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tv   Through the Decades  CBS  October 8, 2016 11:00am-12:00pm CDT

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this is "through the decades" a unique hour-long time capsule. today look back at political gaffes. from a presidential candidate who made a choice for a running mate that he would quickly regret. "george mcgovern, the democratic candidate for president today chose senator democratic candidate for president today chose senator thomas f. eagleton." to a leading presidential candidate whose behavior behind closed doors, shut down his campaign, only one month in. "hart stayed out of public view today." and a democratic presidential nominee whose attempt to appear strong on defense. "when you see mike dukakis on a tank i think the first think you wonder is why is mike dukakis on a tank?" those stories and more in the next hour, part of a different kind of television experience, where we relive, remember and relate to the events that are cemented in history
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and i'm kerry sayers. and i'm your host, bill kurtis. it's political gaffes "through the decades." the great edward r. murrow said "when politicians complain that t-v turns the proceedings into a circus, it should be made clear that the circus was already there and that t-v has merely demonstrated that not performers are well trained." today on "through the decades," we look at politicians who didn't give their best performances on the political stage as they attemped to run for office. and the television cameras were there to capture their gaffes and preserve them for all of history to remember. so we begin the doomed decision of a presidential hopeful. the 1972 race for the white house was never really close
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themselves an even deeper hole when their nominee george mcgovern picked thomas eagleton to be his running mate. "senator george h. mcgovern is hereby declared the 1972 democratic nominee for president of the united states." heading into the 1972 democratic convention, george mcgovern was hardly a sure thing. the democrats were considerably the last night of the convention before mcgovern officially secured the nomination. "i can't believe we've won the whole thing." amid the chaos and uncertainty, the mcgovern campaign gave little consideration to a potential running mate. the polls indicated senator ted kennedy gave mcgovern his best chance against president nixon but kennedy refused as did
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established democrats like hubert humphrey and edmund muskie. under pressure to make a selection, the process was hurried and out of it emerged a relatively unknown - thomas eagleton. "good evening. george mcgovern, the democratic candidate for president today chose senator thomas f. eagleton of missouri as his running mate. eagleton's a 42 year old freshman senator, a roman catholic from st. louis. he supported edmund muskie in like mcgovern he's relatively liberal on domestic matters and a dove on vietnam." "senator what - what's your reaction?" "well, one of being very nervous and almost flabbergasted. when senator mcgovern called he said this is george mcgovern and i recognized the voice and he said tom i'd like you to be my running mate and i paused - it sounded like four seconds and i said well george before you change your mind, i accept."
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catholic with ties to organized labor the mcgovern campaign hoped he'd balance the ticket. "he meets the main requirements senator mcgovern set down when he began his consideration which is a man in whom he would have absolute and complete confidence in whom he believes the american people would have complete confidence to become president of the united states should that occasion arise." but in the rush to pick a v-p candidate beyond a minimal but in the rush to pick a v-p candidate beyond a minimal background check, the mcgovern campaign did little vetting of eagleton and it wasn't long before rumors about his past began to surface. there were concerns about his mental health and revelations that he'd sought electroshock therapy for depression in the 1960's. eagleton never mentioned anything to mcgovern but as more and more was leaked, he was forced to address the issue publicly. "on three occasions in my life, i have voluntarily gone into hospitals as a result of
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exhaustion and fatigue. few in this room know me well - tom otned of the post dispatch and ed o'brien, of the st. louis democratic and a few others have followed my career and they know me to be, i think, a rather intense, hard driving person and as a younger man i must say that i drove myself too far. " initially, mcgovern chose to remain defiant, standing by his running mate. remain defiant, standing by his running mate. "i'm fully satisfied and if i had known every detail that he discussed with me this morning, which is exactly what he has just told you here now, he would still have been my choice for the vice presidency of the united states." but the matter of eagleton's health quickly became a significant distraction following the campaign at every stop. mcgovern eventually met with
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advised him that eagelton could be a liability if he were to become president so on august 1, 1972, only 18 days after he was announced as the democratic vice presidential nominee, eagleton withdrew from the ticket. "this decision is one of the most heart rendering and difficult decisions that i ever expect to make in my life. i think we're going to win this election and they'll be tough de be no decision that i can imagine that'll be anymore painful or anymore difficult than the decision that senator eagleton and i have reached tonight." for a campaign already in crisis, the eagleton affair would all but sink mcgovern's chances. "it was sort of my personal belief that the eagleton issue would fade away through this month of august, around the first day of august . one hundred and eighty-six years ago you tell us we had our
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would fade away during this month of august. i'd go to enough cities so that barry serafin would get tired of asking me in every city of the country about my health and that it would run its course but an argument can be made that it would linger on but i'm not here to say who was categorically right or who's categorically wrong, i'll just say that george mcgovern could not have been finer to me. i believe in him as much as i did in miami and i'm going to work for him him as much as i did in miami and i'm going to work for him ... maybe work for hard." mcgovern came out of the whole thing looking like a weak and indecisive leader. as a replacement, he chose sargent shriver, an in-law of the kennedys but the damage had been done. nixon won re-election decisively and while mcgovern and eagleton both returned to the senate, their 18 days together would carry a legacy of infamy. a lesson in the pitfalls of oversight. when our journey continues,
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appeared in an adult magazine that some thought was a little too honest. the debate that turned gerald ford's campaign on its head. we turn back the lens of time on the simple question that a senator could never quite answer in his failed 1980 campaign for the white house. plus, the personal scandal that gary hart could never bounce back from. then, the embarassingly awkward photo op that made a democratic presidential candidate a laughingstock and why at the peak of his popularity, a presidential candidate suddenly dropped out of race. it's all still ahead right here on "through the decades."
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it was an interview that could have cost him the white house. while running for president in 1976,the former georgia governor jimmy carter made honesty one of the cornerstones of his campaign, but after honesty one of the cornerstones of his campaign, but after opening about his religious beliefs, many felt the democratic nominee went too far. disenchanted and disillusioned by vietnam and the watergate scandal, voters in the 1976 presidential election wanted a washington outsider. they found him in the devoutly religious peanut farmer, the former senator and governor of georgia, jimmy carter.
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truth, was facing off against republican incumbent gerald ford - in office after nixon resigned - and had been holding a double digit lead but with just weeks to the election, things began unraveling for him. among other issues he was facing, carter had granted an interview to playboy magazine that to some, was a little too honest. "a consensus is developing amongst supporters of jimmy carter thali is becoming his own worst enemy. carter's startegy calls for him to appear, decent, consistent and presidential while portraying mr. ford as weak, inconsistent and unpresidential but by using earthy language in a playboy magazine interview, appearing to flip flop on the issue of grain embargos, seeming to call for middle income families to pay higher taxes and sounding contradictory on whether to fire fbi director clarence kelly, carter, his backers agree, seems to be
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the playboy interview covered a variety of topics but when it touched on carter's religious beliefs, some thought he overshared. "playboy magzine today, released the text of an interview with carter that it will publish next month and in it, he says that because of his religious beliefs he does not think he could ever lie, cheat and distort the truth as he said former presidents nixon and johnson did." "in that article, he discusses sexual morality and in a couple "in that article, he discusses sexual morality and in a couple of places uses words mil for playboy but perhaps a little racy for sunday school." "carter noted that quote, 'christ set some almost impossible standards for us. christ said, i tell you that anyone who looks on a woman with lust and has in his heart already committed adultery'and carter added, 'i've looked on a lot of women with lust. i've committed adultery in my heart many times. this is something god recognizes i will do and god forgives me for it.'
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mean he condemns those who carry their lust farther than he, that christ taught that one person should never think he was any better than anybody else." many voters were shocked and appalled by the president's candor but carter defended his interview. "i thought it was a good way to let the american public, particularly the playboy readers, know about my religious beliefs. i think it was perhaps typical of my campaign. i might say this, i would rather run that kind of campaign and even make a mistake every now and then and let the american people have contact with me, than to hide in the rose garden for eight weeks and ignore the real needs of this campaign than to isolate myself from the american people. i made the right choice." "are you sorry that you granted it?" "no." "do you think it's been misunderstood?" "oh, i don't think it's hurt any." "not surprisingly, the carter staff discounts these problems as the natural result of an active campaign and they seem
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see it that way too." ford's people tried capitalizing on it too by depicting a cartoon carter at a church pulpit holding the bible in one hand and in the other, a playboy magazine the caption read, "all things to all people." "it does violate the principles of ethics and the standards that mr. ford and i have both agreed on in written statements to common cause that we would uphold." during one of his whistlestop handed out copies of the interview to reporters hoping to put his quotes in proper context. his wife, rosaylnn, defended her husband. "the article, on whole i think was good, i haven't read it but i heard that it was and jimmy was trying to explain his christian religion to people and so that ... that doesn't concern me." "it's sort of implied though ... prying into your marriage ... prying into your privacy there?"
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marriage, if i was worried about my marriage it might bother me, but jimmy and i have a very good marriage. we've been married 30 years and we've always worked together and no, i don't have to worry about that ." in the end, despite his quotes that will live in infamy, on novemeber 2, 1976 jimmy carter was elected the thirty-ninth president of the united states. in the age of television, it's become a time-honored tradition commit mind-boggling blunders, gaffes and bungles along the campaign trail. none more so than during a debate. when we return, we'll relive the answer that made america question gerald ford's understanding of world affairs. plus, we remember when gary hart's career suffered as political journalism went
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don't! ah! it says...fragile. get tv, internet and phone for $89.99 per month. plus free installation, tv equipment, and epix included. call now. it was one of the more infamous mis-statements in the history of involving the united states' cold war nemisis, the soviet union. it came from president gerald ford in a debate against his opponent, jimmy carter, in october, 1976. president gerald ford faced a unique challenge as he campaigned for re-election in 1976. ford had not been elected as commander-in-chief. he had been the house minority
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as vice president in 1973 after agnew was forced to resign due to a bribery scandal. "i shall resign the presidency effective at noon tomorrow." and then ford replaced richard nixon as president in 1974 after nixon was forced to resign due to the watergate scandal. ford was seen as a weak candidate due to his pardoning of nixon, a weak economy and a jaded population fed up with "beltway" politics. "well that the united states who tore up the paris peace accords and with the aid of the soviet union overran south vietnam." ford struggled in the republican primaries against ronald reagan who accused the president of being soft with the soviet union and other communist regimes. that race went all the way to the republican national convention in kansas city where ford finally secured enough delegates to win the nomination.
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general election was former georgia governor, jimmy carter. gallup polls had carter leading ford by 33 percentage points after the democratic national convention in july. but ford was able to build momentum and by the fall, he was only two percentage points behind carter in some polls. "good evening. i'm pauline frederick of npr, moderator of this second of the historic debates of the 1976 campaign between gerald r. ford of michigan, republican candidate for president and jimmy carter of georgia, democratic candidate for president." on october 6, 1976, the two men debated each other at the palace of the fine arts theatre in san francisco. ford hoped to gain on carter with a strong performance. instead, ford jeopardized his campaign after being asked
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soviet union and other eastern european countries. his answer? "there is no soviet domination of eastern europe and there never will be under a ford administration." moderators were stunned by ford's declaration and asked for clarification. "i'm sorry .. .could i just ... did i understand you to say, sir, that the russians are not using eastern europe as their occupying mo- most of the countries there and in making sure with their troops that it's a - that it's a communist zone, whereas on our side of the line the italians and the french e still flirting with the possibility of communism?" "i don't believe, uh - mr. frankel that uh - the yugoslavians consider themselves dominated by the soviet union. i don't believe that the romanians consider themselves dominated by the
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don't believe that the poles consider themselves dominated by the soviet union. each of those countries is independent, autonomous. it has its own territorial integrity and the united states does not concede that those countries are under the domination of the soviet union." supporters later said ford's statements were taken out of context and that he meant to say that the u-s would never accept soviet domination of eastern europe and the free world. soviet domination of eastern europe and the free world. something which ford did indeed say while campaigning against reagan. "recent charges that the united states is in a position of military inferiority, that we have accepted soviet world domination are complete and utter nonsense." but many thought that ford's comments made him seem naive and uninformed about global politics. ford's progress in the polls stalled after his debate statement about the soviets. "his name is jimmy carter and
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the next president of the united states." and ford lost the general election to carter who won the popular vote by a mere three percentage points. ford would live another 29 years after his defeat and he never thought that his debate gaffe cost him the election. "finally, i feel that richard have suffered enough." instead, he felt his unconditional pardoning of nixon led to his downfall back in 1976. journalists are often responsible for asking the questions that lead to botched political careers. still ahead, we'll look back on when a journalist's question caused a campaign for the
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implode almost before the race had even begun.
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in the fall of 1979, senator ted kennedy was the favorite to win the democratic nomination for president over incumbent, jimmy carter. but his undoing would be a hesitant, unprepared answer to a seemingly straightforward question posed by cbs news man roger mudd.
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- dashed kennedy's hope of ever achieving the office of the presidency. "why do you want to be president?" "well i'm ... were i to make the announcement to run ..." the rest of ted kennedy's answer continued on much the same - rambling and incoherent and when kennedy did make the announcement to run, three days campaign was all but over even before it got started. he tried to answer questions later, but even in his campaign commercials, he didn't give specifics about his vision. "the american peoplere prepared to respond. what i think is necessary is that we're going to have a vision established by a president. goals established by a president. dreams established by a president."
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believe we can do better." now we look back to 2000 when al gore used a kiss with his wife tipper at the democratic national convention to send a message to voters. "the election next week will not only decide the american presidency but another key position with the potential for considerable influence - first lady of the united states - so cbs news is taking an in-depth look at the two main hopefuls cbs news is taking an in-depth look at the two main hopefuls beginning with tipper profiled tonight by cbs news correspondent, rita braver." "please welcome my husband, our next president of the united states, al gore." "people are still asking tipper gore the all important question. how about that kiss?" "well, i think al was asked about it first and he said he was trying to send a message to me. i can say message delivered." "it was a message al gore first sent at his high school prom.
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mary elizabeth aitcheson, nicknamed tipper." "both of us had dates with other people and i talked with her and i was smitten." "they've been married 30 years and have three daughters, a son and one grandson. al gore calls tipper his most important advisor." "i can't imagine making a really important life decision without consulting with her." "but her role is more sounding board than policy wonk and no matter what happens in november, tipper gorel something to show for it. rita braver. cbs news. new york." on april 13, 1987, colorado senator gary hart stood at the foot of the rocky mountans and announced his bid for the white house. hart had been a fast rising star in the democratic party, jumping from campaign manager for george mcgovern in the 19 presidential election to a politician himself as a
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hart had run unsuccessfully for president in 1984, but it was a scandal during his 1988 bid for the highest office which history remembers gary hart for the most. "is gary hart through? how badly if at all has hart's campaign to be president been hurt by new accusations made in a miami newspaper? hart stayed out of public view today after denying he spent thnight with a woman less than a month after announcing his candidacy for the democratic presidential nomination in april, 1987, the colorado senator's campaign imploded when reporters from the miami herald staked out his washington townhouse and revealed that 29-year-old actress/model donna rice had stayed overnight. initially, fellow democrats came to hart's support. "but i think the attacks on him are unfair and what do they
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it wasn't the first time, though, that hart had come under such scrutiny. "given past character questions of womanizing, changing his name, misstating his age, washington politicians wonder how hart could get hismelf in such an ambigious fix." "because of the problems that he's had in coming off of '84, the character issues that people raise about hart, something like this resonates a lot louder for hart than it would for another candidate." lot louder for hart than it would for another candidate." hart, who is either going to have to dispro all these allegations vividly almost overnight and cast aspersions on the media or he's probably a finished candidate." after two days of laying low, leaving the fallout to his staff, hart attempted to challenge the allegations and the media. "did i make a mistake by putting myself in circumstances that could be miscontstrued? of course i did. that goes without
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"he declared that his marriage, after two separations, now is stronger than ever. in answers to questions he said calls to model donna rice from the road, an overnight trip in the caribbean that included her and the washington visit, all were casual." "at no time did we spend, did the woman involved and i, spend an evening together, a night together." "rather than dwell on any specifics of the relationship, hartk miami herald, charging that its story was inaccurate, that reporters on deadline wouldn't listen when he tried to tell them that rice left by the back door. that brought an angry denial from the paper's publisher." "the issue is not the miami herald, its gary hart's judgment." especially in light of the fact that polls showed hart was headed towards an almost certain victory in the primaries as well as the general election against presumed republican nominee george h.w. bush... hart had everything to lose.
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and, post scandal, he did. "there's a sense of recklessness about it ... recklessness and it catches peoples attention. i mean wait a minute, gee, what's the guy doing? his wife's 2000 miles away. whats going on?" "the train has been derailed and its going to make it more difficult now for gary hart at least in the short run to raise funds." it wasn't long before hart knew it was over. it wasn't long before hart knew it was over. circumstances, this campaign cannot go on." "his campaign overwhelmed by questions of propriety, hart felt there was no point in continuing for now." "a cbs news new york times poll shows just how devastating the revelations of the last week have been. his unfavorable rating has skyrocketed, from nine percent a month ago to 26 percent today." "well, it's just that you don't trust somebody like that. that's the way i feel." fast forward seven months, and
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"let's let the people decide. i'm back in the race." "any way you cut it, hart's announcement was a stunner, a development noone expected and even hart conceded it won't be easy." "getting back in this race is about the toughest thing that i have ever done and believe me, it is not done lightly." "no, he's not kidding. with those words and hsi wife at his side, gary hart really did get back in the race today, dumbfounding friend and foe alike as he vowed to let the people be the judge." "we beli i people because you are fair and you have been good to us. you have been generous with your friendship, your support and your kindness. we trust the fairness of the american people and we are prepared to let you decide." and decide they did. "i think it's outrageous for him to even consider running for president of the united states." some of hart"s democratic challengers were a bit more delicate. "i'm a bit surprised but i can only say it's his option and it's his challenge."
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insurmountable. "i don't know a single person in politics tonight outside the hart family, and i haven't talked to them, who believes that gary hart is going to be the democratic presidential nominee." in the end, of course, he was not. that honor went to massachusetts governor michael dukakis and the white house went to the republicans. but gary hart and his downfall would have a lasting impact on u.s. presidential politics. never again would a candidate's personal life nor would questions about his or h the press or the american public. political ambitions destroyed by an extramartial affair have become almost common place in the decades since gary hart but our next candidate suffered from one of the worst campaign backfires in history. still ahead, we'll take you back to 1988 when a simple photo-op had everyone laughing at the democratic presidential nominee.
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for democratic candidate michael dukakis, the 1988 race for the white house would be marked by the unintended consequences of a photo-op. a free ride on a tank that would sink his campaign nearly
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"i want ... and you want michael dukakis to be president overwhelmingly for this reason. mike dukakis knows we don't have a single solitary person to waste." in 1988, michael dukakis was the democratic party's nominee for president of the unted states. for president of the unted states. the son of greek immigrants, he'd served four terms in the massachusetts house of representatives and would go on to serve as the 65th and the 67th governor of massachusetts. as a candidate, he was well regarded for his record on jobs, healthcare and education. "when it comes to education, president dukakis will stand and deliver!" dukakis left the democratic national convention with a 17 point lead in the polls.
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the campaign but as they say - what goes up, must come down and his opponent would most certainly see to that. "our work is not done. our force is not spent. there are those who say there isn't much of a difference this year. but america, don't let 'em fool ya." in august, 1988 when vice president george h.w. bush acce t nomination for president of the united states, he and his campaign had a considerable gap to close and they'd waste little time doing so. embarking on a new era of political aggression, they went on a blitz and by labor day after an onslaught of attack ads, bush was ahead of dukakis. with their race for the white house turned upside down and only two months until the election, the dukakis camp was in
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major to bolster their candidate. "we must have and in the dukakis administration we will have, strategic forces that are strong and modern and versatile." national defense was one of dukakis' biggest weaknesses and the bush campaign knew it. they went after his inexperience relentlessly so to fight back , the dukakis campaign arranged a photo-op at a general dynamics plant in michigan and on september 13, 1988 with the presre dukakis emerged riding atop a giant m-1 tank. "biff, bang, powy, it's not a bird, it's not a plane, it's presidential candidate michael dukakis in an m-1 tank as staff and reporters whoop it up." dukakis in the tank completely backfired. "when you see mike dukakis on a tank i think the first think you wonder is why is mike dukakis on a tank?" by the time the evening news rolled around that night,
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universal ridicule. "so what did you think? did i look like i belonged up there on that tank, huh?" rather than considering his credibility as a commander in chief most were left scratching their heads over what amounted to an embarassing p-r stunt. "mindful of what the polls are saying, the bush people are celebrating. the dukakis people are fighting a desperate battle." "among the 50 governors, michael dukakis has a uniquely bad record on defense. one hopes that that change reflects bad record on defense. one hopes that that change reflects but we have no assurance that it represents conviction rather than political calculation." while the tank photo wasn't the end of the dukakis' run, it was certainly another nail in the coffin for a campaign that had declined rapidly. and it was of little surprise in november when george h.w.
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in a landslide. now we remember the presidential race of 1996 when republican candidate bob dole took an unintentional head first dive off a campaign stage in california. he was fine, but his campaign never fully recovered its footing. "the american public is seeing a side of bob dole that many may not have seen before. the catalyst, a nasty spill he took california last night captured in photographs and widely seen ever since. within seconds, dole moved to recover his physical and political footing using fast wit, grit and stamina to brush off fear for his health or damage to his image. phil jones is covering bob dole after the fall." "asked how he felt the day after his nasty fall, bob dole said great." "senator are you sore today?" "not really."
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"no sores? no aches? no pains?" "just a little bit right there." "the accident happened as mr. dole was campaigning in california from an elevated stage. the candidate leaned against a railing that had not been nailed down. had it not been for a still photographer who caught mr. dole, the accident could have been disastrous." "it was so fast. it was just this blur coming right at me and your instinct is just to try to catch it or keep it from hitting me, one of the two." to catch it or keep it from hitting me, one of the two." presidential campaigner. mr. dole, who lost the use of his right arm in world war ii, joked about the incident." "and i think i just earned my third purple heart going over the rail." "and in las vegas today, mr. dole was using humor to soften the blow." "first, i want to say don't be afraid of standing close to the stage, i am not going to dive off today. i was trying to do that new democratic dance, the macarena. i don't know what
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"there appears to be no physical damage to mr. dole but could there be political damage from the images left by all those pictures? especially by those still photographs." "if the press wants to create a frame around this that suggests ... that reinforces the age issue and suggests a faltering campaign, the press, i think, will have done dole a real disservice." "what should the voters think when they look at the pictures of you falling yesterday?" "they ought to think boy that guy is agile. he's young. he goes after them. he's tough." "that campaign spokesman says that if mr. dole can tumble like that and hop right back, this should put to rest the age question once and for all. phil jones. cbs news. las vegas." when we continue our journey, we take you to 1992 and a candidate's decision to completely abandon the campaign trail. the story of what caused a texas billionaire to quit is next. you're watching "through the
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throughout his time as george h. w. bush's vice president, dan quayle's relationship with the media was always a bit uneasy. things got off to a rough start during their re-election campaign in 1992 campaign when quayle made one of his more infamous blunders at an quayle made one of his more infamous blunders at an elementary school, in on june 15, 1992, vice president quayle made a visit to an elementary school in trenton, new jersey to help spotlight an anti-drug program. "this is in essence a beginning to take back the neighborhoods, to take back the streets, empower the people." while there, he sat in on a spelling bee. one of the students was asked
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blackboard, quayle made a slight correction. "add one little bit on the end ... think of- think of potato ... how's that? ... you're right phonetically but ... there you go. all right" potato with an "e." with plenty of cameras rolling, it was a mistake that did not go unnoticed. "the vice president spelled it wrong and i was right but i can't argue with the president, vice p was wrong and i was right." the media pounced on the story. "a political footnote, vice president quayle visiting a school in trenton, new jersey yesterday, corrected a student incorrectly - telling a schoolboy to spell the word potato with an e at the end. the twelve year old schoolboy, william figueroa, today said he knew quayle was wrong but - quote- he's the vice president. the sixth grader said quayle's
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quayle would never quite live it down. it became an episode that overshadowed most evertyhing else he did as vice president. a seemingly innocuous event but one the media couldn't or wouldn't let go. months later, bush and quayle lost their re-election bid to bill clinton and al gore. and while "potato" with an "e" wasn't the crux of their demise, it certainly didn't do them any favors. final few months of a presidential race the "silly season" because it so often brings out the desperate and the baffling in candidates' behavior but few silly seasons were as bizarre as the fall of 1992, when third-party candidate ross perot who had ended his campaign in july announced on october 1 that he was jumping back in the race. "unpredictable to the bitter end, ross perot appeared today with stunning news. the can-do
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what he had started." "our objective is to improve our country, not disrupt the political process. i believe it would be disruptive for us to continue our program so therefore i will not become a candidate." he'd been an unlikely candidate from the start. the son of a texarkana commodity broker, ross perot started his own company, electronic data systems, in 1962 which made him though he'd never held public office, perot was sufficiently active in public affairs to launch a run for the presidency in 1992. his folk, off-the-cuff style helped turned his outsider campaign into a political movement. "create a government that comes from you, and get rid of the government that comes at you that we have today." and his credibility as an independent was bolstered by
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democrat - hamilton jordan and a republican -- ed rollins. by june, perot was the front-runner, polling at 39 percent of the popular vote ahead of both governor bill clinton and president george h. bush. but perot's insistence on ignoring their advice and doing things his own way frustrated his staff. on july 15, rollins quit and jordan threatened to follow suit. amidst the chaos, perot's support by this turnaround and chafing from the increased media scrutiny, perot made the decision to bail out. "he made his decision last night in a meeting with senior advisors, all of whom urged him to stay in the race." "notwithstanding that he's leaving the race, he's had a very positive impact on our system." "not even ed rollins, who quit in frustration yesterday, thought perot should stop
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"he's got to do what his--his conscience tells him he has to do. uh--but i--but i hope that the--the millions and millions of people who supported him don't lose faith in the political process." "in the end, the man who loved the rough-and-tumble of the business world, found he despised the even more brutal cut-and-thrust of politics. the probing of his past, opposition attacks, the plummeting polls, the bloodletting in his campaign." but it didn't take long for perot to change his mind. by early fall, there was open speculation that he'd re-enter the race. "he's a billna looking at all the things he's got. he's got everything material. now he's going through, 'got it, got it, need it,' and under the' need it,' the presidency.'" on october 1, he made it official. "neither political party has effectively addressed the issues that concern the american people. they've asked me to run this campaign on the issues and to assure that the problems the american people are concerned with will be dealt with after the election is over. if my decision in july hurt you, i apologize. i thought i was
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responsibility for it." "later, answering questions, perot's legendary irritation with the media surfaced-- especially when asked whether he was just trying to spoil the election for president bush." "wait just a minute! wait a minute, let me finish! absolutely not." perot revived his campaign just in time to become the only third-party candidate ever to take part in nationally televised debates with both major-party candidates. "now, all these ll thousand-dollar suits and alligator shoes runnin' up and down the halls of congress, that make policy now, the lobbyists, the pac guys, the foreign lobbyists and what have you, they'll be over there in the smithsonian. you know. cause we're gonna get rid of them and the congress will be listening to the people and the american people are willing to have fair, shared sacrifice. they're not as stupid as washington thinks they are." but perot's abandonment of them
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many of his supporters. in november, he won 19 percent of the popular vote enough to make him the most successful third-party presidential candidate in eighty years but not enough to put him in the white house. four years later, he tried again. this time running as the candidate of the reform party which he founded in 1995. "do you want a government that comes at you from washington or do you want a government that comes from you?" do you want a government that comes from you?" "from!" he drew eight percent of the popular vote -- even less than in 1992. since then, he's curtailed his political activities in favor of philanthropy. he made exceptions to endorse the republican nominees in 2008 and 2012.
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i'm bill kurtis.
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at political gaffes "through
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