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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  September 22, 2015 2:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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might be stronger than mine. >> thanks for your insights. watch cnn this evening for a special report "the people's pope," how did pope francis become a rock star worldwide? find out tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern. that's it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper. turning you over to wolf blitzer in t"the situation room" right now. >> happening now, breaking news, pope in america. the people's pope land on u.s. soil for the first time and is greeted by the president and vice president. will he bring controversy with him to the white house and congress as he tackles tough political and social issues? unprecedented security. the pope's visit will have parts of three u.s. cities on lockdown. it's one of the largest security mobilizations in american history. can 50 u.s. agencies keep the pope safe? cease and desist. donald trump demands a
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conservative group stop attack ads as he trades new attacks with carly fiorina and steps up his feud with the news network. plus -- north korea warn united states it's ready to use nuclear weapons. we have an exclusive look at control center for kim jong-un's satellite. i'm wolf blitzer and you're in th"the situation room." this is cnn breaking news. >> let's get right to the breaking news. president obama, waiting at bottom of the stairs as pope francis stepped off the plane for his first-ever visit to the united states. the first family was there. also, the vice president, joe biden, who is catholic, and his family. it's a very rare honor for the u.s. president to be on hand to welcome a visiting dignitary. pope francis will have plenty of opportunities to interact with ordinary people, schoolchildren, families, immigrants, and the
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homeless. he addresses a joint meeting of the u.s. congress on thursday morning. tomorrow morning, the pope visits the white house for important discussions with the president. we'll speak live with the white house press secretary josh earnest in just a few minutes. our correspondents, analysts and guests, they have full coverage of the day's top stories. let's gone with cnn's jim chu sciut sciutto. tell us about the arrival, jim. >> reporter: wolf, this was an arrive, a visit by a world leader unlike one we've ever seen before. we can say that without exaggeration. a first to have a president and vice president greet the world leader here at joint base andrews here in the u.s. that is a first. unprecedented security for this visit, a cast of thousands, tens of thousands behind the scenes to keep this pope safe on his first visit ever to the u.s. but also touches and scenes and
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gestures here only this pope can generate and only this pope is capable of. part of the pomp and circumstance here, a red carpet, of course, honor guard but 300 children, chanting his name, high school band playing songs, everything from neil diamond hits to pharrell's "happy" that captured the energy, the anticipation, welcoming the pope here to america and the pope making gestures of his own, like driving into the city and that tiny little fiat. not a cadillac limo for him, not a giant suv, a gesture of modesty. this is a pope of gestures, meaningful gestures. we'll see a number of those in the days coming as he seeks to king with the american people on his first visit in a way only he can do. >> we saw the arrival of the diplomatic residence in washington, across the street from the vice president's residence on massachusetts avenue. what happens next? >> reporter: i'll tell you, it's
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a very quiet first night in the united states for this pope. and in large part, because tonight is the jewish holiday of yom kippur. in light of that, he's going to have a quiet night. he's going to rest, remain at that residence, right across from the vice president's residence, under tremendous security. a number of roads around there are closed. before tomorrow, he dives into his schedule, including that crucial meeting at the white house later, of course, the joint meeting of congress, speaking before the u.n. general assembly. but tonight, on his first night in america, at the age of 78, a quiet night at home for pope francis. >> at the vatican's diplomatic residence in washington, jim sciutto. the conference of catholic bishops announced the pope would have no public events out of respect for yom kippur, which begins tonight at sundown. tomorrow morning he'll become the third pope in u.s. history to visit the white house following in the footstep of his predecessors, john paul ii and
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benedict xvi. let's go to senior white house correspondent, jim acosta, who's got a preview for us. >> reporter: there is a rock star here in washington, and his name is not barack obama and he's going to get a rock star welcome tomorrow here at the white house. just getting back to that arrival you saw at andrews, this certainly was one of the biggest symbolic moments of the obama presidency with the press, first family, plus the nation's first catholic vice president, dr. jill biden, altogether greeting pope francis. it did make for an unprecedented welcome to the u.s. day two will be a sight to behold. starters, 15,000 people expected to squeeze on to the white house south lawn to witness the pope's official arrival ceremony. the two leaders will speak to the world and have that crucial one-on-one meeting inside the oval office. we believe there will only be translators in the room. the vice president, secretary of state john kerry will be with vatican officials before pope francis addresses congress
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thursday. biden will be in attendance for that the president will not. the president and pope are allies on climate change, income inequality, iran nuclear deal, the white house is not saying they won't reveal what these two men will discuss, perhaps that's because this pope can be full of surprises. after their last meeting in rome, we asked the president whether any hot button social issues were raised and president obama told me, at that news conference, the pope unexpectedly brought up immigration reform. the pope can be full of surprises and white house senior adviser valerie jared told me they have more to tackle. they're on the same page on a whole slew. >> tell us about the diversity of the invitees coming to the white house tomorrow to welcome the pope. >> reporter: that's right. with 15,000 people, the white house says there are people coming from all parts of the world, all shapes and sizes, from all political stripes, and
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you are going to see people invited to the white house are pro-choice, who are pro-gay rights. i've spoken with a couple in the last couple of days, they are coming and there were anonymous vatican sources criticizing the white house saying this is not how it should be. >> mike huckabee said it was another example of how the white house is anti-christian administration. when i talked to valerie jarrett they're proud of the diversity of the crowd in aten dance and it reflects the entire catholic church. involving three major u.s. cities has led to one of the largest security mobilizations in american history. the visit coincides with gathering of world leaders for the united nations general assembly. it's like protecting a super bowl, political convention and presidential inauguration all at the sail time. let's go to deborah feyerick, she's got more on this part of the story. major, major challenge. >> yeah, it really is.
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the secret service has its work cut out for them. no specific credible threat, what we've been hearing all along. when you have somebody of the pope's stature in town there's an implied threat because it is such an attractive terror target for anyone who wanted to do something bad. what this has been designated is a national security special event. what that means, extra resources have been thrown at this event to make sure that the pope's visit here is a safe one. it happened in a split second, several people breaking from the crowd, one of them able to reach into the popemobile in havana. the sudden security breach handled quickly by the pontiff's security detail underscores how high the stakes are. and how much greater they will be when the pope arrives in new york city to address some 170 world leaders, all with security details of their own security
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will be tight in the air, on the rooftops, waterways, the city streets all eyes zeroed in on pope francis. >> the implied threat is significant. nobody wants to have go down on their watch. >> reporter: the united states secret service is coordinating 50 agencies in a massive security operation. for a two-day period from thursday night through early saturday, pope francis will visit six locations, all of which will be swept, secured, and locked down, long before he arrives. >> like a military operation, post this up with agents is officers, kick everybody out and sweep it for security threats. >> reporter: bill gauge, a former secret service agent who protected pope benedict on his 2008 u.s. tour. you've still got balconies, rooftops, trees. what's not to say somebody can hide in those areas and wait? >> each of the building someone
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from the service will visit and do an assessment, do the windows open out, open in, even open? how do you get on the roof of the building? who controls roof access? also going to be plainclothes agents as well as nypd officers patrolling some of the roofs. >> reporter: nypd will provide manpower, protect the city, coordinate street closures and respond to potential attacks. >> noir ied explosion, report of 48 d.o. a, 200 injure. >> they're out there trying to kill us, terrorist, al qaeda, isis, islamic radicals and we need to be constantly mindful of that. >> reporter: only ticket holders get close enough to get a glimpse of the pope. they have to go through security check points including magna tomorrow mers, there be a fence set up to ensure nobody slips through any kind of contraband like a weapon. >> fencing is used by the secret
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service routinely to identify those that have been screened versus those that haven't been screened. >> reporter: along with the joint separation center, every agency will have a command post, managing social media posts, comings and goings of people on various lists. radiation detectors will be positioned at bridges and tunnels. the most recent bulletin said there's no known threat surrounding events. >> we'll see a lot of security. a lot invisible, s.w.a.t. teams specialized units, plain clothe officers and also staging areas with thousands of federal agents and extra police officers in the event something does happen. it does, there is an evacuatio plan. >> the first big security test of the papal visit comes tomorrow morning, huge crowd
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expected for the pope's open motorcade, along the ellipse part of the national mall after he meets with president obamaen joining us now, the white house press secretary josh ennest. have there been specific threats against the pope? >> wolf, the secret service has taken necessary steps they believe will be required to ensure that the pope can do a couple of things. first is travel safely in the united states. this pope part of his trademark making sure he can have the opportunity to spend time with people who live in the country he's visiting. he has this innate desire to make a connection with the population. we certainly have been working hard to try to accommodate his desire to make that kind of connection, even in the physical way, also making sure that all of the necessary precautions are taken to keep him safe. why does the pope require this huge level of security, at least
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equ equal, if not exceeding the security that the president receives? >> the pope is an international symbol, and what we want to do is make sure that he can participate in all of the wide range of activities that he has planned for his visit in washington and give the american public the opportunity to hear his message and to really give him the opportunity to feel the warm welcome that we expect that he'll receive during his visit to the united states. >> i'm sure very warm. as you know, the president for the arrival ceremony tomorrow at the white house, invited thousands of people, 15,000, but some are seen as controversial. you heard that report earlier, openly gay episcopal bishop, transgender activist, a few of them, nun who heads up social justice organization at odds with the vatican over several issues including abortion. why did the president decide to invite these specific guests. >> i think in general what you can expect are thousands of people representing a variety of
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communities all across the country eager to welcome the pope not just to the united states but the white house. there's no theological test administered to before they got tickets. our goal to invite people just as inspired by the pope and his message that the president himself is. i think this will be an opportunity for the pope to receive that warm welcome from a genuine cross-section of the american people, catholics and noncatholic as like inspired by his message of social justice and caring for the least of these. >> was the president trying to send a message? >> absolutely not. wolf, we have even seen a number of on the record statements from senior vet can officials that have totally debunked this anonymous griping that has popped up in some reports. >> josh, stand by. we have more to discuss. other issues as well. much more with the white house press secretary on this historic day here in the nation's capital right after this. people don't have to think about
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following breaking news, president obama and vice president biden welcoming pope francis for his first ever visit to the united states. the papal jet flew in from cuba a little more than an hour or so ago. the pope's spending the night at vatican's diplomatic mission here in the nation's capital.
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back with the white house press secretary, josh earnest. josh, pope francis, president obama, very similar views on climate change, income inequality i should say as well. pope helped the u.s. restore diplomatic relations with cuba. does the president consider the pope a political ally? >> well, wolf, the pope in the mind of the president is somebody who is a moral and spiritual leader around the globe, and he's somebody as i mentioned who hassen spired catholics and noncatholics alike. and what the president is lookinger forward to doing when he welcome the pope to the white house tomorrow talk about shared values and ultimately this is a president who has been animated even before he started running for public office by the idea that we need to fight for social and economic justice, both in this country and around the world. and this has been a hallmark of pope francis before he arrived
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in the vatican as well. he was somebody who had a reputation for reaching out to the poor and serving the poor. these are the kinds of values that they share. the president is not meeting with pope francis to advance a political agenda but rather sit down and talk about values they have in common and how the two men in the very different roles they have the public can advance those shared values together. >> there's another news following, josh, including new satellite images of russian planes in syria. will the president ask the russian president putin to pull that aircraft that attacks military hardware, out of syria or does the u.s. see troops as useful in combatting isis? >> we've been quite clear any russian effort to double down on their support of president assad would be a losing bet. the fact is, this is a broader trend and challenge that the russians have to confront inside of syria.
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for years syria has been a client state of russia and that es why russia has had a military presence inside syria for some time they've work for a long time to prop up al assad. they want to make sure they can protect the investment they have inside of syria. this additional deployment of military resources is not them responding from a position of strength but from a position of weakness, concerned about the investment they've made inside of syria. what we want to do is we want to make sure that russia has the opportunity to make a constructive contribution to the international coalition that the united states has built to defeat and ultimately destroy isil, hopefully that's what they'll be willing to do. we've asked them to do that. right now intensions inside of syria are quite unclear. >> a little while ago, moments ago, the democratic presidential candidate hillary clinton came out against the keystone oil
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pipeline. she had deferred, not said, what her position was all of these many months. is the president going to agree withl her because he's still on the fence. >> there's an ongoing process at state department to consider whether the construction is in the national interest. this is a study that has been under way for quite some time. it was delayed for a year, at least, based on legal proceedings under way. so this is a process that's still under way at the state department, and once the state department has put forward a recommendation the president will consider it, and he'll make a decision. but right now that policy process rests at the state department. >> final question, government shutdown, talk if funding for planned parenthood continues, there could be a government shutdown by the end of this month. what's the assessment at the white house? >> right now what we would like to see is republicans in congress sit down with democrats in congress and negotiate a bipartisan solution that would avoid a government shutdown, but also make sure that we're
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adequately funding both national security and our economic priorities. for months, democrats have said they're ready to have those kinds of conversations with republicans but republican have put off the conversations. the problem is republicans have been trying, time and time again to pass appropriations legislation along party lines without working with democrats and the fact is they have failed in every single effort to do that. what's obvious they have to work with -- republicans have to work with democrats to pass that legislation. republicans haven't even really been willing to start negotiations yet. i think the next step is hopefully we'll be able to pass a continuing resolution to keep the government open and buy a little bit of time for democrats and republicans to sit down together and negotiate a broader budget agreement, doing it in fiscally economic way but also make sure national and security priorities are adequately funded. stay with cnn for complete coverage of the pope's historic visit in the united states
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including a special report" the people's pope" 9:00 p.m. eastern only on cnn. you saw them go at it during the cnn debate, now donald trump is on the attack again, will carly fiorina respond in kind? as north korea tries to hide activity at a launch site and is prepared to use nuclear weapons an exclusive look at the secret space control center. stay with us, you're in "the situation room." ♪ while you're watching this, i'm hacking your company. grabbing your data. stealing your customers' secrets. there's an army of us. relentlessly unpicking your patchwork of security. think you'll spot us? ♪ you haven't so far. the next wave of the internet requires the next wave of security. we're ready. are you? which means you can watch movies while you're on the move.
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the gop front-runner, donald trump, is threatening to sue a conservative group, the club for growth, if it does not stop running attack ads against him.
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the club for growth is telling trump, quote, grow up. meantime, trump is launching new attacks at carly fiorina. according to the polls, she's in second place, after her strong showing in the cnn debate and on the trail right now trying to capitalize on that. cnn's sunlen serfaty joining us live from myrtle beach, south carolina, with the latest. >> this is the start of a three-day big push by carly fiorina here in south carolina, trying to keep momentum from her post manufactu post-debate performance going now she's in second place. >> reporter: after rocketing up in the polls today carly fiorina is fighting for votes in south carolina. >> we have always assumed this would be a very long race. and so we have built a staff that will go the long haul. one of the things that i am keenly aware of is that debates do not win elections, voters do. >> reporter: the campaign, eager to show off her substance.
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>> this is a time for a real reset with china. i have no confidence this president will even attempt such a thing. will be all gesture and protocol. president fiorina will do it. >> reporter: and style. >> putin is saying he wants to meet with trump when he comes here and that he wants to sit down and have a conversation with him. you've met putin. >> i have. the two have a lot in common actually. we'll leave it at that. >> reporter: this, as gop front-runner donald trump continues ramping up his criticism of fiorina. >> i find her to be robotic, and i think a bigger problem, frankly, is her horrible tenure at various companies that frankly, were destroyed. >> reporter: fiorina shrugging it off. >> i don't spend a lot of time on the campaign trail thinking about donald trump. i really don't. and and so i'm going to keep doing what i've been doing. >> reporter: her campaign telling supporters in an e-mail, we get the point, mr. trump, you're worried. you should be. you'll be seeing a lot more of
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that face. trump renewing his war against fox news on twitter, tweeting, i am having a really hard time watching fox news. after seeing his poll numbers slide, following last week's debate, trump telling "new york" magazine i wasn't treated farley by cnn and it shouldn't have been three hours long. it was too long. departure from what trump initially said following the debate. >> very professional the way they handled. cnn did a very good job. >> reporter: and the fiorina superpac is touting the night of the debate 112% up tick in views on the fiorina website and a significant increase in donations and in volunteers signing up for the campaign but, wolf, the campaign did not provide hard numbers to back up either of those claims. >> thank you. joinings now, cnn political commentator, s.e. cupp, jeff zell lany, ryan lizza,
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washington correspondent for the "new yorker" magazine and cnn political commentator, dan pfeiffer. can carly fiorina keep up this momentum? >> yeah, in the short term what she needs to do is show she can fundraise off of the great performance mz. it's not enough to have a great night and she knows than in the long term avoid the mitt romney problem getting defined too early. you can hear opponent on the right and left talking about her failed record at h.p., her failed senate race. instead of getting locked down in that, she needs to position herself as a fighter, the woman that fought her way up the corporate ladder, the woman who fought cancer, the woman who fought her way on to the debate stage. that's the sort of momentum she needs and she needs to talk about her personal story, her rise from secretary to ceo, that's incredibly compelling. talk to women about how difficult that was, talk to women about the sacrifices you had to make. i think that will resonate.
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>> she seems, jeff, avoiding getting into a battle with donald trump. he's hitting her but she's been restrained. is that going to continue? does she have to hit back at some point? >> i think she'll hit back in a different way. we heard her on the late night show hitting back saying that donald trump has a lot of similarities to vladimir putin, i think that was a clever way. i don't think she's going to respond to everything he says. some of the things he's been saying about her he said you listen to her for five minutes you get a headache, she's grating. those are loaded things. she's more than happy to let him keep talking, digging with women voters who may not like what he's saying. on substance, she will have to hit back. but on the other attacks, i think she can let those go for now. >> you heard in the report, ryan, criticizing cnn after originally saying it was a good debate, criticizing fox news, going after the club for growth saying their ads, that that say he's got the highest tax increase in history are false,
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and defamatory, threatening to sue them. is this a strategy? >> you know, i don't know. imagine if any time that donald trump said something that was arguably false or defamatory somebody sued him in the campaign. he's really shaking up politics, change politics and now he's bringing lawsuits to politics. that's -- that's pretty rare. a lot of us have predicted trump's demise over and over, and he's had more staying power than most pundits believed he would have. i do think you see, for the first time, a slight dip in his polls. he has gained two points every week since he started in this race. for the first time in that cnn poll, after the debate, he went down. in 2012, when a candidate who was surging in the polls started to go down, that trend continued. >> fatal. >> we'll see now if this period of intense scrutiny changes things. >> in our poll it went down but he's still number one. >> still number one. >> the club for growth issued a statement, quote, tough guy donald trump starts whining when his liberal record is revealed.
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we suggest donald grow up, stop whining and defend his liberal record. can they do what the republican candidates themselves are reluctant to do in. >> they can start the process. it allows them to for ever minute that donald trump is fighting with club for growth is a minute he's not attacking carly fiorina or pounding jeb bush as he's been doing for weeks. it serves that purpose. if anyone wants to knock him off of the top perch, the candidate themselves will have to do it it, whether bush, rubio, fiorina, anyone else. the club for growth is trying to say, it's okay, get in the water, you can get in the attack and survive. >> stand by for a moment. more to discuss. much more politics. we'll be right back.
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active management can take calculated risks. active management can seek to outperform. because active investment management isn't reactive. it's active. that's the power of active management. talking about 2016 presidential campaign. back with s.e. cupp, dan pfeiffer, ben carson spent the day trying to clarify or even change his position on whether he could support a muslim as president of the united states. listen to what he said today. >> in the program on sunday, i said very clearly, i said anybody regardless of their religion, if they are willing to subjugate that to our constitution and to abide by our american values, i am for them, and then he said what about a
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muslim? as, you know, obviously implying that they did not fit into that category. as far as i'm concerned be anybody can fit into that category. i said it doesn't matter what their religion is. but obviously talking about people who don't fit into that category, i'm not going to advocate for them. >> did he go far enough? >> that's not what he said the other day. he's changing what he said. did he go far enough in he's basically saying what some people said about jfk, right, a catholic president couldn't -- a catholic couldn't be president because they'd be under the sway of the pope and some evangelical christian said this about mitt romney in 2008 a mormon couldn't be president because of religious beliefs. certain muslims couldn't be president because their faith would somehow conflict with the constitution or american law. i suppose that's a minor improvement from what he said the other day. but he's still in the same place of, in my view, making an
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anti-muslim bigoted case against an entire class of people based on religion. as far as i'm concerned, no, it not much better. >> s.e. is this going to stop for come groups to stop calling for him to drop out of the case. >> probably not. as much as what ben carson said at the time and saying now, it seems he's suggesting one must check their faith at white house door. i'm assuming unless that person is christian and then i think he seems to believe that christianity and the constitution are one in the same or at least compatible in ways that other faiths aren't. i don't know. it's very difficult to understand what he means. i don't think he's done a good job clarifying. and as much as religion should matter, we have this debate, we want to know about the president's faith, that's why we were interested in whether scott walker believes in evolution or what sarah palin's church was like or barack obama's church. that's important. but i think to have a
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presidential candidate suggesting that muslims should be excluded from, you know, being in the white house, from being president, is alarming, disturbing, should be disqualifying. >> from the democratic perspective you say? >> i say that ben carson has done terrible damage to the reputation of brain surgeons as very sharp people because what he said on sunday was offensive up what he said on monday was terribly offensive and completely senseless. it was word salad. look, this is a problem, "the new york times" had a very good story how islamphobia creeped into the primary. you don't have a figure like george bush who said we're at war against terrorists not against islam. >> talk about the political story, one of the major stories, the pope's historic visit here in washington. jeff, how than going to play out politically in this race? >> fascinating it's coming up this moment. the pope is an outsiding and he's stepping into a political
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season of where outsiders are sort of central here. it's a catholic moment in the country, the majority of supreme court justices are catholic. seven out of 15 republican candidates running for president are catholic. but when he speaks before congress on thursday, the first pope ever to address a joint session, he's going to have, i believe, tough medicine for both sides, perhaps democrats on abortion but for republicans, on climate change, on social justice issues, so i think that this is a very good moment for the pope to be here. some republican presidential candidates are running away from this little bit, a couple of members of congress boycotting, one member is. jeb bush, i thought, kind of a good moment for jeb bush. he's been able to use this as a time to explain why he is a catholic, he'll be at a mass at st. matthematthew's cathedral tomorrow. we'll see after he spokes what candidates actually do, what will marco rubio do, what will jeb bush say about climate change. maybe it will give him some
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cover on immigration and other things. this is central to the pope's message. >> we'll hear extensively from the pope thursday. thanks very, very much. programming note, cnn will hoecht the first democratic presidential debate october 13th in nevada. coming up -- as north korea warns it's ready to use nuclear weapons it tries to hide activity at a sensitive launch site. an exclusive look at kim jong-un's satellite control center. we're going to pyongyang. one of the largest security mobile gati izations in american history. three u.s. cities on lockdown. can dozens of police agencies keep him safe? at&t and directv are now one. which means you can watch movies while you're on the move.
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the cnn exclusive as north korea tries to conceal feverish activity at a launch site and says it's prepared to use nuclear weapons at any time. will ripley has gotten an extraordinary look at the control center for its satellite program. he's joining us from the communist capital of pyongyang. what's the latest? >> reporter: wolf, for first time north korean officials here in pyongyang are confirming to cnn what u.s. intelligence has suspected for a while, that significant upgrades are under way at their launch pad near the country's northern border with china and they're preparing to launch multiple rockets and
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multiple satellites very soon. we're at north korea's brand-new satellite control center. this is a facility that the government tells us no foreign media has ever been allowed to visit before. sitting in a residential neighborhood, there's little visible security for a facility said by some to be at the heart of north korea's ballistic missile program. the satellite control center's director says his team of 300 is working nonstop to meet an ambitious goal set by supreme leader kim jong-un who visited the facility in may to make north korea a space superpower. a team of mostly young researchers hand picked from top universities. how much pressure are you under to succeed here? "we young scientists are working full steam" he says, "day and night with no rest, especially
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these days." north korea says they're on the verge of a national triumph, launching rockets and multiple satellites into space, the first since this in 2012. they say their launch and satellite technology is improving all the time but insists their purpose is peaceful. "our launch is no threat to the u.s." says this 21-year-old researcher. a claim disputed by some international observers who say a rocket large enough to carry a satellite could also carry a nuclear war head. what can you say to the world to prove that this is not a ballistic missile program? "why would we have any intention on dropping nuclear bombs on the world and the united states" says the director of scientific development. but just this month north korea's own state media said it's fully ready to use nuclear weapons at any time, triggering a harsh warning from washington.
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north korea is already under severe sanctions for its nuclear program, but the cash-strapped country continues investing heavily in its space agency. even as the nation faces food and electricity shortages. could you take us inside? while no question is off limits, the control center itself is. "i'd love to take you inside," the director says" but if that happens and we hear the same old stereotypes, foolish western media propaganda, our young scientists will be angry. our peaceful launch was not a tlelt to you yesterday, he says. it is not a threat today and it won't be a threat tomorrow. you may remember back in 2012, the last korean satellite launch, that rocket actually flew directly over u.s. military forces stationed in okinawa. it caused great concern internationally. you may have noticed that the facility looked pretty empty at least on the outside. the space officials tell us
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that's because the majority of their officials have scattered around at observation centers making the final calculations before these laurchs which they say are imminent. wolf? >> will ripley joining us live from pyongyang with that exclusive report, will. thank you very, very much. coming up, it's like the super bowl of political convention and a presidential inauguration all at the same time. the pope's visit to three u.s. cities comes with unprecedented security. what are the risks? and polls have him well back in the republican pack, but should senator rand paul leave the race to give another candidate a better chance as some of his colleagues are suggesting? i'll ask -- energy. focus. help turn your potential... into reality. start every day with milk's 8 grams of high-quality protein. how will you milk life?
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is definitely a vote for more parks and open space. a vote on proposition "d" is a vote for jobs. campos: no one is being displaced. it's 40% affordable units near the waterfront for regular people. this is just a win-win for our city. i'm behind it 100%. voting yes on "d" is so helpful to so many families in our city.
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breaking news. papal arrival. pope francis has set foot on u.s. soil for first time. greeted on the tarmac by president obama and vice president biden. huge turnouts to welcome the pontiff to washington. will his meeting at the white house stir some controversy? protecting the pontiff, a massive security operation now surrounding a man who thrives on personal contact. how to protect a pope with no concern for the massive crowds he draws. trump threat. donald trump says he'll sue a conservative group unless it stops attack ads against him. will his rivals support him if he's the nominee? i'll ask one of them. senator rand paul is here this hour. and putin's deployment. new satellite images show russian fighter jets in syria. part of vladimir putin's major and troubling military buildup
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in that country. what's his ultimate plan? i'll ask a leading member of the senate intelligence committee james rich. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." this is cnn breaking news. we're following the breaking news, pope francis arriving in the united states for the first time starting a historic visit that will take him to washington, new york and philadelphia. president obama, vice president biden and their families welcomed the pontiff at joint base andrews just outside washington, d.c., a little while ago. from there, the pope was driven in a small fiat to the vatican's residence here in washington where he'll be staying while he's in town. we're also following the 2016 presidential campaign and republican front-runner donald trump lashing out at news networks and threatening to sue a conservative group over attack
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ads. we're covering all of that. much more with our guests including republican presidential candidate rand paul and republican senator james rich. he's a leading member of the intelligence and foreign relations committees. we have our correspondents standing by in key locations. let's go to our chief national security correspondent jim ch e sciutto. he's in maryland outside washington. that's where the pope's plane landed just a little while ago. jim, walk us through what has happened since the pope arrived. >> reporter: well, wolf, i'll tell you, it was a remarkable moment to witness. the sense of anticipation here at andrews before he arrived, the crowd here from children to the elderly, brimming with excitement. and then the moment that that plane touched down. you hear the cheers. and then you saw the luminaries come out one by one to greet him. the president, first lady, their children, malia and sasha. and the vice president as well and dr. joe biden, his wife and
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two grandchildren, to have the two of them together here greeting a world leader, we've never seen that before. truly unprecedented. of course, behind the scenes thousands of security agents keeping this pope safe here at andrews and throughout his trip. but here you felt not the security, you felt that welcome in those cheers, in the songs, in the handshakes. and then when you look at this pope, this is a pope of gestures. he lands, of course, with an alitalia plane from rome, but then when he started in his motorcade he didn't have a fancy suv or a cadillac limousine. he had a fiat, a simple car, part of his gesture of a simple pope, one that wants to reach out not to luminaries first and foremost but to average people. that is really what he hopes to define this trip is less the big meetings, more the meetings with americans of every stripe and, of course, the first one for
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him. and then after that motorcade took him to downtown d.c., spending the night tonight in the residence of the vatican emissary to the u.s., the vatican ambassador, who happens to be right across the street from the vice president's house. and in another gesture from this pope because this is the start of the jewish holiday of rom kip you are, we're told no public events tonight in respect of that. he'll have a very quiet first night here in the u.s. even as we saw those cheers greeting him there at the vatican ambassador's residence. he'll be quiet tonight, but i'll tell you tomorrow he's going to start a busy few days in the u.s. unprecedented, wolf, on so many levels. the greetings, the energy and an unprecedented pope with a very different style from his predecessors. >> indeed. all right, jim sciutto, thank you. tomorrow there will be an official welcoming ceremony at the white house followed by a private meeting with president obama. our senior white house
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correspondent jim acosta is joining us with more. what can we expect the president and pope to discuss tomorrow? >> wolf, i think they'll be talking about a lot of the areas of agreement that they have, but there may be some areas of disagreement. we've seen that before between the president and pope francis when they've met in rome last year. but no doubt about it, as jim sciutto was saying, this is one of the biggest symbolic moments of the obama presidency that we witnessed. the nation's first catholic vice president dr. jill biden all together greeting pope francis that made for a one of a kind welcome to the united states. and day two of the pope's visit will be a sight to behold. 15,000 visitors are expected to cram on to the white house south lawn to witness the pope's official welcoming ceremony. after the president greets the pope, the two leaders will speak to the world before holding that one on one meeting with only translators in the room. the vice president, the secretary of state, they'll be in a separate room meeting with vatican officials. this is all before pope francis addresses congress thursday with the vice president in
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attendance. and even though the president and the pope are allies on issues ranging from climate change to income unequalty and even the iran nuke dar deal, the white house is using vatican-like secrecy in revealing what these two men will discuss. perhaps that's because, frankly, wolf, this pope can be full of surprises. the white house knows this. we asked whether any hot button issues were raised like the health care contraception included in the hill care bill and the pope brought up immigration reform. i talk to her earlier today about this historic meeting. she said these two leaders may have more business to tackle in the president's final months in office. they're very simpatico on issues like climate change and income unequalty. people anticipate what they might go after yes. >> the homeland security
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department has declared this a special event prompting unprecedented precautions. brian todd is over at the shrine of the immaculate conception, where the pope will celebrate mass tomorrow. what do we know about security surrounding pope francis? >> it's a massive event, wolf. the biggest security event we've seen in the united states in a long, long time, we're told. and this is a marquee venue. you mentioned this is the basilica of the shrine of the immaculate conception. tomorrow another a canonization of junipero serra, the first canonization on american soil. here is a sign of the massive undertaking in washington, d.c. you have fencing over here and taller fencing over here and a lot of restriction of movement. but what is security really like right up next to the pope? we've got a unique take on someone who guarded another pope
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very closely. unplanned moments like this one two years ago in rio de janeiro are trademark pope francis, telling his drivers not to avoid crowds. at one point after a wrong turn his fiat becomes swarmed by crowds. it has to be nerve-racking. >> you use your body a lot. >> in what way? >> you get in between and use your body to protect the pope. >> he was a member of the elite swiss guards, the men who protected the holy father for more than five centuries. he's lived the fear those around pope francis are feeling today. he says pope john paul ii who he guarded in the '80s was a lot like pope francis, often wanting to make unplanned forays into large crowds. security was tightened after a gunman tried to assassinate him,
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shooting him at least twice. they've done their homework on this pope's patterns and observed how the swiss guards have protected him. >> they watch very closely all of his appearances around the world. how he interacts with the crowds. >> reporter: widmer and secret service agents say there will be agents blending in, watching for strange body language and facial gestures. the popemobile is armored although much is open air leaving him exposed. d does the pope wear a bulletproof vest? >> they would not wear it on in an interior site but most likely at an outside venue. >> reporter: we asked widmer as a guard can you tell a pope who likes to go off script to hold back? >> no, you don't. and you try to work with the pope and see what he wants to do, and then adapt and provide the best security that there is. the security is not what leads the pope. it's the pope that leads the security. the pope is doing his ministry
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and that needs to be optimized and that's what the pope is all about. his security can be optimized around his activities. >> so you don't ever tell the pope, sir, you cannot do that? >> no. so what is the most dangerous threat to a pope? well, andreas widmer usually says it's someone mentally ill approaching the pope trying to enact some scenario in their mind. you have to protect the pope. you have to protect everyone in the area but you have to protect that assailant from him or herself, wolf. >> sometimes when a president makes an impromptu venture into a side crowd, it's not always the most dangerous situation, right? >> that's right. sometimes when a pope ventures into a crowd like that, of course it's not scripted. nobody really knows it beforehand. and andreas widmer and some of the secret service people we talked to say it's not always that dangerous because even though the security detail doesn't know he'll do it
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beforehand, neither do any potential assailants when it's unscripted like that. but a very nervous moment like we saw in brazil a couple of years ago. >> the unprecedented security surrounding the pope isn't just on the ground. it also extends to u.s. air space. our aviation correspondent rene marsh is working this part of the story for us. what are you finding out? >> from the second that pope francis entered u.s. air space, a federal multi-agency security plan kicked in. and while there is no credible threat against the pope, there is a new airborne threat that's causing concern. as pope francis touches down here in washington, the air space around him goes on lockdown. during the six-day trip, a moving virtual net follows him from washington to new york and philadelphia. all monitored by dozens of security agencies. cnn flew to the edge of washington's restricted air space to see how close we could get. that's the washington monument in the distance.
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the moment that someone breaches this very secure air space, a decision is made about what to do next. >> if they can't get your attention and help lead you out of that air space, f-16 fighters will be launched to intercept you, even at a tenth of a mile they've already launched helicopters. >> reporter: but authorities tell us there's a bigger concern in the air. >> the greatest threat right now, airborne threat, is not a rogue airplane. the issue is the individual who's 300, 400 feet away from the protectee and launches a drone out of their backpack. >> reporter: drones and even a gyro copter have penetrated some of the most protected real estate in america. including the white house, the capitol and airport no-fly zones. the secret service, nypd and norad have all conducted exercises designed to stop drones in their tracks, but security experts say there's no silver bullet. >> this is the greatest threat because biological, chemical,
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even a small explosive device could be packed in these drones and dropped within feet of a protectee. >> reporter: we asked the secret service how they'll stop rogue drones this time, but their answer not very detailed. breached air space here in washington, d.c., on a couple of occasions. what's the greatest concern? >> the air space subcommittee has a pretty robust plan. there are a lot of lessons learned from the incident here referred to. >> reporter: well, it's a no-drone zone in all three of these major cities. but at the end of the day it will come down to spotters on top of buildings with binoculars, people on the ground monitoring the air space and looking for anything coming their way. we spoke to several security experts who said the concept of shooting a rogue drone out of the sky is very difficult even for your best marksman. >> thanks very much for that report. let's talk about all of this and more with republican senator james rich of idaho. a member of the foreign
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intelligence committee. thank you for coming in. >> glad to be here. >> do you know if there have been any specific threats against this pope? >> we have no reports of specific threats at this time. having said that -- and we have the best security in the world here in america. having said that, we're also the freest people on the planet. and that in and of itself generates possibilities of threats. >> what's the primary security concern? >> primary security concern is the same things that we worry about every day. and that is the lone actor, the person who is, as your reporter said, may have mental issues, wants to make a statement, doing something without any reason behind it. this is the biggest threat that's faced, but our people are up to that. they're used to dealing with it. they keep getting more and more experience. as we know the drone thing's fairly new, but they've learned a lot already about drones from incidents, a lot of them that happened here in washington,
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d.c. >> the isis language magazine singled out pope francis in one of the recent issues. how much of a threat would a group like isis, for example, pose to this threat. >> isis is a threat to him just as they are to other things in america. this shows you the mentality of these people that they would pick out someone like the pope who is interested in peace and wanting people to get along. but they inspire people with this kind of talk and with the magazine that they put out, and so could they create a threat? they could possibly create a threat. but having said that, those are things that are also watched very, very closely. >> they're afraid of that lone actor as you call them. thursday morning he addresses a joint meeting of the u.s. congress. i assume you'll be there. >> i will. >> listening to the pope. what would you like to hear him say? >> well, i'm catholic myself. so obviously, i've been to the
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catholic schools and i'm very familiar with the doctrines of the catholic church. and he's a man who is certainly a holy man. he views life differently than we do. certainly he comes at this more from a perspective of a global perspective as opposed to an american perspective. whenever you have politics and religion collide, it's at very best an awkward moment. and they don't -- they're not always congruent in what the objectives are of each of them. so we'll listen carefully to what he has to say. i hope people listen politely to what he has to say, whether they agree or disagree. i hope it doesn't turn into a political rally like the state of the unions have over the recent year, indeed over recent decades where people are popping up and clapping all the time. i think this should be much more like a respectable, respectfully
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listening to the message. >> but you don't think there will be any booing or anything? >> i don't think so, not at all. i think congress will be very respectful to listening to what he has to say. we, as you know, we receive lots and lots of different leaders, both religious leaders and government leaders. >> he's the first jesuit pontiff. did you go to georgetown university? >> i did not. >> i just wanted to make that point. very quickly on these russian planes -- >> right. >> on a totally different story, moving into syria right now. is that good or bad in this war against isis? >> well, i guess that remains to be seen. there's risks involved in this. you know, we have planes flying there, too. when you have two countries that have sophisticated and high octane war machines like that in the sky at the same time, one has to be careful that there isn't a mistake made. it's been interesting to watch what's happened over this summer as the russians really have doubled down in syria and
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brought in all kinds of different things to support assad. today cnn reported that the russians have actually launched drones now flying over the syrian countryside. not a surprise because of the buildup. those are the kinds of things that are going to continue to happen. >> senator risch, thank you very much for coming in. >> thank you for having me. >> senator risch from idaho. stay tuned for more on the pope's historic visit to the united states including a special "the people's pope" that airs at 9:00 p.m. eastern here on cnn. donald trump is threatening to sue a conservative group and he's lashing out at a news network. plus trump rival rand paul is here with us in "the situation room." would he support donald trump if he ends up being the gop nominee? i'll ask him.
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the republican presidential candidate and senator from kentucky, rand paul, he's joining me live. we'll speak with him in just a moment. but first new developments in the heated republican presidential campaign including number three in the polls dr. ben carson. tonight he's trying to calm the uproar he sparked with controversial remarks about a muslim serving as u.s. president. let's go to our senior washington correspondent joe johns who is in ohio following the candidates for us. what's the latest on the gop
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race? >> well, wolf, ben carson got a warm reception here in the campus of cedarville university near dayton. it's a christian college. meanwhile, he has taken a lot of heat on the campaign trail when he said he would not support a muslim in the white house. he's been tweaking that language all day long, but i saw him out here a little while ago and i asked him and he said he is not changing his position. >> i don't care what a person's religious beliefs are or what their religious heritage is. >> reporter: tonight ben carson shifting his position on whether a muslim should serve as president. >> if they embrace american values and they place our constitution at the top level above their religious beliefs, i have no problem with them. >> reporter: so it's a nationalist position? >> well, i said that. it's on the record. on nbc. that's exactly what i said. that's exactly what i meant. >> reporter: but that isn't exactly what carson told nbc on
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sunday when asked if a president's faith should matter. >> if it fits within the realm of america and consistent with the constitution, i have no problem. >> so do you believe that islam is consistent with the constitution? >> no, i do not. i would not advocate that we put a muslim in charge of this nation. i absolutely would not agree with that. >> reporter: a contrast from the comments delivered 14 years ago by george w. bush in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. >> the face of terror is not the true faith of islam. that's not what islam's all about. islam is peace. >> reporter: now, many republican presidential contenders are weighing in saying religion should not exclude anyone from serving as president. >> i don't think that religion should be a criteria for being president. >> i personally do not believe that your religious denomination
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should disqualify you from serving in office. >> reporter: this from the two leading contender, donald trump and carly fiorina ramp up their criticism of each other. >> i find it to be very robotic. a bigger problem is her horrible tenure at various companies that, frankly, were destroyed. >> reporter: fiorina joking with trump and vladimir putin on late-night television. >> you've met putin. >> the two of them have a lot in common, actually. but we'll just leave it at that. >> reporter: trump also renewing his war against fox on twitter writing, why don't you have some knowledgeable talking heads on your show for a change instead of the same old trump haters, boring. and criticizing last week's debate telling new york magazine, i wasn't treated fairly by cnn. a different stance from his comments immediately after the event. >> they were very professional, the way they handled it. cnn did a very good job. >> reporter: and back live here in cedarville, ohio, ben carson
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addressed a crowd of about 4,000 people here. it might look like they're in damage control, but talking to people on the campaign trail who turned out to see him, his supporters, they say the controversy over his words hasn't registered on their radar. wolf? >> joe johns reporting. let's get more now with republican presidential candidate, the senator from kentucky, rand paul. he's a homeland security senator. thanks very much for coming in. you heard the governor of wisconsin scott walker yesterday say he's dropping out. he hopes other republican candidates drop out as well, those who aren't doing well to prevent donald trump from getting the nomination. are you ready to drop out? >> no, but i think it's important that we do differentiate ourselves from the celebrity that does appear to be dominating the polls. i've been pointing out that i'm a real conservative and frankly donald trump is a fake conservative. that's important because most of us who came out of the tea party movement, we were opposed to president obama's health care plan.
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donald trump was for it. we were opposed to the government stimulus plan. donald trump was for it. and most of us are for property rights. we don't think the government should use eminent domain to take property from small property owners and give it to big corporations. donald trump actually supports that. so i don't think there's anything about his positions that are conservative. i think he's an angry individual with a lot of empty platitudes, but i think it's important that actually somebody point out that he's not a conservative. >> so why is he in our latest poll at 24% and you're at 4%? why is he resonating? >> it's going to take time. but i think it's anger. people are angry. so am i. i ran for office and the pea party sort of arose because we were angry at republicans who promised to be conservative and weren't. but that's a little bit of what donald trump is. he's a person who promises to be conservative, promises to be against the establishment but then when you ask him why he gives money to harry reid, why he gives money to charlie rangel, he says, well, it's
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because i want them to do whatever the hell i tell them to do. that's what's wrong with government. people buying and selling politicians and thinking they can buy influence up here. i want government to be so small there is no influence to be sold. >> he's campaigning as a washington outsider. you like to think you're a washington outsider, too, right? >> well, you know, i'm a physician. i practiced medicine for 20 years, and i ran because i was concerned that the government was running up so much debt. i still vote almost always against both parties that are running up the debt here. i've never voted for one of these continuing resolutions because it's a collection of all the spending and it continues the problem, continues the accumulation of debt. so yes, i'm one who is an outsider who says it's broken out here and i won't go along just to get along with the system. >> now that you've been a united states senator here in washington for the past several year, a lot of people out there, voters, presumably, republicans see you as an insider.
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>> people see me as someone willing to stand up to leadership when leadership is wrong. i stood on the floor of the senate for 10 1/2 hours and filibustered against them collecting our phone records. i stood on the floor for 13 1/2 hours and said i think it's important that the president acknowledge that he's not going to kill u.s. citizens without any kind of due process, without a trial. so i think i am seen as someone who is willing to stand up on principle and stand against the tide. i've never voted for any of the funding bills for any budget that doesn't balance. >> the former texas governor rick perry dropped out. he was running out of money. scott walker dropped out, the current governor of wisconsin. yesterday he was running out of money. how is your financial situation? how is your campaign doing as far as money is concerned? >> well, we're doing pretty well. we just won an important straw poll in michigan this last week. we're raising money, competing in all 50 straights. we've organized 300 colleges. we've organized 15 colleges just in iowa. our strength is among the youth. i think the youth most strongly disagree with president obama's
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collecting all of our phone records and storing them. so we think we have some advantages that the other candidates don't have. also when you look at my polling against the democrats, against hillary clinton in a general election, i actually lead her in five states won by president obama. so i'm the one republican who can actually gain the independent vote and go to cities and try to get the vote that republicans haven't gotten. >> we've got to take a break, but very quickly, a lot of your kentucky supporters, they want you to focus on getting re-el t re-elected in kentucky and forget about the presidential campaign. >> i haven't forgotten about my day job. i'm paid by the taxpayers of kentucky. i try to be here for every vote. i've made 99% of my votes. i haven't forgotten where i came from and who i represent. >> stand by, we've got a lot more to discuss. much more with senator rand paul right after this. the human foot has always been good at...
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we're back with senator rand paul. would you support a muslim president of the united states? >> whether you would personally or what the law would be. the constitution says there would be no religious test. when i ran for office there were some people that insinuated i wasn't a good enough christian to run for office.
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i'm pretty sensitive about people saying that your religion is not pure enough, but there's an honest question that voter was have. there's obviously nothing precluding a muslim from holding office. we do have several muslims who are conscientious and well mean in congress and some who have worked on legislation of criminal justice reform. but there would be questions to ask. do you believe literally that a woman should be stoned to death for adultery? do you believe when someone steals something, their hands should be cut off? under strict islamic law countries like saudi arabia, brunei, other places, particular my some of these places -- that has been a question with hillary clinton. she's taken money from some of these islamic countries that live under islamic law but they aren't very good to women. women don't have the same rights as men. for adultery, i think women's testimony counts half as much as men. >> but personally could you support a muslim for president? >> sure, if they support the things that made america great,
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constitutional principles, bill of rights, but some of those are inconsistent with the interpretation of the koran that's being put forward by particularly some folks. and i think this is a big deal because we've made this really simple that, oh, ben carson is terrible because he said this, but think about what he's saying. in england, for example, 20% of the islamic public in england thought the bombings were okay on the subway. these are important questions to ask if you have someone who is muslim running for office. do you think violence is okay? do you think shariah law should be the law of the land? do you think that the 9/11 bombings were ok? for goodness sakes i surely wouldn't vote for any christian or muslim that thought that violence was the way to shape your religious views. >> let me get you on the record. was president obama born in the united states? >> yes. >> is president obama a christian? >> yes. >> so you have no doubt about any of that. donald trump has made these statements saying -- and he had that exchange at the debate on
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childhood vaccinations. do these childhood vaccinations -- and you're a physician -- cause autism? >> there's no scientific study showing there's a relationship between autism and vaccinations. i believe in one of the greatest medical breakthroughs and there's a wonderful book about the smallpox vaccine called request t the speckled monster." smallpox had a 50% mortality. the vaccine was dangerous, it was taken from the pus of live sores from someone recovering from smallpox. but within a 50-year period without government mandates george washington was telling his wife martha that you continue come visit me in the military camps unless you've been vaccinated. so vaccines are a great medical breakthrough, but at the same time we shouldn't just close our eyes and say because they're a breakthrough that the government really should be mandating 15 of them or that you have to take them all at one time or we're going to hold you down. so we did choose to spread out some of our vaccines. i think in a free country that
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ought to be your option. so i worry a little bit about people who are so certain of themselves that they have this authoritarian nature they're going to tell us all what to do, but by and large, yes, i recommend that people do get vaccina vaccinated. i think it's a good idea to take the vaccines but i'm in favor of freedom as well. >> do you believe these vaccines could cause autism? >> there's no scientific evidence. >> parents that come to you with children, you would recommend that they get a full vaccine program? >> i recommend that they do. but i also recommend freedom. so if an individual truly believes otherwise and thinks that it just hasn't been proven yet, i'm not going to hold their child down or hold them down or take their child away from them because they choose to operate under a different set of beliefs. >> but that does carry a risk that these children who are not vaccinated could come down with the disease and they could spread that disease? >> but this is one of the things like the surgeon general does.
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really when we have a surgeon general, you want them to promote good health, promote having people take their vaccines. the thing is that when polio came about, just about everybody took the vaccine. anybody who is old enough to remember someone who got polio really understands the great value and how we wiped out. you talk about a medical mira e miracle, getting rid of smallpox or polio worldwide or virtually worldwide for polio is one of the most amazing medical advancements seen in my time. >> senator rand paul, thank you for coming in. as i always tell you, say hi to your dad as well. >> thank you. >> appreciate it. inflammatory comments from donald trump. we'll update you.
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republican presidential candidate rand paul says he won't drop out of the race despite the call by former candidate scott walker for some of the republican candidates to drop out to prevent donald trump from getting the nomination. he suspended his campaign a day ago, said others should follow his lead because the large gop field is helping donald trump. let's dig deeper on what's going on with our senior washington correspondent and our chief political analyst gloria borger, the chief political correspondent of slate and cnn senior plit analyst ron brownstein. gloria, he won't drop out.
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>> no. >> rand paul. you think others might start thinking about dropping o inpin? >> i think people in the 2 to 5% range will think about it. but what i notice most about rand paul is that he kind of doubled down on his attacks on donald trump. he called him an angry individual with empty platitudes, right? and said, of course, that he's not a conservative. i think you're going to hear this from more and more republicans because i think they're hoping that eventually republicans will start listening to what they are saying in their attacks on donald trump from the right. >> so ron, if more of these republican candidates in the lower tier start dropping out, will that eventually create someone who could be a real threat to donald trump? >> well, that will happen eventually, but in the near term, i think it will be the opposite effect. as we talked about on this show, donald trump is consistently running better among college
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republicans. he's nine points better among noncollege and college republican. the candidates ha are most at risk of dropping out are predominantly candidates fishing in that same pool. bobby jindal, rick santorum, mike huckabee. and if those candidates leave, it creates more of a pool for donald trump rather than the kind of candidates on the other side like john kasich, jeb bush, marco rubio, they're not going anywhere. >> donald trump now threatening to sue the club for growth with these attack ads against him suggesting they're almost looibleolooi libellous. >> you'll see more people attack donald trump as a conservative. he doesn't support tax cuts like a lot of conservatives do, he's on the left side of that. you'll see donald trump respond in this sort of blustery way to all these attacks. it will be interesting to see how his supporters react to this. will they applaud that he's threatening to sue people. or step back and say do we want
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this guy as our nominee? >> attack ads are so common. >> i love it. >> remember hearing someone sue for an attack ad? >> i don't. even on the democratic side where lawyers are big business, trial lawyers are. no this is a litigious. this is ridiculous. you can't sue someone for this. he's in the public sphere here. donald trump at some point is going to hit the whining meter, i think. he's on the verge of that. it's call the wah-mbulance? >> call the wah-mbulance? i love this idea of one candidate suing another candidate. we've never sort of heard that. >> guys, hold your thought for a second. we're getting new comments from donald trump about muslims in america. we'll get the clip for you. stand by. we'll be right back.
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breaking news. a donald trump is defending his stance on muslims. he had this exchange with scott pelly at an interview that will air over the weekend on "60 minutes." >> in new hampshire that man stood up and said we have a problem in this country and it's muslims. you let that pass. i wonder what that tells us about you. >> he said much more than that. that was part of his statement. he went on to say other things.
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>> the bigotry part. >> look. he said mostly about obama. i don't have to defend president obama. he's not going to defend me. whether you agree with the man or don't agree, and there were people in that audience as you probably noticed that did agree with him. >> it was a testing moment for a man running for president. >> i don't think so. >> you never know when they are coming. you had a bigot you could have slapped down. >> you don't know that. he asked a question. >> a problem in this country is muslims? >> let me ask you this, he said there is a problem in this country and it's muslims it. love the muslims. i have many, many friends, people living in this buildings, muslims. phenomenal people. like anything else, you have people where there are problems. you can say there is no terrorism, no anything, they didn't knock down the world trade center. to the best of my knowledge, the people that knocked down the world trade center, they didn't fly back to sweden. >> what do you think? >> i think it's more of the same
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from donald trump. he is not known for apologizing, for backing down, for saying i made a mistake, whether it's about the muslim statement or it's about carly fiorina's face. this is who he is. this doesn't surprise me. it's more of the same. >> is this going to continue to dominate this campaign all this back and forth? >> i think so. i think trump will continue to make these kind of statements. ben carson, trump, they, i think correctly see this kind of islamic phobic rhetoric doesn't hurt them. for my part, i find it very disturbing and worrying that kind of rhetoric is finding a place in mainstream politics in a way it hasn't been true for the past. >> you think about things that dominated the republican race in the past, all them have been subsumed with this fierce debate about american identity and what it means to live in a country
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rapidly diversifying. you have a fissure in this field. you have another side saying whether the issue is undocumented immigration, gay marriage, we have to resist the changing american. the parties face a crossroads. >> if they want to grow. >> does this hurt trump within a republican primary context? >> i don't think it hurts him among his supporters, but stops his ability to grow, to evolve more as a candidate here. i think we are seeing a diminishing of donald trump. his supporters will stay with him. this does not grow the party. this interview, more of the same. this is not surprising. >> it gives his opponents an opportunity to separate themselves. you heard rand paul to you. separated himself. carly fiorina hseparated hersel.
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>> from the 1930s to 1960s, catholic were a corner stone of the democratic coalition. in the aftermath of republicans spearheading legislation 1924 that severely reduced the number of immigrants allowed in the country, had a generation-long effect. every election from 1980 to 2004, white catholics voted with the winner. they moved right. president obama lost white catholics more than walter mondale did against ronald reagan. a big divide between hispanic catholics which are the most democratic part of the hispanic community and white catholics which are more conservative. catholics are going to be a problem for democrats.
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the pope on many issues, like climate and immigration probably gives reenforcement. >> they are filling those church pews. i go to mass. that is a growing part of this catholic church. >> the pope is a disruptor of politics. because he's with republicans on abortion and same-sex marriage but democrats on more issues, immigration, income inequality, climate change. when he goes to address the congress, he is going to have supporters on both sides and detractors on both sides because he doesn't get voted on. >> will be fascinating wednesday morning. >> 40 years ago you would be, our equivalents are talking about who would be interest fluns influenced by the pope in a
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negative way. cnn will host the first democratic presidential debate october 13th. mark your calendars, in nevada. you can always follow us on twitter. erin burnett out front starts right now. >> breaking news. the pope has landed. the president and mrs. obama, the vice president and mrs. biden. all on hand to personally welcome the pope to the united states as he begins this historic six-day visit. >> also unparalleled, the massive security operation surrounding the pope. said to be one of the most intense security environments in american history. >> ben carson shifting statements on the question of electing a muslim president. many fellow republicans say he's wrong. so can his campaign recover? let's go "out front."


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