<i>FTN</I> Transcript - Apr. 23

face the nation logo, 2009
Bob Schieffer, CBS
News Chief Washington Correspondent:
Today on Face The Nation, a wild night in Washington. Six hundred were arrested in demonstrations against the World Bank overnight. There have been new confrontations today. We'll have the latest.

As a conglomeration of protesters against world trade converged on Washington, police took few chances. They moved in on the demonstrators headquarters early yesterday, and by last night had jailed hundreds. But more protesters are gathering today. Our reporters are on the scene.

And for the latest, we'll talk with the Washington mayor, Anthony Williams.

Then we'll turn to the Elian Gonzalez story and talk with Senator Robert Torricelli, Democrat of New Jersey; Joan Brown Campbell, a friend of Elian's father; and Jose Garcia-Pedrosa, an attorney for the Miami relatives.

Finally, we'll talk with stock analyst, Ed Yardeni, about the stock market dive.
Gloria Borger is here, and I'll have a final word on type casting.

But first, the demonstrations in Washington on Face The Nation.

Announcer: Face The Nation with chief Washington correspondent Bob Schieffer. And now from CBS News in Washington, Bob Schieffer.

Schieffer: Well, we've had a busy night in Washington. As we said at the top, about 600 people arrested through the day yesterday. But so far, no violence. There has been some scattered skirmishing around town. We want to get the latest now by going town to the Ellipse. That's just down from the White House. CBS News Correspondent Eric Engberg is standing by. Eric, what's the latest?

Eric Engberg, CBS News Correspondent: Bob, we have a few hundred demonstrators here at the Ellipse now, but they promise there will be thousands more as a day of protest against the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are conducted here.

The situation generally is calm. The White House and the area around the IMF, which are within a couple of blocks of each other, have been cordoned off by police barricades and police lines. The police are preventing demonstrators from getting into those areas. There have been occasional attempts to breach the police lines, but they have been turned back.

Now what you have is a situation where the streets of Washington are relatively calm everywhere, except in the area immediately around the IMF, and there, there have been periodic skirmishes between police and demonstrators at virtually every street corner.


Engberg: Most of the arrests so far came last night when police rounded up some 600 demonstrators, arresting them for demonstrating without a permit. This morning started peacefully enough with a colorful array of marchers representing a broad range of gripes: anti-globalization, anti-corporate America, pro-animal rights.

Washington police chief Charles Ramsey seemed in good spirits.

That's what America is all about, letting people voice their opinion.

Engberg: Demonstrators used a technique of blocking streets by linking together long strands of PVC pipe. It proved effect any of one thing, at least: stopping many reporters from going to work covering the IMF meeting.

By late morning, things turned uglier. A scuffle near the IMF building broke out between protesters and police. Police resorted to night sticks and spraying pepper gas.


Now, Bob, all of those world financial leaders gathered here in Washington have been able to get into the IMF Meetings. Those meetings are going to continue throughout the day. The demonstrations are scheduled to continue through tomorrow. Bob.

Schieffer: Thank you very much, Eric.

Well, obviously, as you can see from the pictures, if there is going to be a large group of demonstrators, they have not yet begun to mass.

There, as Eric said, have been some scattered skirmishes. We understand there was one not too far from where Eric is involving police and -actually using - well, we'll just let the pictures tell the story here.

I believe in this incident, some sort of gas was fired, some sort of tear gas, it seems. But again, these are very scattered incidents. You have not seen large groups of people mass so far.

Well, let's turn now to the mayor of Washington, who's watching over all of this.

Mr. Mayor, so far it appears nothing very serious has happened.

Anthony Williams, Mayor of Washington, D.C.: So far nothing very serious. And I think it's a tribute to our uniformed personnel and coordination and planning with all the federal agencies and officials. They've tried to be very proactive but at the same time flexible in their response to balance the need of these protesters to have their protests.

And this city has hosted protests of, as you know, hundreds of thousands of people in a peaceful way, at the same time respecting the rights of these officials, the IMF, World Bank to conduct their meeting and go on about their affairs.

Schieffer: As I understand, those meetings are under way while several dozens of protesters put up that human chain around one of the buildings. Apparently the people who are in those meetings got in before all of that happened.

Williams: Right, right. Again they've been, again, very thoughtful and deliberate in how they're managing this. And the fact that the meeting is being conducted is a tribute to their planning and execution.

Schieffer: You arrested something like, what, 600 people throughout the day yesterday. Some people said maybe there really wasn't all that much reason to arrest those people, that this was just preventive action to keep violence from happening.

Williams: Well, I think it was certainly legal, it's certainly proper, and it certainly was preventative anproactive. I think all those can occur at the same time. I think whenever you are dealing in a situation like this, you're going to up on the boundary line in terms of constitutional rights. But our police have to do their job, and they're professionals and they're going respect the civil rights of our citizens and visitors, but they're going to do their job.

Borger: Mr. Mayor, do you believe that these demonstrators are truly dangerous?

Williams: It's very, very difficult to say. What we've tried to do from the very beginning, all the way back in January, is to try to prevent a replication of what happened out in Seattle. I think the vast majority of these demonstrators want to demonstrate peacefully. And I hope that the vast majority of these demonstrators, all these demonstrators, respect the fact that this is a city of real working people, a city that is struggling through its financial and I think economic recovery.

And the kind of damage that can be caused by this demonstration to the identity of our city and the image our city projects, could be irrecoverable if it's not done right. I think they ought to respect that this is a city of real working people, real working families, trying to make it day-by-day.

Schieffer: Mr. Mayor, do you have any idea, how many people are you expecting? Because of those pictures we just saw, those crowds seem to number in the hundreds. Are there more there?

Williams: My estimate I've heard up to 10,000 and we're expecting more tomorrow. We're expecting more people tomorrow. And we're expecting problems. This is something we anticipate. But again, we want to be proactive and flexible in our response.

Schieffer: All right. Well, Mr. Mayor, so far, so good. Thank you very much for joining us.

Williams: Thank you, Bob. Thank you, Gloria.

Schieffer: We want to turn now to that other story that just won't go away, the latest developments in the Elian Gonzalez story.

Joining us from Miami, Attorney Jose Garcia-Pedrosa. He is a representative, a lawyer for the Miami relatives. With us from New York City, Senator Robert Torricelli. And standing by at the temporary home of Juan Miguel Gonzalez, the father, is Joan Brown Campbell.

Mr. Garcia-Pedrosa, let me start with you. What happens next here? Now, the Justice Department says that the family in Miami really has no right to keep holding this child now that the deadline has passed. You're waiting for an appeal court to decide if the Justice Department can come to the home, I take it. What do you want to happen next?

Jose Garcia-Pedrosa, an attorney for Miami relatives: Well, we've asked the 11th Circuit to prohibit the boy from being taken away from the United States, back to Cuba, during the pendency of the appeal on the basis that by doing so, the government would in essence, render the appeal moot.

And astonishingly, the Justice Department at one poit suggested that if that happens, they will move to dismiss the appeal on the ground of mootness. And we think that is so fundamentally unfair that it needs to be stopped.

Rev. Joan Campbell, National Council of Churches: Mr. Pedrosa, what if you lose? Will you just go to a neutral spot and hand this child over to his father?

Garcia-Pedrosa: Well, Lazaro Gonzalez has signed a statement delivered to the negotiators for the attorney general two weeks ago saying that that's not necessary. That he will actively cooperate, provided that there's an evaluation made of the boy that shows or establishes that that step or reunification is in his best interest so that he can voluntarily accept it.

Unfortunately, the government has refused to use the standard of the best interest of the boy or to allow that psychological evaluation to take place. Now ultimately, if you're asking me what happens if, notwithstanding that, a court orders that Lazaro to do something which has never happened. Let's be clear. That has never taken place. But if it happens in the future, and Lazaro is instructed by a judge to turn over the boy actively, my job as a lawyer is relatively easy. I'm an officer of the court. Obviously I'm going to advise my client to follow the law.

Garcia-Pedrosa: But I think you get into a Vietnam war-civil rights movement-type of issue of, from the standpoint of the client, that is, do you follow the law? Or do you do something that you think is going to harm the boy psychologically for years to come?

Schieffer: Mr. Garcia-Pedrosa, you keep saying that this father has been - has basically abused this child. And I keep waiting for some evidence of that. Where do you get that?

Garcia-Pedrosa: Oh, we've presented the evidence to the government. The problem is that they have not been willing to apply the standard that would take that into account. Remember, Elian's mother divorced Juan Miguel Gonzalez before Elian was even born.

And yesterday, we presented an affidavit from a neighbor saying that the beatings were so bad that at one point she was taken to the hospital in Cardenas. The boy himself has complained repeatedly about beatings by his father. And we think he ought to be evaluated. That's what we do any time a child in this country accuses an adult of misconduct.

Schieffer: Reverend Campbell, you are a friend of the father. Do you have any evidence of anything of this nature?

Campbell: No, not at all. And in fact, I think it is very persuasive that Elizabeth, that is Elian's mother, has said publicly any number of times, including here in the United States, that what she wants most is for her only grandchild to be raised by Juan Miguel and by his new wife Nelsy. She thinks highly of Juan Miguel. She thinks he has been a good father. I do believe that, as the mother, she would know about the beatings. She did in fact describe the behavior of Elizabth's boyfriend that put her on the boat that brought her here, as being very abusive, but has nothing but good things to say about Juan Miguel.

Gloria Borger, U.S. News & World Report: Senator Torricelli, we seem to be getting involved in a custody dispute here. It sounds a lot like one side saying one thing, another side saying another thing. You tried to broker a deal between these two sides where they would meet. That fell through. Is there any chance of another deal at this point?

Sen. Robert Torricelli (D-N.J.): I don't think so, Gloria. In my experience, having gone through this all day Wednesday, into the early morning of Thursday when we thought we reached an arrangement, I don't personally believe that Lazaro Gonzalez is capable at this point of reaching an accommodation. I think that the pressure under which he is operating and the direction that sometimes is coming from the people surrounding his home, has made it impossible for him to really reach any accord.

Largely, the arrangements that we had reached with attorney general -Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder, with Greg Craig and with Kendall Coffey on behalf of the Miami relatives had reached all the objectives that Lazaro Gonzalez had claimed that he needed. But then when it came time to implement it, he was not in accord.

Borger: Senator Torricelli, Attorney General Janet Reno set a deadline. The deadline has come and gone. What should she do now?

Torricelli: Well. first I would appeal to Lazaro. I have not heard Greg Craig or Eric Holder or Attorney General Reno take the deal that we had reached Wednesday night off the table. There are probably precious few hours left to actually accept what we had done. It was a simple accord, and it was what was demanded. The Vatican was to host a three-hour session where the Miami relatives always claimed all they needed was time with Juan Miguel alone, with no pressure. This was on diplomatic territory, no Cuban officers, no monitoring, for three hours, where they had a chance to persuade Juan Miguel to remain in the United States.

The Deputy Attorney General was to be outside the door. If Juan Miguel had decided he wanted to be an American, wanted to stay here with Elian, within minutes he would have a chance to apply for asylum. After we reached that accord, now that was not good enough. But I would appeal to Lazaro that the accord we reached on Wednesday night, as far as I know, is still on the table. If he does not take it, then I think inevitably in the next few days, Elian is going to go back is going to go back to Cuba with his father, something which I do not think is in the child's best interest.

Schieffer: Reverend Campbell, you've been with the father all through this week. You were with him when the child was seen on television being videotaped by the relatives there in Miami. What was his reaction to that?

Campbell: Well, he was deeply istressed and saddened. He turned to me and said, "That's not my son. That's not the son I know. Someone is telling him what to say." All you have to do is imagine what it would feel like to see your son saying words about your own relationship to him. I would expect the reaction that we got from him, and that was his eyes teared up, he was very sad. He's very worried about the emotional condition of his son and at times, even about his physical safety.

Borger: Mr. Garcia-Pedrosa, how do you justify the release of that video?

Garcia-Pedrosa: I think this family is very concerned that no one is agreeing to apply the standard of the best interest of the child and they took that step as an effort to try to pursue that same avenue.

Borger: Is that in

Schieffer: How can that possibly be in the best interest of the child, to exploit that young fellow in that way? I mean by putting thishaving cameras in there and asking him these questions.

Garcia-Pedrosa: I'm not saying that I would have done it that way. I think, I was asked the question what was the reason for the video and I think this family is trying to show that despite what is being said, there is no - I can't understand why, but the government refuses to have these allegations examined, not by a bunch of lawyers or, you know, or bureaucrats or immigration officials, but by the people who are trained to determine whether what is being said is true or not by this boy.

Borger: Mr. Garcia-Pedrosa, some people would say that actually Lazaro Gonzalez and the family has gotten special treatment from Janet Reno, from the INS, they have set a deadline. They have let it pass. They have not arrested Lazaro Gonzalez. They think they have gone the extra mile as they would not do for other people in this particular situation. Do you feel that the INS is treating you so unfairly vis-a-vis everybody else? I mean there's a deadline here.

Garcia-Pedrosa: I think it's actually the other way around. There's a deadline for something as to which there's no legal authority that we know of to hold Lazaro Gonzalez in contempt of court. If they really believe that's he has breached the law and I heard the attorney general, of course Mr. Craig say that, they ought to arrest him right now. But you know what, they severed their relationship with him...the psychological evaluation be made, and that the outcome of it be such that this is the kind of thing that is in the best interest of the boy that he can accept.

Schieffer: Right.

Borger: I wonder if I could say something here. I think it's extremely important - is that there be time for the father and the son to have an uninterrupted time together. This has not happened. The control of that boy is entirely in the hands of the Miami family. It's been over four months since he's seen his father.

And surely, everyone would agree that it is in the best interest othis little boy to have time with his father for them to connect and reunite, surely that has to be in his best interest.

Schieffer: All right. We're going to leave it there. This story will keep on going, of course.

When we come back, we're going to talk about the other big story of the week: the dive in the stock market in a minute.


Schieffer: Now we turn to the stock market and the big story there last week: the drop in stock prices. To talk about it, economist Ed Yardeni of the Deutsche Bank Securities. He's the economist for them and also their security adviser.

Dr. Yardeni, you have called this a "tech wreck." What do you mean by that?
Ed Yardeni, Deutsche Bank Securities: Well, it sort of speaks for itself. We have had some technology stocks down 50 percent, some even more than that, just in the past several days.

Many of these technology companies were really kind of hyped up stories where they don't earn anything right now. Actually they're burning a lot of cash the venture capitalists gave them to try to create a business. And as a result, investors have sort of lost their confidence that these companies - many of them will actually exist or be able to continue to attract cash. So we've got this tech wreck in the marketplace. And that's created a problem for the overall market right now.

Borger: Dr. Yardeni, do you expect this to continue on Monday?

Yardeni: Well, you know, it's always difficult to try to catch these volatile moves. We've seen the market cave in before, only to recover dramatically.

The buzz from talking to my trading desk, to talking to institutional investors and just kind of watching some of the reports of talking to people on the street watching all this is that the market will probably continue to sell off on Monday and then try to find a bottom there.

But that sell off could be another nasty one. Let's not forget that the NASDAQ was trading at 2,700 back in the fall of last year. We got up to 5,000. We went up too far too fast I think and now we're paying the price for that.

Schieffer: Is there is anything fundamentally wrong with the economy?

Yardeni: Nothing really. As a matter of fact, quite the opposite. The economy is doing so well that some people are getting nervous that it may actually create some inflation here.

We've had what people have called the "Goldilocks economy" that's created very strong growth, lots of jobs, great productivity, but now there's some concerns about inflation. On Friday, we had an inflation number that jarred everybody's thinking and everybody started to worry about the Fed possibly raising rates. But that's not going to happen if the stock market remains under pressure like this.

Yardeni: What about a person who has a 401(k), what about the small investor in the market, what should they be doing right now? Well, this is a good timto remember what you told yourself. If you told yourself you're a long-term investor, that you're in the 401(k) for your retirement needs 10, 15, 20 years down the road, then I think you just got to ignore the volatility and let your paycheck continue to do what it's doing, which is take some out and it automatically goes into the marketplace.

I'm not awfully good at day trading so I can't give any advice to people who have been doing that sort of activity.

Borger: What if you are worried about increased interest rates? What do you say to people who say, "I'm about to buy a house, I'm worried about this?"

Yardeni: Well, the good news for home buyers is that if the market remains under pressure here, the Fed doesn't usually like to raise interest rates, certainly not dramatically, during periods of unsettled financial markets. And so while there's still a lot of talk out there that the Fed is going to go ahead and raise interest rates at its May meeting, I don't think that it's going to be as big an increase if the market hadn't been down like this.

So I think most people have to go ahead with their long-term plans. If you had any real speculative activity going on, this is probably just a good time to just lay back and not do anything really wild. But if you've got a long-term needs for a better house and it makes all the sense in the world for you, just go ahead.

Schieffer: All right, Ed Yardeni, thank you very much.

Yardeni: Thank you.

Schieffer: Good and sound advice. We'll be back with a final word in just a minute.


Schieffer: Finally today, my friends at ABC have been taking a lot of heat because they sent movie cute guy Leonardo DiCaprio to interview the president instead of sending Sam Donaldson or Peter Jennings.

I've tried to stay out of it because it is so unfair to Leonardo, after all, he is cute and an aspiring reporter has to start somewhere. I predict a great future for him and I'm disappointed that his network says that from now on, the roles of journalists will be played by journalists. Frankly, I think people would enjoy seeing movie stars in all of these jobs.

NBC Nightly News would be a lot better with Tom Hanks instead of Tom Brokaw. Brokaw did write a great book about World War II, but Hanks was in a movie about it, for Pete's sake.

Peter Jennings is awfully debonair, but think if Fred Astaire were still around. No one could wear a pocket hanky like Fred. A suave anchor before his time. Dan Rather is perfect. Case closed, wouldn't change a thing there. But I am torn about where to cast Oscar winner Hillary Swank. Her beautiful smile reminds me so much of Cokie. Yet when she cuts her hair short like she did in that movie, she's a dead ringer for young Stephanopoulos.

Well, I'm glad I'm not a news boss. With those kinds of decisions, I wouldn't know what to do. Well that's our report. From Fce The Nation in Washington, I'm Paul Newman.