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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  November 16, 2011 4:00pm-6:00pm EST

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going to interview regis. >> next friday, day after thanksgiving. i got some homework this weekend. and yeah, next weekend, next friday, we'll be talking to regis philbin. >> much see -- must see tv for a long time. >> absolutely. he's hilarious, so are you. wolf blitzer in the studio. wolf blitzer in the studio. take it away. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com happening now, a suspect is arrested in the white house shooting incident after two bullets are found outside the mansion. one stopped by bulletproof glass. occupy wall street protesters are back on the scene a day after their eviction from a new york city park. did the mayor hand the movement a victory? i'll speak with "the new york times" columnist, nicholas krist kristof. and mysterious markings in the chinese desert. i'm wolf blitzer.
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you're in "the situation room." after a widespread man hunt, a suspect has now been arrested in the white house shooting incident. that comes five days after shots rang out and a day after bullets were found outside the presidential mansion. one stop by bulletproof glass. let's get the latest from athena jones at the white house. what is the latest? >> hi, wolf. the suspect, he had been known to have visited the area around indiana, pennsylvania, and so after distributing some flirs to hotels in the area, authorities got a tip. pennsylvania state police arrested oscar ortega hernandez in hampton, indiana, about 65 miles outside pittsburgh on
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wednesday afternoon. he is suspected of firing at the white house around 9:00 friday night from constitution avenue, about 700 to 800 yards away while the president was traveling. the secret service says two bullets were found on the south side of the white house tuesday morning. one round penetrated a historic window, but was stopped by a second layer of bulletproof glass. police believe he fired shots from a semiautomatic rifle, then fled his vehicle, which authorities found abandoned about five minutes later. >> the park service recovered a vehicle that had crashed, on constitution avenue west of 23rd street. after the vehicle was recovered, our detectives and crime scene investigators recovered some evidence from the vehicle and this information led to a suspect that we would like to speak with. >> police found the rifle and shell casings inside the car. a law enforcement source familiar with the investigation says authorities have made a preliminary conclusion that the
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rounds found at the white house came from that rifle. they are awaiting ballistics tests to confirm that. authorities say they believe the suspect has quote a direction of interest in the white house or the president. >> it's a high visibility target. from anybody who would like to impact the office of the presidency or the president or his guests. >> hernandez has a criminal history in idaho, texas and u h utah. police in arlington stopped the suspect on foot earlier on friday, hours before the shooting, because he was acting ss pishsly. they released him after snapping these photos. now, the suspect is being held tht state police station in indiana, pennsylvania. about halfway between altoona and pittsburgh. we're still awaiting word on when he will make a court appearance. >> thanks very much. sort of reminded me in october of 1994, when i was covering the
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white house, there was a shooting incident on the north side of the white house. it was pretty frightening. 20 or 30 rounds actually went in. no one was hurt, r but it was pretty scary. let's get to the penn state university child sex abuse investigation. one of the key figures is out trying to clarify his role. mike mcqueary has been sharply criticized for his actions after witnessing the former coach sandusky allegedly raping a young boy in the locker room shower. sar sarah hoy is joining us from pennsylvania. what does mike mcqueary say? >> according to an e-mail by the morning call newspaper, mcqueary tells a former classmate, i'm going to quote this. he says, i did stop it. not physically, but made sure it was stopped when i left that locker room. he then says he did report it. in the same e-mail, he goes on
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to say he had discussions with police and with the official at the university in charge of police. now, cbs caught up with him at his house and i believe we have some sound from that. >> process has to play out. i just don't have anything else to say. >> okay. just one last thing. describe your emotions right now. >> all over the place. just kind of shaken. >> crazy? >> crazy. >> you said what, like a -- >> snow globe. >> like a snow globe. >> and speaking of crazy emotions, the mother of the first victim that kicked this whole investigation off against jerry sandusky was heard on "good morning america" last week. she's livid with penn state officials and also coming on the heels that sandusky was on bob costas this weekend. we have sound from that mother as well. >> definitely shouldn't have showered with those kids. it was sickening.
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i mean, i don't know anybody, anybody who when somebody's like 50, would get in the shower naked with a 10-year-old. makes me really mad that my son can't go out and have a normal life. he gets to go to the mall, shop, do whatever he wants to do. that aggrevates me. he should be in jail. >> so, wolf, this investigation continues. it is nowhere close to being over. back to you. >> what are folks on the campus, the students especially, what are they saying about these developments? >> well, there's a lot of conflict on campus, actually. on some sides, you have people who are adamant supporters of decisions made to get rid of those officials and on the other hand, you have folks upset with the fact joe paterno's gone.
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sandusky's being come down upon. there's a lot of emotion here. there's a lot of people on different sides of the aisle and there's a number of students, two big events today run by students that want to focus on the victims of abuse. so, there are students here that especially before they break for thanksgiving, want to make sure the focus is on the victims. so, like any college campus, it's across the board. >> and we're just learn thag the preliminary hearing for r those two penn state officials who have been charged december 6th, just announced a few moments ago. we'll stay on top of this story. there you see the pictures. their preliminary hearing will be december 6th. jack? >> it was only a matter of time, i pose. it always is. with newt gingrich suddenly rising in the polls big time, his opponents are beginning to make an issue of his personal
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baggage. the tabloid stuff. like the fact that the former house speaker is on his third marriage and is an admitted adulterer. there's a flier circulating in iowa. among other things, it asks quote if newt gingrich can't be faithful to his wife, how can we ask him to be faithful to his voters? airing dirty laundry is nothing new. the "christian science monitor" reports that while there have been several presidents who are unfaithful to their wives, reagan is the only one who was divorced and gingrich has both those strikes against him. unfaithful and divorced. experts say gingrich is going to have the address his personal past, but some think that the voters aren't likely to dwell on it. like it or not, gingrich is a pretty smart guy who might be the most cape l of the current gop batch when it comes to keeling with the issues we face.
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the bar isn't exactly high. plus, half americans get divorced these days, so if every politician would be a ghost town. not everybody thinks it's not that big a deal. a columnist at salon.com, with so many transgressions that his baggage has baggage, end quote. gingrich is twice divorced. he left his first wife after her cancer treatment and he left his second wife for staffer. he says he expects questions. he insists he's happy married now though and has this reconciled with god. here's the question. how much will gingrich's baggage afblgt his run for the white house? wolf? >> there's another story we're following related to newt gingrich. $1.6 million that has been reported he took from freddie
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mac, the federal mortgage giant that's in deep financial trouble. i suspect you've been looking into it as well. lisa sylvester reported on it earlier in the week, but ths probably going to be an issue? this republican contest. so many republicans hate fannie mae and freddie mac. >> and rightfully so. what did think just get through with saying they need about $8 billion of taxpayers' money? i think gingrich worked as a consultant for them, so was compensated handsomely as most of the people who work for that agency seem to be. >> 1.6 million handsomely. there's no doubt about that. i think we're talking about more than 100 -- $100 billion. that fannie and freddie have needed from all of us -- >> over time. >> over the years, that's right. and they're still losing tons and tons of money.
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just the other day, they announced they're giving bonuses to some of their executives who make a $9 million a year salary. >> the argument for the bonuses, if we don't pay these bonuses, we can't attract qualified people to run an agency so far until the red that you're going to have to pipe them daylight. i mean, what kind of qualified executives do you have to have to run something into the ground as far as they have been run into the ground? >> i suspect this is an issue gingrich is going to have to deal with as well. as i said, brian todd's investigating more in the next hour. thank you. he's anti washington, but is he also anti woman? he's made some continue verse shl remarks. and kicked out of their flag ship count. occupy wall street protesters are forced to re-group. we're going to talk about all the latest developments with nicholas kristof.
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after a series of significant stumbles along the campaign trail, herman cain today traveled to florida, trying to regain momentum. gain may overcome recent embarrassments like his answer to the question about libya, but his recent challenge may be an issue that doesn't seem to be going away. women. lisa? >> wolf, herman cain has had a steep drop off in the polls. he faces allegations of sexual harassment, but there are recent comments he has made. this is how he referred to nancy pelosi. >> we didn't hear about it in the previous congress because princess nancy sent it to committee. >> this week, when gq reporters pressed him on what kind of ice cream flavor would describe michele bachmann, cain said
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tutti-frutti. he has marketed himself as the anti washington candidate, but some see him as the anti women candidate. >> he doesn't understand that women are the majority and they will determine who the republican nominee is as well as the next president of the united states. >> cain walked back from the princess nancy comment saying quote, i'm sorry if i offended anyone with my remark. i look forward to calling her by her correct title, minority leader pelosi. on the tutti-frutti controversy, his campaign responded it was a rapid fire light hearted interview. he was asked to compare the candidates to ice cream flavors. he said he would be black walnut and romney, vanilla. he says americans need to get a sense of humor. he has been accused of sexual harassment by four women dating back to when he was the president of the national restaurant association,
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allegations he denies, but are now hurting his campaign. according to a recent cnn orc poll, 61% of women see the charges as a serious issue. 58% of women believe his accusers are telling the truth. only 24% said with cain. he took his damage control efforts to late night tv. one of kaip's accusers is being represented by famed attorney, gloria allred. on the jimmy kimmel show, he made an off color joke. >> have you considered hiring gloria allred is your attorney? >> you almost made me say something that my -- say you should not say. >> really? >> let me put it to you this way, i can't think of anything i would hire her to do, okay? i can't think of a thing. >> it's one thing to try to relate to people and demonstrate you're not the average politician, but it's another
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thing to do it by usinging statements that are overtly sexist. >> but a statement said he respects empk, men and women. a sentiment echoed by his wife of 43 years. >> i know herman cain and i know he has, he has always had too much respect for women to treat them in any type of negative way. that wasn't a part of his being. >> so, how is this being received by republican women voters? the prosecutor of the iowa federation of republican women had this to say. quote, cain needs to be more careful before speaking. it's easy for him to get caught in the moment and not to sensor himself. >> thank you. u.s. marines down under. details of a new deal to base thousands of them in australia. and google earth reveals a
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just getting this in. penn state university and the latest developments there, a new judge has been assigned to the case. the case involving the commonwealth of pennsylvania versus gerald sandusky, is assistant coach accused of child sex abuse. the new judge, judge leslie dutch, excuse me, the new judge is robert scott, who will replace leslie dutchscott.
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there had been a commotion to get rid of dutchscott. she is the old judge who granted $100,000 bail to sandusky. some thought that was too low, so she is being replaced by robert scott. appointed. he's a senior judge of westmoreland county, the county where penn state university is located. that just coming in. other important news we're monitoring, deb fayerick is checking some of the top stories. what else is going on? >> as many as 2500 u.s. marines will be based in australia. in an agreement revealed today. the announcement came in a joint news conference where mr. obama will address the australian parliament. tornado watches in the southeast. severe weather associated with a cold front rolled across the region. it caused several tornados this morning in louisiana and
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mississippi. homes in both states were damaged. chrysler says it's pumping $1.7 billion into the toledo, ohio assembly plant. the company says by 2013, it will add more than 1100 new jobs at the facility with the addition of a second shift. john casic was on hand for the announcement. take a look at this. a wall of flames ripped across an area in southeast ohio today after a major natural gas pipeline exploded. three buildings reportedly caught fire. one person was hospitalized with respiratory problems. it's unclear what triggered the explosion on the tennessee gas pipeline. investigation is underway. wolf? >> thanks very much. evicted from their urban camp site. protesters planning their next move, but did the new york city mayor hand them a victory? we'll speak about all of that with nick kristof of "the new york times" and rick perry
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i'm wolf blitzer. here are some of the stories we're working on for our next hour. the syrian army desserters are saying they attacked an important complex. we're digging deeper into the syrian free army. also, cnn now confirms reports that republican presidential candidate newt gingrich was paid well more than a million dollars to advise the troubled money losing mortgage giant, freddie mac. plus, my interview with another republican presidential candidate, jon huntsman. his rivals are rising and falling, so why can't huntsman campaign get off the ground? stand by for that live interview. you're in "the situation room."
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a day after they were driven out of a park in manhattan, occupy wall street protesters are back on the scene today, but no longer able to camp out there. deborah fayerick is joining us with a closer look at what might be next. >> there's no longer a central gathering place. that community that sprang up overnight is gone and the reality is it's going to be tough for people to live exposed to the elements. today was rainy and cold. there's no protection. but still ask anyone, the fight is far from over. several dozen determined and resilient occupy wall street demonstrators were returned to zuccotti park, some 24 hours after police in riot gear tore down the group's encampment. >> gandhi didn't need a tent. i don't see why i should have a tent. >> tents, tarps and items like sleeping bags were banned by the new york supreme court following
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the eviction. tensions ran high between the protesters and private security guards. one man was arrested after trying to diffuse an argument with another protester. >> why is there so much fear and hostility to people in a park? speaking their mind politically? >> away from the park, wall street press officer mark bray said a number of working groups were busy planning what they call national day of action, signalling two months since the start of the protest. >> we're re-grouping, getting our infrastructure back in order. getting in touch with our allies. tomorrow is going to be our return to glory. >> protesters hope to breach wall street and the new york stock exchange, which until now, has remained a frozen zone with heavy police preference. they plan to walk to city hall and to brooklyn bridge.
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are you worried that if people don't come back, then the movement will have been for nothing? >> no, the movement was definitely not for nothing. i'm pretty sure that people are coming back. we've changed the national dialogue. we are elevated consciousness. >> demonstrators are now deciding where to go next, where ever they set up police will quickly follow. people like university professor, william scott, say it's worth it. >> it's important to show, to keep a presence in the park. what this eviction will do is strengthen the resolve of people to be here. to feel stronger as a community. >> now, i asked the spokesman now that everyone's gathered -- they are however looking for a new space preferably indoors and
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outdoors. >> thank you. after their eviction from the park, some protesters tried to occupy another plaza in lower manhattan, but police foiled that attempt. nicholas kristof followed the protesters. he tweeted about yesterday's showdowns, then produced this video. >> today, i found myself in dor kay park in downtown manhattan. the occupy wall street protesters had moved there after being cleared overnight from zuccotti park. now new york city has legitimate concerns about sanitation of safety of the protests, but what came next seems over the top. the police have come here. they've ordered everybody out. the protesters did not leave. the police have moved in a bus. the police began arresting people, including a few journalists, and put them on a bus to take away. very quickly, the park was simply empty. to me, this is another effort by
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mayor bloomberg at time when occupy was facie ining huge challenges from winter weather. he's managed to revive it and give it a good shot in the arm. >> nick kristof is joining us now from new york. why are you so critical of the way the mayor has been handle this demonstration? >> well, i think that even just from his point of view, that he was trying to undercut it and in fact, i think he ended up giving it a huge energy booth. the movement was facing huge challenges from the weather and from the fact that frankly, zuccotti park was alienating a lot of local people. there were real security problems, drug problems, all the rest. i think that by going in with this huge police force, the fact is, he's a billionaire mayor and i think that tends to feed in this narrative of disenfrn franchisement and kind of marichalization, that released a
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huge frustration. i bet that tomorrow, we're going to see a lot bigger protests because of that eviction than we would have otherwise. >> how should he have handled that eviction? because he was pointing and other city officials and the owners of the park were pointing to health problems, violence, all sorts of issues goin on. how should he have handled it? >> i think he should have waited until the weather kind of undermined the enthusiasm. there are real problems with noise, with sanitation, with security. but if you look around new york city, there are frankly a lot of places with issues of noise, and security and you don't see thousands of police officers gathered around those locations. to me, it just seemed a -- just a handed effort that is going to be counterproductive and at every stage along the way, occupy wall street has benefitted. i think it's going to benefit from it once more. >> so, give us a little sense of how you think it's going to
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move, the entire movement over the next few weeks. >> i think that tomorrow will be a real test of that. how many people can be mustered, but i think that there certainly is a feeling within the movement that to some degree, they should declare a victory and move on. the achievement out of occupy wall street doesn't have to be with a little wall street in downtown manhattan. it has to do with the issue of equality on the national agenda. if they can you know, maintain that, that is a lot more important than the specific territory they hold, whether in manhattan or oakland or anywhere else. >> as you know, some of the occupy wall street protesters say they were inspired by what happened in cairo when protesters were occupying that scare. you were there. we were talking about it at that
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time. do you see any length between what happened in cairo elsewhere in north africa and the middle east and what's happening in new york right now? >> you know, i think there are a couple of parallels. i don't want to overdue it because in ta rir, you had the authorities opening fire. the reaction here has been obviously more tolerant. but in terms of what drives it, it is a similar sense of just deep frustration, a sense of disenfranchisement with the system. a sense that the political economic system is fueled against ordinary people and also, just a little bit of hope that maybe by going out and protesting, one can perhaps bring about a bit of change. and i think that one lesson the occupy wall street people need to absorb is that those protests had an impact in part because they had real demands on the system.
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one of the problems i think -- demands very vague and it's a little likely they would like to see. >> you should follow him if you aren't yet. you'll get some good information. thanks very much. >> my pleasure. rick perry goes after president obama. michele bachmann goes after perry. the rest of the republican rivals. we're taking a closer look at some interesting new campaign ads. that's coming up. and mysterious markings in the middle of nowhere revealed by google earth. what are these odd giant shapes in the chinese desert? tdd# 1-800-345-2550 let's talk about fees. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 there are atm fees. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 account service fees. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 and the most dreaded fees of all, hidden fees. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 at charles schwab, you won't pay fees on top of fees. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 no monthly account service fees. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 no hidden fees. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 and we rebate every atm fee.
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bachmann manager, don't know your official title, but something along those lines ch let's talk about what's going on. first, i want to play a new rick perry ad that has just come out. watch this. >> we've been a little lazy over the last couple of decades. >> you believe that? that's what our president thinks wrong with america. that americans are are lazy. that's pathetic. it's time to clean house in washington. it's time for a balanced budget amendment that forces washington to stop overspending. congress balks, cut their pay. send them home. obama's essentisocialist polici bankrupting america. we must stop him now. >> all right, let's be fair to the president of the united states. here's what he actually said. listen to this. >> lot of things that make foreign investors see the u.s. as a great opportunity are stability, are openness. are innovative free market
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culture. but you know, we've been a little bit lazy over the last couple of decades. we kind of take it for granted, we aren't out there hungry selling america and trying to attract new businesses into america. >> let's go to paul first. and ed for that matter. both of you have been involved in ads. what do you think about a, the accuracy of the rick perry ad? >> well, you know, i hav a very low -- frankly for political ads. it's accurate enough. the president, i don't think should probably ever say america's got lazy. he didn't really say it. it's not really fair, but as the unfairness of political ads goes, to me, it's within the ditches. every republican candidate is against obama. i don't think rick perry or anyone can help the others. it's silly to call the president of the united states a
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socialist. it's ridiculous. rick perry needs to draw distinctions with his republican opponents before he starts messing with barack obama. in my party, when bush was seeking re-election, howard dean was the most anti bush candidate in the field. he only one vermont and d.c. >> you know, ed, that a lot of his supporters on the left, the liberal base of the democratic party, think he's been the opposite of socialist. they think he's been way to close to wall street. >> the critical view, he's got to be out selling america. he's the president of the united states, and not calling americans lazy. we've had some tremendous individuals, particularly our military and others over the last decade. the issue i have with that commercial is that the second part's not accurate. mr. perry came out yesterday and talked about cutting the salary of congress and sending them home. have a part time legislature like you have in texas and i just would say they ought to go
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read the constitution. the first article dealing with the congress. the third is the judiciary, second is what's about him. go read that, try to interpret that and i think the key thing here is he's got to protect himself, more strength into creating jobs. >> take a look at another ad. this one from michele bachmann and ed used to work for her campaign. she's going of the conservative credentials of her republican rivals. look at this. >> i believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country. >> ultimately gets down to a choice that family or that mother has to make. >> your policy towards iran is if they want to develop a nuclear weapon, that's their right. >> why wouldn't it be natural if they might want a weapon? what's so terribly bad about this? >> if you say we should not educate children who have come into our state for no other
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reason than they've been brought there, i don't think you have a heart. >> i'm nancy pelosi. >> i'm newt gingrich. >> together, we can do this. >> you did support an individual mandate? >> sure. >> got the idea from you and the heritage foundation. >> i don't line up 100% with the nra. >> commerce, education and the -- oops. >> don't settle in surprises. that's michele bachmann's line right now. paul, how did you like that ad? >> it's great. it's the best republican ad i've seen and not just because -- it's because each one of those things was fair. those are the positions or the gaffes of the other candidates. none of those attacks were about people's personal lives. nothing about the allegations about mr. cain when he ran the restaurant association, nothing about personal attacks on newt gingrich, as some tried to make. i thought it was fair, factual and a public record that is my
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kind of ad. >> what do you think? >> two comments. one, i have great affection for michele. iowa's about ground game, retail politics and she's the best. that's her skill. this is an internet ad. i agree with paul. it spells the differences between the candidates all above her, but at the end of the day, it's also something about iowa. romney absolutely bombarded mike huckabee's campaign i chaired. iowans don't like negative ads. now, if you are spending millions of dollars to get this on tv, it's effective. you get all the negatives, but as far as, it's a decent ad. >> if -- was all about retail policies, why isn't rick santorum doing better? he's been in all 99 counties. >> he doesn't have an organization, resources. i think to a certain extent, he
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and huntsman have been at the bottom of the poll. at the end of the day, they want to vote for somebody who can go beyond iowa. great, he won iowa last time. we need a candidate who can win all the way, which he might have been able to do this this time. santorum was not going to be a winner or finalist and ultimately, that's to his debt rement. >> guys, thank you. it may not be paying off in the polls, but jon huntsman is doing things his way. he's standing by to join us live, next hour. and mysterious markings in the chinese desert. ho, ho, ho, ho, ho.
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jack cafferty's back with the "cafferty file." >> the question this hour is how many will gingrich's personal baggage affect his run for the white house. now that he's rising in the polls, they're digging up all
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that stuff. gje jerry writes the importance of his baggage seems to be diminishing more and more with each debate. people are putting more into his -- to find solutions to problems cht he may have flunked marriage, but he seems to have a grasp of government. john writes i think all the grown ups in the room understand that all candidates probably have some personal baggage. it's just that some is currently public record. none of the republican candidates are my personal favorite, but i would women through shark infested waters bleeding and half dead in order to cast one vote for any of them to replace obama. newt's past doesn't bother me at all compared to obama's present. fran in california. newt has more baggage than a 747. there isn't one democrat who will vote for him and when independents and moderate republicans learn of his background, they will not think of voting for him either. he won't make it to that point, so i don't think we'll have to worry about him.
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he will join bachmann and santorum in the looney bin. getting rich is baggage's goes beyond cheating on wives. brian writes i don't know of anyone who doesn't have a skeleton in the closet, neither of anyone who hasn't changed his mind over time. in short, i think newt has worked through all the problems and will be our best hopeful. and nell writes jack, you think he would have considerable influence since he's a republican, but the republicans are still looking for anyone who knows where libya is. if you want to read more, go to my blog or to our post on "the situation room's" facebook page. wolf, you know where libya is, right? >> north africa, some place up there. >> there you go. >> thank you. satellite images show a
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number of mysterious markings in the middle of the chinese desert. chad myers is joining us. he's ready to track, take a closer look. tracking or solving this mystery. what do we know about what's going on? >> we know, wolf, that they're not ancient because we can go back on old google earth images and see that some of these images, some of these things were built around 2005. zoom you into the gobi desert and this is what some looking at google images have found. lines, lots of lines. you'll see the lines aren't finished yet. that was 2005. we'll zoom in. this is when they were either painting or maybe putting limestone that. maybe like a baseball foul line and that's where the park and where they were using it. there's not one off to the west cht seems a little bit older like the line is kind of gone away or the white paint has
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washed away. the difference being, maybe a picture of a runway or something. no one really knows. the issue is, we have some pretty decent opinions of what's going on, is that these are lines in the sand, literally, that satellites will look down and register whether they're taking the right picture or not. kind of like a registration mark like the marks on the site of an s.a.t test. it knows what answers you're doing. now, we have some of this in the united states. not quite so, i don't know, technical, i guess. but nasa uses this out of texas, a rancher's name. they use that to register some of thaz satellites, so it isn't really something sinister that we think. i've heard people say that maybe it's some place for to lob their missiles, but we haven't found
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any indication that anything there is blown up. and some of the other light hearted ones say it's some kind f chinese driver's education map. satellite registration. >> how big, chad, of an area are these lines? are we talking about football field? bigger area than that? do you have any sense? >> yeah, from top to bottom, those lines in china were one mile and from side to side, 3,000 feet. so it's pretty big. satellites are high in the sky. satellites, spy satellites, whatever it is, they want to know where they are and to know where they are, they'll look down and say, okay, this is what it looks like, this is what it should look like and they line their satellite up to know what they're actually spying on. >> i think you solved this mystery for us, chad. good work. we're digging deeper into some new baggage, the more than $1 million newt gingrich was paid to advise freddie mac. we have new details coming up at the top of the hour. [ male announcer ] imagine facing the day
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i tell you what i can spend. i do my best to make it work. i'm back on the road safely. and i saved you money on brakes. that's personal pricing. more eyebrow raising comments today from hamid
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karzai. deborah fayerick is monitoring that. some of the other top stories in "the situation room." what's going on? >> afghan president hamid karzai wants limits on what u.s. and nato troops can and cannot do in his country. he told a meeting of tribal elders from across afghanistan, quote, we want our sovereignty end quote and compared afghanistan to a lion adding lions don't like strangers in their house. oil prices are back up, topping $100 a barrel for the first time since summer. up 17% in the last month. one analyst says it's good news, saying it was fear the new u.s. recession that drove oil prices down in recent months, the rising price is a sign of confidence in the economy. meanwhile, prices were down last month, the government's consumer price index dropped in october. the news should avoid wall street, but stocks took a nose drive after a ratings agency warned u.s. banks could take a
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big hit if europe's debt crisis spreads. >> thank you. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com happening now, newt gingrich firing back amid swirls questions over whether he was paid more than $1 million by the troubled mortgage giant, freddie mac. could it hurt his dramatic surge in recent days in the polls? also, jon huntsman's fighting a steep uphill battle out there on the campaign trail. but when it comes to national polls, the republican presidential candidate says, i'm quoting now, i don't care what the rest of the country thinks. i'll ask him why he thinks new hampshire is what really matters. and president obama takes major steps to deepen the tight bond between the united states and australia. what it could mean for china's influence in the region. breaking news, political headlines and jeanne moos
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straight ahead. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." but to the deepening political hot water for newt gingrich, who just days after making a dramatic jump to the top in the polls is now facing serious questions about his ties to freddie mac. specifically, why sources say he was paid more than $1 million by the company. let's bring in our own brian todd. he's been working on the story. what are you finding out? >> this new information about gingrich's compensation at freddie mac and what he did for them presents tough new questions for the candidate. newt gingrich has had some harsh words recently for pligs who dealt with troubled mortgage companies. listen to his comments as a "washington post" bloomberg debate. >> if you want to put people in jail, you ought to start with barney frank and chris dodd and
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let's look at the politicians who created the environment and the politicses who put this country in trouble. >> clearly you're not saying they should go to jail. >> in dodd's case, look at the country wide deals. frank's case, the lobbiests he was close to at freddie mac. >> but there are questions about gingrich's connections to freddie mac. information first reported that beginning riff was paid between 1.6 and $1.8 million for two stints at freddie mac. from 1999 to 2002 and from 2006 to 2008. asked if the money figure was accurate? >> i don't know. we're going back to check. >> what did he do? telling freddie mac officials that lending to people with no credit history was a mistake. he later said he was a strategic adviser. contacted by cnn, four people who worked for freddie mac while
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gingrich was there, disagreed with his characterization he was a historian. one said his role was specifically political strategy. bloomberg cites four officials saying the former house speaker was asked to build bridges to capitol hill republicans. i spoke with bob edgar of the group, common cause, which advocates for more transparency in government. >> when you're paying over a million dollars to build bridges with capitol hill, you're buying a lobbiest. you're buying someone with your money that can connect you with members of congress. you don't hire a historian to do that. you don't hire someone just to give you polite advice. you hire somebody who makes those relationships work and that's lobbying whether you're registered or not, that's hard core lobbying and what newt gingrich was doing. >> a character saix he formally denies.
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>> did you accurately characterize? >> now, it would not have been illegal for gingrich to have lobbied for freddie mac unless he did it that first year. asked if he would make public the works of his work, gingrich said he would to the degree he can. we checked federal records and found nothing indicating he was a registered lobbyist. wolf? >> you've also picked up more information on exactly what newt gingrich did for freddie mac. what are you learning? >> one former official told me at one point, gingrich was consulted about efforts to become more transparent, risks in capital management. this person said he was also consulted about the company's efforts to bond with the bush administration and bring more minorities into home ownership. this is when republicans were wok, against the idea of having companies like fannie and
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freddie against the government. >> yeah. appare apparently never did register as a formal lobbyist. that's why when he says he never lobbied, he's telling the truth. he was not a registered lobbyist, but was providing important advice and took in what, between 1.6 and $1.8 million? >> that's right. that's the figure we got from several sources at this point. >> brian todd, thanks very much. let's talk more about newt gingrich with our chief political analyst, gloria borger. is this likely to have much of an impact? he's doing well in the polls. >> sure. i think we have to look at how he handles this. you've covered him and i have covered him. he's not only a historian, he's somebody with a long personal and political history. i remember when from the clinton impeachment days when he was speaker of the house. he had his own personal ethics problem and then swrus this last
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summer, his campaign staff had to do an intervention with him to get him to start campaigning in the early states. a lot of those staffers left and a lot of them are working for rick perry's campaign. the thing about newt gingrich though, you never know which newt is going to show up. when you interview him or when he's on the campaign trial. during the debates, he's often seen as the adult in the room. he uses the press as his foil a lot, but now that he's under the mike scope, we're going to have to see how he reacts to the stories. >> he's really doing well in new hampshire. 40% say they like romney, gingrich is at 11%. cain, 8%. you see the numbers there. almost a resident of new hampshire, mitt romney. does this make iowa the first contest even more important? >> yeah, it makes iowa much more important and i'm going to show
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you some more numbers because take a look at this. iowa is really a very, very close race. according to a new iowa poll taken by bloomberg news. you can see the top four candidates there are really bunched together. with cain at the top, but that can change. iowa is the first time that really votes are cast and some campaigns have to win iowa or the money's going to dry up. i think that would be michele bachmann or rick santorum. and romney has a lot at stake here, too. remember, four years ago, he really put a lot of money into iowa. he competed in iowa and he lost. and it was a real problem for him. he didn't have momentum and john mccain went on to win new hampshire, so now, he's got a big decision to make. he wasn't goingo compete hea heavily in iowa. he may have to take the plunge and do it. >> will he do it?
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>> there's a lot of pressure on him particularly from the governor of iowa, who came out today and said look, it would be a big mistake for romney not to spend more time there and more resources there. now, i spoke with a couple of top romney advisers today who said a few things to me. they said first of all, they're internal polls show that when they asked whether are they've heard from the romney campaign, almost half of the caucusgoers say that one way of another, they have been contacted by the romney campaign. they say look, you're not seeing it on the air waves yet, but we are campaigning there. once you see us on the air waves, you'll know we're in it and you will start seeing romney in iowa if we're in it in a big way. i bet they're getting close and i bet they're going to go in. >> all right, thanks very much. this programming note for our
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viewers. i'll be the moderator when the republican candidates take part in cnn's national security debate in washington, d.c. next tuesday. 8:00 p.m. eastern. only here on cnn. back to jack cafferty for the "cafferty file." >> this will be your second debate this election season, right? >> i did tampa and now, washington, d.c. it's very exciting and i'm honored. it's a great thrill to do it. >> great stuff. you do a good job, too. much bert than some of your colleagues at the other networks. just about a year out now until election day, the united states is a rationally divided nation when it comes to president obama. consider these numbers. a new cnn opinion research corporation poll shows that whites disapproved of the way president obama's handling his job by a margin of 61% to 36%. that's almost 2-1. for nonwhites, it's the mirror image. only 32% disapprove while more than twice as many, 67%, approve.
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for a president who is supposed to symbolize a post racial america, this isn't good news. when mr. obama defeated john mccain in 2008, he did it with significant support from white americans. exit polls from that election showed that obama won 43% of white voters. that was the largest share of white support in a two-man race since 1976. among young voters, white ones, he did even better, getti intit of their support. if he wants a second term, he's got to win back support from white americans in the coming months. meanwhile, our new poll shows results that could spell trouble for president obama. he gets a 46% approval rating with 56% saying they disapprove. when you compare that, president obama ranks only above carter and ford. and they both lost their re-election bids. most incumbents who win re-election have an approval
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rating of 50% a year out. finally, the poll shows 54% of the crucial independent voters disapprove of the job president obama's doing. he has his work cut out for him if he's going to get a second term come next november. can president obama win re-election if almost two-thirds of whites are opposed to the job he's doing? go to cnn.com/caffertyfile. post a comment on my blog or go to our post on "the situation room's" facebook page. i would venture to say a lot of these poll numbers are a result of the rather lousy economy he's had to sheppard. >> didn't one economist say it's the economy, stupid? >> that was the bald headed guy from louisiana. >> james carville. good advice then. still now. thank you. dozens of millionaires storming capitol hill in washington. they want to be taxed at higher
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rates. just ahead. their message for the so-called super committee that's struggling right now to cut the nation's deficit before time runs out and as the u.s. prepares to bring home troops, president obama's expanding the u.s. military footprint in at part of the world. medicare. it doesn't cover everything.
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for this free information kit, including this... medicare guide and customized rate quote. president obama's taking major steps to try to strengthen the military bond between the united states and australia. it's a move that could put china on notice in the wake of its growing economic and military power. let's bring in dan lothian. he's traveling with president obama in australia right now. what's going on, dan? >> the u.s. and australia have long been close allies. president obama says this shows
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a strong and lasting commitment to the region. as -- continues to flex its military muscles, the u.s. footprint in australia is expanding. by the middle of next year, up to 250 marines will be deployed to the northern part of the country and in a few years, that number is expected to grow to 2500. >> our u.s. marines will begin rotating through, our air force will rotate additional aircraft through more airfields in northern australia. >> the numbers are modest, but expert says the message it sends is loud and clear. >> it sort of gets into the area of the asian pacific with a close ally and a relationship that could be very important in managing the rise of china or in the decades ahead. >> china recently road out its first aircraft carrier and is locked in a dispute in the south china sea and oil rich passageway for commerce.
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news of the deepening u.s. australia alliance was met with skepticism. a chinese foreign ministry spokesperson says quote, it may not be appropriate. china's growing influence in the region is one reason for the stepped up presence, but at his joint news conference, mr. obama dismissed fear as a factor. >> the notion that we fear china is mistaken. >> but there was more to this visit than tough talk. mr. obama received an official arrival ceremony. ♪ and attended a parliamentary dinner as he helped commemorate a six-decade military alliance. >> our alliance has been a bedrock of stability in our region. >> now, i asked one of the president's advisers, ben rode, about china's skepticism. he says this new military arrangement is not only appropriate, but important in dealing with some of the future challenges in the asia pacific
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region. wolf? >> i'm sure the chinese are watching this closely. dan lothian traveling with the president. thank you. as the united states draws down forces in iraq, it's also drawing up plans to boost its military presence elsewhere in the region. barbara starr is looking into this part of the story for us. what are you learning, barbara? >> well, if you thought the u.s. military was wrapping things up in the middle east and iraq and afghanistan, think again. cnn has learned general james ma trk tis will soon brief the obama administration on proposals to increase the number of troops in the persian gulf. for just one reason. iran. >> so, you see everywhere you go, you find iran's hand in the subterfuges of their nuclear program keeps spinning, so it is a very difficult situation. >> increasing troops, warships and aircraft in the region as a
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hedge against iran comes just as u.s. troops are leaving iraq. >> what do we do in this region? how do we try to make sense of a region in so much turmoil? >> president obama has to approve the deployments. the u.s. has 24,000 troops in kuwait. soldiers leaving iraq are scheduled to remain in kuwait for seven months and 7,000 droops in bahrain. another 10,000 in various gulf states. right now, up to 30 u.s. warships are patrolling the region at any one time. he wants to now increase both ground and naval units across the gulf according to a senior military official. he also wants more military exercises with arab countries. a signal to iran of regional support for the u.s. presence. so far, no one is saying how many more troops might go, but there is a problem.
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money. defense secretary, leon panetta, already has to cut at least $450 billion from the budget so adding capability in the middle east means cutting somewhere else. analysts say the u.s. military has to remain a global power even in tight times. >> you have to do is try to protect those interests in the western pacific and the persian gulf middle east, but do it in a more creative, innovative, efficient and economical way. >> now, general matis isn't commenting publicly, but official sasty message the military's trying to send is the war in iraq may be wrapping up, but they want iran to know the u.s. military is still in the region and keeping an eye on them. >> let's duogo to syria where the regime seems to be gaining momentum. a force of desserters claim to attack a military government
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security complex near the capital overnight. ivan watson is watching this from turkey. he's got the latest for us. what do we know about what they're calling the presyrian army and it's claims of today's blast? >> well, almost impossible for us to concern, but this is a group of army desserteertdesert. they claim this attack happened late last night against a branch office of one of the many intelligence agencies in syria. they say that it was an inside job, that some of their moles inside first launched the attack from inside this building. they sent us a photo of it, and then were joined from outside to attack with rocket propelled grenades, rifles, as well as seeing more than 20 people engaged in this attack. they don't have numbers of casu casualties for us yet and of
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course, impossible for us to confirm. but i've been meeting with these people frequently here in turkey. some of the ones who fled across the border and are trying to spread the word. they're asking for a no fly zone to be imposed over syria. they're asking for a buffer zone to be established so that protesters, dissidents, can move to a safe area. and they're asking for foreign governments to simply their compatriots inside with weapons. >> you want foreign governments to send weapons to the free syrian army inside syria. >> translator: we do have some sources from inside the army, but the supplies remain small to face the government. if the defectors are provided with weapons to carry out its operations, for example, you cannot blame a butcher for killing a sheep or carpenter for cutting wood. it's the same thing for an army. you cannot have them work without weapons. >> now, wolf, this protest
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movement started peacefully last march, but more than 3500 people have been killed since then according to the -- and what we're seeing is the weaponization of the opposition. you're setting up a formula for a civil war inside syria. >> pressure mounting in the west to do in syria what it did in libya. thanks very much. presidential candidate jon huntsman says he doesn't care what the rest of the country thinks. he only cares about new hampshire, at least for now. does he want to stick by that statement? does he want to revise it? jon huntsman standing by live to join us in "the situation room." plus, nasa's past is celebrated in washington while its future in space is debated. [ male announcer ] butter. love the taste, but want to cut back on fat?
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the republican presidential contenders spanning out in a campaign trail with polls shoiing the race up for grabs. ron paul is in washington. herman cain is in florida. rick santorum, michele bachmann and newt gingrich, they are in iowa just weeks ahead of that state's critical caucuses. rick perry and jon huntsman are in new hampshire. they're gearing up for the first of the nation primary only weeks away. here's a controversial comment that jon huntsman had to say about new hampshire. listen to this. >> i don't care what the rest of the country thinks or feels. that's not important. i do care about what the people of new hampshire feel. because this is important.
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>> jon huntsman is joining us now. the former u.s. ambassador to china, the former governor of utah. getting a little grief, a little buzz on that comment. you don't care what the rest of the country feels? explain. >> of course i do. let' put it a little more r artfully for you, wolf. i don't care much about what the polls have to say about our performance anywhere else other than here in new hampshire. this is a critically important state for us. we've got weeks to go before the good folks of new hampshire turn out on january 10th. they're rallying around in these last few weeks, somebody with a message, somebody who's got a track r record, somebody who exuded trust, all of which we desperately need in our next leerd and i like our chances here. we just celebrated our 100th public event in new hampshire. tonight, we're doing 101. with each event, the crowds get larger. they get more enthusiastic and i feel a level of connection here
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that makes me feel we're going to do very, very good in new hampshire. >> the polls in new hampshire show mitt romney basically owns the state at least as of right now. he's at 40% in this new poll. almost lives in new hampshire as the governor of massachusetts. can you beat romney in new hampshire? >> well, there have been a whole lot of other tenuous front-runners here and the people sometimes have other ideas in mind. they don't like to be told more who to vote here. they want the candidate to earn it. they want to know your heart and soul. they want to know what you're all about in terms of what you've done, where you come from and your vision for a better tomorrow and you've got to work it. there's no way around it, wolf. you've got to be on the ground here working it and we've got a little bit on the air, so you combine this shoe leather, the sweat equity on the ground with a little air cover and i like our chances as we move forr
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ward. people will begin to ko ales late december, early january and then they have to ask themselves a very important question as they stare down that ballot box. that's when the theatrics aspects are all behind. they have to look at the ballot box and ask the question, who can do the job of president of the united states of america? who has a track record, the experience, the ability to bring people together during this time of need and a vision for america's future? and given that, i like our position. >> what does it say to you that gingrich was paid between 1.6 and $1.8 million in recent years to advise freddie mac? >> it says you all are out doing your work and have discovered some numbers that nobody can explain except newt gingrich.
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every time we have these issues pop up, it takes away from the ability to talk about the issues that really matter. >> does that trouble you at all? >> well, listen. i don't know the truth behind it and i wouldn't want to render a judgment at this point in the campaign, there are always allegations floated and it's up to speaker gingrich to address him. he's a good man. i have a lot of respect for r him. i have no doubt he'll be able to offer an explanation to the american people on it. >> the other day in milwaukee, herman cain struggled with a relati relatively simple question about libya. let me play a tiny snippet of what happened. >> i do not agree with the way he handled it for the following reasons. that's a different one. i got to go back, see -- got all
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this stuff twirling around in my head. >> a disqualifier as far as you're concerned? >> we'll let the people decide. aside from giving the late night humor writers a lot of raw material with which to work, ultimately, the people are going to decide and take into account what the candidates have to offer and at the end, they're going to say i like somebody with real business experience, someone who's lived overseas before as i have four times, been an ambassador three times. those are three elements that i think are going to weigh heavily in the minds of voters when they go to vote and all of this is part of the preseason effort. it allows folks to get a full measure of the candidates, their backgrounds, how well prepared they are to deal with the issues and what their vision consists of to bring this country together during an unprecedented time of need.
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we can't forget the big picture. 14 to 15 million of our citizens are without work with millions more who have given up trying. we're now up to $15 trillion in debt. these are unpret dented problems and we need real leadership. >> put your hat on as an expert on china. you speak chinese. the president announce today the u.s. is about to establish a real military presence, a bunch of u.s. marines, several thousand in australia, perhaps as a signal to the chinese. zbl what do you think about is this sfl. >> it's the right move. afghanistan is not our long-term interest. our long-term interest is the asian pacific region. it's three quarters of our trade flow. it's where the emerging militaries are going to be. it's where the action will be for the united states from a national security standpoint. we need to take it seriously and there are several more potential partnerships and alliances we ought to be cultivating as well
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that will put us in the position we need to be in as a counterweight against chinese growth and military build-up. >> thanks for joining us. good luck. >> thanks, wolf. we're learning new details about the alleged child rape charges against jerry sandusky. who will be held responsible? stand by. and why are some millionaires coming to washington, d.c. actually begging to have higher tax rates? the answer coming up. [ indistinct conversations ]
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this means that when you get in or out of bed, you won't disturb your partner. that's amazing. that's amazing. tempur-pedic, the most highly recommended bed in america. call the number on your screen. cnn confirmed a new judge has been assigned to the case against jerry san dus. sandusky faces numerous child sex abuse charges. he was granted bail by a previous judge who had connections to sandusky's youth charity. erin burnett has been covering the scandal and case against sandusky, among other things. first of all, what are your
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legal sources telling you? is this clearly a slam dunk case against jerry sandusky? >> you would think so, especially given the interview with bob costas. what we've been finding out is it may not be a slam dunk case and the reason for that is well, they say you really need two people to explain exactly what happened, so for example, with the case we've all talked so much about in 2002, when mike mcqueary, the assistant coach, saw jerry sandusky raping a 10-year-old boy, you would need not only mike mcqueary to testify, but also, that boy, to come forward and go in front of the court and that's very difficult to try to get the victims to come out and put their faces out there and testify. so you would need both mcqueary and that young boy in that one instance. obviously, there are eight cases and there could be more, but it gives you a sense of what you
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need to give get this to go all the way. >> and financially, financial liability this in this case. who is financially liable? >> we were looking into this. where you get the real damages here is on the civil side of things. you go ahead with the criminal case and as you know with o.j. simpson, you can be said to be not guilty criminally and still a civil case could proceed against you where you have to pay damages. we are talking to paul cowen and you know paul. about what this could be per victim. in terms of the cost, 900,000 to $7 million is what each victim could win in this case on the civil side and that's just in terms of compensatory damages. if you added punitive damages, those could run anywhere between 20 and $30 million a victim. we have an attorney coming on tonight who spent 20 years prosecuting sex crimes cases. jeff harmon in miami. he won a $100 million verdict
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against a priest in miami for abusing young boys. sandusky would likely use all of his money in the criminal case, so we would have to go after second mile, then penn state. but second mile would be liable before penn state would have to pay money. >> thanks very much. 7:00 p.m. eastern. we'll be watching. nasa says it's accepting applications for new astronauts, but their next space flight could be a long way off. 4 zone moisturizer with roc®retinol and antioxidants. lines, wrinkles, and sun damage will fade. roc multi-correxion. correct what ages you.
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the congressional super committee has seven days to hammer out an agreement on how to cut $1.2 trillion on the federal budget. if they don't do a deal, who will taxpayers blame? a new poll shows republicans. 42% would blame them. some descended on capitol hill today to deliver a message you don't often hear. kate bolduan is joining us with more. what was that message? >> one you don't hear often, which is raise our taxes, wolf. this was part publicity stunt as it was sponsored by more liberal
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members of the house who already support higher taxes on the wealthy, but it was also part lobbying push. millionaires walking the halls of congress trying to grab the super committee's attention. these millionaires are on capitol hill demanding the super committee do something most americans would not ask for. tax them more. >> the challenge the mill politicses who oppose paying higher taxes to consider for a moment how much their country has done for them. >> we hope our fellow citizens will seriously consider rejecting any deal the committee makes that does not include an income, an increase on taxes of -- on incomes over a million dollars. >> charlie fincke, a former aol executive, is one lobbying for higher taxes. they took their pitch directly to lawmakers and their staffs.
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why do you feel you need to step up to make that declaration to the super committee right now? >> what we've been doing is madness. you don't have to be a business man or millionaire to know the first thing to do when you're in a hole is to stop digging. renue has to be part of any agreement the super committee reaches. >> he was joined by about two dozen other millionaires, all part of a group called patriotic millionaires for fiscal strength. they want the super committee to let the bush era tax cuts expire for wealthier americans as a way of reaching the required minimum of $1.2 trillion in deficit savings over ten years. one argument many republicans make is they do not want to raise taxes on job creators. >> i think that's a lie. >> you think that's a lie? >> it is a lie. i've worked for big fortune 500 companies. every consideration regarding an employee had to do with demands for product and services. nothing to do with taxes.
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>> well, they're definitely getting attention. the millionaires who came here today are not likely to win over many republicans as they have opposed such tax increases. the reality on the super committee though, the committee continues to meet behind closed doors. they have not yet reached an agreement. both sides insist they are still talking, but still, no agreem. they continue to be deadlocked and we are now one week away from the thanksgiving deadline. >> i hear that clock ticking. >> louder and louder. >> thank you. jack cafferty is asking can president obama win re-election if almost two-thirds of whites are opposed to him? and a lot more news coming up next. [ male announcer ] going a little overboard with the holiday spirit? [ buzzer ] getting a no contract htc wildfire s
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what's in your wallet? woah! [ giggles ]
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. let's check back with jack. >> the question this hour is can president obama win re-election if two-thirds of whites are opposed to him? robert in florida writes, well, jack, it's nice to see cnn is still a valued member to have president's re-election campaign. let's just further divide an already divided country by trying to make this about race. the president is in over his
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head and people are are beginning to realize this administration has only made a bad economy worse. his policies do more to inhibit job growth than encourage it. you can't keep borrowing money that takes years to repay to create jobs that only last for months. the bottom of the seven and we're losing the game. it's time to replace the pitcher. richard of texas writes, of course obama has a chance of winning. look who the competition is. you a republican field consisting entire live of ignorance, arrogance, stupidity and foolishness. this is a slam dunk for obama. he doesn't even have to get off the bench. the republicans will beat themselves. give them enough time. lauren writes, we can only hope he wins re-election. while there are some who think racism is involved, with whites rejecting president obama's presidency, i think it's the only way around. nonwhites who support the president are racially motiva motivated. while the president would like to tout his policies bring hope to the poor, the fact of the matter is those at the bottom
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continue to suffer. the pool of poor in this country has gotten larger. knoll in new mexico writes, i think it all depends on who his opponent is. given the fact that a proven office holder, businessman and foreign policy expert who looks presidential, jon huntsman is dead last in the polls, i think gaifs obama a very good chance. yvonne writes, there's a way for obama to win with two-thirds whites opposing him. let the republican nominee be a mormon. j.d. in new hampshire says have you looked at the gop roster? bows sew the clown could win a second term. if you want to read more of this keen insightful political analyst go to cnn.com/caffertyfile. >> love your blog, jack. thank you. russia's soyuz spacecraft is safely docked with the international space station. its flight is the same manned mission since nasa retired its shuttle program. today in washington, concern
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about nasa's future from the men in its past. cnn's john zarrella explains. >> reporter: you judge. was this an honor or an obituary to the u.s. space program? congress bestowed four space heroes wednesday with congressional space meddles t. crew of apollo 11, and john glenn, the first american to orbit the earth. glenn spoke some of the same words he used 50 years ago before a joint session of congress six days after his flight. >> as our knowledge of this universe in which we live increases -- >> may god grant us the wisdom and guidance to use it wisely. >> reporter: honoring john and neal and buzz and mike was a worthy, long over do gesture. those days glenn in friendship 7 and armstrong and aldrin walking
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on the moon are a stark contrast to where things stand today. just a couple days ago an american astronaut hitch a ride to the international space station on a russian soyuz rocket. with the shuttle retired, the russians at $50 million a ride are the only ride in town. we're paying the price, nasa's top man says, for past indecision. >> the problem is that we, we being nasa, we the public, we congress, the nation was not very disciplined in developing the replacement for shuttle so that we wouldn't find ourselves where we are right now. >> budget cuts waffling and changes in direction are why nasa is where it is now, four years away from commercial companies being ready to fly astronauts to the station. at least four years away from the first test flight of a new nasa rocket. for the last man to walk on the moon, it's shocking how the tide
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has turned. >> we're seeding that leadership back to the same people by a different name, the russians today. they were soviets then. we're saying, okay, we're giving it back to you. >> reporter: the chinese are in the space game as well. some experts believe they are poised to pass us. but nasa remains ever optimistic, announcing it's accepting applications for its next astronaut class and releasing this astronaut sales pitch video. >> your space flitd experience begins right here right now. >> reporter: the application reads frequent travel may be required. the problem is, it won't be any time soon. >> now nasa is planning that first space flight to an astroid, wolf, in 2025. a human flight to an astroid. some experts are saying the chinese might get there first.
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wolf? >> john zarrella, as he always does, on the scene for us, thank you. jeanne moos is next. [ male announcer ] if you're gonna build a fuel-efficient car, the first thing you got to do is make a car that's worth building, that has all the luxury you'd expect. then you put in an 8-speed transmission that gets 31 miles per gallon. that combination of luxury and efficiency only comes from one place in the world. ♪ now lease the 2012 chrysler 300
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in russia. here is jeanne moos. >> reporter: first russia's leader couldn't keep his shirt on. no vladimir putin's party has a get out the vote ad shows a couple getting it on, getting it on in the voting booth. >> the tag line is let's do this together. >> reporter: timothy fry says the ad smacks of des per ration on the part of putin's united russia party. the attempt to g after the youth votes spawn putin puns such as "she was putin out." the brand brimming with testosterone, hence the half naked who see and hunting photos while cleavage bearing supporters calling themselves putin's army strutting their
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stuff. much like obama girl did in 2008. at least obama girl didn't strip as this candidate for poland's parliament did. you want more, it says, vote for sld. apparently they didn't. the left leaning party got kreemd. the most or gas mick political ad ever came from catalonia in spain. voter excitement reaches new peaks in this add from the young socialist it's a "when harry meets sally" moment as she savors dropping her ballot. voting is a pleasure was the tag line, but the orgasmic ad spawned criticism that it was an attack on the dignity of women. and now a new ben any ton has had to withdraw an image features photo shopped

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