tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN September 20, 2012 1:00am-2:00am EDT
good evening everyone, it is 10:00 in the evening on the east coast. we begin with breaking news. today a hearse bore the body of a navy s.e.a.l. just outside of boston. today new details leading up to the murder of he and others last week. including the american ambassador there christopher stephens. the threat he foresaw and the signal he gave to at least one person he knew about to what he was seeing.
today many if administration are conceding what many suspected that the killings though they occurred in a wave of protests in the youtube video, they were not committed by protesters. listen to the counter terrorism center director at a homeland security hearing. >> i would say yes, they were killed in the course of a terrorist attack an our embassy. >> mr. olson went on to say they lacked significant advanced planning or organization. they are looking at the scene just outside of the consulate in benghazi. tonight, "360" as obtained exclusi exclusi exclusive information about the
events leading up to his killing. he talked about being worried about the security threats there. he specifically mentioned the rise in islamic extremism and our source tells us he emailed a journalist in the wake of the bombing in june. he wrote, maybe you should travel to bengazi in light of what appearing to be going on. he wrote and i quote, you should east to benghazi to check out the situation there which appears the be heating up. what we don't know is why, given all that ambassador stevens thought why he travelled with such a light security detail and why he was allowed to? did he want it that way or did the risks go unheeded and he and his people die because of it? at this point we simply don't know. senator john mccain supported the president's steps to oust khadafy, and the president's steps taken since then. i spoke to senator mccain earlier today.
senator mccain, a source familiar with the ambassador's thinking in the months before his death said he talked about the threats he was facing and growing al qaeda presence and mentioned being on an al qaeda hit list, and he said in june to a journalist, maybe you should head east to benghazi to the situation there which appears the be heating up. given what we are learning about the concerns that he had, does it make sense to you the small level of security that he apparently had with him? >> it doesn't make any sense. rapid i will tell you what else does not make any sense is that the white house spokesman and the secretary of the state and the ambassador of the u.n. stating categorically it was not a terrorist attack when it had all of the earmarks of a terrorist attack including rocket-propelled grenades and heavy weapons and well carried out military operation, and why
they would want to tell the american people this that in face of facts i don't know. there are other reports that there had been other threats made, and there are reports that there's basically an al qaeda extremist outfit, militia in benghazi. >> fran townsend, told us she was meeting with the ambassador recently about a month or so ago and met with ambassador stevens in tripoli and though he arrived with a armored vehicle, he had no security at all with him, and that surprised her at the time. i mean, it seems that i have never seen an ambassador who does not have in a war zone and a place like libya with threats who does not have a larger entourage of security, and is this an intelligence failure or what do you attribute it to? >> i attribute it to chris stevens who is a brave man. he lived in a hotel in benghazi
during the fighting, but it is also clear that the security people should have given him more security, particularly in benghazi. as you know, that country is divided very badly, and there's significant competition, and there's far more islamic influence in that part of libya than in tripoli. >> you previously mentioned that people in the obama administration said it was not a planned attack and sort of the offshoot of this youtube video, but the director of the terro terrorist scenter said that it did appear to be a terrorist attack.
how significant do you think that is? >> i think it is significant that the president's spokesperson would go on our networks and tell people thing that is are absolutely false and by the way, fly in the face of the facts. i think maybe the american people are owed an apology. but the most important thing that we have to understand is that this video is not the cause of it. islamists who use these videos use these videos to inflame people to attack america. i'm confident that people are making videos right now. we should be standing up for freedom of speech and that we will defend people's right to speak out and express their views rather than condemn the vehicle and not the cause. the cause is radical islamist. >> do you believe that there need s needs to be an invest about the attack on the consulate and elsewher elsewhere? >> there has to be. there has to be. i want to emphasize one, that libya is very weak. the borders are porous, and there is radical islamist
element elements throughout the country, but still, it is the obligation of the host country to protect our consulates, our embassies and our personnel and it is partially ours because we have to depend on the host country and then we have to sort out and rethink what presence we will have and what relationship we will have with these countries. >> you hit president obama hard on policy and you said you don't believe the president has the quote strength or ability to lead the nation. you said that recent events have shown how weak he is. are you saying that the president is responsible for the at tacks in benghazi? >> no, he is responsible for our failure in afghanistan and iraq. we left iraq, and it is now disintegrating and al qaeda is coming back and we did not leave a residual force which we should have. and in afghanistan he overruled the military advisers on several
occasions including 30,000 instead of 40,000 for the surge accelerating the withdrawal dates and now we have this situation where the taliban and the enemies know that we are leaving. the whole premise was to train afghans in order to turn over these responsibilities to them and leave. now, how can we train and work with these people if so many of them are killing americans that we cannot train and operate with them. so that policy has been an abject failure. >> we will talk with senator mccain more about political issues ip colluding president obama's 47% statement. joining us now is fran townsend a cnn contributor who is a
former cis security council advisory member. as i said, you met with ambassador steven, and he told another source that he was on the al qaeda hit list and there were security concern s >> you know we had a long . conversation especially about security, and we talked about the ip crease in numbers and access to weapon s he suggested i go to bengazi. it was august 29th, less than two weeks before he was killed. . the other thing worth mentioning, as senator mccain said to you, chris stephens was with the rebells and my take on the situation was that it was fragile and i was worried about the militia. it was not as bad as it was at the height of fighting. the lack of security and security forces and their organization and training.
i'm not sure that he was incredibly comfortable there especially with the familiarity with those in benghazi. >> those we don't have the information on is whether the concerns that he had that expressed to at least one source we talked to were passed up the chain of command and whether other folks knew about it. bob, you are pretty upset about this, and you say that ambassador stevens should not have been in libya if he was on an al qaeda hit list. >> anderson, i ended up on two lists and i'm not sure i was really on the list, but in each case the cia pulled me out of the country i was in and very weak information and they said, look, a possibility of assassination and get out. one time i left in the morning at 2:00 with my wife. the second time i was evacuated the next morning and brought out with security, and this is standard protocol for state department when there is a threat and especially to an ambassador it is much more
important than a cia case officer, a nd they are pulled ot or moved or heavy security is sent in and i mean somebody like the s.e.a.l.s. the chain of command in this broke down and there needs to be an investigation somewhere in the state department that let our ambassador down. >> i should point out that cnn is talking to our sources who monitor the al qaeda web sites and they have not come across a specific threat against ambassador stevens which does not mean there wasn't one, but a lot of diplomats bristle against the security they are required to have in the post 9/11 era saying it gets in the way of interacting with the host country nationals and get out there on the streets which they feel they need to do, and is that any explanation for his apparently light security? >> well, the am pas dbassador w consummate diplomat and a brave man and done exactly what i would have done in the case, but on the other hand it is the higher ups in the washington who should have put a no to it. he knows the people and he
understood them and he was a good writer, and he loved his job and died doing his job, but the point is that somebody has to step in to protect the diplomats in the middle east that is circling the drain, and it is. more and more of this is going to happen, and we will have to take more precautions, and yes, it is going to put a distance between us and the locals which is very unfortunate. >> fran, do you agree that if the ambassador was on a hit list he should have been pulled out? >> yes, a much heavier presence, a as i mentioned to you, anderson, when he arrived at the hotel for breakfast, he arrived with a car and nobody with him. i was quite surprised because i waited in the lobby to greet him and walk him to breakfast and i was really surprised because it seemed unusual h to me in those circumstances, but in fairness now, anderson, because we had an extensive conversation about islamic radical ss and the growg extremism problem in libya, i find it remarkable if he was really concerned or thought he
was on a hit list, this is the kind of conversation where he would have shared that with me, because we had worked together for a number of years and i had my third trip to libya, and i knew him. i am surprised that he wouldn't have mentioned it to me, but as bob says, he was the kind of guy who probably wouldn't have intimidated, because he really felt like he needed to be without that in order to do his job. >> we feel very confident in the source and i obvious ly can't sy who the source is, but in the information that we have been given. and bob, would anyone in that job be on an al qaeda hit list or target? say he was pulled out, and wo d wouldn't al qaeda go after whomever replaced him? >> oh, absolutely. remember the drone s has have k a lot of libyans and in afghanistan, and this is a tribal society which takes revenge irrespective of the religion and we are number one target in libya and the fact that there are so many heavy arms included, that the
ambassador was a natural target. and there's only one way to protect these people, and that is complete mobility, and the s.e.a.l.s provide security teams, but the ambassador never would have been allowed to wander around hotels and meet with fran. she is absolutely right. this is surprise to me that he was wandering around that country without security. >> you agree, fran, with bob that there needs to be an investigation so that this does not happen again. >> and even if it is the ambassador's preference, he is a snas national asset and we have to understand it to protect others better. >> and thank you both. let me know what you think about this on facebook. i am dweeti itweeting already o and also, we will talk about as mr. romney tries to refocus and move on the campaign is dragging the whole thing back into the spotlight, but are they
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why not start the weekend before the week ends? get two times the points on dining in restaurants with chase sapphire preferred. keeping them honest now what happens when the tape rolls and campaign remarks spin. . we are talking about mitt romney's question and answer in the tape. >> for the past three years, all anybody's been told is how are we going to take care of it. -- well, there are 47% of those who believe that the president no matter what, all right, who believe they are entitled to health care, to food, to house, and to you name it. but it is an entitlement. and that the government should
give it to them, and they will vote for this president no matter what. >> and remember that shortly after the liberal "mother jones" magazine put out that clip ip colluding several others when mr. romney talked about israel, mr. romney called for a late night news conference for the whole tape to be released which it was except for two minutes. according to "mother jones" the gap is there because the person ste accidentally stopped record iin. fast forward to what happened today as mr. romney was asked to reshape that comment. as that was happening, this campaign staff seemed to be picking a fight without the facts to win it. this afternoon an attack on the romney israel remarks, romney campaign spokesman ryan williams sent an e-mail saying this,
today, obama campaign spokesperson ben labolt attacked mitt romney on a debunked "mother jones" tape. remember that. he is referring to the obama's spokesman calling him out for saying this. >> well this afternoon ryan williams the romney spokesperson said that "mother jones" completely truncated that clip to leave out the part that he said that the palestinians might
come around. he writes, politico reported that mother jones video was selectively edited to give a false impression about mitt romney's views. later today, david korn who broke the story said it is ridiculous, because the point is not selective editing. the point is to show what was news worthy. and the romney campaign said that dylan beyars debunked the tape, he said he did no such ning, and he joining us with john king and gloria borger. and dylan, when the romney campaign points to the tape and say it is debunked and debunked by you and the column, is that true? >> no, it is not. it is true that parts of romney's remarks were left out. those parts that were left out don't necessarily debunct the rest of the film.
>> does it seem strange to you that the romney campaign would talk up parts of the video saying that the governor stands by what he is trying to say and at the same time saying it is debunct. >> well, it is strange, and reflects that the campaign is in a little bit of a crisis mode right now. they are scrambling to try to offset some of the negative press that they have got, because of the release of this video. and so what they are trying to do is to sigh mmultaneously try to claim that it is somehow not legitimate and then you have romney out there giving press conferences to be doubling down elsewhere in the film, and put out a press release saying that the video has been debupn deen what they are referring to does not matter. either it is legitimate or not. >> and john, would they have doubled down and they keep drawing attention back to it
rather than away from it? >> well, a few things, anderson. one, you may be applying logic to politics and i advise you not to do that. and two, governor romney and mrs. romney and paul ryan have give en different options of what he meant to say about the 47%. about the israel part, we are at a point in the campaign of 48 day days out where everything is wrong. the romney campaign and the staff has had a rough week to ten days and sometimes you are taught in politics not to return every punch, and does this make sense? not always. they say that the left leaning mother jones and debunct and try to stir up the dust. if voters are confused about all of this and think it is politics, they might turn the page as opposed to saying that governor romney is hot water about something. >> well, it is interesting, gloria, according to gallup many said they did not think it would make a difference and some said they would make it more likely
and 53% said no difference. is that likely to influence how the romney campaign goes on? >> well, you may end up preaching to the choir as you look at those numbers. what you will see in the romney campaign is a recalibration, because you can't put the jeanne ba -- genie back in the bottle this late in the campaign, so now they are talking about the redistribute shup of wealth and the 1988 audio from president obama trying to make it an issue of who is for a big bloated government, and that would be president obama versus who is for a government who can lift everybody up. that would be mitt romney. but in the end, there's a lot of confusion about this, and it is going to be hard to tell exactly how this is going to impact the race except, an dderson, if it comes up in the presidential debates. and i bet it will. and then both mitt romney and president obama can explain their positions. >> and john, it does feel like
this team is jumping from strategy to strategy, and does this kind of move just give the ammunition of what some republican critics have said about the campaign from the beginning especially since that politico story this week and the campaign is functioning as if it is not ready for prime time? >> and in a word, yes. it does fuel those stories and that speculation and unhappiness among a lot of republicans both in washington and around the country. i'm in michigan and met with the chairwoman who says she wants mitt romney back here. they say he should not talk about israel or redistribution and say that president obama is a nice guy, but look at the last three years and where is the proof that he can create jobs and that is what he should focus on every hour. but this is the seventh presidential campaign and i cannot think of one who did not have a rough patch like this including then senator obama. so when you talk to the republicans, they are nervous not only about the romney/ryan ticket, but about the collateral
damage to other republicans down ballot, and this is what they think, an inside of the romney campaign they would agree with this assessment, he has to get back on the economic message and get there by the first week in october, and have the first presidential debate and then a big report on the economy, and everybody believes that is a big point to execute perfectly. >> and dylan, what are you hearing about how worried republicans are, because some are distancing themselves from the romney remarks? >> you see the distancing going won scott brown and other candidates. i think that the greatest sign that the republicans are nervous is how much they are scrambling to diffuse the energy, but john's point is well taken when he says that the first debate october 3rd in denver is really going to be the moment when, when republicans are going to look to romney to reassert himself. >> and gloria, i mean, it is interesting, because this whole
controversy and the reason that it has perhaps has had the legs that it has had is that it reep forces the thenarrative that ha been around since the beginning or the narrative that the obama admin stras has been trying to push. >> well, that is the crux of the problem. if you look at a new poll by pew research, they ask what candidate connects with the ordinary americans and this is the problem of mitt romney, and if you look at the numbers barack obama 66%, and mitt romney, 23%. that is almost a three to one margin. so if you are mitt romney, and you are talking about people who depend on the government, and people who see themselves as victims, who believe they are entitled to get government money, this is not what you want to do, because you are talking to of course, veterans and senior citizens and people who pay payroll taxes. and so it is exactly the opposite message from the one
that you want to convey particularly if you are an independent voter who has not yet made up your mind. >> john king and dylan beiers, and gloria, thank you. i will get to part two of my interview with senator mccain next. how did i get here? dumb luck? or good decisions? ones i've made. ones we've all made. about marriage. children. money. about tomorrow. here's to good decisions. who matters most to you says the most about you. massmutual is owned by our policyholders so they matter most to us. massmutual. we'll help you get there.
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raw politics tonight. more of my conversation with john mccain and safe to say when you are talking to the last guy to run against barack obama and when you talk about how well or how badly the current guy is running his campaign, it is fair to start with the reaction to the tape. you have 'n the secret tape of him talking to donors and what do you make of it? the critics say he is dismissing
a wide swath of voterers 47% of the country and many of the people elderly and veterans who might actually vote for mitt romney. and he is saying, that it sounds like he is discounting them. >> well, first of all, i didn't see all of the remarks in the entirety, but certainly, you assume and know that mitt romney is not, not interested in receiving the support and votes of any american, and he is seek ing them actively, and he wants the vote of every americanment i think that what his concern is and it is a concern of a lot of us is the rise because of the economy of americans who have to rely on subsistence for basically to stay alive and live decent lives. so it is the obama economic policies that have caused this problem, and he wants to go to having business creates jobs rather than government subsistence and government creating jobs. >> do you agree with governor
romney when he said that 47% of the people view themselves as victims and they don't want to take responsibility for their lives? >> i don't think that is what he meant anymore than barack obama meant when he said that people cling to guns and bibles. there is things that people say for millions of statements everyday, and i don't know if you remember when i said that the fundamentals of our economy are strong even though we are in a fiscal crisis. oh, my god. so i am confident that mitt romney cares about every american, and is obviously conce concerned about the growth of the welfare state. many of us are. >> how concerned are you about the romney campaign, peggy noonnan recently made a comment that is getting a lot of attention, and she said that she wrote that a pretty withering critique of romney's comments and of his entire candidacy and i know you don't like to be
second-guessed, but called him fatalist tick a isistic and cal republican intervepgs antion an called him incompetent. >> well shgs, i never saw peggy name on the ballot, but the fact is that the campaigns have lots of ups and downs, and back and forths and it is a close race. i might remind you in 2007 i was given up for dead politically and there was nobody who thought that we could get the nomination, and i can't tell you the number of critics and second-guessers that i had. they were astonished when we came back from the dead. so, you are always going to have those people when a campaign is hitting a bump in the road who will be quick to jump on it, be but frankly, i'm not sure that republicans help republicans by making these comments to be honest with you. >> and the newest line of attack from mitt romney should sound familiar to you, because you, yourself talked about barack obama as intent on
redistributing wealth and you called him the redriistribution chief and the message did not take off then, but could it work for him now? >> well, i think that we get back really, anderson, again, to jobs and the economy. and jobs and the economy. jobs and the economy. and what we want to do is to ask people if they are better off now than they were four years ago, but also we want to ask them or do you think that you are going to be better off four years from now, and a lot of the issues are important to certain segments like i'm glad, and i believe you may be that foreign policy is finally emerging as finally an issue to be discussed in this campaign, but it is going to come down to jobs and the economy. >> all right. senator mccain, i appreciate your time. thank you. >> thanks for having me on. there is a lot more that i should share with the 360 bulletin.
aaisha. >> there is a recommendation of the fast and furious investigation from the inspector general's report was released today and those two employees have resigned. the report found that attorney general eric holder had no knowledge of the program until a border patrol agent was killed with one of the guns. and today, chicago teachers voted to end their dispute. a different dispute, american airline pilots are calling in sick. more than 300 flights are cancelled through sunday and more axed through october. and anderson, a his ttoric flight through the south, the space shuttle "endeavour" bids farewell to the florida space center and begins a three-day journey to l.a. with a piggy back ride off of a 747. it will dip to offer great views to the spectators on the ground,
and it will go on display at the california space museum. >> it is so cool. >> and some people are getting really emotional. >> i was there for the last one and the first time i saw it launched a and i feel so bless ed to see it launching and the sound alone. >> you are so lucky. >> i am so lucky. i am so lucky to work with you aisha. thank you. >> we will see you in a little bit. coming up, i will talk to amanda knox's boyfriend who talks about their confinement. rafael tells me how he got through it all and whether he and amanda knox are still in touch. my conversation ahead with him. y helps defend against these digestive issues with three strains of good bacteria. approved! [ female announcer ] live the regular life. phillips'.
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in "crime and punishment" amanda knox's boyfriend is talking first a tbt case that made headlines around the world. knox is the american student who is convicted of the stabbing death of her roommate in 2009 and rafael is a lesaletico was imprisoned, but they were both set free. he say is out with a book about journey and it is called "to hell and back." did you not real ize that you might be a suspect? >> no, nobody told us that we were suspected. at this time, we were complete ly didn't know anything. i realized it too late.
i was just in the last questioning, and after two hours and three, they were so aggressive and so overwhelming of me i started to realize that something was really bad and wrong. but it was too late. >> one thing that amanda did in talking to the police implicated her and you and made it sound like maybe she was there when meredith kirscher in was killed. explain to somebody who has not been been through this, what it was like? >> there are ten investigators pushing you saying that you are a liar. you are just, to many, saying, you are stupid, you are covering for her this girl who will be back in seattle, and you will
never see her again. you fell in love with a whore and they are aggressive. this is the thing that it lasted almost ten hours in this way. after you are exhausted and you don't sleep. they are, they threaten you saying that you will be in jail for tresf your life. you will give them whatever you want. >> and so was there a moment when you thought that the appeals are not going the work, and i will spend the rest of my life in jail? >> no, i was almost hopeless, u
but i would never say that nothing would work. i also had the hope just i just told the truth after me. and say i have nothing. i have lost everything. the truth is more important than my life now. because in anyway my life is not worth of living without the truth. >> and that is why you wanted to write this book. because meredith's family was against the idea of the book being written. but for you why was it important to tell your story? >> to make people understand, all of the people who followed the case, to make people realize and understand the truth. >> we have a digital dashboard question from a viewer on facebook. a person named terry. they want to know how much contact did you have with amanda's roommate, meredith kirs
kirscher? >> not so much. we dated for eight or nine days. >> i think that is one of the thing that is people were surprised about. people assumed that you had been together for a while. you had only been together for eight or nine days with amanda. >> it is surprising and it seems to be crazy, but it is. >> you are still in touch with amanda? >> yes. >> we skyped yesterday. >> what is that like? whoo is that connection like? what is that conversation like? you have been through something that nobody else can imagine? >> our conversation we talk about family, relationship with friends. about movies, books, music, cd's anything. i mean, friends like we are good friends. we are now almost -- yeah, we are almost a brother and sister. we have passed through a lot together. >> she is seeing somebody else you are not involved romantically.
>> no, no. she has a boyfriend now and moving on with my life separately. >> prosecutors in italy say they want to continue forward with the case and they want to try to overturn the verdict. are you concerned about that? >> i will defend myself until the end. >> raffaele, i appreciate it thank you. >> thank you so much. >> the book again is called, "honor bound". prince william and this wife kate middleton continued their trip today as word broke about more photos being published of the princess sunbathing nude. that report coming up ahead. mid grade dark roast forest fresh full tank brain freeze cake donettes rolling hot dogs g of ice anti-freeze wash and dry diesel self-serve fix a flat jumper cables 5% cashback signup for 5% cashback at gas stations through september. it pays to discover.
and the candidate's speech is in pieces all over the district. the writer's desktop and the coordinator's phone are working on a joke with local color. the secure cloud just received a revised intro from the strategist's tablet. and while i make my way into the venue, the candidate will be rehearsing off of his phone. [ candidate ] and thanks to every young face i see out there. [ woman ] his phone is one of his biggest supporters. [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center... working together has never worked so well. ♪ ♪ ♪
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anderson you were talking about it earlier, mitt romney's hidden video and he is stumping tonight for latino votes and trying to get past the controver controversy. at a q&a session, he told the people there that he has helped the capacity for the 100% and promised to fix the immigration mess, but he didn't mention how he would specifically do it. france is stepping up the security at embassies in french embassies, because of a newspaper that published cartoons about prophet mohammed. and those photos of kate
middleton are getting a lot of exposure despite the royal remarks. a publication in denmark plans to pubbilish by week's end. and in australia, there was a small fire that touched down on the blaze. and time now for the shot which is about a little kid easton who is losing the first tooth on the first day of first grade so the parents tied dental floss to it, and this is what happened. >> on your mark, get set, go. >> oh, i saw it. >> oh. >> that is kind of gross. >> what? you didn't do that kind of stuff? >> no, not in england. >> what is it? >> my tooth fell out? >> are you serious.
>> i have some blood. >> that is okay. >> did you not do that kind of stuff? >> no, i nothing to doorknobs or motorized cars. >> you lived a sheltered childhood. >> i did. one so delicate. >> that is so great, tying it on a doorknob and slamming on the door and playing with the tooth until it comes out. >> it is like tom sawyer ofby go gone ages. >> you have to ridiculist coming up. time there've been some good days. and some difficult ones. but, through it all, we've persevered, supporting some of the biggest ideas in modern history. like the transatlantic cable that connected continents. and the panama canal that made our world a smaller place. we supported the marshall plan that helped europe regain its strength. and pioneered the atm, so you can get cash when you want it.
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time now for the ridiculist. tonight we'd like to introduce you no the concept of the goldfish beauty padgett. this is a real thing. china has hosted the first ever goldfish pageant which is really a giant warehouse with fish bowls. well, the most important part would be the not floating belly up to the top of the bowl part. if you don't believe me ask the guy with the job title, goldfish beauty pageant judge. >> we judge goldfish by five criteria, the overall impression, and color and body shape. >> oh, yes, the all important pageant criteria of body shape.
i think it is high time that they develop body image issues. look at this pageant fish. that thing weighs almost four pounds. not the standard goldfish that you would win throwing ping-pongs at the carnival. the judge says in the 40 or 50 years he has been raising goldfish, that is one way to spend your time. it is the biggest one he has seen. there are few problems inherent to the gold fish bowl, there is the fins in way of the sashes and the tiaras keep falling off, and the main problem is that there is no interview portion. as we all can imagine, the interview portion. and yes, i will show it again. that is when some amazing things happen. >> some of the people in our nation don't have that, i believe that our education such as south africa and iraq and everywhere such as and i believe that our