SCHEER: What changes could one expect in a Bush budget? BUSH: Generally speaking, Carter was wrong to knock out of the Ford budget the main things he did, which were the Mx [missile], the manneded bomber and the naval improvement -- many of which he wakes up three years later and feels he now must restore. SCHEER: Don't you reach a point with these strategic weapons where you can wipe each other out so many times and no one wants to use them or be willing to use them, that it really doesn't matter whether you're 10 percent or 2 percent lower or higher? BUSH: Yes, if you believe there is no such thing as a winner in a nuclear exchange, that argument makes a little sense. I don't believe that. SCHEER: How do you win in a nuclear exchange? BUSH: You have a survivability of command and control, survivability of industrial potential, protection of a percentage of your citizens, and you have a capability that inflicts more damage on the opposition that it can inflict upon you. That's the way you can have a winner, and the Soviets' planning is based on the ugly concept of a winner in a nuclear exchange. SCHEER: Do you mean like 5 percent would survive? BUSH: More than that - if everybody fired everything he had, you'd have more than that survive. SCHEER: So have we made a mistake, then, in not thinking of nuclear war as a possible option that we could survive? BUSH: Our strategic forces should be considered a deterrent, and that is the way I'd do it, and I think I would be able to -- if we did what we needed to do to be sure the trend that set in doesn't continue the trend that makes them superior -- I think what I'd be able to do would be to push away, plug away and negotiate a reduction that can be verified. SCHEER: What is the relationship between the possessin of an MX missile system and being able to do something about problems like Afghanistan or Iran? BUSH: The direct linkage is rather remote, but in the overall linkage, as long as the United States is perceived to not be slipping behind the Soviets in strategic forces, the Soviets will be constrained from adventure. SCHEER: One of the questions that was asked at the Iowa debate was, was there anything politically that you would take back, and I thought the answers were quite weak. BUSH: You're in a political campaign. Who wants to point out his weakness? I mean, I thought the question was quite dumb in terms of everybody making a confession to Mary McGrory about one's weaknesses. What kind of idiot is going to answer the question -- "Wait a minute, these five things show that I've been wrong." Come on. SCHEER: Could you summarize your differences with Carter on foreign policy? BUSH: Well, I think Jimmy Carter sees the world as he wishes it were, not as it is, and thus when he came in and cut way back on many of the things that the Ford budgets had projected in terms of defense, he sent out a signal around the world that caused concern among some of our allies. I think he's -- I can say this with the advantage of hindsight -- that we made a mistake when we sent out signal that we were going to pull out our troops from Korea. I think when we normalize relations with China on their terms alone, we further enhance the image of a country that was really not prepared to keep its commitments. I think when we indicated that Cubans were in Africa as a stabilizing influence, people around the world must have looked at us like we were nuts in foreign policy. Eventually, that statement was not permitted to stand, but it stood too long in my view before it was slapped down by the president. I think if we let our human rights policy appear to override everything, including our strategic interests, that the policy is wrong. Our application has often been selective, hypocrtically so, in my view. Slap around Argentina and Brazil and move closer to Castro. remember Mrs. Carter going down and meeting with the dissidents in Brazil. What would we have thought if Brazil's president's wife had come up and met with the person who bombed the laboratory in Madison, Wis.? I don't think we'd like that. SCHEER: Do you feel it's comparable? BUSH: I do, I do feel it's comparable. SCHEER: That dissidents in Brazil have the same avenues for peaceful protests as dissidents in the United States? BUSH: No. I don't think they have. BUSH: One has violated the laws of the country and so have some of the others -- I don't believe that you can go out there and take the law into your own hands as guerrillas in Brazil and Argentina . . . do they overreact? Yes, but I just wouldn't use that style of diplomacy. SCHEER: I don't understand -- you don't believe it's ever . . . BUSH: Print it the way I've said it and you'll understand it, read it. SCHEER: Take Hungary, in 1956, the people resisted the Soviets, the freedom fighters -- you would say they should not have been supported? They took the law into their own hands. BUSH: That's not what I said -- I told you what I said. SCHEER: You don't think that's an example of people taking the law into their own hands? BUSH: I think that was an effort to overthrow a totalitarian regime that had violated everything in human right. Certainly the difference between me and some others is that I see areas of gray, I don't think everything is pure and impure, and I think we have been hypocritically selective in our indignation on human rights, and have diminished our strategic interests in the process. That's what I believe. SCHEER: Let me switch to the CIA. You said in a speech that you participated [as CIA director] in President Ford's regulations concerning the CIA. Not all of them, as you implied, were ones which would have been restrictive on the CIA. BUSH: The executive order I was taking about . . . SCHEER: Some of them, for instance, increase the penalty for someone who leaks secrets or reveals information. BUSH: We should protect sources and methods of intelligence, yes. SCHEER: And in one example you offered, you said that the alternative plans of the Defense Department ought not to be made public. Do you feel that that regulation should have applied to the Pentagon Papers case? BUSH: I believe that if you take an oath to protect classified information, you ought to protect it -- yes. I think you've got remedies, you have ways to declassify -- and I believe that you ought to not be the final arbiter yourself of what is properly classified. SCHEER: Do you think The New York Times was correct in publishing? BUSH: I haven't thought about it, frankly. If everything The New York Times can get its hands on -- no. I think there are some constraints, some legitimacy to the concept of national security. SCHEER: Well, do you think that should have been applied in the Pentagon Papers case? BUSH: I told you, I don't have a judgment; I don't have -- I don't remember all that ancient history. SCHEER: Well, it wasn't so ancient. BUSH: I've told you my position and you're not giong to get an answer. SCHEER: It's important because . . . BUSH: Well, it's important to you and it's not that important . . . I've told you my position. SCHEER: It was important to President Nixon, who you worked with, and he argued that the leak in the Pentagon Papers case was so severe that it threatened the foundations of our government, and that was the reason for the whole 'plumbers unit' and the Watergate -- right? BUSH: I don't recall what he argued on that -- couldn't be less interested. SCHEER: In Watergate? BUSH: Yes, in the whole area. SCHEER: Do you think there are any lessons to be learned? BUSH: Yes, some of them -- don't break the law and don't lie. SCHEER: You said you didn't want to explore Watergate again, but there's one statement I want to ask you about. You once said, 'I applaud President Nixon's comprehensive statement which clearly demonstrates again that the President himself was not involved with the Watergate matter.' BUSH: It came out to the contrary -- oh, come on. SCHEER: What I want to ask you is . . . BUSH: Go back and read the whole goddamn thing that happened after this. What kind of reporting are you doing? SCHEER: You said that there are lessons to be learned. Here's a case . . . BUSH: Have you ever said something and then found out the person didn't tell the truth? I've already said that publicly, if you'd get the rest of your file -- you'd see it. I'm not going to go back and relive this for you. And I think it's quite . . . appropriate for you to ask that. Ask any darn thing you want. It's a free country and I can put the answer . . . SCHEER: No, you say there's something invalid about bringing this up. Let me ask the question I wanted to ask. BUSH: I've dealt with many, many reporters for a year, and you're the first guy that's going into every -- trying to go into a whole bunch of things that, obviously, others haven't felt were particularly relevant to what I'm doing right now -- and what I see you're trying to do is a linkage to a lot of things over which I have no control, a period where I emerged with, hopefully, my own integrity intact, the integrity of the institution I was heading -- the Republican Party -- intact. SCHEER: Okay, but I think it's a legitimate question to ask a Republican candidate. And I asked Connally and I'll ask anyone else I interview: What are the lessons of Watergate and what is to be learned? BUSH: And I gave you a good answer. SCHEER: When you were heading the CIA, were you aware that the shah was in as much trouble as he turned out to be, his base of support was thin as it was? BUSH: No. SCHEER: Then was the CIA malfunctioning? BUSH: It had been weakened by a lot of things, yes, and sometimes you can't accurately project or predict revolutionary change in intelligence, the CIA or any other intelligence service. SCHEER: Do you feel there's a conflict of interest if David Rockefeller -- whose bank has financial dealings with the shah -- was playing the role as a go-between between our government and the shah in exile? Do you feel there are some serious questions raised by that? BUSH: No, no serious questions. SCHEER: Why not? You don't feel there's any problem? BUSH: He made his decision to do what he wants to do. A government can take advice, or somebody can try to do something for a client or a friend, and the government makes it own decisions. SCHEER: But here's a situation in which the former Republican secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, was criticizing the administration for not coming to the aid of an ally, the shah. And at the same time he was acting in tandem with David Rockefeller to get the shah into this country. BUSH: I just stand by what the president said about the decision on the shah coming into this country. I don't think he's lying to the American people. SCHEER: You have promised a $20 billion tax cut, increasing military expenditures in real dollars and curtailing inflation. Would that mean cutting back on certain social programs? BUSH: Might be. SCHEER: What programs would you cut back in terms or real dollars? BUSH: I'll give you a list in about February. SCHEER: The question is, do you cut any real programs? BUSH: . . . revenue sharing, some of CETA . . . SCHEER: A major theme in your campaign has been the issue of over-regulation. In a speech in Alabama, you said we're over-regulated to death. BUSH: I used the example there of making everybody in the United States have an air bag, whether he wanted one or not, add $400 to the cost of a car because a handful of people in this country think that this is going to be what we need for ourselves. SCHEER: Do you feel in general we've had excessive regulation in auto safety? BUSH: Yes, the time that you couldn't turn your car on because your seat belt wasn't fastened, that went too far. And there was something we did something about, and the American people sighed a big, collection sigh of relief. SCHEER: But in your speech you didn't say there'd been some excesses; you told this audience we'd been regulated to death. Now in the area of auto safety . . . BUSH: And did they respond, because they knew exactly what I was talking about . . . I thought that was one of my more brilliant moments, frankly. SCHEER: You didn't say excesses -- you said regulated to death. But the problem when a politician says that, he doesn't say exactly that we've been over-regulated, because one person's regulation may be another person's emancipation . . . Now, for example, do you think we've been regulated to death in the area of OSHA [the Occupational Health and Safety Administration]? BUSH: Yes. SCHEER: What, specifically, would you cut out? BUSH: It's gone too far -- the idea that you have to put an outhouse on so many acres of land in Montana that they tried to put in there for a while -- that's too much. The idea that everybody has to have a stepladder that conforms to a design made by someone in Washngton -- that's too much. SCHEER: In any program, you can find the silly examples. But I'm saying, is there room for serious improvement of occupational health and safety standards? BUSH: Right now, in terms of protecting ourselves from ourselves, we've gone about as far as we need to go. Now, if there are exceptions out there that are endangering the lives of workers, of course you should have inspection, of course the laws should be followed. But we've gone too far is my point. SCHEER: Do you think we've gone too far in protecting the environment? BUSH: I don't think you can ever go too far in the actual protection of it, but you do have some regulations that are so strong that you're shutting down the chance for a person to get a job or have any growth and help people that need it the most. SCHEER: What's your position on abortions? BUSH: . . . no federal funding except in cases of rape, incest and the life of the mother. I do not want to amend the Constitution to override the decision of the Supreme Court. SCHEER: So you're just opposed to making it easier for poorer women to get abortions? BUSH: I just told you, I do not favor federal funding. There are other ways that can be done, and I don't favor federal funding for it . . . This is clear, concise. I can't help you by fine-tuning it any. You can ask me more questions, but I don't have to answer -- this is a free world. SCHEER: So if I would like to ask you whether this comes out of religious principle, what about the needs of the mother, what about economic implications -- all of those questions that you're not interested in answering -- I should forget them? BUSH: You know, I'm one who finds these contentious single issues to be a trend in politics that I would rather not enhance by elaborating on. I know you're fascinated by them and many of your readers are, butI've given you my position on it. SCHEER: The issue of homesexuality came up at the Iowa debate. You said you were against the harassment of homesexuals but you were opposed to any codification of gay rights. BUSH: I think there's protection under the law to see people aren't abused. I don't think we need a codification, kind of putting a stamp of approval on that lifestyle. I don't think that American society should be asked to accept that homosexuality is a standard which should be helped up for acceptance. SCHEER: Do you feel in your reading of the Camp David accords that there was a commitment to a Palestinian state? BUSH: Solution to the Palestinian question, yes. SCHEER: Do you have any critiisms whatsoever of either the Begin or the Sadat government in this process? BUSH: Yeah -- I've been critical of the settlement -- you know, the advantage in moving forward, for example, in settlements by Begin's government and Sadat . . . SCHEER: Could you be more explicit? BUSH: No, I couldn't. I've given you that and that's all I'll give you.