Thursday, October 10, 2002

Carville, Gingrich refight turf at NKU

By Patrick Crowley
The Cincinnati Enquirer

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS — When Democratic consultant James Carville and former Republican U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich were political adversaries during the Clinton presidency, they debated on a national stage.

[photo] James Carville speaks at NKU while Newt Gingrich listens in the background.
(Steven M. Herppich photo)
| ZOOM |
Wednesday, they argued a little and even agreed a few times as featured speakers of Northern Kentucky University's annual Alumni Lecture Series.

“We've done this six or seven times in different parts of the country,” said Mr. Carville. “It's fun. People like to see it because of the way we used to kind of go at one another. But we get in pretty deep with some of the issues.”

About 1,800 tickets were sold for the event. Some in the audience were eager to hear their views on President Bush's speech Monday night in Cincinnati, in which he laid out his case for a military attack on Iraq.

“I think the president has to continue talking directly to the American people, because the world he's describing, a world with weapons of mass destruction and a world in which ... we have to act before our opponents act and kill a lot of people, is a new experience,” Mr. Gingrich said.

But Mr. Gingrich said the public is not yet ready for an attack on Iraq and Mr. Bush needs to continue to articulate his position to win support.

“It's not just enough vote to win the vote in Congress,” he said.

“You have to win the argument in the minds of the American people. And I thought the president took another step in the right direction in Cincinnati.”

Mr. Carville said he thinks the president has not yet convinced people that military action against Iraq is necessary.

“What he was trying to do was reassure people that he was being judicious about it,” Mr. Carville said.

During a discussion of this year's congressional elections, Mr. Carville ended up agreeing with Mr. Gingrich.

Mr. Gingrich said most voters in key races won't start concentrating on the election until the Thursday before.

“I hate to do this,” Mr. Carville said. “But I agree with you, Newt. But I really hate to do that.”


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