During a report on Friday's The Situation Room about each party's message regarding the war on terrorism, CNN's Bill Schneider slanted the piece toward plugging Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards' challenge to Republicans. Schneider relayed the desire by Republicans to make the 2008 election about the war on terror, and, after summarizing Edwards' proposal for an "aggressive new policy against terrorism," Schneider concluded the report: "Edwards' message is: If the Republicans want to refight the 2004 campaign, bring'em on." (Transcript follows)
Schneider opened his report with soundbites of Rudolph Giuliani charging that Democrats would be "on defense against terrorism," and of the former mayor's desire to refer to the war as "the terrorist war against us." The CNN political analyst then described Edwards as "anything but defensive." Schneider: "But this Democratic candidate, the same one who once called the global war on terror a 'bumper sticker slogan,' sounded anything but defensive."
Schneider relayed Edwards' proposal for an "aggressive new policy on terrorism" as he showed a soundbite of Edwards accusing the Bush war on terror of being a "double-edged failure" and another soundbite describing his proposal for a "Counterterrorism and Intelligence Treaty Organization."
After clips of statements by Giuliani and Hillary Clinton that America is safer from terrorism than it was before 9/11, came a soundbite of Edwards challenging that contention. Schneider concluded his report: "Edwards' message is: If the Republicans want to refight the 2004 campaign, bring'em on."
Below is a complete transcript of the report from the Friday September 7 The Situation Room on CNN:
WOLF BLITZER: More now on the breaking news we're following this hour. A video apparently of Osama bin Laden, it's now out. It's a stark reminder of the ongoing terror threat six years after the 9/11 attacks, and a reminder that the al-Qaeda leader still is a very much wanted man. Some of the 2008 presidential candidates are eager to talk about the approaching 9/11 anniversary. Our senior political analyst, Bill Schneider, is standing by. He's watching this. What are the candidates saying, Bill, about the lessons of 9/11?
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER: Well, they're talking about how the country can be better prepared strategically and how the Democrats can be better prepared politically. Republicans are sending a clear signal. They want the 2008 election to be about the war on terror, just like the 2004 election.
RUDOLPH GIULIANI: Being on offense against terrorism, unlike the Democrats, who are on defense against terrorism.
SCHNEIDER: Rudy Giuliani is the Republicans' national frontrunner, and he claims fighting terrorism as his issue.
GIULIANI: In this era of the terrorist war on us, I think we should call it the terrorist war on us, or, if we want, the Islamic terrorist war on us.
SCHNEIDER: But this Democratic candidate, the same one who once called the global war on terror a "bumper sticker slogan," sounded anything but defensive.
JOHN EDWARDS: The results are in on George Bush's so-called global war on terror. And it's not just a failure, it is a double-edged failure.
SCHNEIDER: John Edwards proposed an aggressive new policy against terrorism.
EDWARDS: Instead of Cold War institutions designed to win traditional wars and protect traditional borders, we need new institutions designed to share intelligence, cooperate across borders, and take out small, hostile groups.
SCHNEIDER: Organized around a new alliance.
EDWARDS: A new multilateral organization called the Counterterrorism and Intelligence Treaty Organization.
SCHNEIDER: Republicans are certain to argue they have made the country safer.
GIULIANI: All you have to do is pick up this morning's newspapers, and you can see that that same movement and same group of people that killed so many people on September 11th were attempting to do the same thing in Germany.
SCHNEIDER: That shows multilateralism works, Edwards argued, even though it is usually derided by the Bush administration. But is the country safer?
HILLARY CLINTON: I believe we are safer than we were. We are not yet safe enough.
SCHNEIDER: Edwards' answer?
EDWARDS: Some running for the Democratic nomination have even argued that the Bush/Cheney approach has made us safer. It has not.
SCHNEIDER: Edwards' message is: If the Republicans want to refight the 2004 campaign, bring'em on. Wolf?
BLITZER: All right, Bill, thanks very much. Bill Schneider reporting.