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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  April 25, 2012 4:00pm-6:00pm EDT

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against him. arizona's controversial immigration law has its day in the united states supreme court. did the justices tip their hands in this major case? >> d a jetblue pilot declares an emergency after large birds hit the plane's windshield. plus, the wind-whipped landing of another plane, it's one that the passengers will never forget. wow! i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com it's been an amazing few days in the race for the presidency. newt gingrich is go to get out and mitt romney wing five more states last night, and all, but clenching the nomination and the general election campaign under way. our chief political analyst gloria borger is here in "the
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situation room." gingrich effectively, we knew which was going to happen for sure, suspending his campaign and santorum getting ready to endorse mitt romney. what's going on over here? this general election campaign clearly under way. we're going see six months of this now. >> we are. the first thing we're looking at is republicans and will they fall in line behind mitt romney. as you know, they're skeptical, conservatives about him. they're in the process of warming up to mitt romney. i've got some tape for you, wolf, from a focus wolf that was done by the annenberg center by pollster peter hart. these are republican voters in the state of florida talking about what they think about mitt romney. listen to this. >> we want someone like santorum and like gingrich when he was at his best in the debate to have a position, to stick with the position and not apologize for that position and not shave your
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answer to a question that matches what you think this particular audience you're in front of might want to hear. >> everybody, make a stand whether people like it or not. at least be strong. >> he's got to mature what he believes in and stick by them, if he doesn't he'll get beat. >> so you see, wolf, what republicans want is a consistent conservative or what is it that mitt romney called himself? severely conservative? they would like to see that, whether that appeals to the independents remains to be seen. so he's got a fine line to walk and work to do. >> i thought the speech he gave last night effectively kicking off this new phase of his campaign was very effective, but he delivered it well. i thought he had some good points in there. to me, it looked like a clear pivot because he avoided some of those sensitive issues that have caused some heartburn for republicans who were going after
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moderate, independent voters. >> that's right. what i think he tried to do, and i think he did it quite effectively was that he was trying to frame the larger debate as he sees it for the general election. there was one point of it that was of particular interest to me. take a listen to independent this. >> this america is fundamentally fa fair. we will stop the unfairness of urban children being denied access to the good schools of their choice. we will stop the unfairness of politicians giving taxpayer money to their friend's businesses. we will stop the unfairness of requiring union workers to contribute to politicians not of their choosing.
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>> the campaign has clearly decided to take on the fairness issue and that has been an issue that president obama has been talking about, and they decided they want to go on the offense and not just play defense and say, you know what? some of the decisions that governments make and some of the decisions that democrats make are inherently unfair. we're willing to walk on that turf. it's risky given the public opinion polls about tax cuts, for example, being unfair, but it was clear to me that they decided to just wade into it head-on and that was something we haven't heard. >> as we enter this new phase and it's a new phase right now and we're beginning to get the general message from both of these candidates. >> we are, and i think what we heard from mitt romney last night was a few things. first of all, president obama is not working. i, mitt romney, is a really good guy and here is my vision of smart government and letting the
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marketplace work. what we're hearing from president obama's campaign is less of mitt romney as a flip-flopper and more of mitt romney as an extreme conservative going back to the positions he took during the primaries. so that's what we're going to see for the next months. >> do you think it's accidental that romney last night in his speech of sorts,a voided some of those social issues, contraception, abortion, gay rights and stuff like that? >> no. this was a well thought out speech in which he was taking the turn to the general election, trying to talk to independent voters as well as conservative republicans and say, this is where i can take america and my america is just as fair as president obama. >> his campaign is just getting started. we have six months to go, thank you very much. romney's primary sweeps and the death knell for newt gingrich and the romney versus obama battle for the white house is shifting into a higher gear right now.
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today the campaigns are firing fresh rounds at each other and our national political correspondent, jim acosta is following all of this for us. what are you seeing out there today, jim? >> well, wolf, you were just talking about this, with the republican race now over there are only two men left standing. president obama and mitt romney and they are throwing some hard punches. it's only april. >> reporter: president obama's visit with college students in iowa may have been about financial aid, but it was one more sign that school is in session if the race for the white house. >> some of them suggest that students like you have to pay more so we can help bring down the deficit. now think about that. these are the same folks who ran up the deficits for the last decade. >> the president has been doing his re-election homework basically ever since he got in office. in february 2009 on he's made by cnn's count 126 visits to 14 battleground states. >> is it easy to make ends meet?
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mitt romney was in one of those swing states and new hampshire, and focus a clintonlike laser beam on the economy. it's still about the economy and we're not stupid. >> with romney fund-raising behind closed doors, one of the top surrogates and potential running mate marco rubio delivered a foreign policy speech in washington. >> he may talk tough, but he knows he's weak. >> that would contrast with the open mike session with the russians. >> adding to the political overtones. >> a rising star in the next generation of america's foreign policy leaders. >> joe lieberman appeared with rubio, a reminder that the democrat-turned-independent independent senator backed john mccain last time. and the romney campaign is trying out a new line of attack on taxes, consider this column in "the wall street journal" from former george w.
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bush-turned romney economic adviser glen hubbard who writes president obama's higher spending will require raising taxes for all americans. the president who has only proposed increase for wealthy americans seems ready for that one. >> first of all, these guys ran up the deficit. these are the same folks who voted in favor of tours without paying for it. [ inaudible ] >> now that newt gingrich is all, but dropped out republicans are eager to combine forces and poke holes in the president's image. the preazy of the united steezy. >>. >> reporter: take mr. obama's slow jam on the news. >> do you know mitt romney? >> i've met him, but we're not friends. >> reporter: it's now a new rnc ad. >> that is how we slo jam the news. >> oh, yea. >> and itten with the twitter #, notfunny.
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>> back to newt gingrich. his campaign officials say the speaker will formally get out of the race perhaps as soon as next week and we know the speaker for all intents and purposes has been out of this race for weeks and he took a call for mitt romney according to a gingrich spokesman earlier today, that call was described as gracious. again, wolf, these are words we don't normally hear from newt gingrich and it's a sign that the primary season are starting to heal. >> did you notice, jim, i certainly did last night, newt gingrich started giving his speech and ann romney and mitt romney didn't even wait until he was finished. after a few minutes they just went out there and they big footed him, as they say and we certainly dunked out of newt gingrich's speech and went to ann romney and mitt romney. i don't think that was an accident that they decided to do that at that moment. it just raised an eyebrow because normally these candidates wait for another candidate to finish their
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speeches on these election nights before they go out and address the world, if you will. >> reporter: that's right, wolf. i was around a lot of people with the romney campaign last night and that was not lost on them either. so whether or not this was an overt sort of stepping on newt gingrich, it's not really clear, but safe to say a lot of times behind the scenes before they make their entrances for these types of speeches, they are watching what is happening on the cable networks and on the news coverage. there are people with the romney campaign who are well aware that newt gingrich was starting to talk last night. i guess they felt this was their night and they didn't want anything overshadowing it. >> ann romney came out and no one was paying attention to newt gingrich anymore and they were listening to the romneys. >> thanks very much. >> it's one of the most controversial cases of the year and today the supreme court justices seemed surprisingly sympathetic to arz arz as they heard arguments for and against the state's controversial
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immigration law. our congressional correspondent kate bolduan was inside and listening to all of the arguments. what happened? >> reporter: this was the final oral argument of this supreme court term and they're going out with a bang, taking on illegal immigration in the middle of the presidential election season. the political issue of illegal immigration landed squarely on the supreme court steps wednesday. >> i don't think arizona has done anything that isn't basically common sense. >> inside the courtroom the conservative majority appeared to lean toward upholding at least part of the arizona law. >> justice antonin scalia suggesting if the federal government isn't doing the job, states may be justified stepping in, asking, quote, what does state sovereignty mean if it does not include the ability to defend your boards. >> arizona has a right and i, as governor, i felt was somewhat insured that i had the right to
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protect the citizens of arizona. >> it is focussed on the law's most controversial measure. they'll check immigration status while enforcing other laws if the officers have reasonable suspicion they're in the country illegally. the white house and its supporters argued that intrudes on what is exclusively federal authority over immigration. >> the justices are concerned about a system of mass incarceration that's going to catch u.s. citizens and immigrants who are lawfully in the united states. >> reporter: but for the obama administration, challenging the state law it was another uphill battle. chief justice john roberts indicating the arizona law is meant to help by alerting federal immigration officials to who is in the country illegally, nothing more. and he questioned washington's commitment to solving the problem. quote, it seems to me that the federal government just doesn't want to know who is here illegally or not. even liberal justice sonia sotomayor bluntly told solicitor
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general part of his argument wasn't, quote, selling very well. adding why don't you try to come up with something else. and to signal that the justices are aware of just how politically divisive this is, the chief justice made a point to ask the government's lawyer even before he began his argument to clarify that the government's challenge has nothing to do with racial or ethnic profiling. instead, is solely focused on the narrow question at hand. the solicitor general agreed that the remark seemed designed to head off any criticism that the justices may face in an election season. >> eight justices will make this decision and elena kagan would recuse herself as solicitor general. if it's a 4-4 vote, what happens? >> reporter: it means that the lower court decision would stand. that would mean that the four provisions at question, the controversial provisions in this law would not take effect, wolf, but it would mean that this
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wouldn't set any broad, sweeping precedent and it would not stop other states with similar legislation and it would not stop them from moving forward and essentially it would mean this fight will be kicked off to another day. kate bolduan. >> women and latinos, should mitt romney be looking outside of the box for a running mate. that's jack cafferty's question. and details on a bird strike that had passengers on one flight fearing for their lives. plus, my interview with madeleima madeleine albright, former secretary of state. she talks about the family secret that change herd life. all energy development comes with some risk, but proven technologies allow natural gas producers to supply affordable, cleaner energy, while protecting our environment.
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jack cafferty is here with "the cafferty file." jack? >> while mitt romney is cruising toward the republican nomination, he's a long way from cruising into the weiss and the two biggest reasons might well be women and hispanics. during the primaries romney was forced to the right on issues that concerned both women and immigration, and he now has emerged as damaged goods among those groups. polls suggest president obama holds a 20-point lead among women. many women were turned off by romney's comments about birth control and getting rid of planned parenthood. the damage may not be permanent. one of the ways he could recover -- pardon me, is by selecting either a woman or a hispanic as his running mate. there's speculate women like new
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mexico governor susana martinez, also hispanic and nikki haley could be on romney's short list. there's a limit, it's a safe bet sarah palin probably isn't on that list. one train wreck is plenty for a life time. romney is in even worse shape. one poll says he trails president obama by 40 points. experts say he's got to get 40% of the latino vote if he's going to win the race. enter florida senator marco rubio who has suddenly been campaigning with romney. a lot of people think rubio would make the perfect running mate. on the other hand it's possible that romney's v.p. pick would be neither a woman or hispanic, a political piece entitled vice president vanilla, suggests that it might be a safe, uncontroversial one, someone like ohio republican ron portman who is described in the article as vanilla, wonky and unflappable and the, quote, safety school the gop needs
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after the sarah palin experiment in 2008. here's the question. which v.p. candidate would benefit mitt romney more? a woman or a hispanic? go to cnn.com/cafferty file and post a comment on my blog or go to my post on the situation room's facebook page. >> i think rob portman has a very, very good shot of getting that. >> lindsay graham's another name that you hear ticked around. >> you hear jeb bush, former governor of florida who speaks spanish, a very popular guy as well and is the country ready for another bush. these are questions only romney can answer right now. good question. thank you. moments for terror from passengers aboard a jetblue flight. lisa sylvester has the details for us. lisa, what happened here. >> a pretty serious thing, wolf. this is the second time in less than a week that an airplane has taken off from a new york city airport and has had to return to the terminal because birds hit the plane. you can imagine it was very
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frightening for the passengers. just after takeoff the pilot of jetblue flight 571 radios the control tower. >> contact with departure. >> we have to come back. we hit two big geese. >> 571, roger. and stand by. >> jetblue 571, runway 1-6. >> stand by 571. would you like to declare an emergency? >> you can see the damage here on the plane's windshield caused by two large geese. the flight headed from a suburban new york airport to west palm beach had just taken off tuesday evening and was about 300 feet in the air. laura e chevarria was one of the passengers on that flight. she feared the worst. >> the plane started swerving immediately right after the two hits so he was rocking the plane back and forth and we knew something was going on. i'm going to die.
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i'm going to get to my family. i'm not getting home. >>. >> reporter: bird strikes are xhiet common. according to the faa between 2006 and 2010 there was an average of two dozen flights reported every diet. joe biden's plane hit birds as it was coming into the santa barbara airport. on the same day a delta flight from new york to los angeles birds were sucked into the engine forcing that plane to make an emergency landing. but the most famous bird strike was the incident now referred to as the miracle on the hudson in 2009. captain chelsea "sully" sullenberger successfully landed his u.s. airplane on the hudson river after a flock of birds flew into the engine. airports will use various techniques to shoo away the birds including sonic booms. >> they're not uncommon. they do happen and we deal with them on a routine basis and most of the time they're just an
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inconvenience. >> reporter: the jetblue plane was taken out of commission yesterday and inspected and you saw the picture of the bird after it hit the plane's windshield, but the strike did not crack the window. the window was deemed okay and the plane is going back into service today. >> fortunately, everything worked out and that's a big problem, those birds especially in the new york area. >> these aren't tiny birds and we're talking geese in this case and you saw the big mark it left on the plane's wind she would. >> thank you. >> president obama's appearance on late-night tv sparking a skirmish of sorts with the republicans. our strategy session is next. coming up in the next hour a u.s. congressman is barred from entering afghanistan even though america pumps $2 billion a week into that country. details and the controversy and my conversation with dana rohrabacher. that's coming up. [ woman ] oh, my gosh -- it's so good! [ kristal ] we're just taking a sample
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let's get right to our strategy session. joining us democratic strategist and cnn contributor maria cardona and david frum, who was special assistant to president george w. bush. as both of you know, president obama's been making a big deal about keeping interest rates for student loans low. he did it once again today. let's listen to this. >> and then you've got the spokesman for the speaker of the house who says we're -- meaning me, my administration, we're just talking about student loans to distract people from the economy. now, think about that for a second because these guys don't get it. this is the economy. this is the economy. >> those low interest rates expire in july if they're not
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authorized. they'll double the interest rates and only moments ago the house speaker john boehner said this. >> today i'm pleased to announce that on friday the house will vote on a bill to extend the current interest rate on federal student loans for one year. we will pay for this by taking money from one of the slush funds in the president's health care law. this week the president's traveling the country on the taxpayer's dime, and campaigning a fight where there isn't one. >> there was a fight because house republicans did not want to authorize a continuation of these low interest rates for student loans. the new leader of the republican party mitt romney told them this week, i support it and now boehner fell in line. >> can we take a step back from politics to policy? we have had now for decades, college tuition massively outrunning the cost of other
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living. a lot of people who looked at this said the driver that allows colleges to do this are the existence of the federal student loan programs. the more money we make available the more colleges raise their prices in order to get the money. basically they say we want everything you have, plus everything your parents have plus everything the government will lend you and we still want everything you have. >> this is still a win for the president? >> no question. david's right. the cost of college is a big issue that we should all definitely talk about, but this is a now problem and that's exactly what president obama is focused onic maing sure these student loans don't go up for 7.1 million students and what we're seeing from the republicans and romney and the speaker is this me, too, moment understanding they're not only in trouble with women and not only in trouble with latinos and they're in trouble with the youth vote. >> the president himself months ago said his administration was going to have a policy to restrain colleges from restra restraining it. there's no policy on the cost of college, what there is a
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political stunt. >> but there needs to be a larger conversation, but let's fix this now for students. >> let's have a conversation, young people, students and as the whole world knows. >> he was on "late night with jimmy fallon" and we have a clip. >> the reason is it is so important to keep down costs is to keep college affordable. >> the president knows his stuff, y'all, that's why they call him the potis which means person on top. >> jimmy, potis stands president of the united states. >> he's the potus with the most stuff! >> obviously, it's getting a lot of play out there. >> if we had millions of young people watching "the situation room" the president would be here today, but he's talking to a target audience. i think there are some dignity
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issues here, that's a little jarring to see the president doing that. >> i completely disagree and maybe it's our age difference, david -- just kidding, but i think that for exactly the audience that president is targeting, which is younger viewers, i think they think this is exactly the way that you communicate to them about a serious issue and if you saw the clip the president is actually serious. jimmy fallon is the one who is funny. they have a really great give and take on that and it makes him -- it really does respect the office of the presidency, but he does it right. >> almost as good as brian williams does that root een over there. you say this is undignified. you know what? for a long time presidents and presidential candidates, they've been going on comedy shows trying to appeal to younger voters out there. we put together a little montage. >> senator, have you had arc musing things happen to you since you've campaigned that you
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can tell me in 30 seconds? >> no, i just saw -- >> oh, no. i don't think we could get mr. nixon to stand still for sock it to me. >> sock it to me? >> how do you balance the budget? >> balancing the budget is like -- >> you don't spend more than you take in. >> it's like protecting your virtue. you have to learn how to say no. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> do you know what he said? he said if this music thing doesn't work out. you can always run for president. >> a lot of folks don't think i can string a sentence together, so when i was able to do so the expectations were so low all i had to say is hi, i'm george w. bush.
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>> barack obama purchased air time on three major networks. we, however, can only afford qvc. >> you have to admit, notice that except for nixon all of them were candidates at the time they did those appearances and not the president. >> so you have a problem with the president going on these late-night shows. >> i don't have a problem. i have a kwalm. >> i disagree. i think this is exactly the right thing the president to do. times have changed. he's still president and also running for re-election. >> he's the first sitting president and nixon was a candidate. >> he was a candidate as well, and all of the others were then wanna be presidents and they became presidents. >> but it clearly works or else not even the candidates -- >> if they didn't work they wouldn't have negative attack ads. >> thanks very much. >> you may have experienced turbulence before, but probably not like this. we're getting some you. >> video that gives new meaning
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lisa sill vest sermon toring some of the top stories in "the situation room" right now. what's going on, lace? >> reporter: hi, wolf, benjamin netanyahu tells cnn's erin burnett iran hasn't stopped its nuclear remember program, by quote, one iota. they would hope iran would scale back new nuclear activity, but a watchdog found a troubling increase in uranium enrichment. and u.n. negotiations with iran are set to resume in may. >> breakfast at burger king is about to get more human. the fast food chain says it will stop buying pork from suppliers who confine pigs to small crates
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and transition to cage-free eggs within five years. they're calling it a quote, industry-leading commitment to animal welfare. burger king unveiled a new menu with healthy options about a month ago. >> and if you have a fear of flying you might want to turn away. check out this incredible video of a plane making a very shaky landing in northern spain. powerful winds estimated at 50 or 60 miles an hour actually pushed a plane back up into the air despite coming within feet of the runway. it's a frightening video for air passengers, but fortunately there appears to be some highly skilled pilots flying that plane, wolf. >> that's amazing. they should never left in those kind of wins to begin with. that turned out well. thank you. >> imagine being raised a christian and finding out when you're 59 years old your parents were jewish and they hid that from you. it happened to madeleine
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albright. she's opening up about her family's powerful story or hidden past. my interview with her coming up. also, there's new hope for a young girl who has been missing for five years. [ horn honks ] hey, it's sandra -- from accounting. peter. i can see that you're busy... but you were gonna help us crunch the numbers for accounts receivable today. i mean i know that this is important. well, both are important. let's be clear. they are but this is important too. [ man ] the receivables.
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she's one of the most powerful women in history of the united states, and not only serving as the united states ambassador to the united nations, but also as the first female secretary of state and now she's speaking about a family secret that changed her life. joining us now from new york madeleine albright, the former secretary of state. she's written a few book, "prague winner, a personal story of remembrance and war in 1937-1948." madam secretary, congratulations on writing this book. it really is very personal and moving. i want to get to some of the highlights right now. you begin the book by writing this, i had no idea that my family was jewish or that 20 of my relatives had died in the hol wauft. here's the question, why didn't you know that? >> the truth is i don't know why i didn't know it, but my speculation is that my parents were desperate to start a new
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life in america when we came here in 1948 and to put some of the tragedy and sadness behind them and to try to create a normal life for us, and not to dwell and make us all feel that we were a part of it. i think my parents did what any parents would do is to try to protect their children, but i think another reason, wolf, that i came to as i did research for this book because i found a novel that my father had written about all this, and i think the bottom line is they couldn't find the words to describe what had happened. there were no words. >> there were no words. you've written a lot of words in this very amazing book, and i know you've gone through government documents in prague. you began to suspect something was going on. you were 59 years old, about to become president clinton's secretary of state and people who knew your parents during world war ii were all of a sudden writing to you talking about their jewish heritage and
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family members who died in the holocaust. when you began to get these letters, what did you think? >> well, the letters at the beginning made no sense. i mean, they basically would say i knew your father when he was in high school in 1915, when he was actually born in 1909. or had all of the names wrong or the dates wrong and finally in the fall of 1996 i got a letter from somebody and i was ambassador at the u.n. at the time, wolf, a letter from somebody that had all of the names and dates and everything right and when i was being vetted to be secretary of state they asked me all of the normal kinds of questions and at the end of it they said is there anything about you that we haven't asked that you know, and i said, look, i don't know whether this is true or not, but i have every reason to believe that i'm of jewish background. they said so what? our president is not anti-semitic. and so it was not until michael dobbs from "the washington post"
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went and did all kinds of research and presented me with this horrifying story of the number of people that had died in concentration camps and so here i was, secretary of state. i couldn't go and investigate it all myself and i've likened it to being asked to represent your country in a marathon and then being given a very heavy package to carry and unwrap as i ran, and so i asked my brother and sister to go to the czech republic to begin to investigate the story and they did, and i've now picked up the threads in this new book. >> and you've written very emotionally about it, and you get into celebrating hanukkah and christmas with your children and grandchildren. this week the president spoke at the u.s. holocaust memorial museum and he said this, i'll play the clip. >> when faced with a regime that threatens global security and denies the holocaust and threatens to destroy israel the united states will do everything
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in our power to prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon. >> when you hear the president speaking like that, what goes through your mind now? >> well, i think that i know that he's got some very hard decisions to make and what goes through my mind is that we, in fact, as an international community have to do something to make sure that iran does not get a nuclear weapon, and i do think that the president and the other members of the security council and generally are working to tighten the screws. we also are in the middle of -- or have just begun a series of talks and my sense is that a lot of lessons have been learned and that, in fact, we are working as an international community to make clear that this is unacceptable. >> one of the most moving parts of the book are the tough choices you write about, and tough choices that world leaders have to make and some very tough choices right now in syria. how do you deal with those tough choices? >> i think that is a lot of what
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the book is about and that things that kind of seem very clear in retrospect are very hard to deal with at the time and that often leaders have to look at what the circumstances are and their values and make decisions based on that hoping that they're making the right decisions and i'm dealing with the period around munich where, in fact, democracies did not work together where they did appease hitler and they kept trying to figure out how to feed the beast whereas what is going on now is a very systematic way of isolating and putting pressure on the assad regime and making clear that the international community is watching carefully and no option is off the table. i really do think that there is no appeasement except i'm very troubled by the position that the russians and chinese have taken, but i think there is --
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lessons have been learned and there's a huge isolation project and pushback on this. >> the book is a beautiful book, well researched and documented. prague winner, a personal story of remembrance and war 1937-1948. madeleine albright, former secretary of state is the author. i've written a little review of it on our blog at cnn.com/situationroom. madam secretary, as usual, thanks very much. >> thank you, wolf. good to be with you. jack cavery is asking which presidential vice president could benefit mitt romney more. a woman? a hispanic? stand by. stand by. we're coming up next. you just have to eat it as part of your heart healthy diet. step 1. eat the soup. all those veggies and beans, that's what may help lower your cholesterol and -- well that's easy [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
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>> jack's joining us again with "the cafferty file." jack? >> the question this hour, wolf, is which vice presidential candidate would benefit romney more? a woman or a hispanic? >> jennifer wrights the question should not be which token
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representative he chooses for v.p., the question is who is the most qualified to run the country if the president can no longer performs the duties if that person happens to be a woman or race, but gender or race has nothing to do with competence. didn't we learn anything trt sarah palin situation? >> lindsay is the favorite of the military industrial crowd and they run the show around here. so that's why it makes sense to me. lindsay knows the issues inside and out, upside down, and would make a great debate partner which would be very important in this election and would help romney in the south. knell in houston writes, the only person dumb enough to take the job would be rick perry. the benefits are his southern roots and support first christian right and there would be a benefit for texans, he would no longer be their governor. how about a v.p. candidate who is qualified to be president if that's necessary. seems to me that that would be more important than appealing to one particular vote just to get votes.
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game change was the scariest movie i ever saw. lee writes how about a gay hispanic woman in a wheelchair? that would get him the win no problem. no need to worry if she has qualifications and we can all feel good about how diverse we are. and j.d. writes it doesn't matter. mitt's problem is trying to find someone who doesn't outshine him. that's a daunting task. they must be scouring funeral parlors. if you want to read more about this, you go to my blog, cnn.com/cafferty file or to our post on the situation room's facebook page. good stuff, wolf? >> tough crowd. >> they're great. >> thank you. police drop a bombshell in the old missing child case. they're saying a british girl could be alive years after she disappeared. >> and the military probe into the secret service prostitution scandal. one u.s. lawmaker is furious over what he's calling the pentagon's totally, totally uncooperative methods, plus new information about a confirmed
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case of mad cow disease. we're going live to the california dairy farm that's at the center of this right now. [ female announcer ] if whole grain isn't the first ingredient
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the disappearance of a little british girl during a family vacation to portugal in 2007. now british police are saying there's reason to believe madeleine mccann may still be alive. cnn's max foster is in london working this story for us. max, do police have any real, solid evidence to back that up? >> reporter: well, they seem to have something. about a year ago the british prime minister, after being pressured by the mccanns, asked the british police to investigate this disappearance and they've gone through hundreds and thousands of pages of evidence from portugal, from britain and private investigators and they say they found up to 200 new leads and you've got to consider, wolf. they've only gone through a quarter of that material that they've got so more leads will appear and they say that's enough for the portuguese to reopen this case, but at the moment the portuguese police are the lead investigators here. they've closed the case. the british police have really
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presenting them with extra information. >> the police have also released a new image of madeleine mccann, and i want you -- there it is right there, what she might look like if she were alive today. she disappeared at the age of 3. now she's 8 years old. have the parents seen this new picture? they have, and in fact, they were a big part of the picture. they worked with the police to form this image. let's hear from their spokesperson because he says it effectively. >> they are very pleased with the new image. they are positive when they see it and kate, in fact, said to me she felt comfortable looking at that time and they see a strong family resemblance in it. kate sees not only madeleine herself in the new picture. she sees sean and emily, her brother and sister as well as kate herself. so the family will draw great strength from this. they do see it as positive and
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of course, they're hoping and praying as they have been for five years that this will lead to that breakthrough and someone will recognize her and she will still be able to come home. >> at the very least, i think, wolf, they just want this case reopened in portugal and that's the first stage. >> are the portuguese cooperating? >> the british police have been over to portugal. there their's clearly some tension, i'd say, among british police about why the portuguese have reopened this case and they're working well together. >> max foster in london. i know you'll stay on top of this story for us. thanks very much. and you're in "the situation room." happening now, the u.s. military is accused of dropping the ball in its investigation of an embarrassing prostitution scandal. two veteran u.s. senators say pentagon briefers wasted their time and now there's talk of subpoenas. a u.s. congressman who criticized hamid karzai is asked to stay out of afghanistan.
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i'll ask dana rohrabacher why secretary of state hillary clinton went along with karzai's outrageous demand. and the father of a 10-year-old boy with autism says his son was humiliated and tormented by his own teacher and he's posting disturbing audiotapes on the internet to prove it. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer and you're in i'm wolf blitzer and you're in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com ever since the u.s. secret service prostitution scandal exploded, u.s. officials have been promising a thorough investigation, but today we were told that the pentagon's review of 12 military members linked to the scandal have been slow and sketchy and unacceptable. our senior congressional correspondent dana bash.
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senators held a public hearing on this scandal, as you know, you were there. there was also a private briefing as well. what are you learning? >> reporter: well, you know that infamous night in cartagena, colombia was two weeks ago tonight and yet today was the very first time members of the senate arms services committee got any kind of briefing at all from the pentagon on its investigation of 12 individuals and it's looking into and afterwards there was bipartisan feeling that they were not happy, in fact, even the threat of a subpoena to get more information and there was a far different sentiment at the public hearing talking about the secret service aspect of this. >> how does homeland security secretary janet napolitano feel about the secret service prostitution scandal? >> the allegations are inexcusable. the conduct was unacceptable, it was unprofessional. unprofessional and unacceptable. >> reporter: napolitano used the words unacceptable and unprofessional half a dozen times and made this vow. >> the investigation will be
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complete and thorough and we will leave no stone unturned. >> reporter: senators seemed satisfied with her, forts. >> i think the kind of investigation you ask your department will do i have a lot of faith in. >> reporter: what it contrasts outside a private briefing nearby. >> it was a waste of time because they have no information. >> reporter: military leaders met with senators behind these doors about members of the arms sources alleged misbehavior with prostitutes in colombia. john mccain came out furious. >> the pentagon is being totally uncooperative. they don't even know -- they don't have information as to who was in charge on the ground in cartagena. it was remarkable. >> reporter: to date, none of the 12 arms services members involved in alleged misconduct in colombia has been reprimanded or cleared, but secret service rules allow things to move faster. all 12 secret service members have either been forced out or are in the process of leaving or have been cleared of serious
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misconduct. back at the senate judiciary committee the woman in charge had some answers. the first question i posed to the director was there any breach to the president's security in this instance, and the answer was no. >> but there was a risk of breach along those lines if those connections existed, correct? >> there may be a risk and that's why this behavior cannot be tolerate period upon. >> one key question napolitano could not answer is if it was cultural, if inappropriate behavior with prostitutes has happened before. >> we are looking to see and make sure that this was not some kind of systemic problem and most importantly to fix it. >> if it is, that would be a surprise to me, i must say as someone who has been the service secretary for three and a half years now. >> reporter: napolitano did say that the office of professional responsibility has gone through its files from the past two and a half years. that's 900 foreign trips and found no record of any reports of misconduct of this kind.
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prostitutes with members of the secret service, but wolf, to be sure, if bad behavior like this is part of the culture they likely wouldn't be reported. >> i know you saw the story in "the washington post" quoting unnamed secret service agents, there's a long list of supervisors tolerating this kind of behavior by secret service person oelt road before or after a presidential trip. was there any specific reaction to this very damning story in "the washington post?" >> reporter: the homeland security secretary was asked about that and she simply didn't have an answer. they were still investigating whether this was a cultural issue, forgive me, and whether or not there are other incidents like this. she basically punted. >> there are a lot of unanswered questions that will have to be answered in the days and weeks to come, dana, thank you. >> other important news. u.s. food and health officials are trying to ease fears about beef safety now that a case of mad cow disease has been
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confirmed in california. one major south korean company has suspended the sale of american beef despite reassurances that consumers aren't in any danger at all. cnn's paul vercammen is in a facility in california where the infected dairy cow was discovered. what are you learning, paul? >> reporter: as you said the infected dairy cow was discovered here. this is a rendering facility in hanford, california. again, health and safety officials saying there was no threat and this was brought in by baker commodities. it goes up and down the san joaquin valley from bakersfield to modesto and it serves some 100 dairies and it picks up the cows that die at the various dairies and farms. it brought the cow back here. it was tested and it turned up positive for what they're now terming to be atypical mad cow disease. what goes on in here basically in these rendering facilities and this cow was going to be another baker's commodity
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facility in kerman. they get carved up and they get their hide and use these products in pet food and they use these animal products in food for chicken feed and these are valuable in terms of paint and soaps and cosmetics. again, i talked to the california usda. they say there is no health or safety threat here and that at one point they will destroy the carcass, and this just in, they now say that dairy where this came from is in tularen county, that's about 15 miles to the east of here in hanford, wolf? >> paul vercammen on the scene for us. thank you. u.s. officials are insisting the current levels of testing for mad cow disease are adequate. brian todd is here and taking a closer look at the testing part of this story, whether or not american beef, dairy products are safe. what are you finding out? >> wolf, by all indications it is mostly safe for the most part. the safeguards have worked very
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well. we did learn of a small gap in the system, but it is not clear if that had anything to do with this case. in the wake of the discovery of the fourth case of mad cow disease in the u.s. the agriculture secretary reassures americans their food supply is safe. how does he know for sure? >> we know because of taking out of the feed and out of the food supply those parts of the animal that could potentially cause the mad cow disease in humans. >> vilsack says they made sure the nervous system, the brain and the spinal columns don't get into the food system. those are the parts that can transfer the agents in the cow's body that carry the disease. also, the government no longer allows feed from dead, ground-up cows to be used for feed for other cow. the government does allow dead cows to be ground up and fed to chickens. that chicken excrement has nutritional value so that's sometimes ground up and fed to
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other animals like cows. i asked patty lavera of the nonpartisan advocacy food and water watch about that. >> reporter: should the u.s. government ban cow feed for chickens? >> we think so. we didn't allow cattle parts to be in any animal feed it would lower the risk of accidentally having that get fed back to cattles. >> but you don't have to worry about eating checken. each if chicken eats feed from a sick cow, the agent that transfers mad cow disease doesn't infect chickens and doesn't contaminate the meat. >> reporter: we asked dr. richard raymond, a former underciting of department of agricultu agriculture, why take chances? there's still a slim chance infected proteins could make their way through the chicken population back to cows or remnants as they're referred to in the industry. >> i do not believe a ban is necessary at this time. i do not believe there's any
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scientific evidence that our herd is at risk for eating poultry litter and the fact that the ban had been so effective, i think that shows we have the situation well under control. >> reporter: so far the safeguards have been effective. from a peak of over 37,000 cases of mad cow disease worldwide in 1992, only 29 cases were reported last year. and the agriculture department says in this case the animal tested positive for a very rare form of the disease, not generally associated with an animal consuming, infected feed. still, they call the fda which handles feed bans to ask why the government still doesn't ban the feed from cows to feed the chickens. so far they've not gotten a response. the usda -- >> how many cows do they actually test every single year for mad cow disease? >> the usda says it takes
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samples from 40,000 animals a year focusing on the groups where they think they're the most danger of having it, but that's 40,000 head out of 36 million cattle that are slaughtered in the u.s. each year. experts say government inspectors do inspect every single head of cattle for outward signs of it, but a watchdog group saying we'll do the tissue testing of more than 40,000 cows out of 36 million. >> i suspect they'll increase that testing in the weeks and months to come. i appreciate it very much, brian. >> afghan president hamid karzai had the nerve to tell a united states congressman to stay out of the country, stay out of afghanistan even though the u.s. is spending billions of dollars there in u.s. taxpayer money. i'll ask congressman dana rohrabacher about that and about secretary of state hillary clinton's shocking reaction to what karzai was demanding. stand by. >> the pentagon is bracing for north korea to conduct a new nuclear test at any time. new information is coming in, and a 10-year-old boy with autism bullied by his own
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liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy? >> jack cafferty is here with "the cafferty file." jack? ? home prices are at their lowest in a decade. the 20 cities show an average decline of 3.5% from a year ago and that's put home prices at their lowest level since november 2002. experts say foreclosures and other distressed property sales are the main challenge. some of the hardest hit housing markets include atlanta, charlotte, north carolina, chicago, las vegas and new york. the worst is atlanta, georgia, where prices fell a whopping 17% in a single year. home prices in atlanta haven't been this low in 16 years. the numbers are scary. for many americans their homes
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are their biggest asset and it's hard to imagine how the nation can manage an economic recovery with the housing market still hurting so badly and things might not improve for a long time, a very long time. the economics professor robert shiller says a total recovery of the housing market in this country can take a generation. schiller says he worries that we might not see a major turnaround in our life times and it's not just home prices that are suffering. a new government report shows new home sales dropped from last march to last november. there's no rush to buy and mortgage rates might be at record lows and if they don't have money to buy, it doesn't matter and with high unemployment, high gas prices and high food prices and uncertainty about the future of the health legislation and the overall economy, and the future including housing looks pretty grim. the question, though, is this. home prices are the lowest in a decade. how can this economy recover? go to cnn.com/caffertyfile.
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post a comment on my blog or go to our post on the "situation room's" facebook page. a generation before it is back to approaching normal. >> this is the biggest asset almost all american families have, their homes. >> jack, thank you. the united states is bracing for a new act of nuclear defiance by north korea. a provocative test that being literally happen at any moment. let's go to our pentagon correspondent, chris lawrence has the latest for us. >> wolf, satellite images are revealing very specific activity going on in north korea's test site leading some to believe that a nuclear test is right around the corner. >> reporter: traveling in south america defense secretary leon panetta said wednesday he is concerned about a potential war in the pacific. he warned that north korean regime against conducting a new nuclear test. >> we would strongly urge north korea not to engage in any
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further provocations. >> reporter: experts are analyzing satellite images of the north korean launch site and see indications a launch is imminent. >> and you can see a growth in the pile of material next to some of the test site and that indicates to us that there is some preparation going on thea the site. >> analyst paul brennan says north korea may be excavating one of the test shafts and believes its next task could move it closer to the ultimate capability, delivering a nuclear weapon. >> we assess that north korea's capable of making a nuclear explosive device for the no-dong missile and there are concerns that test could be associated with that. >> north korea test fired a long-range rocket less than two weeks ago. by most accounts that failed and that's important because when the north conducted previous nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009 they both follow closely after a
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ballistic missile test. on wednesday china said it would oppose any new nuclear test and warn said its neighbor not to escalate tensions in the region. the u.s. state department had been urging china to exert more leverage on north korea. >> obviously public staples of this kind are most welcome and we look forward to consulting with the chinese on what more they think can and should be done. >> reporter: now if and when north korea conducts this test the first indication is going to come from seismic activity. pentagon officials tell us that it is very difficult to measure the power of an underground explosion, but the last time north korea conducted a nuclear test in 2009 they flew a special plane at high altitude to measure the radioactive particles in the air. wolf? >> very, very sensitive issue right now. let's see what happens, chris. thank you. >> the mead why mogul rupert
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murdoch answering questions over his influence over government officials and stand by about his revealing testimony about his class with one prime minister. also a volcano puts on an amazing, fiery display. you'll see it right here in "the situation room." [ male announcer ] away...
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>> pakistan announces the successful test launch of a ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. lisa sylvester is monitoring that top story and other top stories in "the situation room." it comes days after india tested its own long range missile and on the same day a u.s. delegation arrived in pakistan for in-depth talks to repair
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tensions between the two countries. u.s.-pakistan ties have been scarred by nato air strikes, u.n. drone strikes and the raid that killed osama bin laden. >> connecticut is now the 17th say the to abolish capital punishment and governor daniel maloy signed a bill into law. it goes into effect immediately and it doesn't apply to anyone who has already been sentenced to death. the highest form of punishment is life if prison without the point of release. >> the marine who united states yoo said his facebook page to. -- he came under scrutiny after saying he would not obey the president's orders and later called the president a liar. he was accused of violating a military provision against conduct endangering good order and discipline. >> and an amazing, fiery display. this is mount etna volcano in italy spewing lava high into the
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sky. these amazing pictures. this is the seventh eruption since the beginning of the year. residents aren't at risk, but do have to contain with ash showers that typically follow such an event. >> some teens have discovered an alarming new way to get drunk. hand sanitizer. according to our affiliate ktla, six teenagers ended up in california hospitals with alcohol poisoning after drinking hand sanitizer. doctors say it's essentially a hard shot of liquor. parents are being encouraged to buy foam sanitizer instead of gel because the alcohol is harder to extract it. it is so hard to believe that there are kids drinking this stuff, but apparently it is happening, wolf. >> terrible. terrible. all right. thanks, lisa, for that. get ready for an incredible story. a member of the united states congress says he was not welcome in afghanistan because he criticized the president hamid karzai.
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i'll ask dana rohrabacher about this route rage and why the highest u.s. officials including the secretary of state hillary clinton went along with this outrage. stand by. and did media mogul rupert murdoch use his power to manipulate government officials? stand by for his testimony. litter box odor: purina tidy cats. our premium litters now work harder to help neutralize odors in multiple cat homes. purina tidy cats. keep your home smelling like home. we asked total strangers to watch it for us. thank you so much, i appreciate it, i'll be right back. they didn't take a dime. how much in fees does your bank take to watch your money ?
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to get a free quote, call... visit a local office, or go to libertymutual.com today. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy? media tycoon rupert murdoch answering tough questions about his ties to british government officials and whether he used his power to influence them in a way that was improper or illegal. the investigation of alleged phone hacking has raised broader concerns about murdoch's empire and journalism ethics. cnn's dan rivers reports on murdoch's dramatic testimony. >> reporter: his appearance was, perhaps, the most anticipated moment of the inquiry into press ethics. a man synonymous with ruthless
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journalism and political influence insisted he neither condoned nor knew about phone hacking at his papers. >> i don't believe in using hacking. i don't believe in using private detectives or whatever. i think that is a waive reporters not doing their job. >> reporter: it focused on rupert murdoch's influence over prime ministers. he met margaret thatcher secretly in 1981 to discuss buying two more british newspapers. so did she go along with his deal in return for good press? >> no favors were offered to you by mrs. thatcher, is that right? >> i never asked. i think if i had they would have recorded that. >> would you have been so candid to have asked directly, would you, mr. murdoch? >> i hope not.
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i've never asked a prime minister for anything. >>. >> reporter: he denied acquisitions his papers gave politicians favorable coverage in return for commercial benefits. >> i do take strong pride in the fact that we would never put commercial interests in the newspapers. >> reporter: but there were recollections of serious clashes with politicians, too, like his infamous decision not to back labor prime minister gordon brown in 2009 prompted a hostile call from mr. brown? >> your company has made -- declared war on my government. and we have no alternative, but to make war on your company and i said i'm sorry, gordon. thank you for calling. >> gordon brown responded within hours describing that testimony as wrong, but the media tycoon repeatedly rejected any suggestions that all of his papers reflected his personal, political views. >> you can't say that of "the
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sun." >> i think we're perhaps the only independent newspaper in the business. >> reporter: for his enemies outside that was simply outrageous. the murdoches have corrupted british politics for a generation. now we're beginning to heart whole truth and politicians need to take their desistance from the murdochs and tell them to go home. >> reporter: rupert murdoch's enemies hope that will be the beginning of the end of the murdoch mafia. the truth is rupert murdoch maintains massive press in the uk and he owns 36% of the uk market. dan rivers, cnn, london. >> ask according to "fortune" magazine, rupert murdoch, is behi behind -- time warner is third. you'll probably sympathize with florida senator marco rubio, the
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republican mentioned as potential running mate for mitt romney had one of those uncomfortable public speaking moments earlier today. take a look and listen. >> the 21st century provides us the opportunity for more freedom. a world where more people are free to grow their economies, free to pursue their dreams, free to become prosper oous. i left my last page of the speech. does anybody have my last page? did i leave it with you? above all else the 21st century provides us the opportunities for more freedom. >> it could happen to anyone. nice comeback. there are certain advantages in having a teleprompter for a speech like that. >> the afghan president hamid karzai had the nerve to tell a united states congressman to stay out of his country even though afghanistan gets billions of dollars in u.s. aid. i'll ask republican congressman dana rohrabacher about that and
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hillary clinton's shocking reaction. stand by. >> and a 10-year-old boy with ought ec autism tormented by his teacher and he his father posted it on the internet and his own commentary. >> he called my son a bastard and heard him cry and heard him crying and he's a bastard for that?
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it's truly a shocking story. shocking that a country that receives billions of dollars in u.s. taxpayer money can tell an american congressman he's not welcome to visit that country even for a few days. it's also shocking that the highest u.s. officials, even fellow members of congress would go along with this outrage, but that's exactly what happened when the afghan president hamid karzai made clear to secretary of state hillary clinton that republican representative dana rohrabacher of california, a key member of the house foreign affairs committee would not be allowed into afghanistan. congressman rohrabacher is joining us. thanks very much for coming in. when i heard about this, i was outraged. other members of congress
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getting ready to board a u.s. military plane to fly from dubai to kabul when you got a call. briefly tell our viewers what happened. >> first of all, you have to remember i am not just a member of congress and not just a member of the foreign affairs committee, senior member, i am the chairman of the oversight and investigation subcommittee of the house foreign affairs committee. so i actually, i think it's part of my job to make sure they am going into places like afghanistan and talking to people from various factions and getting an understanding of what is going on and whether or not the strategy we have can succeed or not considering it's causing so much blood and treasure on the part of the americans. well, i got on this codell. >> that's congressional delegation. ? right. two days before it left one of them decided not to go. so i told him i would be happy
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to fill that slot, and we flew commercial to dubai. i might add i had to fly coach for 13 1/2 hours and when we got there we were supposed to go on a military plane to kabul and we get this call from both the defense department which telling louie that, i'm sorry, the military plane will not take off if congressman roar backer hrabn it? >> who called you? it was leon panetta? >> the answer was louie was talking to panetta. >> panetta said they wouldn't let that u.s. military plane take off if you were on it, a member of congress? >> and the chairman of the oversight investigation subcommittee was on it and that's me, and then when i said that's okay, louie. i'll look into going commercial which there are commercial flights from dubai to kabul, at that point i got a call from
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hillary, and -- >> hillary clinton, the secretary of state. >> excuse me, the secretary of state clinton, and to be fair about it, you know, we didn't have time to work out these glitches before. it was a very short time before when i got on this codel and by the time we were going to have to leave. >> well, what did the secretary of state say to you? >> she basically said that she'd been through a lot of mini crises there in afghanistan with the burning of the korans and the soldiers urinating on these dead bodies and one of them going crazy and killing civilians and she just felt that another mini crisis which might erupt because karzai hated me so much that he would create a crisis and she just thought it would be disruptive to our ability to get her job done. >> so a country like afghanistan that receives -- maintaining 90,000 u.s. troops in afghanistan and costs american taxpayers $2 billion every week.
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>> that's right. >> $100 billion a year and she would allow hamid karzai to dictate that an american congressman cannot visit his country? >> i think she should have stood up for that and however, she asked me to do that and i complied with her wishes. i thought she was asking me in a respectful way, but she was having to deal with this corrupt primadonna who heads that country and realizing that, look, members of congress should be over there to see if the dynamics are such that we're not just wasting people's lives and money, and there are changes that need to happen for us to be able to succeed. they have pushed aside those people who defeated the taliban originally. we have to get the uzbeks and the tajics and other people now that karzai has kept out of his government and put them together with the taliban and everybody else -- >> you know. >> -- but that won't succeed if they don't have a change. >> i write this on my blog, it's
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a, an outrage that karzai won't let you visit his country and it's an outrage that the secretary of state and the secretary of defense go along with this and tell you you can't board a u.s. military plane to meet with the troops and see what's going on in afghanistan, but to me it was also an outrage that the five other members of your congressional delegations went along with this. they decided to leave you behind in dubai and they went off to afghanistan, and i called congresswoman michele bachmann, and i spoke to her about that because she was on that delegation. >> let me correct that. they actually offered to stay behind with me. they offered to say if rohrabacher is not going we'll stay here. >> you were a gentleman, but to me it was pretty outrageous that they would allow -- they would participate in going along with this. >> well, i would have to say my colleagues didn't go along with it. i suggested for them, was there a special mission they had to accomplish in afghanistan which is why karzai was so opposed to
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me going and that was we had leaders of the northern alliance, opposition members and political leaders in that country who wanted to talk to american congressmen to make sure that we were not going to leave the taliban in charge of afghanistan. they needed to meet with these people and louie led that, and i wanted him to go and have that meeting and they did. it's just that i wasn't able to be there to participate. >> you were being a gentleman and gracious. a lot of folks, including myself are route raged boy the secretay of state and the secretary of defense. will you continue to supporting assistance, military aid and u.s. taxpayer money to help karzai. >> about a year ago i decided that unless we were willing to make changes that we should withdraw our troops as soon as
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possible because every one of our soldiers who dies now is dying for no reason. it's futile and how can we ask our people to make that kind of sacrifice? so about a year ago i decided it was time for us to get our combat troops out, but there is still time for us to make changes in the structure of the afghan government so that we bring the afghan government's most centralized system now in the world where they have a decentralized village and tribal culture. we can make that change that will ensure that the population will not side with the taliban once we leave, but that changes have to be made. so i think i would vote to get the troops out right now, and i would vote unless there are changes in the structure for us on to quit wasting billions of dollars on the crooked and corrupt administration and it's crooked and corrupt because we insisted on a centralized structure eight years ago rather than the decentralized structure
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that we could have had. >> the secretary of defense who said to karzai. >> this is unacceptable. a democratically elected member of congress, something we've worked on for ten years to try to achieve. you may have been critical of him and he's critical of you. they should have stood up to him and said you're on that plane and if you don't like it, lump it. congressman, thanks very much for coming in. >> obviously, i'm upset about what happened. >> a child diagnosed with autism brutally mocked by teachers and catches it all on tape. just like e-ither. or ei-ther. or e-conomical. [ chuckling ] or ec-onomical. pa-tato, po-tato, huh? actually, it's to-mato, ta-mato. oh, that's right. [ laughs ] [ car door shuts ]
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>> another horrifying case of bullying exposed. this time a child diagnosed with autism targeted not by other kids, but by his own teachers. they didn't get away with it, though, thanks to the recording device he was wearing when it happened. let's bring in cnn's mary snow. she has the details for us. what happened here? >> wolf, a new jersey father who couldn't explain why his son's behavior suddenly changed at school felt like he had to take
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matters into his own hands. his son has difficulty expressing himself. so the father decided the only thing to do was to try to record what was going on inside his son's classroom and what he found is disturbing. 10-year-old akia says his father was diagnosed with autism seven years ago. his son's biggest struggle now isn't his condition, but bullying by the classroom staff entrusted to care for him. stu is documenting the bullying in a very public way online, hoping, he says, that other children won't suffer the same cruelty. he says problems started this year when he was told his son had punched a teacher and an aide. >> i have never seen him hit anybody. that just didn't make any sense. >> frustrated by a lack of answers, he put a recording device in his son's pocket during the school day. he was horrified to hear what was on it. >> oh, boy. knock it off.
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go ahead and scream because guess what? you're going to get nothing until you your mouth is shut. shut your mouth. >> that night when i started listening to it i just shattered inside. >> reporter: more than six hours were recorded. chaifetz says the toughest part was listening asking him to see his father. when he transitions back with his mom and he says may i see dad after mom which is his way with of asking to be reassured he's coming back home. >> may i see dad after mom. >> will you see books in the library or will you just look at sculptures? oh tard. >> may i see? >> you can't see. >> chaffetz says he went immediately to his son's school and credits administrators with acting quickly. in february, upon receiving a
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copy of an audio record welcome the district undertook a thorough and rigorous investigation and responded swiftly and appropriately. she said there were specifics she couldn't legally address, adding, "i want to assure our parents that the individuals who are heard on the recording raising their voices and inappropriately addressing children no longer work in the district." chaffetz says he felt he had no choice but to go public. >> every child is worthy of defense and respect. and that no one deserves to be treated with cruelty and to be humiliated, and that we need -- we who can speak for them need to stop it by changing the law, by exposing people who bully kids, and by publicly shaming them. >> and stu chaffetz isn't completely satisfied with the district's disciplinary action. he says he went public because he claims one of his son's teachers wasn't fired, just sent to another school. now, the superintendent's office wouldn't address that question,
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referring us only to the statement it had previously sent out. and wolf, by the way, since stu chaffetz posted his story on youtube on monday, it's had nearly a million and a half views. >> wow. so they won't explain why these individuals are still teaching in this school district after this kind of behavior? >> right, well, the district says that the teachers have no longer teach in the district, but stu chaffetz says he has discovered that one of them still does, but in a different school. and that's what the district wouldn't answer questions about. >> but in the same district, a different school in that district, is it the same district? >> he says it is, yes. >> and the school district says it's not? >> correct. >> all right. if you get some more information, let us know. mary snow doing excellent reporting for us. thank you. let's get back to jack cafferty right now for the cafferty file. jack? >> question this hour, home prices the lowest in a decade. they went down again an average of 3.5% in the last year. how can the economy recover in light of this?
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kevin in california, "jack, news flash. there is no recovery. this is a permanent reset in the standard of living and income of the average american. get used to it." frank writes, "the economy can't recover until the inventory of foreclosed and underwater homes has been reduced to pre-crash levels. but it's hard to sell a house that has a property tax burden that's higher than the sales price. when the economy adjusts to these less-expensive properties, the economy will recover." jane in california writes, "a lot of contractors and real estate people in southern california buying up lots of houses cheap, fixing them, upgrading them, and then reselling at higher price points. lower house prices mean new buyers will have more money to spend on other things, thus spreading economic growth through several areas, not just the home builders. high growth rates were never sustainable. you'd think we would have learned that by now." hernan in oregon writes, "the current regulations on the banks are hindering the housing recovery. we need to create jobs and get
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the government out of the auto, lougz, banking, and health care industries." ken writes, "spend a few trillion on wars, defense, entitlements, state grants, pork barrel and you name it, like we did for decades. isn't that what made us the richest country in the world, or am i missing something?" and ralph in illinois, "when you go to sell your home, it's worth 25% less than you thought it was. the good news is the home you buy is 25% less expensive than it was in 2008. home prices are just one aspect of our economy. the stock market's on the upside, american car companies are build better cars, my iphone is really cool, the wars are ending, and mitt is not going to be the next president." if you want to read more about this, go to the blog, cnn.com/caffertyfile, or through our post on "the situation room's" facebook page. wolf? >> all right, jack, thank you. here's a question for our viewers out there, what's better than hamburgers and pizza? how about hamburgers in your pizza crust? up next, jeanne moos on the delicacy most americans are missing out on. away on a moviet
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have your mouth watering, but if you live here in the united states, you may be missing out on it. here's cnn's jeanne moos. >> america's status as a haven for junk food is under attack. >> hail pizza hut's royal master piece. >> reporter: because the master pieces of junk food are being sold elsewhere. >> the new crown crust pizza, made with perfectly grilled mini cheeseburger gems, nestled in golden crown crust. >> that looks delicious. >> maybe if you're really drunk. >> i would definitely try it. >> reporter: well, you can't, because cheeseburger crust pizza is only available in the middle east, and that other delicacy you heard about a few weeks ago -- >> [ bleep ] monotrosty. >> reporter: easy for him to sneer, he lives in britain where hot dog pizza crust is now available, but not in the u.s. >> eww! >> oh, in the crust, wow. >> i like it. yeah, i like it. >> just does nothing for me. >> reporter: that's good because
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you can't have it. south korea got its version years ago. >> pizza hut! >> reporter: so did japan, so did portugal. hot dogs maybe as american as baseball, yet the u.s. is being left behind as pizza hut is pushing the envelope of edibility elsewhere. >> we must reclaim the throne by cramming hot dogs into every wiener-shaped food area. jam one into a ka knnokn cannol in a banana. >> nothing goes better than pizza and soda than a bag of lei's potato chips, a bucket of kfc chicken. >> that was the practically prophetic. all that's missing is the bucket. >> the new chicken filet crowned crust pizza. >> reporter: but the chicken filet is another novelty product they're introducing in the middle east. >> if you order the new pizza hut pizza with the hot
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dog-stuffed crust, you have to pay more for health care. >> reporter: pizza hut says there are no plans to bring either the hot dog or cheeseburger crusts to the united states. although due to the overwhelming response, we might consider it. in the meantime, can i just have a hot dog without the bun? americans are just going to have to resort to make your own hot dog pizza crust. being denied all those calories, all that fat, it's like an arrow through america's heart. >> pizza hut! >> getting hungry. going to go vom dinner. that's it for me. 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, arizona's crackdown on illegal immigration gets a surprisingly sympathetic hearing at the u.s. supreme court. we'll ask the state's republican governor, jan brewer, about the political fallout with latino

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