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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  June 7, 2011 2:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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last open golf in the area. house speaker boehner is talking about it and talking a little bit of trash but i don't know if we have it in this sound bite. let's listen. >> oh, yes, i played with the president about a week and a half. i sure hope that i played better than i did yesterday. somebody was talking -- >> and so the golf game will continue. joe johns, thank you so much. we're out of time. "the situation room" begins with wolf blitzer. wolf, to you. happening now, a formal request for an ethics investigation of congressman anthony weiner. stand by for new details about his raunchy online contacts with women and whether he broke any house rules or laws. also, president obama insists he isn't worried that the koumpbt tree may be sliding back into a recession. but there's no evidence that the economy is a serious drag on his re-election campaign. one rival saying he needs economic rehab.
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and a glaring gap in the securities situation around the world. why millions of bogus or stolen passports are not being checked, documents that could be used by terrorists. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." all that can'ting up. first, the war of words over libya as nato bombs fell around tripoli, moammar gadhafi sounded as defiant as ever. president obama stood his ground against ga ddhafi with the germ chancellor at his side. brianna. >> reporter: wolf, today at the white house, president and obama and they lost over there's
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differences in the nato-led mission and live on libyan state television he will fight to the death. >> translator: we will not surrender. we will not give up. we will remain until the end, dead, alive, victorious, it doesn't matter. >> reporter: just a few hours later at the white house, president obama warmly welcomed german chancellor on the south lawn and did a press conference in the east room he stressed the u.s. and germanies common goal for libya. >> gadhafi must stand down and the pressure will continue until he does. >> in the future, we agree that germany is showing that it is
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committed to the libyan cause. >> reporter: but behind the friendly atmosphere, a significant disagreement, germany was one of five nations to sit out the vote on the u.n. resolution that authorized a no fly zone and beefed up sanctions against the gadhafi government and there are no german troops taking part in the libyan mission. as the president looks for more support from allies like germany, backing from the operations waning on capitol hill, unlikely bedfellows, republicans and liberal democrats. >> this president should not be able to simply have words of choice. >> reporter: many lawmakers say that the president thought congress's approval and the
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white house has acted and keeping congress informed. >> we have consulted with congress every step of the way since we've initiated this policy. >> reporter: and the end date for u.s. involvement in libya for u.s. military involvement is still uncertain. as you can see by today, gadhafi sending a message that he will hold on to power as long as he can. >> serious business behind you. they are getting ready for state dinner. set the scene a little bit. >> reporter: that's right. there's a lot of pomp and circumstance. i think what is really interesting is that it's going to be held outside today even though it is a little warm here in washington, probably going to be in the high 80s for this dinner. it will be held in the rose garden and i have the menu right in front of me. we're looking at a chopped salad. i know everyone is curious about this. we'll be seeing the german chancellor receiving an award, the metal of freedom, because
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she's the first east german chancellor of germany but also because she's the first woman to hold that post. >> a lovely dinner ahead for her. thank you. a new call for the international criminal court to investigate human rights abuses in syria. activists say president bashar al assad regime should not be allowed to get away with murder, blaming the opposition for dozens of deaths in one city. arwa damon has the latest on all of this. >> reporter: we don't want the military in the city, the crowd chants, carrying what appears to be olive branches there. are no armed groups here or terrorists. peaceful, peaceful, they chant. cnn cannot verify the authenticity of this video but
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the posting says that it was shot in a town in northern syria that has seen intense violence in recent days. the state television reported that 120 members of security forces have been killed there, describing it as a massacre at the hands of armed gangs. this video appeared on youtube and claimed security forces had entered the area to save residents who are being used as human shields. we hear a voice taking credit for the killing one activist we spoke to said that residents armed themselves and were fighting the security forces while other said members of the armed forces try to defect and clash with loyalists. this video is said to be of residents who fled to the syrian-turkish border. one woman shouts that security forces killed their children and another yells there were helicopters flying over our
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heads, tanks were striking us. >> reporter: what actually transpired remains impossible to tell. cnn, unlike most foreign media, has been prevented from entering the country. but many civilians are fleeing, especially in the border areas. fearing the full wrath of the regime as the uprising enters its third month. a team of activists has presented the prosecutor at the international criminal court with documents on thousands of cases of alleged abuse. >>. >> but for now, justice is taking second place to survival. for thousands of syrians whose towns are occupied by security forces. preparing for an even heavier clamp down on dissent.
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wolf, those concerns are driving residents outside of that area in northwestern syria outside with residents and activists telling us that hospitals are shut down, private clinics as well and for those that have been remained behind pretty stark conditions, no power and fuel and bread shortages taking place since friday, wolf. >> what are we hearing, arwa, about defections by senior government officials to oppose bashar's regime? >> reporter: well, wolf, we've had quite a strange twist of events taking place. the initial reports on france 24 that the syrian ambassador to france defected. they aired a phone interview with an individual who they identified as being the syrian ambassador and in this interview she said that she was resigning effectively immediately. shortly thereafter, we heard
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someone being identified as a syrian ambassador, coming out both on syrian state television denying having given france 24 an interview saying that it was an impersonation and that she would be suing france 24 and giving the money to the children of the martyrs. france 24 for their part are standing behind their reporting saying that they are confident that the individual they reached was in fact the syrian ambassador to france, saying that they were the ones that called her on a cell phone that they normally use. at this point, her exact status, we cannot entirely be sure of. but if this is in fact true, it most certainly would signal the first very obvious crack in the regime of bashar al assad, wolf. >> many seniors would like to deflect but worried that they would take revenge against their family members. so they don't do anything. it would take a courageous move
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right now given the brutality that is going on. let's get to the scandal surrounding congressman anthony weiner. it's been a little over 24 hours since the new york democrat admitted to inappropriate online relationships with a number of women. it seems more likely that the house ethics committee will not only investigate but will have plenty of work to do, plenty of unseemly evidence to pour over. dana bash has been all over this story for us. what are you hearing about the latest of this investigation? >> reporter: if there is one thing that anthony weiner has going for him, it's that the house is not in session and his colleagues are scattered throughout the district, not here at the capitol. i can tell you after talking to lawmakers and their aides, especially democrats, they are furious. waiting to see what else may come out. anthony weiner's fellow democrats are largely silent about his fate but this comment
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from the democratic leader spoke volumes. >> i know congressman weiner. i wish there was some way i could dep fefend him, but i can >> what would you say if he asked you? >> call someone else. >> reporter: nancy pelosi sent this letter to the house ethics committee formalizing her call for an investigation, something that she did not technically have to do. a senior democratic aide adds pressure for him to go. still, despite what democratic sources describe as deep anger and frustration with weiner, neither pelosi or any other fellow democrat has called on him to design. but eric cantor, the number two house republican did, saying i certainly don't condone his activity and i think he should resign. meanwhile, the house ethics committee will not say whether they are investigating weiner but an open question is what rules could he have broken? >> to be clear, the picture was of me and i sent it. >> reporter: the most obvious
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potential violation, a lawmaker shall conduct themselves at all times in a manner that should reflect credibly on the house. but ethics experts say lawmakers are never punished for violating that rule alone. >> that clause read broadly would make it an offense to spit object the sidewalk. >> reporter: then there's the question that pelosi and other democratic leaders raised? did weiner use government resources to send lewd photos or make inappropriate phone calls to women. weiner says he made his own home computer and phone. >> i don't believe that i used any government resources. >> reporter: still, even if he did use government resources, experts say it doesn't necessarily mean that he violated house rules. >> i think people all over the house and senate use in a dim minute nous way sometimes their official resources for things that are not official. the house has never taken a position to discipline someone for that incidental use.
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>> reporter: wolf, i talked to several ethics experts who say that actually the technology today, social media has far outhaft the rules and the things that people need to go by in this ethics manual which was just put out in 2008. sources say that his political problem do far outweigh his potential ethics problems. i can tell thaw weiner, as you know, is an outspoken democrat. he has criticized his own leadership very often here and doesn't have a big reservoir of support going into this. not a lot of people are speaking publicly but privately we've been told that they just don't know if he can survive this. >> has weiner or his staff in washington or new york for that matter said anything in response to this flood of very raunchy e-mail and texting -- sexting we should call it, that has been going out there on the web? >> wolf, as is in keeping with my attempts over the past week
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to reach his office, the e-mails and calls went unanswer. >> dana, thank you. a gap in air security. millions of stolen and bogus passports and why they aren't even being checked. and a candidate that would have take answer bullet for president obama. fore! no matter what small business you are in, managing expenses seems to ...get in the way. not anymore. ink introduces jot. a real time expense app that lets you track and categorize expenses on the go. so you can get back to the business you love. jot, the latest innovation from chase. only for ink customers. download at
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recruited after he won the election who have now abandoned ship. a washington post abc news poll out today says about six in ten of those americans surveyed give the president poor marks on the economy and the deficit. they strongly disapprove how he's handling the issues and if the election were held today, president obama would lose to republican mitt romney. romney, who is far from an overwhelming favorite among members of his own party, have said that jobs and the economy will be central issues in his campaign. james carville, who first coined that phrase it's the economy, stupid, back in 1992, says that if job creation stays down, the 2012 race could be very rough for president obama. the economy is so bad there's a chance for civil unrest.
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so far nothing has been done about spending or rising gas prices, rising home prices, and expect to hear the president highlight modest gains in the economy since the worst days of 2008 and 2009. strategist say expect him to if republicans in are in charge. if that's all he's got, it's not going to be enough. how will the economy force president obama to change his campaign strategy for 2012? go to file. post a comment on my blog. he is not in an enviable position at this point. things could turn around but no sign that they are going to any time soon. >> he was upbeat at that news conference. he said we didn't think we were heading towards a double dip recession. he's trying to put a positive face on what is going on. >> that's all he can do at this
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point. >> jack, thank you. let's get to a critical senate race drawing new national attention because of an unexpected republican candidate. president obama's own former secret service agent. there could be some excitement going on. what is going on? >> wolf, daniel is going from one top job to another. he saw firsthand the personal toll that politics takes but diving headfirst into it right now as an underdog republican in a democratic state. >> it wasn't long ago that daniel would have take answer bullet for president obama, literally. now -- are you disappointed in him? >> it's a simple ideological play. the country is going on the wrong path. >> he says it's t repeatedly. it's not personal. as part of the prospective
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detail until 2010, he literally shadowed president obama for nearly two years and president bush before that. he's got nothing but compliments for both men personally but there's a political fire in daniel and he's quit a rising career as agent to make a run for the u.s. senate in maryland. the odds don't favor him. he's a republican in a state that hasn't had a gop senator since 1987. if he wins the nomination, he will be up against ben cardin. when we ask if he has enough experience, he talks health care and economic recovery in tea party terms. >> what are you going to be able to do coming from the secret service that will make you legitimate? >> i've done an enormous on macro economic policy. we've got to get government out of the way. they are standing in front of the american entrepreneur. we've got to get out of this.
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>> aside from saying that they don't agree with bongino's office, he would not comment on his candidacy. as we walk a few feet from the white house, i pressed bongino about the toll that he's seen politics take on families. >> why drag your family through this. >> it was a really tough decision. my wife and i thought about this for a very long time. i had never thought about jumping into politics but i had always followed the issues and when i left the job, i said, we're going to take a week and calmly think about this and she was willing to get in with me. we had that rocky and adrian moment. >> bongino says that he has no illusions. he's had to travel 27 countries as a secret service and it's been tough on his family and they are ready to do it again. >> what is the secret service saying about it? >> they are being anti-political and don't want to get involved with it for obvious reasons.
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a former secret service agent said as long as he doesn't ever reveal any privileged information that he might have overheard while on the detail, there's no issue with him running. there have been other people who have been secret service agents, lieutenant governor of oklahoma is one. >> given the democratic power in maryland, he's got an up hill struggle. >> he does. president obama going head to head against mitt romney. the results might surprise you. stand by. and it's now potentially the deadliest e. coli outbreak ever seen. our scientists getting closer to determining the cause? new details coming into "the situation room." i think you'll find it's the vegetables. deliciously rich. flavorful! [ female announcer ] together at last. introducing new stouffer's farmers' harvest with sides of lightly sauteed farm-picked vegetables. find more ways to get to the table at a vacation on a budget with expedia. make it work.
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seven republican hopefuls will square off in new hampshire six days from now and you can bet that the economy will be former minnesota governor had to say in the president's home town of chicago today. >> gas is $4 a gallon. home prices are in the gutter. our health care system, thanks to obama care, is more expensive and less efficient. unemployment is back over 9%. our national debt has skyrocketed. our budget deficit has grown worse. and the jobs in manufacturing ports are grim. now, if that was a recovery, then our president needs to
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enter economic rehab. >> just a few days ago president obama was trying to put the best possible spin on the economy while appearing in the key battle ground of ohio. now we go in depth back to toledo and the restaurant where the president had lunch to check the pulse of the people. ted rowlands is on the scene for us there. what are you seeing and what are you hearing? >> reporter: well, wolf, we are at rudy's hot taug dogs and this is an institution in toledo. we have been here all day and getting a lot of opinions from people. republicans and democrats across the spectrum, getting a lot of voices as we go on this. this is harry, he's got a job in the health care industry. he's got a 26-year-old son, is it? >> yes. >> who does not have a job. that's your biggest concern is jobs, jobs, jobs. >> exactly. >> reporter: and for your son, how difficult is it for young people and not only in toledo feeling the same thing, here specifically for your son and in toledo, how bleak is it for him trying to get gainful employment? >> we have one of the highest
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rates for young people for unemployment. >> reporter: and that's your biggest concern? >> that's my biggest concern. yes. >> reporter: a lot of people have said that, wolf, getting jobs and for young people. this s. of course, a town, an auto town. christy works on the line and has three kids. your biggest concern, christy, also the economy and jobs but do you -- you also are sick and tired of politicians not getting things done. explain. >> absolutely. i think that they spend a lot of time keeping us in the dark and they knit pick over little things instead of getting to the big issues that affects the rest of our nation that a lot of people are working class, like myself, my husband has a small business and it's tough with the economy, with the grocery bills going higher and the gas is outrageous and trying to raise a family. just not knowing where anything
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is going. >> what would you need for the next election going forward? >> i would definitely say faith has a lot to do with it, a strong backbone to stop the big picture of everyone kind of waving around -- >> battling between each other? >> yeah, absolutely. i would like people to go down to the nitty gritty of your main beliefs instead of -- >> waffling back and forth? >> exactly. thank you for putting words in my mouth. we need someone strong and a big backbone and isn't afraid to fight for what is right for this country. >> all right. wolf, our listening tour, ware hearinging a lot of aopinions like christy's. the economy in general and jobs and the bickering in washington. people here in toledo seem to be sick of it. >> i think a lot of people are sick of it all other over the
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country. thank you. and don't forget, the presidential debate less than a week away. join us monday night as the republican hopefuls square off only here on cnn. a high-profile republican decided not to run for president and has a lot to say about the race right now. we're talking about the governor of indiana, mitch daniels. gloria borger spoke with him, went over to indiana. does he believe there's a republican out there that can beat president obama? >> he does. he says if in fact he had run he would be able to beat president obama. i asked him who specifically and he mentioned three names. the usual suspects, pawlenty, huntsman, and romney. but i asked him on a scale of one to ten, ten being the most vulnerable how vulnerable is barack obama. and he said at this point he would have to say a seven or an 8 because of the issues. we were just talking about and in that last piece, which is
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jobs. and the economy. he thinks the president is very, very vulnerable on that. >> if unemployment stays at 9%, it would be vulnerable. >> exactly. >> what did he say about the decision to take on this really politically sensitive issue of medicare? >> you know, i asked him whether it was a political mistake or substantive mistake and he said that it was not a mistake at all. he said the problem is, the way the parties, both parties treat the issue of medicare, that it's been demogogged on both sides and that is the bickering that the public doesn't like. take a listen to what he said. >> the enemies of medicare and social security are those people who say don't touch them because they are not only going to run those programs, they are going to ruin the american dream. so -- >> let me take you back to 2010, though, the midterm election in 2010 when the tables were turned and the democrats had made changes in medicare as part of health care reform, as you know,
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saving and medicare. and republicans were out there on the campaign trail saying, they are going to hurt, in your phrase. same thing? >> well, fair point. i did not think it wassen especially proud point for our party. i couldn't help but savor the turnabout after decades of democrats routelessly misleading people and that we can somehow afford these things the way they are. >> so, wolf, he kind of says tit for tat but also says, okay, republicans were wrong in using this issue to scare seniors in 2010. >> does he think the ryan medicare plan went too far? >> no, he doesn't. he thinks the ryan budget didn't go far enough. he says that what ryan should have done, he gives him credit for going as far as he went. but he says ryan should have put
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social security on the table and that he should have tackled the tax side of the debate, that you can't just do everything on the entitlement side, medicare, social security. he says on the tax side he doesn't want to take away the bush tax cuts for the wealthy. what he wants to do instead is reform the tax system and lower the rates by taking away some of those deductions that the wealthy often use. >> a full interview airs tonight, 8:00 p.m. eastern, in the arena, only here on cnn. thanks very much. i think that will explain why he eventually decided not to run. it's a surprise. we'll save that for 8:00 p.m. later tonight. gloria borger's interview with mitch daniels. meanwhile a. new 2012 match-up poll is putting president obama up against mitt romney and you're going to be surprised who wins this poll right now.
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plus, emotions running very high in new york. especially in congressman anthony weiner's district a day after that bombshell news conference. we're going there. we're going to queens and brooklyn to hear what his constituents are now saying.
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all across this country. it just takes somebody having the idea, and that's where the discovery comes from. the fast moving wildfire in arizona has become even more dangerous. what do you have, lisa? >> hundreds of firefighters are struggling to contain the blaze which has burned more than 230,000 acres. smoke is disrupting flights and parts of new mexico are under an extreme fire warning. a quality alert has been issued on the other side of the border. a top eu official now says a deadly e. coli outbreak which has killed 23 people and sickened hundreds is limited to an area around hamburg and doesn't require europe-wide controls.
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officials don't appear to be any closer to figuring out what sparked the infection. they claimed that sprouts were to blame but those tests are inconclusive. new zealand is mourning the loss of its own sheep. the sheep had gone missing from its her d-back in 1998 found six years later supporting so much wool, he looked three times its size. a memorial will be held for shrek. a sad story. >> lovely sheep. thank you very much. we're learning more about the women who exchanged racy e-mails and tweets stand by. we're getting new details. also, another member of the president's team is ready to quit s it simply personal or a statement about white house
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let's get right to our strategy session. joining us is jamal simmons here in washington and the republican strategist, mary matalin. jamal, let me start with you. the abc news poll, the president lost the bump he got right after
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the killing of bin laden back in may. his approval rating was 56% and now it's down to 47%. his disapproval has gone from 47% in may down to 49%. how is the president handling its job? it seems like bin laden is ancient history. >> he's very important for the national security picture but the jobs picture is just devastating. it really is hurting the president. these are bad numbers but we're so far out from election day, the president does have time to recover. i think he's got to do three things. he's got to get back on message and talk about winning the future, a victory on the debt ceiling and then he's got to get some jobs. i'm not sure what the government has left to be able to pull that off, but until we get more jobs moving, it's going to be tough for the president to move some of these numbers. >> and as bad as that overall number is, he is handling his job, when it comes to the
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economy, same poll, how is the president handling the economy? only 44% approve of the job that he's doing. 59% disapprove. you're a strategist a. political strategist, mary, how does he turn that around? >> well, he's going to have to change his policies. i'm going to update the olded a damage, it's the economy, stupid. in this case, it's the economic policy, stupid. people understand, disapprove, and for some time now. these are not new numbers, his economic policies have not worked and people believe they've made the economy worse. they've thwarted the recovery. >> so what does he need to do? give me an example of what he needs to do. >> he needs to -- jamal is right about this debt ceiling. he called for a clean debt ceiling. needs to get serious and quit
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attacking george w. bush and blaming the republicans and get serious. it's not just spending cuts but real entitlement reform and debt reform and tax reform and get in the game and let's compare the programs. but right now people think he's just playing politics. >> well, mary, on that note, i'll say that the republicans have to get serious, too, and they've got to start talking about revenues. we heard that in the piece from governor mitch daniels. we've got to start talking about not only what programs we're going to cut but also how we're going to raise money to really close this debt. >> when you talk about revenues, you mean raising taxes. you know the republicans are not going to go along with raising taxes. why even raise that at this point? >>. >> well, the republicans are expecting the democrats to go along with cutting medicare and social programs that real people are dependent upon. why don't republicans have to go along with cutting -- getting tax revenues back in and getting tax rates to where they were? >> because that's an old stale argument. republicans are talking about and have been serious and the
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only serious plan on the table is paul ryan and it's the only one that will save medicare. it's entitlement reform the the only way to grow revenues is along the line of what governor pawlenty has put out today. tax reform, lower rates. cutting out corporate welfare, all energy subsidies, we wanted a flatter, cleaner, tax code and that will raise revenue. that's the way to do it, not just to keep raising taxes so they can keep spending more. >> if i'm in the white house right now, look at these numbers this is really alarming. hypothetical matchup. romney versus obama. and romney gets 49%, obama, 46%.
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wow. that is a pretty surprising number given where romney is right now and where the president is supposed to be. >> you know, it actually is not that surprising a number. what usually happens is that they are optimists who is going to be a better deal or candidate. mitt romney is in the public eye. bob dole at this time in 1995 was the head of bill clinton. people look for somebody that is going to be new and different. i wouldn't put that out. mitt romney's problem is he's got to get nominated. when i take a look at the field, i see a lot of great vp candidates. but tim pawlenty has a really great story. he comes from the midwest, son of a milk driver. all of those things. i give romney a little bit of a b plus or b minus right now. >> romney, at least right now, mary, does much better than all
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of the other republican candidates in a one on one contest with the president. question, how does this help romney get the nomination? perhaps the fact that he's more winnable? >> what's helping governor romney right now is -- if there's one thing people know about him, it's that he's a manager. what is hurting him, and there are good number here, romney care, massachusetts care, 2 to 1, republicans don't like it he has to win the nomination. that's a big cross to carry. but four out of ten republicans don't have to carry. he has to refrain the power point speeches and make it clear that he would not impose on the nation a what he did in massachusetts. it's a long way from here to the nomination. >> on that we agree. >> thanks, guys, very much. congressman anthony weiner calls his online exchanges with women inappropriate. you may call them something
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else. stand by, new details on the raunchy messages and the women involved. why are millions of fake passports in circulation? the security gap that could be a boom for terrorists.
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interpol is scolding what it sees as a big hole in security. homeland security correspondent jeanne meserve is here with the details. >> this could surprise some people. ten years after 9/11, only half of international travelers are having their documents checked against databases to determine if they are stolen or fraudulent. ronald noble, head of the international law enforcement agency, interpol, calls it a glaring security gap and serious concern because terrorists and criminals use stolen and make passports to conceal their true identity and travel freely from country to country. interpol estimates there are 28 million stolen passports and national identity cards in circulation but last year only 40,000 airline passengers were caught using them. according to noble, that's because the vast majority of countries are not running
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passports against the interpol database which includes records of lost and stolen documents from around the world. he estimates that one out of every two air travelers crosses borders without having their documents checked. governments and airlines should step up at and address the problem but most of them haven't done so yet. >> is the u.s. making these checks? >> well, in fact, they are. customs and border protection does check documents of travelers arriving by air towards the advanced passenger information system. passengers have to provide their travel data including passport numbers before boarding and it is checked against the interpol database before their plane takes off for the u.s. the system apartment land borders not so tight. dhs official says only if someone is referred for secondary inspection and officials check passport is lost or stolen. >> serious issue. thank you very much. we are getting new reaction from anthony weiner's home district about the scandal surrounding
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him. libyan capital takes a fierce new pounding. is nato doing enough to help the rebels hold on? was an archer drawing his bow. ♪ could that have also inspired its 556 horsepower supercharged engine? ♪ the all-new cadillac cts-v coupe. we don't just make luxury cars, we make cadillacs. and my dog bailey and i love to hang out in the kitchen. you love the aroma of beef tenderloin, don't you? you inspired a very special dog food. [ female announcer ] chef michael's canine creations. chef inspired. dog desired.
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personal pricing now on brakes. tell us what you want to pay. we do our best to make that work. deal! my money. my choice. my meineke. let's go back to jack.
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he has "the cafferty file." >> the question this hour -- how will the economy force president obama to change his campaign strategy for 2012? pat p in idaho writes i don't think he can do anything to change his strategy at this point. he made his bed and has to sleep in it. mark in arkansas says no american president has been re-elected with unemployment over 9%. if mr. obama hopes to break that record he needs to stop touting meaningless success snippets and begin making meaningful changes in our economy. start by throwing the wall street bankners jail. adam in oakland writes the resignation of his economic adviser today indicates his economic policy has done little to improve the economy. despite the bailouts and qe2. however, he is in good shape for re-election as long as house republican opponents keep missing fourth grade history questions. rich in texas writes -- the leb cycle obama this time around will have no president bush to blame for the economy. president owns it. he ran and won and, therefore,
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he is responsible for the economy, warts and all. we had a national debt of $10 trillion when he took office. now the debt is over $14 trillion in two years. when bush left office unemployment was 7.2%. now it is over 9% two years later. gasoline when bush left office, $1.83 a gallon. today it is over $3.50. numbers don't lie. no fairy tale he can spin to grow this economy. brian writes it will force the president to make his case by focusing more on how much things worse were when he took office. rather than any obvious signs that the salad days returned. unfortunately while true, this will be far more difficult. things are worse as a much stuffer sell than things are good now. david in virginia writes he ought to rewrite his campaign slogans to read -- no change, no hope, no kidding. we are broke. you want to read more on this, go to my blog,
3:00 pm >> this is the issue going into the election. economy and jobs. >> yes. i mean, if they accelerate withdrawal from afghanistan and show some signs of we are going to try to save money on the wars that we are involved in overseas, i suppose that could help some. there is no sign that jobs are going to start suddenly booming or that the economy is -- housing market is -- not going to recover for probably two, three more year. >> jack cafferty, thanks very much. to our viewers. you are in "the situation room." happening now, libya's capital rocked by dozens of explosions. as nato bombs hit compound moammar gadhafi vows not to surrender. we are going to libya. both parts of it one by one key members of the president's economic team are headed for the exit as the economy falters what's behind the latest departure. is the president ignoring his economic adviser? what's going on. he lived the american dream growing up poor, rising to become a corporate executive. can show make the presidential
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election his first election victory? i will speak live this hour with republican presidential candidate herman cain. breaking news. political headlines and jeanne moos straight ahead. i'm wolf blitzer. you are in "the situation room." we begin with new information on congressman anthony weiner's political future. up in the air now one day after an internet sex scandal blew wide open with a married new york democrat admitting to inappropriate online exchanges with multiple women. even as fellow democrats press for an ethics investigation, weiner says he's not going anywhere. listen to this exclusive exchange he had with cnn producer adam reece a little while ago as weiner returned to his home in queens. >> nothing new today.
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>> no. >> -- called for your resignation. official call for your resignation. how do you feel about that? >> he is entitled to his viewpoint. >> would you consider it? >> i'm not resigning, no. >> excuse me, guys. >> congressman, how did you feel when you woke up this morning? >> thanks, guys. i appreciate your patience. >> how did you feel when you woke up this morning? >> let that close. rules of the apartment building. >> can you tell us how you felt when you woke up? >> anthony, go in. go in. tell them to leave you alone. go inside! >> advice from the neighbor. let's go to work. mary snow. speaking with some of weiner's constituents in queens and brooklyn. mary, what are they saying to you about this scandal? >> reporter: while congressman weiner doesn't have much to say today, as you heard from that one neighbor, another
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constituent, plenty of -- to say among constituents in his home district. district not only covers queens where we are but also parts of brooklyn. a handwritten note left outside of between areas office is clear in its message. resign. it comes one day after weiner admitted having inappropriate relevant relationships online with about six women over a lee-year period. >> i wasn't telling the truth. it was something that was does honorable. >> reporter: there was one subject on the menu. >> he should resign. i definitely won't vote for him no more. i look at him like a different person now. he's not the same. >> he made a mistake. he is a human being that made a mistake. that's the way i would feel. i would definitely vote for him again. >> reporter: republicans say several politicians set a low bar of expectation. >> realistically i think he will survive this. why should he resign n morally i
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think he should. >> reporter: weiner served in new york's ninth district for 13 years. long had his eye on city hall. raising $5 million for potential 2013 mayoral race. former democratic mayor ed koch says that's now out of the question. >> while i believe he has month chance of becoming mayor, i do believe that his constituents could ultimately accept him if he shows sufficient contrition. >> reporter: close to weiner's home in queens constituents are still reeling from his stunning admissions. >> it is a sad thing. you know, the neighborhood loves him. i'm sure. and it is just a shocking thing he did. >> reporter: do you think he should resign? >> it is hard to say. >> reporter: what was your opinion of him before yesterday? >> it was awesome. >> reporter: you thought he was awesome before yesterday? >> now. >> reporter: disgusted. who does that. >> i think he should resign but -- you know, take some time and -- you know, deal with
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what's happened. and then -- after that, you know, come back. >> reporter: some of the constituents say that they worry that yesterday's revelations may just be the tip of the iceberg. they are worried while he is hunkered down in queens at home they are concerned that there may be more damaging revelations coming forward. >> the new york tabloids and new york post and "new york daily news," they are having a field day with this story. i suspect a lot more of the e-mails, pictures, they are going to be released. that will be l put enormous pressure on him to step down. with a are the folks there saying about it? >> there are some people saying they don't see how he can survive this. he has been popular in this district. last time he ran for election in 2010 he won something like 61% of the vote here. and -- people you talked to are
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sad about it. there are some say that yes, he can weather the storm. other politicians who have gotten through and survived scandal. but there are in -- increasing number who say they don't think that he can survive this. >> mary snow, thanks very much. by the way, his district may disappear. new york state is lose would go congressional dribts in 2012. one in the city, new york city, one in upstate. that district is queens in brooklyn may go away and then he would be out after job for sure if that were to happen. we are also learning more about some of the women weiner corresponded with. lisa sylvester is check thing out for us. >> first off, wolf, representative weiner is still insisting he's not resigning. the story isn't going away. we are learning new details about the online relationships weiner had with several women. by his own admission representative anthony weiner exchanged racy message was a number of women. >> in addition over the past few years i have engaged in several
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inappropriate conversations, conducted over twitter, facebook, e-mail, occasionally on the phone with women i met online. i exchanged messages and photos and explicit nature with about six women over the last three years. >> reporter: who the six women he was referring to remains somewhat a mystery. we are learning more about several women in weiner's world. the congressman confirmed megan broussard was one of the six women who he had an online risque flirtation with. he sent this now infamous picture to her. she told abc news that she was surprised at how open and willing he was. >> i was -- i mean, i just didn't understand why he wanted to talk to me so much. even in our exchanges, i did say like, why are you so open? things of that nature. it was not like i was chasing him at all. >> reporter: weiner also had porn star ginger lee as a fan. she tweeted march 13, you know it is a good day when you wake up to a d.m., direct message from representative weiner. i'm a fan.
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he is my trifecta of win. there's also 21-year-old jeanette cordova who insists she was not among the six women weiner referred to. but it was weiner's accidental tweet to her that set the story in motion. we tried repeatedly contacting weiner's office. our calls were not returned. one question in all of this is did representative weiner use congressional resources while he was tweeting and e-mailing. he insists, saying he used his personal blackberry. there's still a lot of ethical and legal questions, wolf, that have now been raised. >> there will be a full-scale house ethics committee investigation. we will see what comes up there. see if he even withstands that. pressure on him enormous. another new yorker is speaking out about congressman anthony weiner. we are talking about donald trump. as usual, trump is not mincing any words. look what donald trump posted on his youtube channel. >> many people have been asking me about anthony weiner. the congressman from new york
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who had big apple biggests and wanted to run for the mayor of new york city. the fact section that i know him very well. he called me all the time looking for campaign contributions and would never stop. he would give me all sorts of phone numbers, fortunately i don't think i ever called. the fact section anthony weiner is a bad guy. he is a psycho. when this came out, i was not surprised at all. i would watch him in interviews and watch him on television. i would hear what he had to say. and you could see he was like a boiler ready to explode. >> trump not mincing any words. let's go to jack. he has the cafferty file. >> you may think they enough about anthony weiner. but you would be wrong. it took the congressman, anthony weiner, more than a week to admit he lied about sending these pictures of himself to this college kid in seattle. and that he's carried on in inappropriate online exchange
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was a total of six women. interest only took a few minutes during that news conference to tell us all he is not going to resign. he should. house minority leader and fellow democrat nancy pelosi announced there will be an ethics investigation. not that those ever mean much. ask charlie rangel. ae whether weiner used government resources. if lying is considered unethical i would hardly think an investigation is necessary. that's the crux of this whole thing. it ain't the pictures and the e-mails. not only did he send that sleazy stuff which is fairly sick in and of itself, he lied about it. he lied about it over and over and over again. he sat down over a period of days with countless reporters and members of the media and lied and lied and lied again. that would lead one to wonder what else does he lie about? how can his substitutes or anyone else, for that matter, trust anything he says from this point forward?
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weiner said in a statement he will welcome and fully cooperate with an investigation by the house ethics committee. nancy pelosi has not asked weiner to step down as she did when the ethics committee launched a similar probe into former congressman chris lee. married republican who got caught trying to meet a woman over craigslist last year. then nancy pelosi's also had a convenient set of double standards. and the phrase ethics committee, when it comes to members of congress, more often than not, that's just an oxymoron. here is the question. should congressman anthony weiner resign n here is the answer. you bet your fern. >> i'm anxious to hear what your viewers think. >> that's enough of this for now. >> for now. we have other important news we are following. jack, thank you. president obama says moammar gadhafi's forces are being pushed back and incapacitated.
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is that really the case on the ground in libya? we are going live to misrata. my interview coming up in hour with republican presidential candidate herman cain. what's the one thing he would do now to fix the economy? a rising star among the gop field. he is joining thus hour. [ male announcer ] to the seekers of things which are one of a kind. the authentic, the rare, the hard to define. to those always searching for what's pure and what's real from we who believe we know just how you feel. haagen-dazs.
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pictures that occurred a few moments ago. andrea merkel, chancellor of germany, state dinner. president and first lady are hosting in her honor. in the rose garden. outdoors. hot here in washington. but lit celebrate the u.s./german relationship. we are watching it closely. we will check in periodically to see what's going on. there's other serious news we are reporting on, including what they discussed during their meetings in the oval office. the situation in libya.
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dozens of explosions rocked the lib libyan capital today. pounded key targets in trip will and the compound of moammar gadhafi. in the middle of the bombardment libyan leader called state television vowing he would never surrender. we have two reports from libya. let's go to tripoli first. dan rivers has the latest. what's the latest, dan? >> reporter: it has been in a day of -- intense air strikes here, wolf. most intense since this air campaign began by may. with we counted upwards of 50 explosions and echoed now to cross the city. there have been numerous responses throughout anti-aircraft guns here and people firing pretty much anything they have sounds like small arms fire as well as continuing right now. colonel gadhafi has gone on state television and not sure if it was a live cast reported.
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but he remains as his spokesman defiant as ever. >> translator: we will not surrender or give up. we have one option. our country. we will remain in it until the end. dead, alive, victorious, it does not matter. >> today has been one of the most horrific days of attack on our nation. the forces of even -- attacked with full power. >> reporter: the regime here says that 31 people died as a result of today's strikes. including some civilians. they say 60 rockets hit the libyan capital. it is very difficult for us to independently confirm that because frankly, the rockets have been coming in so regularly, we have been unable to get out safe.
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>> i be careful over there. dan rivers reporting for us out of tripoli while gadhafi's capital takes a pounding has nato been doing enough to ease the pressure on the rebels and libyan population. listen to the president earlier today. >> our goal there was to protect the libyan people from a potential slaughter. we have done so. benghazi is free from threat. the libyan regime right now. they are hunkered down. misrata, which was under severe attack, is now in a situation where all show still threatened, gadhafi's forces have been pushed back. so what you are seeing across the country is -- a trend of the regime forces being pushed back, being incapacitated.
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>> it is -- pretty serious situation. what do we know about the latest in misrata? give us an update, sarah. >> reporter: here is what we can tell you. you will notice the city behind me is almost in complete dark must and that's partly because gadhafi forces were able to hit the main electrical supply to the city less than 24 hours ago. we headed to the frontlines less than 24 hours ago. we headed to two frontlines. there are three surrounding the city. on those two frontlines absolutely fierce fighting. rebels were being handled by bad javy forces trying to push forward. rebels say they were able to get a handle on and it able actually to push them back about three kilometers and now things have been quiet today. and that's because rebels say they are now preparing a new frontline trying to dig ditches and try to hunker down just three kilometers closer to the west, an important city because houses a naval base nearby
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that's obviously used by glad glad and then obviously beyond that is tripoli. >> this is a fluid situation we are watching it closely. we will check back with sar sxa d -- sara and dan rivers later. a u.s. official says that president saleh has burns over 40% of his body and collapsed lung. arab diplomatic source says shrapnel wounds nearly three inches deep as well. he was under intense pressure on step down and not clear if he will ever be able to return to yemen. conflict there raging on. tribal fighters took control of the key city. yemen is the base where al qaeda's arabia affiliate, u.s. official says the unrest complicates counterterrorism efforts to put it mildly. former business executive but republican presidential candidate herman cain has never
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been elected to office. what qualifies him to be commander in chief of the united states? i will ask him. he is standing by live. president obama loses another top economic adviser. why? what does it say about the economic recovery? host: could switching to geico really save you
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we are just learn being a very disturbing story coming out of texas. lisa sylvester has that. what are we learn being this? >> this information is coming to us from our affiliate. it is being reported 25 to 30 bodies have been found.
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they are saying at this point at least preliminarily that the bodies appear to be the bodies of children. this is in liberty county, texas. the fbi has now been brought in. it is now investigating this case. in other news, a report just out from japan's emergency response center says three reactors at the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant experienced full meltdown as a result of the tsunami and says the amount of radiation released was twice the level that nuclear officials claimed. the death toll in the e. coli outbreak in germany is now 23. european union officials believe that the crisis is limited to an area around the city of hamburg, germany. they say europe wide action is not necessary. e.u. officials are considering a $220 million compensation fund. ash from a volcano eruption in chile is triggering traveling chaos in neighboring argentina. most flights in and out of
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buenos aires and several other cities have been canceled and highways in pad goen yeah are buried by under a foot of ash. volcano first erupted saturday forcing more than 3,000 people in chile to evacuate. >> thanks very much. we will stay on top of that story in texas as well. he has gone from rags to riches. can he become president of the united states? i will speak live to republican candidate herman cain. he is standing by in "the situation room." we don't just make a taillight... ..we make a sculpture. we don't just make a sunroof... ..we make the heavens wide. we don't just make a crossover...
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certainly lived the american dream growing up poor and rising to become a corporate executive. he has never actually won an election. can he somehow go from rags to riches to the presidency? let's discuss the republican candidate herman cain. thank you for coming in. >> thanks, wolf.
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my pleasure. >> have you never been elected to any office. what qualifies you to become president of the united states? >> business skills. i happen to believe that the business skills that i have developed and been successful in business over 40 years need to go to the white house and to washington, d.c. it starts, wolf, with making sure you are working on the right problem, set the right priorities, surround yourself with good people, great people. make sure you put together the right plans. this is the most important part. engage the american public in the solutions that you are trying on get passed. if we do that i believe that we can address many of the crises that i think this country is face. >> what qualifies you to be president of the united states more than sarah palin who spent two years as governor of alaska? >> i have spent more time running businesses, fixing stuff, turning around businesses, and saving a business from bankruptcy, and i ran the second largest employer in the country. it is called the national restaurant association.
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with a very diverse constituency of members. so it is my problem solving skills and my leadership skills that have been apparent throughout my career and i have had a lot more experience than a lot of the other candidates. >> we met the other day on the shuttle between washington and new york. you gave me your common sense solutions, people's platform. your brochure outlining and specific detail a lot of what you want to do to help economy and help the country. i read it all. i didn't see any really strong positions either way on some of the social issues like abortion rights for women. is that deliberate? was that just an omission? >> it was an omission. it wasn't deliberate. i am pro-life from conception. i believe in traditional marriage. those things i can cover very quickly. it wasn't intended to be an entire agenda of all of my beliefs. i wanted to primarily identify what i consider to be the top critical issues we face. this economy is still stagnant.
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i have a two-phase plan i have in the book let. that and using a lot of common sense approaches. we have three cold critical top issues right after national security. one being boosting this economy. this is -- not turned around. we have also got to do something about restructuring entitlement programs. we can't just keep shuffling it around but turning around the edges. third, cold critical, energy. we are in an energy crisis, wolf. because it is not only an economic issue. it is also a national security issue. >> let me be precise. when it comes to abortion you oppose abortion for women? >> i am pro-life from conception. >> what about gay marriage. should americans who are gay be allowed to get married? >> i believe that's a decision that should be made by individual states. i support traditional marriage. >> you support civil unions for gays? >> i support traditional marriage. >> oppose civil union? >> i support traditional
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marriage. let's move on, wolf. >> let's talk about gun control. do you support any gun control? >> i support the second amendment. >> you don't -- what's the answer on gun control? >> the answer on gun control is i support strong -- strongly support the second amendment. i don't support, you know, onerous legislation that will restrict people's rights in order to be able to protect themselves as guaranteed by the second amendment. >> should states or local governments be allowed to control the gun situation? >> yes. the answer is yes. that should be a state's decision. >> what's your number one problem with president obama right now? >> lack of leadership. he has not surrounded himself with the right people. as a result, we have seen failed economic policies because if the -- fact that these policies failed and now four of his top five economic adviser and most recently austan goolsbee has also resigned, he likes
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surrounding himself with the right people and as a result has had plans that did not work. he has spent along with the congress nearly a trillion and this economy still has an anemic growth rate of 1.8% in the fourth quarter and unemployment is still high and we are not going to be able to just sit back and hope that it changes over the next two years unless he does something like lower taxes and remove regulations. lack of leadership on those critical issues, particularly the economy, is my number one problem with what the president is doing. >> has the president done anything right since taking office? >> wolf, relative to the critical issues that this country faces, i would have to honestly say no. on some little things, he probably has done some things right. but this is not what the american people are looking for. he did do the right thing in giving the decision on bin laden. that was the correct decision in my opinion but that whole plan
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started back during the bush administration. so i commend him important making that decision. >> is it time for the president to -- >> yes, it is. i don't think it will do any good. i believe he has made up his mind that he's going to fight his own people until the bitter end. i don't think that the president -- president obama asking him to do that is going to do any good at all. >> if you were president of the united states right now, what would you do about the slaughter going on in syria? >> unfortunately, wolf, we cannot appoint ourselves policemen for the world, number one. number two, i don't know what type of dialogue went on between the rebels in syria and the united states intelligence sources. the fact that it is unfortunate and inhumane, i don't have enough intelligence information to say exactly what i could do. it is unfortunate but we cannot be the policemen for the world. >> i remember an exchange had you when i was cnn's white house
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correspondent back in 1994. we have the clip. the president of the united states, bill clinton, a younger herman cain talking about health care reform which was priority. major priority for president clinton. i will play the clip now. >> we can't afford it. my bottom line net profit for the last two years was less than 1.5% of my top line sales. when we calculate the cost just for my company, under your plan, it equates to three times what my bottom line profitability is. >> why wouldn't you all be able to raise the price of pizza for 2%? i'm a satisfied customer. i would keep buying from. >> did you this was when you were ceo of a major pizza company. you remember that incident? >> i remember that incident. it was when he was trying to -- called it hillary care.
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just like obama care, the numbers simply do not work. i basically called the president out on that. i -- acted as the catalyst for people to start reading fine print in order to see how bad that was. you heard the president say what just raise the price of the pizza. it doesn't work that way in business. the consumer decides how much you can charge for your product. and the president or anybody else, they cannot dictate raising your prices just to cover a new bureaucratic program that he's interested in placing on the american people. the same with obama care. except obama care is worse. it not only is something that american businesses cannot afford to do the way they are asking us to do it, it builds a huge new big bureaucracy that takes over 1/6 of our economy and the american people, wolf, simply don't think that is the right solution. there are better solutions out there. market-driven ideas of being overlooked.
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all overlooked with obama care. >> we are looking forward to seeing you at our cnn debate in new hampshire next monday night. herman cain, thanks very much for coming in. >> i will be there. thanks a lot. >> thank you very much. herman cain wants to be president of the united states. let's get more on that breaking news. horrific story coming out of texas now. lot of bodies have been found in a grave, including a lot of children. lisa sylvester has an update for us. >> reporter: this is looking tore a very troubling and chilling story. cnn has now confirmed that at least, at least, 20 bodies have been found in a home. we are being told there are children involved. officials obtained a certain much warrant to search the property. the fbi has been called in. but at this point what we know, wolf, at least 20 bodies have been found involving children at
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this home in harden, texas. >> we will stay on top of it. thanks very much. other news we are following, including a new white house shake-up on president obama's economic team. coming in a rather critical moment 2349 recovery. our senior political analyst david gergen is standing by for that. it is not the raciest picture congressman weiner sent but may be the one that caught the most people by surprise. [ male announcer ] breathe, socket. just breathe. we know it's intimidating. instant torque. top speed of 100 miles an hour. that's one serious machine. but you can do this. any socket can. the volt only needs about a buck fifty worth of charge a day, and for longer trips, it can use gas. so get psyched. this is a big step up from the leafblower. chevrolet volt. the 2011 north american car of the year. ♪ ♪
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i'm not concerned about a double dip recession. i'm concerned about the fact that the recovery that we are on is not producing jobs as quickly as i want it to happen. >> president of the united states speaking earlier today.
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yet another member, though, of his economic team is heading for the exit. this time it is the chief economic adviser austan goolsbee who will return to the university of chicago. the announcement comes amid signs of a slowing economic recovery. goolsbee was part of the team that swept into office back in 2009 at the height of the financial crisis. he leaves less than a year after his predecessor, christina romer. she served for a year and a half. pet peter larry summers left last december. our senior political analyst david gergen is joining us now with more on what's going on. it is pretty dramatic, all these economic adviser getting out of the white house so quickly relatively speaking. what's going on there? >> well, i had a chance to speak to austan goolsbee this afternoon. one of the things that troubled about some of the itemses he is
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jumping ship. as he recalled, he and i had a conversation many months ago in which he was asking how does one gracefully and graciously leave the white house and had to leave before the end of next year and i told him at the time that look, there are windows when you can leave and that window shuts as you get into an election campaign. if you are planning to leave you need to leave before the election campaign gets under way. seriously, he talked to a number of others and came to the conclusion he needed to get back by this september. and he reached a deal with an agreement with the president of the university of chicago. what had -- unexpected was that that deal he hoped to announce this in august. i don't think it is fair to say he is jumping ship. do i think this leaves another void in the team around the president. >> here is -- looks like so many people who came in with him obviously timothy geithner, treasury secretary is still there. so many others have abandoned the white house at a critically
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important moment. >> well, i can -- it does leave that apparent -- i would point out that on the national security team they had several people who have left. jones as head of the nsc, secretary gates is now leaving. admiral mullen left. hillary clinton signaled she's going to leave at the end of the term. you know, you do have turnover, as you well know, in the high-powered jobs. with this particular team, of core, they inherited such a mess. 24/7. burnout job for these folks along the way. i also think, wolf, in a in this case, there's a sense in the white house that they have most of their economic policies in place. you and i may think they may have to -- if this economy really continues to slow down, they are going to need policies by this fall. i think right now they think that they have done most of what they are going to do for the economy and may be a touch-up here and there.
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they don't see major legislation going through other than the debt limit and possibly some sort of agreement on reduction defer sit over the long term. >> if you were president of the united states right now, if you were advising the president, david, would you advise the president to bring in chief economic adviser from the academic world or from big business? >> that's a really good question. i think the president needs one more person of real stature around him to get through the next months. if it is going to be -- i think stature question is the most important. someone that's respected and not only in the academy as good public intellectual but respected by the business. and if we are have a -- really bumpy ride here in the next few months as we may well, then i think that -- i think it would increase the confidence if the president had another person of real stature. an unknown academic, frankly, does not fill that bill. >> he has a very, very smart guy
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in gene sperling, head of the -- >> he does. >> -- economic council who worked in the can clinton administration and knows how to deal with these kinds of issues. he sluky to have him. we will see who he brings in to replace austan goolsbee. >> he gets credit for bringing a very harmonious team as well. isn't it interesting that tim geithner, everybody thought at the beginning he will not last long, he is now the bedford of all of this and lasting it out. >> let's see how long he lasts. david, thanks very much. >> okay. jack cafferty is asking should anthony weiner resign n a look at one of the congressman's, shall we say, less controversial photo? [ male announcer ] nature valley
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let's check back with jack for the calferty file.
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>> the question this hour is should anthony weiner resign. dave in arizona, absolutely. some people are saying the story's a waste of time, that it's just about pictures of a guy in his shirt and some underwear. that's not the story. the story is our entire congress is made up of these lying, scheme being people who are supposed to represent us. he's now been exposed as dishonest and cannot be trusted for anything ever again. tom writes, let's take all the politics out of this and look at it for what it is. a member of congress, political party being irrelevant, stood in front of america and repeatedly lied to us, not just once but day after day after day. in addition, the congressman chided and scolded those who dared to question his lie. he's a disgrace to his office and he ought to have the decency to resign. gale writes, yes, jack, he should. this is a really creepy story. it seems to get creepier by the moment. sad, isn't it? to be so stupid that you risk everything for what is actually a per version.
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i feel sorry for his wife. bill writes, when someone says i take full responsibility for my actions that means i admit to the indiscretion, generally after being outed, and i apologize. that is not full responsibility. if there are no consequences, then it's easy to accept full responsibility. full responsibility means admission, apology, contrition, and facing the consequences. how about resigning because you let your constituents down and you are no longer effective. tom in louisiana, representative weiner will never resign. the only way he'll leave is to be thrown out by the congress, which will never happen, or not be re-elected, which is a possibility. either way, he'll have to be dragged out, leaving fingernail marks only the floor. and bob in cooperstown, new york, congressman weiner is a dead man walking, he just doesn't realize it yet. if you want to read more on this, go to my blog,
3:53 pm we know politicians lie, he follows in the footsteps of so many others. but as a reporter who has covered washington for more than 30 years, i must say this. most politicians, democrats and republicans, liberals and conservatives, are honest, hard working public servants. unfortunately the highly publicized jerks get the attention and smear the reputations of decent patriots. these men and women work very hard for their constituents. they have to schlep back to their districts, they're gone from their families for long periods of time and compared to the private sector they don't make huge amounts of money. everything they do and say is closely scrutinized by an aggressive press corps, and now increasingly an exploding blogging and social networking world. i admire these people who are willing to put up with that kind of life. yes, they enjoy the power of being a senator. being a representative.
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yes, they enjoy the perks that certainly come with the job. but i also know there are many down sides for them and their families. so even while we report on the horrible blunders of an anthony weiner, let's not forget all the good men and women most of his colleagues, they're doing the right thing. i admire these people who are willing to put up with reporters like me who are always prying and asking tough questions. you can read my take by the way every day in our new blog, anxious to hear what you have to say as well. "john king, u.s.a." starts at the top of the hour. but next, jeanne moos has maybe the most surprising picture of them all.
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the latest picture to leak in the anthony weiner scandal may being the most surprising of them all. jeanne moos takes a look. >> reporter: full ill clothed, we know anthony weiner is a nerdy, lanky congressman. but when his shirt dropped, so did jaws. >> the guy's may age and he is totally cut. >> he's ripped. >> it was his chiselled torso. look at that. >> the man's in decent shape. it would be hard not to tweet a
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photo like that. that is why i have made the moral choice to let myself go. >> even headless folks were even able to identify him. but these days there are so many half naked congressmen you'd be getting them mixed up from the illinois representative with the six-pack abs on the cover of "men's health" to the craigslist congressman who resigned after putting this picture online, to the massachusetts senator who posed for requests cosmo" in his youth, and let's not forget vladimir putin, an aging rambo who seems he's always stripping. but the naked truth can be disconcerted. >> this side looks weird. why is it separated so much? >> why would you this i that would be attractive with all these hangs here. >> i'm saying he's got a little bit of boobage. >> was that me? >> that is some cleavage.
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can we zoom in on that? is there any way to -- >> please! i'm in the canyon! >> reporter: it used to be we'd only seen naked congressmen in moivs. >> i'm a congressmen. >> are you kidding? >> no, i'm absolutely serious. i'm charlie wilson. i represent the texas second congressional -- >> reporter: but now they're staring up from us from our newspapers and laptops. forget the politician's war chest, it's his chest hair being analyzed. >> and it's a shaved chest which tells me psychologically he was putting some real effort into trying to make this thing as sexual as possible. >> but is he waxing himself all over? it seems oddly hairless. >> reporter: for some female anchors, weiner's naked torso was too much for the naked eye. >> i think we all understand, you know, i don't think we need to see all that. >> i do also think there is a -- >> take that off, please. i don't want to keep seeing that.