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Republican Bloomberg Leaves the GOP to Become an Independent. South Carolina is Mourning Firefighters Loss. Iraqi and U.S. forces Found an Orphanage Full of Abused Children in Baghdad. Giuliani quit the Iraq Study Group Because he was Making Speeches. Ravenel, Giuliani's Campaign Chairman in South Carolina, Indicted on Federal Charges of Cocaine Distribution. Fred Thompson meets with Margaret Thatcher. The Vatican's Ten Commandments for Drivers. Interview with George Mitchell

Aired June 19, 2007 - 1900   ET


And happening now, breaking news as New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg drops a political bombshell. He's leaving the Republican Party and registering to vote as an Independent. Would that mean an Independent run for the presidency?

Candidates are already crowding the presidential campaign trail. For the Secret Service there's no room for error. As agents train to guard the candidates we'll take an exclusive look behind the scenes.

And "Sicko" mania. Our Jeanne Moos takes the temperature as Michael Moore's new movie gets a feverish reception at its New York premiere.

Wolf Blitzer is off today. I'm John King. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

We begin with breaking political news that could shake up the race for the White House. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg elected as a Republican says he's switching parties. CNN's Mary Snow is tracking this dramatic development for us. She joins us now live from New York -- Mary.

MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And John, it's certainly a move that will set political tongues wagging. New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg has made it official, announcing he's left the Republican Party and switched to unaffiliated. It's certain to feed the speculation that this move could lead to a run for president in 2008 as an Independent. However, Bloomberg in a statement that was released by City Hall says quote -- "although my plans for the future haven't changed, I believe this brings my affiliation into alignment with how I have led and will continue to lead our city."

Bloomberg adds that a nonpartisan approach has worked, in his words, wonders in New York. Now, a spokesman for the mayor says Bloomberg filed the papers last week. The mayor has repeatedly said he has no plans to run for president and repeated that today while visiting California. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger even prodded him at a joint event today saying he would make a, quote, "excellent candidate". Schwarzenegger and Bloomberg appeared in the current issue of "TIME" magazine, they're touting their centrist approach.

Bloomberg has taken on issues such as gun control, the environment and has been traveling around the country. And yesterday speaking at Google's headquarters, he said that Washington was sinking into a swamp of dysfunction because of partisan gridlock. The head of the New York State Independence Party is now welcoming the move of Bloomberg's switch, calling it a banner day saying it could pave the way for Bloomberg to get on the ballot as an Independent in all 50 states should he run. And for Bloomberg, of course, when he is not an issue, he's a billionaire many times over -- John.

KING: Mary Snow, a billionaire many times over and as you note, he insists he doesn't want to run for president, not thinking about running for president, but many around him say keep your eye on the Mayor just in case and we will with your help -- Mary Snow, thank you very much.

SNOW: Sure.

KING: Tonight a tight knit community in South Carolina is devastated, mourning one of the deadliest singe disasters for firefighters ever. Last night nine Charlton firefighters rushed into a burning building. None of them survived. Now, as the city mourns, many -- and Americans mourn with them, President Bush is saying the firefighters are an inspiration to all Americans.

CNN's Brianna Keilar is in Charleston.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, state and federal investigators here still don't know what caused this fire, but their initial belief is that it was not arson. Meanwhile, the nine men who lost their lives here are being remembered as heroes.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They go to danger. They don't flee from it.

KEILAR (voice-over): And Monday night, Charleston firefighters ran into a burning furniture store and warehouse, rescuing two employees before part of the building collapsed in what one witness described as a tornado of fire.

CHIEF RUSSELL THOMAS, CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA FIRE DEPARTMENT: These nine guys were my friends. I lost nine of my best friends.

KEILAR: Among the fallen, two 27-year-olds, three captains and one firefighter with 32 years of service.

THOMAS: I looked at this list last night and early this morning. We lost over 100 years of service to the city of Charleston.

KEILAR: Not since September 11 have more firefighters died in the line of duty in one event. Chaplain Rob Dewey led a prayer service this morning, as the bodies were removed from the wreckage -- firefighters saluting their fallen comrades. ROB DEWEY, CHAPLAIN: They brought them out just like you saw in 9/11, through a passageway and with full military honors.


KEILAR: And the next step is planning the funerals for these nine men, something that's already under way here in Charleston, John.

KING: Brianna Keilar for us in Charleston.

In Iraq many are fearful about the possibility of more sectarian violence. Today a massive truck bomb rocked a commercial district in Baghdad, damaging a historic Shiite mosque. At least 78 people are dead, more than 200 hurt. Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki condemned the bombing and accused Sunni extremists of trying to stoke a fresh round of sectarian violence.

Meanwhile, in the Baquba area, U.S. and Iraqi troops conduct an operation to find and kill enemy fighters. Officials say the goal is to, quote, "destroy the al Qaeda influences in the Diyala province." The officials say the troops so far are off to a good start.

A shocking story now from Baghdad where troops stumbled upon badly abused children in of all places, an orphanage. CNN's Brian Todd joins us and we must warn you viewers might find some images in this report quite disturbing.

Brian, tell us what you're learning.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, there's a full investigation of this facility now underway, not a moment too soon for some of these boys who appear to be near their last breaths when Iraqi and U.S. forces found them.


TODD (voice-over): Many lying naked, some on a concrete floor. At least one tied by the ankle to a crib. Most are emaciated, appearing near death, even as packaged food and clothing is stored nearby. This is the Al Hanan Orphanage (ph) in northwestern Baghdad. An Iraqi official tells CNN Iraqi security forces and U.S. troops raided it last week after witnesses told them the staff was abusing the young boys. These pictures obtained by CBS News, which reports there were two dozen boys here, many of them special needs children -- this facility run by the Iraqi government.

LOUAY BAHRY, MIDDLE EAST INSTITUTE: I think that it was run badly. Where is this money going with the corruption that's going on in Iraq? How much of this money is reaching the orphanages?

TODD: U.S. based Iraqi Professor Louay Bahry says the orphanage system was run much better under previous governments, even Saddam Hussein's. We couldn't get Iraqi officials to respond directly to his charges of corruption but they did tell us a full investigation into this facility is under way on the orders of Prime Minister Nuri al- Maliki. After a few days in the care of U.S. and Iraqi officials, CBS captured images of the same children in much better shape, but many of them seem starved for any human contact. Iraqi officials would not say if any of these children died, but they say the ones who were rescued were taken to another location for better treatment.

Professor Bahry says in the Iraqi culture, if a child loses his parents, it's expected that extended family or neighbors will take care of him. With so many lives extinguished every day in Iraq, he gives a stark picture of what these children may have gone through to get to a place like this.

BAHRY: The children, they went through psychological trauma. They have seen probably their parents shot and killed in front of their eyes.


TODD: In fact, CNN has reported recently that there are no reliable figures on how many children have been made orphans by the ongoing violence, but the Iraqi government has admitted to us it is having trouble providing food and shelter for the growing number of orphan children, John.

KING: And Brian, specifically, what about the people who ran this orphanage? Are they being apprehended, otherwise held accountable?

TODD: We're told by an Iraqi security official that the prime minister ordered a number of them to be detained. At least four of them we're told have been placed in custody.

KING: Brian Todd for us tonight on a very troubling, disturbing story -- Brian, thank you very much.

And Jack Cafferty joins us now from New York -- Jack.

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: The Iraqi government, Brian, reported running that orphanage, correct?

KING: He did.

CAFFERTY: That's pretty amazing.

John, when you're the Mayor of New York City, you don't get a lot of foreign policy experience, so you would think that Rudy Giuliani would have jumped at the chance when he was named a member of the Iraq Study Group, but Rudy never attended any of the meetings and he eventually quit. "Newsday" reports that an examination of his financial disclosure records shows why.

He was busy making speeches for fat fees and raising money for his campaign. On April 12, 2006, Giuliani skipped an Iraq Study Group meeting to give a speech in South Korea, for which he was paid $200,000. In May, when the Iraq Study Group was meeting in Washington, Rudy was picking up 100 grand for a speech in Atlanta, Georgia. During a one month period in 2006, Giuliani gave 20 speeches, for which he was paid a total of $1.7 million.

Serving on the Iraq Study Group, that didn't pay anything. When James Baker, one of the two chairmen of the Iraq Study Group, gave Rudy a choice, attend the meetings or quit, Giuliani quit. His campaign says Giuliani just didn't have the time to devote 100 percent to the work.

So here's the question. Did Rudy Giuliani make a mistake by quitting the Iraq Study Group panel? E-mail your thoughts to or go to -- pretty nice piece of reporting by "Newsday", John.

KING: And I suspect it will cause a few wrinkles and rumbles for the Giuliani campaign.

CAFFERTY: Oh, I'm sure.

KING: And Jack, stand by. We have a late breaking story. A top Giuliani adviser in South Carolina is busted charged with cocaine distribution.

Plus, agents in the shadow, a CNN exclusive -- inside the Secret Service, see how they train to stop would be assassins.

Also, Bill and Hillary Clinton take on "The Sopranos" -- a surprise ending to their request for a campaign song.

And actress turned activist Angelina Jolie one-on-one with Anderson Cooper on the desperation and inspiration of refugees. Stay right here. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.


KING: Rudy Giuliani's campaign chairman in South Carolina is facing federal drug charges tonight. South Carolina treasurer Thomas Ravenel was indicted today on federal charges of cocaine distribution. The U.S. attorney handling the case says Ravenel purchased less than 500 grams of cocaine to share with other people, not to sell it. Ravenel was a former real estate developer who became a rising political star after his election last year.

For more on this let's turn now to our senior political correspondent Candy Crowley. How bad of a deal -- how big of a deal is this for the Giuliani campaign?

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well you know I doubt that many people in South Carolina know who the state chairman of Rudy Giuliani's campaign is. But it's not a good thing when it's being reported in the news that your state campaign chairman has been arrested on cocaine charges. It's bad enough that some of the rival campaigns were sending around the story about it, so they obviously think there is some traction there.

KING: Funny how campaigns work, isn't it?

CROWLEY: Isn't it? KING: Another major development tonight, potentially anyway, Mayor Mike Bloomberg's decision in New York to say I'm no longer a Republican. I'm an unaffiliated voter. He says oh no, no, no, I'm not thinking about running for president, this is about being mayor of New York, but...

CROWLEY: What's interesting is everything Bloomberg has said in the past couple of months would lead you to believe that he is not going to run for president. He practically says, I'm not going to run. But then he does all these things that lead you to believe that he is going to run for president. So take your pick.

KING: Goes to New Hampshire, goes to California. Yes...


CROWLEY: Exactly.

KING: I guess we'll take him at his word for now. You spent most of your day watching the Democrats. Two liberal groups in town, a labor union, the "Take Back America" conference where most of the candidates went. Tell us about that.

CROWLEY: Well you take 3,000 liberal activists, about 450 credentialed media, you mix it all up and what you get are a lot of '08 politicians.


CROWLEY (voice-over): If you are looking for the passion in the Democratic Party, it is on the left in a downstairs ballroom of a Washington hotel.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We really want to get back to the progressive values of the country.

CROWLEY: This is a conference of "Take Back America", a collection of tribes within the Democratic Party. The bloggers, the talkers, the feminists, environmentalists, union organizers, anti-war activists.

ADELE STAN, BLOGGER: I think the "Take Back America" wing of the party are the people who are -- well, they define themselves as progressives and then old people like me still use the word liberal.

CROWLEY: This is the wing trying to and having success pulling the candidates leftward on the war, on global warming, on healthcare.

EARL DUNOVANT, BLOGGER: Trying to get actual people with actual concerns heard, just get the idea to the leadership so that they can think about it or react to it.

CROWLEY: And this is where the '08 contenders come to call.


CROWLEY: And it was -- that says to me this is where the power is right now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right now it is, that's right.

CROWLEY: Tuesday the '08s came to out anti-war one another. Obama pushing his long time position against the war.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Even when it wasn't popular to say so, we knew back then this war was a mistake, we knew back then that it was a dangerous diversion from the struggle against terrorists.

CROWLEY: Edwards pushing his former Senate colleagues to force withdrawal dates on the White House.

JOHN EDWARDS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No more pontificating, no more vacillating, no more triangulating, no more broken promises, no more pats on the head, no more we'll get around to it next time, no more taking half a loaf, no more tomorrow.

CROWLEY: Richardson selling himself as the candidate who would take every soldier out now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With all due respect to my outstanding Democratic colleagues, Senators Clinton, Obama, Dodd and Biden, they all voted for timeline legislation that had loopholes. Those loopholes allow this president or any president to leave an undetermined number of troops in Iraq indefinitely.


CROWLEY: Last year Hillary Clinton was booed at this conference for arguing against timelines for withdrawal from Iraq. Recently she voted for timelines. She returns to address the group Wednesday.


CROWLEY: And it is a pretty good bet, John that she will receive a slightly warmer welcome this time.

KING: We will listen for that, but until she goes to speak, what about just today? Any favorite?

CROWLEY: Today there weren't. I mean we talked to a number of people there and said well who do you like? And they said you know what, it really still is up in the air. And that's part of what's kind of driving this, is that there's a lot of energy in this group and part of it is that they really haven't settled on a sweetheart yet. They're still looking around and so that kind of drives them even further into the cause.

KING: Having a bit of fun with it in the process. Candy Crowley, thank you very much. And stay right here. You'll like this report.

Likely White House contender Fred Thompson is talking tough on Iran. In London today the former Republican senator from Tennessee said there are three choices for dealing with Tehran, sanctions, regime change or a military option. Thompson also met with former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Let's go now to CNN's Richard Quest for more on Thompson's trans-Atlantic journey.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, as you will know well, IT'S the oldest political trick in the book. When you want to burnish up your international credentials, you get on a plane, cross the pond and visit the other side of the Atlantic. British politicians have been doing it for years, visiting the White House, talking to members of Congress. And now Fred Thompson is doing the same thing in reverse.

And the best part about coming to Britain, it's safe, safe, safe for your political credibility. After all, who can criticize a speech that talks about strengthening the trans-Atlantic alliances? Or makes reference to how western Democracies must stick together. It's safe, safe, safe. Fred Thompson has gone one stage further, though.

Other Republican candidates who have already announced that they're running have wrapped themselves in Ronald Reagan's cloak. Fred Thompson is visiting the former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Now, that's a new one, wrapping yourself in Margaret Thatcher's skirt. John, back to you.

KING: That is a new one. Richard Quest in London. Richard, thank you very much.

And up ahead, strife among Palestinians. Former Mideast negotiator George Mitchell on the explosive situation. Can there really be a two-state solution?

Plus Mitchell heads up Major League Baseball's steroids probe. I'll ask him if Jason Giambi will play ball with investigators this week and if Barry Bonds should be relegated to a footnote in history.

And holy driving. The Vatican takes on road rage with a new set of Ten Commandments. Find out what thou shalt not do when stuck in traffic.



KING: The Vatican, it seems, wants to put the brakes on bad drivers. It's issued 10 new commandments for when you take the wheel. Let's go to CNN's Carol Costello. Carol, what are some of the rules of the road according to the Vatican?

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Well they are probably like you'd expect, but you know what, it sounds like a joke, but the Pope is asking you to drive safely, calling on you to be like Jesus in your driving as in showing charity to other drivers and prudence on the road. And in case you need more, there are the commandments.



COSTELLO (voice-over): It comes straight from the Vatican. Driving can lead to needless death and sin, so pray and remember, the drivers' Ten Commandments.

REV. EDWARD BECK, THE PASSIONATE COMMUNITY: If you're taking somebody else's life or if you're threatening other people's lives by your driving, this is a moral issue. This is sinful.

COSTELLO: The commandments just issued by the Vatican urge drivers to obey traffic regulations, drive with a moral sense and to pray behind the wheel. Commandment number two reads: The road shall be for you a means of communion between people and not of mortal harm. We know the Pope cares, but why is this coming from a man who doesn't even drive?

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN FAITH AND VALUES CORRESPONDENT: They also want to show that, you know, they're down with the people, as it were. I mean they know what the average person is doing every day. They understand road rage.

COSTELLO: The Vatican needs only to look into the streets of Rome to understand that. It says drivers exhibit primitive behavior that brings out rude gestures, dangerous driving that leads to the highway to hell. This Ferrari revving its engine near the Holy Sea that would be in violation of commandment number five. Cars shall not be for you an expression of power and domination and an occasion of sin. Translated, show off in a flashy car or a big expensive SUV and you will get into trouble.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's not power. It's protection on the highway against accidents.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you have you know three children under 5, you need a large vehicle.

COSTELLO: But most driving the streets of New York are with the Pope.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Pope is right.

COSTELLO: But the Vatican wants to make the commandments' idea easy to follow. It wants to set up chapels at truck stops so drivers can pray.


COSTELLO: Now, if you want to peruse the other commandments, all you have to do is go to, and if you find yourself in a state of road rage, the Vatican says, make the sign of the cross over and over and it will calm you. And of course you'll have to keep that other hand on the wheel, John. KING: That's not the sign we often see from people in the middle of road rage, is it?

COSTELLO: No, no, that's in the commandments. You're not allowed to do that one.

KING: I suspect I may have sinned in the past but never again -- Carol Costello, thank you very much.

And just ahead, as the White House talks about a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinian government, what's the real likelihood of that? I'll ask former Middle East negotiator George Mitchell to weigh in.

And Angelina Jolie says she's not a politician but she has seen what she calls pockets of extremism and anger. She talks to CNN about the plight of dispossessed children and we'll show you a preview.

Stay with us.



Happening now, is Michael Bloomberg eyeing the White House? The New York mayor today switched his party status from Republican to Independent. Bloomberg insists though the change does not mean he's running for president.

The State Department is promising to trim the waiting time for new U.S. passports. A three-month backlog has developed when new travel requirements were imposed on Americans traveling in the Western Hemisphere by air. Three million applications are in line to be processed.

And thousands of Cubans are paying homage in Havana to the late wife of acting President Raul Castro. Vilma Espine (ph) was one of the most powerful women in Cuba's political arena. Her death was announced yesterday.

Wolf Blitzer is off today. I'm John King. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Today, President Bush met with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to discuss what they call their common vision for parts of the Middle East. The two leaders pledged to support Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and made clear they intend to pursue peace despite the region's (UNINTELLIGIBLE) problems.

But how likely is that given the situation? Joining me now is the former Middle East negotiator, Senator George Mitchell. Senator Mitchell, let me just start with the basic premise. You have the president of the United States, the prime minister of Israel in the Oval Office today both trying to put the best face forward, if you will, saying they are still committed to the two-state solution, ultimately a Palestinian state living side by side with Israel.

But isn't it you can forgive the use of the term near delusional to be talking about that right now? How can you possibly think about that when there's no one really to negotiate with, no firm stable Palestinian government to negotiate with?

GEORGE MITCHELL, FORMER MIDDLE EAST NEGOTIATOR: Well you have to keep the long range objective in mind and before you even as you deal with difficult short range steps, so I think it's correct to keep that as the vision. The problem is that the U.S. and Israel have had two previous occasions in which they had the opportunity to help Mahmoud Abbas get established as the leader of the Palestinians and both did very little really next to nothing.

Now he's much weaker, we're in a much worse position, both President Bush and Prime Minister Olmert, are much weakened politically at home. So it's infinitely more difficult than it was in the previous opportunities. But I still think that's the right course to take and I think they're moving in the right direction. I think they have to be very careful to support him while not being punitive toward the Palestinians left in Gaza. It's one thing to talk about Hamas, but, remember there are 1.5 million people living there in extremely difficult circumstances.

KING: Well when the situation came up today, President Bush said there was no doubt in his mind who was to blame for the current situation. I want you to listen to the president.


BUSH: It was Hamas that attacked the unity government. They made a choice of violence. It was their decision that has caused there to be this current situation in the Middle East.


KING: As you know, though, Senator, there are others who say that the president shares some of the blame. If we go back to late 2005 into early 2006, the Israelis were telling him don't put pressure on the Palestinians to hold elections because if you do, Hamas will win. President Abbas himself told the Bush White House I needed to delay these elections because if I hold them now, Hamas will win.

The Bush White House insisted, and put pressure on President Abbas to hold those elections.

Was that a fundamental mistake for which we are paying the price now?

MITCHELL: The president has given some truly eloquent speeches on democracy. But, unfortunately, they have created the impression, both here and abroad, that if you hold an election, you've got a democracy.

Reality tells us that elections are a part of democracy, but they don't guarantee an effectively functioning democracy. So the problem we now have in the Middle East is the president pushed and insisted on, as you said, this election, and then when it didn't turn out the way we wanted, has effectively rejected the results.

It creates a real problem in terms of the gap between our stated principles and our actions when things don't go as we want.

But I do think he's correct in suggesting that Hamas is a problem in the region. We just haven't taken the opportunity to -- to support Abbas until now. I hope we'll do so.

And let me just say, John, it's more than just economic aid. There has to be a way to balance Israel's need for security while enabling free movement of the Palestinian people in the West Bank. People ought to be able to go from their home to their job, from their home to a hospital, or for other things, and to try to alleviate the very difficult circumstances in which people are living.

In the end, that's what matters. People who can't get a job, who can't get across town, who can't care for their kids, speeches about democracy don't have really much effect on them. They work. They worry about coping day to day. Improving the lives of people in ordinary daily circumstances is the most effective thing that can be done right now.

KING: And you talked about the things the president needs to do right now. There's a huge risk in that, though, isn't there, in the sense that President Abbas certainly needs the support of the United States -- financial help from the United States and political pressure on Israel to do those things you just mentioned from the United States. And yet every time the United States takes sides in the Middle East right now, it seems to backfire, given the unpopularity of this president and this country in the region right now.

MITCHELL: Well, that's a real problem. There's no doubt that our standing in the world is the lowest it's been in our nation's entire history, and that's not just in the Middle East, it's around the world, but it's particularly so in the Muslim world and specifically in the Middle East.

Nonetheless, I think in this case, the president has chosen the right side. The problem is that we haven't done anything to support him in the past when it really mattered and when, I think, he was in a much stronger position than he is now.

It's much more difficult. But I think we still have to do what the president and Prime Minister Olmert have suggested, while providing a good balance between not abandoning the million-and-a-half people in Gaza who live in extremely difficult and, I must say, degrading circumstances.

KING: Senator, I can't pass up the opportunity to ask you questions about your current big job in life. You are heading major league baseball's investigation into the possible use of steroids and other drugs and banned substances by its players. There are a number of indications that the New York Yankees slugger, Jason Giambi, is on the verge or has already agreed to cooperate with your panel, which has been quite frustrating, in not getting cooperation from players.

Is that true?

Do you have an agreement with Jason Giambi?

MITCHELL: There is no agreement yet. Discussions are underway. I'm hopeful that all of the athletes that want this cloud removed, more than anyone, really, will see their way through to cooperate.

One fact which hasn't gotten the publicity I think it should, John, is that the principle victims of the use of illegal performance enhancing substances in baseball are the players who don't use them. Their livelihoods are threatened. Their careers are threatened. They're faced with an unfair competition by those who do use them. And I hope that many will see that and help to lift this cloud off what is a really great national pastime.

KING: Former Senator, George Mitchell, thank you for your time today.

MITCHELL: Thank you, John.

KING: She's an actress and an activist. Angelina Jolie is outspoken about the plight of children in Africa and equally outspoken about the struggles of other people elsewhere.


ANDERSON COOPER, A.C. 360 HOST: You've been to some of the Palestinian camps in Jordan, I know. There's obviously been problems in some of the Palestinian camps in Jordan that we've seen, al Qaeda groups or al Qaeda inspired groups, sort of sowing the seeds of hatred. How do you stop that? How do you prevent that?

ANGELINA JOLIE, ACTRESS: Find solutions for the people and the families. I'm not an expert on these, you know, situations. I'm not a politician. But I do know that it's been about half a century where these people have not had a real solution. So I think that's the -- obviously the bigger question and the bigger thing that needs to be addressed. And we should not be so surprised to see pockets of such extremism and anger.

I went to a Palestinian camp in Jordan and saw a man set himself on fire because he had waited a year to try to get a meeting and he wanted to be listened to and heard. And he felt so desperate and he's worried about his son not getting medical attention. The only thing he could think to do was set himself on fire. And he was sitting in this desolate camp, they actually have a camp called no man's land. And it is -- you ask the kids what they're afraid of, and they say dust storms or the cold nights. There's nothing there. And it is -- you know, it's going to breed instability and it's going to breed anger.


KING: You can watch that entire interview on CNN tomorrow night. It will air as part of a special on Anderson Cooper 360, 10:00 p.m. eastern. Up ahead here tonight, a bumper crop of presidential candidates this year, puts the Secret Service to the test. We'll give you an exclusive look behind the scenes as agents train to keep the candidates safe.

And what does one famous American family have in common with an infamous one? We'll tell you the comparison Bill and Hillary Clinton are making to a family more known for ties to criminals.


KING: It's not often that a presidential candidate apologizes for an attack on an opponent, but that's exactly what Democratic Senator Barak Obama is doing. Here's CNN's Mary Snow.


BARAK OBAMA, (D) SENATOR: Now, I don't mind a good fight.

MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He may not mind a good fight, but Democratic presidential hopeful, Senator Barack Obama is backing away from a dust-up with the Clinton campaign. Obama blamed his staff for what he called a dumb mistake. Obama staff members secretly circulated a memo targeting senator Hillary Clinton's financial ties to India. The memo referred to her as a Democrat representing the Indian state of Punjab and it wound up in the hands of the Clinton campaign who made it available to news organizations.

DOUG HATTAWAY, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: It's not any different from any other campaign. But he's a different kind of candidate with a different kind of appeal and I think that's the challenge for him.

SNOW: That's because Obama is promoting himself as a politician above a fray.

OBAMA: We're selling a new kind of politics.

SNOW: But that promise for a new kind of politics say some Indian American groups clashes with what they call hurtful stereotyping. Especially on the issue of outsourcing. Obama has apologized said he was unaware of the memo's contents. A reference to Clinton representing Punjab was taken from a comment the senator jokingly made in 2006 at an Indian American fund raiser.

JENNY BACKUS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I think the Obama campaign would have been in a lot more trouble with this memo, if the facts hadn't been accurate. If Senator Clinton hadn't said she that she could have been elected as the senator from Punjab.

SNOW: While Obama distanced himself and blamed his staff, some political observers say he needs to proceed with caution. In February, he also faulted his staff for a row with the Clinton camp over Hollywood fund-raiser David Geffen.

HATTAWAY: You don't want to be in the position of having to continually apologize for things that the campaign is doing. SNOW: Some of Obama's critics came from the South Asians for Obama. The group said it welcomed Obama's apology.

Mary Snow, CNN, New York.


KING: Now, it's not every day Bill and Hillary Clinton would want to be compared to the Sopranos, but that's exactly what they're doing today to promote Hillary Clinton's new campaign theme song. Let's bring in our Internet reporter, Jacki Schechner. Jacki, what's behind all this?

JACKI SCHECHNER, CNN INTERNET REPORTER: Well, John, it's not exactly Sopranos-level anticipation, but we've been waiting about a month to find out what Senator Clinton's campaign theme song would be, and today they released a video with a couple of fun cameos in it. Why don't you take a look here.



SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), NEW YORK: Well, like you always say, focus on the good times.

B. CLINTON: So what's the winning song?

H. CLINTON: You'll see.

B. CLINTON: My money is on Smash Mouth. Everybody in America wants to know how it's going to end.

H. CLINTON: Ready?


SCHECHNER: So the video cuts to black just like "The Sopranos" series finale, but this one has a resolution. The winner of the song contest is "You and I" by Celine Dion. What I'm going to play is a video from Celione Dion's Web site.

Now, the campaign says that more than 200,000 people voted for this song. It happened to be one of the top five write-in candidates. The campaign also says that the two videos that Senator Clinton put up on YouTube to announce the contest and then announce the round two of the contest had a total of more than a million views. "The Sopranos" parody that was released today is not up on YouTube yet, but it is on Senator Clinton's Web site. And the comments beneath it, John, are really interesting. While a lot of people are giving her kudos for the spoof, some people are kind of baffled by the actual song.

KING: I thought you had to go to Vegas to see Celine Dion. I guess you just need to go to Hillary Clinton's Web site. Jacki Schechner, thank you very much. Up ahead, a CNN exclusive, inside the Secret Service. Find out how they protect against assassins on the campaign trail.

And you might say "Sicko" flicko. Jeanne Moos hits the red carpet for the surreal scene at Michael Moore's U.S. premier. Stay right here. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.


KING: At last count, there are 18 declared presidential candidates jostling for space on the campaign trail. That's a challenge for the Secret Service, which plays a big role in guarding major candidates. It expects to spend a record $110 million on campaign protection this cycle, and there are concerns that other missions could suffer, as more than 250 agents are shifted to campaign security roles.

CNN recently got an exclusive inside look at how agents train to protect the candidates and the eventual winner.


KING (voice-over): The arrival is without incident. The candidate heads inside for the next event. A would-be assassin is waiting, draws his gun and approaches. A quick and decisive response is textbook.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What have you got?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've got one down now.

KING: This is training -- Secret Service simulations of scenarios agents will see time and time again guarding a president or the candidates for president.

Senator Hillary Clinton has had a detail since her days as first lady. Senator Barack Obama gets Secret Service protection, too, months earlier than anticipated because of large crowds and worrisome calls and letters.

Don Coyer oversees Secret Service staffing and training, and plays down any distinction in protecting an African-American candidate.

(on camera): That can bring some ugly things into it, like hate mail, racial threats.

DON COYER, DEPUTY ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, SECRET SERVICE: True. But for us, the Secret Service, it doesn't -- it doesn't really change anything that we do. We're -- we -- we deal on the dark side of things every day. I mean hate mail, threats, it's second nature.

KING (voice-over): With so many candidates running, the Secret Service anticipates an unprecedented workload this campaign and is scrambling to assemble more teams and put them through drills their training supervisor, Renee Triplett, says can humble even 20-year veterans.

RENEE TRIPLETT, SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE: This is the area where here it's OK to make mistakes. We'd like to not see that, but it's better you make them here, where we can correct you, refocus you on what it is we want to see done, want to -- how we want to see you react.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you. We're happy to see you.

KING: Rope lines are a part of daily campaign life and a constant Secret Service worry because of easily concealed weapons like the blade in this pendant or a ring that on the flip side is a potentially deadly razor.

Practice begins in this padded room. If we're standing in as the protectee, it gives one a feel of how the lead agent's job is to yank the president or candidate away from trouble. Then, more realistic environments.

Things practiced again and again in training, second nature by the time it really matters.

It matters because hands out of sight could be hands reaching for a weapon. But not always. One might be innocently reaching for a camera or a cell phone.

So judgment is honed by mixing up what happens in these scenario drills, and also in a high-tech simulator, where the candidate comes under different forms of attack and the agent sometimes has to wait for a clear shot.

Gunfire is the ultimate test. Instinct is to take cover. A Secret Service agent is trained to shield the target, even take a bullet if necessary.

COYER: You as a shield, it's not natural. And again, it's drill, drill, drill. It's repetition, repetition, repetition, and drum it into somebody.


KING: The Secret Service was founded back in 1865 as a branch of the Treasury Department to fight counterfeiting. It was established by Abraham Lincoln on the day of his assassination.

In 1902, the Secret Service assumed full-time responsibility for protecting the president. Today, the Secret Service is authorized to protect the president, vice president, and their immediate families, along with former presidents and their spouses.

Current law, though, limits Secret Service protection to 10 years from the date a former president leaves office. That could mean Bill Clinton will be the last president to be guaranteed lifetime protection.

Our Carol Costello was monitoring stories incoming to the SITUATION ROOM. Right now, Carol, tell us what you have.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: A couple of things, John. In Buffalo, New York, militant abortion opponent James Kopp has received life in prison plus 10 years. Kopp was convicted of federal charges stemming from the murder of a doctor who performed abortions. That killing happened nine years ago now. Kopp was already serving 25 years on his state conviction for shooting Dr. Barnett Slepian in the kitchen of his suburban Buffalo home.

A North Carolina judge has suspended the disgraced prosecutor in the Duke lacrosse case. A sheriff stripped Durham County D.A. Mike Nifong of his authority and his office keys. Nifong, who was disbarred Saturday for his mishandling of rape allegations against three former Duke students, had said he would step down next month. State lawmakers today unanimously approved legislation to allow North Carolina's governor to remove Nifong from office immediately.

AT&T has gone under the radar and began offering broadband Internet service for 10 bucks a month. The DSL plan was introduced on Saturday.

It's one of the concessions AT&T made to the Federal Communications Commission so that it could complete its $86 billion acquisition of BellSouth Corporation. The $10 offer is available to customers in the 22-state AT&T service region, so get on the phone, or better yet, actually, John, get online.

KING: Get online, get on the phone -- hard to tell the difference these days.

Carol Costello, thank you very much. And Jack Cafferty joins us now from New York -- Jack.

CAFFERTY: John, did Rudy Giuliani make a mistake by quitting the Iraq Study Group panel? He was a member until Jim Baker said, if you're not going to attend the meetings, then quit. He quit.

Mary Ann from Ohio writes -- "I didn't know he was ever on that panel. He probably never read the report either. Electing him, with his warlike stance, would probably be like another four years of Bush. His reply during the debate about what he would do about the war was chilling. Yes, in my view, he should have stuck it out. He might have learned something."

David in Arizona -- "Jack, Rudy didn't make a mistake in going for the cash instead of sitting through boring meetings to give Bush a report that he later ignored. However, anybody who supports Rudy for president is making a mistake, backing for president a fellow who considers his own financial interests more important than the national interest."

Rita in Pennsylvania -- "The Iraq Study Group was looking at ending the war. He wants to stay the course. If he'd stayed in the group, he would look dumber than he already does and couldn't run as a warmonger Republican."

Michael in Ohio -- "Of course not. Nobody paid any attention to that report anyway."

Lorry in New York writes -- "No, Jack, he didn't make a mistake resigning from the Iraqi Study Group. He made a mistake letting 'Newsday' find out about the ultimatum he was given and the choice he made. Kudos to 'Newsday.' I only hope that people outside New York will finally begin to see the real Rudy. He's been feathering his nest off the tragedy of 9/11 since 9/12, if you ask me."

And John writes -- "Well, you don't know jack, Jack. It's all about the money. Ask your fat, twaddling buddy Bill Clinton. He raked in $10 million, and he's more corrupt than an Iraqi orphanage manager. So I wouldn't worry that Rudy has to shake a few hands and milk a few bucks since he has to go up against a heavyweight grifter like Hillary. Don't be a hack, Jack, you're talking smack."

If you didn't see your email here, you can go to We post more of them online, along with video clips of "The Cafferty File."

You have your video clips on DVD, don't you, John?

KING: All of them. That John there fancies himself as a bit of a poet.

CAFFERTY: That's pretty clever, actually.

KING: OK, Jack. Jack, thank you very much.

Let's find out now what's coming up next hour on "PAULA ZAHN NOW." Hi, Paula.

PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: John, thanks. Coming up just about seven minutes from now, some brand new developments in a disturbing mystery, the case of a missing young mother who is pregnant, and then the mysterious appearance of a brand new baby on someone's doorstep. Is there any connection at all between these two stories? We'll have the latest for you on that.

Plus, you've got to see my interview with one of baseball's most outspoken insiders. He says Latino players are easy to control and make less money than blacks. Hear Gary Sheffield defend what he's had to say, as many out there are calling him a racist.

Some interesting stuff tonight. John, I don't know whether you've been following this or not, but he says many Hispanics actually believe what he's saying is true.

KING: Ran into Gary Sheffield here in our Washington bureau after that interview with you today. I can't wait to watch it in just a few minutes.

ZAHN: Thank you. We'll be counting on you, John.

KING: I'll be there. Paula, thank you very much.

And up ahead here, a feverish reception for Michael Moore's new movie "Sicko." As New York catches the bug, our Jeanne Moos takes the temperature.


KING: Here's a look at some hot shots coming in from our friends at the Associated Press, pictures you're likely to see in your newspaper tomorrow.

At Ft. Dix, New Jersey, National Guardsmen Carlos Escabasas (ph) and Nick Lombardi (ph) hold their 1-year-old sons for the first time. The two soldiers return home today after being deployed in Iraq for almost two years.

In New York, a bubble artist puts on a performance before trying to break the Guinness world record for most bubble chambers. Look at that.

In Bangladesh, a girl carries a tray of ducklings outside her home. Cute.

And in Arkansas, a dog named Tiger enjoys the view from a sunroof.

And that's this hour's hot shots. That one in particular worth a thousand words.

Michael Moore's new documentary flick "Sicko" is receiving what you might call healthy reviews after a star-studded premiere in New York. CNN's Jeanne Moos has this "Moost Unusual" red carpet look.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Prepare for more Michael Moore mania. Soon you may be sick of hearing about...




MOOS (on camera): Don't you love the name of the movie?


MICHAEL MOORE, FILMMAKER: I always come up with a title first, and then after I come up with a title, then I decide what the movie should be. I know that's a weird system, but I was raised by nuns and that's how we did it.

MOOS (voice over): Hours before "Sicko's" New York premiere, they were taping down the red carpet. Didn't want anyone to trip and hurt themselves at a documentary about how bad American health care is.

"Sicko" cites a woman who was knocked out in a head-on collision. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, "SICKO": I get a bill from my insurance company telling me that the ambulance ride wasn't pre-approved. I don't know when I was supposed to pre-approve it, after I gained consciousness in the car, before I got in the ambulance?

MOOS: Back at the red carpet, it looked like an accident waiting to happen. Celebs at the premiere ranged from Fran Drescher...


MOOS: ... high-fiving a fellow cancer survivor, to Joan Rivers, to the big man himself.

MOORE: I lost over 30 pounds now just by eating these fruits and vegetables.

MOOS: Some truly sick people featured in "Sicko" walked the red carpet. Cancer survivor Donna Smith went with Moore to Cuba and got flack for it.

DONNA SMITH, CANCER SURVIVOR: A co-worker right before I left on Friday afternoon said to me, "It gives a whole new meaning to red carpet, doesn't it?"

MOOS: Red, as in communist-loving Cuba.

(on camera): Michael, they're cheering.

MOORE: I know. My cheerleaders are with me.

MOOS: Give me an M!


MOOS: Give me an O!


MOOS (voice over): Real nurses agitating for health care reform.

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: Health care shouldn't be (INAUDIBLE).

MOOS: The film features a guy without insurance who sawed off two fingertips but could afford to repair only the cheaper of the two...

MOORE (voice over): ... reattach the middle finger for $60,000, or do the ring finger for $12,000.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE, "SICKO": I can do that thing where, you know, the man used to, like, pull the finger off.

MOOS: But it's two thumbs up for "Sicko," though "The New York Post" called it a botched operation. Even a FOX News reviewer described it as brilliant and uplifting.

As for the title...

MOORE: It's a word I have heard referred -- they're talking about me.

MOOS: After seeing the premiere, I can at the very least say that "Sicko" doesn't sucko.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


KING: Thanks for joining us. And join us every day from 4:00 to 6:00, and then again at 7:00 p.m. Eastern. Wolf Blitzer will be back right here tomorrow. I'm John King. Thanks for watching. Up next, "PAULA ZAHN NOW."


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