The Saturday Early Show 7:00 AM EST CBS
Saturday, August 13, 2005
TRACY SMITH, co-host:
President Bush's Texas ranch is the site of a peaceful showdown--on one side, Cindy Sheehan, the mother of an American soldier killed in Iraq; on the other, supporters of President Bush's Iraq policy. White House correspondent Mark Knoller has the latest.
Good morning, Mark.
MARK KNOLLER reporting:
Good morning, Tracy.
It was a week ago today that Cindy Sheehan arrived here in Crawford, Texas, demanding to see the president. And she did actually get to see him yesterday but only for a second or two.
On his way to and from a neighbor's ranch for a $2 million Republican fund-raiser, President Bush sped by the site where Cindy Sheehan and other anti-war protestors have been camped out. At most, they got a fleeting glimpse of one another.
Ms. CINDY SHEEHAN (Mother of Soldier Killed in Iraq): I didn't expect him to stop. I just wanted him to see that there's people, there's Americans who disagree with his policies, because he doesn't get to see that often.
KNOLLER: The president would have had to look away to avoid seeing the white wooden crosses and Stars of David that protestors pounded into the roadside. One bore the name of Sheehan's 24-year-old son killed in action last year in Iraq and about whom Mr. Bush has expressed regret.
Ms. SHEEHAN: He said he sympathizes with me. I don't want his sympathy. I want answers.
KNOLLER: The president has made countless statements explaining why the US is in Iraq and what's at stake.
President GEORGE W. BUSH: Pulling the troops out would send a terrible signal to the enemy.
KNOLLER: But Sheehan doesn't believe him or accept his justifications as she made clear in a TV ad for stations that serve Crawford.
Ms. SHEEHAN: (From ad) Mr. President, I want to tell you face-to-face how much this hurts. I love my country, but how many more of our loved ones need to die in this senseless war? How many more soldiers have to die before we say enough?
Unidentified Man: We've got a bunch of Texans who love America coming on this bus!
KNOLLER: In a rebuff to Sheehan, counter-protestors arrived in Crawford last evening to demonstrate their support of the president.
In the weeks since Sheehan arrived here, she has become the face of the anti-war movement in America. But at the same time, her campsite has become something of a media circus, and her entourage now includes a public relations hired gun. Tracy.
SMITH: So, Mark, with all of this attention, is there any more of a chance that President Bush will meet with her?
KNOLLER: Well, the White House hasn't ruled it out. If he were to meet with her, it would be seen as an act of compassion for a grieving mom, but it would also be viewed as the president yielding to outside pressure. Tracy.
SMITH: All right. Mark Knoller in Crawford, Texas, thank you.
WORLD NEWS TONIGHT SATURDAY (06:30 PM ET) - ABC
Saturday, August 13, 2005
BOB WOODRUFF, ABC NEWS
(Off Camera) In Texas, the number of peace activists outside President Bush's ranch is growing. The President has not met with Cindy Sheehan, who began the protest eight days ago. But as ABC's Geoff Morrell reports, the vigil for her son who was killed in Iraq, has given new life to the anti-war movement and a place in Crawford called the "Peace House."
We don't want this Iraq War.
GEOFF MORRELL, ABC NEWS
(Voice Over) War veterans, aging hippies and grieving mothers from across the country rallied in Crawford again this afternoon, and then drove en masse to see Cindy Sheehan. While it seems as though she has single- handedly reinvigorated the anti-war movement, helping her take on the White House is something called the Peace House.
CINDY SHEEHAN, GOLD STAR FAMILIES FOR PEACE
I think it's amazing that there is a peace house in Crawford.
(Voice Over) This modest three-bedroom house in downtown Crawford is not just a place for Sheehan to eat and sleep, it's headquarters to anyone and everyone who wants to protest the war.
JOHN WOLF, PEACE HOUSE
Right now there's a lot of hope in the air, there's a momentum that's going.
(Voice Over) John Wolf, a Dallas scenery designer, bought the place for $54,000 in 2002. But has struggled to keep it open.
Last week, the phone was shut off. We had nothing in the bank whatsoever. Not even the ability to pay the bills here.
(Voice Over) But since Sheehan became front-page news, they have raised enough money to pay off the mortgage. Many neighbors won't be thrilled to hear that. This one-stoplight town is proud to be home to the western White House.
LOCAL RESIDENT, MALE
They are not from around here, you see. And maybe they can do this in San Francisco, but they shouldn't come to Texas and bring that trash because we stand behind President Bush.
(Off Camera) And he's not alone, Bob. Frustrated by the attention Sheehan's been getting, more and more people are coming here to voice their support for the President and his Iraq policy.
(Off Camera) A little fight in Texas. ABC's Geoff Morrell in Crawford, tonight, thanks.