tv In the Arena CNN June 8, 2011 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
i think he's continued the policies that were successful toward the end of the bush administration. he's finished those out. i think iraq now is doing well. he kept gitmo open which was something i think he did the right thing. and keeping that open. and i think he did the wrong thing on interrogation and enhanced interrogation techniques and the like. at least on those two things, i would say he's probably done the right thing. >> senator, thank you. we'll see you in new hampshire monday night. >> thanks very much, john, appreciate the time. >> we'll see you right here tomorrow. "in the arena" starts right now. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com good evening. welcome to the program. tonight, the chorus of calls for anthony weiner to resign grows louder. even as we learned "the new york times" is reporting the congressman's wife is in the early stages of pregnancy. she is in north africa doing her
job as a top aide to secretary of state clinton. her position on her husband's troubles is not clear. tonight, many others have made their feelings plain. the list of names of prominent republicans and democrats who have called for anthony weiner to resign grows by the hour. for more on the pushback from capitol hill, let's bring in our senior congressional correspondent dana bash. she's live in washington. dana, that pressure seems to be building almost by the minute. what's the latest? >> it certainly is. this is pressure most significantly i think from his fellow democrats in the house of representatives. so far, just even in the last few hours, we've seen now about half a dozen statements publicly calling on anthony weiner to resign, including one from a significant person, allison schwartz, charged with recruiting fellow democrats to run for office in 2012. i'll read you part of the statement. having the respect of your c
constituents is fundamental. in light of his offensive behavior, he should resign. now, that's public. i'm told also that there are private phone calls being made to weiner this afternoon. democratic congressman familiar with these calls says the resentment is just growing, it is mounting among his cole laegs, and that is why there's a concerted effort. also privately to say congressman weiner, anthony, it's time for you to go. >> almost as if pincers are closing on him. on one hand, the political pressure. on the other side, the factual developments. to stay with the political for a moment. on the senate side of course senator reid, the majority leader, gave him the back of the hand i suppose. yesterday, nancy pelosi calling for the ethics investigation. is there anybody who has said anything supportive of him? anybody who has even said, let this play out through the ethics committee process? anybody saying, put the brakes on this? or is it just pure silence on that side of the ledger?
>> that's a great question. there's nobody who has come out and said explicitly, give the guy a break or let this play out. but there are some members of congress who i've spoken to who have spoken to him who say they're not asking him to resign. i think that's an important point to make. but they're also -- they're saying it's up to him. but they're also not coming to his defense publicly or privately. he is also making calls. he called a lot of his cole laelaeg la colleagues to apologize, to make the same statement he made publicly, saying he regrets his behavior. i'm told he also called the former president bill clinton who of course is very close with antho anthony weiner's wife and the clintons have known her for years and years and years. an example of the calls he's making as well. >> it seems to me in the calls congressman weiner is making to colleagues asking for forgiveness, he must also be
asking for them to voice some element of support or at least to show this train down that now seems to be hurdling in only one direction. as you just said, that piece the request is clearly not going anywhere. >> you know, i wonder if he is. he must be, you're right. you probably know the idea of this better than i, but members of congress i've talked to who have spoken to him, they've not said that he's said, please go out there and support me. just that he's said, please, take my forgiveness. the other congressman i talked to was telling me about this effort to now get him to resign because his colleagues are fed up said that he's not really sure if this is going to work because you've seen his public statement. anthony weiner's been very clear, very firm. he does not want to resign. this congressman told me he believes weiner's truly conflicted and the people around him are conflicted and this congressman said he just does not know if this effort to get him to step down is going to work. >> all right, dana, this is going to play out in the next 24 to 48 hours at most. for better, for worse, i guess
we'll all be covering this. thank you, as always. the x-rated photo of anthony weiner the conservative blogger andrew breitbart promised he wouldn't release has gotten out. he was on the satellite radio show opie and anthony this morning and passed around a cell phone image of the explicit shot. all the why reiterating he doesn't want the photo to be distributed. take a listen. >> by the way, i'm not releasing it, i'm not releasing it, i can't think of any other publ publication that wouldn't. i could probably get a gazillion hits off my page. i'm not doing that to him and his family. >> you're awesome for that. thank you. seriously, it's awesome. >> yet now it is in fact all over the internet. how did that happen? i'll let andrew by the bart explain. he joins me now live from los angeles in an exclusive prime-time interview. andrew, thank you for joining us. >> thank you, eliot. >> we, let me ask you the question directly, as you can imagine, a lot of people are
saying when you showed the hosts of the radio show that shot on your iphone or phone or whatever form it is, you must have known that one of the cameras in the studio would pick it up and then somehow it would get out. you know, is that an accurate assessment or no? >> actually -- actually -- no, it's not an accurate assessment. in fact, if you listen to more of the tape you just played, jim norton who works for the show assures me that there are no cameras. i've never said that i wouldn't show it to people. in fact, i was on the sean hannity radio show and he joked about -- with me about he was the one person that didn't want to look at the photo. the photo is proof and it's proof of something that people still to this day, including joan walsh and bill press, who went on msnbc, doubting that the picture even exists. right now, we find out that there are publishers like gawker that would take this photo and
publish it. my website refuses to publish this photo. they have admitted they took this photo surreptitiously. without my knowledge. they even said there were no cameras there. so i -- you should talk to sirius xmu and ask why their employees were misrepresenting the truth in that room. >> this may surprise a lot of people. i'm willing to take your word for that on this issue. no dispute from me. you haven't taken that photo and used it for a whole number of purposes for which you could. so there it is. let's put that ah side. different question for you. had congressman weiner rolled his back almost a week or whenever this saga began, had he at the very beginning, when he was first confronted with the initial tweets and the few pictures that were there, far less lascivious, far less offensive than so much of what else has come out, had heed ea
that point stood up and said, i sinned in this regard, i apologize, would you then have continued to distribute the information, the other tweets, all the other stuff, horrific as it is that's come out? >> i highly doubt it. because the second person that i ended up talking to, megan broussard, didn't come to me finally till last friday, which was exactly a week after congressman weiner started to endorse, tacitly endorse the campaign of certain media entities to call me the hacker, to say i savaged the girl in seatt seattle, who i never mentioned her name, so i was in the process of trying to find information that would exonerate me. and so i don't think i would, because i think the story would have died. i mean, if there's no media interest in the story, if he's
apologized, what's the point of going any further? >> i think it's impossible for us to predict whether or not the media would continue to be interested at that point. that's pure hypothesis. if he had acknowledged that sin, you would have said probably end of story. let me fast forward to the bottom-line issue that is dominating the discourse in washington and in weiner's district now, should he resign, in your mind? and, if so, why? because he lied about what he did or because of the underlying acts? then i want to pursue that a little bit. >> i don't want to be the arbiter. i don't want it to hinge upon what breitbart thinks. because he's certainly not going to listen to me. at this point, it's clear he's more damage to the democratic party if he stays. so i think at the end of the day, he should leave because he's not doing any favors to the american people. he's not doing any favors to the democratic party. and every single day i wake up to find out that there are
competing websites and competing, you know, media entities that are breaking new so sordid details in this thing. it comes down to whether pelosi and hoyer come up to him and say, come on, guy, you got to step down. >> look 5, i think it's fair to conclude at this point -- your conclusion is correct. i want to understand a little bit more. i think it's fair to conclude there's now been a crystallization of -- around the conclusion that he is, as you say, doing damage to the democratic party and there will be pressure brought to bear to have him resign. i want to understand your logic because you -- not that you will dictate the outcome but you're becoming a force in the media. that is what you do want to be. and hats off to you for succe succeedisuccee succeeding in that. but i want to understand your logic. is it because of the lies that he denied this behavior that he is so damaging to the democratic party? or is it because sending these
tweets, these communication, between consensual adults is so offensive that he nonetheless should not be in the house of representatives? >> i've never been part of the morality police. it's the lies. it's the cover-ups. but let me get back to 1998 construct called the -- you know, it's just about the sex. whether it's john ensign republican, whether it's mark foley, republican, whether it's mark sanford, republican, whenever these elected officials put themselves in the position where a private citizen that they're sending these images to, having an affair with, set themselves up to be blackmailed where they say, i know you don't want to lose your job and i have these pictures and i think you should vote this way on the farm bill instead of the other way. i don't like these people put themselves into compromising positions. and as far as i can tell, there
are more republicans in the last few years that have been nailed than democrats. this is not a bipartisan position -- i mean, this is a bipartisan position -- >> i was going to say, it is a bipartisan position you're articulating. if you're setting that bar, you say you're not doing it because you wadon't want to be the morality police. but blackmail, which is what the fbi used for investigating every public official up and down, but put that aside. do you think members of congress want to embrace that because my suspicious is it's not just anthony weiner who would then begin to feel a little pressure and a little heat. so is this where the congress wants to go? >> i -- since this thing started, the absence of commentary from the elected class in washington has been deafening. this has been fought and
reported outside of their realm. do i think there are skeletons in many a closet? do i think there are other people sexting? my goodness, within the last two months we have congressmen in peril because they took shirtless photos and put them on the internet. i think these guys have to be more careful about what they do in their private live because if they do things that can compromise this country, reporters like me, organizations like mine, have every right to expose it. >> andrew breitbart, thank you. we disagree on a whole bunch, but i think the world does need to acknowledge that you having been accused of hacking and all the rest were fairly respondent to that by proving your case was there. as i said, i think you did what you needed to do. we now march forward. andrew, thank you for joining us. >> thank you. all right, now that an x-rated picture is out and so many are calling for congressman weiner to go, is there any way
he can survive? for more, howard kurtz, washington bureau chief for "newsweek," and the daily beast, and also the host of a show here on cnn. that's what we're most proud of. thank you for joining us. simple question, can he survive? you've heard dana. you heard breitbart. can he make it? >> it's very difficult to imagine anthony weiner serving out the week. it's not just the political pressure from his own party, you understand that better than i do, it's what i would call the "yuck" factor. i've talked to several women with the reports that huma is pregnant and they have physically recoiled. like how could you do this to your wife? and also a fox news commentator, who used to date weiner, he lied to her personally. called a misogynist.
clearly dealing with people's reactions. >> i think that is right and he almost owes it to his party to end this. if it had gone away, disappeared, it would have been arguable it was a one-day distraction. this is derailing the democratic party's effort to do whatever its agenda is. he should at this point resign. the question i want to ask you as a media consultant, media maven, is, is his crime, was his crime the action or was it the lie to the press that so inflamed the media that it said now we've got you? >> i would say it was the lying. had there been no lying and somebody found out that anthony weiner had texted some photos or had engaged in sex talk with women, somebody would have reported it, it would have made a flap, but, you know, it's not exactly like the head of the imf being accused, accused, i say, allegedly, you know, of attacking a hotel maid. but because weiner recklessly in my view went on so many
television shows and said this didn't happen, i think it ticked off a lot of journalists. it also made it easy for us. a story of credibility and not of the underlying sexual bantering conduct. >> look, i can tell you, as the world knows, i've been in both of these camps. political world. resigned. i also am now here as a journalist. what's mystifying to most people is he sat in front of camera after camera last week, flat-out denying it, when he must have known this trail of e-mails, texts, tweets, whatever the technology was, was about to pour out. how do you square that with as smart a guy as anthony weiner? >> i saw that with john edwards who denied having the affair, then denied it was his baby. all that fell apart. i think people in politics and weiner is a classic example now get so full of themselves, surrounded by people who tell them how great they are they come to believe the ordinary rules don't apply, that somehow even if the story starts to unravel, that they can tough it out. weiner made a spectacular miscalculation.
the lying opened the door for all of us to nail this guy and that's what's happening. >> let's switch gears. switch the lens. to turn the focus back to the media. how has the media handled this? you have breitbart who is, by many people, reviled. what he has done in the past allegedly about taking tapes, cutting and splicing, had maim him a pariah within the mainstream media. i think many people will say he rehabilitated himself, whereas the mainstream media was nowhere until he led the mainstream media by the nose. am i wrong? >> i don't see breitbart having done anything wrong on this story. in fact, he held back the photo. having ricocheted from -- to edwards, schwarzenegger, dominique strauss-kahn, each one is legitimate. i can defend each one of those stories. but the degree of piling on, the way it takes away, hijacks cable news, hijacks the morning show, all over the internet, says to me we are more interested in
covering salacious topics than matters of the economy, war and peace. not a novel statement on my part. i've just never seen it spin that the velocity, this out of control. >> comes to the question i've asked myself, does the media reflect the public's desires and the underlying need or desire of the public to hear these stories or does the media lead the public to this? maybe it's an irrelevant sort of ex-spin chul question. >> i'm not saying you're chasing it, but it's an important story, important member of congress. >> thank you for being with us. coming up, syria, as the world awakes to the true brutality of the regime, i'll ask fouad ajami how the u.s. should respond. e.d., you're talking about one of the most admired women in washington, anthony weiner's wife. >> we've talked about him so much, but what is she all about? james carville last night when you were talking to him said she's one of the most popular democrats in d.c. she is the right-hand person to
hillary clinton. she has been with hillary clinton through lewinsky, through it all. and apparently, she is the person that anthony weiner's wife called when all this happened. instead of going to a therapist, the couple gets together and reportedly goes to a hotel to strategize on how they can politically handle this. so what is her background? what is her next move? that's what we'll discuss. >> fascinating stuff, e.d., thanks. we'll have that and so much more when we come back. also get a free flight.
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ask your doctor about plaque build up. and if crestor is right for you. [ woman ] i love what we've created here together. [ male announcer ] if you can't afford your medication, astra-zeneca may be able to help. giving way to a long brutal hot summer. everywhere you turn, another powder keg situation. what should or can america do in syria, libya and yemen? the best person to ask, the man who just won the braun del award for professional excellent in journalism, professor fouad ajami. a huge pleasure to have you here. congratulations on the award. >> thank you very much, governor spitzer, thank you, eliot. >> let's begin here be a report from humans right watch, which makes clear what we suspected, the brutalitity, the degree of heinous torture and other
misbehavior by assad in syria. what does this do to the opposition? what does this do to u.s. options? >> i think the masks have fallen in damascus. this regime in syria have almost always managed to fly under the radar. we never could believe this regime was the terrible regime it was. we always believed, indeed, senator kerry, the head of the foreign relations committee, when he opined assad was a reformer, said, oh, he was very good on foreign policy. so this regime showed a face to the outside world and a face to its own people. now we see the syrian people are fleeing to turkey, crossing the border, trying as best they can to flee the terror of this regime. and we see the ruler himself, bashar al assad, for what he is. in a way, history repeats itself. look at it this way. go back to the '80s. assad was the man and his younger brother was the killer.
you now have the same cast of characters. bashar assad at the head of the state and his younger brother as the killer. >> i yyou make a salient point. we fall prey to the veneer of this. the superfishalities deceived us into believing the terror he used at home dissipated but it never had. >> remember, "vogue" magazine did a piece on bashar al assad's wife and called her "roese in te desert." practice the art of concealment. and the art of deception. that sold the world on the idea of this moderation. it always had one thing going for it. it always said we're a secular awe autocracy and the alternative to muslim fundamentali fundamentalism. >> anybody who stood in opposition to the theocracies we were terrified of was given carte blanche to do whatever they wanted. as long as you're not -- as long as you're not khomeini, we will
let you govern how you wish. now, did we, do you believe, know what was going on internal to syria and just turn a blind eye? or did our intelligence agencies not know? >> we were not very well informed. there was a terror in syria. a repressive state. but not a war between the syrian regime and its people. then, on a certain day in march, some kid, some poor kids, under 15 years of age, went out in the southern town of denar and wrote some graffiti on the walls. the regime was so afraid, it couldn't tolerate this and it went to war against its own people. every act of repression, every act of repression on the part of the regime, strengthened the will of the syrian people and their defiancdefiance. >> which is actually a remarkable turn of events. usually acts of terror like that will lead to dissipation of opposition. >> exactly. that's why in mine opinion anyway, it's not a very original thought, that's why the syrian regime returned the body of this young poor boy to his people, to
his family, tortured and mutilated, because the idea was you will reinstate the state of fear, you will frighten the people. they will scurry to their homes and leave power to the assads. >> quickly, last question on syria because i want to move over to another area. what can and should the united states do now? >> we have imposed sanctions. they don't mean much. i think fundamentally, we were behind the curve on syria. we just couldn't do it. go back to president obama. on may 19, he was still saying, bashar has a choice. he can either lead the process of change or get out of the way. go back to secretary of state clinton. as late as june 1, she was saying the bashar al assad regime has nearly run out of legitimacy. there was no room and no need for the word "nearly." we never really were very much -- we didn't really understand the stakes in syria and we were not into the game. >> let's move a little bit west
to libya where the notable event in the last few days, even though attention's been elsewhere, is that the magnitude of nate yo bombing on tripoli ss to have expanded almost exponentially. why is there unity within the nato alliance? >> there's no unity within the nate yeso alliance. something remarkable happened, gates preparing to leave, he could afford great honesty, and ended up saying several members within nato are not committed to this war. singled out poland, singled out turkey, germany, the netherlands. then we are witnessing that you have small countries like denmark and norway that are carrying more of a load. and you have president obama giving the presidential medal of freedom to angela merkel but merkel said she will help only when the war comes to an end so there is division on the war in libya. >> president sarkozy of france -- and i don't want to
impugn his rationale for this, certainly he's facing the tough re-election, he looks like charles de gaulle these days, he been driving this forward. are the french determined maybe because of historic relations with libya? >> i think cameron and britain and sarkozy are committed but we are seeing the military limitations. i think president obama really is half in. he's really half-hearted in pursuit of this war. he has willed the end, which is the end of gadhafi, but he has not willed the means. and then there was a congressional rebellion against president obama. you have dennis kucinich on the left and some republicans on the right coming out against the endeavor in libya so we are not really fully into this libya venture. >> all right, professor fouad ajami, always great to have you here, i hope you will come back. up next, the tent city, a symbol of economic crisis, it happened in the great depression, it's happening again in wisconsin. we'll take a closer look when we come back.
it's been months since opponents of wisconsin governor scott walker flooded the state capitol to protest that recent bill but the fight goes on. protesters are settling in for the long term, erecting a tent city in the shadow of the capitol building. the city is called walkerville. in a reference to the makeshift shantytowns from the great depression. joining me, two walkerville regulars. peter is a law student in madison and kim is a teacher and nurse and state employee. peter, kim, welcome. peter, let me start with you. you've been called the unofficial mayor of the tent city you've helped create. why don't you show it to us quickly and also most importantly explain why you created it, what you hope to
accomplish here. >> well, where we're standing now is kind of right at the heart of tent city, walkerville. we've got tents set up on a few blocks. around the state capitol. we've got -- down over here, a number of people who have been set up here for the long term. you can see the tents over my shoulder. this is where people have been living for the last five days. this is where we have to be to make sure we can keep a watch on these politicians and the bad choices they're making so we can hold them accountable. if they'd let us in the people's house, i'm sure we'd be happy to be back there, but these republican politicians don't want to give us a chance to be able to watch everything they're doing because they know we oppose this agenda. >> kim, what is the agenda that so bothers and troubles you? >> well, basically, the entire agenda, it feels like things are being done underhandily. the public isn't informed. things are rushed through. and i'm here to stay in the
front lines so that i can be inform and inform other people. >> well, peter, let me get more specific. certainly, what drew national attention was the passage of a bill that appeared and i think it's fair to say does in fact significantly limit union bargaining power, but give us a sense of the broader agenda. what are the other agenda elements you find problematic? >> think we all know for the last few decades working folks have been under attack and this is just the more virulent and intense form of that. they went from attacking our unions to attacking public education. and health care. there's almost $1 billion in cuts in public education that's going to hurt kids, it's going to hurt teacher. i'm a product of our public schools. it's part of what makes me who i am. that's one of the reasons i had to stand up and fight. i think health care and education, the fight for good jobs, these are places we all have to be on the front lines. >> was the agenda that is now being passed not part of governor walker's very stated agenda when he ran for office
and was swept into power with the republican legislature behind him? is there anything you're seeing that is a surprise to you? kim, why don't you take a shot at it? anything here you did not expect, based upon what scott walker said when he was running for governor? >> well, i think almost everything, to be quite honest. specifically, you know, clean air, clean water. the voter i.d. bill. just, you know, he kind of guised it as under the budget for the unions and it's spiraled since then. >> when he was running, and the agenda embraces the notion if you cut taxes and spending in the public schools, then somehow the economy will bounce back so why are you surprised at the steps that governor walker has taken? and what do you think has evoked this sort of very significant pushback in the folks in madison and elsewhere in your state? >> well, because for me it's very apparently that the agenda
is to kind of squash the middle class. and, you know, it's just not right. the voices of us are not being heard. and people are frustrated. and he's doing things that he didn't run on. >> what are the things he's done that you did not expect him to do? >> i didn't expect him to go after and eviscerate collective bargaining. i didn't expect him to go after unions so strongly. you know, i thought there would be some combativeness. i didn't think he'd try to, you know, put a boot on the neck of working folks in the state. i didn't expect him to propose an unprecedented almost $1 billion cut in public schools. i didn't expect he was going to try to gut medicare and medicaid in the state -- excuse me, medicaid. i didn't expect they were going to push this agenda. what i heard on the campaign trail was they were about creating good jobs. it's apparent from even before he took office that scott walker has no interest in creating good jobs in this state. he's got an interest in putting
money in the pockets of corporations and the rich. that's what, you know, he's doing now, which is very different from the good jobs mantra we heard opn the campaig trail. >> peter, kim, thank you for joining us. >> thank you, eleliot, it's a pleasure. now, let's turn to glenn grothman. i think it's safe to say he's persona non grata in walkerville. welco welcome. >> glad to be on. >> thank you for joining us. what is your reaction to what i think you just heard, the protesters, the walkerville that's been erected around the capitol there in madison? does that effect you, your agenda, or what the republican leadership in the state intends to do going forward? >> no, i just view it as part of that madison ambience. it's like the lakes and the co-edds and the ethnic restaurants. the permanent protester class here again. they're kind of lovable.
and i enjoy waving to them. but it doesn't affect how we're going to vote. >> i'm impressed you find them lovable. perhaps have a greater tolerance than i might have. let me get serious. there was when you passed the bill that changed bargains nights of union members in wisconsin significant public protest and the argument at the time was, look, we want union members to contribute and they did by giving back significant financially to balance the budget but take away the rights, people thought was wrong. have you overstepped? have you gone beyond what scott walker pledged to do when he ran for governor? >> i don't think we've taken away rights. we're basically putting the public employee in the same position of the vast majority of private sector employees insin . we are going to make government more efficient, which is going to mean the average working man will not have to put up with the tax increase. >> we, look, let's go back to that bill. as you know, obviously, a court
it's a good conversation we had a couple weeks ago. where i don't think the changing the negotiating power affects the budget in the next year or wo but put that aside for moment. >> oh, it queses it's veryiscal in nature. >> anyway, we had that conversation a few weeks ago. i don't want to repeat it. what i do want to raise is the issue now of the six republican senators who are going to be subjected to a recall vote on july the 12h, if i'm correct. you have a margin of three in the wisconsin senate. how do you handicap those outcomes? what i'm being told is there's a tee cent shot the democrats take back control of the senate based upon these recalls. >> i see no way that's going to happen. first of all, in addition to having six republicans facing recall, we have three democrats facing recall. quite frankly, some of those democrats are in republican districts. so there is no way i can see the
democrats picking up three seats in the next two months. even on my darkest, blackest day, i wouldn't see more than one or two. >> we, look, i'm not sure it's such a dark moment when the other side win ace few races. even i have come to that conclude. look, with a it theal of nine, i think the six republicans races have been set for a date, july 12, have the three democratic recall votes actually been pegged so there's an election date that's been set yet? >> there has not been a date set yet at this time. >> so since the republican recall votes could come first, there could be a swing based upon that. let me ask you quickly because time runs short unfortunately, the argument that i do hear being made is that the public wanted fiscal conservative from governor walker but what he has done is become more dogmatic on issues such as immigrant rights, such as gun rights, such as defunding planned parenthood -- i apologize, i don't think we're setting off those alarms back there, but that somehow there's a dogma tism now and a rigidity to his ideology that doesn't sit
that well with the wisconsin voter. any truth to that argument? >> no, i don't feel governor walker's been too dogmatic at all. like i said what he has done is primarily fiscal in nature. and if our school systems, our counties and our cities are going to make it through this budget without cutting services, it's important they have more flexibility with regard to their unions. >> all right, senator, thank you so much for joining us. i don't know what those alarms are in the background. i don't know if the folks in walkerville perhaps set it off but thank you for joining us on the show as always. up next, a tug-of-war in libya. [ female announcer ] you've never had red lobster like this before. your own complete four-course seafood feast for $15. start with soup, like our hearty new england clam chowder. then enjoy a fresh salad with unlimited cheddar bay biscuits, followed by your choice of one of seven entrees, like new shrimp & scallops alfredo,
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in libya tonight, 13 reported dead as gadhafi forces launch a massive attack on the rebel-held city of misrata. nato has dramatically increased its air strikes on tripoli. we are live in misrata, what do you have? >> reporter: we can tell you there are extremely fierce fights going on on the front lines outside of misrata. the rebels have held this city for some time now, for several weeks, but about 25 to 30 kilometers outside the city on three separate fronts there was intense fighting today, to the east, to west and to the south. as you said, there were 13 people killed, about 24 people injured, the late time we checked with the hospital. what we're seeing on the front lines is that gadhafi forces have pushed in, they've tried to make a push in, again, towards
the city. this is the second time this week they've done it. they tried that on monday as well according to rebel fighters who were on the front lines with them on monday. what happened at that point is that the rebels were able to hold their ground and then push gadhafi forces even further back. about three kilometers. so there is quite a bit of celebrating as you might imagine, that they will be able to hold their positions but also push gadhafi forces back a bit. even to the west, a little bit closer to tripoli. >> i can understand why there would be celebration based upon the fact that gadhafi's not been able to kdefeat the rebels in misrata. is gadhafi sending a message that even after the relentless nato bombing of tripoli and any other assets he may still have, he is still able to mount a counteroffensive and clearly saying to the world, i'm here, continuing to fight, and how do the rebels understand his response at the moment? >> yeah, eliot, you're seeing this, because nato is also
saying, look, we're going to spend another 90 days in libya. what does that tell you? it tells you that moammar gadhafi is holding his ground. he says he's not going anywhere. he came out on the radio after dozens of bombs hit tripoli and was very defiant, saying he's not going anywhere, saying he's going to be here in the country, going to fight the fight. what you're seeing is a reaction to that in some ways. the rebels also feel the same. they're not going anywhere. they're going to hold their ground. they've been told, though, by their commanders, to hold their ground, not to push too far forward. which has gotten them a little bit frustrated. they've been told not to use tanks by nato because they think it's very difficult for them to differentiate because they're using most of the weapons they're getting are from the gadhafi forces when they end up defeating them. one way or another. but you're certainly not seeing any movement by colonel moammar gadhafi, movement out of the country, or any indication he's planning on going anywhere anytime soon. >> you know, sara, if i'm correct, you've been in misrata for two weeks and you've also
been in ben ghazi for about four, ben ghazi being the headquarters of the opposition forces. do you sense from the leadership any growing sense of confidence, any sense that time is now on their side as they get more organized, as nato demonstrates its commitment to persevere in this battle? >> reporter: absolutely. the answer to that is yes. they've had a number of nations sign on, saying they are the legitimate representatives of the libyan people. they've been pressing for that and pressing for that from the nations like the united states and the uk. they are still hoping they're going to get that. because with that, think what they will get, are funds. they have constantly said they're desperately in need of funds. they're hoping to get some fund from the united states in particular that were frozen. some of that $34 billion in frozen gadhafi assets, hoping to get their hands on some of that because they have to do things like pay government workers. make sure they have money for those to help fuel the front lines. the front lines are very low on
guns. so you're seeing a lot of this. you're also seeing nations come forward. russia came into the country to speak with them. someone who sort of switched positions and is now supporting the opposition and trying to have conversations with the opposition as opposed to going to tripoli and speaking with moammar gadhafi. you're seeing some of these actions from other nations that is certainly bolstering the national transitional council as they call themselves. hoping to be the interim government, trying to usher in free and fair elections and a constitution for the people, by the people, eliot. >> all right, sara sidner, thank you for that report. when we come back, e.d. hill and the portrait of the remarkable woman married to congressman weiner. stay with us. one day i'm on p of the world... the next i'm saying... i have this thing called psoriatic arthritis. i had some intense pain. it progressively got worse.
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new york times." if some people wondered why she was staying with him, now some wonder, how could she leave? for more, i'm joined by alan duke in our l.a. bureau. thanks for being with us. >> certainly. >> i'm trying to understand what she's all about. clearly, remarkable woman. she starts out at 19 as an intern for the first lady at that point. makes it through her campaign. now she's -- her right-hand person at the secretary of state's office. what's she all about? >> well, she's an interesting combination. in an interview about four years ago, hillary clinton, while she was campaigning, described her as an unmatched combination of style, kindness and intelligence. and that comes from a background where her father is an islamic scholar from india. her mom, a sociologist from pakistan. she's born in kalamazoo, michigan. raised in saudi arabia. moved back to the u.s. to go to college. and then worked for first lady
hillary clinton. >> so why this guy? apparently, according to james carville, she's one of the most popular people in the democratic party in washington, d.c. anthony weiner, even talking to follow democrats who want to like him, say he's a tough guy to really get, you know, warm up to. so why him? she apparently had george cloob clooney at her beck and call, john cusack, and she ends up with anthony weiner. >> well, you would know better than me what women look for. but i think a sense of humor. he's noted for that. and his intelligence. not evident lately but of course over the years. he's courted her actively. when he met her in the 2008 presidential campaign when she was by hillary clinton's side so long, he met her there and actively pursued her and obviously was victorious because 11 months ago, bill clinton performed the vows, officiating at their wedding. >> and that is what was so interesting to me. what happens when all of this
breaks? she's not by his side but we hear she caws hillary clinton. he calls bill clinton. and, you know, this is a woman who has been with hillary clinton through the lewinsky scandal. hillary clinton goes from first lady of arkansas to the secretary of state of the united states. is she a person do you think that has political aspirations of her own? >> well, one would think. actually, she told the "vogue" interviewer four years ago her aspirations were to be the next christy yawn amanpour, a journalist. ended up working for the first lady. and now here she is. but apparently she did have aspirations. she married an ambitious man who planned to perhaps be governor of new york some day. and who knows what from then. so one would think they were becoming a power couple. >> one person in washington said anybody who is able to make the transition from the first lady's office, make it through all of it into the secretary of state's office had to have sharp elbows.
so i'm wondering is this a person who is really looking at the much bigger, farther long-term picture. instead of calling a therapist, this couple, when all this broke, when he reportedly told her on monday, this has been going on, and he tells reporters that she knew about some of it before they got married, they don't go to a therapist, they go to a hotel and figure out how to handle the political fallout together. >> she had a mentor in hillary clinton. someone who history will show you experienced far more than she's experiencing now. obviously could mentor her through this. and, well, look where it got both of them. >> my first reaction to this is how can she stay with him? after finding out that according to "the times" at least she's pregnant, you wonder, okay, now she's sort of stuck with this. however, is this a type of woman who is strong enough, popular enough, has enough support in d.c., that she could simply walk and do this on her own?
>> well, maybe some day she'll be secretary of state. she's certainly becoming a name that a lot of people know. beyond the movers and shakers of the democratic party and the beltway press. so we know who she is. and we know a lot about her. we're talking about her now. so perhaps she could win from this. at least in a very -- i guess an odd way. >> well, she certainly seems to be remarkable although i did not envy her position right now. thank you so much for joining us. we'll be right back. ♪ trouble, trouble trouble, trouble ♪ ♪ trouble been doggin' my soul ♪ since the day i was born ♪ worry ♪ oh, worry, worry worry, worry ♪ [ announcer ] when it comes to things you care about, leave nothing to chance. travelers. take the scary out of life.