tv Studio B With Shepard Smith FOX News May 9, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm EDT
-- for her testimony. >> the feds now pushing the biggest internet companies in all of america to give them a better way to spy on users. how much freedom should we give up? that's all ahead unless breaking news changes everything. this is "studio b." all just in to fox first from fox at 3:00, president obama under mounting political pressure to take a stand jumped head first into the same-sex marriage debate agreeing to a last minute interview with abc news. that interview has just been played and this is the president commenting. for context in throw days there has been a lost movement. on sunday, vice president biden surprised many when he said he was absolutely comfortable with gay marriage. listen to the vice president.
>> you comfortable with same-sex marriage? >> look, i am vice president of the united states of america. the president sets the policy. i am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, heterosexual men and women marrying, are entitled to the same rights, all the sifts -- civil rights and liberties. >>shepard: analysts suggest the vice president put his foot in mouth and strayed from the white house official position. that was sunday. a day later, monday. the secretary of education endorsed same-sex marriage. the next day, yesterday, a poll was released showing a majority of americans now support gay marriage. 48 percent don't. last night in north carolina republicans turned out in full force to vote for the state's ban on gay marriage. that ban was expected to pass but it passed with a whopping 61
percent of the vote. democrats were pressing president obama to do what in other president has done before. and that is backing gay marriage. now context. tonight, the president is at an event on the west coast with a lot of gay marriage undertones. there is another fundraiser tomorrow. with risky -- ricky martin tomorrow. and now the president was under a great deal of pressure. many political analysts, on his side, and the other, have said there is no way the president is really still evolving, the president is as many put it, too smart to still be stuck in that reality. and now ed, that is the words of the analyst and now the president has spoken. >>reporter: he spoke to abc. we reported at 1:00 o'clock, first, that i had a senior democratic advisor saying the president would make news and not rehash his old statement
about evolving. he said on the interview that he thought gays and lesbians should be fairly and equally but always thought civil unions would be sufficient to provide legal rights. he says he now has come to the conclusion it is now. he said "personally i want to confirm i think same-sex couples should be able to marry." that is new ground from this president. i'm told by seen are i don't democrats that he was not planning to do this now, not until after vice president biden came out, that was not planned. that was a gaffe. the vice president was not expected to say that, and, the bottom line, everyone now will weigh the politics of this. >>shepard: the president spoke with abc news on and aired that sound and now, here it is. >> i have to tell you i have been going through an evolution on this issue. i have always been adamant that
gay and lesbian americans should be treated fairly. and equally. and that's why in addition to everything we have done in this administration, rolling back "don't ask, don't tell" so that outstanding americans can serve our country, whether it is in longer defending the defense against marriage act which tried to federalize what is historically state law. i have stood on the side of broader equality for the community. and i hesitated on gay marriage in part because i thought civil unions would be sufficient. that was something that would give people hospital visitation rights and other elements we take for granted. and, i was sensitive to the fact that for a lot of people the
word "marriage," was something that evokes power will traditions, religious beliefs and so forth. but i have to tell you over the course of several years as i have talked to friends and family and neighbors when i think about members of my own staff who are incredibly committed and monogamy relationship, 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 are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point i have just concluded that for me personally it is important to go
ahead and affirm that i think same-sex couples should be able to get married. >>shepard: the president of the united states now in the 21st century and, ed, "for him personally," that was spoken with emphasis. >>reporter: absolutely, because he is trying to say he is not dictating federal policy here. but as you can tell, this is playing out state by state right now and last night the context being, north carolina, the voters voted this down and banned same-sex marriage. i don't need to remind everyone north carolina is one of the key battlegrounds the president really wants to have in november to voters there, and he only won by a whisker in 2008 first time since jimmy carter democrats carried and last night a clear majority of voters were against same sex marriage so this obviously could put him in a perilous place much the flip side is that supporters of same sex marriage, they say most
folks on the conservative side and are against same-sex marriage remain never planning to vote if president obama anyway. they are more likely to go to the republican nominee mitt romney and that is why a lot of activists on the left have said, mr. president, what are you waiting for? if vice president biden was not expected to say that, and surprised people inside the white house he went that far, basically, a lot of same-sex marriage advocates have been saying, mr. president, we all know you are probably there, as well, and the vice president has said it. just say it. there will proposal not be a lot of political fallout. and battleground states where it is voted down it could have real political fallout. >>shepard: this started, ed, the timeline, was friday, monday, and tuesday and now this. last night, in north carolina, a lot of the analysts wondered, was he saying to them, if you are for this gay marriage ban
that doesn't mean you have to be against me? and right after north carolina gave the overwhelming vote, today the interviewed with abc. report the timing is important because last week, there was word leaked the president was going to be in north carolina yesterday for an economic event to push congress on the jobs agenda. and later last week, we found out, no, he is not going to north carolina he is going to albany. a last people have wondered, especially in north carolina, did someone at white house realize, wait, we don't want him talking about jobs in tuesday on north carolina when voters are going to the polls on same sex marriage something they did not want to talk about. that is interesting. and this morning, in was this last minute interview with the president. when i voted that the president was going to make news and it was going to shift i was told by
a democratic advisor the president never would have agreed to the last minute interview to say the same thing he said before, "i'm evolving," "it should be between a man and a woman," but to call this last minute interview after all that happened, it would have been a bigger blunder. that's why as we read the tea leaves, it was clear he was ready to shift. now he has done that. this is not a clarification. he used to be say marriage was between a man and a woman which is where most national republicans are, certainly, mitt romney, and now he is saying just the opposite so this is a reversal. >>shepard: thank you, ed. and bret baier hosts "special report," at 6:00 eastern and 5:00 central, and the political implications? >>bret: huge. i heard from numerous people this was the result of a mistake and wasn't planned, and it wasn't a perfect roll out for this to come out at this time.
it is a big moment. electorally, you look at 32 states that have voted to amend their state constitution, banning same-sex marriage. and of those as ed mentioned many are battleground states. you have florida. nevada. ohio. virginia. colorado. wisconsin. north carolina. those are all states that are crucial to the president's re-election bid. now, with this position he has taken today, he is on the other side of the majorities in the states, voter whose voted to ban same sex marriage. also, while this is an evolution in then senator obama, the candidate, and president obama, in his early statements, as a candidate for state senator in illinois in 1996 he filled out a questionnaire at newspaper saying "i favor legalizing same-sex marriage," so this is full circle from where he was in
1996. >>shepard: a last the country has made it, as well. i am curious whether you believe in this time of rising debt and medical issues and all the rest, if republicans would go out on a limb and try to make this a campaign issue while sitting very firmly without much question on the wrong side of history? >>bret: i don't about that. you point to the poll, 50-48 which is very close and you are right, there has been an evolution on people's thinking but you still look at 32 states when put to a vote, a referendum in those states, and most recent was last night in north carolina, 32 states voted to ban same-sex marriage so those are voters going to the polls even in california, and making that choice of the so, i don't know if you can say because of this poll that electorally sit a perfect position for a candidate to run on. the president is making a choice
to come out and say what he is saying today but it is clearly an evolution. how it lays politically is yet to be seen. >>shepard: you really think the republicans could use this as an issue? >>bret: no, mitt romney wants do talk about the economy, not gay marriage, or he doesn't want to talk about anything but jobs and the economy. they will probably come out and say that all of these issues are side issues to what really matters to everyone. democrats, republicans, and independents. and that is jobs. >>shepard: thank you, >>bret:. of course, in reality, what really matters is what governors are saying, this makes no legal changes of any kind, a state issue for now, at least, which may sound familiar to a couple of generals ago, but that's where we are. we will have the latest on the double agent would helped to break you the new al qaeda bomb
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>>shepard: folks say al qaeda's underwear bomb was sewn into custom fit briefs and designed to get around a patdown and it had a backup detonator just in case it failed as the press saysor did in the botched christmas day attack. sources tell "new york times" the bombmaker used a high grade military explosive that "undoubtedly" would have brought down a plane. we are told f.b.i. experts are examining the thing at their laboratory in virginia thanks to the doubling agent who posed as a suicide bomber and tricked al qaeda. the man volunteered to be the actual bomber was a way to remain control of plot and the tradeoff, of course, was the loss of a valuable source with
access to the inner circle. we heard from the f.b.i. director. >> at the house judiciary committee hear it was meant to hit on the anniversary of the bin laden raid. here is the exchange. >> on the anniversary of the killing of osama bin laden, was there a specific or credible threat of terrorism upon the united states? >> we did not believe so. >> you are referring to the fact --. >> there was an arrest. >> it is fair to say that plot had been thwarted at the time. >>reporter: the chairman of the house intelligence committee saying the operating was not complete and tunes were missed. >>shepard: what do we know of the infiltration? >>reporter: we learn more of the mole, the saudi intelligence says the mole was a low level al qaeda operative in saudi custody
who volunteered to carry this out with existing relationships with al qaeda in yemen explaining his ability to gain access to the inner circle and the bomb. he met with the same operations commander for al qaeda in yemen he met in december of 2009 with nigerian underwear bomber from christmas day, and he was the important link between the would be suicide bombers and the bombmaker. fox was told this has been connected to the operation and the mole, as well. >>shepard: thank you, cat, and now, white house counterterrorism official, from the national security council under president clinton and george w. bush. >>guest: good to see you. a few important points to know. the significance and important of working with foreign liaison sources, foreign intelligence services, they can operate in regions where it is more
difficult if the united states to operate. in this case the arabian peninsula, shared not only between saudi arabia why and yemen but also obviously cultural and tribal affinities that make it easier for sources to operate there. second, this is clearly another success for the president's counter terrorism program. if this case, cooperation rather than just unilateral, cooperation is necessary as demonstrated by the take down. in addition, the stepped up activity in yemen and pakistan. lastly, the adequacy domestic security, airport security. clearly advancements in al qaeda in structuring devices to get around security, so, clearly, that needs to be renewed and reviewed not contempt of this discovery. >>shepard: well all be taking our underwear off now, i suppose, the loss of this guy as a resource, how big a loss?
>>guest: again, a senior al qaeda operative was killed in the drone attack in yemen over the weekend, that is very significant success that should not be lost in the context of the current reporting open the story relating to the seizing of the device. that is a significant victory and i suspect that u.s. counterterrorism officials concluded enough was achieved on this mission to wrap it up. >>shepard: the leak, a lot of people are making a lot out of the leak that went first to the "los angeles times" and others. >>guest: it is complicated. saudis have a very complicated domestic situation. they cooperate closely with the united states. the united states is called the great infidel, so, clearly, potentially it compromised that cooperation. >>shepard: should we be more concerned they could use another of this type of device on us in the near future? or does this slow the process down? >>guest: clearly we need to
take this device and look at it and adjust our security proceedures and be at the cutting edge to make sure their technology is not ahead of our defense. >>shepard: thank you. john edwards' mistress, will she testify? she is try it -- rielle hunter, and putting her on the stand against john edwards could be an enormous risk. the trial of the would be presidential candidate. and the senator. [ barking ] i'm your dog, holding down the fort while you're out catching a movie. [ growls ] lucky for me, your friends showed up with this awesome bone. hey! you guys are great. and if you got your home insurance where you got your cut rate car insurance,
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using campaign cash in an attempt to cover up his affair and love child from votes and his dying wife. and we still have not heard from try el hunter the mistress at the center of this. she is on the witness list for both the prosecution and the defense, and the prosecution says they intend to wrap up the case by tomorrow. many legal experts say rielle hunter could be the last witness. but others say her potential testimony could hurt the prosecution case because former john edwards aides have described her as a bizarre and quirky person. of course john edwards lawyer says he did not know of the cash and the aide, andrew young, spent most of the money on his own dream home. if convicted, john edwards faces up to 30 years in prison. and now, live to north carolina where weather issues are causing us not to get to him by satellite so he is on the phone. today, we heard of a confrontation between elizabeth edwards, the if you late wife, and donors who were supporting the mistress, rielle hunter.
>>jonathan: that testimony from former john edwards press secretary who is deputy communications director for president obama saying in october of 2007 john edwards called her to his hotel room where elizabeth edwards was questioning why they took former campaign photographer on a shopping trip and flew her on a private jet, and she testified "she was saying you is to hold your friends close and your enemies closer," she was a loose cannon and we doesn't know what she would say. >>shepard: john edwards former speech writer return to the stand. did she say anything to the prosecution case? >>jonathan: well, her testimony was a mixed blessing for the prosecution testifying that when john edwards discussed the financial arrangements for
the mistress and child "he said he had known that bret was taking care of things," but did not acknowledge assistance from bunny mellon until long after the 2008 presidential campaign. according to him, only used the phrase he "just listened," about bunny mellon. >>shepard: thank you, jonathan. and new to our panel, arthur aidala, and criminal defense attorney, randy zelin. >>arthur: well, what is said is devastating. this is the candidate's wife, right? his whole defense using this money to keep it from her not to keep it from the american people and now the witness who works for the current president of the united states who has a tremendous amount of credibility, she is an eyewitness to a confrontation with the woman, this is supposed to be hidden from and now it is
not, now that she knows, the candidate's wife knows, according to the evidence today, why are they still spending money to cover it up? because it is for the people. she a loose cannon who had to be kept happy or she go to the press. you don't want it to go to the press because want to protect the candidacy. >>shepard: that is the key, because to protect, keep this information from your wife is in crime at all, but under these circumstances, to keep it from the voting public, could land you 30 years in prison. >>randy: depending where the money came from. if the money was campaign contributions, the law kicks in. but if the money was for gifts, we did not get to the issue of whether it was done to deseen the american public. what is so come -- compelling, we have not heard from bunny
mellon but she is 100. or the others the money came from. talk about mixed bag. never use the word "campaign contribution." wendy button never said campaign contribution just taking care of it. when we hear "mixed bag," that means --. >>shepard: randy you can feel when the witness testified they, the wife already knew, and what we are trying to do here is keep this away from whoever else this is, and that is the voting public, you do get it, that is not much of a leap for the jury to make you are high and mighty, it does not sound surreal. >>arthur: the difference is shep asked this yesterday, whether hunter has to testify and yesterday, well, she may need to. today i don't think she has to. they may be obligated because the jury want to see and hear her but this was a kick if the teeth. >>randy: once upon a time she gave an interview to oprah, the
mistress, and backed up the defense theory, so, either she will come in and say the same thing which was this was to keep it away from elizabeth, he was afraid of his wife not the votes, so she backs its up --. >>shepard: he was not at all afraid for the voting people of america to learn that he had fathered a love child with a woman on the campaign while his wife was dying at home? he should not worry about that? and to suggest he would be worried about that is preposterous? >>randy: if the money were gifts he is --. >>shepard: that is not what you said. >>randy: that is the reality. >>shepard: to come up with that reality is a very difficult thing to do and to convince a jury and it will be difficult. rain how -- >>randy: how do they separate it?
>>arthur: they are hard instructions. >>shepard: we will wait to hear them and see if this woman will testify, the woman that john edwards called a crazy [blank]. >>arthur: fans will be following her and it will be a circus. >>shepard: another moderate lawmaker kicked to the curb. long time senator dick lugar defeated in the primary by a family favorite. that is next. [ donovan ] i hit a wall.
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you chose geico over the competitor. calm down, calm down. you're getting carried away. >>shepard: coverage of the president's announcement with abc news that he now supports, at least personally, gay rights. men should be able to marry men and women should be able to marry women. >> at a certain point i have 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. >>shepard: bret, are democrats celebrating? what is happening? >>bret: a lot of celebration. a lot of statements. by the minute. and a statement says this is
historic day, the president's support for marriage equality is great news that will energize progressive activists across the country. however, the white house press pool reports that in the details of what was said, and we heard some of it, on the clip we played, exactly what the president said, the president stressed in this interview that this is his personal position and that he still supports the concept of states deciding the issue on their own. and we talked about this at top of the show, you have 32 states that voted against same-sex marriage. 30 of them currently have ams to the constitution and two of them have been everturned and in that, the 30 states that have amendments to the state constitution, you have a bunch of battleground states that plays out in politics. but in the specifics, a president has framed this issue as a discrimination issue in one sense, and the left progressives
and the lgbt community have done that, framed same sex marriage as a discrimination issue. he says it is his personal position, that he believes the states should solve so there could be some realization of what the president said here, in that you have the contrast of man difficultying contraception for employers, that is a federal issue, but, gay marriage is a states rights issue. there is a big difference. >>shepard: mandating contraception for employers, do you mean insurance companies? >>bret: for insurance policies that employers provide. the whole dust up we saw about employer-provided insurance that is a federal issue, according to what the president and secretary of hhs said. >>shepard: some will see those matters asat@t incongruous.
>>bret: sure. but if the president says you believe this, as he said about contraception, it was important, that's a federal issue in the eyes of the administration. and, yet, this personal preference by the president is a states' right issue. it is a comparison the pool was pointing out, contrast, rather, that the pool pointed out and i will point to the fact that the president's specific statement is not as forward leaning as perhaps some on the left would like. >>shepard: for instance, some on the left may have liked him to put pressure and say everyone needs to get on this but so far he has not gone that far. >>bret: and he has gone the other way saying states should have the final call and we have seen voting across the country in states that is voted it down. if this is a campaign issue and goes around the country and says i believe as a federal issue, that same-sex marriage should
happen, that's a different thing but that is not what he said. >>shepard: and there will be the matter as there has been in some test cases someone saying "married" in massachusetts or new york, and that marriage is recognized, in, say, mississippi or alabama, and, then you cannot get the rights afforded to straight people that the gay couples got and that will be the test and that will be in a bigger court and we will get decisions. that is how it works. >>bret: right. and courts have been dealing with this, the california case still in the courts, and, many people believe it will end up in the supreme court. >>shepard: shades of segregation and states rights and the whole thing playing out all over again. >>bret: well, the first african-american president, and his party has framed this as discrimination, for him, today to say it is a states' right issue is an interesting thing that we should note as all of these statements come out celebrating what they are
describing as a major shift in the president's position. >>shepard: thank you, bret on capitol hill. great to see you. thing of framing of the issue as discrimination because as the president would put it, a man can marry a woman but a man cannot marry a man, that's discrimination. and that's that. that would be the position. >> indiana is in for a major senate shakeup, six term republican senator lost a challenger to a candidate backed by the tea party. it was not close. indiana state treasurer trounced senator lugar i 20 -- lugar by 20 points, 61 percent to 39 percent. >> these divisions are not insurmountable and i believe people of good will, regard misof party, can work together for the benefit of our country.
>>shepard: that would be interesting but the analysts say this gives the democrats one of their best shots at getting an extra senate seat in november. the republicans need to gain four seats to take control of the senate. senator lugar held his seat in indiana for three decades. steve brown live in indianapolis. many democrats in indiana tried to help this tea party backed candidate win, the suggestion being moderates are never going do vote for this tea party backed candidate so the democrat would have a better shot. >>reporter: that is the conventional wisdom. it is based on the lugar model. he had tremendous appeal among democrats and independents. and this was confirmed by internal polling shared with fox news from the indiana democratic party back in january. in that poll it showed that more democrats were interested in another term for lugar, a 7th term than republicans. independents were even more
interested. so, what democrats were hoping for and working at is trying to keep democrats out of the open republican party on lugar's behalf and their standard bearer, and 50,000 folks in indianapolis were asked to participate in the democratic primary not the republican. >>shepard: how much, how did this tea party backed candidate react? >>reporter: i asked him. he said he was not surprised and this is how he sizes up the race. >> this matchup is going to be a conservative versus someone who has been supporting the obama agenda so it will be a clear choice. >> you previewed it. >>guest: he has been pinned himself to the president, mr. donnelly, so we will make that point. >>reporter: the primary challenge, his campaign war chest is empty, and donnelly is
sitting on $800,000. donnelly, in his case, has the time and will need to spend in introducing himself. he is a congressman in the 2nd district not very well-known in central and certainly not very well-known at all in southern indiana so he has catching up as far as make recognition. >>shepard: thank you, the trial surrounding the actress and singer jennifer hudson's family is coming to a close with the diverse -- defense resting their case. if you are one of the millions of men
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her estranged brother-in-law is accused of murdering her mother and brother, inside the family home in chicago back in 2008. and the investigator found her seven-year-old nephew's body a few days later. folks in the courtroom described emotional trial day after day, jennifer hudson took the stand first in tears and said relatives never wanted him to be part of the family and we her the 9-1-1 call from her sister after she discovered their mother's bullet riddled body. (inaudible). >> does she need an ambulance. all i'm scared. i'm scared. >> what happened? >> i don't know. she is open the floor. >> is she breathing? >> i don't know. >> do you know what happened? >> i just got home from work and bullet hole in the front door.
>> man accused in the killings did not take the stand. the fox report chief correspondent is with us. what did we hear from the prosecution in closing arguments? than that the prosecution said this was a very straightforward case of murder as a result of a jealous rage. they say that he threatened to kill and then he did just that. they also focused on physical evidence placed him near the scene with the cell phone signal showing him near the hudson mother's home on the day of the murder and then, they said, that cell phone was turned off from 9:00 a.m., to 1:00 o'clock p.m., and the prosecution says that was because" he was busy, busy killing three people and getting rid of the evidence," and as she showed photographs of victims, today, it is time to hold him responsible for murdering and executing them. >>shepard: what did we get from the defense?
>>jonathan: the defense wrapped up 45 minutes ago. they pointed to what they say is a complete lack of physical evidence linking the defendant to the murders of jennifer hudson's mother, brother, and nephew and they said, for instance, there was never any d.n.a. of him or fingerprints found on the gun and the defense attorney said "every piece of d.n.a. ex-cheweds the defendant. the one person in all of chicago we know didn't do it, is him." and referring to the prosecution she said, they know as they it is here, they have failed to prove their case. any are just trying to confuse you. we are now getting the prosecution's rebuttal, and jennifer hudson, by the way, is in court today according to our producer in the courtroom and she is hanging her head, in particular, when the difficult photos of her relatives were shown. the bullet riddled bodies
obviously been a very, very difficult few weeks to her. it will come to a close soon. >>shepard: it could today. we will have an update tonight on fox report. >> just in, the celebrity hair stylist has died, sasoon was a pioneer and created shampoo and hair products and the slogan was "if you don't look good, we don't look good," and he is dead, today, at 84. [ male announcer ] what's in your energy drink?
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the deciders, state, by state, by state. is that right? or has the supreme court already ruled on this matter? we turn to our senior judicial analyst, judge napolitano, who suggests to us it is actually been ruled on by the supreme court. >>judge napolitano: in loving versus virginia, the loving were a biracial opposite section couple would got married in the district of columbia and moved back to virginia and the please broke into their bedroom of their home in the middle of the night and arrested them because virginia law prohibits biracial couples. it made it to the supreme court and the supreme court if that ruling invalidated the law that prohibits biracial couples but it)jt9 also said your right to choose a mate is a fundamental liberty with which the state cannot interfere. obviously the case did not involve same-sex marriage but the language is clear and that language has been undisturbed by the supreme court since the
opinion came down in 1968. >>shepard: it is interesting, bret was saying a while ago the presidents do not want to talk about this but want to talk about the economy. the truth is the economy is now improving. gas prices are going down. and we can forget history if we want but it was the republicans who used this very issue and these very votes with karl rove at the helm to get george w. bush re-elected. >>judge napolitano: in 2004 this was a state ballot in november of 2004 when president bush was running against senator jesus christ at least half as do states with proposals not unlike north carolina last night, that drove conservatives to the polls to vote against same-sex marriage. i think, and bret knows more about politics than i do but i think this will an hot button
issue. mitt romney may very well have favored same sex marriage at some point but he clearly is against it today, and the republican party will clearly be against it and the president of the united states is clearly in favor of it, and the issue is, is it a fundamental right as the supreme court has said it is? or can the states make it legal in some states but illegal in other states? >>shepard: if the economy improves and gas prices go down and sentiment is better and the president's numbers continue to rise, then it will be an issue. thank you, judge. that is it for "studio b," we are all back tonight for the fox report at 7:00 eastern. neil cavuto is next.