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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  May 9, 2012 4:00pm-6:00pm EDT

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>> "situation room" with wolf blitzer begins right now. >> brooke, thanks very much. breaking news -- >> i've just concluded that for me, personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that i think same-sex couples should be able to get married. >> truly historic and potentially watershed moment as president obama comes out, formally, publicly, enthusiastically in support of gay marriage and with the election less than six months away the political implications are enormous. we'll look at all of the potential fallout. reactions from both sides of this issue pouring in right now into "the situation room." we will hear what influential groups and individuals are saying about the president's new position on gay marriage. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com
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we're following the breaking news this hour. president obama announcing his support for same-sex marriage, a move with potentially huge political and social implications. listen to what he told abc news in a white house interview just a little while ago. >> over the course of several years, as i talk to friends and family and neighbors, when i think about members of my own staff who are incredibly committed in monogamous relationships and same-sex relationships who are raising kids together, when i think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained even now that don't ask, don't tell is gone because they're not able to commit themselves in a marriage.
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at a certain point i've just concluded that for me, personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that i think same-sex couples should be able to get married. >> we have in-depth coverage and analysis this hour beginning with our chief white house correspondent jessica yellin. jessica, this has been a long time in the making. a lot of people always assume the president personally favored same-sex marriage, but today he went public with his position. >> reporter: that's right, wolf and this is one of those rare instances where i'm hearing mixed messages from the white house. some senior administration officials, i'm being told, that the president alz planned to come out in support of gay marriage before the election, that the vice president's remarks on sunday saying that he is absolutely supportive of gay marriage, slightly different wording, simply expedited the president's decision to do it
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this week, but that was always has plan. another senior administration official tells me that, in fact, the president's advisers were divided this week about whether the president should, in fact, come out for it, but then after the firestorm when the media just, when all of us began grilling jay carney when the questions didn't stop, they ultimately decided that the president needed to come out and forcefully declare where he stood on the issue. the one matter that everybody agrees on, everyone's clear about is that this is where the president's heart was all along, that the president believes this and believes in gay marriage and he has wanted for some time to be able to say that that's what he believes, and so now you hear it quite clearly. the one piece i would add is in this abc interview he makes it clear that he believes the issue of whether same-sex couples should be married should be left up to the state. that it's not a federal issue. it's a state's rights issue, wolf. >> are we expecting the president to go out there now
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and actively campaign on this issue? >> reporter: no. i'm advised that it's not something that we should expect to hear him necessarily highlight in his campaign speeches. there's not a legislative issue he's going to push, but he does continue to raise money, massive amounts of money from gay any lesbian donors and no doubt that's something he'll probably mention in front of those audiences and i do expect him to draw strong contrasts with mitt romney on this point and one issue that some of the president's top aides have highlighted in the aftermath of the president's comments just this afternoon is that romney has stood up in favor of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages and so this is an issue that they want to draw contrast with for their opponent in the general election. it's an issue that they believe motivates young voters because young voters are so strongly in favor of gay marriage, wolf. >> very different positions between the president and mitt
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romney. jessica, thanks very much. jim acosta, his position is 180 degrees different now than the president of the united states. >> reporter: that's right, wolf. mitt romney said earlier today in a round of interviews with local stations out in denver. he was campaigning out in colorado that he has not changed his position on this issue, that he remains opposed to same-sex marriage and he laid that out in an interview with affiliate kdvr in denver earlier today. here's what he had to say. >> well, when these issues were raised in my state of massachusetts i indicated my view which is i do not favor marriage between people of the same gender and i don't favor civil unions if they're identical to marriage other than by name. my view is dom of theic partnership benefits hospital visits and the like are appropriate, but the others are not. >> reporter: so you heard the
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distinction there, wolf. he is opposed to same-sex marriage, but there are some issues where he does feel that gays and lesbians have rights. he has opposed discrimination when it comes to hiring practices and that sort of thing and this issue came up when he was governor of massachusetts. the state supreme court in massachusetts came out in favor of same-sex marriage at that time and mitt romney when he was governor took steps to block that decision from being carried out in practice and this even goes back to when he ran for the senate in 1994 against ted kennedy. gay leaders in massachusetts at that time were able to get out of mitt romney some promises that he would be perhaps even better than ted kennedy when it came to the issue of gay rights. save this issue of same-sex marriage. he has never really come down in favor of same-sex marriage and that is one area where he has not evolved on this issue. we should also point out the republican national committee put out a statement a few moments ago accusing the
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president of playing politics and saying that mitt romney has been consistent on this issue all along and we should know in a few moments from now, pretty much from the bottom of this hour that mitt romney is expected to take questions at an event in oklahoma city. you can rest assured he will be asked about this question and it's likely that his campaign is putting him out there to take this sort of question just to get this contrast out there later on this afternoon, wolf. >> reince priebus, and while president obama has played politics on this issue, the republican party and our presumptive nominee mitt romney have been clear. we support maintaining marriage between one man and one woman and would oppose any attempts to chase that. a statement from reince priebus. let me be precise. i'm trying to fully understand where romney stands on these issues. he opposes gay marriage. he supports a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage throughout the country. he opposes civil unions. where does he stand on the issue
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of don't ask don't tell in the military? would he try to reinstate that as commander in chief or would he let the policy as it stands now stand? >> reporter: my understanding, wolf, is that he would try to bring back that policy in the pentagon, you know, this issue came up -- these issues of same-sex marriage, rights that pertain to gays and lesbians, all of this came up during the presidential primary process and it was a difficult period for mitt romney because newt gingrich and rick santorum were accusing mitt romney of evolving these positions and changing his positions over the years to satisfy the concerns of conservative voters and this issue of same-sex marriage could cut another way for mitt romney. we're in west virginia, wolf. we came out to take the pulse of voters when it comes to the popularity of president obama and, you know, this issue of same-sex marriage has come up in the neighboring state to west
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virginia. ohio, you'll recall in 2004, that very issue hurt john kerry and perhaps cost him that election against president bush. the fact that the republican party and mitt romney in a few moments from now may be taking a hard stance on this issue and getting out there and talking about it and making it public i think is some evidence that this could work as a political issue heading into the general election campaign, wolf. >> jim acosta out on the campaign trail. we'll wait to hear. he'll be answering some questions and we'll see what the republican presidential candidate has to say. let's dig a little bit deeper on the breaking news with our chief political correspondent candy crowley, the host of "state of the union" and gloria borger. >> they are, except that younger voters as people have been pointing out are very much in favor of gay marriage and the president wants to mobilize that
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young base again that was so important to him during the last election. having said that, in swing states like iowa, north carolina, particularly southern ohio, blue-collar catholics in pennsylvania. >> virginia. >> virginia, this is an issue that won't play well for the president. so when it came down to it, he really didn't have any great choices because he was going make somebody angry no matter what he did. what he didn't want to do is look weak or indecisive. he wanted to look like a decisive president. he was kind of pressured into it because of joe biden said and what arne duncan said and so he came out and said what most people believed he believed anyway. >> and i sense that he and his people would want us to see this as almost a profile and courage moment. >> it's very risky. i don't know how risky it is, simply for the reasons that gloria states and because this is a huge community as jessica
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pointed out. this is a huge community for the president. remember when he did fund raisers and i think it was in 2010 and he went before a group of gays and lesbians who pretty much shouted him down on a lot of issues that were important, don't ask, don't tell as well as same-sex marriage so this works for him in a lot of ways and i think what will be interesting is whether there is a trickledown effect here. if you're a democrat in one of these conservative states you know right now your local newspaper is calling you saying the president has evolved his position. what's yours on this? it puts him as well as moderate republicans in an interesting place. >> it's also interesting to look how public opinion has shifted over the gleers favor of gay marriage. it's still very close, wolf, nationally, but when you look particularly at independent voters, now a majority of independent voters favor gay marriage, so again, less of a problem for the president than you might think although in battleground states a problem. if you're going to accuse mitt
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romney of not having a core, you have to have a core belief of your own, and i think that was also a part of this calculation. >> it was, except for the president once described his opposition to same-sex marriage as part of his core belief. >> people change. >> they both evolved and barack obama has evolved. >> one of the interesting things we see now is how republicans play it. you read what reince priebus had to say. i thought one of the more interesting things that came over the community -- this is from gary bower who is a conservative family values kind of fellow who said, oh, gee, the charade is up. he said publicly what we all believed privately and then he said every american who can't find work, whose home is under water, who can't afford to fill us his gas tank should be wondering why the president is thinking one second of his time trying to transform the institution of marriage. it's a political move to distract americans from this disastrous economic policies.
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it's a clever way to go at it, and the family values guy would go, whoa, keep your eye on the ball over here which isn't same-sex marriage, it's the economy. it's interesting. >> except that the president, of course, stops short of calling for any kind of amendment to the constitution. what he's essentially doing is adopting the dick cheney position which is it's up to the states. >> the supreme court's going to eventually have to make a decision. you've been covering this closely, gloria. >> what the president has done is expressed his personal opinion, but for all practical purposes it's up to the states right now to decide whether or not they want to have same-sex marriage and half a dozen states allow it and most of the states have passed amendments opposing same-sex marriage and eventually it will come up to the supreme court. >> only six states in the district of columbia allows same-sex marriage and the states aren't exactly clamoring which is what the california case is all about, and as you say that
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could be decided by the supreme court. one more thing that president obama might find in his agenda including health care, for example. >> earlier, the administration is no longer going to enforce the defense of marriage act that got rid of don't ask, don't tell and now gays are openly in the u.s. military. >> i, frankly, assumed he would wait until after the election to make the election. >> can you say joe biden? >> joe biden pushed him a bit. >> i don't know that they were thinking about this before, but i'm not so sure, but that's me. don't go too far away. much more reaction to the breaking news and the president's announcement. the reaction pouring in and we'll hear what his political allies are coming in, also paul begala and alex castellanos is standing by to debate in the
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let's get right to jack for "the cafferty file," jack? >> voters like barack obama more than they like mitt romney and that might be all it takes to decide the outcome of this
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election. a new "usa today" gallup poll shows 60% of registered voters say president obama is likable, that is nearly double the 31% who feel that way about romney. even among crucial independent voters the president holds a double-digit edge on likability. so despite the facts that polls show romney and obama locked in a dead heat both nationally and in the key battleground states, mitt romney is facing a huge likability here and it could cost him. consider this, in each of the last five presidential elections the candidates the voters liked most won. when you put issues aside, a lot of people vote for the person who does a better job connecting with them on a personal level. in 2004, polls famously showed undecided voters would rather have a beer with george w. bush than john kerry, and swing voters found bush to be more of a real person than kerry. as for romney, pollsters say
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this likability deficit presents a challenge for his campaign as he tries to sharpen his image with voters. they can either work on making voters seem more likable or they can give up on likability and try to emphasize other areas where romney is stronger than president obama. for now, it doesn't look like romney's hurting too badly on the issue since he is neck and neck with the president in most of the national poll, but he might be doing even better if he just hadn't tied his dog to the roof of the car. here's the question. how much does it matter that -- how much does it matter if you like -- i'm sorry, if you like a candidate for president? in other words, if you like the guy are you more inclined to vote for him regardless of his other qualifications. go to cnn.com caffertyfile or go to the post on the situation room's facebook page and next hour we'll be talking about today's developments on the gay marriage front. >> huge breaking news, jack. thank you. let's get more on the breaking news.
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president obama announcing a little while ago he now supports same-sex marriage. democratic strategist and cnn political contributor hillary rosen is joining us on the phone. hillary, i know you've been very, very active on this issue over the years. what did you think of the way, first of all, that the president made this announcement today? >> well, i think, wolf, frankly, it was a wonderful announcement because it was put in the context of exactly the way the american people, all humans think about this issue is who do you love and do we want the government to stand in the way of that? if you're adults in a committed, loving relationship, you're raising children, that's what people ought to be focused on. that's how the vice president characterized it. that's what the president said today and i think that's the place where the american people can come together and ultimately support this as we know the polls are moving in that direction. >> a lot of my gay friends were
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moved by what the president had to say. they'd been waiting a long time for this, hilary. i know you have been, as well. when you heard the president utter those few word, did you get rather emotional? did you start to cry? i've been getting messages from friends saying they actually started to cry, they were that moved. >> when i came out, when i was 17 and in college i didn't even think to hope that the president of the united states would affirm me. i was so petrified about what society would do and how it would affect me and whether i could ever possibly be accepted and so many people go through that. i hope that what the president did today will be seen through the prism of the young kids struggling to be all they can be knowing that their life can still be successful and whole and affirmed by the president of the united states. >> he made it clear this was a
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personal decision on his part. he didn't go the next step and say the country needs federal, national legislation now to make it legal. he says it's still up to the states. so what do you think about that? >> caller: well, i think that's inevitably true. it's not what i would hope for, but it is a fact that what will happen here is that different states will come to different conclusions and eventually the courts will try to reconcile that and we'll have a supreme court that will reconcile conflicting districts. that's kind of the legal path to marriage equality generally, but i think the most important thing for people to realize about the president is that he is focusing on the economy every day. he -- what he said today did not mean that he's going wake up tomorrow and try to figure out how to make marriage equality a reality. what he was doing was assuring the american people that he is
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focussed on the business at hand, on fixing this economy and helping people get through this and that he would hope that this would be seen in the context of a personal decision and not a political distraction. >> mitt romney opposes gay marriage and supports a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage. he goes even further in opposing civil unions. how big of an issue do you think between now and november do you think this will be out there on the campaign trail? >> i think it's an issue more about what it says about mitt romney than what it says about barack obama. i mean, one of the things that bill clinton, in fact, taught us was that if we want people to grow and succeed and be all they can be in this country, we have to be inclusive. we have to be embracing and we have to give them every opportunity. for mitt romney to try and divide families, you know, gay families come in republicans and
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democrats and all rell edgeons and all shapes and sizes, to try and divide families by punishing people this way is not what we want in a president. >> hilary rosen, thanks so much for joining us. >> caller: thanks, wolf. take care. >> all right. we'll have a lot more reaction to the breaking news and president obama's historic shift on same-sex marriage and why he's announcing it today and our strategy session. that's coming up. (spoken in mandarin) i've still got hours of battery life. it's an ultrabook. you bring great shame upon this coffee hut. with a long-lasting ultrabook, everything else seems old fashioned. ultrabook. inspired by intel.
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over the course of several years, as i talk to friends and family and neighbors, when i think about members of my own staff who are incredibly commit in monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships who are raising kids together, when i
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think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained even now that don't ask don't tell is gone because they're not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point i've just concluded that for me, personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that i think same-sex couples should be able to get married. >> the president of the united states is speaking to abc news just a little while ago. identifying himself with those who support same-sex marriage. let's talk about the political fallout in our strategy session, joining us, the democratic strategist and cnn political contributor paul begala and the republican strategist alex castellanos. alex, how is this going to play between now and november?
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>> i think i have to say that i've taken shots at president obama here and there now and then. i have to say i admire him for standing up for something that he believes in today, but also something that will have a political cost. he's not going lose republican votes -- >> hold on a second, mitt romney is taking questions. >> -- between a man and a woman. >> states are able to make decisions with regard to domestic partnership benefits such as hospital visitation rights, benefits and so forth of various kinds can be determined state by state, but my view is that marriage itself is a relationship between a man and a woman and that's my own preference. i know other people have differing views. this is a very tender and sensitive topic as are many social issues, but i have the same view that i've had since running for office. thank you. >> do you think president obama has changed his position -- >> i'm sorry?
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>> do you think president obama has changed his position on the issue? >> i believe that based upon the interview that he gave today on abc it's said that he had changed his view, but you're a better judge of that than i. i just saw the reports that he previously opposed same-sex marriage and now according to abc news he supports it. you'll be able to make that determination on your own. thanks, you guys. thank you. thank you. thank you. >> all right. taking a limited amount of questions and all of them involving the breaking news on the president's decision to go ahead and support same-sex marriage, you heard mitt romney, the republican candidate saying he opposes same-sex marriage and he believes marriage should be only between a man and i woman although he recognizes this is a sensitive, tender subject. what do you think of what he had to say and his reaction. forget about the substance and the political strategy, if you will, and how he's dealing with this huge breaking news story
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today? >> i don't know governor romney personally. if you look at the two pieces of tape, it did look to me like the president was happy and it looked like he'd been wanting to say that a long time and maybe politics or legalities had constrained him, and he looked happy and comfortable from his position. i don't think governor romney is speaking from a place of conviction. he did say he would be more pro-gay rights than teddy kennedy which is less possible unless you're living with a dude. he's clearly uncomfortable with the issue and now the president has been uncomfortable and it looked like a weight had been lifted off him and speaking from his principaled position. >> what do you think of the way romney handled this tender and sensitive subject? >> that's the mitt romney i know. as long as i've known him he's a strong believer in a traditional family. that's his faith and that's his background so i don't think it's something politically expedient that he's come to for any particular reason.
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it's who he is and what he believes. i do think that the president, the important marriage did happen today that barack obama who didn't support gay marriage married the one who does, and we have one now and i respect him for that. it is going have some political cost for him, wolf. not republicans as we were saying earlier because they'll vote against him anyway and not black evangelical voters who traditionally vote against gay marriage here, but he will lose some reagan democrats, the cultural blue-collar reagan democrats in states like ohio and north carolina and pennsylvania, important swing states that -- he stood up for what he said he believed in, and i ademir him for that. >> here's another clip of the president speaking to abc news. >> this is also a generation. when i go to college campuses, sometimes i talk to college republicans who think that i have terrible policies on the economy or on foreign policy,
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but are very clear that when it comes to same-sex equality or sexual orientation that they believe in equality. they're much more comfortable with it. you know, malia and sasha, they've got friends whose parents are same-sex couples and whether there have been times when michelle and i have been sitting around the dinner table and we've been talking about their friends and their parents and malia and sasha, it wouldn't dawn on them that somehow their friends' parents would be treated differently. it doesn't make sense to them and, frankly, that's the kind of thing that prompts a change in perspective. >> as you know, plenty of pundits already saying this announcement by the president today will cost them not only north carolina, a state he carried four years ago and maybe even virginia and maybe even ohio.
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and he's speaking from conviction and i think at the end of the day voters admire that more. you'll never agree with everybody on every issue, but now he's taken the position that is clearly in his heart. people admire a conviction politician, and i think he can stand proud on that, and i don't think -- it may not hurt him as much as alex suggests because finally a politician at a time when everybody is using these awards is saying i'm not for this, here's where i stand. >> each ven if you disagreed wi the president and you do, it took guts to do what he did. >> i don't disagree with the president. i'm on the presidents's side on this and have been for quite a long time. the president made the point that it's a generational issue. i feel younger now. >> at the end of the day i think republicans can't be the party that says big government is okay if it enforces our beliefs and our morals. no, we have to be the party that cuts that out. >> thanks very much. a historic day.
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a lot of us remember what the president of the united states did on this historic day. >> thank you, mr. president. >> we're staying on top of the breaking news and we're following other important news including the news for a missing passenger plane that simply vanished from radar screens in a mountainous area. stand by. the u.s. senate is rocked by a political earthquake as the republican goes down in a primary defeat. stupid sun. [ grunts ]
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jet goes missing on a demonstration flight with doenzs of people onboard. mary snow is monitoring that and other top stories in "the situation room" right now. mary, what's going on? >> wolf, as many as 50 people were onboard that jetliner when it dispeered off radar screens over a mountainous region of indonesia. search teams are trying to reach the area, but authorities called off an air search due to high winds. the plane is a short to medium range civilian jet liner and it
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had taken off from the indonesian capital of jakarta and it was making a third stop of the demonstration tour to asia. responding to a backlash against massive closures the postal service has decided to cut hours of 13,000 rural facilities. some of them will be open two hours per day. it's part of an effort to save $55 million annually. some communities will have the option of having the local post office be operated by a private company. and major league baseball history was made last night. the rangers' josh hamilton went 5 for 5 with four home runs and a double. it's one of the greatest hitting performances ever. he is only the 16th player to hit a homer four times in a game and he's only the second player ever to hit for 18 total bases just short of the record. wolf? >> one short of the record indeed. an amazing, amazing feat. congratulations to him. mary, thank you. the u.s. senate is rocked by a political earthquake as the
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longest-serving republican goes down in a public defeat. also, james carville's warning and it's a serious one, to democrats out there. all of that coming up as well as more on the breaking news coverage, the president of the united states now supporting same-sex marriage. ♪ lord, you got no reason ♪ you got no right ♪ ♪ i find myself at the wrong place ♪ [ male announcer ] the ram 1500 express. ♪ it says a lot about you. ♪ in a deep, hemi-rumble sort of way. guts. glory. ram. in a deep, hemi-rumble are you still sleeping? just wanted to check and make sure that we were on schedule.
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a resounding primary defeat for the senate's longest-serving republican and it's raising some concern about more gridlock in congress. indiana senator richard lugar didn't ride off quietly into the political sunset. instead, he unloaded on the state of politics in america. here's our senior congressional correspondent dana bash. >> god bless america. >> reporter: as richard lugar finished his concession speech, aides to the 36-year senate veteran distributed something extraordinary, a three-page statement warning fellow republicans especially his victorious gop opponent richard murdoch, about the perils of hyperpartisanship. he has pledged his support to
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groups whose prime mission is to cleanse the republican party of those who stray from orthodoxy as they see it. this is not conducive to problem solving and governance, lugar said. murdoch's main argument to gop voters was that lugar, a moderate, too often supported president obama's agenda. murdoch openly advocates confrontation over compromise. >> what i said and continue to believe, certainly, is one side or the other must prevail and i'm hoping this candaidacy will help move the republican party forward to become a permanent majority. >> lugar's loss is the latest blow to the center in an increasingly polarized senate and half a dozen other moderates are retiring this year, that after several were toppled by tea-party backed candidates four years ago. >> as you look across the country, republicans like you whhave lost in republican primaries have lost in many respects because they've done too much reaching out across the aisle.
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does that concern you? >> of course, it concerns me that people don't understand the legislative process. some people say well, we do understand it and by golly, we're going to wait until we have majorities in both houses, the white house, whether it's two years, four years, six years, but the country has to keep going in the meanwhile. >> reporter: there are some exceptions like scott brown. to win a democratic massachusetts, a republican plays up crossing party lines in this new ad. >> he's turned out to be unpredictably independent and beholden to no one. >> reporter: that message was a negative for lugar in his republican primary, something he lamented in the face of his landslide loss. >> we employed people together so we reached decisions. the public as a whole may be unhappy with one party or the other, but they're very unhappy with the congress as a whole for inability to make decisions. >> reporter: now senator ron johnson, a republican who rode the tea party wave into office two years ago, suggested to cnn
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that lugar's lashing out to partisan washington has a lot to do about hard feelings about his loss yesterday and wolf, john mccain who is a supporter of lugar told cnn that he thinks a big part of the reason why lugar lost is because he lost touch with people here in indiana, talking to voters here that was certainly part of it, but another part of it undoubtedly was the fact that they wanted party parity and lugar was unwilling to do that for them. >> reporter: dana bash in indiana for us, thank you very much. james carville has a very, very blunt warning for his own democratic party and includes a four-letter word. why he says democrats right now need to wake up.
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>> we're following the breaking news of president obama announcing his support for same-sex marriage putting him directly at odds with mitt romney on another issue. i talked about some of those other issues earlier in the day with democratic strategist and cnn political contributor james carville. he doesn't like what he's seeing right now, but he's sending a blunt warning to his own democratic party and to the white house. james carville is joining us now from our new york bureau.
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james, a powerful piece you wrote on cnn.com including these words. w-t-f-u, wake the you-know-what-up. there is an earthquake. what are you smoking? what are you drinking? what are you snorting or just what in the hell are you thinking? james, what in the hell are you thinking? what's going on here? >> what's going on is i go around the country and i talk to democratic donors and supporters and democratic office holders and there's this sense that we're going to win the next election and you look at what's happening to incumbents around the world and my question to these people is what are you thinking? i hope we will. i think we have a very good chance of winning the next election, but man, we'll have to run a picture-perfect campaign and we'll have to do everything right and we'll have to get the opposition on the defensive and we'll have to raise a bucket load of money and i don't see democrats out there as nervous as they should be about this and they're way, way too comfortable with their position right now
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which is not very good. >> you include the dnc leadership, the obama-biden campaign, the white house, who is asleep right now? >> well, i mean, look, it wasn't really directed at the white house or something like that. i think -- i think that we got to prepare for one of the hardest campaigns that we're ever going to be involved with in here, and you know, it's just across the board and we have to buckle up here, what incumbents are staying in office here? we've got to go early and often and, you know, some of our so-called super pac guys they need to be raising more money and we need to have better-coordinated attack out there and there are a lot of things that we need to be doing and gearing up for it and i don't have the sense people feel it's time to get out and it is. >> why is it that karl rove's pro-republican super pac is raising tens of millions of dollars and the democratic super
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pac is having a tough time raising money at all? >> the pollution thing is supporting the thing and you can make more money by polluting things than you can by stopping people by polluting and there is an enormous financial stake in this, but a lot of this is not just the democratic super pacs and it's all across the board. it's a sense that we're going to have a good year in 2012. we may, and i hope we do, i'm certainly not going suggest that that can't happen, but right now i don't see it. we're tied in the polls and i think part of it, too, is people look at romney and as i point out the thing, he's the worst with ever and he's the worst candidate i've ever seen, and i think people just assume that romney can't get any better and it's a dangerous assumption to make. >> you wrote an article on cnn.com back in september, among other things you said what should the white house do now? one word came to mind, panic. and you also suggested start
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firing people. did they heed your advice? >> well, they indicted some, and they indicted and they seemed to fight. they indicted somebody in this financial services thing, i'm -- you know, i think if it was me, i'm a different personality. i would be on fire right now. i'd be screaming at people. i'd be trying to, you know, motivate the way, and i wouldn't be as comfortable, and i think they have to send a signal that they got back the jobs bush lost and that's where we are. people are not satisfied. there's a sense that there's a lot more to do than probably try to convey that, but, you know, it's the way they ought to do it and they've been pretty successful so far and i sure hope they'll be successful in november, but i think that people's lives have started hurting out there and we have to tag romney hard and soon. i'm ready to go and i'm ready to get started here. >> mincing no words.
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james carville, thanks very much. >> you bet. >> a reminder, we taped that interview with james before the dramatic announcement that he supports same-sex marriage. how will the president's support of same-sex marriage impact the support among african-americans and others? we're looking at all of the fallout and the breaking news coverage will continue. ♪ i don't wanna be right [ record scratch ] what?! it's not bad for you. it just tastes that way. [ female announcer ] honey nut cheerios cereal -- heart-healthy, whole grain oats. you can't go wrong loving it. >> announcer: this is the day. the day that we say to the world of identity thieves "enough." we're lifelock, and we believe you have the right to live free from the fear of identity theft.
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power past pain. jack is back with "the cafferty file," jack? >> the question is how much does it matter if you like a candidate for president? paula in detroit, it's the whole ball of watch for the stretched too thin voter to gather by osmosis anything, but the bear minimum. the last-minute gut feeling in the polling booth becomes the deciding factor. it comes down to the guy i can have a beer with. >> i'm not voting for somebody to teach sunday school. i want the person who most closely fits my ideology. who do you want at the bat? the player more liked by the fans or the one most likely to get a hit. >> and and ney washington wrights i think it matters a lot unless you can trust somebody you don't like. unfortunately after today's
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cowardly capitulation to the gay rights agenda, the fact that i like the president will not matter in the upcoming election, despite being a life long democrat i will not support the president's re-election and will do everything in my capacity to see he doesn't serve a second term. jennifer in canada, on the one hand you have a man that treats his dog like a member of the family. on the other hand you have a man who treats his dog like luggage. i know which one i like and this which one makes my blood run cold. it's not necessary to leak your candidate. it's only necessary to dislike the other bum more. if you want to read more on this go to the blog, cnn.com/caffertyfile or go to facebook. wolf? >> jack, thank you. you're in "the situation room." happening now, president obama's bombshell declaration that he supports same-sex marriage. this hour he explains where his wife stands on the issue and how his children influenced his decision. >> plus, new information about
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the mole who penetrated the most dangerous branch of al qaeda and snatched a sophisticated bomb. we're learning more about the dangerous new weapon. in the john edwards trial, a former aide, elizabeth edwards' reaction to the affair. we want to welcome viewers around the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer and you're in "the situation room." >> from this day on barack obama will go down in history as the first u.s. president to endorse same-sex marriage publicly. we're following the breaking sdmuz what it could mean for the country and for the presidential campaign. listen to what the president told abc news about his change of heart. >> over the course of several years, as i talk to friends and family and neighbors, when i think about members of my own
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staff who are incredibly committed in monogamous relationships, same sex relationships who are raising kids together, when i think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that don't ask, don't tell is gone because they're not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point i've just concluded that for me, personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that i think same-sex couples should be able to get married. you know, when i go to college campuses and sometimes i talk to college republicans who think i have terrible policies on the economy or on foreign policy, but are very clear that when it comes to same-sex equality or,
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you know, sexual orientation that they believe in equality. they're much more comfortable with it. you know, malia and sasha, they've got friends whose parents are same-sex couples, and i -- you know, there have been times when michelle and i have been sitting around the dinner table and they've been talking about their friends and their parents and malia and sasha, it wouldn't dawn on them that somehow their friends' parents would be treated differently. it doesn't make sense to them and frankly, that's the kind of thing that prompts a change in perspective. >> as you'd expect, a gay rights activist are cheering the president's decision. many are condemning president obama playing politics with a divisive issue in an election year. the president's republican opponent, mitt romney had this
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to say just a little while ago. >> i had the same view on marriage that i had when i was governor and that i've expressed many times. i believe marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman. states are able to make decisions with regards to domestic partnership benefits such as hospital visitation rights, benefits and so forth of various kinds can be determined state by state and my view is that marriage itself is a relationship between a man and a woman and that's my own preference. i know other people have differing views and this is a tender and sensitive topic as are many social issues and i have the same view that i've had since running for office. >> i believe that based upon the interview that he gave today on abc, it said that he had changed his view and you're a better judge of that than i and i saw the reports where he previously said he opposed same-sex marriage and now according to
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abc news he supports it. if that's the case you'll be able to make that determination on your own. >> a lot of questions about how the president's support for same-sex marriage will play out politically and could even potentially face the backlash from a key part of his base, the african-american community. let's talk about that and more with our cnn contributor roland martin. how is this going to play out? >> obviously, we don't know because we're going to see what happens over the next several hours. i have talked to several pastors who were very strong obama surrogates in 2008, words used were shameful and pitiful. they said they are going to be forced to stand before their congregations in their pulpits and denounce the president's decision, and again, these are individuals who are not conservative pastors. these individuals who might be deemed to have liberal pastors and they say they have a prophetic voice. also understand historically, the governor of massachusetts,
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he has also come out with this issue beforehand and did not affect his re-election with african-american votes. one thing we have to pay attention to is we have the majority of americans supporting same-sex marriage. the key thing is what are voters saying? 32 times there have been referendums when it came to same-sex marriage. 32 times lgbt supporters have failed to stop those and, so, voters have spoken and so i think we have to pay very close attention to the polls in the next seven to ten days in states like iowa, virginia, north carolina, even florida, ohio to see if this singular issue may very well move people to shift from president obama to mitt romney. i'm not necessarily sold on that, but they said it's something they'll have to pay attention to. >> because in the south especially, african-american baptists whether in north carolina, maybe even in
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virginia, southern part of virginia, shall we say, the support for the president has been historic, what? 95%? are you happening is, though, roland, some of those african-american voters simply won't vote this time or will they actually go ahead because of this one issue, same-sex marriage, and vote for mitt romney? >> first of all, what you have here is not just black voters in the south when you look at 95% voting for the president, then senator barack obama in 2008. he enjoys widespread support. i don't necessarily believe that you will see mass numbers say i'm going to now shift to mitt romney. the concern, though is whether or not you will have the same level of enthusiasm. here's what's interesting. the argument that was used prior to this decision and that was gays and lesbians have no other place to go, but president obama is the exact same argument now being used against african-americans saying they have no place to go. now, what happened on the lgbt
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side, we know through reporting, many of them closed their checkbooks as a result of the president's decision not to sound the executive order, not to come out for same-sex marriage. so i don't believe you're going to see massive peeling off of african-americans, but i do think you have to pay attention to the level of enthusiasm. you must pay attention to the kind of statements that are going to be made by religious leaders and so i don't think you're going to see the level of support, but in a close election, 50,000, 100,000 votes could very well make a difference. as senator john kerry about how this issue potentially affected him in ohio in 2004. so i think we pay attention to those state referendums, again, 0 for 32 in support for same-sex maerj. that means voters have actually spoken and so i'm going to be very curious to see what the poll numbers look like and those 12 critical states especially virginia, iowa, north carolina,
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pennsylvania, florida, even the western states over the next seven to ten days. >> only six states in the district of columbia allow same-sex marriage. roland, your father is a pastor -- >> no, no, no. my wife is a minister. not my dad. my dad works for amtrak. >> never mind, got bad information. your wife is a minister. give us a sense of how you think this will play out in african-american churches this coming sunday? >> oh, there's no doubt you will see pastors address this very issue in their pulpits on sunday because, again, you have an issue here that is very delicate and that is if you are a pastor, you can take a partisan position or you can take a prophetic position and so that's going to be really the issue there. i think what you're going see, i think you're going see pastors say they disagree with the president's decision based upon the bible and based upon what matthew 19 says and weir going to say we also should not be
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focused on just one social issue and pay attention to the economy. i think the obama campaign likely is going to want to shift the conversation in terms of who is going to be better for you, but again, it will be very interesting, the exact same arguments that were used against gays and lesbians by saying where else are they going to go, guaranteed you'll hear the exact same thing take place because of african-americans because of this issue. >> they made it clear that the first lady, his wife, is agrees with him and supports same-sex marriage. >> and she feels the same way that she -- she feels the same way that i do and that is that -- >> unfortunately, we'll fix that technical issue. some other audio coming in. let me bring in gloria borger, rick santorum, the former republican presidential candidate issued a lengthy statement mookt other things, he
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said this, the announcement today by president obama should come as no surprise to the american public. president obama has consistently fought against protecting the institution of marriage from radical, social engineering at both the state and federal level, the president recently opposed the north carolina constitutional amendment and he refused to defend president clinton's defense of marriage act before the u.s. supreme court. the charade is now over, santorum says. no doubt an attempt to galvanize his core, hard left supporters in advance of the november election. a lot of similar statements along those lines are coming in from other conservative republicans. >> i think the beginning of that statement is accurate in the sense that it says it should come as no surprise to the american public because the president's justice department has refused to defend the defense of marriage act. did repeal don't ask don't tell and the president had all but given his support to gay
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marriage. this is the final turn of the wheel, if you will, so it does not come as any surprise, where i would disagree with rick santorum is that this was done to galvanize the left wing. this could create, it's got plusses and minuses for the president. it could galvanize the youth vote which the president spoke about in his interview with abc, but on the other side, there are democrats in iowa, north carolina, ohio, pennsylvania, that could have problems with the president on this, particularly catholics, blue collar voters, even though the public is divided on gay marriage. if you look at the battleground states this could give the president some real headaches politically. so it's not a clear political call one way or the other. my sources say, look, the president needed to look
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decisive here. if he had let this hang on, if he had let it continue after joe biden said that he felt comfortable with gay marriage, it could have been more of a problem. >> i think we have the clip from the president in the abc news interview speaking about michelle obama, the first lady. >> did you discuss this with mrs. obama, the same-sex marriage issue? >> i did. no, this is something that we've talked about over the years and she feels the same way that -- she feels the same way that i do, and that is that in the end, the values that i care most deeply about and she cares most deeply about is how we treat other people. and i -- you know, we both are
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practicing christians and obviously, this position may be considered to put us at odds with the views of others, but, you know, when we think about our faith, the thing, you know, at root that we think about is not only christ sacrificing himself on our behalf, but it's also the golden rule. treat others the way you want to be treated and i think that's what we try to impart to our kids and that's what motivates me as president, and i figure the more consistent i can be in being true to those presents, the better i'll be as a dad and a husband and hopefully the better i'll be as president. >> the president is clearly relieved that he's finally been
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able to take this position. i sense he's had this position for a long time, but now he's actually been able to do it. >> he used the word consistent there and what we heard from mitt romney today is accuse the president of flip-flopping on this issue. i think president obama will probably accuse mitt romney of flip-flopping in the other direction, having been more liberal on the issue at one point when he was running for the senate in massachusetts in the '90s and is now becoming more and more conservative so they'll have that argument because in a way, wolf, they both evolved, but in completely different direction. >> totally different directions and it will be an issue for the next six months out on the campaign trail. stand by. we will continue watching the breaking news. other people are hearing about the president's new stand on gay marriage. we're getting powerful reaction coming into the situation room from voters out there. and there's something else the president's critics are pouncing on today. we lost a big chunk of the primary vote in one state. get this, to a prisoner. yes, you heard that right, a
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jack cafferty is here with "the cafferty file." jack? >> wolf, today's definition of political opportunism is spelled gay marriage. president obama's been in office for three and a half years, and has artfully dodged the question of whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry. then suddenly a week or so ago joe biden came out and publicly said he doesn't see anything wrong with gay marriage and right away people want to know where does the president stand? then the voters in north carolina go to the polls and overwhelmingly pass a constitutional amendment outlawing same-sex marriage. once again, the questions. where does the president stand? suddenly at 3:00 this afternoon, after three and a half years of not answering the question, mr.
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obama decides to take a position. all of a sudden he thinks same-sex marriage is a good idea. he's locked in what promises to be a close race against mitt romney and so picking this moment to pander the gay and lesbian community on the issue of same-sex marriage suits his political purpose which is to be reelected. one of the major broadcast networks interrupts programming to breathlessly report that the president has decided that it's okay for same-sex couples to marry. pardon me if i don't hyperventilate and we have real issues in this country for which president obama has been glaringly short on answers, more than $15 trillion in national debt and an unemployment rate that's an embarrassment for the largest free market system in the world and the congress that refuses to agree on whether it's daylight outside or not, and the country suddenly is supposed to come to a screeching halt because president obama was pressured into taking a position on a wedge issue? i'll pass. oh, and at the end of the day it's still up to the states.
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here's the question, is president obama simply using gay mi marriage for political gain? go to cnn.com/caffertyfile and post a comment on my blog or go to the post on "the situation room's" facebook page. wolf? >> thank you. the laws on gay marriage certainly differ from state to state and the politics of this issue are different depending on where you go. cnn's tom foreman is joining us now to break it all down for us. what are you seeing there, tom? >> if you look at the trend line of general public opinion in 1996 it was wide here, those no, those yes and it's been closing, closing, closing. now it's 2012 with half of the population for it and about half against it and a tiny, tiny sliver more in favor of gay marriage, but as roland pointed out earlier, look at what happened in the states at the same time even if that's what people tell pollsters at the actual polls and this has been
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overwhelming to say that people don't want it, 28 states with constitutional provisions defining marriage between a man and a woman and these are the dark blue ones and ten more are statutory provisions defining marriage between a man and a woman. and the statutory provision, in only seven allowed in only seven in five haven't decided anything. if this is the map right now and you compare it to the election map last time you can see a few key places where this might be a real issue for the president, florida, ohio, indiana, for example, where he won and yet these are states that have not been so warm to that issue. the question really is going to be, if this is a political move, and we don't know that it is, but if it is, who is he going after? we do know this, younger voters overwhelmingly like this idea, more educated voters tend to like this idea and in some of the states where he's had a hard time invigorating people, particularly those young people that are so important to him, maybe this is an effort to get
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them to come back to life and to get back in this process. he even mentioned them in this interview, wolf and those are one of the things to watch for. >> tom foreman, the breaking news on what happened today, thank you very much. >> other news we're watching as well, including the suspect of a family of four now on the fbi's ten most wanted list are facing new charges. up next, the latest on where authority it is think he is now. there are new details about the bomb al qaeda planned to use in the thwarted terror plot. why one u.s. official says this time it was built to work. us. us. you ready? we wanna be our brother's keeper. what's number two we wanna do? bring it up to 90 decatherms. how bout ya, joe? let's go ahead and bring it online. attention on site, attention on site. now starting unit nine. some of the world's cleanest gas turbines are now powering some of america's biggest cities.
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>> we're learning more about the role saudi arabia played
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apparently an enormous role in the secret operation that thwarted an al qaeda airline bomb plot. sources say the mole who penetrated terrorist forces in yemen was, in fact, under the control of saudi intelligence from day one. the sophisticated bomb that the agent snatch side being studied by u.s. counterterrorism officials in the united states. joining us is the chairman of the house homeland security committee, republican peter king. mr. chairman, thanks very much for coming in. >> thank you. >> i assume all of that is accurate. the very important role saudi arabia played in thwarting this bomb plot. >> wolf, i hate to do this to you. i can't confirm any of that. nothing has been declassified. i've had access to a number of top-secret briefings and i tell you, it bothers me, not that you're reporting it, but that so many people are talking about something that is so classified which was to me, the most top secret operation i've seen in the 20 years i've been in congress where nobody, including
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the speaker of the house was even told about and he's second in line to the presidency and the chairman and ranking members of the intelligence committees weren't told and somehow that leaked out. to me the issue is who leaked this? because that put lives at risk and that jeopardized the entire operation and the fact that all of these things are being discussed and are so top secret and could have ramifications, to me is wrong. i am calling on the fbi to do a full investigation of how this was leaked and who is leaking it and the cia to do an investigation and in addition to that, to have -- follow-up what the general said about the dni, the director of the national intelligence finding out where the weakness was if there was one in the intelligence community. unless this came from one of our foreign allies, this came from such a small circle and nobody in congress knew about it and my understanding is very few, een in the fbi knew about it and so much of this was leaked to the associated press a week ago and
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this is really dangerous to the national security. >> because you raise the question of whether perhaps the leak came from the foreign intelligence ally of the united states, presumably the saudis, obviously. they knew all about it. the yemenis apparently knew all about it. >> if in fact, the initial leak from the associated press came from the saudis or the yemenis, there is a limit as to what the fbi or cia could do about that. rule out that anyone involved in the u.s. did it. obviously, if it's a foreign ally that did it, then there's diplomatic ramifications to that, but i want to rule out that anyone in the u.s., if it's a foreign country, it's a different story, but we have to rule out and make sure that nobody in the u.s. in the intelligence community or the administration or anyone in the law enforcement community was involved in leaking it because to me, this is literally, a criminal offense.
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>> the bomb itself was apparently going to be put into someone's underwear. was it the etn? what kind of explosive device was in the -- was in this underwear? >> again, wolf. all i'm going to say is it was a non-metallic device. the fbi explosives experts are still analyzing it. they're analyzing it as to content, as to impact and what type of defense we should use against it and what defense is possible against it, what we may have to do to change our tactics or our strategy or our methods of operations so again, it is so premature for us to be talking about this, and i know people are talking about how many detonators there could be, what detonator could work or not work and what the backups are, and to me it's dangerous. we shouldn't be telling the enemy what we know and what we don't know and we shouldn't be telling the enemy whether or not we can defend against it. >> right now people are flying and you've been briefed without
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undermining classified information. should the general public right now be concerned that perhaps there are other similar improvised explosive devices out there? >> wolf, for my family or myself i would say fly. obviously, i would say there is more of a concern than there may have been a month ago only because we are not certain, and again all of this talk and all of this leaking only weakens our position to find out whether or not there are devices and other devices and how far they've gone and what we have to be concerned about and i'm not aware of any particular threats myself and anything specific, obviously, if you know what happened over what happened over the last ten days to two weeks. weir looking for things such as this and we're trying to find out what else there is, but i would emphasize again, because of the leaks we've had, i believe that weakens our position, but no, i don't believe in scaring the american people by saying there is a particular threat out there, but
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obviously this gives us more reason for concern. >> peter king as the chairman of the house homeland security committee. thanks for coming in. >> thank you. some obama opponents are hoping the decision to support same-sex marriage will help defeat him in november. i'll talk to tony perkins, he's standing by. and edwards' late wife, a key focus of emotional testimony in the former presidential candida candidate's trial. you'd use edge gorilla glass for a stunning display in a more compact form. and you'd choose an intel® core i7™ processor for maximum processing power. everything that you could ever want in a laptop. introducing the dell xps 13 ultrabook™ everything. and more. ♪ in that time there've been some good days. and some difficult ones.
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i've just concluded that for me, personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that i think same-sex couples should be able to get married. >> let's get back to the breaking news we've been following for the past several hour, president obama's historic decision today to publicly back same-sex marriage. joining us now is the president of the family research council tony perkins who strongly
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disagrees with the president. tony, when you heard the news today what was your immediate reaction? >> well, i'll tell you, wolf, i wasn't surprised. i will say somewhat disappointed, though, that the president would come out and say that he is for redefining marriage, but i would say this, at least now his words are in sync with his actions. he has been opposed to state marriage amendments. he has refused to defend the federal defense of marriage act. he has extended taxpayer-funded marriage benefits to same-sex couples. at least now it's very clear where the president stands. >> what's wrong with giving gay americans the same rights as heterosexual americans? >> they have the same rights. what we're talking about is redefining of marriage in taking what 30 states have said that they prefer the traditional historic definition of marriage. it's a union of a man and a woman and what he's saying is, look, i'm for overturning that. in essence, that's what happens when the federal defense of
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marriage act falls in part because the president is refusing to defend it. so this is going to be a real political issue. i think today there's celebration in two camps, those advocates who were activists who with were advocating for same-sex marriage and the campaign of mitt romney because the president, i think, has handed to mitt romney the one missing piece in his campaign and that is the intensity and motivation that mitt romney needs among social conservatives to win this election, and i think this could be the piece. >> do you agree with mitt romney that gay couples should be able to visit each other in hospitals if they're sick according to the same laws that married couples have, if someone is dying that the gay partner would be able to go there and see that partner? >> yea. i mean, who would be against that? i think most of these benefits -- or most of these items are available to most couples, if not automatically,
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certainly by legal arrangement, but nobody is against that. what is of concern is this is no longer theoretical. what we've seen since 2004 is that when the redefinition of marriage takes place in a jurisdiction, you lose parental rights. there's a conflict with religious freedom and so there's a bigger issue here than just simply two people wanting to live together, nobody's opposed to that in terms of allowing him to do it. it's redefining marriage and the rest of society with it. >> what about allowing gay couples to be on each other's health insurance policies? would you have a problem with that? >> if -- if it's available to all couples who want to do it for brother and sister living together and they want to be able to be on one another's insurance, that's fine. what we're saying is we shouldn't base special benefits upon a sexual relationship other than that of marriage which is a union that benefits society and
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that's why society has granted certain benefits to marriage is because marriage benefits society. >> do you accept the concept that gay people are born that way, that they really -- this is the way they were born. this is the way god wanted them to be? >> no, wolf. there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that it is genetic. let me say this, i have said that i don't believe it's a choice if someone wakes up and says i'm going to be gay and i do believe there are environmental factors that come into play here and there are experiences that come into play. so i would say there are some things that are certainly outside the control of the individual that shape them, but i would not -- i would say when you look at the social science research there's nothing that says conclusively that this is genetic. >> most of the gay people i know say that from an early age they realized they were attracted to the same sex as opposed to the
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opposite sex, and it wasn't as if they were educated to do that or inclined in one way or another to do that. in fact, it made their lives a lot more difficult. they didn't really want to do it, but that was the way that was natural to them. >> well, again, i don't think it's a choice in terms of somebody waking up one day. i do think there are more environmental factors that are at play here, and again, i simply go back to the research. there is nothing conclusive about the research saying that it is genetic. >> tony perkins, thanks for coming in. we'll continue this conversation. >> thank you, wolf. a new wake-up call for president obama. he lost a big chunk of the primary vote in one state to a prisoner who is behind bars right now. and the big question of the day is president obama simply using gay marriage for political again or in his heart of hearts, did he do this out of political courage? @@
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>> president obama has never gotten much support in west virginia, but his standing there may be hitting a new low. a man who is currently in prison actually got more votes in some counties than the president in west virginia's democratic
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primary. our national political correspondent jim acosta is there. >> reporter: just down the road from this west virginia battlefield in the tiny town of boliber there say bar going on over the state's presidential primary between the man in the white house and the man in the big house. >> there was one i didn't vote for. >> who? >> obama. >> i wouldn't vote for him if he was the last man in the world. >> hardy like tense of thousands voted for keith judd currently in a jail in texas. he had no idea judd was behind bars. >> i didn't know he was a prisoner. >> you voted for the prisoner? >> didn't even know him, but i voted against obama. >> one of the constituents backed the president. >> the whole thing ever it is he's trying to get the boost. >> their debate sums up what was a surprisingly close race in
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west virginia and the latest return, judd, who met the state's ballot requirements picked up 40% of the vote. republicans immediately dumped the primary the big fail in a radio interview in denver mitt romney piled on. >> in west virginia, an inmate got almost 40% of the vote against president obama from the convention. i think they have more problem on that side of the aisle than we do on ours. mr. obama has been deeply in trouble since 2008 when he lost to hillary clinton by 40 points. joe manchin said he wasn't sure he'd vote for the president this fall. >> i'm basically a pure virginia democrat. i am not a washington democrat and i'm the first to tell you that. if you're look for example someone to toe the line, i don't fit that bill. >> reporter: and there are other warning signs for the president, in north carolina where an anti-gay referendum was approved
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by voters, 20% showed no preference over president obama. a spokesman for mr. obama's campaign said the president got more votes than mitt romney in north carolina, not only did president obama receive more votes than mitt romney, he received a larger percentage of the party vote. >> reporter: why don't you like obama? >> i can give you a hundred reasons. i think he's the worst president the country's ever had. >> reporter: hard feelings about the president linger. their chief complaints, the economy, the deficit, health care reform and what one man sees as mr. obama's hidden agenda. >> and tried to compound racism. he's shown that he is trying to encourage racism, division through women or whatever, trying to split. i call it divide. i call it divide our country so you can win. >> reporter: polls show president obama has almost no chance of winning west virj
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tri virginia, it appears to be for now, safely in the romney column this fall. >> certainly does. thanks very much, jim acosta. the late elizabeth edwards center stage in the corruption trial. that's next. down here, folks measure commitment by what's getting done. the twenty billion dollars bp committed has helped fund economic and environmental recovery. long-term, bp's made a five hundred million dollar commitment to support scientists studying the environment. and the gulf is open for business - the beaches are beautiful, the seafood is delicious. last year, many areas even reported record tourism seasons. the progress continues... but that doesn't mean our job is done. we're still committed to seeing this through.
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the late elizabeth edwards at center of john edwards' corruption trial in north carolina. cnn's senior correspondent joe johns is there. >> reporter: on the stand wednesday afternoon deputy white house communications director jen palmieri, she was a communications adviser for john edwards during his run for president in 2008. also close to his late wife elizabeth. palmieri broke down crying as she recounted the last days -- and palmieri told her mrs. ed wars was worried thather, she w when she died, there would not be a man around her who loved her. earlier, palmieri had dealt with reports of former senator edwards having an affair. she didn't think if the story was true, his campaign for president would be able to survive, because the story got right to the heart of what people liked about him. palmieri said she was summoned
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to a meeting in a hotel room in davenport iowa attended by both edwardss and wealthy trial lawyer, baron and his wife. he was one of the wealthy ben factors that gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to try to cover up the affair. by the time of the meeting in late 2007, much of the story was in the process of being revealed. when she got to the meeting, elizabeth edwards was very upset because baron and lisa blue had been in contact with rielle hunter. palmieri testified, quote, edwards thought they were proactively inserting edwards into the situation and it made them look nmore guilty. they explained they were trying to help kim his friends close and enemies closer. kieran shanahan. >> they said, miss hunter is a loose cannon.
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she may go to the press. wendy button who helped edwards draft a statement admitting paternity of rielle hunter's child. she was cross examined. edwards told her baron had been helping out with quinn, the child but she got her to admit that she may have done so after the child was born. nearly one month to the day after edwards had pulled out of the presidential race. >> reporter: and it is looking less and less like rielle hunter will testify, at least for the prosecution. the prosecution is expected to wrap up its case tomorrow. rielle hunter is not expected to testify then. no word on whether she will be called to the stand by the defense. wolf? >> we will check back with you tomorrow, joe. thank you. let's check in with jack. questions this hour, is president obama simply using gay marriage for political gain? >> j.b. in tennessee writes, yes, the president is using his
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endorsement of gay marriage as a campaign strategy since the north carolina vote yesterday. all week, the president has been evolving on this. so we are to believe that yesterday he was evolving and today he suddenly has evolved. seriously, his deceptive political nonsense is insulting to our intelligence. alberta writes, to some, civil rights iues will always seem less important than. to uncaring majorities, the claims of minorities seem such belly aching. it all depends where you are standing. to be belittled, bullied and disenfranchised is important to an american minority. if politics have to be pultd in, so about it. linda writes, of course he is. i think we are all aware this will be a state law, state by state as it should be. i support gay marriage. obama has not been a good president. him coming out in support of gay marriage doesn't change that fact. dave writes, i don't see how it can be for political gain since he already has a majority of the
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lesbian and gay votes locked up. can't imagine too many of them voting republican. guy in texas writes, this should take flip-flopping out of the election discussion. romney's response was appropriate. this is merely a division, which takes away from what the people are most interested in. pete writsz, are you serious? name one thing he doesn't do for political gain. just one. m.j. writes, maybe but so what. he is doing the right thing. i don't care if it is for the wrong reason. if you want to read more, go to the blog, cnn.com/caffertyfile or through our post on "the situation room's" facebook page. wolf? she is known as the hotdog hooker. it is not just hotdogs that she claims to be selling. ♪
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the so-called hotdog hooker is back. some say she is selling more than hotdogs. jeanne moos has a closer look. >> reporter: she is back in action selling hotdogs hoping to hook customers with the slogan. >> get a little wiggle with your weiner. >> reporter: she has wiggled her way to fame known by the name the hotdog hooker.
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arrested for selling sex acts along with her weaners. >> i plead guilty to stripper, no the prostitution. >> reporter: ever since they wiggled her way out of a long island jail, she makes the press blush. >> prostitution is sex, sexual acts. that's prostitution. >> reporter: had he actually pleaded guilty to misdemeanor prostitution after an undercover cop bought hot tdogs, took a business stand and ended up getting a lap dance at her home. she denies police accusations that she offered more. now, it is the press being propositioned. >> who wants to get a lap dance. i will show you what it looks like. come to the hotdog truck. i will have a bikini top on. >> the rain put a damper on her fashion plans. >> she has it on today. >> reporter: she does have it on. this is live tv. >> reporter: as if that would
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stop her. did you see me in the news? >> reporter: it was a lot to see. she wasn't always so brazen. take, for instance, the last time she was arrested. instead of bouncing around, she hung her head to hide after being charged with prostitution out of a hotdog truck eight years ago. now, the country's most famous hotdog vin der has knocked even a tanning mom out of the limelight. one poll made readers choose. they went for the hotdog lady. >> i like doing the hotdogs. i like conversating with people. >> reporter: all the conversating about her is bound to get back to her fourteen age boys in their grandmother's custody. >> to my boys, your mother is a stripper. you are going to have to live with that until the day you die. >> reporter: what about the effect on weaners. are you won reed that the hotdog stripper is giving hotdogs a bad name. >> you hear about the hotdog hooker? >> reporter: i will have a
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hotdog with mustard, hold the cleavage. jeanne moos, cnn. >> sexy and i know it. >> reporter: new york. we had hoped to bring you my interview with the top foreign ministry official in cuba rekt aing to allen gross, the american held prisoner in cuba. she is reacting to what hillary clinton told cnn about alan gross and u.s./cuban relations. unfortunately, because of the breaking news on president obama's decision on same-sex marriage, we will not be able to bring you the interview. we will have that tomorrow in "the situation room." until then, thanks very much for joining us. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." the news continues next on cnn. good evening. i'm john king. tonight, president obama uses an oval office interview to endorse same-sex marriage ending a personal revolution and putting the cultural wars front and center in 2012. indiana voters

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