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CNN NEWSROOM

Candidates Race to the Finish

Aired October 31, 2008 - 15:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Coming at you now, this goes viral.

(on camera): Michael, I asked you to name one person, one.

(voice-over): Hundreds of thousands of hits on YouTube, more than 100 blogs.

(on camera): Give me number two. Who is the other anti-Semitic person that he hangs with that we -- quote -- "all know about"?

MICHAEL GOLDFARB, MCCAIN CAMPAIGN NATIONAL SPOKESMAN: Rick, we both know who number two is.

SANCHEZ: Who? Would you tell us?

GOLDFARB: No, Rick, I think we all know who we are talking about here.

SANCHEZ: Somebody who is anti-Semitic that he hangs around with?

GOLDFARB: Absolutely.

SANCHEZ: Well, say it.

GOLDFARB: I think we know who we are talking about, Rick.

SANCHEZ: So who is number two? You are about to find out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is no God.

SANCHEZ: A desperation move, incumbent senators feeling the heat. Who is in trouble?

This convicted, corrupt politician says, he is not convicted. Huh? Senator, yes, you were, and your governor wants you the resign. So does her running mate. You will hear it for yourself.

The newscast that connects to America and tens of thousands on Facebook, Twitter and more -- what you say, what you want to know right now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SANCHEZ: Hello again, everybody. From the world headquarters of CNN, I'm Rick Sanchez.

I am looking over here at MySpace and Facebook and I'm looking at our Twitter board and there are tweets aplenty today, everybody wanting to get in on this conversation, this interview that I did yesterday.

So, let's get to it. On today's show, there will be a follow-up, because in all my years in television, I have rarely been involved in something that has gotten so much attention as this interview that you are about to see.

First, the setup. The McCain campaign was attacking Obama, trying to link him to a Palestinian American. The man, a professor, Rashid Khalidi, was with Obama at a reception in Los Angeles. It was reported by "The L.A. Times" back in April.

Khalidi is not a terrorist, nor do the views reflect any apparent anti-Semitism. Regardless, the McCain campaign inferred it. And it is demanding that "The L.A. Times" release a video of him and Obama at that ceremony in L.A. The paper says, though, that reported all that was important about that videotape after they watched it, but they can't release the tape, because, if they do, they lose the public's trust.

You see, they made a deal with the person who gave them the tape that they wouldn't do so.

All right, that's the background. Now, watch the interview we did yesterday with Michael Goldfarb, national spokesperson for the McCain campaign during this hour.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: Let's start with this. What is the International Republican Institute?

GOLDFARB: That is an organization that seeks to foster democracy around the world.

SANCHEZ: Did they under McCain's leadership and chairmanship actually fund Khalid's Center for Palestine? Remember, Center for Palestine, I understand, was founded by Rashid Khalidi, right?

GOLDFARB: It was founded by about 10 people. It was at the time the only organization that did polling in the West Bank and Gaza, an organization that was funded by the United States government, among a bunch of other institutions.

SANCHEZ: So, we have information that as much as 448,000, maybe a little more, a little less, take a few more, give more, dollars, thousand of dollars, $448,000 was given from that group, the International Republican Institute, chaired by John McCain, to that group that was co-founded by Khalid. Is that true?

GOLDFARB: Sure.

SANCHEZ: Well, how is that different than what Barack Obama did by being at a meeting with Khalid?

GOLDFARB: Well, look, here is what you're missing, Rick.

John McCain would not know Rashid Khalidi if the two were sitting across the bar from each other. John McCain, he chairs this institution, which fosters democracy around the world.

Barack Obama has a long, close relationship with Rashid Khalidi. That is fine. That has also been known for a very long time. Barack Obama has been open about this.

SANCHEZ: Yes.

GOLDFARB: He says the two of dinner companions. Their wives are friends. It's fine. It is just another in a long line of unsavory associates Obama has in Chicago.

(CROSSTALK)

GOLDFARB: Wait a second.

SANCHEZ: Go ahead.

GOLDFARB: You are missing the point here, Rick.

And the point here is that there is a tape of this event. And we would like to see the tape, because, look, we don't care about Rashid Khalidi. Again, he is just another unsavory Obama associate.

What we care about is all the anti-Semitic, anti-Israel, anti- American rhetoric that was at this event. And we're curious to see how Barack Obama reacted to that.

SANCHEZ: But you know what I don't understand is, you have referred to him twice as unsavory. What is unsavory about being a Palestinian American and having a critical position on Israel?

GOLDFARB: Look, anybody who you have disagreement on with "The New York Times" saying one thing and him saying another about whether he was a spokesman for the PLO, in my book, that is unsavory.

SANCHEZ: Do you understand that "The L.A. Times" says, look, we are in a real quagmire here? We made an agreement when the person gave us this tape that we would not distribute it, that we should not reveal it, and, if we do that, then we lose our own credibility and we're not able to have any sources in the future?

GOLDFARB: Look, "The Los Angeles Times," like you, like any other journalist, I imagine, is in the business of informing the voting public.

Now, this is a tape that would be of interest to the public. Barack Obama, we know, has tolerated a lot of anti-Israel and anti- Semitic and anti-American rhetoric over the years in Chicago. Now, here is an opportunity to see on tape what his reaction to that was. I think that is valuable to the American people. I think "The Los Angeles Times" knows that is useful information. They should make the tape public. All journalists should be in the business of making information public. That is what you do for a living, I understand.

SANCHEZ: Well, not really, not if the way you got the information was that you made a deal with someone and you promised them either, A, confidentiality of their identity or, B, confidentiality of certain information that they gave you.

But let's move on to something else, because you know this, right? A lot of people are going to look at this and they're going to say, they are just trying to smear Obama. They're trying to win Florida by making Jewish voters think that he is against Israel.

GOLDFARB: I mean, look, the guy hangs out with a bunch of people who are anti-Israel. The voters can decide about that. We want to see a tape.

A girl got up and read a poem comparing Jews to terrorists, comparing Israelis to al Qaeda. A girl got up and read a poem that was an incitement to violence, swore that there would never be another day of peace until the Jews left Palestine.

Barack Obama sat there. Did he nod along? Did he applaud at the end of this poem? These are the questions we would like the answers to. "The Los Angeles Times" has a tape of these events. We would like the tape to be made public. We feel these are reasonable requests.

SANCHEZ: Now, is -- I just need to parse this out as best I can from you, Michael. The fact that John McCain's organization gave $448,000 to this group that was founded by Mr. Khalidi, is there no reason for some to be critical of as well, just as some might be critical of Barack Obama for being at a meeting with -- some girl read a poem, for example?

GOLDFARB: Look, you are missing the point again, Rick.

The point is that Barack Obama has a long track record of being around anti-Semitic, anti-Israel and anti-American rhetoric.

SANCHEZ: Can you name one other person besides Khalidi who he hangs around with who is anti-Semitic?

GOLDFARB: Yes, he pals around with William Ayers, who is --

(CROSSTALK)

GOLDFARB: -- domestic terrorist.

SANCHEZ: No, no, the question I asked you is, can you name one other person that he hangs around with who is anti-Semitic? Because that is what you said.

GOLDFARB: Look, we all know that there are people who Barack Obama has been in hot water.

SANCHEZ: Michael, I asked you to name one person, one.

GOLDFARB: Rick --

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: You said he hangs around with people who are anti- Semitic. OK. We have got Khalidi on the table. Give me number two. Who is the other anti-Semitic person that he hangs with that we -- quote -- "all know about"?

GOLDFARB: Rick, we both now who number two is.

SANCHEZ: Who? Would you tell us?

GOLDFARB: No, Rick, I think we all know who we are talking about here.

SANCHEZ: Somebody who is anti-Semitic that he hangs around with?

GOLDFARB: Absolutely.

SANCHEZ: Well, say it.

GOLDFARB: I think we know who we are talking about, Rick.

SANCHEZ: All right. All right. Again, you charged that Khalidi is anti-Semitic. He would say that his policies on Israel differ from those of Barack Obama and many other people. But, either way, I guess we will have to leave it at that.

Michael Goldfarb, thanks so much.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: So, we are left with the question, as are hundreds of thousands of people who tuned into this last night on YouTube, as well as they did on some of the political satire shows.

A couple of things that we need to clear up, though. First of all, we checked, and there is nothing at all nefarious or even questionable about John McCain's relationship with Rashid Khalidi, and there is nothing that we have found that is questionable or nefarious about Barack Obama's relationship with Rashid Khalidi.

And, also, Obama did put out a statement, saying he has been "clear and consistent in his support for Israel and he does not share Khalidi's views."

So, the question that is left here is, who is number two? Who was he referring to when he said that there is somebody else out there? We are going to tell you. We're going to reveal that name, because we now know.

Stay with us. We will be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: Welcome back. I'm Rick Sanchez.

This interview that I did yesterday that left this unanswered question was so popular last night on YouTube, when last we checked, there were 317,000 hits for it, not to mention the fact that it was mentioned later on in some of the late-night comedy shows.

So, we thought it would be important for us to try and answer the question, since so many of you were left with that question unanswered. And here is the answer.

CNN can now in fact confirm that the person that Michael Goldfarb was referring to was the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. We have also made an agreement with the sources who gave us this information that we would leave it at that, and that we would not go on to reveal who the source of the information was, only to affirm that we can confirm that that is who he was referring to, Jeremiah Wright.

We respect the request and the deal that we made, so we will honor it.

Moving on, since we bring up the name of Jeremiah Wright, we feel it only fair at this point to continue the dialogue and the question, since he has now been suggested to be an anti-Semitic person.

We are joined by someone who agrees with that assertion. Ben Ferguson, host of Ben Ferguson's conservative radio show, is good enough to join us.

BEN FERGUSON, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: How are you?

SANCHEZ: Thanks, Ben, for being with us. We appreciate you taking time to be here.

FERGUSON: Good to be here.

SANCHEZ: I guess the argument needs to be made then and you are here to make it. Show us your goods, as they say?

FERGUSON: Well, I think what you at here with Jeremiah Wright, I don't think it is any surprise. You look at Jeremiah Wright, what he said from the pulpit, and he has said multiple times that the word Israel and being Jewish is a bad word. He said, "I have said that evil word," and then everybody claps in his church claps. He goes, "I'm going to say it again, Israel."

(CROSSTALK)

FERGUSON: He has been pretty flamboyant --

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: Hold on. I have the quote here. I anticipated you might talk about that. Here it is, September 2002 -- quote -- "I said that dirty word again, Israel. Every time I say Israel, Negroes get awfully quiet on you, because they are scared. Don't be scared," he says. I don't think he is saying something against Jewish people there. What he is saying is that it is kind of uncomfortable to talk about Israel in this country without feeling like you are going to be criticized. At least, that is how I construe it. Am I wrong?

(CROSSTALK)

FERGUSON: Well, let's give him a pass on that one --

SANCHEZ: All right.

FERGUSON: -- and look at the fact that his church has given awards to Louis Farrakhan. And everybody knows where Louis Farrakhan stands on Israel, saying they should be pushed into the sea, that they should be ended.

And then forget that for a second. Let's look at what his actual newsletter of his church produced, printed and sent to all their members while Barack Obama was attending, way before he was running for president, where they actually printed part of a Hamas manifesto condemning Israel. Now, that went in their own letter to their members.

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: I have it there. You are absolutely right. It was in the article by Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook. It was in Wright's church newsletter.

Let me read to our audience as well: "Why should any Palestinian recognize the monstrous crimes carried out by Israel's founders and continued by its deformed modern apartheid state?"

So, once again, that is -- and many people obviously are going to look at that and say, that is a horrible thing to say about any government's policies, but, again --

(CROSSTALK)

FERGUSON: And I think the point is --

SANCHEZ: Does that mean he is anti-Semite?

(CROSSTALK)

FERGUSON: Well, here is what I know. Here is what I know.

And I don't like to assume a lot, OK? I don't know Barack Obama. And, second of all, I'm not Jewish. But this is what I can look at. I can see that the man that he claimed to be his spiritual father, a man who was walking through his life, a man who he said that he had had many dinners with, and a man who also is connected to this professor we were talking about yesterday who said in his book, thinking -- Barack Obama said to both of them, you guys have helped me with my life.

Both of them have some pretty radical views towards Israel. They don't like Israel. They have said that they think America's policy towards Israel should drastically change.

SANCHEZ: But, Ben --

(CROSSTALK)

FERGUSON: Wait.

(CROSSTALK)

FERGUSON: But they have both said that they are very pro- Palestinian.

So, all I can do is, is look at this and say, OK, the people that he has surrounded himself with are very anti-Israel and said some very radical things. He went to church with one. He sat at a dinner table multiple times with another one. And both of them, he has praised in the past while they were making these comments.

These are not comments that have been made since he separated his relationship with Reverend Wright.

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: But there is something that we need to be clear on, because this is the kind of thing that happens in this country. And I think most people would agree that it is rather unfortunate. It is essentially association by things that really don't add up. Let me ask you a question. How do you feel about Hugo Chavez and his government in Venezuela?

FERGUSON: Well, I don't like him. Obviously, I think he is a lot different from what we like here in America. He does not like democracy, like we like it here.

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: Does that mean that you are anti-Venezuelan or anti- Hispanic?

FERGUSON: No, because you said one name. And there's a big difference.

(CROSSTALK)

FERGUSON: You said a specific human being. And I see where you're going to with this, but --

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: Hold on. Let me follow up on this thing. You said it's about a name. How do you feel about the Bolivian government, the Boliviano government, as he calls it, of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, that thinking, that policy that that government holds?

FERGUSON: There is a massive difference between surrounding yourself and having dinner with two men that have an obvious hatred and dislike for a country and a people of a country and saying it in America, in the context of people in America who are Jewish, OK?

(CROSSTALK)

FERGUSON: There is a big difference than you asking me about Hugo Chavez.

If you asked me, do I hate the people of Venezuela or Cuba, obviously, I would say no. If you said, do you hate Hugo Chavez or Fidel Castro, I would say I hate those guys. I don't like them. There is a big difference in the context you are asking me.

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: I'm not trying to take up anybody's argument here, but I guarantee you, if you asked Professor Khalidi, he would say the exact same thing. He would say, I don't hate the people of Israel. But I do --

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: But he would probably say, but I certainly dislike the policies of the Israeli government.

(CROSSTALK)

FERGUSON: I can't accept that. You look at his writings, and it is blatantly obvious that he has a major bitterness and anger towards people that are Jewish. He said it in his own writings. So, why do I have to defend him?

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: No, you just did it again.

Why is being against Israel's policies being against Jews, when in fact there are Jews who live in Israel who are against Israel's policies?

FERGUSON: Look at the professor and who he was talking to at Columbia and who he has quoted recently, because I did a lot of research on this.

And he quoted the P.R. person for Hamas at Columbia in a public forum. And he said about Columbia -- I mean, the guy -- the professor from Columbia said about the P.R. man from Hamas, he said that they were very excited and could not wait for America to change because of Barack Obama's stance towards Palestinians. Now, if they are pushing that out there at Columbia, and he's pushing everybody else, he must know something I don't know, because he eats dinner with Barack Obama. And that is that Barack Obama is going to have a very different approach towards Israel and the people of Israel and Jewish people, individual, in this country.

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: And that is what many people believe. And I grant you that. That may be true, that some people in the Arab world think that Barack Obama's policies are, as they see it, more fair.

(CROSSTALK)

FERGUSON: When Hamas P.R. is endorsing Barack Obama, I have got to worry.

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: Hold on.

The question is, isn't it a huge deductive leap to go from those people think of that -- of Israel and criticize their policies to, those people are anti-Semites? It means they hate Jews?

FERGUSON: Again, all I can do is what you do, which is to say this. I don't know Barack Obama's heart. All I know is what he has surrounded himself with, who he associates with, who he supports, who he writes about, who he puts his arm around, and who is his spiritual adviser.

SANCHEZ: All right.

FERGUSON: And those people do not like Israel, and they have very bad things to say about Jewish people in general.

SANCHEZ: OK.

FERGUSON: And that is all I can look at.

SANCHEZ: I respect that. And I understand what you are trying to say.

I have something for you. We called the Anti-Defamation League this morning. And we asked them for a statement about the Reverend Wright. Most people would consider the ADL to be the quintessential purveyors of information about anti-Semitism.

Here it is -- quote -- "The ADL does not consider Reverend Wright anti-Semitic. We have gone through our records and have never called him an anti-Semite." This is from Myrna Shinbaum, who gave us that information today. To that, what do you say?

FERGUSON: Again, I don't really care what a certain group says, because they maybe have had 12 hours to do their research. All I know is, is what I have seen. And what I have seen Reverend Wright say, from what you read at the beginning, from what was said later on, from the people he surrounded himself with, and the excitement that Palestinians and Hamas leadership, their own P.R. man, openly and publicly endorses Barack Obama because he says he's going to bring change to their side, I have got to look at that and go, an a voter, as an average American, who does have dinner with Barack...

SANCHEZ: We got that. We got that.

(CROSSTALK)

FERGUSON: You're asking me to read his mind. I can only look at his associations. And his associations are very shady.

SANCHEZ: Well, you are saying he is an anti-Semite, but you have brought no proof that he's an anti-Semite. Let's leave it at that.

(CROSSTALK)

FERGUSON: Except for all the quotes from the beginning of the interview.

SANCHEZ: Yes, except the quotes where he criticized Israel's policy.

(CROSSTALK)

FERGUSON: And Israel as a country.

SANCHEZ: In fact, he didn't do it. You're saying, because somebody he knows criticized Israel's policy, then he is an anti- Semite. I'm saying that may be a little bit of a deductive leap.

FERGUSON: They are advisers to him personally. That is little bit closer than some random person he doesn't know.

SANCHEZ: All right.

By the way, he says that Khalidi is not an adviser to him, never has been --

FERGUSON: Convenient.

SANCHEZ: -- and he does not have any plans for him to be.

But we will leave it at that, Ben. Excellent conversation. Always appreciate you being here with us. Thank you so much.

FERGUSON: Thanks for having me.

SANCHEZ: Something else that we're going to be talk about in just a little bit, the reaction that this story has gotten on MySpace and Twitter and Facebook, your reaction to this interview that we just conducted. What do you have to say? We will share it when we come back. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: We have got some video we would like to show you now. In fact, take a look at this. By the looks of this welcome home ceremony, you would think that this Alaskan senator is not, key word here, is not guilty of corruption. Now, we know he thinks that. You will hear it for yourself, when he says it in a debate with his opponent, which he very well may beat.

We will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: And we welcome you back.

I have been asked to extrapolate a bit further the agreement that we had with the John McCain campaign. I can now tell you in as detailed a fashion as I can possibly say that it was with a wink and a nod that sources within the John McCain camp told us that in fact that they were referring to Jeremiah Wright.

That is the exact language that was used when the information was divulged to one of our correspondents, in fact, two of our correspondents who have been checking with them since we did this interview yesterday.

So, again, that is the exact language that we can use. Just to be certain, we would be uncomfortable going any further than that.

Lots of your comments have been coming in about the interview that we did yesterday and the one that we did just moments ago.

So, let's go to a few of them now, if we can. Go ahead, Robert.

This takes us to Facebook, and: "Wow. The GOP is really desperate. I love all the transitive associations that they are trying to meld together. Anyone with half a brain knows this last- ditch effort is a complete sham."

And then Mayra writes to us as she watches our newscast: "I will go with the research done by the ADL, perhaps because they are experts on the subject. And Ben, who was just your -- on your show speaking the McCain camp, looks like he has just graduated from high school."

I am not sure that is totally fair.

If we go over to now also the Twitter board, you will see that there's very similar comments all throughout. We are going to be going through some of these as well. And we are going to bring them to you.

But, when we come back, why is Obama campaigning in Arizona? Arizona, as in the home state of John McCain. Senatorial races and what is going on in the big race, we will break that down for you with "Preston on Politics," and continue our earlier discussion on what is going on as well. Stay with us. We will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: Sometimes you have to give credence to some of the smartest statesmen in our country. One of the smartest Republican statesmen this country has had in a long time is Lawrence Eagleburger. He was a secretary of state under President Bush -- H.W. Bush. And he is a strong supporter of John McCain.

But when it comes to Sarah Palin, as we learned yesterday, not so much. Here now his comment that he had made when asked about Sarah Palin "I devoutly hope that she would never be tested," referring to Sarah Palin as vice president of the United States. Interesting.

Jim Acosta has been following this story, as well, talking about what some are referring to as The Palin Effect. Recent polls show that her unfavorabilities have increased since her convention speech. Here now, Jim Acosta.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM ACOSTA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This week, Sarah Palin has generated plenty of heat on the trail and inside the McCain campaign. Just days ago, unnamed McCain advisers told CNN, "Palin has gone rogue and diva on the campaign."

That led some political analysts to start questioning whether Palin is being scapegoated by McCain camp insiders before the votes are even counted.

ROGER SIMON, POLITICO: They seem to be saying, don't blame us. You know, Sarah Palin dragged the ticket down. I can't think of a precedent for this kind of attack by high-level senior aides in the last days of a presidential campaign.

ACOSTA: A spokesman for the GOP nominee acknowledges there were some stresses inside the campaign, but he insists the ticket is focused on winning -- something McCain echoed on Larry King.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCCAIN: We get along fine. Sarah is a maverick. I'm a maverick. No one expected us to agree on everything.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: Even after a month marked by lavish wardrobe spending --

GOV. SARAH PALIN (R-AK), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm not taking them with me.

ACOSTA: -- and botched interviews, including her bungled comment on the role of vice presidents --

PALIN: They're in charge of the United States Senate. ACOSTA: -- trying to blame Palin alone for sagging poll numbers may be a stretch.

SIMON: That just begs the question, who chose this person? Well, it was John McCain, wasn't it?

ACOSTA: Ousted McCain adviser John Weaver describes the Arizona senator's campaign as bleak, but added: "I'm certainly not blaming Governor Palin for any of this."

Other conservatives note her fundraising prowess and point to those big rallies like this overflow crowd in Missouri as evidence of her common touch.

STEPHEN HAYES, "THE WEEKLY STANDARD": They can look at her and say she really is every mom. We've seen a class of Republicans and conservatives and women who have grown up and become almost protective of Sarah Palin and are offended when she's questioned or ridiculed the way that she has been, I think, in the media.

ACOSTA: As Palin put it in Pennsylvania, the race isn't about her.

PALIN: It's all going to come down to a choice between two men -- Barack Obama and John McCain.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SANCHEZ: Let's see now what some of the folks at home are saying about this newscast, as they watch all the stories as they unfold.

Robert, let's go first to the Twitter board and see what the people are saying there. Start from the bottom, if we would

"You are so gracious to these guys, they don't deserve it," Fakecubed says.

"McCain called Reverend Wright off limits for his campaign. Now he's got his surrogates going after him." I have been criticized for doing that interview, as a result, in other tweets, by the way.

"Rick, you are my favorite of all talking heads out there -- a man that makes people look foolish with -- gasp -- facts." Classic.

Let's do one more

"OK, I spoke too soon. You were brilliant. You destroyed that guy. Ha-ha."

All right, let's go over to the other one now. This is MySpace

"Hey, Rick, I have been watching the polls from Arizona and was shocked to see how close it really is there. Obama could possibly take McCain's backyard. Laugh out loud. That's funny."

OK. That's an interesting point -- the possibility that things could get real tight in Arizona.

Let's go to "Preston On Politics" now.

Mark Preston is good enough to join us -- Mark, interestingly enough, we do hear now that Barack Obama is actually putting some ads in Arizona.

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: Yes, no question.

SANCHEZ: That seems strange, doesn't it?

PRESTON: Well, not if you have a lot of money, which is what Barack Obama has. His campaign, just this morning, Rick, told reporters that they will start airing an ad in Arizona starting today. They said it is a positive ad. But, really, what they're doing is they're putting McCain on defense and they're really taking it to his front yard, no question.

SANCHEZ: Let's talk about not just Arizona, but what's going on in Georgia. And here's a place that certainly, as part of the South, has been very, very red for a long time, right?

PRESTON: Yes, absolutely. You know, Georgia -- and let's add another state to that, North Dakota, as well -- two more states that are reliably red -- that have been reliably red that Barack Obama has been spending a little bit of money. And he will continue to spend money. He will be running two ads in each of these states, Rick, to try to knock out John McCain.

And, look, we wouldn't have seen this in 2004. We wouldn't have seen it in 2000. But Barack Obama has a lot of money to spend right now. We are seeing this huge turnout from the African-American community, certainly in Georgia. And he is hoping to at least take that state. In North Dakota, they're hoping that his change message --

SANCHEZ: Well, let's -- hold on. Before you get to North Dakota, I want to do something here. I want to show to folks at home, Mark, what we're talking about. Let me take you all the way out here to Arizona. Follow me there, if you would, Robert. We talked about Arizona a little while ago. What's that, 53-46, Mark?

I mean that's -- I guess the point of this is that John McCain, being that that's his home state, should be winning by more than that, right?

PRESTON: He shouldn't have to worry about it. And you know something, the Republican National Committee are running robo-calls in Arizona right now -- and they have been for a couple of days -- really trying to boost John McCain in his home state. He should be worrying about Pennsylvania. He should be worrying about holding onto North Carolina, Virginia. He shouldn't have to worry about Arizona.

SANCHEZ: All right. So there you go. There's Georgia. And I showed you Arizona. I'm going to show you just one more. This is the one Mark was talking about just moments ago -- North Dakota, which has been red. Barack Obama up by 2 points. Some would consider that a bit of a shocker.

By the way, I should just give you a clue that if you watch later on -- or Mark will tell you this -- if you watch "THE SITUATION ROOM," there are some new colors -- some new dimensions that are going to be added to this thing.

When we come back, Jimmy Kimmel talking on his show last night about our show. You'll see it.

Stay with us. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: There's my producer, Michael Hurd (ph).

Something to take note of now, as we often do about this time. With all my years in journalism school and all my years in this business, I'm reminded by yesterday's interview with Mr. Goldfarb that the most important thing that we do in this business is just ask questions.

And sometimes the most obvious question -- the one my 7-year-old daughter would ask -- is the best question of all. Speaking of my kids, they're huge Austin Powers fans. So their favorite part of that interview was when I asked who is number two, as in who does number two work for?

Get it? Austin Powers.

And as you might expect, late night comics would get in on this, as well. And Jimmy Kimmel did last night on ABC.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE": You know, it's crunch time for the Republican ticket. They're way behind in the polls and today they tried to play a mysterious card. McCain spokesperson Michael Goldfarb was on CNN to talk about Obama's alleged friendship with an alleged former spokesman for the PLO, which resulted in this baffling exchange.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: Can you name one other person that he hangs around with who's anti-Semitic, because that's what you said?

MICHAEL GOLDFARB, MCCAIN CAMPAIGN NATIONAL SPOKESMAN: Look, we all know that there are people who Barack Obama has been in hot water...

SANCHEZ: Michael, I asked you to name one person -- one.

GOLDFARB: Rick --

SANCHEZ: You said he hangs around with people (INAUDIBLE) doesn't matter. You -- OK, we've got Khalidi on the table. Give me number two.

Who is the other anti-Semitic person that he hangs around with that "all know about?"

GOLDFARB: Rick, we both know who number two is.

(LAUGHTER)

SANCHEZ: Who?

(LAUGHTER)

SANCHEZ: Would you tell us?

GOLDFARB: No, Rick. I think we all know who we're talking about here.

SANCHEZ: Somebody who is anti-Semitic that he hangs around with?

GOLDFARB: Absolutely.

SANCHEZ: Well, say it.

GOLDFARB: I think we know who we're talking about, Rick.

(LAUGHTER)

SANCHEZ: All right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KIMMEL: No, we don't know. I hope they're not talking about me. I really --

(LAUGHTER)

KIMMEL: I'm dying to know who they're talking about. It's like an episode of "Lost."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: It sounds different with a little laughter in the background, doesn't it?

There's another piece of sound that some people may find sadly amusing -- sadly, amusing. Imagine a convicted senator denying his own conviction.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TED STEVENS (R), ALASKA: I'm not going to step down. I have not been convicted. I have not been convicted of anything.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: He's wrong. And there's more.

Also, if there's an Obama wave Tuesday, which standing senators right now might be left out in the cold? That's ahead.

Stay with us. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Is it a movie theater or is it a gym?

Well, actually, it's a movie theater in a gym.

JAMIE SMITH, GENERAL MANAGER, GOLD'S GYM: The cardio cinema -- it's a cool, dark room. It's designed to be like that you're at the movies. Instead of sitting in your typical seat, you're on a treadmill or you're on a bike watching the movie.

GUPTA: The theater here at Gold's Gym in Charleston, South Carolina is one of about 50 located in Gold's Gyms across America. And the clients here say it's a blockbuster.

MARVIN WHITSON, GOLD'S GYM MEMBER: I think this is one of the best parts of the gym in here. Like I say, it just takes your mind off of all of the work that you're doing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It keeps your mind off running in place.

GUPTA: But taking your mind off the work at hand is only one benefit. General manager Jamie Smith says it helps many of their newer clients take that first step.

SMITH: It's less intimidating. It just makes them feel more comfortable. Nobody's watching them. They don't feel like they're on display.

GUPTA: That's critical, because in a recent survey by the American Council on Exercise, more than 20 percent of non-gym goers said intimidation keeps them from doing regular exercise. In the case of this Gold's Gym, though, it's the movies that keep the clients coming back.

BONNIE MARGIOTTA, GOLD'S GYM MEMBER: Twenty minutes have gone by already and I didn't realize it. And I could stay for the whole movie. But that's, what, an hour and-a-half? So I might pass on that.

GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: Libby Dole ran for president. Now she's in real trouble in North Carolina. As a matter of fact, the numbers don't look good. And she has put out this ad against her opponent, which is highly questionable, extremely controversial and is now being followed by many other ads. Let's take a look at it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ELIZABETH DOLE (R), NORTH CAROLINA: I'm Elizabeth Dole and I approved this message.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A leader of the Godless Americans Pact recently held a secret fundraiser in Kay Hagan's honor.

KAY HAGAN (D), NORTH CAROLINA SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: There is no God to rely on. There was no Jesus.

BILL O'REILLY: Well, taking "under God" out of the Pledge of Allegiance, you're down with that?

DAVID SILVERMAN: We're down with that.

O'REILLY: "In God we trust," are you going to whip that off the money?

SILVERMAN: Yes, we would.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Godless Americans and Kay Hagan -- she hid from cameras, took godless money.

What did Hagan promise in return?

HAGAN: There is no God.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: They're showing her picture. They have a woman's voice saying, "There is no God." Wouldn't that make a lot of people think that that's Kay Hagan saying that there is no God?

Well, it turns out it's not Kay Hagan. Is there something wrong about an ad like that and what does it show?

"Preston On Politics" once again. Let's bring in Mark Preston.

I guess the fear for not only Libby Dole, but a lot of other incumbents out there, is, look, if there's a big Obama wave on Tuesday, some of these folks might lose their seats. And I guess from a GOP standpoint, if 60 Democrats gain seats in the Senate, you'd be talking about a super majority, right? Explain to viewers why that's a problem.

PRESTON: You would. Look, all Democrats need to do right pick up nine seats. It's kind of a daunting task. But if they get nine seats, it gets you to 60. And what that does is that it allows the majority, which would be the Democrats, to cut off any kind of stalling tactics that Republicans throw against them.

So Democrats right now are gunning for nine to 10 seats in the Senate. I will tell you, it's kind of a daunting task. But the question right now, Rick, is how many seats will they actually pick up come election day, because everyone agrees that they will pick up many.

SANCHEZ: Let's go through some of those, Mark. Colorado -- that's Mark Udall and Bob Schaffer, right?

PRESTON: Yes, absolutely. Colorado -- the fight for the West. And clearly what we're seeing out there right now is that Udall has a very comfortable lead. He has a 10 point lead out there right now, Rick, and probably will win that seat.

SANCHEZ: Well, that would certainly be a big pickup for the Democrats. Georgia -- Saxby Chambliss and Jim Martin. You would have thought that Saxby Chambliss would be in there for a long time, right? Is he being challenged?

PRESTON: Yes, absolutely. He's being challenged. And right now, Saxby Chambliss has a 9 point lead in Georgia, Rick. But here's the rub. We talked about it a short time ago. Barack Obama is going to start running ads in Georgia. And they are hoping they can carry Jim Martin across the finish line on election day.

Here's a little caveat on that, though, Rick. If Saxby Chambliss or Martin is not able to get 50 plus one on election day, it goes to a run-off and you'll be voting again in December.

SANCHEZ: Wow! That's interesting.

Liddy Dole -- we just saw the advertisement. She's running against Kay Hagan. And she's losing pretty good, right?

PRESTON: She is. She's down by 9 right now. She's fighting for her political life right now in North Carolina. Again, we could see an Obama Effect and probably are seeing a bit of an Obama Effect right now in that race. She is fighting for her political life. And as we've seen in that ad, they'll pull out all stops, of course, to win.

SANCHEZ: Down to about 20 seconds. Take us to this last race, which many people think is extremely important. Once again, Virginia. Here we're looking at Warner versus Gilmore. Gilmore is the Republican.

PRESTON: Yes, it looks like well, reverse coattails. Very quickly, Mark Warner has a 28 point lead over Jim Gilmore in the new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll. Could Mark Warner, in effect, help Barack Obama win Virginia? And that's what some people are thinking.

SANCHEZ: Reverse coattails -- interesting terminology.

Mark Preston, you're the best. Thanks so much for being with us, as usual.

Does Ted Stevens even know that he has been convicted? You would think not.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: And we welcome you back to the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Rick Sanchez.

First things first. Let's go back to our Twitter board. A lot of people have been commenting on that interview I did a little while ago. I wish I could get to all of them, but I guarantee you I've read them.

This has been a pretty constant thread. This is from Harris. He says

"I'm so glad that you are addressing the difference between being anti-Semitic and disagreeing with Israeli policies."

We thank you for your comment.

Now to this. This is one that's seen as very curious by a lot of people. This is a statement that was made yesterday by Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska. He was debating his opponent in this race in Alaska. His opponent, by the way, is the mayor of Anchorage. His name is Mark Begich.

And this is how Stevens describes why he's not going to step down, despite the fact that he's been asked to do so by both Sarah Palin and by John McCain. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEVENS: I'm not going to step down. I have not been convicted. I have got a case pending against me -- and probably the worst case of prosecutorial -- misconduct by the prosecutors that is known. I had a talk this afternoon with one of the attorneys here who's a former U.S. attorney who told me he was appalled at what went on in that case.

So I think you'll find out. Io will succeed and I'll be found innocent.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: Now, it was an interesting statement. But I guess the most interesting part of it is where he uses this terminology. Listen again.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEVENS: I'm not going to step down. I have not been convicted. I have not been convicted of anything.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: I have not been convicted. Well, I will tell you this, he was found guilty. I have the form right here. It was given to us last week when the decision came down from the jury. And there it is -- United States district court for the District of Columbia, where it says: "We, the jury, hereby find as follows -- guilty of false statements, guilty of financial disclosures, guilty of 2002 false statements and financial disclosures, guilty of false statements and guilty of more financial disclosures, count 5, count 6, 2005, 2006, 2004, 2003, count seven all the way through."

It would be difficult, but maybe some lawyers can figure out an argument for that.

By the way, there was also a ceremony at the airport when he returned -- a ceremony that -- at an airport that's named after him. There are the pictures -- people welcoming him back after he had been convicted. Again, curiouser and curiouser.

Here's the next story we're going to be talking about. Is it possible that Tutsis and Hutus from the Rwandan genocide are going after each other again? We'll have that for you.

Wolf Blitzer is coming up right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: And we welcome you back. I'm Rick Sanchez.

Don't go away, because coming up in just a little bit, Wolf Blitzer has an interview with Barack Obama that you are going to be seeing.

Meanwhile, because there are many stories that we don't get to cover during the week, on Friday we always bring you this special.

We call it, well, "What We Missed."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SANCHEZ (voice-over): Single digit days until presidential history is made. This rock and roll stock market. And I've got one hour a day. It's really not enough time to hit all the stories.

So I didn't get to tell you about what's happening in Congo. It's bad. Rebel groups and government troops are fighting again. They sent throngs of families afraid for their lives away from their homes. There is hope today that a cease-fire will hold, but lots of people need help in Congo.

More sadness. Again, it's manmade. India -- somebody set off nine explosions at the same time in a crowded northern town. At last check, 74 people are dead and nearly 400 are hurt.

Disaster -- the natural variety. We didn't show you the big earthquake that hit Pakistan this week. It killed more than 200 people, destroyed the homes of maybe 15,000 more.

Alaska, right? Maybe the North Pole? Nope, try New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Upstate New York three days ago. Those snowmen -- they're not Halloween costumes.

And oh, yes, about Halloween. It's Super Bowl for zombies. It's a quarter century since Michael Jackson's thriller sent the undead a dancing. Crowds offer creepy wannabes tried to break the Guinness record for largest thriller dance. Did they do it? Who cares? Just watch the zombies.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: I've got to bring you this tweet before we go.

Jcgallo asks a very interesting question. Look at this. He says: "Rick, why are we surprised that Ted Stevens is lying when he was just convicted of lying?"

Good question.

Let's go to the Dow now and see how it's doing on this day, how we're going to close out the week -- Susan Lisovicz, the answer is?

Drum roll, please.

(STOCK MARKET REPORT)

SANCHEZ: We thank you.

Wolf Blitzer is standing by now from Des Moines, Iowa -- Wolf, over to you.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks very much, Rick.