tv Race for the White House CNN April 16, 2016 8:00pm-9:01pm PDT
he is as able a political hand as there is. >> james baker had been the architect of ronald reagan's landslide victory in 1984. >> i've asked secretary baker to resign as secretary of state, to join me as chief of staff effective august 23rd. he's the sort of man you want on your team. >> ten points ahead and all of a sudden you know, here comes joe montana trotting on the field. uh-oh. >> he will help me build on what we've started by developing an integrated second-term program. >> the clock is ticking for the bush team and baker is their hail mary pass. >> james baker, he knows how to parachute into chaos and bring focus, bring a strategy and execute. >> literally, when baker took over, it was night and day from a clown car disaster to decisions were made and that was
it. >> what a wonderful welcome. >> governor clinton insists on cutting america down. well, i am focusing on the future. we're moving toward a better recovery. but we must not set it back by more spending and more taxes. >> immediately the messaging got crisper. the president was much more confident. >> governor clinton -- >> governor clinton -- >> governor clinton promises the moon to america, while the sky is falling in on arkansas. >> the polls narrow. in little rock, carville creates a command center to hit back at the republicans. it's called the war room. >> they made sure that no attack wasn't answered within the immediate news cycle. >> and he wants to raise taxes by $150 billion just to start. >> when bush would say you raise taxes, clinton's answer was -- >> on agriculture, on taxes, on jobs, on defense, you name it, he just makes it up.
>> bill clinton has promised to increase government spending $220 billion. >> you knew what the attacks were going to be on. you prepared for them. you were ready to go. >> bill clinton has accused george bush of lying about his record. >> we had trackers, we knew what bush was doing, where he was going to be. >> mr. bush is in tennessee once again. grossly misrepresenting my record and positions. >> carville has circled the wagons around his candidate. >> with a month to go, bush knows he has to knock clinton out in the upcoming presidential debates. >> president bush was talking about debates, talking about his record, talking about what he had done, talking about issues. >> the two sides meet to hammer out a format for the debates. >> mickey kantor gets a call from clinton. he has an idea that plays to his strengths and highlights bush's
weaknesses. >> he says look, why don't we try a town hall type debate. have people ask the questions. i said oh, they'll never agree to that, they'd be nuts. he said well just try it see what they'll do. and they said yes. and i nearly fell out of my chair. >> i thought oh my god, these people have no idea what they've gotten themselves into. they're going to walk into a town hall debate with bill clinton. (vo) on the trane test range, you learn what makes our heating and cooling systems so reliable. if there's a breaking point, we'll find it. it's hard to stop a trane. really hard. i am a lot of things. i am his guardian. i am his voice. so i asked about adding once-daily namenda xr to his current treatment
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good evening and welcome to the second of three presidential debates. >> 70 million americans tune in to watch the live presidential debate. >> the candidates are the republican nominee, president george bush. >> he's authentic and he's real and he cares and it all comes out in a debate. so it was a good opportunity. >> independent ross perot. >> after ten weeks ross perot is back. apparently america does need him after all. >> we just knew ross perot would be a problem. vet for bush, you vote for clinton. now you have a third choice. >> governor bill clinton, the democratic nominee. >> presidential debates are not only a show.
they're a series of moments. the key is dominating a moment that can then be put on the morning shows, the evening news, recycled. nowadays it would be going viral. >> clinton's team are leaving nothing to chance. >> we got stools. you know, like the ones they would have to sit on. and we practiced setting up like a runner in a starter's blocks. don't sit back. sit up like this, one leg on a rung, one foot on the floor, and as soon as you can spring out of the chair, spring out and go engage that audience member. >> we said there will come a time where you can walk up to somebody and really relate to them and that's exactly what you want to show the american people. >> we were so obsessed that -- sorry to admit this now. we stole those stools. >> that's right. they stole the stools. >> when we got to the debate hall, we took the ones that we
were going to use and we put our stools out there. so that even his rear end would be comfortable in the same stool that he had practiced in. >> let's get it on. and i think the first question is over here. >> yes, i'd like to direct my question to mr. perot. >> and you know, there's a tv wheeled in on a stand. and we're all like coiled springs. carville is pacing, he can't sit still. his mother used to call him a toaster, pops up every three minutes. >> then bush is asked a question out of left field for him, anyway. >> how has the national debt personally affected each of your lives. and if it hasn't, how can you honestly find a cure for the economic problems of the common people if you have no experience in what's ailing them? >> well, i think the national debt affects everybody. obviously it has a lot to do with interest rates. >> she's saying you personally. >> how has it affected you? >> the question, which was
somewhat convoluted, and i really do think it confused president bush. >> i'm sure it has. i love my grandchildren. >> how? >> i want to think that they're going to be able to afford an education. i think that that's an important part of being a parent. if the question -- maybe i'm getting it wrong. are you suggesting that if somebody has means, that the national debt doesn't affect them? i'm not sure i get it. help me with the question and i'll try to answer it. >> we were sitting back in the green room, like game over. clinton leapt out of his chair and walked over. >> tell me how it's affected you again. you know people who've lost their jobs, lost their homes. >> uh-huh. >> instead of answering he began asking her questions. i bet you know somebody who's been laid off. she's like, yeah. >> well, i've been governor of a small state for 12 years, i'll tell you how it affected me. when people lose their jobs, there's a good chance i know their names. when their businesses go bankrupt, i know them.
i've been out here for 13 months in meetings just like this ever since october. with people like you all over america. people that have lost their jobs. lost their livelihood. we were in that holding room cheering and throwing our hands in the air. just great. >> we've gone from first to 12th in the world in wages. it is because we are in the grip of a failed economic theory. >> clinton gave her an answer which didn't really answer her question but made her and the audience watching on television that this was a man that was truly empathetic to the plight of americans. >> control the american health care costs and bring the american people together. >> thank you, governor clinton. >> it was one of those moments, very few ever happen in life, where you knew you had seen, you had seen something extraordinary happen. >> the government is not serving you. >> the debate has only been going on for an hour. for george bush it must feel like a lifetime. >> in the middle of the debate
george bush is caught on camera looking at his watch. >> it obviously was an unconscious move. he was getting a lot of negative questions, and he looked at his watch. >> you're paying for that. those schools belong to you. >> in other words, he knew he wanted out of there. >> ladies and gentlemen, this concludes the debates. >> president bush just couldn't wait for the debate to finish. [ applause ] almost. >> in his 12 years as governor, bill clinton has doubled his state's debt, doubled government spending and signed the largest tax increase in his state's history. yet his state remains the 45th worst in which to work. >> the message was bill clinton was not trustworthy to be president. there's no way that the country would select this guy if they knew anything about his record. >> and now bill clinton wants to do for america what he's done
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character and the trust to lead the united states of america? >> you can't trust clinton economics. it's wrong for you. it's wrong for america. >> if we cannot believe anything he has said about his past, how can we believe anything he's saying about the future? >> we wanted to hammer home that you couldn't trust his judgment. >> 100 leading economists say his plan means higher taxes and bigger deficits. >> infuriated, clinton calls his campaign chief. >> he said he's called me untrustworthy, i can't let this sit out there. and i said, look, governor, keep yourself focused on what we're about. we're really effective on this economic message, on change. >> clinton ignores his advice. he rips up the script and goes for bush. >> the very idea that the word "trust" could ever come out of
bush's mouth after what he has done to this country and the way he has trampled the truth is a travesty. >> well, guess what you've just done. you've just crapped all over your message. >> and governor clinton says i want to do for this country what i've done for arkansas. no way. >> i did not get into this race to run my opponents down. i got into this race to build america up. >> my dog millie knows more about foreign affairs than these two bozos. >> the latest nbc news/"wall street journal" poll shows bill clinton's lead down to 5. >> lift this country up. move this country forward! that's what this election's about! don't let them take it away from you. >> and so i'm not done yet. and i ask for your support on the basis of character and trust. thank you very much. >> on the thursday night before the election we had the race
tied dead even. 11:37 a.m. somebody walked into my office and handed me the a.p. wire. >> the day before halloween the ghost of an old scandal has arisen to haunt george bush. newly released notes made in 1986 by then defense secretary casper weinberger appear to contradict bush's assertion he was out of the loop on the arms for hostages deal with iran. >> they just went -- it was like hitting a brick wall. >> the 1986 iran contra scandal had nearly broken the reagan-bush administration. now conveniently for the clinton campaign it's back. >> today's disclosure not only directly contradicts the president's claims. it diminishes the credibility of the presidency. >> that guaranteed bringing iran contra to the top of the news for the last four days of the campaign.
>> wounded, bush lashes out. >> being attacked on character by governor clinton is like being called ugly by a frog. don't worry about it. >> good morning. george bush, bill clinton, ross perot. americans go to the polls and select a president today. election day. november 3rd, 1992. >> oh, boy. nervous. as anyone would be in that situation. everyone was. >> there are a number of very close races in the south. indeed we expect a great deal of drama in this region throughout the evening. >> i was scared. thinking the difference in my life between us winning and losing. >> most of the polls are now closed in north dakota and in the senate race there. >> we were in houston, which was where president bush liked to celebrate election nights. >> let's look at the national numbers now so far. >> they had us wait way down,
like 15 points down. >> electoral map is look lopsided in favor of bill clinton. >> and the afternoon wave wasn't much better. had us like 12 points down. >> the democratic presidential nominee's swept the east including the big electoral prizes of new york and pennsylvania. that brings his electoral vote total to 265. that's but five away from the magic number and 64 for george bush. >> in little rock clinton's people realize they've won. >> it was the most delirious feeling you can imagine. and all you want to do is go around and hug everybody. >> i just called governor clinton over in little rock and offered my congratulations. he did run a strong campaign. i wish him well in the white house. >> ross perot has failed in his bid, too, but he's taken nearly
20% of the vote. >> god bless you. thank you very much. >> had perot not been in that race, you would have had a very close race between bush and clinton and bush might well have won. >> may god bless the united states of america. thank you very much. >> he deserved to lose. the president didn't deserve to lose but those of us involved in the campaign deserved to get crushed. >> after 10:00, the 270 number was reached. >> the big thing is the relief. son of a bitch. >> my fellow americans. >> backed by a surge of support from the young and the old, clinton has trounced george bush. >> on this day with high hopes and brave hearts and massive numbers, the american people have voted to make a new
beginning. >> there's a strong sense in the country that with the victory in the cold war we needed to turn our attention back home. >> this election is a clarion call for the country to face the challenges of the end of the cold war and the beginning of the next century. >> he represented something else. youth, change, energy, progress. for eight years you've been a heartbeat away from the oval
but even presidents have to retire. who can step into his shoes? many think this is the man, eisenhower's vice president for eight years, richard milhous nixon. >> richard nixon is well known to the american people. >> nixon's not scared as the russians as soviet premier nikita khrushchev finds out at a moscow trade fair. >> it wasn't supposed to be much. it was supposed to be just a meeting, but it turned into a confrontation. >> there must be a free exchange of ideas. >> capitalism versus communism. back and forth, back and forth, jabbing with the fingers. the words didn't matter. it was the images that mattered. he was presidential. he seemed ready for the white house.
>> meanwhile, traveling through the bleak wisconsin landscape, there is another man who believes he's destined for the white house. he's young, he's inexperienced, and he's almost unknown. his name is john f. kennedy, and he aims to win the wisconsin democratic primary. >> how are you this morning? >> and you would stand right there. my job would be to shake hands with jack kennedy. shake hands with teddy, bobby. >> bob kennedy. >> we worked hard. >> i come here today as candidate in the wisconsin primary. >> kennedy is smart. he knows that if he can prove himself a vote winner here in the primaries, the democratic
party will have to take him seriously as a candidate for president. >> this was a new way of campaigning. this was a new way of becoming the nominee. >> first of all, he's going to have to beat hubert humphrey. >> hubert humphrey, democrat senator from minnesota, is confident he'll win wisconsin hearts. >> let me tell you, i've been working for the dairy farmer ever since i set foot in the senate of the united states. >> so we knew we had a tough job to win. it was a monumental challenge. >> kennedy does have one advantage -- being a kennedy. his father joseph, rich, powerful and the former ambassador to great britain has always wanted a son for president. >> politics was definitely a family affair. you had a large family who was out there saying we are
supporting our brother, our brother-in-law. and that i think was a very compelling picture. >> and if the might of the kennedys isn't enough, then there's jfk's ever present, ever glamorous wife, jackie. >> you put the two together and people were just in awe. really, they were the beatles before the beatles. >> and for the icing on the campaign cake, frank sinatra serenades wisconsin with a special version of "high hopes." ♪ because he's got high hopes ♪ he's got high hopes >> so i started singing and kennedy said, "it's never been sung like that before." ♪ vote for kennedy >> doesn't happen very often when a billboard number one singer decides to use his talents to sell a political campaign.
♪ kennedy >> glamour, show business and family, who can compete with that? not hubert humphrey. ♪ hubert humphrey ♪ the president for you and me >> humphrey recognized what he was facing. he called himself the corner drugstore compared to a chain. the kennedys were a chain, powerful, big. >> how do you do, ma'am. >> and he was passing out palm cards on the streets. >> i'm senator humphrey. this doesn't work too good either. >> it just didn't work. >> a desperate humphrey lunges for kennedy's achilles heel. jfk is a catholic and no catholic has ever been elected president. >> there was a very strong anti-catholic feeling.
♪ >> jfk's team fight back. it's bare-knuckle time as kennedy aide paul corbin comes out swinging. >> paul corbin was a political hack. he was also a dirty trickster. he would stop at nothing. corbin arranged to have a lot of anti-catholic literature shipped into wisconsin so right away a lot of voters were offended. and they think that the awful bigoted stuff was coming from hubert humphrey. >> corbin's dirty trick works. thousands of incensed catholics get up and vote for kennedy. >> we won. it was tough but we won. >> after victory in wisconsin
and a landslide in west virginia, kennedy heads straight for the nomination. but the democratic bosses are out to get him. >> in my own mind -- >> the first knife in kennedy's back is plunged by former president harry truman. >> senator kennedy, are you certain that you're quite ready for the role of president in january 1961? >> do not think it was a forgone conclusion that kennedy would be the nominee after west virginia. he was the dark horse candidate. he was the outsider. he was not washington's choice. ♪ does your mouth often feel dry? multiple medications, a dry mouth can be a side effect of many medications. but it can also lead to tooth decay and bad breath. that's why there's biotene, available as an oral rinse, toothpaste, spray or gel.
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if it's severe stop taking linzess and call your doctor right away. other side effects include gas, stomach-area pain and swelling. talk to your doctor about managing your symptoms proactively with linzess. adoring crowds greet kennedy at the democratic convention. >> we had great hopes that jack was going to win. he had won all the primaries, but it wasn't a sure thing. >> good afternoon from the sports arena in los angeles, california, the site of the democratic national convention. >> kennedy holes up with his brother bobby and his team. his hotel suite becomes a command bunker.
his target, the old guard of the democrats. he knows they plan to crush him. >> kennedy had a major foe trying to bring him down at every opportunity. his name was lyndon b. johnson, the senate majority leader from texas. >> johnson wants the nomination for himself, and he's prepared to play dirty. >> lyndon johnson's allies and friends at the convention begin to talk about kennedy's health problems. >> kennedy had serious health problems. addison's disease. he had a hormonal deficiency that could have killed him. in fact, his father put medicine in safe deposit vaults all over the united states so that kennedy would never run short. >> so what johnson does is he makes it a campaign issue. >> the kennedy forces denied it vociferously. and had doctors come out and say he was above average in health and energy and vitality and
never had so-called addison's disease and they lied through their teeth. >> kennedy's illness is never mentioned again. it's a victory for jfk's team, if not for truth. >> had the american public known just how sick jack kennedy was, he probably could not have been a presidential candidate. >> now they work the convention floor. >> john f. kennedy. >> to win the nomination, they must get an outright majority. >> kennedy had the most advanced operation any candidate in either party had ever had at a national convention. bobby kennedy was the campaign manager. >> he's tough. he's brash. and he can be mean. and he's leading the vote counting on the floor of the convention. >> they knew exactly what they were doing.
>> the delegates start voting. >> johnson believed that he'd win. kennedy was worried. he thought he had it sewn up, but he wasn't certain of it. >> mr. chairman, my only vote will make majority for senator kennedy. >> yes! >> kennedy won the nomination, but he did not unify the party. there were many senior democrats suggesting that he couldn't win in november. >> in a surprise move to heal party wounds, kennedy names as his running mate lyndon b. johnson. >> one of the smartest things that kennedy did was to make lbj his running mate. he had the wisdom to know that he needed texas, and he needed southern votes.
and lbj was able to deliver texas. >> let me say first that i accept the nomination of the democratic party. the republican nominee, of course, is a young man, but his party is the party of the past. >> nixon was watching kennedy's acceptance speech, and he thought it was weak. he thought kennedy came across as being privileged and effeminate, not that good on tv and nixon thought to himself, i can beat him. >> richard nixon. >> 12 days later an unopposed richard nixon secures the republican nomination. >> thank you. >> when mr. khrushchev says our grandchildren will live under communism, let us say his grandchildren will live in
freedom. >> nixon's speech fires the opening shot of the election. the race for the white house is on. ♪ kennedy kennedy kennedy ♪ kennedy for me ♪ kennedy ♪ kennedy >> the kennedys do what kennedys do best, spend money. >> it was called the jingle ad. every product was sold with a jingle, so why not a candidate? ♪ it's up to you ♪ it's strictly up to you >> that ad aired a lot during the daytime. so at the time, and it's somewhat sexist to say, it was aimed at housewives watching soap operas. ♪ kennedy >> what is the most important issue confronting the american people in this election
campaign? >> nixon was selling security, stability, you know what you get with me, you know what you had with eisenhower, let's stick with what works. >> i'm going to wear this in the st. patrick's day parade in boston. >> the press loved kennedy and kennedy loved the press. >> they thought he was charming. they thought he was fun. they went on sing-alongs on the campaign plane. >> nixon was exactly the opposite. they thought he was awkward, weird, uncomfortable. >> the press liked jack, and they did not like dick. >> nixon's staff had urged him to develop a better relationship with the press, and finally nixon had agreed to go down and socialize with them at the pool at the hotel in the evening. well, the press was all there drinking and enjoying the pool, and all of a sudden they saw nixon appear at the opposite end of the pool. he waved, jumped in, got out and
went right back to his hotel room. and that was nixon press relations. >> press men loved kennedy. churchmen not so much. across the country protestant ministers are directing anti-catholic hatred at kennedy. chief among the bigots is dr. norman vincent peale. >> i'd like to give you all a very warm welcome today. >> in front of a mass meeting he declares -- >> faced with the election of a catholic, our culture is at stake. >> it's incredible. it was an election about religion. it's protestants versus catholics. >> and america in 1960 is still a protestant nation.
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the christian anti-communist crusade had the city scared. and the ku klux klan, they're all attacking senator kennedy as a catholic, that he shouldn't be president. the opposition were so strong and so vocal and so wide, i felt he needed help. >> pastor herb meza believes he has the fix. >> i immediately invited john kennedy to come and speak. we needed to hear from him. >> meza's plan is almost holy in its simplicity. >> the offer was to have kennedy come and address a group of protestant ministers numbering about 400 in the houston area. kennedy agreed to do it. >> when meza's congregation hear
that kennedy's coming, all hell breaks loose. >> i remember an elderly lady from new orleans who wrote to me and said, "i'm 65 years old. i've been teaching sunday school for 20 years. i hope your daughter marries a nigger." and that was the kind of climate we were in. >> may i call this special meeting of the association of ministers of greater houston to order. let us stand for prayer. >> america tunes in to see the debate live. >> god be merciful unto us and bless us. >> tonight the men of god are not men of peace. >> senator kennedy sat next to me, and he said, reverend, how are things doing? he was shaking. i was amazed. i told my wife later, he was shaking. senator john f. kennedy. but after i introduced him and he got up to speak, all that disappeared.
he became so cool, so collected, and he began taking questions. >> the reason for our concern -- catholic hierarchy. >> the policy of catholic leadership. >> including the political realm. >> he answered every single question put to him. and some of them were very pointed and very ugly. >> there will be many catholics who will be appointed if you're elected president. >> i'm not the catholic candidate for president. i'm the democratic party's candidate for president. >> i was deeply moved by some of the things that senator kennedy said that evening. among them i remember he said -- >> finally, i believe in a nation where religious intolerance will someday end. where all men and all churches are treated as equals. >> where every man has the same right to attend or not attend the church of his choice. >> that's the kind of america i believe in. >> they gave him a standing ovation. everybody got up and applauded for about a couple of minutes.
>> praying the religious controversy is resolved, kennedy's team focused on the swing states. nixon, meanwhile, adopts an ambitious strategy to win over the electorate one by one. >> nixon pledged to visit all 50 states, and it was the dumbest move of the campaign. >> as much as we all adore hawaii and alaska, they're a long way away. and the time that was devoured and measured in the number of votes that you're going to get, it's a bad formula. you just sort of drain your energy. >> nixon traded his physical advantage, the fact that he was in better shape and kennedy
traded it away because he created this impossible and unnecessary goal that tired him out. he also got sick. >> nixon was physically clumsy. famously so. he dropped things. he could barely turn on a radio. and he's getting out of a car and he cracks his knee on the car door. and he winds up in the hospital with a serious infection for two weeks. he can't campaign. >> and he lost about ten pounds, and he's looking sallow and he's looking gaunt. and he wasn't himself. at that point he should have said we're not going to be able to make the 50 states. >> and we can't take a chance now on that kind of inexperienced leadership. that's the issue of this campaign. >> but he was stubborn.
he could be bull-headed. and instead he made his commitment to do all this traveling. it was a terrible mistake. >> nixon is exhausted, haggard, trailing in the polls, but then there is a ray of hope. the first ever televised presidential debate. >> nixon was convinced that this was going to be the moment when he unmasked jack kennedy. >> the two parties agree to four live debates. >> he was very confident about his ability to do well. he just didn't assume that the whole game would be decided at the first debate. don't let dust and allergies get between you and life's beautiful moments. with flonase allergy relief, they wont. most allergy pills only control one inflammatory substance. flonase controls six. and six is greater than one. flonase changes everything.
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with only seven weeks until election day, the nation prepares itself for the first ever live televised presidential debate. >> this was the largest audience for any public event to that point in american history on television. this was 70 million people. this wasn't a 10% or 20% of the electorate. it was near 100% of the electorate. on the day of the debate, nixon had regular campaign events. he didn't save up his energy. >> he went to the carpenters union who got to endorse a
democrat in order to rally them. this is the day of the debate. >> meanwhile, jack kennedy is sunning himself, taking a nap, maybe doing a little bit of studying, but basically preparing himself by relaxing. when they get to the studio, nixon is all nervous and anxious. >> and as he gets out of the taxi, he hits his knee again. >> so nixon arrives for the debate in agony. and he's looking for kennedy. where is kennedy. kennedy cruises in, calm, steady. >> they're asked if they want makeup. and jack kennedy says no. and nixon who wants to be manly says, well, i don't need it either.
meanwhile, kennedy goes back and gets some max factor applied to him and nixon sends somebody down to michigan avenue to buy a hideous thing called shave stick which he rubs on like gray grease across his face. >> nixon was pacing around the studio. he was asking people questions. >> i think i better shave. >> well, it was past time for all of those questions. >> studio, 30 seconds to air. >> kennedy did not present himself until he was fully ready. he wasn't going to stand around with richard nixon and chat before the main event. he was going to come in like the prize fighter he was. >> and nixon made every mistake you could think of in that debate. >> look at the faces of the two candidates in this debate. and ask yourself, who is presidential and who is scared.
>> the contrast is dramatic. >> and now for the first opening statement by senator john f. kennedy. >> mr. nixon. >> kennedy looks cool, confident and presidential. >> i want people to start to look to america. >> and nixon looks nervous, looks anxious and his eyes are darting about and what is kennedy up to? he is sweating. uneasy. it is the exact opposite of the image that he is supposed to project. >> the things that senator kennedy has said, many of us can agree with. >> and again, and again, the vice president would say, i agree with senator kennedy. >> and i subscribe completely to the spirit that