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Public Statements

Show Lou Dobbs Tonight

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SHOW LOU DOBBS TONIGHT 06:00 PM Eastern Standard Time

HEADLINE: LOU DOBBS TONIGHT; CNNfn

GUESTS: Charles Schumer, Timothy Roemer, Slade Gorton, Charles Schumer, Peter King, Marcy Kaptur, Ron Brownstein, Karen Tumulty

BYLINE: John King, Bill Tucker, Kitty Pilgrim, Dana Bash, Peter Viles, Christine Romans

March 30, 2004 Tuesday
REP. PETER KING ®, NEW YORK: I actually wish that the White House had not given in on this. I think executive privilege is something worth preserving, especially since, as far as I'm concerned, Richard Clarke did not raise any substantive point whatsoever regarding September 11 in his testimony.

KING: So you say the president is wrong, Dr. Rice should not testify?

P. KING: I can understand why the president did it. If it was up to me I would prefer she not testify, only because I think it's going to come back to haunt us as far as executive privilege.

On the other hand the president, also, as commander-in-chief realizes he has to have the country behind him. And since he realizes that there's nothing to hide here at all, he wanted Dr. Rice to come on, testify as to what she knows and to show that basically there was nothing, no substance whatsoever to Mr. Clarke's allegations.

KING: Don't you also think, though, as the Republican nominee and a candidate for reelection, he is seeing the polling, in which our latest poll yesterday, the American people split down the middle as to whether they believe Richard Clarke or believe a president of the United States.

That is a pretty damning conclusion when half of the American people believe, as one Democrat put it to us yesterday, a bureaucrat over their president.

P. KING: Yes, but again, in that poll for the first time in awhile President Bush pulled ahead of John Kerry.

And also this is the media swirl involving Dick Clarke. And the media has given him such a free ride, because he has not made one factual allegation that backs up his case whatsoever. I think it's really been pretty disgraceful the way the media has given him this free ride.

But Dr. Rice, listen, she's absolutely brilliant. She will do a great job.

And I have no doubt at all that when all is said and done, we're going to show the Bush administration did what had to be done. They did respond. They had the country on the highest alert during the summer of 2001.

And Mr. Clarke himself admitted under oath that if everything he had asked for had been done, it would not have prevented September 11. And that's worth considering, especially when he had the same job for eight years under President Clinton.

KING: A dust-up now in March. The report of the commission will come out right around the convention time. One of those conventions, of course, is in your city, in New York City, not far from your district.

Do you worry that this political fight we have had now in March will simply come back again, perhaps even with more volume when that report is released right in the heart of the political season?

P. KING: John, it may. And that's a danger.

But on the other hand I think the American people are smarter than all of us. I think they see through this, and they realize how difficult this issue is. They realize what President Bush has done.

And one thing I would say, you know, the talk is out there the families want this. The families want that. The fact is I lost well over 100 people in my district, well over 400 in the immediate area of my district. And large numbers, I say the overwhelming majority of families that I've spoken to support the president or understand the president.

And very few want to point the finger either at President Clinton or at President Bush. They realize the enemy here is al Qaeda.

KING: Congressman Peter King, I want to be bipartisan and give you quickly an opportunity to answer the same question I put to Senator Schumer about what can the government do short term about gas prices?

P. KING: I agree that we should do more negotiating with OPEC. I would oppose right now, though, going into the strategic reserves, because it is strategic, and we should only use that in cases of emergency.

The fact is the price of gasoline in this country is still well less than half of what it is in Europe. We shouldn't panic and go to the strategic reserves. I think we can get the prices back down.

And that also we should get Democrats to start approving the president's energy plan, including drilling in the Arctic, be more concerned about gasoline prices than about the tundra.

KING: A bit of a political subplot to both debates over the 9/11 commission and the price of gas. Congressman Peter King, Republican of New York, thank you, sir, for your time tonight.

P. KING: Thank you, John.

KING: And we'd still like to hear more of what you think of this issue in tonight's poll question. "Do you believe the testimony of Condoleezza Rice will reduce the political atmosphere now surrounding the 9/11 commission? Yes or no."

Cast your vote at CNN.com/lou. We'll bring you the results a little later.

And coming up Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur says the exporting of U.S. government work to overseas labor markets is an outrage. She will join us.

And a new claim that outsourcing is actually creating jobs for Americans. Peter Viles will have that report and some reaction from critics, up next.

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