> each week until the 2016 the white house rewind brings you archival coverage of presidential races. up next from the 2000 campaign, to south carolina public and primary debate between governor george w. bush, arizona senator john mccain and alan keyes. c-span hosted the event.
larry king serve as moderator. governor bush was widely considered the front-runner in the 2000 gop race but senator a decisiveed -- won victory in new hampshire prior to this debate. governor bush defeated vice president al gore in the general election in one of the most highly contested races in u.s. history. this 90 minute event is courtesy of cnn. ♪ larry king: tonight, a crucial debate for the three remaining republican presidential candidates. joining me in south carolina, site of saturday's gop primary, senator john mccain of arizona. former reagan administration official, ambassador alan keyes. and texas governor george w. bush. they're next on a special edition of "larry king live: election 2000." this is the south carolina republican debate. ♪
larry king: good evening. a couple of notes before we start. we're at seawell's banquet center here in columbia, south carolina, the capital of this state. this event tonight is sponsored by bipec. that's the south carolina business and industry political education committee. this is the second such event they've held. they held one four years ago. we are live, as you can tell. there is an audience here of people enjoying it. we have asked them to remain attentive so that you can listen to everything our guests say. a couple of other notes, this is going to be a free-wheeling debate. if one guest wishes to comment on what another says after they finish, they can. we're going to cover as many subjects as we can for the next 90 minutes. there will be only two commercial breaks at 9:30 eastern time, the bottom of the hour, a two-minute break, and at 10:00 eastern time, a two-minute break. and one personal note -- if i cough a little, forgive me. i've got a scratchy throat tonight. we'll start with governor bush. since we're being seen all over
the world -- we're on cnn international -- what area of american international policy would you change immediately as president? governor bush: our relationship with china. the current president has called the relationship with china a strategic partnership. i believe our relationship needs to be redefined as one as competitor. competitors can find areas of agreement, but we must make it clear to the chinese that we don't appreciate any attempt to spread weapons of mass destruction around the world. that we don't appreciate any threats to our friends and allies in the far east. this president is one who went to china and ignored our friends and allies in tokyo and seoul. he sent a chilling signal about the definition of friendship. when i become the president, i'm going to strengthen our alliances in the far east. i'm going to work with the russians to get rid of the anti-ballistic missile treaty so we can bring certainty into an uncertain part of the world, and that's the far east as well. we must say to people in that part of the world, don't threaten our friends.
do not threaten our allies. so i'm going to change the relationship. king: and you're going to let them know. bush: of course i'm going to let them know. that's what a president does, a president let's them know. king: ambassador keyes, what would you change? mr. keyes: i think the first thing i'd want to do is to restore respect for the national sovereignty of this country. king: by -- mr. keyes: i was very much in disagreement with our entry into the world trade organization. i think we gave away a portion of our sovereignty that we should never have surrendered to an unrepresentative body that can make decisions according to that treaty that would have direct affect on the lives of americans. it violates the fundamental principle of our way of life. no legislation without representation -- representative government. i want to see us withdraw from the world trade organization and put our approach to trade back on a footing that maximizes the results that we get for the american people. i'm not interested in protectionism or withdrawal from the world. but i do think if you happen to be the sponsors of the most lucrative market in the world, that folks ought to be paying a premium price to enter this
market, or else giving us something concrete in return that's of tangible benefit to the whole american people, not just to a handful of international corporations. king: senator? senator mccain: china is obviously a place where this -- one of the signal failures of this administration. although there are certainly many failures throughout the world. but i would also look very -- revise our policies concerning these rogue states. iraq, libya, north korea, those countries that continue to try to acquire weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them. king: and you'd do what? mccain: i'd institute a policy that i call "rogue state rollback." i would arm, train, equip, both from without and from within, forces that would eventually overthrow the governments and install free and democratically elected governments. as long as saddam hussein is in power, i am convinced that he will pose a threat to our security. "the new york times" reported just a few days ago that administration officials worry
that saddam hussein continues to develop weapons of mass destruction. congress passed a law a couple of years ago called the iraqi liberation act. the administration has done nothing. we should help them with arms, training, equipment, radio and a broad variety of ways. until those governments are overthrown, they will pose a threat to u.s. national security. larry king: the governor mentioned nuclear. are you in favor of the continuation of abandonment of nuclear weapons around the world now? mr. keyes: well, i think we ought to put -- where nuclear weapons are concerned, we have put our own strategic safety first. i think it is very important that we take the anti-missile defense treaty and set it aside in order to rapidly develop and deploy an anti-missile defense for the united states. i think it has been a travesty that this administration has stood in the schoolhouse door, dragged its feet, acted as if we were suppose to thank them when they were even willing to talk about this vital necessity for our national security. no, it's time we gave the american people and the allies of this country the assurance
that can come from our superior technology, make use of it to secure ourselves against rogue states and their missiles, as well as against the communist chinese threat that this administration has contributed to. larry king: do you agree with him? governor bush: well, i agree. i think one of the things we republicans stand for is to use our technologies in research and development to the point where we can bring certainty into an uncertain world. all three of us agree that the president has drug his feet on the development of an anti-ballistic missile system. all three of us understand, just like i understand, that this nation must not retreat, but can lead the world to peace. i do believe there's an area where we can work with russia in the post-cold war era. and that's to work with them to dismantle strategic and tactical nuclear warheads. it's called nunn-lugar. and when i'm the president, i'm going to continue to fund nunn-lugar, to make sure that we work with the russians to bring certainty into that part of the world. you see, the russians have got to understand the post-cold war era is one where we need to cooperate to bring peace. as john mentioned, and rightly so, we must convince them as well, not to spread weapons of mass destruction. larry king: senator, would you
meet with -- assuming mr. putin is elected in march, would you want to meet with him as a candidate? other candidates have gone overseas while running for office, or right before the campaign. senator mccain: i'm not sure that would be necessary. it might be an interesting experience because i know what is going on in russia. so do a lot of my friends. larry king: but you don't know. senator mccain: but the fact is -- well, we know that he was an apparatchik. we know that he was a member of the kgb. we know that he came to power because of the military brutality and massacre that's been taking place in russia today -- i mean in chechnya today. we know that he worked a deal with yeltsin, so that yeltsin would have immunity and he would be assured of the presidency, rather than basically a contested -- i'm very concerned about him. i'm afraid mr. putin might be one of those who wants to make the trains run on time. so, yeah, i would meet with him as a candidate, but i think that what i would really like to do is send a message to mr. putin
that we expect certain behavior out of the russians and particularly what's going in chechnya today, a cessation of that brutality. and that is a very important strategic part of the world for us. larry king: would you meet with him? mr. keyes: no, i wouldn't. and i think in fact it would be vital now and during the course the campaign and also in the first months of an administration to make it clear that we were determined to work against the mobocracy and the mafia that has taken over in russia. and that we are going to seek to work at all levels with those folks who are actually seeking to establish real self-government, that respects basic human rights and that is also going to take an approach that removes power from the hands of those who basically have been using it for criminal purposes. larry king: would you meet with him? governor bush: i don't know. probably not. larry king: wouldn't you want to meet with the leader? governor bush: maybe, but i'm going to be trying to win the election. governor bush: after the nomination. larry king: i was asking, if you are the candidate, would you want to? governor bush: well, i intend to try to win the nomination in the fall as well. if he came over and knocked on i imagine any of our doors, we would open it and listen to the
guy. here's the question though and the verdict on mr. putin is out. will he reject the politics inside of russia that has allowed folks to siphon off aid? will he stand up to the corruption inside that country? will he welcome rule of law? will he welcome the marketplace and the great freedoms of the marketplace? that's the question for mr. putin. larry king: how will you know without talking to him? senator mccain: that's not encouraging when he cut a deal with the communists rather than the reformers in order to consolidate his power. mr. keyes: i think we're also going to have to be clearer certainly that the clinton -- than the clinton administration has been, that a good relationship with the united states is conditioned on this kind of respect for basic human rights and the requirements of the people. we shouldn't be transferring capital and doing all kinds of things that send a message of business as usual to a regime that hasn't yet shown itself willing to show respect for these basics. governor bush: let me say one other thing. sorry to interrupt. this current administration has been sending all kinds of signals confirming mr. putin. we don't know enough about him. we don't know enough about this person.
america must be diligent and firm. we must expect there to be a market evolution in these countries. we understand freedom. we understand freedom, and there are some who want to isolate our nation. we must reject isolationism, because freedom's our greatest export. mr. keyes: but there is one problem, though, and i would have to distinguish myself in one respect because if we're going to talk that way, then i think we ought to apply it to china as well. and sending a business-as-usual signal by continuing most favored nation status is wrong. we ought to take the reins of that policy back in our hands and condition each element of the trade relationship on their willingness to respect the basic requirements of decency and of our values and interests. larry king: senator, you concerned about austria? senator mccain: i'm concerned. a guy who's name was adolf schicklgruber was born there, was a corporal in the german army in world war i, and obviously caused us great problems. but this was a free and fair election, larry. this was a free and fair
election by a sophisticated electorate. larry king: hitler was elected in a free election. well, he won a majority of -- and appointed democratically. senator mccain: i was going to say, there's -- your interpretation of history. but the point is that this was a free and fair election. we have to watch it. we have to pay close attention to what's happening in the middle of europe in what is viewed by most people as one of the most sophisticated countries in europe. obviously we need to keep an eye on it. but i don't think the united states of america right now is prepared to overturn a free and fair election. and i'll tell you what. when the european union started weighing in, they got a negative reaction from the austrian people and gained more support for this guy than he otherwise would have had. larry king: governor, in what occasion could you describe where you would use arms? governor bush: when it's in our national strategic interests. europe is in our national strategic interests. the far east is in our national strategic interests. our own hemisphere is in our national strategic interests. the middle east -- protecting israel is in our national strategic interests. and i'll give you one clear example in our own hemisphere.
if, for whatever reason, somebody tries to block passage through the panama canal, as president of the united states i will make sure the panama canal remains open for trade. it's in our interests to have a hemisphere that is peaceful and open for trade. larry king: what if it was not? what if it was a moral question, senator? senator mccain: i just want to say it's not that simple. it's not that simple because we are driven by wilsonian principles as well as others. there are times when our principles and our values are so offended that we have to do what we can to resolve a terrible situation. if rwanda again became a scene of horrible genocide, if there was a way that the united states could stop that and beneficially affect the situation -- by the way, we couldn't in haiti. we spent -- sent 20,000 troops and spent $2 billion. haiti is arguably worse off. obviously, it's the last resort. but we can never say that a nation driven by judeo-christian principles will only intervene where our interests are threatened because we also have
values. and those values are very important. mr. keyes: but our -- but our, i think our. senator mccain: you know, i'm not interrupting you, alan. so i think that it's important that we always have some complex challenges as to where we must intervene. because sometimes we find that if genocide is allowed, the consequences of inaction later on in history are far more severe. mr. keyes: well, several things are true. one, i think we need to end the clinton policy of interventionism on behalf of all kinds of globalist ideas and interests that are of not direct relevance to our interest or to our values. and i frankly think that kosovo was an example of that. i also think we ought to avoid interventions that are based essentially on exaggerated propaganda, and that set the threshold of atrocity so low that, in point of fact, other nations could use that threshold as an excuse to disrupt the peace of the world -- let me finish -- by going into other countries in their region on the same excuse. we should be very careful not to become practitioners of aggression, even in the name of good purposes. i think, basically, we've got to
send a message to the rest of the world that we will not be stepping in to intervene in the affairs of other countries on any kind of routine basis unless the level of atrocity is so clear that it justifies violating that principle of non-aggression for the sake of which we have sacrificed tens of thousands of american lives. and i think it would be irresponsible to do what clinton, in fact, has done and take us on a road of interventionism that sets that threshold so low that i think it's a threat to peace. governor bush: yes, i think there needs to be a clear statement of when and if we'll commit troops. i worry about rwanda. i didn't like what went on in rwanda. but i don't think we should commit troops to rwanda. nor do i think we ought to try to be the peacekeepers all around the world. i intend to tell our allies that america will help make the peace, but you get to put troops on the ground to keep warring parties apart. one of the reasons we have such low morale in the military today is because we're over-deployed and under-trained. if you talk to the men and women who wear our uniform, who are married, they're constantly being separated as a result of deployments all around the world.
we've got to be very careful about when and if we commit our troops. mr. keyes: well, we can still deal. larry king: let john add. senator mccain: obviously we have too much deployment. we should have our troops coming home from bosnia. we shouldn't have gone into kosovo -- or shouldn't have stumbled into kosovo. there was no need to intervene there. but look. there's only one superpower, and that's the united states of america. and there will be times when the superpower has to do things that other nations don't have to do. and i am convinced that the best way to prevent the loss of blood certainly -- certainly the lessons of the last century showed us is that there may be times when we have to come in early so that we will prevent a recurrence of what happened with the rise of nazi germany. mr. keyes: i think. senator mccain: which is a classic example of that. mr. keyes: i think that what we have to avoid, however, is taking a unilateral approach in these sorts of matters that encourage other countries to shrink from their responsibilities, not to develop their capability and potential, and not to take responsibility for policing their regions of
the world. they should not expect that the united states is going to come in and substitute for their responsibility. and if we encourage them to believe that that's going to be the case, we actually destabilize situations, we don't help them. larry king: moved to another area. a man on the sidelines. do you think this has been a dirty campaign, alan? mr. keyes: well, frankly, i haven't given their campaign a thought. larry king: not a thought. [laughter] mr. keyes: i will confess, i spend too much time speaking about the moral crisis of this country, the priority that this nation needs to address to get back to its basic moral principles. i have a positive message of my own. i concentrate on that message because i think it's of vital importance to this country. i frankly believe that you spend all this time beating up on somebody else because you don't have that much to say yourself. i have too much to say of a positive nature about the future of this country to worry about beating up on my opponents except when specific issues require that we call attention to differences. larry king: all right, governor, what do you make of all these past two weeks, the charges and countercharges? you go and then the senator. governor bush: well, it's kind of politics.
and john and i shook hands and we said we weren't going to run ads and i kind of smiled my way through the early primaries and got defined. i'm not going to let it happen again. and we shook hands and unfortunately he ran and ad that equated me to bill clinton -- he questioned my trustworthiness. larry king: are you saying he broke the agreement with you? governor bush: well, i'm just saying you can disagree on issues, we'll debate issues, but whatever you do, don't equate my integrity and trustworthiness to bill clinton. that's about as low a blow as you can give in a republican primary. [applause] larry king: and that's what -- and that's what got you mad to sort of fight back? governor bush: i stand by my ads. i stand. larry king: you wouldn't change any? governor bush: no. i stand by what i'm trying to do. i mean when the man says that i'm spending all the surplus on tax cuts and it's not true, i'm going to define what reality is. senator mccain: senator mccain, did you break a promise? senator mccain: well, let me tell you what happened. there was an ad run against me, we ran
a counter-ad in new hampshire, governor bush took the ad down. and then i was beat up very badly by all of his surrogates, called clinton, called clinton-lite, called every -- a hypocrite. i mean, you've seen. larry king: in new hampshire? senator mccain: no, here in south carolina. you've seen it -- turn on the radio, turn on the television, and unfortunately now pick up the telephone and you'll hear a negative attack against john mccain. but let me tell you what really went over the line. governor bush had an event, and he paid of it, and standing -- and stood next to a spokesman for a fringe veterans' group. that fringe veteran said that john mccain had abandoned the veterans. now, i don't know if you can understand this, george, but that really hurts, that really hurts. and so five united states senators, vietnam veterans, heroes, some of them really incredible heroes wrote george a letter and said, "apologize, you
should be ashamed." governor bush: let me speak to that. senator mccain: you should be ashamed. now if you want. larry king: is he responsible for what someone else says? senator mccain: well, this same man -- he stood next to him, it was his event. this same man had attacked his father viciously. governor bush: yes, he did. let me speak to that. let me speak to that. larry king: all right. senator mccain: so i'd be glad to tell you the rest of the story, if you'd let me, when it's appropriate. larry king: well, let him respond on that point. governor bush: let me -- let me answer that. senator mccain: you should be ashamed -- you should be ashamed of sponsoring an event with that man there who had attacked your own father. governor bush: let me say something, john. let me finish. john, i believe that you served our country. and i've said it over and over again. that man wasn't speaking for me. he may have a dispute with you. senator mccain: he was at your event. governor bush: let me finish please, please. senator mccain: he is -- governor bush: let me finish. let me finish. larry king: all right, let him finish. governor bush: the man was not speaking for me. if you want to know my opinion about you, john, you served our country admirably and strongly, and i'm proud of your record, just like you are. and i don't appreciate what he said about my dad, either.
but let me say something. if you're going to be -- hold me responsible for what people for me say, i'm going to do the same for you. and let me give you one example. warren rudman, the man who you had as your campaign man in new hampshire, said about the christian coalition that they're bigots. he talked about the christian coalition in a way that was incredibly strong. i know you don't believe that, do you? senator mccain: george, he's entitled to his opinion on that issue. governor bush: well, so is this man. senator mccain: you paid for an event. governor bush: so is this man. senator mccain: you paid for an event. you paid for an event and stood next to a person. and when you were asked if you would repudiate him, you said no. governor bush: no. john, what i said -- what i said -- let me say what i said. senator mccain: so, let me tell you what happened -- let me tell you what happened after that effectively. larry king: but i want alan to give me one thing. if you have surrogate making a speech for you today, are you responsible for what he says? mr. keyes: larry, i'm sorry. i really am sitting here wondering because i said we were going out to 202 countries, and is this kind of pointless squabbling really what we want them to see? [applause] larry king: but it happened. mr. keyes: but it -- happened or not happened, and i don't know whether this is the influence of the media corrupting our process or whether it's that personal
ambition becomes a substitute for our real focus on substance. but it seems to me we've got a lot more important things. we have got a country that has abandoned it's most profound and fundamental principle. killing babies in the womb every day is a contradiction. -- of the declaration of independence. we have got a country with an income tax system that enslaves its people and. larry king: i'm going to get to that. mr. keyes: and needs to put that back in their hands. larry king: i'm going to get to that. mr. keyes: we have got a school system that needs to be put back into the hands of parents. and all i'm sitting here listening to is these two guys go on about their ads. [applause] it seems to me -- it seems -- let their ad people get in the back room and fight it out and let the american people hear what they've got to hear about the issues. larry king: i'm going to. governor bush: let's discuss the issues. let's the discuss the issues. senator mccain: let me just finish up, ok? so here's what happened. we ran an ad that was a response ad. at a town hall meeting a mother stood up and she said, "senator mccain, my son was 13 last year. we had a lot of trouble of
explaining things to him that went on in washington." she said, "now he's 14. he's told me not long ago, 'john mccain is my hero.' he's the man i want to be like. "well, last night he came into her room," she said, "and he had tears in his eyes because he had answered the phone and the phone call, even though he told the caller that he was 14, said, 'do you know that john mccain is a liar, and a thief and cheat?'" well, that night i called my people together. i said take down our response ad. we're running nothing but a positive campaign from now on. i committed to that, i promise that. larry king: now, are you saying that. senator mccain: i hope george. larry king: george. are you saying that governor bush was responsible for that call? senator mccain: i don't know who was responsible for it. but i know that the attacks go on. larry king: let me just say one thing. senator mccain: i know that the attacks go on. larry king: let me say one thing about all this business, john. senator mccain: i told you i pulled them all down. larry king: you didn't pull this
ad. this had ended up in a man's windshield yesterday. that questions my -- this is an attack piece. senator mccain: that is not by my campaign. larry king: well, it says, "paid for by john mccain." senator mccain: it is not by my campaign. larry king: john. senator mccain: that's not -- that is not by my campaign. larry king: well, then somebody's putting stuff up. senator mccain: i pulled them off. larry king: i agree with you. senator mccain: but you're putting out stuff that is unbelievable, george, and it's got to stop. larry king: i find that. senator mccain: and your ads have got to stop. my ads have all stopped. larry king: i'm going to end this now. are you going to pull anything that you now have on? governor bush: i'm going to stand by what i'm putting on tv. and what i put on tv was looking in that camera and saying, you can disagree with me on issues, john, but do not question -- do not question my trustworthiness and do not compare me to bill clinton. senator mccain: we've pulled all ours down. there's nothing negative on the air and we have insisted that there not be a mean point. king: would you disclaim what rudman said if he said. mccain: the phone calls. king: that you don't agree with that? mccain: his phone calls. king: do you disclaim what the veteran said if he said it? mccain: i did not abandon the veterans. you should have. (crosstalk) bush: that's right, we didn't abandon the veterans. mccain: you should have repudiated your guy. bush: i stood up there at that press conference and said, john, you're a man who served our country well.
mr. keyes: but this is the problem. once it starts, it's almost impossible to end and why? larry king: i'm leaving it now. mr. keyes: no. no, i don't mean it that way, though. no, i don't mean it that way. i mean it in the first place, you know? and i think it's time we began to ask ourselves. why it is that these campaigns degenerate into this kind of stuff and i think i know why it is. larry king: which. mr. keyes: i think it's because people are trying so hard to be all things to all people that they refuse to stand forthrightly and make it clear on each given issue where they stand in a principled way and simply speak the truth and let the chips falls. larry king: you said that you'd -- people need to start thinking about it this is the kind of spectacle that actually characterizes a serious clinical discussion. i don't think it is. larry king: you said that you'd been announcing it in other pieces throughout the past couple of months, but the first time you formulated it as a plan today. governor bush: well, actually, i first laid it out last summer -- a lot of it. would you like me
to go through it? larry king: no, but one of the networks. governor bush: well, why can't i. larry king: oh no, no, i'm sorry, of you can go through it. no, what i mean is, one of the networks reported. governor bush: it's a great plan. king: that this is the first time you've used the term "campaign finance reform". governor bush: well, that's not true. i started talking about campaign finance reform last summer. and i said the following things, we ought to ban corporate soft money and we ought to ban labor union soft money. we ought to make sure though that labor bosses cannot spend union members' money without their permission. it's big difference between what i believe and john believes. thirdly, we should not allow federal candidates to take money from one campaign and roll it over into another campaign. that ought to be a reform. y, what iy -- fourthl said -- king: i lost count. bush: because you were listening so closely. king: too closely. bush: yes, too closely -- was that members of the united states congress should not be allowed to raise money, when
there's a legislative session -- that members should not be allowed to raise money from federal lobbyists during a session. king: on the corporate end, about unions giving against the will of the member, should stockholders have the right to say whether a corporation can give? bush: no, corporations should not be giving at all. king: period? bush: there should be a ban on corporate soft money. king: you should agree with that, right? mccain: of course not, because there's a $1 billion -- king: but today you called it a joke. mccain: yes, there's a $1 billion loophole in it. king: which is? mccain: and it's called individual contributions. mr. bernard schwartz, who is the head of loral corporation, gave $1 million individually to the clinton-gore campaign in 1996. a series of events then took place. the transfer of technology to china that allowed them to improve the tech -- their missile accuracy. king: are you saying under his plan you could do that? mccain: under his plan, mr. schwartz could walk down there and give that $1 million check tomorrow. and that's the reason why this is -- you can't give. mccain: yes, you -- he can give. bush: john, there's a $1,000 limit. mccain: he can give $1,000 to
the rnc, the dnc or anybody else. bush: this is called the first amendment, john. mccain: that's what it's all about. larry king: one at a time. mccain: that's what it's all about. keyes: let me speak to this whole issue, because these folks sit here, two politicians, arguing about whether or not the people or the united states should have under the first amendment the right peaceable to assemble and seek to petition the government and seek redress of their grievances. i believe that all this talk where the politicians come in and say -- think about this, they're going to control our ability to fund those processes through which we control their activities. and by controlling our funding, i presume they will utterly destroy our first amendment right. there should be no such regulation by politicians of what we the people can do in our own political process. king: but the supreme court ruled they could. keyes: all of this -- all of this. king: but the supreme court ruled they can. keyes: frankly, the supreme court has ruled roe v. wade and a lot of other stuff. king: well, wait a minute, is the -- keyes: and as president of the united states -- excuse me. king: hold it. keyes: as president of the united states i will -- i will sit in an office that is co-equal with the supreme court,
in which i will have an equal responsibility with the court for the interpretation of the constitution. king: do you -- wait a minute. do you agree that the court has the final word? keyes: let me finish. king: you don't think that. keyes: the constitution doesn't say that. let me finish. king: the court is not the final word? keyes: let me finish, larry. i think that it's very simple on campaign finance reform. instead of saying that because these politicians can't act with integrity we must give up our rights, let the ones who don't have the integrity give up their offices. and let's have a system that's very simple. no dollar vote without a ballot vote. only individuals capable of voting. king: you share that view? bush: yes, absolutely. keyes: publicize -- let me finish, though. publicize it immediately. people will know what's what and have no limits whatsoever on the freedoms of the people of this country. king: but you would limit? you just said you would limit. bush: no, i said that under the first amendment. king: no unions. bush: that's corporate -- that's money where people have no say, what he's saying. no corporate. keyes: no unions, no corporate money, no foreign money. no dollar vote without a ballot vote. bush: we have -- the great thing about this country is, individuals should be the participants in democracy. the ultimate extension of some of these campaign funding reform
plans out of washington, d.c. will mean that the people who decide who the candidates are and who the victors are will be the press. i'm sure you're looking forward to that opportunity. king: if i gave you $1 million, don't you have to take my phone call? mccain: sure. ask any -- ask any. king: don't you owe me something? bush: not necessarily. but let me say something. king: no. mccain: ask any ex-senator, ask any ex-senator, they'll tell you, they'll tell you. bush: one of the things that we need to do -- one of the things we need to do is to have full disclosure, is to let the sun shine in, is to let everybody know who's giving to whom. i have done that in this campaign. i put it on the internet, who gave to whom. i've got a lot of contributors. my average contribution, by the way, is about $350 per person. and i want you to know and i want you to know who's given because i don't want to hid anything. this is about limiting a person's capacity to run ads.
we have the pro-abortion people running ads on me. i didn't like it. but it is their right in america to do so. king: well, let me take a break. we'll come back. this is a two-minute break. there will be only one other break and that's in another half-hour. we'll reintroduce the candidates, like if you don't know them. when we come back, we will get into other issues, including abortion, other key domestic issues as well. this is a larry king live election special. don't go away. [applause] ♪ ♪ king: the primary is this saturday. this is the bipec debate at seawell's banquet center, in columbia, south carolina. and our guests are alan keyes, the former ambassador, governor george w. bush, the governor of texas, and senator john mccain,
the republican senator from texas. mccain: arizona. king: from arizona. mccain: all right, thank you. king: i moved you over. king: one state over. mccain: i don't think i'm allowed in texas. king: true. even a goof helps, when you want to have laughs. ok, you say today that you're the reformer, you're the outsider. yet 38 senators support you, 175 congressmen, and 26 governors. that's not establishment? bush: well, let's start with the governors. those who know me best support me. king: but isn't that establishment? bush: let me finish. i've worked with the governors. they know me well. they know i can lead. these are citizens that care about the future of the country. they've stood up and said, we know the man's record, we know his capacity to bring people together, we know his record of reform in the state of texas has had great results for our citizens, and we want him to be the leader. and you mentioned the united states senators, thirty-eight have endorsed my candidacy, for which i'm grateful.
these are citizens from all around the world -- all around the country, including one from south carolina, named strom thurmond. they took a look at the three of us, and decided that i ought to be the leader. they're looking for a fresh voice from outside. they want somebody to provide leadership. and that's why they supported me. you know, i got defined early on as the insider. and i kept telling people my zip code is austin, texas. that's where i made my stake. that's where i've developed my reputation, and that's where those results are coming from. and john and alan both have got washington, d.c., addresses -- well, maryland i guess. and so i -- anyway. king: ok, fair answer. he said he's still a reformer, he's still an outsider. they support him because they like him. mccain: well, it's fair to say that i did not win, again this year, miss congeniality in the united states senate. so i have to admit that to you. [laughter] king: you're not popular in the senate. mccain: no, because i've taken on the iron triangle -- special interests, money, and legislation -- which we've been
grid locked by in washington, d c we've taken government away from the people. and young people are being turned off in droves. and the fact is that i've been involved in lobbying gift -- lobbying ban, gift ban, line-item veto. i've attacked pork-barrel spending and wasteful spending, which is now worse than it's ever been. in fact, george said that he would have -- he supported and would have signed a bill, citizens against government waste, it was the worst, most wasteful spending bill in history. and i thought against it -- thought against it. and i didn't make a lot of friends, because i point out these pork-barrel spendings, these wasteful spendings. king: so. mccain: and i'll fight for reform until the last breath i draw so that we can get the american people back connected with their government. i'm trying to change this party to bring it into the 21st century as a reform party in the tradition of theodore roosevelt. king: alan? keyes: i find it so fascinating, we talk about outsiders. i was so far outside this process at one point that the last cycle when we held this debate i wasn't allowed to participate in it. king: here? keyes: i think that's pretty far outside. that's right, here.
and in atlanta and elsewhere as well. the only reason i'm sitting here right now is because i articulate better than most anybody in this country what's on the heart of real republicans and real conservatives around the country, and because i have been out there, not fighting in washington, but fighting at the grass roots, as head, for instance, of citizens against government waste, where you value the praise, i did the work. and so the point being that for both of these gentlemen, who have all the advantages, sit at the apex of a system that supports them in every way, darlings of the media, the person who's out there. [laughter] mr. keyes: excuse me, the person who is out there striving at the grass roots right now to organize folks because of what they have in their heart, not what i have in my pocket, is alan keyes, and reaching folks to such a degree that everybody, even your supporters, acknowledge that the person who presents the republican message best is sitting here, not sitting there. and it's about time we asked ourselves. king: then why aren't you -- why aren't you doing better? keyes: why? the question i asked. why on earth don't we want to send our best person to face al gore and bill bradley, instead
of sending folks into the debate, the half-hearted, the unconvicted, the folks who in point of fact can't make our case as well and effectively as we should make it? king: how do you respond to that? bush: well, i respond to it. i put my record on the line in texas. it's the second-biggest electoral state in the union. it is an important state. you better be able to carry texas in order to become the president. and the people in my state gave me a chance to be the governor for the first time to hold four-year -- consecutive year terms. i mean, i put my reputation out there. i'm a results-oriented person. i want to say two things. one, i'm not the darling of the media. [laughter] king: and number two. bush: and number two, it's a fundamental question. and the question is, who can go to washington with an agenda that's positive and hopeful and optimistic and convince people to follow? who can gather up support necessary? who is it that's got the capacity to stand up in the halls of congress and say, "follow me"? who has had the experience necessary to earn the will of the people?
king: and you're saying that john doesn't. bush: well, i'm saying -- well, i'm saying -- of the three of us here, i've had the experience and the results that prove i can do so. these are good men, don't get me wrong. but i've been there. i've been there. i look forward to saying to those united states senators, here's a fresh perspective. king: well, if you have trouble getting along with them, doesn't he have a point? mccain: i've had 234 major pieces of legislation and amendments passed when i've been in the united states senate and congress. one of the most successful records, whether it be in the area of reform, whether it be in the important issues of telecommunications, such as it be y2k product liability, whether it be internet tax moratorium, or whether it be in every major foreign policy issue that has confronted this country. my credentials are well know. but i'll tell you what, the republican party has lost its way. they have selected an establishment candidate. i don't blame them for doing that. but they lost the last two presidential elections. they lost the last two congressional elections. and unless we open up this
party, unless we do what i did in new hampshire, and that's get thousands and thousands of young people out to register to vote republican, unless we get independents, reconstitute the old reagan democrats -- i'm being criticized now because democrats may like me. i want to reconstitute that governing coalition. i can do it. i can lead and i have had experience in a lot of ways that will. keyes: i think -- i think that what we did last time we ran experience last time and it really worked well in terms of the result. i would love to take both of these records and sit them in an empty chair in a debate against al gore and see who wins. i think that we've got to remember that what you can do to stand before the american people, articulate what's on their heart, how it relates to the great principles of this country, and how we have to address those principles in order to enter the next century with the confidence that as a decent people we will retain our liberty, not keep handing it off to the government, that's the challenge we face, in a year, by the way, when -- if the
spokesman of the republican party isn't able to meet the moral challenge of this nation's life, we will lose the election because that's where the democrats are vulnerable. king: are you questioning the moral -- are you questioning the moral challenge of. keyes: i question their ability to articulate on the moral issues of our time, a clear and passionate and convicted case that can persuade and move the people of this country. and if you can't do it, by the way, in this election year, economy booming, world relatively at peace, if we don't go out and attack that moral flank exposed by bill clinton's lying, perfidy, oath-breaking, and utter shameless betrayal of our moral heritage, we will lose and we will deserve to lose. king: let's take a moral issue. bush: let me say one thing about this. this is a really important part of the debate. this is the fundamental issue that republicans and independents in this state are going to have to look at, who can lead? who can lead? king: morally. bush: with all due respect. king: are you talking morally? bush: well, morally -- any of us at this table can perform better than william jefferson clinton -- any of us will bring honor to the office. [applause]
but the fundamental question is, when we talk education, for example, who's got a record? who's got a record of reform. let me finish. king: his question was a moral question. bush: well, that's part of it, no question about it. part of it is to bring honor and dignity to the office and all three of us will do that. all three of us will do that. but part of it as well is to earn the creditability of the american people, so like when we talk about education, who is it that has reformed the system? who has got tangible results and can say that our test scores amongst african-american students or hispanic students are up? who's vision is it that is improving a lot of people? because, you see, if we don't educate our children, it's unlikely that the american dream will be able to touch every willing heart. that's my record. king: are you saying education, governor, is a moral issue? bush: well, i'm saying education is an incredibly important issue and if we don't educate our children, we're going to have real moral problems. mccain: could i make a quick comment? look, the job that i want to take is to inspire a generation of young americans to commit
themselves to causes greater than their self-interest, that's what the great presidents in history have been able to do. on election day in new hampshire, thousands of young people went out, registered republican and voted and voted for me. cindy and i got on a plane, arrived at the airport in greenville at 3:00 a.m. there were 800 college students out there. now, i'll admit there was not a mosh pit, but there was certainly an enthusiastic group of young americans out there. and that's the enthusiasm we're generating and that's what inspirational leadership is all about and i can do that. keyes: two things. i would have to say from -- what would i -- first, senator mccain, you've served these youngsters enough beer. i suppose they'll look really enthusiastic. [laughter] mccain: you know, that's quite a commentary on those young people. keyes: yes, it's quite a commentary on them. but it's quite a commentary on those who would take young folks, some of them not even of age, and serve them beer. but leave that aside. king: are you saying he served beer to minors? keyes: well, look, he -- he did not do this. king: ok. keyes: i presume his campaign did. but second point though, let's take an example of leadership -- leadership in this campaign.
we had a controversy over bob jones university and its policies, right? king: right. keyes: now it seems to me, when you have a problem like that, does leadership consist of going into bob jones university, where serious questions, in fact, do exist about religious bigotry and racial bigotry -- going in, taking the applause, risking nothing, because you refuse to raise the issues? that's what g.w. bush did. or does it consist of getting on your high horse, refusing to go talk to good-hearted christian people, because you believed a bunch of prejudicial slanders in the press, and then staying away, not even carrying a message of integrity to them? or does it consist, in fact, in going in, carrying a message of truth and integrity about this country's moral principles, and then looking them in the eye and saying, "i'm a black roman catholic christian, married to an indian-american women. and if you can't deal with the demons of racial bigotry, and religious bigotry, and cast them out, you'll accomplish no good for this country"? king: why. keyes: which is the better
leader? you tell me. king: why didn't you speak against bigotry at bob jones? bush: i was asked the question, do i support his policy of no interracial dating? i said, of course not. of course not. my little brother, jeb, the governor of florida married a girl named columba, from mexico -- a fabulous part of our family, a great person. so please don't insinuate, in any shape -- way, shape or form, that i support. king: but they couldn't date. bush: well, that's fine, but i walked in and talked about how our conservative cause must be compassionate. that's what i've talked about. i talked about how the principles of conservatism can lift the spirit of america, how we can improve people's lives, that's what i've talked about. keyes: in your. bush: that's what i talked -- you didn't hear my speech. keyes: in your speech, sir, you said nothing about the religious bigotry and racial bigotry. bush: i -- i talked. keyes: that had in fact to be dealt with. on and "if asked" basis, these questions are not enough. what i did was look folks in the eye and tell them, i'm willing to lose every vote over the issue of defending young babes in the womb, and i'm willing to lose every vote over the issue of standing with integrity against
religious and racial bigotry. king: you did not speak. keyes: what votes have these folks been willing to risk to stand for any principle? king: don't dominate, alan. john. mccain: well, alan, i've been taking a few risks in my life and i'm proud of those risks. some of them are proudest points of my life. look, i was not invited to attend bob jones. i understand that it's a fine academic school. if i had been invited i would have gone and i would have started by saying, as i have gone to other places that people are not in favor of me, and i would have said, look, what you're doing in this ban on interracial dating is stupid, it's idiotic and it is incredibly cruel to many people. i also happen to have an adoptive daughter who's from bangladesh, and i don't think that she should be subjected to those kinds of things. in fact, i will stand up and fight against those. and so, look. king: but you would have gone and said that, but you weren't invited. mccain: if i'd have been -- if i'd have been invited, of course, because you've got to bring the message to get these people up into the modern times. king: and you said you went --
you went to deliver a message. bush: i did. king: ok. why didn't you then go to the log cabin republicans, a gay group who you don't agree with, to deliver a message to them? bush: i've got gay supporters. i don't ask their sexual orientation, though. king: but i mean why didn't you speak, then, before that group? bush: well, they had made a commitment to john mccain. king: oh. but they invited you. and so. mccain: i have no -- no knowledge that they have made a commitment to my campaign. bush: well, i thought they raised money for you. mccain: it doesn't mean. bush: it doesn't matter. let's talk about that issue. each person needs to be judged with their heart and soul. i don't ask the question what somebody's sexual orientation is. i don't ask the question. king: so if you have gays working for you, that's fine. and you don't have a problem. you'd appoint gays in the cabinet, et cetera. bush: well, i'm not going to ask what their sexual orientation is. king: oh, so you wouldn't know. bush: i'm going to appoint conservative people in the cabinet. it's none of my business what somebody's -- now when somebody makes it my business, like on gay marriage, i'm going to stand up and say i don't support gay marriage. i support marriage between men and women. king: so if a state were voting on gay marriage, you would suggest to that state not to approve it?
bush: the state can do what they want to do. don't try to trap me in this state's issue like you're trying to get me into. king: you just did. you have an opinion. [laughter] governor bush: i have an opinion. king: do you have. bush: in my state of texas, if we tried to have gay marriage, i would campaign against it. king: if your state of texas then proposed the confederate flag, you would campaign against it? bush: we've got the lone star flag flying over texas. let's talk about that issue. king: we're going to move that. are you offended? mccain: before we leave that issue, can i say -- look, i met with the log cabin republicans. i think republicans and presidents should meet with every group. we should meet with every group of people. they don't have to agree or disagree. and to say somehow that some people are excluded from our party who identify themselves as republicans -- i disagree with the log cabin republicans on gay marriages, on the "don't ask/don't tell," on a broad variety issues. but i agree with them on a stronger defense, lower taxes, less regulation. so we're in agreement on some issues. and i, as president of the united states, and i as the nominee of my party, will meet with -- and not necessarily
agree with, everyone in the republican party. king: do you -- the senator's had a little less time, so i want to hear him out. do you agree -- as barry goldwater, who you succeeded in the senate, i believe, told me once that there are gays at normandy? there are gays on bataan? mccain: i'm sure that all that is true. king: why do you sort of. senator mccain: the fact is, those gays were people, as is today in the military, don't ask, don't tell, situation. i support that. i think that george does as well. when you have people like general colin powell, general norman schwarzkopf, our most respected military leaders who tell us that that's the policy that works, that that's the best way we can have the finest army in the world -- which we don't for other reasons -- then i have to support a policy that the most respected people in america would support. king: do you disagree? keyes: well, several things, it's a whole lot easier to go meet with homosexuals when, as senator mccain said in a meeting
the other day, "i understand you believe homosexuality is not a sin." if you believe it is a sin, then going and meeting with sinners and identifying yourself in that way when you're educating your children to think otherwise is a little harder for you. king: but you. keyes: now, i understand that is an issue of conscience. and i'm not trying to dictate it to anybody and wouldn't try to dictate. but we are living in a society today where there is the use of coercive government power to try to prevent people from speaking out and acting according to their religious view on this particular issue, trying to define hate-crimes in such a way that biblical beliefs are going to become incitement to hatred. a lot of the christian folks in this country understand what's going on, but apparently these two gentlemen don't. the other thing that i would have to say, the "don't-ask, don't-tell" policy is typical of the clinton administration. it is a dishonest, shameful, dishonorable policy that winks and nods at gay folks to get them into the military, leaves the regulations on the books so that people in authority, if they come into information that
somebody has violated those regulations, don't know whether they should or should not enforce them. king: what would be your policy? keyes: what happens in a military when you have regulations on the books that you selectively enforce in a way that shows favoritism? you undermine cohesion, morale, respect for authority. and honesty. military people should be "what you see is what you get," not "don't ask, don't tell." bush: the role of the commander in chief is to clearly define what the mission of the military is. the mission of the military is to fight and be able to win war, and therefore prevent war from happening in the first place. the commander in chief must let the general officers understand what the goal is and ask the general officers to prepare a military of high morale and high standing, capable of meeting that mission. and the senator is right. generals came together and said, this is the best way for us to prepare our military for the mission. and that's what's important to understand as the commander in chief. it is, that's what's important for the commander in chief, alan. keyes: i think it's a little disingenuous. the rest of us.
bush: nothing is disingenuous. keyes: let me finish, i just said a little disingenuous to pretend. hold it -- that the generals came together and begged for this policy, when we good and well know that it was a policy imposed by the political forces in this society. king: well, let me put this way, -- mr. keyes: to turn the military into an arena of sexual experimentation in the people. king: what would your policy be? mr. keyes: who are in charge politically didn't have the guts to stand up and defend the military. that's what happened. bush: you're getting repetitive. keyes: that's what happened. king: what would your policy be? keyes: i would return to the ban on homosexual activity in the military. king: ban? keyes: return to the ban. it's the only policy consistent with both the integrity of the military, the effort to limit sexual tension throughout the military, and the need to have a policy that can be clearly understood and rigorously enforced. king: why is that wrong? mccain: i don't mind being criticized. it's getting to be a regular kind of routine in these debates. but i really do question his comments about our military leaders. general colin powell is one the finest men i've ever known in my life. and to somehow infer that general colin powell was
coerced, or forced to adopt a policy that he didn't believe in is a great disservice to one of the greatest men in the history of this country. mr. keyes: a point of personal privilege, it is not factually on the record -- you go back and take a look. those military leaders did not favor this policy in the beginning. they were brought to favor it after political leadership failed to stand up in their defense. king: is he going to be -- either of you -- the secretary of state -- colin powell? mccain: sure. king: sure? mccain: that's one thing i'm sure we'll agree on. king: your secretary of state, too? bush: i'm not telling. king: it's definite that you're saying yes? mccain: oh, he'd be marvelous. bush: oh, he's a great man, no question about it. but one of the things we shouldn't be doing, right here on the eve of the south carolina primary, is speculating out loud on who we're going to pick. king: why? bush: well, because it's -- listen, we're talking about philosophy. you know, we go to one state and so-and-so is going to be in the cabinet, you know, and go to another state and name somebody else. that's kind of -- that cheapens the process. what we need to do is get elected on principles and issues.
mccain: there's a few outstanding men i've had the chance to know in my life. he can serve anywhere he wants to in my administration. bush: he's a great man, no question about that. senator mccain: anywhere. he's the 800-pound gorilla. bush: how about your administration? king: all right, alan. keyes: well, let me just say, i think i'm going to wait and see. the kind of folks who are putting together the keyes campaign will be offering an entirely different perspective on our politics, because all of them come from the grass roots of this country, and speak for its heart. king: ten years ago -- sorry, eight years ago on this program, i asked vice president quayle what he would do in the terrible instance that his daughter needed an abortion. he was very pro-life. and he said, well, he'd try to talk her out of it. and he would go with her to the clinic. and hold her hand and love her. governor bush: yes, but i will not -- king: would you? bush: i'm not going to drag my daughter into it. larry king: what do you mean? all right, your niece. bush: no, i'm not dragging personal. look, you want my views on abortion, i'll give you my views on abortion. i believe the next president should set this goal. every child, born and unborn, protected in law and welcomed
into life. that's what the next president ought to do. the president -- and the question is which one of us can lead america to appreciate life. the political questions around abortion are these, and this is one that's going to differentiate us from the democrat nominee, for example, is i will sign a ban on partial-birth abortion. all three of us will sign a ban on partial-birth abortion. vice president gore, if he's the nominee, will sit there and justify it. i don't know how he can justify partial-birth abortion. a leader is someone that brings people together and understand the power of adoption. john is a loving adoptive parent, that's a -- it's a loving act, it's a loving alternative to abortion. a leader is someone who brings people together, both republicans and democrats in my state, to pass a parental notification law, a parental notification law that will reduce abortions in the state of texas. king: should the woman be punished, john? mccain: no. king: she starts the crime. mccain: george, do you believe
in the exemption in abortion, case of abortion, for rape, incest and life of the mother? then, you know, it's interesting, you were talking about printed material that's mailed out. here's one that says that george w. bush supports the pro-life plank. the pro-life plank. bush: i do. senator mccain: yes. your position is that you believe there's an exemption for rape, incest and the life of the mother, but you want the platform that you're supposed to be leading to have no exemption. help me out there, will you? bush: i will, i will. mccain: thank you. bush: the platform talks about -- it doesn't talk about what specifically should be in the constitutional amendment. senator mccain: the exemptions in it. bush: please let me finish, john. mccain: and you know that very well. bush: john, let me finish, let me finish. the platform speaks about a constitutional amendment. it doesn't refer to how that constitutional amendment ought to be defined. senator mccain: the platform, it has no exceptions. bush: john, i think we need to keep the platform the way it is. this is a pro-life party. may i finish, please? we need to be a pro-life party. we need to say, "life is precious" and that's what our
platform refers to. and that's why we need to leave it the same. now, i fully recognize good people can disagree on this issue. but the fundamental question amongst the republicans is which one of us has got the capacity to lead our nation to understand the value of life, those of living, those yet unborn, and those elderly in america who are subject to physician-assisted suicides, for example? king: alan, you say a life is a life, period, right? mr. keyes: first of all, i think that is a perfect illustration, this discussion of the problem we have in the party. one individual who doesn't really accept the pro-life position of the party, and another who says he accepts it, but then takes positions that are inconsistent with it, so when push comes to shove he won't be able to defend it. and both willing to take at a personal level a position that will destroy you in debate against the democrats. when al gore stands there or bill bradley and looks you in the eye, one of you or the both of you, and says, senator mccain, you said your daughter, that would be her decision. it would be up to her to decide, how on earth can you represent a
party that would take away from every other american woman what you would give to your own daughter? these are folks -- let me finish -- who take a position that they can't defend and will then go out and represent us in such a way that we get defeated by our opponents. larry king: ok. mr. keyes: it is time we stopped doing this because this doesn't make any sense? larry king: we owe senator mccain some time so i'm going to let him take the stage. mccain: i told you this once before, alan, and i'm sorry i have to tell you again. i've seen enough killing in my life, a lot more than you have. i know -- i know how valuable and precious human life is, and i will not listen to your lectures about how i should treat this very important issue of the sanctity of human life. so, i hope you'll give me the respect that i give you and do not bring, please, my daughter into it. it is a family decision. thank you very much. keyes: see, but it's a family decision. mccain: thank you very much. keyes: let's be fair to the american people, senator. senator mccain: thank you very much. let's leave my daughter out of it please. keyes: let's be fair to the american people. i'm a pro-life person. that pro-life position applies to women who are daughters and who
are wives. larry king: we need a break. >> we have to be able to stand before the american people and justify. larry king: we need a break. we will be right back. we have a half hour to go. and jeff greenfield will moderate a panel talking about what you are watching. don't go away. ♪ ♪ king: we're back on this special larry king live election 2000 edition, coming to you from seawell's banquet center in columbia, south carolina under the auspices of bipec, the south
carolina business and industry political education committee. senator mccain, much has been made in these past debates about tax proposals. and we know that alan keyes is against the tax. would you simply for me, what's the essential difference between your's and the governor's? mccain: we have two surpluses, one that goes into the social security trust fund. there is $2 trillion there. if george bush or alan keyes, or donald duck were president of the united states, there would be $2 trillion in there because that's the payroll tax that people pay. then we have the other non-social security surplus. i want a balanced approach. a working families tax cut -- governor bush has 38% of his tax cut go to the wealthiest one percent of americans -- pay down the debt, social security and medicare. if we're going to save social security, we've got to take a bunch of the non-social security surplus, pump it into the social security system, because we all
know that it is going broke. if we do that, then people can then invest part of their own payroll taxes in investments of their choice. the difference between governor bush's proposal and mine, is that i put a whole lot of money into social security, medicare and paying down the debt. he puts a whole lot of money into tax cuts. and that's the difference. king: and why, before he responds, is reducing the debt more important than a tax cut? mccain: because we'd lay this obligation on another generation of young americans, $3.6 trillion. at town hall meeting after town hall meeting, i have average americans stand up to me and say to me, senator mccain, all these years of running deficits, we've accumulated this debt. we are paying more interest, as much interest, almost, on it as we are in spending on national defense. we ought to pay down that debt, and not saddle the next generation of young americans with it. king: one of the problems in selling that, though, is the debt does not call you. the debt doesn't bug you today, right? right? mccain: look, alan greenspan just recently said we shouldn't
have these massive tax cuts like governor bush is proposing. but working families need the tax cut. king: governor? governor bush: what alan greenspan said, is if it's governor bush: alan greenspan says if it is possible to discipline congress to pay down the debt, that is fine, but short of disciplining congress, which i do not think we should do, is the ought to have a tax cut. my plan is this. there is a $4 trillion surplus. $2 trillion goes to social security which pays down debt. i spent about half of that on tax cuts and half of it as a cushion, perhaps more debt repayment, emergency spending. the difference in our plans is i know whose money we are dealing with. we are dealing with the people's money and not the government's money. i want to give the people their money back.
if they are going to have a tax cut, everybody ought to have a tax cut. this washington, d.c. view about targeted tax cuts is done through polls and focus groups. if you pay taxes in america you ought to get a tax cut. if you are a family of four making $50,000 you get a 50% tax cut. i reduce the rate to 10%. it does this, and this is important. there are people on the outskirts of poverty, unlike -- like single moms working the toughest job in america. if she has two kids is making $22,000, for every additional dollar she earns, she pays a higher marginal rate on her taxes then someone making i will $200,000. cut taxes on the top which encourages entrepreneurship. i hear those voices, i hear those voices on the outskirts of poverty, and i have a plan that says we are going to reduce the tolls for the middle class. that is what we are saying. we will reduce the higher marginal rate. if someone is working hard, we should put more money in their pocket.
there is a fundamental difference in opinion. my plan saves and strengthens social security, pays down debt but it also recognizes the most risky proposition, to leave money to be spent in washington dc. larry king: a person making $1 million gets what kind of reduction? governor bush: it goes from 39.6% to 33%. by far, the vast majority of my tax cuts goes to the bottom end. senator mccain: that is what he took offense of when i talked about bill clinton. let me make one comment, it is not the washington mentality it is the grown-up mentality. it is the grown-up mentality that recognizes we have obligations and we have to pay them off. george says congress might do something about it, assuming it might spend it, assuming that the president of the united states is a hapless bystander. bill clinton is forcing the congress of united states with
threats of veto and shutting down government to spend more money. -- i, asident president of the united states would vote to pay less. that is what i will do as president. if they override my veto, i will make them famous because i can stop it. i will not be a helpless bystander. i will not let congress to spend money. governor bush: let me say one thing and then he can speak. that shows the difference of mentality. i do not trust congress, i trust people. i want to get people their money back. this is a realistic plan i want to get done, and john, grown-up or non-grown-up, i know that is a line you are trying to come across with but it is weak. either you trust the people or you trust the government. our republican party ought to stand for trusting the people to spend their own money. the taxes are the highest they have been since world war ii. mr. keyes: do not apologize because i feel that last sentiment is exactly right or it the only problem is, if you
really are going to trust the people, then why have this debate in which you have to wo folks are doing over how they are going to use their gatekeeper role to determine how much of your own money you get to keep? that is what the income tax system does to america. it is not the system our founding fathers put in place. the system they put in place is compatible with a state of a truly free people, a system where you earn $100 and you bring it home and until you decide what to do with it, the government does not get a look at it. let me finish. you do not wait for the government, some politician to give your tax cut. by avoiding expenditures on the taxed items out there, you will be able to avoid the tax. why? because under the original constitution, the government was funded with tear, duties and sales taxes, taxes you do not pay under income. since you do not pay them on your income, you do not get into
this humiliating business of having politicians arguing over how much money you get to keep. mr. keyes: do any of you -- let me finish. you did not interrupt them. one last question, because it is also true, you do not have this humility business of politicians arguing over how much money you get to keep, and you're also put in the position where you control every last dollar of your own money and you have the first use of it. should beat we sh debating. they should not have this control. larry king: this question will be for the governor. the governor of illinois has stopped no executions in his state, discovering that people were freed for not doing the crime. they got out because of dna. can we assume that that is a pretty good idea, if dna is proving a lot of people, that you should curtail executions in texas? governor bush: no. larry king: no?
governor bush: no. i presided over executions in my state. i am convinced that everyone who is convicted was guilty of the crime. larry king: that everyone on death row is guilty? governor bush: we will adjudicate those cases when they,. , up. let me finish. we have had a series of people executed in my state. these are people who were found guilty by a jury of their peers. these are people with full access to the courts of law. there is no doubt in my mind that each person who has been executed in our state was guilty of the crime committed. i support the death penalty for this reason. when the death penalty is administered in a swift and sure , it will save lives. larry king: the governor of illinois knows -- if you found the dna got some
people off of texas off the death row-- governor bush: then we would examine each case. you are asking about the people who up and put to death in my state. larry king: you know they all did it? how do you stand on this? senator mccain: i think of the new technology of dna would i think provoke a review, clearly of cases that may be questionable, but i certainly would not abandon the death penalty. if there is evidence that there is some controversy where this new technology could help authenticate the fact that the person is guilty of the crime, there is nothing wrong with that. i think it is important that we recognize that the death penalty is an appropriate punishment for some crimes. larry king: do you agree? mr. keyes: i think that is absolutely right. i think in fact the death penalty is required to show up or respect for life in the morality through the law. the law has to be the first educator and the death penalty
is part of educating people that there are lines you should not cross. larry king: what do you think about racial profiling? governor bush: i am against it. larry king: if you were president, you would sign the executive order? governor bush: i would work with police authorities to make sure they do not racially profile. senator mccain: of course. let me point out that we have had some people, cross our border that were terrorists. if you can specifically identify a suspect and have a drawing of the description, clearly you will want to stop people that fit that description. you do not stop everybody just for any reason. let's be clear, the security of our borders was nearly violated a short time ago, and we have to be far more vigilant than we have in the past. larry king: alan? mr. keyes: i know everyone thinks it is doing favor to our racial group, but if our police and enforcement people have the
experience that a given crime is disproportionately being committed by folks from a given ethnic group, we are now going to pass a law that says you cannot notice that? larry king: but they have not done the crime yet. mr. keyes: we are going to pass a law and enforce a law that says we cannot notice the characteristics of individuals who commit crimes and develop profiles to help folks pursue the solving of crimes based on our experience? experience is not prejudice. prejudice is an opinion formed without experience. it is an opinion formed based on experience is not prejudice, it is judgment. i think our law enforcement's ought to be able to use experience. larry king: you would not be upset being stopped? mr. keyes: if there are black folks out there, disproportionately committing
certain crimes, my parents raised me to know i represent the race with everything i do, and i wish that everyone would take that attitude and stop committing crimes and doing things that bring it add -- bring a bad reputation on to people. larry king: if that would stop you would not be angry? mr. keyes: i just told you i would be angry. governor bush: we had a hispanic guy in my state who got stopped. he got stopped because he was in the wrong part of town. i did not appreciate that. senator mccain: bad things have happened and they should be stopped. larry king: this conservative-liberal thing. are you saying john mccain is a liberal? governor bush: no, i am not. larry king: you mentioned conservativism, implying he is not. governor bush: i am not implying anything. john mccain can define his own positions and i can define mine. i think he is a conservative and a fine man. larry king: why mentioned conservativism? governor bush: because i am more conservative on different issues. senator mccain: we do not like to go around for train ourselves
as liberals. [laughter] governor bush: let me say something about this business, but the truth of the matter is, what we are trying to do is nominate someone to end the clinton era. that is what we are in the process of doing. our objective is to end the clinton era in washington dc. that is what this primary is all about, and one of us is going to emerge. one of us is going to emerge. the objective has got to bring some common sense and integrity to washington dc. that is what the primary is all about. larry king: john. i know you so well in so long, so i some times forget to say governor. governor bush: we won't hold it against you. senator mccain: please, call me senator. or your highness. [laughter] look, george bush is a good man. alan keyes is a good man. we have had some differences in opinion.
this campaign spiral down. i want the negativism out of it. south carolina people deserve better than what they have been given. we want to lift up america and not turned on people. -- tear down people. i am a proud conservative. i believe that my two opponents are proud conservatives, but what this is about is articulation of the issues with the future of this country. no one knows what challenges we will face both foreign and domestic. i think this campaign is all about vision. larry king: do you think you have been labeled liberal? senator mccain: i have been labeled everything, except i think they have missed fascist. ask observers, this is probably the nastiest campaign people have seen a long time, but i am enjoying it. this is a great and exhilarating experience. i am luke skywalker getting out of the death star. john, youush: hey, are playing the victim here.
remember who called who untrustworthy. senator mccain: you wanted to cut taxes by $40 billion, george. mr. keyes: can i make a substantive remark here? [laughter] the rhetoric sounds good about ending the clinton era, but words have no meaning if you can apply those words to think so radically different that they have no similarity. let's not disrespect the language. i find it hard to believe he is going to end the clinton era by continuing his don't ask don't tell policies, the policies toward the wto and china and so forth and so on, continuing federal domination of education, the income taxes. we have folks calling themselves conservatives who are going to continue the same junk we get from the clinton administration. what is the point of the label? larry king: does it annoy you that the president's performance rating is high? governor bush: it does not amaze me, i mean it doesn't annoy me, it amazes me. it must be the dow jones industrial average is much more
to life than the dow jones industrial average. larry king: 2% unemployment? governor bush: the dow jones industrial average is high, but there are a lot of people wondering if the future of america belongs to them. our failed schools are creating two societies in this country, and we better have a president that is doing some good about. if you are suggesting i want to federalize the education system, you do not know my plan. you just do not know my plan. senator mccain: we are in such incredibly prosperous economic times, but they're also polls that show 54% of the american people are suffering from clinton fatigue. as fast and far as the vice president wants to run away from him, there is an old saying that you might remember about joe lewis, and the sister about al -- and this is true about al gore. he can run but he cannot hide. larry king: do all of you expected tough race in november? governor bush: there are not a lot of mothers and dads naming their sons, bill clinton. [laughter]
larry king: we have about 10 minutes. i am going to get each of you a minute and a half to wind things down. in these final moments, do some hopscotching for topics. around the world. should jerusalem the capital of israel? governor bush: yes. mr. keyes: yes. i think we ought to recognize it. senator mccain: yes, immediately. that will make the peace process much simpler. as soon as the palestinians and others know exactly where the the capital is, they will be off the table. larry king: should the united states the involved in settling disputes? mr. keyes: yes. larry king: we should be involved in ireland and england? mr. keyes: it is the role we play given our position in the world. where we can play it constructively, we ought to do. senator mccain: i give senator george mitchell credit for the fine job he has done in ireland. i want to point out, being the
world's greatest superpower has luxuries and great responsibilities. we have to understand us. governor bush: unfortunately, the mental effort was a good effort but it is falling apart. i think we ought to work with -- work to keep the peace. the danger is that a president who worries about his standing in the polls will try to post an american solution in the middle east. we cannot have that in order for there to be real peace. both parties must agree to the terms and come to an agreement. the role of the united states is to encourage and mediate. larry king: are you saying the polls will not matter? governor bush: they should not matter. i am not talking about someone trying to earn a nobel peace prize and taking our friends and demand our friends accept something that is unacceptable. we cannot dictate the terms of peace, we must lead to achieve peace. larry king: does public opinion count?
senator mccain: as president of the united states, i will never take a poll. in june of 1950, when north korea attacked south korea, if harry truman had taken a poll, we would have never gone. that was in important chapter in our winning. the cold war. the most obscene chapter in the recent history was when the president of the united states refused to prepare for ground operations and refused airpower used effectively because he wanted them flying at 15,000 feet where they killed innocent civilians because they were dropping bombs from such high altitude. no, i will never take a poll on a matter of national security. mr. keyes: i do not take polls in politics now, so i would not take polls in foreign policy, but i would say this though, i hope you do not mean to imply that the president does not have a responsibility to develop a sound base to political support in this country for his foreign-policy. in vietnam, we learned of the horrid results that occur when you do not have that presidential leadership. polls or no polls, you do have a
responsibility to represent the american people and persuade them of what you are doing in foreign policy and not to commit them to war unless they support you in it. larry king: we discussed the nuclear question earlier. are any of you in favor of production? governor bush: not yet. i want to make sure that the russians comply. senator mccain: no. we need to continue before we break one of those lakes. -- legs. we better be pretty sure that they are not necessary. we do need to pursue ballistic defense systems. i want to say, i am going to call some admirals and generals over to the white house. we need more progress on this missile defense. mr. keyes: i think it is a failure on the leadership part of the clinton administration. larry king: tax the internet? governor bush: we need to keep a moratorium in place. we do not know with the world will look like five year's and now, and we should keep the moratorium in place. mr. keyes: i would keep it in place for a while, but i would forewarn people that congress on
-- commerce on the internet, once you get it established an infrastructure, is going to be taxed. i think is unfair to lie to folks about that, because as enough commerce moves into that arena, do not tell me politicians will not resist it. they will not. senator mccain: i will veto any bill that crosses my desk that re-institutes the sales tax. we need to make it permanent. these people that are making huge and massive investments on the internet need the confidence that it will not be tax. we cannot choke this baby in the cradle. i do not care about these governors. we are talking of the engine of america's economy. they ought to understand that and get their greedy hands off of it so the american economy can grow. mr. keyes: if the governors are speaking for a lot of people out there working in the non-virtual marketplace, we are going to look at it awfully strangely that they are operating a little store in their town and they are going to be taxed, at some of the goes on the internet, once
it is established is not going to be taxed. i see new grounds for it. governor bush: there should be no federal tax on the internet. wait a minute. will we need to do is make sure we understand before we say something like that with where the world is headed. we are just learning and that is why the moratorium is in place. larry king: we are running close on time. do you gentlemen think that inherently, any american is entitled to get a prescription? governor bush: inherently entitled? inherently what the elderly need is a modern medicare plan. larry king: do you feel everybody that needs a prescription should get it? governor bush: yes i do, but it is tackling to be affordable and accessible if we have al gore and bill clinton tried to nationalize health care. mr. keyes: i think you have to be careful, because if you say
that, that means someone else is obliged to provide the prescription. larry king: but you do not want to let someone die. mr. keyes: excuse me, but that a slave labor. we need a market oriented system that is going to provide access and benefits to all and that is what i would work to achieve. senator mccain: every american should have access to health insurance, but we have a big problem with seniors who cannot afford prescription drugs and we need to address that right now. if it requires a government program, i will support a government program. larry king: what is going to happen saturday in south carolina? governor bush: right here? we are going to have an election. larry king: are you going to win? governor bush: i am going to win because the people have heard my message that i'm coming with a message as a reformer who got positive results in education, welfare and business growth. larry king: how are you going to do? mr. keyes: i have no idea. god does not turn you down. he just does the right thing. larry king: and you? senator mccain: i think we are going to do just fine.
i think we will win. i think it will be close. really, when we talk about reform, the key to reform is to get the government out of the hands of the special interests, and you have to have a real campaign finance reform. not one that leaves a billion dollar loophole. larry king: we have three and a half minutes left. one minute each. allen, anything you want to say? mr. keyes: i think it is important that republicans go to the polls and vote their hearts. i have heard too many people say, they think i say the right things and have a vision for the country and need to restore our moral priorities, that our allegiance to the principle that our rights come from god in need to be exercised. reclaim our liberties, abolish the income tax, get school choice in place. and then i asked, are you going to vote for me? no. you will not get what you want if you do not have the guts to vote your conscience. then this country will never get back on the right track. larry king: governor bush. governor bush: i want to thank all the folks in south carolina. they have heard my message, that if you are tired of the gridlock in washington dc, let's bring a
leader into washington. if you are tired of this business about putting one group against another, why not have a uniter rather than a divider? if you want someone that has an agenda that is positive and hopeful and optimistic, a growth agenda for our economy, a peace agenda for the world, and education agenda that refuses to leave children behind, they are hearing that. they are saying, we want to governor bush. i want to thank the people of the state and asked for the vote. i want to go out and vote on my behalf on saturday and vote for me, and if you are for me, take some friends and neighbors with you. larry king: senator mccain. senator mccain: i want to thank the people of south carolina for the wonderful, warm reception and friendships that we have made here in town hall meetings, the trips around the state. it has been truly marvelous. i want to reform the government. i want to reform education, military, health care but i cannot do that unless we get the government out of the hands of the special interests. some have come lately to the reform agenda. i have been there for years and i have been fighting it. we will win on other reform
issues. most of all, i want to recount a story that happened in new hampshire. a lady stood up and she looked me in the eye and she did not have a question. she said, senator mccain, it is vitally important to me that the statesnt of the united always tell me the truth. i promise you as president of the united states, based in my life, principles and my own dear friends, i will always tell you the truth, no matter what. larry king: you would take the same old? governor bush: of course. larry king: we want to thank everyone here for putting this thing together an extraordinary -- in extraordinary circumstances. we want to thank senator mccain, alan keyes, and governor bush. you want to urge you to vote on saturday if you live in south carolina. there are two big primaries coming up as well, michigan and arizona. please vote there. also, stay tuned as jeff greenfield will moderate a panel about this debate. from columbia, south carolina,
for all of the folks in the room, for our candidates, thank you very much for joining us. i am larry king. good night. [applause] ♪ c-spanng campaign 2016, takes you on the road to the white house as we follow the candidates on c-span, c-span radio and c-span.org. ♪ all weekend, american history tv is featuring greenville, south carolina. in 1918, greenville county was used as a training facility for
world war i troops. the camp closed in 1919 due to an influenza outbreak. c-span cities tour staff visited many sites, showcasing the city's rich history. learn more about greenville all weekend on american history tv. professor abrams: south carolina is important in presidential elections because of the sequence in the primaries. it is the big one right after new hampshire. you have iowa, new hampshire and then south carolina. those three states are different demographically and culturally. south carolina is perhaps the first place you can attest your appeal to a southern audience, typically more conservative, not just for republicans but for democrats, democratic candidates and how they appeal to
african-american voters. there are greater numbers of those in the low country and the charleston area. hillary and sanders are basically looking at, sanders is going to think, how a going to -- how am i going to do with african-americans? this is the first opportunity to gauge that. it is not just for republicans, but for others in the party as well. they come to places like bob jones, because some consider us the old, warm image of the bible belt and someone has said we are not just the bible belt, we are the buckle of the bible belt. if you get attention here -- >> thank you, it is good to be back among friends. professor abrams: then it basically expands outward,
beyond just the campus itself. there obviously, it is targeting the evangelical network which is pretty well organized. i think what people misunderstand is they think it is more unified than it is. it is fractured like other groups, but they want to get their share of it and there percentage, and even if you are not identified specifically as a evangelical candidate, you can still get a percentage. you do not want them to be angry with you, so one way you do it is symbolically, you visit liberty or bob jones. candidates in this current presidential cycle are returning. i think it is number one, dr. pettit wants it to happen, which
is appropriate and wise. number two, the candidates want to come back and they are willing to overcome any adverse reaction there might be. i think since 2000, we have basically, there has been some sort of redemption, i hope, that we could be acceptable to presidential candidates visiting, when they come. [applause] >> our cities tour staff recently visited greenville, south carolina to learn about its rich history. learn more at c-span.org/cities tour. you are watching american history tv, all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. ♪ >> i'm trying still to decide
what candidate to support. i'm trying to decide between the governors who have executive experience, or some of the other candidates like ted cruz marco rubio. >> the most important issue to me as national service. there are more than 5 million young americans that are ready to step forward and server country for a year with programs like americorps, the peace corps. ♪ up next on the presidency, roosevelt, theodore roosevelt great-great-grandson talks about the president evolving theory of the constitution. when theses moments debates have shaped national policy as they did during the world war ii japanese-american internment under president friendly roosevelt. the commonwealth club of california hosted this event. it is about one hour.