Mark Shields Looks to Tuesday's Primaries
SCOTT SIMON, Host:
Mark, thanks for being with us.
MARK SHIELDS: Great to be with you, Scott.
SIMON: First, David Greene's piece. What do you think of the complaint of the Clinton team? Has Senator Obama received what amounts to preferential coverage?
SHIELDS: Part of it on the Clinton campaign is understandable. It's the - it's a basketball coach berating the referee for a call, you know, hoping to get the next call. In other words, to put the referee, in this case, the press, on notice that you're being watched and you're being scrutinized.
SIMON: Unidentified Man: It's 3:00 A.M. and your children as safe and asleep. But there's a phone in the White House, and it's ringing. Something's happening in the world, your vote will decide who answers that call, whether it's someone who already knows the world's leaders, knows the military, someone tested and ready to lead in a dangerous world...
(SOUNDBITE OF CLINTON CAMPAIGN AD)
SIMON: And hold on Mark, because here's the Obama campaign in response.
(SOUNDBITE OF OBAMA CAMPAIGN AD)
SIMON: When that call gets answered, shouldn't the president be the one, the only one, who had judgment and courage to oppose the Iraq war from the start, who understood the real threat to America was al-Qaida in Afghanistan, not Iraq, who led the effort to secure loose nuclear weapons around the globe. In a dangerous world, it's judgment that matters.
SIMON: Mark, what's your feeling for how effective these ads or ads like them are?
SHIELDS: Well, it's not the first time. I mean when you've been around this as long as I have having covered Woodrow Wilson's reelection campaign, you do recall...
SIMON: The ads used to - pony express riders used to shout the ads back and forth, yeah.
SHIELDS: And that was emphasized when Jay Rockefeller, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee endorsed him this week and he said that Obama was - that he was - the undisputable fact was that Obama was right about Iraq when many of us, including Rockefeller were wrong.
SIMON: And did he...
SHIELDS: And so I think that's the rebuttal they've chosen and apparently it's - at least it's working so far.
SIMON: In the 15 seconds we have left, economy or foreign policy going to be the trump card as we get into Ohio and Texas?
SHIELDS: The economy.
SIMON: Oh, okay.
SIMON: We can take it in less than the 15 seconds. Mark, as...
SHIELDS: At NAFTA, NAFTA, NAFTA here in Ohio.
SIMON: Okay. Opposition to NAFTA, NAFTA, NAFTA?
SHIELDS: Opposition to NAF - yeah. Nobody is trumpeting his original sponsorship of NAFTA.
SIMON: Okay. Thanks very much, always a pleasure.
SHIELDS: Good to be with you, Scott.
SIMON: And you're listening to WEEKEND EDITION. This is NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
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