Published: January 6, 2003
preview / download SECAUCUS, N.J. — January 6, 2003 — In an interview airing tonight on Hardball with Chris Matthews, Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, tells MSNBCs Chris Matthews that the Bush administration should have continued the diplomatic efforts of the Clinton administration in dealing with North Korea before reaching the current crisis. Following are excerpts from tonights interview, which will air in its entirety at 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET on MSNBC, Americas NewsChannel. A full transcript will be available tomorrow morning at www.tv.msnbc.com. Hardball with Chris Matthews airs Monday through Friday, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET on MSNBC.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST, HARDBALL: With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, would we have been better off if the administration had come to office with the idea of continuing the diplomatic efforts of Madeline Albright as Secretary of State, and tried to establish a North-South rapprochement, or would they have been better off doing what they did, which is basically cold-shouldered the North Koreans until now?
SENATOR RICHARD LUGAR (R-IN): Hard to tell, you could make a case either way, but I would say that probably to have continued the policy of the last administration insofar as seeing where those talks would have gone could have been useful. Now, of course, we are on that approach. There really isn’t much daylight between those who want some diplomacy and the President of the United States.
MATTHEWS: So we would have been better off if we had gone the route of continuing the policies of the past and developing on them rather than having them sit idle for two years?
SEN. LUGAR: I think so, but that’s a personal opinion. I’m inclined to believe that since we need to have a diplomatic track a war strategy is really not in order there, at all. We really have to try to figure out how those talks — how the framework might occur.
MATTHEWS: Thank you Senator Richard Lugar, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.